Caspian support vessel deals offset downturn elsewhere
Topaz Energy and Marine’s contract backlog for offshore support vessels is $1.5 billion, double the figure at the mid-year point in 2016.
Major contracts include a long-term deal to supply BP inAzerbaijan with 14 vessels and another for the Tengiz project in Kazakhstan.
During 1Q 2017, 88% of Topaz’s fleet offshore Azerbaijan was under contract.
In the Middle East North Africa (MENA) and Africa regions, the company has experienced severe pressure on rates in the spot market, but of late has noticed a slight uptick in MENA tendering activities. As a result it has reactivated two vessels that were in warm layup.
Eight vessels from its MENA fleet and two from the Africa fleet are still in layup, but both regions remain long-term strategic markets for Topaz.
Although a rebound in oil prices will eventually boost demand, current over-capacity in the offshore support vessel market is making 2017 a very difficult year for the industry.
The company has sought to cut its maintenance costs through negotiations with its main suppliers, supported by framework agreements.