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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Reuters News

Pic: Sinopec

Sinopec Builds 100 Barge VLSFO Fleet

Chinese energy giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) is planning to build a fleet of 100 barges over the next three years as part of its mission to become a major regional supplier of the IMO 2020-compliant very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).According to a report from Reuters, this would be one of the top Asian refiner’s biggest shipping investments, Sinopec hopes the fleet would serve its stated ambition to become a top regional supplier of VLSFO.The fleet would include new orders of 50 vessels of 8…

China to invest billions in Brazilian Port

China will make a billion-dollar investment in the Brazilian port of Sao Luis via China Communications Construction Company, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said the announcement will be made at the summit of leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the so-called BRICS group of emerging nations, who are meeting in the Brazilian capital for a two-day summit.The deal will be part of the largest foreign direct investment into Brazil this year…

Image Credit:MarineTraffic.com / © O.B.

Russian Gas Tanker to Lift U.S. LNG

A gas tanker once hailed by President Vladimir Putin as a bulwark of Russian energy security is heading for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the United States, ship tracking data from Refinitiv's Eikon showed on Friday.The collection of an LNG cargo from the United States by a Russian tanker would be potentially awkward for Putin and Kremlin-controlled gas company Gazprom, which leased out the vessel to Austrian company OMV in August until November.Two industry sources…

Jobs at risk if Merger Stopped, Fincantieri Chairman Warns

Fincantieri Chairman Giampiero Massolo defended the Italian shipbuilder's planned acquisition of French rival Chantiers de l'Atlantique, and said jobs in the industry could suffer if the project fell through.European competition authorities last month opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed deal, saying it would significantly reduce competition and could push up prices for cruise ships."Ours is a valid industrial project that could not only help Europe's shipbuilding industry compete better globally…

Photo: Fincantieri

Fincantieri: Jobs at Risk if Merger with Chantiers de l'Atlantique Stopped

Fincantieri Chairman Giampiero Massolo defended the Italian shipbuilder's planned acquisition of French rival Chantiers de l'Atlantique, and said jobs in the industry could suffer if the project fell through.European competition authorities last month opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed deal, saying it would significantly reduce competition and could push up prices for cruise ships."Ours is a valid industrial project that could not only help Europe's shipbuilding industry compete better globally…

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Hackers Demand $5M from Pemex

Hackers demanded about $5 million in bitcoin from Mexico's Pemex, they told Reuters on Tuesday, saying the state oil firm missed a special discount by not paying immediately after a cyberattack that fouled up the company's systems.The hack, which Pemex said it detected on Sunday, forced the company to shut down computers across Mexico, freezing systems such as payments, according to five employees and internal emails.Hackers have increasingly targeted companies with malicious programs that can cripple systems overseeing everything from supply chains to manufacturing…

Peel Ports sees Brexit Boost

Cargo shippers are diverting goods to more ports across Britain to ensure stable supply lines due to uncertainty over whether the UK will leave the European Union without an agreement, a top port executive said.Brexit has been delayed for a third time, until the end of January, and Britain is headed for a snap general election in December designed to break the impasse.The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier this week said there was still a risk that Britain could exit the bloc chaotically with no divorce agreement.In the meantime…

A large bulker awats cargo at an African port (Credit: Joe Keefe)

Tramp Shippers Challenged by IMO 2020

Shipping companies running itinerant merchant vessels known as tramps are concerned about sourcing fuel to comply with one of the biggest ever shake-ups of the industry next year, the head of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said.The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has banned the use of fuel with a sulphur content exceeding 0.5% from the beginning of January 2020, down from a maximum of 3.5% now, unless it is to power a ship equipped with a "scrubber" to clean the pollutant from exhaust emissions."We believe the (fuel) supplies will inevitably be patchy outside the main bu

A Euronav tanker in Drydock. Credit: Euronav

Euronav Readies Fleet for IMO 2020 Start

Belgian tanker operator Euronav expects to complete preparations on its fleet in coming weeks ahead of tougher rules next year limiting sulphur emissions from ocean-going vessels, a company executive said on Tuesday.Ship owners must cut emissions by reducing the sulphur content in fuel to 0.5% from 3.5% under the rules, which are set by the United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO), and come into effect in January.To comply, ship owners can use low-sulphur fuel…

