Petrobras terminates offshore vessel contracts with World Wide Supply

Brazilian state energy company Petrobras has prematurely terminated its timecharter of two offshore supply vessels owned by Norway’s World Wide Supply (WWS).

At the end of August, WWS reported the two Norway-flagged vessels – World Opal and World Peridot (pictured) – had been ‘blocked’ in Brazil and were anchored at Rio de Janeiro while their certificates were reviewed.

“Hereunder, the charterer has declared that it does not see itself obligated to pay the accrued hire through the ‘blocking-period’, which at the date hereof amounts to approximately $3m,” the Oslo-listed company said in a filing today. “Dialogue has been initiated with Nordic Trustee and an informal bondholders’ committee.”

In Brazil, vessels must have their Certification of Charter Authorisation (CAA) and Registration Certificate of Temporary Foreign Vessels (AIT) certificates renewed annually in order to operate in Brazilian waters under a foreign flag.

Under Brazilian law, when a foreign-flagged vessel comes to renew its CAA and AIT certificates, the renewal can be ‘blocked’ by an unemployed Brazil-flagged ship that is built to the same specification, which can take over the foreign vessel’s employment contract.

Petrobras has previously resolved similar situations by transferring employment to Brazilian vessels, WWS said in its Q2 2015 financial report.

WWS has four PSVs on four-year charters to Petrobras: World Peridot, World Opal, World Sapphire,and World Emerald. The charters were due to terminate in June 2018 and had a combined value of $160m.

The employment of World Sapphire and World Emerald appears to be unaffected.

In August, WWS laid up its vessels World Diamond and World Pearl in the UK due to poor market conditions in the North Sea. Both vessels had been operating in the spot market since February.

The company had been counting on revenue from Brazil to cover the cost of laying up its two vessels in the UK.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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