Obtaining contracts in the North Sea OSV market : a vessel based logit model
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis studies the determinants for obtaining contracts in the North Sea offshore supply market from 2007 to 2016. We specify a logistic regression model to investigate the effect of vessel specifications on the probability of obtaining a contract for Offshore Support Vessels (OSV). The model investigates the differences in vessel design and specification preferences between the term and spot market for Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) and Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels. We find that the determinants for obtaining contracts in the PSV segment coincide, as younger and medium complex vessels, with large clear deck area built in Northwest Europe, are more likely to obtain contracts in both markets. The probability of obtaining contracts in the spot market is more sensitive to vessel specifications, compared to the term market. In addition, having the preferred set of technical specifications is the most important determinant in both markets. We find that the preferences for AHTS vessel specifications are significantly diversified when comparing the term and spot market. While younger, complex and more powerful vessels have a higher probability of obtaining spot contracts, the term market is a two-tier market where either a less powerful and less complex vessel, or a more powerful and more complex vessel, is required to obtain contracts. Technical specifications are the most important determinants, particularly in the spot market, while the age and size of the vessel is less important. This thesis provides a basis for further research, such as investigating the determinants within vessel classes or studying the recent OSV market after the 2014 downturn into detail. Furthermore, applying the logistic regression model to the drilling rig industry could prove to be an interesting field of study. The findings may be of interest for shipowners when deciding on fleet expansion or renewal, and in the lay-up decision. In addition, investors and banks can use the findings to evaluate which shipowning companies to invest in or grant loans to, by assessing a fleet’s probability of obtaining contracts. Finally, the model could be used as a tool for shipbrokers to evaluate which types of vessels that are most preferred in the North Sea. This thesis supplements the limited existing literature on the North Sea offshore industry as it searches for the determinants for obtaining a contract, rather than the freight rate determinants which have been studied before.