Elaine Maslin, 11th December 2012
Aberdeen Harbour Board’s need to expand should come as no surprise, a Granite City analyst on North Sea shipping has said.
The number of offshore support vessels operating out of the city has increased nearly 60% over the past 10 years, said Alan Pirie, senior marine specialist at IHS Petrodata.
As well as there being more vessels, the size of ships operating out of Aberdeen has also increased, he said.
“Given the rise in the number and size of anchor-handling tug supply vessels and platform supply vessels trading in the North Sea, it is no surprise to see the harbour board looking to expand the harbour,” he said.
“There are 59% more offshore support vessels trading in the North Sea now compared to 10 years ago, with that number increasing steadily.
“The average deck area of a platform supply vessel is up by around 1,400 sqft, while the average deadweight of a platform supply vessel is up by more than 800 tonnes, so a lot of harbour capacity can be taken up by offshore supply vessels.
“Operators are now demanding larger vessels, with increased above-and-below deck capacity, which have the ability to stay out at sea for longer periods.
“The quest for oil is going further offshore, into deeper water and harsher environments, which has seen some of the North Sea’s biggest offshore supply vessel players ordering large, sophisticated tonnage in recent years to capitalise on this increased demand in years to come.”