Black Sea News

22 Apr 2019

BSOG Gets Approval in Offshore Romania

Image: Black Sea Oil & Gas

Romanian-based Black Sea Oil & Gas (BSOG), controlled by private equity firm Carlyle Group, said that it received approval from the Romanian government for the field development plan (FDP) for the Ana and Doina gas fields.The Ana and Doina gas fields make up the Midia Gas Development (MGD) Project, offshore Black Sea.The MGD Project, which is the 1st new offshore gas development project in the Romanian Black Sea to be built after 1989, consists of 5 offshore production wells (1…

17 Apr 2019

Fincantieri, Two Others Bid in Bulgarian Navy Tender

File Image: CREDIT Fincantieri

Italy's Fincantieri, German shipyard Luerssen and Bulgaria's MTG Dolphin have submitted bids in a 984 million levs ($570 million) tender to build two patrol ships for the Bulgarian navy, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.The Black Sea country is looking to replace its three ageing Soviet-made patrol ships with the new vessels and improve its compliance with NATO standards.The offers will be opened on April 22, the ministry said in a statement.

09 Apr 2019

Fincantieri Bids to Build Bulgaria Patrol Ships

Italy's Fincantieri, German shipyard Luerssen and Bulgaria's MTG Dolphin are expected to file bids in a tender to build two patrol ships for the Bulgarian navy, a senior official said on Tuesday.The Black Sea country is looking to replace its three ageing Soviet-made patrol ships with the new vessels and has set April 16 as the deadline for bids.It raised the budget for the new ships by 20 percent to 984 million levs ($567 million) last year after a previous tender collapsed over financial terms.Rear Admiral Mitko Petev, commander of the Bulgarian Navy - which also has three Belgian frigates - said the patrol boats would be equipped with weaponry for air and underwater combat and helicopter landing platforms.He told public television BNT that Luerssen, Fincantieri and MTG-Dolphin had expre

08 Apr 2019

Crew Vessel Contracted to Shell

(Photo: Damen)

UK-based crew transfer specialist High Speed Transfers (HST) announced that its second new high-speed crew transfer vessel HST Sofia will be contracted by Shell to support its exploration program in the Black Sea commencing March 2019.The FCS 2710 vessel, built by Dutch shipbuilder Damen, will be trialed by HST to undertake oil and gas crew transfers to support the Noble Globetrotter II drill ship. The vessel will shortly begin an exploration drilling program in the Khan Kubrat block…

20 Mar 2019

Damen bags First Cruise Contract

Photo courtesy  of Damen Cruise

Damen Shipyards Group has announced the recent signing of a contract with Oslo, Norway-based SeaDream Yacht Club. The contract marks a historic moment, being Damen’s first for a cruise ship. SeaDream will operate the 155-m Mega Yacht on luxury voyages all over the world.The Mega Yacht, a purpose-built ship, will be prepared to operate in destinations, including polar and tropical, around the world. As such, the vessel will boast ice class Polar Code 6 credentials.The international shipyards group launched its new venture, Damen Cruise, in 2018.

28 Feb 2019

Turkey Launches Largest Naval Exercise

© Cristal Oscuro/AdobeStock

Turkey's military launched the largest naval exercise in its history on Thursday, February 28, carrying out drills with frigates, corvettes and submarines in the Black Sea, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.The nine-day exercise is aimed at testing the readiness of command bases and operation centers throughout Turkey's territorial waters, the defense ministry said.On board the frigate TCG Barbaros, gunners fired live ammunition at mock targets floating on the waves. Nearby, helicopters lowered soldiers onto a ship's deck…

24 Feb 2019

Crude Tanker Spot Rates Soften

Pic: Teekay Tankers

Crude tanker spot rates improved significantly during the fourth quarter of 2018, spurred by both winter market seasonality and positive underlying supply and demand fundamentals.According to a stock exchange announcement from Teekay Tankers, in the fourth quarter of 2018, OPEC crude oil production rose to 32.4 million barrels per day (mb/d), the highest level since July 2017 and up from 31.4 mb/d earlier in 2018.Most of this increase came from the Middle East, where higher production levels more than offset lower output from Venezuela and Iran.

