SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☐||REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) or (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|☐||SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
Date of event requiring this shell company report
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 1-33867
TEEKAY TANKERS LTD.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Republic of the Marshall Islands
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
4th Floor, Belvedere Building, 69 Pitts Bay Road, Hamilton, HM 08 Bermuda
Telephone: (441) 298-2530
(Address and telephone number of principal executive offices)
N. Angelique Burgess
4th Floor, Belvedere Building, 69 Pitts Bay Road, Hamilton, HM 08 Bermuda
Telephone: (441) 298-2530
Fax: (441) 292-3931
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered, or to be registered, pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
|Title of each class||Trading symbol||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A common stock, par value of $0.01 per share||TNK||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered, or to be registered, pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
29,112,146 shares of Class A common stock, par value of $0.01 per share.
4,625,997 shares of Class B common stock, par value of $0.01 per share.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes ¨ No ý
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Yes ¨ No ý
Indicate by check mark if the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes ý No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant (1) has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes ý No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large Accelerated Filer ¨ Accelerated Filer ý Non-Accelerated Filer ¨ Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes ý No ¨
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
|U.S. GAAP||x|| ||International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ||¨|| ||Other ||¨|
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:
Item 17 ¨ Item 18 ¨
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes ☐ No ý
TEEKAY TANKERS LTD.
INDEX TO REPORT ON FORM 20-F
This Annual Report should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included in this report.
Unless otherwise indicated, references in this Annual Report to “Teekay Tankers Ltd.", the "Company", "we”, "us" and "our" and similar terms refer to Teekay Tankers Ltd. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, except that those terms, when used in this Annual Report in connection with the common stock described herein, shall mean specifically Teekay Tankers Ltd. References in this Annual Report to "Teekay" or “Teekay Corporation” refer to Teekay Corporation and/or any one or more of its subsidiaries.
In addition to historical information, this Annual Report contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements relate to future events and our operations, objectives, expectations, performance, financial condition and intentions. When used in this Annual Report, the words “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report include, in particular, statements regarding:
•our future financial condition, results of operations and future revenues, expenses and capital expenditures, and our expected financial flexibility and sources of liquidity to fund capital expenditures and pursue acquisitions and other expansion opportunities, including vessel acquisitions;
•our dividend policy and ability to pay dividends on shares of our common stock;
•the crude oil and refined product tanker market fundamentals, including the balance of supply and demand in the tanker market, changes in the world tanker fleet, changes in global oil and refined products demand, the rate of global oil production (including the effect of OPEC supply cuts), and changes in long-haul crude tanker movements, trading patterns, tanker fleet utilization and spot tanker rates;
•anticipated levels of tanker newbuilding orders and deliveries and rates of tanker scrapping or use of tankers for floating storage;
•our compliance with, and the effect on our business and operating results of, covenants under our term loans, credit facilities and obligations related to finance leases;
•the expected scope, duration and effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, including its impact on global supply and demand for petroleum products and tanker fleet utilization, and the consequences of any future epidemic or pandemic crises;
•global oil prices, including the potential impact on oil stockpiling, refinery throughput, bunker fuel prices, and oil futures markets;
•our expectations about the availability of vessels to purchase, the expected costs and time it may take to acquire vessels or construct and deliver newbuildings;
•the ability to leverage Teekay Corporation’s relationships and reputation in the shipping industry;
•the expected benefits of participation in purchasing alliances;
•the effectiveness of our chartering strategy in capturing upside opportunities and reducing downside risks, including our ability to take advantage of strong tanker markets;
•our acquisition strategy and the expected benefits of our acquisitions of vessels or businesses;
•our expectation that our U.S. Gulf lightering business will complement our spot trading strategy in the Caribbean to the U.S. Gulf market, allowing us to better optimize the deployment of the fleet that we trade in this region through enhanced scheduling flexibility, higher utilization and higher average revenues;
•our expectation regarding our vessels’ ability to perform to specifications and maintain their hire rates;
•operating expenses, availability of crew, relationships with labor unions, number of off-hire days, drydocking requirements, insurance costs and adequacy of insurance coverage, and expectations as to cost-saving initiatives;
•the impact and expected cost of, and our ability and plans to comply with, new and existing governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards applicable to our business, including, among others, the expected cost to install ballast water treatment systems (or BWTS) on our tankers;
•our ability to obtain all permits, licenses and certificates material to the conduct of our operations;
•the impact on us and the shipping industry of environmental liabilities and developments, including climate change;
•the impact of any sanctions on our operations and our ongoing compliance with such sanctions;
•the expected impact of the cessation of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (or LIBOR), Brexit, the adoption of the "Poseidon Principles" by financial institutions or any change in jurisdictional economic substance requirements;
•expenses under service agreements with other affiliates of Teekay Corporation;
•our expectations regarding tax liabilities, including whether applicable tax authorities may agree with our tax positions;
•our strategy regarding our ship-to-ship transfer business and the expected ongoing benefits of our ship-to-ship transfer business, including, among others, the ability of the business to provide stable cash flow to help us partially manage the cyclicality of the tanker market;
•our expected recovery of fuel price increases from the charterers of our vessels through higher rates for voyage charters;
•our expectations as to the useful vessel lives and any impairment of our vessels or of goodwill;
•our customers’ increasing emphasis on environmental and safety concerns;
•the impact of increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders and other stakeholders with respect to environmental, social and governance (or ESG) policies and practices and the Company's ability to meet its corporate ESG goals;
•our liquidity needs and meeting our going concern requirements, including anticipated funds and sources of financing for liquidity and capital expenditure needs and the sufficiency of cash flows, and our estimation that we will have sufficient liquidity for at least a one-year period;
•our ability to refinance existing debt obligations, to raise additional debt and capital to fund capital expenditures or the cost of repurchasing vessels under our finance leases, and to negotiate extensions or redeployments of existing assets;
•our expectations and hedging activities relating to foreign exchange, interest rate and spot market risks;
•the ability of counterparties to our derivative and other contracts to fulfill their contractual obligations;
•the timing of the purchase of vessels and delivery of new charter-in vessels;
•our position that we are not a passive foreign investment company;
•the expected impact of new accounting guidance or the adoption of new accounting standards; and
•our business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, those factors discussed below in Item 3 – Key Information: Risk Factors and other factors detailed from time to time in other reports we file with or furnish to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (or the SEC).
We do not intend to revise any forward-looking statements in order to reflect any change in our expectations or events or circumstances that may subsequently arise. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures included in this Annual Report and in our other filings made with the SEC that attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, prospects and results of operations.
Item 1.Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors
Item 2.Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3.Key Information
Selected Financial Data
Set forth below is selected consolidated financial and other data of Teekay Tankers Ltd. and its subsidiaries for fiscal years 2016 through 2020, which have been derived from our consolidated financial statements. The following table should be read together with, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, "Item 5 – Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" included herein, and the historical financial statements and accompanying notes and the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm thereon (which is included herein), with respect to the fiscal years 2020, 2019 and 2018.
In May 2017, we acquired from Teekay Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teekay, the remaining 50% interest in Teekay Tanker Operations Ltd. (or TTOL), a company which owns tanker commercial management and technical management operations. This was deemed to be a business acquisition between entities under common control. As a result, our consolidated financial statements prior to the date we acquired the controlling interest in TTOL have been retroactively adjusted to eliminate the equity method of accounting previously used for the original 50% interest owned and to include 100% of the assets and liabilities and results of TTOL on a consolidated basis during the periods we and TTOL were under common control of Teekay and had begun operations. All intercorporate transactions between us and TTOL that occurred prior to the acquisition have been eliminated upon consolidation.
As a result, our consolidated statements of (loss) income for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 reflect the results of operations of TTOL, referred to herein as the "Entities under Common Control," as if we had acquired them when TTOL began operations under the ownership of Teekay.
Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (or GAAP).
| ||Years Ended December 31,|
| (in thousands of U.S. Dollars, except share and fleet data)||2020|
|Income Statement Data:|
|886,434 ||943,917 ||776,493 ||431,178 ||550,543 |
Voyage expenses (2)
Vessel operating expenses (3)
Time-charter hire expenses (4)
|Depreciation and amortization||(117,212)||(124,002)||(118,514)||(100,481)||(104,149)|
|General and administrative expenses ||(39,006)||(36,404)||(39,775)||(32,879)||(33,199)|
|(Write-down) and (loss) gain on sale of assets||(69,446)||(5,544)||170 ||(12,984)||(20,594)|
|Restructuring charges||(1,398)||— ||(1,195)||— ||— |
|Income from operations||141,573 ||123,883 ||7,204 ||1,416 ||96,752 |
|Interest income||1,199 ||871 ||879 ||907 ||117 |
Realized and unrealized (loss) gain on derivative instruments
|(2,220)||(967)||3,032 ||1,319 ||(964)|
|Equity income (loss)||5,100 ||2,345 ||1,220 ||(25,370)||7,680 |
|Income tax expense||(7,283)||(20,103)||(9,412)||(5,330)||(7,511)|
|Other income ||473 ||695 ||3,182 ||329 ||1,533 |
|Net income (loss)||87,317 ||41,362 ||(52,548)||(58,023)||67,823 |
Earnings (loss) per share (5)(6)
|- Basic||2.59 ||1.23 ||(1.57)||(2.48)||3.20 |
|- Diluted||2.57 ||1.23 ||(1.57)||(2.48)||3.20 |
Cash dividends declared (6)
|— ||— ||0.24 ||0.96 ||1.44 |
|Balance Sheet Data (at end of year):|
|Cash and cash equivalents||97,232 ||88,824 ||54,917 ||71,439 ||94,157 |
|Restricted cash - current and long-term||5,914 ||6,508 ||5,590 ||4,271 ||750 |
Vessels and equipment (7)
|1,104,742 ||1,223,085 ||1,401,551 ||1,737,792 ||1,605,372 |
Vessels related to finance leases (7)
|450,558 ||527,081 ||482,010 ||227,722 ||— |
|Total assets||1,840,245 ||2,229,476 ||2,161,086 ||2,197,348 ||1,964,370 |
Total debt (8)
|613,004 ||1,024,467 ||1,110,695 ||1,101,210 ||933,016 |
|Common stock and paid-in capital||1,299,220 ||1,297,555 ||1,295,929 ||1,294,998 ||1,103,304 |
|Total equity||1,078,902 ||989,920 ||946,933 ||1,006,601 ||932,740 |
|Cash Flow Data:|
|Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash provided by (used for):|
|Operating cash flow||347,943 ||117,661 ||(7,263)||80,489 ||206,546 |
|Financing cash flow||(416,104)||(89,758)||(3,448)||(178,466)||(290,853)|
|Investing cash flow||74,517 ||8,380 ||(4,492)||78,780 ||21,824 |
Number of outstanding shares of common stock at end of
|33,738,143 ||33,654,576 ||33,569,630 ||33,525,205 ||19,913,017 |
|Other Financial Data:|
Net revenues (9)
|589,209 ||541,623 ||395,187 ||353,810 ||496,939 |
|262,138 ||249,958 ||133,152 ||78,175 ||209,150 |
Adjusted EBITDA (10)
|335,647 ||260,194 ||129,559 ||125,664 ||240,198 |
Expenditures for vessels and equipment (11)
|Expenditures for dry docking||(28,546)||(46,336)||(27,896)||(16,239)||(9,340)|
Average number of tankers (12)
|Suezmax||26.5 ||29.9 ||30.0 ||21.1 ||22.0 |
|Aframax||19.1 ||20.4 ||19.2 ||17.3 ||21.8 |
|Product||11.0 ||10.9 ||9.0 ||7.5 ||9.2 |
|VLCC||0.5 ||0.5 ||0.5 ||0.5 ||0.5 |
(1)Periods prior to 2018 do not include the impact of the January 1, 2018 adoption of ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (or ASU 2014-09).
(2)Voyage expenses are all expenses unique to a particular voyage, including any bunker fuel expenses, port fees, cargo loading and unloading expenses, canal tolls, agency fees and commissions. Voyage expenses also include certain costs associated with full service lightering activities, which include: short-term in-charter expenses, bunker fuel expenses and other port expenses. Periods prior to 2018 do not include the impact of the January 1, 2018 adoption of ASU 2014-09.
(3)Vessel operating expenses include crewing, repairs and maintenance, insurance, stores, lube oils, and communication expenses among others.
(4)Time-charter hire expense includes vessel operating lease expense incurred to charter-in vessels.
(5)Earnings (loss) per share is determined by dividing (a) net income (loss) after (deducting) adding the amount of net income (loss) attributable to the Entities under Common Control that were purchased solely with cash by (b) the weighted-average number of shares outstanding during the applicable period and the equivalent shares outstanding that are attributable to the Entities under Common Control. The calculation of weighted-average number of shares includes the total Class A and total Class B shares outstanding during the applicable period. The computation of diluted earnings per share assumes the exercise of all dilutive stock options and restricted stock units using the treasury stock method. The computation of diluted loss per share does not assume such exercises.
(6)The number of outstanding shares and per share amounts for all periods presented have been adjusted to reflect a one-for-eight reverse stock split completed in November 2019.
(7)Vessels and equipment and vessels related to finance leases consists of vessels, at cost less accumulated depreciation.
(8)Total debt includes the short-term debt, current and long-term portion of long-term debt, and current and long-term portion of obligations related to finance leases.
(9)Net revenues is a non-GAAP financial measure. Consistent with general practice in the shipping industry, we use “net revenues” as a measure of equating revenues generated from voyage charters to revenues generated from time charters, which assists us in making operating decisions about the deployment of our vessels and their performance. Since, under time charters, the charterer pays the voyage expenses, whereas under voyage charters, the ship-owner pays these expenses, we include voyage expenses in net revenues. Some voyage expenses are fixed, and the remainder can be estimated. If we, as the ship owner, pay the voyage expenses, we typically pass the approximate amount of these expenses on to our customers by charging higher rates under the contract to them. As a result, although revenues from different types of contracts may vary, the net revenues are comparable across the different types of contracts. We principally use net revenues because it provides more meaningful information to us than revenues. Net revenues are also widely used by investors and analysts in the shipping industry for comparing financial performance between companies and to industry averages.
How we use net revenues and the reasons for such use may be unique to the shipping industry. Given that net revenue is a measure which deducts certain operating expenses from revenue, this metric may be more commonly viewed as an alternative measure of gross profit. Viewed in this context, income from operations would be the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure and net revenues has been defined as income from operations before restructuring charges, write-down and loss (gain) on sale of assets, general and administrative expenses, depreciation and amortization, time-charter hire expenses and vessel operating expenses. The following table reconciles net revenues with income from operations:
|Years Ended December 31,|
| (in thousands of U.S. Dollars)||2020||2019||2018||2017||2016|
|Income from operations||141,573 ||123,883 ||7,204 ||1,416 ||96,752 |
|Restructuring charges||1,398 ||— ||1,195 ||— ||— |
|Write-down and loss (gain) on sale of assets||69,446 ||5,544 ||(170)||12,984 ||20,594 |
|General and administrative expenses||39,006 ||36,404 ||39,775 ||32,879 ||33,199 |
|Depreciation and amortization||117,212 ||124,002 ||118,514 ||100,481 ||104,149 |
|Time-charter hire expenses||36,341 ||43,189 ||19,538 ||30,661 ||59,647 |
|Vessel operating expenses ||184,233 ||208,601 ||209,131 ||175,389 ||182,598 |
|Net revenues||589,209 ||541,623 ||395,187 ||353,810 ||496,939 |
(10)EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures. EBITDA represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA before foreign exchange loss (gain), write-down and loss (gain) on sale of assets, realized (gain) loss on interest rate swaps, unrealized loss (gain) on derivative instruments, fair value adjustment of the equity-accounted for investment and share of the above items in non-consolidated equity-accounted for investments. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are used as supplemental financial performance measures by management and by external users of our financial statements, such as investors. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA assist our management and investors by increasing the comparability of our fundamental performance from period to period and against the fundamental performance of other companies in our industry that provide EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA-based information. This increased comparability is achieved by excluding the potentially disparate effects between periods or companies of interest expense, taxes, depreciation or amortization (or other items in determining Adjusted EBITDA), which items are affected by various and possibly changing financing methods, capital structure and historical cost basis and which items may significantly affect net income between periods. We believe that including EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA benefits investors in (a) selecting between investing in us and other investment alternatives and (b) monitoring our ongoing financial and operational strength and health in order to assess whether to continue to hold our equity.
Neither EBITDA nor Adjusted EBITDA should be considered an alternative to net income (loss), operating income, or any other measure of financial performance presented in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA exclude some, but not all, items that affect net income and operating income, and these measures may vary among other companies. Therefore, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as presented below may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.
The following table reconciles our historical consolidated EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss).
| ||Years Ended December 31,|
| (in thousands of U.S. Dollars)||2020||2019||2018||2017||2016|
|Reconciliation of "EBITDA" and "Adjusted EBITDA” to “Net income (loss)”|
|Net income (loss) ||87,317 ||41,362 ||(52,548)||(58,023)||67,823 |
|Depreciation and amortization||117,212 ||124,002 ||118,514 ||100,481 ||104,149 |
|Interest expense, net of interest income||50,326 ||64,491 ||57,774 ||30,387 ||29,667 |
|Income tax expense||7,283 ||20,103 ||9,412 ||5,330 ||7,511 |
|EBITDA||262,138 ||249,958 ||133,152 ||78,175 ||209,150 |
Foreign exchange loss (gain) (i)
|Write-down and loss (gain) on sale of assets||69,446 ||5,544 ||(170)||12,984 ||20,594 |
|Realized (gain) loss on interest rate swaps||(481)||(2,791)||(2,316)||994 ||12,797 |
|Unrealized loss (gain) on derivative instruments||1,459 ||5,247 ||(579)||(937)||(9,679)|
|Fair value adjustment of Tanker Investments Ltd.||— ||— ||— ||26,733 ||— |
Adjustments related to equity-accounted for investments (ii)
|2,351 ||2,722 ||2,605 ||7,794 ||8,749 |
|Adjusted EBITDA||335,647 ||260,194 ||129,559 ||125,664 ||240,198 |
(i) Foreign exchange loss (gain) includes an unrealized loss of $0.5 million in 2020 (2019 - gain of $0.6 million, 2018 - gain of $3.2 million, 2017 - loss of $0.2 million, and 2016 - loss of $0.1 million).
(ii) The following table reflects certain non-GAAP adjustments to the results of our equity-accounted for investments. The adjusted results should not be considered as an alternative to any measure of financial performance presented in accordance with GAAP. Adjustments to equity-accounted for investments include some, but not all, items that affect equity income and these measures and adjustments may vary among other companies and may not be comparable to adjustments to similarly titled measures of other companies. It should be noted that this measure includes the Adjusted EBITDA from our equity-accounted for investments. We do not have control over the operations, nor do we have any legal claim to the revenue and expenses of our equity-accounted for investments.
Adjustments relating to equity income from our equity-accounted for investments are as follows:
|Years Ended December 31,|
| (in thousands of U.S. Dollars)||2020||2019||2018||2017||2016|
|Depreciation and amortization||1,902 ||1,903 ||1,745 ||5,250 ||5,866 |
|Interest expense, net of interest income||449 ||819 ||876 ||2,562 ||2,868 |
|Income tax recovery||— ||— ||— ||(1)||(107)|
Realized and unrealized (gain) loss on derivative instruments
|— ||— ||(16)||(14)||115 |
|Foreign exchange (gain) loss||— ||— ||— ||(3)||7 |
Adjustments related to equity-accounted for investments
|2,351 ||2,722 ||2,605 ||7,794 ||8,749 |
(11)Excludes vessels purchased in connection with our acquisition of Tanker Investments Ltd. (or TIL) in 2017.
