Marine Link
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Financial Times News

Supertankers Store 50m Barrels of Oil

According to a Dec. 15 report from Financial Times, oil companies and traders are storing at least 50 million barrels of oil in supertankers in a clear sign of supply outstripping demand as the global economy slows. The current floating storage is enough to meet France’s oil imports for a month and the biggest since late 2001. Storing oil in tankers is unusual as it is significantly more expensive than inland. (Source: Financial Times)

Maersk Tankers Plans to Transport CO2

According to a March 14 report from the Financial Times, Maersk Tankers has become the first major operator to announce plans to enter the market to transport captured carbon dioxide. According to the report, around 750m tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted from large power plants around the North Sea alone. (Source: Financial Times)

VT Order Book Expands

According to the Financial Times, VT has seen its order book rise to about $7.93b on the back of several contract wins. The company said its financial performance was in line with its expectations for the period to the end of December 2007. The order book increased to about $7.93b on the back of two recent acquisitions. Talks with BAE Systems to form a shipbuilding joint venture remained at an advanced stage, VT said. The companies have now received a commitment from the government on the proposed terms of a business agreement for the partnership, seen as crucial for it to go ahead. However, the signing of the joint venture hinges on final approval from the Ministry of Defence for the start of construction of two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy.

Oil Chiefs Justify Profits

According to a Financial Times report, top oil executives recently rejected allegations by some lawmakers that the oil industry was making record profits at the expense of US consumers, emphasizing the high level of investment the companies make to ensure supply and the limitations that have been set by Washington on oil exploration and development within the US. ExxonMobil executives met with lawmakers at a rare joint hearing of the energy and commerce committees. According to the report, the company recognizes that rises in energy prices have put a strain on US household budgets, but emphasizes that there are no quick fixes to rising energy needs and that US consumers should recognize their position in a global market. Source: The Financial Times

Maersk Shipping Investment Plans on Hold

A.P. Moller-Maersk will not invest significantly in its shipping business over the next five years and will focus on its oil, drilling rigs & ports. Maersk intends to move away from the shipping side of things and go towards sectors which generate higher profits and are more stable, reports Reuters, as informed by a recent Financial Times article. Maersk Line, the company's container shipping unit, has struggled with profitability due to the global economic slowdown and an oversupply of vessels that could intensify next year. The subsidiary is a barometer of world trade as its fleet carries more than 15 percent of all sea-borne containers. Source Reuters/Financial Times  

BAE and VT in Babcock Talks

According to reports, BAE Systems and VT, revealed that they were considering a joint bid for Babcock, the support services and shipbuilding group, in a move that could trigger the consolidation of Britain's warship construction capability. VT could join with Babcock as a support services group, which could then sell VT's shipbuilding business to BAE and still have critical mass. This would create a single shipbuilding entity in BAE, which would find it easier to cut capacity and become more efficient. Source: The Guardian and The Financial Times

Daewoo Forecasts Record Sales

Daewoo reported that sales would hit a record $10.6b in 2008 as increasing demand drives up vessel prices, according to the Financial Times. Analysts expect South Korean shipbuilders to post strong earnings this year as they boast order backlogs that will keep them busy for at least three years. Daewoo expects this year’s orders to reach $17.5bn, 19 per cent less than the record $21.5bn in 2007. The company delivered 43 vessels in the first 11 months of last year, compared with 45 for all of 2006.

P&O Surges On Positive Report

Shares in Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. surged five percent on Wednesday as a positive newspaper report on the shipping sector highlighted better prospects for the firm. The stock was buoyed by a front page article in the Financial Times saying shipping rates had hit 30-year highs on the back of expanding world trade, rising oil demand and the withdrawal of substandard vessels because of safety fears.

P&O Takeover Garners Regulators Eyes

The Financial Times reported yesterday that European anti-trust regulators are anticipating the launch of a many months long investigation into Carnival Corp.'s bid for P&O Princess Cruises. A decision by the European Commission to open an investigation would be a victory for Royal Caribbean Cruises. The Royal Caribbean deal is being investigated by the UK anti-trust watchdog, which is expected to announce its decision in June.

ThyssenKrupp to Exit Civilian Shipbuilding

According to a Sept. 14 Bloomber report, ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, wants to dispose of parts of its unprofitable, non- military shipbuilding units, Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing unidentified people at the company. (Source: Bloomberg)

Shipbuilding Merger: Germany, France Reportedly Eye Deal?

Germany and France are considering merging their naval shipbuilding operations, according to a report from Reuthers which cited a German newspaper report, in a deal that would be one of the largest industrial partnerships in a decade. ThyssenKrupp , French naval shipyard DCNS and the two governments reportedly plan to hold talks soon, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported on Monday. (Source: Rueters)

Carriers Face $1.7b Cost Increase

According to a report in the the UK Financial Times, the British government’s decision to delay production of two new 65,000-ton Royal Navy aircraft carriers could cost an additional $1.7b, driving the cost to $7b per, or 25% higher than when the contract was signed a year ago.

P&O Takes Two From MHI

A further sign of Japanese inroad in the lucrative, and previously European-exclusive domain, of cruise shipping was sounded last week when the Financial Times reported that P&O is ordering two ships from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as part of a $4.5 billion program to double the capacity of its cruise fleet over the next five years. Contracts for the two ships are reportedly worth $900 million, and the program in total could equal 11 new ships. The two cruise ships -- at 113,000 gross tons -- will reportedly be the largest the company has ordered.

