The world’s largest terminal operator Vopak has said its oil tanks are almost full as the Dutch company benefits from a drop in demand and prices for crude which has left producers and traders desperate to find storage.
The oil and chemical storage company said on 21st April that it expected to feel the full benefit in Q2, as it reported a small rise in adjusted core earnings for the first three months of 2020.
In Q1 2020, the company posted a net profit of €83 million, the same result as in Q1 2019.
EBITDA was €200 million versus €215 million in the same quarter last year, which was prior to the divestment of Vopak terminals in Algeciras, Amsterdam and Hamburg.
The company noted an occupancy rate for subsidiaries of 84% in Q1, slightly down from the 81% registered in Q1 2019. According to Vopak, this figure reflected high levels of planned inspection and maintenance out-of-service capacity, mainly focused in Rotterdam and Singapore. Vopak plans to get this capacity back online as quickly as possible
US oil futures collapsed below $0 per barrel on 20th April for the first time in history, with traders effectively paying buyers to take crude off them as they struggle to find places to store a huge surplus that has built up during lockdowns across the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Vopak’s available capacity in oil storage is full, with the exception of tanks undergoing maintenace and a new fuel facility in Panama that iss filling up quickly.
The company, which operates tank terminals around the world, said it had seen limited impact on its own operations from the coronavirus outbreak so far, with all its 66 terminals operational, though that could change in the future.
The company said the pandemic posed challenges, such as causing potential delays to projects, and added a long-term recession would also be a risk.