Luc Cohen News

02 Jun 2020

US Sanctions Four Shipping Firms for Transporting Venezuelan Oil

© Fotos von Schiffen / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday said it had sanctioned four shipping firms for transporting Venezuelan oil, the latest escalation in Washington's effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro by cutting off the OPEC nation's crude exports.Marshall Islands-based Afranav Maritime Ltd, Adamant Maritime Ltd and Sanibel Shiptrade Ltd, as well as Greece-based Seacomber Ltd, all own tankers that lifted Venezuelan oil between February and April of this year, the Treasury Department said."These companies are transporting oil that was effectively stolen from the Venezuelan people…

28 May 2020

Fourth Iranian Fuel Docks in Venezuela

© Seongwoo Seo / MarineTraffic.com

The Venezuelan navy said it escorted a fourth tanker bringing Iranian fuel through its waters on Thursday, while the United States called the shipments to the gasoline-starved country a distraction from problems facing President Nicolas Maduro.The oil industries of Iran and Venezuela are both under U.S. sanctions. Iran is providing its fellow OPEC member up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and refining components to help ease an acute shortage, the result of the near-complete…

25 May 2020

Iranian Tanker Docks in Venezuela

Iranian tanker Fortune file photo (© Rutger Hofma / MarineTraffic.com)

The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela has moored at a port serving the El Palito refinery, the oil minister said on Monday, and Refinitiv Eikon data showed a second vessel had entered its waters.Iran is providing Venezuela with 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and refining components in a move criticized by U.S. authorities as both countries are under U.S. sanctions, according to the governments, sources and calculations by TankerTrackers.com.Refinitiv Eikon data showed that the tanker Fortune docked at one of El Palito's berths around 1 a.m.

25 May 2020

Iran Fuel Shipment Nears Venezuelan Shores, Maduro Thanks Tehran

Fortune Tanker file photo - Credit:Rutger/Hofma - MarineTraffic

The lead vessel of a five-tanker flotilla carrying fuel supplied by Iran to gasoline-thirsty Venezuela neared one of state-run PDVSA's ports as President Nicolas Maduro thanked Tehran on Sunday.Iran is providing Venezuela with 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components in a move criticized by U.S. authorities as both nations are under Washington's sanctions, according to the governments, sources, and calculations by TankerTrackers.com.Tanker Fortune was due to arrive at PDVSA's El Palito port…

25 May 2020

Tankers Carrying Iranian Fuel Approach the Caribbean

© M Pasban / MarineTraffic.com

A flotilla of five tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela is approaching the Caribbean, with the first vessel expected to reach the South American country's waters on Sunday, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data.Iran is supplying about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela, according to both governments, sources and calculations made by TankerTrackers.com based on the vessels' draft levels.The shipments have caused a diplomatic standoff between Iran and Venezuela and the United States as both nations are under U.S. sanctions.

20 May 2020

Venezuela's Military to Escort Iranian Tankers

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

Venezuela's military will escort Iranian tankers bringing fuel to the gasoline-starved country as soon as they enter its exclusive economic zone, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Wednesday.His comments came after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said the shipment should "alarm" Latin America. Both OPEC members are U.S. adversaries whose oil industries are under U.S. sanctions. Trump administration officials say Washington is considering a response to the shipment.The tankers - Fortune…

15 May 2020

PDVSA Creates New Ports Unit Amid Company Shakeup

© Francis / Adobe Stock

Venezuela's state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela has created a new unit to run its oil terminals, according to a copy of the government's official gazette seen by Reuters and a person with knowledge of the matter.The launch of the new unit, PDV Puertos S.A., comes after socialist President Nicolas Maduro last month named a new PDVSA president and oil minister to try to revive the once-prosperous OPEC nation's crude output, which has fallen to decades-lows due to years of underinvestment and mismanagement as well as U.S.

