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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Crude Oil News

Pic: PAO Sovcomflot

Russia: Sovcomflot Posts Strong Q1 Profit

Russian maritime shipping company specializing in petroleum and LNG shipping, PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has posted $70.1m in profit for the first quarter ended 31 March 2019.Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot said: “Sovcomflot started 2019 with a strong Q1 performance, boosted by a return to profitability in our conventional crude and product tanker markets following an upswing in the first months of 2019. Profits from our crude fleet in particular increased 53…

China's Tariffs on U.S. LNG Mean Nothing, Everything

China's decision to hike import duties on U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a move that means very little for the market in the short term, but it has the potential to deliver outsized consequences the longer the levies remain in place.As part of its latest round of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, Beijing increased the duty on LNG shipments from 10 percent to 25 percent.This will make it even more uneconomic for Chinese buyers to purchase LNG cargoes from the United States.

The next big thing on fuels is LNG. We are a long way from identifying a fuel which offers the same viability, in terms of infrastructure, beyond LNG at the moment. LNG is the necessary bridge which is getting us closer to a carbon neutral future.

Interview: Rolf Stiefel, Winterthur G&D

The May 2019 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News features a 10-page feature section on "Thought Leadership" in the marine power sector. Here we extract and present the interview with Rolf Stiefel, Vice President Sales, Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd., in its entirety.Please put in perspective and discuss – using your career as the time span – the current environment and pressure to reduce emissions in the maritime industry.When I started in the marine industry (coming from the power generation markets) back in the early 2000’s…

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S.

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BUNKERS MANAGEMENT: Fifty Shades of Preparedness for IMO 2020

Get ready for unprecedented disruption as 2020 nears, says Alok Sharma, Senior Vice President at Inatech.When January 1, 2020, arrives and the global 0.5% sulfur cap comes into force, it will trigger the biggest and most sudden change the shipping industry has ever seen. Overnight, about 90% of global demand for bunker fuel must switch from HFO to low-sulfur alternatives and no one knows quite what will happen. The closest event in terms of seismic change was when the sulfur emission control areas (SECAs) came into effect in January 2015…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Volume Rises at Port of Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam posted a record overall freight tonnage in the first quarter of 2019, up 5.1% on the same period last year, thanks to strong growth in container traffic.In total, 123.9 million tonnes were handled compared with 117.8 million tonnes in the same period in 2018."The increase mainly concerned the throughput of containers (+7.3% in TEU, +5.9% in tonnes) and fuels. Mineral oil products, iron ore and scrap throughput fell," said a press release from the largest port in Europe…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Diesel Laden VLCC Changes Course for Togo

The Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Olympic Lyra changed its destination to Lome in Togo from Southwold in Britain, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed.VLCCs have a capacity of around 300,000 tonnes and their arrival in a region can affect refining margins.The Olympic Lyra, sailing from Asia, was supposed to arrive in Britain around May 7, but the shipping data now shows an estimated time of arrival in Lome on April 25. VLCCs often carry refined, or clean, oil products on their maiden journey before switching to crude oil or fuel oil.Reporting by Shadia Nasralla

file Image: AdobeStock / © LucasZ

China's Commodity Imports Tepid, but Improving

If you were looking for evidence that China's economy has lost momentum, you may be tempted to think that you've found it in the unimpressive growth, or lack thereof, in imports of major commodities in the first quarter.Customs data for the first quarter show only crude oil has recorded significant growth in import volumes in the first quarter, with copper data mixed and iron ore and coal dropping.This would seem to confirm the narrative of slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy amid the ongoing trade and tariff dispute with the United States.But as usual the devil is in the deta

ULCC_AdobeStock_CREDIT Jose Gill

BIMCO: US Seaborne Crude Oil Exports Hit Record High

US exports of crude oil have, since August 2018, continued to rise every month, with a new record high in January of 9.6 million tonnes. Exports rose in January on the back of increased sales to Europe, which rose from 2.7 million tonnes in December to 4.8 million tonnes in January.A strong end to 2018 meant that volumes for the full year totalled 87.4 million tonnes, 96.7% higher than the 44.4 million tonnes exported in 2017. This is good news for the crude oil tanker sector…

The crude oil tanker ProStar discharges jet fuel at Port Canaveral’s North Cargo Berth 2. CEO Capt. John Murray, left, and Seaport Canaveral General Manager David Smith, right, present plaques to ProStar Capt. Alexander Ivanishvili. (Photos: Canaveral Port Authority)

