5.2.16

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

26.1.16

Laden VLCC Serena departed Iran for South Korea, passes Mumbai



 Sanctions lifted, Iranian VLCC tanker, Serena (IMO 9569645), was recently cast off from the port of Assaluyeh after being moored there for more than a year, and is expected to arrive in Uslan, South Korea, on February 11, 2016. 


IMO: 9569645
Name: SERENA
MMSI: 677057300
Type: CRUDE OIL TANKER
Gross Tonnage: 160000
Summer DWT: 318000 t
Build: 2013
Flag: ZANZIBAR

[August 28 2015 Iran: four laden tankers depart despite sanctions]


MT Hedy


MT Nancy
MT Noble

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

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

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







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[December 2 2013]

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

 
[November 14]

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



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

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

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


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

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

Glaros



 Leycothea

Nereyda

Ocean Nymph

Ocean Performer


Seagull

Ulysses I

Zap


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

25.1.16

As OPEC saw its prices sink below $30 a barrel:. the cost to ship the commodity rose.



source

[December 7 2011 Low rates yield slow steaming]


Shipping companies are cooperating to ease overcapacity and revive rates. Vessels reduce their speeds, known in the industry as slow steaming, to better manage overcapacity within the global fleet of about 600 VLCCs, Sejling chief commercial officer at Maersk Tankers. said. Lower speeds increase the amount of time needed to complete a voyage, effectively curbing the supply of ships.

SLOW steaming very large crude carriers to an average speed of 12 knots could increase fleet utilisation as tonnage is absorbed on voyages of longer durations, A new time charter clause for slow and super slow steaming will be published shortly by BIMCO. The clause was adopted by the Documentary Committee subject to the drafting team conducting a pre-publication review of some of the key features of the clause. The team met in London on 30 November and made a number of improvements to the layout and structure of the clause. The clause will now be circulated to all Documentary Committee members before being published by Special Circular along with explanatory notes.

The Clause deals with a number of potentially difficult technical and legal issues as it is designed to cover all types of ships and trades from the container to the bulk sector. The technical aspects have been resolved and clarified with the assistance of engine designers Wartsila and MAN Diesel. Two types of slow steaming are contemplated by the Clause: Slow steaming down to a level which would not require the owners to make any modifications to the engine – basically the cut-out point for the engines auxiliary blowers; and, should the owners and charterers agree that the vessel can slow steam to a greater degree, then an additional optional provision is given to deal with “ultra” slow steaming – which will apply only in a few cases.

In all cases the master retains the right to refuse to slow steam as the right of the charterers to order slow steaming is subject to the obligations of the master in respect of the safety of the vessel, crew and cargoThe trend to run many ships at speeds of 16 knots or even less is stoking problems for main engines

All six members of the Bloomberg Tanker Index (TANKER) from Frontline to General Maritime Corp. will lose money this year as fleet capacity exceeds the number of cargoes, We’ve had the longest period of sustained upturn in the history of the tanker markets until 2008,” Serck-Hanssen said.
Frontline, also based in Hamilton, will report a net loss of $228.3 million for this year, compared with 2010 net income of $161.4 million, the mean of 20 estimates showed. The company said Nov. 22 it would pay no third-quarter dividend and may run out of cash in 2012. The shares slumped 83 percent in Oslo this year, valuing Frontline at 1.99 billion kroner ($345 million). General Maritime, the New York-based operator of 29 tankers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 17.

BIMCO is the largest of the international shipping associations representing ship-owners controlling around 65 percent of the world’s tonnage and with members in more than 120 countries drawn from a broad range of stakeholders having a vested interest in the shipping industry, including managers, brokers and agents. read

20.1.16

Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig:enters disputed weaters




China's Maritime Safety Administration said on January 20 it would be drilling roughly 140 km (87 miles) south of the resort city Sanya on China's Hainan island, and 150 km (93 miles) west of the Paracel Islands that China occupies and Vietnam claims.   It is 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam, which places it in roughly the same area as between June and October 2015.

