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    North Sea market still buoyant says broker

    News // May 16, 2007

    Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) says the North Sea spot market in April was another buoyant month for owners with the highest AHTS rate during 2007 being set at £120,000, though still below the levels seen during 2006 and no doubt to be broken again in the coming months.

    "The start of April was relatively quiet though rates remained healthy at around the £40,000 level for AHTS and circa £25,000 for PSVs. The second week of the month however saw rig move activity increasing with rates quickly reaching the £70,000 level and by the third week of the month had reached, and in some
    cases exceeded, the £100,000 level, which hasnít been seen since mid-January 2007," said OSL in its latest monthly report.

    "This peak was short lived with rates quickly dropping off towards the end of the month, and by early May AHTS rates had fallen
    to as little as £15,000 for rig moves," OSL noted.

    The PSV market also suffered the same fate after remaining fairly steady between £30,000-£40,000 during April but by early May had fallen to circa £11,000 for spot cargo work.

    "This current lull in the market is undoubtedly only temporary, with a busy summer rig move schedule and further PSVs departing the spot market, it is only a matter of time before availability tightens once again," said the broker.

    "Whether we see the rate levels reached during 2006 is as yet uncertain, but with the number of newbuild vessels heading for the market this year it may well be owners last chance to top up the coffers," OSL concluded.


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