ExxonMobil lines up shuttle tanker newbuilds


US supermajor ExxonMobil has reserved up to four slots for shuttle tanker newbuilds in South Korea.

Shipbuilding sources report Samsung Heavy Industries winning a tender for a pair of 150,000 dwt units with delivery in June and December 2027 and options attached for two more newbuilds.

Samsung is the biggest builder of these vessels that ship crude oil from offshore oil wells to terminals, refineries or bigger tankers where subsea pipelines are not feasible.

Shuttle tankers are usually built in response to tenders, with a typical initial charter lasting between five and 10 years. While some of the leading players in the sector include Knutsen and Altera, the shipowner behind ExxonMobil’s two firm vessels has yet to be named.

The majority of shuttle tankers operate in the North Sea and Brazil, where Greece’s Maran Tankers recently landed a contract for three newbuilds with Petrobras, but ExxonMobil is also set to have six FPSOs in operation offshore Guyana by year-end 2027, when its ships are expected for delivery.

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