Marine Link
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lithuania Receives First U.S. LNG Cargo

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC))

Lithuania received its first spot shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States on Monday, the result of a deal aimed at reducing dependence on Russia and consolidating relations with Washington amid increased tension in the region. Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 has spooked the Baltic states, once ruled from Moscow but now members of both NATO and the European Union. "This is crucially important for the whole region," said Lithuania's Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius.

Venezuela Ships More Oil to US in July vs June

Venezuela's PDVSA and its joint ventures last month shipped 638,325 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the United States, a 30 percent increase over June due to larger sales of upgraded oil, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuelan crude output has declined this year to its lowest point in 27 years due to a lack of investment and payment delays to oil service firms, affecting exports to customers in key markets including the United States. Even though the volume of crude sent to the United States in July was larger than the previous month, it was 22 percent below the same month in 2016. The main U.S. receiver of Venezuelan crude last month was refiner Valero Energy, followed by PDVSA's refining unit in the United States, Citgo Petroleum.

HII to Pay $9.2 Mln in False Billing Settlement

File photo: Chris Oxley / HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII) has agreed to a $9.2 million settlement of allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the government for labor on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships at its shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss. Under the settlement, HII will make a payment of $7.9 million which, combined with earlier repayments, will result in the settlement recovery of approximately $9.2 million. “Contractors that knowingly bill the government in violation of contract terms will face serious consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A.

DoJ Closes Vantage Probe Over Petrobras Deal

Photo: Vantage Drilling International

Vantage Drilling International, announced  that it has received a letter from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) acknowledging Vantage's full cooperation in the DOJ's investigation concerning possible violations by Vantage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and indicating that the DOJ has closed its investigation without any action. The investigation arose in 2015 from allegations of improper payments to former officials of Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (Petrobras) in connection with the contracting of the Titanium Explorer drillship to Petrobras.

Iran: Drones Near U.S. Warships are Safe

Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) rejected U.S. criticism that it flew a drone unsafely near a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf and it defended its right to carry out air patrol missions in the area. On Monday the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said that an Iranian drone had come within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of a U.S. aircraft carrier while it was in international waters in the Gulf conducting flight operations. Spokesman Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey said the Iranian drone "conducted an unsafe and unprofessional approach" as it passed by the USS Nimitz without navigation lights late on Sunday. Iran's IRGC…

US Destroyer Challenges China's Claims in South China Sea

USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) (U.S. Navy photo by James Vazquez)

A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

U.S. Navy Relieves Seventh Fleet Commander

A file image of the USS John S. McCain returning to port.

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday said it had removed Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin after a series of collisions involving its warships in Asia as the search goes on for 10 sailors missing since the latest mishap. Aucoin's removal comes after a pre-dawn collision between a guided-missile destroyer and a merchant vessel east of Singapore and Malaysia on Monday, the fourth major incident in the U.S. Pacific Fleet this year. "Admiral Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet…

NAMEPA to Honor Founding Chairman Maitland

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) announced that Clay Maitland will receive the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award at an awards dinner in New York on October 26. Maitland, who is a Managing Partner of International Registries, Inc (Marshall Islands Ship Registry), is being recognized for his many industry accomplishments including being a NAMEPA co-founder. “Clay is one of the finest examples in our industry of a successful businessman who expends nearly as much energy on philanthropy,” said NAMEPA Chairman Joe Hughes. Maitland has worked in the shipping industry since graduation from law school in 1968. He was employed by International Registries, Inc.

CMA CGM Invests in NYSHEX Market

Photo: CMA CGM

CMA CGM, a world leader in container shipping, is pleased to announce its participation in the first ever New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX) fundraiser, the first digital marketplace for ocean freight contracts. This investment is made alongside Hapag Lloyd, GE Ventures and Goldman Sachs, for a cumulative investment of $13 million. It is carried out through CMA CGM Ventures, the corporate venture structure recently created by the CMA CGM Group and dedicated to investments in innovative technologies.

