Russia, China, Iran start IO Naval Drills
Iran, China and Russia began joint naval drills on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, in what Moscow said was an unprecedented exercise in naval cooperation and training.Waters around Iran have become a focus for international tensions, with the United States exerting pressure for Iranian crude oil sales and other trade ties to be cut off."The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity... and its result will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated…
Rotterdam Port Promotes VLSFO
Europe’s largest bunker port Rotterdam said that the new low-sulfur bunker oil VLSFO (Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil with a maximum 0.5% sulfur) has become extremely popular in the port.Half of all November bunker sales were for VLSFO. This became apparent from the bunkering notifications via the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s TimeToBunker App.As of 1 January 2020, sea-going vessels on the world’s oceans may only use fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.5%. The current maximum is 3.5%.
U.S. Frets About Untrackable China Ships with Iran Oil
The White House is warning Chinese shipping companies against turning off their ships' transponders to hide Iranian oil shipments in violation of U.S. sanctions, two senior administration officials said."We've been messaging very heavily to the shipping companies, you don't want to do this, it's not worth it," said one official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "It's incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior."China is the largest remaining buyer of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran's main export. Trump tightened U.S.
Iran: Oil Sold from Tanker Released by Gibraltar
Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel's owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday.Separately, Tehran - embroiled in a spiralling confrontation with Washington over U.S. sanctions meant to strangle Iranian oil exports - announced that it had deployed a naval destroyer with cruise missiles to help secure Iranian ships.The Iranian government spokesman did not identify the recipient of the oil carried by the Adrian Darya tanker.
Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker
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…
Iran's Oil Tanker Fleet Being Squeezed as Sanctions Bite
Iran is running short of options to replace its ageing fleet of tankers and keep oil exports flowing because renewed U.S. sanctions are making potential sellers and flag registries wary of doing business with Tehran, Western and Iranian sources said.Since U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in November, exploratory talks with South Korea for up to 10 new supertankers have stalled and Panama has also removed at least 21 Iranian tankers from its registry forcing Tehran to put the vessels under its own flag…
US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports
Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…
Reacting to Iranian Threat, U.S. Navy Says Will Protect Free Flow of Commerce
The U.S. Navy stands ready to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command said on Thursday, after Iran threatened to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if Washington bans its oil sales."The U.S. and its partners provide and promote security and stability in the region. Together, we stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows," Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in an email to Reuters. Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Editing by Alison Williams
U.S. Considers Venezuela Oil Sanctions
The Trump administration is considering sanctioning a Venezuelan military-run oil services company and restricting insurance coverage for Venezuelan oil shipments to ratchet up pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a U.S. official said. With Maduro running for another term in an April election that Washington and its allies oppose as a sham, the United States is weighing sanctions that would target Venezuela’s vital oil sector beyond what has been done before, the official told Reuters on Wednesday. Some measures could come before the vote and others could be imposed afterwards.
Trump Troubled About Oil Flow into North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea" and that such moves would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear program. "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. China earlier on Thursday said there had been no U.N.
Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Down in March
Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States declined in March for the third month in a row this year to 651,710 barrels per day due to falling exports of main grade Merey, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuela's crude output fell in 2016 to its lowest level in 23 years. Analysts expect another decline in 2017 due to lack of investment and to cash flow problems affecting state-run oil firm PDVSA, which controls more than 40 joint ventures for exploration and production. The volume of Venezuelan crude that PDVSA and its joint ventures exported in March was down by 2.3 percent from February and by 18 percent from a year earlier.
India's Oil Imports from Iran top 500,000 bpd in 2016/17
India's Iran oil imports jumped to a record high in 2016/17 topping half-a-million barrels per day (bpd) as refiners boosted purchases after lifting of some Western sanctions against Tehran last year. India, Iran's biggest oil buyer after China, was among a handful of countries that continued to deal with Tehran despite Western sanctions over its nuclear programme. Refiners shipped in about 541,000 bpd of Iranian oil in the fiscal year to March, a growth of about 115 percent over the previous year, ship tracking data obtained from sources and data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts showed. Iran was India's second biggest oil supplier - a position now belonging to Iraq - before economic sanctions aimed at Iran's nuclear programme hampered its trade relations…
Nigeria to Pursue peace in restive Oil-producing Delta Region
Nigeria's government will seek a lasting peace settlement with militants in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta region in 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a New Year's message on Saturday. Attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria's energy hub, coupled with low oil prices, helped push Africa's biggest economy into recession - the first in 25 years - in the second quarter. Crude oil sales account for two-thirds of government revenue in the OPEC member country. Attacks by militants…
Libyan Deal to End Oil Ports Blockade Needs Signing
Libyan Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) commander Ibrahim Jathran said on Monday he was ready to end a blockade at key oil terminals, but the U.N.-backed government still needs to sign an agreement for exports to resume. The PFG has been demanding payment of workers' wages as part of any deal to end the blockade of Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zueitina. Details of the negotiations have not been made public. A deal was thrown into doubt when the head of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, Mustafa Sanalla, wrote to the U.N. Libya envoy on Friday saying that it would set a "terrible precedent" to make payments to Jathran, who he blamed for the loss of some $100 billion in export revenue. The NOC has expressed concerns that Jathran's demands have exceeded salary needs.
