Marine Link
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Washington News

Reacting to Iranian Threat, U.S. Navy Says Will Protect Free Flow of Commerce

The U.S. Navy stands ready to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command said on Thursday, after Iran threatened to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if Washington bans its oil sales."The U.S. and its partners provide and promote security and stability in the region. Together, we stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows," Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in an email to Reuters. Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Editing by Alison Williams

Coast Guard to Raise Missouri Tourist Boat after Deadly Sinking

Salvage equipment that will be used to remove Stretch Duck 7 begins to arrive at the staging area at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, July 22, 2018. The Coast Guard will oversee salvage operations, tentatively scheduled to begin July 23, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lora Ratliff)

The U.S. Coast Guard was preparing on Monday to recover the "duck boat" that sank beneath storm-whipped waves in a Missouri lake last week, drowning 17 people in one of the deadliest tourist accidents in the United States in years.After raising the World War Two-style amphibious landing craft from Table Rock Lake outside the popular vacation town of Branson, the Coast Guard said, it will hand boat over to federal investigators.Thirty-one people were aboard the Ride the Ducks boat last Thursday when a sudden…

Asian Refiners Rush to Secure Feedstock as Trade War Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Carabay)

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect Friday; China retaliates, duty on U.S. crude possible. Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and as Washington plans tough sanctions against Iran aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets. As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's U.S. tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude. Meanwhile, Washington's new sanctions against Tehran are due to kick in from November.

U.S.-China Trade Battle Heats Up

https://magazines.marinelink.com/nwm/MaritimeProfessional/201805/

Dueling tariffs raise fears of long A U.S.-China trade fight resulting in duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports was seen dragging on for a potentially prolonged period, as Washington and Beijing flexed their muscles with no sign of negotiations to ease tensions.Friday marked the start of the U.S. duties that were promptly met with retribution by China, as Beijing accused the United States of triggering the "largest-scale trade war."The escalating fight between the…

Nordic Lady: Keeping a Good Boat Up to Date

The Nordic Lady all back together and ready for sea trials. (Photo: 
 Southeast Diesel)

When Trygve Westergard bought the 98- by 28-foot Judi B in the spring of 2016 he was entering a new chapter in a varied marine career. Growing up on a remote island off Ketchikan, Alaska as the third generation of Norwegian-Danish family, he had fishing in his blood and his environment. A stint at the California Maritime Academy earned him an unlimited masters license and a BS in marine transportation.After a decade of running everything from ferries to off-shore boats and filling the gaps with fishing, Westergard decided it was time to come home.

Investigators Examine DVR Content from Fatal Duck Boat Sinking

The SD card from the digital video recorder system on board the amphibious DUKW "Stretch Boat 7" that sank July 19 near Branson, Mo. (Photo: NTSB)

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have completed their initial review of the digital video recorder system recovered from the fatal duck boat sinking near Branson, Mo.The Ride The Ducks amphibious vehicle DUKW Stretch Boat 7 had 29 passengers and two crewmembers on board for a tour on July 19 when deteriorating weather conditions caused the vessel to sink in Table Rock Lake, killing 16 passengers and one crew member.Recording media including an…

Why is Saudi Arabia Halting Red Sea Oil Shipments?

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait.

Bisso Offshore Orders New Tugs from Eastern

(Image: Estern Shipbuilding Group)

Estern Shipbuilding Group announced it has signed a new contract with Bisso Offshore, LLC for the construction of two Robert Allan Ltd. RApport 2400 Ship Handing Tugs with escort capability. The deal was signed on May 31, 2018.Bisso Offshore is one of Eastern’s long term customers and has taken delivery of four previous modern Z-drive tugs from Eastern since 2006.These two new Robert Allan RApport 2400 design tugs have been customized by the designer and owner to provide specific operational features while also meeting new EPA Tier 4 and USCG Sub-M requirements.Joey D’Isernia…

Iran Naval Drills Underway Amid Tensions with U.S.

File Image: U.S. Navy warships underway and engaged in underway replenishment. CREDIT: U.S. Navy

The United States believes Iran has started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100 vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats. A second official expected the drill could be wrapped up this week.Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an international nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Peak Pegasus Finally Unloads US Soybeans in China

© Jackie Pritchard / MarineTraffic.com

A vessel carrying U.S. soybeans was unloading its cargo worth at least $23 million at the Chinese port of Dalian on Monday, becoming one of the first shipments to incur hefty new import duties as the trade row deepens between Beijing and Washington.The docking of the vessel after five weeks anchored off China's coast ended long-running speculation over the fate of the cargo, which had captured public attention.China's state grains stockpiler Sinograin confirmed in a fax to Reuters it will pay the additional 25 percent import tariff on its 70,000 tonne cargo of the oilseed.

After Soybeans, EU Touts US LNG Imports to Woo Trump on Trade

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

The European Union said it was delivering on a deal with U.S. President Donald Trump to buy more U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Thursday but called on Washington to do more to make its prices competitive.In talks to urge Trump to drop hefty new tariffs last month, the EU's chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work to increase imports of U.S. soybeans and LNG to the bloc.The EU has long worked to diversify away from relying on Russia for almost 40 percent of its gas needs by developing LNG infrastructure to access other suppliers like the United States.Whether U.S.

