Marine Link
Monday, May 21, 2018

North Atlantic News

Denial of Petition to Re-Route Ships

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a Notice stating that it denied the petition submitted by various environmental advocacy groups requesting that the agency promulgate emergency regulations to slow and/or re-route vessels within the habitat of the North Atlantic right whale. The agency has various pending efforts to enhance protection for this endangered species and issuance of an emergency rule at this time would curtail full public notice, comment, and analysis. In the meantime, NMFS continues to advise vessels transiting North Atlantic right whale habitats to comply with current regulations and to exercise caution to avoid ship strikes. 70 Fed. Reg. 56884 (September 29, 2005).

Cast To Cut North Atlantic Shipping Times

Containershipping company Cast will reportedly cut transit times on the North Atlantic as it introduces three new ships this summer. Transit cuts would include Zeebrugge to Montreal reduced to eight days from 12, three days off the Le Havre-Montreal voyage and Montreal to Liverpool reduced by one day to seven, the company said in a statement. The first of three faster 1,800 teu (container equivalent) capacity ships would enter service on June 20 with the other two vessels coming on stream in August. Service speeds of more than 22 knots were attainable with the new ships, compared with the 17 knots of the current four vessels being replaced.

UASC to Enter North Atlantic Trade

Image by United Arab Shipping Company

Container shipping line and global carrier, United Arab Shipping Company has entered into a vessel sharing agreement with CMA CGM and Hamburg Süd to enter the North Atlantic trade. The vessel sharing agreement will see the three partner companies operate a service that links North Europe with the United States East Coast, calling at the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, Southampton, New York, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah. The service will offer competitive transit times and a weekly capacity allocation of 3,300 teu. The new service will start in May.

Rosneft Cancels Rig Contract

Russian oil firm Rosneft has cancelled a contract for a two-and-a-half year rig contract with Northern Offshore and Seadrill's North Atlantic Drilling Ltd, the Norwegian offshore driller said. Western sanctions against Russia, and Rosneft in particular, have led the Russian oil group to cancel a North Atlantic Drilling vessel earlier this month and raised concerns whether a larger agreement would go through.. The contract, worth about $150 million, was for Northern Offshore's jack-up rig…

Greenpeace Wins Bid To Delay North Atlantic Exploration

Greenpeace won its bid to delay oil exploration in the north Atlantic when a judge ruled the British government was failing to apply a European Commission environmental directive in allocating licenses. The government is considering an appeal against the judgment on the basis that it is not taking into account the Commission's Habitats Directive in issuing exploration licenses. A spokesman said the government had been planning to issue new licenses in its 19th round early in 2000, but this was likely to be delayed. Ten energy companies were also party to the case. These were: Texaco, Esso UK, Marathon Oil UK, Mobil North Sea, Enterprise Oil, Conoco Ltd, Statoil, Philips Petroleum Co UK, Elf Exploration and British Gas Exploration and Production.

Termination of Seadrill Unit's and Rosneft Deal Extended

Photo: North Atlantic Drilling Ltd.

North Atlantic Drilling (NADL), a subsidiary of Seadrill, will delay the closing of a deal with Russia's Rosneft by two years and has agreed to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, reports Reuters. NADL will also be permitted to delay the construction, delivery, or shipyard stay of any of those rigs. Western sanctions levied against Russia for its actions in Crimea have raised concerns over the future of the $4.1 billion agreement and have already forces Rosneft to terminate several North Atlantic Drilling contracts.

