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    Gulf of Mexico market "soft but steady"

    News // February 28, 2003
    Shipbrokers Marcon say the US Gulf coast operators "report a soft but steady market."Said macron in its latest report: "Hurricane damage in the fall has provided some needed work through the winter months keeping utilization stable at or near 80 per cent (estimated). Operators are expected a steady to slightly improved market in the coming months based on normal spring construction work starting in March or April."

    "Utilization remains sub par compared to recent years and the outlook remains more unpredictable than in the past," said Marcon. "Current day rates for 110-120ft class boats have been in the $1,800 to $2,000 per day range. This is more or less unchangedsince our report last fall. The new generation mini-supply boats in the 145-150ft range have been earning in the $3,000-$3,200 per day range. This is an improvement over the rates reported in the fall. Operators report a slightly better market for the new generation boats than the older smaller class vessels."

    However, said Marcon: "It continues to be anyone's guess as to when the market will substantially improve. Prices for oil and natural gas remain high, yet drilling remains subdued. Political and economic uncertainty seem to be the culprits, keeping E&P spending from increasing. Perhaps these uncertainties will diminish over the coming months and spring or summer will offer a clearer outlook for the market."

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