Marine Link
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

DNV GL launches “Twisties” to Improve Offshore Wind Logistics

Image: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has launched a revolutionary new joint industry project (JIP) to develop a Recommended Practice intended to de-risk the adoption of “Twisties” and demonstrate the unitisation of wind project cargo. The innovative concept is called “Twisties” - a modular project-cargo transport frame system that is sea-fastened using container twist locks – and which gives the frames their name. The increasing…

Simulation: The Centre for Marine Simulation

Photo: The Centre for Marine Simulation

St. CMS operates a range of marine simulation equipment that covers a broad range of marine and offshore activities. Much of the equipment is highly specialized and unique including fully motion capable simulators. The center also provides technical management and support of simulation equipment that is used by other parts of the Marine Institute. CMS simulation activities can be divided into three main areas; Training, Industrial Response, and Applied Research. To support these…

Ocean RIG Files for Bankruptcy Protection in US

Photo: Ocean RIG

Rig contractor Ocean RIG UDW Inc filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court amid a deep and prolonged downturn in the industry. Shares of the company plunged 36.4 percent to 46 cents in early trading on Tuesday. The Cyprus-based company, which had $3.25 billion in debt as of Dec. 31, filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York on Monday. Under U.S. bankruptcy laws, Chapter 15 grants a foreign company protection from creditors looking to seize its assets in the country.

A.P. Moller-Maersk Elects New Chairman to Steer Digital Transformation

Jim Hagemann Snabe (Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk's new chairman committed to automating its systems as the oil and shipping group steps up its drive to become more efficient and save costs at a time of low oil prices and declining freight rates. The more than 100-year-old conglomerate's digital push will mean that in theory, it should be as easy to book a container as booking an airline ticket, Chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe told Reuters shortly after he was elected. "We transport goods in the physical world and that won't change as we won't start beaming things around the world…

C-Job to Provide Basic Design for DEME’s Orion

Photo courtesy of C-Job Naval Architects

Having recently supplied the concept design for DEME Group’s new offshore installation vessel Orion, C-Job Naval Architects said it will now provide COSCO OFFSHORE CO. Ltd (Qidong) with the vessel’s basic design package. Orion will be built at COSCO SHIPPING HEAVY INDUSTRY in China for delivery in 2019. The technical specs of the vessel, to be operated by DEME subsidiary GeoSea, will service offshore wind installation, oil and gas and decommissioning activities. While working on this next phase of ship design…

S.Korean Utilities to Lift 1.5 mln Tons of U.S. Coal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

South Korean utilities jointly bought a total of 1.5 million tonnes of coal from the United States to arrive from the third quarter, a spokesman at one of the utilities said on Tuesday. The purchase comes as South Korea, the world's fourth-largest coal importer, encourages energy companies and utilities to seek U.S. energy resources under pro-fossil fuel Trump administration in an effort to diversify supply sources. Korea Midland Power Co Ltd (KOMIPO) signed the deal to buy the U.S.-origin coal products on behalf of the five utilities, its spokesman said.

Thailand Boosts LNG Imports

Image: PTT LNG

Thailand is signing new contracts for LNG purchases and expanding terminals to boost imports to replace flagging domestic production, Bloomberg reported. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will boost LNG imports by more than 70 percent this year. The report said that the country is doing everything it can to facilitate increased LNG imports to replace the declining domestic production. These include expanding the existing terminals. Producers of the fuel are expected to expand…

Norway's Solstad Offshore, Farstad Shipping and Deep Sea Supply Agree Merger

Photo: Solstad Offshore ASA

Norwegian OSV companies Solstad Offshore, Farstad Shipping and Deep Sea Supply have signed off on merger plans first announced on February 6, 2017. The statutory merger plans have been approved and signed by the boards of Solstad, Farstad, DESSC and Solstad’s relevant subsidiaries, into which Farstad and DESSC will be merged. Deep Sea Supply and Farstad Shipping will merge into and be established as individual subsidiaries under Solstad Offshore, with shareholders of Deep Sea Supply and Farstad Shipping receiving shares in Solstad Offshore as consideration.

Top LNG Buyers Form Alliance to Push for Flexible Contracts

© akiyoko / Adobe Stock

The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move that further shifts power to buyers rather than producers. Japan, China and South Korea are the world's biggest LNG importers, accounting for about 55 percent of global purchases, according to data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The countries' biggest respective buyers are joining together to extract concessions from producers that would give them supply flexibility such as having the right to re-sell imports to third parties…

CNOOC Reports Worst Result Since At Least 2011

File photo: CNOOC

China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd reported its worst annual result since at least 2011, with revenue from its core oil and gas business tumbling 17 percent last year, but it expects to raise output 2017 as oil prices rebound. CNOOC reported a net profit of 637 million yuan ($92.5 million) in 2016, down nearly 97 percent from 20.2 billion yuan in profit in 2015. Total revenue from oil and gas fell to 121 billion yuan from 147 billion yuan in 2015. "CNOOC managed to eke out a tiny profit thanks to cost efficiencies and the oil price rebound during 4Q…

Maersk Reaches Key North Sea Tax Deal with Denmark

File photo: Maersk Oil

Shipping and oil company A. P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Danish state that means it will pay less tax on its North Sea oil and gas activities through 2025. The deal, which has been under negotiation for months, makes it viable to redevelop the Tyra field through which 90 percent of Denmark's gas production is processed, and it is seen as crucial for the Danish company that is seeking to spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. Maersk and its partners in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) -- Shell…

Kongsberg Launches Kognifai

kognifai is is an all-encompassing and open digital ecosystem for users to collect, store, analyze, and apply the data they generate using Komgsberg  and third-party systems  (Photo: Kongsberg)

Kongsberg has announced the launch of Kognifai, its open and collaborative digital platform that places a portfolio of applications into the cloud. Kognifai focuses on optimizing data access and analysis for customers across maritime and energy industries, and also provides an integrated development and distribution platform for efficiency enhancing applications. “With Kognifai we are launching an open ecosystem for customers, partners, and suppliers,” said Hege Skryseth, Executive Vice President, Kongsberg and President, Kongsberg Digital.

BP Awards Gulf of Mexico Work to Subsea 7

Subsea 7 said it was awarded a contract by BP as part of the deepwater Mad Dog 2 development, located approximately 190 miles south of New Orleans. The contract scope covers engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and associated subsea architecture. Subsea 7 has worked closely with BP to deliver a lump sum integrated solution from design through to supply, installation and commissioning. Furthermore, by collaborating with OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company, our Subsea Integration Alliance partner that has been awarded the Subsea Production Systems (SPS) contract, additional areas of cost improvement have been identified to provide greater cost certainty and reduced risk.

SOV Bibby WaveMaster 1 Launched

Bibby WaveMaster 1 (Photo: Damen)

The service operations vessel (SOV) Bibby WaveMaster 1 was officially launched at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania on March 24. When completed, Bibby Marine Services Limited, part of Bibby Line Group, will deploy the vessel to support forthcoming offshore wind construction and O&M projects in the North Sea. Stephen Blaikie, Chief Executive Officer, Bibby Marine Services Ltd, said, “This is an important key milestone in the delivery of the vessel. Peter Robert, Director Business Development & Market Intelligence at Damen…

Statoil Wins Licences Off UK, 'Resets' Exploration Off U.S.

