Marine Link
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Oil Prices News

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.

Ocean Rig Postpones SHI Drillship Delivery Till 2020

Image: Ocean Rig

International offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig UDW Inc. and South Korean yard Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have agreed to postpone the delivery of the newbuild drillship Ocean Rig Crete to September 2020. "Our subsidiary, that is party to the shipbuilding contract for the construction of its 8th generation enhanced integrated design newbuilding drillship, the Ocean Rig Crete, reached an agreement with SHI to postpone the delivery of the Ocean Rig Crete to September 2020," said a press release from the company.

Singapore Marine Fuel Sales at 3-month High

© MAEKFOTO / Adobe Stock

Singapore marine fuel sales climbed to a three-month high of 4.233 million tonnes in April, up 1.6 percent from the previous month but 0.5 percent lower from the same time last year, data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) showed on Monday.In a signal of steady demand for marine fuels, the firm April sales volumes came despite rising fuel costs and supply disruptions of some bunker fuels towards the end of the month, trade sources said.The cost of 380-centistoke (cst) fuel oil cargoes, the mainstay bunker fuel for large vessels, in April averaged $385 per tonne in Singapor

Torm Stops Taking Orders in Iran Due to US Sanctions

(Photo: Torm)

Danish oil product tanker operator Torm on Tuesday said it has stopped taking new orders in Iran as a consequence of U.S. plans to reimpose sanctions on Tehran."We follow the situation closely and always follow the rules. Therefore, we have also stopped taking new orders in Iran," a spokeswoman told Reuters.Torm operates 79 oil product tankers worldwide.The United States last week withdrew from an international nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the country.While it is still unclear how U.S.

Statoil to Become Equinor, Dropping 'Oil'

Photo: Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam

Shareholders in Norway's largest company, Statoil, will approve on Tuesday the board's proposal to drop "oil" from its name as its seeks to diversify its business and attract young talent concerned about fossil fuels' impact on climate change.From Wednesday, the majority state-owned company will change its 46-year-old name to Equinor and trade on the Oslo Exchange under the new ticker EQNR.The Norwegian government, which has a 67 percent stake in the firm, has said it will back…

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.

Asian Shares, Oil Fall as US-China Trade Spat Escalates

© victor217 / Adobe Stock

Asian shares fell to a 2-1/2 week low on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump cranked up trade tensions by going ahead with tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to immediately respond in kind.Fears of a global trade war added to pressure on oil prices, which extended Friday's big fall, while the dollar retreated from near 3-week highs against the safe haven yen.Spreadbetters suggested a subdued start for European shares, with FTSE futures off about 0.1 percent. U.S.

BNSF: Crude Rail Service Could Resume Tuesday

File Image: A typical Crude Oil train in the United States makes its way south along inland waterways. CREDIT: Dagmar Etkin

BNSF Railway Co on Monday said it could resume service Tuesday on a stretch of northwestern Iowa track damaged when a train left the track and crude oil spilled from derailed cars. The crude oil train derailed near Doon, Iowa, on Friday sending 32 rail cars off the track and spilling an estimated 230,000 gallons of oil into flood waters and toward a nearby river. Crews are nearly finished removing oil from damaged cars and repairing tracks, BNSF said in a statement. Its crews are using booms to contain the oil and skimmers to remove it from the waters…

Maersk: Disappointing Q1 Earnings Hit Share Price

(Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk missed first-quarter profit expectations on Thursday and warned that political and trade tensions clouded the outlook, sending shares in the world's biggest container shipper sharply lower.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the three months to March 31 rose 5 percent to $669 million but came in well below the $852 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.Chief Executive Soren Skou called the result "unsatisfactory"…

BP Long on Millions of Barrels of Crude off China

File Image: A loaded VLCC underway (CREDIT: EuroNav)

BP operates largest teapot marketing team among majors; four BP-chartered tankers have trouble unloading off China. Four supertankers chartered by energy major BP have been held up or delayed off China's east coast over the last two months, unable to fully discharge oil as slowing demand from the country's private refiners starts to impact global markets. Two of the four BP-chartered very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are still off Shandong province holding half their cargoes of Angolan crude oil…

Hapag-Lloyd AG: Bunker Costs Rise, Earnings Sink

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Maritime companies under market pressure have another negative force with which to deal: Steadily rising bunnker costs in tandem with oil's nearly year-long rise. According to Moody's, Hapag-Lloyd on June 29 revised its outlook for EBIT and EBITDA closer to the actual results for 2017 whereas previously the company expected both of those measures to increase. While Moody's noted that the weaker operating performance is a credit negative, the ratings for Hapag-Lloyd are unaffected.Hapag-Lloyd now expects to generate a full-year EBITDA in the range of €900 - €1…

Hapag-Lloyd Cutting Costs as Fuel Prices Rise

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd is cutting costs to cope with a rise in fuel prices that led it to slash full year earnings forecasts last month, its chief executive told shareholders on Tuesday."Major cost positions have risen more than initially expected and are pressuring operating margins," CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said in Hamburg."We are responding short-term to this development through forceful cost management and will keep Hapag-Lloyd competitive this way," he added.Among the measures being taken are accepting more valuable cargo…

Oil Falls After Libyan Ports Reopen, Trump Tariff Threat

© Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

Global oil benchmark Brent fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to levy new tariffs on China and Libya announced the reopening of key oil export terminals.The spectre of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.Brent crude fell $2.10, or 2.7 percent, to a low of $76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1325 GMT. U.S.

