Right now as much as 70 million barrels of oil may be hoarded at sea on idle tankers, as oil traders try to lock in profits via arbitrage. Sure that’s a lot of ships, but it’s also a lot of crew just sitting around out at sea. What are these guys doing? Actually, just sitting there. And some have been sitting around since last November.
Luckily, it appears that one company has come to their rescue.
Reuters: A media company specialising in maritime entertainment has found a new niche market seeking to relieve the boredom of sailors left aboard oil tankers floating idle in European waters.
Walport International — a branch of UK-based Headland Media — is selling morale-boosting entertainment packages to sailors stuck aboard vessels outside Dutch oil hub Rotterdam and in the English Channel.
“The isolation and boredom can really start to set in. Our products are sent to them in boxes, like Christmas presents,” said Walport sales manager Rob Parkin.
Ouch, cost of carry must be going way up.
To make things worse, apparently some sailors are made to endure their boredom while being anchored “tantalizingly close” to major cities. This is because companies either can’t get, or aren’t willing to pay for, berths.
Unfortunately for these sailors, if oil expectations keep rising then it might be a while before they’re back onshore.
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