Marine Link
Sunday, October 21, 2018

Oil Prices News

Why is Saudi Arabia Halting Red Sea Oil Shipments?

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait.

Hapag-Lloyd Deepens Cost Cut Drive after H1 Loss Widens

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd said it accelerated cost cuts in the first half of 2018 to offset higher operational costs from fuel costs, charter rates and a slow recovery in freight rates."We have implemented additional measures to recover these costs: we are critically reviewing the economic viability of our ship systems and are further optimising our terminal contracts," Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen said.Its shares rose 2.6 percent in early trades.Freight rates fell 45 percent, causing Hapag-Lloyd's first half net loss to widen by 58 percent to 100.9 million euros ($115.7 millio

Signs of Recovery in the US Gulf of Mexico

© Theerapong / Adobe Stock

Today's U.S. auction of Gulf of Mexico exploration leases drew tepid response from oil companies, but marked notable progress for an industry still in a state of recovery.“While not a barn burner, Lease Sale 251 tops the previous Gulf sale in terms of increased participation, increased competition for offerings, and bid amounts,” said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). “In addition, bidding activity demonstrates both continued interest in deepwater tracts and renewed interest in shallow water tracts.”Luthi continued…

Offshore Optimism is Cautiously on the Rise

file Image (CREDIT: Harvey Gulf)

Following the path of oil prices, consolidation also follows myriad financial crises. What happens next isn’t altogether clear, but the long, deep trough for offshore energy may finally be in our choppy wake.In mid 2017, financial turnaround and financial repairs specialist Alix Partners made a bold statement regarding the beleaguered Offshore Service Vessel (OSV) marketplace. In a July 2017 report, following an analysis of 44 participants in the business, the restructuring team wrote: “The industry faces grave financial pressure…

Oil Could Rise to $100 by 2019

© alexyz3d / Adobe Stock

Oil prices could rise towards $100 per barrel towards the end of the year or by early 2019 as sanctions against Iran bite, commodity merchants Trafigura and Mercuria said on Monday at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.Almost 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude could be taken out of the market as a result of the U.S. sanctions against Iran by the end of the fourth quarter this year, said Daniel Jaeggi, president of commodity merchant Mercuria Energy Trading…

Maersk Tankers Tests Wind Power to Fuel Ships

Photo: Maersk Tankers

Maersk Tankers is testing the use of wind power to fuel its ships, a new technology it says can cut fuel consumption by up to 10 percent and help the industry reduce polluting emissions.The move comes as the global shipping industry is suffering from rising oil prices and preparing for fuel costs to rise further by around a quarter, or some $24 billion, in 2020 when new rules limiting sulphur kick in.The company has installed two 30-metre tall metal cylinders on board the Maersk Pelican, a Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker vessel.

Electrification in a New Era for the O&G Industry

(File photo courtesy of BP)

With the recovery in oil prices, deepwater and ultradeep water oil and gas (O&G) projects are the focus of renewed interest. Project viability will come down to a continued focus on cost, but also productivity through high-performing assets. And electrification is set to drive a dramatic impact of these high-tech production facilities for more efficient operations.Following a prolonged downturn in prices, a flicker of life has returned to offshore production projects with oil recovering to around $70/barrel.

China Navy Ship Makes Maiden Visit to Venezuela

File photo: China's Peace Ark in 2014 (U.S. Navy photo by Shannon Renfroe)

A Chinese naval ship has traveled to Venezuela for the first time, following a visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing this month, where he had been looking to gain China's support for the Latin American nation's struggling economy.The naval medical ship, known as the "Peace Ark", arrived on Saturday at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira for an eight-day period of "friendly visits" to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.Maduro, whose leftist government is under fire in Venezuela as the economy struggles with a fifth year of recession and hyperinflation…

Smarter Energy Policy Will Broaden Offshore Recovery

For the past few years, depressed commodity prices, stricter regulatory requirements and competition from onshore development at home and from other countries offering attractive offshore lease and royalty terms have had severe impacts on new exploration in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, the tide appears to finally be turning.In August, Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 drew increased competition for offerings and $178 million in high bids, $53 million more than previous sale held in March.

Asset Management Optimized Using Aerial Drones

© Riko Best / Adobe Stock

A new alliance aims to shake up traditional asset management and engineering inspection services in North America.Partners DCL Rigging & Mooring (DCL) and Aerostar Drone Solutions Inc. intend to utilize advanced, multiple-imaging sensors on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to dramatically lower the cost of conducting engineering surveys and inspection engagements.“We are using our 50 years of combined industry and engineering experience to develop alternative inspection techniques utilizing UAV technology,” said Darren Jackson, President of Aerostar.

