The North Sea in June should be a fertile hunting ground for owners, but this year they have been left a little disappointed, writes Craig Jallal
As the month of June progressed, the number of PSV charters awarded for summer work increased. The largest single tranche was from Maersk Oil North Sea, which awarded contracts for four PSVs operated by Solstad Farstad.
Sea Tantalus and Far Server were booked to support Ocean Valiant, a semi-submersible drilling rig, for approximately two years from June 2018. Sea Tantalus is an STX 05-L CD design built at Cochin Shipyard in 2013, measuring 82 m by 17.03 m, with a capacity of 4,047 dwt. Far Server is a Havyard 832 CD design built at Fjellstrand in 2010 and has a length of 78.6 m and a width of 17.6 m, with a capacity of 3,735 dwt
The other two Solstad Farstad vessels were Normand Flipper and Sea Springer, which will support hook-up and commissioning of the Culzean gas field development from July 2018 for approximately nine months. Normand Flipper is a UT 745E design built in 2003 at Kleven Verft and measures 88.8 m by 18.8 m with a capacity of 4,340 dwt.
Sea Springer’s fleet companion Sea Spark has also been contracted for a year by BP Egypt from June 2018, and Sea Supra and Sea Spear have been contracted for three months with options for an undisclosed client, commencing mid-2018.
Sea Springer, Sea Spark, Sea Supra and Sea Spear are all PX 105 designs built at Zheijiang Shipbuilding in 2014 or in Sea Spark’s case, 2013. They feature Ulstein’s X-Bow hull design and measure 89 m long by 19 m wide, with a capacity of 4,459 dwt each. No rates were reported for any of the above charters.
Maersk Oil North Sea also took a fifth vessel; the 2012-built PSV Rem Mistral was chartered from Rem Marine for a firm period of two years to support Maersk Oil’s drilling campaign with jackup rig Maersk Highlander. Rem Mistral was built by Hellessoy Verft in Norway in 2012 and is 85 m long and 20 m wide, with a capacity of 5,500 dwt.
Staying with the North Sea, in June Aker BP awarded four-month contracts to PSVs Normand Arctic and Normand Skude, and a two-month contract to PSV Far Solitaire. Norman Arctic is 94.3 m long by 20 m wide with a capacity of 4,900 dwt. Normand Skude is 85.6 m long and 20 m wide with a capacity of 5,300 dwt. Far Solitaire is 91.6 m long and 22 m wide, with a capacity of 5,800 dwt.
Shell also chartered the hybrid-diesel electric Edda Ferd in June for a firm period of six wells, with 12 further one-well options. The rate was not reported.
PSV sale and purchase activity
“Values have softened for PSVs” said VesselsValue head of offshore Charlie Hockless. “Only seven sales were confirmed this month,” he added.
Notable sales included Damon B Bankston, a 3,000 dwt 2002-built PSV, which sold for US$3.2M to Seafreeze for non-offshore related work. Damon B Bankston was instrumental in the rescue of the 115 survivors from the Deepwater Horizon and subsequently worked on spill response following the Macondo disaster in the US Gulf in 2010.
Viking Supply Ships offloaded its three medium PSVs: Nanna Viking, Freyja Viking, and Sol Viking, all for undisclosed prices. The latter two spent some time in lay-up in 2016.
Reported AHTS charters were thin on the ground in June, and mainly in the Brazilian market. The Brazilian-built Havyard 843 design CBO Xavantes was chartered for eight years by Grupo CBO to the Petrobras Prorefam project. The rate was not reported.
Petrobras also extended contracts for two Solstad Farstad vessels and re-contracted another for three years to support its exploration and production activities on the Brazilian continental shelf.
A new three-year contract, with a possible two-year extension, for anchor-handling tug supply BOS Topazio will commence in Q1 2019, in direct continuation of its current charter. The vessel was built in 2005 at the Itajai shipyard and has a bollard pull of 146 tonnes.
