Singapore Tough on Bunker Suppliers

By MarEx 2015-08-26 16:29:38

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has fined JL Petroleum for supplying marine fuel in the world’s largest bunkering hub without a valid license. JL Petroleum plead guilty to charges of supplying marine fuel on 14 occasions in June 2013. Additionally, the company used Bunker Delivery Notes belonging to licensed supplier Excel Petroleum Enterprise for its deliveries.

The MPA canceled Excel Petroleum’s license on January 15, 2014 for its involvement in the case.The MPA did not disclose the amount JL Petroleum was fined. Bunkering licenses are required under item 64(b) of the MPA’s regulations and JL Petroleum was fined under regulation 78(b).

MPA said, in a statement, it has a zero-tolerance policy towards bunkering malpractice. In February, it suspended the licenses of Singapore-based Tankoil Marine Services and Hong Fatt Oil Trading for discrepancies and wrongful declarations in their bunker tanker records.

Singapore handles about 42.4 million metric tons of bunkers each year and there are currently 59 licensed bunker suppliers in the port.


More Oil Industry Fallout

By MarEx 2015-08-26 16:22:43

Maersk Oil, an oil and gas company owned by the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, is cutting about 200 employees and will seek permission from Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority to close operations at its Janice installation. The Janice installation produces about 7,000 barrels per day from three UK North Sea oil fields. The staff cuts will affect permanent Maersk Oil employees as well as contractors.

Maersk Oil operates fields in the UK, Denmark, Qatar, Kazakhstan, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Algeria and Brazil with total production of 550,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Janice offshore installation is a 30-year-old rig and Maersk has operated the facility since 2005. If approved, production at the Janice installation would cease in the second or third quarter of 2016.

Maersk said in a statement once it received permission to cease production in the field it would start its decommissioning program for the Janice FPU (floating production unit). The company said it will also consider a move to a three weeks off, three weeks on offshore rotation which would be implemented in the second quarter of 2016.

On August 21, Oil prices fell below $40 per barrel for the first time since 2009. And the oil industry has felt the effects as operators have slashed jobs and cut operations costs.

In June, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) said the US petroleum industry lost about 6.5% of its jobs in the first half of 2015, which is about 35,000 of its 538,000 workers. Rig count in the U.S. are also down about 42 percent this year.

And in the UK, Shell eliminated about 6,500 and Centrica terminated 6,000 jobs. This month, the Wood Group, a Scotland-based oil and gas services company operating the UK North Sea said it was reducing its workforce by 5,000. The company’s net profit fell by 17 percent in the first half of 2015.

In July, the Sapiem energy services group announced that it would cut nearly 9,000 employees over the next three years. Sapiem is a subsidiary of Italy’s multinational oil and gas company ENI.


Frontline 2012 posts higher Q2 profit

Frontline 2012 has reported an improved second-quarter net profit, although its first-half performance sagged from the same period last year.
Lifted by better earnings from its growing product tanker fleet, the company’s second-quarter net profit totalled USD136.6 million, up from USD23.1 million

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U.S. Plan More Drills in South China Sea

By Reuters 2015-08-26 10:21:08

The United States plans to increase the number of military and humanitarian drills it conducts in the Asia-Pacific as part of a new strategy to counter China’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea, the Philippine military said on Wednesday.

Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, highlighted key aspects of the Pentagon’s freshly drafted Asia Pacific Maritime Security Strategy during talks with his Filipino counterpart, General Hernando Iriberri, during a visit to Manila.

Colonel Restituto Padilla, a military spokesman, told journalists that the report outlined Washington’s set of actions in the disputed South China Sea and East China Sea, focusing on the protection of “freedom of seas”, deterring conflict and coercion, and promoting adherence to international law.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims.

A military source, who was in the meeting between Harris and Iriberri, told Reuters the U.S. and the Philippines are expected to increase the size, frequency and sophistication of exercises in the region.

Since China’s land reclamation efforts began in December 2013, it has reclaimed more than 2,900 acres (1,170 hectares) of land as of June 2015, the Pentagon said last week in a report on its Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy.

The reclamation campaign significantly outweighed efforts by other claimants in size, pace and nature, the Pentagon report said.

China says the outposts will have undefined military purposes, as well as help with maritime search and rescue, disaster relief and navigation.