Tanker with Disputed Kurdish Oil Reappears off Malta
The Neverland tanker has reappeared off the coast of Malta after going off radar near Canada on June 30, when it was chartered by oil trader Vitol carrying Iraqi Kurdish crude oil, Reuters ship-tracking showed on Friday. The tanker had been heading to eastern Canada to discharge the cargo at the end of June when the Federal Court of Canada issued a seizure order for the cargo at the request of Iraq's oil ministry. Iraq alleges the cargo was unlawfully misappropriated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and sold to Vitol. Along with the seizure request made to Canada, the ministry filed a separate claim against Vitol and two subsidiaries for $32.5 million. The tanker appears empty, according to the draft on the ship tracking system.
Activists Protest near Oil Rig in Norway's Arctic Sea Area
Environmental activists protested on Friday near an offshore rig contracted by Statoil in the remote Norwegian Arctic, where the firm is looking for oil and gas deposits. The Nordic country wants to open up northern areas for exploration to offset declining production in the south. Oil and gas production is Norway's leading industry, accounting for 20 percent of its economy. From the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship, 11 campaigners launched inflatable boats carrying banners opposing Statoil's Songa Enabler oil rig, 275 km (170 miles) north of the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic Barents sea. One of the banners read "“The People Vs. Arctic Oil”.
PetroChina Unloads First US SPR Cargo
PetroChina is this week unloading the first Chinese purchase of crude oil from U.S. strategic petroleum reserves at a port in eastern China, according to shipping data and two industry sources. The move comes as China, the world's No.2 oil consumer, steps up imports from the Americas to diversify supply sources. PetroChina unit, PetroChina International America Inc, bought the 550,000-barrel cargo of Bryan Mound sour crude in a sale from U.S. strategic petroleum reserves in March for $28.8 million. Supertanker Cosrising Lake <C}KV7309834335>, chartered by PetroChina, is unloading the U.S.
Russian Think Tank: Oil Exports to Decline in 2017
A think tank that advises the Russian government on taxes and energy-related issues said on Wednesday it expects the country's oil exports to fall this year thanks to a global deal to cut output, contrasting with official forecasts for a rise. Vygon Consulting said in a presentation to reporters that oil exports this year are seen declining by 0.7 percent to 252.5 million tonnes (5.1 million barrels per day) from around 255 million tonnes in 2016, a record high. The Energy Ministry forecasts Russian crude oil exports this year at 257 million tonnes.
Shell's Integrated Lubrication Solutions for World's Largest Box Ship
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has appointed Shell Marine to provide its integrated marine solutions, which include lubricants and services for OOCL Hong Kong. OOCL Hong Kong, currently plying routes between Asia and Europe, is the latest vessel to claim the title of ‘world’s largest containership’, with a capacity of 21,413 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), measuring 400m in length and 59m in width. The ship is equipped with MAN Diesel & Turbo’s (MDT) G-type engines that represent the latest in two-stroke engine technology.
VLCC Outlook Brightens Slightly
Rate correction likely after low S-Oil charter drags market. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could see a small respite next week, building on the slight improvement seen in the last two days although sentiment is likely to remain pessimistic of any real recovery, brokers said on Friday. "There was a large drop on Tuesday when South Korea's S-Oil fixed at 45.50 (on the Worldscale measure). But rates are now correcting," a Singapore-based supertanker broker said.
Aker BP Ups 2017 Output View
Oil firm Aker BP, the second-largest operator of oil and gas platforms off Norway, raised its 2017 output guidance and lowered its production cost outlook as it posted second-quarter earnings roughly in line on Friday. The company is the result of a merger between the Norwegian business of oil major BP and the Norwegian oil company Det norske controlled by billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke. Aker BP said its output guidance for 2017 would be raised to a range of 135,000-140,000 barrels of oil per day, against an earlier view of 128,000-135,000, while its production cost would be lowered by one dollar to $10 per barrel of oil equivalent. Its earnings before interest…
Weather Suspends Bosphorus Marine Traffic
Traffic in Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, an important international shipping lane for oil and grain, was suspended on Tuesday due to poor visibility and heavy rain, shipping agent GAC said. It said shipping was suspended at 830 am (0530 GMT). The Bosphorus is one of world's most important choke points for the maritime transit of oil, with over 3 percent of global supply - mainly from Russia and the Caspian Sea - passing through the 17-mile waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. It also carries large amounts of grains from Russia and Kazakhstan to world markets.
Oil Spill Response Workshop in Senegal
The use of oil spill dispersants, which can be used to break down an oil slick into smaller droplets as part of response efforts, is the subject of a workshop taking place in Dakar, Senegal (17-20 July). Participants from 11 countries (Benin, the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Togo) are attending the sub-regional workshop, which will analyse national policies on dispersant use and provide training on further development and implementation of these policies.
Thailand Accedes to Conventions Covering Oil Pollution Damage
Thailand has become the latest State to accede to the international conventions on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC) and the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (Fund). The CLC Convention ensures that compensation is available to people who suffer oil pollution damage from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships, and places liability on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged.
Keppel Posts Lower Q2 Profit, Warns on Rig Outlook
Q2 profit S$161 million versus S$205 million year ago; O&M division net order book at S$3.4 billion. Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp posted a 21 percent drop in its quarterly profit and warned it did not expect a speedy recovery in the offshore and marine market. The conglomerate and its smaller cross-town rival Sembcorp Marine have been hit by an oversupply of offshore oil drilling rigs, with customers delaying contracts and refraining from placing new orders with oil prices expected to stay lower for longer. "Despite some pick-up in activity in the offshore market, the general consensus is that, with the prevailing uncertainty in the oil market, and oversupply in the jackup market, a quick recovery is unlikely," said CEO Loh Chin Hua.
