Tuktoyaktuk,oil project in Beaufort Sea dropped by Chevronj

Something in tug's fuel?
Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall.

In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board on Wednesday, the company withdrew from a hearing on Arctic drilling rules because it has walked away from plans to drill in the EL 481 block, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

The drilling project is the largest yet put on hold after oil prices dropped by nearly half over the last six months, even as a long list of oil companies cut their budgets for 2015 because of the price drop.

[March 18 2013
 On Christmas Day 2012 crews barbecued on the Kulluk deck. But on Dec. 27, the shackle broke and the situation began to worsen.
Exactly why the shackle broke is unclear, since it now rests on the Gulf of Alaska floor. Questions focused on whether the tow line endured excessive strain Dec. 27, when the ships hit slightly choppy seas – 10 to 15 foot swells that typically are not concerning. By all accounts, there was no excessive strain.
The same day, the Aiviq was able to quickly reestablish an emergency towline while two other tugs, the Guardsman and the Nanuq, were sent out to serve as backups.
But later that night, at nearly 11 p.m., one of the Aiviq's engines failed, with the rest failing within hours after fuel injectors became mucked with bad fuel. Chief engineer Carl Broekhuis testified the  an unknown fuel additive caused the bad fuel, which left  a “slime” on the fuel filters. New fuel injectors were flown in and the good fuel was rerouted to bring all four engines back online.
Five months after the incident, Broekhuis and others involved with the operation said they still did not know what the additive was.
[March 18]

This review has confirmed that Shell entered the drilling season not fully prepared in
terms of fabricating and testing certain critical systems and establishing the scope of its
operational plans. The lack of adequate preparation put pressure on Shell’s overall operations
and timelines at the end of the drilling season. Indeed, because Shell was unable to get certified
and then deploy its specialized Arctic Containment System (ACS) – which the Department of the
Interior (DOI) required to be on site in the event of a loss of well control – the company was not
allowed to drill into hydrocarbon-bearing zones. Shell’s failure to deploy the ACS system was
due, in turn, to shortcomings in Shell’s management and oversight of key contractors. L

February 28

Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) announced February 27 it will pause its exploration drilling activity for 2013 in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas to prepare equipment and plans for a resumption of activity at a later stage.


Kulluk - Marshall Islands-flag 

The Coast Guard lifted an order restricting movement of Shell’s Kulluk drill rig February 21.

“The inspection, its seaworthiness, was done by industry class certification. They gave us their inspection for review, so we could understand what they found, if there were any concerns, or not, that needed to be addressed prior to its being transferred, or transported, from Kiliuda Bay.”

Now that the Captain of the Port order has been lifted, Shell is free to start towing the rig to Unalaska whenever it sees fit. It’s not clear when that will be.

“We will know once they start that transit and we will monitor it as they make their transit to Unalaska.”

For now, the rig is anchored in Kiliuda Bay, on the south side of Kodiak Island.

[January 4]

Shell Alaska is in full support of, and is providing resources for, the investigation of the grounding by the Unified Incident Command, made up of federal, state and company representatives. The findings will be available to the public.


[January 1]

The Kulluk -- a $290 million offshore oil rig operated as part of Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts in summer -- washed up shortly before 9 p.m. at Ocean Bay on Sitkalidak Island, located close to Kodiak Island's southeast shore, January 1

