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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

United Arab Emirates News

Saudi Aramco delivers crude oil cargo at Pengerang Deepwater Terminal 2 in Malaysia. Photo: Saudi Aramco

Aramco Signs 34 EPC Contracts Worth $18bn

Saudi Aramco has signed 34 engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) related contracts (worth over US$18bn) for projects such as the Marjan and Berri field incremental development program in Saudi Arabia, during Q3 2019, according to GlobalData.The most important is ADNOC’s US$3.6bn contract for the supply of one million metric tons of casing and tubing to support exploration and production activity in United Arab Emirates (UAE).The global oil and gas industry has witnessed a substantial boost from those contracts activity in the Middle East…

Crystal Esprit. Pic: Crystal Yacht Cruises

Crystal Announces Near Term Deployment for Esprit

Crystal Yacht Cruises announced the 55-cruise roster of 2022 and early 2023 itineraries for Crystal Esprit.A number of new options punctuate the collection of regionally focused voyages, with dozens of seven- and eight-night options catering to busy travel schedules or easily combined into longer adventures, said a company press release.In addition to exploration of hubs of profound history, featured destinations also capitalize on the 62-guest Crystal Esprit’s adventurous spirit…

Photo: DP World

Deepwater Port Posorja 1st Phase Opened

The $538 million first phase of the new Deepwater Port of Posorja in Ecuador by global trade enabler, DP World, is now completed and successfully operational.The overall $1.2 billion project will replicate Dubai's Jebel Ali Port and freezone, making Ecuador a trade and logistics hub for South America's west coast, and opening a gateway for large container ships with capacities exceeding 10,000 TEUs.Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, visited the facility to assess progress of the project, which is one of the largest international investments in Ecuador.

Carnival's hi-tech control room. CREDIT Carnival Corp.

Carnival Partners with UWF for Interactive Training

Company’s CSMART Academy teamed up with UWF’s Innovation Institute to launch training course for environmental officers that started in August 2019. Combining UWF’s specialty in challenge-based learning with CSMART Academy’s award-winning faculty, professional development and advanced simulators, program is designed to foster culture of excellence in environmental compliance. Carnival Corporation announced it partnered with the University of West Florida (UWF) to enhance the company’s…

Image: Topaz Energy and Marine

Topaz Revenue Climbs

Revenue of Topaz Energy and Marine of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the six-month period of 2019 was $235 million, an increase of 56% compared to H1 2018.Dubai-based offshore vessel operator’s first-half net income also surged to $42 million from a $4m loss recorded at the end of first six months of 2018.Earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization rose by 83 percent to $141m in the first half.The global ports operator DP World acquired Topaz from Oman's…

DP World currently has five terminals in Dubai, three at the flagship Jebel Ali Port. Photo Credit: DP World

UAE Presence Grows in the Maritime World

Over recent years the United Arab Emirates has emerged as an important maritime hub with grand ambitions. Mark Venables visited the region to discover what is driving that growth.When the UAE was elected to the IMO Council as a Category B member, it immediately raised its profile within the maritime community. The Emirates have taken a significant step forward in the maritime world.Despite this success, the region remains a challenging market for shipping and logistics. One of…

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…

Pic: VO Chidambaranar Port

VOC Port Sets New Record

South India's VO Chidambaranar Port created a new record by handling 1,80,597 MT of cargo in a single day on July 27 this year, surpassing the previous single day record of 1,77,639 MT on November 16, 2017.The fourth-largest container terminal in India said in a statement that major cargoes of the day include coal (79,230 MT), containerized cargo (52,200 MT / 2,900 TEUs) and general cargo (49,167 MT).The state-controlled port has also handles highest parcel size of 85,224 MT.

Image Credit: AdobeStock/ © 14KTGold

Singapore's Ocean Tankers tests IMO-2020 Compliant Fuel

Off the coast of Singapore, the world's largest ship refuelling centre, a bunker barge sidled next to the supertanker Pu Tuo San to fill the giant vessel with a new type of fuel that will meet global standards that start up in January.With a little over five months left until stricter marine fuel rules come into effect, shippers such as Singapore's Ocean Tankers that own the very large crude carrier (VLCC) Pu Tuo San have started testing out lower sulphur fuel to prepare their…

USN File photo: flight operations underway on the USS Boxer, the warship credited this week with downing an Iranian drone.

