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Friday, April 19, 2019

Gulf Of Mexico News

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…

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill)

Trafigura Sends More Asian Gasoline to Americas

Commodity trader Trafigura is shipping this month a second newly built crude tanker with Asian gasoline onboard to South America amid strong demand in the West, four industry sources who closely monitor petrol trade flows said on Thursday.Although it is not uncommon for traders to use a brand new crude tanker of 150,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) to ship clean fuels such as diesel, it is rare to use them for gasoline because of the sheer size."South America likely needs gasoline more than gasoil now.

Martin McDonald, Senior Vice President, ROV Division, Oceaneering International.
Courtesy of Oceaneering International

One-on-One with Martin McDonald, SVP, ROV Division, Oceaneering

Martin McDonald, an industry veteran with more than 35 years under his belt, is responsible for Oceaneering’s global ROV business. With a broad based of ROV experience – from operation to repair to maintenance to management – McDonald shares with MTR his insights on the historical development and future prospects of this high-profile subsea sector.How and when did you know that your career would be in the maritime/subsea industry?I grew up in Fraserburgh, Scotland, a small town 40 miles north of the oilfield city of Aberdeen. Fraserburgh is best known for commercial fishing.

TX Refineries Cut Output as Spill Curbs Shipping

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries cut production on Monday at their Houston-area oil refineries because of shipping disruptions along a waterway affected by a petrochemical fire and spill, according to people familiar with the matter.A fire and fuel leak at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, last week sent gasoline, water and fire suppressant foam into the Houston Ship Channel, which connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, and is home to nine oil refineries.The U.S.

The Houston Ship Channel and Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

Houston Ship Channel Reopened

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday reopened portions of the Houston Ship Channel with restrictions on waterways affected by the petrochemical leak outside Houston that has disrupted ship traffic.The busiest U.S. oil port, shut last Friday after a chemical leak into the water, led Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries to cut production on Monday, according to people familiar with their operations.In a midday announcement, the Coast Guard said it is allowing daytime transits only through the ship channel…

File Image: an aerial view of the port of Houston petrochemical refining complex. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

Air Quality Monitored as TX Tank Blaze Rages

Houston officials and environmental groups raced to expand air monitoring on Tuesday after a raging fire at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site produced billowing acrid smoke that could be seen and smelled miles away.The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co in Deer Park, Texas, burned for a third day after firefighting water pumps broke down for six hours on Monday evening, the company said.The fire began on Sunday when a leaking tank containing volatile naphtha ignited and flames quickly spread to nearby tanks…

File Image: The port of HoustonRefining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Houston Tank Fire Spreads to More Tanks

A storage tank fire on the Houston Ship Channel on Sunday has spread to seven petrochemical storage tanks, forcing residents in the suburb of Deer Park, Texas, to stay indoors on Monday, but no evacuations or injuries were reported.The fire, which sent a plume of black smoke across the city's eastern half and was visible from 10 miles (16 km) away , began in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile component of gasoline, at about 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT) on Sunday.By evening…

Proposed Deepwater Port in Gulf of Mexico

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that a public scoping meeting will be held on 20 March in Lake Jackson, Texas to receive comments on the proposed deepwater port (DWP) in the Gulf of Mexico to be constructed and operated by SPOT Terminal Services LLC. Written comments must be received by 5 April. 84 Fed. Reg. 8401 (3/7/19) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-03-07/pdf/2019-04101.pdf(Bryant's Maritime Newsletter)

Image: Ports of Indiana

Burns Harbor Extends Key Partnership

The Port of Indiana Burns-Harbor has extended its partnership with its longtime stevedore and marine terminal operating company, Federal Marine Terminals.A press note from the Ports of Indiana, a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, said that the deal will run through at least 2023."FMT has been a vital collaborator with the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor since 1999," said Port Director Ian Hirt, "and this consolidated operating agreement…

