Marine Link
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wells Fargo Calls $100 Oil a 'Pipe Dream'

Image: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

USD 100 per barrel oil  is but a “pipe dream,” Wells Fargo said in a new investor note, reports MarketWatch. The report quoted Wells Fargo’s John LaForge saying that he’s doesn’t expect oil prices to climb anywhere near $100 a barrel over the next few years. Barrels price will bounce between $30 and $60 in the coming years, according to top bank’s diagnosis. “We continue to hear that big cutbacks are on the cusp of happening,” he said. “The evidence, however, implies otherwise. Shale production has caused American output to stand higher than it did in 2014, before the oil price crisis began.

Projections center on When, not If

The cyclical nature of the offshore exploration and production beast is legendary in financial circles, riding boom and bust waves for years at a time. While industry analysts and insiders alike had forecast a pick-up in activity no sooner than mid-year 2000, the collective industry is “itching” to get back to the business of building, repairing and supplying the myriad of rigs, boats and other business opportunities that abound in a full-blown boom oil market. Patience, it seems, is wearing thin, particularly in the face of dwindling business prospects and the lingering of the $30+ barrel of oil. While it seems all too natural that sustained high prices would sooner than later drive a resurgence of the moribund offshore business…

Offshore Recovery Stalled For Now

As crude oil prices reach Gulf War highs and recent memories of historic low crude prices fade, capital spending on finding and developing new oil reserves continue to play catch up. "The recent oil-price crisis set back non-OPEC output growth for at least a year," a recent report released by Deutsche Banc Alex. Analysts say there is a lag time for exploration spending to play catch up with oil prices - for every one month when crude prices are below the cost of production, it takes three months of high prices to regain the volume of production lost during the low cost period. Crude prices began to rebound from lows near $10 a barrel when OPEC and other major producers cut crude production to raise prices in March 1999.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Supported by Floating Storage

File Image: Credit Suez Canal Authority

Trafigura hires five VLCCs to store oil; short-term storage a profitable play. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could creep higher as more ships are chartered for floating storage and crude oil shipments increase ahead of the northern winter, brokers said. "There might be a slow creep up towards 60 (on the Worldscale measure)," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of ship broker BRS Baxi in Singapore on Friday. "W60 is at least on the horizon. Rates from West Africa to China are already at W56," he added.

Global Ports Sector Faces Structurally Slower Growth, Says Fitch

Photo:  International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH)

Traffic growth in the ports sector is likely to remain well below historical levels for the foreseeable future, due to fundamental structural changes in the industry and global trade, Fitch Ratings says. A move towards protectionism would represent a significant additional risk, with the potential to reverse sector growth. Global port traffic growth has slowed in recent years due to a mix of mostly structural factors, including a maturing container shipping industry, the growth of China's internal market and shifting global supply chains.

J.P. Morgan Raises Distressed Shipping Fund

Photo: JP Morgan

J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives has closed a $480 million fund to invest in distressed shipping assets, attracting capital from pensions, endowments and insurance companies, reports Financial News London. The Global Maritime Investment Fund II, which surpassed its $400 million targeted capital raise, is one of the largest dedicated shipping funds. It seeks to invest, through a closed end structure, in modern vessels operating in shipping sub-sectors that are experiencing substantial distress, with values trading near historical lows.

Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years

© Jelle van der Wolf / Adobe Stock

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.

Lenders Ramp up Pressure on 'Toxic' Shipping Debt

Financiers are set to take a tougher stance towards distressed shipping loans including more enforcement action to recoup funds, while capital on offer to the industry is expected to shrink further, a leading transport survey showed on Wednesday. The global shipping sector is reeling from a near-decade-long downturn, which has seen companies collapse and banks scale back exposure or exit entirely from providing finance. While there are signs of returning confidence in shipping, as players eye better prospects and the worst of the recession abates, the industry faces a financing black hole estimated at $30 billion this year. In an annual survey by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright…

