Marine Link
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wells Fargo Calls $100 Oil a 'Pipe Dream'

Image: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

USD 100 per barrel oil  is but a “pipe dream,” Wells Fargo said in a new investor note, reports MarketWatch. The report quoted Wells Fargo’s John LaForge saying that he’s doesn’t expect oil prices to climb anywhere near $100 a barrel over the next few years. Barrels price will bounce between $30 and $60 in the coming years, according to top bank’s diagnosis. “We continue to hear that big cutbacks are on the cusp of happening,” he said. “The evidence, however, implies otherwise. Shale production has caused American output to stand higher than it did in 2014, before the oil price crisis began.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Supported by Floating Storage

File Image: Credit Suez Canal Authority

Trafigura hires five VLCCs to store oil; short-term storage a profitable play. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could creep higher as more ships are chartered for floating storage and crude oil shipments increase ahead of the northern winter, brokers said. "There might be a slow creep up towards 60 (on the Worldscale measure)," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of ship broker BRS Baxi in Singapore on Friday. "W60 is at least on the horizon. Rates from West Africa to China are already at W56," he added.

Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years

© Jelle van der Wolf / Adobe Stock

Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on Wednesday after hitting a 10-month low in volatile trade, as growing U.S. production and reduced Chinese refinery activity fed mounting concern over the stubborn global crude glut. U.S. crude futures settled at $42.53, down 98 cents or 2.3 percent, after touching a low of $42.13, the lowest intraday level since August 2016. Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped more than 20 percent, with only brief rallies. More than 1 million front-month crude contracts changed hands on Wednesday, far exceeding the daily average of 560,000 contracts.

An Engine Oil Goes the Distance

Cylinder liners demonstrated minimal wear (Photo: ExxonMobil)

An inspection of one of two main engines on a U.S. inland waterways vessel revealed that ExxonMobil’s Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5W-40 diesel engine oil provided outstanding protection and cleanliness for a Cummins KTA38 marine diesel main engine after nine years of continuous use. The engine had accumulated 21,782 running hours with an initial fill of Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5W-40 engine oil. Mobil SignumSM oil analysis was used to closely monitor the health of the engine throughout this period, with support from the ExxonMobil field engineering team.

TechnipFMC & the Future of 'Super-profit Oil'

TechnipFMC is revolutionizing the subsea industry from concept to delivery and beyond. (Image: TechnipFMC)

TechnipFMC’s Andersen discusses the way forward now that “super-profit oil” is over. Ann Kristen Andersen heads up oilfield projects as offshore services and equipment supplier TechnipFMC’s managing director for Norway and Russia. She started her job on the first day of February 2017, a month after a merger that changed the company and has already partly changed an industry beginning to ramp up activity with the oil price buoyant at $55 per barrel. How has the merger that created TechnipFMC — which answered calls for lower offshore costs in tough times — changed the way you do things?

DOF Subsea Shelves IPO Plans

Pic: DOF ASA

Norway's DOF Subsea has decided to hold off on launching its initial public offering (IPO), citing volatile market conditions. Company shareholders DOF ASA, with 51 percent, and a fund managed by First Reserve, with 49 percent ownership, announced in May that they were considering an opportunity for the company to apply for a listing on Oslo Stock Exchange. The shareholders have now decided to shelve these plans, instead opting to wait for market conditions to improve. “Since the review started…

Mercuria, PetroChina Selling Offshore Stored Fuel Oil

File Image: CREDIT BMT

Three to four tankers storing fuel oil, down from eight or nine. Independent trading house Mercuria and Chinese state oil giant PetroChina are selling fuel oil stored in vessels off Singapore and southern Malaysia on strong demand from the shipping and power sector, several trade sources said on Friday. The number of vessels storing fuel oil has halved from a month ago as Mercuria and PetroChina may have resold cargoes purchased over March to May, the sources said. Geneva-based…

Faroe Islands Looks to Restart Hunt for Oil and Gas

Oil companies are interested in restarting the hunt for oil and gas in the scarcely explored seas off the Faroe Islands neighbouring the more mature UK North Sea, the head of the Faroese Geological Survey said. No economically viable discoveries have been made on the Faroese shelf but the tiny nation hopes to entice energy firms to restart exploration as it shows them new geological data in London on Wednesday. "Oil firms have in many ways shown interest. We are having meetings, they buy data from us, visit us on the Faroe Islands ... So there is an interest and they are looking at the possibilities," survey director Niels Christian Nolsoe said.

