West Africa News

20 Dec 2019

BY THE NUMBERS: the OSV Markets

US Offshore Support Vessel Analysis 2018 and 2019. The US GOM Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) market is suffering, utilization remains poor, and many owners are still squeezed financially. However, a poor market forces people to adapt and for those willing to take risks, the upside can be extremely large.US Owners 2018 vs. 2019: Within the US GOM, 2018 saw a period of strategic thinking and tactical business decisions. Tidewater Marine completed their merger with GulfMark Offshore to create the world’s largest OSV player.

16 Dec 2019

India: 20 Kidnapped from Tanker off West Africa

Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

India's foreign ministry said on Monday that 20 of its nationals had been kidnapped from an oil tanker in West African waters."Our Mission in Abuja has taken up the matter with the Nigerian authorities, as also with the authorities of the neighbouring countries," the ministry said in a statement.It said the vessel was the Marshall Islands-flagged DUKE.The ship's operator Union Maritime wrote on its website that the craft was "attacked and boarded" while carrying fuel oil to the Togolese capital Lome from Angola and that the company was working with relevant authorities to resolve the incident.

13 Dec 2019

Pirates Release Kidnapped Tanker Crew off Togo

The M/V ELKA ARISTOTLE (Credit: © MarineTraffic.com)

Pirates have released three crew taken hostage from a Greek oil tanker off the coast of the West African country of Togo in November, the vessel's manager said on Friday.A fourth hostage, a Filipino, died from illness during captivity, European Products Carriers Ltd added.It did not give details of the release.The tanker, Elka Aristotle, was attacked on Nov. 4 about 18 km (11 miles) from the port of Lome.

08 Dec 2019

Offshore: OSV Market Report

Photo courtesy Ulstein Group/Marius Beck Dahle

The environment in oil patches onshore and offshore alike has been challenging throughout 2019; worries about an economic slowdown – whether cyclical or induced by a trade war – have weighed heavily on oil prices, even in the face of reduced production by the big producers. Though storm clouds persist, there appears a clearing on the horizon.The fate of Offshore Service Vessels (OSVs) is, naturally, closely tied to the price of oil. Seacor Marine’s John Gellert, in reviewing its Q2 results, said: “Activity levels in the U.S.

02 Dec 2019

Petronas in Game for a Third FLNG Unit

Image: Petronas

Malaysian oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) would build a third floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG)unit if there’s a demand.Petronas is the only company to own and operate two FLNGs, namely PFLNG Satu and PFLNG Dua.Bernama reported, quoting the gas and new energy business executive vice-president and chief executive officer Adnan Zainal Abidin, that if there is a reservoir with a sizeable amount of reserves and with the right gas composition that it is economically viable…

27 Nov 2019

Nigeria Ports in Pact with Port of Antwerp

Photo: Port of Antwerp International

The Antwerp port community and its various partners are currently on a trade mission to West-Africa, including Benin and Nigeria.A collaboration agreement was signed between Port of Antwerp International (PAI), the consultancy and investment subsidiary of Port of Antwerp, and APEC, its maritime training center, and Nigerian Ports Authority, which manages the 6 ports of Nigeria. This collaboration, which will mainly take the form of training and consulting, underlines the leading…

19 Nov 2019

Bourbon Mobility Adds Onboard Entertainment

(Photo: Bourbon)

Offshore passenger transportation provider Bourbon Mobility has partnered with Moment to provide an entertainment offer on board its vessels.In an effort to enhance its transport service of staff to oil platforms in West Africa, Bourbon Mobility has opted to have its fleet of Surfers outfitted with portable streaming servers, which enables passengers to access movies, documentaries and games on their mobile devices throughout their journey. So far 15 vessels have been equipped with the Moment digital entertainment solution.Aboard Bourbon Mobility’s ships…

13 Nov 2019

Product Tanker Freight Rates Rebounds

Pic: TORM

Product tanker freight rates softened in the third quarter of 2019 but rebounded strongly at the start of the fourth quarter following an increase in crude tanker rates that began after the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and accelerated dramatically to multi-year high levels at the end of September when the US imposed sanctions on two subsidiaries of China's COSCO Shipping.Denmark-based TORM said that growth in global demand for oil products generally remained subdued…

