Marine Link
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Updated Forecast: Floating Production System Orders

© ggw / Adobe Stock

World Energy Reports has released its midterm five year forecast of production floater orders. The forecast, detailed in the March 2017 WER report, reflects positive and negative developments in underlying business drivers since WER’s five year forecast last October. Likelihood that the November U.S. election results will accelerate U.S. More rapid expected increase in cost of capital – U.S. Overall, the net impact of these changes is slightly negative – but the outlook for a ramp up in production floater orders remains bullish.

First Spanish-built SOV Launched

Photo: GONDAN

The first service operation vessel (SOV) built in Spain has been launched at shipbuilder GONDAN’s facilities in Figueras. This 81.1-meter-long and 17-meter-beam vessel is the first of two new SOVs that GONDAN will deliver to Norwegian ship owner Østensjø Rederi, with whom GONDAN has signed already 13 shipbuilding contracts in the last decade. The launch event was attended by representatives from Østensjø Rederi as well as the charterer of the vessel, Dong Energy. Both vessels are being built according to UT 540 WP design by Rolls Royce Marine.

Total Expects Decision on First Libra FPSO by Summer

A decision on the first floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the giant Libra project in Brazil will be made by the summer, Total's head of exploration and production said on Thursday. "We are actively working actively on Libra to have the first FPSO decided before summer," Arnaud Breuillac told an oil summit in Paris. Total is one of the partners in Libra with Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA. The project will see the installation of four FPSOs in the field with a capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil a day (bpd) in 2020.     (Reporting by Bate Felix)

Poland to Receive first US LNG Delivery in June

File Image: CREDIT GAC

Poland will receive its first liquefied natural gas supplies (LNG) from the United States in mid-June as a result of a deal Polish gas firm PGNiG signed with Cheniere Energy, state-run PGNiG said on Thursday. Cheniere Energy will make the spot delivery at the Swinoujscie terminal on the Baltic Sea. Poland, which consumes around 15-16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually, built its first LNG terminal in Swinoujscie as part of a bigger plan to reduce reliance on gas it imports from Russia's Gazprom.

Maiden Bakken oil cargo to Asia ships out, with more to come

The first ever reported export of North Dakota's crude oil to Asia left port last month, according to a shipping document seen by Reuters on Wednesday, in what is expected to be the first of numerous cargoes once the key Dakota Access pipeline starts moving oil in May. Swiss-based Mercuria Energy Trading S.A. loaded more than 600,000 barrels of Bakken crude, as well as some Mars Sour crude, in late March off the coast of Louisiana onto the very large crude carrier (VLCC) Maran Canopus, destined for Singapore, according to the bill of loading and ship tracking data. The burgeoning appetite for U.S. crude among Asian refiners could be a boon for Bakken crude, especially when the Dakota pipeline starts up.

US Authorizes Non-FTA LNG Export from Golden Pass

Photo: Golden Pass LNG Terminal

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products LLC to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. Golden Pass is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to any non-FTA country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas. With the dramatic increase in domestic natural gas production, the U.S.

BOURBON to Install Mooring for Floating Wind Turbine

French offshore marine services company BOURBON said it has been awarded a contract for the mooring installation of the first floating wind turbine in France at the experimental test site of SEM-REV managed by Ecole Centrale de Nantes (ECN), in the context of European project FLOATGEN. The mooring installation will take place during summer 2017 based on a method jointly established by BOURBON and Ideol’s engineering teams in collaboration with the Ecole Centrale de Nantes. The wind turbine will be installed at the SEM-REV site near Le Croisic, France, by the end of the year. BOURBON’s Subsea Services team will be responsible for the project management, mooring installation and engineering.

BW Offshore to get FPSO from Keppe

Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard), is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to BW Catcher Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BW Offshore. When completed BW Catcher will be on a 7-year fixed term and 18 years of options contract with Premier Oil and will be deployed to the Catcher Field located in Central North Sea, UK. Keppel Shipyard's work scope on the FPSO include the installation and integration of topside modules. BW Catcher is scheduled for sailaway from the shipyard in the next few months and is on track to achieve its first oil in 2017. "Having worked together on 11 other projects previously, Keppel has proven to be a reliable partner," said Carl Arnet, CEO, BW Offshore.

Op/Ed: Trump Signals New Day for Offshore Energy

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi weighs in on President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore energy. It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) applauds President Donald Trump’s Executive Order recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy, particularly fossil fuels, will provide almost 80 percent of our energy needs.

Drewry Trims Long-Term Freight Rate Outlook for LNG shipping

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Given the mounting pressure on freight rates and continuing fleet growth over the next two years, Drewry believes that excess vessel supply will reduce only gradually with the recovery in rates pushed back to the latter part of next year, according to the latest edition of the LNG Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Drewry maintains a bearish stance on the LNG shipping freight rate outlook for 2017 on account of strong fleet growth which is expected to be around 13%.

DP Conference: Call for Papers

© Hadafee / Adobe Stock

As the offshore oil and gas industry continues to rebound, so will the demand for dynamic positioning technology and services. The annual Dynamic Positioning Conference provides an annual forum for discussion and for exchange of knowledge, experience, new technology and technical know-how associated with the use, evolving technology and application of dynamic positioning. Each year, the conference continues to attract DP professionals from around the world as well as DP manufacturers and service companies who will be exhibiting their products and services.

DOF Takes Over Canadian Subsea Shipping Company

Norway’s DOF Subsea AS said it has purchased the remaining shares in Canadian Subsea Shipping Company AS.   Before the transaction, DOF Subsea AS owned 45 percent of the shares in the company.   Canadian Subsea Shipping Company AS has a newbuild vessel under construction at Vard Group in Norway.  

Kongsberg Maritime, SES Form Strategic Alliance

Kongsberg Maritime and Stress Engineering Services form strategic alliance to serve customers within offshore drilling and floating production systems (Photo: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg Maritime Inc., the North American division of Norway headquartered marine and offshore technology company Kongsberg Maritime, and Houston headquartered Stress Engineering Services (SES) have formed a strategic alliance to better serve existing and new clients with cost effective engineering services and fully integrated technical solutions within offshore drilling and floating production systems. By combining Stress Engineering Services’ wide-ranging engineering expertise…

Pemex Approves New Deep Water Gulf Joint Venture

The board of Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex on Thursday approved its second-ever deep water joint venture covering the Nobilis-Maximino block in the country's territorial Gulf waters.   Reuters revealed details of the plan last week.     (Reporting by David Alire Garcia)

Louisiana OKs Use of Grants for DP Assessments

Aaron Smith (Photo: OSVDPA)

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has approved use of Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) grants to cover the cost of Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority, Inc. (OSVDPA) Phase 4 Assessments. “It’s great to see the Louisiana Workforce Commission recognize the OSVDPA’s assessments as an important part of the professional development of mariners,” said OSVDPA Executive Director, Aaron Smith. In addition to two classroom courses and two periods of on board experience gathering…

Baltic Index Down on Weaker Rates

File Image: CREDIT FedNav

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday on weaker rates for panamaxes and smaller vessels, even as rates for capesizes rose. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell for the seventh straight session and was down 7 points, or 0.61 percent, to end at 1,147 points, its lowest since mid-March. The capesize index snapped a six-session losing-streak and gained 23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,790 points.

Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Down in March

Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States declined in March for the third month in a row this year to 651,710 barrels per day due to falling exports of main grade Merey, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuela's crude output fell in 2016 to its lowest level in 23 years. Analysts expect another decline in 2017 due to lack of investment and to cash flow problems affecting state-run oil firm PDVSA, which controls more than 40 joint ventures for exploration and production. The volume of Venezuelan crude that PDVSA and its joint ventures exported in March was down by 2.3 percent from February and by 18 percent from a year earlier.

East Coast Refiners Mull Texas Oil as North Dakota Alternative

Crude Oil moving via rail in the U.S. heartland (CREDIT: Dagmar Etkin)

U.S. East Coast refiners are looking to buy increasing volumes of domestic crude oil from the Gulf Coast, two sources said, the latest twist in a trade flow upheaval in the wake of the opening of the Dakota Access pipeline. Major U.S. East Coast refiners profited from railing hundreds of thousands of barrels of discounted Bakken crude to their plants daily from 2013 until 2015. But as more and more pipelines were built in North Dakota, the discount began to disappear, and so did the rail cars.

Tanker Market Could See Difficult Q2, Q3

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Carabay)

New vessels expected to hit freight rates; new trade route from east U.S. to Asia to meet Chinese demand. The tanker market may face a "difficult" second and third quarter this year after a robust first quarter as supply of newly built vessels loom, Belgian oil tanker operator Euronav said on Tuesday. "The rates today are not the same as what we have seen in previous quarters," Chief Executive Paddy Rodgers told Reuters on the sidelines of a shipping conference. An additional 50 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are estimated to be added to the global fleet of supertankers this year…

ABS Guide Helps Prevent Dropped Objects

Photo: ABS

ABS has provided a systematic approach to dropped object management and prevention. The new ABS Guide for Dropped Object Prevention for Offshore Units and Installations includes a program of requirements and best practices to protect assets, personnel and working environments from dropped object incidents. “Dropped objects are one of the leading causes of fatalities and serious injuries in the offshore oil and gas industry,” says ABS Executive Vice President for Global Offshore Ken Richardson.

Total E&P UK, Survitec Ink Lifesaving Equipment Deal

Survitec Group has announced a five-year contract award with Total E&P UK Ltd for the provision of lifesaving equipment maintenance services.    The contract, which adds to an existing contract for lifeboat maintenance services, covers the offshore Alwyn/Dunbar and Elgin/Franklin fields and sees Survitec providing a full range of life saving apparatus, including new lifejackets, immersion suits and liferafts. As part of the agreement, the areas of coverage will be fully supported with associated maintenance routines as part of the Survitec after-sales care package.   

Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling

File photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Norway's Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. "We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May ... followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central)," said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill. All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream…

Baltic Index Down on Weaker Capesize Rates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock) / (c) n neeleman)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Monday on weaker rates for large vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 25 points, or 2.09 percent, at 1,170 points. The capesize index lost 50 points, or 2.73 percent, to 1,780 points, its lowest in over six weeks. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $409 at $12,960.

Petrobangla, Summit Pact for 2nd LNG Terminal

Pic: RPGCL, Petrobangla Group

Bangladesh's State-owned Petrobangla has inked final deals with Summit LNG Terminal Co to development the country's second floating LNG terminal. The Financial Express reported that Summit group will install a Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) at Moheshkhali Island in the Cox's Bazar. The terminal will have 500 million meter standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) capacity, which would go on operation after 18 months. The cost of the second project is estimated at $400 million-500 million…

South Korean Tender Stirs LNG Market

© Oleksandr Prykhodko / Adobe Stock

Asian spot LNG prices jumped this week, buoyed by hopes Korea Gas Corp's new tender would match past buying sprees and by emerging demand from China and Japan. Spot prices for June delivery rose to $5.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), a 20 cent jump over last week, but traders cited sharply divergent views on pricing, saying the disagreements contributed to market inertia. Still, Korea Gas Corp's Thursday tender for June and July supply - set to close on April 26 - immediately stirred up bullish offers, rescuing an otherwise muted trading week.

Iran's Crude Exports Dip to 14-month low

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Iran's crude exports to hit 14-month low; May exports to total 1.66 mln bpd in May. Iran's crude oil exports are set to hit a 14-month low in May, a person with knowledge of the Middle Eastern country's tanker loading schedule said, suggesting the country is struggling to raise exports after clearing out stocks stored on tankers. Part of the drop may also be attributable to a decline in demand, as loadings bound for India are set to slump to a one-year low after a dispute over the award of a contract for a gas field and Japan's orders fall by more than half from April.

Ampelmann Unveils the Icemann

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann, provider of offshore access to the energy industry, has unveiled its latest walk to work system which has been specially designed for operation in extreme cold conditions. The N-type, nicknamed Icemann, was officially launched in front of 200 guests on Thursday, April 20, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Designed to safely and efficiently transfer crew in extreme icing and temperatures as low as -28C (-18F), the fully enclosed and insulated system is operational in sea states up to 3.5 meters significant wave height and comprises active motion compensation.

Iraq's Oil Exports Fall in April Amid Port Work, OPEC Cut

Oil shipments from Iraq's southern terminals have fallen so far in April, according to loading data and an industry source, reflecting a temporary drop in export capacity and Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC production cuts. OPEC's second-largest producer has curbed output this year as part of an OPEC-led supply reduction deal, although OPEC figures show that until March Iraq had delivered a smaller cut than other members such as top exporter Saudi Arabia. Exports from southern Iraq - the outlet for most of the country's crude - in the first 19 days of April averaged 3.10 million barrels per day (bpd), according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and by an industry source.

Korea Gas Corp Launches Tender for June, July LNG Cargoes

Korea Gas Corp has launched a tender seeking to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for delivery in June and July, trade sources said on Thursday. The scope of the company's demand is unclear as each supplier has a limit on the number of cargoes it is allowed to offer, but the firm has not spelled out an upper limit for deliveries, trade sources said. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic)

PLSV Skandi Búzios Begins Work off Brazil

Skandi Búzios (Photo: TechnipFMC)

Skandi Búzios, a pipelay support vessel (PLSV) owned 50/50 by a joint venture formed between TechnipFMC and DOF Subsea, has commenced an eight-year charter contract with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), as scheduled on April 13, 2017. Skandi Búzios is the sister ship of the Skandi Açu, which started its charter contract on August 13, 2016. These two vessels each have 650 tons flexible pipelay tension capacity, enabling the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in the ultra-deepwater Brazilian pre-salt area.

Demand for Arabian Gulf Crude Export Dips in Q1

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Seaborne demand for Arabian Gulf crude exports down 14 percent in first quarter 2017 in very large crude carriers (VLCC) and Suezmaxes. In the first quarter of 2017, more than 2.5 trillion ton miles were completed by the global VLCC and Suezmax fleet. This was down 4.6 percent from the previous quarter with a reduction in VLCC work done being the major contributor at -5.42 percent. Over 50 percent of seaborne demand for crude exports stems from the Arabian Gulf. In Q1, AG export ton mile demand fell by a mammoth 14 percent.

