PGS Below Q2 Expectations but Outlook Improves
Shares of seismic services company PGS, which surveys the seabed for oil and gas deposits, dropped on Thursday on lower-than expected second-quarter results but its CEO said the market outlook was improving.PGS's April-June core operating earnings (EBITDA) rose to $136.0 million, below the $144 million expected by analysts in a Reuters poll, but up from $112.5 million in same quarter last year.Its shares traded three percent down by 0911 GMT, after dropping eight percent in early trade."We see a clear sign of improvement, it's a lot more tender activity, and we have realised higher contract pr
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”.
China Pledges Firm Response to Japan's S.China Sea Visit
China on Thursday pledged a firm response if Japan stirs up trouble in the South China Sea, after Reuters reported on a Japanese plan to send its largest warship to the disputed waters. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July, sources told Reuters. The trip would be Japan's biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two. "If Japan persists in taking wrong actions, and even considers military interventions that threaten China's sovereignty and security...
China Asks: Why is Japanese Warship Going to South China Sea?
China said on Tuesday it was waiting for an official word on why Japan plans to send its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea, but that it hopes Japan can be responsible. China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fuelled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore…
Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea
Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two. China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July. It will return to Japan in August, the sources said.
China Welcomes Mattis' South China Sea Diplomacy
China on Monday welcomed U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' suggestion that diplomacy should be the priority in the South China Sea, and that major U.S. military action was not being considered to contend with China's assertive behaviour there. Mattis, speaking in Tokyo on Saturday, blamed China for "shredding the trust of nations in the region", but also played down any need for U.S. military manoeuvres in the disputed waters of the South China Sea and instead called for open lines of communication. The comments, his most complete on the issue to date, came after analysts had said other remarks made by President Donald Trump's administration had suggested the possibility of U.S. military action, or even a naval blockade.
China to Protect South China Sea Sovereignty
China said on Tuesday it had "irrefutable" sovereignty over disputed islands in the South China Sea after the White House vowed to defend "international territories" in the strategic waterway. White House spokesman Sean Spicer in his comments on Monday signaled a sharp departure from years of cautious U.S. handling of China's assertive pursuit of territorial claims in Asia. "The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," Spicer said when asked if Trump agreed with comments by his secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson. On Jan. 11, Tillerson said China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.
Israel Bolsters Navy to Protect Offshore Oil & Gas
Offshore energy platforms a potential target; Israel accepting bids on 24 new exploration blocks. Israel is boosting spending on its navy to better protect offshore oil and gas deposits and secure a large maritime zone that abuts that of its neighbour and enemy, Lebanon. The navy asked in 2013 for an increase in its budget of $700 million to build up its systems and $100 million annually to maintain them, though the defence ministry declines to say how much it has since received.
Oil and Shipping Markets on Edge After South China Sea Ruling
Global oil and shipping markets reacted nervously on Tuesday after an international arbitration court ruled against Beijing's claims across large swathes of the South China Sea, fuelling geopolitical tensions in the vital waterway. A tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, found China had breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines and had no legal basis to its historic claims in the South China Sea, a major shipping lane between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The ruling will be seen as a victory by other regional claimants such the Philippines and Vietnam…
Beijing Slams South China Sea Court Proceedings
Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling set for July 12. An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction. The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
China Slams South China Sea Case as Court Set to Rule
An international court said on Wednesday it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction. The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Several Southeast Asian states have overlapping claims in the sea and the dispute has sparked concerns of a military confrontation that could disrupt global trade.
World Court to Draw up Nicaragua-Colombia Maritime Boundary
The International Court of Justice on Thursday said it would consider a claim by Nicaragua to expand its maritime boundaries in a mineral-rich part of the Caribbean Sea toward Colombia, a ruling set to further strain relations between the two countries. The judgment, separate from a decision earlier on Thursday in which the United Nations court said it would rule on alleged violations of Nicaragua's sovereignty, means a maritime delineation case between the two countries can proceed. In a televised address soon after the decision, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he would not accept a ruling by a "third party" and would not participate in the case.
Global Markets Ripe for US Marine Technologies
The growing worldwide demand for marine technologies, port construction and shipbuilding is generating new export opportunities for U.S. companies. As more firms look to boost their bottom line by maximizing their reach to the more than 95 percent of world consumers who live outside of the United States, many are taking advantage of numerous export resources along the way. At the same time, many other businesses have yet to export. International Trade Specialist Maryanne Burke leads the U.S. Commercial Service’s Marine Technology Team, and is based at the Boston U.S.
China: Manila Exaggerates South China Sea Tensions
China accused the Philippines on Tuesday of deliberately trying to scare people by saying China had warned a small civilian plane carrying Philippine officials it was trespassing as they inspected an island in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippines said the incident happened on Jan. 7 to an aircraft inspecting Thitu Island in the Spratlys, where Manila plans to set up surveillance equipment this year, as their aircraft flew near a Chinese man-made island. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei repeated that China has sovereignty over the Spratlys and that the Philippines had illegally occupied eight islands there since the 1970s, including Thitu, and had been building on them.
Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration
Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and said it could take a hit of up to $4.1 billion for pulling out of the Chukchi Sea for the "foreseeable future". The unsuccessful campaign is Shell's second major setback in the Arctic after it interrupted exploration for three years in 2012 when an enormous drilling rig broke free and grounded.
Manila Urges Beijing to Halt South China Sea Dredging
The Philippines strongly urged China to stop reclamation work on a disputed submerged reef within its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, the foreign ministry said on Friday. A Philippine navy commander said on Thursday that China had started dredging around the disputed Mischief Reef, signalling Beijing may be preparing to expand its facilities in the area. "We strongly urge China to desist from its reclamation activities at Panganiban Reef," the foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to Mischief reef by its Philippine name. "Under the U.N. China claims the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the sea where about $5 trillion of ship-borne trade annually.
Vietnam Warship Visits Underscore Regional Tension
Vietnam on Tuesday showed off its two most powerful warships in the first-ever port call to the Philippines but an official said it was not trying to challenge China's superior naval forces amid tension in the South China Sea. Hanoi invited the diplomatic community to its Russian-built missile-guided frigates docked in Manila Bay at the start of a three-day goodwill visit. China lays claim to almost all of the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich minerals and oil-and-gas deposits. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims, creating one of Asia's biggest possible flashpoints. "We are trying to hold joint patrols and operations in the Spratlys, including search-and-rescue operations," said a Philippine naval official, referring to a disputed island chain.
China Defies U.S. Plea for Restraint in South China Sea
China on Monday hit back at "irresponsible remarks" from the United States which has called on Beijing to stop a land reclamation project in the disputed South China Sea that could be large enough to accommodate an airstrip. China lays claim to almost all of the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich with minerals and oil-and-gas deposits and one of Asia's biggest possible flashpoints. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims. The comments by China's foreign ministry signal that Beijing would firmly reject proposals by any country to freeze any activity that may raise tension. Media reports over the weekend cited U.S.
Is the US Prepared to Protect Its Arctic Interests?
The answer to this question is a resounding “no.” The U.S. is not prepared to protect its interests in the Arctic over the next decade. The primary legal regime that is being relied upon by all members of the Arctic fraternity, the Law of the Sea Convention, has not been adopted by the U.S. The operational resources needed to pursue our interests have not been funded and there is currently little prospect that they will be funded in the near future. U.S. interests in the Arctic are vast.
US Mulls Stronger Sanctions Against Russian Energy
The United States is considering limiting hi-tech exports to Russia's Arctic oil and gas industry as part of plans to strengthen sanctions against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, a U.S. envoy said on Wednesday. On the eve of a NATO summit in Wales, the United States is expected to join the European Union in imposing new sanctions on Russia after EU leaders agreed at the weekend that the direct engagement of Russian troops in Ukraine in support of separatist rebels merited such a step. "We are looking at further tightening of restrictions on energy exports and the licensing of hi-tech exports, not only to the energy sector but specifically to Arctic oil and gas," the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Anthony Gardner, told Reuters in Brussels.
Joint Petroleum Development in South China Sea Makes Sense
Shared development of oil, gas and possibly other natural resources is the most promising option for reducing tensions in the South China Sea and should be the focus of efforts to improve diplomatic relations between China and its coastal neighbors. Joint development agreements (JDAs) are already common across Asia. Most of the countries with a disputed claim in the South China Sea have signed at least one joint agreement to explore for oil and gas, either in the South China Sea or in neighbouring areas like the Gulf of Thailand and the East China Sea, so there are plenty of precedents to draw on. The basic principle is that countries agree on a legal framework for exploration and production…
US Pushes Plan to Ease South China Sea Tensions
China will come under the most concerted diplomatic pressure yet to rein in its assertive moves in the disputed South China Sea when the United States uses a regional security meeting this weekend to rally support for a freeze on provocative acts. The push by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the ASEAN Regional Forum marks a step up in Washington's involvement in the dispute, which has frayed regional ties as China acts more forcefully on its sweeping sovereignty claims. Kerry arrives in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on Saturday, joining top diplomats from China, Russia, Japan, India, Australia, the European Union and Southeast Asia among others in Asia's highest-profile gathering so far this year.
China: Spratly Islands are 'intrinsic territory'
China can build whatever it wants on its islands in the South China Sea, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, rejecting proposals ahead of a key regional meeting to freeze any activity that may raise tensions in disputed waters there. Southeast Asian foreign ministers this week hold security talks with counterparts, including those from the United States and China, in Myanmar, with escalating tensions over maritime disputes in Asia likely to be a major issue. The Philippines will propose a freeze on all activity that raises tension in disputed waters in the South China Sea as part of a three-part plan at the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting, Manila's foreign minister said last week.