Broker describes "bonanza for owners"News // June 10, 2005
"Throughout the end of May there are no vessels immediately available in the North Sea. Vessels are being fixed forward at close to record-breaking rates. The number of term fixtures has, to some extent, leveled off. However, term rates are as strong asever. BP Norway's new requirement for 5-10 years for two large PSVs starting in 2006 is opening up for newbuildings/tailor made tonnage - a popular and common way to try to overcome the high rates for existing tonnage," noted the company.
"On the spot market, large anchor handlers of 15,000bhp are paid up to NOK 600,000(USD 94,000) per day. Lesser horsepower vessels are obtaining rates in the region on NOK250,000 - 500,000 (US$40,000 - 75,000) per day. Top specification PSVs are fetching NOK 250,000 - 300,000 (US$40.000 - 50.000). Older and smaller vessels are achieving less but, considering investment / value of the vessels, the rates are giving their owners excellent returns on invested capital," said Fearnleys.
"The remainder of the year will expectedly be bright for owners of offshore service vessels.During shorter periods, there may be gaps in which market for anchor handlers are dropping.The AHTS market has higher peaks and lower bottoms than the market for PSVs. Becauseof terms forward fixing of PSVs, we expect that charterers in the not too distant future willlean on AHTS (rather than PSVs) for the cargo runs."
Fearnleys said the market for sub-sea tonnage has also tightened considerably -a phenomenon that appears to be worldwide. "Whereas several units were available a few short weeks ago, they seem to have found a home and rates are once again firming up. There are indications that the subseamarket suffers from two essential shortages: lack of qualified manpower and adequate hardware. With the considerable increase in activity and with projects having shorter lead times, the contractors find it difficult to allocate the resources they have.For the time being, the greatest headache is probably the scheduling of vessels and again we may see that the major players have miscalculated the momentum of the market. On the back of the strong market, the vessel values are improving. Some owners takeadvantage of profit-taking by selling whilst others, tempted by the excellent earning potential, are enticed into buying what may be considered "cash-cows". Sales are on the increase and several negotiations are ongoing."