Sovcomflot Better, Despite Challenging Year
PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), one of the world leaders in energy shipping and marine services to offshore oil and gas upstream projects, said that its gross revenue for the full year to 31 December 2017 grew by 3.4% to $1.43 billion. According to the statement, 2017 proved to be one of the worst years for the conventional tanker market in the last quarter of a century, with similar conditions experienced to those seen in 2011 and 1992. Conventional tanker freight rates fell by almost 50 per cent year-on-year…
Mexico's Oil Reform a Boon for Hard-hit Oil Service, Seismic Firms
Oil service and mapping firms still emerging from an industry recession have received a boost from about $800 million of data sales to energy firms considering bidding for Mexican oil and gas blocks. Mexico will on Wednesday hold its most important auction since a 2013 reform ended the 75-year monopoly on the energy sector held by state-run oil firm Pemex. The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes the deepwater sale will attract tens of billions of dollars of investment to turnaround a slump in the country's oil output. Seven previous auctions drew investment pledges of $61 billion.
Philippines says China Will Halt Expansion in South China Sea
China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new "status quo" brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations, the Philippine defence minister said. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also said the Philippines was working on a "commercial deal" with China to explore and exploit oil and gas resources in disputed areas of the South China Sea with an aim to begin drilling within a year. The defence minister, Delfin Lorenzana, told a congressional hearing the Philippines and China had reached a "modus vivendi", or a way to get along, in the South China Sea that prohibits new occupation of islands.
Philippines says China Wanted Non-legally Binding South China Sea Code
China pushed for a maritime code of conduct with Southeast Asian countries that would not be legally binding, the Philippine foreign minister said on Tuesday. Alan Peter Cayetano said some countries wanted the South China Sea code to be legally binding, and China preferred the less forceful "binding". He said all parties realised it was better to drop all mention of it from the framework and move forward. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China hailed the adoption on Sunday of a negotiating framework for the code of conduct (COC) as progress towards preventing disputes. Cayetano cited the framework as an example of how parties that were historically at odds were co-operating…
Russia Ramping Up Arctic Push
The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union's Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum. But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers. It is part of a push to firm Moscow's hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States, and Norway as well as newcomer China.
As Iran Oil Tenders Near, Investors Still in the Dark on Terms
Two years after Iran pledged to open up its oil industry in anticipation of the lifting of sanctions, foreign companies say they still have little information about Iranian oil fields and contract terms, hindering investment decisions. Bosses from oil majors including BP, Total, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell and LUKOIL have all travelled to Tehran this year, since the EU sanctions ended in January. Their teams spent weeks meeting local officials ahead of investment tenders due to start next month. But several senior executives and members of their negotiating teams told Reuters they still had not been given sufficient information about the geology of Iranian fields or contract terms.
Bulgaria Will Not Join Any NATO Black Sea Fleet After Russian Warning
Bulgaria's prime minister said on Thursday he would not join a proposed NATO fleet meant to counter Russian forces in the Black Sea as he did not want a war there, a day after Moscow warned against any build-up. Boiko Borisov said he did not want to see frigates sailing past the tourist resorts, at a joint press conference with President Rosen Plevneliev who described Bulgaria as a peaceful country. Tensions between Russia and the alliance have risen, particularly since the Ukraine crisis and Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in November. Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, has its own Black Sea Fleet based at Sevastopol.
DP World at China’s Belt & Road Summit
Global trade enabler DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem spoke at China’s Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong this week highlighting the need for better international cross-sector connectivity in order to realise the significant trade potential. Speaking on a panel entitled ‘Enhancing cross-sector connectivity along the Belt and Road’ he stressed the impact on global trade that economic cooperation can bring, with more than 60 countries involved in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
Islamic State Attacks Libya's Es Sider Port
Islamic State fighters clashed with security forces near Libya's Es Sider oil export terminal on Monday killing two guards and setting an oil storage tank on fire, witnesses and a Petrol Facilities Guard source said. The source told Reuters that the tank had been hit by a rocket during the fighting, causing a huge fire, and that two Islamic State suicide car bombers had attacked the area around the port after which its fighters had retreated. According to Mohamed al-Manfi, an oil official based in eastern Libya, the tank was holding 420,000 barrels of oil. Libya descended into chaos after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and rival governments and the militias that support them are fighting for control of the North African state and its energy reserves.
