Oil supertankers fetch astronomical rates with vessels scarce

Oil outfits see a huge surge in tanker rates as fleet utilization approaches 100 percent, with analysts saying the market could "go higher" in the short run.

Photo: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Oil companies are being forced to pay exorbitant prices for oil tankers as shipowners book vessels for storage and Saudi Arabia snaps up ships as it prepares to flood the market with crude.

Reliance Industries Ltd. booked the supertanker Princess Mary for more than $400,000 a day to haul crude from the Middle East to the west coast of India in early April, according to vessel pool Tankers International.

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