Broker provide update on recent activity in North Sea marketNews // October 16, 2006
September was another excellent month for AHTS owners with the August record of £110,000 being broken once again by the fixture of Balder Viking to Norsk Hydro at circa £115,000.
In its latest monthly report on the market, Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) said even this rate record didn’t last long however and was broken once again during early October as Shell paid £125,000 each for Olympic Hercules and Balder Viking undertaking the rig move of the JW McLean.
"The month as a whole wasn’t entirely plain sailing for owners with large fluctuations in rate levels as periods of slackening demand saw availability improving. The start of September saw AHTS rates remaining firm after a good end to August with levels around the £95,000 region. As the month progressed however rates started to drop off and by the middle of the month had fallen to circa £47,500. The third week of September saw a recovery to circa £70,000 levels but had dropped off once again towards the end of the month to the £30,000 level with a number of vessels laying idle in port. This was short lived however and a surge of rig move requirements during early October saw rates rise quickly once again and within a couple of days were back
above the £100,000 level."
At the time of writing rates had reached £125,000.
PSV owners saw less of a dramatic fluctuation than AHTS owners during September however still saw some instability in rates. The first couple of weeks saw rate levels remaining around the £35,000-£40,000 levels however the middle of the month saw a drop in rate levels to nearer £20,000 as idle AHTS began to complete for utilisation by undertaking cargo runs.
"The third week then saw a slight improvement in vessel availability with rates remaining at the £20,000 level, however the end of the month saw a recovery to the £30,000 level," the broker reported. "October got off to a poor start for PSV owners with a number of vessel now returning to the spot market and seeing rate levels dropping as low as £11,000 per day. At the time of writing rates are currently circa the £14,000 region, which is in stark contrast to the £125,000 levels being seen for AHTS and undoubtedly the largest margin between the vessel types ever seen on the North Sea spot market."
"Looking ahead," said OSL, "it will undoubtedly remain a busy month for AHTS owners with winter weather once again becoming more of a factor and causing delays in rig moving operations. The PSV market is harder to predict for the next few months as a number of vessels are now starting to return to the spot market from summer project work and also newbuilds continue to be deelivered. Weather will undoubtedly play its part in tightening the market temporarily but given the lack of fresh term requirements being seen of late, and further tonnage scheduled to return to the spot market, we may well see PSV rates stabilising at current lower levels. "