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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Russia News

Oil Tight on Libyan Port Struggles

Image:  © cherezoff/Adobe Stock

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.

Yamal LNG Shipped First LNG Cargo to Spain

Photo: PAO Novatek

Yamal LNG has shipped the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa under a long-term offtake agreement, a press release from PAO Novatek said. The 170 thousand cubic meter Arc7 ice-class LNG carrier “Fedor Litke” unloaded the first cargo in the port of Mugardos in accordance with the lifting and delivery schedule. Annual sales volumes according to the 24-year long-term offtake contract are 2.5 million tons of LNG, which equals to more than 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Russian Arctic LNG Liftings Halved as Ice Impedes

File Image: Adobestock / © Cascoly2

Shipments from Russia's Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant picked up from late last week after maintenance and unseasonably thick sea ice impeded exports this month. The Boris Vilkitski LNG tanker left the area of the Yamal plant on Friday for France's Montoir terminal after spending more than a week idling fully-laden offshore. The Christophe de Margerie tanker, which had spent more than a week circling north of Yamal above the entrance to Ob Bay, went in over the weekend and appears to have loaded, according to ship-tracking data. It is now leaving the area.

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…

Total Closes USD 1.5 bln Acquisition of Engie's Upstream LNG Business

Image: Total

Total announces the closing of the acquisition of Engie’s portfolio of upstream liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets for an overall enterprise value of $1.5 billion. Additional payments of up to $ 550 million could be payable by Total in case of an improvement in the oil markets in the coming years. This portfolio includes participating interests in liquefaction plants, notably the interest in the Cameron LNG project in the US, long term LNG sales and purchase agreements, an LNG tanker fleet as well as access to regasification capacities in Europe.

Court Dismisses Claim against Armada Seismic Invest II

Polar Duchess. Photo: GC Rieber Shipping

The Supreme Court has dismissed claims of EUR 9 mln (USD 10.51 mln) from Norway's PGS Geophysical (UK) Limited against Armada Seismic Invest II AS in connection with the delivery of 3D seismic vessel Polar Duchess, said a press release from GC Rieber Shipping ASA. The Norwegian shipping company that operates offshore subsea support vessels said in a stock exchange annoucement: "Reference is made to the stock exchange announcement 29 May 2018, where it was announced that PGS had appealed Gulating Court of Appeal`s decision in PGS claim of approx.

Russian Arctic LNG Debuts on NSR to Asia

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Fotmart)

A landmark Russian Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment has begun its journey through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to Asia, marking the delayed start of summer navigation as thawing sea ice clears a short-cut to the world's biggest LNG market. The $27 billion Yamal LNG plant developed by Russia's Novatek and France's Total despite U.S. sanctions started exporting in December, but cargoes ferried on ice-class LNG tankers have sailed to Europe. From there, Yamal's LNG was…

Novatek, Sovcomflot Pact for LNG Shipping from Yamal LNG

Photo: PAO Novatek

Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman of the Management Board of PAO Novatek and Sergey Frank, General Director of PAO Sovcomflot have signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement on developing a strategic partnership to transport hydrocarbons (LNG and gas condensate) produced at Yamal LNG, Arctic LNG 2 and other Arctic projects of the Company. “Our unique partnership with Sovcomflot will optimize our LNG transport model through the Arctic zone by efficiently and effectively using ice-class tankers” according to Novatek's Chairman of Management Board Leonid Mikhelson.

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…

VSAT Connectivity for Briese Schiffahrts Fleet Expansion

Photo: Globecomm

Globecomm has supplied its global Ku-band VSAT service to specialist shipowner and manager Briese Schiffahrts in support of its fleet growth plans.Long-time Globecomm customer Briese is undertaking a program of fleet renewal, constructing a series of eight ‘Open Top Eco 5000’ multi-purpose vessels, designed to consume 30 percent less fuel but with increased crane and cargo capacity.The first of four ships was christened in mid-April 2018 at Zhejiang Zengzhou Shipbuilding Co with three more of the 90-meter long…

US Accuses N.Korea of Fuel Smuggling

© Andreas G. Karelias / Adobe Stock

The United States accused North Korea on Thursday of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel.The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. The charge of a sanctions breach comes as Washington engages North Korea in a bid to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.The North Korea U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. accusation.

