testata inforMARE
6 juin 2023 - Année XXVII
Journal indépendant d'économie et de politique des transports
14:36 GMT+2
FORUM des opérateurs maritimes
et de la logistique

The Offshore and Specialised Ships market
in 2000


At the beginning of 2000, crude oil prices broke through the barrier of $25 per barrel and hit a peak of $36 per barrel in September, close to the highs experienced at the time of the Gulf War. Since then there has been a drop back to $26 per barrel in December. Producers and experts alike are basing their medium term forecasts on a price around $25 per barrel, and at this level it should encourage a substantial increase in exploration budgets and offshore production (for reference, the estimate for last year was $12-15 per barrel).

We leave it to the oil specialists to give an explanation for the real reasons of this sudden surge in prices, but we have nonetheless taken note that the current projections on proven crude oil reserves are not as important as the experts have led us to believe.

Meanwhile, specialised geophysicists are intensifying their efforts with the help of 3D techniques and have perfected computer software which allows enormous progress in interpreting seismic tests and which assists the development of new deep offshore fields.

It is reasonable to expect that exploration budgets will be increased and that they will return to a level above $100 billion in 2001, with a particular emphasis being directed towards the deep seabed. These new offshore drillings, require not only more important and sophisticated techniques for drilling and producing, but also the need of bigger, more numerous and more powerful workships and transport ships.

Support vessels: Platform supply vessels (PSV) and Anchor handling tug supplies (AHTS)


Players in this market were pessimistic in January 2000 but the important drop in freight rates at the beginning of the year was partly compensated by the increased chartering of supply vessels specialised in pre and post laying of optical fibre cables.

The market had to wait until the autumn in order to see a significant improvement in freight rates, but it then only took a month before the levels of different categories of supply ships increased. Against expectations, it was the prices in the Gulf of Guinea which were the signal for this general firming up.

A greater number in the movements of supply ships and the fact that several PSV were taken out of the market and used for cable laying, as well as the dispatch of some units towards the deep offshore African sites in the spring of 2000, upset the North Sea spot market and charter rates started to take off. The market hit a high in the summer with spot levels touching '20,000 per day.

Given the context described above, this has produced a number of newbuildings of PSV and AHTS on behalf of Norwegian and American owners. In contrast to the wave of newbuildings in 1996-98, orders of some 80 units cover the whole spectrum of the fleet. In particular there have been a number of medium-size vessels in the UT 719/755 class of 4-5,000 kW.

This revival in the offshore markets and the prospects of a drop in subsidies to European and especially Norwegian shipyards has largely contributed to an unprecedented surge in renewing and modernising of the fleet of the main players (Gulf Offshore, Tidewater, Surf, Dof, Solstad, Farstad, Swire Pacific, Sealion).

In particular we have observed a policy of aggressive expansion from the world's largest owner of supply vessels (Tidewater, based in New Orleans with over 600 units) who purposefully kept out of building any new vessels in recent years, has ordered a number of units in the UT 755 class for construction in Norway. In addition the company has bought six modern units from the Japanese Sanko for a sum of $ 160 million. Tidewater has also placed orders in the US and China for more than 12 big-sized PSV and AHTS.

Gulf Offshore Aberdeen, a subsidiary of Gulf Mark Offshore USA, ordered at the end of the year seven AHTS and PSV types UT 722L, UT 755, UT 755L, and UT 745 with Aker Brattvaag in Norway to replace the Sanko ships, sold as mentioned above, that they had under bareboat charter.

Another fact worth mentioning is the success of the Norwegian engineering companies such as Rolls Royce Marine AS (ex-Ulstein, ex-Vickers) and Vik Sandvik, who have managed to impose their concepts and designs of support ships on owners and shipyards worldwide.

Surf is continuing to develop with its local partners its foothold in Angola and will be putting into service in 2001 two Azimuth tugs of 65 tons bollard-pull being built with Damen, Holland, as well as a PSV (UT 755) being built with Orskov in Denmark within their service contract with Sonagal/TotalFinaElf. An additional UT 755 has been placed with Orskov on speculation.

