Marine Link
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Maritime Law & Regulations News

All Aboard for Hedge Funds as Trade Tide Lifts Shipping

© leeyiutung / Adobe Stock

Forced to abandon ship after mistiming their investments five years ago, hedge funds are venturing back in a bid to profit from growing global trade flows. Around 90 percent of traded goods by volume are transported by sea and global shipping sectors, including dry bulk, are on course for a recovery this year after a near-decade long crisis, ratings agency S&P said in a report last week. The IMF has forecast GDP growth at 3.9 percent for 2018 and 2019 versus 3.7 percent last year, which analysts say is boosting sentiment for shipping.

US Pushes More Sanctions Targeting N.Korea Maritime Smuggling

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (File photo: US Mission to the United Nations)

"We are ramping up the pressure on the North Korean regime, and we're going to use every tool at our disposal, including working with our allies and through the U.N., to increase the pressure until North Korea reverses course," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement. The move coincides with the United States imposing its largest package of unilateral sanctions against North Korea on Friday, intensifying pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programmes. The U.N.

Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia

Picture courtesy of http://www.shipspotting.com and lk.lv/en/lsc-shipmanagement/EU Navfor

Suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union's Naval force said, the first such incident in several months. EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia. "The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots," EU Navfor said.

Tug Sinks after Collision off Maine

The 80-foot tugboat Capt Mackintire in tow on Wednesday, February 21. The tugboat later sank about three miles south of Kennebunk, Maine. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A tugboat sank after it collided with another vessel about three miles off the coast of Maine. One of the two crewmen aboard the 40-foot tugboat Helen Louise told U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders that their vessel collided with the 80-foot tugboat Capt Mackintire while they had it in tow about three miles south of Kennebunk, Maine, early Thursday. The Capt Mackintire had no crew aboard. A Coast Guard boat crew arrived on scene, confirmed there were no injuries and escorted the tug Helen Louise with the two crew aboard into Portsmouth, N.H., where it safely moored.

US Targets 28 Vessels in New North Korea Sanctions

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adpbe Stock

The United States targeted North Korea in a new wave of sanctions on Friday directed at one person, 27 companies and 28 vessels, according to a statement on the U.S. Treasury Department's website.   The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the new measures, which are designed to disrupt North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels and to further isolate Pyongyang.     (Reporting by Doina Chiacu Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Oil from Sunken Tanker Sanchi Reached Japan's Shores

(Photo: Japan Coast Guard)

Oil that reached islands in southern Japan earlier this month is highly likely to have come from the sunken Iranian tanker Sanchi, the Japan Coast Guard said on Thursday. Samples of oily matter that washed up on Feb. 8 on the shores of the Okinoerabu and Yoron islands in the Amami chain were found to be linked to the Sanchi's sinking, the Coast Guard said. The Sanchi sank on Jan. 14 after colliding with a freighter on Jan. 6 in the world's worst oil tanker disaster in decades.

Borr Drilling Buys Paragon Offshore

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

Offshore rig firm Borr Drilling, controlled by Norwegian investor Tor Olav Troeim, is proposing to buy its rival Paragon Offshore for $232.5 million in a push to consolidate the fragmented rig market, it said on Thursday. A plunge in oil prices in 2014 forced oil firms to cut back on offshore exploration, reducing demand for drilling rigs at a time when new rigs ordered during the boom years were entering the market, pushing rates down to, or below, operating costs. Borr said it was likely to scrap 21 older jack-up rigs…

IMO to Ban Ships without Scrubbers from Carrying High Sulphur Fuel

© Giuseppe Elio Cammarata / Adobe Stock

The International Maritime Organization intends to ban ships that do not have equipment to strip sulphur from carrying fuel that has a sulphur content above new limits in 2020, an IMO official said on Thursday. The ban, which still has to go through two formal approval steps, was presented at IMO compliance meetings earlier this month. It would make enforcing the new limits on sulphur in shipping fuels significantly easier, cutting into the expected rule-breaking. "There wasn't that dissent…

Steamship Mutual Opts for Dutch Hub as Brexit Hedge

British ship insurer Steamship Mutual plans to set up a new Dutch subsidiary to ensure continued access to trade in the European Union in case Britain loses single market access. "We are about to apply for a licence to establish a subsidiary company in the Netherlands," Steamship Mutual's executive chairman Gary Rynsard told Reuters in an email, adding it would opt for the port city of Rotterdam. Britain dominates the global marine insurance market and losing access to specialist Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs could weaken its multi-billion pound shipping services sector. Steamship Mutual, which employs around 150 people in the UK, is one of 13 major global P&I clubs and Europe represents more than 30 percent of the insurer's global business.

DP World Accuses Djibouti of Seizure of its Dorelah Port

File Image: a typical DP World terminal.

Dubai-based port operator DP World accused Djibouti of illegally seizing control of Doraleh Container Terminal on Thursday, after the Djibouti government said it was unilaterally terminating DP World's contract to run the terminal.   "The Government of Djibouti today illegally seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal," DP World said in a statement. It said the company had commenced arbitration proceedings in London to protect its rights.   Reporting by Katie Paul 

Cyprus Accuses Turkey of Blocking Drillship Again

Cyprus accused Turkey on Friday of threatening to use force against a drillship chartered by Italy's Eni, in a standoff over hydrocarbons rights in the eastern Mediterranean. There was no immediate reaction from Turkey, which has vowed to prevent Greek Cypriots from exploring for oil or gas around the ethnically-split island and says some areas of Cyprus's offshore maritime zone fall under its jurisdiction. On Feb. 9, the Turkish navy on manoeuvres in the Mediterranean stopped the Saipem 12000 vessel on its way to drill for gas in the waters off Cyprus, triggering a diplomatic standoff which has underscored tensions in the region over competing claims for offshore resources.

BIMCO Relaunches Ship Benchmarking System

Photo: BIMCO

BIMCO relaunches ship benchmarking system Shipping KPI after two years of redesign. The system helps shipowners and managers make strategic decisions about their fleet. "The Shipping KPI system enables me, as a shipowner, to make rational strategic decisions on how to run my fleet, by benchmarking with other ships in the segments we compete in. It is an important step for BIMCO in its goal of developing digital solutions for the industry," says Şadan Kaptanoğlu, owner of Kaptanoğlu Group, President Designate of BIMCO and chair of the Shipping KPI steering group.

France Ratifies Fishing Vessel Safety Treaty

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Efforts to increase global fishing vessel safety have received a boost with France becoming the ninth State to ratify International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Cape Town Agreement. The treaty covers various important safety requirements including radiocommunications, life-saving appliances and arrangements, emergency procedures, musters and drills. The Cape Town Agreement will enter into force 12 months after it has been ratified by 22 States which, collectively, have 3,600 or more fishing vessels of at least 24 metres in length operating on the high seas.

IMO Rules a Cliffhanger for Oil Storage -Vitol's Chris Bake

© Arthit Somsakul / Adobe Stock

Vitol executive committee member Chris Bake says a big question facing oil storage sector is how world handles new International Maritime Organisation rules for cleaner shipping. New IMO rules to slash the use of high sulphur fuel oil in global shipping will come into effect in 2020. "It's going to be more and more difficult to burn that fuel oil with more economies going to natural gas for power," he said. "(Lower sulphur) marine gasoil has to build ahead of 2020. At the same…

U.S. Sues to Stop Wilhelmsen From Buying Rival Drew Marine

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Friday it would challenge in court the Norwegian company Wilhelmsen Maritime Services' plan to buy smaller U.S. rival Drew Marine Group. The FTC said the $400 million proposed deal would reduce competition in the market for marine water treatment chemicals, used in a ship's boiler water and engine cooling water systems. If Wilhelmsen closed the deal with New Jersey's Drew Marine, the FTC said the company would have 60 percent of the market for marine water treatment chemicals, while its closest competitor would have 5 percent. "We disagree with the FTC's evaluation and will continue to work towards a positive outcome," Wilhelmsen spokeswoman Benedicte Teigen Gude told Reuters.

