USCG Shuts Upper Houston Ship Channel Amid Protests
The U.S. Coast Guard closed the upper Houston Ship Channel on Thursday morning as 11 Greenpeace USA protesters blocked a portion of the country's largest oil port near Baytown, Texas, the agency said.The channel is closed from Light 102A to Light 104, the Coast Guard said in a notice.The closure of the Ship Channel at that location blocks tanker ship traffic to and from five major refineries in the Houston area, including Exxon Mobil Corp's 560,500-barrel-per-day refinery in Baytown, which is 26 miles (42 km) east of downtown Houston.One ship was waiting to enter the Ship Channel, which links the Gulf of Mexico and the Port of Houston…
Record Number of VLCC Liftings at LOOP
Medium-sour crudes from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are being snapped up by overseas buyers, paving way for a record six supertankers to load at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) in a matter of weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.The six scheduled loadings in late May and early June would double the record of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) reached in December. An unusual influx of Gulf of Mexico crudes to the U.S. deepwater export port and weakening prices are contributing to the exports…
ITC Faces Added Costs for March Fire & Spill
The costs of a massive fire and chemical spill at a Houston petrochemical facility have begun trickling out, with a local official on Monday estimating emergency response costs at $800,000 for the first two weeks of the disaster alone.A blaze at Mitsui & Co Ltd's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) petrochemical facility in Deer Park, Texas, last month released cancer-causing chemicals into the air and waterway that connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, disrupting shipping along the nation's busiest oil port.County employees devoted 16…
BIMCO: US Seaborne Crude Oil Exports Hit Record High
US exports of crude oil have, since August 2018, continued to rise every month, with a new record high in January of 9.6 million tonnes. Exports rose in January on the back of increased sales to Europe, which rose from 2.7 million tonnes in December to 4.8 million tonnes in January.A strong end to 2018 meant that volumes for the full year totalled 87.4 million tonnes, 96.7% higher than the 44.4 million tonnes exported in 2017. This is good news for the crude oil tanker sector…
Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston
Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data.The Houston Ship Channel reopened this week with operating restrictions following a fire at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas. That blaze sent fuel and chemicals into the waterway, which connects Houston to the…
PDVSA Oil Port Paralyzed by Another Blackout
Venezuela's main oil export port of Jose and the country's four crude upgraders have been unable to resume operations following a massive power blackout on Monday, according to industry workers and a union leader close to the facilities.The most recent oil shipment for export, on the carrier Dragon chartered by Russia's Rosneft, left Jose, which is owned by state-run PDVSA, on March 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and PDVSA's trade documents."There is no electricity, everything is paralyzed," oil workers' union leader Jose Bodas told Reuters on Tuesday.The blackout, Venezuela's second major power outage in a month…
TX Refineries Cut Output as Spill Curbs Shipping
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries cut production on Monday at their Houston-area oil refineries because of shipping disruptions along a waterway affected by a petrochemical fire and spill, according to people familiar with the matter.A fire and fuel leak at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, last week sent gasoline, water and fire suppressant foam into the Houston Ship Channel, which connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, and is home to nine oil refineries.The U.S. Coast Guard said it was reopening portions of the channel to daytime travel and requiring vessels moving out of the area nearest ITC to be inspected for chemical contaminates.Houston Pilots…
Houston Ship Channel Reopened
The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday reopened portions of the Houston Ship Channel with restrictions on waterways affected by the petrochemical leak outside Houston that has disrupted ship traffic.The busiest U.S. oil port, shut last Friday after a chemical leak into the water, led Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries to cut production on Monday, according to people familiar with their operations.In a midday announcement, the Coast Guard said it is allowing daytime transits only through the ship channel…
Venezuela's Jose Oil Port Unable to Resume Exports
Venezuela's state-run PDVSA oil firm has been unable to resume exports at Jose port, the nation's primary crude-export terminal, following last week's widespread power outage, according to people familiar with the matter.PDVSA has launched a contingency plan to try and restore power, according to one of the people. The country's crude upgraders, which convert up to 700,000 barrels per day of Orinoco Belt heavy oil into exportable grades, also are operating at minimum levels due to the lack of power, the people said. (Reuters, Reporting by Deisy Buitrago, Mircely Guanipa and Marianna Parraga Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports
Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…
US Oil Exports to Asia May Slide Further
Rising shipping rates have increased the costs of shipping oil from the United States to Asia and may further the restrict the flow of U.S. oil to the region later this year, multiple trade and shipping sources said on Thursday.Freight rates for tankers that carry crude oil have soared globally, buoyed by peak seasonal demand, weather disruptions and higher bunker fuel costs, the sources said.The cost of chartering a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude from the U.S.
