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    High level of optimism for 2006 says OSL

    News // February 10, 2006

    Broker Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) says it is optimistic that 2006 will be an excellent year for support vessel operators in the North Sea.

    In the latest issue of OSL's monthly report on the market, the company said: "The market during 2005 was undoubtedly a turbulent time for both owners and charterers with vast swings in rates and availability being seen throughout the year. The summer was however a more stable period with the situation remaining generally tight with rates high virtually month after month. AHTS during the summer were regularly fetching £45,000-£50,000 levels whilst PSVs were not far behind with rates reaching the around the £35,000 levels."

    "The end of the year has however seen a slight downturn in activity due to poorer weather and with a number of vessels also returning from summer project work we have seen a definite drop in average rates. January 2006 has continued to be quiet with the highest rate being seen so far at around the £23,000 level for the Normand Mjolne undertaking ROV duties. Rates have, however, typically been more frequently between the £6,000 and £10,000 with a couple of brief spells where we have seen £15,000 - £20,000 levels," said OSL.

    Optimism for the 2006 market remains high, said OSL, and the situation looks to improve throughout February with a number of vessels expected to leave the spot market from March onwards.

    "This should see things begin to tighten once again with rates beginning to rise accordingly. The summer months in particular are beginning to look very tight particularly for Large AHTS with a number of international projects demanding North Sea spec AHTS. Drilling activity continues to look extremely busy throughout 2006 and we expect to see a steady stream of PSV requirements coming to the market to support these operations," said OSL, noting that the year will, however, be an "interesting time" given the number of uncommitted newbuild vessels being delivered during 2006 and the number of vessels returning from summer project work.


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