Archive for the ‘shipping’ Category

Regulation & Environment: US oil struggles to unite over regulation reforms

In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment, Brian Scheid describes how different segments of the US oil industry are grappling with which policies they feel most in need of revisions given the temptation of foreign markets for domestic crude.

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The sinking of a bauxite carrier, and why it could have been avoided

Hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea: From the Naval Hymn, Eternal Father, Strong to Save, words by William Whiting, popularised by Britain’s Royal Navy and the US Navy.

The capsizing and sinking of a less than 10-year old Supramax dry bulk carrier the Bulk Jupiter on January 2 with the loss of all but one of the crew and marine insurers, has led to speculation on the cause. The consensus appears to be that more than likely it was cargo liquefaction, serves as a stark reminder about the importance of following safety procedures and best practices in the handling and loading of dry bulk carriers.

The incident follows a sustained period of relatively few losses of dry bulk carriers at sea, in contrast to the heavy losses sustained through much of the 1990s. The 2006-built Bulk Jupiter (56,000 dwt) was carrying a cargo of bauxite–a commodity not previously considered to be prone to liquefaction–from Kuantan in Malaysia to China, when it capsized and sank on January 2, having embarked on its voyage on December 29.

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New Frontiers: The ever-shifting ground under oil pipelines

Pipelines that once went one direction are now being shifted to go in another direction. Not only that, they’re carrying different things. Janet McGurty discusses the shifts in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.
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Could a Jones Act waiver move US crude export policy?

US crude oil exports appear to be the next big energy policy battle, but could a rift between East Coast refiners and US producers, as well as a historic shift in US export rules, be avoided with a limited, temporary waiver to a century-old shipping law?

Perhaps because they want to avoid a prolonged dispute within their own industry, some US refining interests have floated the idea. Some within the industry see a temporary waiver to the Jones Act as a feasible compromise on weakening the current export regime.

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Takeoff, eh? At time of need, New York jet fuel heads to Canada

New York jet fuel prices spiked from mid-July through August, and new data gives more insight why. Blame Canada.

Canada may be sending everything from comedians and crude into the US. But in July, it took in a good bit of US jet fuel, mostly out of New York.

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Kurdish attempts to sell oil are not going to get support from the Obama administration

For two months now, the United Kalavrvta tanker holding 1 million barrels of Kurdish crude has idled in international waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, awaiting a District Court ruling on whether the oil will be allowed to be sold in the US.

But if the Kurdistan Regional Government is hoping that the Obama administration will soften its stance in opposition to Kurdish oil exports, that doesn’t appear likely, even as the US seeks to aid the Kurdish peshmerga in their fight against the Islamic jihadist group IS.

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US shale boom writes a tale of two emerging classes of gas carriers

Growing natural gas liquids production spurred by the US shale gas boom has stoked interest in new classes of ships to move ethane and LPG across oceans: very large ethane carriers and ultra large gas carriers.

The first VLEC orders have been placed and could keep shipyards busy for years, even as more are built to move cheap US ethane to Asia and Europe. But the time for ULGCs is yet to come.

After years of uncertainty because of economics, paltry demand and ballooning supply, the future is looking bright for ethane as appetite emerges in Europe and Asia, and with it the need for longer-haul and larger vessels.

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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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