Refined Products News

02 Mar 2021

Venezuelan Oil Exports Rise on Larger Sales to Asia

© Francis / Adobe Stock

Venezuela’s oil exports rose in February to over 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), their highest level in 10 months, pushed by more sales of fuel oil cargoes to new clients in Asian markets, according to Refinitiv Eikon’s tanker tracking data and documents.A growing number of clients with no track record in oil trading has been helping Venezuela’s state-run PDVSA to allocate crude and fuel in Asia, especially since the U.S. Treasury Department halted oil swaps by PDVSA’s long-term customers in the last quarter of 2020 as part of tightening sanctions.These buyers…

25 Feb 2021

ADNOC Adds Six VLCCs

© Cristi Costache / MarineTraffic.com

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) revealed Thursday that its shipping arm ADNOC Logistics & Services (ADNOC L&S) has added six very large crude carriers (VLCC) to its fleet as the UAE sate energy company expands production and moves further into trading.Two of the tankers were purchased from Norwegian owner Hunter Group in 2020, delivered in December and are already operating, and one was purchased this week and will be joining the UAE shipowner's fleet shortly. The other…

23 Feb 2021

Perfect Trips: Venezuela Ships Jet Fuel to Iran in Exchange for Gasoline

© Rutger Hofma / MarineTraffic.com

Venezuela is shipping jet fuel to Iran in return for vital gasoline imports for the South American nation as part of a swap deal agreed by the two state-run oil firms, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.Iran has ramped up assistance to Venezuela since last year as the United States tightened sanctions on both countries, hitting oil exports by state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela and National Iranian oil Company (NIOC).Iran has sent flotillas of state-operated tankers carrying gasoline and feedstock for motor fuel to Venezuela…

05 Jan 2021

Oil Prices Jump 5% on OPEC+ Output Talks, Iran Tension

© Sodel Vladyslav / Adobe Stock

Oil prices climbed nearly 5% on Tuesday after news that Saudi Arabia will make voluntary cuts to its oil output, while international political tension simmered over Iran's seizure of a South Korean vessel.Brent crude futures rose $2.51, or 4.9%, to settle at $53.60 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended $2.31, or 4.9%, higher at $49.93 a barrel.Saudi Arabia will make additional, voluntary oil output cuts of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March. The…

04 Jan 2021

Venezuela's Oil Exports Plunge to 1940's Level Under Tighter U.S. Sanctions

Illustration by  Maksym Yemelyanov/AdobeStock

Pressured by strict U.S. sanctions, Venezuela's oil exports plunged by 376,500 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and internal documents from state-run PDVSA, financially squeezing socialist President Nicolas Maduro.The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump also put curbs on PDVSA's main trading partners, the owners of tankers still transporting Venezuelan oil and on fuel supply to the gasoline-thirsty nation.The punishment, aimed to oust Maduro after his 2018 re-election was called a sham by most Western nations…

18 Nov 2020

US Inland Waterways: High Waters & Swirling Currents

(Photo: Ingram Barge)

The inland waterway system, flowing through the United States heartland, is a microcosm of all that has been happening in 2020: trade tensions, infrastructure issues, shifting trends in fuel consumption and the pandemic that has gripped us since the winter months. Shortly after the initial coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S., maritime workers were deemed to be “essential”, paving the way for cargo flows to recover from their springtime nadir. As COVID-19 infections turned up on U.S. shores, the boats continued plying the waterways, albeit with reduced volumes in some cases.

05 Nov 2020

Bunker Demand Returns to Pre-pandemic Levels

© STOCKSTUDIO / Adobe Stock

Asian refiners' profit from producing very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) climbed to six-month highs this week as output cuts keep supplies tight while demand for the shipping fuel at most ports are back at pre-pandemic levels, traders and analysts said.The trend is likely to stay for the rest of the year, encouraging Asian refiners to prioritize VLSFO production along with petrochemical feedstock naphtha, where demand has also firmed.The front-month VLSFO crack was at $9.43 per barrel above Dubai crude on Tuesday, its highest since April 10.

