Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Overseas Luxmar - ship safe, company in trouble

The oil products/chemical tanker Overseas Luxmar arrived at anchor this morning and will move to Imperial Oil. Built in 1998 by Halla Engineering and Heavy Industries in Samho, South Korea, the ship measures 28,357 gross tons and 45,999 deadweight tonnes.
It started life as Petrobulk Pollux, becoming Luxmar in 2001 and Overseas Luxmar in 2005. In its first iteration it flew the flag of Panama, then changed to Marshall Islands in 2001. When it took the Overseas name it went under the US flag (non-Jones Act), but returned to Marshall Islands in October of this year.
The ship's operators, Overseas Ship Management Group (OSG) is one of the world's largest tanker companies and is traded on the New York Stock exchange. On November 16 it filed for creditor protection under the US Chapter 11 statute, as a means of  reorganizing and dealing with financing and debt issues.
It is expected that OSG may sell off some of its US assets, such as the former Maritrans tug/ tanker barge operation.
OSG also has a Canadian arm, OSG Overseas Ship Management (Canada) Inc, which managed the tanker Overseas Shirley, but its Canadian registry was closed October 12. The ship was transferred to the Marshall Islands registry and management assigned to OSG's Athen's based operation. It was brought under Canadian flag in 2006 to carry crude oil from Whiffen Hd, NL to Portland, ME, and other Canadian ports, but that trade dropped off and was taken up by other ships. OSG has also brought in foreign flagged ships for this work on coasting licenses, but has not done so since August.
As of July OSG had a fleet of over 100 tankers, including 43 crude, 45 product, 4 gas, and under the US flag 12 tankers (2 non- Jones Act) 7 ATBs and 2 lighters. Of these 64% were owned and the balance chartered. Overseas Luxmar may be in the latter category, but it is hard to tell.

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