KULLUK IMO 8752219

MOU Type:
Column-stabilised Unit
Earl & Wright/Sedco Arctic drilling vessel

Build: 1983
Ship Type: Drillship
Flag: Marshall Islands

The drilling rig KULLUK was built in 1983 by the Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Company Ltd in Tamano, Japan.  KULLUK, whose name means “Thunder” in the Inuvialuit language, was first operated by Gulf Canada Resources, Inc. in the Canadian arctic. She was tended there by two specially designed ice breaking tug support vessels the IKALUK and MISCAROO operated by the Beau-Drill Limited Partnership which was a subsidiary of Gulf.  At the time they were built all of these vessels represented the latest cutting edge technology for arctic oil exploration. KULLUK’s  design is described as an Earl & Wright/Sedco Arctic Drilling Vessel inverted, truncated, conically shaped, ice-strengthened hull. That is to say her hull is shaped like a bowl so that as ice presses in around her, she simply rides up on top of the ice rather than being crushed or penetrated by it. She is admeasured at 27,968 gross tons and 8391 net tons. The KULLUK  first came to Alaska in September 1988 when she drilled an exploratory well for the Amoco Production Company at the Belcher Prospect in the Beaufort Sea in 167 feet of water.  In 1992 and 1993, she drilled four exploratory wells for Arco Alaska at the Kuvlum and Wild Weasel Prospects offshore of ANWR.  After that the rig was stacked for fourteen years in McKinley Bay near Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The rig was purchased by Shell Offshore Incorporated of New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2005 and spent the next year being refurbished where she had been stacked in Canada. The rig is capable of drilling in 400 to 600 feet of water to depths of 20,000 feet. Her derrick measures 160 feet tall by 40 x 40 at the base with a 1,250,000 pound capacity. The rig’s power is provided by three General Motors EMD diesel generators rated at 2816 horsepower each. She has quarters onboard for 108 personnel. The almost-circular main deck is 274 feet long and has a beam of 227 feet.  When originally built the rig had been registered in Canada. Later she was reflagged to the Liberian flag, however, Shell has replaced that flag and registered the rig in the Marshall islands. Shell had plans to use the KULLUK to drill again in the Beaufort Sea, but environmental concerns caused delays with that program. In September 2010, the KULLUK was towed out of Canadian water and brought to Dutch Harbor and anchored in Captains Bay by the ice breaking tug supply vessel TOR VIKING II.  An existing dock at the OSI facility in Captains Bay was modified with a curved face to fit her hull so that the KULLUK can moor there. In December 2010, KULLUK was moved there awaiting a new drilling assignment. 

[October 29,'12]

 An electrical problem led to a valve failure that forced the dome to rapidly descend. The descent was stopped before the dome reached bottom but not before water pressure damaged one side of the dome and some of the buoyancy chambers.
The containment dome was created to suck up spewing oil or gas in hoses and transport it to the surface where it can be flared off. Shell conducted a "top to bottom" review to learn from that mistake and will have the containment barge and system -- an unprecedented piece of oil-spill response hardware --- ready for Arctic drilling next year,

[September 22]Shell’s plans to complete at least some oil exploration wells in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year have finally come to naught, following damage to the company’s new Arctic oil containment dome during testing of the Arctic Challenger containment barge, the company announced Sept. 16.

The company has decided not to proceed with the complete drilling of two planned exploration wells, one in the Chukchi Sea and one in the Beaufort Sea, and is instead going to drill a series of “top holes,” the upper sections of wells that terminate a long way above any likely hydrocarbon zones. The drilling of top holes will enable the more rapid completion of wells during  the 2013 drilling season.

[September 7]] The drillship Noble Discoverer has refueled for drilling and is moving into position over Shell’s Chukchi Sea Burger prospect. Drilling could commence on Sept. 7 or 8, Smith said. Shell had hoped to start drilling at Burger around Sept. 2, but stormy weather caused the drillship have to move into a holding position 10 miles south of the drill site until the weather cleared.
The drillship will need to connect to anchors pre-positioned at the drill site before drilling can commence.
Shell now has all the permits that it needs to start drilling. 

[July 7]The 571-foot Noble Discoverer lost its mooring July 14, drifting extremely close to shore before it was towed farther off shore and re-anchored. Shell and the Coast Guard say an inspection of the hull by a remotely operated vehicle showed no signs of damage or grounding. Divers will take another look no later than July 20.
[July 12]One of Shell's drill ships has arrived in Unalaska and the other is expected by the end of the week. The Noble Discoverer pulled into port on July 7, accompanied by a small flotilla of support vessels. While the ships were originally scheduled to bypass Unalaska on their way to Arctic, persistent sea could keep them around for a while 'it looks now like we’ll be on site and start drilling sometime in the first week of August'.   Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska.

[June 27]Ships bringing oil drilling equipment to Alaska pass through Seattle's Elliott Bay on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, as a Washington State Ferry passes on its way into Seattle. The Kulluk and Noble Discoverer and support ships are headed first to Dutch Harbor. Once open water allows, the rigs will move to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas for offshore drilling.

 [June 26]The U.S. Coast Guard established a 500 yard no-go zone around the vessel and 16 others  as they pass through Washington's Puget Sound.
           The ships have been staged in Seattle, Wa., for the summer drilling season where several have also undergone extensive retrofitting.Once the drilling ships arrive in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, they are protected by a separate Coast Guard imposed safety zone. Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act violations of the safety zone are subject to fines of up to $100,000 and up to 10 years in jail.
     The Puget Sound safety zone went into immediate effect and expires on Aug. 1. 

