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    Farstad comments on the market

    News // March 14, 2003
    Farstad, the Norwegian offshore vessel operator says it anticipates that demand for supply vessels in the North Sea is likely to run at the same level in 2003 as in 2003.

    In its latest financial statement, Farstad said decreasing demand for supply vessels and delivery of several newbuildings was influencing rates, especially in the last part of the 4th quarter.

    "Statistics for the total North Sea tonnage show an average utilisation of 91 per cent for the 4th quarter, which should have given a better rate level in the spot market than achieved," said the company.

    "An explanation is that vessels on firm contracts periodically were traded in the spot market due to surplus capacity by the charterers. This surplus capacity has also led to canceling vessels on term contracts and for several contracts options to extendcontracts has not been declared."

    Farstad said the average utilisation ratio for 2002 was 92 per cent compared to 94 per cent in 2001.

    Farstad went on to say that with a large number of newbuilds due to be delivered rates are likely to remain under pressure, and said a net departure of tonnage from the North Sea was needed to restore what it called "market balance."

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