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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Houston Ship Channel News

(Photo: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock)

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Moving Its HQ to Houston

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. announced Thursday it is moving its corporate headquarters to Houston, positioning the nation’s largest dredging services provider nearer to major regional projects and opportunities. The firm will also open regional offices in Jacksonville, Fla., and Staten Island, N.Y.The move to Houston from from Oak Brook, Ill., which stems in part from changing industry dynamics, places the company closer to key regional customers and new markets, especially along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River…

(Photo: Port Houston)

Houston Box Terminals Shut After Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19

Operations are have been suspended at Houston's Bayport and Barbours Cut container terminals after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.Both public terminals are closed and operations are temporarily suspended while a thorough investigation is being conducted, the Houston Port Authority said in a statement."The health and safety of Port Houston’s employees, users, customers and community remains its first priority. Port Houston is in communication with public authorities and health agencies while an investigation is underway…

Houston Ship Channel Shut on Tuesday Morning for Salvage

The Houston Ship Channel was shut on Tuesday morning to raise a fishing vessel that sank in mid-January near the waterway's entrance in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Houston ship pilots association.The ship channel, a 53-mile (85 km) waterway connecting the busiest U.S. petrochemical port with the Gulf of Mexico, is scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, according to Houston Pilots, the ship pilots association.Two people aboard the 81-foot (25…

(Photo: Greenpeace)

No Felony Charges for Protesters Who Shut Houston Ship Channel

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday declined to issue felony indictments against a group of Greenpeace USA activists who closed a key oil export waterway for 18 hours last year by tying themselves to a Houston bridge and dangling over the water.Felony charges had been brought against 31 activists involved in the September 2019 protest. The indictments, sought by the Harris County District Attorney's Office, were under Texas' new critical infrastructure law, which makes it a felony to interfere with oil and gas pipelines and ports…

Photo: Weeks Marine

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

(Photo: Port Houston)

Port Houston Tops Container Record

Container activity at Port Houston surged in 2019, logging an 11% increase to better the port's previous record. This marks the 18th consecutive year of container growth at the U.S. Gulf Coast's largest container port.Among the nation’s top 10 container ports, Port Houston was 2019’s fastest-growing, according to data from maritime sector data vendor IHS Markit PIERS.Port Houston nearly hit the 3 million mark for 20-foot equivalent units (TEU), recording 2,987,291 TEU.Executive…

Photo: CME Group

CME Adds Two Delivery Points to WTI Houston

CME Group on Thursday said it would add two more delivery points for its WTI Houston crude futures contract, pending regulatory review, as it seeks to provide customers with additional options to hedge physical price risk.* Beginning with the March 2020 contract, customers can take delivery of U.S.

Port Houston Box Volume Up 12%

Container volume at Port Houston surged in the first half of 2019, rising 12 percent compared to that period last year. According to the Executive Director Roger Guenther the port facilities have handled nearly 1.5 Million TEU through the first half of 2019.The Houston ship channel also said in a press release that , the Port Commission awarded a contract not to exceed $39.7 million to Archer Western Construction, the top-ranked proposer among four finalists. A total of 53 companies…

An aerial view of the houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Fire Erupts at Exxon's Baytown complex; 37 Hurt

Exxon Mobil Corp said it was fighting a fire that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant complex injuring 37 people and sending nearby residents indoors.As many as 37 people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries amid efforts to put out the fire, according to Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Available air monitoring information showed "no adverse impact at this time," she said.More than three dozen people were treated for minor burns, none requiring hospitalization, said plant manager Jason Duncan in an afternoon media briefing.

Niels Aalund, President, International Propeller Club

Aalund Named International Propeller Club's President

Niels Aalund was elected at the 93rd International Convention and Conference in New Orleans on October 17th.New Orleans, LA: Prominent maritime industry stakeholder Niels Aalund has been elected President of the International Propeller Club. Mr. Aalund will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, currently serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA).

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

VLGC Freight Rates Recover

The Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) freight rates started to recover towards the end of the first quarter as U.S. consumption reverted to seasonally lower levels pushing U.S. LPG prices down, widening the geographical LPG price arbitrage between the U.S. and the Far East.According to BW LPG, the owner and operator of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) vessels,  the recovery in VLGC freight rates was further strengthened by two occasions of fog and a temporary closure of the Houston Ship…

Kinder Morgan Invest $170Mln in Houston Ship Channel

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan (KMI) plans to invest $170 million in various expansion projects along the Houston Ship Channel.The investment will increase efficiency, add product liquidity, and enhance blending capabilities at its Pasadena and Galena Park terminals, part of its best-in-class refined products storage hub on the Houston Ship Channel, said the energy infrastructure company in North America.In response to growing customer demand, KMI’s liquids terminal platform now boasts 10 ship docks…

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Energy Transfer: VLCC Offshore Port to be Ready Early 2023

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday discussions with potential shippers to build an offshore crude export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers were progressing on schedule, with the project expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023.The company has also made advances on the regulatory and permitting process for the project, Marshall McCrea, Energy Transfer's chief commercial officer, said on the company's quarterly earnings call.Plans call for the facility to be connected to Energy Transfer's Nederland…

Houston Widens Ship Channel

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

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…

Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed…

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.

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…

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.

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…

AdobeStock / © Irina K

Houston Ship Channel Bottleneck Finally Eases

A bottleneck of inbound traffic on the Houston Ship Channel eased on Tuesday though one-way travel restrictions remained following a weekend collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge, officials said on Tuesday.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-meter) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.West Texas Intermediate crude at the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal on the ship channel traded at an $8.10 a barrel premium to U.S.

A file image of a typical Kirby pushboat and barge. CREDIT: Kirby Corporation

Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week

The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

(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…