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NAO suffers poor North-Sea rates

NAO suffers poor North-Sea rates
North-Sea-leveraged Nordic American Offshore (NAO) suffered a near-halving of Q3 charter revenues to $7.9m from $14.3m.

The company made losses of $3.1m during the quarter compared with $2.8m Q3 2014. Operating cash flow fell to $1.0m from $6.0m in Q3 2014.

The group has eight PSVs currently in operation in the North Sea. Unlike Bourbon and other operators in the region, NAO has not laid up any of its Norwegian-built vessels, and has two further vessels due for delivery in April and June of 2016.

NAO had $4.2m of net debt per vessel in operation as of the end of Q3, with $42m of its $150m credit facility drawn at the end of the quarter.

“Going forward, in this challenging environment, NAO sees opportunities," the company said in a statement. "We concentrate on keeping our vessel operating costs low, while always maintaining our strong commitment to safe operations. As we expand our fleet, we do not anticipate that our administrative costs will rise correspondingly.

"PSVs are critical to operating offshore and represent a small part of total oil production costs. The recent reduction in the oil price may affect future offshore exploration activities. It should be noted that PSVs are part of the entire life-cycle of an offshore oilfield. Several of our vessels are suitable for operations in the Arctic. The Norwegian government has recently announced that new blocks are available for drilling operations in the Barents Sea, which is considered an Arctic region.

"At the same time, the geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West are impacting offshore drilling activities in Northern/Arctic waters."