An elderly VLCC thought to have been offloaded for scrap earlier this year has just been sold again for further trading.

Brokers reported the 310,000-dwt Palau-flag Viki (built 2000) changing hands for $29.5m, the third time in less than two years the ship has switched between unknown interests.

The Viki is out of class after ABS withdrew its certificate in August due to an overdue survey.

VesselsValue rates the VLCC as worth nearly $33m, way ahead of the $25m recycling value as scrap prices fall.

Brokers believe as many as 50 older VLCCs have been kept off breakers’ beaches by the prospect of sanctioned trades involving Iranian and Venezuelan oil.

The potential to carry sanctioned Russian oil may also keep some of these ships trading — and values buoyant.

The tanker, then known as the Niki, was believed to be heading for demolition in April but emerged later in the year as the Viki.

The valuation for further trading and scrap was around $29m at that point.

The ship, according to its AIS transmitter, had been anchored off the Malaysian port of Sungai Linggi since the name change.

Heading to Singapore

AIS now shows the ship underway en route from Malaysia to anchorage in Singapore on Friday.

The VLCC is the former Maran Tankers-owned Maran Regulus, sold in December 2020 for $21m to unknown Greek interests.

TradeWinds reported in January 2021 that the vessel, under the shortened name of Regulus, sailed to Greece from the Teluk Semangka anchorage in Indonesia, where it had been on long-term charter to Indonesian oil major Pertamina as a storage vessel.