Dear valued customers and partners,
Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year!
Like many others, we at Gulf Oil Marine started 2021 with some hopes that the COVID restrictions would, over the year, be slowly lifted and that life would be back to some semblance of normalcy. Alas, that did not happen. In fact, we watched with dread and disappointment, how the various COVID mutations disrupted governments’ plans to re-open, hence, perpetuating the restrictions.
However, despite the restrictions, we were able to continue to serve our customers; our teams across the globe, stepped up to ensure that our customers received the service they have come to expect of Gulf Oil Marine. We are proud that we were able to maintain our on-time in full delivery promises to customers.
And despite the restrictions, our product development programme remained right on track; we were able to continue with our ship trials. In fact, in Aug 2021, we successfully obtained a “No-Objection-Letter” (NOL) from MAN ES for our CAT II cylinder oil – GulfSea Cylcare XP 5040X. Being the first in the industry to obtain this CAT II NOL, we have shown that we have the wherewithal to lead the way in helping to set higher standards in lubrication performance; it’s a sound testimony to our technical competency.
In short, the pandemic restrictions with all the associated challenges, did reshape the way we live and work; living with the restrictions basically became the new “norm” for us. But at Gulf Oil Marine, we are glad that we were able to make the best out of the circumstances.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the significant oil price increases that happened in the beginning of 2021. The confluence of unanticipated demand increases and planned supply reductions led to very sharp baseoil price increases. The price increases in terms of quantum and frequency were unprecedented in our industry. Prices only stabilised after 6 months. It is possible that we will see similar volatility in 2022; in reality, this is anybody’s guess. Suffice to note, it’s something that all stakeholders in the industry will need to be adequately prepared for.
On a happier note, the sustained improvements in most shipping charter rates during 2021, after so many difficult years, did help lift the spirits of many in the shipping community. We hope that all sectors will see continued improvements in market conditions during 2022.
For the new year 2022, we will be less sanguine about the relaxation of the COVID restrictions. Should the restrictions remain in place, we will learn to live more effectively with them, making our lives better and our work smarter. Overall, while we hope for some tailwinds, we will remain prepared for any headwind challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed provided the impetus for Gulf Oil Marine to accelerate the adoption of technologies/ innovative solutions across our entire organisation to enhance our work. It has in a way, thrusted upon us the need to re-invent ourselves as we try to make our proposition more productive for our customers. We will of course continue to engage the shipping community, our customers and partners, as we embark on a transformative journey to further enhance our customer value propositions.
Thank you everyone who has supported us; I look forward to your continued support. And I wish you all a safe, healthy and roaringly happy Year of the Tiger.
Mr. David Price
CEO, Gulf Oil Marine Ltd.