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Saturday, January 20, 2018

West African News

Record West African Oil Liftings, Most Sailing East

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

Total WAF loadings for Asia hit record. Shipments of West African oil to China are set to surge to a record in January, boosting overall fixtures heading east to their highest in at least 14 years, a Reuters survey of shipping fixtures and traders showed on Wednesday. China's loadings are expected to jump by more than 20 percent from December to more than 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, the survey showed. The figure is the highest barrel-per-day total to sail for China since September, and is some 37 percent above the same month last year.

GS Caltex Buys Rare West African Crude Cargo

GS Caltex to buy 920,000 barrels of West African crude; first West African shipment in almost a year. South Korea's GS Caltex Corp is set to receive its first shipment of West African crude in almost a year as the country looks to diversify supply away from the Middle East. The purchase will help soak up a glut of supply among West African producers, who have been hit as the U.S. shale oil boom curbs demand in what was once their main market and as OPEC Gulf states boost supply. Middle Eastern producers have raised their selling prices to Asia in recent months following solid demand in that region, prompting some buyers to try to broaden their sources of supply, with GS Caltex already turning to Mexico for crude.

W. Africa Crude: Tenders Brighten Dull Market

Tender deals helped to liven up a lacklustre West African crude oil market on Thursday, though overall demand remained weak. Indian Oil Corporation bought four cargoes of West African oil, traders said, nibbling at an overhang of unsold September cargoes just a few days before Angola's October loading programme comes to market. Traders were watching to see whether there could be an impact on Chinese imports of West African oil after two huge explosions in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin killed at least 50 people, including at least a dozen fire fighters. One trader said there was no immediate impact for oil cargoes already in the area.

West Africa's August Crude Exports to Asia to Slip

West African crude oil exports to Asia were expected to fall to 1.84 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, Reuters data and a survey of traders showed. Slower buying by Indian independent refiners such as Reliance was the primary factor behind the overall decline of 13 percent from July, highlighting the fickle nature of buyers in an oversupplied market. Indian refiners have used the steep drop in crude prices and ample global availability as an opportunity to expand their crude slates and experiment with new grades, traders said. "India, and Reliance in particular, took fewer West African (cargoes)," one trader said. Reliance booked as few as two cargoes for August loading, compared to at least seven for July loading.

OTAL Announces Appointments

OT Africa Line (OTAL), the specialist West African carrier, has appointed several key figures to its UK and European based operations. Romain Berard has been appointed OTAL's African Sales Manager. Based in London, Mr. Berard will work as part of the commercial sales team. Traveling extensively throughout the African Sub-Continent, he will promote OTAL's services and build on existing relationships with the line's African agency network. Mr. Berard will be the African agents' first point of contact regarding sales strategy. Romain joins OTAL from Delmas (a subsidiary of the Bolloré Group, OTAL's parent company) where he was the U.K. Northbound Manager. Diane Mussault joins OTAL as Northbound Sales Manager. Ms. Mussault will be responsible for all northbound sales and pricing.

Hapag-Lloyd Upgrades WMX Network

Enhanced West Africa Network – West Africa Mediterranean Express

Hapag-Lloyd informs about the upgraded West Africa Mediterranean Express (WMX) effective December 2015. We are pleased to inform you about our upgraded West Africa Mediterranean Express (WMX). With the upgraded WMX service together with our recently upgraded West Africa Express (WAX), we will have a further enhanced West African Network, with revamped transit times from the Mediterranean to West Africa and vice versa. With Tarragona and Valencia as new ports in our future schedule…

Petroperu Tenders for Latin American or WAF Crude

State-run Petroperu has launched a tender to buy a 360,000 barrel cargo of a Latin American or West African crude to be received at Conchan and Talara ports on September 26-30, according to a document seen by Reuters on Tuesday. The Peruvian company has been buying 1-2 monthly cargoes of crude on the open market so far this year and it has also recently tendered to purchase fuel oil, naphtha, ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) and biodiesel. For this tender, the company will accept offers of Ecuadorian Napo or Oriente crudes; Colombian Vasconia, Castilla, South Blend or Cano Limon; Venezuelan Lagotreco, Mesa 30, Santa Barbara or Leona 24; Argentine Escalante, Canadon Seco or Roncador 28; and Brazilian Bijupira or Marlim. It will also accept offers of any West African crude.

