0000913290-14-000007.txt : 20140321 0000913290-14-000007.hdr.sgml : 20140321 20140321124243 ACCESSION NUMBER: 0000913290-14-000007 CONFORMED SUBMISSION TYPE: 20-F PUBLIC DOCUMENT COUNT: 29 CONFORMED PERIOD OF REPORT: 20131231 FILED AS OF DATE: 20140321 DATE AS OF CHANGE: 20140321 FILER: COMPANY DATA: COMPANY CONFORMED NAME: FRONTLINE LTD / CENTRAL INDEX KEY: 0000913290 STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION: DEEP SEA FOREIGN TRANSPORTATION OF FREIGHT [4412] IRS NUMBER: 980135919 FISCAL YEAR END: 1231 FILING VALUES: FORM TYPE: 20-F SEC ACT: 1934 Act SEC FILE NUMBER: 001-16601 FILM NUMBER: 14709384 BUSINESS ADDRESS: STREET 1: PAR-LA-VILLE PLACE STREET 2: 14 PAR-LA-VILLE ROAD CITY: HAMILTON, HM 08 STATE: D0 ZIP: 00000 BUSINESS PHONE: (1) 441-295-6935 MAIL ADDRESS: STREET 1: PAR-LA-VILLE PLACE STREET 2: 14 PAR-LA-VILLE ROAD CITY: HAMILTON, HM 08 STATE: D0 ZIP: 00000 FORMER COMPANY: FORMER CONFORMED NAME: LONDON & OVERSEAS FREIGHTERS LTD DATE OF NAME CHANGE: 19931012 20-F 1 froltd-201320f.htm 20-F Fro Ltd - 2013 20F


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC. 20549
 
FORM 20-F

(Mark One)
 
o
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g)
 
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
ý
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
 
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2013
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
 
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
For the transition period from _________________ to _________________
OR
o
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
Date of event requiring this shell company report  _______________________________
 
Commission file number
001-16601
Frontline Ltd.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
(Translation of Registrant's name into English)
 
Bermuda
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
Par-la-Ville Place, 14 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton, HM 08, Bermuda
(Address of principal executive offices)
Georgina Sousa, Telephone: (1) 441 295 6935, Facsimile: (1) 441 295 3494,
 Par-la-Ville Place, 14 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton, HM 08, Bermuda
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
 
Ordinary Shares, Par Value $1.00 Per Share
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
 
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
 

 
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
Ordinary Shares, Par Value $1.00 Per Share
(Title of Class)
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

86,511,713 Ordinary Shares, Par Value $1.00 Per Share

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes o                                            No ý

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes o                                            No ý

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes ý                                            No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

Yes ý                                            No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer  o
Accelerated filer  x
Non-accelerated filer  o
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP x
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the
International Accounting Standards Board o
Other o

If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:
Item 17 o
 
Item 18 o

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes  
o
No  
ý





INDEX TO REPORT ON FORM 20-F
 
 
 
PAGE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Matters discussed in this report and the documents incorporated by reference may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements, which include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

Frontline Ltd. and its subsidiaries, or the Company, desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. This report and any other written or oral statements made by us or on our behalf may include forward-looking statements, which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "will," "may," "should," "expect" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this report are based upon various assumptions, including without limitation, management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

In addition to these important factors and matters discussed elsewhere herein and in the documents incorporated by reference herein, important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies, fluctuations in currencies and interest rates, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charterhire rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the tanker market, changes in world wide oil production and consumption and storage, changes in the Company's operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for the Company's vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents, political events or acts by terrorists, and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission or Commission.

We caution readers of this report not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward looking statements are not guarantees of our future performance, and actual results and future developments may vary materially from those projected in the forward looking statements. Please see our Risk Factors in Item 3 of this report for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.


1



PART I

ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

Not applicable.

ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not applicable.

ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

Throughout this report, the "Company," "we," "us" and "our" all refer to Frontline Ltd. and its subsidiaries. We use the term deadweight ton, or dwt, in describing the size of vessels. Dwt, expressed in metric tons, each of which is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms, refers to the maximum weight of cargo and supplies that a vessel can carry. The Company operates tankers of two sizes: very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, which are between 200,000 and 320,000 deadweight tons, or dwt, and Suezmax tankers, which are vessels between 120,000 and 170,000 dwt. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to "USD","US$" and "$" in this report are U.S. dollars.

A. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected statement of operations data of the Company with respect to the fiscal years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 and the selected balance sheet data of the Company as of December 31, 2013 and 2012, have been derived from the Company's consolidated financial statements included herein and should be read in conjunction with such statements and the notes thereto. The selected statement of operations data with respect to the fiscal years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 and the selected balance sheet data as of December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009 have been derived from consolidated financial statements of the Company not included herein. The following table should also be read in conjunction with Item 5. "Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" and the Company's consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included herein. The Company's accounts are maintained in U.S. dollars.

 
 
Fiscal year ended December 31,
 
 
2013

 
2012

 
2011

 
2010

 
2009

(in thousands of $, except ordinary shares, per share data and ratios)
Statement of Operations Data (1) (2):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total operating revenues
 
517,190

 
578,361

 
723,495

 
1,028,303

 
1,008,303

Total operating expenses
 
641,182

 
594,212

 
849,476

 
812,047

 
822,437

Net operating (loss) income
 
(100,434
)
 
18,908

 
(406,784
)
 
247,191

 
188,927

Net (loss) income from continuing operations
 
(189,878
)
 
(71,231
)
 
(530,741
)
 
114,091

 
67,722

Net (loss) income from discontinued operations
 
(1,204
)
 
(12,544
)
 
1,731

 
50,131

 
38,111

Net (loss) income
 
(191,082
)
 
(83,775
)
 
(529,010
)
 
164,004

 
105,472

Net (loss) income attributable to Frontline Ltd.
 
(188,509
)
 
(82,754
)
 
(529,601
)
 
161,407

 
102,701

Basic (loss) income per share from continuing operations, excluding loss attributable to noncontrolling interest ($)
 
$
(2.35
)
 
$
(0.90
)
 
$
(6.82
)
 
$
1.43

 
$
0.83

Diluted (loss) income per share from continuing operations, excluding loss attributable to noncontrolling interest ($)
 
$
(2.35
)
 
$
(0.90
)
 
$
(6.82
)
 
$
1.33

 
$
0.83

Basic (loss) income per share attributable to Frontline Ltd. ($)
 
$
(2.36
)
 
$
(1.06
)
 
$
(6.80
)
 
$
2.07

 
$
1.32

Diluted (loss) income per share attributable to Frontline Ltd. ($)
 
$
(2.36
)
 
$
(1.06
)
 
$
(6.80
)
 
$
2.01

 
$
1.32

Cash dividends per share declared
 
$

 
$

 
$
0.22

 
$
2.00

 
$
0.90



2



 
 
Fiscal year ended December 31,
 
 
2013
 
2012

 
2011

 
2010

 
2009

(in thousands of $, except ordinary shares and ratios)
Balance Sheet Data (at end of year) (2):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
53,759

 
137,603

 
160,566

 
176,639

 
82,575

Newbuildings
 
29,668

 
26,913

 
13,049

 
224,319

 
413,968

Vessels and equipment, net
 
264,804

 
282,946

 
312,292

 
1,430,124

 
678,694

Vessels and equipment under capital lease, net
 
704,808

 
893,089

 
1,022,172

 
1,427,526

 
1,740,666

Investment in unconsolidated subsidiaries and associated companies
 
58,658

 
40,633

 
27,340

 
3,408

 
3,923

Total assets
 
1,367,605

 
1,688,221

 
1,840,569

 
3,797,920

 
3,715,218

Short-term debt and current portion of long-term debt
 
22,706

 
20,700

 
19,521

 
173,595

 
123,884

Current portion of obligations under capital leases
 
46,930

 
52,070

 
55,805

 
193,379

 
285,753

Long-term debt
 
436,372

 
463,292

 
493,992

 
1,190,763

 
760,698

Obligations under capital leases
 
742,418

 
898,490

 
957,431

 
1,336,908

 
1,579,708

Share capital
 
86,512

 
194,646

 
194,646

 
194,646

 
194,646

Total (deficit) equity attributable to Frontline Ltd.
 
(26,952
)
 
119,675

 
200,984

 
747,133

 
741,340

Ordinary shares outstanding
 
86,511,713

 
77,858,502

 
77,858,502

 
77,858,502

 
77,858,502

Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding
 
79,750,505

 
77,858,502

 
77,858,502

 
77,858,502

 
77,858,502

Other Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Equity to assets ratio (percentage) (3)
 
(2.0
)%
 
7.1
%
 
10.9
%
 
19.7
%
 
20.0
%
Debt to (deficit) equity ratio (4)
 
(46.3)

 
12.0

 
7.6

 
3.9

 
3.7

Price earnings ratio (5)
 
(1.6
)
 
(3.1
)
 
(0.6
)
 
12.3

 
20.7

Time charter equivalent revenue (6)
 
191,695

 
282,731

 
411,002

 
731,092

 
777,624


Notes:

1.
The Company terminated the lease on its final OBO carrier in March 2013 at which time it recorded the results of its OBO carriers as discontinued operations. The statement of operations data for all years presented above has been presented on a similar basis.
2.
The Company completed a restructuring of its business in December 2011, which involved the sale of 15 wholly-owned special purpose companies (which owned six VLCCs, including one on time charter, four Suezmax tankers and five newbuilding contracts) to an equity method investee of the Company, and the renegotiation of the majority of the Company's charter parties relating to vessels chartered in by the Company. A summary of the major changes to the balance sheet at December 31, 2011  is as follows;
a.
The net book value of  'Vessels and equipment, net' was reduced by $864.9 million.
b.
The net book value of 'Vessels and equipment under capital lease, net' was reduced by $156.3 million.
c.
Capital lease obligations with Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE: SFL), a related party, or Ship Finance, were reduced by $232.5 million and capital lease obligations with other counter parties were reduced by $29.8 million.
d.
Bank debt was eliminated.
e.
The net book value of 'Newbuildings' was reduced by $237.1 million.
f.
Newbuilding commitments were reduced by $325.5 million.

3.
Equity-to-assets ratio is calculated as total equity attributable to Frontline Ltd. divided by total assets.

4.
Debt-to-(deficit) equity ratio is calculated as total interest bearing current and long-term liabilities, including obligations under capital leases, divided by total (deficit) equity attributable to Frontline Ltd..

5.
Price earnings ratio is calculated by dividing the closing year end share price by basic earnings per share.

3




6.
A reconciliation of time charter equivalent revenues to total operating revenues as reflected in the consolidated statements of operations is as follows:
 
 
2013

 
2012

 
2011

 
2010

 
2009

(in thousands of $)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total operating revenues
 
517,190

 
578,361

 
723,495

 
1,028,303

 
1,008,303

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other income
 
(25,754
)
 
(25,785
)
 
(20,969
)
 
(20,678
)
 
(17,068
)
Voyage expense
 
(299,741
)
 
(269,845
)
 
(291,524
)
 
(276,533
)
 
(213,611
)
Time charter equivalent revenue
 
191,695

 
282,731

 
411,002

 
731,092

 
777,624


Consistent with general practice in the shipping industry, the Company uses time charter equivalent revenue, which represents operating revenues less other income and voyage expenses, as a measure to compare revenue generated from a voyage charter to revenue generated from a time charter. Time charter equivalent revenue, a non-GAAP measure, provides additional meaningful information in conjunction with operating revenues, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, because it assists Company management in making decisions regarding the deployment and use of its vessels and in evaluating the Company's financial performance.

B. CAPITALIZATION AND INDEBTEDNESS

Not applicable.

C. REASONS FOR THE OFFER AND USE OF PROCEEDS

Not applicable.

D. RISK FACTORS
 
We are engaged in the seaborne transportation of crude oil and oil products. The following summarizes the risks that may materially affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
 
Risks Related to Our Industry
 
Tankers
 
If the tanker industry, which historically has been cyclical and volatile, continues to be depressed or declines further in the future, our revenues, earnings and available cash flow may be adversely affected
 
Historically, the tanker industry has been highly cyclical, with volatility in profitability, charter rates and asset values resulting from changes in the supply of, and demand for, tanker capacity. After reaching highs during the summer of 2008, charter rates for crude oil carriers fell dramatically in connection with the commencement of the global financial crisis and current rates continue to remain at relatively low levels compared to the rates achieved in the years preceding the global financial crisis. Fluctuations in charter rates and tanker values result from changes in the supply of and demand for tanker capacity and changes in the supply of and demand for oil and oil products. These factors may adversely affect the rates payable and the amounts we receive in respect of our vessels. Our ability to re-charter our vessels on the expiration or termination of their current spot and bareboat charters and the charter rates payable under any renewal or replacement charters will depend upon, among other things, economic conditions in the tanker market and we cannot guarantee that any renewal or replacement charters we enter into will be sufficient to allow us to operate our vessels profitably.

The factors that influence demand for tanker capacity include:

supply and demand for oil and oil products;
global and regional economic and political conditions, including developments in international trade, national oil reserves policies, fluctuations in industrial and agricultural production and armed conflicts;
regional availability of refining capacity;
environmental and other legal and regulatory developments;

4



the distance oil and oil products are to be moved by sea;
changes in seaborne and other transportation patterns, including changes in the distances over which tanker cargoes are transported by sea;
increases in the production of oil in areas linked by pipelines to consuming areas, the extension of existing, or the development of new, pipeline systems in markets we may serve, or the conversion of existing non-oil pipelines to oil pipelines in those markets;
currency exchange rates;
weather and acts of God and natural disasters;
competition from alternative sources of energy and from other shipping companies and other modes of transport;
international sanctions, embargoes, import and export restrictions, nationalizations, piracy and wars; and
regulatory changes including regulations adopted by supranational authorities and/or industry bodies, such as safety and environmental regulations and requirements by major oil companies.

The factors that influence the supply of tanker capacity include:

current and expected purchase orders for tankers;
the number of tanker newbuilding deliveries;
any potential delays in the delivery of newbuilding vessels and/or cancellations of newbuilding orders;
the scrapping rate of older tankers;
the successful implementation of the phase-out of single-hull tankers;
technological advances in tanker design and capacity;
tanker freight rates, which are affected by factors that may effect the rate of newbuilding, swapping and laying up of tankers;
port and canal congestion;
price of steel and vessel equipment;
conversion of tankers to other uses or conversion of other vessels to tankers;
the number of tankers that are out of service; and
changes in environmental and other regulations that may limit the useful lives of tankers.

The factors affecting the supply and demand for tankers have been volatile and are outside of our control, and the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions are unpredictable, including those discussed above. While market conditions have improved, continued volatility may reduce demand for transportation of oil over longer distances and increase supply of tankers to carry that oil, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, ability to pay dividends and existing contractual obligations.

The international tanker industry has experienced volatile charter rates and vessel values and there can be no assurance that these charter rates and vessel values will return to their previous levels
 
Charter rates in the tanker industry are volatile. We anticipate that future demand for our vessels, and in turn our future charter rates, will be dependent upon economic growth in the world's economies, as well as seasonal and regional changes in demand and changes in the capacity of the world's fleet. We believe that the relatively high charter rates that were paid prior to 2008 were the result of economic growth in the world economies that exceeded growth in global vessel capacity. Since 2008 charter rates have been volatile, and there can be no assurance that economic growth will not stagnate or decline leading to a decrease in vessel values and charter rates. A decline in vessel values and charter rates would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation and ability to pay dividends.
 
Any decrease in shipments of crude oil may adversely affect our financial performance
 
The demand for our oil tankers derives primarily from demand for Arabian Gulf, West African, North Sea and Caribbean crude oil, which, in turn, primarily depends on the economies of the world's industrial countries and competition from alternative energy sources. A wide range of economic, social and other factors can significantly affect the strength of the world's industrial economies and their demand for crude oil from the mentioned geographical areas. Any decrease in shipments of crude oil from the above mentioned geographical areas would have a material adverse effect on our financial performance. Among the factors which could lead to such a decrease are:

increased crude oil production from other areas;
increased refining capacity in the Arabian Gulf or West Africa;
increased use of existing and future crude oil pipelines in the Arabian Gulf or West Africa;

5



a decision by Arabian Gulf or West African oil-producing nations to increase their crude oil prices or to further decrease or limit their crude oil production;
armed conflict in the Arabian Gulf and West Africa and political or other factors; and
the development and the relative costs of nuclear power, natural gas, coal and other alternative sources of energy.

In addition, continuing volatile economic conditions affecting the United States and world economies may result in reduced consumption of oil products and a decreased demand for our vessels and lower charter rates, which could have a material adverse effect on our earnings and our ability to pay dividends.
 
An over-supply of tanker capacity may lead to reductions in charter rates, vessel values and profitability
 
In recent years, shipyards have produced a large number of new tankers. If the capacity of new vessels delivered exceeds the capacity of tankers being scrapped and converted to non-trading tankers, tanker capacity will increase. If the supply of tanker capacity increases and the demand for tanker capacity does not increase correspondingly, charter rates could materially decline. A reduction in charter rates and the value of our vessels may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, our ability to pay dividends and our compliance with loan covenants in any loan agreements we may enter into in the future.
 
Shipping Generally
 
Risks involved with operating ocean-going vessels could affect our business and reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition
 
The operation of an ocean-going vessel carries inherent risks.  These risks include the possibility of:

a marine disaster;
terrorism;
environmental accidents;
cargo and property losses or damage; and
business interruptions caused by mechanical failure, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, political action in various countries, labor strikes, or adverse weather conditions.

