Summer Wind: "I'm going to get you" said the captain, maybe.

Kirby claims the collision of Liberian-flag bulker Summer Wind with Kirby barges 27706 and 27705 and tugboat M/V Miss Susan has cost it more than $10 million in losses, damages, and expenses, and it is seeking a warrant of seizure and the sale of M/V Summer Wind to pay for damages, interest, attorney's fees, and court fees.   Kirby filed the suit in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas and is being represented by the Houston law firm Stepp & Sullivan PC.
Local news outlet KPRC Texas reported that the captains of both the Summer Wind and the Miss Susan were in communication about five minutes before the collision, and quoted the Summer Wind captain saying "If you keep on coming, I'm going to get you." Kirby Inland Marine LP (Kirby) has filed a lawsuit over last month's Houston Ship Channel collision seeking more than $10 million against bulk carrier M/V Summer Wind, its owner, Sea Galaxy S.A., and its operator, Cleopatra Shipping Agency Ltd.,

[March 25]
Penoyer said the investigation into what caused the collision has not determined who was at fault. “(The) investigation will take an extended amount of time to determine all of the factors that went into the cause ... It’s vastly premature to discuss any assessment beyond that.”

A search of the Coast Guard's accident investigation reports over the past ten years shows The Kirby Inland Marine-owned tugboat has been involved in eighteen incidents or accidents. Six of those were collisions with other vessels, docks and bridges.    The tugboat Miss Susan has also run aground and experienced mechanical failures, including loss of power or steering eleven times. 

[March 24]
 Apparently , a  Bulk Carrier departing from the port of Houston collided.
The ship was a 585-foot bulk carrier named the Summer Wind, IMO: 9114139. After the collision with a barge carrying bunker oil., the ship turned around and berthed at an anchorage at the Bolivar Peninsula. It remained there March 22.   manager CLEOPATRA SHIPPING AGENCY LTD, Greece.   Flag: Liberia


Big boxships too expensive to lay up

15 publicly traded container carriers in 2013 were at “a higher risk of financial distress than since the start of the financial crisis.” Carriers’ profits are now almost solely the result of cost-cutting. (Such as they are. The world’s top 15 container lines lost an estimated $1.1 billion between 2007 and 2012.)The average size of the modern-day containership is growing, with the largest vessels able to carry the equivalent of 9,000 forty-foot containers on a single voyage.Such behemoths are proving too expensive to lay up, resulting in fewer service withdrawals in 2013.

[March 13 2010]
Liberia flagged.E.R. Lübeck, IMO 9222467, ex CSCL_Fuzhou.ex ER Fuzhou. ex ER evaded pirate attack in the Somali Basin some 450 nautical miles NE of the Seychelles in the late hours of 11th, stretching into the early hours of 12 March.

The Lübeck was en route to Salalah when it was attacked from the rear of the ship, with pirates opening fire with automatic weapons. The ship sustained some minor small arms fire damage to the funnel and crane forward of the ship’s bridge. All personnel are reported to be safe and well.

Erck Rickmers, chairman and chief executive officer of Nordcapital and of E.R Schiffahrt GmbH & Cie KG (both located in Hamburg) has continued a family tradition that stretches back five generations.

Nordcapital started its activities in 1992 and has since become one of the leading German KG ship financing institutions. In 2001 it became market leader, with approximately Euro205m equity raised. Erck Rickmers explains We do not use Nordcapital for raising finance for E.R. Schiffahrt alone; we have also realised projects with eight different German shipowners (involving some 48 ships), including Bernhardt Schulte and Klaus Oldendorff, though E.R. Schiffahrt has become the main partner of Nordcapital in building up our current fleet of 39 containerships.
Ships in this category can be deployed flexibly all over the world. Their own loading gear makes them largely independent of shore-based loading and unloading facilities.


Cape Ray holding at Rota, MV Taiko takes third Syrian shipment

Captain of the MV Cape Ray, Rick Jordan, speaks to the press. 

The MV Cape Ray, which is on a mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, will be held up indefinitely in Rota, Spain, while the international community waits for the Syrian regime to hand over the remainder of its stockpile,

[January 30] The MV Cape Ray left Portsmouth, Va., on January 27 and is due to arrive in the southern port of Gioia Tauro in about “two to three weeks.”

[January 30]

The Norwegian cargo ship Taiko docked in preparation for shipment of chemicals
 Norwegian cargo ship Taiko today has been a new turn in Syria and brought containers of chemical warfare agents. Photo: Rune Thomas Ege
Posted 01/27/14 - 6:48 p.m. , changed 27/01/14 - 7:03 p.m.

