Aaron Sheldrick News

14 May 2020

Japan Spot LNG Import Prices Hit Record Low

Image credit - alexyz3d/AdobeStock

Prices for spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes imported into Japan, the world's biggest buyer of the fuel, fell in April to their lowest since the country's trade ministry started compiling data in 2014. The latest low for LNG cargoes into Japan - reflecting actual prices paid rather than those derived from surveys or indices - highlights the evisceration of demand for gas, along with other commodities, brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak has turned markets on their heads, with U.S.

08 May 2020

Oil rises 5% in second weekly gain on output cuts, demand hopes

© Pavel Ignatov / Adobe Stock

Oil prices settled 5% higher on Friday in their second consecutive week of gains as U.S. producers cut production with the number of drilling rigs falling to a record low, and as more states moved ahead with plans to relax lockdowns intended to halt the coronavirus pandemic.The number of operating oil and natural gas rigs fell by 34 to an all-time low of 374 this week - reflecting data going back 80 years - as the energy industry slashes output and spending to deal with the coronavirus…

22 Apr 2020

Oil Prices Hit 1990s Low

Oil prices slumped again on Wednesday, with Brent falling to the lowest since 1999, as the market struggled with a massive crude glut amid a collapse in demand for everything from gasoline to jet fuel caused by the coronavirus outbreak.Brent crude, which fell 24% in the previous session, touched $15.98 a barrel, its lowest since June 1999. It was trading down $2.37, or 12%, at $16.96 at 0511 GMT.West Texas Intermediate was down 51 cents, or 4.4%, at $11.06 a barrel.The falls follow two of the wildest days in the history of oil trading…

14 Apr 2020

Record Oil Output Cuts Fail to Make Waves in Coronavirus-hit Market

© Emmanuel Campos / Adobe Stock

The minimal impact on oil prices from a global deal for record output cuts showed that oil producers have a mountain to climb if they are to restore market balance as the coronavirus shreds demand and sends stockpiles soaring, industry watchers said.After several days of discussions, oil producing and consuming countries aim to remove nearly 20 million barrels per day (bpd) or 20% of global supply from the market, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday.The oil market has barely shrugged, however: Brent crude gained 1.5% on Monday, while U.S.

07 Feb 2020

Coronavirus Cases Rise on Cruise Ship Marooned off Japan

Diamond Princess (File photo: Carnival Corp.)

Dozens more people onboard a cruise ship quarantined in the port of Yokohama, Japan, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday and thousands of passengers remained confined to their cabins, only allowed on deck briefly for fresh air.The Diamond Princess, owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp, was placed on a two-week quarantine on arriving at Yokohama on Monday after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that 41 people on the liner had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday…

31 Jan 2020

Japan: Ocean Release for Fukushima Water

© pixel_dreams / Adobe Stock

A panel of experts advising Japan's government on a disposal method for radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday recommended releasing it into the ocean, a move likely to alarm neighboring countries.The panel under the industry ministry came to the conclusion after narrowing the choice to either releasing the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean or letting it evaporate - and opted for the former. Based on past practice it is likely the government…

31 Jan 2020

China Virus May Delay Scrubber Retrofits

© hasehase2 / Adobe Stock

Shipping companies may face delivery delays of vessels fitted with exhaust gas filtering equipment that complies with anti-pollution rules that kicked in this year due to the impact from the virus outbreak in China, shipping sources said on Friday.A Mitsui OSK Lines executive said many vessels were in Chinese docks to get so-called scrubbers installed to meet the new emissions rules but with four Chinese provinces asking companies to extend the Lunar New Year holiday by a week, to Feb.

02 Dec 2019

Asian Refiners Strive to Finish IMO Preparations

© vladsv / Adobe Stock

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…

14 Jun 2019

Oil Prices Jump 2% After Tanker Attacks

(Photo: Islamic Republic News Agency)

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…

29 Apr 2019

Ichthys Ramps Up Output

(File photo: INPEX)

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

27 Nov 2018

Inside the LNG Shipbuilding Boom

BP Shipping took delivery of British Partner, the first of a half dozen new 173,400 cu. m. capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers to be delivered through 2018 and 2019 from the DSME shipyard in South Korea. (Photo: BP Shipping)

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…

02 Aug 2018

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…

11 Jul 2018

Oil Falls After Libyan Ports Reopen, Trump Tariff Threat

© Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

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.

21 May 2018

Tokyo Gas Takes First LNG Cargo from Cove Point

© Dexter / MarineTraffic.com

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.

22 Feb 2018

Oil from Sunken Tanker Sanchi Reached Japan's Shores

(Photo: Japan Coast Guard)

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.

09 Feb 2018

Oil Slides toward Weekly Loss on Excess Supply Worries

© Klodien / Adobe Stock

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.

26 Jan 2018

Kawasaki Kisen, 3 Others Plan LNG Bunkering Venture

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: MISC)

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

21 Jun 2017

Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years

© Jelle van der Wolf / Adobe Stock

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.

24 Apr 2017

Japan Steelmakers Scramble for Coking Coal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lukasc Z) )

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.

21 Apr 2017

Iran's Crude Exports Dip to 14-month low

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

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.

26 Jan 2017

Australian LNG Projects Face Delays, Benefiting US Producers

Shell's Prelude floating LNG production vessel (Photo: Shell)

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…

16 Dec 2016

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…

12 Oct 2016

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.

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