The agency said it would be operating there until March 10 and warned ships to stay 2,000 m (6,562 ft) away.   China considers most of the South China Sea to be under its jurisdiction but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims. About $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes through the waters each year.




[August 25 2015 Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig:  110 nautical miles east of the Vietnam coast ]




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



[March 3  its first overseas deepsea exploration well]

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

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





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


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

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

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








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

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


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

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


. [May 9]



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






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



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

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



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


[April 2013]



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

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

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


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

18.1.16

United States and European Union revoke sanctions on Iranian oil exports



The United States and European Union on January 16 revoked sanctions that had cut Iran's oil exports by about 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since their pre-sanctions 2011 peak to little more than 1 million bpd.

Iran, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), issued an order on January 18 to increase production by 500,000 bpd, the country's deputy oil minister said.

The following activities are allowed: sale, supply, transfer or export of naval equipment and technology for ship building, maintenance or refit, to Iran or to any Iranian persons engaged in this sector; the design, construction or the participation in the design or construction of cargo vessels and oil tankers for Iran or for Iranian persons; the provision of vessels designed or used for the transport or storage of oil and petrochemical products to Iranian persons, entities or bodies; and the provision of flagging and classification services, including those pertaining to technical specification, registration and identification numbers of any kind, to Iranian oil tankers and cargo vessels.
All cargo flights operated by Iranian carriers or originating from Iran have access to the airports under the jurisdiction of EU Member States.
Inspection, seizure and disposal by EU Member States of cargoes to and from Iran in their territories no longer apply with regard to items which are no longer prohibited.
Provision of bunkering or ship supply services, or any other servicing of vessels, to Iranian owned or Iranian-contracted vessels not carrying prohibited items is allowed; and the
provision of fuel, engineering and maintenance services to Iranian cargo aircraft not carrying prohibited items is permitted.


[May 1 2013 IRISL: new Iran sanctions by U.S. Treasury]


Babak Zanjani, chairman of more than 60 companies known as the Sorinet Group of the United Arab Emirates allegedly conspired with First Islamic Investment Bank of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as  accused violators of the Iranian sanctions.
Two Sorinet companies -- Sorinet Commercial Trust Bankers of Dubai and International Safe Oil of Labuan, Malaysia -- were named by the Treasury Department as allegedly being involved in the multibillion-dollar scheme .   Account International Safe Oil was previously reported to be involved in the transfer of Iranian oil at the port of Labuan, Malaysia

Glammarine agreed to let a company called Account International Safe Oil use the Titan Ruchira and Titan Tulshyan to store 4 million barrels of Iranian oil, shipping sources said. Account International is not registered in Malaysia or Hong Kong.   A Middle East industry source familiar with the company said Account International was an affiliate of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). A second source based in East Malaysia said the firm had business links to HK Intertrade, a Hong Kong-based firm sanctioned by the United States in July for operating as a front company for Iran.












Individual: AFZALI, ALI
DOB: July 1, 1967

Entity: PEARL ENERGY COMPANY LTD
Address: Level 13(E) Main Office Tower, Jalan Merdeka, Financial Park Complex, Labuan, 87000, Malaysia

Entity: PEARL ENERGY SERVICES, SA
Address: 15 Avenue de Montchoisi, Lausanne, 1006 VD, Switzerland

Individual: Mohhammad Hossein DAJMAR
AKA: Mohammad Hossein DAJMAR
DOB: February 19, 1956
Iranian Passport: K13644698, expires May 16, 2013

Individual: Gholam Hossein GOLPARVAR
AKA: Gholamhossein GOLPARVAR
DOB: January 23, 1957
Iranian Passport: U14643027, expires November 11, 2013

Individual: Hassan Jalil ZADEH
AKA: Hassan JALILZADEH
DOB: January 26, 1959
Iranian Passport: A1508382, expired February 24, 2010

