30.8.14

Has Gregory Callimanopulos-controlled Marine Management Services STS lightered MT United Kalavrvta ?

The vessel`s AIS is back. The United Kalavryta is too large for the Houston Ship Channel, so it is anchored in an area where such vessels transfer their cargo to smaller ones in a process called lightering. The Coast Guard requires ships to file notice before lightering occurs, but the United Kalavryta had filed no such notice as of Thursday afternoon,


United Kalavrvta is managed by Gregory Callimanopulos-controlled Marine Management Services (MMS), which is the same company managing three suezmax tankers that have been involved in lifting Iraqi Kurdish oil from Ceyhan.
A Coast Guard official said that the vessel might have turned off its beacon in the Gulf of Mexico, which it is not supposed to do,  
or it was possible the ship had traveled outside the range of the U.S. Coastguard antennas which would account for it vanishing from the AIS ship-tracking system. 
Where did that $100 million worth of crude go?

[August 19 M.T. United Kalavrvta free to discharge KRG oil at Galveston [but stay tuned]]
Aug 26, 2014 12:01 AM ET   A U.S. judge threw out a court order that would have required federal agents to seize and hold the cargo for the Iraqi Oil Ministry until a court there decided which government owns it.   “Kurdistan’s unauthorized export of oil over land -– and later overseas –- may violate Iraqi law, but it does not violate U.S. maritime law,” Miller said.

Miller threw out a seizure order issued July 28 by a Houston magistrate judge, who questioned U.S. jurisdiction in the matter while agreeing to store the cargo onshore at Iraq’s expense as the debate continued in that nation’s Supreme Court.

M.T. United Kalavrvta intended to discharge its cargo into smaller vessels for delivery at the Texan port of Galveston.

August 19 MT Kamari: from Ceyhan sts United Carrier to Omisalj, $350 million for KRG
MT United Carrier has departed Omisalj




MT Kamari [below]has again loaded crude at Ceyhan, sailing to Malta where it executed a ship-to-ship transfer to a smaller vessel called the United Carrier.

The vessel is managed by Greece-based Marine Management Services, the same company that runs the Suezmax tankers lifting Kurdish oil.

The United Carrier discharged at  Omisalj for Croatia's refineries, which are partly-owned by Hungary's Mol Group, a company that has invested in oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Croatian government owns the 100,000 barrel per day INA refining company jointly with Mol Group.

Based on international prices above $100 a barrel, total Kurdish crude sales from Ceyhan would total around $350 million, even if some tankers have been slightly discounted,  the fourth major sale of Kurdish crude.

"A tanker with 80,000 cubic metres of crude oil arrived at the Omisalj terminal and it should be unloaded on August 17". 
The Hungarian oil company, MOL Group, is listed as the buyer of the shipment.

[August 15 U.S. supports Kurds against ISIS,  ISIS oil selling but not KRG?]



A senior Turkish official has asked the U.S. to allow importers to buy KRG oil as  the US carries out air strikes against Isis in support of the Kurdistan Regional Government, even as officials in Washington discourage international purchases of Kurdish oil for fear such a trade could further fragment the Iraqi state.
“This is urgent: Isis is now selling its oil, but the Kurds are not allowed to sell their oil,”, referring to oilfields captured by the jihadist group in eastern Syria and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
He claimed Isis was selling cut-price oil to the Syrian government – there are also allegations of widespread oil smuggling from the jihadist-controlled region, notably to Turkey itself – and compared those sales with the legal obstacles faced by KRG exports.
This week, Axeon, a US-based refiner said it would not proceed with a Kurdish buy because it was “controversial” – the latest in a series of rebuffs for tankers circling the globe with shipments of Kurdish oil.



[August 11]




Phoenix An


M / T Phoenix  An has departed Ceyhan, Turkey with crude oil from northern Iraq to international markets.   M / T Phoenix An, Manager: Ancora Investment Trust Inc.,  carries 260 thousand barrels of crude oil, according to Information received from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.    Thus, 6 ships are carrying Iraqi oil to international markets.
Meanwhile, the flow of oil from northern Iraq to Ceyhan started again. 2.6 million barrels of storage capacity at Ceyhan have been full and  the flow of oil cut , butb pumping was resumed on August 3. 

Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources reports that 75 thousand barrels per day are being received, northern Iraq's oil exports continuing despite all adversities. Legal steps taken by the Iraqi government and the United States oppose the sale of oil by KRG.


IMO: 9299496 MMSI: 229357000 Call Sign: 9HA3264 Flag : Malta (MT) AIS Type: Tanker Gross Tonnage: 24,048 DeadWeight: 38512 Length x Breadth: 27.4m 182.78mx Year Built: 2005


Flag: Malta
Port: VALLETTA
Owner: Phoenix An Shipping Limited GT (ITC 69): 24,048
(10125886)   NT (ITC 69): 11,096
Manager: Ancora Investment Trust Inc. DWT: 38,512
(190761)   (LRF / Company identification no: 1359648)
DocHolder: Unknown
(194737)   (LRF / Company identification no: 000000)
Yard: Guangzhou Shipyard International Co. Ltd. (102545) Year of Build: 2005
Type: 101 - Tanker for Oil Sister Vessels
Rule regime: Ship
Vessel shape: Monohull ship

Richard A. Barone founded Ancora in 2001 shortly after The Maxus Investment Group (which he established in 1973) was sold to Fifth Third Bank.

Theodoros Kottaridis, Chief operating Officer, ANCORA INVESTMENT TRUST INC

Richard A. Barone was President and CEO of Maxus Investment Group.  His career as a leader in the investment industry spans a period of more than 30 years.  As a Founder of Maxus Investment Group in 1973, he presides over one of the oldest and largest privately held investment advisory and securities brokerage firms in the Midwest.  In addition to his investment management responsibilities to institutional and high net worth clients, Mr. Barone is also the Manager of the Maxus Income Fund, the Maxus Equity Fund, and the Maxus Aggressive Value Fund.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in Economics and has undertaken graduate studies at both Georgetown and Northwestern Universities

[August 11]



Heidmar currently has around 100 tankers in its pools. It is 49% owned by Russia's Rosneft






MT Kamari


MT Kamari, left Ceyhan on August 1 and was heading for Egypt’s Port Said.   It is carrying one million barrels of KRG crude oil.

