Oil Shipping News

07 Nov 2019

UK Lowers Security Level for its Ships in Strait of Hormuz

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

Britain lowered its security risk level for UK-flagged ships travelling through the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, more than a month after one of its tankers was finally released from detention by Iran.The Stena Impero was seized in July by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Strait, a major oil shipping route, for alleged marine violations two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar. The Iranian ship was released in August."UK-flagged ships will soon be able to transit the Strait of Hormuz without close Royal Naval accompaniment…

18 Oct 2019

Tankers Defer Retrofits to Cash in on Record Freight Rates

© Tony Vingerhoets / Adobe Stock

Tankers that had been scheduled to install emissions-cutting equipment ahead of stricter pollution standards starting in 2020 have deferred their visits to the dry docks to capitalize on an unexpected surge in freight rates, three trade sources said.U.S. sanctions on subsidiaries of vast Chinese shipping fleet Cosco in September sparked a surge in global oil shipping rates as traders scrambled to find non-blacklisted vessels to get their oil to market.The rates for chartering a supertanker from the U.S.

18 Oct 2019

Exxon, Trafigura Tap Lower Freight Rates

A VLCC loads crude oil in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (File image / credit Port of Corpus Christi)

U.S. crude exports to Asia, which have slumped due to record freight costs, stirred on Thursday as rates slid and the premium in Asia for Russia's ESPO Blend oil sent buyers back to U.S. grades, according to market sources.Oil shipping costs for United States Gulf Coast to Asia cooled this week from record highs on the prospect of more vessels becoming available. Nearly 300 oil tankers globally were placed off limits due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.Seventeen supertankers returned to service in October after being sidelined for overhauls, as 11 entered drydocks.

18 Oct 2019

Tankers Defer retrofits as Record Freight Rates Beckon

File Image: A VLCC in Drydock (EuroNav)

Tankers that had been scheduled to install emissions-cutting equipment ahead of stricter pollution standards starting in 2020 have deferred their visits to the dry docks to capitalise on an unexpected surge in freight rates, three trade sources said.U.S. sanctions on subsidiaries of vast Chinese shipping fleet Cosco in September sparked a surge in global oil shipping rates as traders scrambled to find non-blacklisted vessels to get their oil to market.The rates for chartering a supertanker from the U.S.

11 Oct 2019

U.S. Sanctions Bite; Traders Shun 300 Tankers

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Nearly 300 oil tankers globally have been placed off limits as companies fear violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, driving freight rates to new highs, industry sources said.The move has taken roughly 3% of the global oil tanker fleet out of the market, according to industry sources and data on Refinitiv Eikon, sending rates soaring to secure tankers to ship oil, particularly to Asia."Freight rates are going through the roof and people are getting very nervous with the cost of shipping…

08 Oct 2019

Disruptions to Global Shipping Industry Explained

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Oil shipping rates are soaring following a series of sanctions on a Chinese transportation giant and limitations placed on movement of Venezuelan crude oil tankers.WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SHIPPING RATES?The cost of chartering a supertanker to send crude oil from one country to another is rising sharply. A South Korean importer paid more than $12 million in shipping costs for one crude shipment from the U.S. Gulf Coast. This was followed by Friday's tentative charter of another crude…

01 Oct 2019

Iran building oil pipeline to terminal outside Gulf

© alexyz3d / Adobe Stock

Iran is building a $1.8 billion oil pipeline to its port of Jask outside the mouth of the Gulf, the country's oil minister said, as part of plans to protect its exports against potential problems in the region and to boost shipments of Caspian oil.Iran has been planning since at least 2012 to set up the terminal on the Gulf of Oman, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.Tehran has threatened to block the vital Gulf oil shipping route during its standoff with the United States, after Washington last year withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions…

26 Sep 2019

Rouhani Expects UK Tanker Held in Iran to be Released

© Hannes van Rijn / MarineTraffic.com

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday he expected the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, seized by Iran in July, to be released after the completion of legal procedures in his country."The tanker is going through the final court proceedings. I predict that it will be released," Rouhani said at a news conference in New York during the United Nations' annual gathering of world leaders.The ship's owner, Stena Bulk of Sweden, said on Wednesday the vessel was still…

23 Sep 2019

British Tanker Stena Impero Free to Leave - Iran ambassador

©Erwin Willemse/ MarineTraffic.com

The detained British-flagged tanker Stena Impero is "free to leave," Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, said on Twitter on Monday."The British-flagged tanker 'Stena Impero', pursuant to the completion of the judicial and legal process, is now free to leave," he wrote.The seizure on July 19 of the ship, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar, ratcheted up tensions in the region in the wake of attacks on other merchant vessels that Washington blamed on Tehran.Iran denied responsibility for those attacks…

19 Aug 2019

Iran Tanker Released, Sets Sail for Greece

The newly renamed Adrian Darya 1, in a file image under its previous name of Grace 1. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com

An Iranian tanker sailed through the Mediterranean towards Greece on Monday after it was released from detention off Gibraltar, and Tehran said that any at U.S. move to seize the vessel again would have "heavy consequences".The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday. Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece and was scheduled to arrive next Sunday at 0000 GMT.The…

