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Supertanker booked for Shell

Supertanker booked for Shell
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has provisionally booked a second supertanker for floating gasoil storage.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has provisionally booked a second supertanker for floating gasoil storage.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has provisionally booked a second supertanker for floating gasoil storage, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The vessel, Irene SL, which can hold as much as 2 million barrels, is dry docked in Singapore and may be the first very large crude carrier to be cleaned for gasoil - an expensive and tedious process that traders typically shy away from.

So far, only newly built VLCCs with uncontaminated tanks have been booked for gasoil storage this year. Although Shell could use its latest VLCC to store crude oil, "it's looking quite likely" it will store gasoil, the person said.

Shell could pay a six-figure sum to clean up the tanks to meet gasoil standards, the person added.

Gasoil demand in Asia has remained weak, prompting traders to buy the product cheaply to take advantage of the contango.

Shell could recover the cost of cleaning the tanks on just half a month's contango in ICE gasoil futures, a trader said.

The company is in negotiations to time charter the Irene SL for 100-120 days at a freight rate of $27,500 a day, according to three shipbrokers. Although the ship hasn't been fully fixed, its tanks are being cleaned to allow for internal inspections, the person said.

Earlier this month, Shell booked the VLCC Sahba to store as much as 2 million barrels of Indian gasoil off Middle Eastern shores at a freight rate of $27,500 a day, shipbrokers said.

Shell's latest VLCC would be the seventh known supertanker chartered this year for floating storage.

Barclays Capital (BARC.LN), Vitol Holding BV, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Gunvor International BV and Trafigura Group have chartered VLCCs to store gasoil off European and Middle Eastern shores.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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