Washington News

21 Aug 2019

Australia Joins U.S.-led Gulf Security Mission

Australia will join the United States in a security mission to protect merchant vessels travelling through key Middle East waterways after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.Foremost among the areas to be patrolled is the Strait of Hormuz, between Oman and Iran, through which about one-fifth of the world's seaborne crude flows out of the Gulf.Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of the British tanker and a series of attacks on international merchant vessels that the U.S. and Britain have blamed on Iran, though it denies involvement. Britain this month became the first U.S.

21 Aug 2019

Iran: Waterways Won't be Safe if its Oil Exports

A US Navy fleet oiler on station. CREDIT: USN

If Iran's oil exports are cut to zero, international waterways will not have the same security as before, its president said on Wednesday, cautioning Washington against upping pressure on Tehran in an angry confrontation between the longtime foes.The comment by President Hassan Rouhani coincided with a remark by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Tehran might act "unpredictably" in response to "unpredictable" U.S. policies under President Donald Trump."World powers know that in the case that oil is completely sanctioned and Iran's oil exports are brought down to zero…

20 Aug 2019

Greece: No Request Yet from Iranian Tanker to Dock

The former Grace 1 (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Greece said on Tuesday it had had no request for an oil tanker at the centre of a row between Iran and the U.S. to dock at one of its ports, as Washington warned Greece against helping the vessel.The Adrian Darya 1 - formerly the Grace 1 - left Gibraltar on Aug 18. Ship tracking data on Tuesday showed the vessel was heading to the Greek port of Kalamata on the southern coast of the Peloponnese, and was scheduled to arrive on Aug.

19 Aug 2019

Iran Tanker Released, Sets Sail for Greece

The newly renamed Adrian Darya 1, in a file image under its previous name of Grace 1. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com

An Iranian tanker sailed through the Mediterranean towards Greece on Monday after it was released from detention off Gibraltar, and Tehran said that any at U.S. move to seize the vessel again would have "heavy consequences".The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday. Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece and was scheduled to arrive next Sunday at 0000 GMT.The…

15 Aug 2019

NOAA: $2.7M for Marine Trash Studies

A marine debris team member gathers a handful of disposable cigarette lighters picked up at a beach cleanup site. (NOAA)

NOAA  announced a total of $2.7 million in grants supporting 14 projects to address the harmful effects of marine debris on wildlife, navigation safety, economic activity, and ecosystem health. With the addition of non-federal matching contributions, the total investment in these marine debris projects is more than $5.2 million.The grants, selected competitively from 82 community-based marine debris removal and research proposals received this year, are spread across 10 U.S. states and territories and 2 federally recognized tribes.

13 Aug 2019

Cruise Ships Dump 90% of Grey Water in BC

A southern resident Killer whale leaping out of the waters of Haro Strait, British Columbia, Canada © Natalie Bowes

1.54 billion liters of grey water were generated by ships off the British Columbia coast in 2017 - the equivalent of more than 600 Olympic-size swimming pools, said a study.World Wildlife Fund Canada says cruise ships traveling between Washington state and Alaska are responsible for dumping "the vast majority" of the potentially toxic grey water that ends up off the B.C. coast each year.Cruise ships accounted for 1.37 billion (almost 90%) of the 1.54 billion liters of grey water generated off the B.C.

08 Aug 2019

Energy Transfer in talks to build U.S. Gulf Coast Supertanker Crude Export Facility

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday it was in discussions to build an export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers with the capacity to transport about 2 million barrels of crude.The facility would be connected to its Nederland, Texas, crude terminal, and a final investment decision has not yet been made, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Long said during a quarterly earnings call for the company.It was not immediately clear who Energy Transfer was in discussions with.U.S. midstream companies have raced to add export terminals capable of handling Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) along the Gulf Coast as exports have surged to records after Washington lifted a ban in late 2015.Energy Transfer said it expects to take at least 2 or 3 years to bring the VLCC project into service.

08 Aug 2019

Marad: Send Gulf Transit Plans in Advance

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

The U.S. maritime agency has told U.S.-flagged commercial vessels they should send transit plans in advance to American and British naval authorities if they intend to sail in Gulf waters following several incidents over tankers involving Iran.The seizure of commercial vessels and attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have unsettled shipping lanes that link Middle Eastern oil producers to global markets.The United States, which has increased its military forces in the region…

06 Aug 2019

China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…

05 Aug 2019

Zarif: Iran to Act Over 'maritime offences'

Iran will no longer turn a blind eye to "maritime offences" in the Gulf, its foreign minister said on Monday, a day after it seized an Iraqi oil tanker there that it accused of smuggling fuel.Revolutionary Guards seized the tanker and its seven crew near Iran's Farsi Island north of the Strait of Hormuz, state media reported, in show of power amid heightened tension with the West that minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed U.S. authorities for fomenting."Iran used to forgo some maritime offences in ... (the) Gulf but will never close (its) eyes anymore," Zarif told a news conference.He criticized U.S. sanctions imposed on him on Wednesday, saying Washington had closed the door to diplomacy over Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, which U.S.

02 Aug 2019

U.S. Crude Exports Reach a Record of 3.16 mln bpd

File image: A crude vessel alongside and loading at the U.S. port of Corpus Christi, Texas

U.S. crude oil exports surged 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June to a monthly record of 3.16 million bpd as South Korea bought record volumes and China resumed purchases, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on Friday.South Korea surpassed Canada to become the biggest purchaser of U.S. crude at about 605,000 bpd. China purchased about 292,000 bpd, the most since June last year and was the third-largest buyer of U.S. crude in June, the data showed.China, once the top buyer of U.S.

