United States News

17 Jan 2020

US Refiners Grab HSFO on Back of IMO 2020

© Fotos von Schiffen / Adobe Stock

U.S. refiners are scooping up cheap high-sulfur fuel oil for processing from Russia and the Baltic states as they take advantage of new shipping rules that have cut demand for the dirtier marine fuel, according to oil traders and shipping data.U.S. refiners Valero Corp, Chevron Corp and Phillips 66 have been buying HSFO, traders said, taking advantage of their complex operations to turn HSFO blended with crude oils into products like diesel, gasoil and gasoline.This month, 2.2 million tonnes of fuel oil…

15 Jan 2020

The Mighty Mississippi: Taming the Bull

© Tiago Lopes Fernandez / Adobe Stock

The beneficial use of dredge material sets a record in FY 2019. And, we’re just getting started. Funding will be the key.In mid-November 2018, concerns began to rise about an unseasonably high river stages on the Upper Mississippi River Basin generated by significant precipitation events. As a navigation representative on the Lower Mississippi River, I have unfortunately learned that the river system is changing and that precipitation around the world has been increasing for decades.

15 Jan 2020

The Good, the Bad and the Undeniably Ugly

© SunnyS / Adobe Stock

The end of 2019 promises to be a busy, and potentially discordant, legislative and regulatory period for the United States maritime industry as both Congress and the Executive Branch look to take decisive action, with both positive and negative potential impacts depending on your perspective. With appropriation and authorization bills still pending, and various open regulatory actions, there are significant opportunities for maritime stakeholders to influence policy outcomes.Funding Fights Continue in CongressOn October 31…

15 Jan 2020

Maersk Chief Warns EU Antitrust Policy Benefits China, US

© Oliver Hoffman / Adobe Stock

Strict EU enforcement of competition rules prevents the development of the global champions necessary to compete with Chinese and U.S. companies, the head of shipping company Maersk warned in an interview."Is it really a good idea that we don't allow the creation of a European global champion? In doing so, we risk being outperformed by a Chinese company, over which the European Union has no influence," Maersk CEO Soren Skou told Danish business daily Finans.A Maersk spokeswoman confirmed his comments to Reuters.Skou is a member of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT)…

14 Jan 2020

Russian Tanker Back in Region After Shipping U.S. LNG to Europe

© O.B. / MarineTraffic.com

A Russian gas tanker that is used to secure energy supplies in the west Russian enclave of Kaliningrad has arrived back in the region after being leased out to transport U.S.-produced LNG to Europe, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Tuesday.Two energy sources told Reuters in November that energy trader Gunvor had leased the Marshal Vasilevskiy tanker from Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom for loading an LNG cargo in the United States.That surprised the LNG shipping market because U.S.

09 Jan 2020

Georgia Scraps Deal on Major Port Project

© Image'in / Adobe Stock

Georgia has ended an investment agreement with an international consortium for one of the biggest projects in the former Soviet country, the construction of a major deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, its infrastructure minister said on Thursday.The nine-phase project to improve access to Central Asia and the Middle East had received support from Georgia's strategic partner, the United States, as well as the European Union, which had labelled the planned port at Anaklia a priority project."The government discussed this issue and decided that further postponement does not make sense…

09 Jan 2020

Mideast Tensions Create Insurance Headache for Tanker Owners

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Even as the United States and Iran appear to signal a keenness to avoid further conflict, oil and gas shipowners are bracing to pay a price for the war of words that culminated in rocket strikes in Iraq over the last week - higher insurance bills.According to industry sources, payments known as war risk premiums for tankers shuttling through the Strait of Hormuz could rise significantly, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to shipping costs in some cases that will ultimately…

07 Jan 2020

SGRE Wins 2.6GW Offshore Turbine Deal in US

Image: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), the world’s largest supplier of offshore wind turbines, won the order for Dominion Energy’s 2,640-megawatt project off the coast of Virginia, U.S.A.According to a press release from the Spanish-based engineering company company, this is the largest offshore wind power project in the rapidly increasing U.S. market to date.A long-term service and maintenance agreement is included for the site located off the coast of Virginia. The agreement…

07 Jan 2020

U.S Warns About Threats to Vessels in Gulf

© Igor Kardasov / Adobe Stock

The United States Maritime Administration website has renewed its warning about threats to U.S. commercial vessels from Iran and its proxies in the Gulf and surrounding area.The notification, valid from Monday to Jan 13., is not substantially different from an initial warning issued on Friday. "There remains the possibility of Iranian action against U.S. maritime interests in the region," both notices said.(Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Alison Williams)

06 Jan 2020

Tankers Flock to US as Freight Rates Surge

© DJ / MarineTraffic.com

A flotilla of oil tankers is sailing empty from Europe and the Mediterranean toward the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of surging shipping rates, according to shipping sources and Refinitiv Eikon data on Monday.Eight tankers, an unusually high number, are in the Atlantic and steaming to the United States, with capacity of up to 5.6 million barrels of oil combined, the people said. Freight rates for Aframax vessels out of the U.S. Gulf coast hit record levels last month, drawing…

07 Jan 2020

IMO 2020: U.S. Restricts the Use of Certain Fuels in Scrubber Vessels

Copyright: diegocardini/AdobeStock

With the January 1 implementation of IMO 2020, which requires dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of emissions from ocean-going vessels, the United States government issued a new rule that it asserts actually facilitates the distribution of compliant fuel.The US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that it is taking steps to allow for the distribution of distillate fuel with sulfur content of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur—something that it asserts was previously prohibited.