(12)Average number of our tankers consists of the average number of vessels that were in our possession during a period, including time-chartered in vessels, the vessel owned by our High-Q Investment Ltd. (or High-Q) joint venture with Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Ltd. and vessels of the Entities under Common Control.
Some of the risks summarized below and discussed in greater detail in the following pages relate principally to the industries in which we operate and to our business in general. Other risks relate principally to the securities market and to ownership of our common stock. The occurrence of any of the events described in this section could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, operating results and ability to pay dividends on, and the trading price of our common stock.
Risk Factor Summary
Risks Related to Our Industry
•Changes in the oil markets could result in decreased demand for our vessels and services.
•The cyclical nature of the tanker industry may lead to volatile changes in charter rates, and significant fluctuations in the utilization of our vessels.
•Changes in the spot tanker market may result in significant fluctuations in the utilization of our vessels and our profitability.
•Our vessels operate in the highly competitive international tanker market.
•A significant increase in crude oil prices could negatively impact tanker freight rates.
•Marine transportation is inherently risky, and an incident involving loss or damage to a vessel, significant loss of product or environmental contamination by any of our vessels could harm our reputation and business.
•The novel coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic is dynamic. The continuation of this pandemic, and the emergence of other epidemic or pandemic crises, could have material adverse effects on our business, results of operations, or financial condition.
•Terrorist attacks, increased hostilities, political change, or war could lead to further economic instability, increased costs, and business disruption.
•Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels continue to be a risk, which could adversely affect our business.
Risks Related to Our Business
•Economic downturns, including disruptions in the global credit markets, could adversely affect our ability to grow.
•Economic downturns may affect our customers’ ability to pay for our services and may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
•We may not be able to grow or to manage our growth effectively.
•An increase in operating costs could adversely affect our cash flows and financial condition.
•Over time, the value of our vessels may decline, which could adversely affect our existing loans and finance leases, our ability to obtain new financing or our operating results.
•We may not realize expected benefits from acquisitions and implementing our growth strategy through acquisitions may harm our financial condition and performance.
•Financing agreements containing operating and financial restrictions may restrict our business and financing activities.
•We may be required to make substantial capital expenditures should we decide to expand the size of our fleet, involving significant installment payments. Our financial leverage could increase or our shareholders’ ownership interest in us could be diluted.
•Our substantial debt levels and obligations related to finance leases may limit our flexibility in obtaining additional financing, pursuing other business opportunities and paying dividends.
•Our ability to repay or refinance debt obligations and to fund our capital expenditures will depend on certain financial, business and other factors. To the extent we are able to finance these obligations and expenditures, our ability to pay cash dividends may be diminished or our financial leverage may increase, or our shareholders may be diluted.
•Many seafaring employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements, and the failure to renew those agreements or any future labor agreements may disrupt operations and adversely affect our cash flows.
•Teekay Corporation may be unable to attract and retain qualified, skilled employees or crew necessary to operate our business, and the cost of attracting and retaining such personnel may increase.
•Our insurance may be insufficient to cover losses that may occur to our vessels or result from our operations.
•Maritime claimants could arrest, or port authorities could detain, our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow from these vessels.
•We depend on Teekay Corporation to assist us in operating our business and competing in our markets, and our business will be harmed if Teekay Corporation fails to assist us.
•Exposure to interest rate fluctuations will result in fluctuations in our cash flows and operating results.
•Our failure to renew or replace fixed-rate charters could cause us to trade the related vessels in the spot market.
•Our U.S. Gulf lightering business competes with alternative methods of delivering crude oil to ports, which may limit our earnings in this market.
•Our full service lightering operations are subject to specific risks that could lead to accidents, oil spills or property damage.
•Our and many of our customers' substantial operations outside the United States expose us and them to political, governmental, and economic instability, which could harm our operations.
•Use of LIBOR is scheduled to cease, and interest rates on our LIBOR-based obligations may increase in the future.
•Exposure to currency exchange fluctuations could result in fluctuations in our operating results.
•Our operating results are subject to seasonal fluctuations.
•The fiduciary duties of certain of our officers and directors may conflict with their duties as officers or directors of Teekay Corporation and its affiliates.
•Our executive officers and directors and certain officers and directors of Teekay Corporation may favor interests of Teekay Corporation and its other affiliates above our interests and those of our Class A common shareholders.
•Our Manager has rights to terminate the Management Agreement and, under certain circumstances, could receive substantial sums in connection with such termination; however, even if our Board of Directors or our shareholders are dissatisfied with our Manager, there are limited circumstances under which we can terminate the Management Agreement.
•Our Manager could receive a performance fee which is contingent on our results of operations and financial condition.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
•Past port calls by our vessels or third-party vessels participating in Revenue Sharing Agreements (or RSAs), to countries that are subject to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union could harm our business.
•Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, the UK Criminal Finances Act and similar legislation in other jurisdictions could result in fines, criminal penalties, contract terminations and an adverse effect on our business.
•The shipping industry is subject to substantial environmental and other regulations, which may significantly limit operations and increase expenses.
•Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions may adversely impact our operations and markets.
•Increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders, customers and other market participants with respect to ESG policies and practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to additional risks.
•Our operations may be subject to economic substance requirements in the Marshall Islands and other offshore jurisdictions, which could impact our business.
•Regulations relating to ballast water discharge may adversely affect our operational results and financial condition.
Information and Technology Risks
•A cyber-attack could materially disrupt our business.
•Our failure to comply with data privacy laws could damage our customer relationships and expose us to litigation risks and potential fines.
Risks Related to an Investment in Our Securities
•The superior voting rights of our Class B common stock held by Teekay Corporation limit our Class A common shareholders’ ability to control or influence corporate matters.
•Because we are organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands, it may be difficult to serve us with legal process or enforce judgments against us, our directors or our management.
•U.S. tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. shareholders.
•We are subject to taxes. The imposition of taxes, including as a result of a change in tax law or accounting requirements, may reduce our cash available for distribution to shareholders.
Risks Related to Our Industry
Changes in the oil markets could result in decreased demand for our vessels and services.
Demand for our vessels and services in transporting oil depends upon world and regional oil markets. Any decrease in shipments of crude oil in those markets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Historically, those markets have been volatile as a result of the many conditions and events that affect the price, production and transport of oil, including competition from alternative energy sources. Past slowdowns of the U.S. and world economies have resulted in reduced consumption of oil products and decreased demand for our vessels and services, which reduced vessel earnings. Additional slowdowns could have similar effects on our operating results and may limit our ability to expand our fleet.
The cyclical nature of the tanker industry may lead to volatile changes in charter rates, and significant fluctuations in the utilization of our vessels, which may adversely affect our earnings.
Historically, the tanker industry has been cyclical, experiencing volatility in profitability due to changes in the supply of and demand for tanker capacity and changes in the supply of and demand for oil and oil products. The cyclical nature of the tanker industry may cause significant increases or decreases in the revenues we earn from our vessels and may also cause significant increases or decreases in the value of our vessels. If the tanker market is depressed, our earnings may decrease. Our exposure to industry business cycles is more acute because of our exposure to the spot tanker market, which is more volatile than the tanker industry generally. Our ability to operate profitably in the spot market and to recharter our other vessels upon the expiration or termination of their charters will depend upon, among other factors, economic conditions in the tanker market.
The factors affecting the supply of and demand for tankers are outside of our control, and the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions are unpredictable.
Key factors that influence the supply of tanker capacity include:
•environmental concerns and regulations;
•the number of newbuilding deliveries;
•the scrapping rate of older vessels;
•conversion of tankers to other uses; and
•the number of vessels that are out of service.
Key factors that influence demand for tanker capacity include:
•supply of oil and oil products;
•demand for oil and oil products;
•regional availability of refining capacity;
•global and regional economic and political conditions;
•the distance oil and oil products are to be moved by sea;
•demand for floating storage of oil; and
•changes in seaborne and other transportation patterns.
Historically, the tanker markets have been volatile as a result of the many conditions and factors that can affect the price and the supply of, and demand for, tanker capacity. Changes in demand for transportation of oil over longer distances and in the supply of tankers to carry that oil may materially affect our revenues, profitability and cash flows.
Changes in the spot tanker market may result in significant fluctuations in the utilization of our vessels and our profitability.
During 2020 and 2019, we derived approximately 74.3% and 86.8%, respectively, of our net revenues from vessels operating in the spot tanker market, either directly or by means of participation in RSAs (which includes vessels operating under full service lightering (or FSL) contracts and charters with an initial term of less than one year). Due to our involvement in the spot-charter market, declining spot rates in a given period generally will result in corresponding declines in our operating results for that period.
The spot-charter market is highly volatile and fluctuates based upon tanker and oil supply and demand. The successful operation of our vessels in the spot-charter market depends upon, among other things, obtaining profitable spot charters and minimizing, to the extent possible, time spent waiting for charters and time spent traveling unladen to load cargo. Future spot rates may not be sufficient to enable our vessels trading in the spot tanker market to operate profitably or to provide sufficient cash flow to service our debt obligations.
In addition, the impact of changes in the spot tanker market may be further impacted by our tankers participating in RSAs as an RSA may include vessels of third-party owners that do not perform as well as our vessels. As a result, we may earn less net revenue than we could by operating our vessels independently. For further information about the RSAs, please read "Item 4 - Information on the Company - “Revenue Sharing Agreements".
Our vessels operate in the highly competitive international tanker market.
The operation of oil tankers and transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products are extremely competitive businesses. Competition arises primarily from other tanker owners, including major oil companies and independent tanker companies, some of which have substantially greater financial strength and capital than do we or Teekay Corporation. Competition for the transportation of oil and oil products can be intense and depends on price and the location, size, age, condition of the tanker and the acceptability of the tanker and its operators to the charterers. Our competitive position may erode over time.
A significant increase in crude oil prices could negatively impact tanker freight rates.
Global crude oil prices fell to multi-year lows during the first quarter of 2020 before recovering later in the year. Lower oil prices generally benefit the tanker market as they may lead to higher oil demand, stronger refining margins, additional import demand for stockpiling purposes, and lower bunker costs. A significant increase in crude oil prices compared to current levels may reverse many of these positive drivers and could negatively impact tanker freight rates due to reduced oil demand, higher operating costs as a result of increased bunker prices, and weaker refining margins.
Marine transportation is inherently risky, and an incident involving loss or damage to a vessel, significant loss of product or environmental contamination by any of our vessels could harm our reputation and business.
Our vessels, crew and cargoes are at risk of being damaged, injured or lost because of events such as:
•bad weather or natural disasters;
•mechanical or electrical failures;
•grounding, capsizing, fire, explosions and collisions;
•piracy (hijacking and kidnapping);
•acute-onset illness in connection with global or regional pandemics or similar public health crises;
•mental health of crew members;
•human error; and
•war and terrorism.
An accident involving any of our vessels could result in any of the following:
•significant litigation with our customers or other third parties;
•death or injury to persons, loss of property or damage to the environment and natural resources;
•delays in the delivery of cargo;
•liabilities or costs to recover any spilled oil and to restore the environment affected by the spill;
•loss of revenues from charters;
•liabilities or costs to recover any spilled oil or other petroleum products and to restore the eco-system affected by the spill;
•governmental fines, penalties, or restrictions on conducting business;
•higher insurance rates; and
•damage to our reputation and customer relationships generally.
Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results. In addition, any damage to, or environmental contamination involving, oil production facilities serviced by our vessels could result in the suspension or curtailment of operations by our customer, which would, in turn, result in loss of revenues.
The COVID-19 pandemic is dynamic. The continuation of this pandemic, and the emergence of other epidemic or pandemic crises, could have material adverse effects on our business, results of operations, or financial condition.
The novel coronavirus pandemic is dynamic, including the development of variants of the virus, and its ultimate scope, duration and effects are uncertain. We expect that this pandemic, and any future epidemic or pandemic crises, will result in direct and indirect adverse effects on our industry and customers, which in turn may impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. The pandemic has resulted and may continue to result in a significant decline in global demand for crude oil and petroleum products. As our business includes the transportation of oil and petroleum products on behalf of our customers, any significant decrease in demand for the cargo we transport could adversely affect demand for our vessels and services. COVID-19 has been a contributing factor to the decline in spot tanker rates and short-term time charter rates since mid-May 2020 and has also increased certain crewing-related costs, which has reduced our cash flows, and was a contributing factor to the non-cash write-down of certain of our tankers, as described in "Item 18 – Financial Statements: Note 19 - Write-down and Sale of Assets.”
Other effects of the current pandemic include, or may include, among others:
•disruptions to our operations as a result of the potential health impact on our employees and crew, and on the workforces of our customers and business partners;
•disruptions to our business from, or additional costs related to, new regulations, directives or practices implemented in response to the pandemic, such as travel restrictions (including for any of our onshore personnel or any of our crew members to timely embark or disembark from our vessels), increased inspection regimes, hygiene measures (such as quarantining and physical distancing) or increased implementation of remote working arrangements;
•potential delays in the loading and discharging of cargo on or from our vessels, and any related off hire due to quarantine, worker health or regulations, which in turn could disrupt our operations and result in a reduction of revenue;
•potential shortages or a lack of access to required spare parts for our vessels, or potential delays in any repairs to, scheduled or unscheduled maintenance or modifications, or dry docking of, our vessels (including the currently scheduled dry docks for 13 of our vessels in 2021), as a result of a lack of berths available by shipyards from a shortage in labor or due to other business disruptions;
•potential delays in vessel inspections and related certifications by class societies, customers or government agencies;
•potential reduced cash flows and financial condition, including potential liquidity constraints;
•reduced access to capital, including the ability to refinance any existing obligations, as a result of any credit tightening generally or due to declines in global financial markets, including to the prices of publicly-traded equity securities of us, our peers and of listed companies generally;
•a reduced ability to opportunistically sell any of our vessels on the second-hand market, either as a result of a lack of buyers or a general decline in the value of second-hand vessels;
•a decline in the market value of our vessels, which may cause us to (a) incur additional impairment charges or (b) breach certain covenants under our financing agreements (including our secured facility agreements and financial leases) relating to vessel-to-loan covenants; and
•potential deterioration in the financial condition and prospects of our customers or the third party owners whose ships we commercially manage, or attempts by charterers, suppliers or receivers to invoke force majeure contractual clauses as a result of delays or other disruptions.
Although disruption and effects from the COVID-19 pandemic may be temporary or moderated by expanding vaccine accessibility, given the dynamic nature of these circumstances and the worldwide nature of our business and operations, the duration of any potential business disruption and the related potential financial impact to us cannot be reasonably estimated at this time but could materially affect our business, results of operations and financial condition in the future.
Terrorist attacks, increased hostilities, political change, or war could lead to further economic instability, increased costs, and business disruption.
Terrorist attacks, and the current or future conflicts in Libya, Middle East, East Asia, South East Asia, West Africa and elsewhere, and political change, may adversely affect our business, operating results, financial condition, and ability to raise capital and fund future growth. Recent hostilities in the Middle East especially among Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen (Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Area), Iran and elsewhere may lead to additional armed conflicts or to further acts of terrorism and civil disturbance in the United States or elsewhere, which may contribute further to economic instability and disruption of oil production and distribution, which could result in reduced demand for our services and have an adverse impact on our operations and our ability to conduct business.
In addition, oil facilities, shipyards, vessels, pipelines, oil fields or other infrastructure could be targets of future terrorist attacks or warlike operations and our vessels could be targets of hijackers, terrorists, or warlike operations. Any such attacks could lead to, among other things, bodily injury or loss of life, vessel or other property damage, increased vessel operational costs, including insurance costs, and the inability to transport oil to or from certain locations. Terrorist attacks, war, hijacking or other events beyond our control that adversely affect the distribution, production or transportation of oil to be shipped by us could entitle customers to terminate charters which would harm our cash flow and business.
Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels continue to be a risk, which could adversely affect our business.
Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in regions of the world such as the South China Sea, Gulf of Guinea and the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. While there continues to be a significant risk of piracy incidents in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, recently there have been increases in the frequency and severity of piracy incidents off the coast of West Africa and a resurgent risk of piracy and/or armed robbery in the Straits of Malacca, Sulu & Celebes Sea, Gulf of Mexico and surrounding waters. If these piracy attacks result in regions in which our vessels are deployed being named on the Joint War Committee Listed Areas, war risk insurance premiums payable for such coverage may increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain. In addition, crew costs, including costs which are incurred to the extent we employ on-board security guards and escort vessels, could increase in such circumstances. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or an increase in cost or unavailability of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Business
Economic downturns, including disruptions in the global credit markets, could adversely affect our ability to grow.
Economic downturns and financial crises in the global markets could produce illiquidity in the capital markets, market volatility, heightened exposure to interest rate and credit risks, and reduced access to capital markets. If global financial markets and economic conditions significantly deteriorate in the future, we may face restricted access to the capital markets or bank lending, which may make it more difficult and costly to fund future growth. Decreased access to such resources could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The United Kingdom exited the European Union (or EU) on January 31, 2020. On December 24, 2020, the United Kingdom reached a trade agreement with the EU. While the trade agreement did not impose any new tariffs or quotas on goods, there is a risk that the disruption of free movement between the United Kingdom and the EU could result in disruption of the exchange of people, business and services. As a result, uncertainty regarding the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU following this exit may create economic instability in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, which could affect our operations, including our access to bank loans, and may lead to an adverse effect on our business. While we will seek to minimize associated risk by implementing mitigation plans, we cannot assure you that any such plans will be effective.
Economic downturns may affect our customers’ ability to charter our vessels and pay for our services and may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Economic downturns in the global financial markets or economy generally may lead to a decline in our customers’ operations or ability to pay for our services, which could result in decreased demand for our vessels and services. Our customers’ inability to pay could also result in their default on our current contracts and charters. A decline in the amount of services requested by our customers or their default on our contracts with them could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be able to grow or to manage our growth effectively.
One of our principal strategies is to continue to grow by expanding our operations and adding vessels to our fleet. Our future growth will depend upon a number of factors, some of which are beyond our control. These factors include our ability to:
•identify suitable tankers or shipping companies for acquisitions or joint ventures;
•integrate successfully any acquired tankers or businesses with our existing operations; and
•obtain required financing for our existing and any new operations.
In addition, competition from other companies, many of which have significantly greater financial resources than do we or Teekay Corporation, may reduce our acquisition opportunities or cause us to pay higher prices. Our failure to effectively identify, purchase, develop and integrate any tankers or businesses could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
An increase in operating costs could adversely affect our cash flows and financial condition.
Our levels of vessel operating expenses depend upon a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Some of these costs may increase in the future, and such increases would decrease our earnings and adversely affect our cash flows and financial condition.
Over time, the value of our vessels may decline, which could adversely affect our existing loans and finance leases, our ability to obtain new financing or our operating results.
Vessel values for oil tankers can fluctuate substantially over time due to a number of different factors. Vessel values may decline from existing levels. If the operation of a tanker is not profitable, rather than continue to incur costs to maintain and finance the vessel, we may seek to dispose of it. Our inability to dispose of the vessel at a fair market value or the disposition of the vessel at a fair market value that is lower than its book value could result in a loss on its sale and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. As of December 31, 2020, our two credit facilities and our 14 obligations related to finance leases contain loan-to-value financial covenants tied to the value of the vessels that collateralize these credit facilities and the vessels related to the finance leases. We are required to maintain vessel value to outstanding loan and lease principal balance ratios ranging from 77.5%-125%. As at December 31, 2020, we were in compliance with these requirements. A decline in the market value of these tankers may result in a default of the applicable financing arrangement or may require us to prepay portions of the outstanding principal or pledge additional collateral to avoid a default. If we are unable to cure any such breach within the prescribed cure period in a particular financing facility, the relevant financiers could accelerate our debt or obligations under finance lease and foreclose on our vessels and other assets pledged as collateral or require an early termination of the credit facility or a finance lease. In certain circumstances, such a breach could result in cross-defaults under our other financing agreements. In addition, a significant decline in the market value of our tankers may prevent us from refinancing tankers with a similar amount of debt thereby requiring us to either reduce debt levels in facilities collateralized by the tankers or seek alternative financing structures.
