US: Russian Ship Suspected of Aiding N.Korea
The U.S. government has named a Russian ship on a list of vessels suspected of providing fuel to Pyongyang, a month after Reuters reported the same ship violated sanctions by carrying out a clandestine transfer to a North Korean tanker.The Treasury Department, which oversees U.S. sanctions, included the Russian vessel, the Tantal, on a new list of "vessels believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers."The list was included in updated https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/dprk_vessel_advisory_03212019.pdf guidance on addressing North Korea's illicit shipping practices published by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Russia Struggles to Modernize its Navy
President Vladimir Putin calls improving the Russian navy's combat capabilities a priority.The unfinished husks of three guided-missile frigates that have languished for three years at a Baltic shipyard show that is easier said than done.Earmarked for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the frigates fell victim to sanctions imposed by Ukraine in 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, prompting Kiev to ban the sale of the Ukrainian-made engines needed to propel them.With Moscow unable to quickly build replacement engines for the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, construction stopped.
Rising Supply Dents Oil Gains
Oil prices fell for a third day on Thursday, following a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that added to existing concern about the rapid rise in global crude supply.Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production, as agreed at a meeting in June, to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once U.S. sanctions come into force later this year.Brent crude futures were last down 33 cents at $72.06 a barrel by 1200 GMT, while U.S. crude futures fell 55 cents to $67.11."There's been a lot of bearish news over the last week. We've seen the OPEC July numbers increasing quite drastically month-on-month and along with that…
Russia to Restrict US Imports in Response to Tariffs
Russia's Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday it was preparing to impose restrictions on U.S. imports in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, the Interfax news agency reported. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Editing by Andrew Osborn)
Russia Could Take 2-5 Months to Exit Oil Output Deal
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday it could take two to five months to exit a global oil output cut deal with OPEC and non-OPEC countries if and when such a decision was taken, the Interfax news agency reported. Global producers late last year extended a global oil output cut deal between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC states until the end of 2018. The duration of that deal is expected to be reviewed at OPEC's next meeting in June when member countries will consider the current oil price and forecast prices when considering what action, if any, to take. "It could take three, four, five months or maybe just two (to exit the deal)," Novak said in an interview with Interfax.
Oil Prices Rise on Supply Cuts, Tensions
Oil prices rose nearly 1 percent on Thursday, supported by supply cuts by major exporters as well as continuing concern about political developments in Saudi Arabia. Brent crude oil was up 59 cents or 0.9 percent to $64.08 a barrel by 11:30 a.m. (1630), still close to Tuesday's intra-day high of $64.65, which was the highest since June 2015. U.S. light crude was up 46 cents or 0.8 percent at $57.27, just shy of this week's more than two-year high of $57.69 a barrel. Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude exports by 120…
Brent Crude at 27-month High Even as U.S. Exports spike
Saudi Crown Prince takes bullish stance on supply cut deal; U.S. crude inventories show surprise build even as crude exports hit new record four-week average. Brent crude closed at a 27-month high on Thursday as the market focused more on comments from Saudi Arabia about ending a global supply glut instead of an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories and high U.S. production and exports. Brent futures gained 86 cents, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $59.30 a barrel, its highest close since July 3, 2015. U.S.
Eleven Missing after Bulker Sinks off Crimean Coast
A cargo ship heading from Russia to Turkey sunk off the coast of Crimea early on Wednesday morning and 11 of the crew are missing, Crimea's emergency situations ministry said. It said that the Panama-flagged vessel 'Geroi Arsenala' had sent an SOS signal when it was located 14 nautical miles off the Crimean coast. The Interfax news agency cited Russian transport officials as saying that the ship, whose home port was reported to be Kherson in southern Ukraine, had broken in half during a strong storm and sunk. At least six ships and a helicopter were engaged in a search and rescue operation, the emergency situations ministry said in a statement. Their task was complicated however by high winds and choppy waters.
Russia Beefs Up Baltic Fleet Amid NATO Tensions
Russia is sharply upgrading the firepower of its Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad by adding warships armed with long-range cruise missiles to counter NATO's build-up in the region, Russian media reported on Wednesday. There was no official confirmation from Moscow, but the reports will raise tensions in the Baltic, already heightened since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and are likely to cause alarm in Poland and Lithuania which border Kaliningrad. The reported deployment comes as NATO is planning its biggest military build-up on Russia's borders since the Cold War to deter possible Russian aggression and will be seen as a riposte to that.
Ukraine to Sue Russia Over Maritime
Ukraine plans to launch legal proceedings against Russia for violating United Nations convention with its annexation of Crimea, the Moscow Times quoted Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin as saying. Klimkin said that Ukraine plans to file a case in international courts “relating to Russia’s violation of UN maritime law" in the waters surrounding Crimea, the Interfax news agency reported. Border guards have recorded the fact of violation of global maritime norms in Ukraine's exclusive economic zone by the Russian Federation.
Novatek: Shareholders to Decide on $600 Mln Loan for Yamal LNG
Russia's largest non-state gas producer Novatek said on Thursday its shareholders would decide on a new loan worth $600 million for the Yamal LNG project on June 20, according to Interfax news agency. The $27 billion Yamal LNG project envisages three liquefied natural gas (LNG) production lines with a capacity of 5.5 million tonnes a year each. The gas the project produces would be exported to world markets. Novatek has a 50.1 percent stake in what will be only Russia's second LNG plant. France's Total and China's CNPC hold 20 percent each.