AP Moller-Maersk Planning Roadshow ahead of Euro Benchmark

File Image: A Maersk boxship alongside and working cargo. CREDIT: HR Wallingford

A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S rated Baa2/BBB (on review for possible downgrade/CreditWatch negative) by Moody's/S&P, the integrated transport and logistics company, has mandated Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC, MUFG and SG CIB as Joint Bookrunners to arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings in Europe commencing on the 28th of February 2018. A EUR-denominated Reg S bearer fixed rate senior unsecured benchmark transaction with a maturity of around 8-years is expected to follow, subject to market conditions.

Schlumberger, Subsea 7 Mull Oil Services JV

(Photo: Subsea 7)

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services firm, and smaller peer Subsea 7 said on Friday they were entering exclusive talks to form a joint venture to deliver subsea installations and services for oilfields. The news lifted Subsea 7 shares on hopes the talks could be the first step towards a full takeover, in a sector that has already seen consolidation with the 2016 merger of Technip and FMC Technologies. In recent months, oil firms have returned to profits due to higher oil prices and the benefits of deep cost cuts they made during the downturn.

US Lays Keel for 21st Littoral Combat Ship

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS 21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship's module construction process. Photo: Lockheed Martin

The Lockheed Martin (LMT)-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's 21st Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisc. Ship sponsor Jodi Greene authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship. "It is a tremendous honor to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul," Greene said. "I look forward to supporting the ship and its crew throughout the building process and the life of the ship.

Diana Shipping Reports Loss for 4Q

Photo: Diana Shipping Inc.

Greece-based Diana Shipping inc. (DSX) has reported a loss of $436.9 million in its fourth quarter. The net loss attributed to common stockholders of $438.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, including a $422.5 million impairment loss. Time charter revenues were $48.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $28.0 million for the same quarter of 2016. The increase in time charter revenues was due to increased average time charter rates achieved for the Company’s vessels during the quarter and increased revenues resulting from the enlargement of the fleet.

Teekay Offshore Partners Up on Revenue

Libra FPSO. Photo: Teekay Corporation

Teekay Offshore Partners reported fourth quarter revenue at USD 295.7mln versus USD 274.9mln year ago, registering a growth of +7.6% YoY basis. “During the fourth quarter of 2017, we generated higher cash flow from vessel operations driven mainly by the delivery and contract start-up of two of our growth projects combined with lower G&A expenses," commented Ingvild Sæther, President and CEO of Teekay Offshore Group Ltd. “Recently, we finalized an agreement and are nearing completion…

Baltic Index Hits Month-high

© Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index gained nearly 2 percent on Thursday to hit an over three-week high, buoyed by an improvement in activity across vessel segments. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 21 points, or 1.83 percent, at 1,167 points, its highest since Jan. 30. The capesize index gained eight points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,725 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $111 at $13,512.

LNG Heats Up Again as Market Changes: Russell

File Image: A Depiction of Harvey Gulf's Q-LNG ATB bunkering vessel. When built, this vessel, partnering with Shell, will provide LNG to a raft of new LNG / Dual Fuel Cruise ships currently being built. CREDIT: Harvey Gulf

If you were looking for signs that the liquefied natural gas (LNG) merry-go-round is starting to spin a little faster, the announcement of a planned massive expansion in Papua New Guinea is ample evidence. Global majors Exxon Mobil and Total are considering plans to double LNG exports from Papua New Guinea to about 16 million tonnes per annum, their partner Oil Search said on Feb. 20. If approved, three new trains would be added to the existing Exxon-operated PNG LNG facility…

Navios Maritime Closes $35M Offering

© Faraways / Adobe Stock

Owner and operator of container and dry bulk vessels Navios Maritime Partners L.P. has closed the previously announced offering of approximately 18.4 million common units at $1.90 per common unit, raising approximately $35.0 million of gross proceeds. Navios Partners will use the net proceeds of the offering for general working capital purposes, including vessel acquisitions. Following the closing, Navios Partners will have 167,589,764 common units and 3,420,203 general partner units outstanding.

HSH Nordbank to Finance Brotorp Wind Farm

Image: Center for Climate Protection

HSH Nordbank will provide the investor BlackRock with a long-term loan amounting to about € 31 million to refinance the Brotorp wind farm in southern Sweden. The farm with 14 Vestas 126 type wind turbines and a total capacity of 46.2 megawatts (MW) has been in operation since December 2015. With US$ 6.29 trillion in assets under management (as of 31/12/2017), BlackRock is the world's largest independent asset manager. HSH Nordbank has previously already completed numerous transactions in the photovoltaics business with this investor.

European Commission Exempts Mitsui O.S.K. Lines from Penalty

PCTC Emerald Ace. Photo: MOL

The DG Competition of European Commission (EC) announced that several companies including MOL breached European competition law with respect to car carrier services. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines  (MOL) and other shipping companies have been investigated by the EC due to the suspicion of competition law violation. MOL has fully cooperated with the EC during the investigation. Though the EC announced that they found the violation of European competition law and imposed fines, MOL and its subsidiary companies were exempted from all penalty including the fine because EC granted MOL an immunity.

European Commission Fines Four Car Carriers $486.5mln

Photo: CSAV GROUP

The European Commission (EC) said Wednesday that it had fined four maritime car carriers 395 million euros (U.S. $486.5 million). Four shipping companies – CSAV, K Line, NYK and WWL-Eukor – have been fined by the EC for collusion in operating a cartel on the car carrier trades, in breach of EU antitrust rules. All companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to settle the cases. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said:"The Commission…

Transocean Upbeat About Offshore Recovery, Despite Quarterly Loss

File photo: Transocean

Drilling contractor Transocean Ltd on Wednesday expressed optimism about a recovery in offshore drilling activity this year, despite reporting its third quarterly loss in a row. Companies that provide services and equipment for oil and gas exploration and production, among the worst hit by the 2014 oil price downturn, have grown optimistic about the future as oil prices recently have bounced back. In recent quarters, companies that focus on providing services to onshore shale producers have posted the biggest gains…

Noble Corp Reports Smaller Q4 Loss

Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp Plc's fourth-quarter loss narrowed from a year earlier, when it recorded impairment charges of $1.44 billion.   Net loss attributable to Noble narrowed to $24.68 million, or 10 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.3 billion, or $5.36 a share, a year earlier, the company said on Wednesday.   Revenue fell 19.6 percent to $329.59 million. (Reporting by Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Eco Ships: The New Norm for Top Tier Ships

VesselsValue.com

The high average cost of bunker fuel over the past decade led to increased interest in fuel efficiency. Shipowners have a difficult time demanding higher rates in response to cost increases. This makes any savings they can realize on operational and fuel costs critical. Fuel costs account for about 70 to 85 percent of the cost of running a ship, so savings realized in consumption go to their bottom line. Ships which travel at a higher speed, such as gas carriers and container vessels, see the highest percentage adaptation.

