Oil Producers News

05 Dec 2019

Tankers Running on Fumes as Shipping Fuel Switch Causes Delays

© Suriyapong / Adobe Stock

Disruption to shipping from the long-anticipated switch to more environmentally friendly marine fuels has finally arrived, exacerbated by logistical problems as much as any shortage of the cleaner fuel.New International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, referred to as IMO 2020, aim to stop ships from using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur unless they are equipped with exhaust-cleaning systems known as scrubbers.From the start of January ships must load very low sulphur…

16 Oct 2019

U.S. Shipping Sanctions Give Boost to EU Refiners

Exxon's Rotterdam Refinery (CREDIT EXXON)

U.S. sanctions imposed last month on subsidiaries of vast Chinese shipping fleet Cosco have given an unexpected boost to European refiners as less crude oil from the North Sea and West Africa heads east, traders and analysts said.Freight rates have soared as oil producers scramble for non-blacklisted vessels, discouraging longer-distance voyages.Complex refining margins for advanced facilities capable of extracting even more valuable products like diesel and gasoline, have been especially strong in Europe, industry sources said.The U.S.

26 Sep 2019

US Shale is Not Doomed, Says Rystad Energy

Image: Rystad Energy

Though bankruptcies among U.S. onshore exploration and production (E&P) companies are on the increase during these days, Rystad Energy doesn’t believe this indicates doom for the shale industry.“In a nutshell, we do not believe the recent bankruptcies that have beset a number of shale players are indicative of an industry-wide epidemic,” says Alisa Lukash, a senior analyst on Rystad Energy’s North American Shale team.During the next seven years, the top 40 US shale oil producers…

15 Aug 2019

Saudi Aramco, World’s Most Profitable Co, Again

Image: Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco announced that its net income was $46.9 billion for the first half 2019, compared to $53.0 billion for the same period last year. That easily outstripped corporate titans such as Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and other big oil producers, many of which suffered larger declines in profit as output and crude prices fell. Saudi Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser, said: “Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019, we continued to deliver solid earnings and strong free cash flow underpinned by our consistent operational performance…

08 Aug 2019

Marad: Send Gulf Transit Plans in Advance

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

The U.S. maritime agency has told U.S.-flagged commercial vessels they should send transit plans in advance to American and British naval authorities if they intend to sail in Gulf waters following several incidents over tankers involving Iran.The seizure of commercial vessels and attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have unsettled shipping lanes that link Middle Eastern oil producers to global markets.The United States, which has increased its military forces in the region…

18 Jul 2019

U.S. Amphibious Group Patrolling Arabian Sea

Flight Ops on the USS Boxer (CREDIT: USN)

Aboard USS BOXER in the Arabian Sea, a U.S. Harrier fighter jet takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea as an oil tanker passes, a nautical mile away.The patrol is "standard" but the situation - growing tension between the United States and Iran - is not.Soon after the roar of the Harrier fades, two combat helicopters and two unmistakable Osprey aircraft with their tiltable rotors land back on the flight deck."We want to make sure that we assure allies in the region and to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce…

11 Jul 2019

Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker

File Image: A UK Navy warship on patrol (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Three Iranian vessels tried to block a BP-operated tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the UK government said on Thursday.Britain urged Iran to "de-escalate the situation in the region" after the British Heritage, a Suezmax oil tanker operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag, was approached."HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels…

30 Jun 2019

6 Months' Countdown to Global Sulfur Cap

Pic: International Chamber of Shipping

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has issued updated guidance to help shipowners comply with new UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations, with just six months to go until the implementation of the ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ICS said that taking full effect on 1 January 2020 the legal framework will require merchant ships worldwide to use fuel with a sulphur content of less than 0.50 percent or use alternative mitigation technologies.“These new regulations are good for human health and good for the environment.

30 May 2019

Only 10% of Shale Firms Reports Positive Cash Flow

Graph: Rystad Energy

Only four, out of the financial performance of 40 dedicated US shale oil firms under study, reported a positive cash flow balance in the first quarter of 2019, bringing down the share of companies with a positive cash flow balance from the recent norm of around 20% to just 10%.Nine in ten US shale oil companies are burning cash, according to Rystad Energy.Total cash flow from operating activities (CFO) fell from $14 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $9.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019.“That is the lowest CFO we have seen since the fourth quarter of 2017…

10 May 2019

U.S. Warns Merchant Ships of Iranian Threat

File Image: A U.S. Naval vessel on patrol (CREDIT: U.S. Navy)

U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers sailing through key Middle East waterways could be targeted by Iran in one of the threats to U.S. interests posed by Tehran, the U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory.The U.S. military said this week that a number of B-52 bombers would be part of additional forces being sent to the Middle East to counter what the Trump administration calls "clear indications" of threats from Iran to U.S. forces there. The Islamic Republic has dismissed the U.S. contention of a threat as "fake intelligence".In the advisory posted on Thursday, the U.S.

