United Arab Emirates News

24 Jun 2019

US official: United States Building Maritime Security Coalition for Gulf

The United States is building a coalition with its allies to protect Gulf shipping lanes by having "eyes on all shipping", a senior U.S. State Department official said on Monday, following recent attacks on oil tankers that Washington blamed on Iran.The official told reporters en route to the United Arab Emirates that a coalition of nations would provide both material and financial contributions to the "Sentinel" program, but did not name the countries."It's about proactive deterrence, because the Iranians just want to go out and do what they want to do and say hey we didn't do it. We know what they've done," he said, adding that the deterrents would include cameras, binoculars and ships. (Reuters, Reporting by Asma Alsharif and Ghaida Ghantous, Editing by William Maclean)

24 Jun 2019

17.5 Tons of Cocaine found on Containership

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led multi-agency examination of shipping containers at the Philadelphia seaport netted a historic load of cocaine, the largest cocaine seizure in the 230-year history of U.S. Customs and CBP, with an estimated weight of over 17.5 tons and a street value of about $1.1 billion.During a midstream joint boarding Sunday night, CBP, HSI, and U.S. Coast Guard authorities detected anomalies while examining seven shipping containers aboard the MSC Gayane…

24 Jun 2019

Vitol Builds Refinery for New Ship's Fuel

Vitol, the world's largest independent oil trader, has started building a small oil refinery at its storage terminal in Malaysia that will provide low-sulfur fuel for ships, a senior company official said on Monday.The project consists of a crude distillation unit that can process 30,000 barrels per day of crude and is located on the same site as Vitol's oil storage terminal at Tanjung Bin in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, Vitol Asia's President and Chief Executive Officer Kho Hui Meng said.A construction unit under China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is handling the project which will involve moving a second-hand CDU from China to the site…

21 Jun 2019

BIMCO: VLCC Freight Rates from Gulf to China Doubles

Chart: BIMCO

VLCC spot freight rates between the Arabian Gulf and China rose 101% in the days between June 13, 2019 and June 20, 2019, in the aftermath of attacks on two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Spot freight rates for a VLCC, carrying 2 million barrels of oil, between the Arabian Gulf and China reached USD 25,994 per day on June 20, their highest level since March and significantly above the May average of USD 9,979 per day.Despite this increase, freight rates on this route only narrowly exceeds the daily break-even costs of a VLCC…

19 Jun 2019

U.S. Navy says Evidence Points to Iran in Gulf Tanker Attack

Photo Credit: US Navy

The United States Navy on Wednesday displayed limpet mine fragments and a magnet it said it had removed from one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman last week, saying the mines bore a striking resemblance to Iranian ones.The United States, waging a "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign against Iran to curb its nuclear and regional activities, has been trying to build an international consensus that Iran was behind last week's blasts, as well as a May 12 strike on four…

18 Jun 2019

Houthis to Allow U.N. to Inspect Ships in Hodeidah

Yemen's Houthi movement and the United Nations have agreed on a mechanism to inspect ships docking at Hodeidah following the group's withdrawal from three Red Sea ports under a U.N.-sponsored deal, a Houthi official and a U.N. source said.The Houthis' unilateral pullout last month from the ports of Saleef, used for grain, Ras Isa oil terminal and Hodeidah, the main entry point for commercial and aid imports, represented the only progress in implementing the deal reached last December."We agreed with the U.N. on a mechanism to inspect ships docking in the ports of Hodeidah and its implementation will start in the coming days," Houthi…

14 Jun 2019

Analysis: Strait of Hormuz and the Risk of Escalation

© Peter Hermes Furian/Adobe Stock

The Strait of Hormuz, the narrow shipping lane between Iran and Oman named after the fabulously wealthy ancient kingdom of Ormus, has fascinated oil traders since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Iran has periodically threatened to close the strait to enemy shipping, while the United States and its allies have pledged to keep it open and maintain freedom of navigation, by force if necessary.The strait has become a symbolic flashpoint in the region-wide confrontation and indirect…

14 Jun 2019

U.S. and Gulf Allies Face Task Protecting Oil Shipping Lanes

©  / Adobe Stock

The United States and its allies may need to to start escorting commercial vessels to prevent further attacks in Gulf oil shipping lanes, Gulf sources and experts said.Even then, the conventional naval and air capabilities of Western and Gulf powers tasked with policing vital commercial waters may be of limited use against the asymmetric warfare tactics suspected in recent operations, including naval mines.Six tankers have been hit in the past month in two attacks near the Strait of Hormuz…

14 Jun 2019

Ship Insurance Costs Soar After Tanker Attacks

© Nightman1965/ Adobe Stock

Insurance costs for ships sailing through the Middle East have increased by at least 10% after attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, with the potential for costs to rise further as regional tensions escalate, ship insurers said.The attacks have already stoked concerns about reduced flows of crude oil on one of the world's key shipping routes, pushing up oil prices by as much as 4.5%.Some tanker companies have already suspended new bookings to the Middle East…

