Oil Markets News

11 Oct 2019

U.S. Sanctions Deal Blow to LSFO for 'IMO 2020'

file image (credit: AdobeStock / © dbvirago

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.

11 Oct 2019

Iranian Tanker Hit by Missiles, Oil Rises

© PhotoGranary/AdobeStock

Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Friday, October 11, 2019, after Iranian media said a state-owned oil tanker had been struck by missiles in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of supply disruptions weeks after attacks on Saudi oil plants.The Suezmax crude tanker Sabiti was ablaze and suffered heavy damage after being hit by two missiles, Iranian media reported.Both oil benchmarks recorded their biggest daily rise since Sept. 16, the first trading day after the…

11 Sep 2019

IBIA, S&P Partner to Encourage IMO2020

Graph: S&P Global Platts

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) and price-reporting agency S&P Global Platts are to work together to help market participants across the shipping ecosystem prepare ahead of the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) low sulfur marine fuel regulations in January 2020.Unni Einemo, Director of IBIA and its representative at the IMO said: "We are very pleased to work with S&P Global Platts in bringing industry stakeholders the tools they…

02 Aug 2019

LNG Traders Mull Shipping Options

AdobeStock / © Fotmart

Traders are starting to make enquiries to book vessels to store or ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) as they bet for winter demand to boost prices for spot cargoes which are trading near record lows, multiple industry sources said on Friday.Enquiries are trickling in for booking vessels on a spot basis, ranging from a period of one month to several months, which is expected to push shipping rates up, the sources said.With Asia LNG spot cargoes trading at below $4 per million British thermal units…

11 Jul 2019

Iran Attempts UK Tanker Block, Fails

Civilian Mariner Kevin Sauls, Ship's master aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), observes the Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) during a replenishment-at-sea drill. Guadalupe is conducting operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.A week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the Strait of Hormuz…

30 Jul 2019

ICE Launches More Marine Futures Contracts

Image: International Maritime Organization

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, launched a further nine Marine Fuel 0.5% futures contracts in advance of the implementation of the 0.5% sulfur cap by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in January 2020.The American company that owns exchanges for financial and commodity markets announced that its new futures contracts expand the existing suite of Marine Fuel contracts launched…

11 Mar 2019

US to Lead Oil Supply Growth to 2024

Dr Fatih Birol (center) and IEA Oil Analyst Toril Bosoni (right) present the findings from Oil 2019 in Houston at CERA Week on 11 March 2019 (Photograph: Getty Images)

The United States is set to drive the global oil supply growth over the next 5 years, thanks to the strength of its shale industry, triggering a rapid transformation of world oil markets, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).IEA said that oil exports from the United States will overtake Russia and close in on Saudi Arabia, bringing greater diversity of supply, by the end of the forecast.While global oil demand growth is set to ease, in particular as China slows down, it still increases an annual average of 1.2 mb/d to 2024, according to the report, Oil 2019.

12 Mar 2019

IMO 2020: Shell, HES to Resurrect Refinery

Royal Dutch Shell has struck a deal with Dutch tank terminal firm HES International to partially restart a German oil refinery mothballed since 2011 in response to new restrictions on marine fuels, two trading sources told Reuters.A new cap set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that will cut the sulfur content in shipping fuel to 0.5 percent from 3.5 percent from next year is set to be one of the biggest fundamental events to hit oil markets in years.HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal is in the process of reinstalling the vacuum distillation unit (VDU) at Wilhelmshaven to produce low-sulfur bunker fuels ahead of the implementation of the IMO rules…

20 Mar 2019

Ekofisk Shut Down: North Sea Output to Drop

Image: Rystad Energy

Oil production in the North Sea will drop by 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) month-on-month in June 2019 as Ekofisk closes for planned work, according to Rystad Energy’s latest forecast.“Production is expected to remain stable through April 2019, before dropping 80,000 bpd month on month in May 2019. The decrease will continue in June 2019 with an additional 330,000 barrels per day month-on-month drop, as we expect maintenance at Ekofisk feeding fields to impact output by 220,000 bpd…

24 Feb 2019

Crude Tanker Spot Rates Soften

Pic: Teekay Tankers

Crude tanker spot rates improved significantly during the fourth quarter of 2018, spurred by both winter market seasonality and positive underlying supply and demand fundamentals.According to a stock exchange announcement from Teekay Tankers, in the fourth quarter of 2018, OPEC crude oil production rose to 32.4 million barrels per day (mb/d), the highest level since July 2017 and up from 31.4 mb/d earlier in 2018.Most of this increase came from the Middle East, where higher production levels more than offset lower output from Venezuela and Iran.

08 Mar 2019

US to Overtake Saudi in Oil Exports

Graph: Rystad Energy

United States will soon export more oil and liquids than Saudi Arabia, thanks to the continued rise in oil production from US shale plays and the increased oil export capacity from the Gulf Coast.According to Rystad Energy, energy research and business intelligence company, it is a a pivotal geopolitical shift. The US has for decades relied on large-scale imports to satisfy its thirst for oil, but this is about to change.The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that the United States exported more crude and petroleum products than it imported.

