Siem Offshore decided to take two more vessels out of the market, laying up a pair of anchor handling tug supply vessels at the beginning of November. The two vessels are going into cold lay-up, leaving Siem Offshore with just three out of ten AHTS vessels in the North Sea spot market. In October, the total number of vessels laid up in the North Sea was 71 according to data, 17 of them AHTS vessels.
Viking Supply Ships A/S, a supply shipping company based in Kristiansand, Norway, also decided to lay up the 2,725gt/2003 built Odin Viking, citing poor market conditions within the conventional AHTS market. A further three Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) were due to be so treated. Further reports have suggested that as many as 100 vessels employed to support the North Sea offshore oil and gas industry will be in lay-up by late November, as the offshore vessel industry endures its worst market in living memory. Floating production, storage and offloading units are also now being laid up with the OSX1 currently idle in Brazil.
To add to the woes, Farstad Shipping received notification from Petrobras that it planned to cancel an existing charter of the Far Strider from November 2015. This is a result of the ‘blocking’ phenomenon in Brazil, whereby local vessels without employment are preventing foreign flagged vessels from getting the necessary permits to operate in Brazil due to local regulation. Farstad has 13 vessels assigned to Petrobras at present.