Stena Bulk Grows Sonangol Suezmax Pool
Over the last six months, Stena Bulk has expanded its fleet in the Sonangol Suezmax pool with the addition of six Suezmax tankers: SKS Skeena, Istanbul, Almi Galaxy, Almi Voyager and Almi Sky. The TC in fleet consists of modern tonnage of varying length and with different options.“In what has generally speaking been a stable low market, we have recently seen opportunities to utilize our business model in the current market,” said Erik Hånell, president and CEO, Stena Bulk. “With our successful commercial management…
PDVSA Raises Prospect of Force Majeure on Oil Exports
OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter.Falling production from Venezuela has contributed to a rally in global oil prices to a near four-year high, and other OPEC members may boost output at a meeting later this month to compensate for the shortfall and other risks to global supplies.Oil is the financial lifeline for the embattled socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro…
Emas Chiyoda Subsea Files for Bankruptcy
Subsea affiliate of Singapore's Ezra files for U.S. A subsea and offshore contractor affiliate of Ezra Holdings Ltd, a struggling Singaporean oilfield services firm, filed for U.S. bankruptcy as it ran short of cash due to a lingering downturn in the oil-and-gas industry. The affiliate, Emas Chiyoda Subsea Ltd, said in court papers filed in Houston that the company was suffering from weak demand for its subsea contracting work and tightening credit conditions. Ezra has said it may have to take a $170 million writedown on the value of its investment in Emas Chiyoda.
Oil Majors Pay Mexico Regulator $80 Mln for Deepwater Data
Oil companies have paid Mexico's oil regulator nearly $80 million for seismic data ahead of an auction for deep water fields, suggesting robust interest in the tender despite a lasting slump in the price of crude. Thirteen companies, including Exxon Mobil, BP and BHP Billiton, have paid a total of 1.38 billion pesos ($78 million) to date for licenses to use deep water data, according to a document from national oil regulator CNH seen by Reuters. Company executives say the sum reflects only a fraction of their spending in the past year to acquire geological data ahead of the Dec. 5 auction, which will feature 10 largely unexplored blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude Spill Hits PDVSA's Jose Terminal
Operations at Venezuela's main oil-exporting port Jose were hit by a crude oil spill on Tuesday, union sources and shipping agents told Reuters. A break in a pipeline that runs from the oil terminal to a single buoy mooring (SBM) facility near Venezuela's eastern coast would have produced the spill, according to four sources familiar with the incident. None of the sources could confirm the spill's magnitude but operators said there were no vessels docking at the SBM at the time of the incident. The 36-inch pipe can transport up to 32,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to the SBM facility, which is used by tankers to load oil for export. State-owned oil company PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for information about the incident.
Pemex Approves New Deep Water Gulf Joint Venture
The board of Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex on Thursday approved its second-ever deep water joint venture covering the Nobilis-Maximino block in the country's territorial Gulf waters. Reuters revealed details of the plan last week. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia)
Argentina Crude Exports Poised to Hit Record
Argentina's oil producers have shipped record volumes of crude this month, spurred by a new government subsidy that has also prompted state-owned oil company YPF to return to the export market for the first time in years. The surge in shipments abroad comes just a month after Argentina's new president, Mauricio Macri, introduced measures to help oil exporters as part of sweeping policy changes aimed at boosting investment and opening the South American nation's economy after years of heavy controls on trade. Exports are expected to reach a record 91,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in April, including two cargoes sold by YPF to China and barrels shipped by private producers, according to a source.
Mexico Removes Bid Limit on Shallow Water Oil Tenders
Mexico's oil regulator voted on Friday to relax previously established rules on bidding terms and contracts that form the first step in an historic sector opening that kicks off this summer with the public auction of 14 shallow water fields. The July auction will mark the first of five packages of oil fields up for grabs, part of a so-called Round One tender that follows a major energy reform approved by Congress last year. The constitutional reform ended the decades-long monopoly enjoyed by state-owned oil company Pemex and aims to reverse a decade-long slide in Mexican crude output. Responding to complaints from private and foreign companies, the national hydrocarbons commission, or CNH, eliminated caps on how many contracts firms can bid on.
Mexico Lifts Bidding Limits for First Batch of Oil Tenders
Mexico's oil regulator voted on Friday to relax rules on bidding terms and contracts that form the first step in a historic sector opening that kicks off this summer with the public auction of 14 shallow water fields. The July auction will mark the first of five packages of oil fields up for grabs, part of a so-called Round One tender that follows a major energy reform approved by Congress last year. The constitutional reform ended the decades-long monopoly enjoyed by state-owned oil company Pemex and aims to reverse a decade-long slide in Mexican crude output.
Dora Could Reach Hurricane Strength Today
Tropical Storm Dora, located off the western coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean, is strengthening quickly and is expected to become a hurricane on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds were about 70 miles per hour (110 km per hour), with higher gusts. Dora was strengthening quickly and was forecast to become a hurricane on Monday, the NHC said in its latest advisory late on Sunday night. The NHC warned of possible heavy rains along the southwestern coast of Mexico but added that the center of the storm was expected to move parallel to the coast of Mexico but remain offshore. It said no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.
