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    Broker sees brighter days ahead in North Sea

    News // March 29, 2010

    Broker Fearnley Offshore Supply says it could seem as if the return of the North European spring is in the process of taking owners out of a bad depression that this last winter have represented.

    "As for the North Sea we are at least seeing slightly improved balance between supply and demand in the segment of large PSVs and MPSV/OCVs," said the broker in its latest report on the market.

    "The supply-side of large PSVs was never really worrying during 2009, so improved utilization for these was expected in 2010 especially with the increased pipelay activity planned for this year. The outlook for the MSV/OCVs is of course helped by the rather optimistic views expressed by several top managers with the large subsea construction companies all forecasting increased activity towards the end of 2010."

    Fearnley Offshore Supply said tender awards of major projects in both Brazil and West Africa are imminent.

    "Our expectation that the construction support vessel market is back in full force in 2011 is now as strong as ever," said the broker.

    "For the AHTS owners the upcoming summer combined with an expected feeding frenzy by Petrobras is giving hope of recovery," said the company, noting that the AHTS
    segment was hurt the most by the over supply situation since end 2008.

    "Since we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, will there be more newbuild orders placed" asked the company?

    "Well, history has plenty of examples of exactly this. All that it takes is hungry yards, dramatically improved availability ofequipment packages, slightly improved attitude at the banks and owners with a sniff of optimism," said Fearnley, although it cautioned owners considering placing new orders to have a quick look at the numbers in its newbuild list, and at the number of vessels due to be delivered in 2010.

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