Product Tanker Freight Rates Rebounds
Product tanker freight rates softened in the third quarter of 2019 but rebounded strongly at the start of the fourth quarter following an increase in crude tanker rates that began after the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and accelerated dramatically to multi-year high levels at the end of September when the US imposed sanctions on two subsidiaries of China's COSCO Shipping.Denmark-based TORM said that growth in global demand for oil products generally remained subdued…
Global Coalition Launches Operation Sentinel
The US Central Command announced the opening of operations from its Bahrain headquarters to protect shipping in the troubled waters of the Gulf, after a string of attacks that Washington and its allies blamed on Iran.The new mission, dubbed Operation Sentinel, is designed to “ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waters” throughout the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman, US Central Command said in a release“Today…
Oil Stockpiling Builds Ahead of IMO 2020 Rules
S-Oil, South Korea's third-largest refiner, said on Wednesday that regional refining margins are expected to improve in the fourth quarter on the back of inventory build-up ahead of implementation of stricter rules on marine fuels in 2020.The refiner, whose top shareholder is Saudi Aramco, said in an earnings statement, strong demand for heating oil was also expected to support refining margins, along with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s stricter shipping fuel…
DP World Reports Lower Quarterly Global Cargo Volumes
Port operator DP World reported on Tuesday a third quarter decline in cargo handled across its global portfolio as volumes fell in Dubai for a sixth consecutive quarter.The operator said it handled 18 million twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers in its ports in the three months to Sept. 30, down 1.6% on the same period a year ago.It said a global trade row created a challenging environment. The United States and China have been locked in a trade row that has cast a shadow over global economic prospects.At its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai…
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. Frets About Untrackable China Ships with Iran Oil
The White House is warning Chinese shipping companies against turning off their ships' transponders to hide Iranian oil shipments in violation of U.S. sanctions, two senior administration officials said."We've been messaging very heavily to the shipping companies, you don't want to do this, it's not worth it," said one official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "It's incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior."China is the largest remaining buyer of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran's main export. Trump tightened U.S.
US Crude Exports Expected to Double by 2022
The U.S. could see its crude oil exports nearly double by 2022, according to energy research firm Rystad Energy. US crude exports could grow from current levels of 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to nearly 6 million bpd by 2022.With US production expected to increase by 1.2 million bpd year-over-year (y/y) in 2020, and with domestic refineries already maxing out capacity to absorb shale growth, Rystad Energy expects exports to balloon and reach 4.7 million bpd by the end of…
U.S. Sanctions Bite; Traders Shun 300 Tankers
Nearly 300 oil tankers globally have been placed off limits as companies fear violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, driving freight rates to new highs, industry sources said.The move has taken roughly 3% of the global oil tanker fleet out of the market, according to industry sources and data on Refinitiv Eikon, sending rates soaring to secure tankers to ship oil, particularly to Asia."Freight rates are going through the roof and people are getting very nervous with the cost of shipping…
Drewry Cuts Global Port Throughput Forecast
Drewry Shipping Consultants has revealed that it now expects global port throughput to rise by 2.6% in 2019, down from the previous 3.0% expectation.The mood-music surrounding the container market has deteriorated further in the last three months, resulting in Drewry downgrading its outlook for world container port throughput for the current year and the rest of the five-year horizon in the Container Market Annual Review and Forecast.The weight of risks pressing down on the container market seems to be getting heavier by the day…
VLCC Rates Surge as U.S. Sanctions COSCO
Freight rates to ship U.S. crude to Asia continued to surge, with costs to charter a supertanker rising to a record $12 million on Thursday, shipping sources familiar with the matter said.South Korea's top refiner, SK Energy, tentatively chartered the supertanker Maxim to ship U.S. crude to South Korea in November for a record $10 million earlier in the week but that fixture has since failed, the sources said.The company now has conditionally booked the Pacific M at a new record of $12.35 million…
Arab Coalition Says Foiled Houthi Attack in Red Sea
The Saudi-led coalition intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden boat launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement from Yemen's main port of Hodeidah, Al Arabiya TV said on Thursday.It said the Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition foiled "an imminent terrorist act by the Houthi militia south of the Red Sea" but gave no further details.There was no immediate confirmation by the Houthi group which had claimed responsibility for last weekend's attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Riyadh has rejected the claim and said those strikes did not come from Yemen. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Ghaida Ghantous Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
China's Unipec Ramps Up U.S. Crude Shipments
Unipec, the trading arm of Asia's top refiner Sinopec, chartered at least four crude tankers this week from the United States, ramping up purchases after attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities and as trade tensions between the world's two largest economies cool, sources said.Three Aframax vessels that can carry about 750,000 barrels, and one supertanker that can carry about 2 million barrels of crude, have been fixed by Unipec tentatively, according to a shipping source and Refinitiv Eikon data.The attack on Saudi oil facilities Saturday knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production, or 5% of global output, sending prices soaring when trading resumed on Monday. (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
Oil Tight on Libyan Port Struggles
Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east seek to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market. Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past but have struggled to find buyers because Western nations insist they will deal only with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.
