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Saudi crude flotilla heads for delays unloading in U.S. ports

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Wednesday, 13 May, 2020, 15:45
Saudi crude flotilla heads for delays unloading in U.S. ports

Supertankers laden with Saudi Arabian crude heading to U.S. shores are taking longer than normal to discharge as smaller ships used in the process have become hard to find.

Increased crude deliveries from OPEC’s largest producer to the U.S. Gulf Coast and the reliance on a limited number of small ships contracted by buyers to help unload the cargoes are causing lengthier wait times, said market participants. The delays may even worsen before they ease, they said.An armada of Saudi oil is still en route to the U.S., a product of a price war with Russia back in March, where the kingdom flooded the market with oil and offered cargoes to the U.S. at the lowest prices in years. Saudi pumped a record of more than 11 million barrels a day in April.
About a month ago, there were 18 supertankers headed for the Gulf of Mexico compared to only seven normally seen, said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at industry group BIMCO.