10.5.16

Big Oil drop $2.5 billion in drilling rights rent for U.S. Acrtic, Norway seeks Big Oil for Barents Sea

Off Barrow Alaska


After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery. The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to slash spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska. The U.S. Arctic is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, but energy companies have struggled to tap resources buried below icy waters at the top of the globe. Shell last year ended a nearly $8 billion, mishap-marred quest for Arctic crude after disappointing results from a test well in the Chukchi Sea. Shell.

Norway is opening more of the Barents Sea off its northern tip to oil explorers as it seeks to boost national crude production that’s dropped by half since 2000. The government plans to award licenses before the summer in the Barents Sea Southeast, an area disputed by Russia until a 2010 border agreement, which includes the northernmost blocks ever offered by Norway. It’s attracted interest from international explorers just as other parts of the Arctic, such as Alaska and Greenland, are relinquished amid a collapse in oil prices

[September 29 2015 Noble Discoverer: The Hillary thing ]
Royal Dutch Shell's abrupt announcement that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it's now abandoning. More significant than the immediate environmental activism is Shell's concern about who will oversee Arctic regulation come January 2017. In August, Hillary Clinton made her first major break with President Obama over the environment, announcing that she opposed Arctic drilling. "Given what we know, it's not worth the risk," Clinton said on Twitter. Despite the candidate's current struggle to shake off primary foe Senator Bernie Sanders, Shell may fear that a Clinton presidency would doom its chancy northern exploration.
it continues to hold 275 Outer Continental lease blocks. Indeed, Marvin Odum, director of Shell Upstream Americas, said in the written statement that the company "continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the U.S."

[September 2 Noble Discoverer disconnected in the Chukchi Sea
Noble Discoverer semisubmersible has been disconnected  from its anchors in the Chukchi Sea by Shell after weather temporary put a halt to its Arctic operations over the weekend.   Shell had received approval at the end of July to only drill into the top sections of the Burger J and Burger V wells,    Shell was prohibited from conducting simultaneous drilling activity at Burger J and Burger V. Shell must plug and abandon the top section of the first well before proceeding with any drilling activity at the second well site.   read   and   more




[August 20 Burger J: Fennica with capping stack to contain any potential spill, on site near Chukchi]
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

6.5.16

Red Line: new Chinese construction on Scarborough Shoal off Subic Bay



Filipino military experts increasingly use the term “red line” to discuss the prospect of new Chinese construction on Scarborough Shoal. They refer to it as the “last straw” and worry that China plans to turn the area into a military base.   This year, the Philippines moved forward with the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, which allows the U.S. military to build facilities at five Philippine bases and will likely mean more hardware at Subic Bay, which is now technically a commercial, not a military port.   at the South China Morning Post on April 25, Minnie Chan reported that according to “a source close to the PLA Navy”:
China will start reclamation at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea later this year and may add an airstrip to extend its air force’s reach over the contested waters…A measure of confirmation of these external signals was provided by the distribution on Sohu’s military channel of an article by the popular Xinhua tabloid “Reference News” (Cankao Xiaoxi) citing the SCMP report.


[February 15 U.S. and Japan plan united front against Beijing's maritime projects, ]

Romulan starfleet Cabbage class cruiser

U.S.  7th Fleet commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin. said he had a “greater fear” about other actors, “whether it’s coast guard or what we refer to as white shipping or cabbage ships, not sure about their professionalism.”

China Coast Guard vessel No. 31239 sails in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in this handout photo taken and released by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard December 22, 2015.
The United States and Japan plan to hold a meeting of coast guard commanders and their Australian and Philippine counterparts in order to build a unified front against Beijing's maritime projects,
20  miles northwest of the Senkaku Islands,, Chinese vessels equipped with heavy machine guns vessels were seen in February , including vessels No. 31241, 2102 and 2305.   Japanese patrol boats warned the Chinese ships and prevented their entry into Japanese territorial waters
In addition to the dispute in the East China Sea, Japan has been vocal in its opposition to Beijing's land reclamation activities in the South China Sea and has joined regional alliesbut Japanese patrol boats warned the Chinese ships and prevented their entry into Japanese territorial waters who have protested China's moves.


[December 26 Chinese gunboat off Senkaku Islands says Japan]

A Chinese coastguard vessel with what appeared to be gun turrets entered territorial waters claimed by Japan in the East China Sea, Japan's coastguard said on December 26, adding that it was the first such incursion by an armed Chinese vessel in the disputed area.

