FBI Seeks Evidence in California Boat Fire
Federal and local investigators on Sunday carried out search warrants involving the owners of a diving boat that caught fire off the California coast in the middle of the night last week, killing 34 people.Agents from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office searched the offices and two additional vessels owned by Truth Aquatics of Santa Barbara, owner of the Conception, on which the deadly blaze occurred last Monday…
Interview: Astrid Skarheim Onsum, SVP, Head of Wind, Aker Solutions
Offshore renewable energy is gaining investment support in the United States, particularly on the east coast. While the U.S. is a full generation behind its European counterparts in tapping the wind as an energy source, if current plans come to fruition it could gain ground quickly. Recently we spoke with Astrid Skarheim Onsum, SVP, Head of Wind Aker Solutions, for her view on the path ahead and the growing role and promising future of ‘floating wind.’Please give an overview of your responsibilities as SVP…
Shell's LNG Canada Seen as Tip of Megaproject Iceberg
The launch of a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Canada has finally fired the starting gun on a wave of plan approvals around the world, needed to avoid a supply crunch after 2020.Royal Dutch Shell said it would export LNG from Western Canada by 2025 after approving a $14 billion project, hot on the heels of Qatar's commitment last week to expand its facilities.The two announcements, adding 37 million tonnes a year (mtpa) to the 290 million tonnes traded in 2017…
California to Ban Crude from Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
California will block the transport of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs through its state, officials told Reuters, a move meant to hobble the Trump administration’s effort to vastly expand drilling in U.S. federal waters. California's threat to deny pipeline permits for transporting oil from new leases off the Pacific Coast is the latest step by states trying to halt the biggest proposed expansion in decades of federal oil and gas leasing. Officials in Florida, North and South Carolina…
Big Oil Takes Stage for Post-austerity Beauty Contest
With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world's biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards. Royal Dutch Shell and Total are emerging as frontrunners after a three-year slump thanks to strong growth projections but Exxon Mobil, the biggest publicly traded oil company, has largely disappointed with a weaker outlook. Major oil companies slashed spending and cut costs after oil prices collapsed…
McDermott, CB&I Shareholders Approve Merger
McDermott International shareholders on Tuesday approved a merger with Chicago Bridge & Iron Co that creates a vertically integrated onshore and offshore engineering and construction company, thwarting an attempt by offshore drilling contractor Subsea 7 to block the deal.More than 50 percent of McDermott shareholders supported the deal and approved a 3-to-1 reverse stock split, according to a spokesman. CB&I shareholders also voted in favor the merger, the companies said, and the combination is expected to close on May 10.Shares of CB&I were up about 6 percent…
Tullow Launches Deepwater FPSO Despite Glut
Tullow not for sale but could be take-over target - COO. Amid one of the deepest oil price crashes in history, Britain's Tullow Oil is sending one of the world's biggest floating deep-water oil production platforms to West Africa to pump crude for at least 20 years. The 340-metre long production vessel, named after late Ghanaian president Prof John Evans Atta Mills, was converted in Singapore from a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) super-tanker, and is expected to set sail this weekend to Ghana, where it is scheduled to gradually ramp up production from the TEN deepwater oilfield from July/August this year, the company's chief operating officer Paul McDade said on Thursday.
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…
BP Reports Biggest Ever Annual Loss
BP shares slide 8 pct after results miss forecasts. BP slumped to its biggest annual loss last year and announced thousands more job cuts on Tuesday, showing that even one of the nimblest oil producers is struggling in the worst market downturn in over a decade. The British oil and gas company, which is still grappling with about $55 billion of costs from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, said it would cut 7,000 jobs by the end of 2017, or nearly 9 percent of its workforce.
Inland Waterways Conference Set for Cincinnati
The 2017 Inland Waterways Conference is set to be held in scenic Cincinnati, Ohio, from March 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. The event will feature full days of hot topics and VIP speakers to address emerging inland waterways topics and trends, highlighted by Lunch Keynote Speaker United States Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, speaking on March 7 from noon to 1:15. "We are honored that Admiral Zukunft will take part in our conference" said Alan Bernstein, Conference Director.
First U.S. Shale Gas Exports Imminent
Asia Vision LNG tanker docks at Cheniere's export terminal. A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker on Sunday docked at the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, with only days to go before the United States ships its first export cargo of seaborne gas from the lower 48 states. U.S. exports will add to a wave of supply coming from Australian projects at a time when demand falters in major consuming countries and prices have plummeted in line with oil. Expected to become an importer of LNG until just a few years ago…
US Drillers Cut Oil Rigs for 11th Week Straight
U.S. energy firms this week cut oil rigs for an 11th week in a row to the lowest level since December 2009, data showed on Friday, as Exxon Mobil Corp and other producers slashed their drilling rig count to focus on uncompleted wells amid low oil prices. Drillers removed eight oil rigs in the week ended March 4, bringing the total rig count down to 392, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. That compares with 922 oil rigs operating in the same week a year ago. In 2015, drillers cut on average 18 oil rigs per week for a total of 963 for the year, the biggest annual decline since at least 1988. Before this week, drillers cut on average 17 rigs per week so far this year.
