THE WALL STREET JOURNALBy
SOUTHWOLD, England — Café owner Ken Kennard sees the glut in the global oil market as a potential environmental threat to this sleepy seaside tourist hub.
Mr. Kennard is worried about a fleet of oil tankers — almost 40 in all, each packing hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude and oil-derived products — that have anchored several miles off the coast of southeast England in recent months.
The heavy traffic stems from a near-record excess oil supply, a byproduct of the recession, that is prompting producers to stash oil offshore until they can find customers. The excess supply hasn’t stopped oil prices from surging almost 80% this year and padding the pockets of big oil producers like PLC and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Oil tankers have had a small presence off Southwold’s coast for almost two decades, a function of the relatively calm waters and proximity to European and U.S. markets. But the armada’s growth in recent months has...