[June 7]Shell threw a private party June 6 at the Seattle Space Needle to joyously send off the oil giant’s Kulluk and Noble Discoverer rigs to sail to Dutch Harbor in mid-June.  Shell’s plans are to drill up to three Chukchi and two Beaufort wells this summer  - The two rigs are both older than the 2001 Deepwater Horizon, which was to blame to the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010. The Kulluk, from the 1980s, and the Noble Discoverer, built in 1966, were both retrofitted to handle harsh Arctic weather. 
.Shell Oil sued 14 major environmental groups in Federal Court to stave off the "virtual certainty" of legal challenges to its right to harass or kill walruses and polar bears during its summertime Arctic drilling.
     Shell has sued environmental groups three times since February and received two protective injunctions. It sued on Feb. 29 to try to stop 13 environmental groups from launching "last-minute legal challenges" to its Arctic drilling, and claimed Greenpeace had illegally boarded Shell's Noble Discoverer vessel on Feb. 27 in protest.
     Shell sued the same environmental groups again, plus the World Wildlife Fund, on May 2, for a declaration that the Bureau of Ocean Management issued it valid Incidental Harassment Authorizations for marine mammals during exploration in the Chukchi Sea and Camden Bay, on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. Affected species include bowhead whales, gray whales, beluga whales, harbor porpoises, ringed seals, bearded seals, spotted seals and ribbon seals.
     Shell got protective injunctions on March 28 and May 29.
     One order established 500- to 1,000-meter "moving safety zones" around 19 of its vessels, including the Noble Discoverer and the Kulluk, when they are in transit within 12 miles from shore. The second order added Shell's Arctic, land-based, aviation facilities in the North Slope to the list of Shell's drilling vessels, with which Greenpeace and the environmentalists may not interfere.
     U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason agreed that Shell should be allowed to meet its contractual obligations without fear of imprisonment or injury, and issued the orders.
     Greenpeace has an interlocutory appeal of the initial preliminary injunction pending in the 9th Circuit, but precedent allowed Gleason to issue the orders to maintain the status quo.


Happy time for crude carriers

Invalid locations?
Seaborne oil trade will rise by 3.5 percent in 2015, against no change in the fleet,  83 very large crude carriers were bound for Chinese ports, at about 8:30 a.m. December 12in London. The ships would transport 166 million barrels, assuming standard cargoes, the largest number in data starting in October 2011. The cost of hiring the vessels surged to the highest in almost five years.   Part of the tanker freight-rate rally may be because of rising shipments from West Africa. Traders booked 33 cargoes of crude on VLCCs from the region this month, 43 percent more than a year earlier.

[October 29  Phantom Ships in the Northwest Passage]
To hide their crimes on the high-seas, hundreds of ships broadcast false identities by using transmitters taken from scrapped vessels on the black market and by typing in made-up ID numbers and hoping they don't arouse suspicion.    Fifteen percent of all ships transmitting fake identities are tankers, typically carrying oil or oil products.    Vessels smuggling oil shipments or other raw materials can lead to significant gaps in intelligence on supply and demand.    large shipping companies seeking to maintain market opaqueness, oil tankers circumventing international sanctions, and large oil producers concealing oil via floating storage in order to affect global oil prices. This group will likely be followed by far more ships seeking to conceal their information in the future.

The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

[May 9 2010 Sitting Ducks for pirates: idling tankers]

At least 15 VLCC crude carriers are idling in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Suez. The tankers can store a combined 30 million barrels of oil.

Traders store oil hoping to benefit from a so-called contango structure in futures markets, in which prompt prices are lower than contracts for later delivery. Traders can make money when the difference in prices is greater than the cost to charter the ship.

The contango between the front-month crude contract traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the second-month contract to the highest level since Dec. 15. Dirty products usually include crude oil and may include fuel oil.

The VLCC rate was $43,876 a day as of April 23, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. The rate has more than doubled this year. VLCCs can carry about 2 million barrels of oil.

Iran, OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer, added three supertankers to its fleet of vessels storing crude, matching a similar program in 2008 that helped freight rates to triple, ship tracking data show.

Two years ago, Iran used as many as 15 tankers for storage, constricting vessel supply and helping to more than triple freight rates in less than three months.

