Russia's First Sea-borne Nuclear Power Plant Arrives in Arctic
Russia's first-floating nuclear power plant arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend in preparation for its maiden mission, providing electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska.The state company behind the plant, called the "Akademik Lomonosov", says it could pioneer a new power source for remote regions of the planet, but green campaigners have expressed concern about the risk of nuclear accidents. Greenpeace has called it the "nuclear Titanic".Russian state nuclear company Rosatom…
Statoil to Become Equinor, Dropping 'Oil'
Shareholders in Norway's largest company, Statoil, will approve on Tuesday the board's proposal to drop "oil" from its name as its seeks to diversify its business and attract young talent concerned about fossil fuels' impact on climate change.From Wednesday, the majority state-owned company will change its 46-year-old name to Equinor and trade on the Oslo Exchange under the new ticker EQNR.The Norwegian government, which has a 67 percent stake in the firm, has said it will back…
Norway Awards Oil Permits to 11 Firms in Arctic Licensing Round
Norway has awarded 12 oil and gas exploration licences to Equinor and 10 other companies focused mostly on the Arctic, where Oslo believes it has the greatest potential for significant new discoveries.Nine of the licences are located in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea off central Norway, the Ministry of Oil and Energy said on Monday."This licensing round confirms that the oil companies see opportunities for further profitable petroleum activity in the north," Oil and Energy Minister Terje Soeviknes said in a statement.Equinor…
Total Determined to Drill Amazon Basin as Greenpeace Storms AGM
Total is determined to push ahead with its plans to drill for oil in the Amazon basin, it said on Friday as Greenpeace activists interrupted its annual general meeting in protest at the project.The French oil major wants to explore Brazil's Foz do Amazonas basin, but Brazil's environmental agency rejected its licence application on Tuesday for a fourth time.As the company's annual general meeting opened in Paris on Friday, four activists from Greenpeace descended by rope from the ceiling above the stage…
Greenpeace ship My Esperanza in West Africa
The Greenpeace ship My Esperanza has docked at the port of Praia in Cape Verde. For eleven weeks the Esperanza will sail the waters of six West Africa States - Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal to raise awareness on the state of fisheries through political events, public engagement and consultations with the West-African science community. The ship tour named “The West Africa tour of hope” will provide an opportunity to make these countries’ voice on protecting their own sea and marine resources heard internationally.
Rosneft Reports Large Oil Spill on Sakhalin Island
Russian oil producer Rosneft said on Thursday that around 15 tonnes (110 barrels) of oil spilled off from an idled pipeline on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, while local ecologists say the scale of disaster is far larger. Rosneft said the spill occurred on Wednesday at the Ekhabi oilfield in northern Sakhalin. The company decided to burn the spilled oil to "minimise ecological damage". Dmitry Lisitsin, an activist at a local ecological watchdog in Sakhalin, estimated the size of the spill at about 300 tonnes. "They started to burn the spilled oil, people see massive plumes of black smoke," he said by phone from Sakhalin. "This is a large spill, and the problem is of a systemic nature," said Vladimir Chuprov from Greenpeace.
Shark Fins Found Aboard Chinese Vessels
Shark fins have been discovered on two Chinese fishing vessels during a joint surveillance conducted by Greenpeace and Guinean fishery authorities. One of the vessels also had illegally altered fishing nets on board, while a third Chinese vessel was caught using illegal nets and fishing for species outside of its license. The two vessels with shark fins on board have been fined with Euro 250 000 each, while the third vessel has been fined with Euro 350 000. The catch of all vessels have been seized by Guinean authorities.
Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling
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…
Chinese Vessels Detained off West Africa for Illegal Fishing
West African countries have detained eight Chinese ships for fishing illegally and the boats' owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, environmental group Greenpeace and government officials said. Inspectors from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau boarded the ships off their coasts which they found to be violating regulations on catching protected fish and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls. The arrests came after a two-month regional patrol on a Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza which carried inspectors from the West African countries, in a bid to supplement national efforts, which are often hamstrung by budget and technology constraints.
Guinean Sailors Arrested after Clash with Sierra Leone Navy
Sierra Leone was holding 11 Guineans including military personnel in custody on Wednesday following a confrontation at sea involving the two West African neighbours' navies, Sierra Leonean officials said. The incident occurred early on Monday morning off the coast of northern Sierra Leone near the countries' border, the officials said. Vessels from the two countries exchanged gunfire after Guinean naval forces illegally boarded a Chinese fishing vessel in Sierra Leonean waters, said Al Shek Kamara, Head of Operations for the Sierra Leone Police. He said the Guineans had been holding the vessel's crew at gunpoint demanding money. Guinea rejected that version of events. "There was a Chinese boat that was being pursued by the Guinean navy and entered into Sierra Leone's territory.
Activists Protest near Oil Rig in Norway's Arctic Sea Area
Environmental activists protested on Friday near an offshore rig contracted by Statoil in the remote Norwegian Arctic, where the firm is looking for oil and gas deposits. The Nordic country wants to open up northern areas for exploration to offset declining production in the south. Oil and gas production is Norway's leading industry, accounting for 20 percent of its economy. From the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship, 11 campaigners launched inflatable boats carrying banners opposing Statoil's Songa Enabler oil rig, 275 km (170 miles) north of the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic Barents sea. One of the banners read "“The People Vs. Arctic Oil”.
Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says
Norway's plan for Arctic oil exploration is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a healthy environment, a lawyer for Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group told an Oslo court on Tuesday. The case is the first of its kind in Norway and says a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil , Chevron and others violates the constitution. Norway signed the 2016 Paris accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century. The country is Western Europe's largest oil producer and oil and gas are its most important exports.
