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Again, cautious portents filter through from those who know the market with
the medium term forecast being much of the same as the past year. However,
as the winter creeps in, demand is liable to decrease due to the seasonal
dip in activity and this will obviously push down on an already delicate
level of rates.
term market appears to be subject to the crystal ball school of long
casting, using the Orman Lange Project as the basis for one such future
trend. 1200 km of pipe will be laid between Northern Norway to Easington,
needing approximately 8 to 10 large pipe carriers and thus allow a small
breathing space to develop in the market for the vessel type. However, as
this is not due to be happening until at least the 2005/ 2006 season, pipe
carrier owners need to hold onto their champagne for now.
ERRV sector was also slow with no new requirements and a handful of term
extensions reported. Again, as exploration activity slows down it may well
bring with it uncertainty to the ERRV market. Stewart Offshore's monthly
report also states that of 12 rigs due to be re delivered to the UK sector
by year end 2003, only 2 will have openings for ERRV's. This means that the
long-cast is for an erosion of ERRV rates due to the number of vessels on
the market increasing.
Vessel bits and
Farstad kick off this months round up with news that UT722 Far Grip
ended her 5 year charter to Norsk Hydro during August. She is now trading
the spot. AHTS ME303 Mk2 Far Sky was extended another month
supporting Stena Spey which is acting as accommodation support in the
Irish Sea. Newbuild UT712 Lady Astrid is now en route to Singapore
from the Northsea. Previously part of IOS she has now fallen in with Farstad
Indian Pacific Proprietary Ltd. The vessel is uncommitted. Far Superior
the company's UT705L began a pipe support charter supporting the lay barge
Solitaire which is expected to complete mid September.
Trico's PSV Northern Princess was re-delivered from Statoil after a
five year term. The vessel went to dry-dock for the usual brush up and paint
but her future on leaving is uncertain. It is believed that consideration is
being given to lay up or trading the spot - but market conditions will be
the ultimate diktat. Staying with Trico, it is now known that their UT741
AHTS Northern Admiral has been purchased for NOK 266 mn by District
Offshore A/S. The purchase was made with the approval of the charterer,
Norsk Hydro. UT705 North Vanguard is currently on with support for
the lay barge Solitaire.
Gulfmark's AHTS KMAR404 Torm Heron and PSV UT705 Highland Pride
have both been fixed in support of the semi-sub Transocean John Shaw.
Both vessels will operate out of Falmouth. UT705 Highland Warrior is
supporting the lay barge Solitaire.
Havila ASA - acquired by Groupe Bourbon - has now been renamed Bourbon
Offshore Norway. Havila's name will remain for those vessels under the
control of Per Saevik - being the ten vessels purchased from Havila's
standby fleet. Meanwhile, Havila's UT705 Havila Trader is on the
Stolt Offshore have marketed for sale seven of their vessels. Up for grabs
are the Seaway Kestrel / Invincible / Rover / Legend / Explorer
/Kingfisher / Annette. If you're interested, I believe that Seabrokers
Marine Solutions in Norway are fronting the sale although by the time the
column gets to bed the vessels may well have gone.
Rovde Shippings Ocean Flower has recently been equipped and modified
to act as a 'sound source' for installed seismic cables on top of her role
as standby / rescue vessel. She is currently on for BP Norge.
Tidewater's PSV VS480 Robert H. Boh has been fixed by Woodside
Mauritania supporting the West Navigator. She is fixed for two wells
firm with options for a further four months to follow. Tidewater have also
fixed PSV UT755L McKenny Tide as a second vessel on the same job.
AHTS KMAR404 McNee Tide is, however, leaving the Northsea. She is due
to tow the S-44 for Saipem from Cadiz to the Mexican Gulf, returning with
the barge to Livorno. She is not expected to return to the Northsea for a
John Fredriksen is reported as the purchaser of Crystal Sea and
Crystal Ocean. Fredriksen is owner of Frontline Tankers and both vessels
were reported to have gone for $25m en bloc.
Waveney Shipping have taken delivery of their UT755L PSV Waveney Castle
from Aker Akura. She is a sister to Waveney Citadel, delivered
earlier this year. She is uncommitted and expected to trade the spot. The
old Waveney Castle was sold on to BUE Viking and is presently renamed
Castle and trading the Caspian.
Last month I relate a tale fairly much representative of life on supply
boats in the 'bad old days' - as shipowners would have described them. The
idea behind it was to jog someone's memory for something similar and thus
feed in to my ambition to write a book about seafarers and supply ships.
When I mentioned that I was intending to write a book, Vic Gibson wished me
good luck; I can see why now!
many individuals have come forward with stories, anecdotes or personal
remenicences which I suppose I should not be surprised about. Seafaring has
always been a 'closed' community and the world of the seaman is often
something that is kept exclusively within that community, though for the
life of me I cannot understand why. What happened to the messroom story
tellers who had the capacity to talk a glass eye to sleep? They must still
be out there.....
Anyway, I have since been contacted by an American who is researching a
similar thread and have some delight in adding a plea from her within this
The Shipboard Experience--from the Seafarer's Perspective"---I am a
researcher from a US academic institution seeking to understand the
shipboard experience from the seafarer's perspective. How the seafarer feels
and thinks about that life and some common features of life at sea and
working conditions on board. The good, bad and everything in between. The
social life, the family life, at home vs at sea. I am particularly
interested in understanding the impact of FOC changes in the 80's, and how
shiplife has been affected. As a sub-set of this research, I am also seeking
to understand the Norwegian seafarer experience, for example the shift from
a more national "kinship" shipboard culture to a more global one, what kind
of work seafarers found post-1987, with the loss of so many well-paying
jobs. You do not have to be Norwegian to respond. No companies nor
organisations are represented by me. You do not need to tell me your company
affiliation. As a typical American, I only speak English and make no
judgements about anyone's use of it. Thanks, I'm really looking forward to
hearing your stories. There is room for many voices. Email:email@example.com"
would hope that some of the readers of this column may respond to this plea
out of interest, particularly the Norwegian seafarers angle. Might I also
add that this form of research is akin to what I am also attempting -which
goes to show that there is a place for the history of seafaring.
Having said that, if the voices she mentions are not heard for a lack of
interest now then the part played by the Northsea supply ship in the history
of the Merchant Navy is going to be lost. It was a different game, with
different rules, played in a different environment - and thus deserves its
place as a document for the future. It's your call.
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