Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 30/07/2014
1. Iraq Oil Cargo Bust Up
U.S. authorities have seized a cargo of crude worth more than $100 million from an Iraqi Kurdistan vessel anchored off the Texas coast after a judge approved a request from Baghdad, raising the stakes in an oil sales dispute between Iraq’s central government and the autonomous region. The tanker United Kalavrvta, carrying some 1 million barrels of Iraqi Kurdish crude oil, arrived near Galveston Bay on Saturday, but has yet to unload its disputed cargo. The U.S. judge’s approval of the request from Baghdad on Monday deals another blow to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) attempts to establish its own oil sales.
2. Global Growth Heading for Slow Down
While most investors are transfixed by trying to anticipate the next jurisdiction-hopping, tax-driven merger, there are small but growing signs that global growth may be headed for a slowdown. Perhaps the most eye-catching figure is the collapse in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which is down about 65 percent so far this year. The fall in shipping prices, while probably overstating matters, is a sign worth paying attention to. The fall in the BDI is at least in part driven by lots of new shipping capacity coming online, but there are other indicators that trade momentum is slowing and could be taking global growth with it.
3. Smart Money Backs Boxes
Navios Maritime Partners is acquiring two containerships for $117.7m as it reports higher first half earnings. Navios Partners reported a first half net income of $48.3m compared to $35.8m in the same period a year earlier. The company announced it would be buying two 8,204 teu, 2006-built boxships. The vessels will be delivered in the fourth quarter and both have been chartered out for a minimum of four years at a rate of $34,266 per day. “We continue to grow our fleet and cash flow. We agreed to acquire two 8,200 teu container vessels, built in 2006, for a total price of $117.7m. The company believes they have bagged a bargain.
4. Flags Reveal way the Shipping Wind Blows
Ship Registries are an excellent bellwether of industry health and trends, and International Registries, Inc. & Liberian Registry/LISCR, LLC have been speaking on the trends and changes which are shaping shipping. Owners are ordering ships again, and there is a great deal of private equity funding entering the market, in the U.S. and elsewhere, which is filling the shortfall created by a reduction in traditional bank finance for shipping. Liberia expects the use of private equity capital will continue to fund newbuilding and secondhand ship purchases throughout 2015 and 2016.
5. Abandoned by Maritime Security Firm
Around 100 armed security staff hired to protect ships and tankers from pirates have been left scattered at sea after one of the world’s biggest maritime security firms ceased trading while allegedly owing millions in unpaid salaries. More than a dozen Britons are among those left high and dry in treacherous waters, including off the coast of Somalia, when Gulf of Aden Group Transits (GoAGT) collapsed last week. Employees were woken in the early hours on Friday to find an email from the firm’s chief executive Nick Davis stating that “current and planned operations” would now be carried out on their behalf by another firm.
6. What Will Keep Maritime London Alive
The Shipping Professional Network London (SPNL) has released a "Future London" report, an initiative that gathered the views and opinions of London’s young shipping professionals on what needs to be done for London to retain and improve its position as a global maritime capital. The report was led by Gustav Ellingsen, SPNL Immediate Past Chair and Claudio Chiste, SPNL Chairman and researched what future industry leaders think about local barriers to working here, international competition and job market and general outlook,” Gustav said. The verdict? London has a powerful brand and legacy which is not being fully leveraged.
7. US Navy to the Rescue
USNS Richard E. Byrd has rescued nine crewmembers from a Yemeni-flagged cargo vessel that had lost power, was taking on water and was adrift in the Gulf of Oman. The crew from the vessel "Asaed" requested assistance and Byrd was the first ship on scene. Asaed crewmembers departed their vessel via the ship’s own lifeboat and maneouvered to Byrd, where they were safely recovered. There are no reports of casualties or injuries to personnel. The Yemeni sailors are being further evaluated by Byrd’s medical team. The Navy will coordinate the sailors’ transfer ashore. Byrd is currently on a scheduled maritime security deployment.
8. Amazing Safety Record
Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has proudly announced that their Bollinger Fourchon, L.L.C. facility has worked 13 years without a lost time accident. Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s Chief Operating Officer said, “Our Fourchon personnel have withstood the test of time, as our shipyard in Port Fourchon has grown over the past 13 years. With the sustained effort of our employees, Bollinger continues to be one of the safest shipyards in America. Congratulations to everyone at the Fourchon facility for their efforts in making our safety program successful.” We pity the fool who next does finally have an accident…though perhaps their reporting system is broken?
9. North Korean Operator Blacklist
A U.N. Security Council committee has blacklisted the operator of a North Korean ship, which was seized near the Panama Canal last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms, and raised concerns about Cuba’s military cooperation with Pyongyang. The North Korea (DPRK) sanctions committee designated Ocean Maritime Management, which operated the Chong Chon Gang, the ship detained a year ago carrying arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tonnes of sugar. The company is now subject to an international asset freeze and travel ban. North Korea is under an array of United Nations and international sanctions.
10. Nigeria: Risks Versus Rewards
Boasting huge hydrocarbons resources yet to be exploited, Nigerian offshore domain is fraught with increasing threats, casting a shadow on players’ operations and the country’s potential to attract investment into its vital oil and gas industry. Nigeria’s offshore domain is one of the most fertile hydrocarbon provinces in the world. Current oil reserve in the country estimated at 35 billion barrels and over 187 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Yet the threats to offshore assets in the country include piracy, sea robbery, oil theft, illegal bunkering, smuggling, proliferation of small arms, among others make it almost impossible to do business.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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