28.8.15

Iran: four laden tankers depart despite sanctions

MT Hedy


MT Nancy
MT Noble

MT Starla
HEDY 
(Ship name as reported by AIS: HUWAYZEH)
Crude Oil Tanker  Crude Oil Tanker
IMO:  9212888
MMSI:  256869000
Call Sign:  9HEJ9
Flag:  Malta (MT)
AIS Type:  Unspecified
Gross Tonnage:  160930
Deadweight:  299242 t
Length × Breadth:  333m × 58m
Year Built:  2002
Status:  Active
 NANCY
Crude Oil Tanker  Crude Oil Tanker
IMO:  9079107
MMSI:  677032300
Call Sign:  5IM423
Flag:  Tanzania (TZ)
AIS Type:  Tanker - Hazard C (Minor)
Gross Tonnage:  156809
Deadweight:  298732 t
Length × Breadth:  332m × 58m
Year Built:  1996
Status:  Active
NOBLE
Oil Products Tanker  Oil Products Tanker
  IMO:  9358280
MMSI:  205667000
Call Sign:  ONHZ
Flag:  Belgium (BE)
AIS Type:  Tanker
Gross Tonnage:  159911
Deadweight:  307284 t
Length × Breadth:  333m × 58m
Year Built:  2008
Status:  Active

 STARLA
Tanker  Tanker
IMO:  9569621
MMSI:  677021600
Call Sign:  5IM316
Flag:  Tanzania (TZ)
AIS Type:  Tanker
Gross Tonnage:  164796
Deadweight:  317475 t
Length × Breadth:  333m × 60m
Year Built:  2012
Status:  Active

[September 30 2014 Six months under an interim nuclear deal, sanctions regime remains strong]







The International Energy Agency, an independent group that analyzes energy markets for Western governments, estimates that Iran averaged about 1.1 million bpd of crude oil from February to June, which is in the range of the administration’s “around a million barrels per day.”   After six months under an interim nuclear deal, the sanctions regime remains strong and negotiations toward a final deal remain in progress. There are challenges for the P5+1 to face moving forward, but on balance the JPA has succeeded in preserving the leverage that sanctions provide while creating the political space for serious negotiations.

[June 1 Iran's crude oil exports increased in May: violation of the Joint Plan of Action ?]
Iran's crude oil exports increased in May after a decline in April, according to sources who track tanker movements, moving above the level allowed by November's interim deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear programme.

"More Iranian crude appears to be finding its way into markets in violation of the Joint Plan of Act;ion despite the Obama administration's commitment to Congress that it would keep a tight control over the oil lifeblood of the Iranian economy," said Mark Dubowitz, of U.S.-based independent think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"If this continues, it would be a clear violation of Iran's obligations under the JPOA, which binds Tehran to both nuclear and sanctions-related commitments."

There is no generally accepted figure for the oil exports of many producers, including Iran. Information takes time to filter out from opaque oil and shipping markets. Consumer countries, meanwhile, detail imports with a time lag or not at all.

[April 9]
The tanker market is still waiting for Iran's crude export cargoes to start flowing in the international scene at levels enough to make a difference, in terms of freight rates  
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said in January it is resuming crude oil delivery to Asian buyers in its own vessels as sanctions ease following the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. At the beginning of April 2014, half of the NITC VLCC fleet was either on its way to China or on the ballast voyage back to Iran. This includes two units, moving under new names, which had previously been storing in the Middle East and Gulf since the 3rd quarter last year. Two VLCCs are currently heading to Ulsan, with another three returning to Kharg Island.   
Iran’s January oil shipments to the Indian customer were 31 percent higher year on year. One VLCC and one Aframax both ballasting from India to the Gulf.  NITC movements into the Mediterranean reveal Suezmaxes to Turkey and an Aframax heading back to Iran from Syria. It should also be considered that the NITC fleet grew by 33% between September 2012 and July last year which has had a significant impact on Iran’s ability to export crude. 

Oiltanking Partners LP (NYSE:OILT) is a $3.17 billion market cap oil and gas midstream company engaged in the terminaling, storage and transportation of crude oil, refined petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas. Since the beginning of the year, several insiders have been buying its stock, which has already escalated more than 22%. Since  Oct. 2013, the price has risen 39%.