Crude oil tanker
IMO: 9399492
MMSI: 240829000
Call Sign: SVAL3
Flag: Greece (GR)
AIS Type: Tanker
Gross Tonnage: 83545
DeadWeight: 156853
Length x Breadth: 274.5m x 48.04m
Year Built: 2009
Status: Active
Owner: Lilium Owning Company Limited
Operator: TMS Tankers Ltd
Former name(s):
- Kamari I (Until 2013 May)
- Kamari (Until 2012 Feb)
- Genmar Gulf (Until 2011 Feb)
- Crudegulf (Until 2003 May)
- Landsort (Until 1997 Oct)
Company Name Lilium Owning Co Ltd
Company Name Full Lilium Owning Co Ltd
Activity Owner, Manager
Addressc/o Heidmar Inc, 20, Glover Avenue, Norwalk CT 06850-1219, USA [Connecticut-based Heidmar currently has around 100 tankers in its pools. It is 49% owned byRussia's Rosneft, 49% owned by George Economou-controlled Shipping Pool Investors, and 2% owned by Heidmar management. ]
Town Norwalk CT
Country United States of America
Postal Code 06850-1219

[August 3  United Emblem STS transfer under MARINE MANAGEMENT SERVICES M.C.operator]
MT United Emblem, which is carrying more than 1 million barrels of oil, is one of three tankers loaded with oil from the autonomous Kurdish region, which is trying to sell oil independently. United Emblem – still holed up in the South China Sea off Malaysia – has managed to offload part of its cargo on to another tanker. The ship-to-ship transfer is a ploy also used by other countries, such as Iran in an effort to disguise the origin of crude, with moderate success. A senior executive at Marine Management Services confirmed the ship-to-ship transfer involving the United Emblem took place in a "legitimate operation". The ship is "fixed to a legitimate charterer and performing legitimate operations," said Kostas Georgopoulos, the chartering manager at Marine Management Services. "The ship is still in international waters," he added MARINE MANAGEMENT SERVICES M.C.

MMS took over personnel, premises and business of Trade & Transport Inc which was established back in 1960. T&T Inc and subsequently MMS, have ever since been providing management of tankers, bulkers and combination carriers including handysize bulkers, panamax bulkers, capsize vessels, panamax tankers, aframax tankers, suezmax tankers and VLCCs.


MMS has expertise in managing vessel operations, inspecting second-hand vessels for purchase, fleet maintenance, repairs and new building supervision.


Company Name: TALMAY TRADING DMCC
Address: Dubai - Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC)
POBox: 
Telephone Number: 04-3915043
Fax Number: 04-3611077
E-mail: johan@sbsuae.com
Website: 
Business Activity: Energy
Talmay has offices here



A U.S. court has ordered U.S. Marshals to seize a $100 million cargo of Kurdish oil on a tanker off the coast of Galveston, Texas, if it is brought ashore, adding a new twist to the long-standing dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government over oil sales.

In a complaint filed with a Texas court Monday, Iraq's ministry of oil accused the KRG of illegally producing and exporting the oil onboard the United Kalavrvta and secured a court order to seize the oil should it come to shore. The complaint didn't include a request to seize the tanker itself, which is too large to enter the Houston shipping channel and unload its cargo directly.

In a further blow to the KRG, the company hired to deliver oil from the United Kalavrvta to the U.S. shore, AET Offshore Services Inc., also filed a complaint Monday, seeking to clarify its legal position and relieve it from its obligations to lift the oil until the dispute over its ownership has been resolved.

"AET hasn't engaged in any lightering operations with this cargo and there's no intention to do so pending clarification from the court," a company spokesman said.

The court filings also revealed the biggest clue yet as to the potential identity of the oil's buyer, revealing that British Virgin Islands-registered Talmay Trading Inc. had chartered AET's services. However, it is unclear whether Talmay was indeed the final buyer or acting as a middleman.

[July 28 United Kalavrvta at Galveston from Ceyhan with KRG crude]
A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was anchored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, on July 27, a delivery that has infuriated Baghdad, which has threatened to sue anyone who buys the black gold.  

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker United Kalavrvta sailed from the Turkish port of Ceyhan on June 23.   The United Kalavrvta spent a week hovering off the coast of Malta before striking across the Atlantic toward the U.S. Its final buyer is still unknown. 

The ship carries approximately 1 million barrels of crude, which would fetch more than $100 million at international prices. It must undergo a routine safety inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard on before it can unload its cargo, an official said.    
Washington has pressured companies and governments not to buy crude from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), but it has stopped short of banning U.S. firms from buying it outright.   A second ship - the United Leadership - is still waiting off the coast of Mohammedia, Morocco and a third tanker - the United Emblem - is sailing to Malaysia.

IMO: 9290397
Name: UNITED KALAVRVTA
MMSI: 538005501
Type: CRUDE OIL TANKER
Gross Tonnage: 81076 t
Summer DWT: 159156 t
Build: 2005
Flag: MARSHALL ISLANDS Owner: UNITED KALAVRYTA INC. Operator: Marine Management Services M.C.

