If these rate levels continue, oil industry will be threatended

2011.5.17- oil tanker.jpgAt last week's INTERTANKO's Council Members meeting, deep concern was expressed over the current parlous state of tanker market rates.

"If these rate levels continue for a long period, then this could lead to a situation where sustainability of the oil transportation industry is threatened," said INTERTANKO's chairman, Capt Graham Westgarth, who was re-elected as chairman for another two years.

"Our members operate tankers to the highest standards and will continue to do so. Operating for a prolonged period in an environment where tanker owners are not even covering their operating costs is obviously not a situation that can be maintained," he said.

Turning to the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from tankers, the committee welcomed the adoption by IMO of amendments to the MARPOL Convention mandating energy efficiency measures (EEDI/SEEMP regulations) on vessels.

The meeting advocated that:

In the implementation of the EEDI requirements, there should be a 'level playing field' and that the EEDI requirements should apply equally to all ships on the same effective date.

Compliance with EEDI should focus on improved hull design, propulsion efficiency and energy optimisation, rather than predominantly on reduced speed designs.

Any measures taken to comply with EEDI shall not jeopardise nor have an adverse effect on the safety of the vessel.

INTERTANKO said that the committee believed that market-based measures (MBM) were not justified at this time, as the industry is already incentivised by high fuel prices.

If an MBM should be required, then this should:

Be implemented through an international regime;

Be simple to enforce and to monitor;

Provide sufficient transparency to maintain the current level playing field;

Not result in a disproportionate financial or operational impact on the industry.

Of the current proposals, the GHG fund seemed to be the simplest and most transparent from a shipowner point of view INTERTANKO said. The organisation said that it was not in favour of a trading scheme to reduce GHG emissions.

As for piracy, the Council said:

Reiterated its strong concern that the piracy situation in the Indian Ocean remains unacceptable and more must be done by governments to eradicate this scourge.

Reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that all INTERTANKO members comply with the Best Management Practices (BMP 4).

Agreed that INTERTANKO should fully support the Maritime Piracy: a Human Response Program (MPHRP);

Agreed to continue its wholehearted backing for the growing and evolving SOS SaveOurSeafarers campaign, which is striving to persuade governments to take more decisive action to eradicate piracy.

Source: Tanker Operator