[February 15]
The rate for the benchmark Ras Tanura-Chiba route averaged Worldscale 63.5 or $46,107/day, while the Arabian Gulf-Singapore rate gained 1.8 points to W64.5. Reported fixtures show Singapore Petroleum Company agreed W67.5 to secure Dynacom's Boston as a replacement for Overseas Kilimanjaro, while Indian oil company Reliance agreed W72.5 for Overseas Equatorial. Brokers describe the market sentiment as steady to firm, after rates slidFerbruary 7 due to the Lunar New Year holidays in China.

Fixtures have been centered around late February and early March in the Arabian Gulf." Last month average earnings reached $61,630 a day their highest level since Feb 2010 before a rally lost steam. As refineries head into maintenance in Q2 rates may to move into more subdued territory although clearly recent months have highlighted the potential for upside. VLCC rates from the Gulf to the United States were at W33.08 on February 11 versus W31.12 on February 10 and W30.46 last February 4.

In contrast, Black Sea and Mediterranean crude tanker rates continued to weaken after rallying last month to their highest since 2008 as weather related disruptions in the Turkish Straits raised the cost of transporting cargoes. Rates for suezmax tankers on the Black Sea to Med route fell to W62.92 or $6,439 a day. That compared with W65.40 or $8,956 a day on February 10 and W79.56 or $21,792 a day February 4.

[December 2 2013]

Rates for VLCCs exceeded $50,000 in November, primarily on seasonal demand and strong exports from the Middle East, and December bookings indicate rates can be sustained over the short term.

 
[November 14]

  Rates for the largest oil-tankers surged as Chinese freight traders led an acceleration in Asian demand for the ships to load Middle East crude, sapping a fleet surplus that made the carriers unprofitable almost all year. A very large crude carrier built 16 years ago was hired today at about 13 percent more than yesterday’s prevailing prices, according to Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., an Athens-based owner. There hasn’t been a bigger one-day gain in 2013, according to data from the Baltic Exchange, a London-based publisher of freight costs on more than 50 trade routes. Rising demand has cut a capacity surplus to the smallest since June 4, according to weekly surveys by Bloomberg News. Increased bookings by Chinese buyers depleted the excess in the largest loading region, according to Halvor Ellefsen, a shipbroker at Galbraith’s Ltd. in London. VLCCs earned $5,598 a day on average this year, less than they need to cover running costs including crew and repairs, Baltic Exchange data show.hina, India, Japan and South Korea bought about 972,600 bpd of Iranian oil in the first half of 2013, down from the 1.235mn bpd in the same period last year.China plans to cut imports from Iran by 5%-10% in 2013 from 2012, meaning that it will have to slow purchases more in the second half to meet even the lower end of its stated goal.While sourcing oil from different suppliers and ensuring sufficient volumes may present Chinese refiners with a challenge, so far there doesn’t appear to be any financial cost to cutting volumes from Iran.
China paid about $99.97 a barrel for Iranian crude in June, according to customs data.
This was only slightly cheaper that the $100.46 a barrel average for all China’s purchases in June.
It’s also interesting to note that while China’s imports from Iran dropped 39% in June from a year earlier, shipments from Iraq soared 445%.
Iraqi volumes have gained 38% in the first six months and now exceed those supplied by Iran.
Iraqi oil is also cheaper than that supplied by Iran, with the Chinese paying $97.84 a barrel in June.
While their may be slight quality differences, it appears that China has been able to replace Iranian volumes with cheaper cargoes from Iraq.
 Iraq Oil Report July 23rd, 2013
Iran has signed an agreement to send 850 million standard cubic feet per day (scf/d) of natural gas through a pipeline into Iraq, fueling power stations to feed electricity-starved Iraqis and testing the U.S.'s sanctions regime.   This is while the construction of the “friendship” pipeline between Iran, Iraq and Syria has been under way since last year.
The pipeline will stretch from Assaluyeh, near the massive offshore South Pars Gas Field in southern Iran, and will continue into neighboring Iraq to feed Iraqi power plants running on gas. Iran, which sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, is making efforts to up its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, especially in South Pars Gas Field.



