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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Reuters News

U.S. Rig Count Drops, But E&P Spend Up 13%

Image: © xmentoys/Adobe Stock

U.S. energy companies this week cut oil rigs for a second straight week, and notched the first monthly fall since March.Drillers cut four oil rigs in the week to June 29, bringing the total count down to 858, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>That was the first time drillers cut rigs for two weeks in a row since October 2017. For the month, the rig count decreased by one, its first decline since March.For the quarter…

Oil Tight on Libyan Port Struggles

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Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east seek to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market. Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past but have struggled to find buyers because Western nations insist they will deal only with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.

Hapag-Lloyd Slashes 2018 Profit Outlook

Hamburg Express. Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd has cut its profit outlook for the year 2018 amid a challenging and volatile environment for ocean carriers. A Reuters report quoted the shipper saying that freight rates had recovered more slowly than expected while fuel and charter costs had ballooned. The report said that these developments cannot be fully offset by cost saving measures that have already been initiated. Hapag-Lloyd also referred to the uncertainty regarding the development of freight rates in the upcoming peak season as one of the factors for the outlook revision.

DP World Plans Logistics Facility in Ethiopia

Photo: DP World

Dubai-based ports operator DP World has revealed plans to set up a logistics facility in landlocked Ethiopia, a move that comes as the company is developing a port in neighboring Somaliland. A reuters report quoting the United Arab Emirates state news agency, WAM said that the Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group's chairman & CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation informed the media that the logistics complex in Ethiopia to cater to the landlocked African countries.

Hapag-Lloyd CEO: No Big Shipping Mergers at Moment

Rolf Habben Jansen (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

The chief executive of German container shipping liner Hapag-Lloyd said he was not aware of major merger activities in the sector a day after a Reuters report said his company had been approached by French rival CMA CGM."We do not see major takeovers in the industry," Rolf Habben Jansen said in a statement issued on the day of the firm's annual general meeting in Hamburg."If at all, there are smaller tie-ups by niche players in the short term," he said.(Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by Arno Schuetze)

Sri Lanka Shifts Naval base to China-controlled Port City

Sri Lanka is shifting a naval base to a port built and controlled by China, it said on Monday, a move that will strengthen security at a harbor that foreign powers fear China could use for military purposes.The base currently in the tourist district of Galle will be moved 125 km (80 miles) east along Sri Lanka's southern coast to Hambantota, nearer a main shipping route between Asia and Europe.The $1.5 billion deepwater port is likely to play a major role in China's "Belt and Road" initiative and is under a 99-year lease to China Merchants Port Holdings at a cost of $1.12 billion.Government and diplomatic sources have told Reuters that the United States, India and Japan have raised concerns that China might use the port as a naval base.The Sri Lankan government and Chinese embassy in Colom

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

Egypt Denies Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln Euro Loan

File Image: A laden boxship transits the Suez Canal. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Andriy Kovach)

Egypt's government denied in a statement on Thursday that the Suez Canal Authority was seeking a 300 million euro loan from Gulf lenders. Three senior banking sources that did not wish to be named had told Reuters last week that the authority requested a loan from Gulf banks in order to purchase two dredgers. "The Suez Canal has not borrowed any money from any foreign banks, and everything that had been mentioned about this issue is nothing but baseless rumours," the government statement said.

U.S.-China Trade Battle Heats Up

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Dueling tariffs raise fears of long A U.S.-China trade fight resulting in duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports was seen dragging on for a potentially prolonged period, as Washington and Beijing flexed their muscles with no sign of negotiations to ease tensions.Friday marked the start of the U.S. duties that were promptly met with retribution by China, as Beijing accused the United States of triggering the "largest-scale trade war."The escalating fight between the…

Key Oil Export Terminals Reopen in Libya

Damage at Ras Lanuf terminal June 18, 2018 (Photo: NOC)

Tripoli-based National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Wednesday four export terminals were being reopened after eastern factions handed over the ports, ending a standoff that had shut down most of Libya's oil output.Production and export operations would be restored "within the next few hours", an NOC statement said, although the restart at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, where workers were evacuated and storage tanks damaged in fighting last month, was expected to be gradual.A tanker at Hariga was due to start loading 1 million barrels of crude on Wednesday afternoon…

India Cuts Iranian Oil Imports Ahead of Sanctions

© Jose Gill / Adobe Stock

Indian refiners cut imports of Iranian oil last month as they started weaning their plants off crude from the country to avoid sanctions by the United States that are set to take effect in November.India's monthly oil imports from Iran declined to 592,800 barrels per day (bpd) in June, down 16 percent from May, according to data from industry and shipping sources.The United States in May said it would reimpose the sanctions after withdrawing from a 2015 agreement with Iran, Russia…