[June 27]

2014-06-27 12:18 Tanker VALFOGLIA IMO: 9417309 MMSI: 247235700 Call Sign: ICLM Flag: Italy (IT) Type: Crude oil tanker Gross Tonnage: 60185 DeadWeight: 109060 Length x Breadth: 243m x 42.08m Year Built: 2009 Latitude / Longitude: 35.85376 / 30.82469 Speed/Course: 11.5kn / 271° [June 25]


PANAGIA ARMATA
 Malta Tanker
IMO: 9180126
MMSI: 229637000
Call Sign: 9HA3472
Flag: Malta (MT)
Type: Oil products tanker
Gross Tonnage: 53074
DeadWeight: 98774
Length x Breadth: 248m x 43.34m
Year Built: 1998
Status: Active 

Info Received:(2014-06-25 12:19)
Area: Mediterranean
Latitude / Longitude: 35.31068 / 29.7328
Speed/Course: 13.5kn / 257°
Last Known Port: CEYHAN [TR] (2014-06-24 13:21:00)

Kurdish authorities have continued floating tankers carrying their crude from Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan uninterrupted. Three tankers have sailed since May 22, and  a fourth tanker started loading June 22. While the first tanker is still idling off Morocco to discharge its load, the second cargo was delivered over the weekend to the Israeli port of Ashkelon, managed by Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co.
The first tanker, the United Leadership, is still lingering off the Moroccan coast after it attempted to deliver oil to the North African country's Mohammedia refinery at the start of this month. The government told the vessel, laden with 1 million barrels of oil, to vacate its waters pending a final decision.
ERBIL, Iraq—The semiautonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq received $106 million for the first million barrels of oil it piped to Turkey and shipped to international markets, a steep discount compared to regional alternative sour grades.   The oil was sold at about a $13 per barrel discount when taking the current level of benchmark dated Brent, whereas Urals has been at a discount of $1.50 to $3/barrel this month.   The grade is a mix of Kurdistan's Tawke and Taq Taq grades and is expected to change over time as the first loadings from storage were mixed with some residue of Iraq's Kirkuk grade.
Buyers of oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, deposited $93 million of the $97 million owed on the first tanker of crude at Turkiye Halk Bankasi  



[June 22]

 Liberia flagged tanker SCF Altai

“The KRG categorically refutes the claim that it has sold oil to Israel,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Natural Resources said in an e-mail. “The KRG has not sold oil either directly or indirectly to such a destination.”

The spokesman did not comment on questions asking who the KRG had sold the oil to, or how crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan had been delivered to Israel.



[June 20]
mt SCF Altai arrived at Israel's Ashkelon port early onJ
une 20 ship tracking and industry sources said. By the evening, the tanker began unloading the Kurdish oil, a source at the port said.


[June 19]
Two more tankers will load Kurdish oil at Ceyhan by June 22.    Kurdish exports may double to as much as 250,000 barrels a day next month


On May 22, mt United Leadership filled with the disputed oil left the Ceyhan terminal with 1 million barrels for Europe.Then it appeared to be bound for the Americas, as a concerted Iraqi government effort to block its passage led to the tanker turning around on May 30 after getting almost 200 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The tanker moored about 5 miles off Mohammedia port in Morocco on June 3.    With this much oil now flowing onto the international market from Kurdistan, with Turkey’s help, sooner or later it will find buyers.   Turkey sees Kurdish crude oil exports through its Mediterranean port of Ceyhan as “entirely legitimate” and will continue as long as oil is sold. The next shipment is scheduled for June 22.


[June 18]
After two days of waiting on the coast of Malta, United Emblem transferred its cargo [1.045mn barrels of crude] to the Liberia flagged tanker SCF Altai which headed for the Israeli Port Ashkelon.   
A third tanker carrying KRG oil stored in Ceyhan would transport oil for sale on the international market on June 22. On a daily basis 120,000 barrels of Kurdish oil flow to Ceyhan via the pipeline without interruption. Last December the KRG administration completed construction of the Taq Taq-Khurmala-Fish Khabur pipeline that connects the Taq Taq oil field to the entry point for the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. Since then Kurdish oil exports have continued uninterrupted in a pipeline capable of sending a maximum of 300,000 barrels of oil per day to Turkey.
KRG oil exports from the port of Ceyhan began on May 23. The first tanker, United Leadership, which left the Turkish port in May, is currently positioned off the coast of Morocco. However the second tanker, United Emblem, sailed to Ceyhan yesterday afternoon.

Name: Scf Altai
IMO: 9224439
Flag: Liberia
MMSI: 636011490
Callsign: ELZP3
Gross tonnage: 81,085 tons
Summer DWT: 159,417 tons
Length: 273 m
Beam: 48 m
Draught: 17 m


While the fate of oil in the first two tankers is not yet clear, Irbil-based Kurdish news portal Rudaw reported on June 15 that Kurdish oil, the sale of which was impeded by Baghdad and Washington, has been sold to buyers in Austria and India.






United Leadership


United Emblem



At the time of writing, the cargo vessel United Leadership was moored in the Mediterranean, laden with 1 million barrels of oil taken from storage tanks at the Turkish port of Ceyhan. 

Kurds have now shipped a second crude cargo.   The United Emblem loaded 1.045mn barrels of crude at Ceyhan, Turkey, on June 9. The vessel is currently in international waters near Morocco.

  Baghdad says the semiautonomous northern Iraqi enclave of Kurdistan can't legally export its crude without going through the federal government in Baghdad. The Kurdistan Regional Government, meanwhile, has repeatedly challenged that position and in late December started piping oil from Kurdistan to Turkey for eventual export by tanker. Late last month, the KRG announced the departure of the United Leadership from the Turkish port of Ceyhan, marking it as a milestone for its nascent oil industry.

Baghdad immediately threatened to take legal action against anyone who bought the shipment. Since then, it has remained unclear who bought the cargo, where it was headed and whether any government would allow for it to be unloaded amid Iraq's threats.   Iraq  surpassed Iran in 2012 to become second in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.   The main pipeline is from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, Turkey

The seizure of Iraq’s second-largest city by militants from a breakaway al-Qaeda group is hobbling the effort to fix its main pipeline for crude exports and boost output at one of its biggest oilfields.   Plans to pump more oil at Kirkuk with help from foreign partners such as BP Plc will be put on hold while the violence . The field is Iraq’s fourth-largest, with 8.9 billion barrels in estimated reserves.  It has been producing since the 1920s and currently pumps about 270,000 b/d.    
Growth in Iraq’s output has helped underpin OPEC’s supply to global markets as fighting in Libya has curbed production in the North African country and international sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program have cut that nation’s exports.   Fighting in the northern city of Mosul forced a halt in repairs to the main pipeline from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Shipments through the pipeline, a frequent target of sabotage, have stopped since March 2.

