Tankers Straddle Waterway Off Singapore as Fuel Increasingly Hoarded at Sea Over Slump in Demand


from Sputnik News:

Previous reports suggested a record amount of crude oil was being stored offshore in tankers after coronavirus lockdowns had forced refineries to suspend operations and demand for crude plummeted over protocols introduced by nations in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic.

An increased number of oil tankers are congesting the Singapore Strait amid oversupply and a global slump in demand for crude triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Bloomberg.

The number of clean fuel tankers anchored in the narrow waterway off the Singapore shoreline is suggested as being around 60, up from the usual 30-40, according to Rahul Kapoor, head of commodity analytics and research at IHS Markit.

Some vessels are believed to be used for storing fuel, while others wait for directions to head for buyers as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has crippled economies and brought nations to a standstill over lockdown procedures.

​Tankers loaded with everything from petrol to jet fuel are continuing to head towards the Singapore Strait from major refinery hubs like South Korea and China amid plummeting domestic demand and overflowing onshore storage tanks.

However, the city state is struggling with offloading delays that are forcing vessels to reportedly idle for about two weeks instead of the usual 4-5 days to discharge cargoes, according to shipbrokers and traders cited by the outlet.

Storage Space Dwindling Fast

Traders, refiners and diverse infrastructure companies have been scrambling to store fuel in alternatives to onshore tanks amid the oversupply, resorting to pipelines and ships.

The outlet earlier reported that those who secured some onshore storage in Singapore were being charged exorbitant rates, with space no longer leased out to new customers.

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