WIN WIN: Wind Powered Oil Recovery Concept Progresses

The WIN WIN Concept. (Image: DNV GL)

The DNV GL-led joint industry project, WIN WIN (WINd powered Water INjection), has completed its first phase and determined that wind power could be used to power offshore water injection. The project is currently moving into its second phase, which includes refining and testing the electrical systems, and investigating possibilities for broader applications. The project consists of four partners: DNV GL, ExxonMobil and ENI Norge – all part of the first phase – and the Norwegian Research Council – a new participant for this second phase.

Nicholls Elected as ADCI President

Bryan Nicholls (Photo: U.S. Underwater Services)

Bryan Nicholls, president and COO of Texas based offshore and inland commercial diving contractor U.S. Underwater Services, LLC, has been elected president of the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) at its annual conference. The ADCI is a professional association that promotes best industry practice with respect to the health and safety of commercial divers and underwater operations. “The ADCI Consensus Standards for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations are recognized as best industry practice here in the U.S., and in many other parts of the world,” Nicholls said.

Sovcomflot Holds PDVSA Oil Hostage over Debts

Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, sent a tanker in October to the Caribbean with the expectation that its cargo of crude would fetch about $20 million - money the crisis-stricken nation desperately needs. Instead, the owner of the tanker, the Russian state-owned shipping conglomerate Sovcomflot, held the oil in hopes of collecting partial payment on $30 million that it says PDVSA owes for unpaid shipping fees. Despite a longstanding alliance between Venezuela and Russia, Sovcomflot sued PDVSA in St. Maarten, a Dutch island on the northeast end of the Caribbean. "The ship owners ... imposed garnishment on the aforementioned oil cargo," reads a March decision by the St. Maarten court.

DP Training: Expanded Choices & Evolving Methods

Photo: Kongsberg Maritime

Perhaps one the most obscure skill sets in today’s rapidly emerging workboat landscape is also arguably its most important. Kongsberg today remains at the cutting edge of DP training and credentialing efforts. Not lost in last month’s Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) announcement that Kongsberg Maritime’s Houston training center had been accredited to conduct OSVDPA dynamic positioning operator (DPO) training courses and assessments was the fact that Kongsberg has been offering DP training for many years.

BP Oil Well Spills Out of Control in Alaska

Photo: BP

The oil giant British Petroleum (BP) oil and gas well on Alaska’s Northern Slope that blew out on Friday continues to spill crude oil and gas uncontrollably. There have been no injuries or reports of damage to wildlife, but crews trying to secure the well have failed amid frigid winds gusting to 38 miles an hour. Well pressure was monitored throughout the night and excess pressure was bled off to keep it within a safe rang. There was no estimate about volumes of natural gas and oil released.

Clearance for IOC's Kochi LPG Terminal

Logo:  Indian Oil Corporation Ltd

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given a ‘go ahead’ to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)’s stalled LPG import terminal project at Puthuvypeen near Kochi in South India. A statement from IOC said that  NGT reaffirmed its previous order dated August 2, 2016, thereby removing the hurdles in resuming its prime infrastructure project in the State. The project work has been stalled since February 15 due to protests, alleging that IOC is violating NGT order. IOC's project was to construct a LPG Import Terminal of six lakh tonne capacity a year at Kochi in Puthuvypeen SEZ of Cochin Port Trust.

ABS Research Establishes a Firm Foundation for Jackup Moves

Pic: Seajacks

ABS has issued the ABS Guidance Notes on Geotechnical Performance of Spudcan Foundations, encompassing the results from multiple targeted jackup research initiatives, says a press statement from the company. This document is the industry’s first guidance to present a thorough examination of jackup foundation issues, providing methodology for installation and operation and up-to-date geotechnical site assessment. “ABS began setting the bar for safety in offshore operations since 1958…

Essar to Develop LNG Terminal at Haldia

Photo: Essar Official FB Page

India's Essar Ports has won a contract to build the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in West Bengal  under the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) at an investment of Rs 450 crore (USD 70 million). A Press Trust of India report said that the LNG project is expected to be commissioned in two years. The facility will come up at the Haldia port with a capacity to store one million tonne of the clean fuel. Haldia Dock Complex under Kolkata Port Trust had earlier this year invited bids for setting up an LNG terminal with storage and distribution facilities.

Liebherr Offshore Cranes Accessing New Markets

Design layout of the new Liebherr HLC 295000 mounted on Deme’s next generation offshore installation vessel Orion. (Image: Liebherr)

Liebherr’s maritime manufacturing plant in Rostock has been awarded the contract to supply the heavy-lift crane for the Orion, a new wind farm installation and platform decommissioning vessel ordered by DEME from COSCO (QiDong) Offshore, a subsidiary of COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry. The crane is rated at 3,000 metric tons at more than 50 meters, with a lifting height in excess of 170 meters and a designation of HLC (Heavy-Lift Crane) 295000. Delivery will be spring 2019. Gordon Clark…

May LNG Cargo Prices Fall on Waning Demand

File Image: a typical LNG carrier at sea (CREDIT: MISC)

Asian spot LNG prices edged lower this week amid thin trade for May cargoes and as focus shifts towards June supplies. Spot prices for May delivery of LNG in Asia fell by 35 cents to $5.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), as interest for May cargoes weaken because most end-users have already secured their necessary feedstock for the month. Prices for June delivery of LNG in Asia was pegged slightly higher at $5.50/mmBtu amid expectations that demand could return as North Asian buyers begin purchasing cargoes to meet summer demand.

Mitsui Innovation: noah-FPSO Hull Gets AIP from BV

(Image: Mitsui)

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) obtained Bureau Veritas Approval in Principle (AIP) for the noah-FPSO Hull and associated design and construction methods following American Bureau of Shipping. This AIP provides assurance of the feasibility and reliability of the noah-FPSO Hull design. The noah-FPSO Hull is a next generation FPSO – Floating Production, Storage and Offloading – platform, and “noah” stands for New Offshore Adapted Hull. The hallmark of the noah…

New US Pipelines to Drive Natural Gas Boom as Exports Surge

© Yauheni Chazlou / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms are scrambling to finish a slew of pipelines that will unleash rich reserves of shale gas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as the nation prepares to become one of the world’s top natural gas exporters. The pipelines are expected to boost output from shale fields in the three states by giving producers access to new domestic and international markets. Those states could supply about a third of all U.S. natural gas once the pipeline expansion is complete, up from about 25 percent now, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

PDVSA Readies Armada of Fuel Imports

About a dozen tankers are sailing to Venezuela or waiting offshore to discharge cargoes after state-run oil company PDVSA ramped up tenders to buy gasoline and other fuels to offset its weak refining output, according to traders and Thomson Reuters data. Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) recently awarded BP , Castleton Commodities, Rosneft and CT Energia contracts to buy more than 15 cargoes of gasoline blend stock, diesel, vacuum gasoil, catalytic naphtha and cutter stock for delivery from April through May. The total volume expected for the coming weeks surpasses 4 million barrels, according to traders and tender documents circulated by PDVSA. Venezuela can produce up to 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of fuels at its refineries.

