Euronav tests new trade route in Gulf of Mexico - Het Laatste Nieuws

A world premier for Belgian tanker company Euronav. Its super tanker Anne arrived as first ever in the US port of Corpus Christi in the Gulf of Mexico. “The route between the US and Asia will gain importance over the next years.” Up until recently no US port could accommodate a VLCC but when the US congress ended a 40 year old ban on oil exports a year ago, the port of Corpus Christi dredged a channel that connects the port to the Gulf of Mexico. And it’s a vessel owned by Belgian tanker company Euronav chartered by Occidental Petroleum that is testing the route.



Full article: Euronav tests new trade route in Gulf of Mexico

A world premier for Belgian tanker company Euronav. Supertanker Anne was the first ever to enter the American Corpus Christi Corpus in the Gulf of Mexico last night. "The route between the US and Asia will gain significant importance over the coming years.", expects CFO Hugo De Stoop.

Until recently, no US port was big enough to receive supertankers or VLCCs, with a size of no less than 333 meters. But when the US Congress made an end to the forty-year-old ban on oil exports, the Corpus Christi port dredged a channel that connects the port to the Gulf of Mexico. This has opened up access to the Permian Bassin in the south of Texas, the heart of shale oil production, for VLCCs. A ship owned by the Belgian tanker company Euronav, chartered by oil producer Occidental Petroleum, could test the route. "Until now, our vessels had to drop anchor a few miles from the coast, the oil had to be transferred to smaller ships, which could enter the port. This takes time - in bad circumstances, even a few days - and therefore money ", explains De Stoop. Moreover, being able to export oil straight from a US port means that the vessels will have less ballast days. 

"For example, if a VLCC loads a cargo in Venezuela for import in the US, it can now load a new cargo in the US for export and to Asia. That is, of course, commercialy a lot more interesting. We like to compare ourselves with a taxi company: if a taxi drives to the airport, it will also want to be full when driving back to the city. That's no different with tankers."


In the coming years, Euronav has a lot of potential to expand its activities, thanks to improved accessibility of US ports. "Now that this first step is taken, we expect that changes in other ports will soon follow," hopes De Stoop. "That would be good news. Today, the demand for oil comes mainly from Asia. So far, the route between the Arabian Gulf and Asian markets is extremely important. If the route from the US gains importance, our VLCCs will be chartered for forty instead of twenty days. In other words, we can charter our ships twice as long. "


The tanker industry has already seen a huge growth in exports of oil from the US to Asia in recent months. Now that oil prices  have stabilized around 50 USD the exploration of shale oil has become profitable again. The energy agency EIA even projects a record production of 9.96 million barrels per day next year. "In the fourth quarter of 2016, five oil tankers were chartered from the US to Asia. Early this year, that increased significantly to fifteen. A steep rise, but compared with our other routes, this remains relative. Therefore, we see many opportunities for growth. "

Super tanker Anne

  • 333 meters long = 3.3 football pitches
  • Capacity: 2 million barrels of oil
  • Unloaded weight: 300,000 tonnes
  • Rate per day: 40,582 euros





Matters discussed may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe", "anticipate", "intends", "estimate", "forecast", "project", "plan", "potential", "may", "should", "expect", "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, our management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the failure of counterparties to fully perform their contracts with us, the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand for tanker vessel capacity, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, the market for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, charter counterparty performance, ability to obtain financing and comply with covenants in such financing arrangements, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.

Image of article

Extra information about this article

Title Euronav tests new trade route in Gulf of Mexico - Het Laatste Nieuws
Author Heidi Gabel
Date 29-05-2017