Marine Link
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Wood Mackenzie News

Shale Growth could Overwhelm U.S. Refiners, Fuel Exports

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Leeylutung)

Rising U.S. shale oil production will overwhelm the nation's refining capacity, with three-quarters of the additional oil produced in the United States by 2023 shipped to Europe and Asia, according to a new study by consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The research points to the continued impact of U.S. shale on global markets and the mismatch between domestic refining capacity and rising crude output. The oil could bottleneck at U.S. Gulf Coast ports unless new infrastructure is built, researchers said. U.S.

BP Expects 90% Compliance for Marine SOx Emissions Caps

© Jordi de Rueda / Adobe Stock

Oil major BP Plc expects more than 90 percent of the world's shipping fleet will comply with new regulations slashing sulfur levels ships are allowed to burn starting 2020, a company executive said on Tuesday. Coming International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will cut the amount of sulfur emissions that ships worldwide are allowed from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. "Potential non-compliance is a significant issue that the market has been contending with," Jason Breslaw, who leads BP's distillate trading origination across the Americas, said at an industry conference in New Orleans.

U.S. LNG Seen Destined for Europe

Image: Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation

According to Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Europe is set to be the key destination for liquefied natural gas supplies from the U.S. after prices fell in Asia, the world’s biggest consumer of the fuel says a report in Bloomberg. The U.S. is forecast to ship about 55 percent of its total LNG production, or 32 million metric tons a year, to Europe by 2020, according to Alex Munton, the Houston-based principal analyst for Americas LNG at Wood Mackenzie. That’s because Europe is so close, has ample import capacity and liquid markets, and now has prices nearer to those in Asia.

BP's Mad Dog Major FID in Gulf of Mexico

Photo: BP p.l.c

Sole standalone in a sea of tiebacks: BP's Mad Dog is the only major final investment decision (FID)  in deepwater Gulf of Mexico this year, says Wood Mackenzie. On 1 December 2016, BP (60.5% and operator) sanctioned the Mad Dog Phase II development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM). BP and partners BHP Billiton (23.9%) and Chevron (15.6%) operate the Mad Dog field, which began production in January 2005. The second phase commercialises southern segments of the field that were discovered in 2009 and 2011.

Top LNG Buyers Form Alliance to Push for Flexible Contracts

© akiyoko / Adobe Stock

The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move that further shifts power to buyers rather than producers. Japan, China and South Korea are the world's biggest LNG importers, accounting for about 55 percent of global purchases, according to data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The countries' biggest respective buyers are joining together to extract concessions from producers that would give them supply flexibility such as having the right to re-sell imports to third parties…

Maersk Oil Targets North Sea Lead

Maersk Oil is investing nearly $5 billion in Culzean and the first phase of Johan Sverdrup, one of Norway’s largest ever discoveries. (Image: Maersk Oil)

Maersk Oil says there is still huge potential value in the North Sea, citing projects like Culzean – which received board approval this month – and Johan Sverdrup, as the Danish oil and gas company aims to improve from its current rank of ninth to become a top-five producer in the region. Maersk Oil informs it is looking for new long-term growth opportunities in the North Sea, investing heavily in projects and improving the efficiency of operations. The North Sea region has an estimated remaining potential of 26-38 billion barrels…

US Rail Jams Force Rush to Roads and Rivers

Photo: Susannah Skiver

U.S. coal-burning power utilities are being forced to turn to barges and more expensive trucks to move coal, desperate to shore up stockpiles left dangerously low by the widespread bottlenecks on rail networks. The shift in how coal is being delivered to some power plants from mining regions such as Illinois Basin and comes amid persistent railroad delays that began during last year's severe North American winter. The delays have been perpetuated also by a surge in rail deliveries of crude oil and grain…

Chevron Urges USA to Seize Energy Opportunity

US Energy Potential: Image credit Chevron

Conservative estimates put the size of recoverable crude oil and natural gas offshore USA the equivalent of nearly 35 years of Saudi Arabia's production. U.S. government estimates suggest federal lands (onshore and offshore) alone hold technically recoverable resources of roughly 116 billion barrels of crude oil and 650 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That is enough crude oil to power about 225 million consumer vehicles for nearly 17 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for nearly 160 years. To grasp this historic opportunity, the U.S.