Pic: CMA CGM

Ocean Alliance Unveils Day 3 Product

The world’s largest operational agreement between shipping companies Ocean Alliance -CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING, Evergreen and OOCL - has announced the launch of their Ocean Alliance Day 3 Product starting April 2019."Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, signs with his partners the launch of Ocean Alliance Day 3 Product, which will start in April 2019," said a press release from the shipping group.On the occasion of this announcement, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group…

Pic: Seacor Marine

Seacor Marine Acquires Three Fast Support Vessels

U.S. offshore vessel owner Seacor Marine  has acquired of three fast support vessels (FSVs) in exchange for the private placement of 603,872 shares of its common stock to domestic U.S. holders affiliated with the McCall family of Louisiana.The provider of global marine and support transportation services to offshore oil and natural gas and windfarm facilities worldwide has operated the acquired vessels for the past ten years under a revenue sharing pooling agreement along with four of its owned FSVs of similar specification.As part of the transaction, this pooling agreement was terminated.

Image: McCarthy (Image provided by the company)

McCarthy to Build Container Yard at Port Houston

US-based construction company McCarthy Building Companies began construction in Oct. on a new container yard within Port Houston, located in Pasadena, Texas.According to a press release from the 150 years old company, the project with Port Houston, will be a 45-acre expansion on the existing Bayport Container Terminal in continued efforts to grow and modernize the port.The development will aid in the port’s ability to serve the continued growth of Houston’s container exports of finished petrochemical…

Image: Beacon Offshore Energy

Scott Gutterman to Join Beacon Offshore Energy as Chairman and CEO

Beacon Offshore Energy, wholly owned by funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone, announced that Scott Gutterman has joined Beacon as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.In addition, industry veterans Paul Dailly and John Hollowell have agreed to join Beacon’s Board of Managers, said the exploration and production company focused on exploring, developing, acquiring and operating upstream oil and gas properties in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.Scott Gutterman brings 40 years of exploration and production experience primarily focused in the GOM.

Image: Sapura Energy

Sapura Energy Wins Contracts in Mexico, Malaysia

Malaysia-based integrated oil and gas services Sapura Energy Berhad has strengthened its presence in Mexico and Malaysia with new contract wins valued at approximately RM1.75 billion (USD 410 mln).The new contracts have lifted the company’s orderbook to RM18 billion and total contract wins to-date for this financial year to RM7 billion (USD 1.68 bln).Sapura Energy has built capabilities and expertise that are critical to support its clients in their quest to meet global energy demand and as a result…

Joey Farrell: Born to Marine Salvage

Boys are coaxed into cleanliness at bath time playing with boats. But it was never a game for Joseph Farrell, III, instinctively realizing he was ballasting and salvaging ships, unlike the typical Mr. Bubbles kid. The scion of Resolve Marine Group may have been born to lead the global emergency response company founded by his father with a single tug 38 years ago, but he’s never taken dangerous wreck removal lightly.Before turning 15, Joey had two close calls on and around ships that guide him today, at 34.

Photo courtesy of TTI

Blockchain to Improve Operations in Port of Veracruz

An innovative application of blockchain technology will be put to the test at the Port Community of Veracruz, Mexico by a team of researchers from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and dexFreight, a Florida-based blockchain and logistics startup.The project will help define blockchain applications for improving the safety and security of freight transportation within port communities. Blockchain has been described as an “immutable ledger,” a secure, transparent system for tracking shipments and transactions through complex environments.

Photo: Port of Manatee

Port Manatee Announces Record Fiscal Year

Port Manatee reports it continues to break cargo records, including handling an all-time-high of more than 9.3 million tons in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up 19.1 percent from the immediately preceding 12-month period. That comes on the heels of a 13.4 percent tonnage rise in fiscal 2017 from fiscal 2016.Across-the-board increases were enjoyed by the diverse Southwest Florida port in the just-ended fiscal year, besting numerous prior records, according to figures reported.Due largely to a more-than-tripling of phosphate rock handled…

LOOP Resumes Normal Operations After Storm

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately-owned crude terminal in the United States, said it resumed normal operations at its Marine Terminal on Thursday after operations were suspended ahead of Hurricane Michael.Major oil producers and drillers began returning workers and restoring output at U.S.

