Offshore firms warned of ‘brutal winter’

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Norwegian companies that own and operate vessels serving offshore installations have been told that it’s going from bad to worse in their business. Nearly 130 anchor-handling and supply vessels, for example, are now laid up.

“It will get worse before it gets better,” warned Inger-Louise Molvær, an analyst for Westshore Shipbrokers in Kristiansand. She told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that charter rates are now well under what it takes for the vessels to break even on costs. Rigs are also in layup, with more than half of the world’s offshore fleet also without work.

Molvær noted that the terrible market for the offshore vessels developed quickly after oil prices fell and oil exploration stalled. “At the beginning of 2015, there were no anchor-handling vessels in lay-up,” she told DN. Now there are 128, according to Westshore’s figures. She warned there will continue to be less work and lower charter rates “and we see no signs of improvement until the second quarter of next year at the earliest.”

Molvær urges putting more vessels into lay-up, “to better balance supply and demand.” The sector is also a candidate for more consolidation, she said.

newsinenglish.no staff