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    OSL describes "gloomy times" for Gulf of Mexico operators

    News // November 8, 2002
    In its latest monthly report, Offshore Shipbrokers Limited (OSL) in the UK says PSV and AHTS owners on the "other" side of the Atlantic (that is, in the US) continue to report a downturn in their earnings compared to last year.

    "This year has seen difficult trading conditions for shipowners - with many forced to lay up tonnage to keep the rates propped up," reports OSL.

    "Fleet utilisation continues to drop not only in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) but also worldwide," noted OSL.

    OSL says Seacor Smit recently reported a drop for their worldwide marine fleet in the 3rd quarter to 77.7 per cent. Seabulk has also seen their utilisation rates fall from 90 per cent in 2001 to 63 per cent at the end of June for their GoM fleet.

    Trico suffered the most, with utilisation rate falling below 50 per cent for their GoM Supply Boat fleet, compared for 53 per cent in the first quarter, and 75 per cent compared to the this time last year.

    Seabulk along with Trico reported that average PSV day rates continue to soften in the light of poor E&P activity.

    The last quarter saw rates fall to around $6,000 from $7,300 for the comparable quarter last year.

    Most of the downturn has been caused by falling demand in the GoM offshore market, but some heavy losses are as a result of some owners restructuring their debt.

    OSL says one owner suffered almost $2m in foreign exchange losses due to the weakening US dollar.

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