Iran is likely storing oil because of weakening demand as refineries across Asia, accounting for almost two-thirds of global demand for supertankers, carry out maintenance. National Iranian Tanker Co., which operates the supertankers, also has a laden suezmax tanker idling off Iran, ship-tracking data show. A suezmax can hold about 1 million barrels of oil.


Periscope near Royal Navy’s submarine base at Faslane, with Russian squadron?

Maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) from France, Canada and the U.S. conducted patrols in conjunction with British surface warships in the search for the submarine in late November and the first week of December, operating out of RAF Lossiemouth in northern Scotland.   The aircraft and supporting airlifters arriving around Nov. 26. The deployment appeared to end last December 6.

The incident began when a periscope was sighted in waters where U.K. and other submarines would normally surface as they head into or out of the Royal Navy’s submarine base at Faslane, home of the U.K.’s ballistic missile submarines.   On Nov. 28, the U.K. reported it was tracking four Russian warships passing through the Strait of Dover and into the English Channel heading out into the Atlantic. 

At the height of the operation, aircraft involved in the hunt included two U.S. Navy P-3 Orions, a single CP-140 Aurora from the Royal Canadian Air Force and a Dassault Atlantique 2 of the French navy. Also involved was one of the U.K.’s Raytheon Sentinel radar-reconnaissance aircraft.

[December 4 Russian squadron with Tank Landing ship Aleksandr Otrakovski enters the Mediterranean]
Russian sailors stand in formation in front of their Russian navy frigate Smolny at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, November 25, 2014. 
Russia’s Northern Fleet convoy of warships and auxiliary vessels led by large submarine chaser Severomorsk has entered the Mediterranean Sea through the Straits of Gibraltar, 

November 29 The Russian ships are transiting  the Channel
Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen, NATO's military spokesman, said the alliance was aware of the Russian ships' location.

"Our information indicates that the ships are transiting and have been delayed by weather conditions. They are not exercising in the Channel, as some Russian headlines would have us believe," he said.   German Chancellor Angela Merkel , on the eve of the November 30 Moldova elections warned Russia not to interfere in post-Soviet states, including Moldova.

Squadron includes BDK-55 Aleksandr Otrakovski BDK LST 775 Ropucha Northern 1977 121st Landing Bde   The Ropucha (toad), or Project 775 class Tank Landing ships are classified in the Russian Navy as "large landing craft" (Bol'shoy Desatnyy Korabl). They were built in Poland in the Stocznia Północna shipyards, in Gdansk. They are designed for beach landings and can carry a 450 ton cargo. The ships have both bow and stern doors for loading and unloading vehicles, and the 630 m² of vehicle deck stretches the length of the hull. Up to 25 armored personnel carriers can be embarked.The 28 ships of this type where commissioned from 1975 to 1991.

[November 28 Russian Navy  foray into Channel isn’t “alarming, it’s normal maritime traffic.”]
November 28, 2014 14:10 
At least four vessels led by the anti-submarine ship Severomorsk plan drills in the expanse of water separating England from continental Europe.

. NATO said the foray isn’t “alarming, it’s normal maritime traffic.”
 Severomorsk «Североморск» 30 December 1987 In service with the Russian Pacific Fleet.

The Udaloy class are generally considered the Soviet equivalent of the American Spruance class destroyers. There are variations in SAM and air search radar among units of the class. Based on the Krivak class, the emphasis on ASW left these ships with limited anti-surface and anti-air capabilities.

Russia’s currency USDRUB, +2.30%  on November 28 traded at 49.965 against the greenback, its weakest level ever..
 Bank of Russia on November 28 said it’s extending limits on currency swaps for the next two weeks in a move to discourage bets on a weaker ruble.
“When you combine the fundamentals that Russia is facing right now,” in the form of Western sanctions and the further fall in oil prices, “it’s going to limit how much [the central bank] can improve the value of the ruble,” said Jameel Ahmad, chief market analyst at FXTM

[February 25 2010 Marshal Shaposhnikov: Russian DDG to Somalia

On February 24, Russia's Pacific Fleet dispatched the large anti-submarine warship Marshal Shaposhnikov, a rescue tugboat and the Pechenga tanker to fight pirates off the Somali coast. 1155. Udaloy class (guided missile destroyer) Udaloy-7 +. 15.2.1986