Clarkson's Maritime Market Analyst Wins Medal

Urs Dur: Photo credit CCM

Clarkson Capital Markets (CCM) equity analyst, Urs Dur, winds silver medal for being one of the industry's top stock tipsters. The award was in the marine category in this year's Thompson Reuter's annual 'StarMine Analyst Awards' which are issued in collaboration with the 'Financial Times'. Clarkson Capital Markets (CCM) is the investment banking arm of Clarkson PLC, focussed on the global maritime, energy and natural resources sectors.  

Dubai defends Maritime Security Record

The security record of DP World, the state-owned company that runs the port at Jebel Ali, became a political issue in the past month after U.S. legislators started campaigning against its takeover of contracts to run five U.S. container terminals and a range of other cargo and passenger-handling activities as part of its wider $6.8 billion takeover of P&O, the British container ports and ferries operator. DP World was reported to have offered to transfer operation of the ports to a U.S. entity after politicians from both main U.S. parties claimed that it was unfit to take them over because it is owned by the government of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, has been an unreliable partner in combating terrorism, politicians claimed.

China Acquires Global Ports: FT

File photo: China COSCO Shipping

With the aim to dominate maritime industry China has been acquiring overseas ports with huge investments which crossed USD 20 bln last year, Financial Times reported. Beijing has spent billions expanding its ports network to secure sea lanes and establish itself as a maritime power, says the report. China is aggressively pushing its  â€śOne Belt One Road”, a grand scheme to win diplomatic allies and open markets in around 65 countries between Asia and Europe. It is pushing ahead with plans to open new shipping routes through the Arctic circle, the report said.

U.S. Will Dispatch Warships to South China Sea

The United States is expected to sail warships close to China's artificial islands in the South China Sea within the next two weeks to signal it does not recognize Chinese territorial claims over the area, the Financial Times reported, citing a senior U.S. official. The ships will sail within the 12-nautical-mile zones that China claims as territory around some of the islands it has constructed in the Spratly chain, the report said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing on Thursday that China was paying attention to such reports, and that it and the United States have maintained "extremely thorough communication" on the South China Sea issue. "I believe the U.S. side is extremely clear about China's relevant principled stance," she said.

VT Closes in on Military Contracts

VT Group is closing in on two significant military service contracts and hopes to become preferred bidder on a waste management private finance bid in Wakefield that it said could double its order book by the end of the financial year in March. By the end of September, the group, which is focused on shipbuilding and defense services group, had lifted its order book by $413.6m to $7.66b compared with the interim period last year, thanks to a $310.1m shipbuilding deal for Trinidad and Tobago and regular contracts of up to $103.4m. Mike Murphy, analyst at Panmure Gordon, reportedly said the two military deals – covering flight training and air tanker services – would take the group’s order book to at least $10.3b by the end of the year.

Al Falahi Appointed CEO of GEM

Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) has appointed UAE national Ahmed Essa Hareb Al Falahi as Chief Executive Officer with the task of spearheading the company's strategy to climb the world's leading tanker operator rankings. Hareb joins the UAE-headquartered corporation after an eight year management career at Etisalat - the Emirates' main telecommunications supplier and the largest single non-oil contributor outside UAE Federal Government development programmes. There he headed the mergers and acquisitions division for the Fortune 500 company currently standing 140th among the Financial Times Top 500 global corporations. Yusr Sultan stepped down to undertake a full time board level role as Director. He will concentrate on corporate policy, management team expansion and GEM's strategic growth.

P&O, DPW Close to Deal

Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P&O) is close to recommending a more than $3B offer from Dubai Ports World (DPW), according to press reports. The Weekend Financial Times, which claimed DPW offered 430 pence for the British ports and ferries group, said the size of the liability in P&O's pension fund needs to be agreed before the board can recommend the offer. The Business however said the recommendation could come as early as Tuesday. Neither paper cited sources. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment. Source: Forbes

Kashagan Output May Not Start Till 2016

Kashagan Oilfield

Output at Kazakhstan's huge Kashagan oilfield may not start until 2016, the Financial Times said on Sunday, citing Kazakhstan's minister for economy and budget planning. Erbolat Dossayev told the FT he hoped production could be restarted late next year. "But if not, we will wait until 2016," the FT cited him as saying in an interview. Production at the offshore deposit, the world's biggest oil find in 35 years, started in September but was halted in early October after the detection of gas leaks in the $50 billion project's pipeline network.

British Builders Battle For Contracts

BAE Systems Plc is engaged in a bitter fight with naval shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft to secure the contract to build all 12 of the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers, the Financial Times reported. The BAE is said to have offered to leave the field clear for Vosper in warships less that 85 m long, but the Hampshire shipbuilder has secured the backing of a group of MPs in the interest of preserving competition in U.K. warship building. Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said last July that two of the first three destroyers would be built by BAE and one by Vosper, but is now considering BAE's bid to take on all 12. Vosper made 650 staff redundant in December after the contract for the design and construction of the Type 45 destroyer was delayed. - (Reuters)

Manning Agency Blacklisting Blights Seafarers

The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) writes to condemn crewing agency practice of blacklisting certain seafarers. The report “Construction industry faces claims for compensation over blacklist” (October 19) brings to mind the blacklisting also occurring in shipping. Seafarers are usually recruited by manning agents in labour supply countries such as the Philippines and eastern Europe. Port chaplains visiting seafarers tell of the palpable fear of being blacklisted. Conditions on ships can be tough, so working conditions will have to be pretty tough before a seafarer would even considering making a complaint. The recent Dispatches Channel 4 programme “Cruises Undercover: The Truth Below Deck” also suggested that this may be the case also on cruise ships.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2017 - The Workboat Edition

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