The vessel was one of three that appeared in the waters off the disputed Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyus, shortly after 9:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) and left Japanese-claimed waters about 70 minutes later, a Japan coastguard spokeswoman said.China said its vessels were carrying standard equipment and doing nothing wrong in Chinese waters.

Chinese coastguard vessels sail regularly near the islets but the Japanese coastguard spokeswoman said none had ever been seen equipped with arms.




[September 4 Chinese flotilla moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control]
Type 071 amphibious transport dock ship Changbai Shan (989)



United States  have been tracking the movements in recent days of three Chinese combat ships, a replenishment vessel and an amphibious landing ship after observing them moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control. 

Type:Amphibious transport dock
Displacement:18,500 metric tons (18,200 long tons; 20,400 short tons)[1]
Length:210 m (689 ft 0 in)
Beam:28 m (91 ft 10 in)
Draft:7 m (23 ft 0 in)
Propulsion:CODAD
4 × Shaanxi 16 PC2.6 V400 diesel engines, 47,200 hp (35,197 kW)
2 × shafts [1]
Speed:25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)[2]
Range:10,000 nmi (19,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[3]
Boats and landing
craft carried:
• 4 × Type 726 Yuyi class LCAC
• 2 × landing craft on port/starboard davits
Capacity:15-20 armoured vehicles
Troops:500-800 troops
Complement:120
Sensors and
processing systems:
• 1 × Type 360 Radar Seagull S, E/F-band surface search radar
• 1 × Type 364 Radar, Seagull C, G-band air search radar aft
• 1 × Type 344 Radar, I band fire control radar
• 1 × navigational radar
Armament:• 1 × AK-176 76 mm (3.0 in) gun
• 4 × AK-630 30 mm (1.2 in) CIWS
• 4 × 18-tube Type 726-4 decoy/chafflauncher
• Possible installation of 2-4 heavy machine guns (Fitted for but not with)
Aircraft carried:Z-8 Super Frelon


December 5 2013  USS Nimitz has left South China Sea: Senkaku islands fall under the U.S.-Japan security alliance]

December 4 2013.   USS Nimitz, along with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, CVW- 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23 made the brief stop at Honolulu while headed home after an eight-and-a-half month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibilities (AORs).



 The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the South China Sea, which is part of its area of responsibility, Nov. 19, 2013.
December 2, 2013.   Japan and the United States held a joint sea maneuver over waters off Okinawa. November 29, China launched two fighter planes to investigate flights by a dozen U.S. and Japanese reconnaissance and military planes in its new ADIZ. Both sides are getting ready for saber rattling.   The United States sent two B-52 bombers to China's new ADIZ on Nov. 26. China didn't take action against the “intruding” planes, because the ADIZ restrictions apply only to civil aviation, not to military aircraft.


 U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reiterated November 30 that the Senkaku islands fall under the U.S.-Japan security alliance, which obligates the United States to defend the territory against any potential attempt to seize them. The islands were transferred from U.S. to Japanese possession in 1972, along with Okinawa. China does not recognize the legitimacy of the transfer and claims the islands should have been returned to them along with Taiwan following World War II. 



(Sept. 21, 2013)


 A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 leaves the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. 

GULF OF ADEN (Sept. 7, 2013) The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducts operations at sea. Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. 

The ARG includes the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), which left the 5th Fleet AOR during summer, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), Assault Craft Unit 4, and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 28).

[October 6]



US military forces have conducted an operation in Somalia targeting a member of the rebel group al-Shabab.
On October 5, George Little, the press secretary for the US Department of Defence, confirmed the raid was carried out.

He said that the operation was aimed at capturing a "high value al-Shabab terrorist leader" and that no US personnel were injured or killed.

"US personnel took all necessary precautions to avoid civilians casualties in this operation and disengaged after inflicting some al-Shabab casualties. We are not in a position to identify those casualties," said Little.

Although the Shabab leader was believed to have been killed during the assault, the SEALs had to withdraw before they could confirm the kill.."The Baraawe raid was planned a week and a half ago,   It was prompted by the Westgate attack,"    A senior Somali government official told the newspaper that "the attack was carried out by the American forces and the Somali government was pre-informed about the attack."