Far Santana, another AHTS, has had its contract amended to be firm until Q2 2019, with commencement taking place in Q2 2018. The vessel, built by Ulstein in 2000, has a 203-tonne bollard pull and is equipped with a Fugro FCV work-class ROV, capable of operating in depths of up to 3,000 m.
Construction support vessel Far Saga’s contract has been firmed until Q2 2020, with commencement also due to take place during Q2 2018. Built by Simek in 2001, it is equipped with two i-Tech 7 work-class ROVs, which can operate in water up to 3,000 m deep.
Outside the Brazilian market, Solstad Farstad announced that Equinor has declared its option to extend the present contract for the AHTS Normand Ferking for one year. This means that the vessel’s contract is firm with Equinor untill September 2019. Normand Ferking was built in 2007 and is 89.4 m long and 22 m wide and has a capacity of 4,600 dwt.
In addition, Solstad Farstad reports that a major oil company in Brunei has awarded a contract for the AHTS Far Scimitar to support its drilling operations. The contract will commence early July 2018 for a firm period of four months, plus four one-month options. Far Scimitar was built in 2008 and is 78.3 m long and 17.2 m wide, with a capacity of 3,068 dwt.
Rates were not reported but were generally perceived to have increased in June.
AHTS sale and purchase activity
“AHTS and AHT values have firmed slightly,” commented VesselsValue’s Mr Hockless in reviewing the June AHTS market. He noted that Topaz energy offloaded two of its more vintage AHTS units, Topaz Addax and Topaz Salalah. While they both went for undisclosed prices, the VesselsValue values on the day of the sale were US$0.75M and US$0.65M, respectively.
The AHTS sale and purchase market was active. Solstad Farstad subsidiary Deep Sea Supply sold the AHTS Sea Jackal to an undisclosed buyer, according to a company press release.
Sea Jackal was built by ABG in India in 2011 and has a length of 63.4 m, a width of 15.8 m, a draft of 5.5 m and a capacity of 1,900 dwt. The AHTS has a bollard pull of 91 tonnes, a dynamic positioning class of DP1 and a firefighting class of FiFi 1.
This is the sixth OSV and the fifth AHTS the company has offloaded this year, following the sales of AHTS vessels Far Senior and Far Sailor and PSV Far Supporter in May and AHTS vessels Nor Chief and Sea Badger in April.
The sale price was undisclosed but according to VesselsValue Sea Jackal had a market value of US$2.39M as of 24 June 2018. Solstad Farstad said the vessel’s sale “will result in a minor negative accounting effect” for Q2 2018.
OSJ reported in February that Solstad Farstad was looking to sell “non-core assets” and in March that it had postponed payments to creditors while it reorganised its capital structure.
OSV charters centre on Brazil contracts
In June Petrobras contracted DOF Subsea Brasil’s Skandi Salvador OSV for a 650-day contract, with the option to extend by a further 640 days, commencing in July. Skandi Salvador is an STX ROV 06 OSV and was built at Vard’s Niteroi shipyard in Brazil in 2009. It measures 106 m by 21 m with a capacity of 3,600 dwt.
In other OSV news, Geosund and Skandi Skansen have been contracted by undisclosed parties for inspection, maintenance and repair work throughout Q2 and Q3 this year. Geosund is a multipurpose vessel built in 2001 and converted in 2006. With a dynamic positioning class of DP2 and accommodation for 88 people, it measures 98 m long and 18 m wide, with a capacity of 3,624 dwt. Skandi Skansen is a combination anchor handling tug supply and construction support STX AH 04 design. The vessel was built in 2011 at Vard’s Aukra yard in Norway. Skandi Skansen measures 107 m long by 24 m wide with a capacity of 4,982 dwt and can accommodate 90 people; it has a bollard pull of 349 tonnes.
DOF described one of the contracts as being for “a subsea services frame agreement in the UK with a major North Sea operator.” Geosund and Skandi Skansen’s work will include seabed mapping, surveys, pipeline and structure inspection, light construction and repair work.