Asian Refiners Strive to Finish IMO Preparations
At SK Energy's largest refinery in South Korea, engineers are rushing to complete a new processing unit ahead of schedule as the firm looks to boost sales of low-emission fuels before new marine fuel standards take effect in just one month.In Japan, the country's second-biggest refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co is taking a more cautious stance, increasing capacity for low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO), but also relying on blending to produce IMO 2020 compliant bunker fuel.The different approaches…
Oil Prices Jump 2% After Tanker Attacks
Oil prices settled 2.2% higher on Thursday after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman stoked concerns of reduced crude trade flows through one of the world's key shipping routes.The attacks near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz reignited worries about an impact to flows from the Middle East if insurance companies begin to reduce coverage for voyages through the region and additional shipping companies suspend new bookings, analysts said.Such a disruption "could further exacerbate the supply problem…
Ichthys Ramps Up Output
A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been floating off Australian waters for nearly two weeks as production at Ichthys project ramps up, industry sources told Reuters.The tanker 'Symphonic Breeze' has been moored at Darwin anchorage since April 17 after loading a cargo from the recently launched Ichthys LNG facility, shipping data from Refinitiv Eikon showed.The LNG cargo has already been sold to a North Asian buyer, who chose to lift it at a later date due to high inventory in its tanks, an industry source familiar with the matter said.The "floating cargo" situation has been part
Inside the LNG Shipbuilding Boom
South Korean shipyards have seemingly boxed out rivals from the market for building large ships carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG), winning all of the orders for the next three years worth more than $9 billion.Three South Korean yards - Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries - have won the more than 50 orders placed for new large-scale LNG tankers for delivery in the next three years, according to data from the…
Rising Supply Dents Oil Gains
Oil prices fell for a third day on Thursday, following a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that added to existing concern about the rapid rise in global crude supply.Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production, as agreed at a meeting in June, to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once U.S. sanctions come into force later this year.Brent crude futures were last down 33 cents at $72.06 a barrel by 1200 GMT, while U.S. crude futures fell 55 cents to $67.11."There's been a lot of bearish news over the last week. We've seen the OPEC July numbers increasing quite drastically month-on-month and along with that…
Oil Falls After Libyan Ports Reopen, Trump Tariff Threat
Global oil benchmark Brent fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to levy new tariffs on China and Libya announced the reopening of key oil export terminals.The spectre of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.Brent crude fell $2.10, or 2.7 percent, to a low of $76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1325 GMT. U.S.
Tokyo Gas Takes First LNG Cargo from Cove Point
Japan received its first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Monday from Dominion Energy Inc's newly completed Cove Point export plant, the beginning of a jump in imports from the United States by the world's biggest buyer of the fuel.The docking of the tanker LNG Sakura at Tokyo Gas Co's Negishi terminal near Tokyo is another marker of shifting global energy flows as the United States ramps up exports of gas and oil from shale formations.The cargo is the first of 2.2 million tonnes of LNG a year Japanese companies are purchasing under long-term contracts from Cove Point in Maryland.
Oil from Sunken Tanker Sanchi Reached Japan's Shores
Oil that reached islands in southern Japan earlier this month is highly likely to have come from the sunken Iranian tanker Sanchi, the Japan Coast Guard said on Thursday. Samples of oily matter that washed up on Feb. 8 on the shores of the Okinoerabu and Yoron islands in the Amami chain were found to be linked to the Sanchi's sinking, the Coast Guard said. The Sanchi sank on Jan. 14 after colliding with a freighter on Jan. 6 in the world's worst oil tanker disaster in decades.
Oil Slides toward Weekly Loss on Excess Supply Worries
Oil prices fell for a sixth day on Friday, and were on track for their biggest weekly loss in 10 months, as record-high U.S. crude output added to concerns about a sharp rise in global supplies. The drop came amid a rout in global equity markets sparked by inflation fears. Brent futures were down 81 cents at $64 a barrel by 1502 GMT. Earlier in the day, they fell as far as $63.70, the lowest since Dec. 20. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 80 cents at $60.35 a barrel, after falling to as low as $60.07, its lowest since Dec. 29.