New Aframax Tanker Makes First N. American Call

The Aframax tanker ProStar recently made its first North American delivery to discharge 442,131 barrels of jet fuel at Seaport Canaveral."820-foot-long ProStar – first of its kind vessel to berth at Port – makes its inaugural North American delivery of transportation fuels to Seaport Canaveral," the Canaveral Port Authority announced in a statement.Built in 2018, the 144-foot-wide ProStar has a crew of 23 and a summer dead weight tonnage of 115,000 tons.Port Canaveral cargo operations…

Seated: Dato. Shahrul Amirul (left), Chairman of KA Petra and Mr. Eric Ip (right), Group Managing Director of Hutchison Ports. Standing (left to right): Mr. Anthony Loke, Minister of Transport of Malaysia; Tun Dr. Mahathir Muhammad, Prime Minister of Malaysia; Dato Sri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs of Malaysia. Photo: Hutchison Ports

World’s Largest STS Transfer Hub Comes in Malaysia

KA Petra, a Malaysian ship-to-ship (STS) transfer specialist, has signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with Hutchison Port Holdings to jointly develop the world’s largest STS transfer hub in the country.Under the terms of the HOA, KA Petra will have 70% interest in the project, whilst Hutchison Ports will take a strategic 30% stake.Based on preliminary studies, construction of the STS Hub is estimated to cost USD150 million to USD180 million, and will be funded by a combination of internally generated funds and debt financing.

Pic: Port of Corpus Christi

Port of Corpus Christi Readies VLCC Terminal

The fourth-largest port in the United States in total tonnage, Port of Corpus Christi has leased land where it hopes to build the nation's first export terminal to load very large crude carriers (VLCC).The Port of Corpus Christi Commission approved today a long-term (50-year) lease agreement with Lone Star Ports, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group, for approximately 200 acres on Harbor Island to develop a state-of-the-art petroleum export terminal.Featuring the latest in safety, security and environmental technologies, the facility will connect U.S.

The sprawling Houston area refining complex adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston

Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data.The Houston Ship Channel reopened this week with operating restrictions following a fire at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas. That blaze sent fuel and chemicals into the waterway, which connects Houston to the…

Ada Ezgi Baser (Photo: Dan-Bunkering)

Dan-Bunkering Hires Four New Traders

Dan-Bunkering has announced the hiring of four new team members for the office in Dubai. Trader-wise the Middle Eastern office is the second largest office in the Group, only marginally overtaken by the head office in Middelfart, Denmark.The four new appointments consist of four different nationalities, i.e. Nakul Dubey, Capt. Ada Ezgi Baser, Norman Xie Changlong, and Rune Jensen.Nakul Dubey was born in India and did his Master’s in Business Administration in the UAE before joining Dan-Bunkering as a Base Oil & Bitumen Trader.Capt.

Pic: Tsakos Energy Navigation

TEN Charters for Two LNG Vessels

Greek shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) announced new charters for two LNG carriers, the Neo Energy and the Maria Energy to significant international energy concerns for an aggregate period of 36 months. The total gross revenues from these two fixtures, over the duration of the respective contacts, is expected at about $60 million, said the provider of seaborne crude oil and petroleum product transportation services worldwide.“LNG is on top of the agenda for TEN’s diversified energy fleet.

Securing, Enhancing America’s Ports & Supply Chain

The American Association of Port Authorities and its membership recently looked ahead at the challenges and opportunities facing the Port Security Grant Program.In its annual “State of Freight” series, AAPA has highlighted the transportation infrastructure needs of U.S. ports, state transportation agencies and multimodal projects. In this final report in the State of Freight series, AAPA turns to the vital role that security infrastructure plays in moving goods.In 2002, Congress…

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Leeylutung

China Imports First U.S. Crude since November

An oil tanker carrying U.S. crude oil is offloading its cargo at a Chinese port on Friday, marking China's first import from the United States since late November, according to trade sources and Refinitiv data.Trade tensions between the United States and China cut U.S. oil exports to Asia to a trickle in the second half of last year. No U.S. crude volumes were recording going into China October, December and January, according to China customs.The Kara Sea, an Aframax tanker capable of carrying up to 600…

Image: Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images, by Xeneta

Mega Ships Affect Freight Rates: Xeneta

Short-term container rates on the China Main ports to North Europe Main ports have seen a slight drop since the beginning of the year. However, compared to Spring and Autumn 2018, overall the industry sees an increase, said a report from Xeneta, the ocean freight price benchmarking and market intelligence platform transforming the shipping and logistics industry.Xeneta reports rates on the up, with February 7, 2019 ticking in at USD1700 market average rate for a 40' box. Also, bunker prices are not as outrageous as before.