13.8.14

Northern Iraq airstrikess from CVN 77 - F/A-18 Super Hornets are recovered aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

F/A-18 Super Hornets are recovered aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) while underway in the Arabian Gulf. Bush is operating in the Arabian Gulf on a scheduled deployment to U.S. 5th Fleet. The president has authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct military operations in support of humanitarian aid deliveries and targeted airstrikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and interests, in response to activities conducted by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. (RELEASED) ARABIAN Gulf (Aug. 8, 2014)

U.S. air assets taking part in the campaign include Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles, Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons and General Atomics MQ-1 Predators. The Navy is participating with Boeing F/A-18 Hornets flying off the deck of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).

7.8.14

HMS Enterprise,- survey vessel, has evacuated another 93 individuals from Libya.

KAROL WOJTYLA supplying bunkers to HMS ENTERPRISE H 88 whilst berthed at the Grand Harbour, Malta -

The HMS Enterprise, the British Royal Navy survey vessel, has evacuated another 93 individuals from Libya.  The ship carrying mostly Brits, as well as Irish, Danes and Norwegians, arrived in Malta on August 6..

HMS Enterprise (H88)
Echo and Enterprise are the first Royal Navy ships to be fitted with azimuth thrusters. Both azimuth thrusters and the bow thruster can be controlled through the integrated navigation system by a joystick providing high manoeuvrability. Complete control and monitoring for power generation and propulsion, together with all auxiliary plant systems, tank gauging and damage control functions is provided through the integrated platform management system (IPMS), accessible through workstations around the ship.

[April 20 2011 Britain moves; RN RFA to Libya- marines, helos]









British Foreign Secretary William Hague said an experienced team of about a dozen British military advisers would help rebels work on organization, logistics and communications.

Hague said the advisers would not take part in any fighting, nor train or arm the opposition. He said the group would expand the work of British diplomats already in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
France is joining Britain in sending military advisers to Libya to help rebel forces.

A spokesman for the French government announced the move April 12 as French President Nicolas Sarkozy prepared to meet the head of Libya's rebels, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, in Paris.

Italy has now joined France and Britain is sending military advisers to assist rebel forces in Libya.

Maurizio Massari, a spokesman for the Italian Foreign Ministry, said Rome will dispatch military instructors to train the rebels in self-defense tactics.

THE THREE British navy ships carrying hundreds of Royal Marines to Cyprus for training are in no way linked to operations in Libya, said a British bases spokeswoman yesterday.

A report in The Times of London yesterday quoted the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) saying that a flotilla of British vessels and 600 Royal Marines would be deployed to Cyprus for amphibious exercises within the next two weeks.

The report triggered speculation that the UK was planning land operations in Libya, which was yesterday quashed by British bases spokeswoman, Connie Pierce, who said: “This is not linked to Libya at all.”

A taskforce of about 600 Royal Marines and at least six ships has left for the region, massively enhancing the UK's military strength there.

The Trafalgar- class submarine HMS Turbulence, and Type-22 frigate, HMS Cumberland – both Devonport-based – are already stationed in the Med off Libya.
Yesterday, The Sunday Times reported that Britain was sending a "taskforce" of marines and naval ships to Libya this week on a "humanitarian" mission.

The aim of the mission was to deliver emergency medical and food supplies to rebel-held towns, it said. The taskforce would include up to 600 marines from Taunton-based 40 Commando to protect ports where humanitarian supplies would be unloaded.

The newspaper said the ships, including the Devonport-based assault ship HMS Albion, were due to leave Plymouth either today or tomorrow, initially for Gibraltar. The marines will fly out to Gibraltar this week, it said.

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary William Hague denied the report, insisting they were actually "preparing for an exercise elsewhere".

Despite Mr Hague's denials, a taskforce of ships – including Albion – is due to sail for the Med shortly.

The assault ship is part of the Royal Navy's Responsive Force Task Group, which is deploying this month on Operation Cougar, the first phase of which will run in the Mediterranean until June. Also due to take part are HMS Ocean, RFA Cardigan Bay, RFA Mounts Bay, RFA Fort Rosalie, RFA Wave Knight and RFA Argus.

Five support teams from the new Maritime Aviation Support Force at RNAS Culdrose are also being deployed.

The long-planned operation will mean a significant British military resource will shortly be passing by the Libyan coast. Ocean's primary role is to carry marines supported by 12 medium support helicopters and six attack helicopters. As a landing platform, Albion is also able to embark and deploy troops and equipment by sea and air.

The use of commandos inside Libya, even as part of a humanitarian mission, would increase concerns over mission creep. The greatest need for humanitarian aid is in the rebel-held city of Misrata where fighting continues. Doctors in the city, 130 miles east of Tripoli, say at least 200 people have been killed there and 1,500 wounded. more read

Libyan-flagged Anwaar Libya,Nine million litres of petrol for Tripoli

mt Anwaar Libya
London, 7 August 2014:
Libyan-flagged Anwaar Libya, arrived in the capital at midday on August 6. It had left Misrata on Sunday. Nine million litres of petrol arrived in Tripoli by ship to address crippling fuel shortages that have paralysed the capital for a month.