The Norwegian cargo ship Taiko went out to fetch the second shipment of chemical weapons and weapons as Monday was carried out from Syria.   A second shipment of chemical weapons materials has been removed from Syria under a deal to eliminate its arsenal, the joint U.N. mission overseeing the disarmament said January 27.

[January 16]

In the transfer of the primary agents at an Italian port from the Danish vessel to an American one, where they will be destroyed at sea, The Calabrian port of Gioia Tauro has been chosen for the chemical transfer, an Italian government source said.
HMS Montrose on anti-pirate patrol

A Royal Navy ship, HMS Montrose, is about to join the escort of the Danish and Norwegian vessels transporting the chemical stocks from Syria.

Class & type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 tonnes, standard
Length: 133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: CODLAG with four 1510 kW (2,025 shp) Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators powering two GEC electric motors delivering 2980kW (4000 shp) and two Rolls-Royce Spey SM1A delivering 23,190 kW (31,100 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph) (higher speeds have been recorded in trials)
Range: 14,485 kilometres (9,001 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 185 (plus up to 20 augmentees (Royal Marines, etc))
Electronic warfare
& decoys: 4 x 6-barrel Seagnat decoy launchers
DFL3 offboard decoys
Anti-air missiles:
1× 32-cell Sea Wolf GWS.26 VLS canisters for 32 Sea Wolf missiles (range 1-10 km)
Anti-ship missiles:
2 × quad Harpoon launchers
Anti-submarine torpedoes:
2 × Twin 12.75 in (324 mm) Sting Ray torpedo tubes
1 × BAE 4.5 inch Mk8 gun 2 × 30mm DS30M automated guns, or, 2× 30mm DS30B guns 2 × Miniguns 4 × General-purpose machine guns
Aircraft carried:
1×Lynx HMA8, armed with; 4× Sea Skua anti ship missiles, or 2× anti submarine torpedoes or 1×Westland Merlin HM1, armed with; 4× anti submarine torpedoes
Aviation facilities:
Flight deck Enclosed hangar
Chinese sailor aboard Yancheng
Chinese guided missile frigate Yancheng arrived in Syrian territorial waters on January 7, proceeding to dock at Latakia Port and then escort the first batch of chemical weapons out of Syrian territory. Joining Yancheng in the escort of Danish and Norwegian ships was Russian missile cruiser Peter the Great. All four ships first rendezvoused in international waters off Syria before commencing the mission, during which China and Russia are reportedly working in coordination with, rather than under the command of, European forces.

[January 9]
Russian cruiser Pyotr Veliky
From the Russian side, the heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) is participating in the operation, Spokesman Eystein Kvarving said. Kvarving emphaszed that the Russian and Chinese ships would not be under the Danish-Norwegian command but would coordinate their actions with it. [January 7]

The Chinese frigate 运城/ Yuncheng docked at Limassol port on January 5, 2014, Cyprus. -- A Chinese ship arrived to escort ships picking up chemical weapons materials from Syria on January 7. The frigate Yancheng is working closely with other ships from Russia and Europe.

Type: Frigate
Length: 134.1 m (440 ft)(CCTV report)
Beam: 16 m (52 ft) (CCTV report)
Propulsion: CODAD, 4 x Shaanxi 16 PA6 STC diesels, 5700 kW (7600+ hp @ 1084 rpm) each
Speed: 27 kn estimated
Range: 8025 nautical miles estimated
Complement: 165
Sensors and processing systems:
Type 382 Radar (Upgraded from Type 381 Radar "Sea Eagle S/C") 3D air/surface search radar
Type 344 Radar (Mineral-ME Band Stand) OTH target acquisition and SSM fire control radar
4 x Type 345 Radar(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)
AKD5000S Ku band SATCOM
Electronic warfare
& decoys: Type 922-1 radar warning receiver
HZ-100 ECM & ELINT system
Kashtan-3 missile jamming system
Armament: 1 x32-cell VLS HQ-16 SAM / anti submarine rocket launcher
2 x 4 C-803 anti-ship / land attack cruise missiles
1 x PJ26 76 mm dual purpose gun
2 x Type 730 7-barrel 30 mm CIWS guns
2 x 3 324mm YU-7 ASW torpedo launchers
2 x 6 Type 87 240mm anti-submarine rocket launcher (36 rockets carried)
2 x Type 726-4 18-tube decoy rocket launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 Kamov Ka-28 'Helix' or Harbin Z-9C
Aviation facilities: hangar

Danish Ark Futura across the bay

December 7, the UN confirmed that a small number of containers with “priority one chemical materials” were on board the Ark Futura cargo ship, one of two vessels in charge of collecting the materials. They will wait in international waters for additional chemicals to be delivered to Latakia for collection. A spokeswoman said the loading took only “a couple of hours”, but this delicate phase of the operation had been “months in the planning”.

