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    Changes afoot in North Sea ERRV market?

    News // December 20, 2002
    Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) says the ERRV market in the North Sea is "becoming interesting" because a number of 'active' vessels are beginning to either disappear or are being sold within the industry.

    In the past few weeks OSL has concluded the sale of the sister vessels BUE Gairsay and BUE Orkney within the industry as part of a fleet expansion programme - the BUE Gairsay has already been delivered and renamed Esvagt Kappa whilst BUE Orkney will deliver in January.

    North Star Shipping Ltd have disposed of the sister vessels Grampian Sabre (built1974), GrampianSword (built 1976) and Grampian Eagle (built 1975) to Middle East Buyers with the former two already delivered and the Eagle to be delivered in January.

    "With the majority of the North Sea ERRV fleet having been built in the 1960s/70s the time mustbe close where owners have to consider fleet replacement. This must be a difficult investmentdecision in view of the decreasing market and whatever, if any, the Jigsaw experiment will impacton the market," said OSL.

    "Whilst we accept that the market is currently depressed and that there may currently be fewerrequirements through vessel sharing arrangements we again wonder what will happen if themajority of idle rigs were to find work and be mobilised. Whilst current charter rates will not encourage owners to reactivate their laid-up tonnage or invest in modern tonnage an increase in rates and activity may do so. When the upturn comes, as it surely will, we would advise operators to consider closely their standby vessel requirements at an early stage."

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