Simon Bennett (Photo: ICS)

Canadian Legislation Concerns ICS

The Canadian Senate is giving consideration to legislation that would have the effect of establishing a moratorium on the shipment of crude oil in the waters of Northern British Columbia (Bill C-48: An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast).“Such a dramatic step could lead to serious concerns being raised by Canada’s international trading partners” said ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett.

Credit: AdobeStock / © Scanrail

Brent Hits 2019 High on U.S.-China trade Hopes

U.S. crude stocks rise to 454.5 mln barrels as crude exports from U.S. hit record 3.6 mln bpd.Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by OPEC's ongoing supply cuts and hopes that Washington and Beijing may soon end their trade dispute.International Brent crude futures hit a new 2019 high of $67.60 a barrel, up 53 cents from Thursday's close.Further gains were tempered by U.S. crude oil production hitting a record 12 million barrels per day (bpd) and a surge in exports from the country.By 1125 GMT, U.S.

Photo: Valles Steamship

Valles Orders New Tanker from SHI

The Hong Kong and Vancouver-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering (SHIME).Ship set to be fitted with a scrubber and will enter the market before the end of 2020, said a release from Valles, which was founded by C.S. Koo in Shanghai as a family business in 1917."We take great pleasure in concluding a newbuilding contract with the esteemed yard and the we look forward to further strengthening their relationship with SHIME…

Pic: Nordic American Tankers

Nordic American Tankers Still in the Red

Nordic American Tankers (NAT) reported a net loss for 4Q2018, came in at -$10.5 million. This was a substantial improvement from the previous quarter (3Q2018) which saw a net loss of -$37.9 million. "It is important to note that we have concluded a refinancing of the company with CSG CSG Investments, Inc, funded by Beal bank Texas, USA. This refinancing strengthens the position of nat going forward. The new capital structure allows for greater flexibility as regards dividend payments," the Bermuda-based company said.NAT is well positioned in the tanker market, it added.

Ecochlor Wins BWMS Contract with ATC

Alaskan Tanker Company (ATC) will retrofit the Ecochlor ballast water management system (BWMS) on board their fleet including three VLCC crude oil tankers and an option for one additional vessel. Each of these vessels are U.S. flag tankers with Zone 1 and Zone 0 hazardous areas.The Ecochlor BWMS is approved for installation in both US Flag and International vessels in hazardous areas rated Zone 1 or Zone 0 through their U.S. Coast Guard Type Approval certification. The installations will start in the fall of 2019 and run through 2021 at the Sembawang Shipyard…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam. Photo: Eric Bakker

Rotterdam Port Achieves TEU Milestone in 2018

Europe's largest port, the Port of Rotterdam ended 2018 with a total container throughput at 469.0 million tonnes (MT) which slightly higher than in 2017,  which was itself a record year (467.4 MT).Container transhipment was the engine of growth again, with a 4.5% increase in tonnage. Measured in TEUs, the standard unit for containers, the increase was 5.7% and the annual total was 14.5 million TEUs – also a record.This strengthens the position of Europe’s largest container port in this strategically important market segment.

Maersk, PBF Logistics in Low Sulfur Fuel Deal

Maersk and PBF Logistics LP announce agreement for production and storage of 0.5% sulphur fuel on the U.S. East CoastPBF Logistics terminal facility in New Jersey to deliver approx. 10% of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s annual fuel demand as Maersk continues preparations for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 global sulfur regulation.A.P. Moller - Maersk and PBF Logistics LP announced an agreement for Maersk to source and PBFX to process crude oil at CPI Operations LLC…

Photo: Kongsberg Digital

Technology: New FiFi Simulator from Kongsberg Digital

Kongsberg Digital unveiled an innovative new simulator solution for training officers and crew in advanced firefighting. K-Sim Safety offers high fidelity simulation covering all aspects of fire safety. K-Sim Safety contributes to reducing the impact of fire on board as well as planning strategies and tactics to control fire in various parts of the ship, enabling a safer and more effective response to incidents when they occur.K-Sim Safety delivers practical exercises simulated in a realistic environment and meets the STCW regulation VI/3…