Record Profits for Tanker Operators

As the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to exceed its production quotas, freight rates for tanker operators hit their highest levels in more than 30 years.

Daily earnings for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) are 27 percent higher in the first six months of 2004 than for all of last year. And, earnings for tankers carrying 1 million barrels of crude jumped 39 percent.

Frontline, the largest crude-oil carrier by tonnage, whihc earned a record $443 million in 2003, may see its earnings increase by 41 percent in 2004.

Teekay may more than double its profits this year to $400 million, based upon its second quarter profits.

Tariffs should remain high through the end of 2004.