April 27, 2020

Fuel Ships Piling Up

Timothy Birdnow

Fuel tankers are stacking up in Singapore as the unfortunate owners have no place to go with the unwanted fuel.


The onshore storage squeeze is being seen across the region. In India, tanks were 95 per cent full as of last week as refiners scrambled to find space to hold their excess fuel, even turning to pump stations and depots. In Singapore, fuel stockpiles rose to a four-year high in mid-April.

Utilizing tankers has become the next best option, with analytics firm Vortexa estimating floating crude oil storage in Asia at a four-year high. Taking into account the waters off Singapore as well as Malaysia, data intelligence firm Kpler saw a 45 per cent month-on-month increase in the volume of clean fuels - comprising naphtha, gasoline, jet fuel and diesel - stored on ships to 6.64 million barrels as of April 23.

Across the world, freight rates for both clean as well as dirty tankers have surged dramatically along with rising demand for floating storage. Also, shippers are using a strategy known as slow steaming, where they deliberately reduce the speed of tankers to increase the shipments' transit time while awaiting the emergence of buying interest from customers, or save on fuel.

And when national economies come back online, this bubble will absolutely burst, with such major reductions in production and refining triggering shortages and incredible price jumps.

And who do you suppose the media will blame for that?

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:39 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 246 words, total size 2 kb.

1  The Arabs must be loving this. Most people will have forgotten how they entered an economic war with the Russians by cutting per barrel oil prices before the virus became "the news". The oil shieks only have to wait it out as the entire world wide energy sector collapses then once again they will hold all the cards.

Posted by: Mike at April 27, 2020 02:18 PM (hKB6K)

2 I think there's a little problem there, Mike. I could be wrong -- I have been a couple times in my life -- but outside of oil, and the Mecca tourist industry, what sustains Saudi Arabia's economy? It seems to me that if the oil isn't flowing, nothing much else is either, for them.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at April 27, 2020 02:41 PM (aT2qb)

3  The assets the Arabs hold here and in other countries they have bought  with their oil riches.I cannot prove that the Arabs hold more assets then the Chinese do in the US but I would bet they are neck and neck and thats just the US..

Posted by: Mike at April 27, 2020 08:08 PM (hKB6K)

4 May well be right, Mike, but somehow I just can't see them grinning into their scuzzy beards at this point in time; rather, worrying like the rest of us, and for good reason. Their oil may start to look like like something they'd prefer to not have in their backyard at this point in time.

We're all living through a "Who knows?" time, and a boatload of oil may turn into a boatload of...

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at April 27, 2020 11:20 PM (W2Lkb)

5 I do know the Arabs have a LOT of investments around the globe, and particularly in the U.S.  I don't know who is hurting more now, but the Russians can't restart their wells once the close them and the Arabs can.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at April 28, 2020 07:40 AM (Wolb4)

6  At my age I should have learned to look before I leaped. According to Select USA the Direct Foreign Investments by the Saudis is 15 billion and is fairly diversified including our oil production. It could turn out that the Saudis will be forced to live as nomads again. We are living in a "Who Knows" time. Heck if oil becomes a victim of the new green deal Im investing in wagon wheels. Also, as a damned didnt know that, the Chinese investment in the US is 60 billion even though I keep hearing all these stories about their ownership in our food industry.

Posted by: Mike at April 28, 2020 08:57 AM (r6hY3)

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