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…

Harren & Partner Buys Offshore Construction Vessel

MV Blue Giant (Photo: Harren & Partner)

Bremen-based shipping company Harren & Partner is looking to grow its offshore salvage business with the purchase of the offshore construction vessel MV Blue Giant from English operator OIG Group.“Although the oil markets are currently still recovering, we have deliberately opted for this investment despite its counter-cyclical nature. Alongside our classic offshore activities, we also wish to further strengthen our position in attractive niche markets such as the salvage business…

OIG Group Sells MV Blue Giant

MV Blue Giant. Photo: Harren & Partner

Bremen-based shipping company Harren & Partner announced the acquisition of the offshore construction vessel, MV Blue Giant for an undisclosed price from the English operator, OIG Group. Harren & Partner’s Offshore Department, headed by Robert Fowler (offshore@hp-shipping.de) will be responsible for managing the vessel. Peter Harren, Founder and Managing Director of Harren & Partner, explains the strategy behind the purchase: “Although the oil markets are currently still recovering, we have deliberately opted for this investment despite its counter-cyclical nature.

Novatek Ships First LNG Cargo to China via Arctic

Eduard Toll (File photo courtesy Teekay)

Russian natural gas producer Novatek delivered on Thursday the first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to China via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) alongside the Arctic coast, which drastically cuts delivery time to Asian consumers.The shipments of LNG from Yamal LNG project via the NSR to China cuts transportation time and costs in comparison to other routes such as Suez Canal.Novatek said a ceremony was held to commemorate the arrival of LNG tankers Vladimir Rusanov and Eduard Toll with cargo capacity over 170…

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…

Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier Vladimir Rusanov First Call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal

China COSCO Shipping, Executive Vice President, Sun Jiakang (first from left) PAO Novatek, Chairman of the Management Board Leonid Mikhelson (second from left) Director of the National Energy Administration of China, Nur Bekri (fourth from left) Minister of Energy of Russia, Alexander Novak (fourth from right) CNPC, Board Director, President, Zhang Jianhua (third from right) MOL, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Takeshi Hashimoto (first from right). Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that the Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier "Vladimir Rusanov", which is jointly owned by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited for the Yamal LNG project, made its first call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal in China on 17 July.A ceremony celebrating this milestone was held on 19 July.At the end of March 2018, the vessel started transportation services for LNG produced by the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta port in Russia. For its latest voyage…

Oil Prices Dip as Markets Eye Potential Supply Increases

© Oleksiy Mark / Adobe Stock

Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports resumed export activities, while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $75.07 a barrel at 0057 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $70.74 a barrel.Supply outages in Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq pushed oil prices higher late last week, although prices still ended down for a second straight week."Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased.

China to Cut US Oil Imports Amid Trade Spat

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Chinese oil buyers will keep taking crude from the United States through September, but plan to reduce future purchases to avoid a likely import tariff amid a trade spat between the world's two largest economies, multiple industry sources said.Beijing has put U.S. energy products, including crude oil and refined products, on lists of goods that it will hit with import taxes in retaliation for similar moves by Washington.Beijing did not specify when it will impose a 25 percent tax on oil…

Thick Sea Ice Blocks Exports from Yamal LNG Plant

LNG carrier Christoph de Margerie (File photo: SCF Group)

Thick sea ice is impeding Arctic shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia's newly-built export plant in Yamal, Russia's state-run nuclear-powered tanker company Rosatomflot said.Unseasonably severe ice conditions are also clogging routes to Asia through the Northern Sea Route (NSR), leading to the extension of the winter-spring navigation of Atomflot's nuclear ice-breakers, it said.The Novatek-operated LNG facility's fleet of LNG ice-breaking tankers aim to deliver gas to Northeast Asia along the NSR in summertime when ice sheets thin.In winter…

Oil Traders Ready for Musical Chairs as China Tariffs Loom

© Haris / Adobe Stock

Oil markets are bracing for a reshuffle of global trade flows as China threatens to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on imports of U.S. energy products, including crude.China, which has bought an average 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. crude oil this year, is threatening to place a 25 percent tariff on various U.S. commodity exports, including crude oil, although it is so far unclear when such a measure would come in place.The decision came in response to U.S. President Donald…

CMA CGM to Buy Finland's Containerships

© CMA CGM

French-based CMA CGM, one of the world's largest container shipping firms, has agreed to acquire Finland's Containerships from Container Finance Ltd Oy.Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in three to six months, were not disclosed.Containerships, which recorded sales of 227 million euros ($263 million) last year, ships cargo between Finland, Russia, the Baltic States, continental Europe, the UK and Ireland as well as in the Mediterranean region between Turkey and North Africa, it said in a regulatory filing.The acquisition will add to CMA CGM's regional network in northern Europe and

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