Century-old Tall Ship Goes High Tech

Statsraad Lehmkuhl (Photo: Rolls-Royce)

The 1914-built three-masted steel bark Statsraad Lehmkuhl is the oldest of the large square riggers still in operation today. The century-old tall ship, which is currently in use as a Norwegian sail-training ship, will be able to cruise out of Bergen harbor next year without any greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to a hybrid power system from Rolls-Royce. Norway’s state-owned company Enova, which works to facilitate the country’s transition to a low-emissions society, is providing just over NOK 4.2 million for an innovative project to equip the historic tall ship with shipboard battery power.

The Swedish Club Moves Forward on a Firm Footing

Lars Rhodin (Photo: The Swedish Club)

The Swedish Club has reported results for the 2018 renewal season in line with its focus on quality business and expert approach to managing current and future risks. Growth is running according to plan and the P&I gross tonnage has moved in excess of the 50 million GT milestone. This follows on from the positive news announced by S&P Global Ratings (S&P) earlier this year, when it revised its outlook on The Swedish Club to positive from stable, affirming the 'BBB+' long-term insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings for the Club.

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

For the lifetime of the Block Island project, Atlantic Wind Transfers, using the Jones Act compliant and Blount-built Atlantic Pioneer, will provide crew and equipment transfer services to meet these key logistical requirements. (Photo: Blount Boats)

Offshore wind power continues to gain momentum in the United States. How will the Jones Act affect the development, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms? After years of planning and some unsuccessful attempts, offshore wind power developers finally have their first success in the United States. The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm.

Egypt's GASC Buys 120,000 Tonnes Wheat in Tender

© José 16 / Adobe Stock

Egypt's state grain buyer GASC said on Wednesday that it had bought 120,000 tonnes of wheat in a tender. GASC gave no more details. Traders had also estimated the total at 120,000 tonnes. The wheat was all of Russian origin and was purchased in two 60,000 tonne consignments, traders said. AOS sold one consignment at $223.50 a tonne c&f and Friends/El Wehda also sold one consignment at $223.50 a tonne c&f, the traders said. Both sales comprised wheat at $208.00 a tonne FOB with an additional freight (ocean shipping) charge of $15.50 a tonne.

UK to Sell HMS Ocean to Brazil

HMS Ocean heading for the Caribbean. Crown copyright.

The MOD has agreed to sell HMS Ocean to the Government of Brazil after 20 years of service. Sold to the Brazilian Navy for around £84M ($117m), the profit generated from the sale will be reinvested in defence at a time when the Royal Navy is being strengthened with two types of brand new frigates and two huge aircraft carriers. HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will eventually take on the role as the nation’s new flagship, recently set sail from the port of Gibraltar carrying two Chinooks and four Merlin helicopters as she readies for helicopter trials at sea.

World’s First LNG-fueled Bulk Carrier Delivered

Photo: Lloyd's Register

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) and ILSHIN LOGISTICS delivered the world’s first LNG-fueled bulk carrier under the dual-class of Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Korean Register. The 50,000 dwt bulk carrier has also been verified to be in compliance with the International Gas Fuel (IGF) Code. The vessel is the result of a collaboration project, announced in July 2016, to develop the first in a new generation of environmentally-friendly LNG-fueled bulk carriers. The ship has a Type ‘C’ LNG fuel tank with a capacity of 500m³, made of austenitic high manganese steel and located on the aft mooring deck.

Port Spat Delays Russian Black Sea Product Exports

Shipments of oil products from a Russian Black Sea outlet have been disrupted since early February due to a row over the port's control, four industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Three sources said oil products shipments from the IPP terminal at the port of Novorossiisk have been delayed over a managerial conflict. The port did not reply to a written request for comment. According to the sources, between 1,000 and 2,500 rail cars with oil products are stuck near the port waiting to be loaded on to tankers. Trading sources also said that loading operations of two tankers - Andromeda, chartered by Litasco, and Trafigura's Atlantas II - have been cancelled. "Ships have been waiting in the harbour of Novorossiisk," a trader said.

Sembcorp Marine Swings to Q4 Loss

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

Singapore's Sembcorp Marine swung to a net loss in the fourth quarter, with revenue plunging 21 percent due to lower rig-building revenue, fewer floater and offshore platforms projects.   The rig builder reported a net loss of S$33.8 million ($25.59 million) for the three months ended December, compared with profit of S$34.3 million a year ago.   The company's full-year net profit slumped 82 percent to S$14.1 million. Analysts expected Sembcorp to report a net income of S$70.6 million for the full year, according to Thomson Reuters data.   Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan 

Fisherman Medevaced NE of Cold Bay, Alaska

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a 44-year-old man

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a 44-year-old man from the fishing vessel Golden Alaska approximately 60 miles northeast of Cold Bay, Tuesday. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th District command center received a medevac request from Health Force Partners for a man suffering from stroke symptoms Tuesday afternoon. Watchstanders notified the Coast Guard duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac. The helicopter crew hoisted the man and safely transported him to Cold Bay for further transport by commercial services to Anchorage.

ACP, Cheniere Focus on LNG's Potential

A boxship transits thePanama Canal (CREDIT CH2M)

Representatives from the Panama Canal, led by Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, hosted executives from U.S. LNG exporter Cheniere Energy, Inc. to discuss the waterway’s growing LNG vessel segment and opportunities for future growth. With LNG emerging as its newest and fastest-growing segment, the Panama Canal has worked closely with shippers as part of an ongoing commitment toward strengthening overall communication and improving service and reliability for customers. “Our visit allowed a greater understanding of the complexities around the Panama Canal operations.

London P&I Club Sees Encouraging Growth

London P&I Club Underwriting Director Reto Toggwiler

Following the recent completion of the 2018 renewal, the London P & I Club saw an encouraging 2.5m gt, or 5.8% year-on- year increase in its mutual business, to 45.4m gt. The club’s underwriting director, Reto Toggwiler, says, “While the renewal period generally saw rates come under pressure, it is also the case that, in 2017/18, we saw a notable reduction in the impact on income of mid-year churn. “This renewal again underlined the high level of commitment to the club by its members.

SCF, Shell Push LNG Fuel for Aframax Tankers

(Photo: SCF Group)

SCF Group signed time-charter agreements with Shell for two dual-fueled Aframax tankers. At a ceremony held during International Petroleum Week in London, the time charter agreements were signed by Evgeny Ambrosov, Senior Executive Vice-President of SCF Group, and Mark Quartermain, Vice-President of Crude Trading for Shell. The vessels are part of a series of six SCF Group tankers currently under construction and due for delivery between Q3 2018 and Q1 2019. The two tankers will be on time charter to Shell for up to 10 years, with a minimum commitment of five years.

Ensco Announces Cash Dividend

Ensco plc announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of US$0.01 per Class A ordinary share payable on March 16, 2018.  The ex-dividend date for this payment is expected to be March 2, 2018 with a record date of March 5, 2018.  