Sundeep Singh. Photo: BHP

BHP Mulls LNG-Fueled Bulker Freight

Melbourne-headquartered resource company BHP wants to introduce LNG-fuelled iron ore vessels, which could transport up to 10 per cent of its product in the coming years."In July this year, we released the world’s first bulk carrier tender for LNG-fuelled transport for up to 27 million tonnes of iron ore," said Sundeep Singh, Group Procurement Officer.He said that introducing LNG-fuelled ships into BHP’s maritime supply chain will eliminate NOx (nitrogen oxide) and SOx (sulfur…

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Oil surges as China Pushes Tariff Rollbacks

Oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday on hopes for a U.S.-China trade agreement and optimism that Washington could roll back some tariffs on Chinese imports.Brent crude futures rose 74 cents, or 1.2%, to $62.87 a barrel by 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 68 cents, or 1.2%, to $57.22 a barrel.China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a so-called Phase 1 deal, which would…

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China, U.S. Reportedly to Cancel Tariffs in Phases

China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, without specifying a timetable.An interim U.S.-China trade deal is widely expected to include a U.S. pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys.Tariff cancellation was an important condition for any agreement, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said…

File image: A typical DP World Terminal during cargo operations. (CREDIT: DP World)

DP World: Djibouti Dispute Hurts Firm's Borrowing Ability

Global ports operator DP World has struggled to borrow from banks to finance new investments since a port it partially owns in Djibouti was seized by the government there in 2018, its chairman said on Monday."We are investing but it is costing us more. That’s the damage," DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters in Rwanda's capital Kigali, where the company opened a $35 million logistics platform on Monday."Fewer banks will lend us money today," he said, without giving further details.

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Tankers Unable to Offload in Malaysian Port

Refineries at Port Dickson on Peninsular Malaysia's west coast are unable to receive crude oil after a port facility that carries crude from the ships to the plants broke down.A system known as a single point mooring (SPM) unit, a loading buoy anchored offshore that allows tankers to offload their crude via pipeline to the refineries, has been out of service, the refinery operators said.The SPM connects to a refinery operated by Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd (HRC), a subsidiary of China's Shandong Hengyuan Petrochemical Co…

Fire Reported on Tanker at Sture Terminal

A fire onboard an oil tanker at Norway's Sture crude export terminal has been put out, the fire service told Reuters on Friday.The fire broke out in the engine room of the Dubai Harmony tanker during loading at the Equinor oil terminal on Norway's west coast, according to rescue services and police.No one was injured, and the terminal's output was not affected by the incident, although there was a partial evacuation of staff."The head of the response team on the site confirms that the fire was put out at 1257 CET (1057 GMT)…

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CNOOC Seeks Replacements for Sanctioned COSCO LNG Tankers

China National Offshore Oil and Gas Company (CNOOC) is on the hunt for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers to charter, several industry sources told Reuters, looking to replace ships it had previously hired that are linked to a Chinese company sanctioned by the United States for allegedly transporting Iranian oil.The company, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian), is one of four Chinese firms on which the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Sept. 25, in what it described as the biggest sanctions taken by the U.S.

Gulf Marine Services Signs Banks Waiver

Offshore contractor Gulf Marine Services has signed a waiver agreement with banks relating to covenants to be tested with reference to the company’s half-year financial results in an agreement that will provide GMS with a rollover of its existing $25 million working capital facility. The agreement will also provide access to bonding facilities that will underpin liquidity and support the growth of its business.The company now has until this Monday, September 30, to complete the…

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Yantai Port to Launch LNG Storage Plants

China's Yantai Port Group aims to launch two jointly-owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities by 2022 and expects government approval for them this month, two sources familiar with the matter said.Shandong province, where the Yantai port is located, is an industrial and petrochemical hub in China. It has one quarter of the country's steel capacity and is also a big coal consuming region, though it is yet to house a gas-powered plant.Yantai Port, which holds a 19% stake in the project…