5/9/2013
  
Action Identifies Front Company and Vessels Attempting to Obscure Iranian Oil Deals Using Ship-to-Ship Transfers and Designates Iranian Bank
The Treasury Department said that Ferland Company Limited, which is based in both Cyprus and Ukraine, facilitated deceptive transactions for or on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC). The two entities conspired with Dimitris Cambis, a Greek businessman who has been previously identified as using his tankers to help Iran hide oil shipments in a scheme to sell Iranian crude oil deceptively.
The US on Friday identified eight petrochemical companies it says are owned or controlled by the government of Iran and are therefore subject to sanctions. The eight companies named as being owned or controlled by Iran include: Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company, Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical Company, Mobin Petrochemical Company, Nouri Petrochemical Company, Pars Petrochemical Company, Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company, Shazand Petrochemical Company, and Tabriz Petrochemical Company.

The two companies identified by the State Department as conducting petrochemical products transactions are Jam Petrochemical Company and Niksima Food and Beverage JLT.
[May 13]
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury is taking a number of actions today against Iranian attempts to circumvent international financial sanctions.  As part of the Treasury Department’s continuing vigilance against Iran’s efforts to use front companies and deceptive business practices to sell their oil on the international market, today Treasury identified Sambouk Shipping FZC as subject to sanctions under Executive Order (E.O.) 13599, which, among other things, targets the Government of Iran (GOI) and persons acting for or on behalf of the GOI.  Sambouk Shipping is tied to Dr. Dimitris Cambis who, along with a network of front companies, were sanctioned in March 2013 under E.O. 13599 and the Iran Threat Reduction Act and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (TRA) after the U.S. government uncovered Dr. Cambis’s scheme to evade international oil sanctions against Iran.  In an attempt to continue his scheme, Dr. Cambis is using the recently formed Sambouk Shipping to manage eight of the vessels that he operates on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).  These vessels have been used to execute ship-to-ship transfers of Iranian oil in the Persian Gulf.  These transfers are intended to facilitate deceptive sales of Iranian oil by obscuring the origin of that oil.

 Dimitris Cambis has been black-listed by U.S. Treasury, here 


- U.S. lawmakers will introduce a bill on February 27 that expands economic penalties against Iran and is designed to force countries like China to buy less Iranian crude oil

The legislation by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Republican Ed Royce of California and the panel's top Democrat Eliot Engel of New York builds on existing U.S. sanctions that have so far led to the devaluation of Iran's currency and slashed the country's main source of funding - oil revenues.
[February 26]

Glaros



 Leycothea

Nereyda

Ocean Nymph

Ocean Performer


Seagull

Ulysses I

Zap


Dimitris Cambis, President at Athene consulting house sa6, Vassilissis Sofias Ave. GR-10674 Athens, Greece +30 210 7263300 +30 210 7263399  ach@ach.gr who last year bought the ships - eight very large crude carriers, or VLCCs - to carry Middle East crude to Asia, flatly denied doing any business with Tehran or running clandestine shipments of its oil to China He denied his vessels have loaded oil from Iran while at anchor in the Gulf. Known as ship-to-ship transfers, or STS, such movements are hard to track as crews can switch off tracking beacons or not update their recorded positions for periods to conceal that one vessel has come alongside another.

25.8.15

Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig: 110 nautical miles east of the Vietnam coast




Maritime Safety Administration said that  Haiyang Shiyou 981 would continue drilling until October 20.   The rig’s intended coordinates put it roughly 110 nautical miles east of the Vietnam coast and 72 nautical miles south of the resort city of Sanya on China’s Hainan Island.



[March 3  its first overseas deepsea exploration well]

The $1-billion, semi-submersible giant drilling rig started drilling on Feb. 7 in a water depth of 1,721 metres, in.   The same drilling rig had previously drilled in waters claimed by both China and Vietnam in the South China Sea. "Haiyang Shiyou" literally means "offshore oil".
The well offshore Myanmar is targeting a depth of 5,000 metres from the surface of the sea.     China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) is chartering the rig and is the operator of the offshore oil block in the Andaman Sea.   Myanmar authorities awarded to CNPC in early 2007 three deepwater blocks AD-1, AD-6 and AD-8, with a total area of 10,000 square kilometres.

[July 18 2014 China's National Petroleum Corp moved the rig back into Chinese territory July 15]





China's National Petroleum Corp moved Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig back into Chinese territory July 15.


Kang Lin, of China's National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said a "good amount" of energy reserves with "huge commercial value" were found and he expected Chinese ships would return to the area near the disputed Paracel Islands - which China calls the Xisha Islands and Vietnam calls the Hoang Sa Islands - because signs of oil and gas were found.   Artificial islands that China had been building would be the base for logistics for further operations, Kang said.

