Saudi Arabia News

01 Apr 2020

Oil Storage at Sea Approaching Record Levels

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Oil traders are storing as much as 80 million barrels of oil on tankers at sea, with further ships being sought as land storage sites fill up fast due to a global glut of stocks, shipping industry sources say.Traders rushed for storage after global oil demand collapsed by a third due to the coronavirus outbreak, and as top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia have refused to curb output so far, creating what is believed to be the biggest oil glut in history.The last time floating storage reached similar levels was in 2009…

30 Mar 2020

Oil Tanker Rates Double

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Supertanker freight rates are on the rise for a second time this month as producers, refiners and traders scramble to secure ships to transport crude or store a fast-growing global glut of oil, industry sources said.Freight rates for very large crude-oil carriers (VLCC) along the Middle East Gulf to China route were assessed at about $180,000 a day on Monday, up from some $125,000 on Friday and a weekly low of about $90,000 a day on Wednesday, according to several ship broking sources.Its difficult to say whether or not the rates will be sustained…

27 Mar 2020

'Significant' GPS Interference Incidents Reported

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The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) is advising vessel operators to exercise extra caution and safe navigation practices after multiple instances of significant GPS interference have been reported over the last year by vessels in port and underway in the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Port of Shanghai, China.The incidents have resulted in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment…

23 Mar 2020

Saudi Arabia's Tanker Power Play Could Backfire

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Top exporter Saudi Arabia has chartered an armada of ships to flood the market with additional oil, but in the process has driven freight costs so high refiners are reluctant to take the shipments.That could leave the kingdom stuck with tens of millions of barrels in expensive ships at anchor when the coronavirus outbreak has destroyed oil demand and international prices have lost more than half their value compared with the start of the year.Following the failure to persuade…

20 Mar 2020

No Need for a Jones Act Waiver -AMP

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America's maritime industry has hit back at a recent request by U.S. shale drillers to waive the Jones Act, a law requiring goods transported between U.S. ports to be carried on ships that are built, owned and operated by Americans.The American Exploration and Production Council, which represents independent oil firms that have been thrashed by an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the fallout from the global coronavirus outbreak, sent a letter to congressional…

20 Mar 2020

Valaris Gears up for Possible Debt Restructuring

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Offshore oil driller Valaris PLC is exploring debt restructuring options as it grapples with a rig accident and a broader collapse in energy prices, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.Valaris has tapped debt restructuring attorneys at law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP for advice on ways to rework its roughly $6.5 billion debt pile, and is exploring enlisting a turnaround firm that specializes in urgently addressing stressed finances to bolster its roster of advisers, the…

19 Mar 2020

Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

19 Mar 2020

Most Bunker Sales in Singapore are Low-sulphur Fuels -BIMCO

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Low-sulphur fuels accounted for 84% of total February sales in Singapore, slightly up from 83% in January. The sale of low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) made up the largest component at 71.5%, with marine gas oil (MGO) accounting for 12.5%, BIMCO reports.Total bunker sales in February fell 16% to 3.9 million metric tons compared with January, reflecting lower demand for shipping as the coronavirus paralyzed intra-Asian supply chains.Now that both the sulphur cap and the non-compliant fuel oil carriage ban have come into force…

19 Mar 2020

Tanker Rates Fall, but Storage Demand Stays Firm

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After a frantic week that sent crude oil freight rates to record highs amid a bookings bonanza to ship Saudi oil to the world, rates are now easing as charterers balk at the nosebleed charges and await Saudi volume plans for April, shipping sources said."Sentiment remained softer today," said one ship broker while pointing to another day of limited chartering activity.At least nine very large crude oil carrier (VLCC) provisional charters failed this week along with another five for Suezmax tankers…

18 Mar 2020

BIMCO Revises 2020 Forecast

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The coronavirus pandemic is impacting global shipping demand for 2020 negatively. The speed of the virus spread makes it difficult to assess the full consequences. Nevertheless, we see a need to update our 2020 forecast to make some of this massive uncertainty tangible.What is going on in addition to the coronavirus pandemic?Geopolitical tensions that made the OPEC+ alliance break down, has subsequently made the crude oil tanker spot freight market erupt. The events that followed the breakdown - and those that are likely to follow…

16 Mar 2020

TechnipFMC Shelves Spin-off Due to Market Turmoil

(Photo: TechnipFMC)

Franco-American oil services firm TechnipFMC Plc is putting on hold plans to split itself into two due to turbulence in financial markets linked to the coronavirus outbreak, it said on Sunday.The group, created three years ago via the merger of Technip and FMC, had been planning to separate its engineering and construction activities from its upstream oil services business in the first half of this year."Market conditions have changed materially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sharp decline in commodity prices, and the heightened volatility in global equity markets," TechnipFMC said in a sta

12 Mar 2020

Booking Frenzy Sends Tanker Rates Soaring

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The cost to transport oil on supertankers soared on Thursday as major producers scrambled to secure vessels to ship more crude in a bid to regain market share and buyers took advantage of plunging oil prices.Freight charges to ship oil in very large crude carriers (VLCCs) from the Middle East, which is home to the largest OPEC producers, to China, the world's top crude oil importer, nearly doubled overnight.VLCC tanker rates along the busy Middle East Gulf to China route jumped to about $160…

12 Mar 2020

Offshore Oil Rig Infection Exposes Coronavirus Dangers

Martin Linge platform: Image by Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam - Copyright: Equinor