DNV GL Advisor for 3 New UK Wind Farms

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has advised renowned lenders, including Santander, on their GBP 210 million project finance investment for the construction of three new onshore wind farms by Banks Renewables, the first of which is expected to start generating electricity by early 2018. The 151 MW three wind project portfolio, Kype Muir and Middle Muir in Scotland, and Moor House in England, were among 15 projects that…

South Africa Minister Delays Signing Energy Deals

South Africa's newly appointed energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has postponed the signing of agreements between state-run power utility Eskom and renewable energy Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Business Report newspaper said on Tuesday. South Africa is diversifying its energy mix away from an over-reliance on coal-power plants to include greener wind and solar projects. The deadline for signing was on Tuesday, but Kubayi's office asked for the signing to be delayed until she had met with public enterprises ­minister Lynne Brown, who oversees Eskom, the newspaper said. "The process is in their hands. Once they have met and they have agreed on this and that, then we as Eskom we will sign," Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Reuters.

Canada, G7 Partners to Push LNG

Minister Carr and G7 Colleagues Advance Cooperation in Energy Security and Clean Technology Development. Photo: Official Twitter page of Natural Resources Ministry, Canada.

The Government of Canada recognizes the critical role of international cooperation on energy, as it impacts economic and social development, innovation, safety and security, environmental protection, and climate change. Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, reinforced the Government's commitment to advancing lasting, good jobs in energy, ensuring energy access and security around the world and expanding the clean-energy economy while at the G7 Energy Ministerial in Rome, Italy, this week.

TMC Compressors for FRSU Newbuild

International compressor supplier TMC Compressors (TMC) said it has been awarded a contract by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DMSE) to supply a marine compressed air system to a newbuild floating storage and regasification unit (FRSU). TMC’s scope of work includes engineering, manufacturing and supply of a complete compressed air system for the FRSU, which is being built by DSME for BW LNG. Under the contract, TMC will supply 3 x 40 kW frequency controlled control air compressors and 3 x 40 kW service air compressors. The contract value is undisclosed. “Any FRSU is a vital component in the LNG value chain. That is why DMSE and BW LNG have opted for compressors that are built especially for marine application…

Heavy Lift: Cryogenic Heat Exchanger Installed

Photo: Mammoet

The second of three planned Main Cryogenic Heat Exchanger (MCHE) installations at a large liquefaction project in southwest Louisiana marked a milestone for the U.S. Gulf Coast project. Heavy lift and transportation services provider Mammoet used 40 axle-lines of Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs) to transport the equipment to the installation site. The lift of the MCHE, which is 150 feet long, 16 feet in diameter and weighs a total of 576,000 lbs. (262 metric tons),…

LR to Perform Armada Olombendo FPSO Risk Inspection

Lloyd's Register has won an inspection contract with Bumi Armada Berhad for its Armada Olombendo FPSO. The contract agreement provides Bumi Armada with access to Lloyd’s Register’s risk-based inspection services and technical software which will help to develop quantifiable risk profiles. These profiles will give critical knowledge and insight for Bumi Armada Berhad’s management team on how best to approach short and long term CAPEX/OPEX decisions. The built-in risk inspection strategies used in the contract with Lloyd’s Register also provides a robust template for Bumi Armada Berhad’s baseline inspections and maintenance program while ensuring resources are focused on the high priority items first.

US-built TSHD Magdalen Launched

Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group

Trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Magdalen was launched on March 31, 2017 at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s (ESG) Allanton facility in Panama City, Fla. The 356’ twin screw dredger is being constructed for the U.S.’s second largest dredging contractor, Weeks Marine Inc. Having already been earmarked for a project at the end of this year, the TSHD is expected to have a significant impact when it enters the U.S. dredging market. Magdalen has been specifically designed for beach nourishment and capital dredging works and is highly automated.

Chinese Traders to Return North Korean Coal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © lidian neeleman)

China's customs department has issued an official order telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said a trading source at Dandong Chengtai Trade Co., the biggest buyer of coal from the isolated country. Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country's most important export product. The source at Dandong Chengtai said the company had 600,000 tonnes of North Korean coal sitting at various ports…

Cosco Delays Delivery of Jack-up Rigs for Northern

Photo: COSCO Shipyard Group

Cosco (Dalian) Shipyard, subsidiary of Cosco Shipyard Group, has reached an agreement with Bermuda-based rig owner Northern Offshore to further delay the delivery dates of two jack-up drilling rigs amid challenging offshore drilling market. Dalian shipyard received an order for two LeTourneau Super 116E jack-up drilling rigs in November 2013 and the plan was to deliver the rigs in 1H2016 and 2H2016, respectively. According to the new agreement between the Chinese yard and Northern Offshore deliveries of the two rigs will also be deferred until further notice.

BP Extends PSV Deals with Deep Sea Supply

Photo: Deep Sea Supply

 Oslo-listed offshore vessel owner Deep Sea Supply has secured two time charter contract extensions with BP Egypt.   The PSVs Sea Spear and Sea Spark have been awarded a 1 year extension of their charter contracts with start from end of current firm period, in July 2017.   "Deep Sea Supply is pleased to announce an extension of two time charter contracts with BP Egypt," said a statement from the company.   Both vessels started operations for BP Egypt in Egypt in July 2016 on one year firm and one year option contract. Following this extension both vessels are now firm until July 2018.  

Statoil Extends Bideford Dolphin Contract

Photo: Fred. Olsen Energy ASA

 Dolphin Drilling AS, a subsidiary of Fred. Olsen Energy ASA, has extended contract with Statoil for Bideford Dolphin. "We have entered into a one well contract extension, including one optional well, with Statoil for use of the semi-submersible drilling rig Bideford Dolphin for operation on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, with commencement latest 31 July 2017," said a statement from the company.   The one-well program is estimated to take 50 days and estimated contract value is approximately USD 8.6 million.  

India's Oil Imports from Iran top 500,000 bpd in 2016/17

India's Iran oil imports jumped to a record high in 2016/17 topping half-a-million barrels per day (bpd) as refiners boosted purchases after lifting of some Western sanctions against Tehran last year. India, Iran's biggest oil buyer after China, was among a handful of countries that continued to deal with Tehran despite Western sanctions over its nuclear programme. Refiners shipped in about 541,000 bpd of Iranian oil in the fiscal year to March, a growth of about 115 percent over the previous year, ship tracking data obtained from sources and data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts showed. Iran was India's second biggest oil supplier - a position now belonging to Iraq - before economic sanctions aimed at Iran's nuclear programme hampered its trade relations…

Baltic Index Snaps 6-session Losing Streak

File Image: Credit BSM

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities snapped a six-session losing streak and rose on Friday due to stronger rates for smaller vessels, even as capesize demand fell. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 8 points, or 0.66 percent, at 1,223 points. The capesize index dipped 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,173 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of iron ore and coal, were down $128 at $15,570.

