India: 20 Kidnapped from Tanker off West Africa
India's foreign ministry said on Monday that 20 of its nationals had been kidnapped from an oil tanker in West African waters."Our Mission in Abuja has taken up the matter with the Nigerian authorities, as also with the authorities of the neighbouring countries," the ministry said in a statement.It said the vessel was the Marshall Islands-flagged DUKE.The ship's operator Union Maritime wrote on its website that the craft was "attacked and boarded" while carrying fuel oil to the Togolese capital Lome from Angola and that the company was working with relevant authorities to resolve the incident.
Tankers Running on Fumes as Shipping Fuel Switch Causes Delays
Disruption to shipping from the long-anticipated switch to more environmentally friendly marine fuels has finally arrived, exacerbated by logistical problems as much as any shortage of the cleaner fuel.New International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, referred to as IMO 2020, aim to stop ships from using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur unless they are equipped with exhaust-cleaning systems known as scrubbers.From the start of January ships must load very low sulphur…
U.S. Shipping Sanctions Dent HSFO Demand
U.S. sanctions on a top Chinese shipping fleet is set to produce a totally unintended result -- less burning of the dirtiest marine fuels at sea at the start of next year, Refinitiv data showed on Tuesday.The move to blacklist ships from COSCO on Sept. 24 for allegedly ferrying sanctioned Iranian oil will undercut demand for ships' traditional means of power because a vessel crunch meant fewer docked and attached kit to filter the dirtier fuels.From January 2020, the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) will ban ships from using fuel with a sulphur content above 0.5%…
West Africa Crude-Freight Rates Ease
Freight rates to Europe and Asia have continued to ease, albeit at a less rapid rate than during the middle of the month, boosting price offerings for West African grades, traders said on Monday. Rates for VLCCs from Nigeria's Bonny Light terminal to Singapore settled at $3.25 a barrel on Friday from highs just below $10 two weeks earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while for Rotterdam they eased to $2.72 from a high above $5.Rates for key Angolan grade Girassol aboard a VLCC bound for China plunged to $3.84 a barrel from highs of $11.39.
W. Africa Crude-Freight costs ease, especially for VLCCs
Freight rates eased further on Friday, especially for the largest oil tankers, promising some recovery for West African oil prices which had touched multi-year lows. VLCC freight costs eased more rapidly than smaller Suezmaxes, making it less advantageous to ship on the latter. Prices for Suezmaxes were estimated around world scale 190-200, with one European buyer estimating further relief to around 150 by the end of next week.Nigeria's NNPC cut its November official selling price for Bonny Light crude to dated Brent plus 58 cents per barrel and for Qua Iboe to plus 63 cents per barrel…
U.S. Shipping Sanctions Give Boost to EU Refiners
U.S. sanctions imposed last month on subsidiaries of vast Chinese shipping fleet Cosco have given an unexpected boost to European refiners as less crude oil from the North Sea and West Africa heads east, traders and analysts said.Freight rates have soared as oil producers scramble for non-blacklisted vessels, discouraging longer-distance voyages.Complex refining margins for advanced facilities capable of extracting even more valuable products like diesel and gasoline, have been especially strong in Europe, industry sources said.The U.S.
U.S. Sanctions Deal Blow to LSFO for 'IMO 2020'
Highly sought after types of oil best suited to making cleaner shipping fuel are suddenly finding they are a tougher sell for thirsty East Asian markets, traders say, in an unintended consequence of U.S. sanctions on a Chinese shipping fleet.With just over two months until environmental rules are set to mandate the biggest changes to ship power in over a century, certain rare types of West African oil have soared in value but have had to be marked down due to the higher costs of transport.The United States imposed sanctions on units of China's COSCO on Sept.
Qatar Petroleum, Shell Sign LNG Bunkering Agreement
Qatar Petroleum and Shell signed a framework agreement to develop global LNG bunkering facilities on Tuesday, Qatar Petroleum said. "We view LNG bunkering as a promising opportunity for LNG to further grow as a clean energy source," Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi was quoted as saying. "LNG demand for bunkering is expected to increase significantly over the coming years and we believe there is real potential for such demand to reach up to 50 million tons per annum by 2030," he said. LNG bunkering provides the shipping industry with a new fuel that helps to meet the industry’s environmental and economic targets. (Reporting By Reem Shamseddine and Noah Browning. Editing by Jane Merriman)
High Winds Close Saudi Arabia's Jeddah port
The major port at Saudi Arabia's second largest city of Jeddah was closed on Tuesday due to bad weather, state-run Ekhbariya TV reported. "Marine traffic was halted at Jeddah Islamic Port because of high winds and reduced visibility," the channel wrote in a newsflash. Reporting by Noah Browning
Yemeni Govt, Saudi-led Forces Retake Red Sea Strait
Loyalist Yemeni troops and Gulf Arab forces have seized the Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden from Houthi fighters, reasserting control over the strategic sea lane, a government spokesman said on Thursday. Residents reported air strikes and shelling by warships in support of a ground push toward the area but could not immediately confirm that the strait had fallen. (Reporting By Noah Browning and Mohammed Ghobari)
Weapons Bound for Yemen Seized on Iranian Boat
Saudi-led coalition forces said on Wednesday they had seized an Iranian fishing boat loaded with weapons on its way to deliver them to Houthi fighters in Yemen. The announcement came a day after tribal fighters backed by the coalition won control of a strategic dam in central Yemen from Houthi forces following weeks of fighting east of the capital Sanaa. The coalition, which also includes Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, has been battling the Iranian-backed Houthis for more than six months. It aims to restore to power President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government, forced out by the Houthis, and contain what Gulf Arab states see as Tehran's growing influence in their backyard.
Iran to Send Cargo Ship to Yemen as Truce Takes Effect
An Iranian cargo ship will set sail for the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hodeida on Sunday evening, Iran's Tasnim news agency said, in a move likely to fan further tensions with Saudi-led forces blockading the country. Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi militia earlier on Sunday accepted a five-day ceasefire proposed by Saudi Arabia after more than a month of bombing that has caused severe shortages of food, medicine and fuel. Tasnim reported that the cargo ship would carry 2,500 tonnes of humanitarian aid including food staples and medicine.
Iran Detains US Cargo Ship in Gulf -Al Arabiya
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said an Iranian "force" seized a U.S. cargo ship after opening fire on it in the Gulf on Tuesday and directed it to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. A Pentagon spokesman said Iranian forces had boarded a Marshall Island-flagged vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, in the Gulf. He said the boarding occurred after Iranian patrol boats fired shots across the vessel's bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters. The ship had no U.S. citizens aboard, the spokesman said, contradicting Al-Arabiya's report which said there were 34 U.S. sailors on board. He said it was travelling through the Strait of Hormuz when the incident occurred. There was no immediate word from Iranian officials.
Port of Aden Under Threat with Enemy at the Gates
As Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies stage air strikes against Shi'ite Muslim militiamen threatening to topple Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the southern port city of Aden shudders from within. Hadi's supporters are fighting street battles with pockets of militiamen and allied army units who have penetrated the city's northern suburbs, with at least 16 dead in total. Rumours of Houthi sleeper cells abound and a curfew has been ordered to stop rampant looting. As Aden's security wobbles, the Arabs' intervention may have come too late to save their ally Hadi's last refuge. "The Houthis came at night, entered the camps and caused the army to defect," said Aseel, a Hadi supporter from the Popular Committees, standing guard at a roundabout in al-Mansoura district.