Crude Oil News

12 Jul 2019

U.S. Oil Makes it to Ukraine, a blow to Moscow

© RealPhotoItaly/Adobe Stock

U.S. crude exports are gaining traction in Europe as even Ukraine turns into a significant consumer of American barrels at the expense of Russian supplies amid heightened U.S. political pressure on Moscow and problems over contaminated Russian oil.Ukraine this month received its first ever barrels from the United States, according to Refinitiv Eikon flows data, as the tanker Wisdom Venture unloaded 80,000 tonnes of Bakken crude in Odessa on July 6 for the Kremenchug refinery,…

12 Jul 2019

Gibraltar Claims Decision to Detain Iranian Tanker

© Josemaria Toscano/Adobe Stock

Gibraltar said its action last week to detain Iranian tanker Grace 1 was a decision it took on its own and not at the behest of any other state or third party, the territory's chief minister said on Friday."All relevant decisions in respect of this matter were taken only as a direct result of the government of Gibraltar having reasonable grounds to believe the vessel was acting in breach of established EU sanctions against Syria," Fabian Picardo told parliament."There has been…

10 Jul 2019

Sovcomflot New LNG Tanker Cuts 30% CO2

Gagarin-Prospect-Sovcomflot-Green-Funnel-Tanker. Photo distributed by  Nor Shipping 2021

Russian shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has achieved significant CO2 emission cuts since taking delivery of the first of its “Green Funnel” LNG-fueled Aframax crude oil tankers last year.PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has accumulated data showing that using LNG as a primary fuel for these large-capacity tankers enabled a 30 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions compared with similar vessels powered by traditional heavy fuel. This reduction exceeds the original design target values.Igor Tonkovidov…

07 Jul 2019

Dutch Seaports Hit Record Volumes

Photo: © Hollandse Hoogte / Berlinda van Dam, Statistics Netherlands (CBS)

Dutch seaports processed a record volume of goods in 2018 as the throughput of containers increased the most, reported the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the total volume of incoming and outgoing cargo shipments to and from Dutch seaports reached a historic high of almost 605 million tonnes in 2018."This is an increase of over 1.5 percent relative to 2017. At 4.5 percent, container transhipment saw the highest increase," CBS said.Two-thirds of cargo handling in Dutch seaports consisted of unloaded goods in 2018.

05 Jul 2019

Iran threatens UK in Retaliation for Tanker Seizure

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatened on Friday to seize a British ship in retaliation for the capture of an Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar by Royal Marines."If Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker, it is the authorities duty to seize a British oil tanker," Mohsen Rezai said on Twitter.The Gibraltar government said the crew on board the supertanker Grace 1 were being interviewed as witnesses, not criminal suspects, in an effort to establish the nature of the cargo and its ultimate destination.British Royal Marines abseiled onto the ship off the coast of the British territory on Thursday and seized it. They…

03 Jul 2019

China Sets Top Security Level for Malacca Strait Traffic

File Image: A chinese warship heads to sea. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © VanderWolf

China's Ministry of Transport has raised its security recommendation for Chinese vessels in the Malacca Strait, a major potential bottleneck for global oil, to the highest level, according to a notice dated July 2 sent to shipping companies.The level for Chinese vessels passing through and going to the strait was raised to "3" as of 10 p.m. on July 2 (1400 GMT), according to the notice, whose authenticity was confirmed by an official at the ministry.It said shipping firms "should…

03 Jul 2019

U.N. Approves Release of Impounded Vessels

The United Nations has approved the release of two ships impounded by South Korea on suspicion of transferring oil to North Korea as there was no deliberate breach of sanctions, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.South Korea seized four vessels to check whether they violated U.N. sanctions by making illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil or coal products to North Korean ships.A U.N. panel monitoring the enforcement of sanctions approved the release of the Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore and the South Korean P-Pioneer based on the result of a South Korean investigation that found they had not intended to breach sanctions, South Korean officials said."There was evidence of ship-to-ship transfers but we concluded that it was not deliberate…

