Scotland's 'No' to Independence Welcomed by Shell
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden on Friday welcomed Scotland's vote against independence. "Shell welcomes the decision by the people of Scotland to remain within the UK, which reduces the operating uncertainty for businesses based in Scotland," van Beurden said in a statement. "Shell will continue to work closely with both the UK and Scottish governments to help the industry deliver vital energy supplies through investment in the UK's oil and gas resources. We look forward to continuing our proud association with Scotland." By Ron Bousso
World’s First Floating Wind Farm Starts Production
The world's first offshore floating wind farm has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, providing power to approximately 20,000 households. The 30MW Hywind Scotland wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was officially opened today by First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” First Minister Sturgeon said. “The learnings from Hywind Scotland will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy.
Scottish Independence Would Hurt Maritime Sector
A vote for independence from the U.K. would have a negative effect on the Scottish shipping and offshore maritime sector, according to a survey by leading international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The survey elicited the views of leading members of the international shipping community on the predicted impact on Scotland’s shipping and offshore maritime industry of the country voting for independence on September 18 2014. More than half the number of respondents to the survey felt that a vote for independence would have a negative effect.
Two Vessels Grounded off Scotland Coast
Two ships ran aground Tuesday off the west coast of Scotland, according to Herald Scotland. The first vessel, the 87-meter passenger cruise vessel Serenissima, was lodged on sand and gravel at a spot known as the Corran Ledge in Oban Bay Tuesday night as it made its way from Ireland to the port of Oban, Herald Scotland reported. Aboard the ship were 61 passengers and 51 crew members. With help from the ship’s crew and the Oban RNLI lifeboat team, Serenissima was refloated and inspected without any damage or pollution.
Scottish Independence Vote Worries Shipping Industry
If the Scots vote for independence in September's referendum, it could hit the country's shipping and offshore maritime sector, according to a survey by leading international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens, cited in Maritime London’s fortnightly news – ‘London Matters’. The survey of leading members of the shipping industry found that 55 per cent of respondents believed a yes vote damage the industry. However, 74 per cent said they had no plan of action if Scotland voted to abandon the Union, indicating a high level of confidence in a no vote on 18 September.
Britain Warns Scots: Independence would Hurt Energy Industry
Britain on Tuesday warned Scots that voting for independence would put jobs and investment in the Scottish energy industry at risk, threatening the commercial viability of North Sea oil and gas fields and renewable energy projects. In September Scotland will hold an referendum on whether to sever its 307-year tie with England, with Scottish nationalists arguing that a split would give them greater economic freedom. The British government wants to keep the union intact and has produced a series of analysis papers arguing its case on issues such as the currency, security and finance. The latest paper, due to be released on Wednesday, will…
Scotland Sees Opportunity, Innovation in the North Sea
Britain's offshore industry is strong, and Scotland is committed to ensuring that the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) remains one of the world's top offshore energy provinces for many years to come. The oil and gas industry is facing a set of unique challenges: determining how to instill sustainability, meeting the needs of remote reservoirs, ensuring the progression to fallow fields, looking to make cost reductions and making use of the technological advances in the industry. Scotland has drawn on its industry expertise, strong academic tradition and experience in innovative technologies to develop a strategy that will meet the emerging needs of the industry. The approach, developed by Scottish Development International, has two main objectives.
Flogas Britain and Stolt-Nielsen announce LNG project for Rosyth
Flogas Britain, the UK’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) provider, and Stolt-Nielsen LNG Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI), a leading global provider of bulk liquid transportation and storage solutions, announced a joint project to explore bringing LNG to areas of Scotland not served by the existing natural-gas grid. The initiative is a step towards reducing the cost of energy for homes and businesses located off the national gas network.