The year 2001 looks encouraging for shipowners and owners of floating equipment designed for drilling and producing offshore in West Africa, Brazil, and the Gulf of Mexico. It would appear that ships which are dynamic positioning and can handle ROV operations and underwater work will be hard to find.

2 x 2,500 bhp, built by Alstom Leroux Naval - Operated by Les Abeilles Le Havre.
Drilling top

The merger tendency has continued with the birth in 2000 of a drilling giant following the take-over of Reading and Bates/Falcon by Transocean-Sedco. In the longer term, drilling rig operators are expected to consolidate into four or five companies which will represent at least 80 % of mobile units.

The turnaround in the offshore markets was felt first in the shallow water drilling. In practice the jack-up rigs have seen their utilisation rate climb during 2000 to levels today around 90 %. The high levels of use gives owners hope of seeing a strong rise in the chartering rates for 2001. We have also seen a number of speculative orders of new jack-up rigs which have already been placed with the main yards, Chile Offshore with FELS, Maersk Drilling with Hyundai Offshore, and finally a 25 % share purchase by Enesco in a building unit with FELS based on a standard design of F&G MODV.

Santa Fe made a name for itself with an ambitious newbuilding programme comprising two new semi-submersibles and six new jack-up rigs.

This year also saw the delivery of the last drilling units due to be built. Generally their owners were faced with the classic problem of the initial servicing of these new units.

The second-hand market saw a few unspectacular deals but which underlined the basic optimism of owners and the healthy state of their cash-flows. Pride bought two second generation semi-submersibles, the 'Drillstar' and the 'Sedco Explorer', both having been in the hands of American private investors, as well as a jack-up rig ' the 'Energy Explorer IV'. Fred Olsen through its affiliates Fred Olsen Energy and Dolphin Drilling also purchased two second generation semi-submersibles of the Aker H-3 class which are compatible with the original design of units in service with the Dolphin Drilling fleet. In addition this company took a majority shareholding in Navis Asa, a Norwegian company that controls the 'Navis Explorer' a new drillship built by Samsung.

To the extent that there are virtually no builders of mobile drilling rigs left in Europe, we question what will be the reply from the three main Asian yards when all the service companies start making commitments for newbuildings in reply to the oil companies' tenders. This situation could also be aggravated by the current consolidation amongst builders. On the one hand, Friede and Goldman (USA) has become the uncontested leader in the design and construction of drilling units, and the group Keppel-FELS has undertaken joint ventures and take-overs in order to operate on the Brazilian and Azeri markets, and they envisage also becoming the main shareholders in Verolme Botlek, leader in repairs and refitting of drilling units in Europe.


Construction and underwater work top

The year 2000 saw reduced activity in this sector as the oil companies' investment budgets were put on hold. This depressive mood led to a number of mergers which in turn has brought about a wholesale reorganisation in this area of the offshore industry.

Coflexip Stena Offshore bought at the start of the year R H Brown, Houston, and at the year's end took over Aker Offshore, Houston, the subsea construction branch of the Aker Maritime Group, which through their American holding will give them a better position in the Gulf of Mexico. Coflexip then sold its share in CAL Dive, Houston. Technip bought Stena Offshore's part in CSO, and the Technip and Coflexip combination appears promising as the activities of the two companies are complimentary. Bouygues Offshore and Doris are looking to combine their efforts in the Gulf of Mexico with the setting up of a single affiliate in Houston.

Stolt Offshore has carried through the purchase and integration of ETPM, despite indifferent results, and we expect to see an ambitious development on the part of this operator. We would like to end this section by outlining the increasing use by the large underwater companies of sub-contracting or outsourcing non-core activities to owners such as Solstad, Farstad, Augusta, or Surf.

Dredger Artist view of dredger
to be delivered in 2002 by Izar to GIE Dragages Ports.


Floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSO)


Oil companies have also increased their investments in this sector of the offshore market, linked to the production of oil and gas. The floating production systems will be mainly located in the future in the offshore fields in West Africa (ex-Girassol in Angola) and Latin America (ex-Marlim Sul in Brazil), in depths of 500-1,300 metres. The North Sea fields have been fully equipped for some time and the American authorities prohibit the use of floating production systems in the Gulf of Mexico waters, where they have been replaced by a system of storage fixed to the seabed under tension and where the underwater pipeline network is dense enough to permit connections. The MAD DOG project being developed by BP will perhaps see the first new FSO operational in the Gulf of Mexico.

