Figures published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) reveal that globally there was a reduction in offshore diving work in 2010, compared with 2009, possibly due to the economic environment.
A peak of close to 3,500 diving personnel was employed offshore world-wide by 43 IMCA members (i.e. those who responded to the call for data). This compares with a peak of 4000 from 35 reporting companies last year so the reduction does not stem from fewer reports received. They also show that air diving operations exceeded saturation diving by approximately 50%, with a trend reversal in IMCA’s Europe & Africa Section where air diving exceeded saturation diving; and with the highest number of air divers being in IMCA’s Middle East & India Section.
“In the past IMCA, and its predecessor AODC (the Association of Offshore Diving Contractors), has published annual diving personnel statistics for the North Sea area (Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK),” says IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “Although it has always been appreciated the figures only present a ‘snapshot’, they have nevertheless been highly indicative when looking at trends and other factors. “We took the decision that for 2009 we would extend the statistics to cover the entire world as that would be a useful indicator for trends in the offshore diving industry; and we have repeated this approach in the 2010 exercise. “
IMCA collected the data with respect to three dates: 1 May 2010, 1 July 2010 and 1 September 2010. It was not intended that the statistics exactly represent those actual days, but rather reflect personnel levels at the start, height and end of the North Sea season. The figures do not include personnel on leave, sick, or not working for any reason; and only include those actually working on the three days of the survey. Because the figures represent a snapshot, they do not take into account any major contract that may have been completed shortly before the days of the count, nor for that matter, one which may have started shortly after.
The figures show world-wide diving activity by type of personnel; world-wide diving activity by region and type of personnel (and also by type of personnel and region). They also break down the statistics to show diving activity in each of IMCA’s Divisions – Asia-Pacific; Central & South America (i.e. before a change seeing Central America linked with North America); Europe & Africa; Middle East & India; and North America). There are also charts showing regional statistics for world-wide diving supervisors and superintendents; saturation divers; air-divers; life support technicians (LSTs); tenders; and all other offshore diving support personnel. Further information on IMCA and the work it carries out on behalf of more than 800 member companies in over 60 countries is available at www.imca-int.com