07 Oct 2020

Frontline CEO Macleod Steps Down

A Frontline tanker - Credit: Stanislas Subash/MarineTraffic.com

Oil tanker company Frontline said Wednesday its CEO Robert Hvide Macleod had decided step down from his position. The oil and gas shipping firm said its board had appointed Lars H. Barstad, Frontline's commercial director, to take the role as interim chief executive officer of Frontline Management AS."With his solid background within the industry and his profound understanding of the company and its organization the board is confident that this new appointment will ensure a successful and seamless transition of the role…

15 Sep 2020

Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf

Hurricane Sally (Photo: NOAA)

Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…

10 Sep 2020

Second Wave of Floating Storage Triggered by Ailing Oil Market

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

A stalled global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is leading to a fresh build-up of global oil supplies, pushing traders including Trafigura to book tankers to store millions of barrels of crude oil and refined fuels at sea again.The use of so-called floating storage onboard tankers comes as traditional onshore storage remains close to capacity as supplies outpace demand.Trading house Trafigura has chartered at least five of the largest tankers each capable of storing 2 million barrels of oil…

01 Sep 2020

Venezuela's Oil Exports Rise in August on Sales to India

© Fotos von Schiffen / Adobe Stock

Venezuela's oil exports recovered slightly in August after two months at historic lows, boosted by increased sales to India, according to internal documents from state-run oil firm PDVSA and Refinitiv Eikon data.Overall exports of crude and fuel rose to 437,600 barrels per day (bpd) in August, according to the data, more than the roughly 400,000 bpd in June and July, which were the lowest levels since the 1940s for the nation.But the increase registered in both exports and imports…

01 Sep 2020

US Preparing Tighter Oil Sanctions on Venezuela

© Andrea Izzotti / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top U.S. envoy for the country told Reuters on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

31 Aug 2020

Alberta Oil Shipped Through Panama Canal to Atlantic Canada

© Amtek Marine / MarineTraffic.com

On July 20, the tanker Cabo de Hornos delivered an estimated 450,000 barrels of crude oil to the Irving Oil refinery’s Canaport storage facilities in Saint John, N.B.What made Cabo de Hornos’s delivery different was that it was the first time crude oil had arrived in Saint John by ship from Alberta. It came via the Trans Mountain pipeline to the Westbridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and then through the Panama Canal.By the end of April next year, a second tanker will arrive at Canaport carrying 350,000 to one million barrels of Western Canadian crude oil.

13 Aug 2020

Shell to Shut Down Philippine Refinery and Turn It into Import Terminal

Illustration only: Credit: MAGNIFIER/AdobeStock

The Philippine unit of Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday it will permanently shut one of the country's two oil refineries, blaming a pandemic-led slump in margins, with other regional closures likely to follow, according to analysts.Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp said its 110,000-barrel-per-day Tabangao facility in Batangas province, which began operations in 1962, was no longer economically viable and would be turned into an import terminal.Singapore's complex refining margin…

03 Aug 2020

Venezuela's Oil Exports Stagnant in July

© Francis / Adobe Stock

Venezuela exported about 388,100 barrels per day of crude and fuel in July, almost unchanged versus the previous month, as U.S. sanctions on PDVSA continued limiting sales, according to Refinitiv Eikon and internal data from the state-run company.Washington has ramped up pressure this year on PDVSA’s customers, trade partners and shippers aiming to stop the re-sale of Venezuelan oil and block efforts to hide or change its country of origin.That is making it increasingly difficult…

01 Jul 2020

Oil Barrels Come Off the Water as Storage Boom at Sea Fades

Illustration - Image by PPstock/AdobeStock

Tens of millions of barrels of crude and oil products stored on tankers at sea due to the coronavirus crisis are being sold, in a sign fuel demand is recovering as lockdowns ease, shipping sources say.Fuel demand tumbled as much 30% from March to May, with some surplus stored at sea as land storage filled up.Crude held on tankers fell below 150 million barrels by the end of June, down from more than 180 million barrels in late April, IHS Markit estimated.Refined products held on vessels dropped to 50 million barrels from a mid-May peak close to 75 million barrels…

