Board members of Saudi Aramco visited the headquarters of South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd on Tuesday, as the shipping arm of Saudi Arabia’s state oil firm looks to buy up to 10 tankers, four industry sources said.
Saudi Arabia has been supplying more crude to Asian markets and Saudi Aramco’s shipping arm has tendered to build 5 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) plus up to 5 optional vessels for 2017 delivery, said one of the sources.
All of the vessels the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) is seeking are 320,000 deadweight tonnes.
The deal could be worth about $1 billion, based on data from Clarkson, the British shipbroking house, which puts the price of the tankers of this size at $96.5 million.
Saudi Aramco seizes more control over oil supplies flowing from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2014
SAUDI Aramco’s Khalid Al-Falih retains a high position in shipping’s power elite, due to the progress the company has been making this year to take as much control as possible over the crude oil supply coming out of Saudi Arabia.
His company’s shipping arm, Vela International Marine, received shareholder approval to merge its fleet with that of National Shipping Co of Saudi Arabia, also known as Bahri, in what is the largest merger in Saudi Arabia.
The merger puts the larger entity among the very top of the biggest very large crude carrier fleets in the world, with more than 30 vessels.
The larger fleet allows Mr Al-Falih’s company to retain more control over the oil supply chain from the Kingdom, producing the crude and transporting it to customers.