Multipurpose Shipping Looks Bullish

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Many key drivers for dry cargo demand have reported a significant uptick in 2017, resulting in improving conditions for all vessels in the multipurpose shipping sector, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecast report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. This year started out well with most demand drivers for the breakbulk sector strengthening from the lowest levels seen in 2016 with the trend forecast to continue in the medium term at least.

US LNG Going Global

© Anatoly Kolodey / Adobe Stock photo

The U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) market is ripe with opportunity, according to American Action Forum (AAF). "When coupled with the tension surrounding Qatar (the largest exporter of natural gas in the world), this makes U.S. LNG production a very attractive option," said Kimberly VanWyhe is the Director of Energy Policy at the AAF. In 2016, LNG exports from the U.S. totaled 184,141 million cubic feet with a value of roughly $564 million. Currently the U.S. is exporting LNG to 23 out of 35 countries that can accept LNG transport vessels, a sharp change from this time last year.

U.S. Natural Gas Prices Tumble as Coal Surges

File Image (credit Inland Marine)

U.S. natural gas prices have tumbled by more than 10 percent since late May as hedge funds start to liquidate a near-record bullish position accumulated in the expectation of a tighter market that failed to materialise. Hedge funds and other money managers reduced their combined net long position in the two main futures and options contracts linked to Henry Hub prices by 584 billion cubic feet in the week to May 30. Fund managers reduced their net long position by the largest amount in any one week since November 2016, after raising it by a cumulative 1,721 bcf during the previous 12 weeks.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Plateau, Could Edge Higher

File Image: CREDIT EuroNav

Floating storage, West Africa cargoes support rates; further storage charters may push rates to W60. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which were supported this week by a shift to using older vessels for floating oil storage, have plateaued at current levels but could nudge higher on further storage plays, brokers said on Friday. Rates from the Middle East to Asia are currently around 50 on the Worldscale measure and W55 from West Africa to Asia depending on vessel age and actual destination, brokers said.

Indonesia, CNOOC Talks End in Deadlock

Early renegotiation of gas selling price with China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has ended in deadlock as the ceiling price proposed by CNOOC was seen as too low, according to Asian Pulse. Indonesia has signed a long term contract to supply China's Fujian province with 2.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually from Tangguh, Papua. Under the agreement in 1992 the LNG price was tide with crude oil price or around $2.4 per MMBTU based on a ceiling price of $25 per barrel of crude oil. The ceiling price is no longer acceptable to Indonesia with the soaring crude oil price at present. Currently the LNG price is around $8 per MMBTU based on a crude oil price of $65 per barrel.

Asian Crude Storage Trend Impacts OPEC Cuts

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

Current markets make it profitable to store oil for future sale; many tankers sitting around Singapore storing oil. A 10-percent decline in oil prices since late May could push traders to keep crude in storage, looking to sell down the line when forward prices are higher. That would undermine the impact of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which partly aimed to force traders holding oil in storage to sell to reduce bloated inventories that have sapped global prices .

Global Ports Sector Faces Structurally Slower Growth, Says Fitch

Photo:  International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH)

Traffic growth in the ports sector is likely to remain well below historical levels for the foreseeable future, due to fundamental structural changes in the industry and global trade, Fitch Ratings says. A move towards protectionism would represent a significant additional risk, with the potential to reverse sector growth. Global port traffic growth has slowed in recent years due to a mix of mostly structural factors, including a maturing container shipping industry, the growth of China's internal market and shifting global supply chains.