02 Aug 2019

Japan Refuses to Join U.S. Middle East Coalition

File Image: a Japanese Naval warship asset (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JPAaron

Japan will not send warships to join a U.S.-led maritime force to guard oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz fearing a military response from Iran, but it may send patrol aircraft, said the Mainichi newspaper, citing unidentified government sources.But Japan may send warships independently to protect Japanese ships in the world's most important oil artery, the newspaper said on Friday."We are closely monitoring the situation and continue to collect information while working closely with the United States and other countries…

31 Jul 2019

Ship Paint: NRL Pigment Package Slows Discoloration

NRL is currently working with Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Systems Engineering Directorate, Ship Integrity & Performance Engineering (SEA 05P) to transition the new pigment combination into a military specification. The most recent vessel to receive it was USS George Washington (CVN 73). (Image: U.S. Navy)

A pigment package designed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to slow discoloration of the exterior coating on surface ships has started to make its way into the fleet and is producing early, positive results.NRL researchers created the pigment combination to satisfy the fleet requirement for the Navy standard "haze gray" paint that will remain color stable for longer than current coatings. While many paint manufacturers had produced new coating technologies that solved a variety of other problems…

31 Jul 2019

Enterprise Products to Build GoM Crude Terminal

File Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Enterprise Products Partners LP said on Wednesday it expects to take about two years to construct its oil export project called Sea Port Oil Terminal, or SPOT, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.Permitting for the terminal was expected to reach the final stages by the end of the first quarter of 2020 and final approval was expected during the second quarter, a company executive said on its second quarter earnings call.Enterprise Products signed long-term agreements with Chevron Corp to support the development of SPOT…

31 Jul 2019

CG Responds to Sunken Tug in WA Marina

Photo: USCG

Coast Guard pollution responders are responding to a report of a tug that sank at the Port Orchard Railway Marina in Port Townsend, Washington, Monday.Members from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound's Incident Management Division are on scene overseeing the removal and containment of fuel discharged from the 65-foot tug Meagan M. The vessel is currently registered as a towing vessel; however the master claims it has been used in a strictly recreational capacity for the past two years.

30 Jul 2019

U.S. DOT Names Nine Marine Highway Projects

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced the designation of nine Marine Highway Projects and a Marine Highway Route that will benefit Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington State and American Samoa. Marine highways are navigable waterways that can be used as alternate options to traditional shipping methods. “The designation of marine highways by Congress will help move cargo and people to help grow the economy and shift freight off of congested highways,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

30 Jul 2019

Rivals Iran and UAE to Hold Maritime Security Talks

© Vladimirs Ozolins / Adobe Stock

Iran was to revive maritime security talks on Tuesday with traditional foe the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an apparent bid to calm tensions in the Gulf, although a Gulf official described the discussions as routine and technical.The talks follow weeks of heightened political friction around the strategic waterway stemming from hostility between between Tehran and Washington, the main Western ally of Gulf Arab states long wary of the Islamic Republic.The discussions had been off since 2013…

30 Jul 2019

Australia: US to build Navy Port Facility

File Image: A chinese arship gets underway for patrol. Image Credit: AdobeStock / © VanderWolfe

The United States is planning to build additional military infrastructure in Australia once Congress gives approval to the U.S. Navy for $211.5 million, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Tuesday.The plans for a bigger U.S. footprint in Australia come at a time when the Western allies have become increasingly concerned by China's efforts to expand its influence in the Pacific."The development of facilities will support the Force Posture Initiatives," Payne told Sky News…

25 Jul 2019

Island Tug Adds New Z-drive ATB

Image: Robert Allan Ltd

Island Tug and Barge, a subsidiary of Tidewater Canada, said that its  second new articulated tug barge (ATB) push tug Island Regent entered service at the end of June pushing the double hulled refined petroleum products barge, ITB Reliant.The West Coast's largest bulk transporter of refined petroleum products said that the vessel was christened June 20th at Island Tug’s facility in Burrard Inlet and is the second of two, twin Z-drive, ATB push tugs for service on the West Coast…

26 Jul 2019

INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping

Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, an allegation that Iran denies. Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

Somewhere on its journey from the waters off Iran, around Africa's southern tip and into the Mediterranean, the Grace 1 oil tanker lost the flag under which it sailed and ceased to be registered to Panama. Iran later claimed it as its own.The ship carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian crude was seized by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, raising tensions in the Gulf where Iran detained a UK-flagged ship in retaliation.Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions…

23 Jul 2019

Regulatory Crewing Challenges for Offshore Wind Vessels

Photo: © halberg/Adobe Stock

Every day we see more and more news about how the planning for new offshore wind projects continues to expand with the increasing investment from both domestic and foreign interests in these projects. This is resulting in both developers and contractors making logistics plans to secure vessels and crew for the purposes of meeting the demands necessary to crew and operate vessels in support of future wind farm operations. Unfortunately, there are challenges associated with the…

24 Jul 2019

US: European Maritime Security would be 'Complementary'

File image: US Navy

The United States believes a proposed European initiative to bolster maritime security in the Gulf would complement ongoing U.S. efforts there instead of being a "stand-alone" operation, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.Washington in June first proposed some sort of multinational effort open to all allies and partners to bolster maritime security in the Gulf after accusing Iran of attacking oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical maritime chokepoint between Iran…

29 Jul 2019

U.S.: Ships Should Keep AIS On

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

The United States wants all ships to keep their tracking transponders on to cut down on illicit activity and smuggling, and to increase transparency with movements of ships around the world, a senior State Department official told Reuters.Automatic identification systems trackers are the most accessible way of observing where ships are located.The practice of turning off AIS by some vessels from countries such as Iran has become common to evade closer scrutiny as the United States pushes to cut off Iranian oil exports.The official…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2019 - The Shipyard Edition

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