Crude Oil News

08 Apr 2020

Coronavirus Disrupts Supply of Ships and Demand -BIMCO

© Carabay / Adobe Stock

The coronavirus outbreak has affected all aspects of the shipping industry, lowering, if not wiping out, demand growth prospects for the year across all segments. The outbreak has also affected fleet development, says shipping association BIMCO.Contracting activity has fallen, demolition activity, which had been high, is now being limited by restrictions around the world and deliveries of new vessels are delayed.“The coronavirus has certainty replaced the IMO 2020 sulphur regulation as the talking point of the year.

08 Apr 2020

Tanker Rates Fall Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

Supertanker freight rates have fallen after last week's highs as industry participants await the outcome of a meeting of oil producers on Thursday before making further bookings, industry sources said.Freight rates could drop further if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers decide to cut output sharply, reducing transport and storage demand for oil, they said. They could jump again if producers fail to reach an agreement."From a freight standpoint…

07 Apr 2020

Total Charters LNG Dual-fuel VLCCs

(Photo: AET)

Malaysian shipowner AET said it signed a deal with Total's Chartering and Shipping Services SA for the time charter of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) dual-fuel very large crude carriers (VLCC). The two newbuilds, which are able to carry about 300,000 tons of crude oil each, are scheduled to be delivered to AET from the first quarter of 2022.The two newbuilds will be powered by LNG and will be among the most environmentally friendly VLCCs in the market. When in service, they will emit around 20% less CO2 greenhouse gases than conventional vessels; 85% less NOx and 99% less SOx.

02 Apr 2020

Kirby Completes Savage Fleet Acquisition

(Photo: Savage)

Houston-based Kirby Corporation said Thursday it has completed the acquisition of Savage Inland Marine’s inland towboat and tank barge fleet. The total consideration paid was approximately $278 million and was financed with additional borrowings. Savage’s fleet consists of 46 inland towboats and 90 tank barges with approximately 2.5 million barrels of capacity. Savage primarily moves petrochemicals, refined products, and crude oil on the lower Mississippi River, its tributaries…

02 Apr 2020

While Oil Prices Plummets, Tanker Rates Fly High

Source: BIMCO, Clarksons

If one ever needed proof that, no matter how dire the situation, there is always a silver lining, look no further than the crude tanker market, which has seen it day rates skyrocket in the face of a global pandemic that has effectively ground world commerce to a crawl.As is the case with other gravity defying business phenomena, geopolitics is a central factor, in this case a battle between Russia and Saudi Arabia to flood the world with oil in the face of declining demand and…

30 Mar 2020

Oil Tanker Rates Double

© Vladamir / Adobe Stock

Supertanker freight rates are on the rise for a second time this month as producers, refiners and traders scramble to secure ships to transport crude or store a fast-growing global glut of oil, industry sources said.Freight rates for very large crude-oil carriers (VLCC) along the Middle East Gulf to China route were assessed at about $180,000 a day on Monday, up from some $125,000 on Friday and a weekly low of about $90,000 a day on Wednesday, according to several ship broking sources.Its difficult to say whether or not the rates will be sustained…

26 Mar 2020

Brent's Fall Creates Steepest Contango in 11 Years

Oil Tanker - Image by Gudellaphoto - AdobeStock

The discount on front-month Brent crude oil futures to later contracts increased to an 11 year high on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause an unprecedented slump in global demand. The spread on the May to November contracts had widened to as much as minus $10.31 per barrel at 1004 GMT, a level not seen since January 2009. The so-called contango market structure implies traders expect oil prices to be higher in the future, in this case when the virus pandemic has hopefully passed, leading them to store crude onshore or in some cases at sea.

25 Mar 2020

Wärtsilä Testing Ammonia as a Marine Fuel

Wärtsilä is testing ammonia as a viable fuel for shipping and energy sector applications (Photo: Wärtsilä)

As marine operators and euipment manufacturers continue to explore alternative marine fuels as a means to help lower vessel emissions, technology group Wärtsilä said it has initiated combustion trials using ammonia.As part of the tests, ammonia was injected into a combustion research unit to better understand its properties. Based on initial results, the tests will be continued on both dual-fuel and spark-ignited gas engines. These will be followed by field tests in collaboration with ship owners from 2022‚Ķ

24 Mar 2020

31 Years Ago Today: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

© MelissaMN/AdobeStock

On March 24. 1989, the single-hull tanker Exxon Valdez was departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska with a full load of North Slope crude oil (approximately 1.26 million barrels) destined for Long Beach when it grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill (approximately 258,000 barrels), while not the largest in US history, was clearly the most important. It engendered much litigation. Public concern over the spill led directly to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90)…

19 Mar 2020

Barge Lines Boost Crew Safety as Virus Threatens Crucial Cargo

© Ronald / Adobe Stock

The world has radically changed since towboat captain Terry Hall boarded his vessel late last month in Wood River, Illinois, for his four-week shift hauling bargeloads of crude oil, chemicals, scrap metal and other goods up and down the Mississippi River.His employer, Canal Barge Co, has beefed up pre-board health screenings for all crew to include a temperature check and disclosures about recent travel and personal interactions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Any disruption…

19 Mar 2020

Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

19 Mar 2020

Most Bunker Sales in Singapore are Low-sulphur Fuels -BIMCO

© Rex Wholster / Adobe Stock

Low-sulphur fuels accounted for 84% of total February sales in Singapore, slightly up from 83% in January. The sale of low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) made up the largest component at 71.5%, with marine gas oil (MGO) accounting for 12.5%, BIMCO reports.Total bunker sales in February fell 16% to 3.9 million metric tons compared with January, reflecting lower demand for shipping as the coronavirus paralyzed intra-Asian supply chains.Now that both the sulphur cap and the non-compliant fuel oil carriage ban have come into force…

