Global crude oil carrier fleet grew by 8.4 million dead weight tonnes (mdwt) and around 1.7% in the first half of 2015. Increasing global population and subsequent demand for crude oil and its by-products is expected to drive the industry over the forecast period. Carriers provide a convenient and economical way to transport liquid bulk, facilitating international seaborne trade.
Growing demand for bulk oil transportation services and facilities, mainly from extraction locations to refineries is likely to contribute to increasing product demand. Longer hauls and fewer triangulation options or backhaul routes to reduce ballasting are also likely to present growth opportunities for industry participants. Healthy carriers demand owing to recent low prices and greater refinery output is also likely to complement market growth.
Exponential economic growth of various developed and developing countries such as the U.S., Germany, the UK, China, India, UAE, etc. has driven product demand for fuel generation and as feedstock for chemical production. Globalization and rapid industrialization in numerous world economies is further expected to boost demand for crude oil and its by-products. Ongoing low global oil prices and high supply from OPEC countries are expected to boost tanker or carriers demand over the forecast period.
Positive carrier fleet fundamentals as compared to historical averages, coupled with increased crude oil stockpiling owing to low prices in OECD and non-OECD regions is anticipated to drive carrier demand. Low bunker fuel prices are likely to spur increased earnings, leading to greater carrier application and demand across the globe. Demand for Crude Oil Carrier has remained strong despite seasonal fluctuations owing to delay of other vessels in certain regions on account of weather and overloaded onshore storage tanks.
However, high logistics costs and decreasing oil imports from regions that are tapping into renewable resources such as solar power are likely to hamper market growth over the forecast period. High cost of capital required to acquire new or second hand carrier ships is also likely to restrict market entry.
The market can be segmented on the basis of dead weight tonnage (DWT) or capacity as, Suezmax, Panamax, Aframax, Small, Medium, Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) and Very large crude carriers (VLCC). ULCCs and VLCCs have extremely high carrying capacity of over 250,000 DWT, allowing crude transportation of upto 550,000 DWT. However, medium tankers have been estimated to dominate the market in recent years, especially among high oil exporting countries across the Middle East.
The global market has been categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Central and South America (CSA). High oil refining, production, and trade activities in UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries with large financial resources led to highest industry share for this region. North America is also expected to present lucrative opportunities for carriers over the forecast period owing to high crude oil production in the U.S, mainly in the states of Texas, North Dakota, and California as well as in the Gulf of Mexico.
Key players operating in the global Crude Oil Carrier market include Maersk Tankers, China Shipping Tanker Co., Ltd., Essar Shipping, Kuwait Oil Tankers Co., Tankers International LLC., OSG Ship Management Inc., Keystone Alaska LLC, Alaska Tanker Co and Shipping Corporation of India among several others. The market currently exists under perfect competition conditions owing to the number of similar shipping service providers, easy access to information, and lack of entry barriers such as governmental regulations and other economic factors. Industry participants are also involved in development of innovative and efficient transportation technologies and carrier models in order to contribute to overall market development.
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