In addition, if we determine at any time that a vessel’s future useful life and earnings require us to impair its value on our consolidated financial statements, we may need to recognize a significant charge against our earnings.
We may not realize expected benefits from acquisitions and implementing our growth strategy through acquisitions may harm our financial condition and performance.
Any acquisition of a vessel or business, such as our acquisition of the ship-to-ship (or STS) transfer business in July 2015 and Tanker Investments Ltd. (or TIL) in November 2017, may not be profitable at or after the time of acquisition and may not generate cash flows sufficient to justify the investment. In addition, our acquisition growth strategy exposes us to risks that may harm our business, financial condition and operating results, including risks that we may:
•fail to realize anticipated benefits, such as new customer relationships, cost-savings or cash flow enhancements;
•be unable to hire, train or retain qualified shore and seafaring personnel to manage and operate our growing business and fleet;
•decrease our liquidity by using a significant portion of available cash or borrowing capacity to finance acquisitions;
•significantly increase our interest expense or financial leverage if we incur additional debt to finance acquisitions;
•incur or assume unanticipated liabilities, losses or costs associated with any vessels or businesses acquired;
•incur other significant charges, such as impairment of intangible assets, asset devaluation or restructuring charges; or
•be unable to resell our acquired assets, or any portion thereof, for what we would consider fair value as a result of conditions that are beyond our control.
To the extent we acquire existing vessels, they typically do not carry warranties as to their condition, unlike newbuilding vessels. While we generally inspect existing vessels prior to purchase, such an inspection would normally not provide us with as much knowledge of a vessel’s condition as we would possess if it had been built for us and operated by us during its life. Repairs and maintenance costs for existing vessels are difficult to predict and may be substantially higher than for vessels we have operated since they were built. These costs could decrease our cash flows and liquidity and harm our financial condition and performance.
Financing agreements containing operating and financial restrictions may restrict our business and financing activities.
The operating and financial restrictions and covenants in our revolving credit facilities, term loans, lease obligations and in any of our future financing agreements could adversely affect our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to pursue and expand our business activities. For example, these financing arrangements may restrict our ability to:
•incur additional indebtedness and guarantee indebtedness;
•pay dividends or make other distributions or repurchase or redeem our capital stock;
•prepay certain debt;
•issue certain preferred shares or similar equity securities;
•make loans and investments;
•enter into a new line of business;
•incur or permit certain liens to exist;
•enter into transactions with affiliates;
•create unrestricted subsidiaries;
•transfer, sell, convey or otherwise dispose of assets;
•make certain acquisitions and investments;
•enter into agreements restricting our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends; and
•consolidate, merge or sell all or substantially all of our assets.
In addition, certain of our debt agreements and lease obligations require us to comply with certain financial covenants. Our ability to comply with covenants and restrictions contained in debt instruments and finance lease obligations may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. If any such events were to occur, we may fail to comply with these covenants. If we breach any of the restrictions, covenants, ratios or tests in our financing agreements or indentures and we are unable to cure such breach within the prescribed cure period, our obligations may, at the election of the relevant financier, become immediately due and payable, and the lenders’ commitment under our credit facilities, if any, to make further loans available to us may terminate. In certain circumstances, this could lead to cross-defaults under our other financing agreements which in turn could result in obligations becoming due and commitments being terminated under such agreements. A default under financing agreements could also result in foreclosure on any of our vessels and other assets securing related loans and finance leases or our need to sell assets or take other actions in order to meet our debt obligations.
We may be required to make substantial capital expenditures should we decide to expand the size of our fleet. We generally will be required to make significant installment payments for any acquisitions of newbuilding vessels prior to their delivery and generation of revenue. Depending on whether we finance our expenditures through cash from operations or by issuing debt or equity securities, our financial leverage could increase or our shareholders’ ownership interest in us could be diluted.
We will be required to make substantial capital expenditures should we decide to increase the size of our fleet, including acquiring tankers from third parties. Our acquisitions may also include newbuildings. We generally will be required to make installment payments on any newbuildings prior to their delivery. We typically pay 10% to 20% of the purchase price of a tanker upon signing the purchase contract, even though delivery of the
completed vessel does not occur until much later (approximately two to three years from the order). To fund expansion capital expenditures, we may be required to use cash balances or cash from operations, incur borrowings or raise capital through the incurrence of debt or issuance of additional equity securities. Our ability to obtain bank financing or to access the capital markets for future offerings may be limited by our financial condition at the time of any such financing or offering, as well as by adverse market conditions resulting from, among other things, general economic conditions and contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control. Our failure to obtain funds for capital expenditures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Even if we are successful in obtaining the necessary funds, incurring additional debt may significantly increase our interest expense and financial leverage, which could limit our financial flexibility and ability to pursue other business opportunities. In addition, issuing additional equity securities may result in significant shareholder ownership dilution.
Our substantial debt levels and obligations related to finance leases may limit our flexibility in obtaining additional financing, pursuing other business opportunities and paying dividends.
As of December 31, 2020, our long-term debt was approximately $249.6 million and an additional $253.4 million was available to us under our revolving credit facility, and our obligations related to finance leases were approximately $360.0 million. In addition, we have a working capital loan facility, which provides borrowings of up to a maximum of $80 million of which $10 million was drawn and $32 million was available as at December 31, 2020. We will continue to have the ability to incur additional debt, subject to limitations in our revolving credit facilities and working capital loan facility. Our level of debt could have important consequences to us, including the following:
•our ability to obtain additional financing, if necessary, for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other purposes may be impaired, or such financing may not be available on favorable terms, if at all;
•we will need a substantial portion of our cash flow to make principal and interest payments on our debt and lease payments on our obligations related to finance leases, reducing the funds that would otherwise be available for operations, business opportunities, share repurchases and dividends to our shareholders;
•our debt level makes us more vulnerable than our competitors with less debt to competitive pressures or a downturn in our industry or the economy generally; and
•our debt level may limit our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions.
Our ability to service our debt and obligations related to finance leases depends upon, among other things, our financial and operating performance, which is affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. If our operating results are not sufficient to service our current or future indebtedness and obligations related to finance leases, we will be forced to take actions such as reducing or delaying our business activities, acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our debt, or seeking additional equity capital or bankruptcy protection. We may not be able to effect any of these remedies on satisfactory terms, or at all.
Our ability to repay or refinance debt obligations and to fund our capital expenditures will depend on certain financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. To the extent we are able to finance these obligations and expenditures with cash from operations or by issuing debt or common shares, our ability to pay cash dividends may be diminished or our financial leverage may increase, or our shareholders may be diluted.
To fund our existing and future debt obligations and capital expenditures, we may be required to use our existing liquidity or cash from operations, incur borrowings, raise capital through the sale of assets or ownership interests in certain assets or our joint venture entity, issue debt or additional equity securities and/or seek to access other financing sources. Our access to potential funding sources and our future financial and operating performance will be affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond our control.
If we are unable to access additional financing arrangements and generate sufficient cash flow to meet our debt, capital expenditure and other business requirements, we may be forced to take actions such as:
•restructuring our debt;
•selling additional assets or equity interest in certain assets or our joint venture;
•not paying dividends;
•reducing, delaying or canceling business activities, acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures; or
•seeking bankruptcy protection.
Such measures might not be successful, and additional debt or equity capital may not be available on acceptable terms or enable us to meet our debt, capital expenditure and other obligations. Some of such measures may adversely affect our business and reputation. In addition, credit agreements may restrict our ability to implement some of these measures.
Use of cash from operations for capital purposes will reduce cash available for dividends to shareholders. Our ability to obtain bank financing or to access the capital markets for future offerings may be limited by our financial condition at the time of any such financing or offering as well as by adverse market conditions in general. Even if we are successful in obtaining necessary funds, the terms of such financings could limit our ability to pay cash dividends to shareholders or operate our business as currently conducted. In addition, incurring additional debt may significantly increase interest expense and financial leverage, and issuing additional equity securities may result in significant shareholder dilution and would increase the aggregate amount of cash required to maintain quarterly dividends. The sale of certain assets would reduce cash from operations and the cash available for shareholders.
Our primary liquidity needs in the next few years are to refinance loans as they mature and to make scheduled repayments of debt, in addition to paying debt service costs, dividends on equity as and if determined by our Board of Directors, scheduled repayments of obligations related to our finance leases, operating expenses and dry-docking and capital expenditures and funding general working capital requirements. We anticipate that our primary sources of funds in the next few years will be existing liquidity, cash flows from operations, equity issuances and long-term debt, finance leases or other sources of financing.
Many seafaring employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements, and the failure to renew those agreements or any future labor agreements may disrupt operations and adversely affect our cash flows.
A significant portion of Teekay Corporation’s seafarers that crew our vessels are employed under collective bargaining agreements. Teekay Corporation may become subject to additional labor agreements in the future. Teekay Corporation may suffer labor disruptions if relationships deteriorate with the seafarers or the unions that represent them. The collective bargaining agreements may not prevent labor disruptions, particularly when the agreements are being renegotiated. Salaries are typically renegotiated annually or biannually for seafarers. Although these negotiations have not caused labor disruptions in the past, any labor disruptions could harm our operations and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Teekay Corporation may be unable to attract and retain qualified, skilled employees or crew necessary to operate our business, and the cost of attracting and retaining such personnel may increase.
Our success depends in large part on Teekay Corporation’s ability to attract and retain highly skilled and qualified personnel. In crewing our vessels, we require technically skilled employees with specialized training who can perform physically demanding work. Competition to attract and retain qualified crew members is intense. The shipping industry continues to forecast a shortfall in qualified personnel, and crew or other compensation may increase in the future. If crew costs increase and we are not able to increase our rates to compensate for any such increases, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. Any inability we experience in the future to hire, train and retain a sufficient number of qualified employees or crew could impair our ability to manage, maintain and grow our business.
Our insurance may be insufficient to cover losses that may occur to our vessels or result from our operations.
The operation of oil tankers and lightering support vessels and the transfer of oil is inherently risky. Although we carry hull and machinery (marine and war risks), protection and indemnity insurance, and other liability insurance, all risks may not be adequately insured against, and any particular claim may not be paid or paid in full. In addition, we do not carry insurance on our vessels covering the loss of revenues resulting from vessel off-hire time. Any significant unpaid claims or off-hire time of our vessels could harm our business, operating results and financial condition. Any claims covered by insurance would be subject to deductibles, and since it is possible that a large number of claims may be brought, the aggregate amount of these deductibles could be material. Certain of our insurance coverage is maintained through mutual protection and indemnity associations, and as a member of such associations we may be required to make additional payments over and above budgeted premiums if member claims exceed association reserves. In addition, the cost of this protection and indemnity coverage has significantly increased and may continue to increase. Even if our insurance coverage is adequate to cover our losses, we may not be able to obtain a timely replacement vessel in the event of a total loss of a vessel.
We may be unable to procure adequate insurance coverage at commercially reasonable rates in the future. For example, more stringent environmental regulations have led to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. A catastrophic oil spill, marine disasters or natural disasters could exceed the insurance coverage, which could harm our business, financial condition and operating results. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business and financial condition. In addition, the insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain actions, such as vessels failing to maintain certification with applicable maritime regulatory organizations.
Changes in the insurance markets attributable to structural changes in insurance markets, economic factors, the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, outbreaks of other communicable diseases, terrorist attacks, environmental catastrophes or political changes may also make certain types of insurance more difficult to obtain. In addition, the insurance that may be available may be significantly more expensive than existing coverage or be available only with restrictive terms.
Maritime claimants could arrest, or port authorities could detain, our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow from these vessels.
Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against that vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lienholder may enforce its lien by arresting a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could interrupt our cash flow and require us to pay large sums of funds to have the arrest or attachment lifted. In addition, in some jurisdictions, such as South Africa, under the “sister ship” theory of liability, a claimant may arrest both the vessel that is subject to the claimant’s maritime lien and any “associated” vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner. Claimants could try to assert “sister ship” liability against one vessel in our fleet or the RSAs in which we operate for claims relating to another of our ships. Also, port authorities may seek to detain our vessels in port, which could adversely affect our operating results or relationships with customers.
We depend on Teekay Corporation to assist us in operating our business and competing in our markets, and our business will be harmed if Teekay Corporation fails to assist us.
Pursuant to the terms of the Management Agreement, Teekay Shipping Ltd., as successor by merger to the initial manager, Teekay Tankers Management Services Ltd., and subsidiary of Teekay (or the Manager) provides various services to us. Our operational success and ability to execute our growth strategy depend significantly upon the satisfactory performance of these services by our Manager. Our business may be harmed if our Manager fails to perform these services satisfactorily, if it stops providing these services to us or if it terminates the Management Agreement, as it is entitled to do under certain circumstances. The circumstances under which we are able to terminate the Management
Agreement are limited and do not include mere dissatisfaction with our Manager’s performance. In addition, upon any termination of the Management Agreement, we may lose our ability to benefit from economies of scale in purchasing supplies and other advantages that we believe our relationship with Teekay Corporation provides. If Teekay Corporation suffers material damage to its reputation or relationships, it may harm our ability to:
•maximize revenues of our tankers;
•acquire new tankers or obtain new time charters;
•renew existing time charters upon their expiration;
•successfully interact with shipyards during periods of shipyard construction constraints;
•obtain financing on commercially acceptable terms; or
•maintain satisfactory relationships with suppliers and other third parties.
If our ability to do any of the things described above is impaired, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Exposure to interest rate fluctuations will result in fluctuations in our cash flows and operating results.
We are exposed to the impact of interest rate changes primarily through our borrowings that require us to make interest payments based on LIBOR. Significant increases in interest rates could adversely affect our profit margins, results of operations and our ability to service our debt. In accordance with our risk management policy, we use interest rate swaps on certain of our debt to reduce our exposure to market risk from changes in interest rates. The principal objective of these contracts is to minimize the risks and costs associated with our floating rate debt. However, any hedging activities entered into by us may not be effective in fully mitigating our interest rate risk from our variable rate indebtedness.
In addition, we are exposed to credit loss in the event of non-performance by the counterparties to the interest rate swap agreements. For further
information about our financial instruments at December 31, 2020, that are sensitive to changes in interest rates, please read "Item 11 - Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk".
Our failure to renew or replace fixed-rate charters could cause us to trade the related vessels in the spot market, which could adversely affect our operating results and make them more volatile.
As of December 31, 2020, nine of our tankers operated under fixed-rate time-charter contracts, seven charter contracts are scheduled to expire in 2021, and two are scheduled to expire in 2022. If upon their scheduled expiration or any early termination we are unable to renew or replace fixed-rate charters on favorable terms, or if we choose not to renew or replace these fixed-rate charters, we may employ the vessels in the volatile spot market. Increasing our exposure to the spot market, particularly during periods of unfavorable market conditions, could harm our results of operations and make them more volatile.
Our U.S. Gulf lightering business competes with alternative methods of delivering crude oil to ports, which may limit our earnings in this market.
Our U.S. Gulf lightering business faces competition from alternative methods of delivering crude oil shipments to port, including offshore offloading facilities. While we believe that lightering offers advantages over alternative methods of delivering crude oil to U.S. Gulf ports, our lightering revenues may be limited due to the availability of alternative methods.
Our full service lightering operations are subject to specific risks that could lead to accidents, oil spills or property damage.
Lightering is subject to specific risks arising from the process of safely bringing two large moving tankers next to each other and mooring them for lightering operations, in which oil, refined petroleum products or other cargoes are transferred from one ship to the other. These operations require a high degree of expertise and present a higher risk of collision or spill compared to when docking a vessel or transferring cargo at port. Lightering operations, similar to marine transportation in general, are also subject to risks due to events such as mechanical failures, human error, and weather conditions.
Our and many of our customers' substantial operations outside the United States expose us and them to political, governmental, and economic instability, which could harm our operations.
Because our operations and the operations of our customers are primarily conducted outside of the United States, they may be affected by economic, political and governmental conditions in the countries where we or our customers engage in business or where our vessels are registered. Any disruption caused by these factors could harm our business, including by reducing the levels of oil exploration, development, and production activities in these areas or restricting the pool of customers. We derive some of our revenues from shipping oil from politically unstable regions. Conflicts in these regions have included attacks on ships and other efforts to disrupt shipping. Hostilities or other political instability in regions where we operate or where we may operate could have a material adverse effect on the growth of our business, results of operations and financial condition and ability to pay dividends.
In addition, tariffs, trade embargoes and other economic sanctions by the United States or other countries against countries in which we operate, to which we trade, or to which we or any of our customers, joint venture partners or business partners become subject, may limit trading activities with those countries or with customers, which could also harm our business and ability to pay dividends. For example, general trade tensions between the United States and China escalated in 2018 and continued through much of 2019, with the United States imposing a series of tariffs on China and China responding by imposing tariffs on United States products. Although during the last quarter of 2019, the United States and China
negotiated an agreement to reduce trade tensions which became effective in February 2020, our business could be harmed by increasing trade protectionism or trade tensions between the United States and China, as well as any trade embargoes or other economic sanctions by the United States or other countries against countries in the Middle East, Asia, Russia or elsewhere as a result of terrorist attacks, hostilities, or diplomatic or political pressures that limit trading activities with those countries.
In addition, a government could requisition one or more of our vessels, which is most likely during war or national emergency. Any such requisition would cause a loss of the vessel and could harm our cash flows and financial results.
Use of LIBOR is currently scheduled to cease in the future, and interest rates on our LIBOR-based obligations may increase in the future.
LIBOR is the subject of recent national, international and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. In March 2021, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it will cease the publication of LIBOR after December 31, 2021, with the exception of certain tenors of U.S. dollar LIBOR which will cease publication after June 30, 2023. It is unclear whether an extension will be granted or new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after the scheduled expiration dates, or if alternative rates will be adopted. Global regulators are working with the financial sector to transition away from the use of LIBOR and towards the adoption of alternative reference rates. For example, the U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities (or SOFR). SOFR is observed and backward-looking, which stands in contrast with LIBOR under the current methodology, which is an estimated forward-looking rate and relies, to some degree, on the expert judgment of submitting panel members. Whether or not SOFR attains market acceptance as a LIBOR replacement tool remains in question and there can be no assurance that the transition to a new benchmark rate or other financial metric will be an adequate alternative to LIBOR or produce the economic equivalent of LIBOR. As a result, it is not possible at this time to know the ultimate impact that a phase-out of LIBOR may have.
While our secured revolving credit facility agreement dated January 28, 2020 and secured term loan facility agreement dated August 11, 2020 each provides for an alternate method of calculating interest rates in the event that a LIBOR rate is unavailable, if LIBOR ceases to exist or if the methods of calculating LIBOR change from their current form, there may be adverse impacts on the financial markets generally and interest rates on borrowings under our revolving facilities and secured term loan facilities may be materially adversely affected. From time to time, we use interest rate swaps to reduce our exposure to market risk from changes in interest rates. The principal objective of these contracts is to minimize the risks and costs associated with our floating-rate debt. We cannot provide assurances that any hedging activities that we enter into will fully mitigate our interest rate risk from our variable rate indebtedness.
