SHIPPING: Superbust

In Supership, the recent bestseller on the profits and perils of ever bigger tankers, Author Noël Mostert raises the harrowing prospect of narrow sea lanes, al ready crowded with vessels of 200,000 tons and more, soon to be joined by monsters capable of carrying as much as 1 million tons of oil. Yet suddenly this prospect is fading. Dozens of supertankers are idle, and others are being laid up almost daily. Last week four 370,000-ton tankers on order for construction at Norwegian shipyards were withdrawn, bringing that nation's cancellation total to 26. For many of the high-rolling ship owners who...

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