Worsening conditions in the offshore market in the first quarter of 2015 led to a USD19.6 million loss for vessel operator Seacor.
The loss, revealed on 23 April, compares with a USD40.1 million profit in the previous quarter and a profit of USD11.5 million in first quarter of 2014.
In response to falling day rates, weak utilisation of its support vessel fleet, and new capacity entering the market, Seacor confirmed it has returned 10 leased-in vessels to their owners beginning in the third quarter of 2014 and has had 9 vessels cold-stacked as of 31 March.
Overall vessel utilisation, excluding wind farm utility vessels, decreased from 75% in fourth quarter of 2014 to 68% in first quarter of 2015. Overall average day rates, excluding wind farm utility vessels, decreased 15% from USD15,520 per day in the previous quarter to USD13,178 per day in the first quarter of 2015.
Year-on-year utilisation dropped from 80% in first quarter of 2014 and average day rates fell from USD14,324/day.
In the US Gulf of Mexico, operating revenues fell by USD17.7 million, hitting all vessel classes, Seacor reported. The decline was due primarily to weak market conditions, the return of leased-in vessels to their owners, the seasonal downturn for the liftboat fleet, and increased dry-docking activity, the company stated.
Vessel utilisation in the region was 49% compared with 62% in the preceding quarter, and overall average day rates decreased from USD20,313/day to USD18,097/day.