Maersk Tankers, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Thursday it had quit four unprofitable crude oil charter contracts by buying out supertankers and selling them onwards, continuing its exit from crude oil transportation.
The company now has charters for just two supertankers, called Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), although the intention is to get out of these contracts too, Maersk Tankers spokeswoman Stine Pedersen said.
Buying the vessels from their owners allows Maersk to exit the charter contracts.
The spokeswoman said Maersk had decided two years ago to cease transporting crude oil and focus instead of carrying refined products such as gasoline and diesel, and that Thursday's announcement was in line with that strategy.
"This transaction will contribute a good upside to our bottom line in 2014," Maersk Tankers Chief Executive Morten Engelstoft said in a statement.
The four VLCCs have been sold to Belgium's Euronav . Three vessels will be delivered this year with the last coming in the second quarter of 2015, Maersk said. The VLCCs are Japanese-built and on average three years old.
Maersk Tankers sold 15 VLCCs in January.
(Reporting by Shida Chayesteh and Sabina Zawadzki; editing by Tom Pfeiffer and Pravin Char)