The Economics of Ship Breaking & Scrapping
Sometimes being an industry supplier offers interesting insights – your business is touched by the ups and downs of the charter market, but you are never so involved in it that you lose sight of the big picture. Some of our clients have been hit hard by the market’s general downturn; one client I visited last month began 2008 with 41 maritime software licenses for their vessels – just seven remain today. “We just sold another ship yesterday,” he said, and then after a pause: “Please spare me the update costs for this one, it won’t receive any.” Of course, I nodded.
Tanker Continues to Burn in East China Sea
Strong winds, high waves and toxic gases are hindering dozens of rescue boats struggling to locate missing sailors from a stricken oil tanker in the East China Sea and to extinguish a fire that has burned for the past three days on the ship. The poor conditions, with rain and waves as high as 3 metres (10 feet), frustrated efforts to tame the fire and search for the 31 remaining tanker crew members, China's Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Tuesday. The flames were forcing the South Korean Coast Guard's search and rescue team to stay as far as 3 miles (4.8 km) away from the tanker…
Explosion on Iranian Tanker Repels Rescue Team
Fire rages for 4th day; tanker collided with freight ship on Saturday. Rescue crews were forced to retreat from a stricken Iranian oil tanker in the East China Sea on Wednesday following an explosion on the ship as a fire raged for a fourth day after a dramatic collision. The blast happened on board the tanker in the afternoon after rescue crews were dousing the ship with foam in an attempt to put out the fire, China's Transport Ministry (MOT) said in a statement on Wednesday. The cause and damage to the tanker from the incident were not clear.
Stricken Tanker Sinks, Leaves Large Slick in East China Sea
Two bodies, black box recovered from tanker before sinking; Iran says remaining 29 crew, passengers presumed dead. A stricken Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea on Sunday in the worst oil ship disaster in decades has produced a large oil slick, Chinese media and Japanese authorities said on Monday, as worries grew over damage to the marine ecosystem. The tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608) had been adrift and ablaze after crashing into the freighter CF Crystal (IMO:9497050) on Jan.
Australia settles six years after Barrier Reef accident
Australia on Monday reached a A$39.3 million ($29.66 million) out-of-court settlement with the owners of a Chinese coal carrier that ran aground in 2010 on the Great Barrier Reef. The settlement, dismissed by an environmental group as not enough, is less than a third of what the Australian government was seeking from the ship's owner - Shenzhen Energy Transport Co - for remediation costs after the 225-metre long Shen Neng 1 ran aground on the reef's Douglas Shoal. The fully-laden carrier was en route to China when it sailed outside the shipping lane and ran aground on April 3, 2010. Anti-fouling paint that peeled off the ship contained a highly toxic component, tributyltin, that is now banned from use.
AOA Calls for Southern Ocean Conservation Commitments
The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called on the 25 member countries gathering today for the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to finally agree on lasting and significant Southern Ocean protection. CCAMLR previously pledged to establish two marine protected areas by 2012, but, because of a lack of consensus, member states have failed to reach agreement on two major proposals on four separate occasions. The Southern Ocean is home to more than 10…
Chinese Trawlers Travel Farthest and Fish the Most
China has the world’s largest and farthest-ranging fishing operation, outstripping the next 10 biggest combined, according to what researchers say is the most comprehensive and data-intensive study on the subject. Ships from China amassed approximately 17 million hours of fishing in 2016, mostly off the southern coast of their home country, but also as far away as Africa and South America. The next-biggest operation is Taiwan‘s, with 2.2 million hours of fishing. The data, collected and analyzed over five years by Global Fishing Watch…
Greenpeace Activists Divert Helsinki-bound Coal Ship
The environmental activist group Greenpeace managed to board and get a coal-carrying freighter on its way from St. Petersburg to change its course before arriving to Helsinki harbour. A Greenpeace activist has scaled the 155m long bulk carrier, Alppila, transporting coal to one of Finland’s most polluting power plants in central Helsinki. The coal ship and its climate-damaging cargo have now aborted its entry to the Port of Helsinki and now steam away from Helsinki accompanied by a Finnish coast guard vessel.
IMO Reaches Deal to Cut CO2 Emissions
The United Nations shipping agency reached an agreement on Friday to cut carbon emissions, following years of slow progress. The compromise plan, which will cut emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 2008 levels, fell short of more ambitious targets. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), said the adoption of the strategy "would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis". The IMO said it would also be pursuing efforts towards phasing out CO2 emissions entirely.
Fast, Quick Action Needed to Meet Paris Climate Goals: CAN
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has agreed on an initial strategy to decarbonise international shipping and reduce emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050. While this agreement falls short of the 70 to 100% reductions by 2050 that the Pacific Islands, the EU and others were calling for ahead of the meeting, it keeps a window open to meet the Paris climate goals and is undeniably a game changer for the shipping sector. This plan serves as a welcome first step to phase out emissions from the sector…
Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller Bullish on Arctic
Gazprom has completed the construction of the Gates of the Arctic offshore offloading terminal that would pave the way for year-round oil supplies from the Novoportovskoye field in Yamal. Gazprom takes the leadership position in the Russian petroleum industry. Gazprom's board of directors had approved a RUB 842 billion ($11.8 billion) investment program for 2016. Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller said: "We have been efficiently developing the Prirazlomnoye field in the Arctic shelf. "This year Gazprom has continued steadily evolving as a global energy Company.