Norway's Statoil was the second top bidder for 13 oil exploration leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and won six licences offshore Britain, it said on Thursday, in a sign it may be looking to boost reserves after slashing costs. Statoil bid a total of $44.5 million for 13 licences in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, coming second only to Shell and ahead of Hess Corp, Chevron and Exxon, the latest auction results showed. The company said in a separate statement it had won five new operated licences in the northern North Sea and one in the frontier area west of Scotland, committing to drill at least three wells. Statoil said its bids for licences in the U.S.

Danish Finance Minister to Report on North Sea Oil Negotiations with Maersk

Denmark's finance minister Kristian Jensen will hold a news conference about the government's ongoing negotiations with the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) about a new tax agreement for North Sea oil and gas operations at 1745 CET on Wednesday, the finance ministry said in a statement.   DUC consists of Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A. P. Moller-Maersk, Shell, Chevron CVX.N and state-owned Nordsofonden.   The deal is seen as crucial for Maersk as it seeks to focus its operations on the North Sea and spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Toby Chopra)

ICE to Offer First US Gulf Coast LNG Futures Contract

With the United States about to become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in 60 years, Intercontinental Exchange Inc said on Wednesday it would begin trading the first-ever U.S. liquefied natural gas futures contract in May. ICE said the contracts would be cash-settled against the Platts LNG Gulf Coast Marker price assessment and use Platts-derived U.S. GCM LNG forward curves for daily settlement purposes. The curves will have an initial term of 48 months. "Domestic and international market participants now have a risk-management solution that lays the foundation for a more effective means of hedging their spot and forward exposure," J.C. Kneale, ICE's vice president, North American power and natural gas markets, said in a statement. U.S.

BV Acquires MAC

Bureau Veritas (BV) acquired Maritime Assurance & Consulting (MAC). Based in Aberdeen, MAC was established in 2010 and now has 30 employees as well as more than 40 associates. This transaction is in line with BV’s recent developments in the North Sea offshore sector, where it has reaffirmed ambition to strengthen its local presence and increase its service provision capabilities for clients in spite of challenging market conditions. MAC’s capabilities will be a great enabler to further develop Maritime Assurance services for BV clients worldwide, in particular in the offshore sector. Commenting on the acquisition, Paul Shrieve, BV Regional CEO North Sea Offshore Operations, said: "We are delighted to welcome the MAC team to the BV family.

Gail India Seeks First-half April LNG Cargo

Gail India launched a tender seeking a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo for delivery in the first-half of April, trade sources said.   The tender, launched on Monday, follows two recent cargo purchases also for delivery in April. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic, editing by Louise Heavens)

US O&G Industry Reaps the Benefits of International Trade

© Alexandre / Adobe Stock

Rising exports have thrown a lifeline to U.S. shale producers and refiners, giving them an additional outlet at a time when the domestic market has been at risk of becoming saturated. The United States exported record quantities of natural gas, propane, gasoline, distillate fuel oil and light crude last year while continuing to import the heavy oils needed by its refineries. Gas exports increased by almost 30 percent in 2016 and have more than tripled in the last decade, limiting the build up of unused gas and supporting prices in recent months despite the warmest winter on record.

CFE Extends 2-Cargo LNG Tender Close by One Day

Mexico's state-run power utility CFE has extended the close of a buy tender seeking two liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in April by one day to Wednesday, trade sources said. The deliveries are due to arrive at Mexico's Altamira terminal on the Atlantic coast. CFE just filled a separate tender for supply to the Manzanillo terminal on the Pacific, but it was not immediately clear which companies won that tender. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic)

Market Volatility Affects Sovcomflot

Tanker SCF Baltica. Photo:  PAO Sovcomflot

Sovcomflot is one of the world’s leaders in energy shipping as well as in servicing offshore upstream oil and gas projects. It has reported lower time charter equivalent revenue (TCE) of USD 1,142.2 million (2015: USD 1,240.1 million), EBITDA of USD 706.5 million (2015: USD 780.1 million) and net profit of USD 206.8 million (2015: USD 354.5 million). Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot said: “Sovcomflot has delivered a solid set of results for 2016, despite market volatility in a year that has severely tested our industry.

OP/Ed: Obama’s Arctic Decision Undercut His Own Legacy

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

On December 20, 2016, in an 11th hour unilateral action designed to cement his environmental legacy, President Obama withdrew 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean and 115 million acres in the U.S. Arctic Ocean (including the entire Chukchi Sea and a significant portion of the Beaufort Sea) from future oil and gas leasing. Unlike the five year moratoria announced by Canada, President Obama touted these closures as “permanent.” Not only does this short-sighted decision threaten the economic lifeline of Alaska, U.S. energy leadership and U.S.

Borr Drilling Scoops up Transocean Rigs for $1.4 Bln

Borr Drilling, founded by former executives of financially troubled Seadrill, has snapped up Transocean's fleet of shallow-water drilling rigs for $1.35 billion. The rig market deal is Borr's biggest since it was set up last year by Tor Olav Troeim and other executives who had left Seadrill, once the jewel in the crown of Norwegian-born shipping tycoon John Fredriksen but now battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. After years at Fredriksen's side, Troeim split with him in 2014. Since then Troeim has re-established himself as an independent player in the global shipping market with a high profile and a reputation for successful capital raising. Transocean, executives at Borr Drilling and Troeim were not immediately available for comment.

Ezra Holdings Files for Bankruptcy in US

Pic: Ezra Holdings

Oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings of Singapore filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the weekend, blaming a prolonged slump in the energy industry, Reuters reported. Ezra  has been facing hostile actions from creditors at home and abroad as it struggles to recover from a slump in oil prices over the past three years. The company filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, according to a stock exchange filing on Sunday. Ezra will…

The World's First Offshore Wind Farm is Retiring

Photo: DONG Energy A/S

DONG Energy has decided to retire “Vindeby”, the world’s first offshore wind farm, which 25 years ago marked the birth of the offshore wind industry. Today, offshore wind is a recognised and proven renewable energy technology, and the offshore wind turbines harvest the energy from the wind, transforming it into green power for millions of households. But it is actually only some 25 years ago that the world's first offshore wind farm was constructed close to shore in the low waters off Vindeby near Lolland in the south east of Denmark.

Total Seeking to Buy Stake in Iranian LNG Project

Photo: Total

French oil giant Total held talks with Iranian officials about several projects in the country in 2016, notably a 10 million tonnes per year liquefied natural gas project (LNG), Reuters reported. It has signed an agreement with Iranian authorities for a 50 per cent stake  in Iran’s South Pars gas field project which will developed at an investment of $4 billion. Sources told Reuters in February that Total was in talks to buy a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran's partly-built LNG export facility.

Polish Terminal Dispatching LNG to Estonia

Photo: Gas Transmission Operator GAZ-SYSTEM

Liquefied natural gas from the Świnoujście LNG terminal is being loaded onto tank trucks and transported to Estonia. Its serves as fuel for ferries built in 2015 in the Polish shipyard in Gdańsk. The loading of LNG onto tank trucks takes place at the terminal on business days. Depending on the number of orders, up to a dozen or so tank trailers leave for various locations within 12 hours. However, there are several to a maximum of fifteen or so trucks transporting liquefied natural gas to Estonia per week.

Pronomar Equips Bibby WaveMaster 1

Photo courtesy of Pronomar

Damen Shipyards Gorinchem built the walk-to-work services operations vessel Bibby WaveMaster 1, and Pronomar provided drying systems for workwear to the turbine maintenance personnel. Damen Shipyards Gorinchem is the headquarters of the Damen Shipyards Group and delivers up to 180 vessels each year and has built more than 6,000 ships since 1969. This custom-designed vessel was deployed for U.K.-based Bibby Marine Services. It is designed to operate with maximum efficiency, while providing a high level of comfort for the crew.