Forth Ports Invests in Grangemouth Refrigeration Containers
As part of the move to boost for importers and exporters of fresh produce using Scotland’s largest container terminal , the port of Grangemouth is to receive investment from its owners, Forth Ports Ltd to increase its capacity for refrigerated containers. Forth Ports is significantly investing in extending the electricity supply infrastructure at Grangemouth from 126 specialist power supply points to 432. Refrigerated containers – known as ‘reefers’ – need power immediately on…
Oil Firms Opt for Stability, Urge Scotland to Stay in UK
Reuters - Royal Dutch Shell has become the second energy heavyweight to urge Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom as the campaign for Scottish independence battles mounting opposition from businesses. Shell is a key player in the North Sea oil and gas fields off Scotland and its Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said a vote for independence on Sept. 18 would mean greater uncertainty for the energy industry. Last month, the boss of BP warned Scottish independence could cause "uncertainties" for his company. Other oil companies in the North Sea on Thursday stressed the importance of predictability for their operations, joining a growing number of financial services companies voicing concerns about the impact of independence but avoiding political comment.
UK Chamber Stance Neutral on Scottish Independence
The UK Chamber of Shipping is taking a neutral position in the Scottish independence debate and has given both the Yes and Better Together sides space on its website to argue their respective positions in articles focusing on the future of Scotland's shipping industry, reports trade association Maritime London in its latest 'London Matters' newsletter. By contrast, at the 12th annual Lloyd’s City Dinner, Lloyd's of London chairman John Nelson put forward the case for the UK to remain together as part of the EU.
Scottish Fund to Train Seafarers
Businesses in Scotland that contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy can now apply for a workforce development grant of up to GBP 10,000, which the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) says could open up opportunities for seafarers. The Scottish Government this month launched the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF), which aims to help pay for employee training to up-skill and re-skill companies' existing workforces through one of Scotland's further education colleges. Companies are eligible to apply for the funding if they are an Apprenticeship Levy-paying employer (i.e.
Statoil Debuts Batwind
A new battery storage solution for offshore wind energy will be piloted in the world’s first floating wind farm, the Hywind pilot park off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Batwind will be developed in co-operation with Scottish universities and suppliers, under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Edinburgh on 18 March between Statoil, the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Scottish Enterprise. Battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimise output.
Grangemouth Port sees Record Volume
The Port of Grangemouth, Scotland’s largest container facility has enjoyed one of its busiest seasons, with over 50,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) being handled at the port in the last two months. This four-year high is the result of a buoyant fresh food export season utilising the port’s refrigerated container handling capability which has set Grangemouth on track for record breaking volumes this quarter. In October and November, the port recorded a 30% increase on refrigerated container volumes (known as ‘reefers’ *) year on year and during November alone…
VT Halter Wins VDOT Ferry Contract
The passenger vessel construction market remains one of the few maritime bright spots, as The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Transportation (VDOT) has awarded a contract to VT Halter Marine to design and build a 499-passenger/70-vehicle Jamestown Ferry to replace the current ferry, The Virginian. The ferry will be operated by the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry Operations Service which provides a critical transportation link between Virginia and North Carolina operating at the James City County at Glasshouse Point and Surry County at Scotland Wharf. Construction of the ferry is expected to be completed in April 2018. The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry System currently operates four ferry boats, including the Pocahontas Ferry, which was also designed and constructed by VT Halter Marine in 1995.
Triple Delivery for FBM Babcock Marine
Three 88 ft. patrol vessels being built by Southampton based FBM Babcock Marine Ltd have arrived in the Port of Southampton on the back of a heavy lift mother ship. The vessels are part of a six vessel fleet designed by FBM Babcock Marine and built in their shipyards in Scotland and the Philippines for SMIT International (Scotland) Ltd. The vessels will be used by SMIT International (Scotland) for training military aircrew in marine survival techniques, helicopter winching drills and general marine support tasks, as part of a Public Private Partnership Programme awarded by the UK MOD. The boats are undergoing final preparation prior to handover to their owners in the next week.