02 Jul 2019

South Korea Releases Ships in UN 'sanctions' Case

South Korea has released two ships it had seized on suspicion of transferring oil to North Korea as there was no deliberate breach of U.N. sanctions, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.South Korea seized four vessels to check whether they violated U.N. sanctions by making illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil or coal products to North Korean ships.A U.N. panel approved the release of the Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore and the South Korean P-Pioneer based on South Korean probe results that they had not intended to breach sanctions, Seoul officials said."There was evidence of ship-to-ship transfers but we concluded that it was not deliberate…

27 Jun 2019

Shipping Companies: Is Bigger Better?

© Julien/Adobe Stock

“If consolidation was the solution to all that ails shipping, then container liner companies would be super profitable. They are not. In ‘commoditized’ sectors of the shipping industry, which by now includes pretty much everything apart from very small niche markets, there is hardly any economies of scale at the company level. As long as bigger is not in fact much better, then meaningful consolidation will not happen.”Dr. Roar Adland, visiting scholar at MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and Professor at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).Like any other business…

25 Jun 2019

Navig8 Adds LR2 Tanker

Image: Navig8 Chemical Tankers Inc.

Navig8 Product 2020, an international shipping company,  has announced that it has taken delivery of the Navig8 Promise.Its the seventh 110,600 DWT scrubber-fitted LR2 tanker from New Times Shipbuilding.The Navig8 Promise will be entered into and operated in Navig8 Group’s Alpha8 commercial pool.The crude oil tanker built in 2019 will sail under the flag of Marshall Islands.Navig8 is a fully integrated provider of shipping management services and the world’s largest independent pool and commercial management company.

21 Jun 2019

BIMCO: VLCC Freight Rates from Gulf to China Doubles

Chart: BIMCO

VLCC spot freight rates between the Arabian Gulf and China rose 101% in the days between June 13, 2019 and June 20, 2019, in the aftermath of attacks on two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Spot freight rates for a VLCC, carrying 2 million barrels of oil, between the Arabian Gulf and China reached USD 25,994 per day on June 20, their highest level since March and significantly above the May average of USD 9,979 per day.Despite this increase, freight rates on this route only narrowly exceeds the daily break-even costs of a VLCC…

21 Jun 2019

Modec Signs LOI for FPSO with Petrobras

Image: MODEC

MODEC Inc. received a letter of intent (LOI) from Petróleo Brasileiro for the supply, charter, and operations of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Búzios field.The firm time charter period of the contract is 21 years, it said in a press release.The new LOI will be the fifth FPSO deployed at the Búzios field, however it is the first chartered production unit for the region. Búzios is one of the offshore oil and gas fields in Brazil which forms part…

19 Jun 2019

OPEC Output to Remain Flat: Rystad

Photo: OPEC

OPEC and its allies, including Russia, can maintain their current cuts and not reduce outputs any more because there will be a crude oil demand surge later this year from changing shipping fuel standards worldwide.The OPEC+ countries will not be able to increase their collective oil production levels in the second half of 2019 without having a detrimental effect on oil prices. However, the production cuts required by OPEC+ in order to support prices need not be as much as 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd)…

18 Jun 2019

Howard Completes Port Arthur Terminal

Texas-based midstreamer Howard Energy Partners (Hep) announced that it’s completed the expansions of its bulk liquid terminal facilities in Port Arthur and Corpus Christi, Texas.The completion of these projects increases HEP’s Gulf Coast terminal storage capacity to 2.6 million barrels with three ship docks, three barge docks, unit train loading capacity for up to two trains per day, and direct pipeline connectivity through wholly-owned pipelines to seven refineries. HEP began operating terminal facilities in mid-2014.“The substantial expansions at our Port Arthur and Corpus Christi facilities signify HEP’s commitment to designing and constructing fully-engineered facilities that are tailored to meet the exact needs of our customers…