24 Apr 2020

Oil Storage Crunch May Affect Guyana Crude Shipments

Liza Destiny - Image by Rolf Jonsen/MarineTraffic

Oil shipments from nascent crude producer Guyana's prolific Liza field could be affected by a growing storage glut that has contributed to plunging global crude prices, the country's director of energy said.A consortium led by Exxon Mobil began producing crude from the offshore field in December after discovering more than 8 billion barrels of recoverable resources together with partners Hess Corp and China's CNOOC Ltd. The poor South American country had no history of crude production.But…

23 Mar 2020

Coronavirus-related Inspections Delay Venezuelan Oil Exports

© Igor Dashko / MarineTraffic.com

At least two cargoes of Venezuelan crude have been delayed due to health inspections aboard tankers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to an internal document from state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela seen by Reuters.The delays add to a growing glut of tankers loaded with Venezuelan crude that preceded the coronavirus crisis as U.S. sanctions spooked potential customers. With domestic onshore oil inventories approaching capacity, PDVSA has been increasingly…

02 Mar 2020

Sailor Dies on Tanker Moored off Venezuela

© Gena Anfimov / MarineTraffic.com

A sailor aboard an oil tanker anchored off Venezuela's coast died on Saturday, three people with knowledge of the incident said, marking the second death in less than a week involving personnel aboard ships serving the crisis-stricken OPEC nation.Juan Carlos Navarrete, a 58-year-old Cuban national serving as a helmsman aboard the Petion Panamax tanker, died after falling overboard while the tanker was anchored in Amuay Bay in western Venezuela, one of the sources, union leader Ivan Freites…

28 Feb 2020

Citgo: Oil Tanker Caught in Dispute Enters International Waters

© Iza Jaglinska / MarineTraffic.com

U.S. refiner Citgo said the Gerd Knutsen oil tanker, which had been carrying crude claimed by both the company and Venezuelan parent PDVSA, departed Venezuela's Jose Terminal on Thursday and entered international waters on Friday morning.The tanker over the past week discharged its 1 million barrel cargo, worth some $57 million, in Venezuela after being stranded for over a year off the South American country's coast amid fallout over U.S. sanctions on PDVSA, designed to force out socialist President Nicolas Maduro.The tanker discharged after Citgo…

03 Jan 2020

Venezuela Alters Oil Royalty Formulas, Driven by IMO 2020

© Parilov / Adobe Stock

Venezuela has changed the formulas for calculating royalties energy companies pay the government to remove references to fuel oil and some crude grades, driven by stricter rules governing marine fuel emissions, according to a document seen by Reuters.A ban by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on the use of fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5%, aimed at reducing pollution, has roiled oil markets and caused price volatility for…

04 Nov 2019

Vens Pledge Funds for Argentine Shipyard to Finish PDVSA Tankers

File Image: The M/T PROTEO, a PDVSA tanker in dry dock. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday pledged funds for a state-owned Argentine shipyard to finish building two long- overdue tankers for state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, which is struggling with a diminished tanker fleet.Maduro, a socialist who has overseen a drastic economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation and stands accused of corruption and human rights violations, did not say how much money Venezuela would provide or when it would be disbursed.But…

24 Sep 2019

U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Firms Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba

© Marit / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, amid an acute fuel scarcity in the island that is forcing people to line up for gasoline and public transport.Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba's state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela…

11 Jan 2019

Exxon Ships Have Not Returned to Disputed Area off Guyana

© Zerophoto / Adobe Stock

Seismic research vessels hired by Exxon Mobil to explore for oil off Guyana's coast have not returned to the site of a December incident with Venezuela's navy, but they may in the future, Guyana's foreign minister said on Thursday.Guyana, with no history of oil production, has become the focus of intense interest since Exxon announced the discovery of over 5 billion barrels of oil and gas off its shores. That has reignited a century-old territorial dispute with neighboring Venezuela.

