The Enduring, Iconic U.S. Flag ATB Model
The view from the Bouchard Boardroom and … beyond.The roots of the now familiar and reliable articulated tug and barge (ATB) business are deep and stretch all the way back to the 1800’s. Along the way, various patents to connect a tug and a barge with a secure mechanical connection were filed. The concept began to gather momentum in the late 1960’s when Edwin Fletcher with ARTUBAR, and the Bludworth family of flexible pushing systems were pioneering efforts to marry the economies of pushing with the safety and seakeeping inherent in mechanically linking the tug and barge at sea.
LORD Corporation Receives API 16F Certification
The provider of motion and vibration control solutions for the oil and gas industry LORD Corporation is now certified to the American Petroleum Institute's (API) standard 16F testing for telescopic joint (TJ) packers. Testing was conducted to the second edition of API standard 16F, effective May 1, 2018, a harsher standard than the first edition in that the inner barrel must not be lubricated during testing. The TJ packers now experience more friction than in the first edition test regimen.
US to Become Third Largest LNG Exporter in 2019
The coming year is expected to make the U.S. the third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, creating jobs stateside while reducing emissions and providing reliable energy to countries around the world, said American Petroleum Institute (API).API, Center for LNG, and LNG Allies, the three national trade associations specializing in U.S. LNG, today issued a first-of-its-kind joint statement on the extraordinary developments expected in U.S. LNG in 2019.Todd Snitchler…
Trade War Contributes to U.S. LNG Export Decline
The number of U.S. liquefied natural gas vessels that went to China in 2018 fell by around 20 percent from the prior year as the trade war between Beijing and Washington heated up.In recent weeks, however, that dispute has cooled somewhat with talks in China this week between Chinese and U.S. trade teams raising hopes additional tariffs can be avoided.As the trade war escalated during the last six months of 2018, only six LNG vessels went from the United States to China, down from 25 during the same period in 2017. China imposed tariffs on U.S.
API Enhances Offshore Safety Standard
The American Petroleum Institute (API) released its newest valve standard as part of the industry’s continuous efforts to improve operational safety and environmental protection.According to a release from the agency, the “Specification 6A” governs the design and operations of the critical safety valves at wells used in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry. The latest edition includes new automatic closure requirements, to ensure additional protection for workers and…
Preventing Maritime Vessel Explosions – The Role of the Marine Chemist
With advances in technology, increased regulatory requirements for training, and an industry that has been committed to improving working conditions, especially those associated with confined space entry and fire prevention, why are we still seeing maritime related fires and explosions that often include serious injury or loss of life? HistoryFollowing the First World War, as cargo vessels, particularly tank ships, were being converted to carry larger cargos, the incident rate of fires and explosions during shipbuilding, repair, and conversion began to rise.
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.
US Military Seeks Rules for Drilling in Gulf of Mexico
An expansion of oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico would interfere with U.S. military testing unless the Pentagon and another agency develop rules to govern the work, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a report this week.The Defense Department concluded in a report it sent on Wednesday to U.S. lawmakers that drilling east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico, a demarcation more than 200 miles (320 km) west of Florida, would harm military testing operations…
US Senators from 12 States Seek Offshore Drilling Exemptions like Florida's
Twenty-two Democratic U.S. senators from 12 states on Thursday joined the chorus of local representatives seeking exemptions from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's newly proposed offshore drilling plan, after his surprise move on Tuesday to shield Florida. Zinke surprised lawmakers, governors, and industry groups on Tuesday night by announcing that Florida would be removed from the Interior Department's proposal to open up over 90 percent of federal waters to oil and gas leasing.
As US Opens Up Offshore Waters, Eastern GoM Beckons
President Donald Trump's administration has proposed opening up nearly all of America's offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, but the industry says it is mainly interested in one part of it, now cordoned off by the Pentagon: the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The industry's focus on an area located near a sprawling network of existing platforms, pipes and ports could ease the path to new reserves, and assuage the drilling opponents near other places offered under the Interior Department's proposed drilling plan issued last week, like California's Pacific, the Atlantic and Arctic.
Crude Slips, Gasoline Jumps in Storm's Choppy Wake
Goldman Sachs says 23 pct of U.S. refining capacity is shut. Crude oil slid and gasoline futures hit their highest since mid-2015 on Wednesday as flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Harvey shut over a fifth of U.S. refineries, curbing demand for crude while raising the risk of fuel shortages. Refineries with output of 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd) were offline on Tuesday, representing 23 percent of U.S. production, Goldman Sachs said. Restarting plants even under the best conditions can take a week or more. "It will be a while before operations can return to normal and the U.S.
Oil Spill Response: USCG Testing Evolves
Coast Guard R&D Center’s JMTF is a big part of the nation’s environmental research efforts. In 1972, the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) established the Fire and Safety Test Detachment (FSTD), which later became the Joint Maritime Test Facility (JMTF), at Coast Guard Sector Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. As part of the unit’s establishment, test facilities were also built on nearby Little Sand Island in Mobile Bay. Since its inception, multiple retired commercial vessels were used as test platforms ending with the State of Maine, which was removed in 2010.
