May 15, 2015 [Arabian Supply Chain] - The vast majority of new charter contracts for VLCC oil tankers are for the floating storage of oil, with ships being anchored predominantly in the Arabian Gulf, according to consultant agency Poten & Partners.
Oil traders are storing oil in ever greater numbers off the coasts off the Gulf countries in anticipation of a rebound in the price of oil in the coming year.
AIS vessel tracking data reveals that there are on any given day more than 150 oil tankers anchored off the UAE’s Dubai and Fujairah coasts, alone, while more than 500 are present in the wider Arabian Gulf.
“Surprisingly enough though, it appears that the utilisation of VLCCs for floating storage has increased in recent weeks,” writes Poten & Partners according to Seatrade Global.
“Vessel tracking information reveals that about a third of the vessels taken on time charter earlier in the year are now used for floating storage. Most of these are in the Arabian Gulf, but there also some in Singapore, West Africa and the Mediterranean,” Poten & Partners adds.