[December 5]

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, speaks to reporters during a visit to the Cape Ray, in Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 2, 2014, to discuss the ship`s upcoming mission to destroy chemical weapons from Syria. The Cape May is expected to depart for the mission about January 16 with 64 specialists from the Army`s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Tent housing a filtration system.

Inside the plastic tent are two storage tanks, each containing a cistern where the lethal agents will be mixed with water and other chemicals.

The roughly 500 tonnes of highly toxic chemicals which Bashar al-Assad's regime had stockpiled for the manufacture of Sarin and VX nerve agents are still in 12 bases around the country, three days after they were due to arrive in Latakia for loading on to Danish and Norwegian ships. Those freighters – the Ark Futura and the Taiko – have returned to the Cypriot port of Limassol since it became clear how far the schedule laid down by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had slipped.

Some of the materials have been packed into US-provided drums, but none of them have been loaded, a diplomat said. It is not clear whether the armoured Russian trucks flown into Syria to transport the chemical weapons have reached all 12 locations. Meanwhile, US trucks carrying equipment like such as GPS tracking devices to help the movement of the chemicals have been held up at the Jordanian border, apparently by bureaucratic delays.

A handout picture taken on December 29, 2013, and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, shows a Norwegian officer on deck watching the cargo vessel "Taiko", IMO number: 8204975 earmarked to transport chemical agents from war torn Syria.

Ark Futura IMO: 9129598

 Syria apparently has not begun to move weapons toward the port staging areas.   An official from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said security concerns and bureaucracy are the primary reasons President Bashar al-Assad's government missed Tuesday's deadline.

Bad weather and a complex multinational procurement effort for equipment have also delayed the operation.

For now, the delay is not raising concern in Washington, which characterized the deadline as ambitious. The State Department said it was satisfied to see "forward progress."

HDMS Esbern Snare (L17) is an Absalon-class support ship, and is along with her sister ship, the HDMS Absalon, the largest combat vessel currently commissioned in the Royal Danish Navy.

Two cargo ships and their warship escorts are waiting at Cyprus’ Limassol port for word on when they can travel to Syria to begin hauling out more than 1,000 tons of chemical agents. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the U.N. said Saturday that a Dec. 31 deadline to remove the most toxic chemicals was unlikely to be met. They urged President Bashar Assad’s government to “intensify efforts” to meet internationally set deadlines

[December 27] Danish chemical expert Bjorn Schmidt speaks to reporters aboard the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare in Cyprus’ Limassol port on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Schmidt said that Danish and Norwegian cargo vessels can safely ferry up to 500 tons of Syria’s most dangerous chemical weapons out of the strife-torn country. He said sealed containers full of chemical compounds that when mixed can create lethal Sarin and VX gasses will be loaded at opposite ends of the two cargo ships.(AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)(Credit: AP) Esbern Snare has since October been pirate hunting on the Somali coast during NATO's Operation Ocean Shield.

Italy has agreed to let the Norwegian and Danish ships use one of its ports — it has not yet said which port — to transfer the most toxic chemicals to a U.S. ship.
The United States is supplying nearly 3,000 container drums, loading, transportation, and decontamination equipment. Washington also is providing GPS locators that will let authorities track the chemicals. Russia is providing large capacity and armoured trucks, water tanks, and other logistical supplies. It has also indicated the possibility of helping with security for cargo operations at the port and in Syrian territorial waters. China is providing surveillance cameras and 10 ambulances.

Denmark and Norway are providing cargo vessels and military escorts in the form of two navy frigates to ship the chemicals out of Latakia. They first will take the most toxic chemicals, which are the top priority for destruction, and later return to pick up hundreds of tons of less dangerous chemicals. Finland will provide a chemical weapons emergency-response team

[December 7]

The MV Cape Ray, a retired cargo ship currently docked at a Virginia private shipyard on the Elizabeth River near the Midtown Tunnel, December 5th, 2013. The Cap Ray is preparing for a high-profile mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons

The Cape Ray was activated twice in the past decade, each time to help move military supplies for the Iraq war.

