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    International market booming says broker

    News // May 11, 2006

    Broker Fearnleys Offshore Supply says that despite the continuous increase in new construction orders, availability in all markets remains tight with record breaking day rates reported world wide.

    "It is rumoured that Husky in Canada has picked up an AHTS for a medium term programme at an all time high day rate for Canada. Further South in the Gulf of Mexico, utilization remains at close to one hundred per cent with only a couple of vessels available on the spot market, and these being available more at owners will than anything else. Construction activity remains high both in the US and Mexican sectors of the Gulf. Mexico alone has five tenders out or in the process of being issued, all seeking high spec construction vessels. The MSV count in the US part of the Gulf has increased by five in the last six weeks," said Fearnleys in its latest report on the offshore support vessel market.

    Trinidad is the leading force in the Caribbean with both EOG and Canadian Superior in the market for vessels to support their drilling programmes commencing late summer. Statoil is again active in Venezuela and this could potentially spur additional interest in the region, said the broker.

    Petrobras has confirmed its prominent position in the vessel market through a number of extensions as well as new contract awards, and Maersk and Tidewater have both received term contracts in Brazil for high powered anchor handlers.

    "West Africa seems to have almost run dry of boats," said Fearnleys. "Several of the outstanding anchor handling tenders has been awarded which has practically sucked the market dry for high powered AHTS. Small and medium sized AHTS are also in high demand and day rates have pushed past two dollars per bhp. Numerous PSVs in Angola and Nigeria were nearing the end of their contracts but have now been granted long term extensions ensuring continued tight availability of this vessel type."

    In the Far East, said Fearnleys, recent tender awards in Malaysia and Indonesia have ensured that new built vessels hardly have time to spool on the work wires before they head out to the field to move rigs. "With new vessels being placed weekly one could expect that the market would be saturated at some stage, but for every handful of new orders there seem to be new arenas absorbing them - the latest being increased activity in Australia and a growing demand in the Korean market,2 the broker concluded.


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