12 Largest Oil Tanker Companies in the World

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In this article, we are going to list the 12 largest oil tanker companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest oil tanker companies in the world.

An oil tanker also called a petroleum tanker is a large ship designed to carry oil and its products in bulk to transport it from one point of origin to another. And if we are to talk about really big ships don’t confuse one with the other. Oil tankers carry bulk volumes of unrefined crude oil from oil extraction plants to oil refineries while product tankers transport refined products to facilities where they will be marketed to end consumers. 

According to Statista, the capacity of the world’s oil tanker fleet has increased considerably from 1980 to 2020 by more than 77%. Despite the increasing contribution of renewable sources to global energy consumption, the global market remains heavily dependent on oil. In 2020, the world’s oil tanker fleet had a capacity of approximately 601 million deadweight tonnage. The different oil tanker types are categorized by their fleet size: VLCC, Suezmax, and Aframax. As of April 2020, 810 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) were part of the global fleet. In 2019, the highest market share was generated by VLCCs. As oil is the most widely used energy source, increasing energy demand contributes to oil drilling and transport. Check out the 15 Largest Drilling Companies in the world in our separate article. 

Largest Oil Tanker Companies In The World

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COVID-19 has caused numerous disruptions to the global supply chains, which in turn have had an impact on the shipping market. Throughout the pandemic, the International Energy Agency recorded a plunge of 30 million barrel oil consumption per day. The production was an excess of approximately 35 million per day compared to a global demand of 65-70 million barrels a day. Even the largest oil refineries cutting operations didn’t solve the glut of oil amounting to 15 million barrels per day for 2020 and the first few quarters of this year. This is where the oil tanker industry saves the day. As 85% of land-based oil storage facilities are unavailable, the large-scale reserves on tankers at sea became the best option. In March and April 2020, the oil tanker industry saw a boom of 70%. As onshore inventory levels increased, market players turned to use oil tankers to store oil, which is usually more expensive than onshore storage. As oil demand faded, demand for oil storage flew.

As China was the epicenter of the virus, the country reported a 25% drop in oil consumption in the first quarter of 2020. In less than six months, the virus ravaged all around the world. This caused the demand to flop harshly and affected the world’s largest oil consumers such as the UK, the US, Japan, India, and Russia. On the other hand, the crude tanker industry is a highly dynamic market. Growth in the crude oil tanker market has been driven by fluctuating crude oil prices, rising oil demand, and an increasingly urban population. Tanker demand is highly related to the overall oil demand, which is estimated to grow by 5.5mn b/d over the year to 97.2mn b/d in 2021—still below 101.1mn b/d in 2019, according to the IEA.

To give you the most accurate ranking of the biggest oil tanker companies in the world, we gathered the latest financial statement of each tanker companies we have on the list. We sorted the total revenue and assets of the largest oil tanker companies and included the total number of employees under these companies. Let’s start the review of the largest oil tanker companies in the world starting at number 15:

12. Nordic American Tankers (NYSE: NAT)

Revenue: $317.22 million

Market Cap: $437.84 million

Assets: $129.37 million

Number of employees: 21

Headquarters: Hamilton, Bermuda

NAT ranks 12th in our list of the largest oil tanker companies in the world. Formerly known as Nordic American Tanker Shipping Limited, the company changed its name to Nordic American Tankers Limited in June 2011. Nordic American Tankers Limited, an international tanker company acquires and charters dual-hull tankers in Bermuda and internationally. Nordic American Tankers is one of the largest oil tanker companies in the world owning approximately 26 Suezmax vessels with 156,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) each. 

15 biggest oil tanker companies in the world

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