Aegean to Acquire H.E.C. Europe

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding share capital of H.E.C. Europe Limited (H.E.C.), the parent company of Hellenic Environmental Center S.A. and a group of companies that together provide global port reception facilities services, from the shareholders of H.E.C., for aggregate consideration of approximately $367 million, including the assumption of certain indebtedness, which consideration is payable in the form of a combination of debt, the assignment of certain accounts receivables, cash (determined in accordance with the definitive agreement) and shares of Aegean common stock…

Subsea 7 to Invest in Xodus Group

SEVEN FALCON. Photo: Subsea 7

Leading global contractor in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services to the offshore energy industry Subsea 7 S.A. and Chiyoda Corporation announced that Subsea 7 has agreed to acquire a 60% holding in Xodus Group, a leading energy consultancy, from Chiyoda. Yokohama-based Chiyoda, which provides services in the fields of engineering, procurement and construction on a global basis for gas processing, will retain a 40% holding as a joint venture partner. This investment…

NYSHEX Adds New Members in its Council

From left: Bjorn Jensen, Jochen Gutschmidt and Nick Fafoutis. Photo: NYSHEX

The New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX), the container shipping industry’s solution for digital and enforceable freight contracting,  has announces the appointment of new members to its board of directors and launch of the governing NYSHEX Member Council. This announcement follows the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) December 2, 2017 approval of the NYSHEX governance model. NYSHEX now ushers in a fair, transparent and compliant process to ensure the interests of members are incorporated into the operation of the exchange.

Germany and Greece: Worst Vessels Dumpers

Image: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

As in 2016, Germany and Greece top the list of country dumpers in 2017, according to new data released today by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. German owners, including banks and ship funds, beached 50 vessels out of a total of 53 sold for demolition. Greek owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2017: 51 ships in total. Since the Platform’s first compilation of data in 2009, Greek shipping companies have unceasingly topped the list of owners that opt for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking.

Matson Reports Q4 Earnings Per Share $3.90

Photo: Matson

Honolulu-based Matson Inc reported fourth-quarter net income of $166.9 million. On a per-share basis it has profit of $3.90. The ocean transportation and logistics services company posted revenue of $516.1 million in the period, beating Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $503.2 million. The  U.S. carrier in the Pacific reported profit of $232 million, or $5.37 per share for the year. Revenue was reported as $2.05 billion. Matt Cox, Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer…

Maersk Energy: Uptick in Offshore Oil

(File photo: Maersk Oil)

COPENHAGEN, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Prospects for the offshore oil drilling market are improving but profits for drillers are still under pressure and rates will not rise before 2019, the head of A.P. Moller-Maersk's energy business said. Oil firms have seen cash flow climb in 2017 a high since a three-year slump in crude prices, lifted by their cost-cutting plans and a crude price recovery. Although this has spurred new investment, it has yet to benefit suppliers, such as Maersk,…

Seas to Continue Rising Even if Climate Goals Are Met

© digidreamgrafix / Adobe Stock

Sea levels will rise between 0.7 and 1.2 metres (27-47 inches) in the next two centuries even if governments end the fossil fuel era as promised under the Paris climate agreement, scientists said on Tuesday. Early action to cut greenhouse gas emissions would limit the long-term rise, driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that will re-draw global coastlines, a German-led team wrote in the journal Nature Communications. Sea level rise is a threat to cities from Shanghai to London…

Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean

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

Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency. A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean, news portal Sina.com.cn said, without linking the deployment to the crisis in the Maldives or giving a reason. "If you look at warships and other equipment, the gap between the Indian and Chinese navy is not large," Sina.com.cn said on Sunday.

Golden Ocean Boosts Dividend as Q4 Financials Beat Street

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

Dry bulk shipper Golden Ocean proposed a bigger than expected dividend for the fourth quarter on the back of forecast-beating results on Tuesday, and reiterated the market was getting better. The company, controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, returned to profit in the third quarter thanks to improving market conditions and demand for renting ships. On Tuesday, Golden Ocean said it would pay a dividend of $0.10 per share against expectations for $0.02 in a Reuters poll of analysts.

China, not Trump, Drives U.S. Coal Revival

A typical coal cargo underway on the inland rivers (CREDIT: Inland Marine)

If China does seek a way to retaliate against U.S. proposals to impose import curbs on steel and aluminium, then targeting President Donald Trump's favoured coal would be tempting. One of Trump's key campaign promises in the 2016 election victory was to end the war on what he termed "beautiful, clean" coal. Figures released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggest he has met with some success. U.S. coal output surged the most in 16 years to reach 773 million short tonnes, equivalent to about 701 million metric tonnes, in 2017, the EIA said on Feb. 16.

Argentina Seeks 22 LNG Cargoes

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

Argentina's state-run Enarsa launches tender to buy 22 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for delivery from May to August for delivery to its two import terminals, trade sources said. Enarsa seeks nine full-size cargoes for its Bahia Blanca terminal and 13 half-size deliveries to its river terminal at Escobar. Bids must be submitted on or before March 6 and pricing must be based on either U.S. Henry Hub or Brent crude oil. Escobar shipments cannot take tankers with a capacity of more than 90,000 cubic metres of LNG due to shallow water conditions.

Morch Elected to J. Lauritzen BoD

Kristian V. Mørch. Photo: Odfjell SE

Danish shipping company J. Lauritzen adds CEO of Norwegian Odfjell, Kristian V. Mørch, and CFO of the cleaning company ISS, Barbara Plucnar Jensen, into its board of directors. "J. Lauritzen A/S in March 2018, Kristian V. Morch, CEO at Odfjell SE, Norway and Barbara Plucnar Jensen, CFO at ISS UK and Ireland will be elected as new members of the Board of Directors of J. Lauritzen," said a press release from the company. In connection with the upcoming annual general meeting, Marianne Wiinholt, CFO & EVP at Ørsted will resign from the Board of Directors of J. Lauritzen. Kristian V.

Emas Offshore Appeals Against Oslo Stock Exchange Delisting

Photo: Emas Offshore

Oslo Stock Exchange has decided to delist the shares of Singapore-based Emas Offshore from trading. The offshore services provider considers this decision detrimental to its ongoing restructuring efforts. The Oslo Stock Exchange released a statement on Monday, February 19 announcing its intention to delist the shares of Emas Offshore Limited with effect from April 27, 2018. Emas Offshore, part of Singapore's Ezra Holdings plans to make an appeal against the decision by March 5. "In the meantime, the Company remains listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

EIB, ING Earmark USD 370.3 mln for Green Shipping

Photo: European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING signed an agreement to support green investments for the European shipping market for a total value of EUR 300m  (USD 372.5million). ING and EIB will each contribute EUR 150m to the facility. This agreement will ensure that sponsors of green and sustainable projects in the maritime transport sector can benefit from advantageous financial terms. The facility is available to clients with significant European interests…

Waste-to-Chemistry Project Comes up in Rotterdam Port

Photo: Port of Rotterdam Authority

A consortium of companies comprising Air Liquide, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam Authority has signed a development agreement for the initial investments in an advanced waste-to-chemistry plant in Rotterdam. The aim is that this will be the first plant of this type in Europe to offer a sustainable alternative for waste incineration, by converting plastic and mixed waste into new raw materials for industry. These investments – for detailed engineering…

MOL Posts Highest Profit in Decade in 2017

 INA Offshore platform. Photo: MOL

MOL Group announced its financial results for 2017. MOL increased its EBITDA by 14% comfortably outperforming its 2017 target on the back of a strong financial and operational delivery of all business segments. Organic capex stood at USD 1.04 bln, in line with lowered guidance and slightly higher than in the previous year. MOL continued to generate a massive amount of free cash flow establishing a strong financial framework to cover its ambitious transformational projects. Upstream delivered USD 854 mn EBITDA, a 26% increase in comparison with 2016 arising from higher Brent and gas prices.

UK Port's Post-Brexit Health Concern

Photo: British Ports Association

British Ports Association warned that without agreements on cross-border environmental health standards there could be major disruption at UK and EU ports. Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said: “Perhaps one of the biggest Brexit challenges ports could face is accommodating new environmental health standards inspections at the border. As the report highlights, delays resulting from inspections at border would lead to increased costs, creating congestion and particular issues for perishable goods.

