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Topaz in the red in Q1, outlook 'remains challenging'

UAE-headquartered OSV owner Topaz Energy & Marine reported a $3.3m loss in the first quarter as constant challenges in the Middle East and Africa regions remain.

The $3.3m loss in the first quarter of 2017 compared to a $2m profit a year earlier. Revenues in the first quarter of 2017 saw a 25% slump to $58.2m compared to $77.7m in the same period in 2016.

The one real bright spot in Topaz’s business in Azerbaijan where utlisation remains high.

“Core fleet utilisation for the quarter was 58%, which reflects the challenges in the spot market. In Azerbaijan where we have solid contract coverage, utilisation was 88%, which is a testament to our strength in the region and a result of our solid operational performance,” said René Kofod-Olsen, ceo of Topaz.

The picture is bleaker in its core Middle East & North Africa and Africa regions. “In the MENA and Africa regions we have continued to face severe pressure on rates and utilisation in the spot market, with lower overall core fleet utilisation of 50% and 33% respectively,” he said.

“The outlook in both regions remains very challenging.”

Topaz has a contract backlog of $1.5bn, which has doubled over the last year, boasting clients including BP, Chevron, Exxon and Saipem.

However, despite this, due to the general state of the market the outlook remains a difficult one.

“The outlook for the OSV market remains challenging. Although a rebound in oil prices will eventually boost demand, current significant over-capacity is resulting in rate pressures. 2017 is set to be a very difficult year for the industry but we are seeing green shoots in some markets and anticipate further recovery in the later part of the year,” Kofod-Olsen said.

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