Stim vessel survey reflects changing market conditions

Offshore’s 2018 World Survey of Stimulation Vessels reflects several changes in the market, with notable additions and subtractions to the global stimulation vessel fleet, and the withdrawal of at least one company from the market. In general, companies that offer stimulation vessel services report that even though work has slowed due to the downturn, they are still maintaining and investing in their fleets.

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StimWell says that recent modifications made to theIsland Patriotare expected to pay dividends as activity and demand increases.

Offshore’s 2018 World Survey of Stimulation Vessels reflects several changes in the market, with notable additions and subtractions to the global stimulation vessel fleet, and the withdrawal of at least one company from the market. In general, companies that offer stimulation vessel services report that even though work has slowed due to the downturn, they are still maintaining and investing in their fleets.

Since last year’s survey, Schlumberger says it has demobilized four vessels while adding three more. The company demobilized the following vessels:DeepSTIM I, DeepSTIM PRONTO, Bourbon Liberty 156, and the DeepSTIM Brasil I. It has added the FlexSTIM Skipsey Tide, the FlexSTIM Paterson Tide, and the FlexSTIM Flowers Tide. In the wake of these changes, Schlumberger has 10 vessels in its stimulation vessel fleet, thus retaining the largest fleet in this market.

Halliburton has retired theUAE VMS (vessel-based modular solution), and theequipment has been removed from the vessel. The company retains eight stimulation vessels in its fleet.

Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), reports no change in its stimulation vessel offerings; it retains seven vessels in its stimulation vessels fleet.

Superior Energy says that it elected to decommission theInspiration in January of this year. This leaves the company with no stimulation vessel at this time, and consequently they have been removed from the survey.

StimWell reports that it recently secured a long-term contract from a major oil company, and says that it continues to lead the North Sea market in propped fracturing activity. Company officials say they believe that activity is starting to increase; and that the modifications that it made to theIsland Patriot during the downturn, in addition to retaining the entire crew on the vessel and in the office, are expected to pay dividends as activity and demand increases. The vessel was upgraded to enable pumping rates up to 70 bpm. StimWell also says that it is developing a new fracturing placement technique where up to four large prop frac treatments have been placed in one day; the company says that this sets a new record for hydraulic fracturing placement offshore in the North Sea, and perhaps in all offshore markets. In addition, StimWell officials say that purchasing the vessel in 2016 strengthened its North Sea capabilities, and has enabled the company to consider expanding its vessel-building capabilities.

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