The tanker market in 2018 will be gas fuelled, highly regulated and see pre-2000 levels of private and state tanker company ownership according to Sovcomflot UK's Lord Nicholas Fairfax at this year's Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference.
Lord Fairfax, a director of Sovcomflot UK Ltd since 2005, where he has responsibility for risk management, insurance and litigation was participating in a panel alongside Intertanko marine director Phillip Belcher and Oman's Shipping Company's chief operating officer David Stockley.
"We will see a contining pattern of refining at source over refining at destination, leading to a greater emphasis on movement of oil products over crude," Lord Fairfax told the gathering. "Gas will continue to replace crude oil, condensate and oil products as a petrochemical feedstock and gas will continue to replace oil and coal and become the dominant fossil fuel for power generation."
There would be no let up in the pace of regulation either. "Expect increasing regulation of shipping at local, regional and governmental level regarding emissions, ship operations and pollution liabilities," said Lord Fairfax adding that while there was no stemming the flow of new rules we would see "the end of cheap money and the exit of private equity and public listings from shipping – leading to the return of private and state ownership as pre- 2000."
Happily he saw 2018 as a better year than 2017 in trading terms and forecast a higher oil price when the gathering reconvenes in November next year.