Black Sea News

20 May 2020

Ukraine's Odessa Gets First WTI Oil Cargo from US

© HHO HIL / MarineTraffic.com

Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa is set to receive on Wednesday its first ever West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil cargo from the United States, according to industry sources and shipping data, just a month after the front-month futures for the blend turned negative.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) May crude futures sank to minus $38 per barrel on April 20, just days before their expiration, in a quirky trading pattern never seen before, amid overproduction and lack of storage capacity inflicted by the coronavirus-battling restrictions.On Wednesday…

27 Mar 2020

'Significant' GPS Interference Incidents Reported

© Paul Evan Green / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) is advising vessel operators to exercise extra caution and safe navigation practices after multiple instances of significant GPS interference have been reported over the last year by vessels in port and underway in the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Port of Shanghai, China.The incidents have resulted in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment…

26 Mar 2020

Turkey Holds First Tender Related to Istanbul Canal Project

© Andrey_Sarymsakov / Adobe Stock

Turkey held its first tender on Thursday to prepare to build a huge canal on the edge of Istanbul, a Transport Ministry spokesman said, signaling progress on the project despite widespread criticism over its cost and environmental impact.The tender was for the planning phase of reconstructing two historic bridges located in the area where the 45-km (28 mile) Kanal Istanbul, championed by President Tayyip Erdogan, is expected to run.The canal will connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul with the Marmara Sea to the south and is estimated to cost 75 billion lira ($11.6 billion).

07 May 2020

Opinion: Maritime Freedom & the Global Commons

Freedom of Navigation: The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) escorts the merchant vessel Tomahawk through the Strait of Hormuz.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

“Freedom” – the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic governmentIt has been decades since international relations in the world order dictated true competition for sea control, sea lines of communication, access to world markets, and diplomatic partnerships. However, it is becoming increasingly alarming that nations such as Iran, China and Russia seek to accumulate/consolidate power and re-define international maritime norms, potentially at the peril of diplomatic…

05 Mar 2020

Russia to Disinfect Ships from Iran, Italy and South Korea

© druid007 / Adobe Stock

Russia has ordered the mandatorydisinfection of ships arriving at the Black Sea ports of Novorossiisk and Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka from Iran, Italy and South Korea because of the coronavirus, a  document seen by Reuters showed.A branch of Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's consumer safety watchdog, has ordered port agents "to arrange the disinfectionof ships arriving from these countries before the border is opened" in the city of Novorossiisk, the document showed.Novorossiisk port is one of the biggest on the Black Sea.

26 Feb 2020

Liberian Registry Opens Oslo Office

Alfonso Castillero, LISCR’s COO, and our Oslo GM, Hege Solstad (Photo: Liberian Registry)

The Liberian Registry announced it has opened a new full-service office in Oslo, its fourth new office opened since 2019, as the Registry continues to grow its global network.The Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, said Hege Solstad has been named General Manager of the Norwegian office.Hege Solstad brings to maritime experience to the role, both in Norway and internationally, after a career with Wilhelmsen Ships Service as Regional Director in Norway…

26 Feb 2020

Livestock Carrier Queen Hind Refloated

Livestock carrier Queen Hind, which capsized with 14,000 sheep on board in November, is now at dock after refloating efforts concluded on Tuesday night. (Photo: GSP)

Operations to raise a livestock carrier that capsized in the Black sea off Romania in November came to a close on Tuesday night, said local marine services firm Gruup Servici Petoliere (GSP).The Palau-registered Queen Hind flipped onto its side shortly after leaving Romania's Midia port en route to Saudi Arabia at the end of November 2019. Its entire crew, most of them Syrians, were rescued. Only 180 of the estimated 14,000 sheep on board survived.The Queen Hind is now docked…

28 Jan 2020

Surgutneftegaz Awards 380,000 T of February Urals

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

Russia's Surgutneftegaz awarded 380,000 tonnes of Urals crude oil loading from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk and the Baltic's Ust-Luga in February, traders said.A cargo of 100,000 tonnes loading from Ust-Luga over Feb. 19-20 was sold at dated Brent minus $1.80 a barrel when adding freight to an original FOB differential, traders said. French oil major Total was the buyer, they said.Surgutneftegaz also awarded two Urals cargoes of 140,000 tonnes each for loading from Novorossiisk Feb. 15-16 and Feb. 17-18.

