Yep, the recession is biting! We had only 14 oil related vessels in port this morning…
(Pictures courtesy of Ricky Greenhowe)
Then there was this post on Facebook that confirms what I have been saying for months:
Quintin Kneen, president and chief executive officer at GulfMark Offshore told the 2016 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Exhibition & Awards that he fears the contraction in demand for offshore support vessels taking place as a result of the steep fall in the oil price and reduction in spending by oil companies has created a ‘talent drain’ the industry will have to contend with for years to come.
In a panel discussion on day one of the OSJ conference, Mr Kneen said he did not anticipate there would be a snap recovery at any point soon. “It will be a long, slow crawl out of the downturn,” he told delegates with rates for offshore vessels only around cashflow breakeven in many cases. One of the problems he cited was that the last upturn in the market had seen a steep increase in labour costs. When the market finally recovers this time around, he suggested, a similar spike in labour costs might also take place, simply because so many people had left the industry during the downturn. He highlighted the large number of highly trained, skilled personnel who have lost their jobs as a result of the downturn as vessels have been laid up and said he believed that, unfortunately, a lot of them would leave the industry for good.
Other panelists, including René Kofod-Olsen, chief executive of Topaz Energy and Marine and Geir Sekkesæter, chief executive, OSM Maritime Group, agreed with Mr Kneen. Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, Mr Kofod-Olsen said of the market: “When you are walking through hell, keep walking.” One of the few good things to come out of the crisis, he said, was that barriers to entry – which were too low – would be higher in future, which would act as a brake on speculative, low cost players entering the industry. The banks had been too keen to invest in the offshore market too, he said, and as a result, structural changes now needed to take place. Mr Sekkesæter said he was sure the oil price would recover, “but it might not return to the good old days” and there would undoubtedly be consolidation in the industry.
Life is tough for all, but especially for seafarers. How much of Mr Cameron and the First Minister’s injection of cash will help them I wonder? Not a lot!
Thankfully, Aberdeen Seafarers Centre is here for the long run and we are here to support YOU and point you in the direction of agencies that can help – PLEASE MAKE US OF US!
We had a very busy Monday evening with 17 seafarers in the centre… I have continued to meet with seafarers made redundant… and on ship visits, the general mood is ‘downcast!’ Thankfully, my poor jokes do bring a little laughter – honest! :o)
It has also been a busy couple of weeks visiting seafarers who were in hospital – actually in the next bed to each other – It was quite funny really – the two captains didn’t realise they were both seafarers until I introduced them – well you can imagine the stories that were shared!! Poor nurses! Haha! Both are now home and on the road to recovery!
MS office professional plus 2016 is now installed and that will make for less frustration… Our IT guru (Chris Tang – www.solvtek.co.uk) is looking for a second-hand Cisco server to help simplify things – we have 12 PC’s and getting them all working together would be simple with a server – apparently! If you want more info, just email me and I will give you more details.
Even chaplains’ can have tough days… as the picture opposite shows! Haha!
Enjoy your day… it’s Friday! 🙂