The World’s smartest oil traders have taken to the seas

BLOOMBERG | The waters off the South African oil storage terminal at Saldanha Bay are getting busy. A small flotilla of tankers full of crude is idling near the busy shipping lanes that link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Their presence, along with similar gatherings of ships all around the world, will be a potential source of oil price volatility for months to come, as global demand begins to recover amid the biggest production shutdown in the oil industry’s 160-year history.

Ships full of crude have been forced to anchor off the coasts of the U.S., China, Europe and elsewhere, as refiners have cut back processing and onshore storage tanks have been filled to near capacity. All over the world, tankers are being used to store oil instead.

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