International Maritime Associates (IMA) is a firm of business consultants specializing in market analysis and strategic planning for companies in the marine and offshore sectors.
April 15, 2017Jim McCaul -- Orders for production floaters have finally begun to flow. The break came early this year when contracts for a production semi for use in the GOM and an FPSO for use off Malaysia were awarded.
December 12, 2016Jim McCaul -- Donald Trump’s presidential win and Republican sweep of the US government in November – along with OPEC’s oil production cuts in December -- have injected new dynamics into the US energy
April 28, 2016Jim McCaul -- No question that the market for new floating production systems has taken a battering. The past 12 to 18 months have been a difficult period for everyone in the business sector. Absence of
The global oil market has been tightening as excess crude inventory built up over the past several years disappears. Here's how the IEA sees the situation in its February oil market report.
“It is clear that strong demand growth in 2017, alongside a modest increase last year in non-OPEC output, and the cuts made by leading producers, has contributed to the extraordinarily rapid fall in OECD oil stocks. A year ago, they were 264 mb above the five-year average and now they are only 52 mb in excess of it, with stocks of oil products actually below the benchmark.”
Anecdotal information from SE Asia supports this view. Recent data indicate that 15 VLCCs are currently being employed for storage offshore Singapore/Malaysia, around half the number of storage VLCCs in mid-2017. Land storage tanks in the region also have greater availability.
The oil inventory survey conducted weekly by the US Energy Information Administration provides evidence that crude inventory in the US has fallen over the past nine months. While US inventory data represent trends in only one area of the global oil market, industry analysts heavily rely on the weekly US oil inventory data as a surrogate for global inventory movement.
EIA survey results (see below) indicate that crude oil inventory in the US peaked at end March 2017 – after increasing over the first thirteen weeks of the year. Since then US crude inventory has fallen 21% – from 535 million bbls at the end of March 2017 to 422 million bbls as of 9 February 2018 (excluding stocks in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).
The EIA in February said "U.S. crude oil inventories are in the lower half of the average range for this time of year."
But the increase in US crude inventory over the past three weeks could indicate the beginning of a reversal in the downward trend. Or the increase could simply be a temporary response to increased refinery maintenance and lower refinery utilization. The latter seems most likely.
Jim is the founder and manager of IMA, a consulting firm providing market analysis, competitive benchmarking and business planning support in the maritime and offshore sectors. Over the past 40 years IMA has performed more than 350 business consulting assignments for 170+ clients in 40+ countries.
One of the firm’s specialties is analyzing requirements for floating production systems. IMA has published more than 60 reports since 1996 analyzing this business sector and has been engaged by numerous clients to assist in analyzing specific market opportunities in the floating production sector.
Jim is also the co-founder of IMA/World Energy Reports, a New York based business intelligence service for the floating production supply chain.