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In World With Too Much Crude Oil, 1,100-Foot Steel Monsters Rule

  • Glut that's crushing oil markets is helping tanker owners
  • Oil price slump from plentiful cargoes also means cheap fuel
Ships stand under construction in this aerial photograph taken above the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Hyundai Heavy is one of South Korea's Big Three shipbuilders.
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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The most destructive oil crash in a generation is giving ship owners a billion-dollar windfall.

With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries abandoning output limits in a drive for market share, ships that carry as much as 2 million barrels a trip are in demand to haul crude from the Middle East to Asia and North America. While oil prices fell about 35 percent in 2015, average earnings for these carriers jumped to $67,366 a day, the most since at least 2009, according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.