Total annual expenditure on ROV support of underwater operations is expected to grow from $891 million in 2010 to $1,692 million in 2015. New research published by international energy business advisors Douglas-Westwood shows that the fundamental market drivers for the ROV business are in growth and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Douglas-Westwood’s latest edition of the World ROV Market Forecast 2011-2015 details the market for the operation of work-class ROVs. Europe is the largest market by a small margin over Africa with its strong growth driven by deepwater oil & gas activity. The world fleet of work-class ROVs consists of 641 units operated by 21 companies and Oceaneering is by far the largest player with 241 units, 32% of the global total. The Douglas-Westwood report shows the present industry structure is the result of a series of mergers and acquisitions over some 30 years and M&A activity still continues.
Chairman of Douglas-Westwood, John Westwood, himself a pioneer of the ROV industry in the North Sea commented: “Although ROVs are today used in many sectors ranging from academic research to military applications and salvage, the largest commercial user is the offshore oil & gas industry where they have become an essential tool for deepwater operations. This was clearly demonstrated recently in the subsea work to cap the Macondo blow-out in the US Gulf of Mexico. “Despite continuing turmoil in financial markets, in 2011 it seems that the offshore oil & gas industry is facing a future of significant growth and in the longer term we still have the full impact of Brazil’s major pre-salt deepwater developments to come. In addition, new, albeit much smaller, markets are emerging in sectors such as the offshore wind. The next future looks good for the ROV industry” concluded Westwood.