06 Jan 2020

Britain's Navy to Escort UK Ships Through Strait of Hormuz

(Photo: UK Royal Navy)

Britain's navy will accompany UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz to provide protection after the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani inflamed tensions in the region.Britain's defence minister, Ben Wallace, ordered the HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to prepare to return to escort duties in the major oil shipping route as Prime Minister Boris Johnson came in for criticism for his silence over the killing.Media reports have said Johnson is on holiday in the Caribbean."The government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time…

03 Jan 2020

Op/Ed: What Good Boats Can Do

(Photo: OMSA)

Stay in your lane. Ignoring such wisdom can result in catastrophe if you’re drag racing and lead to general unpleasantness on bowling league nights. This same guidance in other circumstances, for example, can be toxic. It can inhibit innovation and, at the worst possible moment, prevent the sensible use of available resources to improve a bad situation.In satisfying the demands of the offshore energy sector, the U.S. maritime industry has developed incredibly versatile tools.

03 Jan 2020

Venezuela Alters Oil Royalty Formulas, Driven by IMO 2020

© Parilov / Adobe Stock

Venezuela has changed the formulas for calculating royalties energy companies pay the government to remove references to fuel oil and some crude grades, driven by stricter rules governing marine fuel emissions, according to a document seen by Reuters.A ban by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on the use of fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5%, aimed at reducing pollution, has roiled oil markets and caused price volatility for…

01 Jan 2020

South Korean Yards Close Year with No.1 Spot

Image: Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI)

South Korean shipbuilders are expected to maintain their status as the world’s top position in new orders this year, although they may fail to meet their annual order targets.South Korean shipbuilders have secured new orders totaling 7.12 million compensated gross tons to build a total of 168 ships through November, accounting for 36 percent of the total deals placed around the globe, said a report in Yonhap.According to the report, the Chinese rivals have bagged 7.08 million CGTs worth of orders for 304 ships in the first 11 months of the year…

30 Dec 2019

Sandy Hook Pilots Issue Statement on Operational Fatality

Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood

Coast Guard responds to deadly New York harbor pilot accident.On December 30, 2019 at approximately 0430, Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood was involved in an incident while boarding a container vessel inbound to the Port of New York & New Jersey. He sustained injuries after falling from an accommodation ladder and was evacuated to a local hospital where his injuries proved to be fatal. Prior to the incident, Captain Sherwood had been piloting vessels in and out of the Port of New York & New Jersey for over 35 years.The incident is being investigated by the United States Coast Guard.

30 Dec 2019

OSG Acquires Alaska Tanker

Image: Overseas Shipholding Group

Overseas Shipholding Group, the tanker company providing energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products in the U.S. Flag markets, has entered into agreements with BP Oil Shipping Company USA and BP AMI Leasing to purchase the crude oil carrier vessels operated by Alaska Tanker Company (ATC).OSG currently owns a 37.5% interest in ATC. As part of the above transaction, OSG will acquire the remaining 62.5% interest of ATC that it does not own.According to the publicly traded tanker company…

27 Dec 2019

Captain Pleads Guilty to Operating Bulker While Intoxicated

© Marko Waite / MarineTraffic.com

The master of a Gibraltar-flagged bulk carrier has pleaded guilty to operating a commercial cargo ship while intoxicated, announced U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Marie Byrd.In pleading guilty, Vadim Humenyuk, of Izmail, Ukraine, admitted that he was intoxicated while serving as the 590-foot long Rainbow Quest while in San Francisco Bay and preparing to sail to South Korea. The plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon.The investigation began on Tuesday…

27 Dec 2019

INSIGHTS: Niels Aalund

Niels Aalund was elected President of the International Propeller Club at their 93rd International Convention and Conference. The prominent maritime industry stakeholder will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, also serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA). WGMA communicates and coordinates with various governmental entities throughout the West Gulf…

27 Dec 2019

Japan Sending Warship, Aircraft to Middle East

File Image: A Japanese naval asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JP Aaron

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday.Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region.If there are any emergencies…

27 Dec 2019

Russia, China, Iran start IO Naval Drills

A russian naval vessel underway at sea (© AdobeStock)

Iran, China and Russia began joint naval drills on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, in what Moscow said was an unprecedented exercise in naval cooperation and training.Waters around Iran have become a focus for international tensions, with the United States exerting pressure for Iranian crude oil sales and other trade ties to be cut off."The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity... and its result will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated…

26 Dec 2019

Five Common Mistakes in Maritime Contracts

Copyright: byemo/AdobeStock

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Henry de Bracton, DeLegibus, ~1240Often clients or prospective clients come to me with a commercial contract issue perched on the precipice of full-blown litigation or arbitration. When I ask to see the contract, often times I see errors in drafting that either (1) give rise to the problem before me or (2) could create a bigger problem for the client in the future.The risk of drafting error is higher for Europeans looking to contract with American companies.

26 Dec 2019

Matson Takes Delivery of First Kanaloa Class ConRo

Matson's newest vessel, the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off ("con-ro") ship ever built in the United States. Image Credit: NASSCO

Largest "Con-Ro" Ship Built in U.S. Will Serve Hawaii.Matson today took delivery of its newest vessel, the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off ("con-ro") ship ever built in the United States, from General Dynamics NASSCO. Christened 'Lurline,' the new ship is the first of two "Kanaloa Class" con-ro vessels being built for Matson by NASSCO at a total cost of approximately $500 million for the pair, and the third of four new vessels that Matson is putting into service between 2018 and 2020.

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