Pertamina still on the lookout to buy VLCCs

Indonesian oil major Pertamina is still on the hunt for two secondhand VLCCs after a potential purchase failed to come to fruition.

Several broking reports over the past couple of weeks have reported that the company acquired the 303,000-dwt Taga (built 2004) from NYK Line for $26.3m.

However, well-placed sources close to Pertamina tell TradeWinds that although it had expressed a strong interest, no deal was done and the ship was eventually sold to undisclosed Indonesian interests.

Pertamina could not be reached for comment.

Sources said the company remained on the hunt for VLCC tonnage that it wants to use for trading purposes.

Although it controls more than 100 product tankers, it has no VLCCs of its own.

Plans have been mooted in the past to order new VLCCs but the company appears to have been content until now to charter in tonnage to ship crude oil from the Middle East.

If another Indonesian buyer has purchased the Taga, it will probably have been bought against a long-term charter to Pertamina, which is almost the sole user of the Indonesia-flagged tanker fleet.