International Maritime Associates, Inc.

International Maritime Associates, Inc.

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.

We provide

  • the front-end research needed to size the available market, analyze customer requirements, benchmark market position, identify new business opportunities, evaluate market positioning options and assess potential acquisitions or strategic alliances.
  • Since formation in 1973, IMA has performed over 350 consulting assignments for clients in more than 40 countries.
  • World Energy Reports (WER) was cofounded by IMA in 2014 and focuses on multi-client analytical studies in the offshore energy sector. Based in New York, WER maintains a proprietary online database of floating production systems and publishes monthly reports on the industry.
  • WER's client base includes many of the major companies in the offshore industry.

Learn more »

Recent Articles

Floater Sector Beginning to Regain Traction -- With More Than 70 Projects Awaiting the Market Upturn Signal

April 15, 2017

Jim 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.

Events Over the Past Two Months Have Changed the Dynamics of Domestic Energy Development

December 12, 2016

Jim 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

Floating Production Systems Contracts Hit by Market Downturn – But the Cycle Seems to Have Bottomed

April 28, 2016

Jim 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

Crude Oil Inventory

The excess crude inventory that built up over the past two years has been disappearing.  In its November oil market report the IEA says that global crude inventory “dropped by 63 mb in 3Q17, only the second quarterly draw since 2014”.  According to the IEA, “OECD industry stocks fell by 40 mb in September to below 3,000 mb for the first time in two years.

There is also growing anecdotal evidence that the excess inventory is being worked down.   The number of loaded VLCCs anchored offshore Singapore/Malaysia fell to 15 tankers in mid-November -- down from 30 tankers in mid-2017 and 40 in mid-2016.   Within the past few weeks Vitol sold the 3 million bbls it has been storing offshore Oman in the ULCC Seaways Laura Lynn for the past two years.  

Further indication of stock reduction is provided by the oil inventory survey conducted weekly by the US Energy Information Administration.  The survey results provide solid evidence that crude inventory in the US has fallen over the past eight months.   While US inventory data represent trends in only one area of the global oil market, estimates for global oil inventory are notoriously weak – and industry analysts heavily rely on the weekly US oil inventory data as a surrogate for global inventory movement.  

EIA survey data (see below) indicate that crude oil inventory in the US peaked at the end of March – after increasing over the first thirteen weeks of 2017.   Since then US crude inventory has fallen 17% – from 535 million bbls at the end of March to 443 million bbls as of 8 December (excluding stocks in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).   

The increase in inventory in early/mid September was the result of Hurricane Harvey, which shut in production at several refineries and caused US refinery utilization to drop below 80%.  As refinery production increased, crude inventory resumed declining in late September/October.   After leveling off between mid-October/mid-November, crude inventory again returned to its downward path over the past several weeks.    

In its latest weekly survey report, the EIA said "U.S. crude oil inventories are in the middle of the average range for this time of year".

Consulting Services

Jim McCaul

About Jim McCaul

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.



International Maritime Associates, Inc.

3131 Connecticut Ave NW #2115
Washington D.C. 20008 USA

November 2017 Monthly Floating Production Systems Report

November 2017 Monthly Floating Production Systems Report

As detailed in the November WER report, ordering activity for production floaters continues to accelerate. In mid-November Statoil selected Sembcorp for a $490 million contract to build the FPSO hull for the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea. This order brings the number of FPSO contracts to nine so far in 2017 – vs. three in 2015 and none in 2016. A second FPSO contract, for the North Sea Penguins field, is widely rumored to be near contract award, with Fluor as the EPC contractor.

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There Are Signs of Hope for the Energy Industry

Video: There Are Signs of Hope for the Energy Industry

Jim McCaul, founder of International Maritime Associates, discusses the rebounding energy sector and the state of floating production.

Floating Production News

Trelleborg Solutions for FLNG Ship-to-Shore System

December 16, 2017

Trelleborg has hailed the recent test of the Universal Transfer System (UTS) conducted…

Exxon, Petrobras Form Alliance to Develop Oil, Gas Projects

December 16, 2017

Exxon Mobil Corp and Petróleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer…

Former Chief of Daewoo Shipbuilding Gets 6 Years in Jail

December 9, 2017

Former Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) boss Nam Sang-tae sentenced…

Energy News

Asian LNG Spot Prices Jump after European Gas Outages

December 15, 2017

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot prices jumped this week in reaction to volatile price spikes on European gas markets…

UK Forties Oil Cargoes Delayed for Weeks by Pipeline Shutdown

December 15, 2017

The loading dates of Forties crude cargoes, which help set the global Brent benchmark, have been delayed by at least two…

Engie, Elecnor Win Licenses to Build Power Lines in Brazil

December 15, 2017

French energy group Engie SA and Celeo Redes, a firm controlled by Spain's Elecnor , won licenses on Friday to build and…