UAE-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS), a provider of self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) serving the offshore oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, is looking to further boost its vessel utilization after achieving an increase during the first quarter of this year.
Ahead of its annual general meeting on Tuesday, GMS said it continues to focus on maximizing vessel utilization in the current market environment. The company achieved a rate of 56% for 1Q 2017, an improving level compared to that seen for 4Q 2016 of 46%.
The secured backlog, comprising firm and extension options, as at May 1, 2017, has increased to $251.3 million from $174.8 million at the end of December 2016.
Earlier this year, GMS won a 36-month contract, including options, for one of its mid-size class vessels in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to support well intervention activities for a national oil company and this started in 1Q 2017.
Two new long-term contracts for large class vessels in Europe were also announced in 2017 to support wind farm projects for an international energy company. These are scheduled to start in 2Q 2018. One contract has a charter period of 26 months, including options. and the other 15 months, also including options.
According to the company, the cantilever system on its new large class vessel GMS Evolution is scheduled to be ready for operations in June 2017 following the completion of sea trials. Commissioning is well-advanced and is progressing as expected. The cantilever system will allow GMS to provide a greater range of well intervention services from the vessel and to compete for well workover activity that was previously only able to be carried out from more expensive and less efficient non-propelled jack-up drilling rigs, the company explained.
The group had a net debt level at May 1 of $369.9 million. Year end net debt is expected to be in line with previous guidance.
Duncan Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of GMS, said: “We are encouraged by our recent contract awards and the continued strengthening of tender activity in our core regions of Europe and the Middle East. It is also reassuring to see activity within the European renewable energy market returning, where we have gained a new client following the award of two long-term charters commencing in Q2 2018.
“All of this is helpful as we seek further improvement in vessel utilization and we are encouraged with the levels being achieved for our Large Class and Mid-Size Class vessels in this regard. There is clearly more to do, and we are confident that much higher utilization levels will again be achievable for our fleet. We expect the pace of recovery to build momentum, with utilization increasing ahead of day rates.