Low Commodity Prices Drive 2016 Defaults, Oilfields to Shut
Commodity prices at multi-year lows drove a rise in defaults early this year, and the oil sector could see still more unprofitable fields shut, industry analysts said on Wednesday. Debt defaults in the commodity sectors rose in the first two months of 2016 from the same period a year ago, credit ratings agency Moody's said. "Of the 18 defaults since the start of the year, half have been in commodity sectors," said Sharon Ou, a Moody's vice president and senior credit officer, in an e-mailed statement late on Tuesday. Five of the defaults were in the oil and gas sector while four were in metals and mining, she said. For the same period last year, there were 11 defaults in total and only one in commodities, Ou said.
Oil Rallies as Hopes Grow for Output Cut
Oil rallied to four-month highs on Thursday, underpinned by a surprisingly large drop in U.S. inventory levels the previous day and by growing expectations for the world's largest producers to agree to cut supply. Brent crude futures were last up 55 cents on the day at $52.41 a barrel by 1408 GMT, having risen to a session peak of $52.65, the highest in four months. U.S. futures rose 46 cents to $50.29 a barrel, having broken above $50 for the first time since June this year. A number of OPEC oil ministers plus Russia's energy minister set to attend an energy conference in Istanbul are expected to meet together informally although they are unlikely to make any new decisions, OPEC sources said.
Mexico Approves 5 Shallow Water Areas in Round One Oil Tender
Mexico has approved the terms for five shallow water areas containing around 355 million barrels of oil equivalent as part of its Round One tender to open up the country's oil fields, the country's energy regulator said on Friday. The whole of Round One covers areas including the Chicontepec basin and the Perdido area, as well as shallow and deep waters, and sees investment of up to $50.5 billion between 2015 and 2018, the energy regualtor said in November. (Reporting by Adriana Barrera, Ana Isabel Martinez, Christine Murray and Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Simon Gardner)
SUNY Maritime College Names ABS Chairs
The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College has selected Dr. Richard Burke and Dr. Christopher Clott as its inaugural ABS chairs following a comprehensive search that drew an expansive range of applicants, the college announced today. Made possible through the financial support of ABS (formerly the American Bureau of Shipping), which provided an endowment of $3 million dollars, the positions aim to allow SUNY Maritime to remain “first and foremost” in the maritime education and training field.
Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration
Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and said it could take a hit of up to $4.1 billion for pulling out of the Chukchi Sea for the "foreseeable future". The unsuccessful campaign is Shell's second major setback in the Arctic after it interrupted exploration for three years in 2012 when an enormous drilling rig broke free and grounded.
Workers Evacuated After Gas Leak at Mexico Platform
Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex said on Tuesday that it was working to control a gas leak at the Sihil A platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Eighty-five workers have been evacuated, Pemex said in a tweet, but there were no injuries and no fire has been reported. The leak started around at around 0200 GMT, or 9 pm local time, a Pemex spokesman said. (Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein and Jean Luis Arce; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
Mexico's main Pacific Ports Reopen
The major Mexican cargo port of Manzanillo was set to reopen at 4 pm (21:00 GMT) on Saturday, a port official said, after avoiding the worst of Hurricane Patricia, which slammed into the country's Pacific coast but caused less damage than expected. The port of Lazaro Cardenas, south of where the storm hit, resumed operations for cargo ships on Saturday morning, a port official said, and the smaller port in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta reopened at midday, Mexico's communications and transport ministry (SCT) said.
Bad Weather Closes 3 Major Mexican Oil Ports
Three of Mexico's major oil export ports along the Gulf coast have been closed due to bad weather, the Communications and Transport Ministry said on Tuesday. Cayo Arcas, Dos Bocas and Coatzacoalcos have been closed since Sunday. Nearly all of Mexico's crude exports from Pemex, the state-owned oil producer, are shipped from the three ports to Gulf coast refineries in the U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. (Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
US Ferries Are Safer, but Regulatory Burdens Grow
In recent years, ferries have been in the spotlight, in part because of growing mass transit needs and increased road congestion, but also because of concerns about the deadly South Korean ferry sinking last April. We asked Captain Terri Bernstein, the Passenger Vessel Association’s 2014 President, about the industry’s status in the United States. Based in Alexandria, VA, the PVA has over 500 member companies. Ferries are safer, especially since 9/11, but regulatory requirements have swelled and can be onerous, Bernstein said. She’s the owner of BB Riverboats, Inc.
Sandra Weakens to Tropical Storm off Mexico's Coast
Hurricane Sandra weakened to a tropical storm on Friday and was expected to continue losing strength as it approached Mexico's Pacific coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Sandra, about 215 miles (346 km) southwest of the Pacific port of Mazatlan on Friday evening, was producing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (113 kph), the NHC said. "Sandra is expected to be near tropical storm strength when it moves near the coast of Mexico in the warning area on Saturday. After the center moves inland, Sandra should quickly dissipate," the Miami-based NHC said.
Producers, Shippers in North American Food Fight
The North American spat pitting Canada and Mexico against the United States over meat labels has sown confusion among producers and shippers in all three countries, with a trade war potentially just weeks away. The World Trade Organization on Monday authorized Canada and Mexico, the biggest markets for exported U.S. goods, to retaliate against the United States' meat-labeling rules, setting the annual level at C$1.055 billion for Canada and $228 million for Mexico. The United States took a step towards defusing the row on Wednesday when the U.S. Congress approved a spending bill that includes the repeal of federal laws mandating meatpackers identify where animals are raised and slaughtered.