The Effect of the Oil Price
As I write this it is being announced on the
radio that the oil price has now increased to more than $40 per barrel. This
is a lot, considering that most of the oil fields even in the North Sea were
developed with the intention of extracting the oil for a cost per barrel
which was in single figures.
This improvement in the fortunes of the oil
companies appears to be being mildly reflected in the offshore activities
world wide, and semi-submersibles are emerging from bays and estuaries like
crustaceans from cracks in the rocks, and going to work again. There are
those who think that this is a seasonal state, and that when autumn comes
they will retreat again, but we can only hope for the best. Even so the day
rates for the wonderful modern anchor-handlers - I was going to say "Rolls
Royces" but then many of them actually are - have remained low.
They are saying that one of the reasons for
the rise has been the attack on an oil installation in Saudi, which must be
something no-one expected.
There have also been propositions in the
industry press that the high oil price is actually bad for business because
the operators do not have to work hard for their money. Why bother to do
anything risky - the argument goes - and so they just pull in their horns
and pull in the money.
What the hell does "Beyond Obscurity" mean?
Exactly! You have it in a nutshell. Those of us who are dedicated to the
presentation of information in plain English are becoming more and more
concerned by the amount of what appears to us to be gibberish which is being
written and circulated as if it was good sense.
Out there in the North Sea the ordinary man on
the rig is being assailed by the complex language of the safety
professional, and in some cases the complex language of the dedicated
amateur. One can almost forgive the safety professionals. They have been
brought up in a world where they understand the meaning of the words
"residual accidents". The rest of us can only guess. What is more difficult
to forgive is the enthusiasm with which some non-professionals will get in
there and write excruciatingly length paragraphs on obscure topics, the
meaning of which one might if one was lucky just be able to guess.
One reads this stuff again and again trying to
make sense of it, but no matter how much one tries it does not work out.
This is because it does not make sense. The ordinary man on the rig does not
know this. He thinks he aught to understand it so he says nothing. Another
ordinary man of the rig thinks the first has understood it and thinks he
must be a bit thick because he doesn't. So he keeps quiet.
It takes a brave man to ask what the words
Some words about Charters
Since John Griffiths moved on to other things
- and if you are reading this John thanks very much for your help - I have
not been able to keep with with the shipping news despite the fact that it
is wonderfully presented by the Seabrokers monthly report, but I'll have a
go this month. Just for once things seem to be happening out there.
Apparently Gulf Offshore have hired five ships
to Saipem in the Mediterranean. They are the Highland Warrior, the North
Vanguard, the Highland Pride the Highland Champion and the Sentinal. The
last is a venerable UT705 which has spend 5 years dredging for diamonds off
South Africa. The Highland Warrior is to go on the Brazil on completion of
its current work for a four year contract with Petrobras.
However the departure of these vessels from
the North Sea was offset by the return of three from Argentina, the Normand
Vester, the Olympic Orion and the Skandi Hav which were alll empoyed out
there supporting a pipe laying operation.
Gulf have also chartered the Highland Bugler
to Peterson Supplylink, so in the words of the Seabrokers Report Gulf
Offshore will have a much reduced presence on the spot market.
The Boa Deep C
Almost without notice the world's largest
anchor hander has arrived from the builders in Spain and has apparently been
chartered by Statoil at a day rate of around $75,000 per day. 29,000 BHP is
available, so what are they using it for. Perhaps it will pass our window
one of these days.
It is a VS4201. Does this mean that it is two
hundred and one metres long.
The Nautical Institute Retires for the
went to the Nautical Institute Annual General Meeting this evening. It was a
sad affair because we were all so old. Surely there are more marine
professionals out there who might want to join, or members who are not
bothering to come out. The port of Aberdeen is full of ships with British
officers, some of whom might be able to walk up the town and join in.
Its not often I do any advertising in this
part of the website - even for ourselves - but for the Nautical Institute I
will make an exception, and appeal to mariners who live around Aberdeen, or
who work here to join up. Elsewhere in the world professional mariners are
joining branches and influencing the organisation but here in Britain one
gets the impression that it is beginning to be an old man's club.
The NI is an organisation with some influence,
so it is important to support it and to ensure that its voice reflects your
views. They understand this elsewhere. The inaugural meeting in Athens was
attended by 400 people. If you would like to know more
email me .
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