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

US Oil Exports to Asia May Slide Further

Rising shipping rates have increased the costs of shipping oil from the United States to Asia and may further the restrict the flow of U.S. oil to the region later this year, multiple trade and shipping sources said on Thursday.Freight rates for tankers that carry crude oil have soared globally, buoyed by peak seasonal demand, weather disruptions and higher bunker fuel costs, the sources said.The cost of chartering a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude from the U.S.

The latest storm track for Michael. (CREDIT NHC)

Hurricane Michael Races Northeast, Leaving Devastation in Florida

Hurricane Michael, the third most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland, headed northeast on Thursday, weakened but still set to soak Georgia and the Carolinas after devastating the Florida Panhandle.By 6 AM on Thursday, heavy rain and wind had reached as far north as Charlotte, North Carolina and the Western North Carolina mountains. The center of the storm was located over Augusta, Georgia, moving north rapidly at more than 20 MPH in a north / northeast heading. Charlotte…

NACC Alicudi. Image courtesy Van Aalst.

Cement Carrier Sports Innovative, 'Green' Cargo System

NACC Alicudi is reported to be the world’s first cement carrier equipped with IMO Tier III compliant diesel engines driving the bulk handling system. Converted in 2017 with a Van Aalst dry bulk handling system, the vessel became a unique and state-of-the-art 120m self-discharging cement carrier, with a cement handling system is based on compressors and vacuum pumps, driven by Tier III Scania engines. Together they form the heart of the unique vacuum-pressure system for pneumatic conveyance of cement…

(File photo: Port of Houston)

Chevron Eyes Houston Ship Channel for 2nd US Gulf Refinery

Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials, Pierre Breber, Chevron's head of downstream and chemicals, said."Something on the ship channel side could make a lot of sense for our company…

Image: Rowan Companies plc

Rowan Gets New Contract by Turkish Petroleum

Offshore driller Rowan Companies has been awarded a two-well contract for its Rowan Norway jack-up rig in the Mediterranean Sea by Turkish Petroleum.Rowan Companies announced that the Rowan Norway, an N-Class ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig, has been awarded a two-well contract in the Mediterranean Sea by Turkish Petroleum with an estimated duration 100-140 days.The contract is expected to commence in late 2018. The Rowan Norway is currently warm-stacked in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea.

The Author, David Cunningham.

Marine Insurance: Protect Your Yacht, Yourself

All my life, I grew up around boats. My dad was a captain for 23 years, and I would travel on his ships throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. My first job out of college was in San Francisco, so naturally I bought a 30-foot sailboat and lived on it on the San Francisco Bay. In more recent years, I have enjoyed yachting with my family on the inland lakes of Virginia. No matter where you have launched your yacht, boating is an exhilarating experience. It can also be dangerous and fraught with risks.

Ship Strikes Dredging Pipeline in Sabine Pass

Several vessels, including two oil tankers and one carrying liquefied natural gas, were stalled and unable to enter the Sabine Pass shipping channel near the Texas-Louisiana border due to draft restrictions, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.Port Arthur's Vessel Traffic Service implemented 32-foot restrictions on draft, or vessel depth, on Wednesday, after a 24-inch steel dredge pipeline was struck and pulled out to sea by a ship moving through the Sabine Pass Channel to the U.S.

Callen Marine's CSD General Eisenhower in action in the port of Galveston, Texas (CREDIT: Callen Marine)

Doubling Down on Domestic Dredging

U.S. Dredgers Weigh in on Infrastructure, U.S. Capabilities and the road ahead.Domestic dredging firms face many challenges in the coming months and years. At the same time, opportunities abound in a market and political climate that seems to beg for infrastructure upgrades, especially when it comes to harbors and inland waterways. Weighing in this edition on all of that – and more – are three U.S.-based dredging firms; Callan Marine, Cashman Dredging, and Weeks Marine.Cranford, NJ-based Weeks Marine, Inc.