DOF Subsea Shelves IPO Plans

Pic: DOF ASA

Norway's DOF Subsea has decided to hold off on launching its initial public offering (IPO), citing volatile market conditions. Company shareholders DOF ASA, with 51 percent, and a fund managed by First Reserve, with 49 percent ownership, announced in May that they were considering an opportunity for the company to apply for a listing on Oslo Stock Exchange. The shareholders have now decided to shelve these plans, instead opting to wait for market conditions to improve. “Since the review started…

Mercuria, PetroChina Selling Offshore Stored Fuel Oil

File Image: CREDIT BMT

Three to four tankers storing fuel oil, down from eight or nine. Independent trading house Mercuria and Chinese state oil giant PetroChina are selling fuel oil stored in vessels off Singapore and southern Malaysia on strong demand from the shipping and power sector, several trade sources said on Friday. The number of vessels storing fuel oil has halved from a month ago as Mercuria and PetroChina may have resold cargoes purchased over March to May, the sources said. Geneva-based…

Jacques de Chateauvieux, CEO, Bourbon

The plan, on its face, was simple. At the turn of the century Bourbon embarked on the path to become a dominate player in the global offshore supply vessel sector, building technologically sophisticated vessels for a good price in emerging Chinese shipyards, among others globally. Dubbed Horizon 2012, the plan was backed with a multi-billion dollar investment, a world economy that was firing on all cylinders and an offshore oil and gas market that was steamrolling ahead, powered by oil prices in the region of $150. That was yesterday.

Faroe Islands Looks to Restart Hunt for Oil and Gas

Oil companies are interested in restarting the hunt for oil and gas in the scarcely explored seas off the Faroe Islands neighbouring the more mature UK North Sea, the head of the Faroese Geological Survey said. No economically viable discoveries have been made on the Faroese shelf but the tiny nation hopes to entice energy firms to restart exploration as it shows them new geological data in London on Wednesday. "Oil firms have in many ways shown interest. We are having meetings, they buy data from us, visit us on the Faroe Islands ... So there is an interest and they are looking at the possibilities," survey director Niels Christian Nolsoe said.

Oil Prices May Fall in Q3 Say Citigroup

Weakening economies in Europe, Asia, cause Saudi to produce surplus crude Citigroup Inc. has said oil prices may fall in the third quarter, as economies weaken in Europe and Asia and Saudi Arabia produces surplus crude, Bloomberg reports. Increased crude production from Saudi Arabia and Iraq may be a "major downside risk to prices" if the economic crisis worsens, said Citigroup analyst in New York, Edward Morse. "Saudi Arabia continues to push prices lower" by cutting June official selling price differentials to Asia and increasing output to about 10 million barrels a day, Morse said. "What's most dangerous to prices would be a repeat of conditions in 1997-1998, when Saudi overproduction coincided with an unexpected Asian financial crisis that hit hard at demand."    

Multipurpose Shipping Looks Bullish

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Many key drivers for dry cargo demand have reported a significant uptick in 2017, resulting in improving conditions for all vessels in the multipurpose shipping sector, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecast report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. This year started out well with most demand drivers for the breakbulk sector strengthening from the lowest levels seen in 2016 with the trend forecast to continue in the medium term at least.

US LNG Going Global

© Anatoly Kolodey / Adobe Stock photo

The U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) market is ripe with opportunity, according to American Action Forum (AAF). "When coupled with the tension surrounding Qatar (the largest exporter of natural gas in the world), this makes U.S. LNG production a very attractive option," said Kimberly VanWyhe is the Director of Energy Policy at the AAF. In 2016, LNG exports from the U.S. totaled 184,141 million cubic feet with a value of roughly $564 million. Currently the U.S. is exporting LNG to 23 out of 35 countries that can accept LNG transport vessels, a sharp change from this time last year.

Oil Prices At Nine-Year High As Iraq Suspends Exports

Oil prices rocketed to a new nine-year high Nov. 22 after Iraq suspended oil exports under its humanitarian exchange program with the United Nations. London January Brent futures opened at $25.90, the highest oil price since January 1991 when allied forces were preparing to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Prices leapt as Iraq's Oil Minister Amir Mohammed Rasheed confirmed that Iraq had stopped oil deliveries under the latest six-month phase of its oil-for-food exchange with the UN. Baghdad protested the UN's proposal to extend by two weeks the sixth phase of the program and accused the United States of trying to push other Security Council members into accepting a draft resolution on weapons inspections.

