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Lloyds List: Shell remains the world's leading tanker charterer

Oil firm wins 'the double' yet again, writes Tony Gray
Shell comfortably retained the title of the world's leading charterer of spot clean tankers in 2005, according to figures released by New York shipbroker Poten ' Partners.
As a result, the oil major has again won 'the double,' being also last year's largest charterer in the dirty tanker trades.
Shell was responsible for 409 reported spot fixtures, an 8.4% slice of the market.
UK oil major BP was a distant runner up, retaining second place with 276 fixtures and a 5.7% share.
Oil trader Vitol, a growing force in the dirty tanker market, was once again in third position with 256 fixtures and a 5.3% share.
Although the charterers holding the gold, silver and bronze medals remained unchanged, Poten ' Partners' statistics show some interesting movement in the next seven positions in the top 10.
Citgo moved up to fourth from seventh position, and Glencore from the ninth to sixth spot.
The biggest 'loser' was Chevron, which dropped from fourth to eighth position.
The shipbroker's league table shows one newcomer, commodity trader Trafigura, in at number nine.
Poten ' Partners notes that the cumulative activity of the top 10 charterers accounted for 39% of all fixtures.
Of last year's 5,135 aframax spot fixtures, less than 10% (418) involved clean tonnage. Shell and Vitol in that order were by far the largest charterers, while the top 10 collectively produced 46% of aframax clean spot fixtures.
Of the 418 fixtures, 64%, or 268, involved cargoes from the Middle East Gulf. In 2005, Poten ' Partners lists 1,487 panamax spot fixtures, of which 549 were in the clean market.
In this segment, Shell and Vitol swapped positions, with the oil trader leading the way at 43 fixtures. The 10 leading charterers booked 43% of all panamax clean spot fixtures during 2005.
Of the total 549 fixtures, 298, or 54%, were for Middle East Gulf liftings. Last year produced 3,028 spot handymax fixtures, of which 2,661 were clean. Shell led the way with 238 fixtures, followed by BP with 153, and Citgo with 149 fixtures.
In this category, the top 10 charterers also accounted for 43% of all fixtures.
Poten ' partners comments: 'The US dominates handymax employment with 432 fixtures between the UK'Continent and the US, and 414 fixtures between the Caribbean and the US, accounting for nearly a third of all fixtures.'
Meanwhile, there were 1,087 clean spot fixtures involving small product carriers, with Shell and BP out in front.
Overall, Poten ' Partners points out that the total number of clean spot fixtures in 2005 increased by a relatively small number about 70 fixtures.
'Looking ahead in 2006, the number of fixtures is expected to be well above 2005 levels as refining capacity in the US remains at full capacity, requiring increased imports to meet incremental demand,' the broker concludes.
'Moreover, continued growth in clean products demand in India and China will account for more cargoes, although future expansion of refinery capacity may eventually have an impact on the product supply' demand balance.'

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