Asia: LPG Shipping and LNG Pricing

Image: Navigator Gas

While declining Asian LNG prices have reduced margins on the long-distance LNG trade, causing spot-charter rates for LNG vessels to fall, LPG shipping earnings are forecast to remain buoyant on the back of low oil prices and the absence of fuel substitution. According to LPG Forecaster, published by global shipping consultancy Drewry, low oil prices have not triggered the substitution of LPG as the fuel of industrial use, as feared by some analysts. As a result, LPG shipping demand has remained intact and low bunker prices have supported vessel earnings.

LNG Shipping Rates Nosedive

LNG Ship (Source: Shell)

According to Andrew Buckland, a London-based analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd rates to transport liquefied natural gas have declined to about $50,000 per day and will probably go lower before recovering. In 2012 it was more than $140,000 a day. That’s good news for buyers and sellers of the fuel. Lower rates can benefit traders that sign short-term contracts and give LNG players flexibility in where they deliver the gas, said Hal Miller, president of consulting company Galway Group in Houston. At the same time, ship owners will be hurt by falling rates.

Qatar Onslaught of LNG Supply to Shake-up the Market

Photo: Qatargas Operating Company Limited

Gas giant  Qatar is the world’s top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), but in the coming five years it could be surpassed by Australia, a shift which could weigh on its dominance in Asia, reports Reuters. Asia accounts for almost three quarters of the global market and has paid the highest prices. And Qatar is becoming commercially sharper, using traders and tenders to grab new customers, and fighting to hold on to its share in the prized Asian market. According to Noel Tomnay…

Flex LNG signs deals to buy six new vessels

Image: Flex LNG

Oslo-listed Flex LNG has signed contracts to buy six new liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels for its fleet by 2019, as it bets on increasing fuel demand from Britain and other countries, its chief executive told Reuters. The gas shipping company said earlier this year it was considering buying the six vessels, each with around 170,000 cubic metres of capacity, subject to securing funding for the $1.2 billion transaction. Geveran Trading, the private investment vehicle of billionaire shipping tycoon John Fredriksen…

Shell Approves New Gulf of Mexico Project

Royal Dutch Shell has given the go-ahead to develop its Kaikias deepwater field in the Gulf of Mexico, the first such project the oil and gas company has approved in 18 months. Oil companies around the world are emerging from one of the longest downturns in recent decades amid warnings that the drop in investment in recent years may lead to a supply deficit by the end of the decade. Shell said the Kaikias oil and gas project, located some 210 kilometres (130 miles) from the Louisiana coast, will start production in 2019 and generate profits with oil prices lower than $40 a barrel after the company slashed its costs by around 50 percent due to simplified design plans. Oil prices were around $56 a barrel on Tuesday.

Coast Guard Responds to Disabled Ferry off Woods Hole, MA

The Coast Guard is responding Saturday night after a ferry with 78 people aboard lost power while en route Woods Hole from Martha's Vineyard.    The captain of the Motor Vessel Martha's Vineyard reported the incident to Coast Guard watchstanders at 9 p.m.   The Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead and a response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole are on scene while commercial tow is arranged.    The MV Martha's Vineyard is currently anchored outside Vineyard Haven between the East and West Chop.    There are no reported injuries. The cause of the power loss is being investigated.

Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. Winners will be announced after a 90-day review. Some producers have signaled that they expect Gulf of Mexico projects to become more profitable now that they have trimmed operations to adapt to low oil prices.

Australian LNG Projects Face Delays, Benefiting US Producers

Shell's Prelude floating LNG production vessel (Photo: Shell)

Australia's plans for a huge increase in its production of liquefied natural gas are being dealt a big blow by a series of production delays, as energy companies struggle with technical problems and cost overruns. The country is still likely to become the world's biggest LNG exporter, dispatching about 85 million tonnes a year by the end of the decade, up from 30.7 million tonnes in 2015 and 45.1 million tonnes last year. But the pace of growth is much slower than expected because…

Shale Oil Is it a Threat to Future Deepwater Development?

