US-listed Scorpio Tankers’ young fleet means talk of newbuildings will not be on the agenda for some time, according to president Robert Bugbee.

The tanker executive told a Fearnley Securities webinar that in the product tanker sector “you’re kind of trapped where a product tanker cannot trade as long as a crude tanker can in its market”.

“So therefore, you can’t just look at the direct sort of comparison of what’s an order on the crude fleet and what’s an order on the product. Because your product fleet has to get replaced quicker than your crude fleet would have to get replaced,” he added.

Nevertheless, this renewal is some way off for a company whose oldest ships date from 2013 and the youngest from 2020.

Asked about the timing of newbuildings, Bugbee said: “I don’t know. We haven’t even started to think about when we would start to think about fleet renewal.”

“It’s a long way for us. It’s great. It’s taken us a long time to get here. We’ve had a lot of support from our shareholders. Now is the time to benefit from that,” he added.

Bugbee also told the webinar: “The mathematics is crazy too. You can’t get a new product tanker until 2027. So the cost of buying new compared to putting your capital to work today and buying the stock back, for example, there’s no competition.”

The president said Scorpio has sold older ships and is “quite happy” to do so.

But he added: “We’re not in a rush to sell a vessel, but you know, our vessels that are a little bit older, we are selling them as the opportunity comes.”

“Our urgent requirement to sell a vessel in order to buy back stock is much less than it was because our leverage is much lower. We’ve refinanced our debt, got a great commercial facility in there and we’ve just got more cash flow coming in,” the president concluded.