Any of these circumstances or events could increase our costs or lower our revenues. The involvement of our vessels in an oil spill or other environmental disaster may harm our reputation as a safe and reliable tanker operator.
 
If economic conditions throughout the world do not improve, it will have an adverse impact on our operations and financial results
 
Negative trends in the global economy that emerged in 2008 continue to adversely affect global economic conditions. In addition, the world economy continues to face a number of challenges, including the recent turmoil and hostilities in the Middle East, North Africa and other geographic areas and countries and continuing economic weakness in the European Union. There has historically been a strong link between the development of the world economy and demand for energy, including oil and gas. An extended period of deterioration in the outlook for the world economy could reduce the overall demand for oil and gas and for our services. While market conditions have improved, continued and developing economic and governmental factors, together with the concurrent volatility in charter rates and vessel values, have had a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, and could cause the price of our ordinary shares to decline.
 
The economies of the United States, the European Union and other parts of the world continue to experience relatively slow growth and exhibit weak economic trends. The credit markets in the United States and Europe have over the past five years experienced significant contraction, deleveraging and reduced liquidity. While credit conditions are beginning to stabilize, global financial markets have been, and continue to be, disrupted and volatile. Since 2008, lending by financial institutions worldwide remain at low levels compared to the period preceeding 2008.
 

6



The continued economic slowdown in the Asia Pacific region, especially in Japan and China, may exacerbate the effect on us of the recent slowdown in the rest of the world. Before the global economic financial crisis that began in 2008, China had one of the world's fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product, or GDP, which had a significant impact on shipping demand. The growth rate of China's GDP for the year ended December 31, 2013, is estimated to remain around 7.7%, approximately the same growth rate as for the year ended December 31, 2012, remaining below pre-2008 levels. China has imposed measures to restrain lending, which may further contribute to a slowdown in its economic growth. China and other countries in the Asia Pacific region may continue to experience slowed or even negative economic growth in the future. Moreover, the current economic slowdown in the economies of the United States, the European Union and other Asian countries may further adversely affect economic growth in China and elsewhere. Our financial condition and results of operations, as well as our future prospects, would likely be impeded by a continuing or worsening economic downturn in any of these countries.

The inability of countries to refinance their debts could have a material adverse effect on our revenue, profitability and financial position
 
As a result of the credit crisis in Europe, in particular in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, the European Commission created the European Financial Stability Facility, or the EFSF, and the European Financial Stability Mechanism, or the EFSM, to provide funding to Eurozone countries in financial difficulties that seek such support. In March 2011, the European Council agreed on the need for Eurozone countries to establish a permanent stability mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism, or the ESM, which was established on September 27, 2012, to assume the role of the EFSF and the EFSM in providing external financial assistance to Eurozone countries. As of the end of 2013, financial assistance disbursements under the ESM and EFSF were being made to Greece, Portugal and Cyprus, with Ireland and Spain exiting the EFSF in December 2013. Despite these measures, concerns persist regarding the debt burden of certain Eurozone countries and their ability to meet future financial obligations. Potential adverse developments in the outlook for European countries could reduce the overall demand for oil cargoes and for our services. Market perceptions concerning these and related issues, could affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flow.
 
The current state of the global financial markets and current economic conditions may adversely impact our ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms and otherwise negatively impact our business
 
Global financial markets and economic conditions have been, and continue to be, volatile.  Businesses in the global economy have faced tightening credit, weakening demand for goods and services, deteriorating international liquidity conditions, and declining markets. There has been a general decline in the willingness by banks and other financial institutions to extend credit, particularly in the shipping industry, due to the historically volatile asset values of vessels. As the shipping industry is highly dependent on the availability of credit to finance and expand operations, it has been negatively affected by this decline.
 
Also, as a result of concerns about the stability of financial markets generally and the solvency of counterparties specifically, the cost of obtaining money from the credit markets has increased as many lenders have increased interest rates, enacted tighter lending standards, refused to refinance existing debt at all or on terms similar to current debt and reduced, and in some cases ceased, to provide funding to borrowers. Due to these factors, we cannot be certain that financing will be available if needed and to the extent required, on acceptable terms. If financing is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to meet our obligations as they come due or we may be unable to enhance our existing business, complete additional vessel acquisitions or otherwise take advantage of business opportunities as they arise.
 
In addition, at times, lower demand for crude oil as well as diminished trade credit available for the delivery of such crude oil have led to decreased demand for tankers creating downward pressure on charter rates.
 
If the current global economic environment persists or worsens, we may be negatively affected in the following ways:

we may not be able to employ our vessels at charter rates as favorable to us as historical rates or at all or operate our vessels profitably; and
the market value of our vessels could decrease, which may cause us to recognize losses if any of our vessels are sold or if their values are impaired.

The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.


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Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels could adversely affect our business

Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in regions of the world such as the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Although the frequency of sea piracy worldwide decreased during 2013 to its lowest level since 2007, sea piracy incidents continue to occur, particularly in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and increasingly in the Gulf of Guinea, with tankers particularly vulnerable to such attacks. If these piracy attacks result in regions in which our vessels are deployed being characterized by insurers as "war risk" zones by insurers or Joint War Committee "war and strikes" listed areas, premiums payable for such coverage could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain. In addition, crew costs, including costs which may be incurred to the extent we employ onboard security guards, could increase in such circumstances. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, detention hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or an increase in cost, or unavailability of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends and may result in loss of revenues, increased costs and decreased cash flows to our customers, which could impair their ability to make payments to us under our charters.
World events could affect our results of operations and financial condition
 
Continuing conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, and the presence of United States and other armed forces in Afghanistan, may lead to additional acts of terrorism and armed conflict around the world, which may contribute to further economic instability in the global financial markets. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. In the past, political conflicts have also resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways and other efforts to disrupt international shipping, particularly in the Arabian Gulf region. Acts of terrorism and piracy have also affected vessels trading in regions such as the South China Sea and the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Any of these occurrences, or the perception that our vessels are potential terrorist targets, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends.
 
Our vessels may call on ports located in countries that are subject to restrictions imposed by the U.S. or other governments, which could adversely affect our reputation and the market for our ordinary shares
 
From time to time on charterers' instructions, our vessels may call on ports located in countries subject to sanctions and embargoes imposed by the United States government and countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism, such as Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria. In the past, certain of our vessels have made port calls to Iran, however, none of our vessels made any port calls to Iran during 2013. The U.S. sanctions and embargo laws and regulations vary in their application, as they do not all apply to the same covered persons or proscribe the same activities, and such sanctions and embargo laws and regulations may be amended or strengthened over time. With effect from July 1, 2010, the U.S. enacted the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act, or CISADA, which expanded the scope of the Iran Sanctions Act. Among other things, CISADA expands the application of the prohibitions to companies, such as ours, and introduces limits on the ability of companies and persons to do business or trade with Iran when such activities relate to the investment, supply or export of refined petroleum or petroleum products. In addition, on May 1, 2012, President Obama signed Executive Order 13608 which prohibits foreign persons from violating or attempting to violate, or causing a violation of any sanctions in effect against Iran or facilitating any deceptive transactions for or on behalf of any person subject to U.S. sanctions. Any persons found to be in violation of Executive Order 13608 will be deemed a foreign sanctions evader and will be banned from all contacts with the United States, including conducting business in U.S. dollars. Also in 2012, President Obama signed into law the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, or the Iran Threat Reduction Act, which created new sanctions and strengthened existing sanctions. Among other things, the Iran Threat Reduction Act intensifies existing sanctions regarding the provision of goods, services, infrastructure or technology to Iran's petroleum or petrochemical sector. The Iran Threat Reduction Act also includes a provision requiring the President of the United States to impose five or more sanctions from Section 6(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act, as amended, on a person the President determines is a controlling beneficial owner of, or otherwise owns, operates, or controls or insures a vessel that was used to transport crude oil from Iran to another country and (1) if the person is a controlling beneficial owner of the vessel, the person had actual knowledge the vessel was so used or (2) if the person otherwise owns, operates, or controls, or insures the vessel, the person knew or should have known the vessel was so used. Such a person could be subject to a variety of sanctions, including exclusion from U.S. capital markets, exclusion from financial transactions subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and exclusion of that person's vessels from U.S. ports for up to two years.

On November 24, 2013, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China) entered into an interim agreement with Iran entitled the “Joint Plan of Action” (“JPOA”). Under the JPOA it was agreed that, in exchange for Iran taking certain voluntary measures to ensure that its nuclear program is used only for peaceful purposes, the U.S. and EU would voluntarily suspend certain sanctions for a period of six months. On January 20, 2014, the U.S. and E.U. indicated that they would begin implementing the temporary relief measures provided for under the JPOA. These measures include, among other things, the

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suspension of certain sanctions on the Iranian petrochemicals, precious metals, and automotive industries from January 20, 2014 until July 20, 2014.

Although we believe that we have been in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, and intend to maintain such compliance, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may be unclear and may be subject to changing interpretations. Any such violation could result in fines, penalties or other sanctions that could severely impact our ability to access U.S. capital markets and conduct our business, and could result in some investors deciding, or being required, to divest their interest, or not to invest, in us. In addition, certain institutional investors may have investment policies or restrictions that prevent them from holding securities of companies that have contracts with countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism. The determination by these investors not to invest in, or to divest from, our common stock may adversely affect the price at which our common stock trades. Moreover, our charterers may violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations as a result of actions that do not involve us or our vessels, and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation. In addition, our reputation and the market for our securities may be adversely affected if we engage in certain other activities, such as entering into charters with individuals or entities in countries subject to U.S. sanctions and embargo laws that are not controlled by the governments of those countries, or engaging in operations associated with those countries pursuant to contracts with third parties that are unrelated to those countries or entities controlled by their governments. Investor perception of the value of our common stock may be adversely affected by the consequences of war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.

Compliance with safety and other vessel requirements imposed by classification societies may be costly and could reduce our net cash flows and net income
 
The hull and machinery of every commercial vessel must be certified as being "in class" by a classification society authorized by its country of registry. The classification society certifies that a vessel is safe and seaworthy in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the country of registry of the vessel and the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.

A vessel must undergo annual surveys, intermediate surveys and special surveys. In lieu of a special survey, a vessel's machinery may be placed on a continuous survey cycle, under which the machinery would be surveyed periodically over a five-year period. We expect our vessels to be on special survey cycles for hull inspection and continuous survey cycles for machinery inspection. Every vessel is also required to be drydocked every two and a half to five years for inspection of its underwater parts.
 
Compliance with the above requirements may result in significant expense. If any vessel does not maintain its class or fails any annual, intermediate or special survey, the vessel will be unable to trade between ports and will be unemployable, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.
 
We are subject to complex laws and regulations, including environmental laws and regulations that can adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition
 
Our operations will be subject to numerous laws and regulations in the form of international conventions and treaties, national, state and local laws and national and international regulations in force in the jurisdictions in which our vessels operate or are registered, which can significantly affect the ownership and operation of our vessels. These requirements include, but are not limited to, European Union regulations, the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or OPA, the U.S. Clean Air Act, the U.S. Clean Water Act, the International Maritime Organization, or IMO, International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969, generally referred to as CLC, the IMO International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, the IMO International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973, generally referred to as MARPOL, the IMO International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974, generally referred to as SOLAS, the IMO International Convention on Load Lines of 1966 and the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  Compliance with such laws and regulations, where applicable, may require installation of costly equipment or operational changes and may affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels.  Compliance with such laws and regulations may require us to obtain certain permits or authorizations prior to commencing operations.  Failure to obtain such permits or authorizations could materially impact our business results of operations, financial conditions and ability to pay dividends by delaying or limiting our ability to accept charterers.  We may also incur additional costs in order to comply with other existing and future regulatory obligations, including, but not limited to, costs relating to air emissions including greenhouse gases, the management of ballast waters, maintenance and inspection, development and implementation of emergency procedures and insurance coverage or other financial assurance of our ability to address pollution incidents. Additionally, we cannot predict the cost of compliance with any new regulations that may be promulgated as a result of the 2010 BP plc Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  These costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and our available cash.
 

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The IMO adopted an International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, or the BWM Convention, in February 2004. The BWM Convention's implementing regulations call for a phased introduction of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements, to be replaced in time with mandatory concentration limits. The BWM Convention will not become effective until 12 months after it has been adopted by 30 states, the combined merchant fleets of which represent not less than 35% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping. To date, there has not been sufficient adoption of this standard for it to take force. However, Panama may adopt this standard in the relatively near future, which would be sufficient for it to take force. If mid-ocean ballast exchange is made mandatory, or if ballast water treatment requirements or options are instituted, the cost of compliance could increase for ocean carriers, and the costs of ballast water treatment may be material.

A failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may result in administrative and civil penalties, criminal sanctions or the suspension or termination of our operations. Environmental laws often impose strict liability for remediation of spills and releases of oil and hazardous substances, which could subject us to liability, without regard to whether we were negligent or at fault.  Under OPA, for example, owners, operators and bareboat charterers are jointly and severally strictly liable for the discharge of oil in U.S. waters, including the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone around the United States.  An oil spill could also result in significant liability, including fines, penalties, criminal liability and remediation costs for natural resource damages under other international and U.S. Federal, state and local laws, as well as third-party damages, including punitive damages, and could harm our reputation with current or potential charterers of our tankers.  We will be required to satisfy insurance and financial responsibility requirements for potential oil (including marine fuel) spills and other pollution incidents.  Although our technical manager will arrange for insurance to cover our vessels with respect to certain environmental risks, there can be no assurance that such insurance will be sufficient to cover all such risks or that any claims will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
If we fail to comply with international safety regulations, we may be subject to increased liability, which may adversely affect our insurance coverage and may result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports
 
The operation of our vessels is affected by the requirements set forth in the IMO's International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, or the ISM Code. The ISM Code requires shipowners, ship managers and bareboat charterers to develop and maintain an extensive "Safety Management System" that includes the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for safe operation and describing procedures for dealing with emergencies. If we fail to comply with the ISM Code, we may be subject to increased liability, may invalidate existing insurance or decrease available insurance coverage for our affected vessels and such failure may result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports.
 
Maritime claimants could arrest one or more of our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow
 
Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against a vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lienholder may enforce its lien by "arresting" or "attaching" a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could result in a significant loss of earnings for the related off-hire period.
 
In addition, in jurisdictions where the "sister ship" theory of liability applies, such as South Africa, a claimant may arrest the vessel which is subject to the claimant's maritime lien and any "associated" vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner. In countries with "sister ship" liability laws, claims might be asserted against us or any of our vessels for liabilities of other vessels that we own.
 
Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency resulting in a loss of earnings
 
A government of a vessel's registry could requisition for title or seize one or more of our vessels. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes the owner. A government could also requisition one or more of our vessels for hire. Requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and effectively becomes the charterer at dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during a period of war or emergency. Government requisition of one or more of our vessels could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.


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Risks Related to Our Business
 
The volatility in tanker charter rates, and vessel values, may affect our ability to comply with covenants in any loan agreements we may enter into in the future
 
In December 2011, we completed the sale of 15 wholly-owned special purpose companies, or SPCs, which together owned five VLCC newbuilding contracts, six VLCCs (including one on time charter), and four Suezmax tankers, to Frontline 2012 Ltd., or Frontline 2012, a related-party entity, at a fair market value of $1,120.7 million, in exchange for which Frontline 2012 assumed the obligation to pay $666.3 million in bank debt related to the vessels and $325.5 million in remaining commitments to the yard under the newbuilding contracts, which we refer to as the Restructuring. As part of the Restructuring, Frontline 2012 has agreed to fully reimburse and indemnify the Company for all payments made under any guarantees issued by the Company to the shipyard in connection with the VLCC newbuilding contracts acquired from the Company and to reimburse the Company for all costs incurred in connection with these guarantees. Two of the five contracts have been cancelled by Frontline 2012 and Frontline 2012 has received reimbursement of installments paid and accrued interest. The remaining three contracts have been cancelled by Frontline 2012 and are in arbitration. The Company has not recorded any liability in respect of these guarantees as the Company does not believe that it will be required to make any payments in relation to them. Following the Restructuring and private placements by Frontline 2012, we own approximately 5.4% of the outstanding ordinary shares of Frontline 2012 and our majority shareholder, Hemen Holding Ltd., or Hemen, a Cyprus holding company indirectly controlled by trusts established by our Chairman and President, Mr. Fredriksen, owns approximately 46% of the outstanding ordinary shares of Frontline 2012.
 
Our bank debt was eliminated following (i) the Restructuring, (ii) a $12.9 million prepayment of a loan associated with a vessel, which was not part of the Restructuring, and (iii) the $33.0 million prepayment of a loan associated with Independent Tankers Corporation Limited, or ITCL, one of the Company's majority owned subsidiaries. In the event we enter into loan agreements or other financing arrangements in the future, which are secured by liens on our vessels, we may be subject to various financial covenants, including requirements relating to our financial position, operating performance and liquidity. For example, we may be required to maintain (i) a minimum value adjusted equity that is based, in part, upon the market value of the vessels securing the loans; (ii) minimum levels of free cash; and (iii) a positive working capital. The loan associated with our convertible bonds imposes operating and negative covenants on us and our subsidiaries. A violation of these covenants constitutes an event of default under our convertible bonds, which would, unless waived by our bondholders, provide our bondholders with the right to require the principal amounts under the convertible bonds including accrued interest and expenses due for immediate payment and accelerate our indebtedness, which would impair our ability to continue to conduct our business.

