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Oil Steadies as Equities Rally

Recovering stock markets boost oil prices; U.S. crude on track for first weekly gain in nine weeks. Oil prices steadied on Friday after bouncing back from six-and-a-half-year lows on recovering equities markets, strong U.S. economic growth and news of low crude supplies from Nigeria. Oil saw its biggest one-day bounce since 2009 on Thursday, with North Sea Brent and U.S. light crude rising more than 10 percent. U.S. crude is on track for its first weekly gain in nine weeks, ending its longest losing streak since 1986. Brent was down 25 cents at $47.31 a barrel by 1200 GMT. It settled $4.42 higher at $47.56 on Thursday. U.S. crude was down 10 cents at $42.46 a barrel, after ending up $3.96. Global oil markets have fallen by a third since May and are still well under half their value a year ago thanks to a huge oversupply of fuel and sluggish demand. Worries over China's economy have compounded the falls in recent weeks. But analysts said oil markets fell too far, too fast and a rebound was overdue. A stock market rise, strong U.S. growth data and a pipeline outage in Nigeria provided excuses for a sharp rally on Thursday, they added. "A price recovery was on the cards at any time given that oil prices had slumped virtually continuously since the end of June by a total of more than 30 percent," said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil and commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Deep-Sea Tremors May Provide Early Warning

Predicting when large earthquakes might occur may be a step closer to reality, thanks to a new study of undersea earthquakes in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The study, reported in today’s Nature, is the first to suggest that small seismic shocks or foreshocks preceding a major earthquake can be used in some cases to predict the main tremors. Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Southern California (USC) report that some types of large

SENESCO Performs Facelift on NOAA’s Albatross IV

Most research ships don’t live to see their 40’s, and to approach 50 is almost unheard-of. But the Albatross IV is quite an exception to this maritime rule. Today, thanks to a recent overhaul at SENESCO’s repair facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, she is back at her home base in Woods Hole, Massachusetts preparing to head back out to sea for another 5-7 years of ocean exploration. The Southeastern New England Shipbuilding Corporation (SENESCO) began its a major overhaul on the

New Chinese Shipbuilder Unveiled

A new, bigger shipbuilder was unveiled in Dalian recently, as part of the restructuring of the city's shipbuilding industry, reported. Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co was formed by the merger of Dalian Shipyard Co and Dalian New Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. Dalian Shipyard, with more than a 100-year history, used to be one of China's big military shipbuilders. Dalian New Shipbuilding, established 15 years ago, was one of the country's biggest shipbuilders

Iran Makes $100 B Oil Find, Major Companies Compete For Big Deals

Iran Makes $100 B Oil Find, Major Companies Compete For Big Deals Iran announced its biggest oil find in 30 years last week, a 26-billion barrel field discovered just as the country drives to revive exploration activities and foreign firms compete for big deals. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the oilfield in the prolific southwest Khuzestan province has the potential to produce up to 400,000 bpd. He said that development on the field, which is close to the Iraqi border

New Barges for Short Sea City

Tug Vivian L. Roehrig watches-over DBL 23, one of the companys new 28,000 BBL JAK-equipped barges. K-Sea has acquired two new tugs so far this year, but still calls-in independents when things get busy. (Photo: Don Sutherland.)

The term short-sea shipping comes up aplenty these days, as the powers-that-be rediscover the practicalities and the economies of waterborne transport. The thinking is renewed and the interest revitalized, but for a lot of harbors nationwide it's deja vu. Take the island city of New York, and the multitudes of communities near and far that are joined to it by inland waters—the rivers, sounds, creeks, streams—all the way up to Albany, to Waterford and the Canal system

CMA CGM Enters Agreements with CSCL, UASC

The CMA CGM Group announced the signature of three major agreements on the biggest worldwide maritime trades with China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC). Under the name of Ocean Three, the agreements; which include a combination of vessel sharings, slot exchanges and slot charters; concern the following maritime trades:  Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Transpacific and Asia-United States East Coast.

Ecopetrol Cartagena Oil Refinery to Restart by March

Colombian state-run oil producer Ecopetrol will fully restart its Cartagena refinery by March, Chief Executive Officer Juan Carlos Echeverry said on Thursday.   The action will make Colombia self-sufficient in refined oil products it has had to import in increasing quantities during the facility's refurbishment, which will more than double its capacity to 165,000 barrels per day.   "We expect that by March at the latest the refinery will be working one hundred percent"

Ship Rechristened to Honor Former Congressman Oberstar

Image courtesy The Interlake Steamship Company

In his 47-year Congressional career, former Congressman Jim Oberstar has received many honors. But few are as big – literally – as the announcement that The Interlake Steamship Company will rename and rechristen one of its massive ships the MV Hon. James L. Oberstar this spring. The vessel will sail from layup in March as the MV Hon. James L. Oberstar, and will be rechristened in a ceremony at Duluth later this spring.  

