National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia
is buying as many as 17 very large crude carriers and chemical tankers. The company plans a five-year acquisition program under which it will buy at least nine VLCCs and eight chemical tankers. All vessels being acquired, whether new or used, will be double-hulled. National Shipping currently has nine double-hulled crude carriers, nine chemical tankers, and four multipurpose roll-on-roll-off ships in service.