D. (tons): 6,200-6,700 tons standard
8,200-8,900 tons full load
Speed (kts): 30
Dimensions (m): 163.0-164.0 meters long
19.3 meters beam
6.2-8.0 meters draft
M./Engine: COGAG: 2 M62 cruise gas turbines, 15,000 shp; 2 M8KF boost gas turbines, 45,000 shp; 2 shafts, 60,000 shp, 29.5 knots; 3'000 n.m/14 kts
Man./Crew: 296
2 x 4 SS-N-14 or SS-N-22 Sunburn (1155.1)
(R: 90 n.m; S: 2,5 mach)
8 x 8 Kinzhal (SA-N-9) Total: 64
(R: 8 n.m; S: 3 mach; r: 10-12'000 m)
2 SA Kortik
1 x 2 AK-130 DP (130 mm)
4 x 6 AK-630 gattl. AA
(6x30 mm; 6'000 rds/m/mount)
2 x 4/533 mm Total: 30
2 x 10 RBU-Udav ASW RL (R: 1'200 m)
Helicopter KA-32
Electronics: Radar: MR-700 Fregat-A/Top Plate 3-D air search, MR-320M Topaz-V/Strut Pair air/surf. search
Sonar: Zvezda-2 suite with MGK-345 Bronza/Ox Yoke bow mounted LF, Ox Tail LF VDS
Fire Control: 2 MR-360 Podkat/Cross Sword SA-N-9 SAM control, 2 3P37/Hot Flash SA-N-11 SAM control, Garpun-BAL SSM targeting
EW: Start-series suite with Wine Glass intercept, Bell Shroud intercept, Bell Squat jammer, 2 PK-2 decoy RL, 10 PK-10 decoy RL

Compare DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class


Liberian-flag mt Bareilly to load Kurd crude at Ceyhan for ENI via SOMO

[November 30]Eni has put the Bareilly on subs at Worldscale 245 for a Ceyhan-Mediterranean voyage with a November 28-30 laycan, and a source close to the deal confirmed the details.

Market sources said that the cargo is Kirkuk, a heavy sour crude produced from the fields in northern Iraq and exported through the Iraq-Turkey export pipeline to Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.

Vessel's name: Bareilly Last updated: Nov 07, 2014
Ex-name(s): ALDANA IMO number: 9299769
Flag: Liberia Call sign: A8KG7
Port of Registry: MONROVIA Summer DWT: 106061.00 MT
Type of vessel: Oil Tanker Built: Sep 07, 2005
Type of hull: Double Hull Owner: Porlock Maritime Company Limited
Class Society: Det Norske Veritas Operator: Columbia Shipmanagement (Deutschland) GmbH

[December 1]
Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO will sell its first cargoes out of the Turkish port of Ceyhan since March at the end of November after reaching a deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government last week, market sources said on Wednesday.

The oil will be a blend of Kurdish crudes, the sources said.

Italy’s Eni will load a cargo of about 600,000 barrels loading on Nov. 29 with Lukoil’s trading arm Litasco expected to pick up another, a regional shipping source and a trader said.

SOMO approached its clients following the deal with the KRG to see if they would be interested in buying the crude, traders said, at the official selling price for Iraq’s usual grade out of Ceyhan, Kirkuk. 


Second tanker to load crude at Eastern Libyan Marsa El Hariga

A second tanker would dock later on November 23 at the port located in Tobruk to load 600,000 barrels of oil, NOC spokesman Mohammad el-Harari said.

IMO: 9188764
MMSI: 255805270
Gross Tonnage: 22848
Summer DWT: 35407 t
Build: 1999
Tb Marine Shipmanagement
Hamburg, Germany

With the exception of fishing vessels, MADEIRA INTERNATIONAL REGISTER accepts the registration of all types of commercial vessels, including oil rig platforms, as well as commercial and pleasure yachts. 

Madeira’s Register also offers a very competitive tax regime, applicable to both vessels and shipping companies licensed within the legal framework of the International Business Centre of Madeira.

For the convenience of our clients, the process of provisional registration of a vessel in MAR may now be initiated on-line.
 the licence is deemed to be granted in favour of the company once the applicant furnishes proof of the formation and registration of such company.

previous ports
MISURATA [LY] (2014-11-05 18:28:00)
AUGUSTA [IT] (2014-11-14 19:48:00)

[November 10 Tobruk guards block tanker loading ]

A tanker had been waiting for three days to lift oil from Hariga, located in Tobruk, but the guards did not allow it to do so,. The port was only open for fuel imports and the exports of refinery products,   The protesters at Hariga were part of a state security oil force that has gone on strike over pay several times this year.

