BP’s VLCC time-charter haul rises to four

BP has snapped up at least four VLCC newbuildings following its trawl for 2020-compliant vessels to take on time charter.

In addition to a 300,000-dwt newbuilding contracted by Sentek Marine, which TradeWinds reported last week, the energy major is said to have fixed two vessels contracted by Hong Kong shipowner Tai Cheong Cheang (TCC) at Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Sentek Marine VLCC newbuilding tipped for BP time charter

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Brokers also reported that BP had taken a third newbuilding contracted by Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) on charter.

All three vessels are reported fixed at rates in the region of $33,000 per day for three years.

TCC officials said the company was "not in a position to comment" and HMM's tanker arm declined to comment. A BP spokeswoman said that for commercial reasons its chartering team does not comment on its chartered vessels.

Shipowners say energy majors are becoming more demanding about the preparedness of vessels to meet the tighter sulphur emissions regulations from 2020. The two key options for large tanker owners to meet the new standards are using low-sulphur fuels or installing exhaust gas emission scrubbers.

BP's move coincides with depressed rates for the VLCC sector. Brokers report that owners have been offering modern vessels for 12 months at rates in the low $20,000-per-day range, with older ships put forward at about $15,000 per day for periods of one to three months.

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