14 May 2020

Tax Quirk Sees Russia Buy Diesel From China and S.Korea

Port of Nakhodka  © alexhitrov/ Adobe Stock

Rare cargoes of diesel from China and South Korea have started to arrive in Russia due to a quirk in Russia's tax system which is making fuel shipments from abroad more profitable, data from traders and Refinitiv Eikon showed on Thursday.Because of a local tax scheme, Russian oil firms are due to make higher payments to the government despite a slump in oil prices due to excess supplies and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.That means the companies have little incentive to cut domestic retail prices for gasoline and diesel.But with prices lower on the global market…

05 May 2020

Kirby Reports Q1 Loss, Withdraws 2020 Guidance

(File photo: Kirby Corp)

America's largest tank barge operator Kirby Corporation on Tuesday announced a net loss of $248.5 million for the first quarter, down from $44.3 million earnings for the same period last year. The company also withdrew its full year earnings guidance.The sharp deceline in energy prices and oil and gas activity negatively impacted the revenue and operating income of Kirby's distribution and services segment, leading the Houston-based company to implement workforce reductions, furloughs and reduced work schedules…

15 Apr 2020

Tankers Pile Up Off Europe's Coast

Stena Polaris (Photo: Michael Cooper / Concordia Maritime)

Dozens of tankers holding jet fuel and gasoline are at anchor in sea lanes around Europe's main storage hubs, unable to discharge their cargoes as onshore tanks are full to capacity following the collapse in demand linked to the coronavirus crisis.Nearly 1 million tonnes of refined products are parked on around 30 tankers off Europe's coast, Reuters calculations found.According to shipping data and trade sources, tankers have dropped anchor near to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp…

27 Apr 2020

Jones Act Tankers Booked for Storage, Foreign Trips Amid Oil Glut

© Stacy DeLoach / MarineTraffic.com

Oil traders are hiring expensive U.S. vessels, normally only used for domestic shipments, to store gasoline or ship fuel overseas, five shipping sources said, in a sign of the energy industry's desperation for places to park petroleum amid a 30% drop in worldwide demand.Billions of people worldwide are living under confinement rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, destroying demand for gasoline and other fuels and creating a supply glut. Storage tanks onshore and floating storage in tankers on the water are rapidly filling…

20 Apr 2020

Tanker Bottleneck Grows at Mexico's Ports

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

More than 20 vessels loaded with fuel have waited a week or more to discharge gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas at Mexico's ports, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, as demand craters due to coronavirus-related lockdowns.Mexico imports most of its fuel and has very limited storage capacity. State oil company Pemex and about a dozen independent importers typically discharge at least two gasoline cargoes per day, mostly coming from the United States.In January…

22 Apr 2020

Oil Traders Chase Storage Space in World Awash with Fuel

© Kalyakan / Abobe Stock

Oil traders are struggling to find enough ships, railcars, caverns and pipelines to store fuel as more conventional storage facilities fill up amid abundant supply and plummeting demand due to the coronavirus crisis.Dozens of oil tanker vessels have been booked in recent days to store at least 30 million barrels of jet fuel, gasoline and diesel at sea, acting as floating storage, as on-land tanks are full or already booked, according to traders and shipping data.That adds to about 130 million barrels of crude already in floating storage…

04 May 2020

Venezuelan Oil Exports Rose in April

© MENZHILIY ANATOLY / Adobe Stock

Venezuela's oil exports ticked higher in April after falling in March to their lowest average in seven months, helped by new trading partners that were re-selling cargoes in Asia, according to documents from state-run PDVSA and vessel tracking data.Venezuela shipped 31 cargoes of crude and refined products last month carrying an average of 848,500 barrels per day (bpd), a small increase from the 814,000 bpd the previous month, the data showed.This year, the United States sanctioned…

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