cause uncertainty in the world financial markets, including the energy markets. Continuing hostilities in the Middle East may lead to additional refugee flows, armed conflicts or to further acts
of terrorism and civil disturbance in the United States or elsewhere, which could result in increased volatility and turmoil in the financial markets and may contribute further to economic instability. Current and future conflicts and terrorist
attacks may adversely affect our business, operating results, financial condition, ability to raise capital and future growth. Terrorist attacks on vessels, such as the October 2002 attack on the M/V Limburg, a VLCC not related to us, may in the
future also negatively affect our operations and financial condition and directly impact our vessels or our customers.
In addition, oil
facilities, shipyards, vessels, pipelines and oil and gas fields could be targets of future terrorist attacks. Any such attacks could lead to, among other things, bodily injury or loss of life, vessel or other property damage, increased vessel
operational costs, including insurance costs, and the inability to transport oil and other refined products to or from certain locations. Terrorist attacks, war, sanctions against oil exporting countries or other events beyond our control that
adversely affect the distribution, production or transportation of oil and other refined products to be shipped by us could entitle our customers to terminate our charter contracts, which would harm our cash flow and our business.
Furthermore, our operations may be adversely affected by changing or adverse political and governmental conditions in the countries where our
vessels are flagged or registered and in the regions where we otherwise engage in business. Any disruption caused by these factors may interfere with the operation of our vessels, which could harm our business, financial condition and results of
operations. Our operations may also be adversely affected by expropriation of vessels, taxes, regulation, tariffs, trade embargoes, economic sanctions or a disruption of or limit to trading activities, or other adverse events or circumstances in or
affecting the countries and regions where we operate or where we may operate in the future.
Governments could requisition vessels of a target
business during a period of war or emergency, resulting in a loss of earnings.
A government could requisition a business
vessels for title or hire. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes her owner, while requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and effectively becomes her charterer at
dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during periods of war or emergency, although governments may elect to requisition vessels in other circumstances. Although we would be entitled to compensation in the event of a requisition of
one or more of our vessels, requisition of one or more of our vessels would have a substantial negative effect on us as we would potentially lose all revenues and earnings from the requisitioned vessels and permanently lose the vessels. Such losses
might be partially offset if the requisitioning government compensated us for the requisition.
Disruptions in world financial markets and the
resulting governmental action in Europe, the United States and in other parts of the world could have a material adverse impact on our ability to obtain financing required to acquire vessels or new businesses. Furthermore, such a disruption would
materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Global financial markets and economic
conditions have been severely disrupted and volatile in recent years and remain subject to significant vulnerabilities, such as the deterioration of fiscal balances and the rapid accumulation of public debt, continued deleveraging in the banking
sector and a limited supply of credit. Continuing turmoil and hostilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, other current conflicts, the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East and continuing concerns relating to the European sovereign debt
crisis, the socioeconomic and political crisis in Venezuela and the United Kingdoms pending exit from the European Union have led to increased volatility in global credit and equity markets. Several European countries, including Greece, have
been affected by increasing public debt burdens and weakening economic growth prospects. In recent years, Standard and Poors Rating Services and Moodys Investors Service downgraded the long-term ratings of most European countries
sovereign debt and initiated negative outlooks. Such downgrades could