Aker Solutions Secures Work for Njord A Upgrade

Photo: Thomas Sola / Statoil

Aker Solutions will provide design engineering for the upgrading of the semi-submersible Njord A platform in Norway. The company will as a subcontractor of Kvaerner take part in upgrading the platform after operator Statoil exercised an option in an agreement awarded in April 2016. The option is for work in the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the project. Aker Solutions' share of the work is valued at about NOK 1 billion and will be booked in the company's first-quarter orders.

North Korean Bulkers Stranded as China Enforces Sanctions

At least ten North Korean ships have arrived at a Chinese port after being stranded for the past three weeks following the top global coal consumer's ban on imports of the fuel from its isolated neighbour, a report said on Friday. Six North Korean merchant vessels, including Sai Nal 3 and Jin Hung, entered the port of Longkou in China's eastern Shandong province as of Thursday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Friday, citing a Voice of America report. Reuters ship tracking data shows that Sai Nal 3 from North Korea has been moored at the port for at least the past three weeks. It is listed at maximum draft, meaning it is likely fully laden with cargo.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Weighed by Excess Tonnage

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

MidEast, West Africa rates diverge; oil output curbs in Iraq and West Africa could weigh on tanker market. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are likely to remain under pressure with hire rates from the Middle East to Asia tracking lower in the face of excess tonnage in the market, brokers said. Cuts in the output from Iraq and West Africa this month as part of an agreement between oil producers to curb crude production to bolster oil prices are also expected to weigh on the tanker market as the number of voyages are curtailed, brokers said.

Capacity Building for Sustainable Shipping

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s response to the needs of developing countries for building capacity and facilitating technology transfer to promote low-carbon shipping was highlighted at the Environmental Sustainable Shipping Industry Conference (ESSIC), held in Panama City, Panama (14 March). The international conference was held in parallel with the Panama Maritime XIII World Conference and Exhibition. IMO’s Jose Matheickal talked through the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP) funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)…

Gazprom: Gas Exports to Europe, Turkey up 17.7% Y/Y

Russian gas exports to Europe and Turkey rose 17.7 percent year-on-year between Jan. 1 and March 15 to 42.9 billion cubic metres, gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday. (Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Subsea 7 CFO has 'Measured Optimism' of Oil Service Market Recovery

File photo: Subsea 7

Oslo-listed oil services firm Subsea 7's Chief Financial Officer Ricardo Rosa told an energy conference in Oslo he sees gradual market recovery as oil prices stabilize, and the outlook for subsea project awards increasing within the next 12 months. "Previously all the discussions (with oil companies) were about cutting costs, now we are starting to talk about launching new projects... We have a measured optimism," Rosa said. Rosa said he sees activity is picking up in the Gulf of Mexico, but remains low in western Africa, and doesn't expect anything in Brazil in 2017.

EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway, say the European Union needs a strategy for future developments in a region being transformed by climate change. Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion calling for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards "a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas".

ABS, Industry Experts Tackle MODU Safety Issues

At its annual Special Committee Meeting, ABS shared recent enhancements to ABS jacking gear requirements, which address jackup system reliability. Photo: ABS

ABS, the leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore industry, collaborated with industry experts during its annual Special Committee Meeting held recently to discuss the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs), with the goal of assuring that Rule requirements align with industry needs. “Our leadership position in the offshore sector is based on the ability to provide exceptional guidance and services,” says ABS Executive Vice President of Global Offshore Ken Richardson.

GustoMSC Debuts Self-propelled Cantilever Jack-up

Image: GustoMSC

The NG-5500X-LD is the latest design in GustoMSC’s series of self-propelled jack-up designs, the NG series. Based on the NG-2500X and NG-1800X designs, the NG-5500X-LD is a solution for light drilling and well intervention in a large number of mature fields in the Southern North Sea, Middle East and South East Asia. The conditions of these fields are characterized by water depths of up to 50 to 80 meters pending the region, traditionally the domain of classic drilling jack-ups and tender barges.

Maersk Tankers to Trial Rotor Sails

Maersk P-Class Illustration with two 30x5 Norsepower Rotor Sails (Photo: Maersk Tankers / Norsepower)

Norsepower Oy Ltd. in partnership with Maersk Tankers, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), and Shell Shipping & Maritime, have announced that it will install and trial Flettner rotor sails onboard a Maersk Tankers-owned vessel. The project will be the first installation of wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker vessel, and will provide insights into fuel savings and operational experience. The rotor sails will be fitted during the first half of 2018, before undergoing testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019.

Wärtsilä to Optimize Performance for Songa Offshore Drill Rigs

Photo: Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a five-year technical management and services agreement with Songa Offshore for four Cat-D type semi-submersible drilling rigs operating in the North Sea. Through the partnership with Wärtsilä, Songa Offshore ensures optimal performance and maximum availability of the Wärtsilä engines and thrusters on board the drilling rigs, which operate in extremely harsh conditions. This is possible with real-time knowledge of the actual condition of the equipment, provided by Wärtsilä's digital offering.

Consolidation – A Path to Subsea Vessel Sustainability

Graphics: Subsea Vessel Operations expenditure by Sector – 2017-2021. Source: Douglas-Westwood, World Subsea Hardware & Vessel Operations Market Forecast

In recent years, the speed with which newbuild vessels have entered the market has amplified the subsea vessel demand/supply imbalance, says a report by Douglas-Westwood London. This has been further exacerbated by sustained low oil prices, as operators defer the sanctioning of new offshore projects which could have supported vessel utilisation. As a result, the average vessel dayrates declined by an average of 35% between 2014 and 2016. The weak market conditions have meant that many low specification vessels have struggled to hold on to existing charter rates…

Subsea 7 Acquires Seaway Heavy Lifting

Photo: Seaway Heavy Lifting

Specialist offshore contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting, a 50/50 joint venture between Subsea 7 S.A. and K&S Baltic Offshore (Cyprus) Limited, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Subsea 7. Subsea 7 said it acquired the remaining 50 percent shareholding in Seaway Heavy Lifting Holding Limited and its subsidiaries on March 10, 2017 for a cash consideration of $279 million on completion and an additional consideration of up to $40 million to be paid in 2021 on the condition that certain performance targets are met.

Libyan NOC Official Warns of Force Majeure at Oil Ports as Rivals Mobilize

A senior official at Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Monday of a possible declaration of force majeure at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil terminals, as air strikes continued and rival forces mobilized fighters in the area. NOC board member Jadalla Alaokali said force majeure, a legal waiver for contractual obligations, would "likely" be declared if violence continued, though he gave no timeframe. Libya's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) lost control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf to a rival faction, the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), 10 days ago. Both sides have since been mobilizing, and the LNA has been conducting daily air strikes in the area. Most workers have left the ports.

Wärtsilä Launches SmartPredict

Looking into the future with Wärtsilä SmartPredict. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä launches its latest innovation SmartPredict at this year's Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 13 to 16. Developed by the company's dynamic positioning unit, SmartPredict is designed to provide safer and more efficient vessel operations by reducing the risks associated with maneuvering. The system displays the vessel's predicted future position and heading, and uses proven dynamic positioning (DP) analysis algorithms to evaluate forces affecting the vessel, thereby providing advanced motion prediction.

Shell Shelves Prince Rupert LNG

Photo: Prince Rupert LNG

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has officially shelved its plans to build the Prince Rupert LNG project, which had been planned for Ridley Island in British Columbia. However, it  is still considering the potential of its other West Coast LNG option. Shell acquired the Prince Rupert LNG as part of a portfolio of projects in its takeover of natural gas giant BG Group last year. Shell said it decided to discontinue the project after reviewing how it stacked up against its existing options, but  it continues to actively move forward on the proposed Kitimat, B.C.-based LNG Canada project with its partners.

