Marine Link
Monday, October 23, 2017

West Africa

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.   "Older, cheaper ships are workable out of the Middle East rather than West Africa, that's why we see slightly higher rates from West Africa," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of ship broker BRS Baxi in Singapore.   Typically, shipowners discount rates for older vessels, while oil majors in West Africa limit charters to more modern ships.   Supertanker charter rates have diverged over the last week with prices from the Middle East to Asia nudging lower while freight rates from West Africa climbed to their highest since Feb. 28.   "The disparity in rates between modern and old ships remains while rates for the longer voyages like West Africa/East have been better maintained," said Norwegian ship broker Fearnley in a note on Wednesday.  

Pirates Make a Comeback?

Graph: Oceans Beyond Piracy

 A new report by U.S.-based One Earth Future Foundation Inc.'s Oceans Beyond Piracy program found that seafaring incidents involving kidnap for ransom jumped in 2016. Asia led the way with 125 instances of piracy, while West Africa had 95.  Incidents of kidnap for ransom rose in West Africa and in Asia (in the Sulu and Celebes Seas specifically) from 2015 to 2016. 2016 saw a 57% rise in the number of seafarers affected by piracy in West Africa.  

WSS Open Their Own Facility in Dakar, W. Africa

Simon Hutt: Photo credit WSS

Ship service providers WSS open their own premises in the port after 15 years of operation through sub-agents & service providers. Simon Hutt, Area Director for North and West Africa paid tribute to the hard work of the area operational team in West Africa who have been managing the business development activities and securing the future of the new office, saying:  “WSS has operated in West Africa for the last fifteen years through various sub-agents and service

Topaz Secures another West Africa Contract

The Topaz Faye

Topaz Energy and Marine, an offshore support vessel company with primary operations in the Middle East and Caspian, announced a new contract win for its fast growing West Africa operation. Under the terms of the $11 million agreement, Topaz will supply a global oil major with a platform supply vessel, the Topaz Faye, for 18 months to support its offshore production operations. This contract comes on the back of several recent contract wins in West Africa and further strengthens

Hapag-Lloyd Enhanced West Africa Express Service

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

 Hapag-Lloyd will restructure and further enhance the dedicated West Africa Service Network, the company said in its press release.   Effective mid of March 2016, existing weekly West Africa Express Service (WAX) will be upgraded by deploying an additional vessel, which will enable us to extend port coverage in the existing product.   With the restructured service, Hapag-Lloyd will have a direct Apapa call on the southbound leg

CMA CGM to Upgrade its PEX 3 Service

Photo: CMA CGM

 CMA CGM introduced its new PEX 3 service rotation linking US Gulf Coast and US East Coast (South Atlantic) to Asia, Africa and Mediterranean.   Effective March 9th, 2016 in Houston with m/v CMA CGM CHATEAU D’IF voy. 062PGW, the new rotation will be the following: Houston - Mobile - Miami - Jacksonville - Charleston - Tangier - Singapore - Hong Kong - Chiwan - Shanghai - Ningbo - Pusan   PEX 3 will then offer the following features: 

Aegean Marine to Open New Service Center in West Africa

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea, today announced that it plans to launch a new service center located on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa during the fourth quarter of 2007, expanding the Company's global network of marine fuel service centers. The company also announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase a 1985-built 83

Topaz secures another West Africa contract

Topaz-faye DP2 platform

Topaz Energy and Marine, a leading offshore support vessel company with primary operations in the Middle East and Caspian, today announced a new contract win for its fast growing West Africa operation. Under the terms of the US$ 11 million agreement, Topaz will supply a global oil major with a platform supply vessel, the Topaz Faye, for 18 months to support its offshore production operations. This contract comes on the back of several recent contract wins in West Africa and further

Hutton's Opens Equatorial Guinea Supply Base

Alex Taylor

As part of its continued supply network growth in West Africa, Hutton’s Group has opened a new facility in Equatorial Guinea to boost its supply chain in the region. Operating as part of Hutton’s Remote Site Services, the new base in Luba Freeport will enhance the successful supply solutions already being delivered by Hutton’s West Africa depots in Ghana and Ivory Coast. As the only ship supplier based within Luba Freeport

Firmer MidEast, WAfrica Sentiment Supports VLCC Rates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Middle East rates helped by fewer old vessels; about 96 MidEast cargoes fixed, 25 to come.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could rise next week on firm sentiment in the Middle East and West Africa markets but higher oil prices and fewer floating storage opportunities could cap increases, brokers said on Friday.   "Middle East rates to the east have crept up one or two points (on the Worldscale measure)," said Ashok Sharma

More Cargo, Slower Steaming Support VLCC Rates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

VLCC rates from MidEast to Asia gain around $3,000; higher chartering volumes for peak winter season could lift rates.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes may have found a floor this week as a combination of increased chartering activity and some tankers sailing at slower speeds pushed rates slightly higher from the Middle East.   "Rates are at a bottom, they have kind of found a floor," said Ashok Sharma

DP World to Develop Logistics Plan for Mali

Photo: DP World

 DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, met with the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, last week to discuss a trade and logistics master plan to unlock the resource rich country’s economic potential.   The plan includes a transportation and logistics strategy with electronic customs processes, replicating DP World’s successful model with Dubai Trade at its flagship Jebel Ali Port and Freezone in Dubai.   

