Published on 21st July 2023
Also known as an “offshore support vessel,” an offshore supply vessel (OSV) refers to a transport vessel required to provide an offshore facility with equipment, fuels, goods, lubricants, and other necessities.
Over the years, the offshore industry has expanded greatly—leading to an increasing demand for OSVs to carry out various operations for floating drilling rigs and moored or fixed production platforms.
Multi-purpose offshore vessels can be used for special purposes like maritime towage and salvage in addition to performing standard OSV functions.
Some vessels, such as ROV support vessels, are also equipped with added features like thrusters and reference systems to enhance their capabilities for performing ROV operations and supply duties.
Based on the operations performed, OSVs are generally divided into the following types:
Keep reading to learn more about the top players in the OSV market.
Table of Contents
Global Top 7 Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) Companies 
Edison Chouest Offshore
China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL)
Hornbeck Offshore Services
SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc.
Blackridge Research & Consulting – Global Offshore Support Vessel Services Market Report
Here are the world’s leading OSV companies (ranking is based on fleet size):
Location: Cut Off, Louisiana, United States
Founded as Edison Chouest Boat Rental in Galliano, Louisiana, the Edison Chouest Offshore companies (ECO) are recognized globally as the world’s leading transportation solution providers.
ECO operates a fleet of over 200 vessels—from 87 to over 525 feet in length—and is renowned in the maritime industry for its ability to design, build, own, and operate a diverse range of high-capacity and technologically superior vessels.
Chouest vessels are in great demand worldwide with deployments to Africa, South America and beyond.
ECO caters to the majority of the U.S. Gulf deepwater operations and an expanding global market with the following fleet of highly specialized offshore service and supply vessels:
Light Construction Vessels: These vessels are designed to improve efficiency and lower costs by providing a variety of light well intervention services, including:
Anchor Handling Towing Supply Vessels: ECO’s powerful anchor handling tug supply vessels are capable of towing, mooring, and supplying massive deepwater rigs.
Multi-Purpose Supply Vessels: ECO’s MPSVs are equipped to perform complex deepwater support operations, such as:
Platform Supply Vessels: PSVs are the workhorses of the ECO fleet with vast above and below deck cargo capacities. ECO’s new diesel-electric PSVs are known for increased control, lower maintenance costs, and superior fuel efficiency.
Oil Spill Response Vessels: ECO’s specially equipped vessels along with its highly trained personnel and superior oil collection technologies can respond immediately to unexpected emergencies.
Specialty Vessels: Specialized Chouest vessels are deployed worldwide for highly specific tasks, such as:
Fast Supply Vessels: As a vital component of Chouest’s deepwater operations, ECO’s fast vessel fleet is capable of speeds nearing 30 knots and delivering crew and cargo quickly and safety around the clock.
Tractor Tugs: With 360° maneuverability, ECO’s tractor tugs offer escort and berthing assistance to the largest of vessels. Apart from providing docking, towing, and oil response services, Chouest tractor tugs are under long-term charter to the U.S. Navy and serve LNG-receiving terminals throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Location: Marseille, France
The Bourbon Group (also known as “Bourbon Offshore” and stylized as BOURBON) is an industry leader in offshore marine services providing a wide range of surface and subsea marine services to the most demanding offshore energy operators.
Bourbon has a rich history of over 70 years—from a family group specialized in sugar production to becoming a pure player in offshore oil, gas, and wind energy marine services.
The Bourbon Group consists of three stand-alone companies, including:
Bourbon Marine & Logistics offers a variety of support services, such as:
Bourbon Subsea Services manages complex subsea operations encompassing three main areas:
Bourbon Mobility offers high-speed passenger and light cargo transport services to offshore O&G clients (both short and long distance).
Bourbon's diverse fleet includes:
The following AHTS vessels combine power and precision to meet all the needs of oil customers—from anchor handling and positioning oil platforms to towing drilling rigs.
AHTS for continental offshore: Shallow water AHTS makes up 80% of the anchor handler fleet, which includes nearly 70 standardized Bourbon Liberty 200 and 300 vessels.
AHTSs for deepwater offshore: These are the most powerful vessels in Bourbon’s fleet. With up to 237 tons (t) of bollard pull, these vessels perform the most complex operations in the most hostile environments.
These fuel-efficient PSVs have a large deck area and a high sub-deck storage capacity as well to transport all kinds of vital equipment and special products for the offshore oil industry.
Offshore terminal tugs
Bourbon operates five offshore terminal tugs, including a series of three vessels, to support FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels) and offshore O&G terminals.
