TotalFinaElf Adamantly Denies VLCC Sale Block

Monday, August 20, 2001
TotalFinaElf denied reports on Friday it had blocked the sale of a VLCC it charters from Norwegian tanker operator Bergesen to three members of the Tankers International alliance.

Both Bergesen and Frontline had told the Oslo Stock Exchange that the oil major had vetoed the $78 million sale of the Berge Tokyo complete with its longterm charter. The buyers were Frontline, OSG and Euronav.

"We never indicated that the deal should be cancelled," said a TotalFinaElf spokesman. "We've asked for some guarantees, but have had no news from them. I don't think cancelled and frozen mean the same thing," he added.

The rumor that Bergesen could terminate the "evergreen contract" to TotalFinaElf next year has been reverberating around the tanker broking market all day.

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