US LNG Exports to Increase: EIA

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook projects that the United States will export more natural gas than it imports in 2017. The U.S. has been a net exporter for three of the past four months and is expected to continue to export more natural gas than it imports for the rest of 2017 and throughout 2018. The nation’ status as a net exporter is expected to continue past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The U.S.

False Citizenship Claim Leads to Conviction

R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hal Robbins, Special Agent in Charge, Southeast Division, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Keith Perniciaro, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Jonathan Sall, Special Agent in Charge, United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, Southeast Region, announced today that defendant, David N. Straker, a citizen of Barbados residing in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, was convicted by guilty plea and sentenced by United States District Court Judge Paul Huck in Miami, Florida, in connection with the submission of false document to the United States Coast Guard, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

As IOC Books Cargoes, Nigerian October Liftings Mixed

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

India's IOC booked a total of 4 million barrels from traders Shell and Total, while Nigeria's initial October export plans mostly showed slipping levels. Export plans for Forcados, Qua Iboe, Bonny Light, Bonga Erha, Amenam and Usan nearly all showed lower figures compared with September. Forcados exports were scheduled to rise to 256,000 bpd, and Erha also showed an increase. But Qua Iboe, the largest export stream, and the other grades released were all set to slip month-on-month. There were roughly 10-15 cargoes left from the September loading plan.

India to Buy $1 Billion of US Crude Oil

New Prosperity crude carrier will deliver the first shipment of US crude to India's Paradip port (Odisha, India) in the last week of September. (Image: India House)

Following Indianan Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 2017 visit to the U.S., where President Donald Trump and PM Modi agreed to deepen the energy engagement between the two countries, India oil companies have started the process of procuring crude oil from the U.S. Now six weeks after the visit, the first orders for $1 billion of crude are being placed. Two Indian oil giants, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum, have already taken delivery of the first 2 million barrels that have shipped from ports in Texas and Louisiana.

River Pilot Pleads Guilty

Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced that TEAL MURDOCH GRUE, a river pilot and member of the New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilot's Association ("NOBRA") pled guilty to a Superseding Bill of Information charging him with making false material statements to the United States and misuse of a Federal Pilot's License. GRUE admitted he filed applications with attachments to the Regional Examination Center for the United States Coast Guard in New Orleans, La., in September, 1999 and again in March, 2000, which contained false material statements and entries regarding his personal and marine history with the United States Coast Guard in order to obtain a First Class Pilot's License.

SS United States Supporters Push for NY Return

SS United States: Photo CCL

The 'SS United States' - America's Flagship - is making her final push to return home to New York with a DAY OF ACTION on Thursday, 4, September in Manhattan that will also feature an announcement by a developer interested in re-purposing the historic ship into a major waterfront destination, says the SS United States Conservancy organization. The SS United States redevelopment will create more than 2000 jobs and generate significant revenue for the city. Volunteers will be handing…

Shipping Company and Chief Engineer Plead Guilty

Ionia Management, S.A. ("Ionia"), a Greek shipping company with offices in Piraeus, Greece, and Christos Kostakis, chief engineer aboard the M/T (Motor Tanker) Alkyon, a commercial oil and chemical tanker operated by IONIA, pled guilty to covering-up ocean dumping of waste oil by making false entries in a ship log and presenting that log to the United States Coast Guard in the course of an inspection required before docking at a United States port. The guilty pleas were entered in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, before United States District Judge Allyne R. Ross. According to the felony information filed, the Alkyon, like other large ships, produce waste oil from operation of its engineering machinery.

