Monday, August 3, 2020

Oil-Storage Giant Vopak Says Almost All Space Remain Booked

Vopak Terminal Deer Park (Houston)

The world’s largest independent oil storage company said that its tanks are filling and almost all space remains booked up.

“What we have available, what is not in maintenance, is essentially booked,” Gerard Paulides, chief financial officer of Rotterdam-based Royal Vopak NV, said in an interview. “The oil capacity is almost fully booked,” he added, noting that the amount of oil going into storage is still rising.

While not necessarily an echo of earlier in the year — when a scramble for storage contributed to the price of crude plummeting to below zero — the lack of available space at Vopak’s sites is a reminder of how much uncertainty still exists in the market. Next month the OPEC+ alliance plans to allow production to rise marginally. Meanwhile, a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks poses further risks to a recovery in demand.

Vopak, which has 66 terminals across the globe and also stores chemicals, has no more available space for oil and oil products, according to Paulides. However, a booked storage facility doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being utilised.

“Our capacity is fully rented out, but whether our customers fully book all products in that available capacity is a different thing,” he said. “Occupancy is still trending up.”

Vopak currently has about 1.4 million cubic meters worth of storage capacity for both chemicals and oil out of service, according to Paulides. The company plans to return at least some of it from maintenance in the second half of the year, though “that depends on mobilising the workforce,” he said.

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