UPDATE 2-Transocean Oil loses Singapore fuel supply licence in crackdown

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SINGAPORE, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Marine fuel services group Transocean Oil has lost its licences to operate in Singapore, making it the third provider this year to have its licences revoked amid a crackdown on short deliveries to bunker fuel customers.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said late Monday it had revoked Transocean Oil’s bunker fuel supply and bunker craft operator licences in the Port of Singapore, effective immediately.

The move followed MPA checks on Transocean in March and April that found “falsifications of records and discrepancies in the stock movement logbooks on board the bunker tankers,” the authority said.

Sherman Yeo, commercial manager at Transocean Oil, declined to comment. Benny Yeo, Transcoean’s managing director, was not immediately available for comment.

The Singapore-based company is the third marine fuel services provider to lose its MPA-issued licenses this year after Panoil Petroleum and Universal Energy were stripped of theirs in August.

Industry sources said Transocean had been notably less active in the market in recent months and its expulsion would have only a limited impact on the supply and price of marine fuels in Singapore.

Transocean was formed in 2003 and operates a fleet of 13 bunkering barges, according to its website. Customers include Singapore Petroleum Co, South Korean, Japanese, U.S. and Singaporean navy vessels, as well as shipping lines APL, Toko Line, NYK Line and Cosco.

In 2016, the company was ranked by the MPA as the sixth-largest marine fuel supplier in Singapore by volume, down from fourth position the previous year.

Singapore this year became the world’s first port to mandate the use of mass flow meters (MFMs) for bunker fuel deliveries to minimise inaccuracies and errors in measuring delivered volumes of marine fuels.

The MPA in August also declined to renew the bunker supply licenses of Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd and Universal Energy Pte Ltd after finding they had failed to comply with bunkering procedures.

In September, Uni Petroleum Pte Ltd, which did not apply to port authorities to renew its supply licence, became the third supplier to leave the market this year.

Citing heightened commercial pressures since the mandatory adoption of MFMs in Singapore, Aegean Bunkering Singapore Pte Ltd said this month it will halt physical supply operations in Singapore by January.

There are now 55 licensed bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore, along with 53 bunker craft operators. (Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Ahmad Ghaddar in London; Editing by Richard Pullin)