Product tankers to benefit from permanent closure of largest refinery on US east coast

The Atlantic product tanker trades are set for a massive shake-up with news from Philadelphia where the largest oil refinery complex on the east coast will be permanently closed following a huge fire at the site on Friday.

The damage to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions has been deemed too severe and the facility will now close.

Clarksons Platou Securities noted in a recent report that the closure of the 335,000 barrels per day complex “would likely push domestic gasoline prices higher … effectively making it more attractive to import gasoline from Europe, positively impacting ton-miles for MR vessels.”

Analysts at tanker brokers Poten & Partners noted in their most recent weekly report that it is likely that the Atlantic product tanker market and, to a lesser degree, the crude tanker market will notice the fall-out.

“If the PES refinery remains offline for an extended period of time, product tanker demand will increase as the region may need to import up to 30% more products, mainly by tankers. Currently, Canada is the main source for imports but it is unlikely that they can satisfy all the increased demand, so much of the additional imports will come from further away, mainly Europe and from the Middle East and India,” Poten stated.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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