23 Thrown Off Carnival "Brawl" Ship

While the global cruise industry rides a historic high, several news reports and social media posts Down Under show a brawl on a Carnival Corp. cruise ship that resulted in the ejection of 23 people from the ship. According to a Reuters report, Carnival Corp. said on Monday it was investigating the response of its security personnel to a brawl that broke out on one of its South Pacific cruises that resulted in 23 passengers being removed. The 10-day cruise to the South Pacific returned to the Australian southern city of Melbourne on Saturday, a day after 23 people were removed in the New South Wales (NSW) town of Eden for what the company described as “disruptive and violent acts”.

Cruise Ships & Eco-Trends in Energy Transition

Hurtigruten's hybrid vessels. (Images Courtesy: Hurtigruten)

Around 360 cruise vessels are operating on the ocean today, transporting thousands of passengers to both new and established locations across the world. The Cruise Boom relishing the industry in recent years has driven growth and advancement with 93 new vessels now under construction showcasing the latest technology available today. Now, the rising popularity of remote and adventurous routes such as the Polar Regions and UNESCO heritage sights has raised concerns about the impacts on marine environments and coastlines.

Skuld Says Joint Marine Insurance Has Legal Black Hole

It is neither controversial nor new to say that co-assureds under a joint insurance policy cannot claim against each other in respect of a co-insured loss. It is taken to be an implied term and the possibility of financial claims between co-assureds is irrelevant: the insurer will pay. If there are only two, an owner and a charterer, in the contractual chain, and if the charterer is held liable, then the matter goes no further: the insurer covers the loss and there is no recourse claim to be pursued. However, what happens if there is a guilty third party and the insurer wants to pursue a subrogated claim (against, say, a sub-charterer on materially back to back terms) to recover its financial outlay?

Nor-Shipping Partners with ‘Lifesaver’ Mercy Ships

Photo: Nor-Shipping

Leading maritime event week Nor-Shipping has announced that Mercy Ships has been selected as its new charity partner. The global organisation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, will receive financial support and promotion throughout Nor-Shipping’s maritime and ocean industry network, supporting its vital work helping and healing those in need. Nor-Shipping 2019, taking place across a series of venues in Lillestrøm and Oslo between 04 – 07 June 2019, will help raise funds and awareness for Mercy Ship’s state-of-the-art Africa Mercy vessel.

Petrobras Extends DOF Deal

Skandi Admiral. Photo: DOF Group

Norwegian shipping company DOF has been awarded an extension of a contract for one of its anchor handlers working in Brazil. "DOF and Petrobras have agreed an extension of approx. 265 days for the Skandi Admiral with start-up in 9 June 2018, hence the vessel is firm until 28 February 2019," said a press release from DOF. The initial contract for the vessel was awarded to DOF in late May 2017. Skandi Admiral is an AHTS (UT 741) built in 1999 and was reflagged with Brazilian flag last year.

Philly Shipyard Order Backlog Touches USD 187.7 mln

Philly Shipyard aerial view Photo: Philly Shipyard

As of 31 December 2017, Philly Shipyard had an order backlog of USD 187.7 million. The contract with Matson (Hulls 029-030) provides for shipbuilding activity with delivery dates through Q1 2019. On 20 November 2017, Philly Shipyard delivered Hull 028, the final product tanker in the four-ship order for Philly Tankers, a Jones Act shipping company that is majority-owned (but not controlled) by Philly Shipyard. This vessel was delivered to Kinder Morgan, as assignee of Philly Tankers, ten days before its contract delivery date.

ZKTeco to Display the Latest in Cruise Ship Security

© mikolajn / Adobe Stock

Biometric and RFID security solutions provider ZKTeco said it will showcase its latest developments in cruise ship security technology at Seatrade Cruise Global at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., from March 5-8, 2018. ZKTeco will have on display products designed to provide both passengers and crew in the cruise industry far greater safety and convenience. On display will be the ProBio-ID door access controller. ProBio-ID eliminates the worry of getting accidentally locked out of your room because you forgot your access card or PIN code.

Spliethoff Sending 6 Ships to BLRT for Refit Work

(Photo: BLRT)

Dutch shipping company Spliethoff's Bevrachtingskantoor B.V. has signed contracts with BLRT Grupp to have scrubbers (systems for cleaning exhaust gases) and ballast water treatment systems installed on board six of its ships. The latest contract for the modernization of Spliethoff's F-type ships (deadweight up to 12,500 tons) follows an earlier agreement to install ballast water treatment systems aboard the company’s 14 S-type vessels (deadweight up to 21,500 tons). "Work on modernization of ships has already begun and will continue until the beginning of 2020.

Coast Guard Cutter Northland Returns After Counter-Drug Patrol

Coast Guard Cutter Northland patrols the Eastern Pacific during an 81-day mission spanning December 2017-February 2018. During the patrol, the crew interdicted five smuggling vessels, detained 16 suspected traffickers and seized a combined 7,564 kilograms of cocaine. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt.j.g. Samuel N. Williams/Released)

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Northland returned to Portsmouth Thursday following an 81-day, counter-drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific. The crew of the Northland interdicted five vessels, detained 16 suspected drug traffickers, and seized a total of 7,564 kilograms of cocaine, worth approximately $252 million. The crew conducted exercises with the Naval Forces of the Army of Nicaragua and participated in multiple events to help improve diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Nicaragua.

Lebanon Rejects U.S. Proposal on Disputed Waters with Israel

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told a U.S. envoy on Friday that Lebanon rejects current proposals over the disputed marine borders with Israel, state media said. U.S. diplomats have been mediating between Lebanon and Israel over tensions including an Israeli border wall and Lebanon's decision to begin exploring for offshore energy near a disputed patch of water, officials said. Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State David Satterfield also met Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Friday. "What is proposed is unacceptable," Lebanon's NNA cited Berri as saying in a meeting with Satterfield. This was an apparent reference to a maritime demarcation line proposed by U.S. diplomat Frederic Hof in 2012.

Turkish Blockade off Cyprus 'out of Eni's control'

A Turkish blockade of a ship hired by Eni to drill for gas off the Cyprus coast is a diplomatic issue that is out of the Italian oil company's hands, Eni's CEO said on Friday. Last week, the Saipem 12000 drill ship heading from a location southwest of Cyprus towards an area southeast of the island was stopped by Turkish military ships and told not to continue because of military activities in the destination area. The ship is still halted, a Saipem spokesman said. Asked about the incident, Claudio Descalzi said Italy, Europe, France, Cyprus and Turkey were discussing the issue. "It's not really under our control," he told analysts during a conference call on the company's fourth quarter results.

Philly Shipyard's Q4 Net Income Rises to 31.5 Million

File Image: A U.S. flag tanker just after its launch circa 2013 at Aker's Philly Shipyard. (CREDIT Aker)

Reuters reports that the Q4 net income for the Philly Shipyard was up, compared to income of USD 19.3 Million in Q4 2016.   The firm also reports an order backlog of USD 187.7 Million at the end of 2017. EBITDA for Q4 2017 was reported at USD 40.4 miilion, as compared to Q4 EBITDA of USD 34.0 million, one year ago. 

