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Oil Prices

Weak Oil Threatens US Export of LNG

Plunging global oil prices may turn hopes for cheap liquefied natural gas supplies from the United States into a costly disappointment for Asian buyers who have already invested billions of dollars in long-term contracts. The 26 percent price slide since June to $85 a barrel exposes cracks in the assumption by utilities and industrial companies from Japan to India that cheap U.S. LNG would muscle into high-value Asian energy markets from 2016. Oil prices form the backbone of LNG trade to Asia, because exporters outside the United States typically tie 25-year supply deals to crude oil prices. If prices continue to fall, these suppliers from Qatar to Australia will regain their edge over upstart U.S. producers. "From the buyer's view, $80 oil makes oil-linked supplies less expensive ... it makes U.S. LNG relatively less attractive for buyers," said one industry source with a commercial focus on North American projects. When Asian buyers signed for U.S. supply deals, the discount to rival oil-linked LNG supply was around $1.90 per mmBtu, but now that could be as low as 90 cents, and an oil price of $80 a barrel effectively results in a dead heat. Asian buyers such as Korea Gas Corp., Tokyo Electric and India's Gail now face the potential for a glut of increasingly cheap oil-linked LNG. Projects Suffer

Offshore Recovery Stalled For Now

As crude oil prices reach Gulf War highs and recent memories of historic low crude prices fade, capital spending on finding and developing new oil reserves continue to play catch up. "The recent oil-price crisis set back non-OPEC output growth for at least a year," a recent report released by Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown states, adding, "While currently high oil prices should spur investment, the extensive 16-month price slide should delay any significant output response from non-OPEC producers

Big Oil Profits Expected To Fly High

The near record oil prices have left U.S. oil majors as the envy of industry during the third quarter reporting period, according to many industry analysts. "This is clearly a sector that investors shouldn't worry about having disappointing earnings surprises," said one. "The question is not whether they will beat consensus estimates, but by how much they'll beat estimates," said another. Such expectations from analysts and investors come as crude oil prices in the third-quarter hit

EIA: Would More Crude Oil Help?

Yesterday (April 27), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council co-hosted a conference on “U.S.-Saudi Relations and Global Energy Security.” At this conference, as he has stated recently in other venues, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali al-Naimi, stated that, “There is no general shortage of crude oil in today's market -- supplies are readily available

Venezuela's Oil Falls to $42.44

Image for Venezuelas oil

  Venezuela's petroleum export basket dropped to $42.44 per barrel this week from $47.05 last week to reach a 5-1/2-year low, the Petroleum Ministry said on Friday. The South American OPEC member's basket, which includes crude oil and refined products, trades at a discount to other benchmarks because of its higher content of heavy oil. Venezuelan oil prices averaged $88.42 last year, down from $98.08 in 2013.

China Shipbuilders may Merge to Stay Afloat

Picture by China COSCO Container Shipping

 The China's four state-run shipping-related companies  are reportedly in the initial phases of combining units in order to beef up the national shipbuilding industry, says local media.   The chances of mergers between China Ocean Shipping, China Shipping Container Lines, Sino Trans & CSC Holdings and China Merchants Group  has improved as they now suffer in a lackluster business climate, the Chinese-language Securities Daily reports.  

Oilfield Stocks Take A Hit As Crude Dips Below $30

Profit-taking hit oilfield service and drilling stocks on Monday as U.S. crude oil prices shed over a dollar to dip below $30 a barrel for the first time since February 28. On Monday afternoon, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange's oilfield service index was off 4.82 points or 4.6 percent at 100.03, while U.S. April crude oil futures were $1.23 lower at $29.68 a barrel. Halliburton Co., the world's biggest oilfield service provider, was off more than five percent at 36-3/8 while Schlumberger Ltd

Oil Prices Slip

According to reports, oil prices fell by three per cent Monday, slipping below $59 a barrel as traders looked ahead to U.S. supply data due out Wednesday that is expected to show rising inventories of crude. Doubts about OPEC's ability to implement a 1.2 million barrels a day production cut also weighed on prices. Last week, oil prices surged after the U.S. Energy Department data showed a large decline in crude-oil inventories

DP World: Low Bunker Prices to Fuel Economic Growth

Photo courtesy of DP World

Falling ship operating costs and low bunker prices will translate into higher profitability fueling economic growth, says Dubai-headquartered DP World.   As bunker fuel prices drop, so too could shipping costs. Dubai-headquartered DP World says falling oil prices are good news for global shipping.  It plans to double investments this year, local media reports.   The Chairman of  DP World Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has stated that the fall in oil price may stimulate

OPEC Sees Oil Prices Returning to $80/Barrel by 2020

OPEC forecasters expect oil prices will rise by no more than $5 a barrel a year to reach $80 by 2020, with a slowing in rival non-OPEC production growth not enough to absorb the current oil glut, according to OPEC sources.   The sources said the figures came from an updated mid-term strategy report discussed this week by representatives from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, which has yet to be fully endorsed by OPEC ministers.  

