Marine Link
Monday, January 16, 2017

Hungary Bans Shipping on Danube as River Freezes Over

Hungary has banned ships from the Danube as the river is freezing over and floating ice poses a risk, a spokeswoman for the General Directorate of Water Management said on Tuesday. The ban is effective from 1500 GMT between, Gabriella Siklos said, in a reply to Reuters questions.   (Reporting by Krisztina Than)

HSH Nordbank Seeks Buyer

German shipping finance provider is optimistic about the prospects of finding a potential buyer for the bank, which will begin a privatization process this year with a deadline in February 2018, says a report in Reuters. "Despite the difficult market environment, we have very good prospects of selling the bank," the report quoted Oliver Gatzke as telling Boersen Zeitung newspaper. HSH Nordbank met potential buyers in London in November ahead of the German lender's planned privatisation this year, people close to the matter told Reuters. HSH's owners - the northern German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg jointly hold 85 percent - have to privatise the bank by the end of February 2018 and have mandated Citi to organise the process, due to start in early 2017.

Iraq Oil Exports Steady Despite Start of OPEC Cut

Oil exports from Iraq's southern ports in the first nine days of January have held steady at December's record high, according to loading data and an industry source, despite the start of an OPEC agreement to cut production. Shipments so far this month have averaged above 3.50 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the loading data tracked by Reuters and by the industry source. In all of December, Iraq's southern exports reached a record high of 3.51 million bpd, Iraq's oil ministry said on Monday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries started implementing an agreement to cut production on Jan. 1. Iraq has said it will cut production by 200,000 bpd as part of the deal.

Boat Capsizes off Tanzania, Kills at Least 12

At least 12 people drowned when a boat capsized near a town on Tanzania's coast, while at least 27 others were rescued, a senior police official said on Tuesday. The boat capsized in the early hours of the morning with an unknown number of passengers onboard, Tanga regional police commander Benedict Wakulyamba told Reuters by telephone. The vessel was en route from Tanga in mainland Tanzania to Pemba, an island in the Zanzibar archipelago in the Indian Ocean. "Twelve bodies, among them five men and seven women, have already been recovered," said Wakulyamba, adding that 27 people had been rescued so far in a continuing rescue operation.

US Navy Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Vessels

File photo: USS Mahan in March 2016 (U.S. Bavy Photo: Rafael Martie)

A U.S. Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels near the Strait of Hormuz after they closed in at high speed and disregarded repeated requests to slow down, U.S. officials said on Monday. The incident, which occurred on Sunday and was first reported by Reuters, comes as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office on Jan. 20. In September, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessels that harassed the U.S. "This was an unsafe and unprofessional interaction…

Statoil May Stop Drilling in US Gulf of Mexico

(Jonathan Bachman/AP/Statoil)

Norway's Statoil is considering whether to end its costly search for oil and gas in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company's exploration chief told financial daily Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) on Friday. Statoil has been part of several discoveries in the region as a junior licence partner, but the company has failed to strike oil in the drilling campaigns it has operated, despite spending billions of dollars. "Even if the fields we have are paying off, the Statoil-operated exploration campaign could so far be characterised as a failure," Tim Dodson told DN.

Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Firm as Weather Delays Weigh

File Image: a large bulk carrier underway (CREDIT: BSM)

Brazil-China rates climb to a 15-month high; about 80 capesize, panamax ships waiting to unload around Tianjin. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to remain firm for at least two more weeks as bad weather conditions in China and Australia help tighten the supply of ships available for charter, ship brokers said. That came as capesize charter rates from Brazil to China climbed to a 15-month high on Thursday. The surge in freight rates…

CNOOC Diverted Two LNG Cargoes from Tianjin After Pipeline Fire

China's state-owned energy company CNOOC diverted two cargoes of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a pipeline fire in northern China's Tianjin, though imports were normal as of Monday, traders with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. Reuters reported on Dec. 28 that a natural gas pipeline in Tianjin was closed after it ruptured and caught fire. Two sources with knowledge of CNOOC's gas operations in Tianjin said CNOOC diverted the LNG cargoes after the accident on the pipeline, which is connected to a domestic gas consumer. "Imports are now back to normal," said one source, adding that the cargoes were sold back to the supplier under force majeure terms. The source did not give further details. A CNOOC press official was not immediately able to comment.