13 Jun 2019

Unexploded Device Spotted on Attacked Tanker

© Chris Noble / Adobe Stock

An unexploded device, believed to be a limpet mine, was spotted on the side of one of two oil tankers attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.If confirmed, then the method of attack would be the same as the one that the United States believes was used last month when four other tankers were struck off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The United States believes Iran was likely responsible for those attacks, a charge Tehran denies.(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish)

13 Jun 2019

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

06 Jun 2019

Tanker Attack Findings to be presented to UN Security Council

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Norway will present to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday the results of a joint probe into attacks targeting tanker vessels off the UAE coast last month, UAE-owned channel Sky News Arabia reported.Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli

05 Jun 2019

Chevron Readying IMO-Compliant Fuel

AdobeStock / © db virago

Chevron plans to bring an IMO-compliant 0.5% sulphur shipping fuel blend to the market by the end of the third quarter, a company representative said on Wednesday.Ships will be required to use fuels with a sulphur content of no more than 0.5% from the start of 2020, down from 3.5% currently, under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules aimed at cutting air pollution."If the shipping company is willing to try it out now we can make it available, but not for continuous purchase," Chevron Fuels Technologist Monique Vermeire told Reuters at an industry conference."I think it will be avail

04 Jun 2019

HullWiper Opens Panama Base for Americas

Image: HullWiper Ltd

Dubai-headquartered hull-cleaning company has announced it is opening its first operations base in the Americas, in partnership with subsea services in Panama, Talleres Industriales, to offer its hull cleaning solution to the vessels transiting the Panama Canal.The agreement forms part of HullWiper’s global leasing programme introduced in 2017, which works with partners around the world to offer ship owners and operators an affordable, brush- and diver-free alternative to traditional…

04 Jun 2019

Total Takes Over Toshiba's U.S. LNG Biz

Image:  Toshiba

French energy giant Total takes over the liquefied natural gas business of Japanese outfit Toshiba's Freeport LNG train tolling agreement and gains $800 million.The French oil and gas company will is paying $15 million for the shares in the Texan assets, the firms said. Toshiba will also pay Total $815 million to take over all the contracts linked to the business, Total added."It includes a 20-year tolling agreement for 2.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG from Freeport LNG train 3 in Texas and the corresponding gas transportation agreements on the pipelines feeding the terminal.

31 May 2019

Japan Oil Industry Braces for Higher Middle East P&I Costs

Image CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

The costs of buying crude oil from the Middle East could rise as war insurance for ships travelling in the region will be expanded to include vessels travelling off the United Arab Emirates and Oman, the head of Japan Petroleum Association said on Friday.Japan is the world's fourth-largest oil importer and imports 90% of its crude from the Middle East, government data showed.Asian shippers and refiners had put ships heading to the Middle East on alert and were expecting a possible rise in marine insurance premiums following attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipeline facilities earlier in May.Ta

29 May 2019

Iran Dismisses U.S. Remarks on UAE Tanker Attacks

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday dismissed remarks by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton that Iranian naval mines were likely used in attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this month.Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency: "Raising this ludicrous claim in a meeting of those with a long history of anti-Iran policies is not strange... Iran's strategic patience, vigilance and defensive prowess will defuse mischievous plots made by Bolton and other warmongers."Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

24 May 2019

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries without required congressional approval.The actions were the latest by the Trump administration as it highlights what it sees as a threat of potential attack by Iran…

17 May 2019

London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…

17 May 2019

London Marine Insurers Widen Middle East Threat Zone After Ship Attacks

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed as high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee issued a statement saying that the additions detail areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflect the enhanced regional risk.Its guidance is watched closely and influences underwriters' considerations over insurance premiums. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul Editing by David Goodman)

16 May 2019

Tanker Rates Firming Up: Frontline

Pic: Frontline Management AS

The middle of the first quarter in 2019 saw tanker rates firming significantly, driven mainly by an increase in US exports, said Frontline Ltd. is the world's largest oil tanker shipping company.The tanker market pulled back in January due to OPEC production cuts and a high level of newbuilding deliveries after a strong end to 2018, it said.The market then came off primarily due to extended refinery maintenance in preparations for IMO 2020 and both new and persistent supply disruptions.Atlantic…

14 May 2019

U.S. Urges Response "short of war" to Tanker Attack

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. Iran has denied involvement."We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war," Ambassador John Abizaid told reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh in remarks published on Tuesday."It's not in (Iran's) interest…

14 May 2019

Oil Price Risks Rise

Image: Saudi Aramco

Supply disruptions in the Middle East on top of an already tight crude market could send oil prices violently upward, said the energy research firm Rystad Energy.Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers were reportedly attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this weekend, sending crude futures up sharply May 13.Bjørnar Tonhaugen, Head of Oil Market Research at Rystad Energy, says: “In the short term, the perceived risk of supply disruptions from the area will only add to the premium of short-dated oil contracts compared to deferred contracts on the futures curve…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2019 - 80th Anniversary World Yearbook

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News