Venezuela News

04 Nov 2019

Vens Pledge Funds for Argentine Shipyard to Finish PDVSA Tankers

File Image: The M/T PROTEO, a PDVSA tanker in dry dock. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday pledged funds for a state-owned Argentine shipyard to finish building two long- overdue tankers for state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, which is struggling with a diminished tanker fleet.Maduro, a socialist who has overseen a drastic economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation and stands accused of corruption and human rights violations, did not say how much money Venezuela would provide or when it would be disbursed.But…

01 Nov 2019

Brazil Targets Greek Tanker in Pollution Probe

BOUBOULINA / CREDIT: MarineTraffic.Com / © Leo Noordzij

Brazilian investigators said on Friday a Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil tarring thousands of kilometers of coastline over the past two months.While prosecutors and police did not name the vessel, a prosecutors' document obtained by Reuters identified the ship as the Bouboulina, owned by Greece's Delta Tankers Ltd. Police said the tanker appears to have spilled the crude about 700 km (420 miles) off Brazil's coast between July 28-29, bound for…

01 Nov 2019

Brazil Federal Police Investigate Greek Ship in Connection with Oil Spill

Brazil's federal police on Friday announced a potential breakthrough in the investigation into the causes of a mysterious oil spill that has baffled authorities and Brazilians for about two months.Police said they were investigating a Greek-flagged ship allegedly responsible for the oil spill, which they claim may have occurred about 700 km (420 miles) off the Brazilian coast between July 28-29 after the vessel made a stop in Venezuela.In a statement, federal police said they were carrying out search warrants at addresses linked to a company of Greek nationality.Brazilian authorities said they had also requested cooperation from international agencies…

23 Oct 2019

Oil Stockpiling Builds Ahead of IMO 2020 Rules

EXXON's Rotterdam Refinery (CREDIT: EXXON)

S-Oil, South Korea's third-largest refiner, said on Wednesday that regional refining margins are expected to improve in the fourth quarter on the back of inventory build-up ahead of implementation of stricter rules on marine fuels in 2020.The refiner, whose top shareholder is Saudi Aramco, said in an earnings statement, strong demand for heating oil was also expected to support refining margins, along with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s stricter shipping fuel…

18 Oct 2019

Exxon, Trafigura Tap Lower Freight Rates

A VLCC loads crude oil in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (File image / credit Port of Corpus Christi)

U.S. crude exports to Asia, which have slumped due to record freight costs, stirred on Thursday as rates slid and the premium in Asia for Russia's ESPO Blend oil sent buyers back to U.S. grades, according to market sources.Oil shipping costs for United States Gulf Coast to Asia cooled this week from record highs on the prospect of more vessels becoming available. Nearly 300 oil tankers globally were placed off limits due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.Seventeen supertankers returned to service in October after being sidelined for overhauls, as 11 entered drydocks.

11 Oct 2019

U.S. Sanctions Bite; Traders Shun 300 Tankers

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Nearly 300 oil tankers globally have been placed off limits as companies fear violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, driving freight rates to new highs, industry sources said.The move has taken roughly 3% of the global oil tanker fleet out of the market, according to industry sources and data on Refinitiv Eikon, sending rates soaring to secure tankers to ship oil, particularly to Asia."Freight rates are going through the roof and people are getting very nervous with the cost of shipping…

08 Oct 2019

Disruptions to Global Shipping Industry Explained

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Oil shipping rates are soaring following a series of sanctions on a Chinese transportation giant and limitations placed on movement of Venezuelan crude oil tankers.WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SHIPPING RATES?The cost of chartering a supertanker to send crude oil from one country to another is rising sharply. A South Korean importer paid more than $12 million in shipping costs for one crude shipment from the U.S. Gulf Coast. This was followed by Friday's tentative charter of another crude…

06 Oct 2019

Workshop on Implementing MARPOL

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

What are the barriers to implementing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations to cut emissions from ships and how can these be overcome?These were key questions explored during an IMO regional workshop on effective ratification and implementation of MARPOL Annex VI and the  initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, held in Viña del Mar, Chile (30 September-2 October).Participants identified existing barriers preventing ratification of MARPOL Annex VI…

04 Oct 2019

Exxon Mobil Bans Tankers Linked to PDVSA Commerce

File image of the Proteo, a PDVSA tanker (Credit: MarineTraffic.com / © Keyla Erazo

Exxon Mobil Corp this week banned the use of vessels linked to oil flows from Venezuela in the last year, according to four people familiar with the matter, placing new pressure on the U.S. sanctioned country and on global crude freight rates.The largest publicly-traded oil producer's contract clause would affect about 250 tankers, two of the people familiar with the matter estimated. Exxon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Over 25 foreign vessels touch Venezuelan ports per month, according to PDVSA's and Refinitiv Eikon data.Reporting by Collin Eaton

24 Sep 2019

U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Firms Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba

© Marit / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, amid an acute fuel scarcity in the island that is forcing people to line up for gasoline and public transport.Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba's state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela…

20 Sep 2019

IUMI Reports Cut in Offshore Insurance Premiums

James McDonald. Photo: IUMI

International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) Offshore Energy Committee reported a further reduction in global offshore energy premiums.Global premiums in this sector were reported to be USD 3.4 billion which represented a 3% reduction from 2017. This continued the downward trend: premiums in 2017 were down 5% on the previous year and premiums in 2016 were down 21% on 2015.James McDonald, Chair of the IUMI Offshore Energy Committee said: "The drop in premium income has largely followed the oil price which has dipped by around 20% over the past year.

