Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/03/2018
- Oil Sliding Backwards
Oil risks sliding back under US$60 a barrel as a surge in U.S. shipments to Asia threatens to undermine a deal between OPEC and its allies, according to ING Groep NV. While the producer group complied with a pledge to curb output and ease a glut in 2017, U.S. flows that are gaining a bigger slice of the prized Asian market may prompt some nations to boost supplies, said Warren Patterson, a commodities strategist at the Dutch bank. The resulting fallout could drag down crude prices after a rally of more than 40 per cent since June, he said.
- Dry Bulk Tonnage Surge
Dry bulk tonnage values have surged over the past two years following a period of soft returns which encouraged scrapping while ton mile demand continued to climb. Hire rates are surging, which is encouraging investment in dry bulk carriers, says analyst VesselsValue, and the dry bulk fleet is now worth more than the combined value of the tanker fleet and leapfrogging container ships as well. Since 2015, the value of the tanker fleet has slipped by almost $50 billion dollars, while bulkers have appreciated by a net $56 billion dollars. Tankers appear to be in the middle of a down cycle.
- Libyans Arrest Ship
A spokesman for Libyan warlord General Haftar said that an unnamed foreign vessel was seized off Sousse, a small town near Derna. The vessel’s Turkish crew and Syrian captain were arrested, a spokesman said. Stating, “The ship’s crew is being investigated and the ship’s country of origin has not been identified”. The vessel is linked with militants in Derna, a port city that is under seige by Gen. Haftar’s forces as they attempt to oust the Derna Mujahedeen Shoura Council (DMSC). DMSC is a coalition of Islamist groups, and it has held control of Derna since it drove out radical ISIL fighters in 2015.
- Noble UK Vision
Embattled Hong Kong commodities trader Noble Group has managed to sign a binding restructuring support agreement (RSA). The proposed restructuring, due to be completed by the end of July, would see all of the existing senior claims and certain other unsecured liabilities exchanged for a combination of new debt instruments and equity. 46% of creditors have approved the plan to date, Noble said, with more expected to sign up soon. Under the plan, the group, dubbed New Noble, will focus on its hard commodities, freight and LNG businesses once the restructuring is complete, and will move to the UK.
- Canada Weighs Whale Options
Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has announced a range of coastal protection measures under the nation’s Oceans Protection Plan. Among them, Aqua-Guard Spill Response from British Columbia has been awarded a $1.2 million contract for new multi-cassette portable skimmer packages to recover marine pollution spills. Over $167 million has been assigned to whale research, including the survival risks faced by the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale. The ultimate aim is to implement regulatory and other measures to reduce underwater noise from vessels.
- Safety Campaign for SOLAS
The concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on safety of navigation was carried out in the Tokyo MoU region from 1 September 2017 to 30 November 2017. Member Authorities verified vital points of compliance in accordance with SOLAS Ch. V on all types of foreign merchant ships. A total of 6,720 vessels, of which 36 (0.54%) were detained. In total 157 (2.34%) ships were detained during the campaign. The highest number of inspections were carried out on ships flying the flags of Panama 1,876 (27.92%), Hong Kong (China) 650 (9.67%), the Marshall Islands 610 (9.08%) and Liberia 543 (8.08%).
- Lengthening A Cruise Ship
Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard is carrying out the world’s first lengthening of a luxury cruise ship. Lengthening is not unheard-of for merchant vessels, but it has never before been attempted for a vessel of this type. Workers cut the 36,000 tonne “Silver Spirit” in half and began the process of pulling her bow and stern in opposite directions. Once they had enough space, they used self-propelled modular transporters to move a new, prefabricated 50-foot section into place. Reconnecting the hull, fitting out wiring and piping and installing interior fittings will take workers about 450,000 man-hours to complete. https://goo.gl/iHN9j8
- Legal View on Technology
The technologies available today come with huge benefits to all industries and the shipping industry is no exception. To ignore these changes would result in the maritime industry being left behind. While the shipping industry is still very much uncertain about the changes that will result from these technologies, especially in regard to regulatory and legal changes, it is clear that workforce needs will need to be reviewed. Changes to the workforce will present challenges and opportunities for ship-owners but an early review of the future needs now, will help navigate the technological changes of the near future.
- Somalia Bans DP World
Somalia has banned Dubai ports operator DP World from operating in Somalia, saying that a contract that the company signed last year with the breakaway Somaliland region to develop an economic zone is null and void. It is unclear how Somalia’s federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland’s semi-autonomous status. But parliament’s unanimous passing of the resolution banning DP World from working in the country underscored growing rivalries in the strategic Horn of Africa region over the Dubai state-owned port operator’s investments.
- Positive View on Cleaner Fuel
Oil major BP Plc expects more than 90 percent of the world’s shipping fleet will comply with new regulations slashing sulfur levels ships are allowed to burn starting 2020, a company executive has said. Coming International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will cut the amount of sulfur emissions that ships worldwide are allowed from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. “Potential non-compliance is a significant issue that the market has been contending with,” Jason Breslaw, who leads BP’s distillate trading origination across the Americas, said at an industry conference in New Orleans.
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