Oil Tankers Fire Injures 10 in S.Korea

A fire that spread across two oil tankers in a South Korean port injured 10 people on Saturday, coastguard and fire officials said, adding the blaze had largely been put out.An explosion occurred on the Stolt Groenland, a 25,000-tonne, Cayman Island-flagged oil tanker, at the southern port of Ulsan at around 10:50 a.m. (0150 GMT), a coastguard official said.There were 25 sailors aboard, including Russians and Filipinos.The fire spread to another oil tanker docked nearby, the 9…

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Iran building oil pipeline to terminal outside Gulf

Iran is building a $1.8 billion oil pipeline to its port of Jask outside the mouth of the Gulf, the country's oil minister said, as part of plans to protect its exports against potential problems in the region and to boost shipments of Caspian oil.Iran has been planning since at least 2012 to set up the terminal on the Gulf of Oman, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.Tehran has threatened to block the vital Gulf oil shipping route during its standoff with the United States, after Washington last year withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions…

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Sovcomflot CEO to Switch to Chairman

Sergei Frank will step down as president and chief executive of Russian state-controlled shipping giant Sovcomflot after 15 years at the helm, four sources familiar with the decision told Reuters on Tuesday.Frank will give up operational control of Sovcomflot and take over as chairman of the company's board, two of the sources said.It was not immediately clear why Frank, 59, was moving position.

File Image: A Piraeus cruise terminal berth (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © anastasiia Usoltceva)

Greece Trims Piraeus Port investment plan

Greece has trimmed an investment plan by Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) to boost operations at one of Europe's largest harbours, rejecting proposals for a new container terminal.PPA, majority owned by China's COSCO Shipping , had submitted to Greece's shipping ministry an 800-million-euro plan, which included a new cruise ship terminal, a mall and four hotels in the port.PPA had also proposed to build a fourth container terminal that would boost Piraeus' total throughput to 10 million…

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France's Cannes to Ban Polluting Cruise Ships

Mediterranean resort town Cannes, France's fourth-biggest cruise ship port, will ban the most polluting cruise ships from next year in a bid to boost air quality in the city.The ban will target ships that do not respect a 0.1% cap on sulphur in their fuel and could stop some passengers from disembarking in the city famous for its film festival."It's not about being against cruise ships. It's about being against pollution," Cannes Mayor David Lisnard told Reuters Television in an interview.Under the European Union's clean air policy…

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Iranian Tanker Hit by Missiles, Oil Rises

Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Friday, October 11, 2019, after Iranian media said a state-owned oil tanker had been struck by missiles in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of supply disruptions weeks after attacks on Saudi oil plants.The Suezmax crude tanker Sabiti was ablaze and suffered heavy damage after being hit by two missiles, Iranian media reported.Both oil benchmarks recorded their biggest daily rise since Sept. 16, the first trading day after the…

Asian oil suppliers face high tanker charter rates following new U.S. sanctions against Chinese oil transporter COSCO. (Photo © Adobe Stock / Vladimir)

Oil Freight Rates Rocket After U.S. Sanctions COSCO

Oil freight rates in the Middle East and Asia have increased by almost 20 percent today following new US sanctions on units of Chinese company COSCO for its alleged involvement in ferrying crude oil out of Iran.In what the U.S. State Department has described as “one of the largest sanctions actions the U.S. has taken” since restrictions were re-imposed on Iran in November 2018, two units of COSCO, as well as other companies, were named in claims of involvement in sanctions-breaking Iranian oil shipments.Asian oil buyers have been rushing to the shipping market to charter vessels…

File image of a typical DP World terminal operation. CREDIT: DP World

DP World’s Topaz, P&O Merger Complete by Year-end

Port operator DP World's planned merger of its P&O Maritime and recently acquired Topaz Energy and Marine businesses is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Topaz CEO Rene Kofod-Olsen said on Monday.DP World bought Dubai-based oil services company Topaz in July with the intention of combining it with P&O Maritime as part of efforts to diversify beyond its core port operations to other marine-related sectors.The merged entity, to be known simply as P&O, will give Topaz…