Key Oil Export Terminals Reopen in Libya
Tripoli-based National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Wednesday four export terminals were being reopened after eastern factions handed over the ports, ending a standoff that had shut down most of Libya's oil output.Production and export operations would be restored "within the next few hours", an NOC statement said, although the restart at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, where workers were evacuated and storage tanks damaged in fighting last month, was expected to be gradual.A tanker at Hariga was due to start loading 1 million barrels of crude on Wednesday afternoon…
Petrofac Wins Oman LPG Project
Petrofac said it has signed a contract worth nearly $600 million with Salalah LPG SFZCO LLC (SLPG), wholly owned subsidiary of Oman Oil Facilities Development Company LLC (OOFDC), to undertake the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of its Salalah LPG extraction project in the southern part of Oman. Under the terms of the 36-month lump sum EPC contract, which will be triggered when SLPG issue to Petrofac the Notice To Proceed (NTP), Petrofac's scope of work will include construction of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) unit and associated facilities, including tie-ins to existing pipeline infrastructure, together with LPG storage and jetty facilities at the Port of Salalah.
Struggle to Control Libyan Oil Ports Adds to Global Supply Worries
Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east have sought to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market.Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past yet struggled to find buyers as Western nations insist they will only deal with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.The latest tussle for power has already slashed national production to about 600…
Aramco Suspends 50% of Production
Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted production at two Aramco oil facilities that were attacked by Yemeni rebels, interrupting about half of the company’s total output.Saudi Aramco said the production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day had been suspended after drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq – near Dammam in the Eastern Province – and the country’s second-largest oilfield at Khurais, about 200 kilometers away.Earlier, the oil giant said that emergency crews contained fires at its plants.After visiting the incident locations, Amin H.
Libya: Air Strikes Aimed to Regain Oil Ports
East Libyan forces carried out air strikes around major oil ports on Saturday as they sought to regain control of the area from a rival faction, a military spokesman said. The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) and allied forces retreated on Friday from Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, two of Libya's largest export terminals, as a faction known as the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) attacked. The prospect of a renewed escalation of violence around the ports puts at risk the big rise in oil production achieved after the LNA took over four ports in September. Libya's oil production has been fluctuating around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), more than double its output last year but well under the 1.6 million bpd the OPEC member was producing before a 2011 uprising.
Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years
Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on Wednesday after hitting a 10-month low in volatile trade, as growing U.S. production and reduced Chinese refinery activity fed mounting concern over the stubborn global crude glut. U.S. crude futures settled at $42.53, down 98 cents or 2.3 percent, after touching a low of $42.13, the lowest intraday level since August 2016. Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped more than 20 percent, with only brief rallies. More than 1 million front-month crude contracts changed hands on Wednesday, far exceeding the daily average of 560,000 contracts.
Niger Delta Avengers: Attacks Against Nigeria's Oil Sector Coming
Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers said on Wednesday it will launch attacks on the country's oil sector in the next few days. "This round of attacks will be the most deadly and will be targeting the deep sea operations of the multinationals," it said in a statement on its website. In November, the group, which attacked oil facilities in 2016, said it had ended a ceasefire. Reporting by Tife Owolabi
Shady Triangle: Southeast Asia's Illegal Fuel Market
An alleged oil heist in Singapore that has already led to 20 arrests, the seizure of at least one tanker and allegations that thieves siphoned thousands of tonnes of fuel from Shell’s biggest refinery is shining a spotlight on an illegal trade worth tens of billions of dollars worldwide. Working routes in a triangle of sea anchored by Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore and encompassing the oil facilities of Malaysia, the smugglers take advantage of a difficult-to-patrol sea and enticing black market prices, experts say.
Ship Insurance Costs Soar After Tanker Attacks
Insurance costs for ships sailing through the Middle East have increased by at least 10% after attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, with the potential for costs to rise further as regional tensions escalate, ship insurers said.The attacks have already stoked concerns about reduced flows of crude oil on one of the world's key shipping routes, pushing up oil prices by as much as 4.5%.Some tanker companies have already suspended new bookings to the Middle East…
Middle East Risks Keep Oil Prices High
Oil lost some of its big price rises today as the US announced the possible release of crude reserves but the possibility of military action in response to the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities still means prices are high and that stocks are under pressure. Equity market losses have not been large but investors are continuing to support ‘safer’ assets such as gold, for which treasury prices are rising.Brent crude prices fell 1.78% to $67.79 per barrel in Asia today (Tuesday, September 17) after a big increase yesterday of 14.6%, the biggest one-day percentage gain since at least 1988. U.S.