In addition, we may need to renegotiate certain LIBOR-based credit facilities or interest rate derivatives agreements, which could adversely impact our cost of debt. There can be no assurance that we will be able to modify existing documentation or renegotiate existing transactions before the discontinuation of LIBOR.
Exposure to currency exchange fluctuations could result in fluctuations in our operating results.
Our primary economic environment is the international shipping market, which utilizes the U.S. Dollar as its functional currency. Consequently, virtually all of our revenues and the majority of our expenses are in U.S. Dollars. However, we incur certain voyage expenses, vessel operating expenses, and general and administrative expenses in foreign currencies, the most significant of which are the Singapore Dollar, British Pound, Euro and Canadian Dollar. This partial mismatch in revenues and expenses could lead to fluctuations in our net income due to changes in the value of the U.S. Dollar relative to other currencies.
Our operating results are subject to seasonal fluctuations.
Our tankers operate in markets that have historically exhibited seasonal variations in tanker demand and, therefore, in spot-charter rates. This seasonality may result in quarter-to-quarter volatility in our results of operations. Tanker markets are typically stronger in the winter months as a result of increased oil consumption in the northern hemisphere but weaker in the summer months as a result of lower oil consumption in the northern hemisphere and refinery maintenance. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns during the winter months tend to disrupt vessel scheduling, which historically has increased oil price volatility and oil trading activities in the winter months. As a result, revenues generated by the tankers in our fleet have historically been weaker during our fiscal quarters ended June 30 and September 30, and stronger in our fiscal quarters ended December 31 and March 31.
The fiduciary duties of certain of our officers and directors may conflict with their duties as officers or directors of Teekay Corporation and its affiliates.
Our officers and directors have fiduciary duties to manage our business in a manner beneficial to us and our shareholders. However, our Chief Executive Officer and three of our current directors also serve as officers, directors or members of the senior leadership team of Teekay Corporation, and our Chief Financial Officer is employed by a subsidiary of Teekay Corporation. As a result, they have fiduciary duties to manage the business of Teekay Corporation and its affiliates in a manner beneficial to such entities and their shareholders or partners, as the case may be. Consequently, these officers and directors may encounter situations in which their fiduciary obligations to Teekay Corporation or its affiliates, on the one hand, and us, on the other hand, are in conflict. The resolution of these conflicts may not always be in our best interest or that of our shareholders.
Our executive officers and directors and certain officers and directors of Teekay Corporation have conflicts of interest and limited fiduciary and contractual duties, which may permit them to favor interests of Teekay Corporation and its other affiliates above our interests and those of our Class A common shareholders.
Conflicts of interest may arise between Teekay Corporation and its other affiliates, on the one hand, and us and our shareholders, on the other hand. As a result of these conflicts, Teekay Corporation may favor its own interests and the interests of its other affiliates over our interests and those of our shareholders. These conflicts include, among others, the following situations:
•our Chief Executive Officer and three of our current directors also serve as officers, directors or members of the senior leadership team of Teekay Corporation, and our Chief Financial Officer is employed by a subsidiary of Teekay Corporation. We have limited their fiduciary duties regarding corporate opportunities that may be attractive to both Teekay Corporation and us;
•our Manager, a subsidiary of Teekay Corporation, advises our Board of Directors about the amount and timing of asset purchases and sales, capital expenditures, borrowings, issuances of additional common stock and cash reserves, each of which can affect our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders and the amount of the performance fee payable to our Manager under the Management Agreement;
•our executive officers and those of our Manager do not spend all their time on matters related to our business; and
•our Manager will advise us of costs incurred by it and its affiliates that it believes are reimbursable by us.
Our Manager has rights to terminate the Management Agreement and, under certain circumstances, could receive substantial sums in connection with such termination; however, even if our Board of Directors or our shareholders are dissatisfied with our Manager, there are limited circumstances under which we can terminate the Management Agreement.
Our Management Agreement has an initial term through December 31, 2022 and will automatically renew for subsequent five-year terms provided that certain conditions are met. Our Manager has the right to terminate the Management Agreement with 12 months’ notice. Our Manager also has the right to terminate the Management Agreement after a dispute resolution process if we have materially breached the Management Agreement. The Management Agreement will terminate upon the sale of all or substantially all of our assets to a third party, our liquidation or after any change of control of our company occurs. If the Management Agreement is terminated as a result of an asset sale, our liquidation or change of control, then our Manager may be paid a termination fee. Any such payment could be substantial.
In addition, our rights to terminate the Management Agreement are limited. Even if we are not satisfied with the Manager’s efforts in managing our business, unless our Manager materially breaches the agreement or experiences certain bankruptcy or change of control events, we have only a limited right to terminate the agreement and may not be able to terminate the agreement until December 31, 2022, the end of the initial 15-year term. If we elect to terminate the Management Agreement at the end of the initial term or at the end of any subsequent renewal term, our Manager will receive a termination fee, which may be substantial.
Our Manager could receive a performance fee which is contingent on our results of operations and financial condition.
If Gross Cash Available for Distribution (as defined in the Management Agreement) for a given fiscal year exceeds $25.60 per share of our common stock, as adjusted for a reverse stock split on November 25, 2019 (subject to further adjustment for stock dividends, splits, combinations and similar events, and based on the weighted-average number of shares outstanding for the year) (or the Incentive Threshold), our Manager generally will be entitled to payment of a performance fee equal to 20% of all Gross Cash Available for Distribution for such year in excess of the Incentive Threshold. Although the performance fee is payable on an annual basis, we accrue any amounts expected to be payable in respect of the performance fee on a quarterly basis. Gross Cash Available for Distribution generally represents the distributable cash flows that we generate from operations.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
Past port calls by our vessels or third-party vessels participating in RSAs, to countries that are subject to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union could harm our business.
The United States has imposed sanctions on several countries or regions such as Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, and Venezuela. The EU lifted its previously enacted sanctions on Iran in January 2016. At that time, the U.S. lifted its secondary sanctions on Iran, which applied to foreign persons but has retained its primary sanctions which apply to U.S. entities and their foreign subsidiaries. In the past, oil tankers owned or chartered-in by us, or third-party vessels participating in RSAs from which we derive revenue, made limited port calls to those countries for the loading and discharging of oil products. Those port calls did not violate U.S. or EU sanctions at the time, and we intend to maintain our compliance with all U.S. and EU sanctions. In addition, we have no future contracted loadings or discharges in any of those countries and intend not to enter into voyage charter contracts for the transport of oil to or from Iran or Syria.
We believe that our compliance with these sanctions and our lack of any future port calls to those countries does not and will not adversely impact our revenues, because port calls to these countries have never accounted for any material amount of our revenues. However, some investors might decide not to invest in us simply because we have previously called on, or through our participation in RSAs have previously received revenue from calls on, ports in these sanctioned countries. Any such investor reaction could adversely affect the market for our common shares.
Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, the UK Criminal Finances Act and similar legislation in other jurisdictions could result in fines, criminal penalties, contract terminations and an adverse effect on our business.
We operate our vessels worldwide, which may require our vessels to trade in countries known to have a reputation for corruption. We are committed to doing business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws and have adopted a code of business conduct and ethics which is consistent and in full compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (or the FCPA), the Bribery Act 2010 of the United Kingdom (or
the UK Bribery Act) and the Criminal Finances Act 2017 of the United Kingdom (the CFA). We are subject, however, to the risk that we, our affiliated entities or our or their respective officers, directors, employees and agents may take actions determined to be in violation of such anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, including the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and the CFA. Any such violation could result in substantial fines, sanctions, civil and/or criminal penalties, or curtailment of operations in certain jurisdictions, and might adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business. Furthermore, detecting, investigating, and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management.
The shipping industry is subject to substantial environmental and other regulations, which may significantly limit operations and increase expenses.
Our operations are affected by extensive and changing international, national and local environmental protection laws, regulations, treaties and conventions which are in force in international waters, the jurisdictional waters of the countries in which our vessels operate, as well as the countries of our vessels’ registration, including those governing oil spills, discharges to air and water, and the handling and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. Many of these requirements are designed to reduce the risk of oil spills and other pollution. In addition, we believe that the heightened environmental, quality and security concerns of insurance underwriters, regulators and charterers will lead to additional regulatory requirements, including enhanced risk assessment and security requirements and greater inspection and safety requirements on vessels. For example, new or amended legislation relating to ship recycling, sewage systems, emission control (including emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants) as well as ballast water treatment and ballast water handling may be adopted. The International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency for maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by vessels (or the IMO) has also established progressive standards limiting emissions from ships starting from 2023 towards 2030 and 2050 goals. These and other laws or regulations may require significant additional capital expenditures or operating expenses in order for us to comply with the laws and regulations and maintain our vessels in compliance with international and national regulations.
The environmental and other laws and regulations applicable to us may affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels, require a reduction in cargo capacity, ship modifications or operational changes or restrictions, lead to decreased availability of insurance coverage for environmental matters or result in the denial of access to certain jurisdictional waters or ports, or detention in, certain ports. Under local, national, and foreign laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, we could incur material liabilities, including cleanup obligations, if there is a release of petroleum or other hazardous substances from our vessels or otherwise in connection with our operations. We could also become subject to personal injury or property damage claims relating to the release of or exposure to hazardous materials associated with our operations. In addition, failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may result in administrative and civil penalties, criminal sanctions or the suspension or termination of our operations, including, in certain instances, seizure or detention of our vessels. For further information about regulations affecting our business and the related requirements imposed on us, please read "Item 4 – Information on the Company: B. Business Overview – Regulations".
Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions may adversely impact our operations and markets.
An increasing concern for, and focus on climate change has promoted extensive existing and proposed international, national and local regulations intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (including from various jurisdictions and the IMO). These regulatory measures may include the adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased efficiency standards and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. Compliance with these or other regulations and our efforts to participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions could increase our compliance costs, require additional capital expenditures to reduce vessel emissions and may require changes to our business.
Our business includes transporting oil and oil products. Regulatory changes and growing public concern about the environmental impact of climate change may lead to reduced demand for our assets and decreased demand for our services, while increasing or creating greater incentives for use of alternative energy sources. We expect regulatory and consumer efforts aimed at combating climate change to intensify and accelerate. Although we do not expect demand for oil to decline dramatically over the short-term, in the long-term, climate change initiatives will likely significantly affect demand for oil and for alternatives. Any such change could adversely affect our ability to compete in a changing market and our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders, customers and other market participants with respect to ESG policies and practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to additional risks.
Companies across all industries are facing increasing scrutiny relating to their ESG policies. Investor advocacy groups, certain institutional investors, investment funds, lenders and other market participants are increasingly focused on ESG practices and, in recent years, have placed increasing importance on the implications and social cost of their investments. The increased focus and activism related to ESG and similar matters may hinder access to capital, as investors and lenders may decide to reallocate capital or to not commit capital as a result of their assessment of a company’s ESG practices. Companies that do not adapt to or comply with investor, lender or other industry stakeholder expectations and standards, which are evolving, or which are perceived to have not responded appropriately to the growing concern for ESG issues, regardless of whether there is a legal requirement to do so, may suffer from reputational damage and their business, financial condition and stock price may be adversely affected.
We may face increasing pressures from investors, lenders, customers and other market participants, which are increasingly focused on climate change, to prioritize sustainable energy practices, reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability. As a result, we may be required to implement more stringent ESG procedures or standards so that our existing and future investors and lenders remain invested in us and make further investments in us, or in order for customers to consider conducting future business with us, especially given our business of transporting oil and oil products. In addition, it is likely we will incur additional costs and require additional resources to monitor, report and comply with wide-ranging ESG requirements. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a Marshall Islands corporation with our headquarters in Bermuda, and with a majority of our subsidiaries being Marshall Islands entities and also having subsidiaries in other offshore jurisdictions, our operations may be subject to economic substance requirements, which could impact our business.
Finance ministers of the EU rate jurisdictions for tax transparency, governance, real economic activity and corporate tax rate. Countries that do not adequately cooperate with the finance ministers are put on a “grey list” or a “blacklist”. Bermuda and the Marshall Islands were removed from the blacklist in May and October 2019, respectively. Subsequently, in February 2020, Bermuda and the Marshall Islands were "white-listed" by the EU and continue to remain on such list.
EU member states have agreed upon a set of measures, which they can choose to apply against the listed countries, including increased monitoring and audits, withholding taxes, special documentation requirements and anti-abuse provisions. The European Commission has stated it will continue to support member states' efforts to develop a more coordinated approach to sanctions for the listed countries. EU legislation prohibits EU funds from being channeled or transited through entities in countries on the blacklist. Jurisdictions in which we operate could be put on the blacklist in the future.
We are a Marshall Islands corporation with our headquarters in Bermuda. A majority of our subsidiaries are Marshall Islands entities and certain our subsidiaries are either organized or registered in Bermuda. These jurisdictions have enacted economic substance laws and regulations with which we may be obligated to comply. The Marshall Islands have also adopted similar economic substance requirements. We believe that we and our subsidiaries are compliant with the Bermuda and the Marshall Islands economic substance requirements and do not foresee that these requirements would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. However, if there were a change in the requirements or interpretation thereof, or if there were an unexpected change to our operations, any such change could result in noncompliance with the economic substance legislation and related fines or other penalties, increased monitoring and audits, and dissolution of the non-compliant entity, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or operating results.
Regulations relating to ballast water discharge which came into effect during September 2017 may adversely affect our operational results and financial condition.
The IMO has imposed updated guidelines for ballast water management systems specifying the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged from a vessel’s ballast water. Depending on the date of the International Oil Pollution Prevention renewal survey, existing vessels constructed before September 8, 2017 are required to comply with updated applicable standards on or after September 8, 2019. For most vessels, compliance with the applicable standard will involve installing on-board systems to treat ballast water and eliminate unwanted organisms. Ships constructed on or after September 8, 2017 are required to comply with the applicable standards on or after September 8, 2017. We are currently implementing ballast water management system upgrades on certain of our vessels in accordance with the required timelines imposed by the IMO. The cost of compliance with these regulations, including as a result of installing such systems, may be substantial and may adversely affect our results of operation and financial condition.
In addition to the requirements under the IMO, the United States Coast Guard (or USCG) has imposed mandatory ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks and entering U.S. waters. These USCG regulations may have the effect of restricting our vessels from entering U.S. waters, unless we equip our vessels with pre-approved BWTS management systems or receive authorization by a duly-issued permit or exemption.
Information and Technology Risks
A cyber-attack could materially disrupt our business.
We rely on information technology systems and networks in our operations and the administration of our business. Cyber-attacks have increased in number and sophistication in recent years. Our operations could be targeted by individuals or groups seeking to sabotage or disrupt our information technology systems and networks, or to steal data. A successful cyber-attack could materially disrupt our operations, including the safety of our operations, or lead to the unauthorized release of information or alteration of information on our systems. Any such attack or other breaches of our information technology systems could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Our failure to comply with data privacy laws could damage our customer relationships and expose us to litigation risks and potential fines.
Data privacy is subject to frequently changing rules and regulations, which sometimes conflict among the various jurisdictions and countries in which we provide services and continue to develop in ways which we cannot predict, including with respect to evolving technologies such as cloud computing. The EU has adopted the General Data Privacy Regulation (or GDPR), a comprehensive legal framework to govern data collection, use and sharing and related consumer privacy rights, which took effect in May 2018. The GDPR includes significant penalties for non-compliance. Our failure to adhere to or successfully implement processes in response to changing regulatory requirements in this area could result in legal liability or impairment to our reputation in the marketplace, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to an Investment in Our Securities
The superior voting rights of our Class B common stock held by Teekay Corporation limit our Class A common shareholders’ ability to control or influence corporate matters.
Our Class B common stock has five votes per share, and our Class A common stock has one vote per share. However, the voting power of the Class B common stock is limited such that the aggregate voting power of all shares of outstanding Class B common stock can at no time exceed 49% of the voting power of our outstanding Class A common stock and Class B common stock, voting together as a single class. As of the date of
this Annual Report, Teekay Corporation indirectly owns shares of Class A and Class B common stock representing a majority of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock. Through its ownership of all of our Class B common stock and of our Manager and other entities that provide services to us, Teekay Corporation has substantial control and influence over our management and affairs and over all matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions. In addition, because of this dual-class common stock structure, Teekay Corporation will continue to be able to control matters submitted to our shareholders for approval even though it owns significantly less than 50% of the outstanding shares of our common stock. This voting control limits our remaining Class A common shareholders’ ability to influence corporate matters and, as a result, we may take actions that our Class A common shareholders do not view as beneficial.
Because we are organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands, it may be difficult to serve us with legal process or enforce judgments against us, our directors or our management.
We are organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands, and all of our assets are located outside of the United States. In addition, a majority of our directors and officers are non-residents of the United States, and all or a substantial portion of the assets of these non-residents are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible to bring an action against us or against these individuals in the United States. Even if successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Marshall Islands and of other jurisdictions may prevent or restrict the enforcement of a judgment against us or our assets or our directors and officers.
In addition to the following risk factors, you should read "Item 4E – Taxation of the Company", "Item 10 - Additional Information – Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations" and "Item 10 - Additional Information – Non-United States Tax Considerations" for a more complete discussion of the expected material U.S. federal and non-U.S. income tax considerations relating to us and the ownership and disposition of our Class A common stock.
U.S. tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. shareholders.
A non-U.S. entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes will be treated as a “passive foreign investment company” (or PFIC) for such purposes in any taxable year in which, after taking into account the income and assets of the corporation and, pursuant to a “look-through” rule, any other corporation or partnership in which the corporation directly or indirectly owns at least 25% of the stock or equity interests (by value), either (i) at least 75% of its gross income consists of “passive income,” or (ii) at least 50% of the average value of the entity’s assets is attributable to assets that produce or are held for the production of “passive income.” For purposes of these tests, “passive income” includes dividends, interest, gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and rents and royalties (other than rents and royalties that are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business). By contrast, income derived from the performance of services does not constitute “passive income.”
There are legal uncertainties involved in determining whether the income derived from our and our look-through subsidiaries’ time-chartering activities constitutes rental income or income derived from the performance of services, including the decision in Tidewater Inc. v. United States, 565 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 2009), which held that income derived from certain time-chartering activities should be treated as rental income rather than services income for purposes of a foreign sales corporation provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (or the Code). However, the Internal Revenue Service (or the IRS) stated in an Action on Decision (AOD 2010-01) that it disagrees with, and will not acquiesce to, the way that the rental versus services framework was applied to the facts in the Tidewater decision, and in its discussion stated that the time charters at issue in Tidewater would be treated as producing services income for PFIC purposes. The IRS’s statement with respect to Tidewater cannot be relied upon or otherwise cited as precedent by taxpayers. Consequently, in the absence of any binding legal authority specifically relating to the statutory provisions governing PFICs, there can be no assurance that the IRS or a court would not follow the Tidewater decision in interpreting the PFIC provisions of the Code. Nevertheless, based on our and our look-through subsidiaries’ current assets and operations, we intend to take the position that we are not now and have never been a PFIC. No assurance can be given, however, that this position would be sustained by a court if contested by the IRS, or that we would not constitute a PFIC for any future taxable year if there were to be changes in our and our look-through subsidiaries’ assets, income or operations.
If the IRS were to determine that we are or have been a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder (as defined below under “Item 10 – Additional Information – Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations”) held our stock, such U.S. Holder would face adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences. For a more comprehensive discussion regarding the tax consequences to U.S. Holders if we are treated as a PFIC, please read "Item 10 - Additional Information-Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations-United States Federal Income Taxation of U.S. Holders-Consequences of Possible PFIC Classification."
We are subject to taxes, which reduces our cash available for distribution to shareholders.
