Facing the severe downturn
The boom years of high oil prices finally ended in 1986, when Saudi Arabia upped its production dramatically and the price of oil plummeted. With a glut of OPEC oil on the market, offshore activities worldwide all but dried up and many companies folded.
Persevering in the downturn
SPO sustained five years of heavy losses, but with the support of the Swire Pacific Board, the SPO management persevered, adopted cost-cutting measures, found alternative employment for their vessels and continued to invest in the business so that it was well positioned to benefit from the inevitable market upturn in the early 1990s.
Taking delivery of the first DP-capable AHTS vessel, Pacific Ariki
The fact that SPO’s newer vessels were at the cutting edge of the industry assisted the company to win a few key contracts, which helped sustain SPO through the downturn. The Pacific Ariki was SPO’s first AHTS Vessel to incorporate the DP system. From her delivery in 1986 until 1997, she went on continuous charter to Shell Todd in the Maui Field off New Zealand.