Mattis Says US Will Continue Operations in South China Sea
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States would continue to confront what Washington sees as China's militarization of islands in the South China Sea, despite drawing condemnation from Beijing for an operation in the region over the weekend.Reuters first reported that two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, even as President Donald Trump seeks Chinese cooperation on North Korea.The operation, known as "freedom of navigation…
Solstad Farstad Bags Contract with Fairfield Industries
Solstad Farstad ASA (SOFF) has entered into a contract with Fairfield Industries Inc. for the CSV “Normand Tonjer”. The contract will commence in 3Q 2018 and has a duration of one year firm plus two yearly options.Fairfield will use the vessel to support their innovative worldwide ocean bottom seismic survey using node-based technology.Solstad Farstad has updated other contracts too. The key contracts in the subsea construction segment include Far Saga contract extension with Petrobras until 2Q’20…
Plans Emerge for Strategic Indian Ocean Naval Port
Indonesia and India pledged on Wednesday to step up defense and maritime cooperation, with plans to develop a strategic Indonesian naval port in the Indian Ocean, the leaders of the two countries said after meeting in Jakarta. Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss, among other issues, developing infrastructure and an economic zone at Sabang, on the tip of Sumatra island and at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping channels for global trade. "India is a strategic defence partner...and we will continue to advance our cooperation in developing infrastructure, including at Sabang Island and the Andaman Islands," Widodo told a news conference after the meeting at the presidential palace.
LNG Trade Grew 10% in 2017 -EIA
Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade grew by 10 percent last year due primarily to growing liquefaction capacity in the Australia and the United States, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.LNG trade reached 38.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2017, up 3.5 bcfd from 2016 and the largest annual volume increase on record, the EIA said, citing the Annual Report on LNG trade by the International Association of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL).New liquefaction export capacity commissioned in Australia…
Vryhof Expands Its Global Footprint
Vryhof, a provider of anchoring and mooring solutions, said it is expanding its global footprint with its companies Deep Sea Mooring (DSM) opening a new office in Aberdeen and Vryhof Anchors appointing Singapore-based Franklin Offshore as its exclusive representative for selling Vryhof solutions in a number of Asia Pacific countries. “In an industry that has seen considerable negativity over the past year, this is a real statement of intent by Vryhof on our ambitions to expand our products and services in new markets and meet increased demand,” said Wolfgang Wandl, CEO of Vryhof.
Philippines says China Will Halt Expansion in South China Sea
China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new "status quo" brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations, the Philippine defence minister said. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also said the Philippines was working on a "commercial deal" with China to explore and exploit oil and gas resources in disputed areas of the South China Sea with an aim to begin drilling within a year. The defence minister, Delfin Lorenzana, told a congressional hearing the Philippines and China had reached a "modus vivendi", or a way to get along, in the South China Sea that prohibits new occupation of islands.
Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 Begins
A group of warships departed Sydney on 4 September to participate in a series of key military exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific region – grouped as Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017. Running from 4 September to 26 November, Indo-Pacific Endeavour will focus on enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.
Vietnam Protests Chinese Live-firing in South China Sea
Vietnam on Tuesday issued a strong condemnation of Chinese military live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea, amid rising tension between the two countries. The Maritime Safety Administration of China's southern province of Hainan, which oversees the South China Sea, said last month there would be live fire drills around the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam claims, until September 2. "Vietnam strongly objects this action by China and seriously requests China to respect Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement. "Vietnam once again asserts…
Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 Completes
The Australian Defence Force Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, has completed the first international engagement activity of the deployment. HMAS Adelaide, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra class amphibious ships, reached the milestone after recently conducting aviation training with the USS Bonhomme Richard off the east coast of Australia. The training involved both the SH60S Seahawk helicopter and a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, with…
MPA, ReCAAP Join in Combating Piracy
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA Japan) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), in cooperation with the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), jointly launched the inaugural Capacity Building Executive Programme on combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in Singapore. The Capacity Building Executive Programme—targeted at senior-level personnel with 10 to 15 years of experience and above in maritime enforcement—will see ReCAAP Contracting Parties from ASEAN (Cambodia…
China Hopes U.S. Can Help Ease S.China Sea Tension
China hopes the United States can "help and not cause problems" in the disputed South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday ahead of next week's visit to Beijing by President Donald Trump. The United States has criticised China's construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea, and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement. U.S. Navy ships have also carried out freedom of navigation patrols in the area, angering China. Speaking to reporters about Trump's trip, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said China has indisputable sovereignty over islands and surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
China, Philippines to Draft Protocol to Avoid Maritime 'Miscalculations'
China and the Philippines will negotiate a military protocol to avoid maritime “miscalculations”, Manila’s defence minister said on Wednesday, following a brief standoff near a Philippine-occupied island in a disputed part of the South China Sea. Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines tried to put up makeshift structures on a sand bar about 4 km (2.5 miles) off Thitu island in the Spratly archipelago in August, but China objected and sent ships to the area. President Rodrigo Duterte sought to defuse tensions by ordering troops to pull out. Construction was stopped. “We intend to sit down with China to draft and agree on a protocol to resolve immediately any incident,” he said, adding he hoped talks could start this year.
