Oil Markets News

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…

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…

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.

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…

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.

20 May 2018

Oil Up as U.S., China hit the Trade War Pause Button

Oil prices rose on Monday as markets reacted to news that China and the United States have put a looming trade war between the world's two biggest economies "on hold". Brent crude futures were at $79.13 per barrel at 0121 GMT, up 62 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.83 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement. The U.S. trade war with China is "on hold" after the world's largest economies agreed to drop their tariff threats while they work on a wider trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, giving global markets a lift in early trading on Monday.

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.

18 Jun 2018

China's Tariffs on US Oil Would Disrupt $1 Bln Monthly Business

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

China's threat to impose duties on U.S. oil imports will hit a business that has soared in the last two years, and which is now worth almost $1 billion per month.In an escalating spat over the United States' trade deficit with most of its major trading partners, including China, U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he was pushing ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6.China said Friday it would retaliate by slapping duties on several American commodities, including oil.Investors expect the spat to come at the expense of U.S.

14 May 2018

China's Crude Oil Futures Boom Amid Looming Iran Sanctions

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

A U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is supporting China's newly established crude oil futures, and may spur efforts to start trading oil in yuan rather than dollars, traders and analysts said.Since launching in March, Shanghai crude oil futures have seen a steady pick-up in daily trading, while open interest - the number of outstanding longer-term positions and a gauge of institutional interest - has also surged.Traded daily volumes hit a record 250,000 lots last Wednesday…

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.

13 Jun 2018

Spill Prevention & Response: Old Lessons, New Challenges

Credit: and paid for by Sea-Machines

Emerging spill response trends fit into two big categories: technology and a combination of economic and social forces. Both will shape what comes next.Florida’s stunning Tampa Bay stands out as exactly the kind of place where you have to think about hazardous materials emergencies. It was 25 years ago, on August 10, 1993, that a freighter collided with two barges near the entrance of Tampa Bay, causing a fire and spilling over 32,000 gallons of jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline and about 330,000 gallons of heavy fuel, devastating beaches, wildlife and habitat.

14 Jun 2018

EIA: Oil Barrel Price Steady Around $70

EIA expects Brent prices will average $71 per barrel in 2018 before declining to $68 per barrel in 2019. In the June 2018 update of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts Brent crude oil prices will average $71 per barrel (b) in 2018 and $68/b in 2019. The new 2019 forecast price is $2/b higher than in the May STEO. The increase reflects global oil markets balances that EIA expects to be tighter than previously forecast because of lowered expected production growth from both the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the United States. Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $77/b in May, an increase of $5/b from April and the highest monthly average price since November 2014.

15 Jun 2018

China Surprises with Threat on US Energy Exports

© Dale Stagg / Adobe Stock

Beijing surprised oil markets with threats to levy tariffs on imports of U.S. crude oil, natural gas and other energy products on Friday, just as China has risen to the top of the list of importers of oil from the United States.China responded to $50 billion in tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump with a similar amount of levies on a variety of U.S. goods. But China also said it would impose tariffs on U.S. energy products, which analysts considered a surprise as previous tariff threats had centered on agricultural goods and automobiles."This is a big deal.

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…

16 Nov 2017

US to Become Oil and Gas World Leader in Long Term - IEA

© travelview / Adobe Stock

The head of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol said on Thursday the United States would - in the long term - become the "undisputed leader of oil and gas production worldwide".   Speaking at the U.N. climate conference in Bonn, Germany, he said the agency expected oil markets to rebalance next year if oil demand remained "more or less" as robust as it is today and if OPEC and non-OPEC continued with their oil production cuts.     (Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Mark Potter)

15 Dec 2017

LNG Tankers Divert to China as Winter Demand Spikes

file Image: In a photo taken earlier this Autumn, an LNG tanker transits the Med (CREDIT: Robert Murphy)

China's LNG demand soars as tankers from the Americas divert to China. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is being re-exported to China from Japan and tankers are being diverted from as far away as Brazil, with traders rushing to find cargoes in the face of a supply crunch in the world's No.2 economy as winter bites. Following an unprecedented drive to switch millions of households to natural gas from coal for heating, China's imports of LNG have surged as utilities struggle to meet soaring demand as winter gets off to a colder start than usual.

19 Dec 2017

Hudson River Tales: PAWSA Pauses Parking Project

Image courtesy www.riverkeeper.org

When marine safety collides with environmental advocacy and non-maritime business interests, the discussion can be contentious, confusing and cumbersome. In June 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) opened a public comment period regarding new anchorage zones in the Hudson River; usually a rather low-key set of issues. This proved different. Opponents jumped on the proposal – initially suggested by three maritime organizations – as a backdoor way to facilitate a huge expansion in crude oil shipments on the Hudson.

02 Jan 2018

Oil Trades Strengthen to Mid-2015 Levels on Iranian Unrest

© Gerard Koudenburg / Adobe Stock

Oil prices posted their strongest opening to a year since 2014 on Tuesday, with crude rising to mid-2015 highs amid large anti-government rallies in Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded flat at around $60.40 by 1200 GMT after hitting $60.74 earlier in the day, their highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, were also flat at around $66.80 after hitting a May 2015 high of $67.29 a barrel earlier in the day.

28 Feb 2018

Tanker Scrapping is on the Rise -Vessels Value

© katiekk2 / Adobe Stock

Tanker demolition is on the rise as 3.5 million DWT has been scrapped so far in 2018, according to Vessels Value. Each factor played a part as the decision to remove a ship from service varies depending on the financial situation of the owner. Some may be motivated as the $/t offered price offsets enough of their remaining mortgage on a ship to allow them to move out of a low cashflow market, while others may remove a ship after it completes a long-term storage contract. Higher…

05 Mar 2018

Shale Growth could Overwhelm U.S. Refiners, Fuel Exports

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Leeylutung)

Rising U.S. shale oil production will overwhelm the nation's refining capacity, with three-quarters of the additional oil produced in the United States by 2023 shipped to Europe and Asia, according to a new study by consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The research points to the continued impact of U.S. shale on global markets and the mismatch between domestic refining capacity and rising crude output. The oil could bottleneck at U.S. Gulf Coast ports unless new infrastructure is built, researchers said. U.S.

13 Mar 2018

BP Expects 90% Compliance for Marine SOx Emissions Caps

© Jordi de Rueda / Adobe Stock

Oil major BP Plc expects more than 90 percent of the world's shipping fleet will comply with new regulations slashing sulfur levels ships are allowed to burn starting 2020, a company executive said on Tuesday. Coming International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will cut the amount of sulfur emissions that ships worldwide are allowed from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. "Potential non-compliance is a significant issue that the market has been contending with," Jason Breslaw, who leads BP's distillate trading origination across the Americas, said at an industry conference in New Orleans.

09 May 2018

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…

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