The market value of tankers is sensitive, among other things, to changes in the tanker charter market with vessel values deteriorating in times when tanker charter rates are falling and improving when charter rates are anticipated to rise. Such conditions may make it difficult for us to comply with financial covenants we may have in the future. In such a situation, unless our lenders were willing to provide waivers of covenant compliance or modifications to our covenants, or would be willing to refinance our indebtedness, we might have to sell vessels in our fleet and/or seek to raise additional capital in the equity markets in order to comply with the loan covenants.  Furthermore, if the value of our vessels deteriorates significantly, we may have to record an impairment adjustment in our financial statements, which would adversely affect our financial results and further hinder our ability to raise capital.
 
We are dependent on the spot market and any decrease in spot market rates in the future may adversely affect our earnings and our ability to pay dividends
 
As of December 31, 2013, we operated a fleet of 33 vessels, including nine vessels owned through our majority owned subsidiary, ITCL. We also had 12 vessels under commercial management. Of our vessels, 27 vessels are currently employed in the spot market exposing us to fluctuations in spot market charter rates. We have also agreed to acquire two newbuilding Suezmax tankers, which are expected to be delivered to us during 2014. We may operate our newbuilding vessels in the spot market following their delivery to us and may enter into the spot market for any additional vessels that we may acquire in the future.
 
Historically, the tanker market has been volatile as a result of the many conditions and factors that can affect the price, supply and demand for tanker capacity. The spot market may fluctuate significantly based upon supply and demand of vessels and cargoes. The successful operation of our vessels in the competitive spot market depends upon, among other things, obtaining profitable charters and minimizing, to the extent possible, time spent waiting for charters and time spent in ballast. The spot market is very volatile, and, in the past, there have been periods when spot rates have declined below the operating cost of vessels. If future spot market rates decline, then we may be unable to operate our vessels trading in the spot market profitably, meet our obligations, including payments on indebtedness, or to pay dividends in the future. Furthermore, as charter rates in the spot market are fixed for a single voyage, which may last up to several weeks, during periods in which charter rates are rising, we will generally experience delays in realizing the benefits from such increases.
 

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Our ability to renew the charters on our vessels on the expiration or termination of our current charters, or on vessels that we may acquire in the future, the charter rates payable under any replacement charters and vessel values will depend upon, among other things, economic conditions in the sectors in which our vessels operate at that time, changes in the supply and demand for vessel capacity and changes in the supply and demand for the seaborne transportation of energy resources.

A drop in spot market rates may provide an incentive for some charterers to default on their charters
 
When we enter into a time charter or bareboat charter, charter rates under that charter are fixed for the term of the charter.  If the spot market rates or short-term time charter rates in the tanker industry become significantly lower than the time charter equivalent rates that some of our charterers are obligated to pay us under our existing charters, the charterers may have incentive to default under that charter or attempt to renegotiate the charter. If our charterers fail to pay their obligations, we would have to attempt to re-charter our vessels at lower charter rates, which would affect our ability to operate our vessels profitably and may affect our ability to comply with covenants contained in any loan agreements we may enter into in the future.
 
Fuel, or bunker, prices may adversely affect our profits
 
For vessels on voyage charters, fuel oil, or bunkers, is a significant, if not the largest, expense. Changes in the price of fuel may adversely affect our profitability to the extent we have vessels on voyage charters. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside our control, including geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by OPEC and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regions, regional production patterns and environmental concerns. Further, fuel may become much more expensive in the future, which may reduce the profitability and competitiveness of our business versus other forms of transportation, such as truck or rail.
 
The operation of tankers involve certain unique operational risks
 
The operation of tankers has unique operational risks associated with the transportation of oil.  An oil spill may cause significant environmental damage, and a catastrophic spill could exceed the insurance coverage available. Compared to other types of vessels, tankers are exposed to a higher risk of damage and loss by fire, whether ignited by a terrorist attack, collision, or other cause, due to the high flammability and high volume of the oil transported in tankers.
 
If we are unable to adequately maintain or safeguard our vessels we may be unable to prevent these events. Any of these circumstances or events could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.  In addition, the loss of any of our vessels could harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel owner and operator.
 
Purchasing and operating secondhand vessels may result in increased operating costs and vessels off-hire, which could adversely affect our earnings
 
Even following a physical inspection of secondhand vessels prior to purchase, we do not have the same knowledge about their condition and cost of any required (or anticipated) repairs that we would have had if these vessels had been built for and operated exclusively by us. Accordingly, we may not discover defects or other problems with such vessels prior to purchase. Any such hidden defects or problems, when detected may be expensive to repair, and if not detected, may result in accidents or other incidents for which we may become liable to third parties. Also, when purchasing previously owned vessels, we do not receive the benefit of any builder warranties if the vessels we buy are older than one year.

In general, the costs to maintain a vessel in good operating condition increase with the age of the vessel. Older vessels are typically less fuel efficient than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. Governmental regulations, safety and other equipment standards related to the age of vessels may require expenditures for alterations or the addition of new equipment to some of our vessels and may restrict the type of activities in which these vessels may engage. We cannot assure you that, as our vessels age, market conditions will justify those expenditures or enable us to operate our vessels profitably during the remainder of their useful lives.  As a result, regulations and standards could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay dividends.
 
Our ability to obtain debt financing may be dependent on the performance of our then-existing charters and the creditworthiness of our charterers
 
Following the Restructuring and as of the date hereof, we do not have any outstanding bank debt. We may, however, incur bank debt in the future to fund, among other things, our general corporate purposes or the expansion of our fleet.  The actual or perceived credit quality of our charterers, and any defaults by them, may materially affect our ability to obtain the capital resources required

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to purchase additional vessels or may significantly increase our costs of obtaining such capital. Our inability to obtain financing at anticipated costs or at all may materially affect our results of operation and our ability to implement our business strategy.
 
Because the market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly, we may incur losses when we sell vessels which may adversely affect our earnings
 
The fair market value of vessels may increase and decrease depending on but not limited to the following factors:

general economic and market conditions affecting the shipping industry;
competition from other shipping companies;
types and sizes of vessels;
the availability of other modes of transportation;
cost of newbuildings;
shipyard capacity;
governmental or other regulations;
age of vessels;
prevailing level of charter rates;
the need to upgrade secondhand and previously owned vessels as a result of charterer requirements; and
technological advances in vessel design or equipment or otherwise.

During the period a vessel is subject to a charter, we will not be permitted to sell it to take advantage of increases in vessel values without the charterers' agreement. If we sell a vessel at a time when ship prices have fallen, the sale may be at less than the vessel's carrying amount on our financial statements, with the result that we could incur a loss and a reduction in earnings. In addition, if we determine at any time that a vessel's future limited useful life and earnings require us to impair its value on our financial statements, that could result in a charge against our earnings and a reduction of our shareholders' equity. We recorded an impairment charge of $103.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2013. It is possible that the market value of our vessels will continue to decline in the future and could adversely affect our ability to comply with financial covenants contained in any loan agreements or other financing arrangements we may enter into in the future.
 
Conversely, if vessel values are elevated at a time when we wish to acquire additional vessels, the cost of acquisition may increase and this could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition.
 
We may be unable to successfully compete with other vessel operators for charters, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial position
 
The operation of tankers and transportation of crude and petroleum products is extremely competitive. Through our operating subsidiaries we compete with other vessel owners (including major oil companies as well as independent companies), and, to a lesser extent, owners of other size vessels. The tanker market is highly fragmented. It is possible that we could not obtain suitable employment for our vessels, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial position.
 
Our bareboat charters may limit our ability to benefit from any improvement in charter rates, and at the same time, our revenues may be adversely affected if we do not successfully employ our vessels on the expiration of our charters
 
As of December 31, 2013, six of our vessels are contractually committed bareboat charters. Although our bareboat charters generally provide reliable revenues, they also limit the portion of our fleet available for spot market voyages during an upswing in the tanker industry cycle, when spot market voyages might be more profitable. By the same token, we cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully employ our vessels in the future or renew our existing charters at rates sufficient to allow us to operate our business profitably or meet our obligations. A decline in charter or spot rates or a failure to successfully charter our vessels could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation and ability to pay dividends.
 
Delays or defaults by the shipyards in the construction of our newbuildings could increase our expenses and diminish our net income and cash flows
 
We have newbuilding contracts for the construction of two Suezmax tankers with the Chinese shipyard, Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group Co. Ltd., or Rongsheng. As of December 31, 2013, we are committed to making newbuilding installments of $87.9 million with expected payment in 2014. These projects are subject to the risk of delay or default by the shipyard caused by, among other things, unforeseen quality or engineering problems, work stoppages or other labor disturbances at the shipyard, bankruptcy of or other financial crisis involving the shipyard, weather interference, unanticipated cost increases, delays in receipt of necessary equipment, political, social or economic disturbances, inability to finance the construction of the vessels and inability

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to obtain the requisite permits or approvals. In accordance with industry practice, in the event the shipyards are unable or unwilling to deliver the vessels, we may not have substantial remedies. Failure to construct or deliver the ships by the shipyards or any significant delays could increase our expenses and diminish our net income and cash flows.
 
We may be unable to locate suitable vessels for acquisition which would adversely affect our ability to expand our fleet
 
Changing market and regulatory conditions may limit the availability of suitable vessels because of customer preferences or because they are not or will not be compliant with existing or future rules, regulations and conventions. Additional vessels of the age and quality we desire may not be available for purchase at prices we are prepared to pay or at delivery times acceptable to us, and we may not be able to dispose of vessels at reasonable prices, if at all. If we are unable to purchase and dispose of vessels at reasonable prices in response to changing market and regulatory conditions, our business may be adversely affected.

As we expand our fleet, we may not be able to recruit suitable employees and crew for our vessels which may limit our growth and cause our financial performance to suffer
 
As we expand our fleet, we will need to recruit suitable crew, shoreside, administrative and management personnel.  We may not be able to continue to hire suitable employees as we expand our fleet of vessels.  If we are unable to recruit suitable employees and crews, we may not be able to provide our services to customers, our growth may be limited and our financial performance may suffer.
 
We are subject to certain risks with respect to our counterparties on contracts, and failure of such counterparties to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or otherwise adversely affect our business
 
We have entered into various contracts, including charter parties with our customers and newbuilding contracts with shipyards, which subject us to counterparty risks. The ability of each of the counterparties to perform its obligations under a contract with us or contracts entered into on our behalf will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the shipping sector, the overall financial condition of the counterparty, charter rates received for tankers and the supply and demand for commodities. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under any such contracts, we could sustain significant losses which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
Charterers are sensitive to the commodity markets and may be impacted by market forces affecting commodities. In addition, in depressed market conditions, there have been reports of charterers, including some of our charterers, renegotiating their charters or defaulting on their obligations under charters. Our charterers may fail to pay charter hire or attempt to renegotiate charter rates. Should a charterer fail to honor its obligations under agreements with us, it may be difficult to secure substitute employment for such vessel, and any new charter arrangements we secure on the spot market or on charters may be at lower rates, depending on the then existing charter rate levels, compared to the rates currently being charged for our vessels. In addition, if the charterer of a vessel in our fleet that is used as collateral under any loan agreement we may enter into defaults on its charter obligations to us, such default may constitute an event of default under such loan agreement, which could allow the bank to exercise remedies under the loan agreement. If our charterers fail to meet their obligations to us or attempt to renegotiate our charter agreements, we could sustain significant losses which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as our ability to pay dividends, if any, in the future, and compliance with covenants in any loan agreements we may enter into. Further, if we had to find a replacement technical manager, we may need approval from our lenders to change the technical manager.
 
Declines in charter rates and other market deterioration could cause us to incur impairment charges
 
The carrying values of our vessels are reviewed whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the vessel may no longer be recoverable. We assess recoverability of the carrying value by estimating the future net cash flows expected to result from the vessel, including eventual disposal. If the future net undiscounted cash flows and the estimated fair market value of the vessel are less than the carrying value, an impairment loss is recorded equal to the difference between the vessel's carrying value and fair value. Any impairment charges incurred as a result of declines in charter rates and other market deterioration could negatively affect our business, financial condition, operating results or the trading price of our ordinary shares. We recorded an impairment loss of $103.7 million in 2013 (2012: $32.0 million (including $27.3 million recorded in discontinued operations) and 2011: $121.4 million).

Operational risks and damage to our vessels could adversely impact our performance
 

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Our vessels and their cargoes will be at risk of being damaged or lost because of events such as marine disasters, bad weather and other acts of God, business interruptions caused by mechanical failures, grounding, fire, explosions and collisions, human error, war, terrorism, piracy and other circumstances or events. Changing economic, regulatory and political conditions in some countries, including political and military conflicts, have from time to time resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways, piracy, terrorism, labor strikes and boycotts. These hazards may result in death or injury to persons, loss of revenues or property, the payment of ransoms, environmental damage, higher insurance rates, damage to our customer relationships and market disruptions, delay or rerouting.
 
If our vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired at a drydocking facility. The costs of drydock repairs are unpredictable and may be substantial. We may have to pay drydocking costs that our insurance does not cover at all or in full. The loss of revenues while these vessels are being repaired and repositioned, as well as the actual cost of these repairs, may adversely affect our business and financial condition. In addition, space at drydocking facilities is sometimes limited and not all drydocking facilities are conveniently located. We may be unable to find space at a suitable drydocking facility or our vessels may be forced to travel to a drydocking facility that is not conveniently located relative to our vessels' positions. The loss of earnings while these vessels are forced to wait for space or to travel to more distant drydocking facilities may adversely affect our business and financial condition. Further, the total loss of any of our vessels could harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel owner and operator.  If we are unable to adequately maintain or safeguard our vessels, we may be unable to prevent any such damage, costs or loss which could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay dividends.
 
Increased inspection procedures, tighter import and export controls and new security regulations could increase costs and cause disruption of our business
 
International shipping is subject to security and customs inspection and related procedures in countries of origin, destination and trans-shipment points. Under the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, or MTSA, the U.S. Coast Guard issued regulations requiring the implementation of certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. These security procedures can result in delays in the loading, offloading or trans-shipment and the levying of customs duties, fines or other penalties against exporters or importers and, in some cases, carriers. Future changes to the existing security procedures may be implemented that could affect the tanker sector. These changes have the potential to impose additional financial and legal obligations on carriers and, in certain cases, to render the shipment of certain types of goods uneconomical or impractical. These additional costs could reduce the volume of goods shipped, resulting in a decreased demand for vessels and have a negative effect on our business, revenues and customer relations.
 
Failure to comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act could result in fines, criminal penalties and an adverse effect on our business
 
We may operate in a number of countries throughout the world, including countries known to have a reputation for corruption. We are committed to doing business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws and have adopted a code of business conduct and ethics which is consistent and in full compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. We are subject, however, to the risk that we, our affiliated entities or our or their respective officers, directors, employees and agents may take actions determined to be in violation of such anti-corruption laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Any such violation could result in substantial fines, sanctions, civil and/or criminal penalties, curtailment of operations in certain jurisdictions, and might adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business. Furthermore, detecting, investigating, and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management.

Risks Related to Our Company

We cannot assure you that we will be able to raise equity sufficient to meet our future capital and operating needs.

We expect that the net proceeds of an at-the-market ("ATM") offering for up to $40.0 million launched in June 2013 and increased to up to $100.0 million in January 2014 will be approximately $97.6 million, after deducting estimated commissions and offering expenses; however we cannot assure you that we will be able to sell that amount of our ordinary shares. Furthermore, even if we raise the net proceeds discussed above, we cannot assure you that such proceeds will be sufficient to meet our ongoing capital and operating needs (including our convertible bond loan, which matures in April 2015).

Investors may experience significant dilution as a result of the ATM offering and future offerings.

As of December 31, 2013, 2,178,384 of our ordinary shares have been sold for gross proceeds of $6,204,296 pursuant to the equity distribution agreement. Per the ATM offering prospectus, based on an assumed offering price of $4.84 per share, which was the

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last reported closing price of our ordinary shares on the NYSE on January 16, 2014, the offering of approximately an additional $93.8 million of our ordinary shares would result in the offer and sale of 19,379,278 ordinary shares, following which we would have 105,890,991 ordinary shares outstanding, which as of December 31, 2013 represents an increase of approximately 22% in our issued and outstanding ordinary shares. Because the sales of the shares offered hereby will be made directly into the market or in negotiated transactions, the prices at which we sell these shares will vary and these variations may be significant. Purchasers of the shares we sell, as well as our existing shareholders, will experience significant dilution if we sell shares at prices significantly below the price at which they invested. In addition, we may offer additional ordinary shares in the future, which may result in additional significant dilution.
 
Incurrence of expenses or liabilities may reduce or eliminate distributions
 
Our policy is to make distributions to shareholders based on earnings and cash flow, and our dividends have fluctuated based on such factors. In 2013, we made no dividend distributions and we have not paid a dividend since the third quarter of 2011. The amount and timing of dividends will depend on our earnings, financial condition, cash position, Bermuda law affecting the payment of distributions and other factors.  However, we could incur other expenses or contingent liabilities that would reduce or eliminate the cash available for distribution by us as dividends.  In addition, the timing and amount of dividends, if any, is at the discretion of our Board of Directors, or Board. We cannot assure you that we will pay dividends.
 
