Petron's non-renewal of contracts threatens 40% of oil tankers.
Some 40 percent of tanker operators fear the loss of their business once major oil player Petron Corp. ends their charter contracts. The operator, led by the Philippine Petroleum Sea Transport Association (Philpesta), said Petron Corp. is the tanker industry"s biggest client. Petron has started to reduce its contracts with independent tankers due to the recent acquisition of a majority stake by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), which has its own tanker arm.
"Petron already advised their carriers that they will not renew their contracts with the tankers once the agreement expires. Tanker operators are really worried about this scenario, considering that it is happening under a very volatile environment due to the global financial crisis," Philpesta executive director Ernesto Pagayo said.
"The industry is just now hoping that the pull-out will not be so sudden to allow us to look for alternative markets," Pagayo added.
SMC Shipping and Lighterage Corp. acquired another second-hand oil tanker worth P552.3 million in August last year to be used in servicing Petron Corp.
Herma Shipping is currently building tankers specifically to service Petron. Herma Shipping has to temporarily shelve the project in the face of the uncertainties introduced by Petron"s tie-up with SMC"s tanker arm.