United Defense to Acquire United States Marine Repair

United Defense Industries announced that it has agreed to acquire closely held United States Marine Repair, Inc., a provider of non-nuclear ship repair, modernization, overhaul and conversion services to the United States Navy, for $316 million. Based in Norfolk, Va., United States Marine Repair serves defense and commercial customers at six strategically located ship repair operations in the major ports of Norfolk, Va.; San Diego, San Francisco and San Pedro, Calif.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and Ingleside, Texas. In addition to the company's primary customer, the U.S. Navy, its current customers include the Military Sealift Command, the U.S. Army, the Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and commercial cruise lines such as Holland-America and Royal Caribbean.

Japanese Company Pleads Guilty to Illegal Dumping

Karin J. Immergut, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Debra W. Yang, United States Attorney for the Central District of California, Donald P. Sims, Special Agent in Charge of the Portland Area Office, Criminal Investigation Division of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-CID), United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Jeffrey Garrett, Commander 13th Coast Guard District, and United States Coast Guard Captain Paul Jewell, Captain of the Port, Portland, announced today that Fujitrans Corporation, a Japanese transportation company, pled guilty to four felony charges for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, Title 33, United States Code, Section 1908(a) and Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 151.25(a), (d) and (h).

Renewed Effort to Save SS United States

As momentum builds for the effort to save and repurpose the greatest American ocean liner ever built, the SS United States Redevelopment Project (SSUSRP) announced that it has named New Canaan Advisors LLC (NCA) as real estate advisors to a growing team leading this exciting redevelopment program. New Canaan Advisors will assist the SSUSRP on a number of aspects related to transforming the historic ship into a stationary, multi-purpose waterfront destination. The SS United States, which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its maiden voyage this year, remains the largest passenger vessel ever constructed in the United States. At nearly 1,000 feet long, she remains the fastest ocean liner to cross the North Atlantic and one of the last surviving of the great 20th Century liners.

Documentary Planned on SS United States

Reston, Virginia based company, Rock Creek Productions, Inc. is producing a historical documentary entitled The Big U. The film focuses on the life and times of the superliner SS United States and her Philadelphia born designer, William Francis Gibbs. The SS United States has been on the National Register for Historic Places since 1999. The filmmakers are aiming for a 2008 national release on PBS. “I sailed on the ship when I was a little boy, and it’s remained in the back of my mind all these years. I’ve learned what an instrumental figure Gibbs was in the success of our nation’s navy fleets at a time when the United States ruled the oceans. Now it’s time for America to hear and learn about these forgotten icons,” stated Rock Creek’s Vice President and Producer/Director Tim Phillips.

Five Indicted on Fraudulent Seamen Charges

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida has stated that five people have been indicted for bringing aliens into the United States by falsely asserting that the aliens were seamen joining ships in U.S. ports. The indicted individuals allegedly prepared false identification documents and made false statements to government officials. If convicted, the defendants face between five and ten years' imprisonment and fines of $250,000 as to each count. Maria Machado Diaz, Larry Milton, Guillermo Vidaurre, Delber Diaz, and Marvin Joseph, Jr., are being charged with migrant smuggling. They are facing five and ten years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to each count. The agencies have been investigating Diaz and associates since October 2002.

News: Fraudulent Seamen Charges Brought on 5

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida has stated that five people have been indicted for bringing aliens into the United States by falsely asserting that the aliens were seamen joining ships in U.S. ports. The indicted individuals allegedly prepared false identification documents and made false statements to government officials. If convicted, the defendants face between five and 10 years' imprisonment and fines of $250,000 as to each count. Maria Machado Diaz, Larry Milton, Guillermo Vidaurre, Delber Diaz, and Marvin Joseph, Jr., are being charged with migrant smuggling. They are facing five and 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to each count. The agencies have been investigating Diaz and associates since October 2002.

Merchant Marine Ceremony to be Held

On June 12, there will be an observance at the United States Navy Memorial honoring members of the United States Merchant Marine who sacrificed their lives, and to honor all who rallied to defend the cause of liberty and human dignity. The United States Navy Memorial honors all men and women in all sea services.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2017 - The Shipyard Edition

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.

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