Shipbuilding – China Hopeful to Double Output

Shipbuilding industry in China has growth potential, may double in 4-years China's shipbuilding industry may double its scale in the next four years on growth potential in sea transport and marine economy, and Shanghai is expected to play a big role toward meeting the goal. By the end of 2015, the market size of shipbuilders and marine equipment makers may hit 1.2 trillion yuan (US$190 billion) with the value of exports touching US$80 billion

Using Big Data for Engine Preventive Maintenance

The Methanol carrier MAYARO. Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd

 Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced that it has started a demonstration test of a next-generation condition-based engine monitoring system called “CMAXS e-GICSX” (electronic Global Internet Customer Support neXt)  aboard the recently delivered methanol carrier MAYARO. 

Amid Commodity Crisis, LPG Emerges as Accidental Bright-spot

Liquefied Petroleum Gas, long a niche product used by the poor to cook and the rich to barbecue, has become a rare bright spot amid a broad commodities rout, riding on the wave of strong economic growth in India and parts of Southeast Asia.  

Captain of Ill-fated El Faro was Known as Trusted Mariner

El Faro (File photo: TOTE)

The captain of the ill-fated cargo ship that sank in a hurricane off the Bahamas with no survivors last week was an experienced and highly trusted mariner who had spent a lifetime on the water, friends and colleagues said.   The captain of El Faro, Michael Davidson of Windham, Maine

IRISL Looks West with New Vessels

Image: Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines

 The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) plans to become one of the world's top ten shipping lines. It plans to modernize its fleet and ally with international shipping majors to tap western markets , reports WSJ.   Mohammad Saeidi

MOL Undertakes CMAXS e-GICSX Test on MAYARO

The Methanol carrier MAYARO

  Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that it has started a demonstration test of a next-generation condition-based engine monitoring system called “CMAXS e-GICSX” (electronic Global Internet Customer Support neXt)(*1) aboard the recently delivered methanol carrier MAYARO

Stiff Competition for Cosco Pacific in Mediterranean

Photo: COSCO Pacific Ltd

 Although Cosco Pacific, the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of China’s biggest shipping company China Cosc,  is expanding in the Mediterranean area after taking part in the acquisition of port in neighbouring Turkey, it faces stiff competition, reports SCMP.  

Search for Ship Lost in Hurricane a Big Challenge


Deep seas may complicate efforts to find the sunken U.S. cargo ship lost off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin, a federal safety investigator said, as a search and rescue mission for 32 missing crew stretched into a sixth day. A U.S. National Transportation Safety Board team arrived on

U.S. Investigators Head to Florida to Probe Ship Lost in Hurricane

El Faro (Photo: NTSB)

Federal safety investigators traveled to Florida on Tuesday to investigate the U.S. container ship lost at sea after being hit by powerful Hurricane Joaquin, leaving one person confirmed dead and 32 others missing. The team from the National Transportation Safety Board left Washington for

Korean Shipbuilders in Red

Photo: Samsung Heavy Industries

 South Korean shipbuilders are struggling with huge losses stemming from the delivery of low-priced ships and a delay in the construction of offshore facilities such as drill ships.   The shipbuilders' earnings are expected to remain in the doldrums until the first half of 2016

Transatlantic Eastbound Rates Fall

Photo: CMA CGM

 Transatlantic eastbound chemical freight rates dropped slightly this week on a continued lull in the spot market, ICIS reports  brokers as saying. It was the second drop in as many weeks.   The latest SSY Base Oil Shipping Report noted that eastbound rates “took a tumble

Smart Box Ship Features Built-in Container Tracking

CMA CGM Bougainville (Photo: CMA CGM)

CMA CGM Bougainville is billed as the first containership in the world to be equipped with TRAXENS technology, which transforms containers into smart, connected objects.   Newly built CMA CGM Bougainville, the 18,000 teu flagship of French container shipping company the CMA CGM Group

New Risks Moving Crude Oil by Rail

ERC-crude by rail-1.jpg

The rapidly changing landscape of crude oil exploration and drilling in the US and Canada, together with economic considerations, logistical issues related to pipeline transport, and the availability of new types of crude oils, including Bakken crude and various forms of bitumen

Ship Operating Costs Down in 2014 -Moore Stephens

Photo: Andrew Aiello

Total annual operating costs in the shipping industry fell by an average of 0.8 percent in 2014, said international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. This compares with the 0.3 percent average fall in costs recorded for 2013

Japan's Chase for Australian Subs Deal

Japans Soryu Class Advanced diesel-electric submarine. Photo: Japanese Navy

 Japan has confirmed it is ready to build Australia’s submarines entirely at local shipyards, after stumbling in its effort to win the A$50 billion ($34.76 billion) contract, reports Reuters.   According to Masaaki Ishikawa

Weapons Bound for Yemen Seized on Iranian Boat

Saudi-led coalition forces said on Wednesday they had seized an Iranian fishing boat loaded with weapons on its way to deliver them to Houthi fighters in Yemen.   The announcement came a day after tribal fighters backed by the coalition won control of a strategic dam in central Yemen from

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