Generally speaking, the market tends to divide into reconverted second-hand vessels which are rented out to oil companies (Chevron/Kuito, Exxon FPSO in West Africa) and the new FPSO looking for long-term employment with the oil companies. These latter units are considered as real fixed production units. In the first category, the market is organised around specialists such as SBM, Bluewater, Modec/Sofec, formerly suppliers of anchoring systems and who have finished by responding to the turnkey projects of the oil companies.

In the second category, the size of the projects and the sums involved together with the need of risk controls, calls for a direct involvement from the oil companies and the need of building contracts such as EPCI with the ad hoc grouping amongst the well established contractors such as Halliburton, Brown and Root, ABB, Technip, Bos, Aker, and Saipem.

The year 2001 risks being crucial in the area of new, big-sized FPSO/FSO as Exxon (Kizomba), Texaco (Agbami), TFE (Dalia), BP (US Gulf and Angola) and Chevron have either put out or will shortly be putting out to tender for the building and the installing of this type of units, mainly for West Africa and in particular Angola and Nigeria.

We question the ability of the large Asian yards to be able to meet the needs of the general contractors and fulfil the technical specifications of the oil companies. Apart from one European yard, the choice is restricted to the big Japanese or Korean yards. The latter are almost fully booked with the surge in newbuildings of all types of vessels and their schedules of delivery dates cannot easily be integrated into the timetables of the oil companies.

In an attempt to get around the problem of tight capacity, the project Elf Amenan in Nigeria envisages the initial construction of a FSO of 2.4 million barrels in the form of units built onshore which will then be assembled on a barge or in a drydock.

Cable laying vessels top
The year 2000 saw an abundance of newbuildings and refitting of cable vessels specialising in the laying and maintenance of fibre optics for the following reasons :
  • Firstly due to the gigantic leap in worldwide transmissions linked to the Internet.
  • A multitude of telecommunication operators following deregulation and consequently an equal number of companies owning underwater fibre optic cables.
  • The answers provided by the research and development departments of industrial manufacturers, principally Tyco and Alcatel, which allow the building and operating of numeric systems with ever bigger and more reliable transmitting capacities.
  • The tenders of established and start-up operators, linking the building of systems to the laying and complimentary work upstream and downstream, but also the maintenance work for periods of several years (up to 10) on a turnkey basis.
  • Operators insisting on highly reliable connections and a more careful and deeper burying of cables in the seabed 2-3 metres deep, and at depths up to 1,500 metres. The laying should be at a speed not exceeding one knot, which significantly increases the installation time and thus leads to an increase in the number of vessels to carry out such work.
  • Finally the ageing of the world cable laying fleet and the high freight levels due to the scarcity of vessels.

The thirty cable vessels for laying and maintenance under order or under conversion will enter into service for the most, part between mid-2001 and mid-2002. Amongst the units are those ordered by French companies Alda Marine (j/v Louis Dreyfus/ASN and FT Marine). Several other vessels have been ordered by the traditional cable operators such as Tycom, USA and Global Marine, but a considerable number have also been taken up as speculation by new owners to this market such as AP Moller, Danemark, Solstad, Norway and Dockwise. These units have found medium and long term employment with ASN, Tycom, and Global Crossing.

The need for large laying vessels should be covered by the delivery of ships currently being built, while future orders or refits of cable vessels should concern mainly the maintenance ships. The latter with a capacity of some 2,000 tons of cable will rely on dynamic positioning navigation and will see their speeds and length improved to enable them to repair any defective cables quickly.

Artist view of a cableship
to be delivered end 2001 by Hanjin - Owned by FT Marine


Overall the year 2001 appears to be propitious for the whole offshore industry. To conclude we should like to quote an extract from the book "Underwater cables" written in 1903 by Alfred Gay : "the underwater networks, 50 years after the creation of the first amongst them, now girds the entire globe. And the final word has not been said. To the existing links, each year further links are added."

