Netherlands-based suppliers to the offshore oil and gas industry are starting to feel the effect of a downturn in the sector caused by the lower oil price.
Netherlands-based suppliers to offshore oil and gas operators are starting to feel the effect of the downturn in the sector in the wake of the collapse in the oil price late last year, according to representatives of the Dutch supply chain industry.
Figures from Netherlands Maritime Technology – which represents some 400 shipyards and equipment suppliers – show that Dutch shipyards and supply firms had a combined turnover of EUR 8.3 billion in 2014, compared to EUR 7.2 billion in 2013.
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For now order books are stable, Peter Zoeteman – managing director of Netherlands Maritime Technology – told journalists on a press tour of Dutch oil and gas suppliers. However, Zoeteman added: "We expect 2015 to be quite difficult and that's related to the oil price… Even before the fall in the oil price, we already saw offshore oil and gas businesses starting to feel the pain."
Ruud Liem – business development manager at IRO (the Association of Dutch Suppliers to the Oil and Gas Industry) – pointed out that many of his organization's 430-plus members have ongoing projects and are continuing with these but that seismic acquisition firms and drilling companies are finding things tougher.
"In 2016 the situation will become more difficult if nothing happens to the oil price," he said.
According to Zoeteman, many Dutch companies are relying on innovation to protect themselves from downturns – such as that which is occurring right now.
"Our yards and suppliers are very flexible and we always try to find niche markets that we can focus on," Zoeteman said.
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