We may not be able to finance our future capital commitments
 
We cannot guarantee that we will be able to obtain financing at all or on terms acceptable to us.  If adequate funds are not available, we may have to reduce expenditures for investments in new and existing projects, which could hinder our growth and prevent us from realizing potential revenues from prior investments which will have a negative impact on our cash flows and results of operations.
 
In addition, as of December 31, 2013, we had purchase commitments of $87.9 million relating to our two Suezmax tankers under construction with expected payments in 2014. We expect to finance these payments with cash on hand, operating cash flow and bank debt that we intend to arrange. Should such financing not be available, this could severely impact our ability to meet our obligations and finance future obligations.
 
The aging of our fleet may result in increased operating costs in the future, which could adversely affect our earnings
 
In general, the cost of maintaining a vessel in good operating condition increases with the age of the vessel. The average age of our tanker fleet is approximately 14.9 years. As our fleet ages, we will incur increased costs. Older vessels are typically less fuel efficient and more costly to maintain than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. Cargo insurance rates also increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to charterers. Governmental regulations, including environmental regulations, safety or other equipment standards related to the age of vessels may require expenditures for alterations, or the addition of new equipment, to our vessels and may restrict the type of activities in which our vessels may engage. As our vessels age, market conditions might not justify those expenditures or enable us to operate our vessels profitably during the remainder of their useful lives.
 
If we do not set aside funds and are unable to borrow or raise funds for vessel replacement at the end of a vessel's useful life our revenue will decline, which would adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends
 
If we do not set aside funds and are unable to borrow or raise funds for vessel replacement, we will be unable to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their remaining useful lives. Our cash flows and income are dependent on the revenues earned by the chartering of our vessels. If we are unable to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their useful lives, our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends would be adversely affected. Any funds set aside for vessel replacement will not be available for dividends.

Hemen may be able to exercise significant influence over us and may have conflicts of interest with our other shareholders

As of March 10, 2014, Hemen, a Cyprus holding company indirectly controlled by trusts established by our Chairman and President, Mr. Fredriksen, for the benefit of his immediate family, owns approximately 28% of our outstanding ordinary shares. For so long as Hemen owns a significant percentage of our outstanding ordinary shares, it may be able to exercise significant influence over us and will be able to strongly influence the outcome of shareholder votes on other matters, including the adoption or amendment of provisions in our articles of incorporation or bye-laws and approval of possible mergers, amalgamations, control transactions and other significant corporate transactions. This concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying, deferring or

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preventing a change in control, merger, amalgamations, consolidation, takeover or other business combination. This concentration of ownership could also discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us, which could in turn have an adverse effect on the market price of our ordinary shares. Hemen, may not necessarily act in accordance with the best interests of other shareholders. The interests of Hemen may not coincide with the interests of other holders of our ordinary shares. To the extent that conflicts of interests may arise, Hemen may vote in a manner adverse to us or to you or other holders of our securities.
 
We may be unable to attract and retain key management personnel in the tanker industry, which may negatively impact the effectiveness of our management and our results of operation
 
Our success depends to a significant extent upon the abilities and efforts of our senior executives, and particularly Mr. Fredriksen, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for the management of our activities and strategic guidance. While we believe that we have an experienced management team, the loss or unavailability of one or more of our senior executives, and particularly Mr. Fredriksen, for any extended period of time could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
If labor interruptions are not resolved in a timely manner, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and available cash
 
As of December 31, 2013, we employed approximately 96 people in our offices in Bermuda, London, Oslo, Singapore and India. We contract with independent ship managers to manage and operate our vessels, including the crewing of those vessels. If not resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner, industrial action or other labor unrest could prevent or hinder our operations from being carried out as we expect and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and available cash.
 
We may not have adequate insurance to compensate us if our vessels are damaged or lost
 
We procure insurance for our fleet against those risks that we believe the shipping industry commonly insures. These insurances include hull and machinery insurance, protection and indemnity insurance, which include environmental damage and pollution insurance coverage, and war risk insurance. We can give no assurance that we will be adequately insured against all risks and we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will be paid.
 
Although we do not anticipate any difficulty in having our technical manager initially obtain insurance policies for us, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage for our vessels in the future or renew such policies on the same or commercially reasonable terms, or at all. For example, more stringent environmental regulations have in the past led to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, protection and indemnity insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends. In addition, our insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain of our actions, such as our vessels failing to maintain certification with applicable maritime self-regulatory organizations. Further, we cannot assure you that our insurance policies will cover all losses that we incur, or that disputes over insurance claims will not arise with our insurance carriers. Any claims covered by insurance would be subject to deductibles, and since it is possible that a large number of claims may be brought, the aggregate amount of these deductibles could be material. In addition, our insurance policies may be subject to limitations and exclusions, which may increase our costs or lower our revenues, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

We may be subject to calls because we obtain some of our insurance through protection and indemnity associations
 
We may be subject to increased premium payments, or calls, if the value of our claim records, the claim records of our fleet managers, and/or the claim records of other members of the protection and indemnity associations through which we receive insurance coverage for tort liability (including pollution-related liability) significantly exceed projected claims. In addition, our protection and indemnity associations may not have enough resources to cover claims made against them. Our payment of these calls could result in significant expense to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.
 
Because we are a foreign corporation, you may not have the same rights that a shareholder in a United States corporation may have
 
We are a Bermuda company. Our memorandum of association and bye-laws and the Bermuda Companies Act 1981, as amended, govern our affairs. Investors may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a United States jurisdiction. Under Bermuda

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law a director generally owes a fiduciary duty only to the company; not to the company's shareholders. Our shareholders may not have a direct course of action against our directors. In addition, Bermuda law does not provide a mechanism for our shareholders to bring a class action lawsuit under Bermuda law. Further, our bye-laws provide for the indemnification of our directors or officers against any liability arising out of any act or omission except for an act or omission constituting fraud, dishonesty or illegality.
 
Because our offices and most of our assets are outside the United States, you may not be able to bring suit against us, or enforce a judgment obtained against us in the United States
 
Our executive offices, administrative activities and assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be more difficult for investors to effect service of process within the United States upon us, or to enforce both in the United States and outside the United States judgments against us in any action, including actions predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States.

United States tax authorities could treat the Company as a "passive foreign investment company," which could have adverse United States federal income tax consequences to United States shareholders
 
A foreign corporation will be treated as a "passive foreign investment company," or PFIC, for United States federal income tax purposes if either (1) at least 75% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of certain types of "passive income" or (2) at least 50% of the average value of the corporation's assets produce or are held for the production of those types of "passive income."  For purposes of these tests, "passive income" includes dividends, interest, and gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and rents and royalties other than rents and royalties which are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business.  For purposes of these tests, income derived from the performance of services does not constitute "passive income."  United States shareholders of a PFIC are subject to a disadvantageous United States federal income tax regime with respect to the distributions they receive from the PFIC and the gain, if any, they derive from the sale or other disposition of their shares in the PFIC.
 
Based on our current and proposed method of operation, we do not believe that we are, have been or will be a PFIC with respect to any taxable year. In this regard, we intend to treat the gross income we derive or are deemed to derive from our time chartering and voyage chartering activities as services income, rather than rental income.  Accordingly, we believe that our income from these activities does not constitute "passive income," and the assets that we own and operate in connection with the production of that income do not constitute assets that produce, or are held for the production of, "passive income."
 
Although there is no direct legal authority under the PFIC rules addressing our method of operation there is substantial legal authority supporting our position consisting of case law and United States Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, pronouncements concerning the characterization of income derived from time charters and voyage charters as services income for other tax purposes.  However, it should be noted that there is also authority which characterizes time charter income as rental income rather than services income for other tax purposes. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the IRS or a court of law will accept our position, and there is a risk that the IRS or a court of law could determine that we are a PFIC.  Moreover, no assurance can be given that we would not constitute a PFIC for any future taxable year if there were to be changes in the nature and extent of our operations.

If the IRS were to find that we are or have been a PFIC for any taxable year, our United States shareholders will face adverse United States federal income tax consequences.  Under the PFIC rules, unless those shareholders make an election available under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code (which election could itself have adverse consequences for such shareholders, as discussed below under "Taxation-United States Federal Income Tax Considerations"), such shareholders would be liable to pay United States federal income tax at the then prevailing income tax rates on ordinary income plus interest upon excess distributions and upon any gain from the disposition of our ordinary shares, as if the excess distribution or gain had been recognized ratably over the shareholder's holding period of our ordinary shares.  See "Taxation-Passive Foreign Investment Company Status and Significant Tax Consequences" for a more comprehensive discussion of the United States federal income tax consequences to United States shareholders if we are treated as a PFIC.
 
We may have to pay tax on United States source income, which would reduce our earnings
 
Under the Code, 50% of the gross shipping income of a vessel owning or chartering corporation, such as ourselves and our subsidiaries, that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States, may be subject to a 4% United States federal income tax without allowance for deduction, unless that corporation qualifies for exemption from tax under Section 883 of the Code and the applicable Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.
 

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We expect that we and each of our subsidiaries will qualify for this statutory tax exemption and we will take this position for United States federal income tax return reporting purposes. However, there are factual circumstances beyond our control that could cause us to lose the benefit of this tax exemption and become subject to United States federal income tax on our United States source shipping income.  For example, we would no longer qualify for exemption under Section 883 of the Code for a particular taxable year if shareholders with a 5% or greater interest in the our ordinary shares owned, in the aggregate, 50% or more of our outstanding ordinary shares for more than half the days during the taxable year.  Due to the factual nature of the issues involved, there can be no assurances on our tax-exempt status or that of any of our subsidiaries.
 
If we or our subsidiaries are not entitled to exemption under Section 883 of the Code for any taxable year, we, or our subsidiaries, could be subject during those years to an effective 2% United States federal income tax on gross shipping income derived during such a year that is attributable to the transport of cargoes to or from the United States. The imposition of this tax would have a negative effect on our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.
 
Our ordinary share price may be highly volatile and future sales of our ordinary shares could cause the market price of our ordinary shares to decline
 
Our ordinary shares commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2001.  We cannot assure you that an active and liquid public market for our ordinary shares will continue.  The market price of our ordinary shares has historically fluctuated over a wide range and may continue to fluctuate significantly in response to many factors, such as actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts, economic and regulatory trends, general market conditions, rumors and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Since 2008, the stock market has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. If the volatility in the market continues or worsens, it could have an adverse affect on the market price of our ordinary shares and impact a potential sale price if holders of our ordinary shares decide to sell their shares.



ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

A.  HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY

The Company
 
We are Frontline Ltd., an international shipping company incorporated in Bermuda as an exempted company under the Bermuda Companies Law of 1981 on June 12, 1992 (Company No. EC-17460). Our registered and principal executive offices are located at Par-la-Ville Place, 14 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton, HM 08, Bermuda, and our telephone number at that address is +(1) 441 295 6935.

We are engaged primarily in the ownership and operation of oil tankers. We operate oil tankers of two sizes: VLCCs, which are between 200,000 and 320,000 dwt, and Suezmax tankers, which are vessels between 120,000 and 170,000 dwt. We operate through subsidiaries and partnerships located in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, India, the Isle of Man, Liberia, Norway, the United Kingdom and Singapore. We are also involved in the charter, purchase and sale of vessels. Since 1996, we have emerged as a leading tanker company within the VLCC and Suezmax size sectors of the market.

We have our origin in Frontline AB, which was founded in 1985, and which was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange from 1989 to 1997. In May 1997, Frontline AB was redomiciled from Sweden to Bermuda and its shares were listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the symbol "FRO". The change of domicile was executed through a share-for-share exchange offer from the then-newly formed Bermuda company, Frontline Ltd, or Old Frontline. In September 1997, Old Frontline initiated an amalgamation with London & Overseas Freighters Limited, or LOF, also a Bermuda company. This process was completed in May 1998. As a result of this transaction, Frontline became listed on the London Stock Exchange and on the NASDAQ National Market (in the form of American Depositary Shares, or ADSs, represented by American Depositary Receipts, or ADRs) in addition to its listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
 
The ADR program was terminated on October 5, 2001 and the ADSs were de-listed from the NASDAQ National Market on August 3, 2001. The Company's ordinary shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on August 6, 2001 under the symbol "FRO".

Restructuring


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On December 31, 2011 in conjunction with a Board approved restructuring plan to meet the challenges created by a very weak tanker market, the Company completed the sale of 15 wholly-owned SPCs to Frontline 2012. These SPCs owned six VLCCs (Front Kathrine, Front Queen, Front Eminence, Front Endurance, Front Cecilie and Front Signe, one of which was on time charter), four Suezmax tankers (Northia, Front Odin, Naticina and Front Njord) and five VLCC newbuilding contracts. The SPCs were sold at fair market value of $1,120.7 million, which was the average of three independent broker valuations. As part of the transaction, Frontline 2012 assumed the obligation to pay $666.3 million in bank debt and $325.5 million in remaining commitments to the yard under the newbuilding contracts.

On December 16, 2011, Frontline 2012 completed a private placement of 100,000,000 new ordinary shares of par value $2.00 per share at a subscription price of $2.85, raising $285.0 million in gross proceeds, subject to certain closing conditions. These conditions were subsequently fulfilled and Frontline 2012 was registered on the Norwegian over-the-counter market, or NOTC, in Oslo on December 30, 2011. The Company was allocated 8,771,000 shares, representing approximately 8.8% of the share capital of Frontline 2012 for which it paid consideration of $25.0 million. The Company has accounted for its investment in Frontline 2012 under the equity method. There are no discontinued operations associated with this transaction.

The Company will initially manage Frontline 2012 through its wholly owned subsidiary, Frontline Management (Bermuda) Ltd.. Frontline 2012 plans to establish its own management team in the future.

Following the Restructuring, the Company's operating fleet was reduced from 58 vessels to 48 vessels, including the nine vessels owned through ITCL. In addition, newbuilding commitments were reduced from $437.9 million to $112.4 million relating to two Suezmax tanker newbuilding contracts. Bank debt was eliminated following a prepayment of a $12.9 million loan associated with a vessel, which was not part of the transaction with Frontline 2012, and the prepayment of ITCL's $33.0 million bank loan.

As part of the Restructuring, the Company obtained agreements with its major counterparties to reduce the gross charter payment commitments under the then existing chartering arrangements by approximately $293 million for the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2015. The Company will compensate the counterparties with 100% of any difference between the renegotiated rates and the average vessel earnings up to the original contract rates. Some of the counterparties will receive additional compensation for earnings achieved above the original contract rates.

In May 2012, the Company paid $13.3 million for 3,546,000 shares in a private placement by Frontline 2012 of 56 million new ordinary shares at a subscription price of $3.75 per share. In January 2013, the Company paid $6.0 million for 1,143,000 shares in a private placement by Frontline 2012 of 59 million new ordinary shares at a subscription price of $5.25 per share. Following the private placement, the Company’s ownership in Frontline 2012 was 6.3%. In September 2013, Frontline 2012 completed a private placement of 34.1 million new ordinary shares of $2.00 par value at a subscription price of $6.60. The Company did not buy any of the shares and its ownership decreased from 6.3% to 5.4%.

Vessel Acquisitions, Disposals and Other Significant Transactions

We entered into the following acquisitions and disposals in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 to date:

Newbuilding Contracts

In December 2011, newbuilding contracts for five VLCCs were sold to Frontline 2012, as part of the Restructuring described above. As of December 31, 2013, the Company's newbuilding program was comprised of two Suezmax tankers and we were committed to making newbuilding installments of $87.9 million with expected payment in 2014.

Acquisitions and Disposals

In January 2011, we sold the VLCC Front Shanghai for net sale proceeds of $91.2 million. In connection with the sale, we agreed to time charter back the vessel from the new owner for approximately two years at a rate of $35,000 per day. Delivery to the new owners was completed on January 26, 2011 and the vessel was renamed Gulf Eyadah.

In February 2011, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long-term charter parties for the two single hull VLCCs, Ticen Sun (ex-Front Highness) and Front Ace, and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessels. The termination of the charter parties took place in February 2011 and March 2011, respectively, and Ship Finance made a compensation payment to the Company of $5.3 million for the early termination of the charter parties.


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In March 2011, we exercised our option to acquire the 2002-built VLCC Front Eagle and simultaneously sold the vessel to an unrelated third party for $67.0 million. Delivery to the new owners took place in the second quarter of 2011. In connection with the sale, we agreed to time charter back the vessel from the new owner for approximately two years at a rate of $32,500 per day.

In April 2011, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long-term charter party for the OBO carrier Front Leader and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the second quarter of 2011 and we made a compensation payment to Ship Finance of $7.7 million for the early termination of the charter party.
 
In May 2011, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long-term charter party for the OBO carrier Front Breaker and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the second quarter of 2011 and we made a compensation payment to Ship Finance of $6.6 million for the early termination of the charter party.

In October 2011, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long-term charter party for the OBO carrier Front Striver and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the third quarter of 2011 and we made a compensation payment to Ship Finance in 2012 of $8.1 million for the early termination of the charter party.
 
In October 2011, we sold the Suezmax Front Fighter to an unrelated third party and recognized a loss of $0.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. An impairment loss for this vessel of $27.1 million was recorded in the third quarter of 2011.

In November 2011, we sold the Suezmax Front Hunter to a related party and recognized a gain of $0.05 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. An impairment loss for this vessel of $30.6 million was recorded in the third quarter of 2011.
 
