DW Sees Stable Demand for Accommodation Units Despite Industry Downturn

Douglas-Westwood (DW), an energy business strategy, research and commercial due diligence services provider, said Thursday that demand for accommodation units to support operational expenditure (Opex) is crucial as the outlook for Personnel on Board (PoB) requirements is expected to remain relatively steady from 2015 to 2020, despite declining capital expenditure (Capex) across the offshore industry.

Opex driven Life of Field (LoF) support will continue to dominate PoB requirements over the forecast period, accounting for 73 percent of demand for accommodation units, largely driven by the vast installed base of fixed platforms. Operators will demand temporary accommodation support in order to minimize platform downtime during maintenance and modification work, ensuring continuity of production. PoB requirements for Capex support will constitute the remaining 27 percent as accommodation units are utilized to support hook-up and installation of platforms and subsea infrastructure – activities that are more susceptible to commodity price declines.

Considering both the Capex and Opex markets, DW forecast demand for accommodation units to average almost 42,000 PoB per year over the 2015 to 2020 period. Although growth is steady, this is an increase of 14 percent on the preceding six-year period. Despite a peak between 2016 and 2018, the market will plateau towards 2020 as decreasing fixed platform installations and capital expenditure (Capex) restrictions lead to a decline in construction support.

Regionally, the existing platform population, including average platform size and MMO (maintenance and modification offshore) requirements/regulations, will drive offshore accommodation demand, alongside future platform construction activity. Asia accounts for the largest share of accommodation demand in the next six years, at 26 percent, due to the large number of installed platforms. The large tonnage of platforms in Western Europe, the substantial small fixed platform population in North America and increasing deepwater production in Africa are also key.

The choice of accommodation unit will be largely dependent on the environmental suitability, which can vary significantly across the types of accommodation unit. The World Offshore Accommodation Market Forecast 2015-2020 analyzes the supply and demand for the following accommodation units; jackup/liftboats, barges (DP or dynamic positioning), barges (no DP), monohulls and semisubmersible accommodation units. Regional PoB requirements are split by type of accommodation units and work scope, as the units are utilised to support activities throughout the asset lifecycle.


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