Marine Link
Monday, September 25, 2017

Maersk Sheds Oil Tanker Division

(Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk has agreed a $1.71 billion deal to sell its oil tanker division to its controlling shareholder, who in turn will enter an ownership consortium with Japan's Mitsui & Co. The Danish conglomerate last year embarked on a restructuring to focus on transport and logistics and last month sold its oil and gas business to Total in a $7.45 billion deal. Maersk said it will use the proceeds to reduce debt and that the sale, which it expects to close by next month, will have no impact on its financial guidance for 2017. A.P.

Transocean Retires Six Floaters

Photo: Transocean

Transocean announced its intent to retire the ultra-deepwater floaters GSF Jack Ryan, Sedco Energy, Sedco Express, Cajun Express, and Deepwater Pathfinder, and the deepwater floater Transocean Marianas. The rigs will be classified as held for sale and will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. All six rigs were previously cold stacked. The company will recognize an impairment charge of approximately $1.4 billion during the third quarter of 2017 associated with these actions.

Wreck of WWI German U-boat Sub Found off Belgium

A German U-boat (Photo: Library of Congress, Bain Collection)

The well-preserved wreck of a World War One German submarine, possibly still containing the bodies of its 23 crew members, has been found off the Belgian coast. The use of submarines, often referred to as U-boats, in World War One to disrupt British trade routes in the English Channel and the North Sea was a key part of German tactics. The 93 German U-boats stationed in Belgian ports downed more than 2,500 ships but were also a target themselves, with 70 of them lost at sea, killing 1,200 sailors.

Mitsui OSK Targets 26% Stake in Swan's Indian LNG Unit

Japan's leading shipper Mitsui OSK Lines aims to buy at least a 26 percent stake in a floating storage regassification unit (FSRU) in India, a company official said, to boost its exposure in the west coast project of Swan Energy. Swan Energy is building a 5 million tonnes a year FSRU and floating storage unit (FSU) at Jafrabad in western Gujarat state, with Mitsui awarded a long-term contract for operation and maintenance services. "We have until end-2019, by when the project will be completed, to buy at least 26 percent in Triumph Offshore," Senior Managing Executive Officer Takeshi told Reuters on Monday, referring to the Swan subsidiary that will control the $260 million FSRU. Swan aims to commission the project in the first quarter of 2020, he added.

Marine Environment and Impact of Mine Tailing

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The impacts of wastes and other matter in the marine environment from mining operations is at the core of a working group from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) which is meeting at International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters in  London (20-22 September). This is the group's first formal meeting and it aims to provide independent advice on what environmental impacts could arise from the marine disposal of mine tailings around the world both from land based and marine minerals mining.

IUMI: Offshore Energy Insurance Market “Sinking”

Photo: International Union of Marine Insurance

At annual IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) conference in Tokyo, James McDonald, chairman of IUMI’s Offshore Energy Committee warned that the sector was “sinking”. His warning was based on declining total premium income set alongside upstream energy large losses for 2015-16 of USD 4.8 billion. McDonald explained: “In recent years it would appear that claims have exceeded the global premium base and the last two underwriting years have seen significant losses. The…

U.S. Oil Exports set to Take Off by 2022

File Image: A typical VLCC underway (EuroNav)

Enterprise sees four-fold jump in U.S. crude exports by 2022. Crude oil exports from the United States will increase to meet 5 percent of global demand by 2022, as refiners seek more low-sulphur crude to meet stricter rules for cleaner fuels, an executive from Enterprise Partners LP said on Monday. U.S. oil exports may rise to about 4 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2022, a four-fold jump from this year, said Brent Secrest, a senior vice president at Enterprise Products. During that same period…

Australian Supply Crunch Squeezes LNG Exporters

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

Spot LNG exports in government's cross-hairs; ConocoPhillips, Origin, Shell now in the firing line. The Australian government on Monday warned that the country's east faced a worse-than-expected natural gas shortfall in 2018, but the competition watchdog said the gap could easily be filled by diverting uncontracted exports to the local market. It is now up to the government to decide by Nov. 1 whether to pull the trigger on its Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism, which…

India's Essar Plans Four LNG Terminals

Photo: Essar Ports Limited

Ruias-owned Essar Ports Ltd is exploring the possibility of setting up four Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in joint ventures with other companies, reported Economic Times. Rajiv Agarwal, managing director and chief executive of Essar Ports, told PTI at a company-run facility here. He said the company is looking at a cluster of small ports which will be closer to potential customers, adding that Hazira and Salaya, where it already operates ports, could be the sites where it can set up the LNG terminals.

Total, Chevron Team up in Gulf of Mexico Oil Exploration

Photo: Total

Total announced that its subsidiary, TOTAL E&P USA, INC., has entered into an agreement to capture seven prospects operated by CHEVRON U.S.A. INC. in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The agreement covers 16 blocks. The associated prospects are located in two promising plays and areas of the GoM: Wilcox in Central GoM next to the Anchor discovery, and Norphlet in Eastern GoM nearby to the Appomattox discovery. Total’s participation in these wells will be between 25 percentand 40 percent.The first of these wells was spudded late July on the Ballymore prospect in Mississippi Canyon.

Marine Biofuels As Sustainable Alternative For Shipping

Participants of the roundtable share insights on the use of marine biofuels as sustainable alternative fuel for shipping. Photo: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

The inaugural biofuel roundtable was held in Singapore today to drive discussions on the use of biofuels as a sustainable alternative fuel for the future of shipping. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP and GoodFuels Marine (GoodFuels), the closed-door roundtable event brought together shipowners of different ship types to network, share insights into the use of biofuels to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations as well as explore areas of collaboration.

Lamprell's Revenue Falls 65 pct, Cuts FY Forecast

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

Oil rig builder Lamprell Plc reported a 64.7 percent fall in revenue in the first half of the year and cut its full-year forecast, hurt by lower activity levels across the industry. The company said it expected revenue for 2017 to be in the range of $370 million to $390 million, as it saw continuing low levels of walk-in work. Lamprell had forecast full-year revenue to be in the lower half of the $400 million-$500 million range in March. Lamprell, which runs three rig building yards in the UAE, said revenue fell to $159.2 million in the six months ended June 30 from $451.3 million a year ago.

BV Approves Braemar’s LNG Containment System

(Image: Braemar Technical Services)

Braemar Technical Services announced that Bureau Veritas (BV) has issued a General Design Approval for the FSP Type B LNG Containment System (FSP). Starting with the General Dynamics NASSCO-patented tank design, for which the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Lloyd’s Register had issued Approval in Principle (AiP) several years prior, Braemar engineered a new and improved containment system that meets the demands of LNG storage in marine, offshore and onshore applications.

SEACOR Chooses Kongsberg Hybrid Power Solutions

Photo: Kongsberg

A new integrated ‘Full Picture’ technology delivery is set to enable significant operational efficiencies for the MEXMAR owned Platform Supply Vessel (PSV), SEACOR Maya. Mantenimiento Express Marítimo SAPI de CV (MEXMAR) is SEACOR Marine’s joint venture in Mexico, which operates 15 offshore supply vessels. The contract, signed this September for delivery in January 2018, focuses on the integration of a sophisticated new hybrid power solution designed by Kongsberg to assist SEACOR Marine and MEXMAR in meeting strict environmental regulations by decreasing CO2…

Arctic Responsibilities Laid Out

Pic: NEVA

Developments in Arctic resource recovery and transportation are providing the main focal point for many at NEVA and this year’s event in St Petersburg comes at a pivotal time for both the economic and ecological prospects of the region. Export shipments of LNG from the Yamal peninsula are due to start shortly, with the lead vessel of 15 in the ‘Yamal LNG fleet’ recently completing the first unaccompanied voyage by a gas carrier through the Northern Sea Route by way of prelude.

