Civil Helicopters News

Soaring Oil Prices Drive Offshore Helicopter Demand

Soaring Oil Prices Drive Offshore Helicopter Demand

Soaring oil prices are affecting the helicopter storage market, with increased flight activity leading to a return to service of previously stored helicopters, according to a new study by Air & Sea Analytics.

The company’s survey of the global offshore heavy and super-medium helicopter fleet in the first quarter of 2022 shows a significant recovery in active aircraft and flights. The active fleet increased by 11 helicopters, from 240 to 251, which is 4.5 percent higher than the same period in 2021, with flights increasing by 5 percent. The survey includes the Sikorsky S-92 and Airbus H225 helicopters, as well as the super-medium H175 and Leonardo AW189.

In China, a well-known Chinese offshore oil rig operator has had to temporarily expand its fleet in addition to reintroducing stored helicopters into operation since the oil price increase. Although crude oil price has fallen from a high of $123 per barrel in June, its current price -$97 per barrel – is still far higher than the $24 per barrel in April 2020. An analysis of flight activity up to June 2022 also shows that heavy and super-medium helicopters’ total number of weekly flights exceeded number of pre-COVID-19 flights.