EU Leads the Way with Ambitious Action for Cleaner and Safer Seas

The EU Commission is composed of the College of Commissioners of 28 members, including the President and Vice-Presidents. Photo: European Commission

 At the ongoing EU-hosted Our Ocean conference in Malta (5-6 October), the European Union has committed to 36 tangible actions to foster healthier, cleaner, safer and more secure seas.    Amounting to over €550 million and involving activities worldwide, the announcements underline the EU's determination to improve the situation of the seas and send a positive signal of encouragement to the rest of the world – governments and private sector alike - to step up and

Total Reinforces its Exploration in West Africa

Map: Total

 Total and the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea (ONAP) signed a Technical Evaluation Agreement to study deep and ultra deep offshore areas located off the coast of Guinea Conakry, covering approximately 55,000 square kilometers.    “By taking this position on a new under-explored area, Total pursues its exploration strategy targeting deep offshore prospective basins,” declared Kevin McLachlan

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Flat as Old and New Ships Compete

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

MidEast-Asia rates likely to remain flat until August; paper derivative trades show no uptick until October.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are likely to remain flat next week, a situation that could well last until August, brokers said on Friday.   "Rates are stuck. I don't see there being any hope for July cargoes. Similar rate levels are probably here for August cargoes," a Singapore-based supertanker broker said on Friday.  

Yinson Sells FPSO Stake in Ghana

Photo: Yinson Holdings

 Malayasia's Yinson Holdings has sold its26 percent stake in its floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit in Ghana to a consortium of Japanese companies, The Star reported.   According to the heads of agreement (HoA) with the consortium, the value of the stake in Yinson Production (West Africa) Pte Ltd (YPWA), the company said yesterday, was estimated in the range of $104 million to $117 million.  

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Under Pressure on Oversupply

File Image: CREDIT EuroNav

Charterers set to split VLCC cargoes if owners push rates higher.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are coming under pressure from a build up in ships waiting for new charters and depressed rates in smaller tanker sizes, brokers said on Friday.   "At the slightest attempt by owners to push rates higher, charterers can split the cargo into Suezmax cargoes for the same rate," an European supertanker broker said on Friday.  

GC Rieber Gets Extension for 'Polar Onyx'

Polar Onyx. Photo: GC Rieber

 Norwegian offshore shipowner GC Rieber Shipping has entered into an agreement to extend the fixed contract period for "Polar Onyx," according to a press release.   The agreement secures the ship until the end of August 2017.  It had won the initial contract for the vessel in early March. At the time, the company said that the charter would see the vessel continue operating in West Africa.  

VLCC Outlook Brightens Slightly

file Image: CREDIT EuroNav

Rate correction likely after low S-Oil charter drags market.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could see a small respite next week, building on the slight improvement seen in the last two days although sentiment is likely to remain pessimistic of any real recovery, brokers said on Friday.   "There was a large drop on Tuesday when South Korea's S-Oil fixed at 45.50 (on the Worldscale measure)

Overtonnage Weighs on VLCC Rates

© Jose Gil / Adobe Stock

Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes from the Middle East could fall to a new low for the year next week as too many ships chase the number of available cargoes, ship brokers said on Friday.   That came as average rates from the Middle East to Asia have fallen close to last year's low.   Average rates dropped to around 32.50 on the Worldscale measure on Sept. 23, 2016, equivalent to about 42

SBM Offshore Raises Outlook Buoyed by Deepwater Spending

File photo: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore, a Dutch provider of floating oil and gas production vessels, raised its core earnings guidance on Wednesday citing clients slowly spending more on deepsea projects.   "Deepwater is becoming attractive again. It's on a par from an economic standpoint with shale oil," said Chief Executive Bruno Chabas, in reference to a recovery in spending which fell after a sharp drop in oil prices in 2014.  

Vryhof Expands Its Global Footprint

Mo Tafazzoly (Photo: Vryhof)

Vryhof, a provider of anchoring and mooring solutions, said it is expanding its global footprint with its companies Deep Sea Mooring (DSM) opening a new office in Aberdeen and Vryhof Anchors appointing Singapore-based Franklin Offshore as its exclusive representative for selling Vryhof solutions in a number of Asia Pacific countries.   “In an industry that has seen considerable negativity over the past year

Asia Tankers: VLCC Rates May Have Bottomed

A EuroNave VLCC Underway (CREDIT: EuroNav)

About 20 MidEast VLCC still to be fixed for August.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes may have finally bottomed as owners attempt to resist moves by charterers to push rates still lower, brokers said.   "This is a really bad market now. The floor keeps getting lower but I think there's now resistance by owners," said a Singapore-based supertanker broker on Friday.  

Asia VLCC Rates Fall to Four-year Low

© Jose Gill / Adobe Stock

Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes show little sign of reviving although Hurricane Harvey, which threatens to ravage the U.S. Gulf coast oil refining industry over the weekend, could provide a fillip, brokers said.   That came as average weighted VLCC freight rates on all routes sank to their lowest in four years this week to around $9,000 per day.   Rates are even lower on some routes after CPC fixed a VLCC late Thursday for a trip from the

VLCC, Product Tanker Rates Headed in Opposite Directions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

No impact on VLCC rates yet from Hurricane Harvey, even as rates for smaller product tankers double.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes continue to sink on a glut of available tonnage as owners wait for supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey to help support the market, brokers said.   Charter rates for VLCCs from the Middle East have fallen to around 36 on the Worldscale measure.  

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