It was buzzing with activity again on December 5. Department of Defense civilians began mounting the two mobile hydrolysis units below deck, defense officials said. The units will be enclosed in a special tent equipped with an advanced filtration system, ensuring that any chemical leaks would be contained. The entire neutralization operation would take place below deck, defense officials said.

If it gets the green light on the mission, the ship would come under the control of the Navy's Military Sealift Command. It would be staffed with a crew of about 100 people - a mix of Defense Department civilians and private contractors, defense officials said.

Under the working plan, several hundred tons of chemicals would be loaded into shipping containers in Syria, moved to Latakia, a Syrian city on the Mediterranean Sea, and transferred to a non-Syrian port. To avoid docking in the war-torn country, the Cape Ray would pick up the containers from a third country, destroy the chemicals while at sea, then offload the waste at a commercial treatment facility, defense officials said.

The Pentagon began developing the field-deployable hydrolysis system in response to the Syrian civil war. The system - which takes an existing technology and makes it mobile - went through final testing this summer.

Neutralization is achieved by mixing hazardous chemical agents with water and other chemicals, and then heating the mixture.

[December 5]

frigate "Helge Ingstad"

Norwegian frigate will, December 9, sail for Syria, to assist in the work of freighting chemicals from the Syrian weapons programme. Norway has also offered the use of a transport vessel.

The frigate "Helge Ingstad" will be used to escort the freighters which will be used to transport the chemicals to the US, where they will be destroyed.

Bestykning 1 × Mk 41 VLS for missiler
32 × RIM-162 ESSM SAM
8 × Naval Strike Missile
4 × 324 mm torpedorør for Sting Ray torpedoer
1 × 76 mm OTO Melara SR kanon
4 × 12,7 mm Browning M2HB mitraljøser
Sensorer AN/SPY-1F (luft/overflate)
CAPTAS MK II V1 aktiv/passiv tauet sonar
MRS 2000 skrogmontert sonar
Kommandokontroll Link 16, Link 11
Mannskap ca. 120
Fly NH90 Nato Frigate Helicopter

Norway has granted NOK 90 million in support to the UN's work to destroy Syria's store of chemical weapons.
Destruction of so-called "category 3" chemical weapons, which are unfilled munitions, has proceeded at a rapid clip, and has been completed well before the target date of January 31st. At least for now, it is unlikely that Syria has the capacity to make or fill any new weapons.

However, another looming deadline is proving rather harder to meet. By the end of this month, 500 tonnes of the deadliest chemicals in Syria’s arsenal are meant to have been removed from the country for destruction elsewhere. Known as "priority chemical weapons", including nerve agents, such as sarin and mustard gas, these are deemed too dangerous to take into a third-party country for commercial reprocessing (in fact, Albania was approached to host their destruction, but refused).

First, the weapons must be sealed and packaged in special containers brought across the border from Lebanon by Syrian technicians who have been trained there by OPCW specialists. Then they must be transported by road from multiple sites to Syria’s biggest port, Latakia, some 225 kilometres (140 miles) north of Damascus, the capital. Once there, they will be loaded on to ships provided by Norway and Denmark and taken to an American government-owned vessel, the Cape Ray, a 200-metre (650-foot) cargo ship that is part of a reserve fleet used for transporting military hardware at short notice. The Cape Ray is being fitted with a mobile unit that has been developed for breaking down lethal chemical agents into a sludge similar to industrial toxic waste. This will eventually be treated for disposal by commercial firms in a number of different countries, according to Ms Kaag. When the Cape Ray arrives in the Mediterranean it will be escorted by several American navy warships.

MV Cape Ray (AKR-9679)

Built in 1977, the ship was delivered to Saudi Arabia's National Ship Co. as MV SEASPEED ASIA. Later renamed SAUDI MAKKAH, she was purchased by the Maritime Administration in 1993 and was subsequently converted for military use. Renamed MV CAPE RAY (T-AKR 9679), she was assigned to the Ready Reserve Force on December 17, 1994. Since then, she is maintained in reduced operating status in a layberth at Portsmouth, Va. If required, she can be fully activated within 5 days.
General Characteristics:    Built: 1977
Builder: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Japan
Purchased by MARAD: 1993
Propulsion system: two Diesel engines
Propellers: one
Length: 648 feet (197.5 meters)
Beam: 105 feet (32 meters)
Draft: 32 feet (9.75 meters)
Displacement: approx. 35,350 long tons full load
Speed: 16+ knots
Aircraft: none
Armament: none
Crew: 9 civilian mariners in ROS; 29 civilian mariners when activated
Homeport: Portsmouth, Va.