Capesize Rates Further Impacted by Cyclone Debbie

© Lidian Neeleman / Adobe Stock

Coal shipments from eastern Australia could stop for 3-4 weeks. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes, which fell to multi-week lows this week, are likely to remain depressed in the absence of Australian coal cargoes and iron ore and coal from South Africa, brokers said. Coal shipments from ports including Hay Point have been badly disrupted after Cyclone Debbie struck eastern Australia last week, causing extensive flooding and resulted in mine closures with BHP Billiton declaring force majeure on coal shipments.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Climb as Asian Refiners Restock

File Image: A typical VLCC underway (EuroNav)

Rates to climb to around W65 from MidEast to Asia; W70 from West Africa. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are set to rise further as Asian refiners rebuild inventories after plants were reactivated following maintenance outages, brokers said on Friday. However, gains are likely to be capped due to the availability of additional ship capacity and charterers' holding back cargoes if they think rates are too frothy, broker added. "Worldscale 70 of West Africa is on the cards, with W60 out of the Middle East," said a European supertanker broker on Friday.

IMCA Reiterates CBP Proposal Opinion

Allen Leatt, CEO International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)

IMCA stands behind its opinion that CBP implementation of its proposal will severely damage business in the US Gulf of Mexico. Quote from Allen Leatt, CEO, The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) in response to report at marinelink.com  (OMSA: CBP Revocation Notice Boosts U.S. Jobs‘): “IMCA published its report on April 4 on the impact of the proposed CBP modifications and revocations to the Jones Act. Changes that would eliminate 40 years of stability in the workings of the Act, that has enabled industry to invest billions of dollars offshore and in the Gulf Coast States.

Another ABS NS Software Implementation

Photo: ABS

ABS, a provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, has successfully implemented the ABS NS Fleet Management Software suite for Hadi Hammad Al Hammam Group, a leading service provider to the oil and gas industry in the Middle East. “The NS software suite is a comprehensive fleet management solution designed to improve data accuracy to inform better decisions in the office,” says ABS Nautical Systems COO Stephen Schwarz. Phase one of the project focused on compliance – integrating the NS Maintenance…

Traders Sending European Gasoline Across Big Pond

File Image (CREDIT: BMT)

More than half a million tonnes booked Europe-U.S.; more bookings could follow in May. Traders are shipping more gasoline from Europe to the U.S. East Coast ahead of the summer driving season as a steady reduction in inventories there props up prices. At least 16 tankers carrying some 600,000 tonnes of gasoline blending components including naphtha have been booked in recent days by traders including Glencore, ExxonMobil, Mercuria, Repsol and Total, shipping data shows. That compared with an average of around 300,000 tonnes per week booked throughout March.

Poland has Natgas Exports 'understanding' with U.S.

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Fotmart)

Poland's desire to cut natural gas imports from Russia has led to an "understanding" with the United States to work toward a deal to export liquefied natural gas to its new Baltic Sea terminal, the country's deputy prime minister said on Wednesday. Mateusz Morawiecki, who is also the minister of economic development and finance, said in an interview that discussions with new U.S. "The word agreement is probably premature. Understanding? Absolutely," Morawiecki said as he wrapped up a three-day U.S. visit with stops in Washington, Boston and New York.

DSME, DNV GL Partner for Efficient LNG Carrier Design

Johan Petter Tutturen, DNV GL – Maritime Business Director Gas Carriers.  (Photo: DNV GL)

At the Gastech 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, DSME and DNV GL presented the results of a joint development project (JDP) for the design of an innovative, efficient LNG carrier based on today’s technology. The project focused on delivering a design which an owner can take straight to the yard and is ready for upcoming market trends and incoming regulations, with an optimal size, hull form, and machinery and electrical systems. “When we look at today’s LNG market we predict that…

Accredited Vessel Inspector Scheme Conference

Mike Schwarz  and Chris Baldwin (Photo: IMCA)

An essential event for all Common Marine Inspection Document (eCMID) and Marine Inspection for Small Workboats (eMISW) stakeholders. The forthcoming Accredited Vessel Inspector (AVI) Conference will be taking place at the Novotel at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam on Tuesday April 25, 2017. This Conference is designed to provide a range of updates to AVIs on the current state and future development of the eCMID system. However, it is open to all vessel inspectors who have yet to be…

Oil Firm Penalized by DOJ for Jones Act Violation

Alaska Oil Company Agrees to Pay $10 Million in Penalties to Settle Federal Claims for Violating the Jones Act. Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Furie Operating Alaska LLC (“Furie”), a company whose focus is exploration and production of natural gas and oil in Cook Inlet, has agreed to pay $10 million to satisfy a civil penalty originally assessed against it by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) for violating the Jones Act. Furie was penalized when…

OMSA: CBP Revocation Notice Boosts U.S. Jobs

Aaron Smith, President & CEO, OMSA

OMSA says CBP Action Prevents Foreign Companies from Taking Advantage of U.S. Law. The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) today issued the following statement in response to erroneous claims and misguided research released by API and companies backing foreign workers. “This study is a desperate attempt by companies promoting foreign workers to distort facts to enable them to continue to skirt U.S. law,” said Aaron Smith, President and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association.

Seanergy Maritime Reports Q4 Results

Photo: Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp.

Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp reports financial results for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2016. For the fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2016, the Company generated net revenues of $10.9 and $34.7 million respectively. As of December 31, 2016 total stockholders’ equity was $30.8 million and cash and restricted cash was $15.9 million. Stamatis Tsantanis, the Company’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, stated: “During 2016, the dry bulk market went through the worst crisis of the last 25 years.

ABB, Presserv Partner to Preserve Idle O&G Vessels

Photo courtesy of ABB

ABB’s marine and ports business will partner with Presserv to offer maintenance packages for vessels that serve the oil and gas industry that are laid-up for prolonged periods. The two companies will combine specialized services to enable the preservation of equipment onboard, which will eventually allow the smooth and timely resumption of service. As part of the cooperation, ABB will utilize its Remote Diagnostic Service (RDS) to provide key data to optimize the care packages.

IMCA eCMID Workshop to be Held in Stavanger

Logo courtesy of IMCA

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) holds regular workshops to engage with the eCMID community including vessel operators, inspectors, and clients. The next workshop being held at Oceaneering International’s facility in Stavanger, Norway on the afternoon of Monday May 29, like all such workshops in 2017, has as its core theme how IMCA vessel inspection tools can assist in vessel assurance efforts for offshore contractors – in particular, for vessels brought out of lay-up, and as part of ISM code requirements.

Asia Tankers-VLCC to Stabilise as Owners Stand Firm

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

40 MidEast VLCC cargoes fixed for early April loading. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which have fallen to six-month lows, are likely to hold steady around current levels as owners resist charterers' attempts to push rates lower, brokers said. "Rates are stabilising now - owners are resisting further falls. But I don't see the market going up," a European tanker supertanker broker said on Friday. "There's been a consensus of sentiment rather than any real improvement in the market. There are still a lot of ships available for charter," the broker said.

Safety Insight on Offshore Wind Industry

Photo: Danish Maritime Authority

New safety analysis can be used to harmonize safety on board offshore vessels carrying wind turbine technicians. The Danish Maritime Authority is striving to make the International Maritime Organization (IMO) develop international standards. The Danish Maritime Authority has hosted two workshops with experts from the offshore wind industry at which a safety analysis was made for vessels carrying wind turbine technicians – now, this has resulted in a report. The normal operations…

Offshore Supply Vessel Market to Grow 6% by 2021

Photo: BOURBON

The global offshore supply vessel market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.03 percent during 2016 – 2021, according to Azoth Analytics research report. The growth in offshore supply vessels is expectect to be driven by rise in demand for oil and gas globally, increase in offshore drilling activities and growth in production and exploration activities. Moreover, companies operating in this market are focusing on investments in R&D for continuous innovation and strengthening their positions in the market by targeted acquisitions and product expansions.