08 Nov 2019

Monjasa Expands to Angola

Photo: Monjasa

Danish bunker company Monjasa announced the opening of its first office in Luanda, Angola, to support the West Africa oil and shipping activities.Monjasa started supplying bunkers across West Africa in 2009 and since then, it has delivered a total of 10.6 million tonnes of fuel products across the region from the Gulf of Guinea to Namibia."Monjasa is currently enabling the IMO 2020 transition by making new low-sulfur marine fuel available across the region. Today, Monjasa is the leading supplier in West Africa measured on volume and a fleet of 10 tankers deployed in the region…

06 Nov 2019

Maersk Tests Containerized Battery System

Pic: Maersk

Danish shipping giant Maersk will install a containerized 600 kWh marine battery system on board the 4,500 TEU Maersk Cape Town in December 2019 to improve vessel performance and reliability while reducing CO2 emissions.“This trial will provide a greater understanding of energy storage that will support Maersk in moving towards further electrification of its fleet and port terminals. Maersk will continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions on our journey to become carbon neutral by 2050…

04 Nov 2019

Pirates Kidnap Crew of MV Bonita

Pic: Norwegian Shipowners’ Association

Pirates have kidnapped nine crew members from a Norwegian shipping vessel named the MV Bonita off the coast of Benin in West Africa.MV Bonita was anchored and awaiting berth at the Cotonou port to discharge a shipment of gypsum when the pirates boarded, the shipping firm  J.J. Ugland said in a statement Sunday.The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said that it is in close contact with Ugland Shipping with a common and clear goal to bring the 9 sailors back to safety. The vessel and remaining crew are safely anchored in Cotonou and investigations are carried out.

04 Nov 2019

Pirates Kidnap Four from Greek Tanker

The ELKA_ARISTOTLE / CREDIT © MarineTraffic.com

Pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo in the early hours of Monday and fled after taking four crew members as hostages, the West African nation's navy said, two days after a similar attack in the waters of neighbouring Benin.Of the missing crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian, the navy said in a statement. One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, it said."Monday, 4th of November 2019, around 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle was attacked around 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed individuals…

01 Nov 2019

INSIGHTS: Loy Stewart, Jr.

Loy Stewart, Jr., President, Detyens Shipyards

Loy Stewart, Jr. is President, Detyens Shipyards. He is a 1991 graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point where he earned a degree in Marine Engineering. After several months sailing on the Sealift Atlantic, Loy began working at Detyens as a Ship Superintendent and coordinated work on numerous commercial and navy contracts. In 1996, when the Detyens Shipyards were divided into separate profit centers, Loy Jr. was promoted to Profit Center Manager of the Wando facility. In 2002 he was made PCM of the Main Yard in North Charleston and promoted to Executive Vice President in 2003.

28 Oct 2019

West Africa Crude-Freight Rates Ease

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Freight rates to Europe and Asia have continued to ease, albeit at a less rapid rate than during the middle of the month, boosting price offerings for West African grades, traders said on Monday. Rates for VLCCs from Nigeria's Bonny Light terminal to Singapore settled at $3.25 a barrel on Friday from highs just below $10 two weeks earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while for Rotterdam they eased to $2.72 from a high above $5.Rates for key Angolan grade Girassol aboard a VLCC bound for China plunged to $3.84 a barrel from highs of $11.39.

28 Oct 2019

COATINGS: Chasing Better Prospects

As the offshore industry recovers, choosing the right hull coating for those newly activated assets will be equally important.The global offshore support vessel (OSV) market is still recovering from a protracted slump, but thankfully momentum is now returning with predictions for significant activity for OSV’s ahead. As summarized in a report by market analysts Grand View Research, projections are for the OSV market to exceed USD 71 billion by 2022 on the back of a significant increase in projects reaching final investment decision (FID) status, and a rising demand for oil and gas worldwide.

