Exxon Mobil Charting of Single-Hull Tankers in Asia Raises Concerns

By MarEx 2012-11-20 16:38:00

Industry analysts have noticed that the world's largest listed oil company, Exxon Mobil, has regularly chartered aging single-hull tankers to transport crude oil and petroleum products to Asia. While the company is not breaking any rules, these charters have raised concerns in the broker community.

Brokers say that Exxon recently chartered the single-hull supertanker "VL Malibu," built in 1989, and the "LV Titan Neptune," built in 1988, to deliver crude oil from the Persian Gulf to Asian refineries. The brokers also said that Exxon had chartered the single-hull supertankers "LV Lysaker," built in 1989, the "LV Geilo," built in 1990, and the "LV Asian Jewel," built in 1992, among others.

Exxon released a statement regarding its chartering process. "Both configurations offer safe and effective transportation. Any vessels chartered by Exxon Mobil affiliates must, in addition to meeting all applicable laws and regulations, pass a very thorough and stringent vetting review," the statement said.

Ship brokers said Exxon has hired older single-hull tankers 10-15 Worldscale points below modern double-hulled ships at a cost savings of some $340,000 to deliver $120 million in cargo on a typical voyage to Japan.

A ship broker, who did not wish to be named, said, "With lots of alternative quality double-hull tonnage available to choose from, we're surprised that they are taking the cheapest ships possible."