Simulation: Maritime Professional Training

(Photo: MPT)

In South Florida sits MPT, one of the most prolific and progressive maritime training facilities. Already fully stocked, MPT added significant weight to its offering in 2016 with investment in 25,000 sq. ft. of new training space and technology. MPT handles more than 12,000 students a year from all segments of the maritime industry and from more than a dozen countries. With that range MPT has students from ship operators, tug companies, passenger vessels, offshore and energy exploration companies…

New Drill Ship Equipped with AHC Drilling Platform

Photo courtesy of MacArtney

Newly launched multipurpose drill ship FREJA integrates a high-performance active heave compensated drilling platform manufactured by MacArtney. The drilling setup on board the vessel has been designed to provide enhanced drilling conditions even in rough seas. A customized, motion-compensated working platform of 10 times seven meters is situated amidships. This means that the working deck remains stationary while the vessel follows the movements of the waves. The platform design includes a roll function compensating for the vessel rolls by +/- 7 degrees.

Russia Ramping Up Arctic LNG Production

Photo: Total

Russia may produce more than 70 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year in its remote Arctic regions, the head of gas producer Novatek said on Wednesday. "The Gydan and Yamal peninsulas have a vast resource base that allows the production of over 70 million tonnes (of LNG); it is comparable to LNG production in Qatar", Leonid Mikhelson, the head and co-owner of Novatek told a conference. Novatek, which was put on the list of Russian companies sanctioned by the West over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis…

Japan Eyes LNG Projects in Russian Arctic

Russian Energy Minister said on Wednesday Japan was interested in taking part in projects to produce liquefied natural gas in the Arctic. "Japan today shows its interest in increasing cooperation in the Arctic, including construction of a plant to produce liquefied natural gas," Novak said in comments shown on Rossiya-24 TV station. He didn't specify what was the project that Japan was interested in. Russian largest non-state gas producer Novatek said earlier it planned to build new facilities to produce LNG in the Arctic.     (Reporting Vladimir Soldatkin)

Crude Spill Hits PDVSA's Jose Terminal

Operations at Venezuela's main oil-exporting port Jose were hit by a crude oil spill on Tuesday, union sources and shipping agents told Reuters. A break in a pipeline that runs from the oil terminal to a single buoy mooring (SBM) facility near Venezuela's eastern coast would have produced the spill, according to four sources familiar with the incident. None of the sources could confirm the spill's magnitude but operators said there were no vessels docking at the SBM at the time of the incident. The 36-inch pipe can transport up to 32,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to the SBM facility, which is used by tankers to load oil for export. State-owned oil company PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for information about the incident.

Simulation: The Centre for Marine Simulation

Photo: The Centre for Marine Simulation

St. CMS operates a range of marine simulation equipment that covers a broad range of marine and offshore activities. Much of the equipment is highly specialized and unique including fully motion capable simulators. The center also provides technical management and support of simulation equipment that is used by other parts of the Marine Institute. CMS simulation activities can be divided into three main areas; Training, Industrial Response, and Applied Research. To support these…

Ocean RIG Files for Bankruptcy Protection in US

Photo: Ocean RIG

Rig contractor Ocean RIG UDW Inc filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court amid a deep and prolonged downturn in the industry. Shares of the company plunged 36.4 percent to 46 cents in early trading on Tuesday. The Cyprus-based company, which had $3.25 billion in debt as of Dec. 31, filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York on Monday. Under U.S. bankruptcy laws, Chapter 15 grants a foreign company protection from creditors looking to seize its assets in the country.

A.P. Moller-Maersk Elects New Chairman to Steer Digital Transformation

Jim Hagemann Snabe (Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk's new chairman committed to automating its systems as the oil and shipping group steps up its drive to become more efficient and save costs at a time of low oil prices and declining freight rates. The more than 100-year-old conglomerate's digital push will mean that in theory, it should be as easy to book a container as booking an airline ticket, Chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe told Reuters shortly after he was elected. "We transport goods in the physical world and that won't change as we won't start beaming things around the world…

Kongsberg Launches Kognifai

kognifai is is an all-encompassing and open digital ecosystem for users to collect, store, analyze, and apply the data they generate using Komgsberg  and third-party systems  (Photo: Kongsberg)

Kongsberg has announced the launch of Kognifai, its open and collaborative digital platform that places a portfolio of applications into the cloud. Kognifai focuses on optimizing data access and analysis for customers across maritime and energy industries, and also provides an integrated development and distribution platform for efficiency enhancing applications. “With Kognifai we are launching an open ecosystem for customers, partners, and suppliers,” said Hege Skryseth, Executive Vice President, Kongsberg and President, Kongsberg Digital.

C-Job to Provide Basic Design for DEME’s Orion

Photo courtesy of C-Job Naval Architects

Having recently supplied the concept design for DEME Group’s new offshore installation vessel Orion, C-Job Naval Architects said it will now provide COSCO OFFSHORE CO. Ltd (Qidong) with the vessel’s basic design package. Orion will be built at COSCO SHIPPING HEAVY INDUSTRY in China for delivery in 2019. The technical specs of the vessel, to be operated by DEME subsidiary GeoSea, will service offshore wind installation, oil and gas and decommissioning activities. While working on this next phase of ship design…

S.Korean Utilities to Lift 1.5 mln Tons of U.S. Coal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

South Korean utilities jointly bought a total of 1.5 million tonnes of coal from the United States to arrive from the third quarter, a spokesman at one of the utilities said on Tuesday. The purchase comes as South Korea, the world's fourth-largest coal importer, encourages energy companies and utilities to seek U.S. energy resources under pro-fossil fuel Trump administration in an effort to diversify supply sources. Korea Midland Power Co Ltd (KOMIPO) signed the deal to buy the U.S.-origin coal products on behalf of the five utilities, its spokesman said.

Thailand Boosts LNG Imports

Image: PTT LNG

Thailand is signing new contracts for LNG purchases and expanding terminals to boost imports to replace flagging domestic production, Bloomberg reported. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will boost LNG imports by more than 70 percent this year. The report said that the country is doing everything it can to facilitate increased LNG imports to replace the declining domestic production. These include expanding the existing terminals. Producers of the fuel are expected to expand…

Norway's Solstad Offshore, Farstad Shipping and Deep Sea Supply Agree Merger

Photo: Solstad Offshore ASA

Norwegian OSV companies Solstad Offshore, Farstad Shipping and Deep Sea Supply have signed off on merger plans first announced on February 6, 2017. The statutory merger plans have been approved and signed by the boards of Solstad, Farstad, DESSC and Solstad’s relevant subsidiaries, into which Farstad and DESSC will be merged. Deep Sea Supply and Farstad Shipping will merge into and be established as individual subsidiaries under Solstad Offshore, with shareholders of Deep Sea Supply and Farstad Shipping receiving shares in Solstad Offshore as consideration.

