Crude oil carriers are used widely by the shipping industry to transport crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries or other processing sites. They are also referred to as oil tankers and are specially designed for bulk transportation of oil. Crude oil carriers offer a convenient option for crude oil transportation, as road transportation carries certain risks that marine trade avoids.
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Transportation and shipping of crude oil includes several operations and processes, each of which indicates a possible source of loss of crude oil at every stage due to evaporation. Crude oil is transported from its production facilities by rail tank cars, pipelines, tank trucks, and crude oil carriers. In 2015, the global market for crude oil carriers was worth US$160 bn. The market is estimated to register a 3.50% CAGR between 2016 and 2024, reaching a value of US$217 bn by the end of 2024.
VLCC and ULCC Segments Collectively Led Global Crude Oil Carriers Market in 2015
The global crude oil carriers market can be classified on the basis of vessel type into Suezmax, Panamax, VLCC, ULCC, and Aframax. Among these, the ultra large crude carriers (ULCC) and very large crude carriers (VLCC), which have a cargo capacity of 500,000 and 250,000 tons, respectively, together held a 63% share in the global crude oil carriers market in 2015. In the same year, Suezmax accounted for a 14% share, whereas Aframax held a 21% share in the overall market.
The demand for crude oil carriers varies depending on the production of crude oil, oil product consumers, and refining facilities. The cargo holding capacity of the crude oil carrier is around 90% to 95% of its deadweight capacity. The capacity of the carriers also depends on the distance between the production unit and the closest bunkering port. Long haul crude oil transport presents a significant cost incentive, which helps drive the demand for large-sized crude oil carriers, including very large crude carriers (VLCC) and ultra large crude carriers (ULCC).
Increasing Crude Oil Consumption Worldwide to Propel Global Crude Oil Carriers Market
The global crude oil carriers market is extremely cyclical and is propelled by the changing trends in the length of voyages. The growing consumption of crude oil across the globe and rising demand for cargo voyages are projected to bolster the growth of the global crude oil carriers market through the forecast period. In addition, the growing dependency on imports of crude oil by the key oil consuming countries are expected to influence the demand of the crude oil carriers in the next few years.
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Some of the leading players operating in the global market for crude oil carriers are Bahri, NYK line, Ocean Tankers (pte) Ltd., Euronav, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Maran Tankers Management Inc., OMAN SHIPPING COMPANY S.A.O.C., Sovcomflot Group, China Shipping Development Corp, Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., Frontline Ltd., National Iranian Tanker Company, Teekay Corporation, and Overseas Shipholding Group. These players are spending enormously on research and development activities to reduce the cost of shipping and gain a competitive advantage in the overall market.