Hong Kong-based Noble Group is viewing the use of a supertanker to store crude as an attempt to maximise the potential of firm trade margins.
The option to lease the tanker for two years is a move shared by other companies venturing to store more residual fuels.
Noble intends to secure a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) by the October-December quarter, which will likely be anchored in southern Malaysian waters near Pasir Gudang or Tanjung Pelepas.
Despite the jump in commercial capacity from 2.95 million m3 to 5.5 million m3 the number of available landed tanks has dwindled, prompting companies to look out to sea to harbour the commodity.
Noble began trading physical fuel oil globally for the first time in April, after employing at least five traders, on hopes of gaining from potentially firm trade margins as residual fuel supply tightens following the upgrade of Asian and European refineries.
Other firms that are also venturing into the fuel oil market include Southern Petrochemical Co, an affiliate of China's Sinopec Group, Asian-based trader Strong Petroleum and Japan's Itochu Petroleum.