The sky-high price of international oil causing jitters in many sectors of the economy is being met with rather more cheer by Korean shipbuilders. High oil prices have resulted in a surge in orders for crude oil drilling facilities, which are the second-most profitable business for shipbuilders after liquefied natural gas vessels, according to a report on inadaily.com.
Sales of oil drilling facilities this year at the top three shipbuilders in Korea - Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co., and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. - amounted to $4.7 billion as of last month. To put this in context, sales of such products at the three companies ran to just $1.8 billion for the whole of last year.
Hyundai Heavy Industries said last week it received an order for constructing a $1.3 billion crude oil export facility with the state-run Kuwait Oil Company.
Daewoo Shipbuilding also received an order for $500 million of semi-submersible oil drill facilities by a Norwegian company, Seadrill, last month. In August, Samsung Heavy Industries won a contract to construct two ultra-deepwater drill ships, each worth $520 million, from the Swedish company Stena Drilling.
The three Korean shipbuilders say more big deals are imminent, as negotiations are underway with major oil developers from the United States and Europe.