Trico expects seasonal slow-down to affect earningsNews // April 5, 2001
The company also announced that the market has improved and that eight newcontracts, totalling $32 million in anticipated revenues, have recently beenawarded to its North Sea vessels. With the new contracts, contract coveragefor Trico's North Sea fleet is approximately 85 per cent of possible days for the balance of 2001.
"While the business environment is strong, the seasonal slowdown in NorthSea activity was more pronounced than anticipated during January, February andearly March," said Tom Fairley, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"This was evident in the 70 per cent utilisation rate for three of our large anchor-handling vessels during the first quarter. However, we have already seen improvement in demand and day rates for both anchor-handling vessels and platform supply vessels,not only in the North Sea, but also other international areas."
The Gulf of Mexico has continued to show strength through the quarter. In the first quarter, supply boat day rates averaged approximately $6,700 per day with utilisation of 72 per cent. Current term bids for Gulf supply boats are at approximately $7,500a day. In the North Sea, the fleet averaged approximately $10,100 a day in the first quarter with utilisation of 88 per cent.
Trico's Northern Admiral AHTS, built in 1999, was awarded a contract by Unocal Campos Ltda to commence in early April. The Northern Admiral was deployed to Brazil in mid-March. Two additional AHTS vessels, the Northern Chaser and the Northern Comrade, will depart for Brazil in May and June under contracts awarded to Trico by Esso Brasileira de Petroleo. In the North Sea, the Northern Corona AHTS began a new contract 01 April.
Two of the Company's PSVs have been awarded long-term contracts. The Northern Supporter began a three-year contract in the North Sea on 01 April, and the Northern Viking was awarded a two-year contract.
In addition, the Northern Seeker, which had been idle since late 1999, has been reactivated and began a new six-month contract on 01 April, while the Northern Sea also began a new six-month contract on 01 April 1. All contracts are at higher day rates, reflecting the improved market conditions. Day rates for these contracts exceed $20,000 for the AHTS vessels and $10,000 for the PSVs, including mobilisation days.