[July 3 2011 Captain X Kyriakou: last crude out of Tobruk, Libya]

Captain X Kyriakou, Suezmax tanker, MH-flag, was chartered from Athenian Sea Carriers Ltd. by Swiss-based trading house Vitol earlier in July and is now leaving a position off Sarroch, Sardinia on a course of 157° perhaps towards Suez. It had been seen off Marsa El Hariga near Tobruk and Benghazi in eastern Libya, the rebels' stronghold.

The ship can carry up to 1 million barrels but was only partially loaded. The oil was from storage tanks rather than being fresh barrels from oilfields.

The cargo is the second export from the rebels and it may be the last before Libyan production restarts.

Athenian Sea Carriers Ltd.
Minos Kyriakou (b. 1942) established in 1965 Athenian Tankers Inc., with two small tankers he already owned. He initially built his business on the transportation of vegetable oils. In 1976, he established two oil trading corporations, Bacoil International and Athenian Oil Trading Inc., which trade petroleum products worldwide. At the age of 38, Minos became the youngest member of the Lloyd's Register of Shipping Committee in London, which oversees some 60 committees.
In 1999 Minos Kyriakou expanded his activities by establishing Antenna Group, the leading media group in Greece and the Greek-speaking world. In 1997, Kyriakou took over the Panellinios athletics club. The club organizes the Athens Tsiklitiria international meeting; in 1999, Maurice Green ran the 100 m in 9"79 (world record). In 2002, the IAAF decided to include the Athens meeting among the seven meetings of the Super Grand Prix. Kyriakou is also President of the the Hellenic Olympic Committee

Ship Type: Tanker
Year Built: 2003
Length x Breadth: 274 m X 48 m
DeadWeight: 159113 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 12.7 / 7.4 knots
Flag: Marshall Is [MH]
Call Sign: V7FD6
IMO: 9269087, MMSI: 538001913


Russian sub: vessel, whatever it was, is gone

The Swedish military has called off its week-long search...
The vessel, whatever it was, is now believed to have left Sweden's territorial waters.

[October 23 NS Concord destined for original loading port, Primorsk

repairs to NS Concord?
'Still, no proven facts yet.
Except the behaviour of NS Concord... What did she do in S-Petersburg during her “repairs”?   Was it some kind of a special project?   It’s an aframax tanker, not a fishing vessel. Even a year ago I’d reject the story as absolutely absurd and impossible. Now, after Crimea annexation and war in Donbass, I can’t be so sure.'   Posted on October 20, 2014, 1:02 am Voytenko Mikhail

SCF October 20:'Tanker NS Concord owned by SCF Novoship...is presently chartered for transporting a cargo of oil from the port of Primorsk in Russia'   Primorsk is a coastal town near S-Petersburg and the largest Russian port on the Baltic.   2014-10-22 23:32 - Destination stated to be Primorsk.   Tanker is in Gulf of Finland.

22 OCTOBER 2014 KL: 10.34 'The Swedish Armed Forces has established a likelihood that foreign underwater activities are being conducted in the Stockholm archipelago. The Swedish Armed Forces' assessment is also based on a number of observations over the years in a specific area by the Kanholmsfjärden bay.
"I'm unable to comment on these observations in detail, but based on this pattern we can establish that this area is of interest to foreign powers",Rear admiral Anders Grenstad during a press briefing on October 21.

The Swedish Armed Forces has moved the operation area somewhat south but the scope of the operation remains the same.

Piranha-class (NATO reporting name Losos) 

Concord was spotted moving in a zigzag pattern in Swedish waters, as if in a search or rendezvous pattern,
“When the situation became more publicly known, NS Concord turned about and headed northeastwards towards Russian waters.

Concord was off the coast of Estonia and steaming in the direction of St. Petersburg, Russia as of October 21 pm, 

Russia has renewed its interest in midget submarines, including the Project 865 Piranha-class (NATO reporting name Losos) vessel, two of which have been based in the Baltic in the past. They are exceptionally quiet, stealthy, and with a low detection signature.   The submersible could be a Project 908 Triton II swimmer delivery vehicle (LSDV), a 6-ton craft capable of delivering six combat divers with a range of 60 nautical miles.