Low Water Still Hampers Rhine, Danube shipping
Water on the Rhine and Danube in Germany remains shallow and cargo vessels cannot sail fully loaded, traders said on Monday. The rivers had fallen below normal levels in late June after dry weather. The Rhine is still too shallow for normal sailings from Duisburg and Cologne to southern stretches of the river, traders said. All of the Danube in Germany is too shallow for normal loading. Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.
Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan to Drill Offshore Alaska
Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years. The approval is conditional on Eni getting other state and federal permits, which in past cases are generally granted once BOEM gives the green light. "We know there are vast oil and gas resources under the Beaufort Sea, and we look forward to working with Eni in their efforts to tap into this energy potential," said BOEM's acting Director Walter Cruickshank.
Dakuku Calls for Marine Ecosystem Conservation
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the need for concerted and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders toward the conservation and sustainable use of ocean resources for the protection of the environment and indeed the entire ecosystem. The Director General who made this appeal while speaking at a 2-day Regional Conference on Marine Safety and Fisheries Protection organized by the United Nations…
Ocean Conservancy Calls for Clean Arctic
“Ocean Conservancy welcomes steps taken by the International Maritime Organization to mitigate risks to the Arctic from the use and carriage of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. “Support for Measures to Reduce Risks of Use and Carriage of Heavy Fuel Oil as Fuel by Ships in Arctic Waters marks an important milestone in the bid to phase out the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. “With climate change impacts resulting in record-breaking loss of sea ice—winter ice in the Arctic…
Race Boat to Attempt US-Cuba Speed Record
An upcoming world speed record attempt by Nigel Hook and the crew of SilverHook will be a two-for-one as they set out to achieve the fastest crossing from the U.S. to Cuba, and then back. Captain Hook has chosen August 17 to try to set two speed records in what is considered the most technically-advanced offshore monohull race boat in the world. The first objective is a one-way speed record from a point just off the Florida Keys to Havana. If that record is established, then part two will be an equally-fast or faster return trip and a two-way record.
Marsol Signs Two-Year OOCEP Contract
Marsol International, a UAE-based global marine solutions provider focused on the offshore oil terminal market and related infrastructure, has signed a two years contract with Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production LLC (OOCEP) for the provision and management of the marine and offshore activities related to the tanker loading, via the single point mooring (SPM) offshore marine terminal including maintenance works, vessels, equipment and manpower. The Musandam gas plant, located on the west coast of the Musandam Peninsula…
Drilling in Disputed South China Sea may Resume
Drilling for oil and natural gas on the Reed Bank in the South China Sea may resume before the end of the year, a Philippine energy official said on Wednesday, as the government prepares to offer new blocks to investors in bidding in December. The Philippines suspended exploration at the Reed Bank, which it calls Recto Bank, in late 2014, as it pursued international arbitration over territorial disputes. The bank is in waters claimed by China. Ismael Ocampo, director at the Department of Energy's Resource Development Bureau, told reporters the agency expected the suspension to be lifted in December. He said a directive from the Department of Foreign Affairs directing the Department of Energy to resume oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea was already in the works.
Schlumberger to Acquire Majority Stake in Eurasia Drilling
Russia's Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) said on Thursday it would sell a 51 percent stake in the company to the oilfield services provider, U.S.-based Schlumberger NV. The agreement is subject to approval by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS), the company said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed since it is subject to approval. The agreement, if approved, would extend a strategic alliance with Schlumberger that dates to 2011, Eurasia added. EDC is an onshore and offshore drilling and well services contractor.
Canada Orders Seizure of Oil Tanker
The Federal Court of Canada has ordered the seizure of a 721,915-barrel cargo of crude from Kurdistan aboard the "Neverland" oil tanker on the request of the Iraq Oil Ministry, court documents show. The Iraq Oil Ministry has also filed a claim against commodity trading house Vitol S.A. and subsidiaries including Mansel Ltd, the charterer of the ship, and affiliate Finaval SpA di Navigazione, the owner of the ship, for $32.5 million. Iraq claims the cargo was unlawfully misappropriated by the Kurdistan Regional Government and sold to Vitol to be loaded onto the "Neverland." Vitol declined to comment. The court action, dated June 29, is…
North Natuna Sea: Striking at China Claims
Indonesia renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea on Friday, the latest act of resistance by Southeast Asian nations to China's territorial ambitions in the maritime region. Seen by analysts as an assertion of Indonesian sovereignty, part of the renamed sea is claimed by China under its contentious maritime boundary, known as the 'nine-dash line', that encompasses most of the resource-rich sea. Several Southeast Asian states dispute China's territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea's abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources. China has raised the ante by deploying military assets on artificial islands constructed on shoals and reefs in disputed parts of the sea.
Clean Arctic Alliance Welcomes IMO Action on Arctic HFO
As the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) concluded on last Friday, the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed the support from Member States for a proposal to identify measures which will mitigate the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic waters, and called on the IMO to work towards a swift conclusion of the work. The proposal, Measures to Reduce Risks of Use and Carriage of Heavy Fuel Oil as Fuel by Ships in Arctic Waters was proposed by Canada…
Gazpromneft-Lubricants Bolsters Caspian Sea Ports Supplies
Gazpromneft-Lubricants, the Gazprom Neft oil business operator, has started delivering marine lubricants in the sea port of Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan. The first supply to the Dniester dredging vessel was carried out as part of the three-year agreement with Rosmorport signed in spring, 2017. According to the agreement, Gazpromneft-Lubricants is going to deliver 1500 tons of marine lubricants to the company's vessels. The sales territory of Gazpromneft-Lubricants’ marine products under the present agreements include the Northwestern…