We, our joint venture or our subsidiaries are subject to tax in certain jurisdictions in which we, our joint venture or our subsidiaries are organized own assets or have operations, which reduces the amount of our cash available for distribution. In computing our tax obligations in these jurisdictions, we are required to take various tax accounting and reporting positions, including in certain cases estimates, on matters that are not entirely free from doubt and for which we may not have received rulings from the governing authorities. We cannot assure you that upon review of these positions the applicable authorities will agree with our positions. A successful challenge by a tax authority could result in additional tax imposed on us, our joint venture or our subsidiaries, further reducing the cash available for distribution. We have established reserves in our financial statements that we believe are adequate to cover our liability for any such additional taxes. We cannot assure you, however, that such reserves will be sufficient to cover any additional tax liability that may be imposed on our subsidiaries. In addition, changes in our operations or ownership could result in additional tax being imposed on us or on our subsidiaries in jurisdictions in which operations are conducted. For example, if we were not able to satisfy the requirements of the exemption from U.S. taxation under Section 883 of the Code, we would be subject to U.S. federal income tax on income we earn from voyages into or out of the United States, the amount of which is not within our complete control. In addition, we may rely on an exemption to be deemed non-resident in Canada for Canadian tax purposes under subsection 250(6) of the Canada
Income Tax Act for (i) corporations whose principal business is international shipping and that derive all or substantially all of their revenue from international shipping, and (ii) corporations that are holding companies that have over half of the cost base of their investments in eligible international shipping subsidiaries and receive substantially all of their revenue as dividends from those eligible international shipping subsidiaries exempt under subsection 250(6). If we were to cease to qualify for the subsection 250(6) exemption, we could be subject to Canadian income tax and also Canadian withholding tax on outbound distributions, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results. In addition, to the extent Teekay Tankers Limited were to distribute dividends as a corporation determined to be resident in Canada, stockholders who are not resident in Canada for purposes of the Canada Income Tax Act would generally be subject to Canadian withholding tax in respect of such dividends paid by Teekay Tankers Limited.
Typically, most of our time-charter and spot voyage charter contracts require the charterer to reimburse us for a certain period of time in respect of taxes incurred as a consequence of the voyage activities of our vessels while performing under the relevant charter. However, our rights to reimbursement under charter contracts may not survive for as long as the applicable statutes of limitations in the jurisdictions in which we operate. As such, we may not be able to obtain reimbursement from our charterers for any applicable taxes that are not paid before the contractual claim period has expired.
Item 4.Information on the Company
A.History and Development of the Company
Teekay Tankers Ltd. (“we,” “us,” or “the Company”) is an international provider of marine transportation to global oil industries. We were formed as a Marshall Islands corporation in October 2007 by Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK), a leading provider of marine services to the global oil and natural gas industries. We completed our initial public offering on December 18, 2007 with an initial fleet of nine Aframax oil tankers which were transferred to us by Teekay Corporation.
Our tanker fleet size has increased from nine owned Aframax tankers in 2007 to 52 owned and leased tankers, three in-chartered tankers and one jointly-owned Very Large Crude Carrier (or VLCC) tanker as of December 31, 2020. The capacity of our tanker fleet has risen from approximately 980,000 deadweight tonnes (or dwt) in 2007 to approximately 7,268,300 dwt as of December 31, 2020.
In July 2015, we acquired our STS transfer business from a company jointly-owned by Teekay Corporation and a Norway-based marine transportation company, I.M. Skaugen SE. In addition to full service lightering and lightering support, this business also provided consultancy and LNG terminal management services. In April 2020, we sold the non-U.S. portion of our STS business, as well as our LNG terminal management business. Please read "Item 18 – Financial Statements: Note 19 - Write-down and Sale of Assets".
In May 2017, we completed the acquisition from Teekay Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teekay Corporation, of the remaining 50% interest in Teekay Tanker Operations Ltd. (or TTOL), which owns certain tanker commercial management and technical management operations.
In November 2017, we completed a merger with Tanker Investments Ltd. (or TIL) by acquiring all of the remaining 27.0 million issued and outstanding common shares of TIL, by way of a share-for-share exchange resulting in TIL becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary. Upon completion of the merger, we acquired TIL's fleet of ten Suezmax tankers, six Aframax tankers and two LR2 product tankers.
We sold two Aframax tankers in early-2021, three Suezmax tankers in 2020, one Suezmax tanker in 2019, three Aframax tankers and two Suezmax tankers in 2017 and two Medium Range (or MR) tankers in 2016. Please read "Item 18 – Financial Statements: Note 19 - Write-down and Sale of Assets". We completed a sale-leaseback financing transaction in 2019 relating to two Suezmax tankers, two sale-leaseback financing transactions in 2018 relating to eight Aframax tankers, one Suezmax tanker and one LR2 product tanker, and a sale-leaseback financing transaction in 2017 relating to four Suezmax tankers. Please read "Item 18 - Financial Statements: Note 10 - Operating Leases and Obligations Related to Finance Leases".
From time to time, we also charter-in vessels, typically from third parties as part of our chartering strategy. Please read “Business Strategies” below in this Item. Most of our acquisitions were financed by a combination of utilizing the net proceeds from public equity offerings or private placements, as well as raising new debt, the assumption of existing debt, drawing on our revolving credit facility, and using our available working capital.
We incorporated on October 17, 2007 under the laws of the Republic of The Marshall Islands as Teekay Tankers Ltd. and maintain our principal executive offices at 4th Floor, Belvedere Building, 69 Pitts Bay Road, Hamilton, HM 08, Bermuda. Our telephone number at such address is (441) 298-2530.
The SEC maintains an Internet site at www.sec.gov, that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Our website is www.teekay.com/business/tankers. The information contained on our website is not part of this Annual Report.
Our primary business is to own oil and product tankers and we employ a chartering strategy that seeks to capture upside opportunities in the tanker spot market while using fixed-rate time charters and full service lightering contracts to reduce downside risks. In addition to our core business, we also provide STS support services, along with our tanker commercial management and technical management operations. We believe this improves our ability to manage the cyclicality of the tanker market through the less volatile cash flows generated by these operational areas. Historically, the tanker industry has experienced volatility in profitability due to changes in the supply of, and demand for, tanker capacity. Tanker supply and demand are each influenced by several factors beyond our control. On April 30, 2020, we completed the sale of the non-U.S. portion of our STS business and our LNG terminal management business. For additional information about the sale, please read "Item 18 - Financial Statements: Note 19 - Write-down and Sale of Assets".
Teekay Corporation, which formed us in 2007, is a leading provider of marine services to the global oil and natural gas industries. We believe we benefit from Teekay Corporation’s expertise, relationships and reputation as we operate our fleet and pursue growth opportunities. We have acquired a portion of our current operating fleet from Teekay Corporation at various times since our inception, and we anticipate additional opportunities to expand our fleet through acquisitions of tankers from third parties. In addition, Teekay Corporation’s day-to-day focus on cost control is applied to our operations. Teekay Corporation and two other shipping companies participate in a purchasing alliance, Teekay Bergesen Worldwide, which leverages the purchasing power of the combined fleets, mainly in such commodity areas as lube oils, paints and other chemicals. Through our Manager, we benefit from this purchasing alliance.
Effective May 2018, we eliminated the payment of our minimum quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share ($0.96 per share annually) in order to preserve liquidity during the cyclical downturn of the tanker spot market. In November 2019, we transitioned away from the previous formulaic dividend policy, which was based on a payout of 30% to 50% of our quarterly adjusted net income, to primarily focus on building net asset value through balance sheet delevering and reducing the cost of capital. Any future dividends will be paid when, as and if determined by the Board of Directors. For additional information about our dividend policy, please read "Item 8 – Financial Information: Dividend Policy".
Under the supervision of our executive officers and Board of Directors, our operations are conducted in part by our subsidiaries who receive services from our Manager and its affiliates. In addition, our Manager provides various services to us under our long-term management agreement (the Management Agreement). Commencing October 1, 2018, we elected to provide our own commercial and technical services, and prior to this date, our Manager provided these services to us as required under the Management Agreement, which it did by subcontracting such services from our subsidiary, TTOL, and its affiliates. We pay our Manager certain fees and reimbursements for its services. In order to provide our Manager with an incentive to improve our operation and financial conditions, we have agreed to pay a performance fee to our Manager under certain circumstances, in addition to the basic fees provided in the Management Agreement. Please read "Item 7 – Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions: Related Party Transactions—Management Agreement" for additional information about the Management Agreement.
Revenue by Segment
Please read "Item 18 – Financial Statements: Note 4 - Segment Reporting" for a breakdown of revenue by segment.
The following table summarizes our fleet as at December 31, 2020:
|Owned and Leased Vessels||Chartered-in|
|Suezmax Tankers||5 ||— ||5 |
|Aframax Tankers||3 ||— ||3 |
|Long Range 2 Product Tanker||1 ||— ||1 |
Total Fixed-Rate Fleet (1)
|9 ||— ||9 |
|Suezmax Tankers||21 ||— ||21 |
Aframax Tankers (2) (3)
|14 ||2 ||16 |
|Long Range 2 Product Tankers||8 ||1 ||9 |
VLCC Tanker (4)
|1 ||— ||1 |
|Total Spot Fleet||44 ||3 ||47 |
|Total Tanker Fleet||53 ||3 ||56 |
|Ship-to-Ship Support Vessels||— ||3 ||3 |
|Total Teekay Tankers Fleet||53 ||6 ||59 |
(1)Seven time-charter out contracts are scheduled to expire in 2021 and two time-charter out contracts are scheduled to expire in 2022.
(2)Includes two Aframax tankers, which were sold in early-2021.
(3)Excludes one newbuilding Aframax tanker, which is expected to be delivered to us in late-2022 under a seven-year time charter-in contract.
(4)We own one VLCC through a 50/50 joint venture with Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Limited (please refer to "Item 18 - Financial Statements: Note 5 - Investment in and advances to Equity-Accounted Joint Venture").
The following table provides additional information about our owned and leased Suezmax oil tankers as of December 31, 2020, all of which are Bahamian-flagged.
|Built||Employment||Daily Rate||Expiration of|
|Aspen Spirit||156,800 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Athens Spirit||158,500 ||2012||Time-charter||$45,000||Apr-21|
|Atlanta Spirit ||158,700 ||2011||Spot||—||—|
|Baker Spirit||156,900 ||2009||Time-charter||$50,000||Apr-21|
|Barcelona Spirit||158,500 ||2011||Spot||—||—|
|Beijing Spirit||156,500 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Cascade Spirit||156,900 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Copper Spirit||156,800 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Dilong Spirit||159,000 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Jiaolong Spirit||159,000 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Kaveri Spirit||159,100 ||2004||Spot||—||—|
|London Spirit ||158,500 ||2011||Spot||—||—|
|Los Angeles Spirit ||159,200 ||2007||Spot||—||—|
|Montreal Spirit ||150,000 ||2006||Spot||—||—|
|Moscow Spirit||156,500 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Pinnacle Spirit||160,400 ||2008||Time-charter||$44,000||May-21|
|Rio Spirit||158,400 ||2013||Time-charter||$44,000||Apr-21|
|Seoul Spirit||160,000 ||2005||Spot||—||—|
|Shenlong Spirit||159,000 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Summit Spirit||160,500 ||2008||Spot||—||—|
|Tahoe Spirit||156,900 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Tianlong Spirit||159,000 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Vail Spirit||157,000 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Zenith Spirit||160,500 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Total Capacity||4,101,100 |
The following table provides additional information about our owned and leased Aframax oil tankers as of December 31, 2020, all of which are Bahamian-flagged.
|Built||Employment||Daily Rate||Expiration of|
|Americas Spirit||111,900 ||2003||Spot||—||—|
|Axel Spirit||115,400 ||2004||Spot||—||—|
|Blackcomb Spirit||109,000 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Emerald Spirit||109,100 ||2009||Time-charter||$27,500||May-22|
|Erik Spirit||115,500 ||2005||Spot||—||—|
|Esther Spirit||115,400 ||2004||Spot||—||—|
|Everest Spirit||115,000 ||2004||Spot||—||—|
Explorer Spirit (1)
|Garibaldi Spirit||109,000 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Helga Spirit||115,500 ||2005||Spot||—||—|
|Matterhorn Spirit||114,800 ||2005||Spot||—||—|
Navigator Spirit (1)
|Peak Spirit||104,600 ||2011||Time-charter||$23,750||Jun-22|
|Tarbet Spirit||107,500 ||2009||Spot||—||—|
|Whistler Spirit||109,100 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Yamato Spirit||107,600 ||2008||Time-charter||$18,700||Oct-21|
|Total Capacity||1,882,900 |
(1)In February 2021, we entered into agreements to sell the Explorer Spirit and the Navigator Spirit, which were delivered to the buyer in March 2021.
The following table provides additional information about our owned and leased LR2 product tankers as of December 31, 2020, seven of which are Bahamian-flagged and two of which are Marshall Islands-flagged.
|Built||Employment||Daily Rate||Expiration of|
|Donegal Spirit||105,600 ||2006||Spot||—||—|
|Galway Spirit||105,600 ||2007||Spot||—||—|
|Hovden Spirit||105,300 ||2012||Spot||—||—|
|Leyte Spirit||109,700 ||2011||Spot||—||—|
|Limerick Spirit||105,600 ||2007||Spot||—||—|
|Luzon Spirit||109,600 ||2011||Spot||—||—|
|Sebarok Spirit||109,600 ||2011||Time-charter||$29,000||Apr-21|
|Seletar Spirit||109,000 ||2010||Spot||—||—|
|Trysil Spirit||105,300 ||2012||Spot||—||—|
|Total Capacity||965,300 |
The following table provides additional information about our VLCC oil tanker as of December 31, 2020, which is Hong Kong-flagged.
|Built||Employment||Daily Rate||Expiration of|
Hong Kong Spirit (1)
(1)The VLCC vessel, Hong Kong Spirit, is owned through a 50/50 joint venture and is employed in a spot market pool managed by a third party.
Please read Note 9 - Long-Term Debt and Note 10 - Operating Leases and Obligations Related to Finance Leases included in "Item 18 – Financial Statements" included in this Annual Report for information with respect to major encumbrances against our vessels.
Our primary business strategies include the following:
•Expand our fleet through accretive acquisitions. Since our initial public offering, we have purchased 21 tankers from Teekay Corporation, acquired 18 tankers resulting from the merger with TIL, purchased 17 tankers from third parties and purchased two tankers from Altera Infrastructure L.P. (formerly known as Teekay Offshore Partners L.P.) (or Altera). In the future, we anticipate growing our fleet primarily through acquisitions of tankers from third parties, by securing additional in-chartered vessels and by ordering newbuildings.
•Tactically manage our mix of spot, fixed-rate and full service lightering contracts. We employ a chartering strategy that seeks to capture upside opportunities in the spot market while using fixed-rate contracts to reduce downside risks. We believe that our experience operating through cycles in the tanker spot market will assist us in employing this strategy to maximize operating results.
•Provide superior customer service by maintaining high reliability, safety, environmental and quality standards. We believe that energy companies and oil traders seek transportation partners that have a reputation for high reliability, safety, environmental and quality standards. We leverage our reputation and operational expertise to further expand these relationships with consistent delivery of superior customer service.
Our Chartering Strategy and Participation in the Vessel Revenue Sharing Agreements
Chartering Strategy. We operate our vessels in the spot market, under time charter contracts of varying lengths and under FSL contracts, in an effort to maximize cash flow from our vessels based on our outlook for freight rates, oil tanker market conditions and global economic conditions. As of December 31, 2020, a total of 43 of our owned and leased vessels and three time-chartered in vessels operated in the spot market through employment on spot voyage charters. Our mix of vessels trading in the spot market, providing lightering services in the U.S. Gulf (or USG), or subject to fixed-rate time charters will change from time to time. We also may seek increase or decrease our exposure to the freight market through the use of freight forward agreements or other financial instruments.
Voyage Charters. Tankers operating in the spot market typically are chartered for a single voyage, which may last up to several weeks. Spot market revenues may generate increased profit margins during times when tanker rates are increasing, while tankers operating under fixed-rate time charters generally provide more predictable cash flows without exposure to the variable expenses such as port charges and bunkers. Under a typical voyage charter in the spot market, the shipowner is paid on the basis of moving cargo from a loading port to a discharge port. The shipowner is responsible for paying both vessel operating costs and voyage expenses, and the charterer is responsible for any delay at the loading or discharging ports. Voyage expenses are all expenses attributable to a particular voyage, including any bunker fuel expenses, port fees, cargo loading and unloading expenses, canal tolls, agency fees and commissions. Vessel operating expenses are incurred regardless of particular voyage details and include crewing, repairs and maintenance, insurance, stores, lube oils and communication expenses. When the vessel is “off hire,” or not available for service, the vessel is unavailable to complete new voyage charters until the off hire is finalized and the vessel again becomes available for service. Under a voyage charter, the shipowner is generally required, among other things, to keep the vessel seaworthy, to crew and maintain the vessel and to comply with applicable regulations.
Time Charters. A time charter is a contract for the use of a vessel for a fixed period of time at a specified daily rate. A customer generally selects a time charter if it wants a dedicated vessel for a period of time, and the customer is commercially responsible for the use of the vessel. Under a typical time charter, the shipowner provides crewing and other services related to the vessel’s operation, the cost of which is included in the daily rate, while the customer is responsible for substantially all of the voyage expenses. When the vessel is "off hire", or not available for service, the customer generally is not required to pay the hire rate, and the shipowner is responsible for all costs, including the cost of fuel bunkers, unless the customer is responsible for the circumstances giving rise to the lack of availability. A vessel generally will be deemed to be off hire if there is an occurrence preventing the full working of the vessel. “Hire rate” refers to the basic payment from the charterer for the use of the vessel. Under our time charters, hire is payable monthly in advance in U.S. Dollars. Hire payments may be reduced, or under some time charters the shipowner must pay liquidated damages, if the vessel does not perform to certain of its specifications, such as if the amount of fuel consumed to power the vessel under normal circumstances exceeds a guaranteed amount.
Full Service Lightering. FSL is the process of transferring cargo between vessels, typically of different sizes. Our lightering capability leverages access to our Aframax fleet operating in the USG and our offshore lightering support acumen to provide full service lightering. Our customers include oil companies and trading companies that are importing or exporting crude oil in the USG to or from larger Suezmax and VLCC vessels which are port restricted due to their size. We believe that our full service lightering in the USG will provide additional base cargo volume complementary to our spot trading in the Caribbean to the USG market and allow us to better optimize the deployment of the fleet that we trade in this region through enhanced scheduling flexibility, higher utilization and higher average revenues.
Revenue Sharing Agreements
We and certain third party vessel owners have entered into RSAs. As of December 31, 2020, 21 of the Suezmax tankers, 12 of the Aframax tankers and six of the LR2 product tankers in our fleet, as well as 18 vessels not in our fleet owned by third parties, were subject to RSAs. The vessels subject to the RSAs are employed and operated in the spot market or pursuant to time charters of less than one year.
The RSAs are designed to spread the costs and risks associated with operation of vessels and to share the net revenues earned by all of the vessels in the RSA, based on the actual earning days each vessel is available and the relative performance capabilities, including speed and bunker consumption of each vessel. The calculation of performance capabilities of each vessel is adjusted on standard intervals based on current data. Our share of the net revenues includes additional amounts, consisting of a per vessel per day fee and a percentage of the gross revenues related to the vessels not in our fleet owned by third-parties, based on our responsibilities in employing the vessels subject to the RSAs on voyage charters or time-charters.
A participating tanker will no longer participate in the applicable RSAs if it becomes subject to a time charter with a term exceeding one year, unless otherwise agreed by all other participants for the applicable RSA, or if the tanker suffers an actual or constructive total loss or is sold or becomes controlled by a person who is not an affiliate of a party to the applicable RSA agreements.
