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Monday, September 23, 2019

Oil Industry News

Japanese oil refiner Cosmo Oil is to build new storage capacity for IMO-compliant low-sulfur fuel at its Chiba facility. (Photo © Adobe Stock / show999)

Cosmo Oil Builds IMO-compliant Fuel Stocks at Chiba Port

Japan’s third-largest oil refining company, Cosmo Oil, , has started building stocks of very-low-sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) for supply to domestic marine fuel markets from next month (October 2019) ahead of the IMO 2020 mandate requiring ships globally to reduce their bunker fuel sulfur content to 0.5% from the current 3.5% from January 2020.Cosmo Oil is using VLSFO produced at its residue desulfurizer (RDS) unit at its Chiba refinery near Tokyo to build the stocks, Cosmo Oil’sPresident Shunichi Tanaka said on Sunday…

Credit: Port of Cleveland

BREAKBULK SHIPPING: Breakbulk Breaks the Mold

In the cargo shipping world, there’s the bulk sector, the container segment, and then, there is “everything else.”When it comes to ‘everything else,’ breakbulk is the cargo that resides in between, comprising much of that remainder, including forest products (lumber, baled pulp) and steel. Breakbulk may, at times, share space on multipurpose vessels that also handle heavylift and project cargo, but can also be transported on vessels that handle drybulk. Prior to the advent of containerization, bales, barrels and pallets dominated.

A US Navy fleet oiler on station. CREDIT: USN

Iran: Waterways Won't be Safe if its Oil Exports

If Iran's oil exports are cut to zero, international waterways will not have the same security as before, its president said on Wednesday, cautioning Washington against upping pressure on Tehran in an angry confrontation between the longtime foes.The comment by President Hassan Rouhani coincided with a remark by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Tehran might act "unpredictably" in response to "unpredictable" U.S. policies under President Donald Trump."World powers know that in the case that oil is completely sanctioned and Iran's oil exports are brought down to zero…

Iran Grain Ships Stranded in Brazil due to U.S. Sanctions

Two Iranian vessels have been stranded for weeks at Brazilian ports, unable to head back to Iran due to lack of fuel, which state-run oil firm Petrobras refuses to sell them due to sanctions imposed by the United States.The vessels Bavand and Termeh came to Brazil a couple months ago carrying urea, a petrochemical product used as fertilizer. They were expected to load corn and return to Iran, but lacked enough fuel for the trip, the port operator in Paranaguá told Reuters.Food is not covered by U.S.

Iran: If Strait of Hormuz to be Blocked, it will do it "publicly"

Iran's military denied on Monday being behind attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, and said if it decided to block Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway in the Gulf for the oil industry, it will do it publicly.Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Baqeri was quoted as saying by Fars news agency: "Regarding the new incidents in the Persian Gulf... if the Islamic Republic of Iran decides to block exports of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, it is militarily strong enough to do that fully and publicly."Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

Image CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Japan Oil Industry Braces for Higher Middle East P&I Costs

The costs of buying crude oil from the Middle East could rise as war insurance for ships travelling in the region will be expanded to include vessels travelling off the United Arab Emirates and Oman, the head of Japan Petroleum Association said on Friday.Japan is the world's fourth-largest oil importer and imports 90% of its crude from the Middle East, government data showed.Asian shippers and refiners had put ships heading to the Middle East on alert and were expecting a possible rise in marine insurance premiums following attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipeline facilities earlier in May.Ta

Image: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Boosts Nigerian Agri-Export

The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has invested in a new container freight station (CFS) at the Port of Onne, Nigeria.The 1,520m2 facility - the first of its kind in East Nigeria - provides Nigerian farmers with an opportunity to grow their business by exporting goods such as cashew nuts and sesame seeds.While the country has long been associated with the oil industry, it is estimated that more than 22% of the country's GDP is generated from agriculture. "A government drive to encourage exports…

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.

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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…

Photo: TNPA

Construction Kicks Off at Ngqura Liquid Bulk Terminal

Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (Pty) Ltd (OTGC) and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has turned the first sod at the site of the Port of Ngqura’s future liquid bulk tank farm. This comes ahead of the planned decommissioning and rehabilitation of the existing liquid bulk facilities at the neighboring Port of Port Elizabeth, which will pave the way for Ngqura’s establishment as a new petroleum trading hub for Southern Africa.The new tank farm is expected to provide storage and marine infrastructure to support the overall petroleum demand projections for South Africa.

Pic:  International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB)

Global Piracy Up in 2018, Gulf of Guinea Leads

Piracy increased on the world’s seas in 2018, with a marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest annual piracy report reveals.Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017.The Gulf of Guinea remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers. Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018…

Pic: Laborde Marine Management

Laborde Marine Announces Management Changes

New Orleans-based offshore oil industry service provider Laborde Marine Management  announced that Ashton P. Laborde has been appointed as President of the Company effective January 1, 2019. Laborde joined the Company in 2007 and most recently served as Director of Marketing. Throughout his career at Laborde Marine, Ashton has held various positions of increasing importance in operations. The marine company which owns or operates a fleet of 25 vessels also annouced that  John Peter Laborde, III, has joined the Company as Director of Finance.

Photo: Port of Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Port to Build Oil Export Terminal

Port to build oil export terminalPrivate equity firm Carlyle Group will partner with the Port of Corpus Christi, the top oil export hub in the United States, to develop a major crude oil export terminal on Harbor Island.Carlyle's announcement comes as infrastructure in the U.S. oil industry struggles to keep up with record levels of production, driven by the Permian shale patch in West Texas. Both international buyers and American producers are waiting for export capacity to increase.Corpus Christi has its own plan to expand operations to handle larger export tankers.

