A snapshot of people working world-wide with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) on two days in February and August 2010 – and the number of vehicles in use on the same two days – is revealed by the latest statistics produced by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).
These show that in February 2010 a total of 3,185 ROV superintendents, supervisors, pilot techs (all grades) and offshore ROV support personnel were working with 528 vehicles; and in August 2010 the figures had risen to 3,408 and 577 respectively.
"After many years collecting ROV personnel statistics for the North Sea area (Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and the UK), two years ago we decided to collect information, not just on personnel working on ROVs, but also on the types of ROV in operation using the classes defined in our Code of practice for the safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles (IMCA R004)," explains IMCA's Chief Executive, Hugh Williams.
"The statistics are intended to reflect personnel and vehicle levels at two specific times in the year, roughly six months apart - February and August. The figures do not include personnel on leave, sick, or not working for any reason; and only include those actually working on the two days of the survey. Since the figures represent a snapshot, they do not take into account any major contract that may have been completed shortly before the days of the count, nor for that matter one which may have started shortly after. The statistics represent personnel and vehicles of IMCA members who submitted statistics, but we believe that the information is broadly representative of a significant proportion of the ROV industry."
The findings indicate that IMCA members had fewer ROV personnel at work in 2010 than in 2009; however they had more ROVs working in construction operations during 2010 than in 2009 - North America in particular has seen an increase in activity, particularly with construction operations. IMCA members report fewer personnel working on inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) operations during 2010. A huge proportion of the vehicles involved are Class III work-class ROVs. IMCA is now collecting data for the 2011 exercise.