End of an era… goodbye to Orelia…

The end of an era as the DSV Orelia is scrapped (above). I would wager she has been one of the most profitable offshore assets in an economic sense over her life. With a build cost much lower in real terms than new build tonnage, and in a market with a much lower number of competitors, this asset would have paid for her keep many times over.

As she goes it is worthwhile considering that the huge margins Orelia generated were a signal for other players to try and replicate this formula and build competitive assets and businesses. Such is the long run nature of the supply curve these new assets continue to arrive long after the margins have vanished, and despite some new-builds costing vastly more in a nominal and real sense, it is not clear, beyond being more fuel efficient, that they are superior economic assets. It is notable that Technip has sold off a large potion of her diving businesses and assets and is only really present in the North Sea now, which is a clear signal how profitable they think the SAT business will be in the coming years. The unwillingness of Technip to commit to specialised replacement tonnage for the North Sea market I also thinks signals their view, and mine, that there has been a structural change in the North Sea SAT diving market and anyone going long on it should have a very robust business case, because without a rebound in construction work, the market looks oversupplied for years. Soon the well Wellservicer will join her and a new generation of assets moves to the fore.

The latest rumour I heard regarding replacement tonnage was that the Vard new build had been sold to Middle Eastern interests (specifically Bahrain) who were going to charter the vessel back to Technip. Given that this is the third version of this story I have heard (although from two sources now) I treat it with a degree of scepticism (linked to JMT!): surely with TechnipFMC’s balance sheet the best option would be just to make Vard a take-it or leave-it cash offer? Vard have always insisted on a clean sale, maybe time and reality have intruded on this wish.

5 thoughts on “End of an era… goodbye to Orelia…

  1. Hi my brother James brown was a dive supervisor on this vessel for many years . He told me many stories about Orelia he was very proud to have work on this and for technical. Unfortunately he died suddenly and his funeral was on march9th 2018.i don’t think he knew the fait of orelia but it s ironic they both ended their live at more or less the same time . He was a good man I am proud to have had a brother who showed so much professionalism in his work rip bro love you

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    • I to worked on the Orelia as Crane Operator in years 2001 to 2003 and later in 20016 and done her last working month in the Nort Sea .She was a special ship the Orelia with a great crew and a good feeder .I do remember James Brown a great guy RIP ship mate it was a pleasure sailing with you.

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  2. Sorry to hear about the loss of James Brown and sadly the demise of the Orelia. I worked as a rep on her for several years alongside James, a good guy, and the rest of the excellent crew. A truly superb working dive vessel.

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  3. My father was a crane operator on the Orelia but he sadly passed away suddenly in 1998 – he had very fond memories of his time on this ship (Tommy Dale aka Popeye)

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