In what could be the start of a positive trend for the offshore helicopter service business, international energy consulting firm Rystad Energy predicts that spending on offshore energy projects will grow faster than their onshore shale counterparts for the first time in several years in 2019. While offshore spending will rise, Rystad projects it at just a modest 4 percent.
“Many would expect offshore spending to be cut as drastically as shale, but offshore budgets were at a 10-year low last year, after four years of intense cost focus, and from that level you don’t need much additional activity or inflation to drive up the market,” said Rystad Energy head of oilfield services research Audun Martinsen. Rystad expects the increase in offshore spending to be driven largely by greenfield projects, inflation, more fields coming on stream, and a buildup of work that needs to be completed.
The current environment of relatively low energy prices makes the offshore market more competitive as opposed to onshore shale, Rystad said. The company maintained that offshore spending could grow further, by 5 percent, with a modest increase in the cost of Brent crude to $64 per barrel. This morning it was trading at $60.65.