An RSA participant may withdraw from the RSA upon at least 90 days’ notice and shall cease to participate in the RSA if, among other things, it materially breaches the RSA agreement and fails to resolve the breach within a specified cure period or experiences certain bankruptcy events.
Ship-to-Ship Support Services
An STS support operation is the process of transferring cargo between seagoing ships positioned alongside each other, either stationary or underway. Demand for STS support services is often driven by oil market arbitrages and oil traders optimizing their cost per ton-mile on cargoes. The provision of ship-to-ship services may be required by our customers when blending cargos, breaking bulk cargo shipments, and optimizing opportunities when the oil market is in contango, which may use floating storage as a more cost-effective solution to onshore storage.
In April 2020, we completed the sale of the non-U.S. portion of our STS business. Please read "Item 18 - Financial Statements: Note 19 - Write-down and Sale of Assets".
Industry and Competition
We compete in the Suezmax (125,000 to 199,999 dwt) and Aframax (85,000 to 124,999 dwt) crude oil tanker markets. Our competition in the Aframax and Suezmax markets is affected by the availability of other size vessels that compete in these markets. Suezmax size vessels and Panamax (55,000 to 84,999 dwt) size vessels can compete for many of the same charters for which our Aframax tankers compete; Aframax size vessels and VLCCs (200,000 to 319,999 dwt) can compete for many of the same charters for which our Suezmax tankers may compete. Because of their large size, VLCCs and Ultra Large Crude Carriers (or ULCCs) (320,000+ dwt) rarely compete directly with Aframax tankers, and ULCCs rarely compete with Suezmax tankers for specific charters. However, because VLCCs and ULCCs comprise a substantial portion of the total capacity of the market, movements by such vessels into Suezmax trades and of Suezmax vessels into Aframax trades would heighten the already intense competition.
We also compete in the LR2 (85,000 to 109,999 dwt) product tanker market. Our competition in the LR2 product tanker market is affected by the availability of other size vessels that compete in the market. Long Range 1 (or LR1) (55,000-84,999 dwt) size vessels can compete for many of the same charters for which our LR2 tankers compete.
Seaborne transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products are provided both by major energy companies (private as well as state-owned) and by independent ship owners. The desire of many major energy companies to outsource all or a portion of their shipping requirements has caused the number of oil tankers owned by energy companies to decrease in the last 20 years. As a result of this trend, independent tanker companies now own or control a large majority of the international tanker fleet.
As of December 31, 2020, we remain one of three active STS lightering businesses in the U.S. Gulf Coast. We are one of the two providers in this group who provides a complete full service STS offering, which includes the availability of Aframax tonnage to provide shipment between shore and offshore. USG lightering trade has a steady foundation of demand due to traditional imports into the United States to serve U.S. Gulf Coast refinery demand. Although imports of crude oil into the United States have declined as a result of rising domestic crude oil production since 2018, we believe that the current demand for import lightering has stabilized and is consistent with the dependency which U.S. refiners have on foreign oil that is most economically transported on larger VLCC and Suezmax vessels into the U.S. Gulf Coast. At the end of 2020, export lightering comprised about 50% of total volume lightered in the USG. Although the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has significantly reduced oil demand, following the moderation or end of the pandemic, we expect that the United States will continue to project growth in crude production and exports, which we anticipate will result in an increase in export lightering demand as shippers look to export crude oil to Asia on larger size vessels, including VLCC and Suezmax vessels. Although the ports of Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas are now able to accommodate a VLCC at berthside for direct loading, draft restrictions will still require offshore top off STS loading for those vessels to lift their full capacity. Overall port congestion at these locations will create an opportunity for the offshore lightering industry to absorb incremental U.S. crude output which the current deep berths are not able to accommodate efficiently.
The operation of tanker vessels, as well as the seaborne transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products is a competitive market. There are several large operators of Aframax, Suezmax, and LR2 tonnage that provide these services globally. Competition in both the crude and product tanker markets is primarily based on price, location (for single-voyage or short-term charters), size, age, condition and acceptability of the vessel, oil tanker shipping experience and quality of ship operations, and the size of an operating fleet, with larger fleets allowing for greater vessel substitution, availability and customer service. Aframax and Suezmax tankers are particularly well-suited for short and medium-haul crude oil routes, while LR2 tankers are well-suited for long and medium-haul refined product routes.
Historically, the tanker industry has been cyclical, experiencing volatility in profitability due to changes in oil tanker demand and oil tanker supply. The cyclical nature of the tanker industry causes significant increases or decreases in charter rates earned by operators of oil tankers. Because voyage charters occur in short intervals and are priced on a current, or “spot,” market rate, the spot market is more volatile than time charters. In the past, there have been periods when spot rates declined below the operating cost of the vessels.
Oil Tanker Demand. Demand for oil tankers is a function of several factors, including world oil demand and supply (which affect the amount of crude oil and refined products transported in tankers), and the relative locations of oil production, refining and consumption (which affects the distance over which the oil or refined products are transported).
Oil has been one of the world’s primary energy sources for a number of decades. The International Energy Agency (or IEA) estimated that oil consumption decreased substantially in 2020 as a result of demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, oil demand is expected to recover in 2021.
The distance over which crude oil or refined petroleum products are transported is determined by seaborne trading and distribution patterns, which are principally influenced by the relative advantages of the various sources of production and locations of consumption. Seaborne trading patterns are also periodically influenced by geopolitical events, such as wars, hostilities and trade embargoes that divert tankers from normal trading patterns, as well as by inter-regional oil trading activity created by oil supply and demand imbalances. Historically, the level of oil exports from the Middle East has had a strong effect on the crude tanker market due to the relatively long distance between this supply source and typical discharge points. Over the past few years, the growing economies of China and India have increased and diversified their oil imports, resulting in an overall increase in transportation distance for crude tankers. Major consumers in Asia have increased their crude import volumes from longer-haul producers, such as those in the Atlantic Basin.
The limited growth in refinery capacity in developed nations, the largest consumers of oil in recent years, and increasing refinery capacity in the Middle East and parts of Asia where capacity surplus supports exports, have also altered traditional trading patterns and contributed to the overall increase in transportation distance for both crude tankers and product tankers.
Oil Tanker Supply. New Aframax, Suezmax and LR2 tankers are generally expected to have a lifespan of approximately 25 to 30 years, based on estimated hull fatigue life. As of December 31, 2020, the world Aframax crude tanker fleet consisted of 670 vessels, with an additional 54 Aframax crude oil tanker newbuildings on order for delivery through 2023; the world Suezmax crude tanker fleet consisted of 590 vessels, with an additional 61 Suezmax crude oil tanker newbuildings on order for delivery through 2023; the world LR2 product tanker fleet consisted of 383 vessels, and with an additional 49 LR2 product tanker newbuildings on order through 2023. Currently, delivery of a vessel typically occurs within two to three years after ordering.
The supply of oil tankers is primarily a function of new vessel deliveries, vessel scrapping and the conversion or loss of tonnage. The level of newbuilding orders is primarily a function of newbuilding prices in relation to current and prospective charter market conditions. Other factors that affect tanker supply are the availability of financing and shipyard capacity. The level of vessel scrapping activity is primarily a function of scrapping prices in relation to current and prospective charter market conditions and operating, repair and survey costs. Industry regulations also affect scrapping levels. Please read “Regulations” below. Demand for drybulk vessels and floating storage off-take units, to which tankers can be converted, strongly affects the number of tanker conversions.
For more than a decade, there has been a significant and ongoing shift toward quality in vessels and operations, as charterers and regulators increasingly focus on safety and protection of the environment. Since 1990, there has been an increasing emphasis on environmental protection through legislation and regulations such as OPA 90, IMO regulations and protocols, and classification society procedures that demand higher quality tanker construction, maintenance, repair and operations. We believe that operators with a proven ability to integrate these required safety regulations into their operations have a competitive advantage.
Safety, Management of Ship Operations and Administration
Safety and Environmental Compliance are our top operational priorities. We operate our vessels in a manner intended to protect the safety and health of our employees, and to minimize the impact on the environment and society. We seek to effectively manage risk in the organization using a three-tiered approach at an operational, management and corporate level, enabling a clear line of sight throughout the organization. All of our operational employees receive training in the use of risk tools and the management system. We also have an approved competency management system in place to ensure our seafarers continue their professional development and are competent before being promoted to more senior roles.
We believe in continuous improvement, which has seen our safety and environmental culture develop over a significant time period. Health, Safety and Environmental Program milestones include the roll-out of our Environmental Leadership Program (2005), Safety in Action (2007), Quality Assurance and Training Officer Program (2008), Operational Leadership-The Journey (2010), E-Colours (2014), Significant Incident Potential (2015), Navigation Handbook (2016), Risk Tool Handbook (2017), Safety Management System upgrade (2018), and our recently revised Operational Leadership-The Journey. The Operational Leadership booklet sets out our operational expectations and responsibilities and contains our safety commitments, environmental commitments, leadership commitments and our Health, Safety, Security and Environmental & Quality Assurance Policy, which is signed by all employees and empowers them to work safely, to live Teekay’s vision, and to look after one another.
We, through our subsidiaries and affiliates, provide technical management services for some of our vessels. We have obtained through Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd (or DNV-GL), the Norwegian classification society, approval of our safety management system as being in compliance with the International Safety Management Code (or ISM Code), and this system has been implemented for all of our vessels. As part of our ISM Code compliance, all of the vessels’ safety management certificates are maintained through ongoing internal audits performed by certified internal auditors and intermediate audits performed by DNV-GL.
In addition to the mandatory internal audits conducted by the QATOs on vessels, an internal audit is conducted by our Health Safety, Environment and Quality (or HSEQ) team every quarter in the office to ensure that all ship management functions are strictly adhered to.
We conduct quarterly Safety Management courses for senior officers and Onboard Safety Officer courses for safety officers. Additionally, a Safety Orientation Seminar is conducted every month for the ratings in Manila and Mumbai, to emphasize key messages around safety.
Depending on existing HSEQ trends, various campaigns are run to address the shortcomings that are identified.
We provide, through our subsidiaries and affiliates, expertise in various functions critical to our operations and access to human resources, financial and other administrative functions. Critical ship management functions include:
•vessel maintenance (including repairs and dry docking) and certification;
•crewing by competent seafarers;
•purchasing of stores, bunkers and spare parts;
•financial management services.
These functions are supported by onboard and onshore systems for maintenance, inventory, purchasing and budget management.
All vessels are operated by us under a comprehensive and integrated Safety Management System that complies with the ISM Code, the International Standards Organization’s (or ISO) 9001 for Quality Assurance, ISO 14001 for Environment Management Systems, and ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System and the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 that became enforceable on August 20, 2013. The management system is certified by DNV-GL. Although certification is valid for five years, compliance with the above-mentioned standards is confirmed yearly by a rigorous auditing procedure that includes both internal audits as well as external verification audits by DNV-GL and certain flag states.
Since 2010, Teekay Corporation has produced a publicly-available sustainability report that reflects the efforts, achievements, results and challenges faced by Teekay Corporation and its affiliates, including us, relating to several key areas, including emissions, climate change, corporate social responsibility, diversity and health, safety environment and quality. Teekay recognizes the significance of Environmental, Social and Governance considerations and in 2020 set an ESG strategy foundation which will direct our efforts and performance in the years ahead. Teekay's strategy is focused on three broad areas; allocate capital to support the global energy transition, operate our existing fleets as safely and efficiently as possible and further strengthen our ESG profile. Annual targets are set for the organization and are closely monitored.
Risk of Loss, Insurance and Risk Management
The operation of any ocean-going vessel and the performance of ship-to-ship transfer operations carries an inherent risk of catastrophic marine disasters, death or injury of persons and property losses caused by adverse weather conditions, mechanical failures, human error, war, terrorism, piracy and other circumstances or events. In addition, the transportation and transfer/lightering of crude oil and petroleum products is subject to the risk of spills and to business interruptions due to political circumstances in foreign countries, hostilities, labor strikes, sanctions and boycotts, whether relating to us or any of our joint venture partners, suppliers or customers. The occurrence of any of these events may result in loss of revenues or increased costs.
We carry hull and machinery (marine and war risks), protection and indemnity insurance coverage, and other liability insurance, to protect against most of the accident-related risks involved in the conduct of our business. Hull and machinery insurance covers loss of or damage to a vessel due to marine perils such as collision, grounding and weather. Protection and indemnity insurance indemnifies us against other liabilities incurred while operating vessels, including injury to the crew, third parties, cargo loss and pollution. The current maximum amount of our coverage for pollution is $1 billion per vessel per incident. We also carry insurance policies covering war risks (including piracy and terrorism). None of our vessels are insured against loss of revenues resulting from vessel off-hire time, based on the cost of this insurance compared to our off-hire experience.
We believe that our current insurance coverage is adequate to protect against most of the accident-related risks involved in the conduct of our business and that we maintain appropriate levels of environmental damage and pollution insurance coverage. However, we cannot guarantee that all covered risks are adequately insured against, that any particular claim will be paid or that we will be able to procure adequate insurance coverage at commercially reasonable rates in the future. More stringent environmental regulations have resulted in increased costs for, and may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. In addition, the cost of protection and indemnity insurance has significantly increased during 2021.
In our operations, we use Teekay Corporation’s thorough risk management program which includes, among other things, risk analysis tools, maintenance and assessment programs, a seafarers competence training program, seafarers workshops and membership in emergency response organizations. We believe we benefit from Teekay Corporation’s commitment to safety and environmental protection as certain of its subsidiaries assist us in managing our vessel operations.
Teekay Corporation has achieved certification under the standards reflected in ISO 9001 for quality assurance, ISO 14001 for environment management systems, ISO 45001:2018, and the IMO’s International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention on a fully integrated basis.
Flag, Classification, Audits and Inspections
Our vessels are registered with reputable flag states, and the hull and machinery of all of our vessels have been “classed” by one of the major classification societies and members of the International Association of Classification Societies Ltd (or IACS): DNV-GL, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping or the American Bureau of Shipping.
The applicable classification society certifies that the vessel’s design and build conforms to the applicable class rules and meets the requirements of the applicable rules and regulations of the country of registry of the vessel and the international conventions to which that country is a signatory. The classification society also verifies throughout the vessel’s life that it continues to be maintained as per those rules. To validate this, the vessels are surveyed by the classification society in accordance with the classification society rules, which in the case of our vessels follows a comprehensive five-year special survey cycle, renewed every fifth year. During each five-year period, the vessel undergoes annual and intermediate surveys, the scrutiny and intensity of which is primarily dictated by the age of the vessel.
In addition to class surveys, the vessel’s flag state also verifies the condition of the vessel during annual flag state inspections, either independently or by additional authorization to class. Also, port state authorities of a vessel’s port of call are authorized under international conventions to undertake regular and spot checks of vessels visiting their jurisdiction.
Processes followed onboard are audited by either the flag state or the classification society acting on behalf of the flag state to ensure that they meet the requirements of the ISM Code. DNV-GL typically carries out this task. We also follow an internal process of internal audits undertaken annually at each office and vessel.
We follow a comprehensive inspections scheme supported by our sea staff, shore-based operational and technical specialists, and members of our QATO program. We typically carry out regular inspections, which help us to ensure that:
•our vessels and operations adhere to our operating standards;
•the structural integrity of the vessel is being maintained;
•machinery and equipment are being maintained to give reliable service;
•we are optimizing performance in terms of speed and fuel consumption; and
•our vessels' appearance supports our brand and meets customer expectations.
Our customers also often carry out vetting inspections under the Ship Inspection Report Program, which is a significant safety initiative introduced by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum to specifically address concerns about sub-standard vessels. The inspection results permit charterers to screen a vessel to ensure that it meets their general and specific risk-based shipping requirements.
We believe that the heightened environmental and quality concerns of insurance underwriters, regulators and charterers will generally lead to greater scrutiny, inspection and safety requirements on all vessels in the oil tanker markets and will accelerate the scrapping or phasing out of older vessels throughout these markets.
Overall, we believe that our well-maintained, and high-quality vessels provide us with a competitive advantage in the current environment of increasing regulation and customer emphasis on quality of service.
Our business and the operation of our vessels are significantly affected by international conventions and national, state, and local laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which our vessels operate, as well as in the country or countries of their registration. Because these conventions, laws and regulations change frequently, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of compliance or their impact on the resale price or useful life of our vessels. Additional conventions, laws and regulations may be adopted that could limit our ability to do business or increase the cost of our doing business and that may materially affect our operations. We are required by various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies to obtain permits, licenses, and certificates for our operations. Subject to the discussion below and to the fact that the kinds of permits, licenses and certificates required for the operations of the vessels we own will depend on several factors, we believe that we will be able to continue to obtain all permits, licenses and certificates material to the conduct of our operations.
International Maritime Organization
The IMO is the United Nations’ agency for maritime safety and prevention of pollution. IMO regulations relating to pollution prevention for oil tankers have been adopted by many of the jurisdictions in which our tanker fleet operates. Under IMO regulations, and subject to limited exceptions, a tanker must be of double-hull construction as per the requirements set out in these regulations or be of another approved design ensuring the same level of protection against oil pollution. All of our tankers are double-hulled.
Many countries, but not the United States, have ratified and follow the liability regime adopted by the IMO and set out in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969, as amended (or CLC). Under this convention, a vessel’s registered owner is strictly liable for pollution damage caused in the territorial waters of a contracting state by the discharge of persistent oil (e.g., crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil), subject to certain defenses. The right to limit liability to specified amounts that are periodically revised is forfeited under the CLC when the spill is caused by the owner’s actual fault or when the spill is caused by the owner’s intentional or reckless conduct. Vessels trading to contracting states must provide evidence of insurance covering the limited liability of the owner. In jurisdictions where the CLC has not been adopted, various legislative regimes or common law governs, and liability is imposed either based on fault or in a manner similar to the CLC.
IMO regulations also include the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (or SOLAS), including amendments to SOLAS implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (or ISPS), the ISM Code, and the International Convention on Load Lines of 1966. SOLAS provides rules for the construction of and the equipment required for commercial vessels and includes regulations for their safe operation. Flag states, which have ratified the convention and the treaty generally employ the classification societies, which have incorporated SOLAS requirements into their class rules, to undertake surveys to confirm compliance.
SOLAS and other IMO regulations concerning safety, including those relating to treaties on the training of shipboard personnel, lifesaving appliances, radio equipment and the global maritime distress and safety system, apply to our operations. Non-compliance with IMO regulations, including SOLAS, the ISM Code, ISPS and other regulations, may subject us to increased liability or penalties, may lead to decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to or detention in some ports. For example, the USCG and EU authorities have indicated that vessels not in compliance with the ISM Code will be prohibited from trading in U.S. and EU ports. The ISM Code requires vessel operators to obtain a safety management certification for each vessel they manage, evidencing the shipowner’s development and maintenance of an extensive safety management system. Each of the existing vessels in our fleet is currently ISM Code-certified, and we obtain a safety management certificate for each newbuilding on delivery.
Annex VI to the IMO's International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) (or Annex VI) sets limits on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide (or NOx) emissions from ship exhausts and prohibits emissions of ozone-depleting substances, emissions of volatile compounds from cargo tanks and the incineration of specific substances. Annex VI also includes a world-wide cap on the sulfur content of fuel oil and allows for special “emission control areas” (or ECAs) to be established with more stringent controls on sulfur emissions.