But as the search continues, the prospect of a Triton as the suspected craft is less likely given the sub’s 12-hour endurance.

[October 21.Russian sub: welcome back Domino]
Russia has renewed its interest in midget submarines, including the Project 865 Piranha-class (NATO reporting name Losos) vessel, two of which have been based in the Baltic in the past. They are exceptionally quiet, stealthy, and with a low detection signature.   The submersible could be a Project 908 Triton II swimmer delivery vehicle (LSDV), a 6-ton craft capable of delivering six combat divers with a range of 60 nautical miles.

But as the search continues, the prospect of a Triton as the suspected craft is less likely given the sub’s 12-hour endurance.

[October 21
From  Piranha-class (NATO reporting name Losos)  SDV / diver propulsion device
The military has asked civilian vessels to evacuate the area between Nattaro island and Danziger Gatt.

Radio Sweden P6. 20 oktober kl 10:23 :A Russian-owned oil tanker, the NS Concord, was reported to be sailing in circles in international water outside the archipelago.

[October 19]
from Thunderball

from Russia

Domino, we need you
Are the Russians testing out a prototype mini-submarine known as the Triton NN?
A  prototype underwent government testing in 2008. It is meant to combine the qualities of a speed boat and a submersile and might have been issued to navy special forces in Kaliningrad.  Former Triton models were so-called wet submarines, s completely water-filled craft that was technically easier to produce and are not as sensitive to the depth charges as they can not be compressed.   Speculation runs that NS Concord is outside the archipelago to relay radio traffic. Mini submarines underwater is quite poor communication capabilities.

[October 19 Russian research vessel seems headed for Russian sub]

 It was likely that a foreign power was undertaking “underwater activities” around the islands off the coast of Sweden’s capital city. a Russian research vessel equipped for underwater search operations was heading for Swedish waters. The ship, the Professor Logachev, has a stated destination of Las Palmas, but is currently in the Baltic to the south-west of Hangö in Finland. 

[earlier Liberian-flag NS Concord patrolling near damaged russian submarine ]

Sub? what sub?

NS Concord

Svenska Dagbladet claims
A distress signal in Russian preceded the submarine alert in the archipelago of Stockholm. When the military search operation started radio communication between a transmitter in the archipelago and a transmitter in Kaliningrad was detected. This indicates that there could be a damaged russian submarine in Swedish waters.

The Svenska Dagbladet daily reported that the Swedes had picked up an emergency message suggesting a Russian mini-submarine had run into trouble in Swedish waters and could be damaged.

But Russia’s Defense Ministry said Russian submarines and ships have been “fulfilling their tasks in the world’s oceans,” according to plan, Russian news agencies reported.

“There have been no emergencies or accidents with Russian military vessels,” an unnamed spokesman at the ministry was quoted as saying.

Anders Nordin from the Swedish Maritime Administration said a Russian-owned oil tanker, NS Concord, which had reportedly been circling near Swedish waters for days, started sailing in a northeasterly direction toward Russia on Sunday morning. But it suddenly turned around and headed back in the direction of Sweden, accordin g to Marine Traffic, a website which monitors vessels in the Baltic Sea.

Media reports said the movements of the Liberian-flagged tanker might be connected to the submarine search.

Crude Oil Tanker
IMO: 9299692
MMSI: 636012382
Call Sign: A8FD7
Flag: Liberia (LR)
AIS Type: Tanker
Gross Tonnage: 57248
Deadweight: 105902 t
Length × Breadth: 244m × 42.03m
Year Built: 2005
Status: Active

Flag: Liberia Signal Letters: A8FD7

Owner: Wyatt Marine Co GT (ITC 69): 57,248
(140058)   (LRF / Company identification no: 5210645) NT (ITC 69): 32,797
Manager: SCF Novoship Technical Management DWT: 109,919
(10133063)   (LRF / Company identification no: 5736481)
DocHolder: SCF Novoship Technical Management
(10133063)   (LRF / Company identification no: 5736481)
SCF Novoship Technical Management is the SCF Group`s new fleet technical manager. The company provides services to third-party ship-owners as well.

OAO Novoship owns one hundred percent of the new organisation’s authorised capital stock. OOO SCF Novoship Technical Management carries on the traditions of Novorossiysk Shipping Company in the field of high quality fleet management.