The original three-month schedule was planned to allow for any impact from typhoons. But work had carried on without the need for any suspensions over the past two months.

The announcement came a day after Barack Obama had a phone call with President Xi Jinping . Last week, the US Senate passed a resolution calling on claimants in the disputed waters to freeze activities.
But there was no sign the moving of the rig was related to the phone call or the Senate resolution.   http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1555221/china-says-oil-rig-finishes-mission-waters-vietnam








[May 18]
Passenger ship "WU ZHI SHAN" leaves for Vietnam from Xiuying port in Haikou
Passenger ship "WU ZHI SHAN" leaves for Vietnam from Xiuying port in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, May 18, 2014.

China began on Sunday to send five ships to evacuate Chinese nationals caught in a deadly anti-China violence in Vietnam, the Ministry of Transport has said. "Wuzhishan" was the first ship leaving for Vietnam.


 Name of the ship WU ZHI SHAN
 Type of ship RO-RO/PASSENGER SHIP
   IMO number 9734458 MMSI 413523180
 Gross tonnage 10940 tons DWT 2073 tons Year of build 2013 Builder KOUAN SHIPBUILDING - TAIZHOU JIANGSU, CHINA
Flag CHINA
Home port HAINAN
Manager & owner STRAIT SHIPPING - HAINAN, CHINA

 China is sending five ships to evacuate Chinese nationals from Vietnam following a wave of anti-Chinese riots. The Chinese government has already evacuated more than 3,000 people, Chinese state-run media report


. [May 9]



During a visit to Hanoi May 8, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel urged both sides to "refrain from unilateral actions,” adding the global economy is "too fragile to brook the possibility of a crisis that could escalate into conflict." "Every country has the right to advocate for its position and for its claims to territorial sovereignty. However, the consistent position of the U.S. is that advocacy must be diplomatic and the means for advancing one's claims must be consistent with international law, including the U.N. convention on the law of the sea," Russel said. He said the onus is on China to define its claims in a manner that’s consistent with the convention. He said the Vietnamese officials with whom he discussed the issue accepted that the U.S. does not take a position on the relative merits of the sovereignty claims. [May 8]






 a notice issued by China's Maritime Safety Administration on May 3, which said the rig would be operating within a one-mile radius of 15-29.58N/111-12.06E for "South China Sea drilling work" from May 2 to August 15 this year.



In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters: "Given the recent history of tensions in the South China Sea, China's decision to operate its oil rig in disputed waters is provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region."
"These events point to the need for claimants to clarify their claims in accordance with international law, and reach an agreement ... about what types of activities should be permissible within disputed areas,"
The Vietnamese government and state-owned PetroVietnam have objected to drilling operations by China National Offshore Oil Corp. in the South China Sea, saying that a rig owned by the Chinese company is in Vietnamese waters. Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said Sunday that CNOOC's deepwater rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 had been dispatched into Vietnam's waters. "Any activity conducted by foreign countries in Vietnam?s waters without its permission is illegal and has no value," Binh said in a government statement. Binh's response was to a notice issued by China's Maritime Safety Administration on May 3, which said the rig would be operating within a one-mile radius of 15-29.58N/111-12.06E for "South China Sea drilling work" from May 2 to August 15 this year. Binh said the location identified in the notice was "totally within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, about 120 miles from its coast." The drilling area overlaps Vietnam's block 143 and is 119 miles off the Vietnamese central coast, PetroVietnam-run Petrotimes daily said in a report Sunday. The acreage is located near Vietnamese blocks 118, 119 and 144. The first two blocks were previously awarded to ExxonMobil and the third to Murphy Oil by PetroVietnam. PetroVietnam said it had sent a letter of protest to CNOOC and requested it to stop its operations and move the rig away from Vietnamese waters, according to the statement by the Vietnam government. What fun for the lawyers