STX Wins $183 Tanker Order

Reuters reported that South Korea's STX Shipbuilding Co. has won a $183.3m order from Malaysia to build four product carriers. Source: Reuters

Pirates: Second Tanker Attacked Off Oman

According to a Reuters report, a chemical oil tanker thwarted a hijack attempt by pirates near the Omani port of Salalah Sunday, a day after a tanker and crew were taken from inside the port in front of the coast guard. According to reports cited in the Reuters story, a pirate skiff fired on the chemical tanker, but its efforts were defeated by evasive manuevers. On Saturday, pirates took the empty MV Fairchem Bogey chemical oil tanker from its anchorage at the port in the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, taking 21 Indian crew members hostage and heading to Somalia. (Source: Reuters)

Libyan Port's Record Container Throughput

This year (2013) Misrata’s non-oil port, situated 124 miles east of the capital Tripoli, has unloaded 208,339 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers, up from 159,634 last year, reports Reuters. Libya’s third-biggest city, Misrata, has benefited from better security conditions than other parts of the OPEC producer, which has been hit by turmoil since the 2011 toppling of Muammar Gaddafi. Analysts say, according to Reuters, that apart from better security, Misrata port benefits from a free trade zone offering special benefits for investors such as exemptions from taxes and duties. Source: Reuters  

Seoul Shares Up 0.5 pct, Shipyards Gain

According to a Sept 15 report from Reuters, Seoul shares edged up on Wednesday helped by firm gains in shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd (009540.KS), but falls in retailers and banks such as Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd (055550.KS) weighed. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index .KS11 (KOSPI) ended up 0.48 percent at 1,823.88 points. Kim Seong-bong, a market analyst at Samsung Securities told Reuters that the company is seeing a lot of equity redemption by fundholders at the index's current level, and this will pressure the market for some time. (Source: Reuters)

Bulk Carrier Remains at Anchorage

The Hong Kong-flag bulk carrier Maritime Talent remains at anchorage in Narvik, Norway following a labor union boycott, Reuters reported. The 47,574-dwt vessel arrived in Narvik last Thursday. However, following a boycott by the LKAB labor union, the vessel lost its loading turn and had to remain at anchorage, Reuters added. Reuters said that the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) had demanded an agreement be signed with the Norwegian Seamen's Union.

POSCO, Hanwha Seen Bidding for Daewoo Int'l

According to a Sept. 23 Reuters report, POSCO (005490.KS) and South Korea's chemicals-to-brokerage group Hanwha are studying a potential bid for Daewoo International (047050.KS), sources close to the companies told Reuters on Wednesday. (Source: Reuters)

Port of Baltimore Hit by Longshoreman's Strike

Port of Baltimore Wharf: Photo courtesy of Maryland Dept of Transportation

Cargo operations at the Port of Baltimore, one of the largest and busiest ports in the United States, were halted on Wednesday by a longshoremen's strike after contract negotiations stalled, report Reuters. Citing Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, Reuters inform that there is no cargo being handled or ships being worked at the public marine terminals at the port of Baltimore, which is the only port from Maine to Texas that was not working that day.

Offshore Wind Turbines Planned in UK

According to a report from Reuters, Clipper Windpower Plc plans to build the world's biggest offshore wind turbines in Britain, which hopes to catch up in green energy after lagging behind others in Europe despite its rich wind resources. Jim Dehlsen, chairman of the London-listed, U.S.-based company, told Reuters it will set up a factory in northern England, which would have an annual capacity to manufacture about 200 turbines by 2014-2015. (Source: Reuters)