19 Mar 2020

Tanker Rates Fall, but Storage Demand Stays Firm

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

After a frantic week that sent crude oil freight rates to record highs amid a bookings bonanza to ship Saudi oil to the world, rates are now easing as charterers balk at the nosebleed charges and await Saudi volume plans for April, shipping sources said."Sentiment remained softer today," said one ship broker while pointing to another day of limited chartering activity.At least nine very large crude oil carrier (VLCC) provisional charters failed this week along with another five for Suezmax tankers…

18 Mar 2020

BIMCO Revises 2020 Forecast

© Igor Yu. Groshev / Adobe Stock

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting global shipping demand for 2020 negatively. The speed of the virus spread makes it difficult to assess the full consequences. Nevertheless, we see a need to update our 2020 forecast to make some of this massive uncertainty tangible.What is going on in addition to the coronavirus pandemic?Geopolitical tensions that made the OPEC+ alliance break down, has subsequently made the crude oil tanker spot freight market erupt. The events that followed the breakdown - and those that are likely to follow…

18 Mar 2020

Shell Books Supertanker to Store Crude Oil at Sea

© Nightman / Adobe Stock

Royal Dutch Shell has booked a supertanker to store 2 million barrels of oil at sea to park mounting global stocks, shipping sources said on Wednesday.Shell declined to comment.The sources said Shell had booked a very large crude carrier (VLCC), which can store up to 2 million barrels of oil, for a five-month charter.

18 Mar 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)

‚ÄúFreedom‚ÄĚ ‚Äď 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‚Ķ

17 Mar 2020

Glencore Charters World's Largest Tanker to Store Crude

ULCC Europe (Photo: Euronav)

Trading house Glencore has chartered the 3 million barrel crude carrier Europe to store oil at sea for at least 6 months, trading sources on Tuesday.The vessel is one of two so-called ultra large crude carriers (ULCC), the largest tankers in the world.Glencore booked the vessel at a rate of $37,000 a day for the first six months, according to the sources.A Glencore spokesman declined to comment.Sources told Reuters last week that Royal Dutch Shell had provisionally booked at least three supertankers to store crude oil at sea for at least three months as traders brace for a sharp rise in global

16 Mar 2020

Sovcomflot Updates Fleet Status

Image: Sovcomflot

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), a Russian maritime shipping company specializing in petroleum and LNG shipping, announced that it has taken delivery of four newbuildings during last year.Three ‚ÄėGreen Funnel‚Äô LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tankers (Korolev Prospect, Vernadsky Prospect, Samuel Prospect) and Mikhail Lazarev, an Arctic MR shuttle tanker transporting crude oil for the Novy Port project, are now under a long-term contract with Gazprom Neft.All vessels are designed to the highest industry standards of safety and sustainability‚Ķ

16 Mar 2020

TechnipFMC Shelves Spin-off Due to Market Turmoil

(Photo: TechnipFMC)

Franco-American oil services firm TechnipFMC Plc is putting on hold plans to split itself into two due to turbulence in financial markets linked to the coronavirus outbreak, it said on Sunday.The group, created three years ago via the merger of Technip and FMC, had been planning to separate its engineering and construction activities from its upstream oil services business in the first half of this year."Market conditions have changed materially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sharp decline in commodity prices, and the heightened volatility in global equity markets," TechnipFMC said in a sta

13 Mar 2020

KOTC Adds New Gas Tanker

Image: Kuwait Oil Tanker Company

Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) said that it received the giant liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, Umm Ruwaisat, as part of a major fleet overhaul.Accoding to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), KOTC has entered the fourth phase of its fleet overhaul, which entails the delivery of eight carriers, three of which are gas tankers built by South Korean ship building firm Hyundai MIPO.The fourth phase of the fleet development includes the delivery of eight tankers of which three are giant LNG tankers built by Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co…

12 Mar 2020

Booking Frenzy Sends Tanker Rates Soaring

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

The cost to transport oil on supertankers soared on Thursday as major producers scrambled to secure vessels to ship more crude in a bid to regain market share and buyers took advantage of plunging oil prices.Freight charges to ship oil in very large crude carriers (VLCCs) from the Middle East, which is home to the largest OPEC producers, to China, the world's top crude oil importer, nearly doubled overnight.VLCC tanker rates along the busy Middle East Gulf to China route jumped to about $160…

12 Mar 2020

BIMCO: US-China ‚ÄúPhase One‚ÄĚ Fails to Boost Trade Volumes

© Oleg/AdobeStock

Even before the effects of the coronavirus, the ‚ÄėPhase One‚Äô agreement between China and the US failed to boost volumes of the implicated goods in January. In fact, exports of the manufactured, agricultural and energy goods included in the deal were down 26% from January 2017, which serves as the base year for the agreement.The ‚ÄėPhase One‚Äô agreement which was signed on 15 January 2020 to lowered some US tariffs on imports from China, which in return has committed to increase its imports from the US.

11 Mar 2020

Saudi's Bahri Books 14 VLCCs

Image: Bahri

Saudi Arabian shipping company Bahri chartered more than a dozen very large crude carriers (VLCCs) in Persian Gulf in 24 hours.According to Reuters, the Saudi Arabia‚Äôs National Shipping firm has tentatively chartered as many as 14 super-tankers to ship crude oil to customers worldwide, as the Kingdom follows through with its promise to boost crude oil output.The spike in bookings by Bahri has helped to more than double the charter rates for VLCC amid this week‚Äôs ‚Äėfixing frenzy‚Äô, shipping sources said.

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