Singapore’s Survivability

New business: Keppel has begun building dredgers like the Cristobal Colon, seen hear outside Rio de Janeiro. (Photo: copyright Jan de Nul Offshore)

Singapore’s shipyards are looking to recent investments in capacity, design and newly acquired technology to combat order declines after a decades-long offshore buildup. Sembcorp and peer Keppel are making the most of partnerships in FLNG and showing signs they’ll be okay through the downturn, helped by their gas-hungry Australasian backyard and renewed ties with old charterer parties and suppliers. With drilling contractors unable to pay for the offshore rigs they’ve ordered, Singapore’s heavyweight yards have had to defer deliveries and become defacto rig owners.

Offshore Wind: BOEM Fields Pair of Unsolicited Bids

Map of the unsolicited offshore New York bid. (Source: BOEM)

BOEM has received unsolicited lease requests from two companies seeking to develop offshore wind energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These requests are for areas located offshore New York and Massachusetts and are not in response to a formal call for interest. BOEM has finished its review of the unsolicited lease requests and deemed the requests complete. Moreover, BOEM has reviewed the applicants' qualification materials and determined that the applicants are legally, technically, and financially qualified to pursue offshore wind energy leases.

Despite Sanctions Relief, Shell Still Cool on Iranian Oil Buys

Royal Dutch Shell has bought only three cargoes of Iranian oil since sanctions were eased a year ago, a small fraction of what it used to buy and an indication of the legal difficulties and high prices that still hamper the trade. The Anglo-Dutch firm did not give a reason for the drop in purchases, which were disclosed in its annual report, and the company declined to comment further. But oil trading sources say Iranian oil is often too expensive and in any case remaining sanctions make dealing with the Islamic Republic a legal minefield. As an example of sanctions-related difficulties, Shell's filings showed it had to disclose payments of only a few hundred dollars when its employees bought tickets with Iranian airlines.

Herman Senior Orders Damen Workboat

Damen MultiCat 2712 Panda (Photo: Damen Shipyards)

The Dutch family-owned tug and workboat company Herman Senior BV has ordered its 12th Damen vessel, a Multi Cat 2712. Given the very short delivery time, the new vessel will be officially launched and christened Panda on March 23. Herman Senior has a tradition of naming its ships after famous bears. Based in Dordrecht, Herman Senior serves the dredging market, offshore wind farms and the oil and gas industry, with services including towage, plough dredging, anchor handling, geotechnical services, diving support and salvage and anchor recovery, among others.

OPEC's Hope for Goldilocks Price Fade: Kemp

File Image: CREDIT GearSTD AdobeStock

CERAWeek has exposed all the contradictions at the heart of OPEC’s attempt to rebalance the oil market without rekindling the shale boom or conceding too much market share to rivals. The oil industry conference in Houston started with a celebration of higher prices, progress towards drawing down global stockpiles, and optimism about the outlook for shale producers. But it ends with the biggest daily fall in prices for more than a year, fears that stocks are not declining as planned, and warnings that shale producers could cause a renewed slump if they increase output too fast.

China Dismisses Philippine Concerns Over EEZ Incursions

China on Friday dismissed concerns expressed by the Philippine defence minister over what he believed to be survey missions by its ships deep into the southeast Asian nation's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Amid a warming relationship, President Rodrigo Duterte has frequently praised China, but Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has remained openly suspicious, saying it has continued its fortification of manmade islands inside the Philippine EEZ. Lorenzana said Chinese ships were monitored in recent months at locations near the Philippines, with a warship spotted 70 miles off its western coast in the South China Sea and survey ships seen to the north and south of its eastern seaboard.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Falling as Tonnage Outweighs Demand

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which fell to five-month lows this week, are set to drop further as excess tonnage and an absence of port congestion weigh on the market, brokers said. Supertanker charter rates, which are already below the breakeven levels for ship owners, could fall further due to new vessel deliveries, reactivation of older vessels from offshore crude storage, crude oil output cuts and refinery maintenance, brokers said. That will add to the volume of available tonnage as demand for cargo declines.

Digital Tech Turning Around Marine Prospects in Uncertain Waters

Digital solutions help to de-risk decisions, bring practical, actionable insights into vessel and fleet performance and provide proven opportunities to optimize operations in a sustainable way. (Image: GE Marine)

The start of every year calls for time to reflect on the last. The offshore and marine industry can look back on 2016 as one of the most bruising in recent memory. The downturn has been tough and drawn out, with increased divestment, more stringent environmental regulations and a prolonged shipbuilding cycle that has resulted in overcapacity. However, challenges can be harnessed as a force for progress. The downcycle has pushed the industry to reshape its competitive landscape, probably a change that has been overdue.

BOURBON Reaches Deal to Reorganize Its Debt

File photo: Bourbon

French offshore vessel operator BOURBON said it has signed an agreement with its financial partners providing for the rescheduling of the maturities of a large part of its financial debt. Out of long- and medium-term debt totaling €692 million, €365 million of repayments due between 2016 and 2018 have been rescheduled and reduced to an amount of €63 million not repayable until 2018. The remainder of the debt, i.e. €629 million, will henceforth be repaid progressively between 2019 and 2025…

Record Number of OSVs to Be Delivered in 2017

© panalot / Adobe Stock

Vessel oversupply will continue to plague the offshore industry this year as a record total of 465 offshore support vessels (OSV) are expected to be delivered in 2017, according to VesselsValue. Beginning with the drop in oil prices and then lower demand for offshore research projects, the offshore industry is struggling with historically low asset prices, while many offshore vessel owners around the world have been led to bankruptcy. Now as the industry faces a large amount of vessel oversupply…

Interview: Rear Admiral Paul Thomas, USCG

Rear Admiral Paul Thomas (Photo: USCG)

Rear Admiral Paul Thomas develops and maintains policy, standards and program alignment for waterways management, navigation safety, boating, commercial vessels, ports and facilities, merchant mariner credentialing, vessel documentation, marine casualty investigation, inspection and port state control activities. He serves as the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy overseeing three Coast Guard directorates: Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation Systems, and Commercial Regulations and Standards.

Global Marine Expands Its Fleet

(Photo: Global Marine Systems Limited)

Subsea cable systems design, installation and maintenance firm Global Marine Systems Limited, has added the 6,200 ton cable deadweight CS Recorder to its fleet. Built in 2000, the vessel formerly known as the Maersk Recorder, has previously been chartered by Global Marine for numerous cable installation projects and has since successfully completed work in the oil and gas and renewables sectors. The newly named CS Recorder is intended to support the telecoms installation business growth over the next 5-10 years, with a number of critical projects scheduled during 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals

Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners. "The UK government will publish a discussion paper and establish a panel of industry experts to consider how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields, helping to keep them productive for longer," the ministry said in a statement.

US Crude Stocks Jump, Gasoline Inventories Plunge - EIA

U.S. crude stocks rose last week as refineries cut output, while gasoline stocks and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose by 8.2 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 867,000 barrels, EIA said. Refinery crude runs fell by 172,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates fell by 0.1 percentage points. Gasoline stocks fell by 6.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.4 million-barrel drop.