IMB Warns of West Africa Piracy Threat

Parate arrest: Photo credit EUNAVFOR

The ICC International Maritime Bureau is asking ships to be extra vigilant when transiting West Africa as piracy in the region becomes a growing concern. Since the beginning of the year, one vessel, MT Kerala, has been hijacked and six were boarded in West Africa. There was also one attempted attack. The hijacking of the Liberian-flag product tanker in January by Nigerian pirates has sparked fears these gangs are venturing further south. In that incident, the pirates hijacked the MT Kerala off the coast of Luanda in Angolan waters.

Oleum Enters West Africa as Physical Bunker Supplier

Oleum DWC-LLC is a new physical supplier focussing on supply of marine fuel and gas-oil offshore the West African coastline. All products; 380 cst, 180 cst and MGO are meeting full ISO:2010 specifications. “We will be operating a 'one-stop-shop' and we have full control of the entire supply chain. Oleum will control every aspect of the operation, from the sourcing and loading of our cargo to the actual delivery to the end user. Cargo is directly sourced from oil majors and transported in Major vetted tonnage to ensure that the quality will never be compromised…

British Envoy Expresses Concern Over Niger Delta Piracy

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, voices concern over increasing insecurity in the area, urges action. The diplomat made his remarks at the West African Maritime Security and Development Conference in Lagos, adding that Britain would continue to support security agencies with equipment and training for effective performance. He considered that the rising profile of criminals on the land and at sea within the coast was worrisome, but that with the effective performance of officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy in peace keeping in the region, West African countries did not need new security institutions to address such problems. All existing institutions, both national and regional need to work together for effective policing of the area.

OT Africa Line Appoints a New Spanish Agent

OT Africa Line (OTAL), the specialist West African shipping line, has appointed a new Spanish agent, Isamar. part of the Bolloré Group. well integrated transport organization. Founded in 1993, Isamar is a logistics company with a specific focus on maritime transport. Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Las Palmas, Seville, Tenerife, Valencia and Vigo. offices in Lisbon and Leixoes. The strengthening of OTAL's agency network in Spain is both a logistical and strategic move. Spain is an important export partner for many West African countries including: Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Mauritania and the Gambia. In addition, Spain's prime location in the Mediterranean, neighbouring both France and Portugal, makes it an important transport hub.

High Shipping Costs Deter Buyers of W. Africa Crude

Nigerian crude oil differentials held at two-year lows on Monday as demand remained subdued, partly due to high shipping costs from West Africa to Europe. Nearly half of the loading program for August, which originally had 65 cargos, was unsold on Monday. But traders said that demand might pick up temporarily later this week as traders placed cargoes for India Oil Company's import tender. High freight rates aboard suezmaxes to Europe are deterring shipments to refineries there, traders said. Rising exports of similar oil grades from Libya has also hurt demand. Libyan oil output has risen to 470,000 barrels per day (bpd) as the El Sharara oilfield ramps up, the state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday.

Traders to Store W.African Crude in US Until Prices Recover

Traders are shipping West African crude to the United States to store the oil until prices recover, as the global glut forces them to source any tanks available and as seaborne cargoes are able to compete better on price with U.S. crude. Oil firms including Swiss-based Glencore, Italian energy major ENI and Canadian's biggest oil company Suncor have all lined up ships to take at least 10 million barrels of West African crude to North America, ship brokers say, with freight bookings and tanker tracking also showing the moves. The move reinvigorates a trade that had been largely shut off by the U.S. shale boom, as West African barrels that used to be imported to the United States were some of the first to be pushed out by soaring output in Texas and North Dakota. While U.S.

U.S. Oil Traders Storing W.African Crude

Glencore, Suncor, ENI, Vitol all booking tankers; U.S. crude oil stocks at highest ever level for time of year. Traders are shipping West African crude to the United States to store the oil until prices recover, as the global glut forces them to source any tanks available and as seaborne cargoes are able to compete better on price with U.S. crude. Oil firms including Swiss-based Glencore, Italian energy major ENI and Canada's biggest oil company Suncor have lined up ships to take at least 10 million barrels of West African crude to North America, ship brokers say, with freight bookings and tanker tracking also showing the moves. The move reinvigorates a trade that had been largely shut off by the U.S.