BP Awards Gulf of Mexico Work to Subsea 7

Subsea 7 said it was awarded a contract by BP as part of the deepwater Mad Dog 2 development, located approximately 190 miles south of New Orleans. The contract scope covers engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and associated subsea architecture. Subsea 7 has worked closely with BP to deliver a lump sum integrated solution from design through to supply, installation and commissioning. Furthermore, by collaborating with OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company, our Subsea Integration Alliance partner that has been awarded the Subsea Production Systems (SPS) contract, additional areas of cost improvement have been identified to provide greater cost certainty and reduced risk.

SOV Bibby WaveMaster 1 Launched

Bibby WaveMaster 1 (Photo: Damen)

The service operations vessel (SOV) Bibby WaveMaster 1 was officially launched at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania on March 24. When completed, Bibby Marine Services Limited, part of Bibby Line Group, will deploy the vessel to support forthcoming offshore wind construction and O&M projects in the North Sea. Stephen Blaikie, Chief Executive Officer, Bibby Marine Services Ltd, said, “This is an important key milestone in the delivery of the vessel. Peter Robert, Director Business Development & Market Intelligence at Damen…

Statoil Wins Licences Off UK, 'Resets' Exploration Off U.S.

Norway's Statoil was the second top bidder for 13 oil exploration leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and won six licences offshore Britain, it said on Thursday, in a sign it may be looking to boost reserves after slashing costs. Statoil bid a total of $44.5 million for 13 licences in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, coming second only to Shell and ahead of Hess Corp, Chevron and Exxon, the latest auction results showed. The company said in a separate statement it had won five new operated licences in the northern North Sea and one in the frontier area west of Scotland, committing to drill at least three wells. Statoil said its bids for licences in the U.S.

Top LNG Buyers Form Alliance to Push for Flexible Contracts

© akiyoko / Adobe Stock

The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move that further shifts power to buyers rather than producers. Japan, China and South Korea are the world's biggest LNG importers, accounting for about 55 percent of global purchases, according to data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The countries' biggest respective buyers are joining together to extract concessions from producers that would give them supply flexibility such as having the right to re-sell imports to third parties…

CNOOC Reports Worst Result Since At Least 2011

File photo: CNOOC

China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd reported its worst annual result since at least 2011, with revenue from its core oil and gas business tumbling 17 percent last year, but it expects to raise output 2017 as oil prices rebound. CNOOC reported a net profit of 637 million yuan ($92.5 million) in 2016, down nearly 97 percent from 20.2 billion yuan in profit in 2015. Total revenue from oil and gas fell to 121 billion yuan from 147 billion yuan in 2015. "CNOOC managed to eke out a tiny profit thanks to cost efficiencies and the oil price rebound during 4Q…

Maersk Reaches Key North Sea Tax Deal with Denmark

File photo: Maersk Oil

Shipping and oil company A. P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Danish state that means it will pay less tax on its North Sea oil and gas activities through 2025. The deal, which has been under negotiation for months, makes it viable to redevelop the Tyra field through which 90 percent of Denmark's gas production is processed, and it is seen as crucial for the Danish company that is seeking to spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. Maersk and its partners in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) -- Shell…

Danish Finance Minister to Report on North Sea Oil Negotiations with Maersk

Denmark's finance minister Kristian Jensen will hold a news conference about the government's ongoing negotiations with the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) about a new tax agreement for North Sea oil and gas operations at 1745 CET on Wednesday, the finance ministry said in a statement.   DUC consists of Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A. P. Moller-Maersk, Shell, Chevron CVX.N and state-owned Nordsofonden.   The deal is seen as crucial for Maersk as it seeks to focus its operations on the North Sea and spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Toby Chopra)

ICE to Offer First US Gulf Coast LNG Futures Contract

With the United States about to become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in 60 years, Intercontinental Exchange Inc said on Wednesday it would begin trading the first-ever U.S. liquefied natural gas futures contract in May. ICE said the contracts would be cash-settled against the Platts LNG Gulf Coast Marker price assessment and use Platts-derived U.S. GCM LNG forward curves for daily settlement purposes. The curves will have an initial term of 48 months. "Domestic and international market participants now have a risk-management solution that lays the foundation for a more effective means of hedging their spot and forward exposure," J.C. Kneale, ICE's vice president, North American power and natural gas markets, said in a statement. U.S.

BV Acquires MAC

Bureau Veritas (BV) acquired Maritime Assurance & Consulting (MAC). Based in Aberdeen, MAC was established in 2010 and now has 30 employees as well as more than 40 associates. This transaction is in line with BV’s recent developments in the North Sea offshore sector, where it has reaffirmed ambition to strengthen its local presence and increase its service provision capabilities for clients in spite of challenging market conditions. MAC’s capabilities will be a great enabler to further develop Maritime Assurance services for BV clients worldwide, in particular in the offshore sector. Commenting on the acquisition, Paul Shrieve, BV Regional CEO North Sea Offshore Operations, said: "We are delighted to welcome the MAC team to the BV family.

Gail India Seeks First-half April LNG Cargo

Gail India launched a tender seeking a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo for delivery in the first-half of April, trade sources said.   The tender, launched on Monday, follows two recent cargo purchases also for delivery in April. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic, editing by Louise Heavens)

US O&G Industry Reaps the Benefits of International Trade

© Alexandre / Adobe Stock

Rising exports have thrown a lifeline to U.S. shale producers and refiners, giving them an additional outlet at a time when the domestic market has been at risk of becoming saturated. The United States exported record quantities of natural gas, propane, gasoline, distillate fuel oil and light crude last year while continuing to import the heavy oils needed by its refineries. Gas exports increased by almost 30 percent in 2016 and have more than tripled in the last decade, limiting the build up of unused gas and supporting prices in recent months despite the warmest winter on record.

CFE Extends 2-Cargo LNG Tender Close by One Day

Mexico's state-run power utility CFE has extended the close of a buy tender seeking two liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in April by one day to Wednesday, trade sources said. The deliveries are due to arrive at Mexico's Altamira terminal on the Atlantic coast. CFE just filled a separate tender for supply to the Manzanillo terminal on the Pacific, but it was not immediately clear which companies won that tender. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic)

Market Volatility Affects Sovcomflot

Tanker SCF Baltica. Photo:  PAO Sovcomflot

Sovcomflot is one of the world’s leaders in energy shipping as well as in servicing offshore upstream oil and gas projects. It has reported lower time charter equivalent revenue (TCE) of USD 1,142.2 million (2015: USD 1,240.1 million), EBITDA of USD 706.5 million (2015: USD 780.1 million) and net profit of USD 206.8 million (2015: USD 354.5 million). Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot said: “Sovcomflot has delivered a solid set of results for 2016, despite market volatility in a year that has severely tested our industry.

OP/Ed: Obama’s Arctic Decision Undercut His Own Legacy

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

On December 20, 2016, in an 11th hour unilateral action designed to cement his environmental legacy, President Obama withdrew 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean and 115 million acres in the U.S. Arctic Ocean (including the entire Chukchi Sea and a significant portion of the Beaufort Sea) from future oil and gas leasing. Unlike the five year moratoria announced by Canada, President Obama touted these closures as “permanent.” Not only does this short-sighted decision threaten the economic lifeline of Alaska, U.S. energy leadership and U.S.

