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VLCCs used as product tankers

by Port News Editorial Staff

BP has chartered a VLCC type tanker from Cosco Energy Transportation for six months to be used for transporting middle distillates.

During the charter contract period, the Yuan Gui Yang, launched last month at the Dalian shipyards, will transport a total of nearly 2 million barrels of clean oil products.

The ship will begin operating this month. BP will pay $37,500 per day for using it  for the first three months and $40,000 per day for the following quarter: a high price, if we consider that the 12-month time charter value for this type of vessel is around $25/28,000 per day.

The fact that more and more VLCC and Suezmax vessels  are being used for  transporting  clean products is indicative of the poor profits that  shipowners are currently  able to make  in the crude  shipment spot market .

Using a VLCC to transport crude oil from the Middle East to Asia generates revenue of between $11 and $15,000 per day. For a Suezmax the earnings are in the range of $3,400 to $15,000 per day, depending on the route. That is to say, these values are well below the operating costs incurred for many of the main voyages.


Translation by Giles Foster

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