21 Feb 2019

Russia Struggles to Modernize its Navy

Yaroslav Mudry. Photo from kaliningrad.kp.ru

President Vladimir Putin calls improving the Russian navy's combat capabilities a priority.The unfinished husks of three guided-missile frigates that have languished for three years at a Baltic shipyard show that is easier said than done.Earmarked for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the frigates fell victim to sanctions imposed by Ukraine in 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, prompting Kiev to ban the sale of the Ukrainian-made engines needed to propel them.With Moscow unable to quickly build replacement engines for the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, construction stopped.

19 Feb 2019

USS Donald Cook Sails into Black Sea

Pic: United States Navy

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) began its north-bound transit of the Dardanelles Strait, en route to the Black Sea Feb. 19 to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.The ship last visited the Black Sea in January 2019, during which it visited Batumi, Georgia and conducted an exercise with two Georgian Coast Guard ships.

19 Feb 2019

As Traders Tussle Turkmenistan Cuts Exports

© kamontad123 / Adobe Stock

A clash between trading house Vitol and Azerbaijan's SOCAR over Caspian Sea oil shipments is forcing Turkmenistan to slash exports of crude due to a lack of tankers.Turkmenistan typically exports about 200,000 tonnes of oil per month via the Caspian to world markets, mainly from fields operated by the UAE's ENOC and Italy's Eni, but flows have halved in recent weeks, six traders involved in operations said.That happened after Turkmen producers decided to export oil via Russia with the help of Swiss trader Vitol and ditch the previous Azeri route…

19 Feb 2019

Black Sea Container Exports on the Rise

 Image: DP World, Romania – Constanta

Ukraine-based Informall Business Group in its latest Black Sea Container Market review reports a rise of 8.70% in loaded containers handling in the Black Sea container ports of Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia in 2018 as compared to 2017.Black Sea container terminals of the five countries handled 2927016 TEU in 2018, including empty containers, excluding transshipment. This review observes only full containers of the region – 2188153 TEU.In 2018, there was a laden container turnover increase in all countries of the Black Sea region.

17 Feb 2019

Epic Gas Bullish on LPG Carriers Market

Pic: Epic Gas

Global seaborne liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) volume is expected to grow by over 6% in 2019 and surpass 100 million tonnes for the first time.Singapore based provider of pressurised LPG vessels, Epic Gas said that it is well positioned to benefit from the improving fundamentals of the LPG shipping market.For the fourth quarter of 2018, freight levels for most sizes in the pressurised sector were similar to the stronger levels seen in the third quarter. Rates for the 3,500cbm, 5…

14 Feb 2019

VTB Tightens Grip on Black Sea Grain Export Hub

© beketoff / Adobe Stock

Russia's second-biggest bank VTB is buying one of the biggest grain terminals at the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, in a surprise move that gives the state lender more control over the country's main deep-sea grain export hub.VTB, which already owns a stake in another grain terminal at the port, said on Thursday that it was buying 100 percent of Novorossiysk Grain Terminal from Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NSCP).Its deal to buy the terminal from NSCP, which is controlled…

04 Feb 2019

Milaha Launches BSX

Image: Milaha

Middle East's maritime and logistics company Milaha (Qatar Navigation) will start a direct container shipping service connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in its first foray into Europe.According to a press release from the Qatar-based maritime transport and logistics conglomerate the new feeder service marks Milaha’s first European service linking the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The BSX demonstrates Milaha’s commitment to deliver reliable and agile services to its customers and partners globally.The BSX rotation is Piraeus (Greece)…

23 Jan 2019

The Tanker Market: 2019 and Beyond

Alex and Alice under construction. Photo courtesy Euronav

Late 2018 saw the tanker market bubble upwards through late November, with daily vessel hires moving in the direction of, though not yet reaching levels not seen since late 2014-2015, when oil prices were in freefall and inventories building to the brim. A few pundits have suggested that we are seeing a “mini 2014” where lowered oil prices are coaxing another inventory build which would drive tanker capacity utilization, and per diem freight inflows, higher. The oil market has changed over four years…

22 Jan 2019

Turkmen Oil Exports via Russia’s Novorossiisk Port to Resume

Photo: NPT Group

Exports of Turkmen oil via Russia's Black sea port of Novorossiisk will resume in February, four market sources said.Turkmenistan stopped transit of its oil via Russia in 2016 and has been exporting all its crude via the Azeri Caspian port of Baku.Pumping Turkmen oil through the Makhachkala-Novorossiisk pipeline could add as much as 200,000 tonnes of crude per month into Russia’s Transneft system. Turkmenistan is currently shipping oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline…