09 Jan 2020

Georgia Scraps Deal on Major Port Project

© Image'in / Adobe Stock

Georgia has ended an investment agreement with an international consortium for one of the biggest projects in the former Soviet country, the construction of a major deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, its infrastructure minister said on Thursday.The nine-phase project to improve access to Central Asia and the Middle East had received support from Georgia's strategic partner, the United States, as well as the European Union, which had labelled the planned port at Anaklia a priority project."The government discussed this issue and decided that further postponement does not make sense…

02 Jan 2020

Containership Grounds in the Bosphorus Strait

A foreign cargo ship ran aground in Istanbul's Bosphorus strait on Friday, requiring a rescue operation and prompting authorities to temporarily close the picturesque and crowded waterway running through Turkey's largest city.There were no injuries or casualties, the governor's office said, adding that the ship had reported engine failure shortly before its grounding near the shore.There was no damage to the concrete walkway running along the shore, Reuters witnesses said.The Bosphorus, among the world's busiest shipping routes, was temporarily closed to international traffic as boats towed the vessel south towards the Sea of Marmara.The Liberian-flagged Songa Iridum had come from Ukraine's Odessa and was headed for Istanbul's port of Ambarli, according to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data.

01 Jan 2020

Russia to Strengthen Northern Sea Route

Image: Rosatom

Russian state atomic energy agency Rosatom and compatriot private transportation and logistics company Delo Group will jointly develop international multi-modal shipments and transit shipments Asia-Europe-Asia via the Northern Sea Transit Corridor.Rosatom is the authorized infrastructure operator of the Northern Sea Route and owner of the world-only nuclear icebreaker fleet.Delo Group assets include six sea ports in the Baltic Sea, one sea port in the Azov-Black Sea region and one sea port in the Far East basin which are the key regions for foreign trade cargo flows.The companies signed docume

17 Dec 2019

Russia to Invest $500 mln in Syrian Port

© Alexey Lesik / Adobe Stock

Russia plans to invest $500 million in the Syrian port of Tartus and build a grain hub there to boost its presence on Middle East markets, Interfax news agency cited Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov as saying on Tuesday.Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, has stepped up grain supplies to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent years since Moscow's 2015 military intervention on his behalf in Syria's civil war.Construction of the necessary infrastructure at the port…

05 Dec 2019

Tankers Running on Fumes as Shipping Fuel Switch Causes Delays

© Suriyapong / Adobe Stock

Disruption to shipping from the long-anticipated switch to more environmentally friendly marine fuels has finally arrived, exacerbated by logistical problems as much as any shortage of the cleaner fuel.New International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, referred to as IMO 2020, aim to stop ships from using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur unless they are equipped with exhaust-cleaning systems known as scrubbers.From the start of January ships must load very low sulphur…

25 Nov 2019

Romania Tries to Free Trapped Sheep on Capsized Ship

Port authorities tried to right a capsized ship on Monday to rescue thousands of sheep trapped below deck in the Black Sea off Romania.The Palau-registered Queen Hind flipped onto its side shortly after leaving Romania's Midia port en route to Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Its crew, most of them Syrians, were rescued."There are hopes to rescue many sheep, as they are trapped under the deck in air pockets," an officer from Romania's naval authority said, speaking on condition of anonymity."But operations to lighten the ship and refloat it are very difficult and may last several days," the officer added.Drone footage released on the BBC showed the bodies of dozens of drowned animals floating next to the vessel.Just 50 of the ship's estimated load of 14…

18 Nov 2019

Russia Returns Ukraine Naval Ships before Summit

Russia on Monday handed back three naval ships it captured last year to Ukraine, something Kiev wanted to happen before a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month in Paris.The handover, confirmed by the two countries' foreign ministries, occurred in the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.Russia seized the ships in the same area in November last year after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors. Moscow said the ships - two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat - had illegally entered its territorial waters. Kiev denied that.Russia returned the sailors…