[October 5]
A  U.S. official described the action in Barawe as a capture operation against a high-value target in a two-story beachside house. The official said a U.S. Navy SEAL team  engaged al-Shabab militants and sought to avoid civilian casualties. The U.S. forces disengaged target after inflicting some casualties on fighters.
The leader of the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, claimed responsibility for the attack on the upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a four-day terrorist siege that began on Sept. 21 and killed at least 67 people. A Somali intelligence official said the al-Shabab leader was the target of Saturday's raid.



Al Arabiya
Somalia’s Islamist militia al-Shabaab said on October 5 that a dawn raid at its strongholds in the small town of Barawe in the south of the country was carried out by British and Turkish special forces. The commander of the British force, it said, was killed during the attack and four other SAS operatives were critically wounded. One Turkish soldier was also wounded, A British Defence Ministry spokeswoman said: "We are not aware of any British involvement in this at all." A Turkish Foreign Ministry official denied any Turkish part in such an action.

October 4:“The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is operating in the Red Sea as a prudent positioning of forces should the capabilities of the strike group be needed there, and it places that group in a position to conduct maritime security operations and exercises with our partners in that part of the region.”

CVN-75 Truman Carrier group 24Se-01Oct2013, North Arabian Sea

 USS Georgia (SSGN 729)  transited Suez Canal September 14.

"White soldiers" arrived by boat at the port of Barawe. Residents in Barawe, which is controlled by militants, say they were woken up by heavy fighting before dawn on October 5. "Gunfire broke out for about 10-15 minutes," No-one has admitted the attack. The targets of the raid were "high-profile" foreigners.

[March 24 2010]






















Almezaan IMO: 7906710
owner: Shahmir Maritime,
manager: BIYAT INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF COMPANIES L.L.C.

Nov. 30, 2009

MOGADISHU //[Crew members spoke on board the ship, which is now docked in Mogadishu’s port.] The hijackers attacked in broad daylight. Just after noon, when the intense sun casts a harsh glare off the deep blue Indian Ocean, three small speedboats ferrying about 10 pirates each approached the MV al Mezaan.


Mohamed Bashir Baht, left, the Pakistani engineer of the ship, said the pirates told the crew they were going to shoot them.

“They started firing in the air and they shot a rocket launcher,” said Mohammed Shafi Noor, 70, the captain, who is from Mumbai. “They had powerful boats. They came on board and hassled us very badly. They told me to stop the vessel.”


The MV al Mezaan set sail from Ajman on October 25 destined for Mogadishu, Somalia’s war-racked capital. The vessel is operated by Biyat International, a Dubai shipping company, and is owned by Shahmir Maritime, a company based in the Caribbean nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines, maritime experts said. It is registered in Panama.

Sushil Kumar Verma, the second engineer on MV al Mezaan. He was aboard the vessel when it was previously hijacked twice this year.

One week into the voyage, on November 3, the 2,000-tonne, 50-metre vessel was seized in open waters and was rerouted to the town of Garacad, a notorious pirate lair in the northern Somali region of Puntland.

Some of the cargo may have been offloaded in Garacad, but the crew had no way of confirming this.

According to the captain of the Mezaan, the ship was carrying “general cargo” – sugar, cooking oil, building materials and used cars – to be sold in Mogadishu.

Last month’s seizure was not the first time the ship had been hijacked. The Mezaan, which is regularly chartered by Somali businessmen to ferry goods from Dubai to Mogadishu, was held by pirates for one week in May. The second engineer, Sushil Kumar Verma, an Indian, was on board during both hijackings.

“The second time was more difficult,” he said. “The first time was only six days and was easy. This time was two weeks.”

The next day, just as mysteriously as they had arrived, the pirates slipped back into their skiffs and motored away and the Mezaan was free to continue its journey to Mogadishu. The captain said he does not know if a ransom was paid.

The crew were in good spirits as they waited aboard the ship for instructions from the shipping company. Mr Noor said he is ready to go home, but would make the trip to Somalia again if called upon.

“We are ready to go home if they can send us,” he said. “We are seafarers. If they send us back [to Somalia], we don’t have a choice. Our stomachs have to be filled somehow.”

