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ROV Services Market Update

The ROV Services market continues to be a key component for helping subsea operators achieve greater levels of operational efficiency and reduce costs and will play a growing role in supporting the expansion of future offshore wind projects with tasks like laying cables, pre- and post-lay cable survey, and other seabed activities.

In a recent industry survey conducted by Kimberlite International Oilfield Research, approximately 30% to 40% of subsea operators report the need for ROV suppliers to improve ROV reliability/uptime, visualization systems, ROV tooling, and automation capabilities.

These desired improvements and advancements in ROV capabilities will enable subsea operators to conduct longer missions while supporting advancements in digitalization initiatives designed to improve real-time reporting and analysis along with improved remote operational support.

The size of the ROV Services market has declined to approximately $1 billion per year from about $2 billion per year in 2014 reflecting the decline in industry activity. Oceaneering commands approximately 50% of the ROV services market share followed by Subsea 7 at 11%, Fugro at 7%, DOF Subsea at 6%, and TechnipFMC with approximately 6%.

Oceaneering also leads the market with a global footprint of operations, industry-leading technology, supplier performance, and value based on the customer reviews received in the most recent 2021 Kimberlite ROV Services industry report.

Oceaneering continues to invest in technology and capabilities with the Isurus work-class ROV to support work in the offshore renewables segment, the Liberty which is a battery-powered electric ROV to support IMR, commissioning and underwater intervention activities with up to 90% reduction in carbon footprint and the soon to be released Freedom, an autonomous vehicle to support pipeline survey, seabed survey, close visual inspection, and light intervention activities.

TechnipFMC, a relatively newer entrant into the ROV Services business, albeit with a long heritage in ROV design and manufacture, has deployed their Gemini work-class ROV in the Gulf of Mexico which offers the capability tool changing and advanced operations to conduct longer duration missions translating into time and cost savings for drilling operations.

More broadly, 2020 represented an unprecedented year in which the benefits of leveraging remote operations, automation, and digital solutions became visible among both operators and suppliers alike and is being prioritized as key investment initiatives for the future of subsea operations.

Whatever the future holds in the years ahead, the oil and gas industry has proven time and again the ability to innovate and adjust to challenging market conditions.

One difference coming out of the COVID pandemic is the realization that the use of remote operations and digital solutions will continue to grow and develop as operators seek to improve efficiencies and financial returns.


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