FAVERSHAM, UK – Douglas-Westwood (DW) forecasts $24 billion in expenditure on offshore helicopter services between 2014 and 2018, a 57% increase in comparison to the preceding five-year period. This forecast is included in DW’s first edition of its World Offshore Oil & Gas Helicopters Market Forecast.
DW predicts that Western Europe will continue to account for the largest share of global expenditure, driven by both the extensive North Sea infrastructure and the preference towards using large helicopters.
Although Western Europe will continue to underpin the market over the forecast period, DW expects faster growth rates in Africa, Asia, Australasia, and Latin America. A preference for local providers in some of these markets means that there are many regional specialists. As a consequence, the major helicopter operators have lower levels of participation in these regions, with the notable exceptions of Brazil and Australia.
Bristow and CHC remain the dominant players in the global market, with activities in all key operating regions. These companies are focused on securing high-value, long-term production support contracts. As a consequence, the mature North Sea region continues to be their core market.
DW says that the next five years will be an important time for the industry as a new generation of medium-class helicopters such as the EC175 and AW189 are introduced. These models are highly efficient with the most advanced safety systems and are expected to perform well in the offshore arena. However, due to the natural conservatism in the industry, it may take time before a critical mass of orders is achieved.