M. Star: dent from a submarine collision?

U.A.E. port officials examining M. Star said it may have hit a submarine or a mine. earlier


M.Star: U.S. officials are watching the situation closely

Mitsui releases photos of explosion damage

“We have no information the tanker was attacked,” said State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley... The U.S. will continue to monitor developments, Crowley said. An explosion, which “may have been caused by an external attack,” occurred at 5:30 a.m. Tokyo time, injuring one of the crew, Mitsui said in a statement. The vessel, M. Star, was on its way to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates to assess the damage and no oil is leaking, earlier


M.Star: VLCC missile attack in strait of Hormuz?

Vessel's name: M. Star Last updated: Mar 17, 2010
Ex-name(s): Not Applicable IMO number: 9515436
Flag: Marshall Island Call sign: V7QT7
Port of Registry: Majuro Summer DWT: 299994 MT
Type of vessel: Oil Tanker Built: Dec 04, 2008
Type of hull: Double Hull Owner: Probe Shipping S.A. (Panama)
Class Society: Nippon Kaiji Kyokai Operator: MOL Tankship Management (Asia) Pte Ltd

An explosion hit a Japanese oil tanker in the early hours of Wednesday in the Strait of Hormuz near Iran and Oman, and the crew attributed the blast to an attack. A crew member suffered minor injuries and the ship was heading to port to assess the damage, the company said. The impact to the spot Asian crude market was seen as minimal. The ship, the "M. STAR", was loaded with 270,204 tonnes when the incident occurred in waters off Oman, Mitsui O.S.K. said. It said the ship had been bound for Chiba port near Tokyo.
The explosion occurred at around 00:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday (2030 GMT Tuesday), the transport ministry in Tokyo said. The ministry said there had been no reports of piracy in the area.
There was no leakage of oil from the tanker, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) with 16 Filipino and 15 Indian crew members on board. It was sailing under its own power towards Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates to check the damage, a spokeswoman for Japan's second-biggest shipper said.
Around 17 million barrels per day of oil flow via the Strait of Hormuz, and Middle East crude accounts for 90 percent of Japan's total imports. The location of the explosion near a lifeboat at the rear starboard side of the ship suggested the blast was unlikely to have been caused by oil on the tanker, Mitsui O.S.K. was quoted as saying by the ministry.
"In addition, a crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so (Mitsui O.S.K.) believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack," the ministry said in a statement. The impact to the Asian spot crude market could be minimal because the tanker would have taken three weeks to arrive in Japan, traders said. This (event) won't stop the flow of crude, so there will be no impact on what is able to be bought," said a Tokyo-based crude trader. The tanker was carrying around 2.3 million barrels of Qatar Land and Abu Dhabi Lower Zakum crudes, industry sources said. "The impact could be limited if there's no severe damage," said a trader with a northeast Asia refiner when asked about the potential impact of the cargo's diversion on the physical crude market. "If there is a spill, that might be different story. But not a big impact," said another trader.
M.Star - IMO 9515436, flag Marshall Islands, dwt 314016, built 2008.

MOL Tankship Management Ltd. Tokyo, MOL Tankship Management Ltd. (London), and MOL Shipmanagement (Asia) Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) will take responsibility for tanker management operations. Last two overseas companies will be renamed MOL Tankship Management (Europe) Ltd. and MOL Tankship Management (Asia) Pte. Ltd., respectively, and these three companies share a common policy and strategy under the leadership of MOL Tankship Management Ltd. Tokyo.MOL Tankship,

Frigia: Garanti bulker ransomed, released

Frigia IMO: 7507485
Malta flagged Turkish owned (Garanti Finansal Kiralama, a subsidiarty of Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS, Istambul) cargo ship MV FRIGIA, has been released, deadweight 35,000 tonnes. The pirates abandoned the ship. The ship's release came through negotiations but would not say whether a ransom was paid. earlier read more


Saveh:new EU sanctions for IRISL, IRGC

Saveh, maltese flag
* Tuesday 27 July - SOME 24 firms allegedly associated with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, two of them based in Britain, have had their assets frozen by the European Union, To put further pressure on the IRGC, which the EU sees as the body controlling the nuclear programme, a number of top leaders were placed on the visa-ban list for the first time.

They include the head of the navy, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi; the head of land forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpur; and the IRGC's deputy commander, Brigadier General Hossein Salami.

The 27 European foreign ministers, in a statement, said they had agreed on “a comprehensive and robust package of measures in the areas of trade, financial services, energy, transport as well as additional designations for visa ban and asset freeze,” saying that it would focus on Iranian banks, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.


