FAVERSHAM, UK – Douglas-Westwood (DW) says the global offshore accommodation market has grown substantially, with Person on Board (PoB) requirements increasing by 27% between 2009 and 2014.
Although the recent oil price dip has impacted the market to some extent, the effect so far has been limited mainly to units supporting capex-related activities.
Of greater significance is opex, the analyst claims, which will account for 69% of PoB requirements during 2015.Accommodation units are deployed to reduce downtime during periods of essential maintenance. In the current oil price environment, sustaining production levels and reducing downtime from maintenance programs becomes more critical.
DW therefore expects growth in the accommodation market for units supporting opex activities to be sustained at 3%/yr through 2020.
Improved crew welfare, with the knock-on impact of improved productivity, is a priority, particularly for IOCs. Newbuild accommodation units are being built with higher levels of crew comfort.
One issue is the maximum number of workers per cabin. The UK Health & Safety Executive’s “Double Occupancy” standard limits accommodation units serving UK offshore facilities to two workers maximum per cabin.
Units sleeping four or more workers within the same room are becoming less desirable, DW adds, outside of price-sensitive regions such asWest Africa or the Middle East. Operators cite WI-FI and quality food as key criteria.
However, if oil prices remain at their current level, it is questionable whether welfare will be sacrificed in favor of accommodation units with lower day rates, DW suggests. The choice could depend on the operator’s preferences and regional regulations.