Shipping giant Frontline reportedly hopes to acquire a U.S.-based counterpart in a deal that would create the world's largest fleet of crude oil tankers.
Frontline owner and Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen told The Wall Street Journal that he would likely abandon repeated attempts to acquire Norwegian rival DHT Holdings. Instead, the Journal reported that Frontline is in talks to purchase or merge with Gener8 Maritime.
The latter proposal would establish a combined fleet of 43 large tankers, although a completed deal is not guaranteed.
Reports of the ongoing discussions came just days after OPEC and other top oil producers vowed to continue production cutbacks in an effort to alleviate low prices.
The decision, the Journal noted, would particularly hurt the oil tanker industry — which relies primarily on crude exports from the Persian Gulf — just as dozens of new ships join the global fleet.
Industry experts told the paper that tanker companies will likely need to consolidate in order to generate investment.