-OSV day rates are on the increase, what is the ceiling?
Law of supply and demand, as it is the rates are still not as high as they where in 2007-2008. Some AHTS where getting $100k+ a day, and supply boats where making $40k+ on the spot market.
-Are some of the ridiculously high salaries viable in the future for companies to offer?
Again supply and demand, with an increasing average age of your Merchant Mariner you have to do something to bring new blood in and as they say money talks. The flip side is that maybe the industry becomes flooded with guys and wages go down because there is always someone willing to work for less just to have a job. While this might be true for guys working deck Officer Pay will be hold steady as they license are not easy to get and with the ever increasing requirements of STCW will keep getting harder to get and the old guys are retiring very quickly.
-The newbuilds are impressive, but come with impressive debt.
What people forget is that these assets can be moved around the world. So they can keep the boats working, sucks if your a Hand or a Mate, so I encourage every one to get their Master of Oceans so they can go overseas if they have to.
-Drilling is going deeper and deeper to find oil, is it profitable and sustainable?
That’s a silly question. While it is cheaper to stay on land or even the shelf, the big companies know that you have to have a balanced portfolio. With very few to no large untapped reserves available on land or on the shelf where else is there to go? The projects they are bringing on line right now are projected to flow for at least 40 years right now, who knows how long as technology keeps improving. Also history has proven the longer one does something the cheaper and more efficient if becomes. What is considered deep and bleeding edge now will be an everyday occurrence in 10 years.
-Will the next accident (God forbid) drive a stake through the GOM oil industry?
Already had one earlier this month, and you did not hear a peep out side of the industry about it. I’m pretty sure the administration got slapped pretty hard for their reaction to DWH behind close doors. Notice that the President has been show golfing with Oil Executives and while he talks a big game about decreasing fossil fuel usage he has done very little to curb it. Politics are about the money and nobody writes bigger checks then the oil companies.
-Will the oil companies get overwhelmed with increased government regulation and oversight in the GOM and simply move on?
While the US is one of the most expensive places to drill it is one of the most political stable places on the planet to drill, plus the oil companies get to keep more of what they get out of the ground then any where else, and that means a lot to the Oil Companies. Lets look at the rest of the world for a second. the North Sea is on the decline, production has been falling for years and there is no end in sight. The Middle East is in constant strife with countries constantly on the verge of civil war. If Africa the bribes being payed out just to get groceries delivered has to get old. Brazil is increasingly hostile to any oil company that is not Petrobras. Combine that with the fact that you never know if any of the above will randomly decide to nationalize everything and the US looks pretty good even with it’s regulatory burdens.
As it is the rising wages and working condition in the Gulf good for all aspects of the industry. Eventually the guys up north on tugs will get a raise as more and more of their talent is taken away from them.
If you don’t think the OSV side will last where do you think guys like me should go?
I have no wish to go run a tug and deal with the crazy shit that goes on as can be found in threads on this site and deal with unions that are only out to see how deep in my pocket they can stick their hand.
Get a fishing boat?
Please fishing is a dead industry, one that has truly been killed off by the regulators.
Get my unlimited and try to get on a freighter?
Let’s consider for a second that an over seas company would even consider hiring an American. I don’t know if you have followed the trends lately of the shipping industry but those guys have had it way rougher then any OSV company and the hits just keep coming. In fact the big OSV’s are making twice what the average super tanker is making right now. Talk about an industry is small margins. As it is most of those companies are gong broke.
Go slum it with MSC?
I’m sorry I have pride in my work, have low tolerance for those that don’t, actually like to make a living, and see my family more the a few days every few months.
God forbid a real job on land and have to deal with rush hour traffic?
I have already spent years and what equates to a collage education to get where I am, so I’m just supposed to chunk it all away because some former “Business Man” says that OSV’s are a bad career move? So I now need to either take up a job doing manually hard manual labor so I can work my way back to the top, or go spend another $30k+ on a collage eduction.
I’m not going to be so presumptuous as to say something like the 80’s will ever happen again, but with more and more countries entering first world status and needing more and more energy to get there the chances do get slimmer every year consumption goes up.