MSC Announces New Service

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)announced that the company now offers new direct service to West Mediterranean ports in addition to its existing North Atlantic Service. This service is being operated using five 1200 TEU capacity vessels on a weekly basis. Valencia, Naples, La Spezia and returning to Boston. moving to and from Western Europe," said Nicola Arena, president of MSC (USA) Inc. Gulf to North Europe; plus their Atlantic service to the Western Mediterranean out of Charleston. Mediterranean areas (via Relay Service) can be accommodated. available between U.S. Mexico and the Caribbean. While the company's North Atlantic to Europe vessels will not stop in Freeport…

The Icebergs Are Coming: Shipping in the North Atlantic

Distance has to be kept: Icebergs can harm the ships. The only ships coming consciously close to the icebergs are cruisers with ice class. The picture is taken off one of them, the Hanseatic from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

At present, several icebergs are drifting out of the Arctic Ocean and into the North Atlantic. This natural phenomenon occurs each year in the period roughly stretching between April and August. During this season, these massive chunks of ice cross the major shipping routes on the North Atlantic. But German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd is prepared for them, as the company’s captains keep their vessels south of the drift ice limit so as to avoid any dangerous collisions. American and Canadian authorities mark the drift ice limits on their own maps.

HSV 2 Swift Completes Sea Trials

In a world first for a commercial based High Speed Craft (HSC), certified and operated in accordance with the HSC Code by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), USN HSV 2 Swift has completed very comprehensive heavy weather sea trials in the North Atlantic Ocean. HSV 2 Swift is a 98 metre Incat SeaFrame configured to US Navy specifications and is designed by Revolution Design in Tasmania, Australia, and built by Incat Tasmania, also in Tasmania, Australia. HSV 2 Swift is contracted to the US Navy, through Military Sealift Command by Bollinger Incat USA.

Two New Reefer Vessels for Eimskip

Eimskip has entered into shipbuilding contracts for the construction of two reefer vessels. The investment is supporting the company strategy to be a supplier of quality services in the North Atlantic. This is a part of a renewal for the fleet and making Eimskip able to transport in an efficient and secure way. With this new fleet structure Eimskip is will be able to enter into more diversified transportation services, serving temperature controlled commodities such as meat, vegetables, fruits etc. The new ships will contribute to the extensive transport network in the North Atlantic Ocean of Eimskip and Eimskip-CTG, its subsidiary in Norway. The company received one reefer vessel last year and will within one year receive three vessels ordered in 2004 and 2005.

North Atlantic Extends Rig Contract with Total

West Phoenix Rig. Photo by North Atlantic Drilling Ltd

North Atlantic Drilling has been awarded a contract extension for the semi-submersible rig West Phoenix by Total E&P UK Limited. The contract will commence mid-March 2016 and secure work for the unit through the end of August 2016. The total revenue potential for the contract extension is approximately $62 million. "A portion of the $62 million will be paid during the currently anticipated idle period from the beginning of September 2015 to the middle of March 2016. The Company has the ability to market the rig for alternate work during this period…

North Atlantic Drilling Set for Initial NYSE Public Offering

North Atlantic Drilling Limited (NADL), a leading offshore harsh environment drilling company in which Seadrill Limited currently holds a 74 percent ownership interest, to file for independent listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company states that it has filed its first amended registration statements with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with its initial public offering and concurrent offer to exchange previously issued unregistered common shares, other than the common shares owned by affiliates of NADL, for common shares that have been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Morgan Stanley will act as the Global Coordinator and Lead Bookrunner for the initial public offering.

Battelle Wins $15 Million USACE Contract

Five-year contract provides environmental expertise for maintaining the nation's waterways. Battelle has won a five-year, $15 million contract to support and consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District, North Atlantic Division.Battelle will provide technical expertise in support of the District's mission for maintaining the nation's waterways, specifically focusing on contaminated sediments, restoration, and remediation. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for USACE also calls for Battelle to support environmental assessments and policy decisions and help with resource management in the North Atlantic Division.

Potential Whale Breeding Grounds Discovered

A large number of North Atlantic right whales have been seen in the Gulf of Maine, leading right whale researchers at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center to believe they have identified a wintering ground and potentially a breeding ground for this endangered species. The NEFSC’s aerial survey team saw 44 individual right whales on Dec. 3 in the Jordan Basin area, located about 70 miles south of Bar Harbor, Maine. Weather permitting, the team regularly surveys the waters from Maine to Long Island and offshore 150 miles to the Hague Line (the U.S.-Canadian border)…

