The environment in oil patches onshore and offshore alike has been challenging throughout 2019; worries about an economic slowdown – whether cyclical or induced by a trade war – have weighed heavily on oil prices, even in the face of reduced production by the big producers. Though storm clouds persist, there appears a clearing on the horizon.
The fate of Offshore Service Vessels (OSVs) is, naturally, closely tied to the price of oil. Seacor Marine’s John Gellert, in reviewing its Q2 results, said: “Activity levels in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico remain tepid as customer demand is highly sensitive to oil and gas prices.” In spite of these efforts, and in the face of demand slowdowns, stockpiles of oil have continued to grow, as increases in demand have been minimal. Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed OECD oil stockpiles approaching 3 billion barrels, down slightly from the record inventory levels following the 2014 – 2015 price plunge.