26 Dec 2018

Exxon Mobil: Drilling Continues Offshore Guyana

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday its oil drilling and development activities offshore Guyana were unaffected despite neighboring Venezuela's navy stopping two seismic survey vessels the company had hired.The closest of 10 oil finds Exxon has made off Guyana's coast is 110 kilometers (68 miles) away from the northwest part of the Stabroek block, where the navy halted seismic data collection on Saturday, the company said. Each country's government says the incident took place in its territorial waters."Exploration and development drilling is continuing in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block," the company said in a statement. Exxon did not say whether the two vessels…

24 Dec 2018

Venezuela Navy intercepts ExxonMobil Oil Explore Ship

The Venezuela's navy on Saturday "intercepted" a ship exploring for oil on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corp. in Guyanese waters, neighboring Guyana's foreign ministry said in a statement, in the latest incident in a century-old border dispute.A series of offshore oil discoveries in recent years have given Guyana the potential to become one of Latin America's largest producers. In OPEC member Venezuela, by contrast, crude output has tumbled to its lowest levels in nearly 70 years amid an economic crisis.The Ramform Tethys vessel, which belongs to Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and was conducting seismic survey work on behalf of Exxon…

20 Nov 2017

Argentina's First Female Submarine Officer on Board Missing Vessel

One of the 44 crew members on board the Argentine submarine that is missing in the South Atlantic is Eliana Maria Krawczyk, who came from a landlocked province to become the country’s first female submarine officer. In a Facebook video posted in January by the Defense Ministry, Krawczyk discussed her experience of being the first woman in a traditionally male space. She said that she aspired to become the commander of a navy submarine one day. “If you think about being underwater, navigating, and being the only woman, it is strange, but at the same time it is exciting and very challenging,” she said in the video. Krawczyk, 35, was born in the northeastern province of Misiones and joined the navy in 2004, after responding to an advertisement online.

08 Sep 2016

US Weather Forecaster Reduces Outlook for La Nina

Image Credit:  Dan Pisut, based on Geo-Polar data

A U.S. government weather forecaster reduced its outlook on Thursday for La Nina conditions to develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2016/17, saying neutral conditions were more likely.   The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, said in a monthly forecast there was a 55 to 60 percent chance of El Nino-Southern Oscillation neutral conditions, after last month saying that La Nina conditions were slightly favored to occur.   (Reporting By Luc Cohen)

09 Jun 2016

US Forecaster Sees High Chance of La Nina

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday maintained its projections for the La Nina weather phenomenon to take place in the Northern Hemisphere later this year, as El Nino conditions dissipated. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, said in its monthly forecast La Nina is favored to develop during the summer and pegged the chance of La Nina developing in the fall and winter 2016-17 at 75 percent. That matched the agency's expectations last month for the likelihood of La Nina. The CPC also said that El Nino conditions, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, had largely disappeared, citing near-to-below average sea surface temperatures across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

15 Feb 2015

West Coast Ports Backups Prompt Coffee Traders to Switch Ports

A lot of coffee is handled at West Coast ports Courtesy Port of New Orleans

U.S. coffee importers have begun diverting shipments bound for West Coast roasters to ports on the Gulf and East Coasts due to a labor dispute that has caused prolonged backlogs in California, market sources said. Traders said they began re-routing ships carrying coffee from El Salvador and Brazil, among other origins, destined for California ports three or four weeks ago, sending them instead to ports in Houston, New Orleans, Virginia and New Jersey. "Why back up more containers in a place that's not releasing them?" said Christian Wolthers…

10 Dec 2015

New ICE Sugar Deal to Include Fewer Eligible Ports

Intercontinental Exchange's new contract for white sugar shipped in containers will feature fewer eligible delivery ports than the current break bulk contract, an executive said in a presentation on Thursday. Last month, ICE announced plans to launch a new contract to allow for delivery of sugar in containers, which has grown in recent years to account for around two-thirds of exchange-quality refined sugar imports, Tim Barry, vice president for product development, said during the JSG Commodities symposium. The new contract, which will trade alongside the existing white sugar contract, will be deliverable to 20 ports in 17 countries, as opposed to 94 ports in 43 contracts for the existing break bulk contract, Barry said.

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