Aegean Marine Strengthens Presence on the U.S. East Coast

Photo: Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network has announced the launch of a new service center in Savannah, Georgia, the third largest container port in the United States. The operations in Savannah will be managed by the existing Aegean U.S. team. Under the terms of the agreement with Colonial Terminals, Inc., Aegean will lease tankage from Colonial's oil terminal on the Savannah River. Aegean will acquire and blend a full range of bunker fuel products and has agreed to supply Colonial Oil Industries, Inc. with a range of No. 6 oil products for Colonial's truck delivery business.

One Missing from Sunken Oil Tanker off Yemen

One mariner remains missing after 13 of 14 crewmembers were recovered from the sea following the sinking of their oil tanker in severe weather conditions 240 miles off the coast of Yemen. At around 4:30 a.m. June 26, the U.K. Coastguard received a Mayday distress call issued by a 99-meter-long Panamanian flagged oil tanker believed to be carrying crude oil, reporting that the vessel was sinking. The Yemen Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) were unable to assist, so the U.K. Coastguard stepped in to coordinate the rescue, issuing a Satellite Communication Mayday relay broadcast to all shipping in the area. Multiple commercial vessels nearby responded to the original Mayday call and made their way to the tanker, which had sunk in gale force 8 winds and 5 meters swells.

Frontline Expects VLCC Storage Play to Rise

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

Tanker firm Frontline, controlled by billionaire investor John Fredriksen, expects a growing number of supertankers to be used for storing crude in anticipation of higher oil prices, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday. While none of Frontline's own vessels are currently used for this purpose, independent shipbrokers estimate that around 10 of the world's very large crude carriers (VLCCs) have recently been contracted for oil storage. "It sounds correct, and the number is rising," Frontline Chief Executive Officer Robert Macleod said. "It's always an option," he added.

Lenders Ramp up Pressure on 'Toxic' Shipping Debt

Financiers are set to take a tougher stance towards distressed shipping loans including more enforcement action to recoup funds, while capital on offer to the industry is expected to shrink further, a leading transport survey showed on Wednesday. The global shipping sector is reeling from a near-decade-long downturn, which has seen companies collapse and banks scale back exposure or exit entirely from providing finance. While there are signs of returning confidence in shipping, as players eye better prospects and the worst of the recession abates, the industry faces a financing black hole estimated at $30 billion this year. In an annual survey by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright…

Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade

file image: A VLCC transits the Suez Canal (Suez Canal Authority)

Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo, could slip further next week as more tonnage becomes available with the easing of recent tanker traffic jams in China, ship brokers said on Friday. Charter rates from the Middle East to Japan slipped to a six-month low on Thursday, falling by 12 Worldscale points or almost $14,000 since April 21.

Asia: LPG Shipping and LNG Pricing

Image: Navigator Gas

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.

Hempel Invests in Fire Protection Coatings R&D

Photo: Hempel

Coatings manufacturer Hempel announced that it is investing in a new research and development center focused solely on passive fire protection coatings. Located just outside Barcelona in Spain, the center is due to open toward the end of 2018. Passive fire protection (PFP) coatings are increasingly important in the construction and oil and gas industries. Applied to structural steel in large buildings and industrial oil and gas installations, the coatings expand to form an insulating layer of carbon char when exposed to high temperatures.

U.S. Crude Imports To Continue To Rise

Due to declining domestic crude oil production and rising oil demand, crude imports will continue to increase over the next two decades accounting for 64 percent of U.S. oil supplies by 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its annual long-term energy outlook. Currently, the U.S. imports 52 percent, or 8.6 million bpd of its oil and domestic oil output at 6 million bpd is at its lowest level since the early 1950s. U.S. petroleum consumption is projected to rise an average 1.3 percent annually over the next two decades, growing from the current 19.4 million bpd to 25.1 million bpd by 2020, EIA said. Although world crude oil prices have more than doubled since the beginning of 1999…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2017 - The Annual World Yearbook

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

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