Offshore tug and supply operators have experienced a dramatic slowdown in activity over the past year. The reasons are related directly and indirectly to the pandemic, which resulted in a drop in demand for petroleum products and cutbacks in offshore activity by the oil companies.
Most tug/suppliers work under long term contracts, but even some of those have been subject to early cancellations, or the contracts simply have not been renewed or extended when they expired. Some boats have been placed on the "spot market", meaning intermittent work under daily rate hire.
In 2020 Atlantic Towing Ltd had 13 vessels in its offshore fleet. Two of them, Atlantic Eagle and Atlantic Raven are working on the Pacific coast as Emergency Towing Vessels under contract to the federal government. By the end of the year two boats, Atlantic Kestrel and Atlantic Merlin were operating in the North Sea and four were operating out of St.John's for Hibernia or Hebron: Atlantic Griffon, Atlantic Shrike, Atlantic Heron and Paul A. Sacuta. Three more were laid up in Stephenville, NL namely Atlantic Kingfisher, Atlantic Osprey, Atlantic Condor (see next post) and Atlantic Tern.
A fifth tug in layup was Atlantic Hawk which has now been reported sold to Russian owners and renamed Sayan Jarl under Cyprus registration.