  There appear to be 3 phases to the plan, firstly, to move the 1330 tonnes to the Port of Latakia, secondly to transport these chemicals to the MV Cape Ray presumably in the Mediterranean somewhere, and to commercial toxic waste destruction facilities and finally to destroy the most toxic by hydrolysis on the MV Cape Ray and the rest by normal convention toxic waste destruction at civilian facilities, by mid 2014 – all possible, well apparently, until yesterday’s 11th hour request by Minister Mekdad.

It is understood that most of the CW is North of Damascus and will have to move through a number of contested areas before it reaches Latakia.


[December 2]
The United States is donating a ship and destruction equipment, but it has not yet reached agreement about where the naval vessel will anchor while it processes the toxic chemicals. Latakia, is likely the northern port from which Syria will export hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals to a floating destruction facility. 

Under a deal worked out between the United States and Russia, Syria will relinquish control of its chemical weapons and destroy its entire stockpile of 1,300 tons of sarin, mustard gas and other lethal agents. The size of the stockpile, including 800 tons of industrial chemicals destined for incineration at commercial toxic waste plants, means it can only be transported by land and sea. Syrian forces will have to transport the chemicals through contested territory to Latakia. For the program implementation and the removal out of country it is necessary the roads are open and safe to be used.

[October 31]

amphibious warfare ship Admiral Nevelskoi
Israeli aircraft have carried out a strike near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, a US official says.

The official said the strike targeted Russian-made missiles intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.   One unnamed US official told the Associated Press that the missiles targeted by Israel were Russian-made SA-125s.   Since Russia replaced all of its S-125 sites with SA-10 and SA-12 systems, they decided to upgrade the S-125 systems being removed from service to make them more attractive to export customers

“I think we’ve made it crystal clear we would prefer that Russia was not supplying assistance ” to the Syrian regime in its war against opposition forces, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Rome May 9.   Russia is not planning to supply Syria with any weapons beyond the current contracts that are nearing completion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said refuting speculations that Moscow was going to sell S-300 air defense systems to Damascus.
[June 10]
 U.S. intelligence agencies have identified three Russian amphibious warships in the eastern Mediterranean that are believed to be carrying weapons shipments that might be used to resupply the Syrian regime, according to a Pentagon official.

The United States has been tracking the ships since they left Russian ports several days ago. U.S. satellites were able to see some indications of containers being loaded onto the ships. It's believed the ships may be carrying some components of the controversial Russian S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons for the regime.
The destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, the tanker Pechenga and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krylov left the port of Vladivostok on March 19 to join the task force.

[May 30]

The first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets has arrived there according to  Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
There had been a "bank transfer" in connection with the S-300 transaction but that Russian banks were becoming increasingly nervous about dealing with Assad.   Russian newspaper Kommersant reported today that Russia expects to deliver the long range surface-to-air missile systems by the second quarter of 2014..Most likely this is bluff, To complete its Syrian contract, Russia will need at least seven-to-nine months for first S-300 to be delivered

There were some problems with payments because big Russian banks were scared of dealing with Assad, but there was a bank transfer.There are also not big banks and banks that are not based in Moscow. Beyond the down payment there was almost certainly a second payment, maybe a third.
[May 29]
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said he could “neither deny nor confirm” the reports claiming that the delivery had already been finalized, 
[May 28]
Russia says it will go ahead with deliveries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that the arms will help deter foreign intervention.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missiles were a "stabilising factor" that could dissuade "some hotheads" from entering the conflict.



Shipping from St. Petersburg to the Syrian port of Tartus is expected. 2011 annual report by S-300’s manufacturer,mentioned a contract for the missile systems for Syria. The report has since vanished from the plant’s website, but was cited by the respected Vedomosti business daily at the time as saying that the contract was worth $105 million and that an unspecified number of S-300 systems were slated for delivery between 2012 and early 2013.. The report has since vanished from the plant’s website, but was cited by the respected Vedomosti business daily at the time as saying that the contract was worth $105 million and that an unspecified number of S-300 systems were slated for delivery between 2012 and early 2013.  The manufacturer is unlikely to have ready-to-ship S-300 systems lying on the shelves: Whatever leftovers there were from a deal with Iran, scrapped in 2010, were long ago snatched up by other customers such as Algeria. This means the systems would need to be produced and test launches conducted, a job that would take about a year. Furthermore, dozens or even hundreds of staff would have to be trained to operate the complicated machinery, which should take about six months. This would push Assad’s most optimistic deadline of owning fully operable S-300 complexes to November 2013 at best, with spring of 2014 being a more realistic estimate.

