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Friday, November 24, 2017

Reuters News

France to Boost LNG Usage in Shipping

Édouard Philippe. Photo: Gouvernement

France will modify regulations on the natural gas to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering to take place at ports, Reuters reported quoting Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. He said the country will consider changing fiscal rules on amortising investments in new ships or engine technology. “We have to use this (energy) transition to differentiate ourselves on the market - in transport and in port services,” he said. The report said that LNG has been promoted as an alternative to fuel oil for a shipping sector facing tougher emissions standards from 2020…

German Banks Step up Efforts to Offload Toxic Shipping Debt

Top national lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are stepping up efforts to offload distressed shipping loans, finance sources said, as the German banking system grapples with $100 billion in toxic debt from the sector. While the shipping sector is showing signs of recovery after a near-decade long downturn, it is still struggling with an excess of ships and sluggish growth in global trade, which has led to some shipping companies going to the wall. German banks, once global leaders in ship financing, have written off billions of euros in loans to shipping companies, while other European lenders - facing capital pressure from regulators - have quit the business.

Saudis Raise December Crude Prices for Asia Exports

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

Saudi Aramco has raised the December official selling price (OSP) for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by 65 cents a barrel versus the previous month to a premium of $1.25 a barrel to the average of the Oman and Dubai benchmarks, it said on Thursday. That raises the December Arab Light OSP to the highest premium since September 2014, Reuters data showed. The price for Arab Super Light was raised by 45 cents a barrel and the OSPs for Arab Extra Light and Arab Medium rose by 65 cents, Aramco said, confirming what two sources told Reuters earlier on Thursday.

CNPC, Cheniere Pact for LNG

Photo: Cheniere Energy, Inc

China’s state-owned oil company, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and U.S. independent energy company Cheniere Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for long-term sales and purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Reuters reported. The report quoted U.S. State Department saying that the deal between the two companies was signed during president Trump’s first state visit to China. Neither companies disclosed details of the transaction. According to CNPC…

U.S. Commerce Chief Ross Reportedly Divests Shipping Interests

Photo: https://www.commerce.gov

According to a Reuters report, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has divested his interests in oil tanker company Diamond S Shipping and is in the process of selling off his holdings in another shipping firm, Navigator Holdings, a Trump administration official said earlier this week. Ross had originally intended to retain his shipping interests following his confirmation in February. But the 79-year-old investor came under criticism after disclosures on Sunday that one of Navigator's major clients is the Russian gas company Sibur…

Frontline Posts Q3 Loss as Tanker Rates Hit 4-year Low

(File photo: Frontline)

Frontline q3 net loss $‍24.1​ million. The current crude oil tanker rate environment does not presently reflect that strong demand. Shares down 4.8 pct at 0840 GMT vs fall of 0.3 pct in Oslo's benchmark share index.

Talos, Stone Energy Plan $2.5 Bln Merger

Talos Energy LLC and Stone Energy Corp, two U.S. exploration and production companies focused on the Gulf of Mexico, announced on Tuesday plans to merge and create a new company valued around $2.5 billion including debt, sending Stone's shares down nearly 13 percent. "The idea of a reverse merger works very well for us, as we get a lot of talented people into the company and also use a structure which gets us to the public equity markets", said Timothy Duncan, chief executive of Talos, who will retain the title under the combined company, to be named Talos Energy Inc. Stone shares will be exchanged for Talos stock on a one-for-one basis, while Talos' existing stockholders will be issued 34.2 million shares to give them 63 percent of the combined company, according to a statement.

Kenya Craftsmen to Build Boat Out of Plastic Waste

© sablin / Adobe Stock

The beaches of Kenya's idyllic Lamu island are dotted with traditional Swahili stone and coral houses, mansions built by European royalty, the odd donkey and, increasingly, tidal lines of plastic trash. When a resident organised a beach clean-up that collected 33 tons of rubbish in a single summer, British-Ethiopian safari organiser Ben Morrison decided he couldn't stand by while his beloved island was ruined. So the tall, bearded 42-year-old decided to try to design a traditional dhow…

China OKs Maersk Hamburg Süd Deal

Image: Maersk Line, Hamburg SĂĽd Deal

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in China approved Danish shipping giant Maersk Line’s proposed acquisition of Hamburg Süd, reported Reuters. Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company, will pay 3.7 billion euros ($4.3 billion) to buy German rival Hamburg Sud. However, China has put in place restrictions on Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line’s use of vessel-sharing agreements (VSA). The ministry, in a statement, said the company could not enter a new ship sharing alliance on Far East-South America routes in the five years after the deal.

Arctic Oil Expansion Panned by Scientists

Image: © Nightman1965/Adobe Stock

A group of 37 U.S.-based scientists whose research focuses on Arctic wildlife asked two U.S. senators in a letter on Thursday not to open the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, according to a copy seen by Reuters. The scientists, including several retired former officials from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said in a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Maria Cantwell…

Cosco to Raise $2 billion to Build Ships

File Photo: Cosco Shipping International

Chinese container carrier Cosco Shipping is thirsty for expansion and will raise CNY 12.9billion (USD 2billion)  in new capital, according to Reuters report. The money will go to the construction of 20 new vessels. The carrier will use the raised fund to fund the building of six 21,237 TEU ships and five vessels of 20,119 TEU, with the remaining nine comprising five 13,800 TEU and four 14,568 TEU ships. The container shipping industry entered a period of recovery this year after a prolonged slump, which has prompted shipping lines to contemplate new ship orders, says the Reuters report.

