Bloomberg News

Nordic American Says Slowing Tankers to Become More Widespread

November 09, 2011

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Reducing the speed of oil tankers to save on fuel costs will become more widespread, said Herbjorn Hansson, chairman and chief executive officer of Nordic American Tankers Ltd.

The speed of Nordic American’s fleet is slower in a “weak market” for return voyages after vessels have unloaded their cargoes, which saves on fuel costs, the company said in its third-quarter report for 2011 yesterday.

“I believe the practice of slow steaming will be more widespread,” Hansson said today by mobile phone from Norway. “All shipowners will look at this and try to find out what is commercially attractive.”

When an oil tanker is traveling at 14 to 15 knots, it may use between 50 and 55 metric tons of bunker fuel a day, said Hansson. Some of the ships in Nordic American’s 20-vessel fleet cut their speeds to 8 to 10 knots, and at this speed, fuel consumption may decrease to 25 tons a day, he said.

The price of ship fuel, or bunkers, gained 33 percent from the start of the year to $678.76 a ton, data compiled by Bloomberg from 25 ports worldwide showed yesterday.

Bermuda-based Nordic American is exiting the Gemini pool of tankers during the fourth quarter of 2011, and will begin operating within the Orion tanker pool during the same period, the company said in the statement yesterday. The Orion pool was set up by Nordic American with Frontline Ltd., the world’s largest operator of very large crude carriers, and will manage 29 suezmax tankers, Nordic American said. A suezmax tanker is capable of hauling 1 million barrels of crude.

“The Orion suezmax pool will give a meaningful reduction in costs which will be gradually felt going into 2012,” Hansson said.

--Editor: John Deane

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Sheridan in London at rsheridan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net


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