Tankers Flock to US as Freight Rates Surge
A flotilla of oil tankers is sailing empty from Europe and the Mediterranean toward the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of surging shipping rates, according to shipping sources and Refinitiv Eikon data on Monday.Eight tankers, an unusually high number, are in the Atlantic and steaming to the United States, with capacity of up to 5.6 million barrels of oil combined, the people said. Freight rates for Aframax vessels out of the U.S. Gulf coast hit record levels last month, drawing…
Venezuela Alters Oil Royalty Formulas, Driven by IMO 2020
Venezuela has changed the formulas for calculating royalties energy companies pay the government to remove references to fuel oil and some crude grades, driven by stricter rules governing marine fuel emissions, according to a document seen by Reuters.A ban by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on the use of fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5%, aimed at reducing pollution, has roiled oil markets and caused price volatility for…
Pirates Attack OSV in the Gulf of Mexico
Pirates attacked an Italy-flagged offshore supply vessel in the southern Gulf of Mexico, injuring two crew members, the Mexican Navy said on Tuesday, in the latest outbreak of robbery and piracy to hit oil platforms and infrastructure in the area.One of the crew members of the vessel, Remas, received a bullet wound, and the other suffered a concussion, and both were transferred to a nearby hospital, the Navy said in a statement.Owned by Italian offshore contractor Micoperi, Remas…
Oxy Books Supertanker for a Record $13.25 Mln
Occidental Petroleum Corp provisionally chartered a supertanker to ship U.S. crude to South Korea for a new record of $13.25 million in November, three shipping sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.The Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Maran Andromeda was chartered by Occidental on Friday for an estimated November 20 departure, according to one shipbroker and Refinitiv Eikon shipping data.Global shipping rates, and in particular U.S. Gulf Coast to Asia, have skyrocketed after the United States in late September imposed sanctions on two units of China's COSCO…
BP to Supply Crude to St. Croix Refinery
BP Plc's trading arm on Friday entered a tolling agreement with the owners of an idled oil refinery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, cementing plans to bring the plant back online six years after it was idled by previous owners, the company said.Under BP's tolling agreement with Limetree Bay Refining LLC, owner of the idled Hovensa refinery, BP will supply the facility with crude and sell its products, low-sulfur fuels that will meet an International Maritime Organization mandate in 2020, it said in a statement.BP declined to comment further.
Ship Strikes Dredging Pipeline in Sabine Pass
Several vessels, including two oil tankers and one carrying liquefied natural gas, were stalled and unable to enter the Sabine Pass shipping channel near the Texas-Louisiana border due to draft restrictions, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.Port Arthur's Vessel Traffic Service implemented 32-foot restrictions on draft, or vessel depth, on Wednesday, after a 24-inch steel dredge pipeline was struck and pulled out to sea by a ship moving through the Sabine Pass Channel to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said in a notice.As much as 1,000 feet of pipeline is missing, prompting the limits on vessel draft in order that surveys could be carried out to locate the displaced line…
PDVSA to Resume Use of Caribbean Oil Terminal
Venezuela's PDVSA and NuStar Energy LP have reached an agreement over outstanding storage fees, allowing the state-run company to resume use of a key storage terminal in the Caribbean, the U.S. energy firm said on Monday.NuStar had suspended PDVSA several times since 2017 from using its St. Eustatius facility over millions of dollars in missed payments.The terminal played a role in a legal dispute between PDVSA and ConocoPhillips, which earlier this year tried to enforce a $2…
Dominion Energy Denies LNG Contract Renegotiations
Dominion Energy Inc said on Tuesday it had no plans to renegotiate any of its liquefied natural gas sales contracts, a day after India's oil minister said state-owned gas processor GAIL (India) Ltd was renegotiating deals with Dominion and another U.S. producer. "The characterization of contract renegotiations is false ... and Dominion Energy does not intend to renegotiate contract terms in the future," the company said in a statement. India's oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told lawmakers on Monday that GAIL was renegotiating purchase contracts with Dominion Energy and Cheniere Energy Inc…
Dominican Republic Shuts Most Ports ahead of Hurricane Maria
Dominican Republic closed most of its ports ahead of Hurricane Maria, but the country's 34,000-barrel-per-day refinery was still running, the government said on Wednesday. Ports that suspended operations under the "red alert" declared for extreme weather conditions are La Romana, Samana, Arroyo Barril, Puerto Plata and Manzanillo, the Dominican Port Authority said in a statement. Maria was a Category 4 hurricane when it hit Puerto Rico earlier on Wednesday. The ports of San Souci and Haina…
Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return
Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. Winners will be announced after a 90-day review. Some producers have signaled that they expect Gulf of Mexico projects to become more profitable now that they have trimmed operations to adapt to low oil prices.
