Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"Saudi Arabia Tanker Power Play Could Backfire as Oil Demand Shrinks"

Even though the front end of the cash and carry contango trade has been moving up faster than the out months there is still $5.50 between the front May's and the third-month August contract, more than enough to cover insurance and tanker lease, that is if you can find a tanker to lease.

Glencore supposedly got the world's second-largest tanker, TI Europe for $1.1 million per month which seems very low considering the ship holds 3.1 mm/bbl

From Reuters via gCaptain, March 23:
Top exporter Saudi Arabia has chartered an armada of ships to flood the market with additional oil, but in the process has driven freight costs so high refiners are reluctant to take the shipments.
That could leave the kingdom stuck with tens of millions of barrels in expensive ships at anchor when the coronavirus outbreak has destroyed oil demand and international prices have lost more than half their value compared with the start of the year.

Following the failure to persuade Moscow to support deeper output cuts at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+ early this month, Saudi Arabia said it would increase output to record levels in a fight for market share.
Shipping industry sources say Saudi Arabia has booked as many as 25 supertankers and provisionally chartered another 15 vessels, to send oil to new and old customers to undercut Russia. Together the ships can carry 80 million barrels of oil – almost equivalent to a day of global demand.

The rush for ships sent tanker rates soaring, prompting the kingdom to tell its buyers it would abandon its usual policy of providing compensation for freight jumps, making Saudi’s deep discounts less attractive.

Several European majors and refiners are engaged in talks with Aramco to try to cut April crude purchases, four trading sources told Reuters, asking not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Saudi Aramco declined to comment.

It has yet to be seen whether the world biggest oil company has miscalculated or has a winning strategy that will effectively deprive its rivals of many vessels.
Aramco traditionally stores crude inland at its own hubs, such as Ras Tanura, and in major Asian, U.S. and European consuming centres, where it has storage and pays relatively little compared to the current tanker rates.

Now it needs to store at sea....

"Oil’s big storage problem" (TNK; FRO; EURN)
The Saudis Aren't Kidding: In Exceptional Move They Book Oil Tankers In The Spot Market To Move Flood of Oil