Shipping and Shipbuilding Markets in 2000


Port de Civitavecchia, majoration de la surtaxe sur les marchandises pour financer la poursuite de l'antiemurale
L'ancienne zone Privilège sera dédiée à la logistique
Giampieri a été confirmé comme président d'Assoports
Parmi les défis suivants-il a rappelé-la révision des lois de la réforme de la législation portuaire
Kuehne + Nagel achètera le cargo sud-africain Moran Cargo
Est spécialisée dans le segment de l'expédition de produits périssables
La tendance à la croissance exceptionnelle des transits pétroliers permet au canal de Suez de marquer un nouveau record historique du trafic maritime mensuel
La tendance à la croissance exceptionnelle des transits pétroliers permet au canal de Suez de marquer un nouveau record historique du trafic maritime mensuel
En avril, il a été traversé par 2 298 navires (+ 19,1%)
En avril, une forte baisse du trafic de marchandises dans les ports de Gênes et de Savone-je vais
En avril, une forte baisse du trafic de marchandises dans les ports de Gênes et de Savone-je vais
Flexions enregistrées de -7,4% et -6,8% respectivement
Mécanisme frauduleux d'évasion fiscale et d'évasion fiscale mis en œuvre par une société de logistique pavée
X-Press Feeders commande six porte-conteneurs à double carburant de 1 250 teu
Sera construit par le chinois CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding
Le Japon a pris livraison de son premier porte-conteneurs de 24 000 teu
Cinq autres navires de la même capacité construits par Imabari Shipbuilding et Japan Marine United Corporation suivront.
La Suisse va subventionner l'autoroute entre Fribourg et Novara jusqu'en 2028.
Des mesures seront prises pour rendre le pavillon de la marine marchande suisse plus attrayant
FEPORT a discuté des effets sur les ports et les terminalistes des règles climatiques de l'UE
Saintes Maries de la Mer
Faits saillants de la nécessité pour les gouvernements européens de transposer la directive minimale sur l'impôt des sociétés afin d'éviter les distorsions causées par la taxe sur le tonnage
En 2022, le transport combiné européen a légèrement diminué.
Historique des volumes nationaux, tandis que le trafic international a diminué de -0,5%
Une panne de moteur d'un pétrolier dans le canal de Suez n'a pas empêché le trafic dans la voie navigable.
Le "Seavigour" transporte du brut de la Russie vers la Chine
Renouvellement du contrat national des tondeuses et barcaioli
Augmentation économique moyenne de 175 euros
Renouvellement de la concession de PSA Venise
Il aura une durée de 25 ans. Un investissement prévu de 78,6 millions d'euros et une croissance du trafic allant jusqu'à 500mila teu. Concession à Veneta Cementi
Le Aziende informano
La Ant. Bellettieri & Co., presente da più di 140 anni nel Porto di Civitavecchia, opera nella logistica portuale e nell'intermodalità mare, ferro, gomma
Pour sa propre décarbonisation, le transport maritime ne doit pas compter trop sur le e-fuel
Pour sa propre décarbonisation, le transport maritime ne doit pas compter trop sur le e-fuel
Le Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping met en garde pour tenir compte de la disponibilité future et des prix des carburants électriques
La Commission européenne présente cinq propositions législatives sur la sécurité maritime et la prévention de la pollution marine causée par les navires
L'objectif est également d'aligner les normes européennes sur les réglementations internationales
Un quart des entreprises russes risquent de perturber la production pour la difficulté de recevoir des marchandises de l'étranger
Le premier vice-président du Centre de Recherche Stratégique de Moscou
Les camionneurs dénoncées le blocage des actions visant à améliorer le fonctionnement des camions dans le port de Spezia
La Spezia
Peut-être-ils accusent les associations commerciales-c'est la volonté de maintenir le statu quo
L'ultima lettura del Goods Trade Barometer della WTO segnala una ripresa che però potrebbe essere assai accidentata