Rough Google translation from Vietnamese of Petro Times 05.08.2014 
(PetroTimes) - In 2 days, 7 and 8/5, while the water is boiling so brazen act of hegemonic China is on some Internet forums, social networking appears the idea that: The drag China Sea rig 981 in Vietnam's actions can be explained. These people cite some knowledge from the International Convention on the beach to say: 1 - In waters 12 nautical miles from the baselines: This is the area we have "sovereignty" and "jurisdiction" while other states have "right through to no harm." That is their Chinese vessels wandering about, we do not have the right to expel, or prevent threats. They did not need to ask permission. Unless we discover they have these problems detrimental to our sovereignty then we execute "sovereign right" to chase them away. 2 - From territorial waters, widened to 188 nautical miles (or 200 nautical miles from the baseline) as its exclusive economic zone, the waters that we have sovereign rights to perform the operation. At the same time, Vietnam has jurisdiction to agree or disagree to exploit other countries. However, China is the freedom to ships, aircraft operating in the area can match the freedom of navigation and aviation. This information is the conclusion: The HD 981 make a journey "through" exclusive economic zone or on the 12 nautical mile territorial sea adjacent to the slopes of Vietnam is also acceptable provided that they are not threats or exploit natural resources in such waters. This idea also justify the huge floating rig 981 can be understood as a means of sea - so it's going to be normal. Rig 981. From this perspective, we can immediately see the false information they need adjustment. First: There is no Chinese drilling rig 981 in the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam a "carefree", happened to pass by without anything ploy. The first is the day 3/5, on the website of the China Customs Department has taken some 14 033 maritime warning about Oceanic 981 rigs (HD 981) "operation in the South China Sea". The warning said, from 2/5 to 15/8, 981 HD rig will coordinate activities at 150 29'N / 1110 12'E. Blocks all types of vehicles are not entering HD 981 active areas within a radius of 1 mile. In accordance with the coordinates on the HD 981 rig in Block 143 infringed on the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, Ly Son island 119 nautical miles (221km) south of the island and Tri Ton of pants Vietnam's Paracel island about 18 nautical miles. This area is entirely located in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam. As such, can not understand that China is the well-drilling "go through" the waters of Vietnam. That the purpose of exploration, exploitation and the ban was made clear. In this case, China has replaced the arrogant show host "sovereignty" and "jurisdiction". This is the first unruly. Notice no sail rig operating near 981 by the China Customs Bureau. Second: The Chinese ship carrying 38, including warships into the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam to protect the rig 981. This is not international waters or territorial sea of ​​China to this country have the right to ship with the aim of aggression on the ships of other countries. In this case, to take the waters with Vietnam to host aggression is even more impossible. This is totally contrary to the rights "movement is not harmful to the host country" in the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Third: It is the recognition means 981 as a mobile water (same ship) is the lack of awareness and actual machinery. In fact, the main General Maritime Corporation China Petroleum (CNOOC) announced drilling rig 981 is - there is no excuse that we must try to infer it is "ship". With all the preparation in terms of tactics, diplomacy, aggression ... China showed that this job really intentional and hegemonic ambitions. That those who have hegemonic ambitions often seek to go beyond the law. Let me explain some more information for you to read that China's actions are wrong about international law and is what Vietnam as well as international opinion is never acknowledged. So, the justification on a number of forums is not necessary and should cease immediately to avoid public confusion.



  A Chinese ship rams a Vietnamese ship in Vietnam’s water  


[April 2013]



China's first locally-built deepsea drilling rig has returned to work in a South China Sea gas field after almost two months of repairs, according to state-owned rig owner CNOOC.
The $1 billion rig Hai Yang Shi You (or Offshore Oil) 981 was being chartered by Canada's Husky Energy, which operates the Liwan project in the western part of South China Sea, a major offshore gas discovery, industry officials said.
"Leaks have been repaired and maintenance works finished. Offshore Oil 981 has returned to works at Liwan 3-1 gas field,"

[May 9 2012]
CNOOC has spudded its debut deep-water well.  Hai Yang Shi You - 981 or Marine Oil 981 has  been recently been moved into place 320 kilometers (or 198 miles) southeast of Hong Kong, at the northern end of the South China Sea and within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. Operations at the rig are slated to begin 

"For to be strengthened to safeguard the state sovereignty, the maritime law enforcement. Safe operation of the hole must be ensured as well. Following the conventions of maritime safety laws, a water of 500 meters will be marked out around the hole. A trip of foreign vessels, including fishing boats, are prohibited in this water. "