Nigeria's Primary Crude Exports Set to Rise

File Image: A typical VLCC underway, full and down (CREDIT: EuroNav)

Nigeria is set to export more of its largest crude oil stream, Qua Iboe, on a barrel-per-day basis in April, while loadings of two other main export grades will also rise, loading programmes showed on Friday. Forcados exports will also rise, to 262,000 bpd in April on 10 cargoes, up from 248,000 bpd on 11 cargoes in March. Bonny Light exports in April are also expected to edge higher on a bpd basis to 163,000 bpd in April, up from 161,000 bpd in March. The total Bonny loading volume will slip to 4.9 million barrels on five cargoes…

Rotterdam Port CEO "preparing for the worst" with Brexit

File Image: The Shell Refinery in the Port of Rotterdam (CREDIT: PoR)

The Port of Rotterdam is bracing for a British exit from the European Union without any deal on customs, and looking at measures such as hiring 100 extra customs agents and dozens of fresh produce inspectors. CEO Allard Castelein said he had had two meetings in the past week with "policy makers, the cabinet, the government and supporting officials about the consequences" of a so-called "hard" Brexit, which would move Britain away from EU rules. "If you have 407 days left, then you don't have time to embrace hypotheses that it will turn out pretty good in the end," he told reporters.

Kirby Closes Acquisition of Higman Marine

File Image (CREDIT: Higman Marine)

Kirby Corporation has announced the completion of the acquisition of Higman Marine, Inc. and its affiliated companies (“Higman”), an operator of tank barges and towboats participating in the inland tank barge transportation industry in the United States. The total value of the transaction was approximately $419 million in cash before post-closing adjustments and transaction fees. issuance of senior notes, which closed on February 12, 2018. The new senior notes provided for $500 million in fixed rate debt at 4.2% with a 10-year maturity on March 1, 2028.

Kolkata Port, Hooghly Pact for Liquid Cargo Terminal

Photo: Kolkata Port Trust

The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has signed a concession agreement with Hooghly Oil & Gas Terminal to establish a liquid cargo handling terminal at Shalukhali in Haldia. The terminal will facilitate the movement of petroleum cargo such as LNG, LPG as well as vegetable oil. It is expected to develop over the next three years. The project will help reduce pre-berthing detention and turnaround time of tankers carrying different liquid cargo, leading to a reduction in logistics costs to trade.

Greece Says Won't Tolerate Turkish Challenge after Ship Collision

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (left) (Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Coast Guard)

Greece will not tolerate any challenges to its territorial integrity, its prime minister said on Thursday, days after Turkish and Greek coastguard vessels collided close to disputed islets in the Aegean Sea. Each side blamed the other for Monday’s collision off an islet known as Imia in Greek and Kardak in Turkish. They came to the brink of war in 1996 in a sovereignty dispute over the islets. Seeking international support, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined that Greece’s border was also that of the 28-nation European Union, and his foreign minister briefed the head of NATO and the U.S.

Gulf Navigation Holding FY Profit Falls

Photo: Gulf Navigation Holding

Dubai based tanker owner Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC reported its 2017 FY net profit fell to 40.7 ‍million dirhams versus 136.6 ‍million dirhams a year ago.   The company's FY gross revenues rose to 137.9 million dirhams versus ​129.5 million dirmahs for the year prior.  

India's Oil Imports Reach Record High in January

© Raja Stills / Adobe Stock

India imported a record 4.93 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in January to feed its expanded refining capacity and meet rising demand, ship tracking data obtained from sources and data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts showed. The world's third-biggest oil importer shipped in 13.6 percent more oil in January than a year earlier and about 12.5 percent more than the previous month, the data showed. Imports in January were high as state-run refiners, which operate two-third of India's nearly 5 million bpd capacity…

Op/Ed: AIWA - A National Asset Worth Funding

(Photo: AIWA)

What does the future hold for infrastructure investment on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in 2018? The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA) is a nonprofit, membership organization for one of the nation’s longest water infrastructure projects stretching over 1,100 miles: the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). We are grateful to serve as the one unified Voice of the Waterway and below is our outlook for 2018. In the President’s Budget for 2017, the AIWW began the appropriations process with only $6.911 million for the entire waterway.

Coast Guard Offloads 14,000 Pounds of Cocaine in Port Everglades

Photo courtesy of USCG

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton is scheduled to offload approximately 7 tons of cocaine Tuesday in Port Everglades worth an estimated $190 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The drugs were interdicted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters. The cutter Hamilton was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 1,931 kilograms of cocaine. The Coast Guard Cutter Northland was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 2,871 kilograms of cocaine.

Hedge Funds Hook Shipping Stocks Grappling for Recovery

Emerging recovery for segments of global shipping industry; Nordic American Tanker and Dryships Inc among popular stocks. Shipping stocks may still be in the doldrums in the view of many investors, but hedge funds have bet at least $675 million on signs of renewed buoyancy in the industry. Hedge funds made initial forays into shipping stocks in the third quarter of 2017, but significantly stepped up their bets in the final three months of the year, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings compiled by Symmetric show. "Shipping has been in a terrible trough for a number of years," Chris Walvoord, global head of hedge fund research at investment consultant Aon Hewitt, said. "Hedge funds are starting to see opportunity ...

Huntington Ingalls Industries Q4 Revenue up 3.9%

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss., in June 2017 (Photo: Lance Davis/HII)

U.S. military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries reported fourth quarter 2017 revenues of $2 billion, up 3.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. Operating income in the quarter was $227 million and operating margin was 11.4 percent, compared to $268 million and 13.9 percent, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2016. Diluted earnings per share in the quarter was $1.41, compared to $4.20 in the same period of 2016. Diluted earnings per share in fourth quarter 2017 included a one-time expense related to the early extinguishment of debt…

P&I Clubs Strong But Pricing Under Pressure

Image: GAC

Balance sheets of clubs operating in the marine protection and indemnity (P&I) sector are generally strong, bolstered by several years of positive earnings but underwriting discipline will be tested over the February 2018 renewal period, according to a new report by A.M. Best. The Best’s Special Report, “Balance Sheets of P&I Clubs Strong But Pricing Under Pressure Amid Strong Competition” states that ahead of the Feb. 20, 2018 renewal deadline, pressure from members and brokers to reduce rates is growing. Competition is intense, exacerbated by a growing fixed-premium market.

Scorpio Tankers Reports 4Q Loss

Photo: Scorpio Tankers Inc

Monaco-based tanker owner Scorpio Tankers has reported a widened net loss for the fourth quarter of 2017, reaching USD 41.5 million, when compared to the same quarter from 2016 when its net loss was USD 29.7 million. The shipping company posted revenue of $148.4 million in the period. For the year, the company reported that its loss widened to $158.2 million, or 73 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $512.7 million. Emanuele Lauro, chief executive officer and chairman of the board commented…

TEN Gets Charter Extension for Seven Panamaxes

Photo: Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited

Greece-based Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) has announced the charter extension for seven panamax tankers, for an average of 24 months, to a state oil concern. The charters which all incorporate profit sharing provisions are expected to generate minimum gross revenues of over $70 million. “These charters, in terms of duration, security, flexibility and quality, enhance the industrial nature of our business, further solidify our fleet’s cash generating ability, strengthen our balance sheet and provide visibility of earnings and dividends,” George Saroglou, COO of TEN commented.

