TODAY'S BIG THREAT
Something Very Odd Is Being Hidden In The Middle Of The Atlantic Ocean And Gulf Of Mexico
HUNDREDS of oil tankers are being forced to turn back to their point of origin or simply park in the middle of the sea because of a shortage in fuel storage facilities across the US and Europe, creating a logjam of vessels in some of the world's busiest shipping channels.
Oct 10, 2016
A map of the water outside Galveston, Texas. The red squares are stationary tankers
Maritime tracking maps show concentrations of oil and chemical tankers effectively sitting stationary from the US to China.
Analysis by Express.co.uk of the Gulf of Mexico and the waters surrounding Singapore show dozens of vessels idling as they wait to unload their cargo.
It comes less than a year after three 37,000-tonne tankers made U-turns in the Atlantic ocean after the oil industry declared European storage nearly full.
One of the ships - Vendome Street - was more than three quarters of the way to Europe from the US when it turned around just 800 miles off the coast of Portugal.
Historically low oil prices have led to a glut in global oil stocks and contributed to a larger amount of at-sea oil.
Analysts say the amount of oil at sea at any one time is now double the level it was in 2014.
The total stock of oil estimated to be in tankers is equivalent to more than a day's worth of the world's total oil consumption.
Millions of barrels of crude oil are sitting in tankers around the world and experts believe the low price is encouraging traders to store the product at sea while they seek out a better price.
Some tankers are even being asked to travel at slower speeds to reduce the amount being offloaded each month.
Maritime tracking maps show concentrations of oil and chemical tankers
The issue of a global oil glut at sea rose to prominence late last year when analysts said more than 100million barrels of oil were languishing on tankers.
David Wech, managing director of JBC Energy, told the FT at the time: "Onshore storage is not quite full but it is at historically high levels globally.
"As we move closer to capacity that is creating more infrastructure hiccups and delays in the oil market, leading to more oil being backed out on to the water."