The history of the global offshore equipment manufacturing industry

The global offshore equipment manufacturing industry is closely related to the offshore development of oil and gas as well as the oil price fluctuations. From the perspective of historical development, two oil crises and continued high oil prices since the new century brings the change of pattern of ocean engineering equipment manufacturing industry in the world.


The global offshore equipment manufacturing industry originates from of United States of America and Europe. In the 60's last century, Singapore and Japan got involved in the field. In the middle of the last century, with the development of gas exploitation and petroleum transportation on the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. America and Europe caught opportunity to develop their offshore equipment industry, therefore there has become the design and manufacture center of global offshore equipment. In the 60s last century,the boom times of Newly Industrial Economics. On the basis of the ship-repair business, the Singapore has taken advantage of their English background, good legal system environment, regions financial, shipping center and so on, they has started to set foot in field of offshore equipment, and also has started to build Jack-up Rig in the early 70s. Meanwhile, Japan, depending on powerful base of shipping industry, taken up building of offshore equipment. If counting the orders of quantities of drilling platform,before the 80s last century, European and American markets share reached 54%, however the market shares were smaller, 13% and 14% for Japan and Singapore respectively.


After two oil crisis, Singapore and South Korea were poised to replace America, Europe and Japan as the powerful counties of the offshore equipment manufacturing industry.


The global offshore equipment manufacturing industry fell into recession of oil price during two decades after oil crisis. Meanwhile, the low-end equipment manufacturing field was excluded by Euro and US, however they were still retaining businesses with offshore engineering equipment on designing, core-facilities developing and system developing; Japan basically quitted on the offshore equipment manufacturing business, and turned into shipping business. Later on the Singapore took over this transition which Euro and US left on offshore equipment manufacturing industry, and worked in both ways to enhance industrial base and stabilize market share. As time goes on, the Korean shipping enterprise started to emphasize on ship manufacture and also accumulated rich experiences and sufficient facilities to foster manufacturing ability in of equipment manufacturing industry from 1980 to 1990, which was comparable to Singapore.


Table1. The market shares of drilling platforms in the world from 1962 to 2014


Since the beginning of the new century onwards, china offshore equipment manufacturing industry rapid rise. China, Korea and Singapore stand like the legs of a tripod, the confrontation among three forces has made the situation take shape. Since 2005, the global market of offshore equipment manufacturing market is keep growing under high oil prices. Singapore and Korea have made steady progress relying on the good industrial base and the accumulation for many years. Also, China began to develop offshore equipment as well; it cast a large amount of found and human resources. Especially after global financial crisis, China's shipbuilding paid more attention to offshore in order to avoid downturn in the shipbuilding market. Participates joined into the offshore field by flexible payment method and lower price, they obtained a large number of orders, which led to an expansion of the scale of the industry. In 2013, China has become to the leading country of the world in offshore filed. From 2011 to 2015, China accounted for 28 percent market share of the world, followed by Korea and Singapore was 26 and 15 percent shares respectively. Together, these countries have occupied 68 percent offshore market share. From then on, three manufacturing powers of offshore equipment have been basically established.


Table2. The market shares of offshore equipment manufacturing industry from 2011 to 2015


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