Statoil drains Norway’s AHTS pool

Oil company Statoil drained the Norwegian anchor handlers’ spot market on Thursday, after booking nine anchor handlers for rig moves. The company also hired four PSVs.

According to Westshore, a Norwegian shipbroking company, the Thursday’s move, which left no available tonnage in the AHTS market in Norway, indicates the market is getting closer to balance.

The nine anchor handlers have been hired for three rig moves.

Westshore’s Alexander Albert told Offshore Energy Today that the rates reach up to 400.000 NOK, “a solid improvement from what we have seen lately.”

Asked about which rigs are being moved, Albert said that since the weather has caused delays, it was still unclear what rigs would be moved, but he added, it is “looking like rig move of Scarabeo5, Deepsea Bergen and afterward potentially Bideford Dolphin.”

To remind, Statoil has this week extended the contract for the the above mentioned Bideford Dolphin semi-submersible drilling rig for a one well program.

As for the anchor handlers taken by Statoil, those are are K Line’s KL Saltfjord and KL Sandefjord, Siem Offshore’s Siem Opal and Siem Garnet, Farstad’s Far Sapphire, Solstad’s Rem Gambler, Viking’s Magne Viking and Island Offshore’s Island Valiant.

According to information available on Westshore’s website, the Magne Viking and the Far Saphire commanded the highest, 400.000 NOK dayrates, each.

Statoil has also hired four platform suppliers, Rem Arctic, North Pomor, KL Bofjord and North Purpose with the highest rate being 75.000 Norwegian crowns.

When asked to comment on the current spot tonnage availability and the effect on Statoil taking more than a dozen offshore vessels in a single day Albert said:

“The market for AHTS, and, to some extent PSVs (at least in Norway), is getting closer to a market balance.

In Norwegian market we only lack a few other players regularly in the market for fixing and things would improve noticeably, something we expect might happen towards the summer this year.

Albert was echoing Westshore’s take published on Thursday morning when the shipbroker said the market indeed was close to the balance, “if activity were to pick up ever so slightly.”

Westshore on Thursday added that so many vessels have been taken out of the market to go into layup that the fleet of spot vessels is so heavily reduced.

Rare occurrence

 

“Four rig moves over a short period of time was not uncommon three years ago, but at the moment it’s a very rare occurrence. With just a slight pick-up in activity, i.e. more rigs on hire to a handful more operators the spot market would be far closer to being in balance. That is of course if the vessels in lay-up don’t all come back at once,” the shipbroker said Thursday.

Commenting on the hired platform suppliers for OET on Friday, Albert said the dayrates were still at too low levels, “but it’s been a long time since we have seen Statoil fixing four PSVs at a time, and there is only one vessel prompt now (Gulfmark newbuild North Barents).”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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