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INDUSTRY REVIEWUPSTREAM OIL & GAS


“There is definitely an upward movement in the overall global upstream oil and gas market at the moment which continues to get stronger as time goes along,” he said. However, that improvement is still


patchy. “Those oil and gas companies that had a bit of a portfolio of projects going into the downturn have been able to turn things around quicker than those that did not have as much in their pipeline,” he explained. José Luis Vidal, managing director of


Brazil-based WV Logistics & Services, whose 4PL operations involve managing the logistics processes for international companies and cargo agency services, provided evidence of an upturn in upstream activity. “Brazil is currently seeing a range of projects coming through in the upstream sector, including the development of new areas of exploration, renewed activity in some mature fields and the decommissioning of old fields and platforms,” he reported.


Cautious assessment However, Steve Harley, president, energy sector, customer solutions and innovation, for global logistics group DHL, which is involved with a range of energy industry upstream exploration and production projects worldwide, gave a more cautious assessment. “I think the [upstream oil and gas]


industry will probably be fairly flat for the next 12-18 months. I do not see there being a major downturn, but equally I do not see there being a major increase in activity either. With an oil price around USD60-65 a barrel, we are going to see a cautious and probably steady 18 months ahead,” he suggested. Paul Bingley, commercial manager, UK


office, for Ukraine-headquartered heavy lift cargo carrier Antonov Airlines, is equally wary. “We have seen a noticeable downturn in the level of upstream projects since 2018 but we remain hopeful that there will be an upturn in the near future,” he commented. The carrier’s involvement in the upstream market includes transporting blowout preventers, Christmas trees and reels. The projected upturn in offshore


upstream oil and gas activity mentioned in the IEA report is also highlighted in recent assessments published by Rystad Energy, a Norway-based energy research and business intelligence company. Rystad reported that while investment in


tight oil (shale oil) had increased from 2016 to 2018 and offshore investment decreased to the point where the investment in the two sectors was almost the same, the tables had turned again in 2019. “Now offshore investments are on the rise again, while tight oil has started to decline,” it stated.


94 January/February 2020


This year has seen a rise in shipments associated with offshore oil and gas projects. Destinations have included the Caspian Sea, Gulf of Mexico and areas along the


coastline of Brazil. – Paul Bingley, Antonov Airlines


An exploratory drillship offshore Guyana.


Antonov’s Bingley confirmed that there


had been an upturn in offshore projects. “This year has seen a rise in shipments associated with offshore oil and gas projects. Destinations have included the Caspian Sea, Gulf of Mexico and areas along the coastline of Brazil,” he stated. Several project freight forwarders agreed


that some of the upstream oil and gas industry’s investment focus may now be switching back to the conventional sector. “It does appear that the real growth in the


global upstream oil and gas market is now going to be in conventional exploration and production,” commented Geodis’ Abreu. “Both land and shallow subsea drilling are already fairly strong and there is a lot


more business coming through in the deepwater sector. The day rates for offshore rigs and drilling equipment are still not where the operators would like them to be but a lot of them now have a good percentage of their assets busy.”


Offshore pick-up DHL’s Harley added: “In the last eight months we have seen quite a pick-up in offshore activity among both international oil companies and oilfield service providers, which indicates that there is more of a focus on that area. “We are seeing that trend in Africa, the


Middle East and Latin America, for example, maybe not as strong in Asia, but elsewhere in the world it is pretty much across the board.” Russia-headquartered logistics provider


Barrus Projects has been busy in the upstream oil and gas sector over the last year. Projects that it has been involved with include road- based winter mobilisation projects in central and east Siberia and summer demobilisation projects out of Yamal (northwest Siberia) using river barge transportation. “More investment is being provided for


offshore projects and now approximately 30-35 percent of all world production is coming from fields located in the sea,” explained a company spokesperson. “According to experts, world ocean shelf resources total the equivalent of more than 450 billion tonnes of oil, so it is believed that trend will continue to grow.” The Barrus source added that Russian oil


and gas companies like Rosneft and Gazprom, for example, have received new licences for the development of offshore fields in the Arctic zone. “Work on geological studies of subsoil is being actively carried out.”


www.heavyliftpfi.com


Exxon


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