Borr Drilling Scoops up Transocean Rigs for $1.4 Bln

Borr Drilling, founded by former executives of financially troubled Seadrill, has snapped up Transocean's fleet of shallow-water drilling rigs for $1.35 billion. The rig market deal is Borr's biggest since it was set up last year by Tor Olav Troeim and other executives who had left Seadrill, once the jewel in the crown of Norwegian-born shipping tycoon John Fredriksen but now battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. After years at Fredriksen's side, Troeim split with him in 2014. Since then Troeim has re-established himself as an independent player in the global shipping market with a high profile and a reputation for successful capital raising. Transocean, executives at Borr Drilling and Troeim were not immediately available for comment.

Ezra Holdings Files for Bankruptcy in US

Pic: Ezra Holdings

Oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings of Singapore filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the weekend, blaming a prolonged slump in the energy industry, Reuters reported. Ezra  has been facing hostile actions from creditors at home and abroad as it struggles to recover from a slump in oil prices over the past three years. The company filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, according to a stock exchange filing on Sunday. Ezra will…

The World's First Offshore Wind Farm is Retiring

Photo: DONG Energy A/S

DONG Energy has decided to retire “Vindeby”, the world’s first offshore wind farm, which 25 years ago marked the birth of the offshore wind industry. Today, offshore wind is a recognised and proven renewable energy technology, and the offshore wind turbines harvest the energy from the wind, transforming it into green power for millions of households. But it is actually only some 25 years ago that the world's first offshore wind farm was constructed close to shore in the low waters off Vindeby near Lolland in the south east of Denmark.

Total Seeking to Buy Stake in Iranian LNG Project

Photo: Total

French oil giant Total held talks with Iranian officials about several projects in the country in 2016, notably a 10 million tonnes per year liquefied natural gas project (LNG), Reuters reported. It has signed an agreement with Iranian authorities for a 50 per cent stake  in Iran’s South Pars gas field project which will developed at an investment of $4 billion. Sources told Reuters in February that Total was in talks to buy a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran's partly-built LNG export facility.

Polish Terminal Dispatching LNG to Estonia

Photo: Gas Transmission Operator GAZ-SYSTEM

Liquefied natural gas from the Świnoujście LNG terminal is being loaded onto tank trucks and transported to Estonia. Its serves as fuel for ferries built in 2015 in the Polish shipyard in Gdańsk. The loading of LNG onto tank trucks takes place at the terminal on business days. Depending on the number of orders, up to a dozen or so tank trailers leave for various locations within 12 hours. However, there are several to a maximum of fifteen or so trucks transporting liquefied natural gas to Estonia per week.

Pronomar Equips Bibby WaveMaster 1

Photo courtesy of Pronomar

Damen Shipyards Gorinchem built the walk-to-work services operations vessel Bibby WaveMaster 1, and Pronomar provided drying systems for workwear to the turbine maintenance personnel. Damen Shipyards Gorinchem is the headquarters of the Damen Shipyards Group and delivers up to 180 vessels each year and has built more than 6,000 ships since 1969. This custom-designed vessel was deployed for U.K.-based Bibby Marine Services. It is designed to operate with maximum efficiency, while providing a high level of comfort for the crew.

Aker Solutions Secures Work for Njord A Upgrade

Photo: Thomas Sola / Statoil

Aker Solutions will provide design engineering for the upgrading of the semi-submersible Njord A platform in Norway. The company will as a subcontractor of Kvaerner take part in upgrading the platform after operator Statoil exercised an option in an agreement awarded in April 2016. The option is for work in the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the project. Aker Solutions' share of the work is valued at about NOK 1 billion and will be booked in the company's first-quarter orders.

North Korean Bulkers Stranded as China Enforces Sanctions

At least ten North Korean ships have arrived at a Chinese port after being stranded for the past three weeks following the top global coal consumer's ban on imports of the fuel from its isolated neighbour, a report said on Friday. Six North Korean merchant vessels, including Sai Nal 3 and Jin Hung, entered the port of Longkou in China's eastern Shandong province as of Thursday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Friday, citing a Voice of America report. Reuters ship tracking data shows that Sai Nal 3 from North Korea has been moored at the port for at least the past three weeks. It is listed at maximum draft, meaning it is likely fully laden with cargo.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Weighed by Excess Tonnage

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

MidEast, West Africa rates diverge; oil output curbs in Iraq and West Africa could weigh on tanker market. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are likely to remain under pressure with hire rates from the Middle East to Asia tracking lower in the face of excess tonnage in the market, brokers said. Cuts in the output from Iraq and West Africa this month as part of an agreement between oil producers to curb crude production to bolster oil prices are also expected to weigh on the tanker market as the number of voyages are curtailed, brokers said.

Capacity Building for Sustainable Shipping

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s response to the needs of developing countries for building capacity and facilitating technology transfer to promote low-carbon shipping was highlighted at the Environmental Sustainable Shipping Industry Conference (ESSIC), held in Panama City, Panama (14 March). The international conference was held in parallel with the Panama Maritime XIII World Conference and Exhibition. IMO’s Jose Matheickal talked through the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP) funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)…

Gazprom: Gas Exports to Europe, Turkey up 17.7% Y/Y

Russian gas exports to Europe and Turkey rose 17.7 percent year-on-year between Jan. 1 and March 15 to 42.9 billion cubic metres, gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday. (Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Subsea 7 CFO has 'Measured Optimism' of Oil Service Market Recovery

File photo: Subsea 7

Oslo-listed oil services firm Subsea 7's Chief Financial Officer Ricardo Rosa told an energy conference in Oslo he sees gradual market recovery as oil prices stabilize, and the outlook for subsea project awards increasing within the next 12 months. "Previously all the discussions (with oil companies) were about cutting costs, now we are starting to talk about launching new projects... We have a measured optimism," Rosa said. Rosa said he sees activity is picking up in the Gulf of Mexico, but remains low in western Africa, and doesn't expect anything in Brazil in 2017.

EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway, say the European Union needs a strategy for future developments in a region being transformed by climate change. Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion calling for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards "a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas".

ABS, Industry Experts Tackle MODU Safety Issues

At its annual Special Committee Meeting, ABS shared recent enhancements to ABS jacking gear requirements, which address jackup system reliability. Photo: ABS

ABS, the leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore industry, collaborated with industry experts during its annual Special Committee Meeting held recently to discuss the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs), with the goal of assuring that Rule requirements align with industry needs. “Our leadership position in the offshore sector is based on the ability to provide exceptional guidance and services,” says ABS Executive Vice President of Global Offshore Ken Richardson.

GustoMSC Debuts Self-propelled Cantilever Jack-up

Image: GustoMSC

The NG-5500X-LD is the latest design in GustoMSC’s series of self-propelled jack-up designs, the NG series. Based on the NG-2500X and NG-1800X designs, the NG-5500X-LD is a solution for light drilling and well intervention in a large number of mature fields in the Southern North Sea, Middle East and South East Asia. The conditions of these fields are characterized by water depths of up to 50 to 80 meters pending the region, traditionally the domain of classic drilling jack-ups and tender barges.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2017 - The Offshore Annual

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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