New Electrical Steam Boiler Module for Aoka Mizu FPSO

The Steam Boiler module will be installed on the Aoka Mizu FPSO. (Photo: Bluewater)

Parat Halvorsen AS said it recently secured a contract to design and fabricate a complete, turnkey steam boiler module for the Floating Production & Storage Offshore (FPSO) vessel Aoka Mizu owned by Bluewater Energy Services BV. The FPSO is being decommissioned for the Lancaster project which is owned and operated by Hurricane Energy UK. The module will include 2 x 3200kW electric steam boilers based on the PARAT MEL design and will provide an additional 9,600kg/hr of saturated steam for the FPSO marine and process systems.

BP Restores Power at Thunder Horse Platform after Outage

BP restored power at its Thunder Horse platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, according to a statement to Reuters Wednesday.   The platform lost power due to an electrical outage Monday.   BP said it was redeploying staff to the platform, which has the capacity to produce up to 265,000 barrels of crude a day. (Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault)

ROG Ship Repair Completes FPSO Moonpool Project

The Aoka Mizu (Photo: ROG Ship Repair)

Holland’s ROG Ship Repair said it has come to the aid of a Floating Production & Storage Offshore (FPSO) vessel ran into problematic weather conditions while being towed from Europe to the Middle East. Having recently been assigned a new contract, the 89,184 dwt, 248.1 m long FPSO Aoka Mizu (Japanese for Bluewater), owned and operated by Holland’s Bluewater Energy Services, will be utilized for the early production system (EPS) phase of the development on Hurricane’s offshore field in the North Sea.

BP's Thunder Horse Platform Shut Temporarily on Power Issue

File photo: BP

BP Plc halted production at its Thunder Horse platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Monday following a power outage, a company spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. The benchmark for sour crude rallied to its strongest in more than two years on the disruption. BP evacuated its workforce of about 300 people from the facility after the power outage as a precaution, according to the statement. Technical and essential personnel were scheduled to return to the platform on Tuesday. The platform has the ability to produce up to 265…

Caribbean Oil Terminals Prepare for Hurricane Maria

© Alexandre Rosa / Adobe Stock

Several Caribbean oil storage terminals that temporarily closed ahead of Hurricane Irma earlier this month have started making preparations in case they have to shut again due to Hurricane Maria, which was a rare Category 5 storm on Tuesday. Shippers and traders in the Atlantic basin are struggling amid this year's very active storm season, which has seen seven hurricanes so far, four of them major hurricanes, defined as at least a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. Hurricane Harvey hit the U.S.

Seacor's New Crewboats Enter Service

Photo: Incat Crowther

Two newbuild next generation CrewZer Class catamarans, SEACOR Puma and SEACOR Panther, have been delivered and have entered service for SEACOR Marine. The vessels were designed by Incat Crowther and built by Astillleros Armon in Spain and are unique in their capability to transfer personnel and equipment to offshore platforms at maximum speeds in excess of 40 knots. The design features 30 percent more deadweight capacity than its predecessor, while offering equivalent service speeds, Incat Crowther said.

GTT to Design LNG Tanks for FSRU Newbuild

GTT said it has received an order from the South Korean Shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries concerning a new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) which has been contracted by Triumph Offshore, a subsidiary of the Indian ship-owner Swan Energy. GTT will design the LNG integrated tanks which represent a total capacity of 180,000 m3. These tanks will be equipped with the membrane containment system Mark III, a sea-proven technology developed by GTT. This insulation system benefits from an unparalleled track record: it has been already used to equip more than 140 vessels which are still in service today. The new FSRU is scheduled to be delivered in late 2019.

Russian Award for Sovcomflot

Photo: PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group)

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) was awarded first prize at the 2017 International Competition of Scientific, Technical and Innovative Developments aimed at the Exploration and Development of the Arctic and the Continental Shelf, held under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Energy. The prize was awarded to a team of Sovcomflot experts for the development and practical implementation of technological solutions enabling year-round oil shipments from the Gulf of Ob. The winning team was led by Igor Tonkovidov, Executive Vice-President and Chief Technical Officer of Sovcomflot.

Biofouling Management for Sustainable Shipping

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

An IMarEST workshop workshop on practical biofouling management strategies just has concluded in Melbourne, Australia, September 12-15. IMO is working actively to address biofouling issues by implementing practices to control and manage undesirable accumulation of aquatic organisms like, plants, algae and animals on ships’ hulls. One of the IMO’s main objective at the conference is to promote a new partnership project together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the…

How to Legally Remove a Hazardous Wreck

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

What is the legal basis for removing a hazardous wreck at sea? Who bears the liability? These and many other wreck removal questions were addressed by IMO’s Jan de Boer at the ACI’s Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response conference in London (13-14 September). Speaking to a wide variety of stakeholders (Participants from salvage companies, tug & towage companies, authorities, ship owners, ship managers, P&I clubs, maritime lawyers and consultants) concerned with wreck removal, Mr.

Beaumont Port Still Restricted after Harvey

While crude deliveries by larger ships to Beaumont in Texas remain restricted after Hurricane Harvey, a workaround using pipelines can supply Exxon Mobil's refinery there, shipping sources said. Silt and clay lingering in the Port of Beaumont still threaten to entrap large ships, two weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, but pipelines are available to move crude up to refineries there from nearby terminals which are less affected by sediment. Beaumont's port has been closed to ship traffic over 26 feet (8 meters) since Sept. 9 by the U.S. Coast Guard, because of shoaling - sediment or sand that washes up on the bottom of the waterway and hampers shipping traffic.

Oil/Chemical Spills from Harvey Are Big, but Dwarfed by Katrina

More than 22,000 barrels of oil, refined fuels and chemicals spilled at sites across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, along with millions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of tons of other toxic substances, a Reuters review of company reports to the U.S. Coast Guard shows. The spills, clustered around the heart of the U.S. oil industry, together rank among the worst environmental mishaps in the country in years, but fall far short of the roughly 190,000 barrels spilled in Louisiana in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina - the last major storm to take dead aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast. Harvey slammed ashore in Texas on Aug. 26, unleashing record flooding around Houston that destroyed countless homes, displaced around a million people and killed scores. The U.S.

Ichthys Explorer Moored off Western Australia

The world’s largest semi-submersible platform, the Ichthys Explorer, has been safely moored in the Ichthys Field, 220 kilometers off the north coast of Western Australia, where it will be located for 40 years, as part of the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project.   Bardex Corporation supplied four moveable Chain Jacks and 28 underwater Barlatches to support the handling of 28 mooring lines. The mooring operation was completed ahead of schedule with the assistance of Bardex lifecycle services. Bardex said the use of its Clump Weight contributed to the efficient mooring up operation.  

Phillips 66 Charters Foreign Tanker for Domestic Voyage

Phillips 66 has chartered a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, making use of a temporary waiver of the Jones Act that was put in place to meet fuel shortages in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Argus Media reported on Thursday. The vessel, Nave Jupiter, departed from Houston, Texas on Sept. 9, and was docked near the company's Alliance refinery in Louisiana, the report said. The nearly 100 year-old law mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Last week, the U.S. Homeland Security Department had waived the law for a week, the first such waiver since December 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. The department said earlier this week that it was extending the temporary waiver until Sept. 22.

Wood Group Wins Subsea Contract Supporting CNOOC

Photo: Wood Group

UK-based energy services company Wood Group has been awarded a new contract by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to support the Lingshui 17-2 gas development in the Qiongdongnan basin of the South China Sea. Subsea and flow assurance services will be provided under the contract, which is effective immediately and will be supported by Wood Group’s offices in Perth, Australia and London. An independent review for the development’s subsea production system design and a special study and design for its gas export pipeline will be delivered.

