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ROV market: ready for recovery?

Offshore Marine Technology: 2nd Quarter 2019



The next four years could well see the global ROV sector bounce back from the doldrums of 2017, according to a report issued by energy analyst Westwood. The group’s World ROV Operations Market Forecast predicts that demand for “traditional” oil and gas applications, as well as for “new offshore support roles”, will stoke an upturn in demand for these assets.   


Westwood predicts that global utilisation of ROVs, which sank to 32% in 2017 due to significant oversupply, could hit the 50% mark by 2023. Although a welcome increase, this percentage would still fall short of the 55% recorded in 2014. The analyst blames “a slow recovery in day rates” as the biggest “constraint” on ROV expenditure.


Companies involved in drilling support will most likely account for this growth, the report suggests, with Brazil, Guyana and the Falkland Islands expected to constitute demand hotspots. Westwood adds: “Global ROV demand [will] total 680,917 days over 2019-2023, growing at a 4% CAGR.”


Meanwhile, the report predicts that ageing infrastructure and assets will likely spur an 11% increase in demand for tasks related to inspection, maintenance and repair (IRM) support. Taken alone, IRM support could account for US$2.2 billion of expenditure over the forecast, Westwood writes. The next four years will also see significant advances in vehicle autonomy, Westwood adds.