Ecopetrol Breaks Silence in Risk-on Day for LatAm Markets
A recovery in LatAm debt spreads opened a window for Colombia's Ecopetrol on Tuesday when it printed a US$1.5bn 11-year bond - the state-owned oil company's first debt issue in nine months. Optimism over Greek debt talks spurred risk buying on Tuesday, leaving LatAm debt spreads tightening against a weaker US Treasury market, and also benefiting the oil credit that has received a battering in secondary this year. "We are trading well today and are tighter across most credit spreads," said a New York based trader focused on Latin American credits. Even with Heinz's jumbo US$10bn multi-tranche deal in the US high-grade market, Ecopetrol came on a relatively quiet day in the primary market, leaving the runway open for the Colombian borrower.
Pemex Boosts Gasoline Imports in Wake of Shortages
Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex is ramping up gasoline imports and boosting domestic production at two major refineries after fuel shortages led to long lines at gas stations in several states this week. Pemex announced an "extraordinary" gasoline import surge of 75,000 barrels per day (bpd) and company data showed that was on top of gasoline imports that totaled 370,000 bpd in May. Since Monday, the company has not responded to requests for more information. Pemex has blamed the shortage on an increase in illegal taps on gasoline pipelines, a long-standing problem but one that is on pace to set a record this year. Pemex said in a statement on Monday that the number of illegal taps so far this year total 2,813, already two-thirds of the year-end figure last year.
Mexico to Postpone Deep Water Auction
Mexico, which has started to open its nationalized oil industry to additional private investment, will postpone auctions for deep-water oil exploration and production contracts and adjust the terms of upcoming tenders after an inaugural oil auction failed to meet the government's modest expectations. Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell told local television the government will change rules that scared off potential bidders earlier this month, when it was able to auction only two of 14 blocks in a pivotal oil and gas tender. He signaled that the government will relax its requirement that consortia bidding on oil parcels must have one member act as a guarantor and hold shareholder equity of at least $6 billion to protect the state's interest in the event of a major accident.
India: Negative Outlook on Shipping Sector
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has maintained a negative-to-stable outlook for the shipping sector for the current financial year. The agency expects the performance of dry bulk and container operators to continue to be affected by weak global trade growth and persistent overcapacity, while the offshore segment will face the negative impact of lower crude oil prices. The agency, however, believes that the tanker segment, which accounts for a majority of the Indian fleet will remain an exception due to its better demand-supply situation.
Tropical Storm Earl moves inland over southeastern Mexico
Tropical Storm Earl moved inland early on Saturday over southeastern Mexico where torrential rains could produce deadly flash floods and mudslides, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm with winds of 50 mph (80 kmh) was about 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Veracruz, Mexico as it headed west at 9 mph (15 km), the Miami-based center said in an advisory late on Friday night. The center said Earl would weaken as it moved inland throughout the day on Saturday, but could…
GasLog Updates on LNG Market
During the quarter and post quarter end, there has been continued momentum in the start-up of new LNG liquefaction capacity with the fourth train at Sabine Pass in the U.S. shipping its first commissioning cargoes in August 2017, said GasLog Partners. Sabine Pass has now shipped approximately 200 cargoes since start up in early 2016. Post quarter end, Chevron's Wheatstone LNG project in Australia started production with the first LNG shipment expected in the coming weeks. Dominion's Cove Point project in the U.S.
CNPC, Cheniere Pact for LNG
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…
SBM Offshore to Pay $238 Mln in US Bribery Case
SBM Offshore NV, a Netherlands-based maker of offshore oil drilling equipment, and its U.S. subsidiary, SBM Offshore USA Inc, agreed to settle criminal charges of bribing officials in five countries and pay a $238 million penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The companies agreed to settle charges related to schemes lasting more than a decade involving bribery of foreign officials in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Justice Department said in a statement. SBM Offshore USA pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the statement said.
Workers Evacuated After Gas Leak at Mexico Platform
Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex said on Tuesday that it was working to control a gas leak at the Sihil A platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Eighty-five workers have been evacuated, Pemex said in a tweet, but there were no injuries and no fire has been reported. The leak started around at around 0200 GMT, or 9 pm local time, a Pemex spokesman said. (Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein and Jean Luis Arce; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
India Shipping Fleet Bullish on New Rules
A new rule is being proposed by central government India, under which importers will have to give half of their freight business to local shipping firms. The government is proposing a law for importers to sign 5-year contracts with local shipping firms. Country's state-owned firms may have to give half of their freight business to local shippers. This is done to help rescue the industry battered by the global commodities downturn. The new rules will boost Indian shipping fleet, but may dent foreign shippers, according to market sources.
Canada's First LNG Export Terminal Seen as One-off
Woodfibre LNG, Canada's first liquefied natural gas export project, will be a "nice-to-have" fillip for the country's gas producers but does not signal the start of a west coast LNG boom, industry watchers said on Monday. Privately held Woodfibre LNG Ltd said on Friday it will start building its C$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) project in Squamish, British Columbia, next year after its Singaporean parent company authorized the funds last week. It is the first of more than a dozen LNG projects proposed for British Columbia to get the final go-ahead, but analysts say Woodfibre is unlikely to herald an investment surge from other developers given the challenging economics of an oversupplied LNG market.
MHI Subsidiary in Brazil for FPSO Compressors
In December Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor Corporation (MCO), a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) based in Hiroshima, will establish a new company in Brazil in a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), to be known as MHI Compressor do Brasil Ltda. (MCO-B). Creation of the new entity, which will launch commercial operations in February 2016, is targeted at developing the Latin American market for compressors, with a focus on expanding sales of compressors for use in Floating Production…
Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions
South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…