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Monday, July 22, 2019

Oil Exports News

The Tanker riah (File Image: CREDIT MarineTraffic.com / © Marinko)

U.S. Unsure About Details of Tanker Towed to Iran

U.S. officials say they are unsure whether an oil tanker towed into Iranian waters was seized by Iran or rescued after facing mechanical faults as Tehran asserts, creating a mystery at sea at a time of high tension in the Gulf.The MT Riah disappeared from ship tracking maps when its transponder was switched off in the Strait of Hormuz on July 14. Its last position was off the coast of the Iranian island of Qeshm in the strait.Iran says it towed a vessel into its waters from the strait after the ship issued a distress call.

Civilian Mariner Kevin Sauls, Ship's master aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), observes the Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) during a replenishment-at-sea drill. Guadalupe is conducting operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

Iran Attempts UK Tanker Block, Fails

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.A week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the Strait of Hormuz…

Photo: LOOP

Light Sweet Crude Exports Jump at LOOP

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) exported a record 283,333 barrels per day of light sweet crude last month, according to trade sources, as prices weakened against global Brent.LOOP, which exports mostly medium sour grades produced in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, last month exported more than twice the amount of light sweet from the prior month. Overall exports of U.S. crude hit a record 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd) one week in June, U.S. government data showed.A decline in oil imports at the facility, stemming from record U.S.

Trump Warns Tehran of Possible Attack, Calls for Talks

Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.News of the message, delivered through Oman overnight, came shortly after the New York Times said Trump had approved military strikes against Iran on Friday over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called them off at the last minute."In his message…

Pic: Nordic American Tankers Limited

NAT Closes Busiest Year!

Bermuda-based Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) said in a press release that the last 12 months have been the busiest period for the international tanker company.Sale of 10 suezmax vessels and delivery of 3 new suezmax units took place in the last six months of 2018 and ensured a renewal of its fleet which count suezmaxes only. The operating costs for the NAT fleet came down further, a release said."Maximizing dividend is our strategy. We also aim at reducing the debt level and thereby lowering the cash break even further…

US warns Hong Kong about Iranian Oil Tanker

The United States has warned Hong Kong to be on alert for a vessel carrying Iranian petroleum that may seek to stop in the Asia financial hub, and said that any entity providing services to the vessel will be violating U.S. sanctions.The news comes two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up moves to choke off Iran’s oil exports by scrapping waivers it had granted to big buyers of Iranian crude oil, including China.The fully laden Pacific Bravo abruptly changed course on Monday to head towards Sri Lanka, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…

U.S. Urges Response "short of war" to Tanker Attack

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. Iran has denied involvement."We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened…

The VLCC MJAD, reported by Reuters as one of the vessels attacked. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © piet verspui

Saudi Tankers Among Those Hit off UAE Coast

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and said it was an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz, but did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it.The UAE had not given the nationalities or other details about the ownership of the four vessels.

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…

PDVSA Oil Port Paralyzed by Another Blackout

Venezuela's main oil export port of Jose and the country's four crude upgraders have been unable to resume operations following a massive power blackout on Monday, according to industry workers and a union leader close to the facilities.The most recent oil shipment for export, on the carrier Dragon chartered by Russia's Rosneft, left Jose, which is owned by state-run PDVSA, on March 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and PDVSA's trade documents."There is no electricity…

U.S. Clinches Port Deal with Oman

Tehran has in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Gulf, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.Still, the U.S. official noted that the agreement would expand U.S. military options in the region for any kind of crisis.Duqm is ideal port for large ships. It is even big enough to turn around an aircraft carrier, a second official said."The port itself is very attractive and the geostrategic location is very attractive…

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

McQuilling ends tanker contracts with PDVSA

A second maritime firm has told Venezuela's state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela it would end all charter contracts with the company as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to an internal document and a person familiar with the matter.U.S.-based McQuilling Partners Inc, which provided PDVSA with four contract tankers, joined German tanker operator Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) in withdrawing from providing oil-shipping services to Venezuela.The United States levied…

An idled PDVSA tanker (CREDIT: © MarineTraffic.com / Leslie Brug

Ven's Blackout Halts Oil Exports From Primary Port

Venezuela's state-run oil firm PDVSA has been unable to resume crude exports from its primary port since last week's massive power outage, essentially crippling the OPEC nation's principal industry, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.Power remained patchy in most of the country after a blackout on Thursday that the government of President Nicolas Maduro claimed was a U.S.-backed act of "sabotage" on the country's principal hydroelectric dam.His critics insist it is…

A VLCC alongside in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (CREDIT: port of Corpus Christi)