[April 19]China National Offshore Oil Corp, the country's biggest marine oil producer, signed a production-sharing contract on April 18 with Eni China BV for a deepwater block in the South China Sea.
Italy-based Eni will operate the 30/27 block, which has a total area of 5,130 square kilometers and lies 400 kilometers off the coast of Hong Kong.
Eni will conduct three-dimension seismic surveys and drill one exploration well in the block and cover all expenditures during the exploration period.
CNOOC will have up to a 51 percent interest in any commercial discoveries in the block.Since China's near-shore area offers very limited potential for further oil and gas exploration, it's imperative for the company to go to deepwater projects.
CNOOC is testing its first domestic semi-submersible drilling rig, the Haiyang Shiyou 981, which is capable of operating at a maximum water depth of 3,000 meters, as part of its ambitions to achieve deepwater output of 50 million tons of oil equivalent by 2020. more

20.8.15

Burger J: Fennica with capping stack to contain any potential spill, on site near Chukchi

Off Barrow Alaska
The drill rig Polar Pioneer has been at work at Burger J since July 30, but was prohibited from drilling to oil-bearing depths until the Fennica, a vessel carrying a capping stack to contain any potential spill, was on site, and it arrived at Burger J on Aug. 12.
 FENNICA
Tug/Supply Vessel  Tug/Supply Vessel
  Create notifications for this Vessel   Add to Fleet
IMO:  9043615
MMSI:  230245000
Call Sign:  OJAD
Flag:  Finland (FI)
AIS Type:  Other
Gross Tonnage:  9392
Deadweight:  1650 t
Length × Breadth:  116m × 26m
Year Built:  1993
Status:  Active

[May 15 Polar Pioneer , Marshall Is-flag , High Specification Semi-Submersible rig, for Chukchi
Transocean Polar Pioneer
Polar Pioneer is one of two drill rigs that Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell petroleum plans to use as it moves ahead with plans to use leased space at the Port of Seattle to load drilling rigs and other vessels with supplies and personnel. It is preparing to explore for oil this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast.

Activists expect a large turnout May 16, when a flotilla rally is scheduled against the Polar Pioneer’s presence in Seattle. Another big event is planned for May 18 near Terminal 5.   Kayaks May 14 threw an “unwelcome party”.The Port is leasing Terminal 5 to Foss under a two-year, $13 million agreement. Foss plans to load drilling equipment and supplies for the summer onto the Polar Pioneer and the Noble Discoverer, a 514-foot-long drill ship now docked in Everett.   "That rig is freaky big and scary,” a protester said.

[February 21 NOBLE DISCOVERER: Plans to drill in the Chukchi]
Shell has not given up on the Noble Discoverer or plans to drill in the Chukchi.
It has filed plans with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, calling for the Noble Discoverer and a second ship, Polar Pioneer, to drill as many as six wells.  The Noble Discoverer has been “ice strengthened,” claims the oil giant, with “state of the art drilling and well control equipment.”

Rig Name: Transocean Polar Pioneer
Rig Manager: Transocean Ltd.
Rig Owner: Transocean Ltd.
Competitive Rig: Yes
Rig Type: Semisub
Semisub Generation: 4
Rig Design: Hitachi Zosen Arctic
Rated Water Depth: 1,640 ft
Drilling Depth: 25,000 ft
rig photo
RIG CONTRACT & OPERATING STATUS
Operating Status: Drilling
Operator: Shell
 
RIG LOCATION
Region: N. America - US Alaska
Country: US
Classification: DNV
Rig Design: Hitachi Zosen Arctic
Shipyard: Japan
Delivery Year: 1985
Flag: Panama


[March 2 2012]

Noble Discoverer

Shipyard for arctic modifications



At mid-afternoon April 1, Royal Dutch Shell Oil's drillship  entered Elliott Bay enroute to Vigor Shipyards, where it is scheduled to undergo cold-weather modifications before departing for the Arctic. The ship has been granted permission by the EPA to drill exploration wells in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas, beginning this summer. Additional approvals are required before drilling can begin.