Individual: Mohammad Hadi PAJAND
DOB: May 28, 1950
Address: 73 Blair Court, Boundary Road, London, NW8 6NT, United Kingdom

Entity: ASHTEAD SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: BYFLEET SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: COBHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: DORKING SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: EFFINGHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: FARNHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: GOMSHALL SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man

Entity: HORSHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED
Address: Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Isle of Man




Mohhammad Hossein Dajmar, designated today, is Chairman and Managing Director of IRISL and three previously-designated front companies – Safiran Payam Darya Shipping Company (SAPID), Hafiz Darya Shipping Company (HDS), and Soroush Sarzamin Asatir Ship Management Company (SSA). Also designated today are Gholamhossein Golparvar, Managing Director of SAPID and a director of SSA and HDS, as well as Hassan Jalil Zadeh, Managing Director of HDS. Finally, Mohammad Hadi Pajand, Company Secretary of Irinvestship Ltd., and a company director of Lancelin Shipping Company Ltd. – two previously-designated IRISL affiliates – was also designated by Treasury today.


11/30/10
The following [NPWMD] entries have been
added to OFAC's SDN list:
ASHTEAD SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED,
Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1
3DA, Man, Isle of; c/o Islamic Republic of Iran
Shipping Lines (IRISL), No. 37, Aseman Tower,
Sayyade Shirazee Square, Pasdaran Avenue,
PO Box 19395-1311, Tehran, Iran; Business
Registration Document # 108116C (Man, Isle of);
Email Address smd@irisl.net; Website
www.irisl.net; Telephone: 982120100488; Fax:
982120100486 [NPWMD]
BYFLEET SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED,
Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1
3DA, Man, Isle of; c/o Islamic Republic of Iran
Shipping Lines (IRISL), No. 37, Aseman Tower,
Sayyade Shirazee Square, Pasdaran Avenue,
PO Box 19395-1311, Tehran, Iran; Business
Registration Document # 118117C (Man, Isle of);
OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL CHANGES TO SDNLIST IN 2010
- 88 -
Email Address smd@irisl.net; Website
www.irisl.net; Telephone: 982120100488; Fax:
982120100486 [NPWMD]
COBHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED,
Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1
3DA, Man, Isle of; c/o Islamic Republic of Iran
Shipping Lines (IRISL), No. 37, Aseman Tower,
Sayyade Shirazee Square, Pasdaran Avenue,
PO Box 19395-1311, Tehran, Iran; Business
Registration Document # 108118C (Man, Isle of);
Email Address smd@irisl.net; Website
www.irisl.net; Telephone: 982120100488; Fax:
982120100486 [NPWMD]
DORKING SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED,
Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1
3DA, Man, Isle of; c/o Islamic Republic of Iran
Shipping Lines (IRISL), No. 37, Aseman Tower,
Sayyade Shirazee Square, Pasdaran Avenue,
PO Box 19395-1311, Tehran, Iran; Business
Registration Document # 108119C (Man, Isle of);
Email Address smd@irisl.net; Website
www.irisl.net; Telephone: 982120100488; Fax:
982120100486 [NPWMD]
EFFINGHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED,
Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1
3DA, Man, Isle of; c/o Islamic Republic of Iran