Six Companies Buy Oil from US Emergency Crude Reserve

Six companies bought 14 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a sale required by law to help fund medical research and the federal government, said the Department of Energy on Thursday.   BP Oil Supply, Exxon Mobil Corp, Phillips 66 , Shell Trading, Valero Marketing and Supply Company, and Macquarie Commodities Trading bought oil from the reserve, which is held in salt caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coasts.   No prices were immediately available. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Crowley Shipping Fuel to Hurricane Stricken Locales

Photo: Crowley

Eighteen Jones Act petroleum vessels owned and/or operated by Crowley Maritime Corp. have been loaded to discharge gasoline and diesel into Florida ports in the coming few days. The mobilization responds to fuel shortages caused by the unprecedented evacuation of millions of Floridians ahead of Hurricane Irma. The vessels include Crowley’s MT Ohio and Florida, which were among the first tankers to bring fuel into the Port of Tampa on Tuesday along with MT West Virginia in Port Everglades. Fuel is being discharged to all of the major terminals in Florida – Jacksonville, Port Canaveral and Ft.

Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Design Passes ABS Review

(Image: University of Maine)

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has completed the design review of the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) documentation for the VolturnUS, a floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT), developed by the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “UMaine is pleased that its innovative design became the first floating wind turbine concrete semisubmersible hull to be reviewed by ABS, and found to meet the ABS requirements,” said Dr. Habib J. Dagher, P.E, UMaine Composites Center executive director and principal investigator.

Japan’s KCS Orders New Cable Lay Vessel

(Image: Vard)

A keel laying ceremony held on September 7, 2017 at Colombo Dockyard PLC in Sri Lanka signaled the start of construction on a new cable lay vessel for Japanese owner Kokusai Cable Ship Co. Ltd (KCS). Vard Design secured the ship design contract with builder Colombo Dockyard for KCS’s newest vessel, a VARD 9 01 design tailor-made for installation and repair of subsea telecom cables, with a high capacity below-deck cable carousel. Developed in close cooperation with the ship owner…

Netherlands to Receive LNG from Sabine Pass Plant

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

The Netherlands will receive its second-ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass export facility in the United States on Oct. 6, according to shipping data.   The vessel, with a capacity of 166,031 cubic metres, is currently berthed at Sabine Pass, live ship-tracking data shows.   The first delivery from Sabine Pass to the Gate terminal in Rotterdam arrived on June 8 aboard the Arctic Discoverer, a Thomson Reuters analyst said.   Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic 

Seadrill Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

WEST GEMINI. Photo: Seadrill Limited

Seadrill Limited, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling companies, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the Southern District Texas court, Reuters reported. The indebted oil rig firm controlled by Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen is seeking to restructure its roughly $10 billion  debts as the petroleum industry continues to grapple with low prices. Seadrill announced that the court overseeing the Company's chapter 11 restructuring proceedings has granted the relief requested by the Company in its key first-day motions related to ordinary course business activities.

Winson Oil, Unipec Snap up Gasoil Cargoes

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

Both traders buy over 12 million barrels in September. Oil traders Winson Oil and Unipec have snapped up over 12 million barrels of gasoil in just under two weeks and are booking vessels in Singapore to either store the fuel or export it, shipping and trading sources said on Wednesday. Winson Oil, based in Hong Kong and registered in Singapore, bought the bulk of the cargoes at over 9 million barrels in oil price agency S&P Global Platts' market since the start of September, trading data showed. Unipec, the trading arm of Chinese state oil major Sinopec, purchased the rest, the data showed.

CFE Awards 9-Cargo LNG Tender for Q4 Delivery

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

Mexico's state-run power utility CFE has picked Royal Dutch Shell and most likely Cheniere Energy to deliver nine liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in the fourth-quarter, trade sources said.   Traders said Shell won most of the tender, which was awarded on Tuesday, with shipments to be spread across October, November and December into the Altamira terminal on Mexico's Atlantic coast, traders said.   Some traders said Cheniere took a share of CFE's requirement.   Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic 

ABS, GasLog Study to Simulate LNG Boil-off

Photo: ABS

ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, and GasLog LNG Services (GasLog) have completed a joint development project demonstrating a new approach to evaluating LNG boil-off rate (BOR). GasLog is an international owner, operator and manager of LNG carriers, providing support to international energy companies as part of their LNG logistics chain. “By expanding the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to simulate the LNG BOR in cargo tanks…

Sentinel Marine’s New Rescue Vessel Christened

(Photo: Sentinel Marine)

Sentinel Marine’s latest new-build emergency response and rescue vessel (ERRV) has been deployed to service in the North Sea after being christened at Aberdeen Harbor. The new vessel, Mariner Sentinel, is operating on behalf of Statoil at its Mariner field to the east of Shetland – the sixth of nine vessels to join the firm’s fleet since 2015. Statoil’s Aberdeen-based offshore logistics and services supervisor, Line Kaldestad, officially named Mariner Sentinel in her role as the ship’s godmother.

OW Bunkers Investors in Legal Action Against IPO Banks

A group of 24 Danish institutional investors in OW Bunker has decided to issue a writ against Carnegie and Morgan Stanley, accusing them of misleading investors ahead of the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier.   The investors, which include two of the largest pension funds in Denmark, ATP and PFA, claim they have suffered a loss of 767 million crowns ($123 million) following investment in OW Bunker shares "on the basis of a prospectus which was insufficient in material aspects".   Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Carnegie said it did not know the details of the alleged claim.   Reporting by Stine Jacobsen 

Thales Invests to Advance Autonomy

(Copyright Thales)

Thales is announcing a major commitment to develop future autonomous and unmanned technology across air and sea by investing in two new UK-based trials and training centers. Following Thales’s successful trials during the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise in 2016, Thales is now investing in two trials and training centres based in West Wales and in South-West England to test and develop autonomous systems for both military and civil activities. "Investing in these facilities enables the safe test…

Hedge Funds Watch U.S. Refinery Restarts

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jason Lee)

Hedge funds are betting crude oil stocks will adjust quickly to the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma but gasoline and distillate inventories may take more time to normalise. Hedge funds and other money managers increased their combined net long position in the five major petroleum contracts linked to crude, gasoline and heating oil by 46 million barrels in the week to Sept. 5, according to the latest regulatory and exchange data. Fund managers recovered some of their pre…

Irma to Weaken by Tuesday Afternoon: NHC

Hurricane Irma was losing strength as its center moved toward the northwestern coast of the Florida Peninsula on Monday and was forecast to weaken to a tropical storm during the day and to a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.   Irma, once ranked as one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic, was about 60 miles (100 km) north of Tampa, Florida, carrying maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), the center said in a 5 a.m. ET (0900 GMT) advisory.   Irma's center would cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia on Monday afternoon, then move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama on Monday evening and Tuesday, the NHC forecast.   Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala

Bangladesh shortlists Trafigura, Gunvor for LNG Terminals

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

Bangladesh has shortlisted global commodity traders Trafigura and Gunvor to arrange the installation of two floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals in 2018 as the country transforms into a major LNG consumer. "Trafigura and Gunvor have been shortlisted out of 13 companies for two 200 million cubic feet/day LNG import terminals," a director at state-run energy firm Petrobangla's LNG division told Reuters. Petrobangla will hold talks with the companies and deals will then be finalised, he added.

