New breed of cash-rich OSV owners ready to pounce: Fearnleys

Fearnley Offshore Supply (FOS) has published its latest keenly read monthly market report. FOS’s managing director, Tor Allen Widing, in penning the publication’s introduction, noted how the OSV sector was changing among the in-debt owners and a breed of new entrants.

“Going forward there will primarily be three categories of owners: the ones with some reduced debt, but with still overwhelming financial burdens; those which have been through Chapter 11 or other debt restructuring; and a category of new entry owners who have picked up their vessels at bargain prices and paid for them in cash,” Widing predicted.

The Fearnley executive went on to write that the OSV sector was still sullied by too much debt and too many ships, despite 150 OSVs being sent for scrap in 2018. Widing was disappointed to see some orders from the likes of COSL and Seatinel Marine filtering in over the past month or so.

Elsewhere in the report it was noted there was a clear bifurcation of vessel preference that emerged last year where more than 90% of supply vessels that were fixed on long-term charters were less than 15 years old.

“Combine that with the challenging average utilization overall and mostly yet-to-recover day rates, it became increasingly difficult to justify keeping older and low-spec tonnage through last year,” the FOS report stated.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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