Seacroft Marine Consultants was founded to provide experienced marine professionals to independently assess and report on our clients’ vessels and offshore assets.
Whilst this can take many forms depending on the vessel, asset type and the standard being assessed, one of our core activities has always been provision of sale and purchase assistance to both existing and prospective offshore vessel owners and operators.
This can range from the smallest offshore workboat (or even Fast Rescue Craft (FRC)), all the way up to high value assets such as offshore drilling units or multi-million pound dynamically positioned (DP) tonnage.
Although the offshore vessel market has always ebbed and flowed dependent on the strength of the oil price and the wider economic climate, the last twelve months has seen an unprecedented level of sale and purchase activity.
The period from 2017 to 2019 saw the market climb slowly from 2014’s oil price slump, reaching a positive level immediately prior to the advent of Covid 19. Since that period, improvement in oil and gas activity and the introduction of new revenue streams such as support of renewable activity has allowed the market to bounce back.
Vessels which had been placed in long term layup in an attempt to consolidate owners’ positions have re-entered the market and a general increase in values of Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) in the 10-20 year age range, coupled with a more buoyant overall market, has seen some dramatic changes in available vessels. The last twelve months have also seen an unprecedented level of sale and purchase activity across all the vessel owners and operators.
This has seen a number of vessels previously withdrawn from the market reactivated under new owners (and the reintroduction of the UT755 design of PSV to the Northern North Sea) as well as a number of tried and tested older tonnage transferred to new ownership or repurposed for Walk-to-Work or other renewables support activity.
This activity peaked dramatically in early March 2023 with the announcement by one of the largest PSV owners in the market (Solstad Offshore ASA) that they would be leaving the segment altogether to focus on their CSV (Construction Support Vessel) and AHTS (Anchor Handling Tug/Supply) activity.
This will see the sale of some 37 vessels currently operating within the market to US owner Tidewater – the largest transfer in recent memory, and the firming of Tidewater as the largest industry player in this segment by far, worldwide.
Throughout this spike in market activity, Seacroft Marine Consultants has undertaken a number of pre-sale condition inspections, vessel suitability audits and reviews of clients’ newly acquired tonnage to ensure that the new owners and operators continue to meet industry expectations, legal requirements and commercial targets.
Many owners also look to have an industry standard inspection, such as the Marine Safety Forum Pre Hire Inspection, conducted on their newly purchased vessel so as to identify and address any issues prior to their first charter by the next energy company client.
With some of the largest energy companies amongst our client list, and based in the heart of the UK’s largest energy ports, Seacroft Marine Consultants allows vessel owners to gain an invaluable, independent viewpoint, both pre and post vessel acquisition – the ideal stepping stone to first commercial charter hire.