CWind Awarded TP Gate Contract

(Photo: CWind)

Offshore wind industry services provider CWind said it has been awarded a contract by DONG Energy, to install new and retrofit existing gates on the transition pieces (TPs) at the Gode Wind and Borkum Riffgrund offshore wind farms, located in the North Sea off the coast of Northern Germany. CWind, which is part of the Global Marine Group and delivers the company’s power capabilities, will use its crew transfer vessels, assets and engineering expertise to help complete the project.

DP System for Icebreaking Standby Vessel

A Navis NavDP4000 DP-2 system has been commissioned on board the third vessel in a series of four currently under construction on Arctech Helsinki Shipyards.   This project is a further development of the two multifunctional icebreaking supply vessels Vitus Bering and Aleksey Chirikov delivered for same owner back in 2012 and 2013.   The multifunctional icebreaking standby vessel is designed for year round operations in harsh conditions of Arctic waters, as she was built to Icebreaker 6 class of Russian Maritime Register. She is also designed to act as an accommodation vessel.   The previously delivered Gennadiy Nevelskoy and Stepan Makarov already started operations serving Sakhalin-2 project.

BP’s Glen Lyon FPSO Classed by DNV GL

BP Glen Lyon (Photo: BP)

DNV GL said it has awarded class to BP’s Glen Lyon Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel located west of Shetland. Glen Lyon is a purpose-built FPSO expected to produce 130,000 barrels of oil a day at peak production. The vessel was transferred into class shortly after first oil in May 2017. DNV GL’s Maritime and Oil & Gas business areas have together provided BP with a broad range of technical skills required for the challenging conditions in which the FPSO will operate.

More Cargo, Slower Steaming Support VLCC Rates

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

VLCC rates from MidEast to Asia gain around $3,000; higher chartering volumes for peak winter season could lift rates. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes may have found a floor this week as a combination of increased chartering activity and some tankers sailing at slower speeds pushed rates slightly higher from the Middle East. "Rates are at a bottom, they have kind of found a floor," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of BRS Baxi Far East in Singapore, on Friday. "But the recovery is a very shallow one - the market is really rubbish," he added.

Global LNG Bunkering Market to Reach USD 8.19bln by 2023

Photo: Shell

Global LNG Bunkering market is expected to grow from $248.64 million in 2016 to reach $8187.35 million by 2023 with a CAGR of 64.7%. According to Stratistics MRC, growing marine logistic business, cost efficient LNG products, and imposing environmental regulations on chemical emissions are some of the factors bolstering the market growth. In addition, easy deployment facility is another factor fuelling the market growth. However, higher capital investments, poor bunkering infrastructure are the factors inhibiting the market growth.

Statoil's Bahamas Oil Terminal to Shut ahead of Irma

File photo: Statoil

Norway's state-run oil company Statoil began making preparations on Thursday to shut its South Riding Point storage and transshipment terminal in the Bahamas ahead of Hurricane Irma, traders close to the facility told Reuters.   South Riding Point in Grand Bahama has the capacity to store up to 6.75 million barrels of oil.   A neighboring terminal in the Bahamas, Buckeye Partners' BORCO, was also expected to halt all operations on Thursday, the company said. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga)

In Sign of Oil Rebalancing, North Sea Floating Storage Shrinks

The volume of global price benchmark North Sea crude being held in floating storage has declined sharply since mid-August, according to shipping data and trade sources, a sign that a long-awaited market rebalancing is gaining momentum. Two supertankers being used to store North Sea crudes offshore the UK, Desimi and Gener8 Neptune, contain about 4 million barrels of oil, trade sources said. Three weeks ago, the total was closer to 10 million barrels. The clearing of the crude to destinations including China and South Korea has been encouraged by a rise in the price of Brent crude for delivery soon relative to later supplies, trade sources said, a feature known as backwardation. "The whole market is tightening up," said a North Sea trade source.

Irma forces Bahamas Borco Terminal to Close

Buckeye Partners LP's Bahamas terminal, also known as Borco, has been closed for vessel traffic and will shut all operations by the end of the day due to Hurricane Irma, a source familiar with operations said on Thursday.   That terminal, located in Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, has more than 26 million barrels of storage capacity for crude, fuel oil, gasoline and other products.   Hurricane Irma has already killed several people after hammering the Caribbean as a category 5 storm, with winds up to 180 mph (285 km/h). It was most recently located off the northern coast of Dominican Republic, about 760 miles (1220 km) southeast of Freeport, according to the National Weather Service.   Reporting By Jessica Resnick Ault 

Marine Fuels Supplier Bomin Group Launch New Brand Identity

Photo: Bomin Group

The Bomin Group, a leading global physical supplier and trader of marine fuels, today announced the launch of a new brand identity and website as it positions itself to deliver the company’s next phase of global growth. The shipping industry is experiencing significant change, and the fuel supply chain is becoming increasingly complex. The launch of Bomin’s new brand identity reflects this evolution, and the company’s global position within the market. The new corporate identity also underlines the company’s ethical values…

Genoil Signs Tri-Partite Scientific Pact on Low Sulphur Fuel Oil

Photo:  Genoil Inc.

Clean technology engineering company for the petroleum industry Genoil Inc has signed a tri-partite science, research and technical cooperation agreement with two leading Russian institutions. Genoil has joined forces with the UFA Scientific Research Institute of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemistry, located in Bashkortostan, Russia, and the OJS VNIIUS Institute, located in Tatarstan, Russia to establish a world class partnership. The scope of the agreement is to research, develop and market cutting-edge technologies and patents both in the Americas and globally.

Partners Aim to Bring New Trenching Vehicle to Market

(Photo: Royal IHC)

A Memorandum of Understanding between Royal IHC and Canyon Offshore, a U.K. subsidiary of Houston-based Helix Energy Solutions Group, will see that partners work toward an exclusive arrangement to jointly bring the Hi-Traq trenching vehicle to the market. Upon conclusion of the agreement between the parties, Canyon would have the exclusive right to use the first Hi-Traq M1600, an asset built for both mechanical cutting and jetting operations. The modular asset would be available…

Pharos Offshore Names Warder COO

Andy Warder (Photo: Pharos Offshore)

Pharos Offshore announced Andy Warder has joined the team as Chief Operations Officer with immediate effect.   Warder joins Pharos with over 25 years’ experience in the offshore industry holding senior and executive management positions with a track record of successfully growing his business units and providing strong support and solutions to Clients predominantly throughout the Asia Pacific regions.  

Asian Traders Mull U.S. Crude Liftings in Harvey's Wake

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

Harvey closed nearly a quarter of U.S. refining capacity; helping to push WTI-Brent spread to widest in two years. Some oil traders in Asia are looking to snap up crude cargoes from the United States after Hurricane Harvey closed U.S. refineries, denting local demand and pushing out the price spread between U.S and Atlantic Basin crude benchmarks. Hurricane Harvey barrelled into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast around 10 days ago, closing nearly a quarter of the nation's refining capacity, although some of that is now coming back online.

Guangzhou Halts Foreign Coal Imports

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

Port handles 60 mln tonnes/year of foreign and domestic seaborne coal. Guangzhou port, the largest coal transport hub in southern China, has halted foreign coal imports, according to traders who use the port and said they had been informed of the shutdown by customs authorities and senior company officials. Traders said the move caught merchants using Guangzhou by surprise and interpreted it as a sign of Beijing stepping up its campaign to cut pollution caused by the burning of coal.

Cautious optimism returns to North Sea – Deloitte

Reacting to the latest Oil and Gas UK Economic Report, to be published on Wednesday 6 September, Graham Hollis, Senior Partner for Deloitte in Aberdeen, said: “A cautious optimism has returned to the industry, as it weathers the storm of the past three years. “Nevertheless, challenges still remain for the North Sea and its recovery needs to be carefully fostered. The report shows there are a potential £40 billion worth of developments in companies’ business plans – it’s up to all of those involved in the industry to help these come to fruition, requiring a collaborative approach between government, the business community, the supply chain, and wider stakeholders. “The UKCS is vitally important to our economy and still supports more than 300,000 jobs.