Another report:
This now clarifies that the vessel sea-jacked last Friday and now approaching the Somali coast is MV AL MEZAAN (IMO number: 7906710) a general cargo ship with a gross tonnage of 2086 built 1979 and sailing under the flag of convenience of Panama. The vessel sports as "registered owner" SHAHMIR MARITIME of St Vincent & The Grenadines while BIYAT INTERNATIONAL from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates serves as ship-manager. Only questions remaining: Are there armored vehicles on board as claimed by the pirates and will the Somali businessmen involved be able to get the crew and vessel free as soon as possible? "We decided to free the merchant ship" when it reaches the coast, Muse Salad, a pirate spokesman, said today by telephone to Bloomberg. "The ship carries foodstuffs like rice, flour, sugar and building materials". The vessel was under way from the United Arab Emirates to Mogadishu when it was seized, Ali Mohamed Siyad, a market traders’ chief at Bakara, Somalia, said by telephone. The crew is Asian, including Indians, and the cargo is owned by Somali businesspeople, he said.



Early on the morning of Tuesday 23 March, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, UAE owned, MV ALMEZAAN, en route to Mogadishu, was attacked by pirates off the Somali coast.

The ship was approximately 60 miles south of Haradere.
EU NAVFOR understands that the attack was successfully repulsed, the pirates broke off their attack and they have left the vicinity of the ALMEZAAN. All personnel onboard the ALMEZAAN are reported to be well. Early on the morning of Tuesday 23 March, an EU NAVFOR warship received a distress call from a merchant ship off the Somalia coast and proceeded at high speed to assist.

As previously reported, the Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, MV ALMEZAAN, en route to Mogadishu, was under attack from pirates. An armed private vessel protection detachment on board the ship returned fire, successfully repelling the first attack, but the pirates continued to pursue. A second attack was repelled and the pirates fled the area.

The EU NAVFOR frigate ESPS NAVARRA, from the Spanish Navy, was dispatched by the Force Commander, Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero of the Italian Navy, and raced to the scene of the incident. She launched her helicopter, quickly locating the ALMEZAAN and the pirates’ boats, known as skiffs. When the suspects failed to heed the helicopter’s instructions to stop, warning shots were fired by the aircraft, after which a team from NAVARRA boarded a skiff.

There were three boats, comprising one mother ship and two pirate skiffs. In the first skiff they found three suspected pirates and, in the second, three suspects and a fourth individual, who had died. The body has been transferred to NAVARRA, and an investigation indicated that the individual had died from small calibre gunshot wounds. The mother ship has now been destroyed and the remaining six suspects have been taken onboard the NAVARRA.

1.5.16

Eastern Libya NOC crude export termed illegal by UN

MT Distya Ameya 

The Indian-flag Distya Ameya arrived April 30 at about 9 a.m. local time at Zawiya in western Libya,   

The UN Security Council added the vessel to its sanctions list on April 27 after the Mediterranean island of Malta refused to let it dock there. The NOC in Tripoli called the shipment illegal and informed Libya’s newly formed UN-backed unity government about the eastern government’s attempt to export oil independently.   The Indian-flagged tanker Distya Ameya, which left the eastern Libyan port of Hariga carrying oil they said could not be lawfully sold. The eastern government has set up its own National Oil Corporation (NOC) to act in parallel to the Tripoli-based NOC that is recognised internationally as the only legitimate seller of Libyan oil.

A UN-backed unity government, which arrived in the capital in March, includes figures from across Libya’s divides but has not yet been fully accepted by either of the two loose alliances fighting for power since 2014.

the shipment had been ordered for a company called DSA Consultancy FZC, registered in the United Arab Emirates.    Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, DSA, despite being three separate emirates, form a continuous urban area


[November 10 2014 Second tanker to load crude at Eastern Libyan Marsa El Hariga ]

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

IMO: 9188764
Name: ELBTANK GERMANY
MMSI: 255805270
Type: TANKER
Gross Tonnage: 22848
Summer DWT: 35407 t
Build: 1999
Flag: MADEIRA INTERNATIONAL REGISTER
Tb Marine Shipmanagement
Hamburg, Germany

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

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

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

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


[November 10 Tobruk guards block tanker loading ]

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

28.4.16

Pakistan’s Gwadar Port vs South China Sea crude route

Gwadar

Chinese Overseas Ports will manage Pakistan’s Gwadar Port free-trade zone  the free-trade zone on a 43-year lease. 
Gwadar port is a deep sea port that sits next to the Strait of Hormuz, the key oil route in and out of the Persian Gulf and it lies only 120km from the Iranian border.. With a deep-sea port in the Arabian Sea and a land route to remote western China, some of Beijing’s Middle Eastern oil could travel the short route through Pakistan, instead of 6,000 miles through the Malacca Straits to Shanghai. That’s the route more than 80 percent of China’s oil and natural resources now have to take.  The South China Sea extends from the Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan, where China is in conflict with the United States and its allies for control .   The newly-minted USN commander of the carrier strike group said the increased U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia does not risk making things worse. Last year, the U.S. began to challenge China by sailing warships near its reclaimed reefs in so-called freedom of navigation operations.