Annex VI provides for a three-tier reduction in NOx emissions from marine diesel engines, with the final tier (or Tier III) to apply to engines installed on vessels constructed on or after January 1, 2016, and which operate in the North American ECA or the U.S. Caribbean Sea ECA as well as ECAs designated in the future by the IMO. Tier III limits are 80% below Tier I and these cannot be achieved without additional means such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (or SCR). In October 2016 the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (or MEPC) approved the designation of the North Sea (including the English Channel) and the Baltic Sea as ECAs for NOx emissions; these ECAs and the related amendments to Annex VI of MARPOL (with some exceptions) entered into effect on January 1, 2019. This requirement will be applicable for new ships constructed on or after January 1, 2021, if they visit the Baltic or the North Sea (including the English Channel) and requires the future trading area of a ship to be assessed at the contract stage. There are exemption provisions to allow ships with only Tier II engines, to navigate in a NOx Tier III ECA if the ship is departing from a shipyard where the ship is newly built or visiting a shipyard for conversion/repair/maintenance without loading/unloading cargoes.
Effective January 1, 2020, Annex VI imposed a global limit for sulfur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass), regardless of whether a ship is operating outside a designated ECA. To comply with this new standard, ships may utilize different fuels containing low or zero sulfur (e.g. LNG, low sulfur heavy fuel oil (or LSHFO), low sulfur marine gas oil (or LSMGO), biofuels or other compliant fuels), or utilize exhaust gas cleaning systems, known as “scrubbers”. Amendments to the information to be included in bunker delivery notes relating to the supply of marine fuel oil to ships fitted with alternative mechanisms to address sulfur emission requirements (e.g. scrubbers) became effective January 1, 2019. We have implemented procedures to comply with the 2020 sulfur limit. We switched to burning compliant low sulfur fuel before the January 1, 2020 implementation date; we have not installed any scrubbers on our fleet. Although the IMO has issued ISO 8217:2017 and PAS 23263:19, at present, neither the IMO nor the International Organization for Standardization has implemented globally accepted quality standards for 0.50% m/m fuel oil. We intend, and where applicable, expect our charterers to procure 0.50% m/m fuel oil from top tier suppliers. However, until such time that a globally accepted quality standard is issued, the quality of 0.50% m/m fuel oil that is supplied to the entire industry (including in respect of our vessels) is inherently uncertain. Low quality or a lack of access to high-quality low sulfur fuel may lead to a disruption in our operations (including mechanical damage to our vessels), which could impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
As of March 1, 2018, amendments to Annex VI impose new requirements on ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above to collect fuel oil consumption data for ships, as well as certain other data including proxies for transport work. Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI that make the data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships mandatory were adopted at the 70th session of the MEPC held in October 2016 and entered into force on March 1, 2018. The amendments require operators to update the vessel's Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (or SEEMP) to include a part II describing the ship-specific methodology that will be used for collecting and measuring data for fuel oil consumption, distance travelled, hours underway, ensuring data quality is maintained and the processes that will be used to report the data. This has been verified as compliant on all ships for calendar year 2019. The data collection period for the 2020 calendar year has been completed, and the verification of the data is on-going. A Confirmation of Compliance has been provided by the Ship's Flag State Administration / Recognized Organization on behalf of Flag State and is kept on board.
IMO regulations required that as of January 1, 2015, all vessels operating within ECAs worldwide recognized under MARPOL Annex VI must comply with 0.1% sulfur requirements. Certain modifications were necessary to optimize operation on LSMGO of equipment originally designed to operate on Heavy Fuel Oil (or HFO). Also, LSMGO is more expensive than HFO and this could impact the costs of operations. We are primarily exposed to increased fuel costs through our spot trading vessels, although our competitors bear a similar cost increase as this is a regulatory item applicable to all vessels. All required vessels in our fleet trading to and within regulated low sulfur areas comply with applicable fuel requirements.
The IMO has issued guidance regarding protecting against acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia. We comply with these guidelines.
IMO Guidance for countering acts of piracy and armed robbery is published by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (or MSC). MSC.1/Circ.1339 (Piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia) outlines Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia based Piracy. Specifically, MSC.1/Circ.1339 guides shipowners and ship operators, shipmasters, and crews on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery and was adopted by the IMO through Resolution MSC.324(89). The Best Management Practices (or BMP) is a joint industry publication by BIMCO, ICS, IGP&I Clubs, INTERTANKO and OCIMF. Version 5 is the latest BMP. Our fleet follows the guidance within BMP 5 when transiting in other regions with recognized threat levels for piracy and armed robbery, including West Africa.
The IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention entered into force on September 8, 2017. The convention stipulates two standards for discharged ballast water. The D-1 standard covers ballast water exchange while the D-2 standard covers ballast water treatment. The convention requires the implementation of either the D-1 or D-2 standard. There will be a transitional period from the entry into force to the International Oil Pollution Prevention (or IOPP) renewal survey in which ballast water exchange (reg. D-1) can be employed. The IMO’s MEPC agreed to a compromise on the implementation dates for the D-2 discharge standard: ships constructed on or after September 8, 2017 must comply with the D-2 standard upon delivery. Existing ships should be D-2 compliant on the first IOPP renewal following the entry into force if the survey is completed on or after September 8, 2019, or a renewal IOPP survey was completed on or after September 8, 2014 but before September 8, 2017. Ships should be D-2 compliant on the second IOPP renewal survey after September 8, 2017 if the first renewal survey after that date was completed before September 8, 2019, and if the previous two conditions are not met. Vessels will be required to meet the discharge standard D-2 by installing an approved BWTS. Besides the IMO convention, ships sailing in U.S. waters are required to employ a type approved BWTS which is compliant with USCG regulations. The USCG has approved several BWTSs both nationally and internationally, out of which Alfa Laval (Sweden), Ocean Saver (Norway) and Sunrui (China) are under Teekay’s approved list for retrofit. We estimate that the installation of approved BWTS will cost between $1.5 million and $2 million per vessel between the years 2021 and 2023.
As per MSC. 338(91), requirements have been highlighted for audio and visual indicators for breathing apparatus which will alert the user before the volume of the air in the cylinder has been reduced to no less than 200 litres. This applies to ships constructed on or after July 1, 2014. Ships constructed before July 1, 2014 were required to comply no later than July 1, 2019. As of December 31, 2020, all of our vessels are in compliance with these requirements.
Cyber-related risks are operational risks that are appropriately assessed and managed as per the safety management requirements of the ISM Code. Cyber risks are required to be appropriately addressed in our safety management system no later than the first annual verification of the company's Document of Compliance after January 1, 2021.
The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 94th (Maritime) Session (2006), establishing minimum working and living conditions for seafarers. The convention entered into force August 20, 2013, with further amendments approved by the International Labour Conference at its 103rd Session (2014). The MLC establishes a single, coherent instrument embodying all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour conventions and recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour conventions. All of our maritime labour contracts comply with the MLC.
The IMO continues to review and introduce new regulations and as such, it is difficult to predict what additional requirements, if any, may be adopted by the IMO and what effect, if any, such regulations might have on our operations.
European Union (or EU)
The EU has adopted legislation that: bans from European waters manifestly sub-standard vessels (defined as vessels that have been detained twice by EU port authorities in the preceding two years); creates obligations on the part of EU member port states to inspect minimum percentages of vessels using these ports annually; provides for increased surveillance of vessels posing a high risk to maritime safety or the marine environment; and provides the EU with greater authority and control over classification societies, including the ability to seek to suspend or revoke the authority of negligent societies.
Two regulations that are part of the implementation of the Port State Control Directive came into force on January 1, 2011, and introduced a ranking system (published on a public website and updated daily) displaying shipping companies operating in the EU with the worst safety records. The ranking is judged upon the results of the technical inspections carried out on the vessels owned by a particular shipping company. Those shipping companies that have the most positive safety records are rewarded by subjecting them to fewer inspections, while those with the most safety shortcomings or technical failings recorded upon inspection will, in turn, be subject to a greater frequency of official inspections to their vessels.
The EU has, by way of Directive 2005/35/EC, as amended by Directive 2009/123/EC, created a legal framework for imposing criminal penalties in the event of discharges of oil and other noxious substances from ships sailing in its waters, irrespective of their flag. This relates to discharges of oil or other noxious substances from vessels. Minor discharges shall not automatically be considered as offences, except where repetition leads to deterioration in the quality of the water. The persons responsible may be subject to criminal penalties if they have acted with intent, recklessly or with serious negligence and the act of inciting, aiding and abetting a person to discharge a polluting substance may also lead to criminal penalties.
The EU has adopted a Directive requiring the use of low sulfur fuel. Since January 1, 2015, vessels have been required to burn fuel with sulfur content not exceeding 0.1% while within EU member states’ territorial seas, exclusive economic zones and pollution control zones that are included in SOX Emission Control Areas. Other jurisdictions have also adopted similar regulations.
All ships above 5,000 gross tonnage calling EU waters are required to comply with EU-MRV regulations. These regulations came into force on July 1, 2015 and aim to reduce greenhouse gas (or GHG) emissions within the EU. It requires ships carrying out maritime transport activities to or from European Economic Area (or EEA) ports to monitor and report information including verified data on their CO2 emissions from January 1, 2018. Data collection takes place on a per voyage basis and started from January 1, 2018. The reported CO2 emissions, together with additional data (e.g. cargo, energy efficiency parameters), are to be verified by independent verifiers and sent to a central database, managed by the European Maritime Safety Agency (or EMSA). Teekay Corporation signed an agreement with DNV-GL for monitoring, verification and reporting as required by this regulation. We are presently using IMOS/Veslink forms which will have smooth interface with DNV-GL. The reporting period for the 2019 calendar year has been completed and emission reports for the vessels which have carried out EU voyages have been submitted in the THETIS Database. Based on emission reports submitted in THETIS, a document of compliance has been issued and is placed on board.
The EU Ship Recycling Regulation aims to prevent, reduce, and minimize accidents, injuries and other negative effects on human health and the environment when ships are recycled and the hazardous waste they contain is removed. The legislation applies to all ships flying the flag of an EU country and to vessels with non-EU flags that call at an EU port or anchorage. It sets out responsibilities for ship owners and recycling facilities both in the EU and in other countries. Each new ship must have onboard an inventory of the hazardous materials (such as asbestos, lead or mercury) it contains in either its structure or equipment. The use of certain hazardous materials is forbidden. Before a ship is recycled, its owner must provide the company carrying out the work with specific information about the vessel and prepare a ship recycling plan. Recycling may only take place at facilities listed on the EU ‘List of facilities’.
The EU Ship Recycling Regulation generally entered into force on December 31, 2018, with certain provisions applicable from December 31, 2020. Compliance timelines are as follows: EU-flagged newbuildings were required to have on-board a verified Inventory of Hazardous Materials (or IHM) with a Statement of Compliance by December 31, 2018, existing EU-flagged vessels and non-EU-flagged vessels calling at EU ports are required to have on-board a verified IHM with a Statement of Compliance by December 31, 2020. We contracted a class-approved HazMat expert company, Poly NDT Pte Ltd., to assist in the preparation of Inventory of Hazardous Materials and obtaining Statements of Compliance for its vessels. The EU Commission adopted a European List of approved ship recycling facilities, as well as four further decisions dealing with certification and other administrative requirements set out in the Regulation. In 2014, the Council Decision 2014/241/EU authorized EU countries having ships flying their flag or registered under their flag to ratify or to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The Hong Kong Convention is not yet ratified.
The United States has enacted an extensive regulatory and liability regime for the protection and cleanup of the environment from oil spills, including discharges of oil cargoes, bunker fuels or lubricants, primarily through the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (or OPA 90) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (or CERCLA). OPA 90 affects all owners, operators, and bareboat charterers whose vessels trade to the United States or its territories or possessions or whose vessels operate in United States waters, which include the U.S. territorial sea and the 200-mile exclusive economic zone around the United States. CERCLA applies to the discharge of “hazardous substances” rather than “oil” and imposes strict joint and several liability upon the owners, operators, or bareboat charterers of vessels for cleanup costs and damages arising from discharges of hazardous substances. We believe that petroleum products should not be considered hazardous substances under CERCLA, but additives to oil or lubricants used on vessels might fall within its scope.
Under OPA 90, vessel owners, operators and bareboat charterers are “responsible parties” and are jointly, severally and strictly liable (unless the oil spill results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war and the responsible party reports the incident and reasonably cooperates with the appropriate authorities) for all containment and clean-up costs and other damages arising from discharges or threatened discharges of oil from their vessels. These other damages are defined broadly to include:
•natural resources damages and the related assessment costs;
•real and personal property damages;
•net loss of taxes, royalties, rents, fees and other lost revenues;
•lost profits or impairment of earning capacity due to property or natural resources damage;
•net cost of public services necessitated by a spill response, such as protection from fire, safety, or health hazards; and
•loss of subsistence use of natural resources.
OPA 90 limits the liability of responsible parties in an amount it periodically updates. The liability limits do not apply if the incident was proximately caused by a violation of applicable U.S. federal safety, construction or operating regulations, including IMO conventions to which the United States is a signatory, or by the responsible party’s gross negligence or willful misconduct, or if the responsible party fails or refuses to report the incident or to cooperate and assist in connection with the oil removal activities. Liability under CERCLA is also subject to limits unless the incident is caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct, or a violation of certain regulations. We currently maintain for each of our vessels pollution liability coverage in the maximum coverage amount of $1 billion per incident. A catastrophic spill could exceed the coverage available, which could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Under OPA 90, with limited exceptions, all newly built or converted tankers delivered after January 1, 1994 and operating in U.S. waters must be double-hulled. All of our tankers are double-hulled.
OPA 90 also requires owners and operators of vessels to establish and maintain with the USCG evidence of financial responsibility in an amount at least equal to the relevant limitation amount for such vessels under the statute. The USCG has implemented regulations requiring that an owner or operator of a fleet of vessels must demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility in an amount sufficient to cover the vessel in the fleet having the greatest maximum limited liability under OPA 90 and CERCLA. Evidence of financial responsibility may be demonstrated by insurance, surety bond, self-insurance, guaranty, or an alternative method subject to approval by the USCG. Under the self-insurance provisions, the shipowner or operator must have a net worth and working capital, measured in assets located in the United States against liabilities located anywhere in the world, that exceeds the applicable amount of financial responsibility. We have complied with the USCG regulations by using self-insurance for certain vessels and obtaining financial guaranties from a third party for the remaining vessels. If other vessels in our fleet trade into the United States in the future, we expect to obtain guaranties from third-party insurers.
OPA 90 and CERCLA permit individual U.S. states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to oil or hazardous substance pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries and some states have enacted legislation providing for unlimited strict liability for spills. Several coastal states require state-specific evidence of financial responsibility and vessel response plans. We intend to comply with all applicable state regulations in the ports where our vessels call.
Owners or operators of vessels, including tankers operating in U.S. waters, are required to file vessel response plans with the USCG, and their tankers are required to operate in compliance with their USCG approved plans. Such response plans must, among other things:
•address a “worst case” scenario and identify and ensure, through contract or other approved means, the availability of necessary private response resources to respond to a “worst-case discharge”;
•describe crew training and drills; and
•identify a qualified individual with full authority to implement removal actions.
All our vessels have USCG-approved vessel response plans. Also, we conduct regular oil spill response drills as per the guidelines set out in OPA 90. The USCG has announced it intends to propose similar regulations requiring certain vessels to prepare response plans for the release of hazardous substances. Similarly, we also have California Vessel Contingency Plans onboard vessels which are likely to call ports in the State of California.
OPA 90 and CERCLA do not preclude claimants from seeking damages resulting from the discharge of oil and hazardous substances under other applicable law, including maritime tort law. The application of this doctrine varies by jurisdiction.
The U.S. Clean Water Act (or the Clean Water Act) also prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in U.S. navigable waters and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for unauthorized discharges. The Clean Water Act imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages and complements the remedies available under OPA 90 and CERCLA discussed above.
Our vessels that discharge certain effluents, including ballast water, in U.S. waters must obtain a Clean Water Act permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) titled the “Vessel General Permit” (or VGP) and comply with a range of effluent limitations, best management practices, reporting, inspections and other requirements. The current Vessel General Permit incorporates USCG requirements for ballast water exchange and includes specific technology-based requirements for vessels as well as an implementation schedule to require vessels to meet the ballast water effluent limitations by the first drydocking after January 1, 2016, depending on the vessel size. The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (or VIDA) became effective on December 4, 2018 and establishes a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges under the CWA. In most cases, the future standards will be at least as stringent as the existing EPA 2013 VGP requirements and will be technology based. Two years thereafter, the USCG is required to develop corresponding implementation, compliance, and enforcement regulations. These may include requirements governing the design, construction, testing, approval, installation and use of devices to achieve the EPA national standards of performance (or NSPs). Under VIDA, all provisions of the VGP remain in force and effect as currently written until the USCG regulations are finalized. Vessels that are constructed after December 1, 2013, are subject to the ballast water numeric effluent limitations. Several U.S. states have added specific requirements to the VGP and, in some cases, may require vessels to install ballast water treatment technology to meet biological performance standards. Every five years the VGP gets reissued, however, the provisions of the 2013 VGP, as currently written, will apply beyond 2018 until the EPA publishes new NSPs, and the USCG develops implementing regulations for those NSPs. This could take up to four years. On October 26, 2020, the EPA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance – was published in the Federal Register for public comment. The proposed rule is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of discharges, such as ballast water, that are incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels. When finalized, this new rule is expected to streamline the current patchwork of federal, state, and local requirements that apply to commercial vessels and better protect US waters.
Since January 1, 2014, the California Air Resources Board has required that vessels that burn fuel within 24 nautical miles of California burn fuel with 0.1% sulfur content or less.
China previously established ECAs in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Sea, which took effect on January 1, 2016. The Hainan ECA took effect on January 1, 2019. From January 1, 2019, all the ECAs have merged, and the scope of Domestic Emission Controls Areas (or DECAs) were extended to 12 nautical miles from the coastline, covering the Chinese mainland territorial coastal areas as well as the Hainan Island territorial coastal waters. From January 1, 2019, all vessels navigating within the Chinese mainland territorial coastal DECAs and at berths are required to use marine fuel with sulfur content of maximum 0.50% m/m. As per the new regulation, ships can also use alternative methods such as an Exhaust Gas Scrubber, LNG or other clean fuel that reduces the SOx to the same level or lower than the maximum required limits of sulfur when using fossil fuel in the DECA areas or when at berth. All the vessels without an exhaust gas cleaning system entering the emission control area are only permitted to carry and use the compliant fuel oil specified by the new regulation.
From July 1, 2019, vessels engaged on international voyages (except tankers) that are equipped to connect to shore power must use shore power if they berth for more than three hours (or for more than two hours for inland river control area) in berths with shore supply capacity in the coastal control areas.
From January 1, 2020, all vessels navigating within the Chinese mainland territorial coastal DECAs should use marine fuel with a maximum 0.5% m/m sulfur cap. All vessels entering China inland waterway emission control areas are to use the fuel oil with sulfur content not exceeding 0.1% m/m. Any vessel using or carrying non-compliant fuel oil due to the non-availability of compliant fuel oil is to submit a fuel oil non-availability report to the China Maritime Safety Administration (or CMSA) of the next arrival port before entering waters under the jurisdiction of China.
From March 1, 2020, all vessels entering waters under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China are prohibited to carry fuel oil of sulfur content exceeding 0.50% m/m on board ships. Any vessel carrying non-compliant fuel oil in the waters under the jurisdiction of China is to:
•discharge the non-compliant fuel oil; or
•as permitted by the CMSA of calling port, to retain the non-compliant fuel oil on board with a commitment letter stating it will not be used in waters under the jurisdiction of China.