29 Apr 2019

Anadarko Bidding War Heats Up

Image: Anadarko

American multinational energy corporation Chevron is working on integrating the hydrocarbon exploration company Anadarko Petroleum, even as it faces a higher rival takeover bid for the oil explorer from Occidental Petroleum Corp, said a report in Bloomberg.However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Anadarko to justify sticking with Chevron's$30.9 billion takeover as its shares gain following Occidental Petroleum higher offer."The bidding war is breaking out over Anadarko…

27 Apr 2019

Volatility Hits Tanker Market: Concordia

Pics: Concordia Maritime

The tanker shipping market continued to be volatile during the first quarter of 2019, but at a higher level than in the corresponding quarter the previous year, said Concordia Maritime.After the sharp rise at the end of 2018, some tanker market segments have now slowed down again, said the international tanker shipping company. The main reason for this is the decision by OPEC and other major oil producers to cut production at the end of 2018 and start of 2019, this time by a total of about 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.In addition to the large output reduction…

12 Feb 2019

Nigeria: No More Vessel Waivers

Dakuku Adol Peterside. Photo: NIMASA

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Sunday said it had commenced clampdown on vessels that do not comply with the provisions of the Cabotage Compliance Strategy introduced last year to ease the implementation of the Cabotage Act 2003 in Nigeria.The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that the clampdown became necessary after several warnings.He has said the Agency will no longer encourage the application of any form of waivers under the Cabotage Act…

04 Dec 2018

Qatar Quits OPEC to Focus on LNG

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi. Photo: Qatar Petroleum

Qatar said Monday that it will leave the oil cartel OPEC on January 1 after nearly 60 years. The announcement was made in a series of tweets.Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, announced Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC and said the organization was informed.Qatar is one of the cartel’s smallest oil producers, but is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.The abrupt annoucement from the small, gas-rich state that it would sever ties with…

28 Nov 2018

Brazil Ship Collision Reveals Offshore Regulatory Gaps

© Nightman1965 / Adobe Stock

Brazil has more than doubled the number of risky ship-to-ship oil transfers this year, but its monitoring of such offshore maneuvers is lax, to a point where a July 2017 collision between two tankers was not reported, according to a Reuters review of government and shipping records.Transfers are projected to keep rising as the country's deep-water discoveries have lured major companies including Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc to recent offshore auctions. During these maneuvers, ships pull alongside one another and oil is transferred to a vessel via high-pressure hoses.

08 Nov 2018

BREAKING: Tanker, Frigate Collision Shuts Down Norwegian Oil, Gas to Europe

Sinking frigate (screenshot of NRK streaming coverage at https://www.nrk.no/. NRK is the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company)

Norway has been forced to close the Sture Oil Terminal near Bergen and has started closing down the nearby Kollsness gas-and-condensate terminal — a lifeline of heating gas to Europe — after an early morning collision between a $440-million frigate and an oil tanker.The frigate Helge Ingstad, now listing heavily to its port side, is loaded with torpedoes and weapons systems said to be unstable as a result of the collision. Eight navy personnel are said to be injured, including two flown to regional hospital…

01 Nov 2018

TGS Remains Upbeat as Shares Drop

TGS CEO Kristian Johansen (Photo: TGS)

Oslo-listed seismic surveyor TGS fell more than 10 percent after reporting disappointing third-quarter results on Thursday, as oil firms were still too cautious to spend despite a raft of upbeat earnings.TGS, which maps the seabed in search of hydrocarbon deposits for oil firms, reported quarterly operating profit of $24 million, down from $26 million a year ago and missing a forecast of $37 million returned by a Reuters poll.While oil companies like Shell, BP and Total are reporting bumper profits in the third quarter…

10 Oct 2018

U.S. East Coast Ports Await Yet Another Storm

The latest storm path predictions (CREDIT: NHC)

Hurricane Michael, now a Category 4 storm, will be the second hurricane in two months to significantly affect ports on the U.S. eastern seaboard. Eastern North Carolina in particular is only now recovering from Florence.The U.S. Coast Guard has set conditions X-Ray for ports in Georgia and South Carolina in preparation for Hurricane Michael. The storm is now expected to make landfall by Wednesday afternoon. While gale force winds are expected within the next 48 hours, these ports can remain open to commercial traffic.

09 Oct 2018

Hurricane Michael Bears Down on Florida

This chart CREDIT National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Michael is expected to strengthen today in the Gulf of Mexico, with the Florida panhandle directly in its dangerous path.Thousands of local residents in Wakulla, Gulf and Bay counties have been ordered to leave. Forecasters now say that Michael could be a Category 3 storm when it makes landfall on Wednesday. That prediction, if true, would make the storm the strongest to hit this area in at least a decade.As of 3 AM CDT on Tuesday, Michael was a Category 1 storm, with sustained winds of up to 90 miles per hour.

24 Sep 2018

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…

07 Aug 2018

Trafigura to Build U.S. Deep-Water Oil Port

Image: Trafigura

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…

26 Jul 2018

Saudi Arabia Halts Red Sea Oil Exports after Tanker Attacks

© Lasse Pape / MarineTraffic.com

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through a strategic Red Sea lane after Yemen's Iran-aligned rebels attacked two tankers in the waterway, underscoring the risk of an escalation in tensions in the region.Brent crude futures rose 59 cents to $74.52 a barrel by 1008 GMT, extending their rally into a third day but falling from a 10-day high in earlier trading.Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a three-year proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the sea…

03 Aug 2018

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.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News