US Oil Exports to India Soar Ahead of Iran Sanctions

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

U.S. crude oil exports to India hit a record in June and so far this year are almost double last year's total as the Asian nation's refiners move to replace supplies from Iran and Venezuela in a win for the Trump administration.U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has been pressuring its allies to cut imports of Iranian goods to zero by November and India's shift advances the U.S. administration efforts to use energy to further its political goals.The United States has become a major crude exporter…

Drifting Iceberg Puts Greenland on High Alert

© Michael Valos / Adobe Stock

An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, causing fear that it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it calves.The iceberg towers over houses on a promontory in the village of Innaarsuit but it is grounded and has not moved overnight, state broadcaster KNR reported.A danger zone close to the coast has been evacuated and people have been moved further up a steep slope where the settlement lies, a Greenland police spokesman told Reuters.“We can feel the concern among the residents.

BP Long on Millions of Barrels of Crude off China

File Image: A loaded VLCC underway (CREDIT: EuroNav)

BP operates largest teapot marketing team among majors; four BP-chartered tankers have trouble unloading off China. Four supertankers chartered by energy major BP have been held up or delayed off China's east coast over the last two months, unable to fully discharge oil as slowing demand from the country's private refiners starts to impact global markets. Two of the four BP-chartered very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are still off Shandong province holding half their cargoes of Angolan crude oil…

Struggle to Control Libyan Oil Ports Adds to Global Supply Worries

Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east have sought to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market.Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past yet struggled to find buyers as Western nations insist they will only deal with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.The latest tussle for power has already slashed national production to about 600…

East China Sea Dispute: Japan Protests China Drilling Vessel

Image: © da_on/Adobe Stock

Japan has protested to China for allowing a gas drilling vessel to operate in disputed waters in the East China Sea, the government said on Friday.

Thyssenkrupp Hails 'Fair' Tata Steel JV

Germany's Thyssenkrupp called a landmark joint venture thrashed out with India's Tata Steel "fair" on Monday, although the updated terms disappointed some shareholders.After two years of at times fraught talks, the two steel firms finally signed a deal on Saturday to create Europe's No.2 steelmaker with 17 billion euros ($20 billion) in sales, marking the sector's biggest tie-up in more than a decade.Thyssenkrupp boss Heinrich Hiesinger had come under pressure from activist shareholders Cevian and Elliott to seek a better deal, who argued that a recent weakness in Tata Steel's European business meant terms needed to be changed in Thyssen's favour.That resulting value gap…

Cosco Shipping Gets US 'Go-Ahead' for OOCL Deal

Photo: Cosco Shipping

China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co received the clearance  of a U.S. national-security review body, removing a major overhang of the USD 6.3 billion deal of taking over Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOCL). According to a Reuters' report, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified it that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party. Cosco said the U.S.

Hapag-Lloyd Cutting Costs as Fuel Prices Rise

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd is cutting costs to cope with a rise in fuel prices that led it to slash full year earnings forecasts last month, its chief executive told shareholders on Tuesday."Major cost positions have risen more than initially expected and are pressuring operating margins," CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said in Hamburg."We are responding short-term to this development through forceful cost management and will keep Hapag-Lloyd competitive this way," he added.Among the measures being taken are accepting more valuable cargo…

Hundreds of Oil Workers Strike in Norway

Photo: Harald Pettersen / © Equinor

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, leading to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field and helping send Brent crude prices higher.One union said hundreds more workers would join the strike on Sunday if an agreement over union demands for a wage increase and pension rights was not reached.Royal Dutch Shell said that due to the strike it was temporarily closing production at its Knarr field, which has a daily output of 23…

Oil Falls After Libyan Ports Reopen, Trump Tariff Threat

© Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

Global oil benchmark Brent fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to levy new tariffs on China and Libya announced the reopening of key oil export terminals.The spectre of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.Brent crude fell $2.10, or 2.7 percent, to a low of $76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1325 GMT. U.S.

Cargo Ships De-listed After Crimea Grain Trades

© Paolo Pizzimenti / Adobe Stock

At least two countries have struck cargo vessels off their registries in recent weeks after the ships were involved in transporting grains from Crimea to Syria, maritime officials told Reuters.Crimea has been under Western sanctions since it was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014 and has been frozen out of many export markets. That leaves Syria, which has also been targeted by sanctions, as an ideal trading partner for Crimea, given that the latter is open to receiving goods…

Brazil Charges Former Vantage Drilling Chief with Corruption

Brazilian federal prosecutors on Thursday charged the former chief executive of U.S. oil services company Vantage Drilling with corruption and money laundering, accusing him of offering $31 million in bribes to public officials.Federal prosecutors said in a statement that the charges against former CEO Paul Bragg related to irregularities in a 2009 contract worth $1.8 billion to charter a drill ship to state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasiliero SA.Reuters was unable to locate Bragg or his representatives. Bragg was CEO of the Houston-based company from 2006 to 2016.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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