Revenue determinants in the offshore support vessel market : a study of North Sea fixtures
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the vessel-specific determinants of commercial success, measured by vessel revenue, in the North Sea Offshore Support Vessels (OSV) market. By studying the characteristics and technical specifications of individual vessels, we aim to determine which attributes contribute to vessel revenue generation over time and across market conditions. Through a quantitative approach, we analyze comprehensive North Sea fixture data and apply statistical methods to make inferences about how vessels’ specifications influence their revenue. Revenue is a function of dayrates and vessels’ ability to obtain contracts (i.e. utilization). In accordance with previous research, we find that large vessels with increased carrying capacity earn revenue premiums in the North Sea OSV market. Our results further suggest a non-linear relationship between vessel age and vessel revenue. Other specifications such as build region, fuel-efficiency and propulsion system also have significant effects on revenue within the various vessel segments. Studying the period after the oil price decline of 2014 in isolation, we find that preferences have changed, and different specifications earn revenue premiums in the recent weak market. Missing data and possible omitted variable bias are important limitations of our study. For speed and fuel consumption, missing values have been imputed and these estimates might deviate from their true values. Further, our models might not be able to control for all variables that affect revenue. Our results are of interest to market participants, and are particularly useful for shipowners in determining their optimal fleet composition and deployment. While previous research has focused on the determinants of either dayrates or utilization ratios, we argue that these variables should not be studied in isolation. By combining dayrates and utilization for individual vessels, our thesis is the first to study the determinants of actual revenue generation for OSVs.