“This is a routine, scheduled deployment,” Rear Adm. Marcus Hitchcock said. “We’ve committed to unimpeded commerce in this region.”   The resumption of freedom of navigation operations in the area is not a challenge to sovereignty, he added. “They are challenges to excessive territorial claims. We take no position on sovereignty other than to say we hope there is a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to sovereignty challenges here in this region.”



[February 5  Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54)  in FONOP]



On January 30, the United States Navy conducted its second freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in recent months. This time, the destroyer USS Curtiss Wilbur transited within twelve nautical miles of Triton Island—a PRC-held feature in the Paracels also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. Unlike Subi Reef, which was the focus of the USS Lassen’s FON patrol last October, Triton Island is not one of China’s artificial islands. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying condemned the operation, stating that the American vessel “violated the relevant Chinese law [on innocent passage] and entered China’s territorial sea without authorization.” Her counterpart, Lu Kang, suggested that the operation was nothing more than “the pursuit of maritime hegemony . . . under the cloak of ‘freedom of navigation.’ ,U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel clarified that the ASEAN summit that President Obama will host this month is “not anti-China.” The Pentagon did not notify any of the three countries of its plans to transit the area.
[May 3 2008 China's concern about its access to vital sea lanes
Sanya Hainan
Jane's Intelligence Review editor Christian Le Miere said: "China's nuclear and naval build-up at Sanya underlines Beijing's desire to assert tighter control over this region.

"China's increasing dependence on imported petroleum and mineral resources has contributed to an intensified Chinese concern about defending its access to vital sea lanes, particularly to its south.

"It is this concern that in large part is driving China's development of power-projection naval forces such as aircraft carriers and long-range nuclear submarines." here

11.4.16

USN Special Projects Patrol Squadron (VPU) 2 “Wizards” had a spy


Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin faces several counts of espionage and other charges outlined during a April 8 Article 32 hearing in Norfolk, Va. Lin had a career as a signals intelligence specialist on the Navy’s Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II reconnaissance aircraft.   The U.S. Naval Institute said Lin also had been a department head with the Special Projects Patrol Squadron  (VPU) 2 “Wizards” at Kaneohe Bay, a highly secretive group that flies specially-modified spy planes and has been known to change aircraft paint schemes and identifying numbers to blend in with other Navy planes.
Lin’s job on the Aries II, which bear a resemblance to the maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare P-3C Orion, was to manage the collection of electronic signals from the aircraft – a central coordinator. The specifics of how the U.S. gathers signals from potential adversaries are among the military’s most closely guarded secrets. Knowing the methodology for how the U.S. gathers signals intelligence – information that Lin would likely have with his Aries II experience – could allow adversaries to devise ways to counter U.S. monitoring.


[July 20 2014 RIMPAC gets four China navy ship participants and one spy ]


Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy electronic surveillance ship Beijixing (pennant number 851). A ship of this class is currently off the coast of Oahu, monitoring RIMPAC 2014.  


 “This AGI is most likely to be the Type 815 Dongdiao-class intelligence collection vessel Beijixing (pennant number 851), home ported in the East Sea Fleet,” Erickson, an associate professor at the Naval War College said.

“Beijixing is the most experienced vessel from the PLAN’s [China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy ] most advanced class of AGI. Based on Internet photos and Japanese government and other media reports, Beijixing is China’s most well-traveled AGI, having operated frequently near and within Japan’s claimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).”   What’s strange about the Chinese ship monitoring RIMPAC from afar is four PLAN ships and their crews have already been included in most levels of the operation.   RIMPAC — held every two years — includes 50 ships, 200 aircraft and more than 25,000 military personnel from 23 nations. The exercises will run until August.

