The Middle East is the only region to buck the downward trend in offshore supply vessels (OSV) over the last two years, Seatrade Maritime News informed based on the IHS Markit analysis.

According to Offshore Energy Today, IHS Markit data pointed that the demand in the region has remained steadfast since the decline in the price of oil in 2014 and outpaced South East Asia, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

Demand for OSV in the Middle East was 2.6% higher in December 2016 than in January 2016, according to Petrodata, part of IHS Markit. That is an increase from an average of 270 vessels secured on term charters at the start of the year to almost 278 during the final month.

IHS Markit’s Senior Marine Specialist, David Manoel, said: “OSV supply has risen considerably during the year from 553 vessels in January 2016 to a record-high of 625 vessels at present. This burgeoning supply is driving intense competition between local OSV providers and international players.”

The Middle East is now the second biggest global OSV market with 17% of the global fleet, behind Asia-Pacific.