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INDUSTRY FOCUSUPSTREAM OIL & GAS


Concerns over capacity to meet heavy lift demand


Prospects of an increase in oil and gas industry offshore project work over the next few years are triggering concerns in some quarters that there may not be sufficient heavy lift shipping and installation capacity to meet all the resulting future demand. One reason for that potential issue, explained Sune


Thorleifsson, head of marine projects for SAL Heavy Lift, is the continuing strong requirement from the worldwide offshore wind industry for the same sort of capacity. “Four years ago, our revenue was primarily oil and


gas related. Right now, though, 50 percent of it comes from the renewables sector, specifically offshore wind, and that business looks set to be there for at least the next ten years,” he said. “So, while there are prospects for more offshore oil


and gas logistics business in 2020 and beyond, we also see the renewables market, specifically offshore wind turbines with their big foundations, continuing to take a big share of the capacity offered by leading heavy lifters.” In light of that anticipated trend, continued


Thorleifsson, there could be a shortage of the right sort of heavy lift capacity for new offshore oil and gas projects if that industry picks up in a big way over the next two or three years. “We are already seeing signs that could happen and for some projects planned for 2022 and 2023, we


SAL Heavy Lift’s Lone discharges a 95 m splitter in Vietnam for the Nghi Son project.


are now negotiating reservation fees so clients have guaranteed use of the assets they require for the period they want,” he stated. Meanwhile, added Thorleifsson, SAL is looking to further strengthen its own position in the offshore oil


execution and getting a return on investment given the ongoing market pressures," he explained. "There are some global hotspots with


regard to new projects, and we see the USA continuing to be a strong import market for capital projects. The general lack of new projects is reflected in the consolidation we have seen in the EPCs over the last 24 months, which will impact the market going forward," he added.


Steep growth in the production of the Santos Basin pre-salt field, where some large new projects are due to start this year and in 2020, will require the involvement of new suppliers of goods and services. – José Luis Vidal, WV Logistics


38 January/February 2019


Brazilian potential The potential for more forwarding business relating to offshore upstream oil and gas operations is particularly apparent in Brazil, for example. Sao Paulo-based WV Logistics Solutions & Services offers maritime agency, port, transport and logistics services to that industry. The company’s managing director, José


Luis Vidal, said: “Steep growth in the production of the Santos Basin pre-salt field (a deepwater location off the coast of Brazil), where some large new projects are due to start this year and in 2020, will require the involvement of new suppliers of goods and services. There will also be new onshore transport and tank construction projects to provide more


and gas project sector by investing in a fly jib for its heavy lift ship Lone (a 12,975 dwt vessel with a 128.5 m x 27.5 m deck and two cranes capable of jointly lifting up to 2,000 tonnes) to extend the boom in order to increase lifting height and outreach.


crude oil storage.” As far as overall near and medium-term


prospects in the global upstream oil and gas market are concerned, the view of most observers was summed up by Antonov Airlines’ Goodisman when he suggested that predicting likely trends over the next couple of years is “difficult”. “The problem with the oil and gas


industry is that the decisions that affect oil prices are made by relatively few people, and then there is a delay as everyone adjusts to those decisions,” he commented. “A bit of momentum has built up in


terms of upstream sector activity but it is difficult to anticipate how that might develop. Right now, 2019 is looking similar to 2018.”


Continuous volatility However, certain things are clear, concluded Volga-Dnepr’s Boumerkhoufa. “The oil and gas market is as volatile as ever. The recent Q3 2018 and Q4 2018 price fluctuations show that change is the new norm. The ever-consistent factors, though, are that the minerals are in the ground and the world needs a continuous input of energy to support its population and economic growth.”


HLPFI www.heavyliftpfi.com


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