Chinese Ships Spotted off Alaska
Five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska coast, coinciding with President Barack Obama’s visit to the the U.S. state. US defence officials have spotted three Chinese combat ships, a supply vessel and an amphibious ship moving toward the Aleutian Islands which is split between Russian and US control, according to the Wall Street Journal. Its for the first time the U.S. military has seen them in the area. The U.S. has been tracking the flotilla – made up of three combat ships, a resupply ship and an amphibious ship – for days.
China Breaks Ground on South China Sea Lighthouse Project
China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity. The reefs are known in English as Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef. The Ministry of Transport did not answer calls for comment. Last year, the Philippines accused China of reclaiming land on Johnson South Reef, apparently to build an airstrip.
U.N. Rules for Bangladesh in Dispute with India
A U.N. tribunal has awarded Bangladesh nearly four-fifths of an area sprawling over 25,000 sq km (9,700 sq miles) in the Bay of Bengal, ending a dispute over a sea border with India that has ruffled ties between the neighbours for more than three decades. The verdict, binding on both countries, opens the way for Bangladesh to explore for oil and gas in the Bay of Bengal, the site of important energy reserves. "It is the victory of friendship and a win-win situation for the peoples of Bangladesh and India," Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali told a news conference on Tuesday to announce the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the sea boundary. The dispute had hampered the economic development of both countries for more than 30 years, he added.
ABS Secures Prestigious PFLNG Classification Contract
ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the global offshore industry, has been awarded the classification contract from PETRONAS, Malaysia’s national oil company, for the company’s second floating LNG facility (PFLNG 2). The vessel will be built at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in Geoje, Korea. “This is a very significant award for us,” says ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. ABS has a long history working with floating gas concepts, classing the first offshore LPG storage unit in the world in 1997 and the first LPG FPSO in 2005.
ABS Wins Petronas FLNG Classification Contract
ABS, a provider of classification and technical services to the global offshore industry, has been awarded the classification contract from Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company, for the company's second floating LNG facility (PFLNG 2). The vessel will be built at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in Geoje, Korea. "This is a very significant award for us," said ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. ABS said it has a long history working with floating gas concepts, classing the first offshore LPG storage unit in the world in 1997 and the first LPG FPSO in 2005.
Ukraine Loses at Least $80 Billion Since Russia Takes Crimea
Ukraine has lost at least $80 billion since Russia annexed its southern Crimea region and the price tag will be much higher when Kiev includes lost profits and the value of possible energy reserves in the Black Sea. Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said Kiev would press its case against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights and could take individuals to court for military crimes and those against its territorial integrity. "Any state property located on the territory of Crimea is the property of Ukraine and Russia bears the full liability for the losses incurred by state companies, ministries and departments," Petrenko told a news conference. "Today the amount of such losses is 950 billion hryvnias.
Ice-class Vessels – New Class Rules by LR
The first dedicated set of rules for stern-first ice-class ships has just been published by Lloyd’s Register, answering demand for technical support as industry continues to explore the potential of polar transportation routes and the new energy reserves in the far north. The timely release of the rules comes as more and more ships are being ordered with options such as podded propulsion systems and azimuthing thrusters – products that can improve icebreaking capability and reduce resistance -- allowing them to navigate stern first through ice. "These practical rules are answering a growing demand in the market and include…
Lloyd’s Register Issue Rules for Stern-First Ice-Class Vessels
The first dedicated set of rules for stern-first ice-class ships has just been published by Lloyd’s Register, answering demands for technical support, as industry continues to explore the potential of polar transportation routes and the new energy reserves in the far north. The timely release of the rules comes as more and more ships are being ordered with options such as podded propulsion systems and azimuthing thrusters – products which can improve icebreaking capability and reduce resistance - allowing them to navigate stern-first through ice. "These practical rules are answering a growing demand in the market and include the use…
Gates Appraises Maritime Contribution to Gulf Region Security
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates commemorated a historic date in U.S. Navy history -- Pearl Harbor Day -- at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command headquarters. He got a detailed briefing about the command's operations and how they're helping to maintain security and keep the sea lanes flowing. Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of NAVCENT Combined Maritime Forces and U.S. 5th Fleet, briefed the secretary on the command's operations, which cover 2.5 million square miles of international waters in U.S. Central Command's area of operations. Each day, more than 10,000 vessels transit the territory, which includes about 80 percent of the global energy reserves. About 45 percent of the world's oil passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.