21 Jan 2019

Two Ships Ablaze Near Crimea, 10 Dead

Ten crew members have been found dead and 14 have been rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russia's transport ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.The ministry said earlier on Monday that crew members were jumping into the sea to escape the blaze, which probably broke out during a ship-to-ship fuel transhipment.Both ships were under the Tanzanian flag - Candy (Venice) and Maestro - and had a combined total of 31 crew members. Of them, 16 were Turkish citizens and 15 from India, it said.An industry source told Reuters there were stormy conditions in the sea when the incident happened.The Kerch Strait between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia controls access from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea…

07 Jan 2019

Six Killed as Cargo Ship Sinks Off Turkey's Coast

Pic: Turkish Navy

A cargo ship sank in rough waters off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Monday, killing six crew members including its captain, officials and media reports said.Seven other crew members were rescued  by Turkish Coast Guard teams after a Panama-flagged vessel sank in the Black Sea off Turkey's northern Samsun province.According to a statement released by the Interior Ministry, coastguard teams were dispatched off 77 miles Samsun after receiving a distress call from the Volgo Balt 214.Thirteen crew members…

07 Jan 2019

Two Dead as Bulker in Distress in the Black Sea

Two people died and another four were missing on Monday after a ship carrying coal sent a distress signal off the northern coast of Turkey, the coast guard and the local governor's office said.The Panama-flagged vessel, which departed from Russia's Azov port, sent out a distress signal around 148 kilometers (92 miles) off the northeastern Black Sea province of Samsun, the coast guard said.Thirteen crew members were on the bulk carrier including nine Ukraine nationals, two Azerbaijan nationals and two Russians, the Samsun governor's office said.The coast guard said the distress signal was received regarding a "possible sinking" of the ship.Seven members of the crew had been rescued so far while a search and rescue operation continued for the other four, the coast guard said.

03 Jan 2019

Oil Shipments from Georgia's Batumi Port Drop 51 pct in 2018

Photo: Batumi Sea Port

Oil and oil-related shipments from Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi fell 51.2 percent in 2018 from a year earlier, an official at a KazMunaiGas-operated terminal at the port said on Thursday.Some crude oil was re-routed to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium last year, the official added, while some fuel oil was sent to the port of Taman in Russia and Georgia's other Black Sea port of Kulevi.The fall in shipments is partly because Azerbaijan prefers to send its oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline or via its own terminal in Kulevi, rather than from

05 Dec 2018

Cargo Ships Caught in Russia-Ukraine Storm

Russia-Ukraine naval clash followed shipping holdups Ships bound for Ukrainian ports say they are held up while those bound for Russian ports go through.When the Island Bay cargo ship arrived from Beirut at the Kerch Strait, gateway to the Azov Sea, it sailed into a perfect storm of geopolitics and bad weather.The following day, Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian naval ships, impounded them and detained their sailors, some of them wounded. It then blocked the strait by putting a tanker underneath a new bridge it has built linking the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.While the world digested the implications of the Nov.

26 Nov 2018

Russia Ignores Western Calls to Free Captured Ukrainian Ships

© andriano_cz/Adobe Stock

Russia on Monday ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships it fired on and captured near Crimea at the weekend and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict.Kiev in turn accused Russia of military aggression and put its armed forces on full combat alert, saying it reserved the right to defend itself. Ukrainian lawmakers were due to decide whether to introduce martial law for two months later on Monday, a move President Petro Poroshenko…

20 Nov 2018

Engie to Buy Gas from Romania's Black Sea Oil & Gas

Image: Black Sea Oil & Gas SRL

Romanian based independent oil and gas company Black Sea Oil & Gas together with its co-venture partners, Petro Ventures Resources and Gas Plus International, announced the signing of the Gas Sales Agreement with ENGIE through its subsidiary Engie Energy Management Romania  for natural gas supply from the Midia Gas Development (MGD)Project .Under this agreement, which is subject to Final Investment Decision, ENGIE will purchase gas from the Ana and Doina gas reservoirs over a…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2019 - Navies of the World

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