Ten years ago, in the fall of 2013, oil prices were almost exactly where they are today. The deepwater floating rig count in the US Gulf of Mexico was near all time highs. Demand for deepwater OSVs was far outstripping supply and charter rates were at record highs. There was still a lot of optimism that the industry would continue thriving. JOO was in the middle of building the BREEZE and THUNDER to join the SQUALL and LIGHTNING with our competitors set to deliver dozens of new vessels over the coming few years. Things were certainly good and few could fathom that they would not continue to be. It would be well less than a year for everything to change.
In less than six months from September 2013, the oil and gas market began to collapse. This was largely the result of the what we now know to have been the “shale revolution.” As shale producers began to invest huge amounts in increasing production, OPEC (led by Saudi Arabia) began to also increase production to drive prices down and shale producers out of business. With oil prices falling, investment in the deepwater became too expensive and activity rapidly contracted. While this was happening, tens of new OSVs were delivering to the market, resulting in the collapse of the OSV industry. Rates fell from records highs in the $50,000/day range to the mid-teens. Nobody saw this coming and nobody will fully see the next downturn coming either.
We continue to manage the company for success and offer long-term, stable jobs for all of our valued JOO family.