Alexandria Egypt

 Israeli and American officials have urged Russia not to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 air defense weapons. The Kremlin has yielded to American entreaties not to provide S-300s to Iran. But the denial of that sale, analysts say, has increased the pressure within Russia’s military establishment to proceed with the delivery to Syria.
[September 2 2010]
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is said to be concerned over the possibility that Russia will follow through with the delivery of the S-300 surface to- air defense system to Iran via Syria.

Russia has issued mixed messages regarding the future of the 2005 deal in recent months, first saying that the new round of sanctions on Iran passed by the United Nations in June would not impede the deal and later saying that it would.

Despite the Israeli objections, a top Russian official issued a statement on Sunday saying that Moscow would honor its deal with Syria.

“I would like to emphasize that the Russian Federation is fully honoring its earlier agreements with Syria,” Russian presidential aide Sergey Prikhodko told the Interfax news agency.


Tanker market is still waiting for Iran's crude oil to start flowing

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.

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]




Ocean Nymph

Ocean Performer


Ulysses I


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.


Grand Fortune 1: Mongolia-flagged DPRK cargo ship sunk

PYONGYANG, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had urged concerning parties to rescue its sunken cargo ship and help survivors return home.   Three crew members and two bodies were repatriated.

The Mongolia-flagged cargo ship Grand Fortune 1 sank in the waters off Jeju Island at dawn on Friday, with crew members of Korea Kunhae Co Ltd, Pyongyang, Korea (North)under the DPRK's Maritime Administration, while sailing to Shanghai, China. The 4,300-ton cargo ship, which ran aground at around 1:19 am on April 4, was heading to China from the DPRK city of Chongjin, carrying heavy oil and steel products.

Grand Fortune 1, Former names: Shinchang 2,- Sunjoo Pluto (Until 2006 Jun),- Beaver Ii (Until 2005 Jun),- Rigel (Until 1996 Mar)
IMO 8611805
Korea Kunhae Co. Ltd. 5423764  Pyongyang ;Sai Nal, Sai Nal 2, Sai Nal 3, Sin Pho, Wang Jong, Mun Su San, Kum Gang San (or Kumgangsan) 

According to Lloyd’s, the DPRK Government is the beneficial owner of 152 vessels, commercial operator of 30 vessels, registered owner of 12 vessls.

The accident took place in international waters some 43 kilometers away from South Korean waters, according to officials, adding that the route is frequented by North Korean vessels.


Morning Glory arrives in Tripoli

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

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

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

[March 20]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[March 12 ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India blocks Chinese Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 search

Captain Liu Zhonghu aboard Chinese navy ship Jinggangshan in the Indian Ocean on March 20.

List of assets deployed by countries involved in the multi-national search and recovery mission for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean
 Royal Malaysian Navy vessels KD Kasturi, KD Lekiu, KD Selangor, KD Pahang, KD Terengganu and KD Kelantan.
Royal Australian Navy HMAS Success - Durance class multi-product replenishment oiler
China: Two amphibious transport docks, one destroyer, one frigate, one supply ship and one rescue ship from the Chinese navy, as well as 4 ship-borne helicopters. Another five ships from the country's maritime authorities, a bulk carrier and an icebreaker are also part of the search efforts.
 From Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas)  Eight  
 UK-   HMS Echo - multi-role hydrographic survey ships from Royal Navy, heading to SAR site.

Norway- 1 Merchant ship – Norwegian automobile carrier St. Petersburg.

[March 21] Indian Navy has four warships (INS Satpura, Sahyadari, Saryu and Batti Malv) deployed in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea in continuation of the search for the jetliner. Extensive air searches are also being conducted with three aircraft (P-8I, C-130J and Dornier-228) in the area," said an officer.

Five Chinese ships are on route to the site, the country’s National Maritime Search and Rescue Centre said on March 21. The Chinese ice breaker Xuelong, currently at harbour in Perth, is set to join the search effort as soon as possible, the Xinhua news agency said.