Stakeholders Ignore U.S. Middle East Coalition Proposals

The United States is struggling to win its allies' support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said.Washington proposed on July 9 stepping up efforts to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen where it blames Iran and its proxies for tanker attacks. Iran denies the charges.But with Washington's allies reluctant to commit new weaponry or fighting forces…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Seafarer81

War Risk Costs Impact UAE Bunkers, Singapore benefits

Shippers trying to minimise time in the Middle East after oil tanker attacks pushed up insurance costs are scaling back purchases of marine fuels from the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Fujairah oil hub, trade sources said.Instead, they are turning primarily to Singapore, the world's top refuelling hub, to buy marine fuels, also known as bunkers, with some diverting to smaller bunkering ports, including in India and Sri Lanka, the sources said.A tonne of 380-centistoke (cst) high…

File Image: Maersk

Maersk, Major Shippers Hike Gulf-bound Box Rates

A.P.

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

17.5 Tons of Cocaine found on Containership

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led multi-agency examination of shipping containers at the Philadelphia seaport netted a historic load of cocaine, the largest cocaine seizure in the 230-year history of U.S. Customs and CBP, with an estimated weight of over 17.5 tons and a street value of about $1.1 billion.During a midstream joint boarding Sunday night, CBP, HSI, and U.S. Coast Guard authorities detected anomalies while examining seven shipping containers aboard the MSC Gayane…

Vitol Builds Refinery for New Ship's Fuel

Vitol, the world's largest independent oil trader, has started building a small oil refinery at its storage terminal in Malaysia that will provide low-sulfur fuel for ships, a senior company official said on Monday.The project consists of a crude distillation unit that can process 30,000 barrels per day of crude and is located on the same site as Vitol's oil storage terminal at Tanjung Bin in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, Vitol Asia's President and Chief Executive Officer…

Chart: BIMCO

BIMCO: VLCC Freight Rates from Gulf to China Doubles

VLCC spot freight rates between the Arabian Gulf and China rose 101% in the days between June 13, 2019 and June 20, 2019, in the aftermath of attacks on two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Spot freight rates for a VLCC, carrying 2 million barrels of oil, between the Arabian Gulf and China reached USD 25,994 per day on June 20, their highest level since March and significantly above the May average of USD 9,979 per day.Despite this increase, freight rates on this route only narrowly exceeds the daily break-even costs of a VLCC…

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…

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

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…

IMO 2020: Fujairah Tightens Exhaust Rules Ahead of 2020

Key Middle East oil terminal bans open-loop scrubbersFujairah in the United Arab Emirates has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulphur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulphur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now…

Pic: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

UAE, Greece, USA: Worst Vessel Dumpers

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Greece and the United States of America (USA) top the list of country dumpers of ocean-going commercial vessels in 2018, according to new data released today by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.UAE owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2018: there were 61 ships in total.Greek owners, beached 57 vessels out of a total of 66 sold for demolition. American owners closely followed with…

File Image of a DP World Terminal (CREDIT: DP World)

DP World's Q4 Dubai Box Traffic Sags

DP World reported a fall of 4.6 percent in fourth-quarter shipping container volumes in Dubai that the government-controlled port operator blamed on a drop in low-margin business.Dubai's Jebel Ali, the largest transshipment port in the United Arab Emirates, and Mina Rashid port account for about 20 percent of DP World's global volumes.The two ports handled 3.6 million 20-foot equivalent units in the three months to Dec. 31, compared to 3.8 million in the same 2017 period, DP World said in a statement.Dubai container volumes also fell in the third quarter."In the UAE…

File Image: Atypical DP World managed terminal. CREDIT: DP World

DP World downplays Trade Tensions as Profit Soars

DP World, one of the world's biggest port operators, said on Thursday its business could weather international trade tensions, after reporting a 10.2 percent rise in 2018 profit."Current year has started with trading in line with expectations and whilst the near-term outlook remains uncertain with the trade war and geopolitical headwinds, we expect our portfolio to remain resilient and see increased contributions from our recent acquisitions and investments,” Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World chairman, said in a statement.The Dubai state controlled firm said it made a profit attributable to owners

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

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates…

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.

Image: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Fakes Make Up 3.3% of Global Trade

Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, mostly originated in China, has risen steadily, posing a major challenge in an innovation-driven global economy, revealed a new study.Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has risen steadily in the last few years – even as overall trade volumes stagnated – and now stands at 3.3% of global trade, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.Trends…