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    North Sea spot market remains in the doldrums

    News // October 10, 2003
    The North Sea spot market remained poor throughout September, reports Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) in its latest monthly report, with rates for cargo runs generally languishing around the 3,500-4,000 level, but peaking briefly at 8000 (UT755 MonarchBay to Kerr McGee).

    Rig moving rates were similarly low, said OSL, with Venture paying the lowest day rates of 3,750 for large AHTS to move the Stena Dee, with the highest rates being in the region of 7,000.

    "In previous years we have seen a marked increase in rates for both PSVs and AHTS during October as the autumnal bad weather sets in, however it will also require a certain level of activity to lift the market and it remains to be seenwhether or not this will materialize this year," noted OSL.

    OSL said Dolphin Drilling has issued a Letter of Intent for its contract in India (The Great Eastern Shipping Company/Gulf Offshore).

    It is understood that two UT 755s ex North Sea will fulfill the three-yearcontract which is scheduled to commence in November. Transocean are rumoured to have issued a similar letter to SBS for two of their vessels.

    OSL said the Norwegian Coastguard has awarded its ten year contract to Remoy Shipping who will build a new vessel. In the interim period the Normand Trym has been chartered for one year to act as front runner. The contract value for the Coastguard is estimated to be worth some NOK 20,000,000 per annum. "Look out for a further tender in early 2004 for a larger number of vessels," noted OSL.

    There have been a large number of vessels departing the area during September with the PSV Normand Mermaid and AHTS McNee Tide heading for Mexico with the latter performing a towage from Spain.

    OSL said the AHTS UT712 design Lady Astrid and PSV UT755 design Sam S Allgood (ex Monarch Bay) and the newbuild PSV UT 755L design Lady Melinda are heading to the Far East/Australasia. The AHTS Atlantic Kingfisher departed for Canada while Maersk Winnerand Far Saltire are proceeding to West Africa, the latter vessel towing the FPSO Bonga.

    "Unfortunately for owners, the number of vessels departing the North Sea is counterbalanced by the number of vessels scheduled for delivery or redelivering from term charter during the coming weeks," noted OSL.

    Redelivering term chartered vessels are a mixture of construction related and exploration support.

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