Iranian Tanker Offloads Oil for Bonded Storage in China
A vessel carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil discharged the crude into a bonded storage tank at the port of Dalian in northeast China on Monday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and a shipping agent with knowledge of the matter.Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is finding fewer takers for its crude ahead of U.S. sanctions on its oil exports that will go into effect on Nov. 4. The country previously held oil in…
PDVSA to Reopen Damaged Port Dock by Month's End
PDVSA expects to reopen the south dock of Venezuela's main oil port Jose by the end of September, easing strains on crude exports delayed due to a tanker collision last month, according to internal trade documents from the state-run oil firm seen by Reuters.Last week, PDVSA began diverting tankers to Puerto la Cruz for loading, but the South American country's crude exports have remained slow in recent weeks as few customers have accepted the 500,000-barrel-per-cargo maximum neighboring terminals can handle.Besides Puerto la Cruz…
Trafigura to Build U.S. Deep-Water Oil Port
Swiss commodities trader Trafigura has applied to build a deep-water port in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, which will be able to load supertankers, reports FT.The report said that the plan would see the commodity house build an offshore deepwater port facility with a view to accommodate very large crude carriers (VLCC) capable of carrying more than 2m barrels of crude. It requires approval from the US Department of Transportation’s maritime division.According to a Reuters report…
Tanker Arrives to Load Oil at Libya's Hariga Terminal
A tanker that eastern officials had prevented from loading for two weeks at Libya's Hariga oil port entered the terminal on Wednesday to start loading one million barrels of crude, a port official said.The tanker had been blocked in a standoff between rival factions that oil officials say has now ended.(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli Writing by Aidan Lewis Editing by Louise Heavens)
NOC Tanker Refused Berth in Libya
Officials at Libya's Zueitina oil port have not authorized a tanker contracted by Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) to berth, port and industry sources said on Thursday.Zueitina is one of the oil ports that the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) said it would transfer to a parallel NOC, which is based in the eastern city of Benghazi, after fighting this month at the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider terminals.One tanker, the Felicity, finished loading at Zueitina on Thursday under contract from NOC in Tripoli but a second tanker, Amore Mio II, was waiting in the port area without permission to berth, sources said.The head of the parallel NOC, Faraj Said, said he had ordered ports to prevent the entry of any tanker not authorized by his office.An engineer at Zueitina port confirmed th
Storage Tank at Libya's Ras Lanuf Oil Port Has Collapsed
One of two oil storage tanks ignited amid clashes at the Libyan oil port of Ras Lanuf has collapsed after burning for two days, a local engineer and a fire fighter said on Tuesday.Ras Lanuf's storage tank No. 12 was set on fire on Sunday, three days after another storage tank, No. 2 caught ablaze during an attack by an armed group.Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has said that at least 400,000 barrels of storage capacity has been lost due the fires.Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli Writing by Aidan Lewis
Louisiana Port Loads Second Supertanker for US Crude Export
A second supertanker laden with U.S. crude set sail in March from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately owned crude terminal in the United States, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday. The very large crude carrier (VLCC), Nave Photon, was chartered by Houston-based Shell Trading Company US and the cargo was headed for Asia, according to market sources familiar with the matter and Reuters vessel tracking data. It was not immediately clear which grade of U.S. crude was being exported. A spokesman for LOOP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Methanol Plant at Libyan Port Shut after Accidental Blast
A methanol plant in the Libyan oil port of Brega has stopped operations after an accidental explosion caused by a gas leak, an official said on Tuesday. The plant will remain shut until safe operations can be guaranteed, but it was not clear how long this would take, said Issa Mukhtar, an official at Sirte Oil Company which runs the plant. One worker was injured by the explosion which occurred early on Saturday and was caused by a leak in a natural gas heating unit, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said. Firefighters dealt with the blast, which could be heard across the surrounding area, a Sirte Oil engineer said. (Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by David Evans)
Shale Growth could Overwhelm U.S. Refiners, Fuel Exports
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.
LOOP Tests Crude Exports with VLCC
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately owned crude terminal in the United States, said on Tuesday it had moored a supertanker and initiated a detailed test procedure, bringing it closer to being able to export crude oil. LOOP said last year its U.S. Gulf Coast facility would have the capacity to load Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), the largest oil tankers, which can ship some 2 million barrels of oil by early 2018. Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports two years ago, and since then tankers filled with U.S. crude have landed in more than 30 countries, ranging from massive economies like China and India to tiny Togo. Gulf Coast terminals handle three-quarters of U.S. crude exports, but only LOOP can handle supertankers.
Texas Flood: U.S. Oil Pours into Global Markets
United States taking share from OPEC nations in Asia, Europe, as China’s biggest U.S. crude buyer to double imports. In the two years since Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports, tankers filled with U.S. crude have landed in more than 30 countries, ranging from massive economies like China and India to tiny Togo. The repeal has unleashed a flood of U.S. shale oil, undercutting global crude prices, eroding the clout of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and seizing market share from many of its member countries.
GoM Stakeholders Energized Despite Lingering Oil Bust
Gulf of Mexico vessel builders – and their customers – adapt to a lean offshore market. After oil prices plunged in late 2014 – pressured by shale output – demand for offshore vessels in the Gulf of Mexico shrank, day rates for boats fell and non-working units were idled. This year, several GoM boat builders filed for Chapter 11, or voluntary bankruptcy, while others consolidated. The most diversified companies kept their heads above water. Today, the outlook's a bit brighter. Crude oil prices hit bottom early last year. Tidewater Inc.