Marine Link
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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.

Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. Winners will be announced after a 90-day review. Some producers have signaled that they expect Gulf of Mexico projects to become more profitable now that they have trimmed operations to adapt to low oil prices.

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.

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."    

SBM Offshore Raises Outlook Buoyed by Deepwater Spending

File photo: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore, a Dutch provider of floating oil and gas production vessels, raised its core earnings guidance on Wednesday citing clients slowly spending more on deepsea projects. "Deepwater is becoming attractive again. It's on a par from an economic standpoint with shale oil," said Chief Executive Bruno Chabas, in reference to a recovery in spending which fell after a sharp drop in oil prices in 2014. Due to low production costs, the shale oil market has attracted huge investments, especially in the United States, and outperformed investor interest elsewhere in the oil market.

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.

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.

Transocean to Buy Songa Offshore

(File photo: Songa Offshore)

About 77 pct of Songa shareholders have so far accepted deal. Transocean, one of the world's biggest drilling rig operators, has agreed a deal to buy Norwegian competitor Songa Offshore for 9.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.1 bln), the two companies said on Tuesday. The deal, which would be mostly paid for in shares and convertible bonds, would strengthen Transocean's position in offshore drilling as Songa is Norwegian oil major Statoil's largest drilling service provider. The offer values Songa shares at 47.50 Norwegian crowns each, a 39.7 percent premium over Monday's closing price.

Jotun Coatings Announces Price Increase

Jotun has acknowledged the steep rise in the cost of raw materials through 2010 used in some of their coatings. This rise in costs has significantly affected all paints and coatings manufacturers worldwide. Consequently, Jotun has been forced to increase prices on some of its products, but emphasises that it has not affected its entire range. Throughout 2010 the market price of major raw materials used in coatings, such as epoxies, titanium dioxide, acrylics and metal-based materials has increased by up to as much as 50 per cent. The surprisingly high global demand coupled with the downscaling of capacity following the 2007 financial crisis has caused an imbalance in the raw materials market for coatings…

House GOP Spearheads Bill to Expand Domestic Drilling

Today, the House passed H.R. 4899, The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act by a vote of 229-185. If enacted the bill would expedite oil and gas leasing on federal lands, open new offshore drilling areas and expand drilling in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. This bill is everything Big Oil wants for Christmas. Reviving “Drill Baby Drill” can’t magically lower prices of a global commodity, and any economic gains pale in comparison to the long-term damage climate change threatens to inflict on our economy. Bringing about additional droughts, wildfires and other extreme weather events is no way to save money. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the only course of action that respects the seriousness of the climate crisis.

Hyundai Heavy $600M Order for LNG Carriers

* Photo: Abdelkader, LNG Carrier Hyundai Heavy built and selected as one of the world’s best ships in 2010.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, won a $600 million order to build two 155,000 m3 LNG carriers, including an option for another same class vessel, from Greece-based Dynagas Ltd. These membrane-type LNG carriers are due for delivery in the second half of 2013. They will feature the Dual Fuel Diesel Engine System which allows the ship to run on oil fuel or natural gas. Due to tightening global regulations on carbon emissions, increasing demand for LNG as an alternative energy source after Japanese nuclear crisis…

Oil Prices Dip as OPEC Oil Exports Rise

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

Oil prices edged lower on Friday and were on track for weekly losses, weighed down by rising OPEC exports and strong output from the United States. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, were trading at $51.76 a barrel at 1141 GMT, 25 cents below the last close and heading for a fall of close to 1.5 percent on the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 30 cents lower at $48.73 per barrel and were set to drop by around 2 percent for the week. Analysts said prices were pressured by rising output, although strong demand limited the losses.

As IOC Books Cargoes, Nigerian October Liftings Mixed

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

India's IOC booked a total of 4 million barrels from traders Shell and Total, while Nigeria's initial October export plans mostly showed slipping levels. Export plans for Forcados, Qua Iboe, Bonny Light, Bonga Erha, Amenam and Usan nearly all showed lower figures compared with September. Forcados exports were scheduled to rise to 256,000 bpd, and Erha also showed an increase. But Qua Iboe, the largest export stream, and the other grades released were all set to slip month-on-month. There were roughly 10-15 cargoes left from the September loading plan.