Vessel's name: Anwaar Libya          Last updated: Jul 11, 2014
Ex-name(s): Maersk Rye                IMO number: 9275256
Flag: Libya                                     Call sign: 5AMV
Port of Registry: Tripoli                  Summer DWT: 34656 MT
Type of vessel: Oil Tanker              Built: May 20, 2004
Type of hull: Double Hull                Owner: Libyan Sea Carrier Ltd
Class Society: Lloyds Register       Operator: General National Maritime Transport Company


[March 23 Morning Glory arrives in Tripoli]


Morning Glory, North Korean flag
The Morning Glory is seen at the Tripoli port, March 23, 2014.

The oil tanker Morning Glory has docked back in the capital Tripoli. Libyan soldiers removed the crew on a small boat where they huddled in the open in the back on their way to Tripoli port. "They will be referred to the relevant judicial authorities," said Lieutenant Colonel Salim ash-Shwirf, standing on the tanker.


Morning Glory was being escorted by the USS Stout, a guided-missile destroyer, and 25 U.S. sailors were embarked aboard the tanker, overseeing the crew and detaining the three Libyan rebels who had taken control.

[March 20]






 The governments of Libya and Cyprus had requested American assistance in apprehending the tanker. President Obama authorized the operations just after 10 p.m.March 16 in Washington.

Within 10 minutes — before dawn March 17 over the Mediterranean — the SEALs launched their boats from the Roosevelt, a guided-missile destroyer, which also provided backup support from a shipboard helicopter.

Quickly fanning out across the Morning Glory, the SEALs captured and disarmed the three Libyans described by the tanker’s crew as hijackers. The mission was complete within two hours of boarding.

The official said the three Libyans would be in United States custody until the tanker returned to Libya, in about four days.
[March 15]The Cyprus authorities are questioning three individuals who allegedly approached the tanker which is suspected of transporting stolen quantities of oil from the rebel-held port of Sidra in Libya. 
The Attorney General of Cyprus and investigators are looking into the activities of the three, who hired a local boat from Larnaca and approached the ‘Morning Glory’ that is lying east off the coast of the island, with the intent of buying the estimated 32,000 tonnes of crude on board. 
The Cyprus Foreign Ministry said it received a request by the government of Libya on March 11 to assist in the return of the stolen amount of oil from the port of Sidra. 
The tanker did not request to moor in a Cypriot port and reports earlier on March 15 said it changed its course in a southeasterly direction in international waters.
[Earlier]A team of U.S. Navy SEALs boarded and took control of an oil tanker seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans, the Pentagon announced this morning.
The action, in international waters near Cyprus, was taken at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, the Pentagon said, adding that no one was hurt.   The SEAL team embarked and operated from the guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80). USS Roosevelt provided helicopter support and served as a command and control and support platform for the other members of the force assigned to conduct the mission.

[March 15]
234,000 barrels of crude @ $109.00 might be usd 25. 5 MILLION

North Korea's Shipping Registry disowned the tanker Morning Glory. It said its dealings with Alexandria, Egypt-based Golden East Logistics Company were null and void.   That company said it had just handled the now dishonored registry negotiations and did not own the company.

[March 12 ]




The bizarre tale of the North Korean-flagged oil tanker that has been trying to escape the clutches of Libya's fragile central government has prompted days ofconflicting news coverage, precipitated the fall of the country's prime minister, and underscored the continued threat posed by its patchwork of heavily armed militias. But the tangled saga also raises a more basic question: Why on earth would a North Korean-flagged ship risk being bombed "into scrap," as one official threatened, in order to load up on Libyan crude?


It's a question that has puzzled North Korea watchers, and prompted some to speculate about deteriorating commercial relations with China or even Pyongyang's desire to shore up its energy resources ahead of a possible rocket test. Others viewed the episode as a predictable outgrowth of North Korea's growing energy needs -- and lack of scruples when it comes to bargain hunting.


"It signifies how much risk North Korea is willing to take," said John Park, a North Korea specialist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, who emphasized that nothing can be said for certain in the absence of more information about the tanker. "The risk is much higher than just paying a Chinese broker and then shipping oil a shorter distance."


China is North Korea's primary trading partner and the supplier of as much as 90 percent of its energy. But several recent provocations have strained the relationship, from Pyongyang conductingits third nuclear test in Feb. 2013 to its missiles fired in early March that came dangerously close to a China Southern passenger jet.


Little is known about the vessel at the heart of the current standoff, the Morning Glory, beyond that it was previously flagged in Liberia. Libya's National Oil Company hassaid that it belongs to Saudi Arabia, but few experts think the ship is flying the North Korean flag of convenience (if anything, flying the Hermit Kingdom's flag all but insures surveillance and inspection.) Saudi Arabia has issued a statement denying government ownership of the vessel, and some experts believe that it could belong to Pyongyang.


"It just implies that there is a strong DPRK interest in this," said Hazel Smith, a professor of Korean studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Britain. Smith also emphasized that she was speculating with very little information. "My guess is that the ownership [of the ship] has been transferred to the DPRK recently, so the record may not have caught up with it yet."


It is also possible that a North Korean trading company is leasing a Saudi Arabian ship. "Anything much bigger than 37,000 tons would be too expensive for DPRK," said Smith. "They don't have big tankers that can carry large amounts of oil, but they can lease them, of course."


Other experts have expressed doubt about direct North Korean involvement, suggesting that the Morning Glory's crew most likely planned to sell the stolen oil on the black market. The idea that Pyongyang would attempt to purchase crude owned by Waha Oil, a joint venture between Libya's National Oil Company and Hess, Marathon, and ConocoPhillips struck some as far-fetched because of its potential to antagonize Washington. 

Mar 11, 2014 19:01:08 GMT Morning Glory, which is carrying a cargo of  Sidra [ Es Sider] crude loaded by rebels who are in control of the port in eastern Libya.   A member of the Libyan General National Congress, the country's highest political authority,says the vessel had slipped its escort.  The oil tanker took advantage of poor weather conditions to head for the open sea. The ships that were surrounding it were not in a position to follow,   The Morning Glory docked at Sidra oil export terminal in the east of the country on March 8. Sidra is one three oil ports that have been under the control of federalists under the control of Inbrahim Jadhran.   The vessel allegedly loaded 230,000 barrels of oil.   Italians deny intercepting, they say.

