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CNOOC looking to replace COSCO-linked LNG tankers

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LNG Industry,

Reuters is reporting that China National Offshore Oil and Gas Company (CNOOC) is looking to secure new charters for LNG tankers to replace its previously chartered vessels linked to COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian).

COSCO Shipping is currently one of four Chinese companies sanctioned by the US for allegedly transporting Iranian oil. The Trump administration imposed the sanctions on 25 September, some of the largest since the US government crackdown on Iranian oil exports designed to force the abandonment of the country’s nuclear programmes.

The sanctions have already had a significant impact on crude oil tanker freight rates, pushing them to multi-year highs. Now, this latest activity by CNOOC has caused freight rates for such tankers to almost double to US$130 000 – US$150 000 a day, from approximately US$80 000.

According to one LNG shipbroker, based in Sinapore, “vessel availability was already quite tight before this and now rates are all over the place.”

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