Tanker Blocked by Libyan Navy

Libya's navy has blocked Baku, an oil tanker allegedly chartered by Royal Asset Management, from loading crude at an eastern port that has been held for months by armed protesters demanding more autonomy from Tripoli, Reuters reported. Due to a government blockade, the transport of oil from Libya is illegal. An attempt by protesters to get oil to world markets independently would be a major escalation of the obstruction that has slashed Libya's oil exports, the Reuters report said. According to Reuters’ AIS Live ship tracking, the tanker is traveling north towards Malta after sailing around Libya since the end of December. The vessel was outside Brega port and then Zawiya before heading to Es Sider.   Sources: Reuters, staff

BHP Iron Ore Mines Resume Operation

Reuters reported that BHP Billiton’s Australian iron ore mines have recommenced work at full operation following a cyclone that battered coastal regions and closed major shipping terminals this week. “Port Hedland, the world's biggest iron ore terminal and used by BHP to export nearly 200 million metric tons of the steel-making material annually, sustained only minor damage from Cyclone Christine and reopened late on Tuesday,” Reuters said. The storm hit Australia's northwestern coast late on Monday with winds recorded up to 100 mph, before weakening as it crossed the Pilbara iron ore mining belt. Reuters also reported that Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto also said their operations were returning to normal. Source: Reuters  

NLNG May Get Cash for Six LNG Carriers Soon

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) $1.6 billion bank loan on the cards. The company, which is majority owned jointly by the state oil company NNPC and Royal Dutch Shell, told Reuters a year ago it had contacted global banks to appoint advisers to explore the best option to raise funds. More recently a banking source told Reuters that the loan was being structured as a medium to long term financing with the close expected by the end of March 2013. NLNG was set up over two decades ago to harness Nigeria's natural gas resources and produce liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export. It has long-term supply contracts with buyers in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France and also sells on the spot market, reports Reuters. Source: Reuters    

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Slide on Lower Cargo Volumes

File Image: A so-called SuezMax tanker transits the Suez Canal (CREDIT: Suez Canal Authority)

34 VLCC MidEast cargoes fixed for early Jan -Reuters terminal; only nine fixed so far for mid-Jan. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which hit a new nine-month high this week, are on course to soften amid a weaker cargo market as owners wait for more charters to be released from the Middle East and labour unrest affects loading programmes from West Africa. "I think a lot of owners have started to give up now. It's way too quiet - a lot of owners expected this week to be really busy but it has been dead quiet," a European supertanker broker said on Friday.

First Suezmax Tanker Transits Expanded Panama Canal

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

The first Suezmax crude oil tanker that was slated to go through the newly expanded Panama Canal began its transit on Thursday, a public relations official told Reuters. The Aegean Unity, a Greece-flagged Suezmax vessel coming from the U.S. West Coast, entered the Canal Thursday morning, according to Reuters' vessel tracking data. Suezmax-sized vessels, which can carry some 1 million barrels of oil, were unable to pass through the canal prior its expansion. The new canal may help open new trade routes for oil.

Costa Corncordia Trial: 5 People Jailed So Far

Four Costa Concordia crew members and a company official were sentenced to jail in Italy for their part in the 2012 cruise ship disaster that killed 32 people, leaving only the captain still on trial, reports Reuters. The five received sentences of between 18 and 34 months for multiple manslaughter, negligence and shipwreck - relatively short terms for the crimes, in exchange for pleading guilty.None of the five are likely to be jailed as the sentences of under two years were suspended and the longer ones may be replaced with house arrest or community service, say Reuters citing lawyers. The court gave the crisis coordinator for vessel owner Costa Cruises…

Anadarko Turns 2012 Loss Into Q2 2013 Profit

Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) reports a quarterly profit compared with a year-earlier loss, as the U.S. oil and gas company's results were helped by higher natural gas prices, according to Reuters. Anadarko has big offshore oil and gas prospects, but like many other exploration and production companies, the Houston-based Anadarko is also working to increase output of crude from less expensive onshore shale wells in North America. The average sales price Anadarko received for natural gas in the quarter was $3.88 per thousand cubic feet equivalent, up 80 percent from a year ago, as inventories have fallen from record highs. Citing the company, Reuters add that Anarko had encountered oil at two of its Gulf of Mexico prospects, Raptor and Yucatan.


Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jan 2017 -

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