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QATAR - Shipping.

The Qatar National Navigation and Transport Co. (QNNTC) has had two crude oil tankers with a combined capacity of 230,500 dwt. It has a products marketing subsidiary, Qatar National Bunker and Tank Services (QNBTS), which has owned one small tanker for oil products and smaller vessels for bunkering.

The Qatar Shipping Co. (Q-Ship), established in 1992 with operations started in 1994, has three vessels to transport metals and iron ore. In addition, it has one tanker mainly used for loading fuel oils from Bandar Khomeini in Iran and discharging them at Red Sea and East African ports, and in Australia and the Far East. The vessel also shuttles to Halul terminal QP's share of crude oil being produced from Al Shaheen field.

Publicly traded and capitalised at about $275m, of which half is paid up, Q-Ship is to play a major role. It is to ship part of Qatar's exports of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals, NGLs, LNG, iron ore pellets and steel. It is owned 16% by QNNTC, 15% by QP and 7% by Qatar Steel Co.. The other shareholders are Qatar National Bank, Qatar Insurance Co., and by Qatar Islamic Bank. All are state-controlled companies. Another 30.7% is held by 252 founding shareholders. The remaining shares are owned by the public.

Q-Ship currently has a deep-sea fleet of seven vessels with an aggregate tonnage of 711,153 tons. They consist of four QP crude oil tankers, one clean petroleum products tanker and two combination carriers.

Q-Ship has long-term deals to transport steel exports and carry to Umm Said 650,000 t/y of iron ore pellets from Norway and Brazil. It has an annual contract with Bahrain-based Gulf Industrial Investment Corp. to carry 250,000-350,000 t/y of metals.

Q-Ship on Sept. 26, 2000 signed a QR 274m ($75.3m) contract with Shina Shipbuilding Company for two new tankers, plus an option on a third vessel. The two contracted tankers are both of 37,000 dwt capacity. They will be delivered by end-2002. The tanker on option will be of the same size.

The tankers will be used to transport jet fuel, diesel, kerosine, crude oil and petrochemical projects, mainly for QP. They are being funded on an 80:20 debt/equity basis.

In the first half of 2001, Q-Ship had a 212% increase in net profit to QR 68.1m ($19m). It has declared a 5% cash dividend for the period, Q-Ship's first interim pay-out to the shareholders. In 2000, it made a record net profit of QR 72.2m ($19.8m) and declared a 9% cash dividend for the year.

It was said in 1999 that of the 10-12 LNG tankers required for Qatar's second LNG venture, RasGas, Q-Ship might own and run about five vessels. A previous plan for Q-Ship to own tankers for the first LNG venture, QatarGas, was dropped as the venture's partners decided to charter the vessels from a Japanese consortium instead.

Qatar Mobil Tanker Company, a joint venture between Q-Ship and ExxonMobil established in December 1999, owns two newly-built Aframax crude oil tankers used to service orders placed by QP.

Halul Offshore Services Company (HOSC), a 50-50 venture between Q-Ship and QNNTC, has two 10-year contracts from QP to provide three newly-built standby safety vessels in the first quarter of 2002 and four newly-built anchor handling and tug supply vessels in the first half of 2002. HOSC on July 8, 2001, signed a contract with Bharati Shipyard of India for the delivery of a new wireline support vessel. Two days later it signed a contract with ABC Shipyard of India to build and deliver one wellhead maintenance vessel. Both vessels should be delivered in 2002.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Sep 10, 2001
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