04 Apr 2019

Rystad Expects Oil Price Rally in H1 of 2020

Graph: Rystad Energy

The energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy expects that a short-lived price rally through the first half of 2020 as oil prices approach $70 a barrel.It will then lose momentum and be replaced by a need for additional production cuts by Russia and the cartel of oil producing countries, OPEC, the Norway-headquartered firm said.“We retain our bullish stance for the second half of 2019 and first half of 2020 as we anticipate OPEC+ to extend production cuts through 2019…

23 Apr 2019

IEA Says Oil Markets Adequately Supplied

Image: IEA/Shutterstock

The International Energy Agency is monitoring developments in global oil markets, and notes that markets are now adequately supplied, and that global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels.Further tightening of sanctions on Iran will have an impact on its export capacity. Iranian shipments of crude and condensates are running around 1.1 million barrels a day (mb/d) in April, 300 000 barrels a day lower than March, and 1.7 mb/d lower than May 2018.As a result of OPEC’s high compliance rate with the agreed supply cuts in the OPEC+ group…

11 Jul 2019

Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker

File Image: A UK Navy warship on patrol (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Three Iranian vessels tried to block a BP-operated tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the UK government said on Thursday.Britain urged Iran to "de-escalate the situation in the region" after the British Heritage, a Suezmax oil tanker operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag, was approached."HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels…

23 Jan 2019

The Tanker Market: 2019 and Beyond

Alex and Alice under construction. Photo courtesy Euronav

Late 2018 saw the tanker market bubble upwards through late November, with daily vessel hires moving in the direction of, though not yet reaching levels not seen since late 2014-2015, when oil prices were in freefall and inventories building to the brim. A few pundits have suggested that we are seeing a “mini 2014” where lowered oil prices are coaxing another inventory build which would drive tanker capacity utilization, and per diem freight inflows, higher. The oil market has changed over four years…

06 Jul 2018

Asian Refiners Rush to Secure Feedstock as Trade War Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Carabay)

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect Friday; China retaliates, duty on U.S. crude possible. Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and as Washington plans tough sanctions against Iran aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets. As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's U.S. tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude. Meanwhile, Washington's new sanctions against Tehran are due to kick in from November.

13 Jul 2018

Total Closes USD 1.5 bln Acquisition of Engie's Upstream LNG Business

Image: Total

Total announces the closing of the acquisition of Engie’s portfolio of upstream liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets for an overall enterprise value of $1.5 billion. Additional payments of up to $ 550 million could be payable by Total in case of an improvement in the oil markets in the coming years. This portfolio includes participating interests in liquefaction plants, notably the interest in the Cameron LNG project in the US, long term LNG sales and purchase agreements, an LNG tanker fleet as well as access to regasification capacities in Europe.

11 Jul 2018

Harren & Partner Buys Offshore Construction Vessel

MV Blue Giant (Photo: Harren & Partner)

Bremen-based shipping company Harren & Partner is looking to grow its offshore salvage business with the purchase of the offshore construction vessel MV Blue Giant from English operator OIG Group.“Although the oil markets are currently still recovering, we have deliberately opted for this investment despite its counter-cyclical nature. Alongside our classic offshore activities, we also wish to further strengthen our position in attractive niche markets such as the salvage business…

11 Jul 2018

OIG Group Sells MV Blue Giant

MV Blue Giant. Photo: Harren & Partner

Bremen-based shipping company Harren & Partner announced the acquisition of the offshore construction vessel, MV Blue Giant for an undisclosed price from the English operator, OIG Group. Harren & Partner’s Offshore Department, headed by Robert Fowler (offshore@hp-shipping.de) will be responsible for managing the vessel. Peter Harren, Founder and Managing Director of Harren & Partner, explains the strategy behind the purchase: “Although the oil markets are currently still recovering, we have deliberately opted for this investment despite its counter-cyclical nature.

04 Sep 2018

Gulf Platforms Shut ahead of Hurricane

© Robert Cocquyt / Adobe Stock

U.S. oil prices edged up on Tuesday, rising back past $70 per barrel, after two Gulf of Mexico oil platforms were evacuated in preparation for a hurricane.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.04 per barrel at 0034 GMT, up 24 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last settlement.Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Monday it had evacuated and shut production at two oil platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico ahead of the approach of Gordon, which is expected to come ashore as a hurricane.International Brent crude futures…

01 Nov 2018

Cautious Consolidation for OSV Companies Brings Market Change

A Gulfmark offshore support vessel (CREDIT: Gulfmark)

Will a rising tide in the offshore oil markets float all the boats? In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, that remains to be seen.Offshore services, exploration and production are on a roll. In early October, yet another business combination of big drillers was announced. In a sign of optimism, Ensco announced its plan for an all-stock acquisition of Rowan Offshore, worth around $2.4 billion. The new company will be domiciled in the United Kingdom, but will have a large presence in Houston.

20 Jun 2018

Oil Traders Ready for Musical Chairs as China Tariffs Loom

© Haris / Adobe Stock

Oil markets are bracing for a reshuffle of global trade flows as China threatens to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on imports of U.S. energy products, including crude.China, which has bought an average 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. crude oil this year, is threatening to place a 25 percent tariff on various U.S. commodity exports, including crude oil, although it is so far unclear when such a measure would come in place.The decision came in response to U.S. President Donald…

13 Dec 2018

ICE to Launch Marine Futures Contracts Ahead of IMO 2020 Sulfur Cap

Pic:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The Intercontinental Exchange will launch new Marine Fuel 0.5% futures contracts in advance of the implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2020.The operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services said in a press release that the new contracts are expected to launch on February 4, 2019, subject to completion of relevant regulatory processes.The new contracts have been developed in response…

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