La dernière lecture du baromètre du commerce des marchandises de l'OMC indique une reprise, mais celle-ci pourrait être très irrégulière
Des signaux positifs émanent des commandes à l'exportation
L'ultimo rapporto di AGCS evidenzia la notevole diminuzione della perdita totale di navi
Le dernier rapport de l'AGCS fait état d'une diminution significative du nombre total de navires perdus
Johannesburg/Londres/Madrid/Munich/New York/Paris/Rotterdam/Singapour
En 2022, le nombre d'accidents a chuté de 36 %
Le naufrage, l'incendie/l'explosion et la collision sont les causes les plus fréquentes d'accidents
Port de Livourne, a interdicté quatre entrepreneurs et trois entreprises
Seized more than 8mila euros to a port administration official
L'elvetica Accelleron ha acquisito Officine Meccaniche Torino
L'entreprise suisse Accelleron a acquis Officine Meccaniche Torino
La société basée à Rivoli est l'un des principaux fabricants de systèmes d'injection pour les moteurs marins
Grimaldi commande deux nouveaux navires "Pure Car & Truck Carrier" de 9.000 ceu
Naples / Rome
Affirme le recours à Grimaldi Euromed de la continuité territoriale maritime sur la route Civitavecchia-Arbatax-Cagliari
Une commission commencera à analyser les questions de la réforme portuaire
La création de l'organe a été votée hier par la Conférence nationale de coordination des autorités du système portuaire.
Uilt demande une confrontation préalable avec les partenaires sociaux sur la réforme de la législation portuaire
Reprendre dès que-exhorts Tarlazzi et Odone-la table de discussion permanente sur les ports
Les applaudissements de Confitarma pour l'entrée en vigueur des nouvelles dispositions pour les directeurs de machines
Gavarone: il simplifie la vie
Katoen Natie achète le belge Crossport
La société a des zones logistiques avec une capacité de 120mila mètres carrés près du port de Gand
Le nouveau terminal de croisière du port indien de Chennai a été inauguré.
L'année prochaine, on s'attend à l'achèvement de trois autres valideurs cruciéristes.
La gestion du trafic marchandises à l'aéroport de Gênes a été confiée aux transitaires de la ville.
Giachero (Spediport): Il est essentiel de relancer le secteur du fret
A la fin du mois APM Terminals va quitter la gestion du conteneur terminal d'Itajaí
Superintendência do Porto essaiera de mettre en œuvre une nouvelle solution transitoire dans l'attente de l'appel d'offres ouvert par le gouvernement fédéral
GEODIS a racheté Swiss Transport & Shipping helvetica
En 2022, il a enregistré un chiffre d'affaires de 58 millions de francs suisses
Conférence de Gênes sur l'état de la mise en œuvre de la plateforme logistique nationale
Organisée par Federlogistique et Conftransporto-Confcommerce, elle aura lieu lundi prochain
Livourne, campagne de surveillance de la qualité de l'air dans les quartiers voisins du port
La campagne de reconnaissance durera 240 jours
Accord de Fincantieri au Canada pour proposer un patrouilleur "Vigilance" pour la Marine royale du Canada
Deux initiatives pour commémorer Giuseppe Bono
Le 30 juin à Gênes, la deuxième édition du Youngster Shipping Summer Party aura lieu
L'événement est promu par Assagents
Fincantieri construira le troisième sous-marin NFS de la marine italienne
Les deux premières matraques seront livrées en 2027 et 2029
ABB planifie une queue de baleine pour la propulsion des petits et moyens navires
ABB planifie une queue de baleine pour la propulsion des petits et moyens navires
Le premier prototype sera disponible en 2025
Dernier chemin gratuit vers le lien entre le port d'Ancône et la route nationale 16
Aquaroli: C'est un travail fondamental pour le développement du port, Ancône et les Marches
Visual Sailing List
- liste alphabétique
- liste des nations
- zones géographiques
CMA CGM finalise l'acquisition de La Méridionale
Annonce de la prochaine commande de deux nouveaux navires GNL
Inauguration du salon nautique de Venise
Plus de 220 exposants. 300 bateaux présentés, dont 240 à l'eau
MSC Crociere ha preso in consegna la nuova MSC Euribia
MSC Les croisières ont pris en consigne le nouveau MSC Euribia
