Bristow Helicopters, OLOG's UK partner, is to continue with its aggressive cost-saving project as competition intensifies in the shrinking North Sea market.

Bristow is targeting offshore markets in Africa, Asia and the Americas to replace European operations, says chief executive Keith Chanter.

Aberdeen-based Bristow expects a "15% decline in market volume" in the North Sea over the next five years as unmanned oil installations replace rigs, and oil companies use shuttle services between rigs, he says. This fall "gives an indication" of the targeted cost savings, says Chanter.

Bristow has made redundancies and trimmed its fleet. Some yields have risen recently, largely for crew transportation to new oil fields, far offshore, Chanter adds. Many of Bristow's biggest oil-support contracts are due for renewal in the next two years with heavy competition expected. "We are confident we will be able to withstand cost pressure from [newcomer] Bond, and to do this we have to pursue cost-effectiveness with more rigour," he says.

Source: Flight International