In December 2011, we sold the Suezmax Front Delta to an unrelated third party and recognized a gain of $0.01 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. An impairment loss for this vessel of $18.5 million was recorded in the third quarter of 2011.
 
In December 2011, we sold the Suezmax Front Beta to an unrelated third party and recognized a loss of $0.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. An impairment loss for this vessel of $20.4 million was recorded in the third quarter of 2011.
 
In December 2011, as part of the Restructuring described above, we sold 15 wholly-owned SPCs, which together owned six VLCCs (Front Kathrine, Front Queen, Front Eminence, Front Endurance, Front Cecilie and Front Signe, one of which was on time charter), four Suezmax tankers (Northia, Front Odin, Naticina and Front Njord) and five VLCC newbuilding contracts to Frontline 2012, a related party, for a sale price of $1,120.7 million. The sales of these SPCs resulted in a loss of $307.0 million, which was recorded in 2011.

In March 2012, we sold the Suezmax Front Alfa to an unrelated third party and recognized a loss of $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. An impairment loss for this vessel of $24.8 million was recorded in the third quarter of 2011.

In June 2012, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long-term charter party for the OBO carrier Front Rider and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the third quarter of 2012. The Company recorded an impairment loss of $4.9 million in the second quarter of 2012.

In August 2012, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long-term charter party for the OBO carrier Front Climber and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Company recorded an impairment loss of $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2012.

In October 2012, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long term charter party for the OBO carrier Front Driver and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Company recorded an impairment loss of $4.0 million in the second quarter and a loss of $0.8 million in gain (loss) of sale of assets and amortization of deferred gains in the fourth quarter.

In December 2012, we agreed to an early termination of the time charter out contracts on the two OBO carriers, Front Viewer and Front Guider, and received a compensation payment in December 2012 from the charterers for loss of hire due to the early termination of $35.0 million. We also agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long term charter parties for these two OBO carriers. The charter party for Front Viewer terminated in December 2012. The charter party for the Front Guider was terminated and the vessel was sold in March 2013. The Company paid $23.5 million to Ship Finance as compensation for the early termination of the charters and the estimated loss of contingent rentals relating to the two vessels. We recorded a loss of $16.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 on the termination of the lease for Front Viewer and a vessel impairment loss of $14.2 million on the expected loss on termination of the lease on Front Guider in March 2013.


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In February 2013, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long term charter party for the Suezmax tanker Front Pride and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessel. The termination of the charter party took place in the first quarter of 2013. We made a compensation payment to Ship Finance of $2.1 million for the early termination of the charter. We recorded an impairment loss of $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In November 2013, we agreed with Ship Finance to terminate the long term charter parties for the 1998 and 1999 built VLCCs Front Champion and Golden Victory and Ship Finance simultaneously sold the vessels to unrelated third parties. The charter parties were terminated in November 2013 upon the redelivery of the vessels to Ship Finance. We recorded an impairment loss of $88.1 million in 2013 and a net gain of $13.8 million on the termination of the leases in the fourth quarter of 2013. We agreed to a compensation payment to Ship Finance of $89.9 million for the early termination of the charter parties, of which $10.9 million was paid upon termination and the balance was recorded as notes payable, with similar amortization profiles to the current lease obligations, with reduced rates until 2015 and full rates from 2016. Front Champion and Golden Victory had the highest charter rates among the vessels we chartered in from Ship Finance and the level of compensation is a reflection of this.

In March 2014, a subsidiary of ITCL entered into an agreement to sell the VLCC Ulysses (ex-Phoenix Voyager) to an unrelated third party. The vessel was delivered to the buyer on March 11, 2014 and we expect to record a loss of approximately $15.3 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Charters and Redeliveries

In January 2011, the bareboat charter with BP Shipping Limited for the VLCC Pioneer (ex-British Pioneer) terminated and the vessel was redelivered to the Company. The vessel is currently operating in the spot market.

In January 2011, the chartered-in VLCC Desh Ujaala was redelivered to its owners.

In March 2011, the bareboat charter out contract for the single hull VLCC Ticen Ocean (ex-Front Lady) was extended until August 2013.

In May 2011, the chartered-in VLCC Kensington was redelivered to its owner.

In September 2011, we negotiated the early termination of bareboat charters on three single hull VLCCs, Titan Orion (ex-Front Duke), Titan Aries (ex-Edinburgh) and Ticen Ocean (ex-Front Lady), which were being chartered in from Ship Finance. These three vessels were subsequently sold by Ship Finance with deliveries during 2012 and 2013. The Titan Orion (ex-Front Duke) was delivered, and the charter party with Ship Finance was terminated, on March 27, 2012.
 
In December 2011, we left the Gemini pool, a Suezmax tanker pool that was comprised of 36 vessels operated by us, Teekay Corporation, NATS, Koenig & Cie and Hyundai Merchant Marine, and established the Orion Tankers pool with NATS. The Orion Tankers pool had 29 double hull Suezmax tankers, including nine vessels operated by us.
 
We redelivered the Suezmax Front Warrior on December 12, 2011 at which time the Orion Pool assumed its commercial management. We redelivered the VLCCs Front Commander, Front Chief and Front Crown on December 11, 2011, December 28, 2011 and January 11, 2012, respectively. All of these vessels were on time charter-in to us under operating leases.

In April 2012, the chartered-in VLCC Hampstead was redelivered to its owner. 

In September 2012, we agreed with NAT that our nine Suezmax vessels would leave the Orion Tankers pool due to our wish to be more flexible in the operation of our vessels. All of our vessels left the pool during the fourth quarter of 2012.

In October 2012, we terminated the bareboat charters on the two single hull VLCCs Ticen Ocean and Titan Aries and the vessels were delivered to the buyers in November 2012 and January 2013, respectively.

We redelivered the Suezmax vessels Front Odin and Front Njord in October 2012 and November 2012, respectively, to Frontline 2012. These vessels had been operating in the Orion Tankers pool and had been chartered-in on floating rate time charters whereby the charter hire expense was equal to the pool earnings.

In December 2012, the chartered-in VLCC Gulf Eyadah was redelivered to its owner.


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In January 2013, the charterer of the VLCC British Progress gave twelve months notice of its intention to terminate the bareboat charter for the vessel. The termination was expected to take effect on February 2, 2014 and was subsequently delayed to March 12, 2014 at which time the vessel commenced trading in the spot market.

In March 2013, the VLCC Ulysses (ex-Phoenix Voyager) was redelivered from its bareboat charter and commenced trading in the spot market.

In May 2013, we redelivered the chartered-in VLCC DHT Eagle to its owners.
 
B.  BUSINESS OVERVIEW

As of December 31, 2013, our tanker fleet consisted of 33 vessels, including nine vessels owned through our majority-owned subsidiary, ITCL, comprised of 23 VLCCs and 10 Suezmax tankers, which were either owned or chartered in. We also had two Suezmax newbuildings on order, six VLCCs and six Suezmax tankers under commercial management. As of December 31, 2013, our tanker fleet had total tonnage of approximately 11.3 million dwt, including 2.8 million dwt under our commercial management, and an average age of approximately 14.9 years.

Although there has been a trend towards consolidation over the past 15 years, the tanker market remains highly fragmented. We estimate, based on available industry data that we currently own or operate approximately 4.7% of the world VLCC fleet and 3.6% of the world Suezmax tanker fleet.

We operate in the tanker market as an international provider of seaborne transportation of crude oil. Following the termination of the lease on our final OBO carrier in March 2013, the results of our OBO carriers have been recorded as discontinued operations. An analysis of revenues (excluding other income) from continuing operations is as follows:
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
2011

Total operating revenues – tanker market
 
491,436

 
552,576

 
702,526


Our vessels operate worldwide and therefore management does not evaluate performance by geographical region as this information is not meaningful.

We own various vessel owning and operating subsidiaries. Our operations take place substantially outside of the United States. Our subsidiaries, therefore, own and operate vessels that may be affected by changes in foreign governments and other economic and political conditions. We are engaged primarily in transporting crude oil and, in addition, raw materials like coal and iron ore and our vessels operate in the spot and time charter markets. Our VLCCs are specifically designed for the transportation of crude oil and, due to their size, are primarily used to transport crude oil from the Middle East Gulf to the Far East, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, or LOOP. Our Suezmax tankers are similarly designed for worldwide trading, but the trade for these vessels is mainly in the Atlantic Basin, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
 
In December 2008, Teekay Corporation, or Teekay, and the Company announced an agreement to commercially combine their Suezmax tankers within the Gemini pool. Effective from January 1, 2009, we placed our Suezmax tankers within the Gemini pool, bringing the total number of vessels in the pool to 36. In December 2011, we left the Gemini pool and established the Orion Tankers pool with Nordic American Tankers Limited (NYSE: NAT), or NAT. This Suezmax pool had 29 double hull Suezmax tankers. We left the Orion Tankers pool in the fourth quarter of 2012.
 
We are committed to providing quality transportation services to all of our customers and to developing and maintaining long-term relationships with the major charterers of tankers. Increasing global environmental concerns have created a demand in the petroleum products/crude oil seaborne transportation industry for vessels that are able to conform to the stringent environmental standards currently being imposed throughout the world.

The tanker industry is highly cyclical, experiencing volatility in profitability, vessel values and freight rates. Freight rates are strongly influenced by the supply of tanker vessels and the demand for oil transportation. Refer to Item 5, "Operating and Financial Review and Prospects-Overview" for a discussion of the tanker market in 2012 and 2013.


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Similar to structures commonly used by other shipping companies, our vessels are all owned by, or chartered to, separate subsidiaries or associated companies. Frontline Management AS and Frontline Management (Bermuda) Limited, both wholly-owned subsidiaries, which we refer to collectively as Frontline Management, support us in the implementation of our decisions. Frontline Management is responsible for the commercial management of our shipowning subsidiaries, including chartering and insurance. Each of our vessels is registered under the Bahamas, Liberian, Cypriot, Singaporean, Isle of Man, Marshall Islands or Hong Kong flag.

In August 2009, the Company established SeaTeam Management, a ship management company in Singapore. SeaTeam Management is a complement to the external ship management companies currently offering services to the Company and is not a change in the Company's outsourcing strategy. However, we would like to strengthen our position towards our service providers to enhance and secure delivery of high quality service at low cost in the future. SeaTeam Management was certified and received its ISM Document of Compliance by Det Norske Veritas on February 3, 2010 and is an approved ship management company. In addition, a crewing company was formally opened in Chennai, India, in January 2010 and an office was opened in the Philippines in October 2013.

Our principal executive offices are located at Par-la-Ville Place, 14 Par-la-Ville Road in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Strategy

Our principal focus is the transportation of crude oil and its related refined dirty petroleum cargoes for major oil companies and major oil trading companies. We seek to optimize our income and adjust our exposure through actively pursuing charter opportunities whether through time charters, bareboat charters, sale and leasebacks, straight sales and purchases of vessels, newbuilding contracts and acquisitions.

We presently operate VLCCs and Suezmax tankers in the tanker market. Our preferred strategy is to have some fixed charter income coverage for our fleet, predominantly through time charters, and trade the balance of the fleet on the spot market. Due to the very limited availability of time charter contracts, however, our fleet is mainly trading in the spot market. We focus on minimizing time spent on ballast by "cross trading" our vessels, typically with voyages loading in the Persian Gulf discharging in Northern Europe, followed by a trans-Atlantic voyage to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and, finally, a voyage from either the Caribbean or West Africa to the Far East/Indian Ocean. We believe that operating a certain number of vessels in the spot market, enables us to capitalize on a potentially stronger spot market as well as to serve our main customers on a regular non term basis. We believe that the size of our fleet is important in negotiating terms with our major clients and charterers. We also believe that our large, high-quality VLCC and Suezmax fleet enhances our ability to obtain competitive terms from suppliers and ship repairers and builders and to produce cost savings in chartering and operations.

Our business strategy is primarily based upon the following principles:

emphasizing operational safety and quality maintenance for all of our vessels;
complying with all current and proposed environmental regulations;
outsourcing technical operations and crewing;
continuing to achieve competitive operational costs;
operating a homogeneous fleet of tankers;
achieving high utilization of our vessels;
achieving competitive financing arrangements;
achieving a satisfactory mix of term charters, contracts of affreightment, or COAs, and spot voyages; and
developing and maintaining relationships with major oil companies and industrial charterers.

We have a strategy of extensive outsourcing, which includes the outsourcing of management, crewing and accounting services to a number of independent and competing suppliers. Our vessels are managed by independent ship management companies. Pursuant to management agreements, each of the independent ship management companies provides operations, ship maintenance, crewing, technical support, shipyard supervision and related services to us. A central part of our strategy is to benchmark operational performance and cost level amongst our ship managers. Independent ship managers provide crewing for our vessels. Currently, our vessels are crewed with Russian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Romanian, Indian and Filipino officers and crews, or combinations of these nationalities. Accounting services for each of our ship-owning subsidiaries are also provided by the ship managers.

Seasonality


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Historically, oil trade and, therefore, charter rates increased in the winter months and eased in the summer months as demand for oil in the Northern Hemisphere rose in colder weather and fell in warmer weather. The tanker industry, in general, has become less dependent on the seasonal transport of heating oil than a decade ago as new uses for oil and oil products have developed, spreading consumption more evenly over the year. This is most apparent from the higher seasonal demand during the summer months due to energy requirements for air conditioning and motor vehicles.

Customers

During the year ended December 31, 2013, no customer represented more than 10% of consolidated operating revenues (2012: one customers, which represented 18% and 2011: one customer, which represented 24%). No other customers represent more than 10% of consolidated operating revenues for the periods presented.

Competition

The market for international seaborne crude oil transportation services is highly fragmented and competitive. Seaborne crude oil transportation services generally are provided by two main types of operators: major oil company captive fleets (both private and state-owned) and independent ship-owner fleets. In addition, several owners and operators pool their vessels together on an ongoing basis, and such pools are available to customers to the same extent as independently owned-and-operated fleets. Many major oil companies and other oil trading companies, the primary charterers of the vessels owned or controlled by us, also operate their own vessels and use such vessels not only to transport their own crude oil but also to transport crude oil for third-party charterers in direct competition with independent owners and operators in the tanker charter market. Competition for charters is intense and is based upon price, location, size, age, condition and acceptability of the vessel and its manager. Competition is also affected by the availability of other size vessels to compete in the trades in which the Company engages. Charters are, to a large extent, brokered through international independent brokerage houses that specialize in finding the optimal ship for any particular cargo based on the aforementioned criteria. Brokers may be appointed by the cargo shipper or the ship owner.

Environmental and Other Regulations

Government regulations and laws significantly affect the ownership and operation of our vessels. We are subject to international conventions, national, state and local laws and regulations in force in the countries in which our vessels may operate or are registered and compliance with such laws, regulations and other requirements may entail significant expense.

Our vessels are subject to both scheduled and unscheduled inspections by a variety of government, quasi-governmental and private organizations including local port authorities, national authorities, harbor masters or equivalents, classification societies, flag state administrations (countries of registry) and charterers. Our failure to maintain permits, licenses, certificates or other approvals required by some of these entities could require us to incur substantial costs or temporarily suspend operation of one or more of our vessels.

We believe that the heightened levels of environmental and quality concerns among insurance underwriters, regulators and charterers have led to greater inspection and safety requirements on all vessels and may accelerate the scrapping of older vessels throughout the industry. Increasing environmental concerns have created a demand for vessels that conform to stricter environmental standards.  We believe that the operation of our vessels is in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations and that our vessels have all material permits, licenses, certificates or other authorizations necessary for the conduct of our operations; however, because such laws and regulations are frequently changed and may impose increasingly stricter requirements, we cannot predict with certainty the ultimate cost of complying with these requirements, or the impact of these requirements on the resale value or useful lives of our vessels. In addition, a future serious marine incident that results in significant oil pollution or otherwise causes significant adverse environmental impact, such as the 2010 BP plc Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, could result in additional legislation or regulation that could negatively affect our profitability.
 
International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization, or the IMO, is the United Nations agency for maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by ships.  The IMO has adopted several international conventions that regulate the international shipping industry, including but not limited to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969, amended and replaced by the 1992 protocol, generally referred to as CLC, the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage of 2001, and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973, or the MARPOL Convention. The MARPOL Convention is broken into six Annexes, each of which establishes environmental standards relating to different sources of pollution: Annex I relates to oil leakage or spilling; Annexes II and III relate to harmful substances carried, in bulk, in

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liquid or packaged form, respectively; Annexes IV and V relate to sewage and garbage management, respectively; and Annex VI relates to air emissions.

The operation of our vessels is also affected by the requirements contained in the International Safety Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention, or ISM Code, promulgated by the IMO under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974, or SOLAS. The ISM Code requires the party with operational control of a vessel to develop an extensive safety management system that includes, among other things, the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for operating its vessels safely and describing procedures for responding to emergencies. We intend to rely upon the safety management system that our appointed ship managers have developed.

Noncompliance with the ISM Code or with other IMO regulations may subject a shipowner or bareboat charterer to increased liability, may lead to decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to, or detention in, some ports including United States and European Union ports.
 