Dans le chantier naval de Chantiers de l'Atlantique a également eu lieu la cérémonie de pièce de "MSC World America"
Accord entre l'AdSP de l'Adriatique Central et l'agence régionale des Marches pour la protection de l'environnement
Yang Ming commande à HHI la construction de cinq portacontainer à partir de 15.500 teu
Engagement d ' un montant de 927,9 millions de dollars
Port de Gênes : réduction de 70 % des erreurs de procédure dans la paperasserie
c'est le résultat de l'expérience vécue lors d'un cours organisé par la Capitainerie du port et Assagenti
Confitarma se félicite de l'approbation par l'UE du soutien à l'intermodalité route-mer, mais dénonce le manque de ressources
Mattioli : Nous espérons que le nouveau gouvernement ouvrira une discussion concrète avec l'industrie de l'armement sur cette question en vue de la prochaine loi de finances
KHI et DNV définiront une méthode pour calculer les émissions de CO2 de la chaîne d'approvisionnement en hydrogène liquéfié
Signature d'un protocole d'accord spécifique
Le FENADISMER espagnol lancera une nouvelle action de classe contre les compagnies pétrolières
They are accused of taking advantage of the effects of the conflict in Udrain to apply a surcharge to fuels
Accord Eni - RINA pour la transition énergétique et la décarbonation du transport naval
Parmi les objectifs, le développement...
Investissement chinois dans la zone économique du canal de Suez
Les activités de production seront installées
Dans le premier trimestre de cette année le trafic des marchandises dans les ports croates a crû du +14,9%
L'augmentation est déterminée par la hausse des volumes en vrac
Événement à Gênes pour la relance de l'économie de la mer
Le secteur - il a été souligné - au cours des dernières décennies a été considérablement sous-estimé dans son potentiel
Assiterminal, Assologistica and Fise-Uniport Convention for Safety at Work
C'est par définition avec le soutien de RINA
CMA CGM compra il quotidiano economico francese “La Tribune”
CMA CGM achète le quotidien économique français « La Tribune »
La société est déjà active dans l’édition avec les journaux "La Provence" et "Corse Matin"
Le mois suivant Metrans activera un lien intermodal Rijeka-Budapest
Le terminal de la capitale hongroise sera relié au terminal serbe d'Indija
Ok à une contribution de 2.2 millions à la société portuaire génois CULMV
Résolution approuvée par le Comité de gestion
ITA Airways, a confirmé l'accord avec Lufthansa
Uilt, important maintenant de réaliser les objectifs de développement et de croissance du plan industriel
German Schües est le nouveau président du BIMCO
Subentra à Sabrina Chao qui a conclu son mandat biennal
PSA a acquis une part minoritaire dans la société de logistique vietnamienne Sotrans
Il a été cédé par Indo Trans Logistics Corporation
Inauguré la deuxième phase du terminal de conteneurs vietnamiens de Nam Dinh Vu (Haipong)
Tu as Phong.
Il a une capacité annuelle pair à 1,2 million de teu
Ports Italiens:
Ancône Gênes Ravenne
Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerne
Bari La Spezia Savone
Brindisi Livourne Taranto
Cagliari Naples Trapani
Carrara Palerme Trieste
Civitavecchia Piombino Venise
Interports Italiens: liste Ports du Monde: Carte
Armateurs Réparateurs et Constructeurs de Navires
Transitaires Fournisseurs de Navires
Agences Maritimes Transporteurs routiers
Le 25 mai à Gênes, une conférence sera organisée sur la programmation, le fonctionnement et la gestion des réseaux de transport.
Il est organisé par l'Institut international des communications et du CIFI
Le 26 mai à Gênes, le premier Mare Global Forum aura lieu
Il est organisé par le Centre consultatif stratégique "Giuseppe Bono"
››› Archives
Budget proposes to cut tax on containers used in shipping
(The Daily Observer)
Exclusive: Malaysian tycoon weighs selling a stake in $2.7 bln port business -sources
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Relazione del presidente Daniele Rossi
Napoli, 30 settembre 2020
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