Global subsea vessel operations expenditure is expected to increase by 29% when compared to the preceding five-year period, totaling $97.7 billion from 2016 to 2020.

The Douglas-Westwood report continues to point out that this recovery will come toward the end of the forecast time frame with volatile prices and newbuild programs depressing day rates in the nearer term.

North America, Africa, and Latin America are to account for 47.5% of global expenditure between 2016 and 2020, predicts Douglas-Westwood.

The development of East African gas basins in the Indian Ocean will contribute to subsea vessel demand in the latter years of the forecast period.

Asia will be the single largest market with an anticipated 18.7% of expenditure over the next five years, largely driven by shallow-water inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM), and pipelay-related activities.

Australasia has the fastest growth rate of all of the regions at a 46.8% CAGR due to massive offshore gas field developments required to support LNG export commitments.

Activity in the Middle East will represent 9% of the total global subsea vessel expenditure.

Field development (36%) and IRM (40%) will remain the principal drivers of global subsea vessel demand and expenditure. As production in shallow-water basins declines, activities in deeper water are set to increase as deepwater development becomes inevitable.

However, operators will continue to invest in the optimization of existing shallow-water fields.