Archive for the ‘shipping’ Category

The shipping business gets ready — with new fees — for the dawn of cleaner fuels

The bunker fuel market in the Atlantic Basin is just a bit more than 100 days away from the next shift in the sulfur emissions cap on ships traveling within 200 miles of shore in North America and North West Europe, a designated Emissions Control Area. And some of its impact on costs is starting to show up.

After several months of vague rumblings about higher costs, we’re beginning to see a clearer picture of just how much more shippers expect to pay to comply with this stricter rule. MSC on Monday became what we believe is the third company to announce per-container surcharges intended to offset its expected higher fuel bills come January.

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US oil refiners and marketers want Jones Act changes…but Capitol Hill doesn’t

Shortly after she was named chairman of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier this year, Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, held a press conference to stress her strong support for the Jones Act.

“The Jones Act is a jobs act, pure and simple,” Landrieu said of the nearly 100-year-old law which requires all vessels shipping cargo between two US locations to be US built, majority US-owned and at least 75% of the crew to be US citizens.

Surrounded by shipping industry representatives, Landrieu criticized the Obama administration for attempts to weaken the act’s purpose. “Waiving the Jones Act literally hands over work to foreign shippers,” she said.

Perhaps most surprising about the press conference, one of the few Capitol Hill press events Landrieu has hosted since taking helm of the energy committee, is that it was not in response to new legislation aimed at weakening the Jones Act, nor was it in response to another potential waiver to the act.

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Petrodollars: China builds up its oil tanker fleet

Everyone talks about Chinese demand for oil. But the Chinese are also increasing their demand for the ships that move that oil around. James Bourne looks at the trend in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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Goodbye to all that: oil, empire and August 1914

The onset of the First World War underlined the seismic change that was engulfing every aspect of life in the early part of the 20th century. As Europe’s great powers tumbled over the precipice into a catastrophic four years of carnage, few could envision the role that powered transportation would play in the conflict, or the toll that mechanized, industrialized warfare would extract from its youth.

In a war that left such an indelible mark on society, oil would for the first time play a significant role. To that end, the First World War is a significant landmark in the formation of corporations that came to dominate the 20th century. The age of the majors had dawned.

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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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