18 Oct 2019

W. Africa Crude-Freight costs ease, especially for VLCCs

File Image (CREDIT: K LIne)

Freight rates eased further on Friday, especially for the largest oil tankers, promising some recovery for West African oil prices which had touched multi-year lows. VLCC freight costs eased more rapidly than smaller Suezmaxes, making it less advantageous to ship on the latter. Prices for Suezmaxes were estimated around world scale 190-200, with one European buyer estimating further relief to around 150 by the end of next week.Nigeria's NNPC cut its November official selling price for Bonny Light crude to dated Brent plus 58 cents per barrel and for Qua Iboe to plus 63 cents per barrel…

16 Oct 2019

ITF Expands into Asia Pacific

Photo: ITF

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has established its latest Contacts Network, covering Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand.ITF has seen a significant increase in seafarers requesting assistance from countries without an inspector or contact, in recent years.Attempting to resolve these requests is often challenging due to several factors, including the local political context and the effectiveness…

16 Oct 2019

U.S. Shipping Sanctions Give Boost to EU Refiners

Exxon's Rotterdam Refinery (CREDIT EXXON)

U.S. sanctions imposed last month on subsidiaries of vast Chinese shipping fleet Cosco have given an unexpected boost to European refiners as less crude oil from the North Sea and West Africa heads east, traders and analysts said.Freight rates have soared as oil producers scramble for non-blacklisted vessels, discouraging longer-distance voyages.Complex refining margins for advanced facilities capable of extracting even more valuable products like diesel and gasoline, have been especially strong in Europe, industry sources said.The U.S.

13 Oct 2019

Fighting Maritime Crimes in Gulf of Guinea

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Ensuring that trade and travel by sea are as secure as possible is a key element of IMO's work and mandate.International Maritime Organization (IMO) took part in the Global Maritime Security Conference held in Nigeria (7-9 October) to look at maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea as well as potential solutions to address maritime threats in the region.IMO's Assistant Secretary-General Lawrence Barchue, speaking on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, highlighted…

11 Oct 2019

U.S. Sanctions Deal Blow to LSFO for 'IMO 2020'

file image (credit: AdobeStock / © dbvirago

Highly sought after types of oil best suited to making cleaner shipping fuel are suddenly finding they are a tougher sell for thirsty East Asian markets, traders say, in an unintended consequence of U.S. sanctions on a Chinese shipping fleet.With just over two months until environmental rules are set to mandate the biggest changes to ship power in over a century, certain rare types of West African oil have soared in value but have had to be marked down due to the higher costs of transport.The United States imposed sanctions on units of China's COSCO on Sept.

08 Oct 2019

CMA CGM Set to Launch Guinea Gulf Express

Map: CMA CGM

French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM plans to introduce its new product GUINEA GULF EXPRESS (GGX) service in complement of the current 6 weekly services as part of improving its  offer on the trade Europe and Mediterranean to West Africa strategic markets.The new Guinea Gulf Express is the second service from Gibraltar hubs linking European, Med and North America to Tema, Ghana, Nigeria Lagos port and Conakry, Guinea.It will provide perfect answers to Customers’ needs with transit times amongst the best on the market…

20 Sep 2019

Saudi Attacks, High Demand Leaves U.S. Short on Oil Tankers

© Carabay / Adobe Stock

A disruption in global oil flows following attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities has left U.S. crude exporters without enough tankers to cover rising demand for cargoes, traders and shipping sources said.Missile attacks last Saturday temporarily cut Saudi oil production by more than 5 million barrels per day, or about half the country's output.That set off a scramble for alternative cargoes of crude, particularly in the United States, which lined up available tankers sailing from the Mediterranean, West Africa and continental Europe to pick up cargoes.

12 Sep 2019

ION Wins 2D Multi-Client Gig Offshore West Africa

Image: ION

ION Geophysical Corporation, a technology focused company that provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the global oil and gas industry, announced a new 2D multi-client program offshore West Africa.The industry-supported NamibeSPAN program covers the under-explored Namibe basin offshore southern Angola. The dataset integrates ION BasinSPAN programs in the area, forming a contiguous regional exploration framework in excess of 65,000 km along the West African coast. The program is the conjugate tie with offshore Brazil.

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