What About Maritime Safety if Scotland Chooses Independence?
In response to the Scottish Government's release of the 2014 pre-referrendum White Paper 'Scotland Future', shipping organization Maritime UK members suggest that the publication raises as many questions as it does answers. Maritime UK members have had constructive engagement with the Scottish Government in recent months, but today’s White Paper provides some interesting nuggets – raising as many questions as it does answers. In particular, they note this extract hidden away on page 418.
Queen's Baton Relay Visit To Lerwick Harbor
Day 18 of the relay round Scotland will see the Queen’s Baton begin its Shetland route at Sumburgh taking in visits to Sandwick, Lerwick, Scalloway and Brae. The Baton route at Lerwick in the afternoon will begin from Holmsgarth Road at 4.28pm today and meander its way around Lerwick taking in Shetland Museum & Archives and Mareel. The Baton will take a short voyage on local replica Viking long-ship Dim Riv to arrive at Victoria Pier around 5.30pm before heading along the Esplanade…
'Costa Concordia' Owners Fined in Italian Court
Italian cruise firm Costa Crociere has been fined €1-million (US$1.3-million) for the sinking which killed 32 people. Costa had asked for a plea bargain deal to respond to the administrative sanctions, which under Italian law are for companies whose employees commit crimes, and Judge Valeria Montesarchio accepted that plea after a hearing at the Tuscan tribunal, reports 'Herald Scotland'. Costa, a division of Miami-based Carnival, has sought to blame the disaster entirely on Captain Francesco Schettino, and prosecutors are seeking indictments for Schettino and five other people on charges including manslaughter. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday but it is not clear if the judge will make a decision then on whether to order a trial.
Offshore Gas Leak in North Sea – Texans on the Way
A team of Texan troubleshooters head for Scotland to prevent a major gas blast in the North Sea, according to a report in the 'Daily Record' newspaper. The giant oil installation was completely sealed off and abandoned after being evacuated following the leak. The shutdown and evacuation is unprecedented in the history of oil and gas exploration off Scotland. The firm running the operation have drafted in a team of Texan “Hellfighters” in a bid to prevent a disaster akin to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the US. Nineteen oil workers who stayed on the Total-owned Elgin platform were airlifted off yesterday. A two-mile air and sea exclusion zone was imposed around the Elgin and the connected Rowan Viking drilling rig 150 miles off Aberdeen.
Geest Launches New Service
By the end of this week Geest North Sea Line launches a new container service linking Grangemouth in Scotland with Rotterdam. The service runs twice a week, once direct and once via Teesport. The frequency of the Teesport service will be increased from three times to five times a week. Geest now offers direct sailings on four ports (also on Hull and Tilbury) in England and Scotland. Via this multi-porting concept it can minimize trucking distances in the UK. More information: www.geest.nl.
Scotland’s Offshore Industry Issued Warning
Scotland’s offshore oil industry was issued a government health warning by the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE published a new report which says more must be done to improve safety on oil and gas installations. The warning comes after a major three year investigation by the HSE’s Aberdeen-based Offshore Division into the safety and integrity of almost 100 offshore installations and their equipment. Amongst its many findings, the document reveals: There was wide variation in performance across the sector, but worryingly, there were wide variations within some companies. Source: Scotland Marine News
Divorce Costs Could Sour Scotland's North Sea Hopes
Scottish nationalists are betting $2.5 trillion of hydrocarbons trapped miles beneath the North Sea could bankroll an independent Scotland, but winning control of the European Union's largest oil reserves would be no blank cheque. Scotland says the bulk of Britain's North Sea oil and gas reserves are in its waters, while London says any division would be subject to negotiations should Scots vote to end their 307-year-old union with England in a referendum on Sept. 18. Oil is the punch in Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's pitch for independence: he accuses London of squandering the North Sea's mineral wealth and says Scotland would be one of the world's richest countries if it took control of its own destiny.