Feb 1 (Reuters) - Belgian oil tanker firm Euronav reported on Thursday fourth-quarter core earnings far above expectations, as it benefited from an increase in maritime oil transport and longer trips due to geopolitical tensions.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $477.7 million in the fourth quarter, beating the $188.41 million expected by six analysts in a LSEG poll.

"Heightened geopolitical tensions, longer ton miles and more oil on the water in transit provided a very supportive background during the quarter," Euronav said.

Attacks by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militants on ships in the Red Sea are disrupting maritime trade, as freight firms reroute around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Suez Canal.

"Maritime crude oil trading patterns are further impacted by the U.S. temporarily lifting the sanctions on oil from Venezuela," Euronav said, adding this could benefit tanker operators if it leads to higher exports to the U.S. and Europe.

The company said on Thursday it would not distribute a dividend for the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Michal Aleksandrowicz and Olivier Sorgho in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Potter)