STX Wins $183 Tanker Order

Reuters reported that South Korea's STX Shipbuilding Co. has won a $183.3m order from Malaysia to build four product carriers. Source: Reuters

Offshore Wind Turbines Planned in UK

According to a report from Reuters, Clipper Windpower Plc plans to build the world's biggest offshore wind turbines in Britain, which hopes to catch up in green energy after lagging behind others in Europe despite its rich wind resources. Jim Dehlsen, chairman of the London-listed, U.S.-based company, told Reuters it will set up a factory in northern England, which would have an annual capacity to manufacture about 200 turbines by 2014-2015. (Source: Reuters)

POSCO, Hanwha Seen Bidding for Daewoo Int'l

According to a Sept. 23 Reuters report, POSCO (005490.KS) and South Korea's chemicals-to-brokerage group Hanwha are studying a potential bid for Daewoo International (047050.KS), sources close to the companies told Reuters on Wednesday. (Source: Reuters)

Seoul Shares Up 0.5 pct, Shipyards Gain

According to a Sept 15 report from Reuters, Seoul shares edged up on Wednesday helped by firm gains in shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd (009540.KS), but falls in retailers and banks such as Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd (055550.KS) weighed. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index .KS11 (KOSPI) ended up 0.48 percent at 1,823.88 points. Kim Seong-bong, a market analyst at Samsung Securities told Reuters that the company is seeing a lot of equity redemption by fundholders at the index's current level, and this will pressure the market for some time. (Source: Reuters)

Pirates: Second Tanker Attacked Off Oman

According to a Reuters report, a chemical oil tanker thwarted a hijack attempt by pirates near the Omani port of Salalah Sunday, a day after a tanker and crew were taken from inside the port in front of the coast guard. According to reports cited in the Reuters story, a pirate skiff fired on the chemical tanker, but its efforts were defeated by evasive manuevers. On Saturday, pirates took the empty MV Fairchem Bogey chemical oil tanker from its anchorage at the port in the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, taking 21 Indian crew members hostage and heading to Somalia. (Source: Reuters)

Bulk Carrier Remains at Anchorage

The Hong Kong-flag bulk carrier Maritime Talent remains at anchorage in Narvik, Norway following a labor union boycott, Reuters reported. The 47,574-dwt vessel arrived in Narvik last Thursday. However, following a boycott by the LKAB labor union, the vessel lost its loading turn and had to remain at anchorage, Reuters added. Reuters said that the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) had demanded an agreement be signed with the Norwegian Seamen's Union.

Port of Baltimore Hit by Longshoreman's Strike

Port of Baltimore Wharf: Photo courtesy of Maryland Dept of Transportation

Cargo operations at the Port of Baltimore, one of the largest and busiest ports in the United States, were halted on Wednesday by a longshoremen's strike after contract negotiations stalled, report Reuters. Citing Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, Reuters inform that there is no cargo being handled or ships being worked at the public marine terminals at the port of Baltimore, which is the only port from Maine to Texas that was not working that day.

Libyan Port's Record Container Throughput

This year (2013) Misrata’s non-oil port, situated 124 miles east of the capital Tripoli, has unloaded 208,339 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers, up from 159,634 last year, reports Reuters. Libya’s third-biggest city, Misrata, has benefited from better security conditions than other parts of the OPEC producer, which has been hit by turmoil since the 2011 toppling of Muammar Gaddafi. Analysts say, according to Reuters, that apart from better security, Misrata port benefits from a free trade zone offering special benefits for investors such as exemptions from taxes and duties. Source: Reuters  

BHP Iron Ore Mines Resume Operation

Reuters reported that BHP Billiton’s Australian iron ore mines have recommenced work at full operation following a cyclone that battered coastal regions and closed major shipping terminals this week. “Port Hedland, the world's biggest iron ore terminal and used by BHP to export nearly 200 million metric tons of the steel-making material annually, sustained only minor damage from Cyclone Christine and reopened late on Tuesday,” Reuters said. The storm hit Australia's northwestern coast late on Monday with winds recorded up to 100 mph, before weakening as it crossed the Pilbara iron ore mining belt. Reuters also reported that Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto also said their operations were returning to normal. Source: Reuters  

Tanker Blocked by Libyan Navy

Libya's navy has blocked Baku, an oil tanker allegedly chartered by Royal Asset Management, from loading crude at an eastern port that has been held for months by armed protesters demanding more autonomy from Tripoli, Reuters reported. Due to a government blockade, the transport of oil from Libya is illegal. An attempt by protesters to get oil to world markets independently would be a major escalation of the obstruction that has slashed Libya's oil exports, the Reuters report said. According to Reuters’ AIS Live ship tracking, the tanker is traveling north towards Malta after sailing around Libya since the end of December. The vessel was outside Brega port and then Zawiya before heading to Es Sider.   Sources: Reuters, staff

NLNG May Get Cash for Six LNG Carriers Soon

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) $1.6 billion bank loan on the cards. The company, which is majority owned jointly by the state oil company NNPC and Royal Dutch Shell, told Reuters a year ago it had contacted global banks to appoint advisers to explore the best option to raise funds. More recently a banking source told Reuters that the loan was being structured as a medium to long term financing with the close expected by the end of March 2013. NLNG was set up over two decades ago to harness Nigeria's natural gas resources and produce liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export. It has long-term supply contracts with buyers in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France and also sells on the spot market, reports Reuters. Source: Reuters    

Maersk Steers Annual Shipping Forecast Lower

The Madrid Maersk, a 20,000+ TEU boxship. (CREDIT: Maersk)

Maersk restates annual guidance after energy deal; lowers forecast for its key container business. A.P. Moller-Maersk , the world's largest container shipping group, cut the profit forecast for its core business on Tuesday after a costly cyber attack and a weaker than expected third quarter. Maersk, which agreed to sell its oil and gas business to Total in a $7.5 billion deal this year, has to prove to investors that the firm's strategy to focus on transport and logistics is the right one even with oil prices rising again.

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