Horizon: taking the fifth, resignation

The buck stops here.

Mercado/ Deepwater Horizon/Well site leader Bob Kaluza -- who held the position traditionally known as "company man" -- didn't show up after being listed as witnesses for Tuesday's hearing. Kaluza's lawyer said he was exercising his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Tony Hayward the chief executive of oil giant BP, the leaseholder of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded April 20, 2010 is said to be negotiating his withdrawal.


Development Driller: riser pipe going back in

The Development Driller III, which is drilling the first of two relief wells designed to kill the leak, is "moving back to the site," BP spokesman Steve Rinehart said. Rinehart added that it was unclear when the vessel would be back. This drill rig working on a relief well is returning to the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a tropical storm that caused its evacuation petered over the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,

Before the evacuation was decreed late Thursday, the rig was completing the casing of a relief well, in preparation for it to intersect with the well that has spewed millions of barrels of crude in the Gulf. The intersection was scheduled for the end of July before the evacuation happened. It will take 48 hours to lay the casing once operations restart, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who heads the federal oil spill response effort, said in a conference Friday. Last night, Development Driller II and Development Driller III were directed to detach from their drill sites. This in effect means they’re disconnecting from the lower marine riser package.

"They are in the process right now of pulling the riser pipe. For those of you who are familiar, that is a very huge section of pipe. It comes in anywhere from 40 to 60 foot sections, it has to be disassembled and put on deck of the, of the drilling rigs."
earlier blog

Development Driller: pulling up pipe

Development Driller II (left) and Development Driller III, which are drilling the relief wells at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crews of vessels, including one boring the tunnel meant to kill the flow of crude for good, spent Friday hauling in their gear and getting out of the storm's way. Workers were pulling up a mile of pipe in 40-to-60-foot sections and laying it on deck of the drilling rig so they could move to safer water, probably to the southwest flank of the storm. earlier blog


Development Driller: moving out of hurricane's way

GSF Development Driller II IMO 8765515 , DEVELOPMENT DRILLER III IMO 8769121 Both Vanuatu-flag and owned ultimately by Transocean
will be preparing to move out of harm's way beginning tonight "This includes the rig drilling the relief well that will ultimately kill the well, as well as other vessels needed for containment.


UBT Ocean, Sakoba" pirates get their ransom

Somali pirates released the fishing ship Sakoba yesterday after a $3 million ransom was paid.They also released UBT Ocean today and took $4 million in ransom,"
The ransom claims could not be independently verified.


Arctic Sea: Russia's beefed up presence

Arctoc Sea in Cadiz anchorage

The recent easy escape and disappearance of Russian spy "Christopher R. Metsos" may draw more attention to Russia's beefed up presence of intelligence operatives throughout the Mediterranean. The DOJ complaint says that in 2004 Metsos "was surreptitiously handed money in New York by a Russian government official ... a purported diplomat associated with the Manhattan-based Russian Mission." Metsos purportedly buried a portion of the money (said to be $40,000), which was later dug up by Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, whom the FBI named "the Seattle Conspirators.

Pirates As the senior Western officials who addressed the German Marshall Fund indicated, these efforts to suppress piracy are largely cosmetic. But there is no need for Western navies to do the dirty work. It’s cheaper to engage the locals, as the US army does regularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, there will be some collateral damage. more


Arctic Sea: Russian spy still out there from Med

The laptop and "more than one" USB memory stick belonging to 54-year-old Christopher Robert Metsos U.S. authorities have requested .

The laptop and USB memory sticks were confiscated on June 29 when Metsos was arrested trying to board a flight to Budapest, Hungary. The items were not returned to Metsos after a Cyprus court released him on $33,000 bail on June 30, after which he promptly disappeared.


Motivator: Kriton Lendoudis chemtanker hijacked

The Marshall Islands Flagged Evalend chemical products tanker, lubricant cargo,
2009 july 30, Maasvlakte, inbound Rotterdam
Call Sign : V7LQ5
Gross tonnage : 8539
Year of build : 2007

Lendoudis once sold his yacht to Slobodan Milosevic and a Facebook page uses his name and this picture


Arctic Sea: Russian Spy from Med still loose

Christopher Robert Metsos is the spy who got away, Greek Cypriot officials believe he fled the divided island, and crossing into the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north may have offered an avenue of escape. But the U.S. Embassy said it had not asked Turkish Cypriot authorities for help in tracking the fugitive.
Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias has deflected U.S. Justice Department criticism over Metsos' release, saying U.S. authorities were slow in providing certain documents to Cypriot police.
Arctic Sea circles and circles and slows to 0.7 knots, does not enter Algeciras or Gibraltar.