Algeria to Renew LNG Deal with France's Engie in March

Algeria's state energy company Sonatrach will renew a deal with French gas and power group Engie to supply 10 billion cubic meters of LNG per year, a source at Sonatrach told Reuters on Wednesday. The signing ceremony will take place in France, likely before the end of March, and Algeria's Energy Minister Nouredine Bouterfa will attend, the source said. No further details have been provided on the length of the contract, which will replace one that has just expired. But Sonatrach's CEO Amine Mazouzi said recently that new contracts will be for at least 10 to 15 years but no longer than 20 to 25 years. Sonatrach has opted for a dual approach that mixes its traditional preference for long-term contracts with spot market deals to get the maximum out of them at a difficult time for Algeria…

CSSC, Wärtsilä Form Electrical & Automation Joint Venture

The new joint venture company agreement is signed by Yang Guobing, Chairman of CSSC Electronics Technology Co., Ltd, Ma Yunxiang, Vice chief Economist, Director of Planning and Development Department, CSSC and Stephan Kuhn, Vice President, Electrical & Automation, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Technology group Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) have signed a new joint venture company agreement. The new joint venture, to be known as CSSC Wärtsilä Electrical & Automation Co Ltd (CWE&A), will focus on the growing Chinese electrical and automation (E&A) market, especially for high-tech ship applications. The joint venture company is expected to be fully operational before the middle of 2017. China is a growing market within the high-tech ships segment, and Chinese yards are increasingly active in newbuild projects for high-tech and high-added value ships.

Italy's 15-Cargo LNG Buy Tender Attracts Competitive Bids

© Anatoly Kolodey / Adobe Stock

A tender to supply Italy with about 15 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes between April and September attracted highly competitive winning bids from traders including Gunvor, Trafigura, MET and Uniper, trade sources said. Companies offered to supply the shipments at only a slight premium to prevailing prices at Britain's National Balancing Point (NBP) trading hub, traders said. At the same time bids for a tender to supply Argentina with LNG attracted bids carrying a $0.30 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) premium to NBP levels…

Rising Oil, Salmon Prices Lift Norway Pension Fund

© ulkan / Adobe Stock

Norway's domestic state pension fund Folketrygdfondet said its 2016 return increased to 7.1 percent from 7.0 percent in 2015, increasing the market value to 212.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($25.12 billion). "Improved outlook for the global economy, rise in oil prices and record high salmon prices ensured solid results for the year," Folketrygdfondet's Chief Executive Olaug Svarva said on Tuesday. The fund says the return beat the market by 1.2 percent. Says there are significant challenges in the salmon industry…

Global Maritime Promotes Thomassen

Espen Thomassen (Photo: Global Maritime)

Marine, offshore and engineering consultancy Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering has appointed Espen Thomassen as Regional Manager for the Americas. Thomassen has been tasked with growing Global Maritime’s business throughout the region, which, in addition to Houston, includes offices in Brazil and Canada. He will also lead Global Maritime’s involvement in providing Sub Chapter M compliance services to inland waterways towing vessels throughout the US. Sub Chapter M represents new U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) standards on the inspection, standards and safety policies of towing vessels.

Maersk, Denmark Close In On North Sea Oil Deal

File photo: A.P. Moller - Maersk

Oil and shipping conglomerate A.P Moller-Maersk could land a deal with the Danish government on oil and gas operations in the North Sea within days, political sources with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters on Tuesday. The deal will secure continued production in the Danish part of the North Sea and is seen as crucial for Maersk as it seeks to focus its operations on the North Sea and spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. The Danish state has agreed to improved fiscal terms, the sources said.

Subsea 7 Awarded Subsea Work Off Australia

Subsea 7 S.A. said it has been awarded a “sizeable” contract by Cooper Energy Ltd for the Sole Development Project, offshore Australia. Subsea 7 defines a sizeable contract as being between $50 million and $150 million. The Sole gas field is located in the eastern part of the Gippsland Basin, approximately 40km offshore Victoria, Australia. The contract scope consists of the subsea tie-back of the Sole well to the Orbost Gas Plant, including the fabrication and installation of 64km of pipeline, spool and manifold, along with installation of a 64km umbilical and the commissioning of the system. Project management and engineering will commence immediately from Subsea 7’s office in Perth, Australia, with offshore operations scheduled to commence in 2018.

FLNG Production Bows out as US Exports Roil Market

File photo : Shell

Once considered the future of gas production, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects have been firmly relegated to the backburner as global gas producers seek cheaper ways to compete with a surge in U.S. shale supplies and slumping prices. FLNG projects - mega tankers fitted with gas extraction and liquefaction facilities - allow producers to tap offshore gas wells and ship LNG without having to build costly pipelines to onshore plants. Owners can move the vessels to new fields when production at an old one ends, slashing asset end-of-life costs.

Offshore Vessel Contractors Re-shaping for a Rebound

File photo: BOA

The announcement on the February 28 of EMAS Chiyoda’s bankruptcy is the latest in a long line of vessel contractors to fall victim to the downturn since January 2015. Multiple companies such as Cal Dive, Ceona, Cecon, Hercules Offshore, Harkand and Swiber have entered into administration, taking a significant number of vessels out of the active fleet. In other cases, internal restructuring measures (e.g. Siem Offshore, Boa Offshore, Deepocean etc.) were/have been in order. While current indicators of subsea activity (e.g.

PetroChina Dalian Refinery Exports First Australian-spec Diesel Cargo

PetroChina's Dalian oil refinery exported on Feb. 27 a 40,000 tonne cargo of diesel fuel with that met Australian fuel quality specifications, the first shipment of its kind from China, according to a statement posted on the website of the state assets regulator on Monday. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

Indian naval ship INS Darshak to Take up Hydrographic Survey for Sri Lanka

Photo: Indian Navy

INS Darshak, a Hydrographic Survey ship of Eastern Naval Command (ENC), India departed on a two-month long deployment for undertaking two Joint Hydrographic surveys along  with the Sri Lankan Navy on 03 March 2017. The pioneer surveys will be conducted with Sri Lankan Naval personnel embarked on board INS Darshak. During the course of survey training of Sri Lankan personnel will also be undertaken on advanced hydrographic practices. The ship will visit Colombo and Galle harbours and undertake several joint exercises with Sri Lankan Navy.

BHP Billiton, Pemex sign Trion Contract

Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexican Minister of Energy,  Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton CEO and José Antonio González Anaya, CEO of PEMEX. Photo: BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton has advanced its exploration and production interests in the Gulf of Mexico by executing a contract with PEMEX Exploration & Production Mexico (Pemex) to complete work on the significant Trion discovery in Mexico. In December 2016, BHP Billiton successfully bid on the resource that, once fully appraised, is expected to be in the top 10 fields discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade. The agreement includes a commitment to deliver a Minimum Work Program, which consists of drilling one appraisal well, one exploration well and the acquisition of additional seismic data.

GAIL's First Time-Swap Deal for US LNG with Gunvor

Image: GAIL (India) Limited

Indian state-owned gas company GAIL has reached a deal with Swiss energy trading firm Gunvor to swap American liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for shipments from other sources, Reuters reported. It is the first time-swap agreement by GAIL, which is trying to juggle its LNG portfolio to cut costs for price-sensitive Indian customers after a sharp fall in Asian spot prices made its U.S. gas unattractive. GAIL will sell Gunvor 0.6 million tonnes of next year's LNG cargoes from Cheniere at a premium to GAIL's contracted price, FOB Sabine Pass, Louisiana, under the terms of the deal.

