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Wednesday, 17 January 18
SHIPPING MARKET INSIGHT - INTERMODAL
IntermodalAs we are now well into the first month of 2018, the mood across the entire offshore industry undeniably remains rather positive following the oil price rally that has now brought the commodity at a three-year high, while the highest monthly average during the same period was achieved during December.
 
It is now a rather wide market expectation that prices will remain at satisfactory levels in the following months, with $60/barrel currently considered a strong resistance level prices won’t easily go below of. The driving forces of the oil price momentum have been the much publicized OPEC policy – and its most recent extension - the weakening of the USD and of course healthy global oil demand being sustained.
 
There are also of course those who are less optimistic out there. Their expectations call for a $10-15/barrel correction taking place in the next months, mainly arguing that  supply and demand fundamentals do not really support the price the commodity has reached and that the levels of the past month in particular are rather unrealistic.
 
Oil prices have always been one of the most crucial factors influencing the course of the entire offshore industry and most specifically the offshore drilling activity/gas exploration industry, which in turn shape the fate of all offshore units ranging from oil rigs to PSV and AHTS.
 
After all, let us not forget that one of the main reasons that the main reason behind offshore units being laid up or sold for scrap or converted as of the end of 2014, was no other than the steady decline of oil prices back then, which eventually laid to the re-consideration and sometimes the cancellation of a number of drilling projects that were upcoming back then.
 
2017 was undeniably a better year for the offshore drilling market, with both day rates and utilization rates improving – marginally indeed but improving nonetheless. A number of SnP transactions were also recorded as far as oil rigs are concerned and several company acquisitions took place as well, with that of Songa Offshore being acquired by Transocean Ltd being one of the most important. Additionally, more than 60 oil rigs were scrapped or retired, which means that a bit of the oversupply weight has slowly started being lifted during the past months.
 
Despite the above mentioned improvements and activity, the reality is that the Deepwater drilling market is still dealing with oversupply, far from healthy day rates and a big lack of commitment on behalf of major oil companies as far as long term investment projects are concerned.
 
Therefore the question that comes to mind is what should we expect for this year. Most of the optimism at this stage is stimulated by South America and more specifically Brazil, where a number of Petrobras tender requests for rigs and offshore units are expected to take place this year, while not very far from Brazil, there are additional optimistic signs coming from countries like Argentina and Peru, where substantial drilling activity/number of projects are expected to come on line/take place in the following years.
 
Hopefully the above will bring further improvement in the market and lay the ground for truly healthy fundamentals in the next couple of years.

By Panos Makrinos
Offshore Director
 
Compiled by:
Intermodal Research & Valuations

Analysts:
Ms Eva Tzima


Disclaimer and legal disclosure: For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Research & Valuations Department. The information contained in this report has been obtained from various sources, as reported in the market. Intermodal Shipbrokers Co. believes such information to be factual and reliable without making guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness. Whilst every care has been taken in the production of the above review, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may seek to rely on the information and views contained in this material. This report is being produced for the internal use of the intended recipients only and no reproducing is allowed, without the prior written authorization of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.

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