Oil Prices Dip as Markets Eye Potential Supply Increases

© Oleksiy Mark / Adobe Stock

Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports resumed export activities, while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $75.07 a barrel at 0057 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $70.74 a barrel.Supply outages in Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq pushed oil prices higher late last week, although prices still ended down for a second straight week."Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased.

CN Plans to Ship Crude in Late 2018 at Favorable Pricing

Photo: Canadian National Railway Co

Canadian National Railway Co plans to use some additional capacity expected at the end of 2018 for its crude business, which it plans to "lock in for some time" at "very favorable pricing," the company's Chief Financial Officer said on Wednesday. "We've taken the opportunity...as capacity will come in in the second half of the year to actually lock in crude business at very favorable pricing and to lock it in for some time with some volume commitments," CN CFO Ghislain Houle said at the Wolfe Research transportation conference.

Singapore Reports Higher May Bunker Fuel Sales

© umike_foto / Adobe Stock

Singapore marine fuel sales climbed to a four-month high of 4.283 million tonnes in May, up 1.2 percent from the previous month and 2.5 percent higher compared with a year ago, data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) showed on Wednesday.The strong volumes sold in May were largely in line with industry expectations and come despite sharply higher bunker fuel prices due to rising crude oil prices and shortages of finished grade bunker fuel oil during the month.The cost of 380-centistoke (cst) fuel oil cargoes, the mainstay bunker fuel for large vessels, in May averaged $433

Maersk Line Introduces Bunker Surcharge

File Image: CREDIT Maersk

The world's largest container shipping company Maersk Line is increasing prices because of a surge in the cost of bunker fuel. The shipping fuel has become increasingly costly as global crude oil prices have returned to peaks not reached since 2014, lifted by the United States' exit this month from the landmark nuclear deal with Iran and imposed sanctions against the OPEC member. Now Maersk has decided to introduce a so-called "emergency bunker surcharge", taking effect from June 1.

CMA CGM Sets Surcharge to Offset Fuel Price Surge

Photo: CMA CGM

French shipping group CMA CGM said on Friday it would introduce an exceptional surcharge after its first quarter earnings were hit by a sharp rise in bunker fuel prices.The move comes after Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping company, announced a similar "emergency bunker surcharge" earlier on Friday.CMA CGM, one of the world's biggest container lines, did not detail the amount of the surcharge, nor the date of its implementation.Oil prices hit their highest since late 2014 at $80.50 a barrel this month…

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.

Frontline Expects Greater Oil Tanker Demand

© John Regan / MarineTraffic.com

Increased scrapping of older oil tankers and the potential for higher output of OPEC crude are likely to boost vessel demand and thus rates, Oslo-listed shipper Frontline said on Thursday.The company reported a first-quarter operating profit of $2.8 million, while analysts in a Reuters poll on average had expected a loss of $13.3 million.Tanker rates are still low, however, and 78 percent of Frontline's very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are covered at a daily $11,600 for the second quarter compared with $14…

Shell Starts New Gulf of Mexico Field ahead of Plan

Kaikias subsea infrastructure (Image: Shell)

Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday announced the start of production at the Kaikias field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, around one year ahead of schedule.Production from the subsea deep water development, which will reach 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, comes after Shell reduced its costs by around 30 percent to allow it to generate profit at less than $30 a barrel, the company said."We believe Kaikias is the most competitive subsea development in the Gulf of Mexico and a prime example of the deep-water opportunities we're able to advance with our technical expertise and capital discipline…

LNG Prices Climb on Limited Supply

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose this week to their highest since February as buying interest from China remained firm and as supply is expected to be limited during maintenance in August.Spot prices for July delivery in Asia were at $9.60 per million British thermal units (Btu) this week, gaining 40 cents from the previous week and are at the highest for this time of the year since 2014.Higher oil prices had been deterring some buyers from snapping up cargoes in the spot market in recent weeks but some of them may now need to cover their requirements promptly…

PDVSA Raises Prospect of Force Majeure on Oil Exports

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter.Falling production from Venezuela has contributed to a rally in global oil prices to a near four-year high, and other OPEC members may boost output at a meeting later this month to compensate for the shortfall and other risks to global supplies.Oil is the financial lifeline for the embattled socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

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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