The oil tanker Gulf Sheba (current location) managed by Gulf Navigation had to stay at anchor in Rotterdam and waiting to be sold by disgruntled creditors. The company Gulf Navigation that is located in Dubai informed 2 days ago that the oil tanker was seized in Rotterdam when delivering crude cargo.
Why Gulf Sheba is under arrest?
The ship was seized after Norwegian bank DNB had sent a notice to an agent of the lenders for Gulf Sheba Corporation. The are no additional detail about the current situation but Gulf Navigation had a meeting to discuss the problem.
Rotterdam port officials informed that there is a case of seized very large crude carrier (VLCC) ship at anchor in the port. The oil tanker was stopped for not paying to creditors, there are no further details concerning the negotiations.
If the lenders receive a letter of credit form the managers of the Gulf Sheba, the oil tanker could be released right away. But in the worst scenario the ship could stay under arrest for many many days until a decision is taken. If the situation become complicated the company manager will suffer serious financial losses, port fees have to be paid while the oil tanker is at anchor.
Robert Lawrence, a partner with Clyde & Co, specialist in shipping and international trade announced:
"If security is not arranged, a vessel would remain under arrest until the situation is resolved to the lenders’ satisfaction”, he said. The lenders may feel that their best option is to ask a court to sanction a sale of the vessel so they can get some of their money back."
Gulf Navigation announced that it was searching buyers for Gulf Sheba for the past months.
Mr Lawrence commented also on the situation:
"It’s normally in the vessel owner’s interest to try and agree a private sale as opposed to the sale having to go through the court, as you’re likely to get a better price and the process is speedier, which means you’re not liable for as much in the way of port handling fees and the like."
Gulf Sheba was had been acquired in 2007 for $110 million by Gulf Navigation. The sale is estimated almost half the money of the purchase. Gulf Navigation has to sell quickly the ship. The future of the company is on the map. The company owns 1 more ship of the same VLCC class and 8 chemical tankers.