New Fuel Rules Push Shipowners to Go Green with LNG

El Coquí, one of the world’s first ConRos powered by LNG (Photo: Crowley)

Tough new rules on marine fuel are forcing shipowners to explore liquefied natural gas as a cleaner alternative and ports such as Gibraltar are preparing to offer upgraded refueling facilities in the shipping industry's biggest shake-up in decades.From 2020, International Maritime Organization rules will ban ships from using fuels with a sulphur content above 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, unless they are equipped to clean up sulphur emissions. This will be enforced…

Storm Gordon Starts Kicking Up Waves on U.S. Gulf Coast

Photo: NOAA

Waves began to batter parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday as the region felt the first hit of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane before it comes ashore with high winds and heavy rain, forecasters said.The storm also caused a jump in global oil prices after the evacuation of two oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.Gordon was due to come ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and Mississippi, and drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain in areas still recovering from last year's hurricanes…

5000th Ship Installed Inmarsat Fleet Xpress

Image: Inmarsat

The 5,000th ship installation of Inmarsat Fleet Xpress, the world’s only high-speed, globally-available Ka-band VSAT service designed for mobility and available from a single operator, is set to be completed by the close of the month.Following its launch in March 2016, Fleet Xpress has emerged as the market-leading pathway to digital transformation as shipping companies seek to deliver improved vessel and fleet efficiency, boost profitability and enhance seafarer wellbeing.The latest data compiled by the respected…

Transocean to Buy Ocean Rig in $2.7 Bln Deal

© Eugenio Roqueñi / MarineTraffic.com

Offshore oil driller Transocean Ltd said on Tuesday it would buy peer Ocean Rig UDW Inc in a $2.7 billion cash-and-stock deal, its second major acquisition this year as the company bets on a recovery in the offshore sector.The acquisition signals new optimism for offshore drillers, which were hit hard by the steep plunge in oil prices from 2014. Offshore projects, which are more costly than onshore work and take years to develop, became less attractive after oil prices fell to below $30 a barrel in 2016.Global crude prices have since recovered to above $70…

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…

Maersk to Spin off Drilling, Hand Total Shares to Investors

(Photo: Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Friday it would spin off its offshore drilling operation and list it in Copenhagen next year, the latest move by the Danish shipping company to focus entirely on transport and logistics.Maersk, which cut its full-year profit outlook this month, sold Maersk Oil to French oil major Total last year in a $7.5 billion deal as part of a restructuring under Soren Skou, who became chief executive in 2016.Skou used to head Maersk's container business and is a…

IUMI: Cautious Optimism for Offshore Underwriters in 2018

James McDonald. Photo:  International Union of Marine Insurance

Although global premiums for the offshore energy insurance sector dipped by 5% in 2017, signs of recovery are on the horizon."We need to apply some caution as the margins between supply and demand are thin but these small margins can create volatility in the market," pointed out International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI)'s Offshore Energy Committee Chairman, James McDonald.Oil prices have steadily risen by 40% since last year’s IUMI conference and this is starting to drive activity in the oil and gas sector.

Fugro H1 Profit Boosts Shares

(File photo courtesy Fugro)

Dutch deep-sea prospector Fugro on Wednesday surprised the market with a first-half profit, driven by strong growth in offshore wind projects, sending its shares sharply higher.The company, hit by a downturn in the oil sector in recent years, reported first-half earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), excluding exceptional items, of 4.0 million euros ($4.7 million) compared with a year-earlier loss of 25.3 million euros.Analysts in a poll conducted for the company had on average expected an EBIT loss ex-items of 1.9 million euros.Fugro shares traded in Amsterdam were up nearly 7 percent at 13

White House Escalates China Trade Dispute in hopes for Early Solution: Kemp

File Image: CREDIT Hapag Lloyd

The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November.U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 percent.The levies are…

Rising Supply Dents Oil Gains

Oil prices fell for a third day on Thursday, following a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that added to existing concern about the rapid rise in global crude supply.Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production, as agreed at a meeting in June, to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once U.S. sanctions come into force later this year.Brent crude futures were last down 33 cents at $72.06 a barrel by 1200 GMT, while U.S. crude futures fell 55 cents to $67.11."There's been a lot of bearish news over the last week. We've seen the OPEC July numbers increasing quite drastically month-on-month and along with that…

Ensco to Buy Rowan in $2.38 Bln Deal

©  Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

Offshore driller Ensco Plc said on Monday it plans to buy smaller rival Rowan Cos Plc in an all-stock deal valued at $2.38 billion, as it looks to expand its fleet and benefit from a partnership with Saudi Aramco.This is Ensco's second deal since OPEC-led efforts boosted oil prices in the second half of 2016. Ensco bought rival Atwood Oceanics in a similar deal last year.Rowan shareholders will receive 2.215 Ensco shares for each share held.

Freight Fuel Market Moves Back Towards Balance: Kemp

© TTstudio / Adobe Stock

The market for freight fuels is moving close to balance, after tightening significantly in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, contributing to the recent stabilisation in crude oil prices.OECD stocks of middle distillate fuels, including road diesel, marine gasoil and jet fuel, totalled 513 million barrels at the end of June, according to the International Energy Agency (“Oil Market Report”, August 2018).Stocks have fallen compared with the slump years of 2015-2017 (when they…

Stanford Marine in Talks About Sale of Business

© John Regan / MarineTraffic.com

Creditors of Stanford Marine Group (SMG), which has links to troubled private equity firm Abraaj, are in talks with three potential buyers, sources familiar with the matter say.Banks are overseeing control of Dubai-based SMG after it failed to meet the terms of its debt obligations due to financial stress linked to a steep fall in chartering rates, the sources said.SMG, which operates offshore supply vessels that service the oil and gas industry, is 51 percent owned by a fund managed by Abraaj.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2018 - Marine Design Annual

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