At present, there are about 300 floating storage units deployed in the offshore oil and gas industry. The majority (about two-thirds) of these are Floating Production, Storage and Offtake units (FPSO). Existing storage units for gas (Floating Storage Regasification Unit - FSRU, and Floating Liquefied Natural Gas - FLNG) are currently few (8 in total), but this technology is becoming more popular. Offshore storage units tend to be large, shipshape structures, most having been converted from older tankers and a smaller fraction purpose built. About 60% of the units are 120,000 deadweight or larger. About 30 units are under construction.
This year’s hurricane season is fast approaching while the destruction from Superstorm Sandy is still apparent along the Atlantic Coast. This is likely to result in low pressure formations grabbing an even larger chunk of news headlines than in previous years. For those still struggling to rebuild from Superstrom Sandy, the forecast by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), further frays their already worn nerves.
News headlines pertaining to the tanker market have been dominated by reports surrounding the positive sentiments of the clean tanker markets. On the back of this, orderbook activity has remained robust with the primary focus remaining on eco-design tankers. The dirty tanker segment meanwhile remains shrouded in a dark cloud that refuses to dissipate. This has been based on ample tonnage availability, shifting trade patterns and a tepid recovery in the global economy.