New Zealand's Craft Risk Management Standard (or CRMS) requirements are based on the IMO's guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
Marine pests and diseases brought in on vessel hulls (or biofouling) are a threat to New Zealand's marine resources. From May 15, 2018, all vessels arriving in New Zealand need to have a clean hull. Vessels staying up to 20 days and only visiting designated ports (places of first arrival) will be allowed a slight amount of biofouling. Vessels staying longer and visiting other places will only be allowed a slime layer and goose barnacles.
Republic of Korea
The Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced an air quality control program that defines selected South Korean ports and areas as ECAs. The ECAs cover Korea’s five major port areas: Incheon, Pyeongtaek & Dangjin, Yeosu & Gwangyang, Busan and Ulsan. From September 1, 2020, ships at berth or at anchor in the new Korean ECAs must burn fuel with a maximum sulfur content of 0.10%. Ships must switch to compliant fuel within one hour of mooring/anchoring and burn compliant fuel until not more than one hour before departure. From January 1, 2022, the requirements will be expanded, and the 0.10% sulfur limit will apply at all times while operating within the ECAs.
A Vessel Speed Reduction Program has also been introduced as a part of an air quality control program on a voluntary compliance basis to certain types of ships (crude, chemical and LNG carriers) calling at ports Busan, Ulsan, Yeosu, Gwangyang and Incheon.
On October 2, 2019, the Government of India urged its citizens and government agencies to take steps towards phasing out single-use plastics (or SUP). As a result, all shipping participants operating in Indian waters are required to contribute to the Indian government’s goal of phasing out SUPs.
The Directorate General of Shipping, India (or DGS) has mandated certain policies as a result, and in order to comply with these required policies, all cargo vessels are required as of January 31, 2020 to prepare a vessel-specific Ship Execution Plan (or SEP) detailing the inventory of all SUP used on board the vessel and which has not been exempted by DGS. This SEP will be reviewed to determine the prohibition of SUP on the subject vessel.
Vessels will be allowed to use an additional 10% of SUP items in the SEP that have not been prohibited. Amendments to the finalized SEP are discouraged save for material corrections.
Foreign vessels visiting Indian ports are not allowed to use prohibited items while at a place or port in India. However, these items are allowed to be on board provided they are stored at identified locations. SEPs are also required to detail the prevention steps that will be implemented during a vessel’s call at an Indian port to prevent unsanctioned usage of SUPs. This includes the preparation and use of a deck and official log entry identifying all SUP items on board the vessel.
Greenhouse Gas Regulation
In February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (or the Kyoto Protocol) entered into force. Under the Kyoto Protocol, adopting countries are required to implement national programs to reduce emissions of GHGs. In December 2009, more than 27 nations, including the United States, entered into the Copenhagen Accord. The Copenhagen Accord is non-binding but is intended to pave the way for a comprehensive, international treaty on climate change. In December 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted by a large number of countries at the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (commonly known as COP 21, a conference of the countries which are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; the COP is the highest decision-making authority of this organization). The Paris Agreement, which entered into force on November 4, 2016, deals with GHG emission reduction measures and targets from 2020 to limit the global temperature increases to well below 2˚ Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Although shipping was ultimately not included in the Paris Agreement, it is expected that the adoption of the Paris Agreement may lead to regulatory changes in relation to curbing GHG emissions from shipping.
In July 2011, the IMO adopted regulations imposing technical and operational measures for the reduction of GHG emissions. These new regulations formed a new chapter in MARPOL Annex VI and became effective on January 1, 2013. The new technical and operational measures include the “Energy Efficiency Design Index” (or the EEDI), which is mandatory for newbuilding vessels, and the “Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan”, which is mandatory for all vessels. In October 2016, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (or MEPC) adopted updated guidelines for the calculation of the EEDI. In October 2014, the IMO’s MEPC agreed in principle to develop a system of data collection regarding fuel consumption of ships. In October 2016, the IMO adopted a mandatory data collection system under which vessels of 5,000 gross tonnages and above are to collect fuel consumption and other data and to report the aggregated data so collected to their flag state at the end of each calendar year. The new requirements entered into force on March 1, 2018.
All vessels are required to submit fuel consumption data to their respective administration/registered organizations for onward submission to the IMO for analysis and to help with decision making on future measures. The amendments require operators to update the vessel's SEEMP to include descriptions of the ship-specific methodology that will be used for collecting and measuring data for fuel oil consumption, distance travelled, hours underway and processes that will be used to report the data, to ensure data quality is maintained.
The vessels in our fleet were verified as compliant before December 31, 2018, with the first data collection period being for the 2019 calendar year. A Confirmation of Compliance was issued by the administration/registered organization, which must be kept onboard the ship. The IMO also approved a roadmap for the development of a comprehensive IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships with an initial strategy adopted on April 13, 2018, and a revised strategy to be adopted in 2023. Furthermore, the MEPC adopted two other sets of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI related to carbon intensity regulations. The MEPC agreed on combining the technical and operational measures with an entry into force date on January 1, 2023. The Energy Efficiency Existing Ships Index (EEXI) will be implemented for existing ships as a technical measure to reduce CO2 emissions. The Carbon Intensity Index (CII) will be implemented as an operational carbon intensity measure to benchmark and improve efficiency. Regulations and frameworks are expected to be fully defined at the next MEPC meeting in June 2021.
The EU has also indicated that it intends to propose an expansion of an existing EU emissions trading regime to include emissions of GHGs from vessels, and individual countries in the EU may impose additional requirements. The EU has adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/757 on the monitoring, reporting and verification (or MRV) of CO2 emissions from vessels (or the MRV Regulation), which entered into force on July 1, 2015. The MRV Regulation aims to quantify and reduce CO2 emissions from shipping. It lists the requirements on the MRV of carbon dioxide emissions and requires ship owners and operators to annually monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions for vessels larger than 5,000 gross tonnage calling at any EU and EFTA (Norway and Iceland) port (with a few exceptions, such as fish-catching or fish-processing vessels). Data collection takes place on a per voyage basis and started on January 1, 2018. The reported CO2 emissions, together with additional data, such as cargo and energy efficiency parameters, are to be verified by independent verifiers and sent to a central inspection database hosted by the European Maritime Safety Agency to collate all the data applicable to the EU region. Companies responsible for the operation of large ships using EU ports are required to report their CO2 emissions. While the EU was considering a proposal for the inclusion of shipping in the EU Emissions Trading System as from 2021 (in the absence of a comparable system operating under the IMO) it appears that the decision to include shipping may be deferred until 2023.
In the United States, the EPA issued an “endangerment finding” regarding GHGs under the Clean Air Act. While this finding in itself does not impose any requirements on our industry, it authorizes the EPA to regulate GHG emissions directly through a rule-making process. Also, climate change initiatives are being considered in the United States Congress and by individual states. Any passage of new climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives by the IMO, EU, the United States or other countries or states where we operate that restrict emissions of GHG could have a significant financial and operational impact on our business that we cannot predict with certainty at this time.
Many financial institutions that lend to the maritime industry have adopted the Poseidon Principles, which establish a framework for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of ship finance portfolios. The Poseidon Principles set a benchmark for the banks who fund the maritime sector, which is based on the IMO GHG strategy. The IMO approved an initial GHG strategy in April 2018 to reduce GHG emissions generated from shipping activity, which represents a significant shift in climate ambition for a sector that currently accounts for 2%-3% of global carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, the Poseidon Principles are expected to enable financial institutions to align their ship finance portfolios with responsible environmental behavior and incentivize international shipping’s decarbonization.
The ISPS was adopted by the IMO in December 2002 in the wake of heightened concern over worldwide terrorism and became effective on July 1, 2004. The objective of ISPS is to enhance maritime security by detecting security threats to ships and ports and by requiring the development of security plans and other measures designed to prevent such threats. Each of the existing vessels in our fleet currently complies with the requirements of ISPS and Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (U.S. specific requirements). Procedures are in place to inform the Maritime Security Council Horn of Africa whenever our vessels are calling in the Indian Ocean Region or Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade - Gulf of Guinea when in West Coast of Africa. In order to mitigate the security risk, security arrangements are made which include boarding armed security teams (when vessels transit the Gulf of Aden) or arranging for security escort vessels (with 6-8 Nigerian Navy armed guards) from a distance of 195 Nautical miles for all Nigerian port calls. In addition, our vessels are also escorted through the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone (or EEZ) for calling at some ports of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, which are close to the Nigerian EEZ. Our vessels are fully compliant with all recommendations of Best Management practices for West Africa.
As of December 31, 2020, Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK), through its 100%-owned subsidiaries, Teekay Holdings Limited and Teekay Finance Limited, had a 28.6% economic interest and a 53.9% voting interest in us through its ownership of approximately 5.0 million shares of our Class A common stock and 4.6 million shares of our Class B common stock, respectively.
Our shares of Class A common stock entitle the holders thereof to one vote per share and our shares of Class B common stock entitle the holders thereof to five votes per share, subject to a 49% aggregate Class B common stock voting power maximum. Teekay Corporation currently holds a majority of the voting power of our common stock, and as such, we are controlled by Teekay Corporation. Teekay Corporation also controls its publicly-listed subsidiary, Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE: TGP).
Please read Exhibit 8.1 to this Annual Report for a list of our subsidiaries as of December 31, 2020.
D.Property, Plant and Equipment
Other than our vessels and related equipment, we do not have any material property.
Please see “Item 4. Information on the Company – B. Business Overview – Our Fleet” for a description of our vessels and “Item 18. Financial Statements: Note 9 – Long-Term Debt" and "Note 10 – Operating Leases and Obligations Related to Finance Leases” for information about major encumbrances against our vessels.
E.Taxation of the Company
United States Taxation
The following is a discussion of material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to us. This discussion is based upon provisions of the Code, legislative history, applicable U.S. Treasury Regulations (or Treasury Regulations), judicial authority and administrative interpretations, all as in effect on the date of this Annual Report, and which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect, or are subject to different interpretations. Changes in these authorities may cause the tax consequences to vary substantially from the consequences described below.
Taxation of Operating Income. A significant portion of our gross income will be attributable to the transportation of crude oil and related products. For this purpose, gross income attributable to transportation (or Transportation Income) includes income derived from, or in connection with, the use (or hiring or leasing for use) of a vessel to transport cargo, or the performance of services directly related to the use of any vessel to transport cargo, and thus includes income from time-charters and bareboat charters.
Fifty percent (50%) of Transportation Income that either begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States (or U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income) is considered to be derived from sources within the United States. Transportation Income that both begins and ends in the United States (or U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Gross Income) is considered to be 100% derived from sources within the United States. Transportation Income exclusively between non-U.S. destinations is considered to be 100% derived from sources outside the United States. Transportation Income derived from sources outside the United States generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax.
Based on our current operations, and the operations of our subsidiaries, a substantial portion of our Transportation Income is from sources outside the United States and not subject to U.S. federal income tax. In addition, we believe that we have not earned any U.S. Source Domestic
Transportation Gross Income, and we expect that we will not earn a material amount of such income in future years. However, certain of our subsidiaries which have made special U.S. tax elections to be treated as partnerships or disregarded as entities separate from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes are potentially engaged in activities which could give rise to U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income. Unless the exemption from U.S. taxation under Section 883 of the Code (or the Section 883 Exemption) applies, our U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income generally is subject to U.S. federal income taxation under either the net basis and branch profits taxes or the 4% gross basis tax, each of which is discussed below.
The Section 883 Exemption. In general, the Section 883 Exemption provides that if a non-U.S. corporation satisfies the requirements of Section 883 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder (or the Section 883 Regulations), it will not be subject to the net basis and branch profits taxes or the 4% gross basis tax described below on its U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income. As discussed below, we believe that under our current ownership structure, the Section 883 Exemption will apply and we will not be taxed on our U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income. The Section 883 Exemption does not apply to U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Gross Income.
A non-U.S. corporation will qualify for the Section 883 Exemption if, among other things, it (i) is organized in a jurisdiction outside the United States that grants an exemption from tax to U.S. corporations on international Transportation Income (or an Equivalent Exemption), (ii) meets one of three ownership tests (or Ownership Tests) described in the Section 883 Regulations, and (iii) meets certain substantiation, reporting and other requirements (or the Substantiation Requirements).
We are organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The U.S. Treasury Department has recognized the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a jurisdiction that grants an Equivalent Exemption. We also believe that we will be able to satisfy the Substantiation Requirements necessary to qualify for the Section 883 Exemption. Consequently, our U.S. Source International Transportation Income (including for this purpose, our share of any such income earned by our subsidiaries that have properly elected to be treated as partnerships or disregarded as entities separate from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes) will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation provided we satisfy one of the Ownership Tests. We believe that we should satisfy one of the Ownership Tests because our stock is primarily and regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States within the meaning of Section 883 of the Code and the Section 883 Regulations. We can give no assurance, however, that changes in the ownership of our stock subsequent to the date of this report will permit us to continue to qualify for the Section 883 exemption.
Net Basis Tax and Branch Profits Tax. If the Section 883 Exemption does not apply, our U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income may be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States (or Effectively Connected Income) if we have a fixed place of business in the United States and substantially all of our U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income is attributable to regularly scheduled transportation or, in the case of income derived from bareboat charters, is attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States. Based on our current operations, none of our potential U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income is attributable to regularly scheduled transportation or is derived from bareboat charters attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States. As a result, we do not anticipate that any of our U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income will be treated as Effectively Connected Income. However, there is no assurance that we will not earn income pursuant to regularly scheduled transportation or bareboat charters attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States in the future, which will result in such income being treated as Effectively Connected Income.
U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Gross Income generally will be treated as Effectively Connected Income. However, we do not anticipate that a material amount of our income has been or will be U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Gross Income.
Any income we earn that is treated as Effectively Connected Income would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax (the current statutory rate is 21%), and a 30% branch profits tax imposed under Section 884 of the Code. In addition, a branch interest tax could be imposed on certain interest paid or deemed paid by us.
On the sale of a vessel that has produced Effectively Connected Income, we generally would be subject to the net basis and branch profits taxes with respect to our gain recognized up to the amount of certain prior deductions for depreciation that reduced Effectively Connected Income. Otherwise, we would not be subject to U.S. federal income tax with respect to gain realized on the sale of a vessel, provided the sale is considered to occur outside of the United States under U.S. federal income tax principles.
The 4% Gross Basis Tax. If the Section 883 Exemption does not apply and we are not subject to the net basis and branch profits taxes described above, we will be subject to a 4% U.S. federal income tax on our gross U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income, without benefit of deductions. For 2020, we estimate that if the Section 883 Exemption and the net basis tax did not apply, the U.S. federal income tax on such U.S. Source International Transportation Gross Income would have been approximately $9.1 million. The amount of such tax for which we are liable in any year will depend upon the amount of income we earn from voyages into or out of the United States in such year, however, which is not within our complete control.
Marshall Islands Taxation
Because we and our controlled affiliates do not, and we do not expect that we or they will, conduct business, operations, or transactions in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, neither we nor our controlled affiliates are subject to income, capital gains, profits or other taxation under current Marshall Islands law, other than taxes, fines, or fees due to (i) the incorporation, dissolution, continued existence, merger, domestication (or similar concepts) of legal entities registered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, (ii) filing certificates (such as certificates of incumbency, merger, or re-domiciliation) with the Marshall Islands registrar, (iii) obtaining certificates of good standing from, or certified copies of documents filed with, the Marshall Islands registrar, (iv) compliance with Marshall Islands law concerning vessel ownership, such as tonnage tax, or (v) non-compliance with economic substance regulations or with requests made by the Marshall Islands Registrar of Corporations relating to our books and records and the books and records of our subsidiaries. As a result, distributions by our controlled affiliates to us are not subject to Marshall Islands taxation.
We and our subsidiaries are subject to taxation in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions because we or our subsidiaries are either organized, or conduct business or operations, in such jurisdictions. In other non-U.S. jurisdictions, we and our subsidiaries rely on statutory exemptions from tax. However, we cannot assure that any statutory exemptions from tax on which we or our subsidiaries rely will continue to be available as tax laws in those jurisdictions may change or we or our subsidiaries may enter into new business transactions relating to such jurisdictions, which could affect our or our subsidiaries' tax liability.
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5.Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this report.
In addition, refer to item 5 in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2019 for our discussion and analysis comparing financial condition and results of operations from 2019 to 2018.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
We were formed in October 2007 by Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK), a leading provider of marine services to the global oil and gas industries, and we completed our initial public offering in December 2007. Our business is to own and operate crude oil and product tankers, and we employ a chartering strategy that seeks to capture upside opportunities in the tanker spot market while using fixed-rate time charters and FSL contracts to reduce potential downside risks. Our mix of vessels trading in the spot market or subject to fixed-rate time charters will change from time to time. In addition to our core business, we also provide STS support services, along with our tanker commercial management and technical management operations. We believe this improves our ability to manage the cyclicality of the tanker market through the less volatile cash flows generated by these operational areas. Historically, the tanker industry has experienced volatility in profitability due to changes in the supply of, and demand for, tanker capacity. Tanker supply and demand are each influenced by several factors beyond our control. On April 30, 2020, we completed the sale of the non-U.S. portion of our STS transfer business and our LNG terminal management business, as described below.
Teekay Corporation holds a majority of the voting power of our common stock, which includes Class A common stock and Class B common stock.
Effective May 2018, we eliminated the payment of our minimum quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share ($0.96 per share annually) in order to preserve liquidity during the cyclical downturn of the tanker spot market. In November 2019, we revised our previous formulaic dividend policy, which was based on a payout of 30% to 50% of our quarterly adjusted net income, to primarily focus on building net asset value through balance sheet delevering and reducing our cost of capital.
Significant Developments in 2020 and Early 2021
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
The novel coronavirus pandemic is dynamic, including the development of variants of the virus, and its ultimate scope, duration and effects on us, our customers and suppliers and our industry are uncertain.
COVID-19 has resulted and may continue to result in a significant decline in global demand for oil. As our business includes the transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products on behalf of our customers, any significant decrease in demand for the cargo we transport could adversely affect demand for our vessels and services.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, we did not experience any material business interruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has been a contributing factor to the decline in spot tanker rates and short-term time charter rates since mid-May 2020 and has also increased certain crewing-related costs, which has had an impact on our cash flows, and was a contributing factor to the write-down of certain tankers as described in "Item 18 – Financial Statements: Note 19 - Write-down and Sale of Assets" and the reduction of certain tax accruals as described in "Item 18 – Financial Statements: Note 21 - Income Tax Expense" of this Annual Report. We are continuing to monitor the potential impact of the pandemic on us, including monitoring counterparty risk associated with our vessels under contract and monitoring the impact on potential vessel impairments. We have also introduced a number of measures to protect the health and safety of our crews on our vessels, as well as our onshore staff.
Effects of the current pandemic may include, among others: deterioration of worldwide, regional or national economic conditions and activity and of demand for oil, including due to a potential slowdown in oil demand due to a current resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many regions and the potential for continued or renewed restrictions and lockdowns; operational disruptions to us or our customers due to worker health risks and the effects of regulations, directives or practices implemented in response to the pandemic (such as travel restrictions for individuals and vessels and quarantining and physical distancing); potential delays in (a) the loading and discharging of cargo on or from our vessels, (b) vessel inspections and related certifications by class societies, customers or government agencies, (c) maintenance, modifications or repairs to, or dry docking of, our existing vessels due to worker health or other business disruptions, and (d) the timing of crew changes; reduced cash flow and financial condition,
including potential liquidity constraints; potential reduced access to capital as a result of any credit tightening generally or due to declines in global financial markets; potential reduced ability to opportunistically sell any of our vessels on the second-hand market, either as a result of a lack of buyers or a general decline in the value of second-hand vessels; potential decreases in the market values of our vessels and any related impairment charges or bre