30 Aug 2019

McQuilling Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook

File Image: AdobeStock / © Carabay

McQuilling Services Announces the Release of the 2019 Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook Update.The Mid-Year Tanker Market Outlook Update provides an outlook on the global tanker market in the context of global economic growth and oil fundamentals influencing tanker demand and vessel supply. The outlook includes a view on future asset values, time charter rates, market freight rates and TCE revenues for 24 major tanker trades and four triangulated routes across eight vessel segments for the second half of 2019 through the remaining four years of the forecast period 2019-2023.

20 Aug 2019

Fire Hits PDVSA Tanker at Amuay Bay

The Motor Tanker PROTEO (Credit MarineTraffic.Com © Erazo)

A fire swept through the engine room of a tanker owned by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA on Monday while it was anchored at Amuay Bay near the country's largest refinery, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.The extent of the damage to the Panama-flagged Aframax tanker Proteo was not immediately clear. But it highlighted the poor state of much of the fleet belonging to PDV Marina, PDVSA's shipping subsidiary, at a time when U.S. sanctions are complicating its ability to lease vessels from third parties.Even before this fire…

16 Aug 2019

Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal

© vintagepix/AdobeStock

The Panama Canal will allow vessels coming from Venezuela to transit the waterway provided they present the necessary paperwork, the canal authority's chief said on Wednesday, suggesting a new round of U.S. sanctions on the South American country may not make any difference to canal traffic.President Donald Trump's administration last week issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. Shortly thereafter, U.S. officials ratcheted up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.The measure did not explicitly place sanctions on non-U.S.

09 Aug 2019

Workshop on Implementing IMO Treaties

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaties need to be implemented into national law so that they can be applied on ships flying the flag of a particular country and so that those countries can implement effective port State control and comply with other obligations under the specified IMO instruments.According to the UN body, an IMO course provides lawyers and legislative drafters with the tools they need to understand IMO treaties, how they are developed and adopted…

07 Aug 2019

Panama: Canal Operating normally; no ships detained

file image: A containership in the Panama Canal (CREDIT:CH2M)

Panama's Canal Authority said on Wednesday that the canal was operating normally and without delays, adding that no ships had been detained in the trade waterway.The entity posted the statement on Twitter in response to a tweet from Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, who said a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of soy had been detained in the canal.Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon

22 Jul 2019

Sanlorenzo Americas Names New CEO

Photo: Sanlorenzo Americas

Marco Segato has been appointed CEO of Sanlorenzo Americas, the division that has aided in the Italian superyacht-builder’s expansion in North, Central and South America for the last 10 years.The  Italian shipbuilding company company said that Marco Segato, formerly Vice President of Sales of Sanlorenzo Americas since 2014, held important positions in the field of strategic consulting and business development Having developed a great wealth of experience in the boating sector…

26 Jun 2019

U.S. Court to Decide Who Will Control Citgo

AdobeStock / © Renaschild

A U.S. court will decide whether a board of directors appointed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or one backed by his rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, runs the eighth-largest U.S. refiner, Citgo Petroleum Corp.A lawsuit filed by Maduro's representatives on Tuesday in Delaware Chancery Court seeks to reassert control over Citgo , along with other U.S. subsidiaries of PDVSA , the Venezuelan state-run oil company.Citgo, Venezuela's most important foreign asset, has been caught in a tug-of-war as U.S.

14 Jun 2019

US Leads World Oil Reserves

Graph: Rystad Energy

The United States has a world-leading 293 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources, which is 20Bbbl more than Saudi Arabia and 100Bbbl more than Russia, with the Permian Basin leading that charge.Rystad Energy’s estimate of US recoverable oil is also five times more than officially reported proven reserves as published in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019.Tight oil plays in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico now hold 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources, according to Rystad Energy’s analysis.

04 Jun 2019

Record Number of VLCC Liftings at LOOP

Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Medium-sour crudes from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are being snapped up by overseas buyers, paving way for a record six supertankers to load at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) in a matter of weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.The six scheduled loadings in late May and early June would double the record of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) reached in December. An unusual influx of Gulf of Mexico crudes to the U.S. deepwater export port and weakening prices are contributing to the exports…

30 May 2019

First ANS Cargo in One Year on Way to China

the Sonangol Cabinda (CREDIT MarineTraffic.com / © V. Tonic)

One million barrels of Alaskan crude is due in China next week, the first such shipment in almost a year, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon and vessel-tracking firm Kpler.China's imports of U.S. crude have fallen amid the two countries' trade dispute to 41,600 barrels per day (bpd) in the six months ended February, from 377,000 bpd in the first half of 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Tanker Sonangol Cabinda departed last week from Alaska's Valdez terminal carrying Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude and is projected to arrive June 6 in Qingdao…

23 May 2019

Tanker Market Faces Headwinds: Teekay

Pic: Teekay

Average crude tanker spot rates moderately increased during the first quarter of 2019, as some of the positive drivers from late 2018 continued into early 2019, said Teekay Tankers."These included high seasonal oil demand, the impact of winter weather delays, and relatively high global oil production prior to the full implementation of OPEC supply cuts," it said.However, spot tanker rates weakened as the quarter went on, and the market faces a number of near-term headwinds during the second quarter of 2019.The largest operator of mid-sized tankers including suezmax…

07 Jun 2019

US Oil Output Heads for More Records in 2019

Graph: Rystad Energy

U.S. total oil production, which is already off to an amazing start in 2019,  is on track to set another record for this year.New records are expected both when the final numbers for May emerge and at the end of the year, said Rystad Energy.The energy research and business intelligence company is raising its forecast for US crude output to 13.4 million barrels per day (bpd) by December 2019. For May 2019, our research and calculations point to crude oil production averaging 12.5 million bpd. Both are new all-time highs.“Our US supply projections have been revised up yet again.

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