Kawasaki Kisen, 3 Others Plan LNG Bunkering Venture
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Chubu Electric Power , Toyota Tsusho, and Nippon Yusen KK say they have started discussions to launch a business supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel ships. Discussions to focus on supplying marine traffic in the Chubu region in central Japan and building supply networks for customers using the fuel, companies said in statement on Friday. LNG has been promoted as an alternative to bunker fuel oil for shipping lines facing a 2020 deadline to meet new international standards on sulphur emissions. Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick
Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years
Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on Wednesday after hitting a 10-month low in volatile trade, as growing U.S. production and reduced Chinese refinery activity fed mounting concern over the stubborn global crude glut. U.S. crude futures settled at $42.53, down 98 cents or 2.3 percent, after touching a low of $42.13, the lowest intraday level since August 2016. Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped more than 20 percent, with only brief rallies. More than 1 million front-month crude contracts changed hands on Wednesday, far exceeding the daily average of 560,000 contracts.
Japan Steelmakers Scramble for Coking Coal
Japanese steelmakers have bought coking coal from the United States, Canada and China to replace supply lost after a cyclone closed rail links in Australia, their biggest supplier, industry and trader sources said. Still, the Japanese buyers are paying nearly double the $150 a tonnes price that they were discussing with sellers for second-quarter supply before the supply disruption. The supply talks are now on hold and prices will likely stay high until full volumes start flowing again. In 2016, Japan bought about 71 percent of the 59.9 million tonnes of coking coal it consumed from Australia.
Iran's Crude Exports Dip to 14-month low
Iran's crude exports to hit 14-month low; May exports to total 1.66 mln bpd in May. Iran's crude oil exports are set to hit a 14-month low in May, a person with knowledge of the Middle Eastern country's tanker loading schedule said, suggesting the country is struggling to raise exports after clearing out stocks stored on tankers. Part of the drop may also be attributable to a decline in demand, as loadings bound for India are set to slump to a one-year low after a dispute over the award of a contract for a gas field and Japan's orders fall by more than half from April.
Australian LNG Projects Face Delays, Benefiting US Producers
Australia's plans for a huge increase in its production of liquefied natural gas are being dealt a big blow by a series of production delays, as energy companies struggle with technical problems and cost overruns. The country is still likely to become the world's biggest LNG exporter, dispatching about 85 million tonnes a year by the end of the decade, up from 30.7 million tonnes in 2015 and 45.1 million tonnes last year. But the pace of growth is much slower than expected because…
Novatek Inks Agreements with Japanese Companies on Gas
Novatek, Russia's second biggest gas producer, said on Friday it had signed agreements with Japan's Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi Corp and Marubeni Corp to cooperate in liquefied natural gas and other energy sectors. Japan, lacking fuel resources, is the world's largest importer of the gas while Russia wants to boost its global LNG market share, currently less than 5 percent. Novatek's Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson said the agreements focused on potential gas production, gas liquefaction and liquefied natural gas transport. Novatek is interested in LNG trading with the three Japanese trading companies, he said. Marubeni said in a statement that it would explore opportunities to develop upstream and midstream areas for the Arctic LNG-2 project which Novatek is newly implementing…
Oil Rises on Record Indian Imports, Hopes of Output Caps
Oil prices edged up on Wednesday, supported by record Indian crude imports and talks between OPEC producers and other oil exporters on curbing output to end a glut in the global market. Global benchmark oil futures, the Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contracts, have both risen more than 10 percent since the end of September on prospects major crude producers would freeze or cut production to stem an oversupply in the market. However, doubts remain as to the intentions of major suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and the effectiveness of any agreement in reining in output from record highs. Brent crude futures were up 26 cents at $52.67 a barrel by 1115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 23 cents to $51.02 a barrel.