Lubmarine Outlines Position in Supply Crisis

Marine lubricants supplier TOTAL Lubmarine has outlined its position concerning increasing raw material costs and growing shortages of marine lubricants. Andrew Knox, Head of Marketing at TOTAL Lubmarine, says, "Recent events have shown how tight the worldwide situation is. This is due to a long historical period of low and decreasing margins which have discouraged the industry from investing. "With the 2004 and 2005 increases in crude oil and lubricant raw material market prices, industry profitability has worsened, and the incredible acceleration in cost increases in recent months puts the industry in an unprecedented position of vulnerability. Since July, base oil price costs have increased by between 24 and 35 percent.

Oil Skidding Toward 11-year Low

Oil prices extended their freefall on Friday, flirting with 11-year lows, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that global oversupply of crude could worsen next year. Brent and U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell as much as 5 percent on the day and 12 percent on the week as mild pre-winter weather and a plummeting U.S. stock market added to the toll on oil prices. Oil traders and analysts alike have been perplexed by oil's decline since the Dec. 4 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries which all but abandoned price support for crude by removing OPEC's production ceiling in an oversupplied market. "It's very tough to find a cause to get bullish here," said Peter Donovan, broker at Liquidity Energy in New York.

Watching Ukraine for Economic, Commodity Fallout

Reuters - A top Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday he is closely watching the unfolding crisis in Ukraine for potential effects on U.S. economic growth and volatility in commodity prices. "It's something I'm watching really carefully for potential implications for growth," Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker told the Council of Economic Education. "We obviously worry first about the disruptions of the commodity markets ... and volatile commodity prices." Russia's military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea peninsula has driven up oil markets. But prices eased on Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin told reporters Russia would only use force as a "last resort."

Improving Freight Rates May Help Shippers Cope With Fuel Costs

The shipping industry is in a better position to cope with soaring fuel prices because of growth in trade as Asia recovers economic crisis, analysts said. The price of bunker fuel, which typically makes up about five percent of a shippers' total operating costs, has over the past six months doubled to $140 per ton. The spoils from improved conditions have not been evenly shared within the industry, with tanker owners the worst hit. Three global-pacts among oil producers to cut output and shore up prices have had a negative effect on tanker owners who now face higher bunker costs and lower shipping volumes. However, experts said, fuel cost is only a major issue if freight rates are on a decreasing trend, but with rates on a recovery, the impact on shippers will be lessened.

Iran Refrains from Oil Delivery to Greece

Greek Tanker Eagle Otome. Credit Iran Official News Agency FARS

TEHRAN (FNA) - A Greek tanker returned home unloaded after Iran refrained from supplying crude oil to the crisis hit European state, FNA learned on Sunday. According to FNA dispatches, Iran refrained from supplying the 500,000-barrel cargo to the Greek tanker which was due to deliver it to Hellenic Petroleum refinery. The development came days after Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi called on the European countries to make a final decision on oil imports from Iran, warning that they will be sanctioned by Tehran otherwise.

Oil Below $40/bbl After Rise in US Oil Rigs

U.S. crude oil prices on Friday dove below $40 a barrel for the first time since the 2009 financial crisis, notching their longest weekly losing streak in 29 years after a further rise in U.S. drilling and a drop in Chinese manufacturing. Oil prices pushed briefly below the $40-pivot mark following weekly data that showed U.S. energy firms added two oil drilling rigs last week, the fifth increase in a row. The rise in rigs, which is emerging now after a second quarter lull in prices, is adding to concerns U.S. shale production is proving slow to respond to falling prices, prolonging a global glut. "Everyone is still looking at it saying 'Wow, you still don't have production coming down,'" said Tariq Zahir, founder at Tyche Capital in Laurel Hollow, New York.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2017 - The Shipyard Edition

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