Denmark’s Maersk Supply Service (MSS) has sold off two of its laid-up anchor-handler tug supply (AHTS) vessels in a hot North Sea spot market.

The 13,872-bhp Maersk Tackler and Maersk Trimmer (both built 2009) have been laid up in Fredericia, Denmark, since 2016.

VesselsValue assesses the pair as worth $19.2m combined.

Brokers have not listed them as sold for recycling, so it remains to be seen whether they will be reactivated for the oil and gas market or move into another sector altogether.

No details on buyer or price have been revealed.

AHTS rates hit an all-time record of $233,000 per day in the North Sea in June.

Activity has increased and ships have been fixed away from the region for the summer on term deals.

Vessels in the North Sea are still attracting a lucrative NOK 1.3m ($131,000) per day for rig moves this week.

Norway is sold out of spot ships and the UK has only two vessels free.

The sales mark a further reduction in the lay-up count for MSS, which has been contacted for comment.

Three vessels scrapped in Denmark

In May, the owner sent three elderly offshore ships for green recycling.

The company, part of AP Moller-Maersk, said the trio were scrapped at Fornaes Ship Recycling in Grenaa, eastern Denmark.

The move was described as part of a strategy to optimise the fleet as employment opportunities remained limited for older units.

The three were the very large 17,500-bhp anchor-handling tug supply unit Maersk Helper (built 2002), 90-loa multipurpose support ship Maersk Attender (built 2000) and 90-loa maintenance and support ship Maersk Winner (built 2003).

BP makes its move

They had also previously been laid up in Fredericia.

A total of 10 AHTS units remain in lay-up in North Sea ports.

These include six more MSS vessels and two controlled by Siem Offshore.

This week, TradeWinds reported oil major BP has got its hands on five MSS AHTS ships to help scrap a floating production vessel in what is a very tight offshore market.

Norwegian broker Seabrokers said the company had “done well” to secure sufficient tonnage, with units in short supply this summer.

Teekay’s 43,300-gt Petrojarl Foinaven (built 1998) floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is being taken off location west of Shetland.