Shipping Lines (IRISL), No. 37, Aseman Tower,
Sayyade Shirazee Square, Pasdaran Avenue,
PO Box 19395-1311, Tehran, Iran; Business
Registration Document # 108120C (Man, Isle of);
Email Address smd@irisl.net; Website
www.irisl.net; Telephone: 982120100488; Fax:
982120100486 [NPWMD]
FARNHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED,
Manning House, 21 Bucks Road, Douglas IM1
3DA, Man, Isle of; c/o Islamic Republic of Iran
Shipping Lines (IRISL), No. 37, Aseman Tower ,
Sayyade Shirazee Square, Pasdaran Avenue,
PO Box 19395-1311, Tehran, Iran; Business
Registration Document # 108146C (Man, Isle of);
Email Address smd@irisl.net; Website
www.irisl.net; Telephone: 982120100488; Fax:
982120100486 [NPWMD]
GOMSHALL SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED, c/o
Soroush Sarzamin Asatir (SSA) Ship
Management Co, Shabnam Alley, Golriz St, Vafa
Alley, Fajr St, Shahid Motahari Avenue,
1589675951, Tehran, Iran; Manning House, 21
Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Man, Isle of;
Business Registration Document # 111998C
(Man, Isle of); Email Address info@ssa-smc.net;
Website www.ssa-smc.net; Telephone:
982126100191; Fax: 982126100192 [NPWMD]
HORSHAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED, c/o
Soroush Sarzamin Asatir (SSA) Ship
Management Co, Shabnam Alley, Golriz St, Vafa
Alley, Fajr St, Shahid Motahari Avenue,
1589675951, Tehran, Iran; Manning House, 21
Bucks Road, Douglas IM1 3DA, Man, Isle of;
Business Registration Document # 111999C
(Man, Isle of); Email Address info@ssa-smc.net;
Website www.ssa-smc.net; Telephone:
982126100191; Fax: 982126100192 [NPWMD]
• 11/30/10
The following [NPWMD] entries have been
added to OFAC's SDN list:
AFZALI, Ali, c/o Bank Mellat, Tehran, Iran; DOB 1
Jul 1967; nationality Iran (individual) [NPWMD]
PEARL ENERGY COMPANY LTD., Level 13(E)
Main Office Tower, Jalan Merdeka, Financial
Park Complex, Labuan 87000, Malaysia;
Telephone:6087541688; Fax: 6087453688
[NPWMD]
PEARL ENERGY SERVICES, SA, 15 Avenue de
Montchoisi, Lausanne, 1006 VD, Switzerland;
Business Registration Document # CH-
550.1.058.055-9; Telephone: 0216140614
[NPWMD]
• 11/30/10
The following [NPWMD] entries have been
added to OFAC's SDN list:
DAJMAR, Mohammad Hossein (a.k.a. DAJMAR,
Mohhammad Hossein); DOB 19 Feb 1956;
nationality Iran; Passport K13644698 (Iran)
expires 16 May 2013 (individual) [NPWMD]
DAJMAR, Mohhammad Hossein (a.k.a. DAJMAR,
Mohammad Hossein); DOB 19 Feb 1956;
nationality Iran; Passport K13644698 (Iran)
expires 16 May 2013 (individual) [NPWMD]
GOLPARVAR, Gholam Hossein (a.k.a.
GOLPARVAR, Gholamhossein); DOB 23 Jan
1957; nationality Iran; Passport U14643027
(Iran) expires 11 Nov 2013 (individual)
[NPWMD]
GOLPARVAR, Gholamhossein (a.k.a.
GOLPARVAR, Gholam Hossein); DOB 23 Jan
1957; nationality Iran; Passport U14643027
(Iran) expires 11 Nov 2013 (individual)
[NPWMD]
JALILZADEH, Hassan (a.k.a. ZADEH, Hassan
Jalil); DOB 26 Jan 1959; nationality Iran;
Passport A1508382 (Iran) expires 24 Feb 2010
(individual) [NPWMD]
PAJAND, Mohammad Hadi, 73 Blair Court,
Boundary Road, London NW8 6NT, United
Kingdom; DOB 28 May 1950; nationality Iran
(individual) [NPWMD]
ZADEH, Hassan Jalil (a.k.a. JALILZADEH,
Hassan); DOB 26 Jan 1959; nationality Iran;
Passport A1508382 (Iran) expires 24 Feb 2010
(individual) [NPWMD]

26.12.15

Chinese gunboat off Senkaku Islands says Japan

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.

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.