A long wait for better days

Offshore construction: A long wait for better days
The keel-laying ceremony for Subsea 7's vessel Seven vega was heldin in Royal IHC's Krimpen aan den IJssel yard in early July

With the oil price continuing to climb and Baker Hughes rig count showing a wavering but upward trend worldwide, there is a cautious optimism in the air, writes Ed Martin

As Westwood Global Energy group director Thom Payne told Rivieras Middle East Offshore Support Journal Conference in Dubai in May: We may have a while yet to wait before we see concrete signs of increased upstream activity. [But] we are starting to see a greater volume of offshore drilling projects being sanctioned around the world although drilling will not start for another 18 to 24 months so we are still a little bit off from that big recovery in global rig counts.

Offshore and subsea construction operators reliant on such projects know all about waiting. The maturity of pre-downturn projects and the scarce, lower-margin projects that accompanied the downturn are still taking their toll on balance books.

Some are anticipating better times, though, with Norway-based DOF Subsea choosing to tempt fate by adding Preparing for the recovery to the cover pages of its 2017 annual report and first-quarter 2018 reports.

In the reports forward-looking statement, the Norwegian companys board of directors noted that the market has continued to be challenging, adding that this may lead to reduced earnings and impairment of the non-current assets of the group.

The statement did, however, acknowledge ....

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