06 Aug 2019

China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…

19 Jul 2019

Second Tanker in Gulf Turns Sharply Towards Iran

A second oil tanker, the British-operated, Liberian-flagged Mesdar, turned sharply north towards Iran's coast on Friday afternoon after passing westward through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf, according to Refinitiv tracking data.The turn took place at about 1600 GMT, the data showed, about 40 minutes after a similar course shift by the Stena Impero tanker that Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had captured.There was no immediate word from the Guards about the second tanker or from the operator of the second tanker on what had prompted the change in direction along the vital international oil shipping route.Reporting by Frances Kerry

19 Jul 2019

Iran: British-flagged Tanker Seized in Gulf

File Image of the Stena Impero (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Erwin Willemse

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route.Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.The Revolutionary…

19 Jul 2019

Stakeholders Ignore U.S. Middle East Coalition Proposals

USN File photo: flight operations underway on the USS Boxer, the warship credited this week with downing an Iranian drone.

The United States is struggling to win its allies' support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said.Washington proposed on July 9 stepping up efforts to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen where it blames Iran and its proxies for tanker attacks. Iran denies the charges.But with Washington's allies reluctant to commit new weaponry or fighting forces…

19 Jul 2019

Iran Denies Drone Loss, Gibraltar to Detain Grace 1 longer

The 'Grace 1' will remain in detention until at least August 15th. Image credit: MarineTraffic.com

Iran on Friday denied President Donald Trump's assertion that the U.S. Navy has destroyed one of its drones, saying all of its unmanned planes were accounted for, amid growing international concern that both sides could blunder into a war in the Gulf.In the latest episode to test nerves around the strategic waterway, Trump said on Thursday the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards (914 metres) of the U.S. warship Boxer in a "provocative and hostile action" and had ignored several…

10 Jul 2019

TIMELINE: Rising Tension between Iran, West

The seized VLCC 'Grace 1 (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Tensions between Iran and the West have escalated since U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports took full effect and British naval forces seized an Iranian supertanker.Below is a timeline of recent incidents:May 2 - The United States, which withdrew from an international nuclear accord between Iran and global powers in 2018, ends waivers that had allowed some mainly Asian importers to continue buying Iranian crudeMay 5 - The United States says it is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East…

26 Jun 2019

UAE Says Convincing Evidence Needed on Gulf Tanker Attacks

The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday that clear and convincing evidence was needed to apportion blame for attacks last month on four oil tankers off its coast, and that tensions in the region needed to be dialled down.The United States and Saudi Arabia have publicly blamed Iran for that attack and a subsequent one on two vessels in the Gulf of Oman. Tehran has denied any involvement.The UAE has submitted the results of an investigation into the first attack, which showed that a state entity was behind them, without naming the country.If a country was to be identified, "this evidence must be clear and precise and scientific and convincing for the international community…

14 Jun 2019

U.S. and Gulf Allies Face Task Protecting Oil Shipping Lanes

©  / Adobe Stock

The United States and its allies may need to to start escorting commercial vessels to prevent further attacks in Gulf oil shipping lanes, Gulf sources and experts said.Even then, the conventional naval and air capabilities of Western and Gulf powers tasked with policing vital commercial waters may be of limited use against the asymmetric warfare tactics suspected in recent operations, including naval mines.Six tankers have been hit in the past month in two attacks near the Strait of Hormuz…

14 Jun 2019

Latest on Tanker Attacks South of the Strait of Hormuz

© SOMATUSCANI/ Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump blamed Iran on Friday for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf despite Tehran's denials, stoking fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route.Here are the latest developments:* U.S. President Donald Trump blames Iran for Thursday's attacks and says any bid to close the Strait of Hormuz would not last long* The U.S. military releases a video saying it shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard drawing up to side of the Japanese-owned…

25 Mar 2019

U.S. Clinches Port Deal with Oman

Tehran has in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Gulf, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.Still, the U.S. official noted that the agreement would expand U.S. military options in the region for any kind of crisis.Duqm is ideal port for large ships. It is even big enough to turn around an aircraft carrier, a second official said."The port itself is very attractive and the geostrategic location is very attractive, again being outside the Strait of Hormuz," the official said, adding that negotiations began under the Obama administration.COMPETITION WITH CHINAFor Oman…

15 Mar 2019

McQuilling ends tanker contracts with PDVSA

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

A second maritime firm has told Venezuela's state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela it would end all charter contracts with the company as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to an internal document and a person familiar with the matter.U.S.-based McQuilling Partners Inc, which provided PDVSA with four contract tankers, joined German tanker operator Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) in withdrawing from providing oil-shipping services to Venezuela.The United States levied…

13 Mar 2019

Iran's Oil Tanker Fleet Being Squeezed as Sanctions Bite

© alexyz3d / Adobe Stock

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…

31 Dec 2018

Iran's Revolutionary Guards to Upgrade Speed Boats with Stealth Tech

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Monday they plan to upgrade their speed boats in the Gulf with radar-evading stealth technology and new missile launchers as tensions rise between Tehran and Washington in the vital oil shipping route.Ending a long absence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region, the USS John C. Stennis entered the Gulf last week, and was shadowed by the Revolutionary Guards' speed boats.There have been periodic confrontations between the Revolutionary Guards vessels and U.S. military in the Gulf, although the number of incidents has dropped in recent months."We are trying to increase the agility of the Guards' speed boats and equip them with stealth technology to facilitate their operations…

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