The offshore charter and sale and purchase market for January shows encouraging signs of activity
The charter market was hit with bad news in early 2019, as ExxonMobil cancelled its charter on seismic survey vessel Ramform Atlas. Ramform Tethys and Ramform Atlas were mobilised in early December 2018 for survey work in South America for 13 months at a value of approximately US$75M, but both vessels had been on paid standby since 23 December due to “unresolved issues affecting the survey,” according to the owner, One Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS).
It was later announced that PGS had been notified by ExxonMobil that Ramform Atlas's services were no longer required. Ramform Atlas and Ramform Tethys are both Titan-class survey vessels. The Titan-class carries 24 streamer reels – 16 abreast, with eight in a second row – and 22 tow points on its 70-m back deck. The Titan-class can deploy two stern-launched workboats and is fitted with three variable-pitch propellers providing 1.8 MW of power. Ramform Atlas and Ramform Tethys were both built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan, the former in 2014 and the latter in 2016.
There was better news in the North Sea, where Seabrokers Chartering reported that it had brokered the exercise of a three-year option for a three-way deal involving Remoey Shipping and three PSVs: Rem Eir (PSV Design VS 4412 DF, built-2014), Rem Hrist (PSV Design PX 105, built-2011) and Rem Mist (PSV Design PX 105, built-2011). Commencement of the three-year periods will be in direct continuation of the existing firm periods, namely March 2019 for Rem Hrist, and May 2019 for both Rem Eir and Rem Mist.
“Continued interest by energy majors in onshore production is being felt in the offshore market”
On the other side of the globe, Chevron Australia has contracted Maersk Supply Service to support its Gorgon Stage Two drilling programme. Two Starfish-class AHTS vessels will provide towing, anchor handling, supply and ROV services for Chevron’s activities in the Northwest Shelf, offshore Western Australia from Q2 2019. The vessels, Maersk Mariner and Maersk Master are already in Western Australia – since September 2017 in Maersk Mariner’s case and since March 2018 in Maersk Master’s case. They will be operated by local crews and supported from Maersk Supply Service’s Perth base.
The Starfish vessels are 95 m in length, with a beam of 25 m and are equipped with a raft of innovative features, including an anchor-recovery frame that simplifies operations over the stern roller and a remotely operated deck-handling gantry crane.
On the valuation side, VesselsValue reports that “continued interest by energy majors in onshore production is being felt in the offshore market”. It notes that asset values remain soft and have fallen across all PSV and AHTS/AHT sectors. But there was some activity in the sale and purchase market in January 2019, which is a positive sign compared the lack of interest shown in January 2018.
There was only one asset sale in the AHTS sector in January: the VOS Olympian (5,500 BHP, built-2006, at Jaya Asiatic) sold from lay-up with dry docking due, to Trinity Offshore for US$0.70M (VV value US$0.61M).
There were 11 sales in the PSV sector during January 2019: Sunrise 2, Sunrise 3 and Sunrise 5 (3,800 dwt, built September 2019, January 2020, and April 2020, respectively, at COSCO Zhoushan) were sold to SEACOR Marine Holdings in en bloc deal worth US$46.00M (VV en bloc value US$37.58M).
Energy Duchess and Energy Empress (4,200 dwt, 2019-built, at Nantong Rainbow) were sold to Golden Energy for US$18.10M each (VV value US$14.91 and US$14.45M, respectively).
Toisa Independent (4,400 dwt, 2003-built, at Appledore) was sold to A1 Offshore for US$1.85M (VV value US$1.37M).