With up to 100 t of bollard pull, these vessels are highly maneuverable and can be equipped with fire-fighting equipment and an oil recovery system.
Here are the key advantages of Bourbon vessels:
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Tidewater, Inc. is a globally leading offshore marine transportation business, which is credited with creating the “work boat” industry with its launch of the Ebb Tide—the world’s first offshore vessel custom-made to support the offshore O&G industry.
As the most experienced OSV provider in the global energy industry, Tidewater has earned a reputation for anticipating and responding to the evolving needs of energy exploration and production worldwide by delivering cost-effective, high-quality services.
With one of the largest OSV fleets (more than 200 vessels) in the industry, Tidewater supports short-term special projects as well as long-term exploration, development, and production.
Tidewater’s vessels work in all water depths and transport equipment, people, and supplies between mainland locations and various offshore installations.
Apart from towing, positioning, and helping anchor mobile drilling rigs, these vessels support a variety of offshore construction projects and assist in several specialty services, such as cable-laying, pipe-laying, and three-dimensional seismic work.
Tidewater’s high-performance, versatile fleet includes:
Platform Supply Vessels: Tidewater’s PSVs are designed to carry substantial amounts of various cargoes, including fuel, drilling fluids, water, cement, or mud in below-deck tanks and casing, drill pipe, and tubing in open decks.
Anchor Handling Towing Supply Vessels: Tidewater’s large, powerful AHTSs are fitted with trained crews and state-of-the-art technology. These vessels are well-suited for multiple purposes, such as:
Offshore Tugs: Tidewater tugs offer optimal flexibility and broad capabilities to cater to any offshore towing application or project at any location.
In addition to marine construction and rig towage, Tidewater’s offshore tugs are employed in coastal and ocean towage.
Specialty Vessels: Tidewater’s highly specialized vessels support different offshore applications, such as:
Crew Boats/FSVs (Fast Supply Vessels): Tidewater’s crew boats have the capacity to safely transport moderate quantities of cargo and as many as 150 passengers at high speed and in comfort.
Additionally, Tidewater’s diverse crew boat fleet can meet a variety of offshore production needs in the most challenging conditions.
Tidewater continues to expand its services and markets—growing its business by way of mergers and acquisitions, as well as deploying vessels throughout the world for O&G exploration, development, or production efforts.
Location: Beijing, China
China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) is a leading integrated oilfield service provider and a majority-owned subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned company “CNOOC Group” (China National Offshore Oil Corporation).
COSL offers customers the flexibility to choose different combinations of integrated multi-service packaged, stand-alone, and turnkey solutions to match their specific requirements.
Furthermore, COSL’s service footprint extends globally across regions, such as:
COSL states that it has “the largest and most diverse offshore oilfield services facilities in China,” with the following main service divisions supporting O&G exploration, development, and production phases:
According to COSL, COSL Shipping operates and manages “the largest and the most diverse OSV fleet in China”—owning over 130 vessels, which range from AHTS vessels, stand-by vessels, and multi-purpose vessels to barges and shuttle tankers.
COSL Shipping’s vessels come with a wide range of deck and cargo capacities and are well equipped with various types of equipment (including anti-pollution, FIFI (Fire Fighting), safety, and towing).
COSL Shipping’s fleet includes:
Location: Covington, Louisiana, United States
Hornbeck Offshore Services (also known as “Hornbeck Offshore” and “Hornbeck”) is a world-renowned marine transportation and service company that offers high-quality, value-added business solutions to exploration and production, offshore construction, oilfield service, and military customers.
In 1997, Hornbeck began constructing technologically advanced OSVs using proprietary designs to meet the complex demands of deepwater, deep well, and other logistically demanding projects.
Furthermore, many of Hornbeck’s vessels can be completely customized and configured to meet specific needs of its customers.
Hornbeck’s HOSMAX® Fleet offers OSVs with varying capacities—from 15,000 to over 21,000 barrels of liquid mud and deadweight in excess of 6,100 metric tons. Increased capacity and unmatched efficiency of these DP-2 OSVs make them suitable for deepwater operations.
The HOSMAX® Fleet includes:
280 Class OSVs: The high-specification, DP-2 supply vessels with deadweight in excess of 4,800 metric tons offer ample clear deck space, berthing for up to 30 people, and liquid product capacity of 15,400 bbls.
300 Class OSVs: These DP-2 supply vessels with 5,500 MT deadweight offer berthing for 30-50 people and 21,000 bbls liquid product capacity, including 1,500 bbls of Methanol.