Oman Shipping to Acquire 10 Tankers

Photo: Oman Shipping Company

Omani government-owned Oman Shipping Company (OSC) has secured USD 227 million in debt to finance the acquisition of ten tankers, Reuters said citing France-based Societe Generale. The new medium range tankers are chartered to Shell Tankers Singapore for seven years. Societe Generale acted as sole arranger and sole underwriter for the landmark transaction, which involved a combination of export credit agency (ECA) and commercial financing. Seven of the 10 vessels were covered by Korea’s export credit agency, K-Sure.

Breaking Down Barriers to Energy-Efficient Shipping

Photo: International Maritime Organization

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s work to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping has conducted in Mumbai, India with a train-the-trainer course on energy-efficient ship operation. The course (28 February – 3 March) is training maritime educators and officials to pass on expertise on the complex technical and regulatory aspects designed to make shipping greener. Thirty participants from Indian, Bangladeshi, Maldivian and Sri Lankan maritime training institutes, maritime administrations and classification societies are taking part.

Underwater Ship Repair Specialists Merge

Subsea Global Solutions acquires All-Sea Underwater Solutions   Lariat Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, announced that its portfolio company Subsea Global Solutions (SGS) has acquired All-Sea Underwater Solutions (All-Sea), merging two companies specializing in underwater ship maintenance, repair and marine construction.    Paul Peters, Chief Executive Officer of SGS, said the acquisition would “expand our scope of services, further drive innovation and broaden our global footprint.” He added that the two firms have worked together as partners for years.   Vincent Cummings, CEO of All-Sea added, “This merger into Subsea Global Solutions gives our team the ability to continue our growth and better serve our clientele globally.”

Higher Capesize, Panamax Rates Lift Baltic Index

File photo: Star Bulk

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the third straight session on Friday, buoyed by stronger capesize and panamax vessel rates. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, climbed 35 points, or 3.87 percent, to 939 points. The index, which touched its highest level since Jan. 19, was up for the third straight week. "Activity in both the Atlantic and Pacific markets remains firm," Clarksons Platou analysts said in a client note.

GAIL, Gunvor Sign Time-Swap for U.S. LNG

File Image: CREDIT MISC

State-run gas company GAIL (India) Ltd has signed a time-swap deal with Swiss trader Gunvor to sell some of its U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), sources said, as the Indian firm tries to ease the burden of its costly foreign LNG supplies. It is the first time-swap agreement by GAIL, which is trying to juggle its LNG portfolio to cut costs for price-sensitive Indian customers after a sharp fall in Asian spot prices made its U.S. gas unattractive. The deal equates to around 5 percent…

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Uncertain on Tonnage Woes

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

MidEast tanker rates fall to $22,000 a day, below breakeven; 52 VLCCs to be delivered this year, highest since 2011. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which fell to four-month lows this week, face an uncertain direction next week as refinery maintenance and excess tonnage pressure rates even as owners resist moves by charterers to push rates lower, brokers said. Meanwhile, rates on routes from the Middle East and West Africa to China rose slightly this week after falling since Feb. 10.

Top 10 Carriers of Iranian Crude

Source: VesselsValue.com

Spotlight on Iranian Crude VesselsValue senior analyst William Bennett has put together a short report on Iranian Crude, specifically analyzing overall shipment trends (which are on the upswing). With new sanctions looming, what will the future hold? The chart shows the Top 10 companies carrying Iranian Crude in 2016.    

Peak Gasoline Demand Looms with Engine Efficiency Gains

Demand for gasoline in the United States, which accounts for a tenth of global oil consumption, is expected to peak next year as engines become more efficient, WoodMackenzie analysts said. Global demand for gasoline, which accounts for more than a quarter of the world's oil consumption, is set to peak as early as 2021 even in the face of relentless growth in the vehicle fleet, according to the Edinburgh-based consultancy. A rise in the number of hybrid and electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius and Tesla as well as tighter fuel standards in Europe and the United States will contribute to a historic shift in consumption.

Windea Leibniz Delivered to Bernhard Schulte

Windea Leibniz (Photo: Ulstein)

The newly built wind farm service vessel Windea Leibniz was delivered from Ulstein Verft to Bernhard Schulte Offshore and ICBC Leasing on February 28, and named March 2 at a ceremony in Ulsteinvik, Norway. Beginning in April, the vessel will work at the Sandbank wind farm in the German Bight for Siemens Wind Power Service to help ensure energy production from the site’s 72 wind turbines. Windea Leibniz is the second wind farm service vessel in a series for Hamburg based shipping company Bernhard Schulte and the Beijing based financial company ICBC Leasing…

Baltic Index up on Stronger Rates Across All Segments

File Image: (c) Lidian Neeleman AdobeStock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Thursday as rates for all vessel segments strengthened, with capesize vessels extending gains the most. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 33 points, or 3.79 percent, at 904 points, its highest in more than five weeks. The capesize index snapped a three-day losing streak and rose 103 points, or 10.36 percent, to end at 1,097 points.

A Case for LNG-fueled Mobile Offshore Units

Image: GustoMSC

GustoMSC, a Dutch design and engineering company focused on offshore energy, says the offshore industry has much to gain from examining the feasibility of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel mobile offshore units such as construction vessels, drillships, jack-ups and semi-submersibles. GustoMSC has been monitoring the development of LNG as a marine fuel for several years, culminating in a recently finished R&D project into LNG for its design portfolio. The firm’s associated report…

SocGen Arranges Financing for Oman Shipping's Tanker Play

Oman Shipping Company, wholly owned by the government of Oman, raised $227 million in debt to back the purchase of 10 tankers, Societe Generale said on Thursday.   Societe Generale was the sole arranger and sole underwriter of the transaction, which comprised a combination of commercial debt and export credit agency financing.   The commercial portion of the debt package also involved Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, the Korea Development Bank and ABN Amro. Reporting by Davide Barbuscia

Biofuels Can Cut Some Transport Emissions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Growing use of electric vehicles around the world is helping lower climate changing emissions, but some means of transport will be hard to electrify, particularly air travel and shipping, energy experts say. To “decarbonise” those, the world will need to rapidly develop and bring to market biofuels – while trying to ensure they don’t crowd out food production, say the authors of a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With “the right selection of the right raw material” about 12 percent of transport fuel could come from renewable sources by 2030…

Offshore Innovation: A Real ‘Riverboat’

Image: Vard

Central Asia is a booming oil region not far from the Persian Gulf. Energy companies ply the big lake to rack up staggering barrel counts at elephantine oilfields with names like Tengiz (Kazakhstan) or Kashagan (Azerbaijan). Painstaking, oil-fueled nation-building is underway across an oil province, where very shallow water hinders plant and equipment moves by platform supply vessels. Until now — new module-carrying vessels, or MCVs will float high-capital cargoes through Russia’s river system and across the Caspian shallows to Chevron’s Tengiz Extension project.

New Offshore Installation Vessel for GeoSea

Image: DEME

COSCO will build a new offshore installation vessel in China for DEME subsidiary GeoSea, to be used for offshore wind farm construction, oil and gas industry services and decommissioning work. The vessel, Orion, is due to be delivered in 2019. With a total installed capacity of 44,180kW Orion will be equipped with a high-tech crane with lifting capacity of 3,000t at more than 50m. The loads can be lifted to an unrivalled height of more than 170m. Deck space has been maximized to provide exceptionally high transport and load capacity.