US Shifts LNG Exports to Asia as Arb Opens Ip
The biggest divergence between U.S. and Asian gas prices in a year has created an opportunity for tankers delivering liquefied natural gas, with most departures from a key Louisiana terminal in the last month-and-a-half heading toward East Asia, shipping data released on Wednesday show. The facility, Sabine Pass, owned by Cheniere Energy Inc, opened last year as the first LNG export terminal in the U.S. Lower 48 states. The United States has been exporting gas out of Alaska since 1969. U.S.
First US LNG Shipment Goes to China
The first liquefied natural gas vessel from the lower 48 U.S. states is on its way to China, according to a Reuters interactive map on Friday, the latest sign that the expanded Panama Canal is allowing U.S. exports to reach the world's top LNG buyers in Asia. Royal Dutch Shell's Maran Gas Apollonia loaded up with gas at Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana, the map showed. It passed through the canal earlier this week and was moving northwest up the west coast of Mexico on Friday afternoon.
First Alaskan North Slope Cude Export Planned for Nicaragua
Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude will be shipped to Nicaragua for the first time in July, two trade sources said on Friday, underscoring a shift in oil flows to and from the U.S. West Coast. A parcel of the medium grade crude is on its way to the Pacific Area Lightering (PAL) near southern California on Exxon Mobil Corp's Liberty Bay, a U.S. flagged vessel, according to the sources and Reuters vessel tracking data. From there, it will transfer to the Liberian-flagged Panamax tanker Chantal for delivery to Nicaragua, where Swiss commodities trader Trafigura Trading LLC will take the crude, said the sources who were not authorized to speak to the media about the matter. Representatives for Trafigura and Exxon declined to comment.
Shell Bringing First US Import of Malaysian Condensate
A cargo of Malaysian Bintulu condensate bought by Royal Dutch Shell is sailing to New Orleans, Louisiana, a trade source in Asia familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, in what appears to be the first U.S. import of that grade of offshore oil according to Thomson Reuters Trade Flows data. The Polaris, a medium-range vessel, loaded 200,000 barrels of the condensate at Malaysia's Bintulu terminal in early February, before stopping at Singapore's Jurong Port to pick up another parcel, the source said. It sailed west from Jurong in late February toward the United States, around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, Reuters' vessel tracking data show. A Shell spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. U.S. oil imports from Malaysia are rare.
Mexico Aims to Spur Deep Water Oil Projects
Oil companies operating in Mexico's deep waters must use national suppliers for 8 percent of the projects by 2025, the government said on Tuesday, a relatively low rate meant to encourage foreign and private firms to bid on contracts. Mexico's oil regulator has scheduled its first-ever deep water auction in early December for 10 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, after constitutional amendments in 2013 ended a nearly eight-decade monopoly by state oil firm Pemex. The low rate would allow companies to rely less on Mexican suppliers, which have limited expertise in the country's largely unexplored deep waters. The rule set a 3 percent minimum in 2015…
Climate Change Link to Extreme Weather Easier to Gauge - U.S. report
Scientists are better able to measure how climate change may cause extreme weather such as droughts, heat waves and heavy rain, but research does not clearly tie wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes to global warming, the top U.S. scientific organization said on Friday. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said in a 144-page report that a host of factors could be behind weather events, including normal variations and atmospheric circulation. Extreme events are harder to explain…
US Oil Rigs Cut for 13th Week in 14
U.S. energy firms this week cut oil rigs for the 13th week in the last 14, data showed on Friday, a sign drillers were still waiting for higher prices before returning to the well pad. On Friday, OPEC decided to keep production near record highs despite depressed prices, as a way to boost market share by forcing rivals to reduce output. Drillers removed 10 oil rigs in the week ended Dec. 4, bringing the total rig count down to 545, the least since June 2010, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. That decrease brings the total rig count down to about a third of the 1,575 oil rigs operating in same week a year ago. Since the end of the summer, drillers have cut 120 oil rigs. U.S. oil futures averaged $41 a barrel so far this week, down from $42 last week.