Seabulk Acquires Newbuild PSV

Seabulk International, Inc. has purchased and delivered o the Seabulk Africa, a newbuild UT-755L platform supply vessel (PSV) built at the Simek Shipyard in Norway. The 5,500-horsepower, 236-ft. vessel will join the Company's West African fleet, which presently comprises 42 vessels ranging from crewboats to sophisticated anchor handlers. PSVs are large, multipurpose vessels used to ferry equipment, supplies and personnel to offshore platforms and rigs engaged in the production of crude oil and natural gas. "This is a state-of-the-art vessel and the Cadillac of the industry," commented Hubert E. Thyssen, corporate vice president and senior vice president of marketing for Seabulk Offshore, the Company's offshore vessels subsidiary.

Update on Sunken AHTS, Offshore Nigeria

AHTS Jascon 4: Photo credit West African Ventures

The wreck of the anchor handling tug 'Jascon 4', which sunk while on static tow of a tanker 15 Nm offshore Escravos, Nigeria, has now been abandoned for safety reasons. The owners, West African Ventures, report that the search and rescue operation that has been underway since 26 May, 2013 has had to be stopped for safety reasons. The vessel, Jascon 4,which is located some 30 metres under water in an upside down position, has become so unstable that the risk of injury to rescue divers has become unacceptably high.

Crude Rises; Libyan Tankers Off U.S. Coast

According to a March 2 report from Bloomberg, West African and Caspian Sea crudes surged to the highest in more than two years as European refiners find their grades more suitable for replacing disrupted Libyan exports than offers from Saudi Arabia. Two oil tankers bound from Libya are anchored off the U.S. Gulf Coast near Port Arthur, Texas, according to Bloomberg vessel tracking data, five days after the U.S. imposed sanctions on the North African country.   (Source: Bloomberg)

Maersk Names New Vessel Customised For West Africa

28 March 2011 - A.P. Moller - Maersk is pleased to announce the naming of the first of a series of 22 WAFMAX container vessels currently being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea. Named after the capital of Guinea, Maersk Conakry and the 21 other West Africa MAX ("WAFMAX") vessels on order from Hyundai will be the largest container ships able to call West Africa. They are also the most fuel-efficient, using 30 percent less fuel per container moved than the industry average on the Asia-Africa trade. "Maersk Line has served Africa for more than 30 years.

Greenpeace ship My Esperanza in West Africa

Image: Greenpeace

The Greenpeace ship My Esperanza has docked at the port of Praia in Cape Verde. For eleven weeks the Esperanza will sail the waters of six West Africa States - Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal to raise awareness on the state of fisheries through political events, public engagement and consultations with the West-African science community. The ship tour named “The West Africa tour of hope” will provide an opportunity to make these countries’ voice on protecting their own sea and marine resources heard internationally.

ISS Wins Contract with NileDutch

Maritime and logistics service provider Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has won a new liner agency contract with specialist West African container line NileDutch.   Under the new contract, ISS Egypt will support NileDutch’s new East Mediterranean to West Africa routes, enhancing NileDutch’s customer service and network in the region.

Polarcus Awarded Broadband 3D Project in West Africa

Polarcus Limited has received a letter of intent from an undisclosed client to execute a 3D marine seismic project in West Africa utilizing Polarcus' RightBAND technique for broadband data acquisition, the company announced in a press release today.   The project’s duration is two weeks and will form part of Polarcus’ West African campaign during the fourth quarter of 2015.

OT Africa Line Makes Changes

OT Africa Line (OTAL) announced some changes to its North Europe – West Africa services. These take into account various factors including a slight downturn in overall trade volumes, civil unrest in certain countries and improved availability of roll-on, roll-off multi-purpose tonnage. OTAL’s RoRo service is resuming its nine day frequency utilising six vessels on a 45-day round-trip schedule. This has been made possible by the return to the service of Rokia Delmas and Rosa Delmas. Both ships have recently been employed in support of the military action in Iraq and during their absence, the service was reduced to an eleven-day frequency utilizing three RoRo vessels.

Russian Tanker Seized Off West Africa

Reports indicate that armed men have seized a Russian tanker off the West African coast and sailed it to Guinea. Russian officials say the men came on board and claimed that the tanker had entered Guinea's territorial waters. The ship, which was chartered by a Swiss-based oil company, is now in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Russia says it will request information from authorities in Guinea and demand the ship's release. Source: Reuters

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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