In December 2012, OAO Novoship`s board of directors took the decision to create a separate technical manager with the aim of unifying SCF Group activities and bringing Novoship’s company structure into line with SCF universal standards.

OOO SCF Novoship Technical Management employs 81 staff recruited from OAO Novoship`s former fleet management department. OAO Novoship remains in charge of crewing and all administrative functions, including both legal and accounting services.

On 1 July, 2013, OOO SCF Novoship Technical Management commenced operations in Novorossiysk, Russia.
    -  Today Novoship Group owns and operates 48 modern vessels aggregating more than 4.5 million deadweight tons.
     -  Novoship has one of the youngest fleets in the industry – the vessels are 8 years old on average.
     -  OOO SCF Novoship Technical Management operates the fleet of Novoship and a number of third-party vessels.
     -  The Company`s priorities include development of the Russian shipping industry, maintaining high safety standards, employing highly professional staff, and maximizing shareholders` value.
     -  Novoship is a major taxpayer both in Krasnodar region and the Russian Federation.
     -  Novoship Group employs nearly 4,000 seafarers and shore-based personnel.
     -  14 Russian subsidiaries are involved in marine and onshore businesses throughout the south of Russia.


MV Rena: Bay of Plenty boaties stay away!

11 Sep 2014: "MV Rena  operations are still under way, and they need to be able to work without other vessels getting in the way."
Bay of Plenty boaties are being reminded they aren't allowed near the Rena wreck after a spate of vessels breached the exclusion zone.
There have been 56 recorded breaches since the start of 2014 of the two nautical mile exclusion zone around the wreckage of the vessel, which ran aground on Astrolabe Reef near Tauranga in October 2011.

[April 2 2012 Rena: Interim Report -took a short cut to be on time]

An interim report on the Rena cargo ship grounding has revealed that the crew may have been taking a short cut which caused the incident.
The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission's report into the grounding of Rena on the Astrolabe Reef in October last year has stated that the crew were desperately trying to meet the deadline to reach port.
Several course changes were made in order to do this which resulted in the vessel trying to pass the reef at just 2km, as opposed to the recommended 4.8km.
After the grounding, the Rena leaked hundred of tonnes of fuel, in what has been called New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster. New Zealand’s government has estimated the cost of the clean up at NZ$130m.
Both the captain and the navigating officer have pleaded guilty to mishandling the vessel and then doctoring documents after the crash – they’re due to be sentenced on 25 May.
The commission's final report is due out next year.
So far it has been difficult to ascertain what can be learnt from the Rena disaster and what, if any, changes need to be made to safety regulations to prevent a similar incident happening again.

[October 15, 2011]There were claims today that the Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef because someone on board deliberately changed its course.

One expert 3 News spoke to said the ship used only one navigational aid - a beacon around 20 kilometres away, and never checked its own charts because if it had it would have been obvious it was on a collision course.

Marine accident specialist John Riding says the Rena is not there because of bad luck, but because of bad decision making.

Mr Riding believes a massive error in navigation means the course of the boat was deliberately changed long before it hit the Astrolabe.

He says about an hour from the port of Tauranga the Rena’s radar picked up a signal from the port's entry beacon.

It then changed course, slowly turning towards the beacon. The new route set a collision course with the reef.

“It appears to me that if he'd looked at the chart it would have been obvious what would happen,” says Mr Riding. “We are genuinely talking about the ‘ABCs’ of navigation, these are the basics that have gone wrong.”

All ships must eventually line up with the entry beacon where a pilot boards the ship to help guide it safely into the port.

3 news understands the Rena was meant to meet its pilot at 3.30am that morning. It hit the reef at 2.15, still on schedule to meet that deadline.

Port of Tauranga CEO Mark Carins says if ships miss their rendezvous time they simply do not come in to port.

“We won't risk the safety on that, so if they miss the window, they miss the window, and depending on the size of the ship they would have to wait for a few hours.”

But waiting at sea with a fully laden ship is expensive. Even the government is questioning whether the Rena was racing to get into Tauranga.

Environment Minister Nick Smith says it appears from the charts that they were in a rush to get to port.

“[They] went full bore, cut the corner and hit the reef and there's a proper inquiry that needs to take place to confirm that course of events.”

Mr Riding says every ship is under pressure to arrive on time, otherwise it costs money.

“The master's job is to make sure you do it safely. Every master has that on his shoulders.”