Turkey’s Role for the Tanker Market
Even though the coup attempt in Turkey failed and the transportation situation normalized quickly thereafter, Poten & Partners take a look at the importance of Turkey to the tanker market. Turkey is not a large oil or gas producer; according to JODI its crude oil production amounts to about 48 thousand barrels per day (Kb/d) of crude oil and almost 400 million m3 of natural gas in 2015. The country’s oil consumption averaged about 927 Kb/d in 2015, about 1% of the global consumption. Neither of these statistics would make the country an important energy market player.
Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Jump 4% in May
Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States rose nearly 4 percent in May to 762,000 barrels per day (bpd) after declining since January amid falling output and delays at the country's main oil port, according to Thomson Reuters data on Tuesday. The United States last month received 47 cargoes of Venezuelan crude, a 3.7 percent increase versus the previous month, but still a 2 percent decline versus May 2015, according to trade flows data made with preliminary figures. A larger number of shipments of diluted crude oil (DCO) and Merey blend received by PDVSA's customers, including its refining unit Citgo Petroleum, Valero Energy and Phillips 66, contributed to the growth.
Libya Requests Removal of Oil Tanker from U.N. Blacklist
Libya's mission to the United Nations has asked the Security Council to remove from a U.N. blacklist an Indian-flagged tanker that was recently prevented from shipping oil for the rival eastern Libyan government, Libya's U.N. envoy said on Thursday. The tanker Distya Ameya was blacklisted last month after the rival eastern government's parallel oil company attempted to use it to ship a cargo of 650,000 barrels of crude. The U.N. measure requires states to ban the ship from entering any port around the world. Libyan Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told Reuters his mission had submitted an official request, though he did not know when the delisting might take effect. It will be up to the 15-nation council's Libya sanctions committee to make a decision.
Blacklisted Tanker Returns to Libya's Zawiya Port
A tanker that Libya's rival eastern government had been using to try to export oil in defiance of the Western-backed administration in Tripoli returned to the country on Saturday, after it was blacklisted by the United Nations, the state oil company said. The eastern government's parallel oil company had hoped to sell the cargo of 650,000 barrels, but the United Nations measure required states to ban it from entering any port. Two competing governments, one in Tripoli and one in the east, backed by armed factions have struggled for control of the North African OPEC state since 2014.
Insurer Caution to Slow Oil Tanker Market's Return to Iran
Foreign oil tanker owners are expected to make a slow return to Iran despite the lifting of many sanctions as insurers tread carefully, leaving shipping players unwilling to pick up cargoes as quickly as Tehran has wanted. A nuclear deal between world powers - known as the P5+1 - and Iran led to the removal on Saturday of international oil export prohibitions as well as restrictions on banking, insurance and shipping for Tehran. With U.S. sanctions still in place, which exclude U.S. persons, banks and insurers from trading with Iran including dollar business, shipping and marine insurance sources say many foreign companies are likely to take their time. They are also mindful of sanctions being reimposed in a "snap back" if Iran reneges on commitments.
Iraq's Southern Oil Exports Slip in February
Iraq's southern oil exports dropped slightly in February to an average of 3.225 million barrels per day (bpd), the oil ministry said on Tuesday. Shipments from the southern terminals in the Gulf fell from 3.285 million bpd in January as several days of bad weather delayed loading operations. All of the exports were from Iraq's southern ports, ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said. For a fifth consecutive month, Baghdad exported no oil via its northern pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Iraq depends almost entirely on its southern exports after the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the north ramped up its own independent oil sales via Ceyhan in June 2015 while cutting allocations to Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO).
Iran Plays Hardball with European Oil Buyers, Slowing Exports
Iran has managed to sell only modest volumes of oil to Europe since the lifting of sanctions seven weeks ago and several former buyers are staying away, citing legal complications and Tehran's reluctance to sweeten terms to win back customers. Tehran had been unable to sell crude to European firms since 2012 when the EU imposed sanctions over its nuclear programme, depriving it of a market that accounted for over a third of its exports and leaving it relying completely on Asian buyers. Since the restrictions were lifted in January, Iran has sold four tankers - 4 million barrels - to Europe, including to France's Total, Spain's Cepsa and Russia's Litasco, according to Iranian officials and ship-tracking data.
Eastern Libya Ships First Oil Cargo, Defying Tripoli
Indian-flagged tanker leaves port with 650,000 barrels. A government based in eastern Libya shipped its first cargo of crude on Monday in defiance of authorities in the capital Tripoli, a bold move that could deepen the divisions that have brought chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. The eastern government has set up its own National Oil Company (NOC) to act in parallel to the Tripoli-based NOC that is recognised internationally as the only legitimate seller of Libyan oil. A tanker carrying the eastern NOC's first export shipment was en route to Malta carrying 650,000 barrels of crude, a spokesman for the company said on Tuesday.
Eastern Libya Ships First Oil Cargo in Defiance of Tripoli
A government based in eastern Libya has shipped its first cargo of crude in defiance of authorities in the capital Tripoli, a bold move that could deepen the divisions that have brought chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. The Tripoli authorities asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to blacklist the India-flagged tanker Distya Ameya, which left the eastern Libyan port of Hariga overnight carrying oil they said could not be lawfully sold. The eastern government has set up its own National Oil Company (NOC) to act in parallel to the Tripoli-based NOC that is recognised internationally as the only legitimate seller of Libyan oil. The tanker departed Hariga carrying 650,000 barrels of crude late on Monday and was bound for Malta, a spokesman for the eastern NOC said.