zoom Oslo-listed shipping company Tanker Investments Ltd. recorded the strongest first quarter results since the company’s inception approximately one year ago reapaing the benefits of firm spot tanker rates.During the first quarter of 2015, net revenues increased to USD 42.3 million from USD 27.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 due primarily to higher average spot tanker rates and fewer offhire days for drydocking.Tanker Investments reported net income of USD 19.1 million for the first quarter of 2015 compared to net income of USD 3.7 million in the previous quarter. “Strong spot tanker rates have continued into the second quarter, with spot rates booked to-date that are in-line with the strong rates experienced in the first quarter of 2015. Looking ahead, we expect Tanker Investments will continue to generate strong cash flow from a tanker market currently supported by the strong fundamentals of ongoing low oil prices, low fleet growth, and increasing oil demand,” commented William Hung, Tanker Investments’ Chief Executive Officer.“We will continue to take advantage of the strong tanker market as the final Tanker Investments acquisitions enter the fleet by the end of the second quarter, increasing our fleet size by 43%. Looking ahead, we expect the positive tanker market fundamentals to continue into 2016,” he added.Global tanker fleet grew by 3.3 mdwt, or 0.7 percent, in Q1 2015Crude tanker rates have been counter-seasonally strong in the first half of the second quarter of 2015 due to increased oil demand, which has resulted from on-going low oil prices, record-high Saudi Arabian oil production, and a relatively light refinery maintenance schedule.According to TIL, secondhand crude tanker values remained firm in the first quarter of 2015 and into the start of the second quarter. However, due to a lack of transactions in the first quarter, broker assessed asset values remain relatively untested.“Market sentiment for asset values is expected to remain firm in the coming months based on positive tanker market fundamentals and strong spot rates; however, there is currently a wide gap between sellers’ and buyers’ price ideas for modern crude tankers,” the company said.The global tanker fleet grew by 3.3 million deadweight tonnes (mdwt), or 0.7 percent, in the first quarter of 2015. LR2 fleet growth was the strongest of all mid-sized tanker segments during this period, with growth of 0.8 mdwt, or 2.8 percent.Looking ahead, the global tanker fleet is forecast to grow 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2015, with growth again weighted towards the product tanker sectors. Another year of negative fleet growth is expected for the Suezmax and uncoated Aframax sectors in 2015.“The outlook for crude tanker fleet utilization and spot tanker rates is expected to remain positive in 2015 based on a shrinking mid-size crude tanker fleet and a continued increase in long-haul tanker demand as more crude oil moves from the Atlantic to Pacific basin. The impact of low oil prices is also expected to provide support for tanker demand in the first half of 2015,” TIL forecasts.