Oil Crisis Pushes Den Helder to Hedge Its Bets

Due to the current oil crisis, the Dutch Port of Den Helder has decided to opt for a substantial transition from offshore vessels to market diversification, the port said.

Namely, the port reported a decrease of 10 percent in the number of offshore, oil and gas, vessels entering the port. The number of incoming vessels dropped from 2,776 to 2,522 between 2014 and 2015.

This decrease was in part counteracted by an increase of 27 percent in the number of sea-going fishing vessels, namely, 1,645 fishing vessels called at the port in 2015 compared to 1,295 in 2014.

“Since early 2015, the primary offshore logistics hub for the southern North Sea has been steadily working with several key partners towards an intervention plan to counteract the impact of the oil crisis,” the port said.

“The global oil crisis is expected to continue into the near future, forcing the port to commit to a substantial transition. The effects of the crisis can be seen in the fact that approximately 30% of North Sea drilling rigs are without a contract and 20% of the 180 production platforms in the Dutch part of the North Sea are standing idle.”

To this end the port is adding more space with the ready-for-construction Kooypunt IIIa and the waterfront development of the Kooyhaven business area, due to be finalized at the end of 2016. Harbour-related suppliers and other facilitating companies that will be attracted to the area by established companies can then locate themselves in Kooyhaven.

Despite the reduction of offshore oil and gas related activities in the port, the Port of Den Helder is still showing positive financial figures.

“We are dedicated to our position as a logistical knowledge and service hub for the offshore industry in the Southern North Sea. We are flexible herein – Den Helder is also ideally suited as an offshore logistics port for operation and maintenance activities for the emerging renewable energy market,” stated Whitney Veen, CFO and interim CEO of Port of Den Helder.

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