North Atlantic LNG DWP Application

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that it and the US Coast Guard will prepare an environmental impact statement in conjunction with an application from Atlantic Sea Island Group LLC to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP) facility in the North Atlantic Ocean approximately 13.5 miles south of the City of Long Beach, New York and 23 miles east of Highlands, New Jersey.  Public meetings will be held in Eaton, New Jersey (January 27) and Long Beach, New York (January 29).  Written comments should be submitted by February 9.  74 Fed. Reg. 982  (January 9, 2009). (Source: Holland & Knight)

Hapag-Lloyd Increases Rate Increase for North America services

Freight rates have come under pressure in recent months with the entry of new players into the North Atlantic market. Moreover, costs, particularly for charters, bunkering and additional security measures, have risen. Hapag-Lloyd has thus decided to raise freight rates for the North Atlantic and for the US Gulf and the US West Coast with effect from February 1st 2007. The increase amounts to $200 for a 20-ft. container and $250 for a 40' container. Hapag-Lloyd also plans to rationalize its ship capacities for North America services next year.

Statoil Contracts West Hercules Rig

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photos: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The West Hercules semi-submersible rig has been contracted for drilling two exploration wells in the Barents Sea in 2018, and options to drill another five exploration wells. Statoil and the licence partners have signed a contract with North Atlantic Norway Ltd for use of the 6th generation West Hercules rig. The total estimated contract value is USD 15-20 million for the two permanent wells. Portrait - Geir TungesvikGeir Tungesvik, head of Drilling and Well in Statoil. Mobilisation and demobilization are included in the amount…

CG Reminder, Slow for Right Whales

The Coast Guard reminds operators of vessels 65 ft or greater in length that the Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule takes effect Nov. 1, requiring those vessels to slow down while operating in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic waters where North Atlantic Right whales are known to migrate, calve and nurse. The Coast Guard has worked closely with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service division during the past decade to further both agencies’ shared goal of conserving and rehabilitating the North Atlantic right whale population. “The Coast Guard, in coordination with NMFS, has a long history of protecting living marine resources and will continue to take action to protect the right whale from ship strikes and other threats…

Seadrill Rig Contract Extended

West Epsilon Rig: Photo credit Seadrill

Seadrill - North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. announces extension of Statoil contract for the harsh environment jack-up rig 'West Epsilon'. North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., a majority owned subsidiary of Seadrill Limited, announce that Statoil has exercised its option to extend the contract for the heavy-duty harsh environment jack-up rig West Epsilon by two years from December 2014 to December 2016. The estimated value of the contract extension is US$215 million. Seadrill is a leading offshore deepwater drilling company…

North Atlantic Right Whale – port access routing study

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a port access routing study to analyze potential vessel routing measures and consider adjusting existing vessel routing measures in order to reduce vessel strikes on the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. The areas under consideration include Cape Cod Bay and possibly Race Point and the Great South Channel in the northern region and approaches to Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, and Brunswick in the southern region. Comments should be submitted by April 19. 70 Fed. Reg. 8312 (HK LAW)

KVH Expands mini-VSAT Broadband Network

Image: KVH

KVH Industries, Inc. expanded the capacity of its mini-VSAT Broadband network with two upgrades recently, supporting growing customer demand for broadband at sea. One expansion added a new satellite beam that doubled the mini-VSAT Broadband network capacity in the North Atlantic Ocean region, including Canada’s Hudson Bay. The second expansion added a new beam across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to add 30 percent more capacity across areas such as the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Baltic Index Falls on Broad Retreat

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Lucasz Z)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell for the fourth consecutive session on Tuesday, hurt by weaker rates across all vessel segments. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was down 14 points, or 1 percent, at 1,327 points. The capesize index lost 37 points, or 1.7 percent, to end at 2,136 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $286 to $16,890.

With Eye on Russia, US Navy Reestablishing Its Second Fleet

(US Navy photo by Anthony J Rivera)

The United States Navy is re-establishing its Second Fleet, responsible for the northern Atlantic Ocean, nearly seven years after it was disbanded as the Pentagon puts countering Russia at the heart of its military strategy.“Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we’re back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,” Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said on Friday.“Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover May 2018 - Marine Propulsion Edition

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