Vryhof Makes Two Senior Appointments
Anchoring and mooring solutions provider Vryhof has made two senior appointments: Evan Zimmerman as Vryhof’s new Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and Clément Mochet as new Commercial Director for Vryhof’s business unit, Vryhof Anchors. Based in Houston, Zimmerman has been tasked with pushing improvement within Vryhof’s technology, management systems and engineering capabilities. In particular, he will support Vryhof in strengthening its mooring equipment technologies…
CBP Withdraws Obama-proposed Jones Act Changes
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn an Obama-era proposal to modify a law that governs shipping, which would have revoked waivers that make it easier for oil and gas operators to skirt restrictions, according to an agency bulletin published Wednesday. For nearly 40 years the CBP has provided exemptions to the Jones Act, which mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. The exemptions have allowed oil and gas operators to use often cheaper, tax-free, or more readily available foreign flagged vessels. The CBP has weighed revoking these waivers after President Barack Obama's administration proposed to put them on the chopping block two days before President Donald Trump took office.
USCG Recognizes T&T Marine Salvage’s Capabilities
T&T Marine Salvage, a member company of the Teichman Group, founded in 1957, received a new certification by the U.S. Coast Guard to detect and recover non-floating oils. T&T is the first Coast Guard recognized Salvage and Marine Firefighting service provider to receive this new Oil Spill Removal Organization classification initiated by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2016. This new certification is in recognition of T&T’s years of experience conducting non-floating oil detection and recovery operations and their expansive inventory of hydrographic…
Arctic Drilling Ban Gives Canada Leg Up -US Lawmakers
U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday slammed an agreement made with Canada to ban offshore Arctic drilling, saying Ottawa's plan to review its ban every five years gives Canada a leg up on energy exploration. U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced a ban on new oil and gas drilling federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, while Canada instituted a similar ban in its Arctic waters. Unlike the United States, where the ban is indefinite, Canada said it will review its restrictions every five years.
Obama Bans New Drilling off Alaska, Part of Atlantic Shore
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in a push to leave his stamp on the environment before Republican Donald Trump takes office next month. Obama used a 1950s-era law called the Outer Continental Shelf Act that allows presidents to limit areas from mineral leasing and drilling. Environmental groups said that meant Trump's incoming administration would have to go court if it sought to reverse the move.
Obama Administration Bars New Oil, Gas Exploration off Alaska
The Obama administration on Friday blocked new exploration for oil and gas in Arctic waters, in a win for environmental groups that had fought development of the ecologically fragile region. The Department of the Interior released a 2017 to 2022 leasing plan that blocked drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off northern Alaska. It also limited petroleum development in the Cook Inlet off south-central Alaska. Environmental activists have battled drilling in Alaska to protect whales, walruses and seals, and as part of a broader movement to keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.
U.S. to Crack Down on Ocean Noise that Harms Fish
The ocean has gotten noisier for decades, with man-made racket from oil drilling, shipping and construction linked to signs of stress in marine life that include beached whales and baby crabs with scrambled navigational signals. The United States aims to change that as a federal agency prepares a plan that could force reductions in noise-making activities, including oil exploration, dredging and shipping off the nation's coast. "We've been worried about ocean noise for decades…
Crude Prices up 3% on Gasoline Rally, Weak Dollar
Crude oil prices rose about 3 percent on Tuesday on the back of a rally in the gasoline market and as a tumbling dollar boosted commodities denominated in the greenback after bets the Federal Reserve will hold U.S. interest rates where they are. U.S. gasoline futures rallied more than 3 percent to their highest since August on Tuesday, boosting refinery margins, after a series of Gulf Coast refinery unit outages, buying from Venezuela and a reported drop in New York inventories. "I think the market has become more optimistic on oil products," said Scott Shelton, broker and commodities specialist with ICAP in Durham, North California. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the U.S.
Oil Rises Towards $31 on Hopes of Deal
Oil rose on Tuesday to above $31 a barrel on hopes that OPEC and non-OPEC producers were inching closer to a deal to reduce output in the face of one of the biggest supply gluts in decades. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is making renewed calls for rival producers to cut supply alongside its members, but Russia, seen as key to any deal, has so far refused to cooperate. Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said on Tuesday he saw "some flexibility" for a deal, an idea has been repeatedly mooted and dismissed for over a year. Brent crude was up $1.02 at $31.52 a barrel by 11:05 a.m. EST (1605 GMT), rebounding from a decline earlier in the session. On Jan. 20, Brent reached as low as $27.10, its lowest since November 2003. U.S.
Stakeholders Voice Opposition to Proposed Waterway Tolls
A group of 75 companies and organizations have collectively voiced opposition to a Public Private Partnership (P3) project that would seek to toll the Illinois Waterway and that could make its way into the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. The group consisting of a variety of stakeholders across the logistics chain and led by the Waterways Council, Inc. “We are not opposed to appropriate, properly-structured financing to improve the nation’s inland waterways transportation system,” the letters said.
Oil Storage Business is Booming
(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. Oil producers may be struggling as a result of low prices but the oil storage business has never been in better shape. U.S. refiners, traders and logistics companies added an extra 11 million barrels of working storage capacity for crude oil between March and September, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Since September 2011, total capacity for storing crude in the United States has expanded by almost 87 million barrels, 19 percent, the EIA reported on Monday ("Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity" Nov. 30). Most of the extra capacity has been added at tank farms and other offsite locations (+84 million barrels) rather than refineries (+2.5 million barrels) where space is often constrained.