Safe Bulkers 4Q Net Revenues Up by 34%

Image: Safe Bulkers

Safe Bulkers reported fourth-quarter of 2017 revenues of $2.9 million $42.4 million increased by 34%  from $31.7 million during the same period in 2016. Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $86.6 million as compared to $4.6 million, during the same period in 2016. For the year, the company reported that its loss widened to $84.7 million, or 98 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $148 million. In December 2017, the Company took delivery of Agios Spyridonas, a second-hand…

Port of Los Angeles Moves 808,728 TEUs in January

file Image: The port of Los Angeles (CREDIT Adobestock / (c) Ginton)

Last  month was the second busiest in the Port's history. The Port of Los Angeles handled 808,728 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in January 2018, the second-busiest January in the port’s history behind last January’s record of 826,640 TEUs. While a slight decrease compared to last January’s record, it’s significantly higher than the port’s most recent 5-year January average of 683,003 TEUs. "After two consecutive years of record-breaking cargo, it’s encouraging to start 2018 with robust volumes,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

North Sea Crude-Forties Slips to Lowest Since mid-2017

File Image: CREDIT Fendercare

North Sea Forties crude differentials weakened on Wednesday to the lowest since mid-2017.   Gunvor sold a cargo from floating storage. Such sales are often seen as a sign of a plentifully supplied market.   PLATTS WINDOW Forties: Glencore bought from Gunvor a cargo loading on a ship-to-ship transfer basis from the Blue Pride on Feb. 28-March 2 at dated Brent minus 65 cents.   Gunvor also offered a Feb. 25-27 cargo at dated Brent minus 70 cents, meaning on average Forties was worth dated minus 70 cents, equalling the mid-2017 low reached on Monday. (Reporting by Alex Lawler

MME Inks Deal to Protect Luxury Cruise Vessels

Endeavor (Photo: MME Group)

MME Group has secured multiple orders for solutions that protect the newest generation of luxury cruise vessels built by MV WERFTEN (Germany) against corrosion and marine growth. The yard's "Global Class" and "Endeavor Class" vessels will be outfitted with MME Group's systems. Recently, MME Group inked the deal for the design, supply and commissioning of sacrificial anodes (SA), Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) and Impressed Current Anti-Fouling (ICAF) systems for the Endeavor Class luxury expedition yacht (yard number 124) that MV WERFTEN builds for Crystal Cruises.

Asia's Soaring Gas Demand Beckons New LNG Projects

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier (CREDIT: GAC)

Global LNG imports rose by 20 percent in 2017; new demand emerges across South, Southeast Asia. Soaring gas demand from China, India and Southeast Asia is sucking up an LNG supply glut previously expected to last for years, opening opportunity for new production from East Africa to North America that had been deemed part of the overhang. Trade flows in Eikon show global liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have risen 40 percent since 2015, to almost 40 billion cubic metres (bcm) a month.

Port of Piraeus Profit Up by 92%

Photo: Piraeus Port Authority S.A.

The Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (PPA) 2017 financial report revealed profits before tax amounted to €21.2 million ($26.19 mln) compared to €11.0 million ($13.59 mln) in the year 2016, showing an increase of 92 percent. Turnover amounted to €111.5 million compared to €103.5 million in the corresponding period of 2016, showing an increase of 7.7 percent. The operations at the container terminal showed significant increase in revenue by € 7million (53.1 percent), where container throughput increased by 70.6 percent…

Shipbreaking Case Against Seatrade in Dutch Court

Photo: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

For the first time in Europe, Public Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against a ship owner – Seatrade – for having sold vessels to scrap yards in countries “where current ship dismantling methods endanger the lives and health of workers and pollute the environment”. The case is being heard in a Rotterdam Court this week, and the Dutch Public Prosecutor calls for a hefty fine (2.35 mill EUR) and confiscation of the profits Seatrade made on the illegal sale of four ships, as well as a six month prison sentence for three of Seatrade’s top executives.

MISC Profit Plunges

LNG Vessel - Seri Alam. Photo: MISC Berhad

Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC)'s net profit plunged 87.1% to RM 68.2 million (USD 17.36 mln) for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017 compared with RM 529.8 million (USD 134.88 mln) in the previous corresponding period. MISC said the oversupply of tonnage and cut in global oil production by OPEC in 2017 will continue to weigh on the petroleum shipping segment in 2018. However, a smaller order book for tankers and robust oil demand projections amidst declining global crude inventory will help improve tanker supply-demand balance.

NYK Cautions of Illegal Conducts in Chinese Subsidiary

Pic: NYK Car Carrier (China)

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) said that it has discovered that there is a possibility that former locally hired management personnel in NYK Car Carrier (China), its consolidated subsidiary located in Shanghai. The China unit is engaged in finished car logistics business in China, had committed unlawful expenditure or embezzlement. The Company established an investigation committee (the Committee ) to investigat the aforementioned matter on February 5, 2018 (with Tadaaki Naito President Representative Director and President Corporate Officer as the Chairman of the Committee…

MOL Allies with NCC

VLCC Kazusa. Photo: MOL

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a capital and business alliance agreement with chemical tank specialist logistics provider Nippon Concept Corporation (NCC). "MOL and NCC concluded the agreement with the objective of developing a comprehensive two-way strategic partnership including both partners' group companies, and steadily enhancing their businesses," said a statement from the company. The agreement gives NCC the opportunity to globally increase…

US DOT Chief: Weighing All Options to Fund Infrastructure

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Currahee Shutter)

The Trump administration is weighing a range of options to fund public infrastructure projects, including private-sector investments and a higher tax on gasoline, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Tuesday. Trump will donate his quarterly salary to the Transportation Department to help fund infrastructure projects, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said at a daily White House news briefing. (Reporting by Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert and Mohammad Zargham; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Three Dead After Refugee Boat Capsizes Near Turkey

Three people died and four were missing on Tuesday after a refugee boat carrying eight people capsized in a river that flows between Turkey and Greece, a spokeswoman for Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Organisation (AFAD) said. The eighth refugee had made it into Greece, it said. The boat was travelling along the Maritsa River, in Turkey's northwestern province of Edirne, when it capsized early on Tuesday, the first aid organization said. Nearby residents heard yells and informed the local gendarmarie forces. Searchers recovered three bodies, it said, adding that two of them were children - one around 12 years old and the other around four. The causes of death were not yet determined.

Greece Protests to Turkey Over Boat Incident in Aegean Sea

Greece sent an official complaint to Turkey on Tuesday, its foreign ministry said, after a Turkish vessel collided with a Greek coast guard boat off disputed islets in the Aegean Sea. The Greek coastguard said in a statement that the incident took place at Imia, known as Kardak in Turkish, at about midnight on Monday. A Turkish patrol vessel "made some risky manoeuvres" striking the left side of the Greek coast guard vessel patrolling the area, and damaging it. There were no injuries, the coastguard said. Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, have been at odds over a host of issues from ethnically split Cyprus to sovereignty over airspace and overflights. They came to the brink of war in 1996 in a sovereignty dispute over the islets, but tensions have eased since.

Fitch: U.S. Port Growth Steady as NAFTA Decision Looms

@digidreamgrafix / Adobe Stock

U.S. ports are positioned for another solid year of growth, though the Trump administration's evolving stance on both domestic and international trade is a long-term development worth a close watch, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest sector briefing. This after a strong 2017 in which ports on both coasts saw overall growth through the year. "Moving to larger ships and implementing operational alliances have helped drive volume growth on both coasts in 2017," said Emma Griffith, Director.

Crowley, Pivotal Reach Multi-Year LNG Supply Pact

Photo: Crowley

Crowley Fuels has announced that it has signed another multi-year supply contract with Pivotal LNG to support a major pharmaceutical company’s energy needs in Puerto Rico. The contract, executed through Crowley subsidiary Carib Energy (USA) LLC, calls for Crowley to transport LNG from Pivotal facilities on the mainland to the island manufacturer. With Crowley’s supply chain solution, LNG is loaded into Crowley’s 10,000-gallon international shipping organization (ISO) containers at one of Pivotal’s LNG supply sources in the southeastern U.S.