[March 9 2013]


Chinese Navy's missile destroyer "Harbin" fires during the AMAN-13 exercise in the Arabian Sea, March 8, 2013. Naval ships from 14 countries, including China, the United States, Britain and Pakistan, joined a five-day naval drill in the Arabian Sea from March 4, involving 24 ships, 25 helicopters, and special forces.




The U.S., which traditionally has maintained an impressive array of naval forces comprised of units of the Sixth Fleet, had decided to reduce its naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, but in view of the increased traffic -- from Russia, China and especially the Islamic Republic of Iran -- has now changed its mind and will retain a significant naval force in the area.
Regional security arrangements have changed considerably since the onset of the Arab Spring, and developments in the Middle East have enhanced Cairo’s role within the strategic framework. Reliable sources say the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government has offered Washington “more than facilities” in order to ensure Washington’s continued support during the Muslim Brothers’ crisis-ridden bid to secure control over the state.
Officials at the US embassy in Cairo confirmed the impression of a continuing close relationship between Egypt’s Armed Forces, the US Defense Department and the administration in Washington.


[March 1]The 14th naval squad, sent by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, departed February 16 from China to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters for escort missions.

[February 25 2011]
China said it was sending a navy ship to protect its citizens being evacuated. The PLA Navy has just dispatched Xuzhou,F530, a Type 054 Jiangkai-II class missile frigate, from the ongoing seventh PLAN anti-piracy task force deployment off Somalia to steam to Libyan coast to provide support and protection for the ongoing evacuation mission there. The escort mission has been approved by the Central Military Commission, according to Xinhua, and at least 6,300 of the roughly 30,000 PRC citizens in Libya have been evacuated. Xuzhou incorporates many stealth features: sloped hull design; radar absorbent materials; and reduction of surface equipment and features.

Builders: Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard
Huangpu Shipyard
Operators: People's Liberation Army Navy
Preceded by: Type 054 frigate
Succeeded by: Type 054B frigate
Cost: ¥ 1.58 billion
Completed: 10
Xuzhou

General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 4,053 tonnes (full), 3,600 tonnes (standard)
Length: 134 m (440 ft)(CCTV report)
Beam: 16 m (52 ft) (CCTV report)
Propulsion: CODAD, 4 x SEMT Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesels, 5700 kW (7600+ hp @ 1084 rpm) each
Speed: 30 kn estimated
Range: 3,800 miles estimated
Sensors and processing systems:
Type 382 Radar (Upgraded from Type 381 Radar "Sea Eagle S/C") 3D air/surface search radar
Type 344 (Mineral-ME Band Stand) OTH target acquisition and SSM fire control radar
4 x Type 345 (MR-90 Front Dome) SAM fire control radars
MR-36A surface search radar, I-band
Type 347G 76 mm gun fire control radar
2 x Racal RM-1290 navigation radars, I-band
MGK-335 medium frequency active/passive sonar system
ZKJ-4B/6 (developed from Thomson-CSF TAVITAC) combat data system
HN-900 Data link (Chinese equivalent of Link 11A/B, to be upgraded)
SNTI-240 SATCOM
Electronic warfare
and decoys: Type 922-1 radar warning receiver
HZ-100 ECM & ELINT system
Armament: 1 x HQ-16 32-cell VLS SAM launcher
2 x 4 C-803 anti-ship / land attack cruise missiles
1 x 76 mm dual purpose gun
2 x Type 730 7-barrel 30 mm CIWS guns
Triple 324 mm YU-7 ASW torpedoes
2 x Type 726-4 18-tube decoy rocket launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 Kamov Ka-28 'Helix' or Harbin Z-9C
Aviation facilities:


5.3.16

North Korean ship Jin Teng seized, Ocean Maritime Management Company sanctioned

Jin Teng



The Philippines said on March 5  it had seized a North Korean freighter that was covered by harsher United Nations' sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear program.
Manila will also deport the vessel's 21 North Korean crew and will await a U.N. inspection team from the United Nations.  Jin Teng   6,830 deadweight tonne (dwt) cargo ship Jin , flying a Sierra Leone flag, arrived on Feb. 27 and was unloading palm kernels.    The U.N. resolution said the 31 ships were "economic resources controlled or operated by Ocean Maritime Management and therefore subject to the asset freeze".
The Jin Teng has called at Palembang, Indonesia, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, since the beginning of this year.


[July 30 2014  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)