Since the Kara Sea contract for four of our AHTS vessels was terminated, our focus has been to secure alternative work for these vessels. So far this year, we have secured long term contracts for both Brage Viking and Vidar Viking in harsh environment regions. Both contracts reflect the area of operation and VSS A/S has obtained premium rates in an otherwise difficult offshore market. These contracts improve our contract coverage considerably and increase the contract backlog (including optional periods) with MUSD 100 and MUSD 45, respectively. The new contracts would not have been possible without the experience and competence obtained by our crew and office staff during more than 15 years of operations in ice and harsh environment offshore regions. This has combined with highly capable vessels with high ice-class, given us the opportunity to take advantage of a weak offshore cycle.
The subsidiary TransAtlantic AB is, as in previous quarters, still exposed to weak market conditions. The revenue decline is mainly due to operations being divested or closed down.
The North Sea offshore market has been challenging during Q1 2015. Especially the PSV market has been characterised by ample supply, but also the AHTS market has suffered with weak rates and utilisation. Despite this, our ATHS segment improved on both utilization and fixture rates compared to last year, while the PSV segment did not see a satisfying development during the quarter. As a result, it has been decided to close down our PSV focused Aberdeen office with effect from July 2015.
Despite the sanctions on Russia, the region continues to be a key market for us going forward. It is only certain regions that are affected by the sanctions, and we have had vessels operating in Sakhalin during the entire period. Currently we also have Balder Viking supporting Gazprom Neft in the Pechora Sea on a short-term contract. Going forward we will continue to spend time and resources on monitoring the situation in the region, not only to protect our interests, but also to take advantage of opportunities that may arise.