Supertankers drafted in to store glut of crude oil

THE GUARDIAN | Giant oil tankers are being used to hold record amounts of crude at sea due to a global oversupply that threatens to overwhelm the world’s storage facilities.

A record 160m barrels of oil has been stored in “supergiant” oil tankers outside the world’s largest shipping ports following the deepest fall in oil demand in 25 years because of the coronavirus pandemic. The so-called “supertankers”, which can each hold up to 2m barrels of oil, are in high demand by oil traders as conventional oil storage facilities have quickly filled up with oil left unused during the coronavirus lockdown. The last time floating storage reached levels close to this was in 2009, when traders stored more than 100m barrels at sea before offloading stocks when the economy began to recover.

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