Op/Ed: Offshore Energy Can Power US Growth

Randall Luthi  (Photo: NOIA)

Following President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress, National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in on  shifting U.S. policy and its effects on offshore energy and the American economy. As President Trump begins work on his ambitious agenda, it appears that efficiency and cost cutting are major themes throughout much of the federal government. Those of us in the energy producing industries say welcome to our world. While low commodity prices and overly burdensome regulations devastated job growth in the energy sector during the last two years…

Seadrill Could Be Heading for Bankruptcy

Photo: Seadrill Limited

The oil rig owner SeaDrill could be forced into bankruptcy protection soon, if it fails to reach a restructuring agreement with its lenders, reports Reuters. The rig firm, controlled by John Fredriksen, is battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. "In the event a consensual restructuring agreement is not concluded or an agreement to an extension is not reached, we are also preparing various contingency plans, including potential schemes of arrangement or chapter 11 proceedings," the company warns.

Is Mexican Shallow Water E&P On The Road Again?

Graph: Clarksons Research

To much fanfare and accompanied by voluminous industry coverage, Mexico recently concluded Round 1.4, the country’s first ever deepwater licensing round, Clarksons Research reported. However, Mexico’s shallow waters may yet have a future too: Bay of Campeche reserves remain considerable and indeed, the country’s third shallow water bid round is ongoing. It is therefore worth reviewing the current state of shallow water exploration and production  (E&P) in Mexico. Mexican offshore oil is currently produced entirely from shallow water fields, as has always been the case.

Emas Chiyoda Subsea Files for Bankruptcy

Photo: Emas Chiyoda Subsea Ltd

Subsea affiliate of Singapore's Ezra files for U.S. A subsea and offshore contractor affiliate of Ezra Holdings Ltd, a struggling Singaporean oilfield services firm, filed for U.S. bankruptcy as it ran short of cash due to a lingering downturn in the oil-and-gas industry. The affiliate, Emas Chiyoda Subsea Ltd, said in court papers filed in Houston that the company was suffering from weak demand for its subsea contracting work and tightening credit conditions. Ezra has said it may have to take a $170 million writedown on the value of its investment in Emas Chiyoda.

Shell Approves New Gulf of Mexico Project

Royal Dutch Shell has given the go-ahead to develop its Kaikias deepwater field in the Gulf of Mexico, the first such project the oil and gas company has approved in 18 months. Oil companies around the world are emerging from one of the longest downturns in recent decades amid warnings that the drop in investment in recent years may lead to a supply deficit by the end of the decade. Shell said the Kaikias oil and gas project, located some 210 kilometres (130 miles) from the Louisiana coast, will start production in 2019 and generate profits with oil prices lower than $40 a barrel after the company slashed its costs by around 50 percent due to simplified design plans. Oil prices were around $56 a barrel on Tuesday.

Shell LNG Tanker Damaged in Collision off UAE

The Al Khattiya liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, one of the world's largest, suffered damage to its hull in a collision with an oil tanker off the United Arab Emirates last week, operator Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday. Sitting empty off the UAE port of Fujairah, a busy anchorage point on the Gulf of Oman, the tanker was struck by the Jag Laadki operated by India's Great Eastern Shipping Company, Shell said in an email. No injuries or pollution were reported in the Feb. 23 incident, but two of the Al Khattiya's ballast tanks were breached with a loss of some water, it said. Shell said cargo tank pressures were stable indicating no loss of LNG containment on the Al Khattiya, which has a capacity of 210,000 cubic metres. The vessel is owned by Qatari shipping group Nakilat.

ABS Takes Offshore Safety to New Depths

Pic taken from Video provided by ABS

ABS, the leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore industry, has expanded its subsea services team to deliver specialized validation and verification services for subsea systems, including subsea hardware, flowlines, umbilicals, and risers. These services include design review, inspection of physical components and regulatory services using performance data to support continuous service of new and existing assets. “Offering best-in-class verification and validation services contributes to the safe and reliable operation of subsea systems…

‘World’s Greenest Cruise Ship’ Construction Underway

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam (right) officially started the construction of MS Roald Amundsen at Kleven Yards, Norway. Kleven CEO Ståle Rasmussen (left). (Photo: Hurtigruten)

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam pressed the button to officially kick off the construction of hybrid expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen – “the greenest cruise ship the world has ever seen,” according to the ship owner. The new ship is the first of a new generation that will change expedition travel forever, Skjeldam said during the ceremony at Kleven Yards on the western coast of Norway. When launched in 2018, MS Roald Amundsen will be the world’s first expedition cruise ship powered by hybrid battery technology.

Company to Pay $9.5 Mln for Actions Leading to US Gulf Explosion

Wood Group PSN Inc., a Nevada corporation headquartered in Houston, was ordered to pay $9.5 million in two separate cases involving its conduct in the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, Wood Group PSN was ordered to pay $7 million for falsely reporting over several years that personnel had performed safety inspections on offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico in the Western District of Louisiana, and $1.8 million for negligently discharging oil into the Gulf of Mexico in violation of the Clean Water Act after an explosion on an offshore facility in the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeff Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana Stephanie A. Finley, and U.S.

Philippines Wants 'Clarity' on China Ties Before Allowing S China Sea work

The Philippines is waiting for clarity on its relations with China before lifting a suspension on exploration in disputed areas in the South China Sea, its energy minister said on Monday.   It is being studied whether it is "high time to lift the suspension," Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told Reuters in an interview.   Cusi said any exploration activities would require approval of the Philippine foreign ministry, which was responsible for consultations with China.   Reporting by Martin Petty and Enrico dela Cruz 

Vestdavit mission accomplished on Ramform safety

Photo Vestdavit

Seatrials are underway in Japan involving Ramform Hyperion, the last of four ships built to the seismic sector’s all-time highest specifications, completing a project that shows the way distinctive design also demands innovation from the equipment keeping ships safely in service. Reckoned to be the widest monohulls at the waterline ever built, the Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) vessels need a unique Vestdavit dual point boat handling solution to lift and lower tender boats in wave heights up to sea state 6.

Multipurpose vessel Adhémar de Saint-Venant launched

Adhémar de Saint-Venant  Photo JAN DE NUL

AVIC shipyard in Weihai, China launched Jan De Nul Group’s new multipurpose vessel Adhémar de Saint-Venant. The sister vessel, Daniel Bernoulli, will be launched in March 2017. To perform a variety of functions, different mission equipment is available and can be installed on the vessels: subsea rock installation through an inclined fall pipe or a flexible fall pipe; subsea trenching, installation of cables and umbilicals; installation works by means of a heave compensated crane etc ... This definitely makes them unique.

MOL, University of Tokyo Graduate School Team up on Project based learning

Graduate students meeting to discuss the project Photo MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced the completion, on Friday, February 10, of this year’s Project Based Learning (“PBL”) program at the University of Tokyo Graduate Program for Mechanical Systems Innovation (GMSI), Research and Education Consortium for Innovation of Advanced Integrated Science (CIAiS) and Global Leader Program for Social Design and Management (GSDM). “PBL”is a program implemented by University of Tokyo Graduate School, aimed at developing personnel who…

Tanker Market: Sun Sets on Japan Dirty Imports

Graph: Gibson Shipbrokers

The Japanese refining industry has been experiencing challenging circumstances for a number of years, with significant rationalisation of refining capacity, according to Weekly Tanker Market Report by Gibson Shipbrokers. Reform in the Japanese refining sector is not a particularly new story; however, in March 2017, a government directive will come into effect, forcing refiners to further boost efficiency, whilst enhancing output of higher value clean products such as diesel and jet fuel.