30.7.14

Ocean Maritime Management Company sanctioned for smuggling arms on Chong Chon Gang, North Korean ship seized



U.S. Treasury Department  announced July 30 it was imposing sanctions on the Chongchongang Shipping Company, which owned the ship. It also sanctioned Ocean Maritime Management Company, which allegedly provided the ship's captain and crew with instructions to conceal the weapons and provide false documentation


[February 15 Chong Chon Gang:departs Panama for Cuba]
Chong Chon Gang, North Korean ship seized with undeclared Cuban weapons on board is returning to Cuba, says the Panamanian government.Panama's Foreign Ministry said the ship set off on February 15.




[July 31 2013]


About 25 percent of the sugar has been removed so far. Officials have found most of the weapons Havana said were on board, including the two fighter jets, originally produced by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s, and two missile radar systems.

Investigators have gone through most of two storage houses in the 155-meter (510 foot) vessel, but three more warehouses remain.
Pentagon had long since written off the island as a military threat.
Since Cuba's military doctrine was designed to deter any attack, it needs to maintain the arms it has, he added.
'Cuba cannot afford to buy anything newer and does not have repair facilities of its own for such needs,' he said.
'Thus if it is not to scrap, for example, the aircraft entirely, it must repair and potentially update them in some areas.'
In early July, a top North Korean general, Kim Kyok Sik, visited Cuba and met counterparts on the island.


[July 22]







PANAMA CITY, Panama — Panamanian authorities have found two Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter jets aboard Chong Chon Gang, a North Korea-flagged ship seized this month as it tried to pass through the Panama Canal after departing from Cuba.


[July 18]
Arms smuggler?




Another old North Korean freighter, the 390-foot O Un Chong Nyon Ho, had made the same trip last year without attracting suspicion, passing through the Panama Canal and calling at the same two Cuban ports.


The two freighters were among five North Korean cargo vessels that had traversed the Panama Canal since 2010, underscoring the rarity of North Korean shipping in the area.


It was not known what cargo the O Un Chong Nyon Ho might have carried to or from Cuba in 2012 but it made the same Cuban port calls as its impounded sister vessel, stopping first in Havana for a few days in May 2012, then visiting Puerto Padre, a major sugar export point, for five days, then returning to Havana for a stopover of about three weeks before heading home.

O UN CHONG NYON HO IMO: 8330815

Description:
Port of registry: Chongjin (North Korea) 
IMO: 8330815 
Call sign: HMAD 
Ex-names: - - - - 
Type/class: General cargo 
Built by: Chongjin Shipyard - Huichon (North Korea) in 1983 
DWT: 9,913 
Home port: Chongjin
Class society: Korean Shipping Register
Build year: 1983
Builder*: Chongjin Shipyard
Huichon, North Korea
Owner: Ocean Maritime Management
Pyongyang, North Korea
Manager: Ocean Maritime Management
Pyongyang, North Korea



North Korea is also known to be seeking to evade sanctions and get spare parts for its own weapons systems, particularly Mig jet fighters. That raises the possibility that in lieu of cash, Cuba was paying for the repairs with a mix of sugar and jet equipment, experts said.

“We think it is credible that they could be sending some of these systems for repair and upgrade work,” said Neil Ashdown, an analyst for IHS Jane’s Intelligence. “But equally there is stuff in that shipment that could be used in North Korea and not be going back.Panamanian authorities said it might take a week to search the ship, since so far they have only examined two of its five container sections.

[July 17]

On July 17, Cuba, one of North Korea's few allies, claimed the shipment as its own, with the foreign ministry listing 240 metric tons of "obsolete defensive weapons," including two anti-aircraft missile systems, as being on board.
There were also "nine missiles in parts and spares," various Mig-21 aircraft parts and 15 plane motors, "all of it manufactured in the mid-20th century" and "to be repaired and returned to Cuba."
"The agreements subscribed by Cuba in this field are supported by the need to maintain our defensive capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty," the ministry said in an English-language statement.   Analysts in Seoul said the North, which successfully launched a long-range rocket to put a satellite into orbit last December, was fully capable of providing missile repair services for other countries.
"But we cannot rule out the possibility of North Korea importing parts for its own Soviet-era missiles", Shin In-Kyun, president of the private Korea Defence Network

[July 16]



Chong Chon Gang IMO: 7937317



SNR-75 fire control radar

The Chong Chon Gang was tracked leaving Vostochnyy, Russia on April 12, according to Lloyd's List Intelligence, a maritime intelligence company. It was next registered arriving in Balboa, on the Panama Canal's Pacific side, on May 31, and crossed the waterway the next day with a stated destination of Havana, Cuba.

It then disappeared from the tracking system and reappeared in Manzanillo, Panama, on July 11, according to shipping data obtained by research group IHS Maritime. IHS said there were indications it had changed cargo in the interim.

IHS Jane, a global analytics firm, said it had identified the equipment shown in the images as an SNR-75 'Fan Song' fire control radar for the SA-2 family of surface-to-air missiles.


[earlier]

Listen to the full report in the following audio.