In general the floating production sector looks healthy and growth remains strong. But the sudden expansion of shale oil and tight oil production could disrupt the growth trajectory in the deepwater sector. The underlying drivers for deepwater development point toward continued sector growth. Spot and futures crude pricing is at levels supporting deepwater development. Oil demand keeps growing and there continues to be need for new future sources of oil. The threat of supply disruption from traditional sources remains, prompting oil companies to look at alternative sources. Activity in the deepwater sector is robust. More than 200 deepwater projects are in the planning stage that will likely require a floating production system for development.

New Fuel Rules Could Prompt Gasoil Price Spike

New fuel rules for ships entering low sulphur zones around northwest Europe and North America next year could trigger a price spike in European gasoil, whilst refiners will struggle to offload unwanted fuel oil. From January 2015, ships entering "Emission Control Areas" (ECAs) in the Baltic, North Sea and English Channel and around the North American coast, will have to switch from low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) with 1 percent sulphur content to 0.1 percent gasoil, in a crackdown on marine pollution. Industry experts believe shipowners will opt for gasoil rather than using exhaust filter systems known as scrubbers or alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), because of high investment costs, long payback times, and the lack of suitable port infrastructure.

Oil Rises on Record Indian Imports, Hopes of Output Caps

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday, supported by record Indian crude imports and talks between OPEC producers and other oil exporters on curbing output to end a glut in the global market. Global benchmark oil futures, the Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contracts, have both risen more than 10 percent since the end of September on prospects major crude producers would freeze or cut production to stem an oversupply in the market. However, doubts remain as to the intentions of major suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and the effectiveness of any agreement in reining in output from record highs. Brent crude futures were up 26 cents at $52.67 a barrel by 1115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 23 cents to $51.02 a barrel.

Canada's First LNG Export Terminal Seen as One-off

Woodfibre LNG, Canada's first liquefied natural gas export project, will be a "nice-to-have" fillip for the country's gas producers but does not signal the start of a west coast LNG boom, industry watchers said on Monday. Privately held Woodfibre LNG Ltd said on Friday it will start building its C$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) project in Squamish, British Columbia, next year after its Singaporean parent company authorized the funds last week. It is the first of more than a dozen LNG projects proposed for British Columbia to get the final go-ahead, but analysts say Woodfibre is unlikely to herald an investment surge from other developers given the challenging economics of an oversupplied LNG market.

S.Korean Refiners Look to Cash in on 2020 Mandate

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Three refiners to spend more than $5 bln to upgrade or add units. South Korean refiners are planning to spend over $5 billion on plant upgrades in response to tighter rules on shipping fuel, boosting production of low-sulphur fuel oil as well as other high-end products. The refiners hope the investment, which comes ahead of the 2020 introduction of the new rules, will make them one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations, with many competitors still waiting to commit to new spending. "Not many refiners are doing so.

China Rises to World's No.2 LNG Importer

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

China's 2017 LNG imports to top South Korea's for first time; becomes key driver of spot LNG prices. China will become the world's second-biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year as it overtakes South Korea, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed. This is a huge boost to Asia's emerging spot market as Chinese buyers rely much more on short-term purchases to meet their needs than their counterparts in Japan and South Korea. Shipping data in Thomson Reuters…

Saudis Pump Out Diesel as Price War Looms

New Yanbu refinery powers Saudi fuel exports; Saudi exports more diesel end-July as peak Mideast demand over. The world's top crude oil exporter Saudi Arabia has turned itself into a major power of refined fuels, offering customers millions of barrels of diesel and potentially triggering a price war with Asian competitors as its exports feed into a glut. Saudi Arabia, a leading member in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), already pledged last November to keep crude output high to defend its market share against higher-cost producers. While the strategy has kept crude markets well-supplied and prices low, the Kingdom has seen mixed success in defending its market share as global production remains high despite low prices.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Mar 2018 - Annual World Yearbook

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.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News