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    Farstad comments on the market

    News // September 1, 2003
    Farstad, the Norwegian owner and operator of offshore support vessels, says demand for supply vessels in the North Sea so far in 2003 "was about the same level" as for the same period in 2002.

    "However," said the company in a recent statement, "we have seen a change from term to spot employment. The number of term contracts is much reduced compared to 2002. As a consequence the rate level in the spot market has been very low."

    Farstad said the large number of vessels delivered during the first half of 2003 has not resulted in an increase in the number of units in the North Sea. "This has made the average utilisation ratio for the entire North Sea tonnage of approximately 90 per cent for the half-year, which is lower than for the same period last year," said Farstad. "During the second half-year a number of newbuilds, especially PSVs, will be delivered. Therefore it is not expected that the 3rd or 4th quarter will give an improvement in the rate level."

    Farstad said that in Australia/The Far East the level of activity during the first half-year has remained on the same level as for 2002 and it is expected to remain stable for the second half-year. Brazil and West Africa will require additional tonnage,said Farstad. "The activity in these and other markets outside the North Sea gives reason to expect a lift in the rates in the North Sea market in the second quarter of 2004," the company said.

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