Archive for the ‘shipping’ Category

Montreal could become an oil export hub as markets continue to shift

Montreal has emerged as an export base for Western Canadian heavy sour crudes as prospects to construct new pipelines to the British Columbia coast, Eastern Canada and US fade.

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Regulation & Environment: Canada’s aggressive on crude oil by rail regs; the US, not so much

Both the US and Canada have experienced fiery crashes of crude oil moving by rail; in Canada, it has also been tragic. The pace of regulations to deal with crude-by-rail in the wake of it are moving at very different paces in the two countries. Herman Wang looks at the differences in this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment.

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Regulation & Environment: Canada tackles the oil by rail issue

Of all the crude-by-rail accidents, none was more devastating than the one in Lac Megantic, Quebec. That puts particular pressure on the Canadian government to deal with the issue of rail car safety, as Ashok Dutta discusses in this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment.

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Breaking Bad: Iron ore smuggling heats up, prices cool down

Mexican officials said last week that they seized a drug cartel’s vessel and the nearly 70,000 mt of iron ore it was carrying, according to United Press International. The cartel, known as Knights Templar, is “known iron ore smugglers, in addition to trafficking methamphetamine to the US,” UPI reported.

There were no details on the quality specs of the iron ore cargo, but assuming an average price of $91/ dry mt CFR China — based on the six grades from 52% Fe – 65% Fe, which Platts assesses — the value of the shipment would approximate $6.4 million.

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Frozen Great Lakes and iron ore: just can’t let it go

Frozen may be an enormously popular film, but several videos of ice-encrusted ships on the US Great Lakes represent a horror show for much of the steel industry.

Up to four-feet thick sections of solid ice have mired huge ships from delivering essential coal and iron ore to steel mills. One video, shot as recently as April 12, showed the lakes had a long way to go before thawing, with the ice still 15-20 inches thick in some spots — enough to stall a big ship. (We were shown that video privately, so can’t link to it. However, a CBS News story that captures a few of the icy images can be seen here.)

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Regulation & Environment: Crude-by-barge not as controversial as its rail counterpart

Almost anything that moves has been pressed into serving the transportation needs of the expanding US production profile. That includes barges. In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment, Herman Wang reviews the safety considerations that the crude-by-barge industry faces.

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New York, Bakken and crude oil by rail: where is the love?

The crude-by-rail industry is not feeling so much of the “love” in New York’s “I Love New York” slogan these days.

Governor Cuomo has put a target on the backs of those moving Bakken oil in particular, which some recent tests have shown has the volatility of gasoline. That spells trouble for the crude, more of which is moving through the New York capital of Albany by rail and then barged down the Hudson River to East Coast refiners. It is access to more domestic crudes that has kept those plants open after pricey imports almost shuttered them a few years ago.

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Platts Crude Oil-Americas conference: loans, numbers and a possible XL-less world

A few notes from day one of the Platts Crude Oil Markets-Americas conference in Houston.

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The circle of Gulf Coast crude oil

The January 22 start-up of TransCanada’s  Gulf Coast Pipeline Project – originally the southern tail of the delayed Keystone XL pipeline — could not have come at a better time for the refining hub on the US Gulf Coast.

Dwindling production from Mexico and increasing domestic growth has flooded PADD III with light crudes while slowing some imports of heavy crudes, a disadvantage for the most complex refineries in the world.

Crude inputted into PADD III refineries was averaging an API gravity of 29.9 in 2013, according to the most recent data from the Energy Information Administration. That is a big difference between USGC-produced crudes such as Louisiana Light Sweet (34-41 API) and Eagle Ford (46 API).

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There’s nothing romantic about pirates, and they’re very much still around

Hollywood’s latest depiction of piracy on the high seas on the silver screen in Captain Phillips may not have been an accurate portrayal of the real character of Richard Philips himself, if the critics are right — I have never met him so am in no position to judge — but it did serve to alert a broader audience to the scourge and danger of piracy that remains a menace to international shipping and, more importantly, a threat to the lives of innocent seafarers.

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