Gas to Become World's Primary Energy Source by 2035: DNV GL

Image: DNV GL

Oil and gas will be crucial components of the world’s energy future, according to DNV GL’s forecast of the energy transition. While renewable energy will grow its share of the energy mix, oil and gas will account for 44% of world energy supply in 2050, compared to 53% today. Gas will become the largest single source of energy from 2034. DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), a forecast that spans the global energy mix to 2050, predicts that global demand for energy will flatten in 2030, then steadily decline over the next two decades, thanks to step-changes in energy efficiency.

Sulzer Acquires License for Total’s Wash Tank Technology

(Image: Sulzer)

Sulzer’s Chemtech division has been granted a license covering the Total-patented Wash Tank Technology for Oil Processing. The main purpose of this technology is to enhance the removal of water, salt and contaminants from oil and emulsions, by a controlled distribution of the feed into the bottom of a hull tank of an FPSO/FSO/FPU which transforms the water-in-oil dispersion into an oil-in-water one where high efficiency phase separation takes place more easily. The technology also involves a simplification of the topsides crude oil process.

Bibby Offshore Wraps up North Sea Work

Barry Macleod, UKCS managing director at Bibby Offshore (Photo: Bibby Offshore)

Perenco appointed Bibby Offshore to perform subsea integrity inspections and maintenance works on the Inde Joint pipeline, which runs to the Bacton Gas Terminal in the Southern North Sea. Completed in early July, the 15-day workscope saw Bibby Offshore install a total of 94 concrete mattresses over the pipeline to assist in preserving the remaining rock dump mounds. The second workscope, completed in late July, saw Endeavour Energy UK contract Bibby Offshore to carry out subsea tree inspections in the Renee and Rubie fields located in blocks 15/27 and 15/28 of the Central North Sea.

Pemex: Harvey Caused Crude Oil Shipment Delays

Mexican national oil company Pemex said on Tuesday that Hurricane Harvey forced the cancellation of several crude oil export shipments. Due to the damage inflicted by Harvey on the U.S. Gulf coast refining center, Pemex arranged for alternative gasoline and diesel cargos from suppliers elsewhere, the company said in a statement. The company also moved up maintenance plans for its Ku-Maloob-Zaap field, its biggest producer, located in shallow waters of the Bay of Campeche. The maintenance will be conducted from this week through Sept. 11, which will cause production to temporarily dip by some 330,000 barrels per day (bpd). But Pemex said the maintenance plans are not expected to impact the company's production forecast for this year.

Irma Barrels Toward Caribbean, U.S. Mainland

Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 4 storm, plowed toward the Caribbean and the southern United States on Tuesday as islands in its path braced for possible life-threatening winds, storm surges and flooding. Hurricane warnings and watches were in effect for parts of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, in preparation for a storm that was intensifying with 150 mph (240 kph) winds, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. "Dangerous Hurricane Irma heading for the Leeward Islands," the hurricane center said. A Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale means sustained winds of 130-156 mph (209-251 kph) with "catastrophic" outcomes.

Vitol Signs Deal with Angola LNG

Photo: Vitol

Angola LNG (ALNG) and Vitol, the world’s largest independent energy dealer, have entered into a multi-year LNG sales agreement. Under the agreement, ALNG cargoes will be delivered to Vitol at destinations around the world. Commenting on the sales agreement, Artur Pereira, CEO, Angola LNG Marketing Ltd, said: “This sales agreement is an important step for Angola LNG and demonstrates our ability to respond to the needs of our customers and the market. Pablo Galante Escobar, Head of LNG, Vitol, said; “We are delighted to have entered into this agreement with Angola LNG.

DOF Inks Two PSV Contracts

Photo: DOF Group

The DOF Group has been awarded two contracts for the provision of the multipurpose support vessel (MSV) Skandi Skansen and the platform supply vessel (PSV) Skandi Caledonia in the Mediterranean. The contracts will commence in 4th quarter and secure utilisation of 90 days plus options for the Skandi Skansen and 300 days plus options for the Skandi Caledonia. The Skandi Skansen is a new generation high powered anchor handling vessel designed for field installation operations across a wide range of water depths and environmental conditions.

Nordic American Appoints New CFO

Photo: Nordic American Offshore Ltd

Nordic American Tankers (NAT) and Nordic American Offshore (NAO) has appointed Bjørn Giaever (50) as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He is expected to join us later this year and as early as possible. Giaever joins NAT/NAO from the well reputed firm of Fearnley Securities AS with main office in Oslo, Norway. This is an investment bank with special focus on the maritime sectors, where he served as a director and partner in the Corporate Finance division. Giaever has more than 20 years of experience in the shipping industry, holding key roles in corporate finance and equity research.

US Drillers Add No Oil Rigs as Harvey Slows Production

Photo: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

U.S. energy firms did not add any oil rigs this week as Hurricane Harvey barrelled into the nation's energy heartland, forcing drillers to halt production and refiners to shut plants. The total oil rig count for the week ended Friday stayed at 759, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its report on Friday. That compares with 407 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drillers have added rigs in 56 of the past 67 weeks since the start of June 2016. The rig count is an early indicator of future output.

Wärtsilä Tests Remote Control Ship Operating Capability

Gulfmark Offshore's the 'Highland Chieftain' was the vessel used for the test. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Wärtsilä said it has taken a further important step toward developing its Smart Marine capabilities by successfully testing the remote control of ship operations. The testing, which involved driving the vessel through a sequence of manoeuvres using a combination of Dynamic Positioning (DP) and manual joystick control, was carried out on August 21 off the North Sea coast of Scotland in collaboration with Gulfmark Offshore, the U.S. based operator who provided the vessel for the project.

Harvey Produces Rare Jet Fuel Exports to U.S.

File Image: a product tanker loads at berth (Transnet)

Traders are shipping jet fuel from Europe to the United States, where Tropical Storm Harvey has sparked concern over possible shortages of the aviation fuel. French oil major Total has booked the Maersk Misumi and Butterfly to load 37,000 tonnes each of jet fuel in Europe in the coming two weeks for transatlantic transportation, shipping reports showed. Total also has a provisional booking of the Seaways Alcmar to load 37,000 tonnes of jet fuel in Malta on Sept. 4, with delivery options to the U.S. Gulf or U.S. Atlantic Coast.

Baltic Index Slips on Weaker Capesize Sector

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell slightly on Friday, dragged down by lower rates for capesize vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell 1 point or 0.08 percent, to 1,183 points. The capesize index decreased 29 points, or 1.26 percent, to end at 2,264 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $135 to $16,948.

VLCC, Product Tanker Rates Headed in Opposite Directions

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

No impact on VLCC rates yet from Hurricane Harvey, even as rates for smaller product tankers double. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes continue to sink on a glut of available tonnage as owners wait for supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey to help support the market, brokers said. Charter rates for VLCCs from the Middle East have fallen to around 36 on the Worldscale measure. "In terms of VLCCs we've not seen much knock-on effect (from Harvey) yet, but I'm sure there'll be some lasting effect," a Singapore-based supertanker broker said.