CREDIT: EuroNav.jpg

The Digitalization of Tanker Logistics

The tanker business carefully dips its toes into the digital chartering, analytics and big (data) pond. It is a work in progress.Like every other business, raw materials, refined products and petrochemicals, are undergoing unprecedented waves of digitalization. However, shipping is one linkage, albeit an important one, within the much bigger supply chains for crude oil and products. But cargo is king, raising an important question: Will future efforts to link ship chartering, and ship brokerage…

© vladsv / Adobe Stock

China Ministry Seeks Feedback on LNG as Marine Fuel

China's Ministry of Transport said on Friday it is soliciting feedback from oil companies, shipowners' and port associations, and marine authorities for a plan to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine bunker fuel.China will expedite the planning and siting of key berths for LNG tankers in the Bohai Bay area of northern China, as well as along its main rivers, the ministry said.The ministry has asked companies and agencies to give feedback by Aug.

Image: ADNOC

UAE's Adnoc Awards USD 1.6bln Contract to China’s CNPC

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has awarded contracts worth AED 5.88bn (US $1.6bn) for the world’s largest continuous 3D onshore and offshore seismic survey, covering an area up to 53,000 square kilometres, as the company continues to identify and unlock new opportunities and maximize value from its hydrocarbon resources and deliver on its 2030 smart growth strategy.Adding to the 2D and 3D seismic data already acquired across Abu Dhabi, the new seismic survey will cover an area of up to 30…

Image:  © cherezoff/Adobe Stock

Oil Tight on Libyan Port Struggles

Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east seek to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market. Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past but have struggled to find buyers because Western nations insist they will deal only with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.

© xy / Adobe Stock

New Rules on Ship Emissions Herald Sea Change for Oil Market

New rules coming into force from 2020 to curb pollution produced by the world's ships are worrying everyone from OPEC oil producers to bunker fuel sellers and shipping companies.The regulations will slash emissions of sulfur, which is blamed for causing respiratory diseases and is a component of acid rain that damages vegetation and wildlife.But the energy and shipping industries are ill-prepared, say analysts, with refiners likely to struggle to meet higher demand for cleaner…

File photo courtesy MarineTraffic.com

Protests Block Access to Iraq's Umm Qasr Port

About 100 protesters demanding jobs and better state services closed access to Umm Qasr port near the southern Iraq city of Basra on Friday, port employees said."They blocked the road leading into the port and trucks have no way of getting in or out.

Rio Tinto Hires CFO Stausholm from Maersk

Major miner Rio Tinto named Jacob Stausholm, formerly CFO of Danish shipping company A.P.

Photo: The Centre for Marine Simulation

Simulation: The Centre for Marine Simulation

St. CMS operates a range of marine simulation equipment that covers a broad range of marine and offshore activities. Much of the equipment is highly specialized and unique including fully motion capable simulators. The center also provides technical management and support of simulation equipment that is used by other parts of the Marine Institute. CMS simulation activities can be divided into three main areas; Training, Industrial Response, and Applied Research. To support these…

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

China Workshop Discusses Oil Pollution Response

Current research and technical developments in oil spill preparedness and response were in the spotlight at a major seminar in Tianjin, China (20-21 September). The International Oil Spill Response Technical Seminar brought together over 150 representatives of national government, oil industry and oil spill response companies. International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s Colleen O’Haghan presented on the Organization’s International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) – the treaty covering measures for dealing with pollution incidents…

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Iran Oil Production, Exports Not Impacted by Protests

Iran's crude oil production and exports have not been impacted by the unrest spreading across the country, Iranian oil and shipping sources said on Tuesday, as a crackdown intensified against anti-government demonstrations that began last week. Iran, OPEC's third-biggest oil producer, pumps around 3.8 million barrels per day. "I see no impact on the production and export," one Iranian oil industry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Everything is going normally," another source said, adding that the protests had not spread into the energy sector and "remained in the streets".

Transas CEO Frank Coles' delivers a rousing Keynote speech at the Transas Global Conference in Vancouver. CREDIT: Transas

Frank Coles Delivers Keynote at the Transas Global Conference

You know if Elon Musk was to attend a plenary session of the IMO, he could be forgiven if he thought he was watching a reenactment of the Charles Dickens book Hard Times, with Mr. Gradgrind the Headmaster. What a sad reflection of our industry. Imagine instead! Imagine a world where logistics companies and cargo owners drive ship design, innovation and demand the level of quality in ship management. Where maritime assets are operated in a global ecosystem of tracking, monitoring and safety. Imagine a world where ships are operated in a “ship as a service” or “system of systems” infrastructure.

© natagolubnycha / Adobe Stock

2020 Low-sulfur Rule to Trigger Huge Disruptions -IEA

The shipping industry and oil refineries are not doing enough to prepare for new rules cutting the amount of sulfur that vessels can emit from 2020, according to the head of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) oil industry and market division.The new rules drastically cut the amount of sulfur that the world's ships can emit, from 3.5 percent currently to just 0.5 percent. Ships that install "scrubbers" that remove sulfur as the fuel is burned can continue to use higher sulfur fuels…

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

Tightening Noose: Venezuela's Crisis Deepens

The news that Venezuela's PDVSA has diverted a crude tanker from Curacao after ConocoPhillips moves to satisfy a $2 billion arbitration award signals that worst may be yet to come. Reuters is reporting that Venezuela's state-run PDVSA ordered a tanker waiting to discharge at its Curacao terminal to divert to Venezuelan waters after ConocoPhillips introduced an order in a Caribbean court to seize its inventories and other assets in the island, according to a shipper and Reuters data on Tuesday.