Crude oil tankers are used to transport crude oil from fields in the Middle East, North Sea, Africa, and Latin America to refineries around the world. Product tankers carry refined products from refineries to terminals.

Tankers range in size from the small vessels used to transport refined products to huge crude carriers. Tanker sizes are expressed in terms of deadweight (dwt) or cargo tons. The smallest tankers are General Purpose which range from 10 to 25,000 tons.

These tankers are used to transport refined products. The Large Range and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) are employed in international crude oil trade. The size of tanker that can be used in any trade (commercial voyage between a port of origin and destination) is dependent on the tanker's length and loaded depth and the size of the loading and unloading ports.

The larger ships are used because they reduce the cost to transport a barrel of crude oil.

Oil & Gas Transporters Paying Substantial Dividends

As oil prices rise, costs go up for transportation companies as well, forcing them to raise transportation prices in order to keep their profit margins. While one might think of higher oil & gas prices as a negative signal for transporters, recent research supports the opposite hypothesis:

There is a strong correlation between oil & gas transporters and retail gasoline prices, particularly for the long-run. As crude oil is hovering around $110, the profits of oil & gas transporters will continue their upside movement. Here is a list of the top six oil & gas transporters with nice dividends, all of which have a minimum market cap of $2 billion, and a maximum P/E ratio of 25:

The world tanker fleet had 4,186 vessels with a carrying capacity of 358.8 Mdwt.
84% of the tanker fleet were owned by independent tanker companies.
The average age of the fleet was 11.9 years.
68% of the vessels are double hull ships.

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