Retail Gasoline Prices Surge in Harvey's Choppy Wake

File Image: The port of Corpus Christi and tanker berths (CREDIT: Port of Corpus Christi)

Nearly a quarter of U.S. refining capacity out; Motiva down for two weeks; Corpus Christi starts to reopen. Retail U.S. gasoline prices hit two-year highs and global shipping routes were scrambled as the nation's largest refiners remained shut on Friday, even as Harvey was losing strength. Major fuel pipelines feeding the U.S. Northeast and Midwest have been either closed or severely curtailed, prompting shortages in some areas and dramatic spikes in wholesale prices. The storm…

About 13.5% of US Gulf Oil Output Still Shut in by Harvey

About 13.5 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut in on Thursday due to Tropical Storm Harvey, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.   That equates to some 236,115 barrels of oil per day, out of roughly 1.75 million barrels pumped daily from the Gulf, down from 323,760 barrels of oil per day that were shut on Wednesday.   Meanwhile, 17.6 percent of natural gas production in the region, or 568.09 million cubic feet per day has been shut in, BSEE said, down from 611.09 million on Wednesday.   BSEE tabulated the data by polling 31 Gulf operators. (Reporting by David Gaffen; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Bureau Veritas Issues New Rules for OSVs, Tugs

BV classed tug, Dux - now operating in Hammerfest, Norway. Image courtesy of Gondan Shipbuilders  (Photo: Bureau Veritas)

Classification society Bureau Veritas has issued new rules for the Classification of Offshore Service Vessels and Tugs, including new class notations for pipelay vessels, accommodation units, offshore construction vessels and offshore support vessels. Gijsbert de Jong, Bureau Veritas Marine Marketing and Sales Director, said: “With this new publication Bureau Veritas provides the industry with a clear framework for the classification of offshore service vessels and tugs based on an end-user friendly system of class notations reflecting the terminology used by the industry.

Harvey Interrupts Asia LPG Exports from Gulf Coast

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

Harvey delays at least 300,000 T of U.S. LPG shipments. Shipments of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the United States have been held up by the havoc wrought by tropical storm Harvey since last Friday, but Asian buyers are betting the situation will improve before supplies are critically squeezed. At least 300,000 tonnes in LPG shipments to Asia have been delayed after U.S. Gulf ports were shut, based on the estimates from four sources who buy mainly U.S. cargoes. Asia is short of LPG…

OW Bunker Investors to Sue IPO banks

Institutional investors to sue Morgan Stanley, Carnegie. A group of institutional investors in OW Bunker said they plan to sue Morgan Stanley and Carnegie for about $80 million, accusing the two investment banks of misleading them ahead of the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier. Denmark's OW Bunker was valued at $1 billion when it floated in March 2014, but the company filed for bankruptcy in November that year after suffering hedging losses of almost $300 million, sending shockwaves through the global shipping and oil trading industry. "We are planning a lawsuit against the two investment banks involved in the OW Bunker IPO," Erik Bomans, partner in Deminor Recovery Services representing 30 institutional investors, told Reuters on Thursday.

Traders Scramble to Avert Regional Fuel Shortages

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

Mexico buys gasoline from Europe, Asia; in rare move, Europe exports diesel to Brazil. The crippling of the U.S. Gulf Coast refining hub by Tropical Storm Harvey roiled global oil markets on Thursday as traders scrambled to buy gasoline and diesel from distant markets to avert supply shortages in the United States, Mexico and Brazil. A slew of gasoline tankers has been booked over the past two days out of Europe to the United States and Latin America, with around 12.5 million barrels expected to leave the region in the first half of the month…

Aegean Marine, Freepoint Commodities Pact on Bunkering Sales

Photo: Aegean Marine Petroleum Network

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network and Caribbean Bunkers LLC have signed an agreement to cooperate on bunkering sales, focused around the US Virgin Islands facility at Limetree Bay, St. Croix. Under terms of the agreement, Aegean will market bunker fuels and marine gas oil supplied by Freepoint to customers calling on the Limetree Bay Facility. The agreement calls for future expansion in the region that could lead to adding delivery capability through Aegean's owned fleet. Manolis Chochlakis…

Panoil, Universal Energy Lose Singapore Bunker Supply Licence

Photo: Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will not be renewing the bunker supplier licences of Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd and Universal Energy Pte Ltd when they expire on 31 August 2017. The bunker craft operator licence of Universal Energy Pte Ltd will also not be renewed. Both companies will no longer be allowed to operate as a bunker supplier and bunker craft operator in the Port of Singapore. Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd made unauthorised alterations on the pipelines of their bunker tankers and has accumulated demerit points[1] for non-compliances to the bunkering procedures.

Noris Marine to Offer PBES Energy Storage to Southern Europe

Photo: PBES

PBES and Noris Automation GmbH has announced a partnership agreement to represent PBES energy storage for hybrid and fully electric commercial marine vessels. This further underscores the ongoing green shift that is now occurring in the commercial marine industry. “Noris Automation is a company with deep roots in the marine industry,” said Brent Perry, PBES Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to announce the agreement with PBES,” stated Uwe Ulrich, Managing Director, Noris Automation GmbH. “Much of the future of shipping will be based on hybrid and electric propulsion.

Borr Drilling Aims to Expand Fleet, Keep Costs Low

Borr Drilling, the Norwegian drilling start-up, which listed on the Oslo exchange on Wednesday, said it aimed to expand its fleet, taking advantage of its low cost base. The start-up, launched last year and backed by the world's biggest oil service firm Schlumberger, said it aimed to have the lowest cash break-even costs in the industry and would take advantage of current low prices for rigs. "We have no debt," Borr's Chief Executive Simon Johnson told Reuters after its shares started trading on Oslo's main market. They were previously listed on the over-the-counter market. "That might change in the future, depending on the financing needs, but we can control what we pay for assets," Johnson said.

Traders Look to Asia Products for U.S. Options

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

Traders adding U.S. port options to cargoes for flexibility. Traders are scrambling to find oil products in Asia to ship to the United States and Latin America after Hurricane Harvey shut almost a quarter of U.S. refining capacity, several trading and shipping sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Many are also asking for ships to have a U.S. option added to their original destination to allow for flexibility in sending the cargoes across the Pacific, shipbrokers said. At least one oil products tanker…

Tanker Firm Frontline Sees Weak Quarters Ahead

Oslo-listed tanker firm Frontline, controlled by shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, reported a deeper than expected second-quarter loss on Wednesday and said markets were likely to remain weak for the next few quarters due to overcapacity. The company reported a loss of $19.4 million for the second quarter, against analysts' expectations for a $17 million deficit, and said it would not pay a dividend. By 0714 GMT Frontline's shares were down 5.6 percent at 40.5 Norwegian crowns ($5.22). "The upcoming quarters may present challenges as vessel supply continues to increase," Frontline said on Wednesday, adding it aims to take advantage of weak markets to buy vessels.

Crude Slips, Gasoline Jumps in Storm's Choppy Wake

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

Goldman Sachs says 23 pct of U.S. refining capacity is shut. Crude oil slid and gasoline futures hit their highest since mid-2015 on Wednesday as flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Harvey shut over a fifth of U.S. refineries, curbing demand for crude while raising the risk of fuel shortages. Refineries with output of 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd) were offline on Tuesday, representing 23 percent of U.S. production, Goldman Sachs said. Restarting plants even under the best conditions can take a week or more. "It will be a while before operations can return to normal and the U.S.

Harvey Impacts Domestic Fuel Network

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

U.S. drivers are starting to feel the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey in their wallets as the country's fuel distribution network starting at the Gulf Coast and stretching across the country is squeezed by floods, refinery closures and dwindling supplies. At least 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity is offline and more refineries are at risk of shut downs as the storm relentlessly dumps rain on Texas and heads toward Louisiana. The longer refineries remain shut, the more retail prices will increase, traders and analysts said.

