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    Supply vessel market takes shape

    News // April 5, 2001
    Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd in Aberdeen reports that the market for 2001 has really taken shape with many operators both in the North Sea and other areas taking up their position for the remainder of the year.

    The company says the momentum that is being generated is "similar to an express train out of control with the buffers not in sight" and has served to strengthen owners' expectations.

    Few opportunities exist for operators to secure modern tonnage with prompt delivery and those that have been fixed are being done at premium rates - even first generation PSVs are obtaining rates of up to 15,000 for 30/50 days.

    The anchor handling market has moved to 30,000 for spot rig moves with much higher rates being predicted for the summer months - the period market is now in the 15/20,000 range.

    Farstad continue their run with ASCo in that they have now fixed the newbuilding UT745 Far Swan to them for a period of two years plus options with delivery direct from the shipyard. In addition they have extended the two vessels they have with ASCo Norway for three years.

    Statoil has entered into a call off agreement with Solstad and Maersk for their rig moving. Whilst these and similar contracts may have their place in the market, provided they are at fixed rates, what are they worth, queries the broking firm?

    "Experience has shown us that forward planning and commitment is required,otherwise as soon as the markets firms owners will opt for the fixtures that pays the highest rate".

    "In firm markets it is our opinion that it would be far better for operators to charter vessels longer term and then play the market with them on a sublet basis", says the company.

    Norsk Hydro are following others in arranging a reverse auction for up to three PSVs and an AHTS. Aberdeen Offshore Shipbrokers says it understands that the vessels will be bid under normal tender procedures and following a technical evaluation the short-listed vessel owners will then be asked to bid against therate indications that they have submitted.

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