 


Hidden in sugar
Panamanian authorities have seized a North Korean-flagged ship traveling from Cuba that was carrying “undeclared military cargo," Panama's president, Ricardo Martinelli, said late Monday night.It retained a ship in the Port of Manzanillo in Columbus with military equipment from Cuba, North Korea flag  President Ricardo Martinelli said : "The ship brought sugar, removing the first litter found military equipment, the captain committed suicide, and the crew refused to cooperate. "
The seizure reportedly took place last Friday afternoon when Panamanian security forces boarded the Chong Chon Gang IMO: 7937317, as it prepared to enter the Panama Canal, apparently on its way to North Korea.
Vessel's Details
Ship Type: Cargo
Year Built: 1977
Length x Breadth: 155 m X 20 m
Gross Tonnage: 9147, DeadWeight: 13990 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 6 / 5.5 knots
Flag: DPR Korea [KP]
Call Sign: HMZF
IMO: 7937317, MMSI: 445114000
Last Position Received
Area: Panama Canal
Latitude / Longitude: 9.3700° / -79.8846° (Map)
Speed/Course 0 knots / 207˚
Last Known Port: MANZANILLO
Info Received: 2d 3h 41min ago (AIS Source: 98)
Not Currently in Range
Itineraries History
Voyage Related Info (Last Received)
Draught: 8.9 m
Destination: PANAMA
ETA: 2013-07-09 17:30
Info Received: 2013-07-14 06:56 (2d, 3h 41min ago)

EU sanctions to allow French sale to Moscow of two "Mistral" class warships

Majed and Randy
In a rare five-way teleconference on Monday evening, the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and the US discussed some key principles, such as only targeting future contracts. This would allow existing deals, like the French sale to Moscow of two "Mistral" class warships or the hundreds of existing British delivery permits, to go ahead.   
 Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera met with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Tokyo and “expressed strong concern” about France’s continued plan to sell helicopter carriers to Russia, given the potential impact it could have on East Asian security. Onodera used almost uncharacteristically strong language, saying “‘Strong concern’, in a sense, means we want them to stop the deal,” and that “the world is highly concerned about Ukraine and we are worried about the recent military buildup in Russia’s Far East. If the ship is deployed to its namesake, that would be something that makes the whole world concerned.”
Onodera is concerned about the helicopter carrier being “deployed to its namesake” in Vladivostok. Japan is also possibly worried about a strategic shift on the part of Russia to East Asia. This type of hardware in the eastern theater would at least indicate a shift in Russian tactical capability, as well as signal its intent to focus on East Asia, where it finds itself less encumbered by hostile neighbors and more readily able to do business with countries like North Korea, which is looking to balance against its over dependence on China, or China, which has no strategic interest in seeing the U.S. emboldened in East Asia by an isolated Russia. While both Japan and the U.S. have substantial military assets, a strategic shift east by Russia could potentially change the regional power balance, especially if ties with China continue to warm.
Details of further European sanctions were scheduled to be published in full on Wednesday. 


[ July 25 EU drafting stepped up sanctions against defense trade]
European Union ambassadors reached a preliminary deal July 25 on stepped-up sanctions against Russia,trade in the defense sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.

earlier:
Official Journal of the European Union

L 183/9

COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 692/2014

of 23 June 2014

concerning restrictions on the import into the Union of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol, in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 215 thereof,
Having regard to Council Decision 2014/386/CFSP (1) concerning restrictions on goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol, in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol,
Having regard to the joint proposal of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and of the European Commission,
Whereas:
(1)
At its meeting of 20-21 March 2014, the European Council strongly condemned the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (‘Crimea’) and the city of Sevastopol (‘Sevastopol’) to the Russian Federation and emphasised that it will not recognise the annexation. The European Council asked the Commission to evaluate the legal consequences of that annexation and to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions regarding Crimea for rapid implementation.
(2)
In its Resolution of 27 March 2014, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, underscoring the invalidity of the referendum held in Crimea on 16 March, and called upon all States not to recognise any alterations in the status of Crimea and of Sevastopol.
(3)
On 23 June 2014, the Council adopted Decision 2014/386/CFSP concerning restrictions on goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol and on the provision, directly or indirectly, of financing or financial assistance, as well as insurance and reinsurance, related to the import of such goods, in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. In order to minimise the effect of such restrictive measures on economic operators, exceptions and transitional periods should be provided for in respect of trade in goods and related services for which transactions are required by a trade contract or ancillary contract, subject to a notification procedure.
(4)
These measures fall within the scope of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and, therefore, notably with a view to ensuring their uniform application in all Member States, regulatory action at the level of the Union is necessary in order to implement them.
(5)
In order to ensure that the measures provided for in this Regulation are effective, it should enter into force on the day following that of its publication,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:
(a)
‘claim’ means any claim, whether asserted by legal proceedings or not, made before or after 25 June 2014, under or in connection with a contract or transaction, and includes in particular:
(i)
a claim for performance of any obligation arising under or in connection with a contract or transaction;
(ii)
a claim for extension or payment of a bond, financial guarantee or indemnity of whatever form;
(iii)
a claim for compensation in respect of a contract or transaction;
(iv)
a counterclaim;
(v)
a claim for the recognition or enforcement, including by the procedure of exequatur, of a judgment, an arbitration award or an equivalent decision, wherever made or given;
(b)
‘contract or transaction’ means any transaction of whatever form, whatever the applicable law, and whether comprising one or more contracts or similar obligations made between the same or different parties; for this purpose ‘contract’ includes a bond, guarantee or indemnity, particularly a financial guarantee or financial indemnity, and credit, whether legally independent or not, as well as any related provision arising under, or in connection with, the transaction;
(c)
‘goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol’ means goods which are wholly obtained in Crimea or in Sevastopol or which have undergone their last substantial transformation there, in accordance, mutatis mutandis, with Articles 23 and 24 of Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code (2);
(d)
‘territory of the Union’ means the territories of the Member States to which the Treaty is applicable, under the conditions laid down in the Treaty, including their airspace.
(e)
‘competent authorities’ means the competent authorities of the Member States as identified on the websites listed in the Annex.
Article 2

It shall be prohibited:
(a)
to import into the European Union goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol;
(b)
to provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance as well as insurance and reinsurance related to the import of the goods referred to in point (a).
Article 3

