Oil-Tanker Forecasts Cut by DNB as U.S. Shale Boom Curbs Imports

Earnings for the biggest crude tankers will be 25 percent lower next year than previously estimated as increased U.S. shale-oil production curbs imports into the country, DNB ASA said.

Very large crude carriers will earn $21,000 a day on average in 2013 and $22,000 in the following year, 24 percent below its prior estimate, the Oslo-based bank said in a report dated Sept. 27. Smaller Suezmax vessels will bring in $18,000 daily next year, a 25 percent reduction.

“U.S. seaborne imports of crude oil are set to be dramatically reduced in the coming years, mainly due to the large expected increase in domestic crude production,” analysts including Nicolay Dyvik said. “All else equal, this will be negative for the crude oil tanker market.”

Annual imports into the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, are set to fall by 550,000 barrels a day, DNB estimated. Each VLCC can hold 2 million barrels of crude, double the capacity of a Suezmax.

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