INS Satpura on Overseas Deployment to Brunei
To celebrate 25 years of INDO-ASEAN Partnership, India's INS Satpura arrived at Muara Port Brunei on 25 November 17. The 4-day long visit is aimed to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations and is one among an on-going series of artistic, cultural and people-to-people events to celebrate this important milestone in the INDO-ASEAN relationship. During the visit, INS Satpura will engage with the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) in formal calls, and will have profession , social and sporting interaction in harbour.
ReCAAP, India Coast Guard Conduct Workshop
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre and the Indian Coast Guard have commenced the 2017 Capacity Building Workshop in New Delhi, India. Themed “Striding Over Domestic Challenges,” this year’s workshop draws ReCAAP Focal Points from maritime enforcement and government agencies across Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States.
ASEAN Pushes for South China Sea 'Code of Conduct'
The Association of South East Asian Nations is hoping to expedite negotiations on a code of conduct with China for the South China Sea but it is not realistic to expect an agreement within a year, Singapore's defence minister said on Wednesday. China and the 10-member ASEAN bloc adopted a negotiating framework on the code for the disputed and busy waterway, largely controlled by China but also claimed by some ASEAN states, in August and have begun talks. "We hope it will be expedited but it's a very…
Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean
Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency. A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean, news portal Sina.com.cn said, without linking the deployment to the crisis in the Maldives or giving a reason. "If you look at warships and other equipment, the gap between the Indian and Chinese navy is not large," Sina.com.cn said on Sunday.
Australia to Stress International Law in South China Sea Dispute
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will on Tuesday hail the role of international law in settling regional conflicts, comments apparently aimed at bolstering Australian efforts to build a coalition against Chinese assertiveness. Bishop, in a speech ahead of a special meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Sydney, will not name China but will argue that international law will stabilise a region strained by rival claims in the South China Sea. "The rules-based order is designed to regulate behaviour and rivalries of and between states…
ST Marine Winds Up Brunei Environmental Subsidiary
ST Engineering today announced that Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd has placed its subsidiary, STSE Engineering Services (B) Sdn Bhd (STSE Engineering), under members’ voluntary liquidation under the laws of Brunei Darussalam. STSE Engineering was formed to manage an integrated waste management facility project in Brunei. The project has since been completed in June 2016, hence the decision to wind up STSE Engineering. This exercise is not expected to have any material impact…
Chinese Navy Plans Combat Drills in South China Sea
China's navy will carry out combat drills in the South China Sea, the military's official newspaper said on Friday, describing the move as part of regular annual exercises. Taiwan's defence ministry said this week it had shadowed a Chinese aircraft carrier group traversing the Taiwan Strait in a southwesterly direction - meaning into the disputed South China Sea - in what Taiwan judged to be a drill. In a brief report on its WeChat account, the People's Liberation Army Daily said the combat exercises would take place shortly…
Satellite Images Show China's Show of Force in South China Sea
Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.
Philippines Eyes Exploration Deal with China in S.China Sea
The Philippines is looking to seal a pact with China within a few months to jointly explore for oil and gas in a part of the busy South China Sea waterway claimed by both countries, a Philippine official said on Monday. In February, the two countries agreed to set up a special panel to work out how to jointly explore for offshore oil and gas in areas both sides claim, without needing to address the touchy issue of sovereignty. "We're trying to see if we can achieve an agreement…
Newbuild Kreuz Challenger Mobilized for Brunei Shell Contract
Subsea services company Kreuz Subsea has mobilized the recently delivered newbuild dive support vessel, Kreuz Challenger, as part of its seven-year contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn. Bhd. (BSP).The contract, which runs until 2022, includes supporting BSP with inspection, repair and maintenance services to be carried out on offshore oil and gas structures in Negara Brunei Darussalam's territorial waters.Typically located in water depths of up to 80 meters, these include drilling platforms…
HMAS Toowoomba Visits Brunei
Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Toowoomba has completed a port visit to Brunei, as part of a three month South East Asia deployment. HMAS Toowoomba will join Exercise Bersama Shield, a multilateral activity with the Five Power Defence Arrangement nations, in the coming weeks. HMA Ships Anzac, Toowoomba and Success are conducting a deployment to South East Asia and will participate in a series of exercises with nations in the region. Toowoomba conducted a logistic resupply, as well as local engagements with the Royal Brunei Navy and government officials.