[May 15








On February 26 Lucy Lawless, the actress who played Xena, [--b. 1968, 2011 Hunted: The Demon's Forge (Video Game) Seraphine (voice)] and six other Greenpeace activists illegally boarded a drilling ship leased to Shell Oil off New Zealand's western shore.
Lawless and the other activists have "occupied" the drillship to prevent it from departing on a "6,000 nautical mile journey from New Zealand to the remote Arctic to start an exploratory oil drilling program that threatens to devastate the Alaskan coastline,"
NOBLE DISCOVERER
Length x Breadth: 156 m X 26 m
Gross Tonnage: 13485, DeadWeight: 15296 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 5.7 / 5.4 knots
Flag: Liberia [LR]
Call Sign: A8XM6
IMO: 6608608, MMSI: 636014934

Ex Names History
Vessel's Name Flag Call Sign Last Reported
NOBLE DISCOVERER Liberia A8XM6 2012-02-25 22:48
FRONTIER DISCOVERER Panama 3FUS2 2010-08-17 07:17
DISCOVERER 511 2001-08-29 00:00
OFFSTAR 1982-04-18 00:00
JESSICA 1973-12-31 00:00
MATSUSHIRO MARU 1971-12-31 00:00
Rig Data: Noble Discoverer
Rig Name: Noble Discoverer
Rig Manager: Noble Drilling
Rig Owner: Noble Drilling
Competitive Rig: Yes
Rig Type: Drillship
Drillship Type: Turret Moored
Rig Design: Sonat Discoverer Class Rated Water Depth: 2,500 ft
Drilling Depth: 20,000 ft

14.8.15

Hercules Offshore files for voluntary bankruptcy

Hercules Offshore files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to navigate weak crude oil market.Hercules said its net operating days in the United States declined by more than half year-on-year and the average day rate to lease a rig declined from $108,237 during second quarter 2014 to $92,538.

[July 27 2013 Hercules 265: fire out - natural gas leak, then fire]

The natural gas well blowout and fire earlier in the week that spread to a jackup, causing part it to collapse, has gone out. The chain of events began July 23 when Walter Oil & Gas’ A-3 natural gas well in South Timbalier 220, off the coast of Louisiana, suffered a gas leak, resulting in a blowout. That brought about the safe evacuation of 44 rig workers, James Noe, a vice-president with Hercules Offshore, owner of the rig, told Rigzone. The gas that continued to leak from the well ignited around 10:50 p.m. local time Tuesday and the fire spread to the rig, the Hercules 265 (250’ MC) jackup. Several hours later, the rig derrick collapsed and continued to burn, and Walter Oil & Gas began officials thought about drilling a relief well. Before the well owner had to make that decision, the natural flow of sand and sediment into the well bore plugged the well in a process known as “bridging over”. With the flow of natural gas cut off, the well fire soon burned out, and the fire on the rig was contained to the portion of the rig that had collapsed. That fire has since burned itself out, as well.  A portion of the Hercules 265 (250’ MC) jackup has collapsed after catching fire .

“Two firefighting vessels were in the area and re-located a safe distance from the fire. A third vessel equipped with fire-fighting capability and improved monitoring system is enroute and expected to arrive late morning. The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Pomano is standing by to assess the situation and enforce the security zone. The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is enroute and will arrive at approximately noon,” the BSEE said in a press statement.There was no fire as of evening at the site, about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico, but natural gas was spewing from the Hercules 265 drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. No injuries were reported in the midmorning blowout.   The fire started around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday evening, when natural gas leaking from the A-3 natural gas well at South Timbalier Block 220 ignited off the coast of Louisiana. The fire then spread to the Hercules jackup.   Hercules 265 is a 250′ mat-supported cantilevered jackup unit.

18.7.15

Egyptian Gunboat hit by a modified anti-tank missile



State of Sinai,  ISIS-affiliated militant group ,used a "guided missile" to target the ship near Rafah, on the border with Gaza.   It  could have used a modified anti-tank missile to strike the ship, which in the photographs of the attack does not appear to be far from the shore.

6.7.15

Greek shipowners not threatened by crisis

Peter Livanos, with a fortune estimated close to 3 billion Euros

The leading Greek shipping magnates are John Angelicoussis, George Prokopiou, Peter Livanos and George Economou. Between them, they own almost 400 vessels.
Shipping is a source of pride and jobs for Greeks. It is the one area in which they unquestionably lead the world: their country’s merchant fleet is the biggest on Earth. Directly and indirectly, it is reckoned to give work to almost 200,000 people.
But the shipping business also provokes resentment. Greece’s 1967 constitution stipulates that the industry should pay no tax on the international earnings it brings into the country. And it has little to fear from either the debt crisis or an exit from the euro.
It’s not really affecting us because we’re not Greek companies: we’re based abroad,” said a tanker owner who requested anonymity in view of the sensitivity of the situation. “The law allows us to have a ship registered in Liberia or Panama and an office in Greece. If everything collapses, we can leave the next day and establish in Cyprus or wherever.