United States

The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or OPA, established an extensive regulatory and liability regime for environmental protection and cleanup of oil spills. OPA affects all "owners and operators" whose vessels trade with the United States or its territories or possessions, or whose vessels operate in the waters of the United States, which include the U.S. territorial sea and the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone around the United States. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA, imposes liability for cleanup and natural resource damage from the release of hazardous substances (other than oil) whether on land or at sea.  OPA and CERCLA both define "owner and operator" in the case of a vessel as any person owning, operating or chartering by demise, the vessel.  Accordingly, both OPA and CERCLA impact our operations.

Under OPA, vessel owners and operators are responsible parties who are jointly, severally and strictly liable (unless the spill results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war) for all containment and clean-up costs and other damages arising from oil spills from their vessels. OPA contains statutory caps on liability and damages; such caps do not apply to direct cleanup costs.  OPA limits the liability of responsible parties with respect to tankers over 3,000 gross tons to the greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $17.088 million per double hull tanker, and with respect to non-tank vessels, the greater of $1,000 per gross ton or $854,000 for any non-tank vessel, respectively.  These limits of liability do not apply if an incident was proximately caused by the violation of an applicable U.S. federal safety, construction or operating regulation by a responsible party (or its agent, employee or a person acting pursuant to a contractual relationship), or a responsible party's gross negligence or willful misconduct.  The limitation on liability similarly does not apply if the responsible party fails or refuses to (i) report the incident where the responsible party knows or has reason to know of the incident; (ii) reasonably cooperate and assist as requested in connection with oil removal activities; or (iii) without sufficient cause, comply with an order issued under the Federal Water Pollution Act (Section 311 (c), (e)) or the Intervention on the High Seas Act.

OPA permits individual states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries, provided they accept, at a minimum, the levels of liability established under OPA. Some states have enacted legislation providing for unlimited liability for discharge of pollutants within their waters, however, in some cases, states which have enacted this type of legislation have not yet issued implementing regulations defining tanker owners' responsibilities under these laws.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may also result in additional regulatory initiatives or statutes, including the raising of liability caps under OPA.  For example, effective October 22, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) implemented a final drilling safety rule for offshore oil and gas operations that strengthens the requirements for safety equipment, well control systems, and blowout prevention practices. Compliance with any new requirements of OPA may substantially impact our cost of operations or require us to incur additional expenses to comply with any new regulatory initiatives or statutes.

CERCLA contains a similar liability regime whereby owners and operators of vessels are liable for cleanup, removal and remedial costs, as well as damage for injury to, or destruction or loss of, natural resources, including the reasonable costs associated with assessing same, and health assessments or health effects studies.  There is no liability if the discharge of a hazardous substance results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war.  Liability under CERCLA is limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $5 million for vessels carrying a hazardous substance as cargo and the greater of $300 per gross ton or $500,000 for any other vessel.  These limits do not apply (rendering the responsible person liable for the total cost of response and damages) if the release or threat of release of a hazardous substance resulted from willful misconduct or negligence, or the primary cause of the release was a violation of applicable safety, construction or operating standards or regulations.  The limitation

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on liability also does not apply if the responsible person fails or refuses to provide all reasonable cooperation and assistance as requested in connection with response activities where the vessel is subject to OPA.

OPA and CERCLA have no effect on the availability of damages under existing law, including maritime tort law. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with OPA, CERCLA and all applicable state regulations in the ports where our vessels call.

OPA and CERCLA both require owners and operators of vessels to establish and maintain with the U.S. Coast Guard evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to meet the maximum amount of liability to which the particular responsible person may be subject. Vessel owners and operators may satisfy their financial responsibility obligations by providing a proof of insurance, a surety bond, qualification as a self-insurer or a guarantee. Under OPA and CERCLA, an owner or operator of more than one tanker is required to demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility for the entire fleet in an amount equal only to the financial responsibility requirement of the tanker having the greatest maximum liability. We have provided such evidence and received certificates of financial responsibility from the U.S. Coast Guard for each of our vessels required to have one.

Other U.S. Environmental Initiatives

The U.S. Clean Water Act, or CWA, prohibits the discharge of oil, hazardous substances and ballast water in U.S. navigable waters unless authorized by a duly-issued permit or exemption, and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for any unauthorized discharges. The CWA also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages and complements the remedies available under OPA and CERCLA. Furthermore, many U.S. states that border a navigable waterway have enacted environmental pollution laws that impose strict liability on a person for removal costs and damages resulting from a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance. These laws may be more stringent than U.S. federal law.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has enacted rules requiring a permit regulating ballast water discharges and other discharges incidental to the normal operation of certain vessels within United States waters under the Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels, or VGP. For a new vessel delivered to an owner or operator after September 19, 2009 to be covered by the VGP, the owner must submit a Notice of Intent, or NOI, at least 30 days before the vessel operates in United States waters. On March 28, 2013, EPA re-issued the VGP for another five years; this 2013 VGP took effect December 19, 2013. This permit focuses on authorizing discharges incidental to operations of commercial vessels, and the new permit is also expected to contain numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels to reduce the risk of invasive species in US waters, more stringent requirements for exhaust gas scrubbers and the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants.

Compliance with the VGP could require the installation of equipment on our vessels to treat ballast water before it is discharged or the implementation of other disposal arrangements, and/or otherwise restrict our vessels from entering United States waters. In addition, certain states have enacted more stringent discharge standards as conditions to their required certification of the VGP. We submit NOIs for our vessels where required and do not believe that the costs associated with obtaining and complying with the VGP have a material impact on our operations.

U.S. Coast Guard regulations adopted under the U.S. National Invasive Species Act, or NISA, also impose mandatory ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks entering or operating in U.S. waters. As of June 21, 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard implemented revised regulations on ballast water management by establishing standards on the allowable concentration of living organisms in ballast water discharged from ships in U.S. waters. The revised ballast water standards are consistent with those adopted by the IMO in 2004.  Compliance with the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard regulations could require the installation of certain engineering equipment and water treatment systems to treat ballast water before it is discharged or the implementation of other port facility disposal arrangements or procedures at potentially substantial cost, or may otherwise restrict our vessels from entering U.S. waters.

At the international level, the IMO adopted an International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments in February 2004, or the BWM Convention. The BWM Convention provides for a phased introduction of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements, to be replaced in time with mandatory concentration limits. The BWM Convention will not enter into force until 12 months after it has been adopted by 30 states, the combined merchant fleets of which represent not less than 35% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping. To date, there has not been sufficient adoption of this standard for it to take force.  However, Panama may adopt this standard in the relatively near future, which would be sufficient for it to take force.  Upon entry into force of the BWM Convention, mid-ocean ballast exchange would be mandatory, and the cost of compliance could increase for ocean carriers.  Although we do not believe that the costs of compliance with a mandatory mid-ocean ballast exchange would be material, it is difficult to predict the overall impact of such a requirement on our operations.
 

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The U.S. Clean Air Act, or the CAA, requires the EPA to promulgate standards applicable to emissions of volatile organic compounds and other air contaminants. Our vessels are subject to vapor control and recovery requirements for certain cargoes when loading, unloading, ballasting, cleaning and conducting other operations in regulated port areas. Our vessels that operate in such port areas with restricted cargoes are equipped with vapor recovery systems that satisfy these requirements. The CAA also requires states to draft State Implementation Plans, or SIPs, designed to attain national health-based air quality standards in each State. Although state-specific, SIPs may include regulations concerning emissions resulting from vessel loading and unloading operations by requiring the installation of vapor control equipment. As indicated above, our vessels operating in covered port areas are already equipped with vapor recovery systems that satisfy these existing requirements.

Compliance with the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard regulations could require the installation of certain engineering equipment and water treatment systems to treat ballast water before it is discharged or the implementation of other port facility disposal arrangements or procedures at potentially substantial cost, or may otherwise restrict our vessels from entering U.S. waters.

European Union

In October 2009, the European Union amended a directive to impose criminal sanctions for illicit ship-source discharges of polluting substances, including minor discharges, if committed with intent, recklessly or with serious negligence and the discharges individually or in the aggregate result in deterioration of the quality of water. Aiding and abetting the discharge of a polluting substance may also lead to criminal penalties. Member States were required to enact laws or regulations to comply with the directive by the end of 2010. Criminal liability for pollution may result in substantial penalties or fines and increased civil liability claims.

The European Union has adopted several regulations and directives requiring, among other things, more frequent inspections of high-risk ships, as determined by type, age, and flag as well as the number of times the ship has been detained. The European Union also adopted and then extended a ban on substandard ships and enacted a minimum ban period and a definitive ban for repeated offenses. The regulation also provided the European Union with greater authority and control over classification societies, by imposing more requirements on classification societies and providing for fines or penalty payments for organizations that failed to comply.

Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Currently, the emissions of greenhouse gases from ships are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which entered into force in 2005 and pursuant to which adopting countries have been required to implement national programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As of January 1, 2013, all ships must comply with mandatory requirements adopted by the MEPC in July 2011 relating to greenhouse gas emissions. All ships are required to follow the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans. Now the minimum energy efficiency levels per capacity mile, outlined in the Energy Efficiency Design Index, applies to all new ships. These requirements could cause us to incur additional compliance costs. The IMO is also considering the implementation of market-based mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships at an upcoming MEPC session. The European Union has indicated that it intends to propose an expansion of the existing European Union emissions trading scheme to include emissions of greenhouse gases from marine vessels, and in January 2012 the European Commission launched a public consultation on possible measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships. In the United States, the EPA has issued a finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public health and safety and has adopted regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from certain mobile sources and large stationary sources. Although the mobile source emissions regulations do not apply to greenhouse gas emissions from vessels, such regulation of vessels is foreseeable, and the EPA has in recent years received petitions from the California Attorney General and various environmental groups seeking such regulation. Any passage of climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives by the IMO, European Union, the U.S. or other countries where we operate, or any treaty adopted at the international level to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, that restrict emissions of greenhouse gases could require us to make significant financial expenditures which we cannot predict with certainty at this time.

International Labor Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the UN with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The ILO has adopted the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (MLC 2006). A Maritime Labor Certificate and a Declaration of Maritime Labor Compliance will be required to ensure compliance with the MLC 2006 for all ships above 500 gross tons in international trade. The MLC 2006 will enter into force one year after 30 countries with a minimum of 33% of the world's tonnage have ratified it. On August 20, 2012, the required number of countries met and MLC 2006 entered into force on August 20, 2013. The ratification of MLC 2006 will require us to develop new procedures to ensure full compliance with its requirements.

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Vessel Security Regulations

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been a variety of initiatives intended to enhance vessel security.  On November 25, 2002, the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, or the MTSA, came into effect.  To implement certain portions of the MTSA, in July 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard issued regulations requiring the implementation of certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  The regulations also impose requirements on certain ports and facilities, some of which are regulated by the EPA.

Similarly, in December 2002, amendments to SOLAS created a new chapter of the convention dealing specifically with maritime security.  The new Chapter V became effective in July 2004 and imposes various detailed security obligations on vessels and port authorities, and mandates compliance with the ISPS Code.  The ISPS Code is designed to enhance the security of ports and ships against terrorism.  Amendments to SOLAS Chapter VII, made mandatory in 2004, apply to vessels transporting dangerous goods and require those vessels be in compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.
 
To trade internationally, a vessel must attain an International Ship Security Certificate, or ISSC, from a recognized security organization approved by the vessel's flag state. Among the various requirements are:

on-board installation of automatic identification systems to provide a means for the automatic transmission of safety-related information from among similarly equipped ships and shore stations, including information on a ship's identity, position, course, speed and navigational status;
on-board installation of ship security alert systems, which do not sound on the vessel but only alert the authorities on shore;
the development of vessel security plans;
ship identification number to be permanently marked on a vessel's hull;
a continuous synopsis record kept onboard showing a vessel's history, including the name of the ship, the state whose flag the ship is entitled to fly, the date on which the ship was registered with that state, the ship's identification number, the port at which the ship is registered and the name of the registered owner(s) and their registered address; and
compliance with flag state security certification requirements.

A ship operating without a valid certificate, may be detained at port until it obtains an ISSC, or it may be expelled from port, or refused entry at port.

The U.S. Coast Guard regulations, intended to align with international maritime security standards, exempt from MTSA vessel security measures non-U.S. vessels that have on board, as of July 1, 2004, a valid ISSC attesting to the vessel's compliance with SOLAS security requirements and the ISPS Code. We believe that our fleet is currently in compliance with applicable security requirements.

Inspection by Classification Societies

Every oceangoing vessel must be "classed" by a classification society. The classification society certifies that the vessel is "in-class," signifying that the vessel has been built and maintained in accordance with the rules of the classification society and complies with applicable rules and regulations of the vessel's country of registry and the international conventions of which that country is a member. In addition, where surveys are required by international conventions and corresponding laws and ordinances of a flag state, the classification society will undertake them on application or by official order, acting on behalf of the authorities concerned.

Most insurance underwriters make it a condition for insurance coverage that a vessel be certified as "in-class" by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies. All our vessels are certified as being "in-class" by a recognized classification society.

Risk of Loss and Insurance


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The operation of any ocean-going vessel carries an inherent risk of catastrophic marine disasters and property losses caused by adverse weather conditions, mechanical failures, human error, war, terrorism and other circumstances or events. In addition, the transportation of crude oil is subject to the risk of spills, and business interruptions due to political circumstances in foreign countries, hostilities, labor strikes and boycotts. OPA has made liability insurance more expensive for ship owners and operators imposing potentially unlimited liability upon owners, operators and bareboat charterers for oil pollution incidents in the territorial waters of the United States. We believe that our current insurance coverage is adequate to protect us against the principal accident-related risks that we face in the conduct of our business.

Our protection and indemnity insurance, or P&I insurance, covers third-party liabilities and other related expenses from, among other things, injury or death of crew, passengers and other third parties, claims arising from collisions, damage to cargo and other third-party property and pollution arising from oil or other substances. Our current P&I insurance coverage for pollution is the maximum commercially available amount of $1.0 billion per tanker per incident and is provided by mutual protection and indemnity associations. Each of the vessels currently in our fleet is entered in a protection and indemnity association which is a member of the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Mutual Assurance Associations. The 13 protection and indemnity associations that comprise the International Group insure approximately 90% of the world's commercial tonnage and have entered into a pooling agreement to reinsure each association's liabilities. The pool provides a mechanism for sharing all claims in excess of $9 million up to, currently, approximately $7.5 billion. As a member of protection and indemnity associations, which are, in turn, members of the International Group, we are subject to calls payable to the associations based on its claim records as well as the claim records of all other members of the individual associations and members of the pool of protection and indemnity associations comprising the International Group.
 
Our hull and machinery insurance covers actual or constructive total loss from covered risks of collision, fire, heavy weather, grounding and engine failure or damages from same. Our war risks insurance covers risks of confiscation, seizure, capture, vandalism, terrorism, sabotage and other war-related risks. Our loss-of-hire insurance covers loss of revenue for not less than $20,000 per day for Suezmax tankers and $25,000 per day for VLCCs for not less than 180 days resulting from an accident covered by the terms of our hull and machinery insurance for each of our vessels, with a 60 day deductible for all Suezmax tankers and VLCCs.

C.  ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

See Exhibit 8.1 to this Form 20-F for a list of our significant subsidiaries.

D.  PROPERTY, PLANTS AND EQUIPMENT

The Company's Vessels

The following table sets forth certain information regarding the fleet that we operated as of December 31, 2013 (including contracted newbuildings not yet delivered): 
Vessel
 
Built
 
Approximate Dwt.
 
Construction
 
Flag
 
Type of Employment
Tonnage Owned Directly
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ulriken (ex-Antares Voyager)
 
1998
 
310,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Spot market
Ulysses (ex-Phoenix Voyager) (1)
 
1999
 
308,500
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Spot market
Pioneer (ex-British Pioneer)
 
1999
 
307,000
 
Double-hull
 
IoM
 
Spot market
British Pride (2)
 
2000
 
307,000
 
Double-hull
 
IoM
 
Bareboat charter
British Progress (3)
 
2000
 
307,000
 
Double-hull
 
IoM
 
Bareboat charter
British Purpose
 
2000
 
307,000
 
Double-hull
 
IoM
 
Bareboat charter
Suezmax Tankers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cygnus Voyager (4)
 
1993
 
157,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Bareboat charter
Altair Voyager (4)
 
1993
 
136,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Bareboat charter
Sirius Voyager (4)
 
1994
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Bareboat charter
Hull 1161 (Newbuilding)
 
2014
 
157,000
 
Double-hull
 
n/a
 
n/a
Hull 1162 (Newbuilding)
 
2014
 
157,000
 
Double-hull
 
n/a
 
n/a


30



Tonnage Chartered in from
Ship Finance 
VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Front Vanguard
 
1998
 
300,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Century
 
1998
 
311,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Comanche
 
1999
 
300,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Circassia
 
1999
 
306,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Opalia
 
1999
 
302,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Commerce
 
1999
 
300,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Scilla
 
2000
 
303,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Ariake
 
2001
 
299,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Spot market
Front Serenade
 
2002
 
299,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Hakata
 
2002
 
298,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Spot market
Front Stratus
 
2002
 
299,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Falcon
 
2002
 
309,000
 
Double-hull
 
BA
 
Spot market
Front Page
 
2002
 
299,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Energy
 
2004
 
305,000
 
Double-hull
 
CYP
 
Spot market
Front Force
 
2004
 
305,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
 
Suezmax Tankers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Front Glory
 
1995
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Splendour
 
1995
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Ardenne
 
1997
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Brabant
 
1998
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Mindanao
 
1998
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
SG
 
Spot market
 
Tonnage Chartered in from
Third Parties
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Front Tina (5)
 
2000
 
299,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Commodore (5)
 
2000
 
299,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Suezmax Tankers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Front Melody (5)
 
2001
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
Front Symphony (5)
 
2001
 
150,000
 
Double-hull
 
LIB
 
Spot market
 
Tonnage under Commercial Management
 
VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Front Kathrine
 
2009
 
297,974
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Queen
 
2009
 
297,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Eminence
 
2009
 
321,300
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Time charter
Front Endurance
 
2009
 
321,300
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Cecilie
 
2010
 
297,000
 
Double-hull
 
HK
 
Spot market
Front Signe
 
2010
 
297,000
 
Double-hull
 
HK
 
Spot market


31



Suezmax Tankers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Northia
 
2010
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot related time charter
Naticina
 
2010
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot related time charter
Front Odin
 
2010
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
MI
 
Spot market
Front Njord
 
2010
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
HK
 
Spot market
Glorycrown
 
2009
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
HK
 
Spot market
Everbright
 
2010
 
156,000
 
Double-hull
 
HK
 
Spot market

(1) The vessel was sold in March 2014 and was delivered to the buyer on March 11, 2014.
(2) In July 2013, the charterer provided twelve months irrevocable notice of termination of the bareboat charter and the vessel will be redelivered to the Company on July 30, 2014.
(3) The charterer gave twelve months notice of its intention to terminate the bareboat charter in January 2013. The termination was expected to take effect on February 2, 2014 and was subsequently delayed to March 12, 2014 at which time the vessel commenced trading in the spot market.
(4) Vessel is owned by a majority-owned subsidiary, which is a variable interest entity and is accounted for under the equity method as the Company has determined that it is not the primary beneficiary of the variable interest entity.
(5) The lessor has a fixed price option to sell this vessel to us at the end of the lease on December 31, 2015.