Fewer Bunkers in Rotterdam in 2016

Photo: The port of Rotterdam

In 2016 the sale of bunker oil - fuel for shipping - in the Rotterdam bunker port diminished from 10.6 million m3 to 10.1 million m3. There is no reason known for this decline. For the first time, ships bunkered a sea-going vessel with LNG, liquefied natural gas, in Rotterdam. Every year, some 11 million m3 of bunker fuel is supplied to vessels in Rotterdam. In Rotterdam, every imaginable fuel can be obtained in huge quantities. The port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest bunkering port, as well as one of the top three bunkering ports worldwide.

BOEM : Potential Cook Inlet Lease Sale

Courtesy BOEM

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it plans to offer approximately 1.09 million acres in Cook Inlet off Alaska’s southcentral coast in a proposed lease sale this year. Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244, scheduled to take place in June 2017, would offer 224 blocks toward the northern part of the Cook Inlet Planning Area for leasing. The blocks stretch roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south. “Following a robust environmental analysis…

ASV Global to demonstrate C-Worker 5 ASV at Ocean Business exhibition

ASV Global C-Worker 5 Photo ASV Global

ASV Global has announced it will be demonstrating its C-Worker 5 Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) at the Ocean Business exhibition in Southampton, 4-6 April 2017. Designed, built, and operated by ASV Global, C-Worker 5 is the ideal platform to support construction and survey operations in combination with cutting-edge hydrographic, positioning and communication systems from leading manufacturers such as Kongsberg Maritime. The 5.5m ASV is designed for up to 7 days endurance at survey speeds of up to 7 knots, minimising launch and recovery operations and increasing survey efficiency.

Fosmax Mulls LNG Bunkering at Fos Cavaou

Aerial photograph of the Fos Cavaou LNG terminal. Photo: Fosmax LNG

France's Fosmax LNG has announced that it is considering making short/medium-term investments to modify its existing facilities to make them capable of receiving both existing and planned small scale LNG vessels at the Fos Cavaou LNG terminal, near Marseille. Fosmax, a unit of Engie’s Elengy,  says that while the use of small-scale  Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is generally growing as both a marine and road fuel, as well as to power industrial sites, in the Mediterranean basin the growth prospects for LNG are mainly driven by the development of LNG as a marine fuel.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Slide Further

File Image (CREDIT: EuroNav)

Around 30 VLCC charters in Feb so far, versus 50 last month. About 40 refinery facilities to close for maintenance. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which fell to multi-week lows on Thursday, could slip further as refinery maintenance in Asia weighs on cargo volumes and chartering activity, brokers said. "The pace of cargoes hitting the market is much slower. This time last month there were 50 VLCC fixtures from the Middle East. There are about 30 now," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of BRS Baxi in Singapore.

TGS, Schlumberger reimaging central GOM

New M-WAZ Multiclient Reimaging Program in Central U.S. Gulf of Mexico

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) and Schlumberger today announced a new multi- and wide-azimuth (M-WAZ) multiclient reimaging program in the highly prospective Central U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Final results are expected in early 2018, ahead of a period when substantial block turnover in the area is anticipated. The new Fusion M-WAZ reimaging program comprises data covering more than 1,000 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks (~23,000 km2) from 3D WAZ programs previously acquired by TGS and Schlumberger with the WesternGeco Q-Marine* point-receiver marine seismic system between 2008 and 2012.

Hathon is Director Exploration, Cairn

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive Photo Cairn

Cairn announced the appointment of Eric Hathon as Director of Exploration. Dr Hathon, who has more than 25 years experience in the international oil and gas industry, will join Cairn from Marathon Oil Corporation where he held the position of Director Conventional Exploration, based at the company’s Headquarters in Houston, USA. Dr Hathon will succeed Richard Heaton, currently Cairn’s Director of Exploration, who is retiring after 23 years service with the company. Richard will step down from his role following Cairn’s Annual General Meeting in May 2017.

MOL Invests in Self-Elevating Platform Vessel Operator

One of the world’s largest Self-Elevating Platform vessels, the Seajacks Scylla, owned and operated by Seajacks Photo MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced a plan to acquire a 5% share in Seajacks International Limited (Seajacks) Group, which owns and operates five Self-Elevating Platform vessels(*1), from Marubeni Corporation. This is a new offshore business for MOL, following FPSO(*2), FSRU (*3), shuttle tanker (*4), and subsea support vessel (*5). It is also the first step to move into the renewable energy business field through involvement in installation of offshore wind power generation systems, which is expanding in Europe and other areas around the world.

HEINZMANN leads in dual-fuel retrofit of marine propulsion engine

Vessel Bencomo Express of Company Fred. Olsen, S.A. Photo HEINZMANN

The use of LNG in marine applications is becoming increasingly common. It offers a big potential in terms of operating costs and emission reduction. Diesel engines converted to dual-fuel show considerably reduced emissions in case of high conversion ratios. Depending on the emission standard which is required, expensive and unwieldy exhaust aftertreatment systems can become unnecessary or their implementation costs are significantly lower. The engine performance is comparable to gas engines.

Teekay Offshore Sees Profit Drop

Pic: Teekay Offshore

Teekay Offshore Partners has reported GAAP net income attributable to the partners and preferred unitholders of $92.0 million and adjusted net income attributable to the partners and preferred unitholders of $8.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Teekay Offshore has generated GAAP income from vessel operations of $56.5 million and $230.9 million, respectively, and total cash flow from vessel operations(1) of $134.8 million and $584.3 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2016.

Allseas Bags Nord Stream 2 Project Contract

Photo: Nord Stream 2

Following an international tender process, Nord Stream 2 AG have awarded a contract for offshore pipelay of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea to Allseas. The company will undertake offshore pipelay works for both lines in 2018 and 2019. Allseas will use three pipelaying vessels – Pioneering Spirit, Solitaire and Audacia. The utilisation of the dynamically-positioned pipelay vessels, which are able to carry out precise maneuvering without anchors, should ensure additional environmental protection and safety in the congested Baltic Sea.

Keel Laid for Teekay’s First New Canada Tanker

Photo: Teekay Corporation

Teekay Offshore will be the sole supplier and operator of shuttle tankers sfor East Coast Canada(ECC), says Teekay Corporation. On February 15, the keel laying ceremony for Teekay’s first shuttle tanker newbuilding for ECC took place at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Korea. This milestone marks the end of the block building period as well as the beginning of the next phase – to complete the newbuilding with all its systems. The shuttle tanker, the Beothuk Spirit, is expected to be delivered in August of 2017.

LR Tankers Taken for Gasoline Storage in Asia

Image: OFE

Singapore gasoline cracks have averaged $10.72/bbl in February so far, down by 12 percent y-o-y but still relatively firm. Robust demand from the Middle East and intra-Asia as well as a flurry of both planned and unplanned refinery outages have been supporting gasoline cracks. ADNOC recently bought nine 27 kt cargoes over March-April delivery as its 127 kb/d RFCC remains shut from a fire. The shutdown of Pertamina’s 125 kb/d Balongan refinery and TPPI’s reformer in Tuban also led to firm buying from Indonesia, Asia’s largest gasoline importer.

Modus unveils Saab Sabretooth for cost effective survey, inspection

Modus Seabed Intervention has successfully completed trialling one of the subsea industry’s first commercially available hybrid unmanned underwater vehicles. It will be one of the first autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to feature the capabilities and characteristics of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). In partnership with Saab Dynamics, Modus has developed the Saab Sabretooth to offer greater endurance and speed, and is also developing advanced sensor payload packages and operating methodologies. The vehicle is expected to contribute to more cost-effective survey and inspection projects in the offshore, defence and oceanographic sectors. Following successful trials in Sweden and the UK, Modus is preparing the advanced spread for its first commercial deployment.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Mar 2017 - The Green Marine Technology Edition

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