Tug and pusher boats are used at sea ports, sea oil loading terminals and at offshore oil facilities.Major offshore oil/gas fields in Saudi Arabia which are already in production are Zuluf, Safaniyah, and Marjan. Offshore fields which, are being developed are Abu Safah, Jana, Abu Ali, Manifa, and Karan (gas). A published report stated that the number of Saudi Aramco’s offshore drilling rigs was twenty (20) by the end of March 2009. Drilling activities in the Saudi offshore oil fields witnessed a 25% increase in the number of operating drilling rigs between 2008 and 2009. In 2006, Saudi Arabia imported a total of 134 tug and pusher boats valued at $613.2 million. Imports from the USA stood at $90.4 million, and the market share of U.S. companies was 14.7%. In 2007 the total number of imported tug and pusher boats was 176, valued at $1015.5 million. Imports from the U.S. were $58.4 million, and the market share of U.S. companies went down by 9% to 5.7%. The Saudi market grew by 65.6% and witnessed an increase in imports of tug and pusher boats at $402.3 million.
The approximate total cost for the development of Karan offshore gas field, Manifa oil field and its facilities, and Safaniyah oil field is more than $16.7 billion. Drilling and production operations in the aforementioned offshore fields requires purchasing and chartering new tug and pusher boats valued at hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.
Tug and pusher boats are used extensively in offshore oil/gas well drilling activities, and production operations. Offshore oil fields yield about 25% of Saudi Arabian Oil Company’s (Saudi Aramco) daily crude oil production. Saudi Aramco, a state owned company, has reported that in 2009 it completed a multiple mega-project program, which had new or expanded oil, and gas facilities. Maximum sustainable crude oil production capacity was increased to twelve (12) million barrels per day in 2009. Planned and undergoing offshore oil/gas field projects pose excellent opportunities for U.S. builders of tug and pusher boats.