TechnipFMC & the Future of 'Super-profit Oil'

TechnipFMC is revolutionizing the subsea industry from concept to delivery and beyond. (Image: TechnipFMC)

TechnipFMC’s Andersen discusses the way forward now that “super-profit oil” is over. Ann Kristen Andersen heads up oilfield projects as offshore services and equipment supplier TechnipFMC’s managing director for Norway and Russia. She started her job on the first day of February 2017, a month after a merger that changed the company and has already partly changed an industry beginning to ramp up activity with the oil price buoyant at $55 per barrel. How has the merger that created TechnipFMC — which answered calls for lower offshore costs in tough times — changed the way you do things?

Rig Rates Down 10 Percent

According to a Nov. 25 report from Business Standard, the current global credit crisis and an over 63 percent fall in crude oil prices in the last four months have resulted in oil companies drilling fewer wells in offshore areas. This has increased the availability of rigs across the world and helped bring down rig rentals by up to 10 percent in the recent past. The rig rates have corrected primarily in the shallow water fields where there have been traditionally more rigs available. (Source: Business Standard)

Ship Recycling Prices Plunge 25%

Demolition Prices for elderly ships have fallen by a quarter in 2012 to date, and owners are encouraged to dispose of recycling candidates sooner rather than later, says Mark Williams of Braemar Seascope. Addressing the 7th Annual Ship Recycling Conference in London on 19th June, the Braemar Seascope Research Director told delegates that deflating international steel prices were likely to translate into lower offers for recycling tonnage in the coming quarters. Meanwhile, rapid reductions in the value of the Indian…

Oil Instability, Consolidation Muddy Offshore E&P Picture

The cyclical nature of the oil business has blossomed into full bloom during the latter part of 2000, as a host of political power plays have sent oil prices on a virtual rollercoaster, albeit mostly up, helping to send it soaring as high as $37/barrel at the time of this writing. The business of accurately predicting the direction in which oil pricing will go has seemingly become less of a science and more of a speculative game. While it was the Asian financial crisis which led prices to the cellar in 1997, it is another crisis — the potential advancement of hostilities in the Middle East — which have helped to send the price back up to near decade (read: Gulf War) heights.

The U.S. Gulf Market: When Will It Turn Around?

Discussions around our office and with various clients usually entail an exchange of anecdotal information believed to explain the current situation with the quest to predict when things will turn around. There are a host of different viewpoints, most seemingly relevant, but no one satisfactory answer. In previous downturns in the offshore service sector, there was usually a fairly clear understanding embraced by most of why things were slow. This downturn is more difficult to understand. Back in 1998 when the Asian financial crisis impacted oil prices, it was easy to see why E&P fell. This downturn also affected most oil fields around the world about the same. The price of oil was too low to drill new wells and upgrade production at a profit.

Aegean Marine Strengthens Presence on the U.S. East Coast

Photo: Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network has announced the launch of a new service center in Savannah, Georgia, the third largest container port in the United States. The operations in Savannah will be managed by the existing Aegean U.S. team. Under the terms of the agreement with Colonial Terminals, Inc., Aegean will lease tankage from Colonial's oil terminal on the Savannah River. Aegean will acquire and blend a full range of bunker fuel products and has agreed to supply Colonial Oil Industries, Inc. with a range of No. 6 oil products for Colonial's truck delivery business.

Asian Crude Storage Trend Impacts OPEC Cuts

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

Current markets make it profitable to store oil for future sale; many tankers sitting around Singapore storing oil. A 10-percent decline in oil prices since late May could push traders to keep crude in storage, looking to sell down the line when forward prices are higher. That would undermine the impact of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which partly aimed to force traders holding oil in storage to sell to reduce bloated inventories that have sapped global prices .

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2017 - The Annual World Yearbook

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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