Our business is done in US dollars and shipping companies don’t just have one account in one country,” he said. So, the current financial problems there will not have any impact on Greece’s ship owners.



[February 9 2011  Irene SL: Nikolas Lemos VLCC hijacked]







9285823 IRENE SL SVXS Crude Oil Tanker 319247 2004 Greece First Navigation Special Maritime Enterprises
350 nautical miles South East of Muscat with 266,000 tons of crude
Enesel S.A. is a ship-management company based in Athens, Greece, operating a diverse fleet of ultra-modern high specification tankers and bulk carriers.

Enesel S.A.’s history can be directly traced back over 150 years to c.1848, when Georgios C. Lemos (“Papa-Lemos”) acquired a small share in a sailing ship. Since then, The Group has had an active and strong presence in the shipping industry. Until the early 20th century its vessels were managed in Greece, with S.G. Livanos as their London representatives. In 1937 Lemos & Pateras Ltd. was set up in London. Nearly fifty years later, in 1983, N.S. Lemos & Co. Ltd., a continuation of Lemos & Pateras Ltd., was established by Captain Nikolas S. Lemos, to act as Agent for Avra Shipmanagement S.A. which was founded in the late 1950s, and subsequently for Sealuck Shipping Corporation, founded in 1993. Avra Shipmanagement S.A. and Sealuck Shipping Corporation were merged to create Enesel S.A. in 2003. During its long history, The Group has operated almost all types of dry cargo vessels, as well as container ships, multipurpose ships and OBOs, and has had a significant presence in most large crude carrier segments.

Enesel S.A. currently manages a modern and diverse fleet of five tankers - three VLCC and two aframax - and three supramax bulk carriers and also has three suezmax tankers on order. The average age of the current fleet is 3.75 years. All existing vessels, as well as ships on order, are constructed to the highest international standards in first-class shipyards. The entire fleet is chartered to high profile charterers and operators on both a voyage and time-charter basis.

5.6.15

floating storage: low crude steep contango


50 million barrels of crude were added to floating storage globally since January,   According to Iranian officials, the country's approximate 50 million barrels stored at sea is mostly condensate and fuel oil, and not crude as some traders fear.   Ccondensate condenses out of the natural  gas if the temperature is reduced to below the hydrocarbon dew point temperature of the raw gas.   Due to the steep contango in the forward curve, the investors best positioned to execute on a long oil trade are those who have the capacity to buy a few thousand barrels of oil, store it in their backyard, and sell it in a few months.  For everyone else, be prepared to pay handsomely for that storage.

[June 5 The fading contango: tankers used for floating storage.freed up as oil unloaded]
Physical oil is coming under pressure as trade houses unwind a profitable storage play after several months that saw them holding millions of barrels on tankers at sea.  Charterers made fresh efforts to get rates below the psychological mark of w60 Worldscale rates for VLCCs on the Persian Gulf to East routes, The key PG-Japan rate was assessed unchanged at w59.. The market is very volatile and if there are one or two replacement or date sensitive cargoes, they push up the rates,


[earlier]


Freight rates for dirty tankers in the East of Suez market have gone up sharply to hit their highest level so far in 2015 lately, amid strong demand to move crude and fuel oil and spike in interest for floating storage.   The long waiting time in Basrah for ships to load and delays in discharging at South Korea and China due to logistics and weather issues also reduced tonnage supply, contributing to firming rates.

[May 13 ]
More VLCCss were being used for storage over the last four – six weeks.   A third of the vessels taken on time charter earlier in the year are now used for floating storage. Most of these are in the Arabian Gulf, but there also some in Singapore, West Africa and the Mediterranean.

[April 24 tankers for crude storage]
Invalid locations?
As much as 90 percent of global oil storage capacity is “captive,” or controlled by major producers such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc or Chevron Corp. That means only a small part of land-based oil storage is available for independent traders to lease to exploit the market contango, which has prevailed since July.


Some of the world’s largest oil traders have moved to secure floating storage in tankers to take advantage of the market contango. Vitol, Koch Industries Inc., Shell and Trafigura Beheer BV, have booked tankers that could be used to store crude at sea for one-year charters, The last time the oil market moved into a significant contango during the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, traders stored 100 million barrels at sea.

[December 12 2014 ]
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.