SoundingsGlobal ROV Market Predicted to Total $2.5 Billion in 2014. As the volume and complexity of offshore activities increases, so does the demand on ROVs. Visiongain forecasts strong spending growth on ROV services and newbuilds. Europe is the only region that will see declining demand for ROV services as North Sea production and drilling activity declines. However, decommissioning and maintenance activity supports spending levels. Deepwater and ultradeepwater exploration and production is underpinning spending on ROV services. Drill support activity and the installation of subsea infrastructure are then complemented by inspection and maintenance activity. The drive to enhance the life of reservoirs is also increasing the amount of tasks performed per year by the current ROV fleet. Utilization rates are up, and the fleet continues to expand year-on-year. Aging infrastructure is increasing the amount of decommissioning and maintenance activity required offshore. Higher safety standards, especially in North America post-Macondo, are also increasing the frequency with which such activities are executed. To carry out such work, more ROVs are needed. Offshore gas developments, especially offshore Australia, in the Eastern Mediterranean and East Africa, are creating new demand for ROV services. Visiongain calculates that spending on ROVs will total $2.5 billion in 2014. The ROV market comprises spending on ROV operations and services and newbuild ROVs. The latter is driven by demand for the former, although low retirements for ROVs and the ability to improve and adapt current vehicles puts a downward pressure on newbuild spending.
Dust Influences Global Climate History. In spring 2010, Alfred Wegener Institute’s Polarstern icebreaker returned from the South Pacific with ocean sediments from a previously almost-unexplored part of the South Polar Sea. Since then, the sample has enabled reconstruction of the climatic history of the polar areas, which aids understanding of global climatic development. The sediment cores from the Southern Ocean provide evidence of how dust has had a major influence on the natural exchange between cold and warm periods in the southern hemisphere. An international research team was able to prove that dust infiltrations there were two to three times higher during all the ice ages in the last million years than in the warm phases in climatic history. Trace substances such as iron can be incorporated into the ocean through dust. This stimulates biological production and increases the sea’s capacity to bind carbon. The result is that carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere, and, in the atmosphere itself, dust reflects the sun’s radiation, reducing heat input into Earth. It is unknown where the historic dust freight toward the South Pacific came from and why the phases of increased input took place. One cause could be the relocation or extension of the exceptionally strong wind belts prevalent in this region toward the equator.
Saudi Arabia’s New Port Could Become Global Logistics Hub for the Region. Saudi Arabia is going to get its first privately owned port, courtesy of Saudi real estate firm Emaar Properties, which has thus far invested $665 million in the project, Reuters reported. The King Abdullah Economic City has been established as an economic zone on the Red Sea coast that will supposedly be equal to Washington, D.C., in size. The zone is expected to add light industry and shipping to the Saudi economy, extending it beyond oil. King Abdullah Economic City’s port started operations in January and could become a regional and global logistics hub. The Red Sea’s share of global trade is 25 percent. Eventually, the port is expected to have an annual capacity of 20 million 20-foot equivalent units. There has been $14 billion raised in capital so far for the Economic City.
C-STATE Open for Subsea Technology Training. Maritime Training and Competence Solutions Ltd. (MTCS), based in Windmere, England, has signed an agreement to market courses and deliver training at a new facility for the subsea sector, the Centre for Subsea Technology Awareness, Training and Education, or C-STATE. This facility is the first of its kind and is a unique collaboration between industry and education. C-STATE has been created to address the growing skills gap in the subsea engineering and service sectors. According to Subsea UK, the industry body representing an £8.9 billion subsea sector, British subsea companies need around 16,000 new recruits to help them grow to £11 billion and increase the country’s 45 percent share of a £20 billion global market.
IMO Emphasizes Implementation of Conventions in 2014. IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu launched this year’s World Maritime Day theme—IMO conventions: effective implementation. The theme spotlights IMO treaty instruments that have not yet entered into force, as well as wider and more effective implementation of measures already agreed on or in place. “An IMO convention is only worthwhile and meaningful if it is effectively and universally implemented,” Sekimizu said. Treaties still to enter into force include the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004; the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009; the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007; the 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS); and the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 on the Implementation of the Provisions of the 1993 Protocol relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels. This year, the IMO will concentrate on energy efficiency measures for ships, the availability of fuel oil to meet stringent sulphur content requirements and the verification of goal-based ship construction standards. World Maritime Day 2014 will be the last Thursday of September.