Equinor reported the oil industry's first coronavirus infection on an offshore installation on Wednesday, highlighting the challenge in preventing contamination for thousands of workers living in the close quarters on rigs and platforms.A worker was in isolation on the Norwegian energy firm's Martin Linge oil and gas platform off Norway where production is due to start at the end of this year, the company said. It said it would cut activity at the field, but personnel would remain at installations‚Ķ

11 Mar 2020

Saudi's Bahri Books 14 VLCCs

Image: Bahri

Saudi Arabian shipping company Bahri chartered more than a dozen very large crude carriers (VLCCs) in Persian Gulf in 24 hours.According to Reuters, the Saudi Arabia‚Äôs National Shipping firm has tentatively chartered as many as 14 super-tankers to ship crude oil to customers worldwide, as the Kingdom follows through with its promise to boost crude oil output.The spike in bookings by Bahri has helped to more than double the charter rates for VLCC amid this week‚Äôs ‚Äėfixing frenzy‚Äô, shipping sources said.

26 Feb 2020

Livestock Carrier Queen Hind Refloated

Livestock carrier Queen Hind, which capsized with 14,000 sheep on board in November, is now at dock after refloating efforts concluded on Tuesday night. (Photo: GSP)

Operations to raise a livestock carrier that capsized in the Black sea off Romania in November came to a close on Tuesday night, said local marine services firm Gruup Servici Petoliere (GSP).The Palau-registered Queen Hind flipped onto its side shortly after leaving Romania's Midia port en route to Saudi Arabia at the end of November 2019. Its entire crew, most of them Syrians, were rescued. Only 180 of the estimated 14,000 sheep on board survived.The Queen Hind is now docked…

25 Feb 2020

Saudi-led Coalition Thwarts Red Sea Attack

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Naval forces from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen on Sunday foiled an "imminent terrorist" attack by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in the southern Red Sea, a major commercial shipping channel, the coalition said.The forces destroyed an unmanned boat laden with explosives that was launched from Hodeidah province in western Yemen, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a statement on Saudi state news agency SPA, without identifying the targets.There was no immediate confirmation from the Houthi movement…

18 Feb 2020

US Warship Seizes Suspected Iranian Weapons

The guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) boarded a stateless dhow in the Arabian Sea and interdicted an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, February 9, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Michael H. Lehman)

A U.S. Navy warship seized weapons believed to be of Iranian ‚Äúdesign and manufacture,‚ÄĚ including 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, the American military said on Thursday.In a statement, the military said the guided-missile cruiser Normandy boarded a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.‚ÄúThe weapons seized include 150 ‚ÄėDehlavieh‚Äô anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs‚Ķ

16 Feb 2020

Vado Gateway Welcomes First Ship

Image: APM Terminals

APM Terminals said that its new deep-sea container terminal, Vado Gateway terminal, located in Vado Ligure, Italy, received its first commercial service on 11 February 2020.The ship, M/V Maersk Kota, was the first of seven ships from Maersk’s weekly ME2 service, connecting the Mediterranean with the Middle East and India.According to a company release, the call by M/V Maersk Kota marked the start of operations for the new deep-sea Vado Gateway container terminal in northern Italy.With a total investment of 450 million euros…

02 Feb 2020

Japanese Warship to Patrol Oil Lifeline

File photo: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Takanami (DD 110), front, sails alongside the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) March 9, 2014, in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Cavagnaro)

A Japanese destroyer left for the Gulf of Oman on Sunday amid simmering Middle East tension to guard sea lanes that supply nearly all the oil that powers the world's third-biggest economy."Thousands of Japanese ships ply those waters every year including vessels carrying nine tenths of our oil. It is Japan's lifeline," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the crew at Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo, before they cast off in a ceremony attended by 500 family members and representatives from the United States…

02 Feb 2020

US Lifts Sanctions on COSCO's Dalian Unit

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The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 25 blacklisted two units of COSCO, named after the northeastern Chinese port of Dalian. The move sent worldwide freight costs to record highs and disrupted the global shipping market.The U.S.

31 Jan 2020

Bahri Posts 172% Surge in Q4 Net Profit

Image: Bahri

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has reported strong financial results for the quarter and the full year ended December 31, 2019, underpinned by an increase in returns of several business units.The transportation and logistics company said in a press release that its fourth-quarter net profit surged 172.48 percent to SAR 249.08 million ($66.4 million) from SAR 91.41 million reported in the same period in 2018.Total revenue came in at SAR 1.93 billion, up 8.85…

26 Jan 2020

Hamburg Port Defends Service Losses

CMA CGM ships in Waltershofer harbour © HHM / Dietmar Hasenpusch

Germany's largest port, the Port of Hamburg not expecting reduction in container throughput caused by liner service changes announced by Ocean Alliance and Maersk.From April, the Ocean Alliance NEU 5 service handled by EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg ‚Äď CTH is being transferred to Antwerp, said a press release from the a sea port on the river Elbe in Hamburg, Germany, 110 kilometres from its mouth on the North Sea."This service will be run by the Ocean Alliance Partner, CMA CGM as FAL 3 with an approximate annual volume of 150‚Ķ

09 Jan 2020

Mideast Tensions Create Insurance Headache for Tanker Owners

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Even as the United States and Iran appear to signal a keenness to avoid further conflict, oil and gas shipowners are bracing to pay a price for the war of words that culminated in rocket strikes in Iraq over the last week - higher insurance bills.According to industry sources, payments known as war risk premiums for tankers shuttling through the Strait of Hormuz could rise significantly, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to shipping costs in some cases that will ultimately…

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