Several oil products tankers predicted to be storing middle distillates—likely jet fuel—are currently offshore UK ports.
Data observed by Vortexa show that at least three tankers which could be holding around 270,000t of product are currently floating.
Storing jet fuel on tankers can be lucrative for traders when the market structure is in a deep contango—where future prices are significantly higher than prompt prices—as was last seen in Q3 2016.
That said, prevailing prices in the northwest European jet fuel market are not seen supporting such activity.
The long range 1 (LR)-sized tanker BW Orinoco has been in UK waters since 13 June, having departed from Sikka, India on 23 May. It signalled discharge into Fawley before later sailing to Falmouth. Provisional shipping fixtures in early May showed it booked by Unipec to load 65,000t of jet fuel from Sikka around 20 May for UK-Continent discharge.
The LR2 tanker Raysut is also thought to be holding jet fuel offshore Falmouth. It departed from Ruwais in the UAE on 21 May and reached the northwest coast of France on 16 June before turning towards the UK.
Yet another LR2 tanker, Pink Stars, has been in UK waters since 23 June and is declaring Fawley as its destination. It was booked by Shell to load 90,000t of jet fuel from South Korea around 4 May for delivery to the same region and loaded in early May from Onsan.
ExxonMobil owns a 270,000 b/d refinery in Fawley and operates a pipeline from the refinery to a storage facility in west London, close to Heathrow Airport.