Japan Regulator Investigating LNG Shipping Restrictions
Japan's anti-monopoly regulator is investigating whether clauses in liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts preventing buyers from selling the fuel to third parties hurts competition, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources. The investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) is in the early stages and may be completed by the end of year, the report said. A spokesman for the JFTC would not comment on the issue when contacted by Reuters, including whether any probe is under way.
Oil Prices Rise in Thin Asian Trade after Break
Oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Monday after a three-day break, but volumes were tiny as a number of markets remain on holiday for Easter. U.S. crude's front-month contract was up 37 cents at 39.83 a barrel at 0055 GMT. On Thursday, it settled down 33 cents at $39.46 a barrel, recovering from a session low of $38.33. For the week, it rose 2 cents, finishing up for a sixth straight week. Brent's front-month rose 24 cents to $40.68 a barrel. It fell 3 cents to $40.44 a barrel, after an earlier drop to $39.22, on Thursday. For the week, it fell 76 cents, or nearly 2 percent, its first decline in five weeks. Oil prices have risen about 50 percent from multi-year lows hit in January on glut worries. Declining U.S.
US Crude Falls as Market Braces for More Iranian Oil
U.S. crude oil futures fell in early Asian trade, heading lower after posting the first significant gains for 2016 in the previous session, as the prospect of additional Iranian supply looms over the market. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 33 cents at $30.87 a barrel at 0103 GMT. On Thursday the contract rose 72 cents, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $31.20. It hit a 12-year low of $29.93 earlier this week. WTI is on track to post a third consecutive weekly loss, down more than 6 percent. The contract is down nearly 18 percent from a 2016 high on January 4. Brent crude was yet to trade. The global benchmark settled up 72 cents, or 2.4 percent, at $31.03 a barrel on Thursday. Earlier in the session, it rose to $31.23 after falling to $29.73, its weakest since February 2004.
Another Japanese Bulk Shipper Seeks Bankruptcy Protection
Daiichi Chuo liabilities total $1.5 bln. Second dry bulker to seek bankruptcy protection this month. Japanese bulk carrier Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha said on Tuesday it had filed for protection from creditors - the second shipper to do so this month - with analysts predicting more failures if the market for dry freight continues to slump. The shipping industry has been hit hard by the global commodities meltdown with the dry freight market near six-year lows and rates for large ships carrying iron ore and coal barely covering operating costs this year. Daiichi Chuo said it had been unable to make ends meet on ships it had chartered or finance ships it had ordered…
LNG Destination Clauses May End: IGU
Destination clauses on contracts for liquefied natural gas (LNG)shipments will soon be a thing of the past because of the shale revolution in the United States, the head of the International Gas Union said in an interview. Japan and other buyers of LNG have long complained that the destination clauses on multiple-year term contracts place an unfair restriction on trade of the fuel. Those objections have been rebuffed by producers up until recently, but that is changing as the United States is on the verge of becoming a gas exporter. The conversion of U.S. sites formerly planned as import terminals into liquefaction plants - after its…
Nippon Steel May Transport Iron on Valemax Ships
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Japan's biggest steelmaker, may start talks on a contract to transport iron ore from Brazilian miner Vale on Valemax ships, the world's biggest bulk carriers, to cut costs, a senior official said. Such a contract would be a boost for Vale, which is trying to increase use of the ships after China in 2012 prevented the world's biggest iron ore miner from docking the giant vessels in its ports to protect its own shipping companies. The 400,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) vessels could cut Nippon Steel's shipping costs by at least $400,000 on each cargo.
Exxon's $19 Bln PNG Plant could change country's fortune
ExxonMobil's $19 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Papua New Guinea, which is shipping its first cargo, is set to dramatically transform one of Asia-Pacific's most unstable countries, for better or for worse. The LNG venture, which is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over 30 years, is the largest private investment in the South Pacific nation's history. ExxonMobil is relying on projects like this one for much-needed production growth, while the Papua New Guinea government hopes it might double its $15 billion dollar economy…