Nigeria's Oil Exports Under Threat

Nigeria's latest effort to combat theft could imperil its oil income lifeline, compounding the damage the crude price fall has done to its finances, access to dollars and imports. Oil traders and shipping brokers said a newly implemented "letter of comfort" requirement under which

Completed GMS Scirocco Gets first Contract

GMS Scirocco

  Gulf Marine Services the provider of advanced self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) serving the offshore oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, informed that the newly-built GMS Scirocco has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget and has been awarded its first

Russia to Deepen Novorossiysk for Larger Ships


 The Russian government plans to spend between $400 to $500 million to expand and deepen the harbor of the Novorossiysk seaport to handle larger vessels, reports Moscow News.   Construction, in order to make it more competitive with Ukrainian ports also on the Black Sea

Moody's Changes Hapag-Lloyd to Positive

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

 Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) changed the rating for German Container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd to positive from stable, thanks to cheaper fuel.   According to  Moody’s the outlook on the B2 corporate family rating (CFR)

Samsung Companies Consider Merger Again

Image: Samsung Engineering

 South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries Co will try again to merge with sister company Samsung Engineering Co Ltd later this year, reports Korea Times.   Samsung Engineering CEO Park Jung-heum has said he will once again pursue a merger talk.  

Risk Profile of Hull Market Improving - IUMI

IUMI’s Ocean Hull Committee Chairman, Mark Edmondson

  IUMI – the International Union of Marine Insurance – at its annual conference in Berlin yesterday announced that global hull premiums for 2014 totalled USD 7.6bn, a 5.8% reduction from 2013. IUMI’s Ocean Hull Committee Chairman, Mark Edmondson, commented

Dry bulk shipping, Tankers Fall Down

Graph: Drewry Maritime Equity Research

 All stocks under Drewry Maritime Equity Research (DMER)’s dry bulk coverage were down and recorded double-digit negative returns, taking cues from vessel earnings.   The BDI shed its gain of the previous two months and nudged down 20% m/m in August led by a fall in the Capesize

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for Third Week on Weak Crude Prices

U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a third week in a row this week, data showed on Friday, a sign the latest crude price weakness was causing drillers to put on hold plans announced several months ago to return to the well pad.   Drillers removed 8 rigs in the week ended Sept

Singapore's Record Fuel Stocks Move to Floating Storage

Record high stocks of fuel oil in Singapore are pushing traders to store the shipping and feedstock fuel into tankers temporarily as demand slows regionally. At least seven very large crude carriers (VLCCs) have been provisionally fixed to store fuel oil on short-term time charters

2 Mobile WROVs with LARS for Swire Seabed

Kystdesign Supporter WROV and Lidan Launch and Recovery Systems

Subsea operation specialist, Swire Seabed, has placed an order for the acquisition of two Kystdesign Supporter Work-Class Remotely Operated Vehicles (WROVs) with Lidan Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS), for delivery in February 2016.  Swire Seabed has the option to purchase two more WROVs

China Shipping Firms, Dynagas Mull Arctic LNG Vessel Deal

China Merchants Energy Shipping, Sinotrans Shipping and Greek shipping firm Dynagas are in talks to form a joint venture to build five vessels to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Arctic, the firms said. China Merchants said in a stock exchange statement on Tuesday that its board had

Report Reveals Missing Value Link Offshore

23092 Next_Level_Report_HR.JPG

A recent survey conducted by Trelleborg’s offshore operation paints a positive industry outlook with decision makers taking a long term ‘value-add’ view. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) rated product quality, responsiveness and skills above cost as the most important

Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration

Fennica, an icebreaker vessel deployed by Shell in the Arctic (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and

Slower China Growth Hurts Global Shipping Sector: Fitch

Image: China Ocean Shipping Company

 China's slower growth and economic transition will pose significant risks for the already struggling shipping sector, rating agency Fitch said.   The shipping sector is already faces overcapacity, weak freight rates and stretched financials.  

NOIA Commends Shell’s Efforts Offshore Alaska

Polar Pioneer rig operating into the floor of the Chukchi Sea

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding Shell’s decision to halt exploration activities offshore Alaska:   “NOIA commends Shell’s efforts in the Chukchi Sea and recognizes the great expense

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