Harvey Soaks Louisiana as Houston Struggles With Flooding

Tropical Storm Harvey bore down on Louisiana on Wednesday, pouring down more water after setting rainfall records in Texas that caused catastrophic flooding and paralyzed the U.S. energy hub of Houston. The storm that first came ashore on Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years has killed at least 17 people and forced tens of thousands to leave their deluged homes. Damage has been estimated at tens of billions of dollars, making it one of the costliest U.S. natural disasters. There is some relief in sight for Houston, the fourth most populous U.S. city, with forecasters saying five days of torrential rain may come to an end as the storm picks up speed and leaves the Gulf of Mexico region later in the day.

TechnipFMC Wins West White Rose Contract

Photo: TechnipFMC plc

TechnipFMC has been awarded an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) contract from Husky Energy for the West White Rose Project in Eastern Canada. The contract covers the supply and installation of subsea equipment including tie-in manifolds, flexible flowlines, and control umbilicals, which will connect the recently announced West White Rose Platform to the existing SeaRose FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading) vessel. The Husky West White Rose Project will use a fixed platform tied back to the SeaRose FPSO vessel.

Harvey Shuts in More than 18% of US Gulf Output -BSEE

Astronaut Randy Bresnik took this photo of Tropical Storm Harvey from the International Space Station on Aug. 28 at 1:27 p.m. CDT. (Credits: NASA)

More than 18 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut in on Tuesday due to Harvey, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety Environmental Enforcement said. That equates to some 319,523 barrels of oil per day, out of roughly 1.75 million barrels pumped daily from the Gulf. The amount of production shut in was down from Monday, when more than 331,000 barrels were shut in. Meanwhile, 19.1 percent of natural gas production in the region, or 615.09 million cubic feet per day, has been shut in, BSEE said. BSEE tabulated the data by polling 31 Gulf operators.

Trelleborg Suite Supplied to Prelude FLNG

Prelude FLNG (Photo: Trelleborg)

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has supplied a suite of products to Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility, the largest offshore facility ever constructed. Prelude, which is 488 meters long, 74 meters wide, and made with more than 260,000 tons of steel, will extract and liquefy natural gas from a site in North West Australia. Trelleborg supplied its gas transfer technology and SafePilot navigational and piloting systems for Prelude. “Our SafePilot solution, SSL, ESL and radio ESD for tandem condensate offload have been used on Shell’s Prelude FLNG…

CGG Starts Seismic Survey Offshore Brazil

Oceanic Champion (Photo: CGG)

CGG said it has started work on Espirito Santo IV, a large BroadSeis 3D multi-client survey in the deep and ultra-deep waters of the Espirito Santo Basin offshore Brazil. The vessel Oceanic Champion is acquiring the survey which is expected to take seven months. This industry-supported survey will cover 10,300 sq km and be processed at CGG’s Rio de Janeiro Subsurface Imaging center. The high-end broadband sequence will include the latest 3D deghosting, Full-Waveform Inversion (FWI) velocity modeling and Tilted Transverse Isotropy (TTI) imaging.

FPSO BW Catcher Sails for the North Sea

BW Offshore’s Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) BW Catcher has left deep water anchorage off the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and is currently in transit on a 45-day journey to the Catcher field in the central North Sea where it will go to work for Premier Oil. The FPSO is expected to reach U.K. waters early in the fourth quarter, depending on prevailing weather conditions. Upon its arrival, BW Catcher will commence a seven-year fixed term contract, with extension options of up to 18 years, with Premier Oil. Carl K. Arnet, CEO of BW Offshore, said, “The BW Catcher has been completed on time and within budget, and we are especially pleased with the good HSE performance during the construction project.

OSM Officially On Board Statoil’s Peregrino

From right to left – OSM crew members Giliard Damasceno Miranda (Deck Operator), Wilton Pereira Gomes (Deck Operator) and Alex Fabiano de Figueiredo Oliveira paying attention to the instructions that Bruno Araujo (back) is going through (Photo: OSM)

Efforts in Brazil are reinforced for OSM with more than 90 specialized offshore positions officially on board the Peregrino. “OSM Brazil have successfully mobilized our crew on board the FPSO Peregrino,” says Tommy Olofsen, Managing Director of OSM Crew Management. OSM Maritime Group (OSM) began its journey with Statoil’s Floating Production Storage Unit (FPSO) Peregrino back in early 2016. However, increased efforts and investments in Brazil have been ongoing since 2013 – with multiple office locations…

Baltic Index Inches Down on Capesize, Panamax Rates

File Image: CREDIT FedNav

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged down on Tuesday on lower rates across larger vessel segments. The overall index — which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels — was down 6 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,203 points. The capesize index fell 25 points, or 1.04 percent, to 2,381 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $140 to $17,778.

Harvey Likely to Linger off Texas Coast

The center of Tropical Storm Harvey is likely to remain just off the coast of Texas through Tuesday night before moving inland over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.   The storm is not expected to further intensify before its center crosses the coast again within 36 hours or so, the NHC said.   Harvey is now located about 135 miles (220 km) south-southwest of Port Arthur, Texas with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 km per hour), it added.   Reporting by Arpan Varghese 

European Gasoline Margins at 4-1/2 Month High

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

Benchmark European gasoline refining margins spiked nearly 9 percent on Tuesday to their highest since April after more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. refining capacity was knocked offline by Hurricane Harvey. Margins, a measure of the profit that can be made from refining crude into gasoline, hit $15.45 a barrel in morning trade. Harvey knocked out 13 percent of refining capacity in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, while the ongoing rain and flooding threatened other units, including the country's largest refinery.

Singapore, Japan Feasibility Study LNG-Fuelled Car Carriers

Singapore's Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure & Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, met Minister Keiichi Ishii, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan on 28 August 2017. Photo: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

To promote LNG bunkering in Asia, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Ports and Harbours Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) will helm a working group to conduct a feasibility study on LNG bunkering for car carriers plying between Japan and Singapore. This working group will include Japan’s big three shippers – Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL). The study…

13% of Manned Platforms Evacuated in GoM

U.S. Navy photo from August 25

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated personnel from 98 production platforms, 13.3 percent of the region’s 737 manned platforms during Tropical Storm Harvey, according to this morning’s data submitted to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). BSEE said personnel have been evacuated from five of 10 non-dynamically positioned (DP) rigs currently operating in the Gulf. None of the Gulf’s 21 DP rigs have moved off location. Based on operator reports…

Tanker Shipping: Is the Oil Market Rebalancing or Not?

© Igor Yu. Groshev / Adobe Stock

The one key factor to watch is the one thing that’s impossible to measure accurately on a global scale, oil stocks. Global stocks for both crude oil and oil products rose significantly following the sharp fall in crude oil prices in the second half of 2014. But while this may seem to be in the past, it is still haunting the oil market and the oil tanker market. Demand in the tanker market is below normal levels and will only increase once the global oil stocks have been reduced.

Marine Hazards to Subsea Cables and Pipelines

(Image: MARIN)

In February 1989 the RoRo vessel Vinca Gorthon ran into heavy weather and sank off the Dutch coast. She landed on an oil pipeline that was severely damaged. Although the probability of sinking on top of a pipeline is very small, the incident showed that it can happen. Shipping traffic can represent a potential hazard to subsea pipelines in various ways, such as sinking or grounding, lost containers or an anchor hooking onto a pipeline. Over the years MARIN has contributed to the…

About 22% of US Gulf Oil Output Offline Due to Harvey

About 22 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline due to Tropical Storm Harvey, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Sunday. Output levels rose slightly from Saturday, when roughly 25 percent of Gulf oil output was offline. The amount of production offline on Sunday was roughly 378,633 barrels of oil per day out of the roughly 1.75 million bpd pumped from the Gulf. About 26 percent of Gulf natural gas production is offline, or about 828 million cubic feet (23.4 million cubic meters) per day, BSEE said. Roughly 105 platforms have been evacuated in the Gulf so far as a result of Harvey, about 14.3 percent of those in the region. Half of the drilling rigs in the Gulf remain evacuated, BSEE said.