14 Nov 2019

Baltic Index Inches Lower on Weaker Panamax Rates

© papa1266 / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, inched lower on Thursday, as lower panamax rates offset a rise in capesize rates.* The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was down 1 point, or 0.1%, at 1,364 points.* The capesize index rose 58 points, or 2.3%, to 2,623 points.* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal…

08 Oct 2019

AWT Becomes PKP Cargo International

Image:  Hafen Hamburg Marketing

Polish rail freight operator PKP Cargo has rebranded its Czech subsidiary Advanced World Transport (AWT) to PKP Cargo International. Besides the new name, the Czech company has obtained a new corporate logo and colours.Advanced World Transport is the second largest rail freight carrier in the Czech Republic. In May 2015, PKP Cargo S.A. took over 80 percent shares in the company, and in November 2017 the remaining 20 percent.In December 2018, AWT acquired 80 percent shares in the company Primol-Rail d.o.o.…

26 Aug 2019

Russia's Rosneft Tenders marine bunkers in euros

AdobeStock / © Gear STD

Top Russian oil producer Rosneft has put up marine fuel cargos for sale with the euro as the default currency, a tender document showed on Monday, in line with its plan to sell oil products in the single currency instead of the U.S. dollar.Rosneft said it had tendered to sell up to 70,000 tonnes of low-viscosity marine fuel with sulphur content of up to 1% from its oil refineries with delivery between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31 on a freight-on-board (FOB) Black Sea basis or FOB St Petersburg…

26 Aug 2019

Russia's Rosneft Tenders Marine Fuel Cargos in Euros

Top Russian oil producer Rosneft has put up marine fuel cargos for sale with the euro as the default currency, a tender document showed on Monday, in line with its plan to sell oil products in the single currency instead of the U.S. dollar.Rosneft said it had tendered to sell up to 70,000 tonnes of low-viscosity marine fuel with sulphur content of up to 1% from its oil refineries with delivery between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31 on a freight-on-board (FOB) Black Sea basis or FOB St Petersburg, or Carriage Paid To (CPT) any port/Russian border.The decision to switch to the euro as its settlement currency is likely to be seen as an attempt to offset any negative impact of U.S.

22 Aug 2019

Azerbaijan Launches Feeder Service in Black Sea

Photo: Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO)

The Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) will launch a test voyage of a feeder vessel along the Black Sea container route Batumi-Constanta by September 20.The vessel will sail every 10 days (3 times a month). If cargo volumes increase, the growth in the number of vessels and the regularity of sailings on the line is also expected.Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, hosted  general meeting of an association of legal entities – the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor International Association.Rauf Valiyev…

08 Aug 2019

USS Porter en Route to Black Sea

Photo: United States Navy

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) began its north-bound transit to the Black Sea August 8, to enhance regional maritime stability and a show of support for our NATO allies and partners in the region.This is the sixth time a U.S. ship has visited the Black Sea since the beginning of 2019. The last ship to visit the Black Sea was USS Carney in July. During its time in the Black Sea, USS Carney participated in exercise Sea Breeze 2019, a U.S.-Ukraine…

04 Aug 2019

Pacific Basin Hopeful on Dry Bulkers

Pic: Pacific Basin Shipping Limited

The dry bulk freight market is expected to benefit in the second half of 2019 and early 2020 from many larger ships being taken out of service for several weeks for scrubber installation, said Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Shipping Limited.The maritime transport company engaged in international dry bulk shipping through the operation of a fleet of vessels to carry diverse cargoes for many of the world's leading commodity groups said: "We believe the market for smaller dry bulk ships like ours will benefit also over the longer term…

31 Jul 2019

GSP Offshore, Trident Black Sea Bid in Ukraine

Image: Upetrom Group

GSP Holding company GSP Offshore SRL is the preferred drilling and engineering services provider of Trident Black Sea, in its bid for the right to negotiate a production sharing agreement (PSA) with the Ukrainian government for the offshore Dolphin block in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.According to a press release from the Romanian company providing offshore integrated services for oil and gas industry said that Trident Black Sea will be the operator of the project,…

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