Aframaxes in South East Asia have had a bad start to July as four vessels failed subjects to import oil into Thailand.

Brokers said the ships had been lined up to bring in crude oil, probably from Saudi Arabia.

But these deals were scrapped after the reopening of a single-point mooring (SPM) system allowed a charterer to combine the cargoes onto a bigger and more economical VLCC.

Kpler data shows little difference in the amount of oil being shipped into Thailand due to the change.

One shipbroker told TradeWinds: “Still, four aframaxes getting failed and replaced with a VLCC is bearish in the short term.”

Eco aframaxes were earning $40,400 per day on Friday, down 8.5% on the week, according to Clarksons Securities.

Modern VLCCs were available for $33,200 per day, down 7%.

One source said the SPM is believed to be the one operated by Thai Oil at Koh Sichang.

Last September, this suffered a rupture of a pipe while a Greek VLCC was discharging a cargo, causing an oil leak.

Puripat Teerakunpisut, deputy director-general of Thai Oil’s marine department, told reporters that the spill occurred when Altomare’s 317,000-dwt Panama-flag Kallista (built 2010) was discharging crude into a main pipeline.

Five-minute leak

A cargo of Arab light oil was being offloaded via single mooring buoy No 2 when the leak occurred.

The incident lasted about five minutes and around 60,000 litres of crude poured into the sea, the official added.

The tanker, carrying 273,000 tonnes of crude, had arrived from Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.

There was an uptick in Persian Gulf activity for VLCCs last week, but not enough to prevent a rate slide.

The tonnage list remains healthy and options are on the table for charterers, UK broker Gibsons said.