310 Class OSVs: Apart from increased deadweight of 6,200 MT, the 310 class offers expanded cargo capacities, including 21,400 bbls of liquid mud and 2,200 bbls of Methanol.
310EQH Class OSVs: These U.S.- and Brazilian-flagged supply vessels come with special features like helidecks and increased auxiliary power to support additional berthing, deck equipment, and other vessel amenities.
320 Class OSVs: The 320 class is the ultimate in capability and size with over 6,150 MT deadweight, 1,130 m2 of clear deck space, and 21,000 bbls of liquid cargo capacity.
Moreover, three segregations with versatile pumping solutions provide greater flexibility for different discharge and loading scenarios.
*bbls – barrels
Hornbeck offers a broad range of offshore housing solutions through its safe, reliable, and scalable accommodation fleet comprising the following:
Here are the key features of Hornbeck’s accommodation support vessels:
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Co-founded by Charles Fabrikant, SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc. or SMHI (also known as “SEACOR Marine”) is an industry-leading offshore marine support vessel operator specializing in transportation and logistics services.
With access to all major offshore markets and expertise in meeting a variety of customer needs, SEACOR Marine is a global leader in marine transportation with many “firsts” to its credit, such as pioneering the use of catamarans in the oilfield.
SEACOR Marine’s services include:
SEACOR Marine operates and manages a wide range of offshore support vessels that deliver cargo and personnel to offshore energy facilities worldwide.
SEACOR Marine’s fleet comprises the following:
Location: Bergen, Norway
DOF Subsea is an international subsea operating company and a wholly owned subsidiary of DOF Group ASA.
DOF Group ASA is a global offshore services company that owns and operates a fleet of supply and subsea vessels, including autonomous underwater vessels, AHTSs, and PSVs. DOF Group ASA is also a leading provider of marine management services and subsea services.
DOF’s comprehensive fleet includes advanced, purpose-built OSVs and subsea assets, including:
Subsea – Geoholm: Geoholm is a modern, multi-purpose vessel designed for safe and efficient offshore operations.
PSV – Skandi Mongstad: Skandi Mongstad is an environmentally friendly and a well-equipped vessel designed to transport oilfield products and supplies to offshore drilling and production facilities.
AHTS – Skandi Rio: Skandi Rio is a high-powered, anchor-handling vessel designed for field installation operations across a broad range of environmental conditions and water depths. It is equipped to position offshore equipment and set anchors for drilling rigs and tow mobile rigs.
Subsea – Skandi Seven: Skandi Seven is a high-specification, large, and fuel-efficient offshore construction support vessel with a clean design, which is capable of working in most of the world’s offshore O&G fields.
AHTS – Skandi Vinland: Skandi Vinland is a multi-purpose, versatile offshore support vessel.
ROV – Triton XLX: It is a state-of-the-art, heavy-duty system that can cope with the most demanding offshore applications. The Triton XLX is designed for accurate and prolonged operations and equipped with a wide range of modern tooling and sensors.
In addition to the offshore vessel companies mentioned above, other significant offshore service vessel owners and operators include (but not limited to) the following:
Do you want to learn more about the market size and market share of major players in the offshore support vessels market?
Blackridge Research & Consulting’s Global Offshore Support Vessel Services Market report is what you need.
The report provides a comprehensive regional market analysis covering notable countries under the following regions:
In addition, the report provides forward-looking insights into the OSV services’ drivers and restraints, competitive landscape, government policies and regulations, recent developments, and more.
Furthermore, all report purchases come with up to 60 minutes of exclusive analyst access and post-purchase analyst support up to a year.
In recent years, the OSV market growth has been attributed to significant drivers, such as:
While many offshore energy projects have been approved, others are in the pipeline.
Apart from OSVs operating in the high seas, specialized offshore vessels are required for remote offshore locations, such as an offshore wind farm.
Over the years, the rapid growth of offshore wind farms has led to a greater demand for purpose-built offshore vessels.
For example, Edda Wind is a globally leading pure-play operator in the offshore wind industry, which manufactures SOVs (Service Operation Vessels) and CSOVs (Commissioning Service Operation Vessels) designed to provide safe access for personnel to the turbines and wind farms.
Current market trends for offshore supply vessels indicate a healthy outlook with a growing demand for various OSVs over the foreseeable future.
Fuel trends, technology deployment, rapid development of LNG plants, booming gas transport agreements, and other factors are likely to have a positive influence on the OSV businesses.
Offshore supply vessel companies support several activities in offshore areas by providing a comprehensive range of purpose-built vessels with custom specifications and cutting-edge features.