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    Farstad comments on market

    News // November 22, 2002
    Norwegian OSV operator Farstad says demand for supply vessels in the North Sea continued to increase during the third quarter of 2002 compared to the first and second quarters, but says demand was approximately 3 per cent lower than for the same period last year.

    In spite of delivery of several newbuildings the number of vessels in the North Sea fleet has decreased since last year and markets outside the North Sea continue to absorb the growth in the worldwide fleet.

    Statistics for the total North Sea tonnage show an average utilisation of 91 per cent for the first six months, compared to 94 per cent for the same period in 2001. The average for the third quarter was 94 per cent compared to 96 per cent for the third quarter last year.

    The anticipated tightness in the market - with higher spot rates in the North Sea - did not materialize during the second or third quarter. This was primarily due to a lower activity than expected, reported the company. In addition some of the oil companies probably had too many vessels on long-term contracts. The result has been that surplus tonnage has been re-let to other oil companies or employed in the spot market.

    Activity in markets outside the North Sea looks likely to increase next year, says Farstad, and activity in the North Sea looks likely to increase a little too.

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