16 Jun 2019

Frontline Updates on Damaged LR2 Tanker

Pic: Frontline

John Fredriksen's tanker shipping company Frontline has provided an update on the LR2 tanker Front Altair. Vessel Front Altair was among two ships attacked off the coast of Fujairah in the Gulf of Oman."On the morning of June 13, at approximately 0500 hrs gmt, an explosion occurred on the Front Altair shortly after the vessel had passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf," it said.Most importantly, the 23 crew members onboard the Front Altair are unharmed after being…

14 Jun 2019

Analysis: Strait of Hormuz and the Risk of Escalation

© Peter Hermes Furian/Adobe Stock

The Strait of Hormuz, the narrow shipping lane between Iran and Oman named after the fabulously wealthy ancient kingdom of Ormus, has fascinated oil traders since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Iran has periodically threatened to close the strait to enemy shipping, while the United States and its allies have pledged to keep it open and maintain freedom of navigation, by force if necessary.The strait has become a symbolic flashpoint in the region-wide confrontation and indirect…

14 Jun 2019

Ship Insurance Costs Soar After Tanker Attacks

© Nightman1965/ Adobe Stock

Insurance costs for ships sailing through the Middle East have increased by at least 10% after attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, with the potential for costs to rise further as regional tensions escalate, ship insurers said.The attacks have already stoked concerns about reduced flows of crude oil on one of the world's key shipping routes, pushing up oil prices by as much as 4.5%.Some tanker companies have already suspended new bookings to the Middle East…

13 Jun 2019

INTERTANKO Says Vessels at Risk in Gulf

Pic: INTERTANKO

The tanker association INTERTANKO condemned unprovoked attack against two tankers on innocent passage in international waters in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday 13 June.The attacks on tankers in Straits of Hormuz unacceptably threatens the lives of innocent seafarers, the fragile environment of the region and the economies of the world, it said.While damage was caused to two tankers, INTERTANKO is relieved that according to preliminary reports no seafarers were killed nor pollution detected.

13 Jun 2019

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

11 Jun 2019

Gagarin Prospect Wins Award

Photo: Sovcomflot

Gagarin Prospect, an LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tanker owned and operated by Sovcomflot (SCF Group), has won Next Generation Ship Award 2019, which was announced at Nor-Shipping 2019.President & CEO of Sovcomflot Sergey Frank has received the award from Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen in the presence of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway.With a focus on innovation, the Next Generation Ship Award honors the most promising design for ships that will be at sea in the coming decade…

11 Jun 2019

Gazprom, Sovcomflot Pact on LNG Bunkering

Image: Sovcomflot

Russian shipping company Sovcomflot and compatriot oil producer Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker have signed an agreement to cooperate on projects for bunkering ships with LNG fuel.The agreement was signed by Igor Tonkovidov, Executive Vice President and CTO/COO of Sovcomflot, and Andrey Vasiliev, CEO of Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker.Sovcomflot said that the agreement reinforces the mutual interest of both parties regarding their cooperation in the bunkering of Sovcomflot’s tankers with LNG fuel.Compared to conventional marine fuels…

07 Jun 2019

US Oil Output Heads for More Records in 2019

Graph: Rystad Energy

U.S. total oil production, which is already off to an amazing start in 2019,  is on track to set another record for this year.New records are expected both when the final numbers for May emerge and at the end of the year, said Rystad Energy.The energy research and business intelligence company is raising its forecast for US crude output to 13.4 million barrels per day (bpd) by December 2019. For May 2019, our research and calculations point to crude oil production averaging 12.5 million bpd. Both are new all-time highs.“Our US supply projections have been revised up yet again.

04 Jun 2019

Record Number of VLCC Liftings at LOOP

Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Medium-sour crudes from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are being snapped up by overseas buyers, paving way for a record six supertankers to load at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) in a matter of weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.The six scheduled loadings in late May and early June would double the record of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) reached in December. An unusual influx of Gulf of Mexico crudes to the U.S. deepwater export port and weakening prices are contributing to the exports…

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