REGULATORY WATCH: The Global 0.50% Sulfur Cap: 30 months and counting down …

Industry frets about the coming deadline. Shipping desperately wants to be ready, but will global shore-based infrastructure and refining capacity match the demand that is sure to come? And … are regulators listening to industry’s concerns? In early June, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public workshop in Washington to help the agencies prepare for the January 1, 2020 deadline for worldwide implementation of very low sulfur marine fuel that meets the new 0.50% sulfur cap as set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Panama, China Start Free Trade Talks, Eye Regional Hub

(Photo courtesy Panama Canal Authority)

Panama and China opened free trade talks on Monday with the aim of crafting an agreement that could turn the Central American country into a hub for Chinese goods across Latin America.Panama’s Minister for Trade and Industry Augusto Arosemena said the first round of talks would last until Friday, July 13, and establish the basis for the rest of the negotiation.Traditionally close to Washington because the U.S.

Chinese Exports Accelerate Even as Trade War Escalates

© krunja / Adobe Stock

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world's two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Aug. 23.In a statement on its official website late on Wednesday, China's commerce ministry criticised the U.S.

US Accuses N.Korea of Fuel Smuggling

© Andreas G. Karelias / Adobe Stock

The United States accused North Korea on Thursday of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel.The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. The charge of a sanctions breach comes as Washington engages North Korea in a bid to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.The North Korea U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. accusation.

Oil Falls After Libyan Ports Reopen, Trump Tariff Threat

© Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

Global oil benchmark Brent fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to levy new tariffs on China and Libya announced the reopening of key oil export terminals.The spectre of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.Brent crude fell $2.10, or 2.7 percent, to a low of $76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1325 GMT. U.S.

MACC is Definitely Back

Joseph Keefe, MarineNews Editor

Even Mother Nature Can’t Dent the Enthusiasm at this Year’s MACC.Curtis Bay, MD: On the morning after the Baltimore, MD area received a record 3.5 inches of torrential rain in just 90 minutes, this year’s Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC) kicked off without a hitch at the United States Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, MD. That may sound easy, but for those flying in Tuesday afternoon (or like myself, driving in through DC at exactly the moment that the George Washington Parkway flooded badly near the DCA Airport)…

China Will Hit Back After New US Tariffs

© lianxun zhang / Adobe Stock

China accused the United States of bullying and warned it would hit back after the Trump administration raised the stakes in their trade dispute, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday it was "shocked" and would complain to the World Trade Organisation, but did not immediately say how it would retaliate. In a statement, it called the U.S. actions "completely unacceptable".The foreign ministry described Washington's…

Coast Guard Salvages Missouri Boat after Fatal Sinking

The Coast Guard oversees the removal of Stretch Duck 7 from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, July 23, 2018. Missouri State Highway Patrol divers rigged the vessel, then a barge crane lifted it to the surface before it was towed to shore and loaded onto a flatbed trailer for transport to a secure facility. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lora Ratliff)

The U.S. Coast Guard used a floating crane on Monday to raise the "duck boat" that sank beneath storm-whipped waves in a Missouri lake last week, drowning 17 people in one of the deadliest tourist accidents in the United States in years.Workers in hard hats spent an hour or so helping divers connect slings to the World War Two-style amphibious vessel some 80 feet (24 meters) below the water's surface before raising it and dragging it, dripping but apparently intact, to dry land.The…

Rising Supply Dents Oil Gains

Oil prices fell for a third day on Thursday, following a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that added to existing concern about the rapid rise in global crude supply.Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production, as agreed at a meeting in June, to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once U.S. sanctions come into force later this year.Brent crude futures were last down 33 cents at $72.06 a barrel by 1200 GMT, while U.S. crude futures fell 55 cents to $67.11."There's been a lot of bearish news over the last week. We've seen the OPEC July numbers increasing quite drastically month-on-month and along with that…

Unipec Suspends US Oil Imports as Trade Spat Intensifies

© Gudellaphoto / Adobe Stock

China's Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, three sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.The sources declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.It is not clear how long the temporary halt will last, but one of the sources said Unipec has no new bookings of U.S. crude until at least October.Unipec and Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner and biggest buyer of U.S.

​​​​Chinese Tariffs on LNG, Oil May Threaten US Energy Dominance

© Igor Groshev / Abobe Stock

China's targeting of U.S. liquefied natural gas and crude oil exports opens a new front in the trade war between the two countries, at a time when the White House is trumpeting growing U.S. energy export prowess.China included LNG for the first time in its list of proposed tariffs on Friday, the same day that its biggest U.S. crude oil buyer, Sinopec, suspended U.S. crude oil imports due to the dispute, according to three sources familiar with the situation.On Friday, China announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S.

Hospital Ship Sinking Remembered 100 Years On

(Photo: public domain)

A Southampton-based maritime charity lowered its flag to half-mast today to commemorate the sinking of a hospital ship 100 years ago, which caused outrage across the nation when it was torpedoed in the English Channel, killing 123 people.His Majesty's Australian Transport (HMAT) Warilda was transporting hundreds of wounded soldiers from the French port of Le Havre to Southampton when, despite being clearly marked with the Red Cross, it was struck by a single torpedo from a German U-boat.Upon impact the ship’s starboard propeller was disabled…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2018 - 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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