French Banks Eye Yamal LNG Project
French banks may participate in lending for the Russia's Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, a relevant agreement may be signed in 2016, Tass reported quoting Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev. "As for French banks - we have made very serious progress there, we are very optimistic about it. I do hope [that the agreement on lending will be signed this year]," the minister said. Earlier this year, Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek confirmed the volume of capital expenditures for Yamal LNG project in the amount of $27 bln.
Novatek: Yamal LNG Financing in 2-3 Months
Russian gas producer Novatek expects its Yamal LNG project to secure external financing in the next 2-3 months, Interfax news agency quoted Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek chief executive, as saying on Wednesday. Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis have made it harder for Novatek to raise funds for the Yamal project, which is due to start producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2017. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Alexander Winning)
Russia Sets Oil Production Record for 2015
Against the backdrop of a sharp drop in oil prices sharply increased their exports, Russia has set a new record for oil production in 2015. This is a new record for oil production (including gas condensate) - 534 081 000 tons, which is 1.4% higher than in 2014, reports "Interfax" referring to the data of the Central Supervisory Control fuel and energy complex. The leader was the company "Bashneft". Others are "Gazprom Neft", "Surgutneftegaz" and reduced "Rosneft", "Lukoil" and "Slavneft".
JV for 3D seismic in Arctic
Paris-listed seismic giant CGG and Russia's largest shipowner, SCF Group (Sovcomflot), have formally registered a joint-venture company focused on coldwater surveys, reports Interfax. The joint venture, to be called Arctic Geophysical Exploration (AGE), will be 51 per cent owned by Sovcomflot and 49 per cent owned by CGG. The company will be incorporated in Russia with its headquarters in Moscow. CGG and Sovcomflot will have a combined total of four vessels scheduled to operate…
Russia Suspends Kozmino Oil Exports as Typhoon Approaches
Russia has suspended oil exports from the Pacific port of Kozmino on Sunday due to approaching typhoon, Interfax news agency cited a spokesman for oil pipeline monopoly Transneft as saying on Monday. It is expected that the wind will weaken by Monday evening and loadings could resume. A port official declined to comment. In June, Kozmino handled 2.4 million tonnes of oil. Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin
USC Acquires Zvezda
United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has taken on 53.5122% of the voting shares of the long planned Far Eastern Plant Zvezda shipbuilding complex in Russia’s Far East. Zvezda (a company of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center, or FESRC) is a leading shipyard providing services for repairs of submarines of the Russia’s Pacific Fleet and the only company in the Far East specializing in repairs, conversion and modernization of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
Murmansk Region Head for Zoning Arctic Territories
Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun, at the first meeting of the State Commission for the development of the Arctic has proposed a change to the system of energy pricing for the Murmansk region and zoning of marine areas. The authorities of the Murmansk region linked the successful development of Russian oil and gas projects in the Arctic with the timely development of the Murmansk transport hub and the construction of the railway on the western shore of the Kola Bay, Interfax reported.
Russian Submarine Fire 'Put Out' in Dock
Firefighters at Zvyozdochka shipyard in Russia's northern province of Arkhangelsk partially flooded a nuclear-powered submarine to extinguish a blaze that started aboard the vessel. The vessel - classified as Oscar-II by NATO - is a cruise missile type sub which carries nuclear material and has two reactors aboard. There were no weapons on board of 949 Antei submarine, the vessel's nuclear reactor had been shut down prior to the blaze and nobody was hurt, said the state-owned…
Russian Atomic Submarine Catches Fire in Shipyard
A nuclear submarine caught fire in a shipyard in Russia's northern province of Arkhangelsk on Tuesday but there were no weapons on board, Russian news agencies reported. The Emergencies Ministry declined comment on the reports of the fire at the Zvyozdochka shipyard, where the agencies said the 155-metre-long (just over 500 feet) 949 Antei submarine was being repaired. There was no word of any casualties. "There is a fire on the submarine. We are fighting the fire now," a shipyard source told Interfax news agency. RIA quoted a spokesperson at the shipyard as saying there were no weapons on board the submarine. A source told TASS news agency the submarine's nuclear reactor had been shut down prior to the blaze.
Asia: LPG Shipping and LNG Pricing
While declining Asian LNG prices have reduced margins on the long-distance LNG trade, causing spot-charter rates for LNG vessels to fall, LPG shipping earnings are forecast to remain buoyant on the back of low oil prices and the absence of fuel substitution. According to LPG Forecaster, published by global shipping consultancy Drewry, low oil prices have not triggered the substitution of LPG as the fuel of industrial use, as feared by some analysts. As a result, LPG shipping demand has remained intact and low bunker prices have supported vessel earnings.
Russia to Stop Gas to Ukraine Absent Prepayments
The CEO of Russian gas company Gazprom said on Wednesday Russia would stop exporting natural gas to Ukraine unless it received prepayment from Kiev for energy supplies, Interfax reported. Gazprom also said that Ukraine had approximately three days left of prepaid gas deliveries from Russia, Interfax reported, citing a letter from Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to the head of Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz. Reporting by Thomas Grove
China’s LNG Terminals Underutilized
According to an Interfax analysis of customs data, China used just over half its LNG regasification capacity in 2014, as tariff hikes and cheaper competing fuels hit gas demand growth. Slow downstream demand, driven by rising natural gas prices and sluggish GDP growth, coupled with rising pipeline imports and plunging prices of alternative fuels, have halved China's LNG consumption growth, said industry sources. While Chinese LNG imports in 2014 were up 10.3 percent from 2013, the growth was lower than the 20.3 percent and 22.7 percent registered in 2012 and 2013, Platts data showed.