Operators are ordering innovative, advanced OSVs.
By Ken Hocke, Senior Editor
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, new offshore service vessel construction was more about completing old contracts rather than signing new ones and adding to backlogs.
Then last spring, Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) in Galliano, La., announced that part of the company’s multimillion-dollar newbuild program included OSVs that would be for the U.S. Gulf market.
In late summer last year, aluminum boatbuilder Vic Breaux of BreauxBrothers Enterprises said that oil and gas industry officials had told him that activity in the Gulf would pick up in the mid-2012 and really get rolling in 2013.
“I’ve talked to various people who know a lot more than I do,” Breaux said last year. “They say there will be new construction coming to the Gulf from overseas — drillships and similar equipment — during the next 18 months, and they’re going to need equipment to support them.”
During christening ceremonies in late March for ECO’s Aiviq, a new ice-class anchor-handling towing/supply vessel, Gary Chouest, ECO’s president, commented on the current state of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico market. “It’s definitely better than last year,” he said, “but it’s not where it was before the Macondo” well explosion.
Loreauville, La.-based Breaux Brothers Enterprises is busy finishing up four 194'×30'×14', DP-2, fast supply vessels for Gary Chouest’s company.
The vessel design was provided by Breaux Brothers and is essentially the same one used to build the Fast Goliath, which was also built for Chouest and delivered last May.
“New construction [in the Gulf] is all for deepwater,” said Breaux, the yard’s vice president and co-owner, “and that’s where these will work.”