OSJ: Seismic shift or just an offshore market uptick?

Seismic survey vessel operators have seen an improvement in asset utilisation over the last few months as oil companies begin to reinvest in offshore exploration. It is no seismic shift in the market, but an uptick in activity that should bring some cheer to investors.

Polarcus expects nearly full capacity of its fleet during the next three months, while Electromagnetic Geoservices (EMGS) reported an improvement in utilisation of its vessels in the second quarter of this year.

UAE-based Polarcus reported utilisation of its fleet at 75 per cent in the second quarter, compared with 91 per cent in the same period last year. This appears to be a drop, however, all operating days for its fleet was on contract work, while it had multi-client surveys in 2016.

Polarcus said the lower utilisation was due to vessels being relocated for new contracts and going into shipyards for maintenance prior to starting new contracts. Therefore, it was preparing for a busy third quarter and anticipates utilisation from July to September this year will be around 90 per cent. The utilisation rates do not include survey vessel Polarcus Nadia, which has been in cold layup since 1 April 2015.

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