Our chartered in fleet is contracted to us under leasing arrangements with fixed terms of between two and fifteen years.

Key to Flags:

BA – Bahamas, IoM – Isle of Man, LIB - Liberia, SG - Singapore, MI – Marshall Islands, CYP – Cyprus, HK – Hong Kong.

Other than our interests in the vessels described above, we do not own any material physical properties. We lease office space in Hamilton, Bermuda from an unaffiliated third party. Frontline Management AS leases office space, at market rates, in Oslo, Norway from Bryggegata AS, a company indirectly affiliated with Hemen, our principal shareholder.

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

A. OPERATING RESULTS

Overview

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with Item 3, "Selected Financial Data", Item 4, "Information on the Company" and our audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included herein.

As of December 31, 2013, our tanker fleet consisted of 33 vessels, including nine vessels owned through our majority-owned subsidiary, ITCL, comprised of 23 VLCCs and 10 Suezmax tankers, which were either owned or chartered in. We also had two Suezmax newbuildings on order, six VLCCs and six Suezmax tankers under commercial management.

A full fleet list is provided in Item 4.D. "Information on the Company" showing the vessels that we currently own and charter-in.


32



Fleet Changes

Refer to Item 4 for discussion on acquisitions and disposals of vessels. A summary of our fleet changes for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 is as follows:
 
 
2013

 
2012

 
2011

VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 
At start of period
 
27

 
31

 
44

Acquisitions
 

 

 
1

Dispositions
 
(2
)
 
(2
)
 
(10
)
Chartered in
 
(2
)
 
(2
)
 
(4
)
At end of period
 
23

 
27

 
31


Suezmax
 
 
 
 
 
 
At start of period
 
11

 
12

 
21

Acquisitions
 

 

 

Dispositions
 
(1
)
 
(1
)
 
(8
)
Chartered in
 

 

 
(1
)
At end of period
 
10

 
11

 
12

 
Suezmax OBOs
 
 
 
 
 
 
At start of period
 
1

 
5

 
8

Acquisitions
 

 

 

Dispositions
 
(1
)
 
(4
)
 
(3
)
Chartered in
 

 

 

At end of period
 

 
1

 
5

 
Total fleet
 
 
 
 
 
 
At start of period
 
39

 
48

 
73

Acquisitions
 

 

 
1

Dispositions
 
(4
)
 
(7
)
 
(21
)
Chartered in
 
(2
)
 
(2
)
 
(5
)
At end of period
 
33

 
39

 
48



33



Summary of Fleet Employment

As discussed below, our vessels are operated under time charters, bareboat charters and voyage charters.
 
 
As of December 31,
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
Number of vessels

 
Percentage of fleet

 
Number of vessels

 
Percentage
of fleet

 
Number of vessels

 
Percentage of fleet

VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Spot or pool
20

 
87
%
 
21

 
78
%
 
15

 
48
%
Spot related time charter

 

 

 

 
8

 
26
%
Time charter

 

 
1

 
4
%
 
1

 
3
%
Bareboat charter
3

 
13
%
 
5

 
18
%
 
7

 
23
%
Total
23

 
100
%
 
27

 
100
%
 
31

 
100
%
Suezmax
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Spot or pool
7

 
70
%
 
7

 
64
%
 
6

 
50
%
Spot related time charter

 

 
1

 
9
%
 
2

 
17
%
Time charter

 

 

 

 
1

 
8
%
Bareboat charter
3

 
30
%
 
3

 
27
%
 
3

 
25
%
Total
10

 
100
%
 
11

 
100
%
 
12

 
100
%
Suezmax OBOs
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Spot or pool

 

 
1

 
100
%
 

 

Time charter

 

 

 

 
5

 
100
%
Total

 

 
1

 
100
%
 
5

 
100
%
Total fleet
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Spot or pool
27

 
82
%
 
29

 
74
%
 
21

 
44
%
Spot related time charter

 

 
1

 
3
%
 
10

 
21
%
Time charter

 

 
1

 
3
%
 
7

 
15
%
Bareboat charter
6

 
18
%
 
8

 
20
%
 
10

 
20
%
Total
33

 
100
%
 
39

 
100
%
 
48

 
100
%

Market Overview and Trend Information

The market rate for a VLCC trading on a standard ‘TD3’ voyage between the Arabian Gulf and Japan in the fourth quarter of 2013 was WS 53, representing an increase of WS 17 points from the third quarter of 2013 and an increase of WS 10 points from the fourth quarter of 2012. The flat rate increased by 9.1 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The market rate for a Suezmax trading on a standard 'TD5' voyage between West Africa and Philadelphia in the fourth quarter of 2013 was WS 66, representing an increase of WS 10 points from the third quarter of 2013 and an increase of WS 5 points from the fourth quarter of 2012. The flat rate increased by 9.3 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Bunkers at Fujairah averaged $615/mt in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $660/mt in the third quarter of 2013. Bunker prices varied between a high of $629/mt on November 1 and a low of $604.5/mt on October 2.

The International Energy Agency's ("IEA") February 2014 report stated an OPEC crude production, including Iraq, of 29.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in the fourth of 2013. This was a decrease of 0.8 mb/d compared to the third quarter of 2013 due to Libyan production collapsing and Iraq being unable to sustain the record levels seen earlier in the year. 

The IEA estimates that world oil demand averaged 92.2 mb/d in the fourth quarter of 2013, which is an increase of 0.2 mb/d compared to the previous quarter. IEA estimates that world oil demand in 2014 will be 92.6 mb/d, representing an increase of 1.4 percent or 1.3 mb/d from 2013.


34



The VLCC fleet totaled 623 vessels at the end of 2013 compared with 622 vessels at the end of 2012. The order book counted 82 vessels at the end of 2013, which represents approximately 13 percent of the VLCC fleet. According to industry sources, there is one remaining single hull vessel.

The Suezmax fleet totaled 446 vessels at the end of 2013 compared with 468 vessels at the end of 2012. The order book counted 40 vessels at the end of 2013, which represents approximately nine percent of the Suezmax fleet. According to industry sources, there are three remaining single hull vessels.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of our financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires that management make estimates and assumptions affecting the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period.

Management believes that the following accounting policies are the most critical in fully understanding and evaluating our reported financial results as they require a higher degree of judgment in their application resulting from the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. See Note 2 to our audited Consolidated Financial Statements included herein for details of all of our material accounting policies.

Revenue and expense recognition

Revenues and expenses are recognized on the accruals basis. Revenues are generated from voyage charter, time charter and bareboat charter hires. Voyage revenues are recognized ratably over the estimated length of each voyage and, therefore, are allocated between reporting periods based on the relative transit time in each period. Voyage expenses are recognized as incurred. Probable losses on voyages are provided for in full at the time such losses can be estimated. Time charter and bareboat charter revenues are recorded over the term of the charter as service is provided. The Company uses a discharge-to-discharge basis in determining percentage of completion for all spot voyages and voyages servicing contracts of affreightment whereby it recognizes revenue ratably from when product is discharged (unloaded) at the end of one voyage to when it is discharged after the next voyage. However, the Company does not recognize revenue if a charter has not been contractually committed to by a customer and the Company, even if the vessel has discharged its cargo and is sailing to the anticipated load port on its next voyage.

Profit share expense represents amounts due to Ship Finance based on 20% (increased to 25% with effect from January 1, 2012) of the excess of vessel revenues earned by the Company over the base hire paid to Ship Finance for chartering in the vessels.
 
Revenues and voyage expenses of the vessels operating in pool arrangements are pooled and the resulting net pool revenues, calculated on a time charter equivalent basis, are allocated to the pool participants according to an agreed formula on the basis of the number of days a vessel operates in the pool. The pools are responsible for paying voyage expenses and distribute net pool revenues to the participants. Pool revenues are reported net of voyage expenses as voyage charter revenue for all periods presented.

Vessels and equipment

The cost of the vessels less estimated residual value is depreciated on a straight-line basis over the vessels' estimated remaining economic useful lives. The estimated economic useful life of the Company's vessels is 25 years. Other equipment is depreciated over its estimated remaining useful life, which approximates five years. The residual value for owned vessels is calculated by multiplying the lightweight tonnage of the vessel by the market price of scrap per tonne. The market price of scrap per tonne is calculated as the 10 year average, up to the date of delivery of the vessel, across the three main recycling markets (Far East, Indian sub continent and Bangladesh). Residual values are reviewed annually.


35



Vessel Impairment

The carrying values of the Company's vessels may not represent their fair market value at any point in time since the market prices of second-hand vessels tend to fluctuate with changes in charter rates and the cost of newbuildings. Historically, both charter rates and vessel values tend to be cyclical. The carrying amounts of vessels held and used by the Company and newbuildings are reviewed for potential impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of a particular vessel may not be fully recoverable. Such indicators may include depressed spot rates and depressed second hand tanker values. In such instances, an impairment charge would be recognized if the estimate of the undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the vessel and its eventual disposition is less than the vessel's carrying amount. The impairment charge is measured as the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the estimated fair value. This assessment is made at the individual vessel level as separately identifiable cash flow information for each vessel is available.

In developing estimates of future cash flows, the Company must make assumptions about future performance, with significant assumptions being related to charter rates, ship operating expenses, utilization, drydocking requirements, residual value, the estimated remaining useful lives of the vessels and the probability of lease terminations for vessels held under capital lease. These assumptions are based on historical trends as well as future expectations. Specifically, in estimating future charter rates, management takes into consideration rates currently in effect for existing time charters and estimated daily time charter equivalent rates for each vessel class for the unfixed days over the estimated remaining lives of each of the vessels. The estimated daily time charter equivalent rates used for unfixed days are based on a combination of (i) time charter forecasts, and (ii) the trailing 20-year historical average rates, based on quarterly average rates published by an independent third party maritime research service. Recognizing that the transportation of crude oil is cyclical and subject to significant volatility based on factors beyond the Company's control, management believes the use of estimates based on the combination of internally forecasted rates and 20-year historical average rates calculated as of the reporting date to be reasonable.

Estimated outflows for operating expenses and drydocking requirements are based on historical and budgeted costs and are adjusted for assumed inflation. Finally, utilization is based on historical levels achieved and estimates of a residual value are consistent with the pattern of scrap rates used in management's evaluation of salvage value.

The more significant factors that could impact management's assumptions regarding time charter equivalent rates include (i) loss or reduction in business from significant customers, (ii) unanticipated changes in demand for transportation of crude oil and dry bulk cargoes, (iii) changes in production of or demand for oil, generally or in particular regions, (iv) greater than anticipated levels of tanker newbuilding orders or lower than anticipated levels of tanker scrappings, and (v) changes in rules and regulations applicable to the tanker industry, including legislation adopted by international organizations such as IMO and the EU or by individual countries. Although management believes that the assumptions used to evaluate potential impairment are reasonable and appropriate at the time they were made, such assumptions are highly subjective and likely to change, possibly materially, in the future. There can be no assurance as to how long charter rates and vessel values will remain at their current low levels or whether they will improve by a significant degree. If charter rates were to remain at depressed levels future assessments of vessel impairment would be adversely affected.

The following table summarizes the actual rates used by the Company in its impairment testing at December 31, 2013, together with the actual rates achieved in the fourth quarter of 2013, for its VLCCs and Suezmax tankers;
 
Rates Used (1)
 
($ per day)
First three years

Thereafter
Actual rate (2)

VLCC
25,800

38,000 and 41,500
22,400

Suezmax
19,800

30,400 and 32,800
12,900

1.
The Company uses time charter rates for three years and a 20-year historical average rate thereafter. The Company uses different historical average rates to reflect the fact that vessels may trade at lower rates once they reach the age of 15 years.
2.
The actual rate is the average rate achieved by the Company's vessels in the fourth quarter of 2013.

36



During 2013, the Company identified three vessels held under capital lease where they believed that future cash flows for each vessel was less than the carrying value and, therefore, not fully recoverable. The Company recorded an impairment loss of $103.7 million in 2013. The loss relates to three vessels leased from Ship Finance and recorded as vessels under capital lease - Golden Victory ($45.6 million), Front Champion ($42.5 million) and Front Century ($15.6 million). The impairment loss recorded on each vessel is equal to the difference between the asset's carrying value and estimated fair value. The leases on Front Champion and Golden Victory were terminated in November 2013 and a 100% lease termination probability was assigned to these two vessels as of September 30, 2013. The fair value of Front Century was determined using expected future cash flows from the leased vessel.

If the trailing 1-year and 3-year historical average rates had been used in the cash flow forecasts then the carrying values of 21 and eight of the Company's VLCCs and Suezmax tankers (owned and held under capital lease) would not have been recovered. This would have resulted in an impairment loss in 2013 of approximately $540.1 million and approximately $530.7 million, respectively, when using trailing 1-year and 3-year historical average rates.

If the trailing 5-year historical average rates had been used in the cash flow forecasts then the carrying values of 15 and three of the Company's VLCCs and Suezmax tankers (owned and held under capital lease), respectively, would not have been recovered. This would have resulted in an impairment loss in 2013 of approximately $292.8 million.

If the trailing 1-year, 3-year and 5-year historical average rates had been used in the cash flow forecasts then the carrying values of the two newbuildings would not have been recovered. This would have resulted in an impairment loss in 2013 of approximately $10.2 million.

Our Fleet – Comparison of Possible Excess of Carrying Value Over Estimated Charter-Free Market Value of Certain Vessels
 
In "Critical Accounting Policies – Vessel Impairment" we discuss our policy for impairing the carrying values of our vessels. During the past few years, the market values of vessels have experienced particular volatility, with substantial declines in many vessel classes. As a result, the charter-free market value, or basic market value, of certain of our vessels may have declined below those vessels' carrying value, even though we did not impair those vessels' carrying value under our accounting impairment policy, due to our belief that future undiscounted cash flows expected to be earned by such vessels over their operating lives would exceed such vessels' carrying amounts.

Our estimates of basic market value assume that our vessels are all in good and seaworthy condition without need for repair and, if inspected, would be certified in class without notations of any kind. Our estimates are based on the estimated market values for our vessels that we have received from independent ship brokers and are inherently uncertain. In addition, vessel values are highly volatile; as such, our estimates may not be indicative of the current or future basic market value of our vessels or prices that we could achieve if we were to sell them.

The table set forth below indicates the carrying value of each of our owned vessels as of December 31, 2013 and 2012. As of December 31, 2013, 2012 and the date of this annual report, we were not holding any of the vessels listed in the table below as held for sale. We believe that the future undiscounted cash flows expected to be earned by those vessels, which have experienced a decline in charter-free market value below such vessels' carrying value, over their operating lives would exceed such vessels' carrying values as of December 31, 2013, and accordingly, have not recorded an impairment charge. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carrying Value at Dec 31
 
 
Vessel
 
 
 
Built
 
 
Approximate
Dwt.

 
2013

 
2012

VLCCs
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Ulriken
 
1998
 
310,000

 
40.6

 
43.5

Ulysses (ex-Phoenix Voyager )
 
1999
 
308,500

 
41.7

 
44.6

Pioneer
 
1999
 
307,000

 
43.6

 
46.5

British Progress
 
2000
 
307,000

 
45.2

 
48.1

British Pride
 
2000
 
307,000

 
46.6

 
49.5

British Purpose
 
2000
 
307,000

 
45.7

 
48.7

 
 
 
 
 
 
263.4

 
280.9



37



We believe the basic charter-free market value for each of the six vessels owned at December 31, 2013 as shown in the table above is lower than the vessel's carrying value. We believe that the aggregate carrying value of these vessels exceeds their aggregate basic charter-free market value by $106.9 million. We refer you to the risk factor entitled "Because the market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly, we may incur losses when we sell vessels which may adversely affect our earnings" and the discussion herein under the heading "Business Overview".

