Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd announces non-renewal of BP shipping charters

Hamilton, Bermuda, October 1, 2003. Nordic American Tanker Shipping Limited (AMEX:NAT,OSE:NAT) (the “Company”) today announced that BP Shipping Ltd. (“BP”) the charterer of the Company’s 3 Suezmax tankers, has not delivered notice of exercise of its options to extend the charters, which was due today.  Accordingly, the charters will terminate on October 1, 2004, subject to a redelivery window for the vessels of between September 1, 2004 and November 1, 2004.
Under the Company’s Bye-Laws, the Company is obligated to call a special meeting of shareholders no later than April 1, 2004, to consider a proposal to sell the vessels and distribute the net proceeds to shareholders or to assess other alternatives.  The proposal is to be accompanied by the recommendation of the Company’s Board of Directors as to whether it believes that the sale of the vessels is in the Company’s best interests, or whether an alternative plan, such as attempting to arrange replacement charters, might be of greater benefit.  The Company expects to mail materials approximately 3-4 weeks before the meeting.
As previously announced by the Company, in the absence of a renewal by BP of its option for all 3 vessels, the following alternatives are possible:
  •         The renegotiation by the Company and BP of the charters.
  •         The employment by the Company of the vessels in the spot market as from October 1, 2004.
  •         The long-term charter of the vessels to other end-users than BP.
  •         The sale of the vessels and the distribution of the proceeds to the company’s shareholders.
  •         Any combination of these alternatives.
    In connection with the special shareholders’ meeting, the Board is expected to consider whether the alternatives other than the sale of all of the vessels as outlined above, might be of greater benefit to shareholders.
    The Company also announced that it has been approached on an unsolicited basis by major international shipping companies expressing an interest in cooperating with the Company with the view to developing the Company further.  At present, the Company has received no formal offers.
    Gary J. Wolfe
    Seward & Kissel, New York, USA
    Tel: (1) 212  574 1223
    Scandic American Shipping Ltd
    P.O Box 56
    3201 Sandefjord
    Tel: + 47 33 44 61 40, or +47 901 46 291, e-mail: or
    Rolf Amundsen
    Amundsen Partners, Oslo, Norway
    Tel: + 47 908 26 906