US Marshals have detained a Shell-charted tanker.
Oil traders increased the fleet of ships deployed in the North Sea to store crude, the latest sign of faltering demand that has triggered the biggest buildup of stockpiles at sea since 2009.
A vessel carrying 560 metric tons of bunker fuel sank after a collision with a chemical tanker in the Singapore Strait late Wednesday, the city-state’s Maritime and Port Authority or MPA said. Shipping traffic in the waterway remains undisrupted and there were no signs of any fuel leak, the MPA said in a statement on Thursday.
Four months into oil’s rebound from a six-year low, the tanker market is sending a clear signal that the rally is under threat. A sudden surge in demand for supertankers drove benchmark charter rates 57 percent higher in the two weeks through May 20. OPEC will have almost half a billion barrels of oil in transit to buyers at the start of June, the most this year, while analysts say about 20 million barrels is being stored on ships in another indication the glut has yet to dissipate. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping the most oil in more than two years, determined to defend market share rather than prices.
An oil tanker that hauled 1 million barrels of Kurdish crude to the US six months ago didn’t unload its cargo and is now making a return trip across the Atlantic Ocean with the shipment still on board. The United Kalavryta is heading to Gibraltar, the British territory on the southern tip of Spain, Kyriakos Maragoudakis, operations manager at Piraeus, Greece-based Marine Management Services M.C., the ship’s operator, said.
Oil companies including Shell have booked supertankers to store crude at sea. Other firms, including Vitol and Trafigura, have acquired crude tankers for up to 12 months. According to reports, freight brokers said the increase in long-term bookings was “unusual” and could be used to store excess crude at sea until prices rebound.
Fighter jets dispatched by Libya’s internationally recognised government bombed a Greek-owned tanker ship at an eastern city controlled by Islamist extremists, killing two crew members and wounding two, Libyan and Greek officials said. The bombing highlights the chaos that has gripped Libya since its 2011 civil war that deposed and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libyan officials apologised for the bombing as the Greek foreign ministry demanded compensation for the victims’ families and punishment for those behind the attack.