Overseas Shipholding Investors Settle Lawsuit with Execs, Others
Overseas Shipholding Group Inc investors have reached $16.25 million in settlements with the executives, underwriters and an auditor of the tanker company in a lawsuit related to its 2012 bankruptcy and tax problems. Company directors and officers, including former Chief Executive Morten Arntzen and former Chief Financial Officer Myles Itkin, agreed to pay $10.5 million, papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday showed. Underwriters including Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc will pay $4 million, while accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP will pay $1.75 million. "We're think its an extraordinary result in an extremely complex case," David Rosenfeld, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said on Friday.
Pemex to Ship 6 mln Barrels of Crude to Japan
Mexico's Pemex said on Friday it had agreed to ship six million barrels of its light crude to Japan's largest refinery over the next six months, as the state-run oil company seeks to further develop its ties with Asia. The shipments of Isthmus crude will go via six cargoes between this August and January 2016 to JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. Pemex already shipped about 4 million barrels to JX Nippon in the first half of the year. Pemex had been negotiating with buyers in Japan and South Korea earlier this year about the chloride content of its crude, and said it would offer discounts if the level of the chemical that can cause corrosion was higher than usual. The crude will be shipped from Pemex's Salina Cruz terminal on the southern Pacific coast of Mexico.
Canada Slaps Sanctions on Russia Energy Firms
Canada slaps sanctions on Gazprom, other Russia energy firms Canada is imposing economic sanctions against Russian energy firms such as natural gas producer Gazprom OAO in response to the actions of Russian-backed militants in Ukraine, Ottawa said on Monday. A government statement did not give details of the sanctions. Other firms targeted are Gazprom Neft OAO, Surgutneftegaz OAO and Transnefteprodukt OAO. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Richard Chang)
Petrobras Stops Platform Output After Gas Leak
Brazil state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA stopped production on Sunday from its P-40 platform in the offshore Marlim Sul field after a gas leak on the vessel, an oil workers' union said on its website on Monday, citing worker reports. The P-40, a semi-submersible production platform, was producing about 45,915 barrels (7,300 cubic meters) of oil and 800,000 cubic meters of natural gas a day when it was shut down, the union said. The P-40 is at the hub of a network of five platforms in Marlim Sul and at the center of oil and gas pipelines that interlink undersea natural gas pipelines into a single export line to the coast. It is also interlinked to a pipeline system that exports oil from the neighboring Marlim field.
Strike at Peru's Top Port Likely to Stoke Inflation
A dockworkers strike at Peru's biggest port, Callao, has hit imports of basic goods in the Andean country and will likely stoke inflation, the main exporters association said Monday. The 18-day strike has nearly frozen activities at the northern terminal of Callao at the edge of the capital Lima, prompting $100 million in lost revenues for merchants, the Exporters Association of Peru (Adex) said. Some 26 ships are waiting to be unloaded and serviced and another 10 are expected to arrive this week, Adex said.
Canada to Scale Back Plan for Navy Ships, Go Over Budget
Canadian officials said on Friday a C$26.2 billion ($21.5 billion) program to build 15 naval ships could end up below target and over budget, the latest challenge to Canada's troubled military procurement process. In 2010, the Conservative government announced the program to replace three destroyers and 12 frigates with 15 modern warships. But officials told a briefing that the plan was now to build "up to 15 vessels" and the exact number would not be known for another few years. Construction is set to start early in the next decade and end in 2040. "Do we think that the C$26.2 billion is going to become the sort of ceiling cost in the time frame we're talking about? Perhaps not," one official said, on condition of anonymity.