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IMCA world-wide ROV personnel and vehicle statistics for 2015

IMCA collects information both on personnel working on ROVs and also on the types of ROV in operation, using the classes of ROV defined in IMCA R 004 – Code of practice for the safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles Rev. 4. These statistics are intended to reflect personnel and vehicle levels on two occasions in the year, six months apart – February and August – to cover the Northern Hemisphere winter and summer seasonal activity levels. As ever, the figures represent a snapshot and they do not take into account any major contract start or finish times. As of 2014, the figures IMCA requested were for all personnel working on ROV operations both offshore and onshore and also for the total numbers of ROVs in fleets. We again experienced some respondents in 2015 not fully understanding the revised data collection requirement and therefore, as for 2014, the figures for 2015 have a degree of inaccuracy. Additionally, it should be noted that the regional breakdown of statistics in some cases refers to the office location of the member company submitting statistics, rather than the actual location of ROV operations. The statistics represent personnel and ROVs of IMCA members submitting data and IMCA believes that the information here is broadly representative of a significant proportion of the ROV industry. 32 responses were received for 2015, which is back to the 2013 return rate. All data received is anonymised and our thanks go to all IMCA members providing it.

Observations and Conclusion

Given that 2014 saw the first use of the revised data gathering format and that fewer responses were gathered for that year, it is more useful to compare figures for 2015 with those of 2013. Using these, the following observations are made though caveated by the possibility that the inaccuracies mentioned earlier prevail.
  • Overall there appears to be a reduction of around 22% of personnel and 10% reduction in ROV usage between 2013 and 2015.
  • More revealing is the lack of the routine seasonal surge in 2015 which is normally associated with the generally improved operating conditions of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. This is seen in both personnel and ROV activity. Whereas in 2013 there was a 7% increase in supervisor and pilot technicians offshore over the summer and a 9% increase in use of work class ROVs; in 2015 this situation was reversed with a 3% reduction in supervisor/pilot technicians offshore and almost no increase in work class ROVs in use over the summer period.
  • By August 2015 there was an observed 25% reduction in numbers of supervisor/pilot technicians offshore from the peak in 2013 and a 14% reduction in work class ROV use over the same period.
  • The conclusion is that the figures reflect the downturn in the industry over the 2013-2015 period.
Please download the attached information note for the full statistical analysis.

Statistics for 2016

Some members have already submitted contributions for 2016 and it is expected that further submissions will be  made in the coming weeks. Any members who have yet to submit their data are requested to forward it to Chris Baldwin at IMCA Head Office at the following address: Chris Baldwin

Originally issued with the following reference(s): IMCA R 04/16

Information Note Details

Published date: 31 October 2016
Information note ID: 1337


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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.