ExxonMobil to Grow its Direct Bunker Sales Business

Wednesday April 10, 2019

ExxonMobil Marine Fuels is looking to grow its direct bunker sales business, a move it says is driven by a desire to retain control of its fuel quality rather than simply to increase its sales volume.

"We analyze on a market by market basis, what is the most cost effective way for us to do business and also the most cost effective way for our customers. Given the quality of our fuel and the level of quality assurance we want to give our customers throughout the supply chain, we've taken a conscious choice to increase our deliveries direct to ships," Luca Volta, marine fuels venture manager at ExxonMobil, told Ship & Bunker.

"This is not only the case for ARA and Singapore, but we are increasing capabilities to deliver directly to our customers at all the ports we participate in such as Genoa, Thailand, Marseille, and Hong Kong."

Bunker quality is expected to be a key variable for the new breed of 0.50%S fuels, particularly when it comes to cross compatibility with fuels from different sources.

ExxonMobil is so far the only major supplier to announce its fuels will be able to be commingled no matter where in the world they are sourced, provided best practice guidance for bunkering, handling and storage is followed.

Despite efforts boost its direct sales, the energy major says it will still offer its fuels via third parties, depending on the specific location and when yielding a cost effective opportunity for both supplier and customer.

"We believe we have the right products and we believe we can deliver them in a cost effective way. But that doesn't mean if you have a direct channel to market you can't also have an indirect channel to market. They are not mutually exclusive," says Volta.