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    Tightness in North Sea ERRV market makes life difficult for charterers

    News // October 12, 2005

    Broking sources in the UK confirm that the Emergency Rescue Response Vessel (ERRV) market remains extremely busy with a continuing lack of availability for charterers,
    term rates remain in excess of £5,500 with spot rates reaching as high as £15,000 on a number of occasions recently.

    Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) says this distinct lack of availability is forcing charterers to look at unusual solutions in order to meet their requirements, and noted that Centrica, for example, was recently forced to charter two smaller Esvagt vessels to support the Ensco 101 for circa 45 days instead of sourcing a single ERRV. "With each Esvagt vessel having only a crew of six and one FRC, it meant that two vessels were required to meet the UK requirement of a 12 man crew and two FRCs," noted OSL.

    "Other charterers have also had to seek dispensation from the MCA to use Norwegian ERRVs with additional manning levels as UK owners repeatedly have little or no tonnage available to offer," noted OSL in its latest report on the market.

    Another broker, Seascope Offshore, confirmed the tightness in the market, and confirmed that the lack of available UK-compliant vessels had forced Centrica to charter two non-compliant vessel in order to give adequate coverage.

    Seascope put the aggregate cost for the two vessels at £10,000. 

    "Not surprisingly the strength of the market has encouraged various contractors to order new ships and consequently modernise their fleets – there are now believed to be 14 vessels on order for delivery over the couple of years although this could rise to around 20 if further options are declared," noted Seascope Offshore.



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