Moda Midstream Eyes Second TX VLCC Berth

Moda Midstream LLC is considering building a second berth at its Ingleside, Texas, crude export terminal to accommodate booming shale oil production on the Gulf Coast, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.The expansion to the terminal that loads oil tankers will come as three major pipelines open in the second half of 2019, CEO Bo McCall said in an interview. Moda is also increasing the facility's crude storage capacity to 10 million barrels from 2 million."When these new pipelines come online…

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…

Pic: Ports & Maritime Organization

Iranian Ports Records 78% Growth in Non-oil Transit

Iran's Director of Ports and Maritime office of Lengeh port announced an increase of 78 percent in non-oil transit, a 19 percent increase in safe passenger transport and an increase of 86 percent in container loading and unloading at ports in west of Hormozgan.Ghasem Askari Nasab, reporting on the nine-month performance of the ports of West of Hormozgan in 2017, stated that during this period, a total of 6 million and 759,558 tons of oil and non-oil products were loaded and unloaded at these ports.Of the 1…

Photo: NPT Group

Turkmen Oil Exports via Russia’s Novorossiisk Port to Resume

Exports of Turkmen oil via Russia's Black sea port of Novorossiisk will resume in February, four market sources said.Turkmenistan stopped transit of its oil via Russia in 2016 and has been exporting all its crude via the Azeri Caspian port of Baku.Pumping Turkmen oil through the Makhachkala-Novorossiisk pipeline could add as much as 200,000 tonnes of crude per month into Russia’s Transneft system. Turkmenistan is currently shipping oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline…

© Robert Coy / Adobe Stock

US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports

Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Leeylutung

Diesel-Loaded Tankers Stranded off Asia as Demand Wanes

Several tankers carrying diesel fuel are floating off Taiwan and Southeast Asian waters as a steep fall in oil prices kept buyers at bay, trade and shipping sources said on Friday, helping push rates to their highest since January 2016.With tanker rates also boosted by strong Chinese oil exports, it was a big relief for an industry that has been in the doldrums for the past three years.About seven to nine long-range tankers carrying about 5 to 7 million barrels of diesel are currently floating off Taiwan waters largely due to a drop in bunker fuel demand from the South China Sea…

File Image of the port of Hong Kong / CREDIT Adobestock © Marco 2811

Fitch Ratings: Demand Risks Weigh on Global Shipping Sector Outlook

The global shipping sector outlook remains negative reflecting the demand-side risks of protectionism and slower economic growth, Fitch Ratings says. Higher fuel costs and sulphur regulation will also put pressure on shippers.Partly offsetting an unfavourable environment are emerging signs of better capacity management by shipping companies, which is key to a sustainable balance and freight rates that support consistent profitability. We expect better fundamentals in container and dry bulk…

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

US Crude Oil Exports to China Stalled

The development that saw no U.S. seaborne exports of crude oil to China in August has continued into September, according to BIMCO. This is despite crude oil not being a part of the ‘official trade war’.“The trade war between the U.S. and China is now impacting trade in both tariffed and some un-tariffed goods with both countries looking elsewhere for alternative buyers and sellers,” said Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst.“Ton mile demand generated by total U.S. crude oil exports has risen 17 percent from August to September…

File Image: A VLCC loads crude oil in the port of Corpus Christi, Texas (Credit: the Port of corpus Christi)

Magellan Bids to Build U.S. GoM Oil Export Terminal

Magellan Midstream Partners LP on Thursday became the latest company to join a crowded group looking to build an oil export terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast designed to load supertankers.U.S. oil exports are expanding rapidly, but volumes are constrained because the country's shores have limited capability to load giant vessels that can carry about 2 million barrels of crude oil.Numerous companies - including private equity firm Carlyle Group and commodities merchant Trafigura…

© EvrenKalinbacak / Adobe Stock

Oil Exports from Iraqi Southern Ports Slide

Iraq's oil exports from southern ports on the Gulf averaged 3.469 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, lower than the September average, the oil ministry said on Thursday.Iraq exported 3.560 million bpd of crude oil in September.Iraqi oil executives told Reuters on Wednesday exports were down from the September average owing to bad weather, which slowed shipments down on some days.The average sale price in October was $74.912 per barrel, generating more than $8 billion in revenue, the ministry said.All volumes shipped in October came from the southern fields, the ministry said.Iraq is OPE

© Christopher Halloran / Adobe Stock

US Crude Oil Shipments to China Halt Amid Trade War

U.S. crude oil shipments to China have "totally stopped", the President of China Merchants Energy Shipping Co (CMES) said on Wednesday, as the trade war between the world's two biggest economies takes its toll on what was a fast growing businesses.Washington and Beijing have slapped steep import tariffs on hundreds of goods in the past months. And although U.S. crude oil exports to China, which only started in 2016, have not yet been included, Chinese oil importers have shied away from new orders recently."We are one of the major carriers for crude oil from the U.S. to China.

© 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.