BW Catcher Sails to North Sea

Photo: BW Offshore

BW Offshore, a leading global provider of floating production services to the oil and gas industry, announced the sail away of the FPSO BW Catcher. The vessel has left Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and is currently in transit to the Catcher field in the central North Sea. BW Catcher is expected to reach UK waters early in the fourth quarter, depending on prevailing weather conditions. Upon its arrival, BW Catcher will commence a seven-year fixed term contract, with extension options of up to 18 years, with Premier Oil.

Residents Flee South Texas Ahead of Harvey

Residents fleeing most powerful storm on U.S. mainland since 2005. Businesses closed and lines of cars streamed out of coastal Texas as officials called for residents to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Harvey, expected to arrive about midnight as the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. mainland in more than a decade. The hurricane is forecast to slam first near Corpus Christi, Texas, drop flooding rains along the central Texas coast and potentially loop back over the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Houston, some models showed. "My urgent message to my fellow Texans is that if you live in a region where evacuation has been ordered, you need to heed that advice and get out of harm's way while you can," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a televised address.

Trump Prohibits Dealings in New Venezuelan Government, PDVSA Debt

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting dealings in certain Venezuelan public sector debt on to pressure the government of President Nicolas Maduro to halt its "tyranny," the White House the White house said on Friday.   The order prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and by its state oil company, PDVSA. But the White House said the order allows Treasury to provide licenses for other commercial and humanitarian transaction, including financing for commercial trade, petroleum exports and imports and transactions that only involve PDVSA's U.S. unit, Citgo.     (Reporting by David Lawder and Tim Ahmann)

ST Engineering Buys US Rig Repair Assets

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) said it has acquired the rig repair assets of World Marine of Mississippi LLC (WMM) adjacent to its existing yard, VT Halter Marine, Inc. in Pascagoula, Miss. in the U.S., through its subsidiary Vision Technologies Marine, Inc. (VT Marine). ST Engineering paid $25 million for these assets, comprising a purpose-built facility of 94 acres for heavy marine fabrication and offshore oil and gas rig upgrades, repairs and conversions in the Gulf of Mexico region are within close proximity to VT Halter Marine’s Pascagoula yard. Since the downturn of the offshore and marine industry, ST…

S-Oil, Petronas Ink Long-term LNG Deal

South Korea's third-largest refiner S-Oil Corp signed a long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract with Malaysia's Petronas for 15 years starting from next year, the North Asia company said on Friday. S-Oil expects to buy 700,000 tonnes of LNG per year from state-owned Petronas from March 2018 through March 2033, it said in a stock filing exchange. "We have inked the deal on good terms for our company amid the current favourable LNG market conditions," said the refiner in the filing. S-Oil, whose main shareholder is Saudi Aramco, declined to provide price details for the deal. The refiner said in a separate statement the deal was part of its efforts to ensure stable supplies of LNG.

Asia VLCC Rates Fall to Four-year Low

© Jose Gill / Adobe Stock

Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on Asian routes show little sign of reviving although Hurricane Harvey, which threatens to ravage the U.S. Gulf coast oil refining industry over the weekend, could provide a fillip, brokers said. That came as average weighted VLCC freight rates on all routes sank to their lowest in four years this week to around $9,000 per day. Rates are even lower on some routes after CPC fixed a VLCC late Thursday for a trip from the Middle East to Taiwan at 36.75 on the Worldscale measure and S-Oil fixed a VLCC to South Korea at W36.

Seadrill to Seek Bankruptcy Protection

Photo: Seadrill Limited

Once the biggest offshore rig firm by market value, Seadrill plans to begin its Chapter 11 debt restructuring in the coming weeks, WSJ reported. The Bermuda-based company, controlled by Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen,  has a plan to restructure around $10 billion in debt. Seadrill, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling companies, operates a fleet of 68 rigs and drillships for customers including Total SA, Petrobras and Exxon Mobil Corp. "Our business execution remains unaffected by these efforts as demonstrated by continued delivery of excellent safety and fleet uptime…

Cepsa Offers RMK500 Marine Fuel in Barcelona

Photo: Cepsa (Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U.)

Cepsa has started marketing RMK500 fuel in the Port of Barcelona to meet customer demand for this product. The Company is extending the supply of this fuel in the Mediterranean Sea after its marketing launch in other ports around the country, such as Algeciras or Gibraltar, where Cepsa is also the only supplier of this marine fuel. The Company is also incorporating a new barge in the Port of Barcelona with the aim of improving fuel supply. RMK500 marine fuel, produced by Cepsa at its refinery in Gibraltar-San Roque, is similar to FO380, with 3.5% sulfur.

New Wind Farm Service Vessel for ESVAGT

(Illustration: BowVision)

A 15-year contract will see a new ESVAGT service operation vessel (SOV) support MHI Vestas Offshore Wind in the Deutsche Bucht (DeBu) Wind Farm project. ESVAGT will deliver the SOV for MHI Vestas in August 2019. The new contract is not only the longest in ESVAGT’s history, but it is also the largest in terms of value. “This contract builds on the strong relationship we have had with MHI Vestas since 2010,” said ESVAGT A/S Chief Executive Officer, Søren Nørgaard Thomsen. MHI Vestas and ESVAGT have collaborated on the Belwind 1 and Nobelwind 1 offshore wind farm projects in Belgium since 2010…

Oil Firm Evacuate Workers as Storm Approaches Texas

File Image / Credit: James Fisher

Oil companies evacuate workers as storm takes aim at Texas. Royal Dutch Shell, Anadarko Petroleum and Exxon Mobil announced they were curbing some oil and gas output on Wednesday at facilities in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a storm expected to hit the Texas coast later this week. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a hurricane watch Wednesday for much of the Texas coast, calling for slow-moving Tropical Depression Harvey to intensify as it nears landfall. Shell said it was evacuating all personnel from the roughly 100…

Clean Tanker Rates Soar on Strong Fuel Consumption

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

Mideast demand especially strong due to refinery outages. Rates for tankers carrying refined fuels like gasoline and diesel have soared this month as trade activity picked up and caused a supply crunch in ships, several shipbrokers and traders said. The high rates indicate strong consumer fuel demand due to the persistently low crude oil prices that have resulted from years of oversupply, refiners said. "Our order books are pretty good. Whether it's gasoline for cars or diesel for industry, we're receiving calls to ship more fuel," said one shipper based in Singapore.

Tropical Storm Harvey heads for Texas, May Strengthen

The Texas Gulf Coast was getting ready for the tropical storm Harvey to make landfall by Friday, bringing with it strong winds, heavy flooding and torrential rains. Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches were in effect for counties on the eastern coast of Texas as the storm moved across the Gulf of Mexico, where it may strengthen into a hurricane. Winds up to 75 mph (120 kmh) and 15 inches of rain (40 cm) were forecast, according to the National Weather Service. "Now is the time to check your emergency plan and take necessary actions to secure your home or business. Deliberate efforts should be under way to protect life and property," the weather service said in an statement early on Thursday.

Prelude FLNG Enters into Lloyd’s Register Class

Prelude being towed to Australia  (Photo: Lloyd's Register)

Shell’s floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility Prelude has officially entered into Lloyd's Register (LR) class. At 488 meters long, 74 meters wide and displacing about 600,000 tonnes of water, Prelude is the largest floating offshore facility in the world. Last month Prelude arrived at its operating location in the Browse Basin, offshore northwest Australia. It will be moored at a depth of 250 meters and will not be dry-docked for the first 25 years of its expected 50-year operational life.

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