Nordic American Tankers: Near term challenges remain - CS

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

Oil tanker company's shares down 1.8 pct at $2.15 premarket. Credit Suisse halves PT to $2, says near-term challenges remain. "On the heels of the second-worst year for tankers in 20 years, this seems to be the growing consensus," said Credit Suisse. 1 of 9 brokerages rate the stock "buy", 5 "hold" and 3 "sell" or lower; Median PT $2.50.

Fire on Ship Under Repair Kills 5 in India

A blast caused by a fire on a ship under repair at India's Cochin Shipyard Ltd killed five people on Tuesday, and injured around 11, a company spokeswoman said, prompting the government to call for a quick enquiry. The spokeswoman said smoke hampered rescue operations initially and that an investigation would be launched soon. The ship belongs to the country's top energy explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd, she added. An ONGC official said the ship was undergoing maintenance at state-run Cochin Shipyard on the country's southwest coast. The blast took place inside the water tank, said M.P. Dinesh, a senior police official in the southern state of Kerala where the shipyard is located.

Kvaerner Invests in New Quay at Stord

(Image: Kvaerner)

Kvaerner said it plans to invest NOK 370 million ($46.8 million) in a new quay at the company's facility at Stord. "The objective for this upgrade will be to make the facility more flexible. We invest now to strengthen our competitiveness, and this extension will position Kvaerner for deliveries of new solutions to both oil and gas projects and other market segments," said Kvaerner president & CEO, Jan Arve Haugan. The investment is subject to approval by Kvaerner's Board of Directors within a short period of time.

BIMCO: China Breaks New Ground… Again

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Chinese seaborne imports of iron ore, coal and crude oil have all grown strongly throughout 2017. Both seaborne imports of crude oil and iron ore have reached the highest levels ever recorded, while coal reached the highest level in three years. Imports of crude oil and coal have benefitted the shipping industry to the greatest extent as both volumes and distances have increased. China continues to ramp up its imports of iron ore with seaborne imports growing 4.7% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Sberbank, Sovcomflot Sign $106m Finance Deal

Ice-breaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie. Photo: PAO Sovcomflot

The largest bank in Russia Sberbank and shipping company Sovcomflot have signed a new USD 106 million project financing agreement, with a term of up to 14 years. The funds will finance the construction of a high ice class Arctic shuttle tanker (Arc7) for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement with Gazprom Neft. This is the third major transaction of its kind between Sberbank and Sovcomflot. The first joint project between the companies was in 2015, to finance the construction of three Arctic shuttle tankers to transport crude oil from the Novy Port field.

Salvage Work Resumes off American Samoa

U.S. Coast Guard personnel discuss future operations for the removal of product aboard the commercial fishing vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1 grounded about 300-yards off Leone Bay (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Tara Molle)

Work to remove a commercial fishing vessel aground off American Samoa has resumed in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita. Hazardous weather conditions on Friday forced responders to delay efforts to salvage the grounded 88-foot Taiwanese-flagged vessel Chui Zai Fa No. 1, which is split in half with the bow and stern portions sitting side by side in the surf approximately 300-yards off Leone Bay. U.S. Coast Guard officials resumed work with local authorities and the vessel’s owner to develop a plan to salvage the Chui Zai Fa No.

Trump Proposes $200 Mln Budget for BSEE

(File photo: BSEE)

President Donald Trump today proposed a $199.9 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as the Administration aims to support a ramp up in domestic oil and gas production. The FY 2019 budget request includes an estimate of $67.9 million in offsetting collections. Offsetting collections includes $20.3 million for rental receipts, $3.8 million for cost recoveries and $43.8 million for inspection fees. “The President’s proposed…

Trump’s Infrastructure Proposals Disappoint -WCI

President Trump announces his infrastructure initiative on June 7, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration infrastructure principles released today, expressing disappointment that the proposal moves toward eliminating the role of the Federal government to construct, operate and maintain the nation’s waterways by transferring that responsibility to nonfederal public or private entities. The President’s FY2019 budget request and the infrastructure initiative also propose to modernize the waterways transportation system…

Several Car Shippers Face Fines for Rigging Bids

(File photo: WWL)

EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Nippon Yusen KK (NYK) and several other Japanese shippers as well as Norwegian Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (WWL) in the coming weeks for rigging bids for shipping cars, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The EU sanctions follow a near six-year investigation which started with dawn raids by the European Commission in September 2012 in coordination with Japanese and U.S. antitrust authorities. Competition regulators around…

Big Oil Takes Stage for Post-austerity Beauty Contest

(File photo: Shell)

With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world's biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards. Royal Dutch Shell and Total are emerging as frontrunners after a three-year slump thanks to strong growth projections but Exxon Mobil, the biggest publicly traded oil company, has largely disappointed with a weaker outlook. Major oil companies slashed spending and cut costs after oil prices collapsed…

Seadrill Nears Comprehensive Restructuring Deal

(File photo: Seadrill)

Rig firm Seadrill, which last year filed for bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court, is working towards a comprehensive deal with all its creditors that could be concluded this week, it said in a court filing late on Friday. Once the largest drilling rig operator by market value, Oslo-listed Seadrill filed its bankruptcy case in Texas on Sept. 12 after being hit hard by cutbacks in oil company investment following a steep drop in crude prices. The company, controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen…

Sembcorp Marine Faces Exchange Query after Big Shares Fall

(Photo: Sembcorp Marine)

Shares of Singaporean rig-builder Sembcorp Marine closed 12 percent lower on Monday, their biggest daily fall in nine years, prompting a query from the bourse regarding the trading activity.   This is the second time in a month the Singapore stock exchange has issued a trading query to Sembcorp Marine after a sharp rise in the stock on Jan. 23.   Shares of the company closed down 32 Singapore cents at S$2.37 on Monday. They have risen 29 percent so far this year.   The company will report its financial results next week.     (Editing by Vyas Mohan)

Schulte's PRONAV Acquisition Greenlighted

The Hamburg-based Schulte Group said it has received clearance by the German Federal Cartel Office for the acquisition of the LNG specialist PRONAV. With this strategic move, the family-owned ship owner and manager continues to increase its capabilities and capacity in the growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Through the acquisition of PRONAV, the Schulte Group has increased the number of vessels under full management in its third-party management fleet by six additional LNG carriers (LNGC). At present, the Schulte Group provides full management for three LNGC and crew management for 21 LNGC. Five LNGCs with a capacity of 173…

OPEC Sees Balanced Oil Market by Year-end

© rob3rt82 / Adobe Stock

OPEC said on Monday the world oil market would return to balance only towards the end of 2018 as extra barrels from the United States and other non-member producers offset an OPEC-led deal intended to clear a supply glut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said outside producers would boost supply by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. That was the third consecutive rise from 870,000 bpd forecast in November. "The steady oil price…

Diamond Offshore Revenue Beats Estimates

(File photo: Diamond Offshore)

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc's fourth-quarter revenue beat analysts' estimates on Monday, helped by higher demand for its ultra-deepwater rigs. The company's revenue from its ultra-deepwater rigs rose more than 24 percent to $288.28 million in the fourth quarter. Total revenue fell nearly 12 percent to $346.21 million, but beat analysts' estimate of $331.91 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. "Although market conditions continue to be challenging, we were able to secure additional work for the Ocean Valor and Ocean Valiant…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Feb 2018 - Cruise Ship Annual

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