By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 30 -- Contracting for new floating production systems has reversed, according to Jim McCaul, head of International Maritime Associates Inc., Washington, DC.
McCaul said the market touched bottom in fourth-quarter 2009.
IMA's new report shows that the industry has placed orders for nine production floaters and four floating storage units during the past 4 months. "This is well above the long-term average order pace," McCaul said.
The report found that the order backlog of production floaters stands at 39 units, up 2 units since November. The order backlog includes 28 floating production, storage, and offloading vessels, 4 production semisubmersibles, 1 tension-leg platform, 4 floating LNG vessels, and 2 floating storage and regasification units.
McCaul said, “The rebound is solidly based and likely to accelerate. There are 159 projects in the planning pipeline that potentially require floating production systems."
IMA expects these projects, along with others yet to emerge, to produce orders for up to 35 production floaters/year during the next 5 years.
With the deliveries scheduled this year, yearend 2010 will have 245 production floaters in service or available, more than double the number of units 10 years ago, McCaul said.
He added, "We have not hit the inflection point on the floater growth curve. Given the need to find new oil sources and a growing number of deepwater drill rigs available for exploration and development, floating production installations will continue to increase at an increasing rate.”