In March 2014, a subsidiary of ITCL entered into an agreement to sell the VLCC Ulysses (ex-Phoenix Voyager) to an unrelated third party. The vessel was delivered to the buyer on March 11, 2014 and we expect to record a loss of approximately $15.3 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Vessels and equipment under capital lease

The Company charters in certain vessels and equipment under leasing agreements. Leases of vessels and equipment, where the Company has substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership, are classified as capital leases. Capital leases are capitalized at the inception of the lease at the lower of the fair value of the leased assets and the present value of the minimum lease payments.

Each lease payment is allocated between liability and finance charges to achieve a constant rate on the finance balance outstanding. The interest element of the finance cost is charged to the income statement over the lease period.

When the terms of a lease are modified, other than by renewing the lease or extending its term, the lease is reassessed as if the new terms where in place at inception of the lease. If this results in a different classification of the lease then the modification is considered a new agreement and accounted for as such from the date the modification came into effect. If the provisions of a capital lease are changed in a way that changes the amount of the remaining minimum lease payments, the present balances of the asset and the obligation are adjusted by an amount equal to the difference between the present value of the future minimum lease payments under the revised or new agreement (computed using the interest rate used to recognize the lease initially) and the present balance of the obligation.

Where the provisions of a capital lease contain a floating rate element, such as an index linked rate of hire, then the minimum lease payments are assumed to equal the index at inception of the lease. Any variations in the index, and therefore the payments made, are accounted for as contingent rental income or expense and are taken to the statement of operations in the period in which they become realizable and recorded within 'Contingent rental (income) expense'.

Depreciation of vessels and equipment under capital lease is included within "depreciation" in the consolidated statement of operations. Vessels and equipment under capital lease are depreciated on a straight-line basis over the vessels' remaining economic useful lives or on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. The method applied is determined by the criteria by which the lease has been assessed to be a capital lease.

Factors Affecting our Results

The principal factors which affect our results of operations and financial position include:

the earnings of our vessels;
gains and losses from the sale of assets and amortization of deferred gains;
vessel operating expenses;
impairment losses on vessels;
contingent rental (income) expense;
administrative expenses;
depreciation;
interest expense;
equity gains (losses) of unconsolidated subsidiaries and associated companies;
debt conversion expense.

We have derived our earnings from bareboat charters, time charters, voyage charters and pool arrangements. As of December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, 27, 29 and 21, respectively, of our vessels operated in the voyage charter market. The tanker industry has historically been highly cyclical, experiencing volatility in profitability, vessel values and freight rates. In particular, freight and charter rates are strongly influenced by the supply of tanker vessels and the demand for oil transportation services.

Gains and losses from the sale of assets and amortization of deferred gains includes gains or losses from the sale of vessels, sale of subsidiaries, gains and losses from the termination of leases, and the amortization of deferred gains.

38




Operating costs are the direct costs associated with running a vessel and include crew costs, vessel supplies, repairs and maintenance, drydockings, lubricating oils and insurance.

An impairment loss on a vessel, equal to the difference between the vessel's carrying value and fair value, is recognized when the estimated future net undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying value of the vessel.

The contingent rental (income) expense represents amounts accrued following changes to certain charter parties. In December 2011, the Company and Ship Finance agreed to a rate reduction of $6,500 per day for all vessels leased from Ship Finance under long-term leases for a four year period that commenced on January 1, 2012. The Company will compensate Ship Finance with 100% of any difference between the renegotiated rates and the average vessel earnings up to the original contract rates. In December 2011, the Company agreed to a rate reduction on four vessels leased from German KG companies whereby the Company will pay a reduced rate and an additional amount dependent on the actual index rate. Contingent rental (income) expense represents amounts accrued following changes to these charter parties.

Administrative expenses are comprised of general corporate overhead expenses, including personnel costs, property costs, legal and professional fees and other general administrative expenses. Personnel costs include, among other things, salaries, pension costs, fringe benefits, travel costs and health insurance.

Equity gains (losses) of unconsolidated subsidiaries and associated companies includes the Company's share of the investees' earnings or losses and gains arising on the dilution of the Company's shareholding in such companies.

Debt conversion expense in 2013 relates to the conversion of $25.0 million of the Company's convertible bonds into shares and cash. As the conversion was agreed at more favorable terms than the original bond, this was treated as an inducement and the Company recognized a debt conversion expense.

Depreciation, or the periodic costs charged to our income for the reduction in usefulness and long-term value of our vessels, is also related to the number of vessels we own or lease. We depreciate the cost of vessels we own, less their estimated residual value, over their estimated useful life on a straight-line basis. We depreciate the cost of vessels held under capital lease over the term of the lease. No charge is made for depreciation of vessels under construction until they are delivered.

Interest expense relates to vessel specific debt facilities, corporate debt and capital leases. Interest expense depends on our overall borrowing levels and may significantly increase when we acquire vessels or on the delivery of newbuildings. Interest incurred during the construction of a newbuilding is capitalized in the cost of the newbuilding. Interest expense may also change with prevailing interest rates, although the effect of these changes may be reduced by interest rate swaps or other derivative instruments.

Lack of Historical Operating Data for Vessels before their Acquisition

Consistent with shipping industry practice, other than inspection of the physical condition of the vessels and examinations of classification society records, there is no historical financial due diligence process when we acquire vessels. Accordingly, we do not obtain the historical operating data for the vessels from the sellers because that information is not material to our decision to make acquisitions, nor do we believe it would be helpful to potential investors in our Ordinary Shares in assessing our business or profitability. Most vessels are sold under a standardized agreement, which, among other things, provides the buyer with the right to inspect the vessel and the vessel's classification society records. The standard agreement does not give the buyer the right to inspect, or receive copies of, the historical operating data of the vessel. Prior to the delivery of a purchased vessel, the seller typically removes from the vessel all records, including past financial records and accounts related to the vessel. In addition, the technical management agreement between the seller's technical manager and the seller is automatically terminated and the vessel's trading certificates are revoked by its flag state following a change in ownership.

Consistent with shipping industry practice, we treat the acquisition of a vessel (whether acquired with or without charter) as the acquisition of an asset rather than a business. Although vessels are generally acquired free of charter, we have agreed to acquire (and may in the future acquire) some vessels with time charters. Where a vessel has been under a voyage charter, the vessel is delivered to the buyer free of charter. It is rare in the shipping industry for the last charterer of the vessel in the hands of the seller to continue as the first charterer of the vessel in the hands of the buyer. In most cases, when a vessel is under time charter and the buyer wishes to assume that charter, the vessel cannot be acquired without the charterer's consent and the buyer's entering into a separate direct agreement with the charterer to assume the charter. The purchase of a vessel itself does not transfer the charter, because it is a separate service agreement between the vessel owner and the charterer. When we purchase a vessel and assume a related time charter, we must take the following steps before the vessel will be ready to commence operations:


39



obtain the charterer's consent to us as the new owner;
obtain the charterer's consent to a new technical manager;
in some cases, obtain the charterer's consent to a new flag for the vessel;
arrange for a new crew for the vessel;
replace all hired equipment on board, such as gas cylinders and communication equipment;
negotiate and enter into new insurance contracts for the vessel through our own insurance brokers;
register the vessel under a flag state and perform the related inspections in order to obtain new trading certificates from the flag state;
implement a new planned maintenance program for the vessel; and
ensure that the new technical manager obtains new certificates for compliance with the safety and vessel security regulations of the flag state.

 Inflation

Although inflation has had a moderate impact on our vessel operating expenses and corporate overheads, management does not consider inflation to be a significant risk to direct costs in the current and foreseeable economic environment. It is anticipated that insurance costs, which have risen over the last three years, may well continue to rise moderately over the next few years. Oil transportation is a specialized area and the number of vessels is increasing. There will therefore be an increased demand for qualified crew and this has and will continue to put inflationary pressure on crew costs. However, in a shipping downturn, costs subject to inflation can usually be controlled because shipping companies typically monitor costs to preserve liquidity and encourage suppliers and service providers to lower rates and prices in the event of a downturn.

Year ended December 31, 2013 compared with the year ended December 31, 2012

Total operating revenues and voyage expenses and commission
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Voyage charter revenues
 
440,584

 
452,890

 
(12,306
)
 
(2.7
)
Time charter revenues
 
26,843

 
66,313

 
(39,470
)
 
(59.5
)
Bareboat charter revenues
 
24,009

 
33,373

 
(9,364
)
 
(28.1
)
Other income
 
25,754

 
25,785

 
(31
)
 
(0.1
)
Total operating revenues
 
517,190

 
578,361

 
(61,171
)
 
(10.6
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Voyage expenses and commissions
 
299,741

 
269,845

 
29,896

 
11.1


Voyage charter revenues decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the following reasons:

four VLCCs and three Suezmax tankers, which were chartered-in, were redelivered by the Company between January 2012 and May 2013, resulting in a decrease in revenues of $58.8 million,
a reduction in market rates, resulting in a decrease in revenues from the Company's VLCCs of $41.6 million,
an increase in off-hire and waiting days, resulting in a decrease in revenues of $19.8 million, and
one Suezmax tanker was sold to an unrelated third party, resulting in a decrease in revenues of $1.2 million.

These factors were partially offset by:

nine VLCCs and two Suezmax tankers, which commenced trading in the spot market upon redelivery to the Company from time charter contracts between March 2012 and September 2013, resulting in an increase in revenues of $64.8 million,
one VLCC, which commenced trading in the spot market in March 2013 upon redelivery to the Company from a bareboat contract, resulting in an increase in revenues of $11.4 million, and
a $32.1 million increase in revenues due to the redelivery of six Suezmax tankers from pooling arrangements under which revenues were received net of voyage expenses in 2012 and are now recognized gross.

Time charter revenues decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the following reasons:


40



nine VLCCs and two Suezmax tankers commenced trading in the spot market upon redelivery to the Company from time charter contracts between March 2012 and September 2013, resulting in a decrease in revenues of $38.7 million, and
a decrease of $1.7 million on a floating rate time charter contract as a result of a reduction in market rates.

Bareboat charter revenues decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the termination of the bareboat contract on one VLCC in March 2013 resulting in a decrease in revenues of $8.3 million. The vessel commenced trading in the spot market in March 2013.

Voyage expenses and commissions increased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the following reasons:

eleven VLCCs and two Suezmax tankers, which commenced trading in the spot market between March 2012 and September 2013 upon redelivery from time charter and bareboat charter contracts, resulting in an increase in voyage costs of $60.1 million, and
a $34.9 million increase in voyage costs due to the redelivery of six Suezmax tankers from pooling arrangements under which voyage costs were netted against voyage revenues in 2012 and are now recognized gross.

These factors were partially offset by:

a $34.9 million decrease in voyage expenses due to the impact of slower steaming and increases in both waiting time and off-hire days on bunker consumption, and
the redelivery by the Company of four VLCCs chartered-in under operating leases between January 2012 and May 2013, leading to a decrease in voyage expenses of $27.3 million.

Gain on sale of assets and amortization of deferred gains
 
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Net gain on lease terminations
 
21,237

 
21,806

 
(569
)
 
(2.6
)
Net loss on sale of assets
 

 
(2,109
)
 
2,109

 
(100.0
)
Amortization of deferred gains
 
2,321

 
15,062

 
(12,741
)
 
(84.6
)
 
 
23,558

 
34,759

 
(11,201
)
 
(32.2
)
 
The net gain on lease terminations in each period presented relates to the termination of leases for vessels that were leased in by the Company. The net gain on lease terminations in 2013 comprises (i) a gain of $7.6 million resulting from the termination of the long-term charter party for the Edinburgh (ex Titan Aries), (ii) a gain of $5.8 million resulting from the termination of the long-term charter party for the Golden Victory, (iii) a gain of $8.0 million resulting from the termination of the long-term charter party for the Front Champion, and (iv) a loss of $0.2 million resulting from the termination of the long-term charter party for the Front Pride. The net gain on lease terminations in 2012 resulted from the termination of the long-term charter party agreements for Titan Orion (ex-Front Duke) and Ticen Ocean (ex-Front Lady).

The loss on sale of assets 2012 represents the loss from the sale of the Front Alfa.

The amortization of deferred gains in 2013 and 2012 represents the amortization of the deferred gains resulting from the sales and lease back of the Front Shanghai (renamed Gulf Eyadah) and the Front Eagle (renamed DHT Eagle). There were no unamortized gains as of December 31, 2013.

Ship operating expenses
 
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

VLCC
 
84,181

 
89,027

 
(4,846
)
 
(5.4
)
Suezmax
 
25,691

 
29,354

 
(3,663
)
 
(12.5
)
Total ship operating expenses
 
109,872

 
118,381

 
(8,509
)
 
(7.2
)

VLCC operating costs decreased 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the following reasons:


41



A decrease of $3.6 million due to lower drydocking expenses as only three vessels docked in 2013, compared to eight in 2012.
A decrease of $0.9 million due to the termination of the long-term time charters on two chartered-in vessels
A decrease in repairs and maintenance costs of $1.1 million
A decrease in crew costs of $0.6 million
A decrease in other operating expenses of $0.6 million

These factors were partially offset by an increase of $2.0 million due to the redelivery of one double hull VLCC and two single hull VLCCs from bareboat charter between December 2012 and March 2013.

Suezmax operating costs decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to a $2.6 million decrease due to the termination of the lease on one vessel in February 2013 and a $0.8 million decrease due to the sale of one vessel in March 2012.

Contingent rental (income) expense
 
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Contingent rental (income) expense
 
(7,761
)
 
22,456

 
(30,217
)
 
(134.6
)

The contingent rental (income) expense represents amounts accrued following changes to certain charter parties. In December 2011, the Company and Ship Finance agreed to a rate reduction of $6,500 per day for all vessels leased from Ship Finance under long-term leases for a four year period that commenced on January 1, 2012. The Company compensates Ship Finance with 100% of any difference between the renegotiated rates and the average vessel earnings up to the original contract rates. In December 2011, the Company also agreed to a rate reduction on four vessels leased from German KG companies whereby the Company will pay a reduced rate and an additional amount dependent on the actual index rate.

In the year ended December 31, 2013, there was income of $7.8 million relating to the four vessels leased from the German KG companies as the amounts paid were lower than the index that was used to record the leases when they were amended in December 2011. $4.0 million of this amount relates to the year ended December 31, 2013 and $3.8 million relates to the year ended December 31, 2012. The contingent rental expense relating to the Ship Finance vessels was nil.

In the year ended December 31, 2012 the contingent rental expense relating to the four German KG vessels and the Ship Finance vessels was $2.4 million and $20.1 million, respectively.

Charter hire expenses
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Charter hire expense
 
4,176

 
37,461

 
(33,285
)
 
(88.9
)
 
Charter hire expense decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to the redelivery by the Company of four double-hull VLCCs between January 2012 and May 2013, three single-hull VLCCs between March 2012 and January 2013 and two Suezmax tankers in October and November 2012.

Administrative expenses
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Administrative expenses
 
31,628

 
33,906

 
(2,278
)
 
(6.7
)

Administrative expenses have decreased in 2013 as compared with 2012 primarily due to a decrease in staff related costs.
 
Impairment loss and depreciation 

42



 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Depreciation
 
99,802

 
107,437

 
(7,635
)
 
(7.1
)
Impairment loss
 
103,724

 
4,726

 
98,998

 
2,094.8


Depreciation decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012 primarily due to a decrease of $4.7 million due to the termination of the leases on the two VLCCs in November 2013, one Suezmax tanker in February 2013 and the sale of one Suezmax tanker in March 2012, and a decrease of $2.9 million due to the impairment charge recorded on three VLCCs in 2013.

The vessel impairment loss of $103.7 million in 2013 relates to three vessels leased from Ship Finance (Front Century, Front Champion and Golden Victory). All vessels are recorded as vessels under capital lease. The leases on Front Champion and Golden Victory were terminated in November 2013 and a 100% lease termination probability was assigned to these two vessels as of September 30, 2013. The fair value of Front Century was determined using discounted expected future cash flows from the leased vessel. The impairment loss in 2012 relates to one Suezmax tanker (Front Pride).

Interest income
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%

Interest income
 
83

 
130

 
(47
)
 
(36.2
)

Interest income in 2013 and 2012 relates solely to interest received on bank deposits.
 
Interest expense
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012

 
$

 
%
Interest expense
 
(90,718
)
 
(94,089
)
 
3,371

 
3.6

Interest expense decreased in 2013 as compared with 2012 primarily due to the following reasons;

a $3.2 million decrease in capital lease interest expense as a result of lower capital lease obligations,
a $1.5 million decrease in capital lease interest expense as a result of the termination of long-term charter parties on two VLCCs in November 2013 and one Suezmax tanker in March 2013, and
a $0.7 million decrease in loan interest expense as a result of an increase in capitalized interest.

These factors were partially offset by:

a $1.8 million charge for the amortization of the debt discount on the 7.84% First Preferred Mortgage Term Notes, and
a $0.7 million interest charge on the notes payable to Ship Finance, which were issued following the early termination of the leases on Front Champion and Golden Victory.

Equity gains (losses) of unconsolidated subsidiaries and associated companies
 
 
 
 
Change
(in thousands of $)
 
2013

 
2012