Emergency Response and Recovery Vessels (EERVs) form part of a Emergency Response Plan ensuring effective arrangements are in place to recover and rescue individuals who have evacuated or escaped from an offshore installation and take them to safety. They also may be required to support helicopter ditch response and man overboard situations. An ERRV's main duties are:
- Rescuing/recovering people from the water and providing medical aid,
- Providing a “safe place”,
ERRV's typically feature accommodation to temporary support recovered/rescued individuals, fast rescue crafts (FRC) or a daughter craft - small, agile, fast boats capable of quick rescue and recovery from the water - firefighting and oil recovery facilities.
Where tanker operations occur in the field higher specification ERRV's may be required where they are also capable of anchor handling and towing, heading control and emergency towing in addition to the other ERRV responsibilities detailed above.
Often EERV's will be converted/upgraded from PSV's and AHTS vessels.
Supply & Demand Dynamics
Supply & Demand Dynamics
The demand for ERRVs, and offshore service vessels (OSV's) in general, continues to be driven by the world's increased energy demands. Although over the long term global energy consumption will see a significant shift away from oil and gas, oil and gas remain a major source of consumption representing more than 50% of market share. Gas growth is expected at 1.9% p.a. and oil 0.8% p.a. through to 2035. Furthermore it is anticipated that a greater reliance on offshore resources will be seen as onshore production declines and technologies open the door to more difficult offshore resources.
The ERRV market is highly cyclical. Utilization and rates are quick to react to oil price due to the influence oil price plays on E&P spending patterns (see Rig Count). As of mid 2017 with oil prices stabilized around US$50 per barrel the short to mid term is likely to remain challenging for vessel owners as new investment levels remain low and offshore rigs continue to be stacked. Without a sustained period of stability at higher oil prices increased activity is unlikely.
ERRV demand remains dampened by the oil price volatility which has seen prices move to 12 year lows of US$26/barrel settling around US$50/barrel more recently. The current prices have left many oil and gas project uneconomical and it is expected that E&P spend will decline a further 20% in 2017 from 2016. Without robust oil price increases no substantial increases in offshore activity is expected and thus an increase in ERRV demand is unlikely.
On the supply side vessel suppliers continue to suffer from the huge supply glut following multiple years of aggressive new-build programs. OSV’s out number rigs 8:1 as of early 2017 (160% increase from 2008), utilisation has dropped in some areas 40% and rates have sunk as much as 60% since the oil downturn. If demand begins to pick up newer vessels will most likely be the first to see service during recovery.
Circa 24% of the global existing fleet is 20+years in age and not expected to work again. Unfortunately these numbers are offset by a continued new-build program estimated at 8-12% of existing OSV’s. Based on these economics vessel owners remain locked into challenging times for the foreseeable future. Given the ease at which OSV's can be converted to ERRV's there remains a large over supply likely to remain for the foreseeable future.