The prohibitions in Article 2 shall not apply in respect of:
(a)
the execution until 26 September 2014, of trade contracts concluded before 25 June 2014, or of ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts, provided that the natural or legal persons, entity or body seeking to perform the contract have notified, at least 10 working days in advance, the activity or transaction to the competent authority of the Member State in which they are established.
(b)
goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol which have been made available to the Ukrainian authorities for examination, for which compliance with the conditions conferring entitlement to preferential origin has been verified in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 (3) or in accordance with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
Article 4

It shall be prohibited to participate, knowingly and intentionally, in activities the object or effect of which is to circumvent the prohibitions laid down in Article 2.
Article 5

Actions by natural or legal persons, entities or bodies shall not give rise to any liability of any kind on their part if they did not know, and had no reasonable cause to suspect, that their actions would infringe the measures set out in this Regulation.
Article 6

1.   No claims in connection with any contract or transaction the performance of which has been affected, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the measures imposed under this Regulation, including claims for indemnity or any other claim of this type, such as a claim for compensation or a claim under a guarantee, particularly a claim for extension or payment of a bond, guarantee or indemnity, particularly a financial guarantee or financial indemnity, of whatever form, shall be satisfied, if they are made by:
(a)
designated natural or legal persons, entities or bodies listed in Annex I to Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014;
(b)
any natural or legal person, entity or body acting through or on behalf of one of the persons, entities or bodies referred to in point (a);
(c)
any natural or legal person, entity or body which has been found by an arbitral, judicial or administrative decision to have infringed the prohibitions set out in this Regulation;
(d)
any natural or legal person, entity or body, if the claim relates to goods the import of which is prohibited under Article 2.
2.   In any proceedings for the enforcement of a claim, the onus of proving that satisfying the claim is not prohibited by paragraph 1 shall be on the natural or legal person, entity or body seeking the enforcement of that claim.
3.   This Article is without prejudice to the right of natural or legal persons, entities or bodies referred to in paragraph 1 to judicial review of the legality of the non-performance of contractual obligations in accordance with this Regulation.
Article 7

1.   The Commission and the Member States shall inform each other of the measures taken under this Regulation and share any other relevant information at their disposal in connection with this Regulation, in particular information in respect of violation and enforcement problems and judgments handed down by national courts.
2.   The Member States shall immediately inform each other and the Commission of any other relevant information at their disposal which might affect the effective implementation of this Regulation.
Article 8

1.   Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
2.   Member States shall notify the rules referred to in paragraph 1 to the Commission without delay after the entry into force of this Regulation and shall notify it of any subsequent amendment.
Article 9

1.   Member States shall designate the competent authorities referred to in this Regulation and identify them on the websites listed in the Annex. Member States shall notify the Commission of any changes in the addresses of their websites listed in the Annex.
2.   Member States shall notify the Commission of their competent authorities, including the contact details of those competent authorities, without delay after the entry into force of this Regulation, and shall notify it of any subsequent amendment.
3.   Where this Regulation sets out a requirement to notify, inform or otherwise communicate with the Commission, the address and other contact details to be used for such communication shall be those indicated in the Annex.
Article 10

This Regulation shall apply:
(a)
within the territory of the Union, including its airspace;
(b)
on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State;
(c)
to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State;
(d)
to any legal person, entity or body, inside or outside the territory of the Union, which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State;
(e)
to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union.
Article 11

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Luxembourg, 23 June 2014.
For the Council
The President
C. ASHTON
On 4 July 2014, the EU published an amendment, adding the wording underlined below to Article 3(b) of Regulation 692/2014, thereby clarifying the scope of this exception:

"The prohibitions…shall not apply in respect of:… goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol which have been made available to the Ukrainian authorities for examination, for which compliance with the conditions conferring entitlement to preferential origin has been verified and for which a certificate of origin has been issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 (2) or in accordance with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement."

UKBIS has clarified that this means that goods from Crimea/ Sevastopol which are accompanied by a valid certificate of origin from a Ukrainian authority may be imported into the EU. There is no separate requirement that the goods be presented to the Ukrainian authorities for inspection.

EUR1 and GSP certificates issued by the Crimean Chamber of Commerce or its branches, or the Sevastopol Chamber of Commerce will not meet the requirements of Art 3(b).




February 3 2012

Chariot: SVG-flag arms ship heading to Levant?
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said an embargo on arms supplies to Syria is out of the question – along with any resolution that could threaten to aggravate conflict in the country.

Churkin, speaking to journalists via video link, spoke out strongly against a possible arms embargo on Syria, citing some countries' refusal to condemn the armed groups operating there, and the continued risk of weapons supplies reaching these groups despite any ban.

THE Syrian port of Tartus is Russia’s only military base outside the old Soviet Union.Russia's dilemma is that too much support for Mr Assad risks a future regime booting it out of Tartus, which is valued by Russian spooks and electronic snoopers. But too little may mean defeat for an old ally.

The Iranian embassy in Ankara denied on January 12 that four trucks seized by Turkish customs were carrying military equipment from Iran to Syria. The trucks were confiscated on January 10 in Turkey's southeast province of Kilis at the Öncüpınar border crossing into Syria.

EU legislation
In response to the violent repression by Syrian government forces, the EU orignally imposed sanctions on Syria which came into force with immediate effect on 10 May 2011. The sanctions were originally detailed in Council Decision 2011/273/CFSP (published in the Official Journal of the European Union L121, 10.4.2011, p11) and Council Regulation (EU) No 442/2011 (published in the Official Journal of the European Union, L121, 10.4.2011, p1), now repealed.

These sanctions have since been consolidated and updated by new restrictive measures announced in Council Decision 2011/782/CFSP (published in the Official Journal of the European Union L319, 2.12.2011, p56). This Decision came into force on 1 December 2011. The EU have also subsequently published implementing legislation in Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012. This Regulation specifies items that are prohibited in relevant annexes.

The measures include an arms embargo, an asset freeze and a travel ban against specified individuals. They also include a prohibition on internet and telephone communications items and oil and gas goods and technology. Chariot earlier
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