Southeast Asia is Center of Maritime Crime

By MarEx 2015-07-09 15:31:18

There has been a 22% increase in piracy and maritime crime in Southeast Asia during the first six months in 2014 reports UK based Dryad Intelligence.

The group recently released a report indicating that there were 120 incidences in the Singapore and Malacca Straights with 12 vessels were hijacked in the first six months of the year. Ten of the ships were hijacked for their cargoes with eight being robbed successfully. And, two ships, MT Sun Birdie and MT Orkim Harmony, were recovered with their cargoes intact.

The Singapore Strait reported 48 vessel incidents in the first half of the year, which is a 118% over last year. While boarding and robberies in its anchorages are on the decline, there were still 18 ships robbed this year verses only five last year. Bangladesh and Vietnam are witnessing an epidemic in armed robberies at anchor.

Experts say that two of the primary groups of hijackers in the Singapore Straits have arrested and robberies on ships have decreased temporarily. But, they also warn that criminal syndicates will recruit new members to carry out future new attacks. Dryad reports that criminal gangs in the Singapore Straits have been operating with impunity and have robbed three or more ships per night.

Read the full report here
An infographic PDF can be found here

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Brazil Clears Shell’s $70 bln Purchase of BG

By MarEx 2015-07-09 14:01:01

Brazil gave the green light to oil major Royal Dutch Shell to buy smaller rival BG, advancing the $70 billion merger — the largest of the past decade — closer to completion in early 2016.

Shell is set to become the largest foreign operator offshore Brazil after it buys BG, so the clearance from the country was a crucial step to complete the merger on time.

Brazil’s competition authority CADE said on Wednesday it had given preliminary approval to the transaction “without restrictions.” BG said that if no appeals were lodged or referrals made in the next 15 days, CADE’s clearance would become final. A spokesman for Shell confirmed the approval and the 15-day appeals period.

The proposed acquisition had previously obtained a green light from United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and now only needs pre-conditional approvals from the European Union, Australia and China for the merger to go ahead.

“The filing process for each of these is under way, and the transaction is on track to complete in early 2016,” it said.

Shell and BG produced a combined 212,252 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Brazil in May, or 7.1 percent of the country’s total. Analysts expect this figure to double to nearly 500,000 boepd by 2020.

The two companies have stakes in Brazil’s most exciting oil plays, with BG owning 25 percent of the massive Lula field and Shell owning 20 percent of the Libra prospect.

The deal comes as Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is battling with a massive corruption scandal, heavy debt load and lower oil prices. The company, which is the operating partner in BG and Shell’s key offshore projects, is scrambling to sell assets to pay off debts and allow it to invest in ouput growth.

Brazil, itself on the verge of its deepest recession in a quarter century, is keen to ensure new production from giant offshore fields is not hindered by the scandal, which led to 23 implicated service companies having their payments frozen and being banned from bidding for new work.

Shell’s purchase of BG, which followed the near halving of oil prices over the past year, was expected to spark a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the energy industry, but so far few deals have been announced.

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Shell’s Mega-Merger in Brazil

By MarEx 2015-07-09 14:01:01

Brazil gave the green light to oil major Royal Dutch Shell to buy smaller rival BG, advancing the $70 billion merger — the largest of the past decade — closer to completion in early 2016.

Shell is set to become the largest foreign operator offshore Brazil after it buys BG, so the clearance from the country was a crucial step to complete the merger on time.

Brazil’s competition authority CADE said on Wednesday it had given preliminary approval to the transaction “without restrictions.” BG said that if no appeals were lodged or referrals made in the next 15 days, CADE’s clearance would become final. A spokesman for Shell confirmed the approval and the 15-day appeals period.

The proposed acquisition had previously obtained a green light from United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and now only needs pre-conditional approvals from the European Union, Australia and China for the merger to go ahead.

“The filing process for each of these is under way, and the transaction is on track to complete in early 2016,” it said.

Shell and BG produced a combined 212,252 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Brazil in May, or 7.1 percent of the country’s total. Analysts expect this figure to double to nearly 500,000 boepd by 2020.

The two companies have stakes in Brazil’s most exciting oil plays, with BG owning 25 percent of the massive Lula field and Shell owning 20 percent of the Libra prospect.

The deal comes as Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is battling with a massive corruption scandal, heavy debt load and lower oil prices. The company, which is the operating partner in BG and Shell’s key offshore projects, is scrambling to sell assets to pay off debts and allow it to invest in ouput growth.

Brazil, itself on the verge of its deepest recession in a quarter century, is keen to ensure new production from giant offshore fields is not hindered by the scandal, which led to 23 implicated service companies having their payments frozen and being banned from bidding for new work.

Shell’s purchase of BG, which followed the near halving of oil prices over the past year, was expected to spark a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the energy industry, but so far few deals have been announced.

Details

Snap-back Accident Causes Serious Injury

By MarEx 2015-07-09 12:28:01

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a safety bulletin following a mooring line failure on the LNG carrier Zarga, which injured a deck officer.

In early March 2015, a deck officer onboard the Zarga was struck in the head by a mooring line that parted during a docking at the South Hook LNG terminal, Milford Haven. He had to be airlifted to a hospital for emergency surgery.

Snapback danger was identified in the ships risk assessments procedures, but critical zones were not been marked on the tanker’s deck. The MAIB did a series of tests and trails to measure elongation and snapback characteristics:

• When connecting synthetic tails to UHMPE, HMPE and wire mooring lines, the energy introduced due to the elasticity of the tails can significantly increase the snap-back hazard.

• Elongation is proportional to the length of tail. Increasing the length of the tail will increase the amount of elongation and hence the amount of energy that can be stored in the line when under load.

• Ship owners/operators should ensure that the type of lines and tails used for mooring lines are suitable for the task and that the dangers of snap-back are fully considered.

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Former Chief Mate Jailed for Oil Dumping

By MarEx 2015-07-09 11:46:29

The former chief mate of the ocean cargo vessel M/V Murcia Carrier was sentenced on Wednesday to three months in prison for environmental crimes.

On April 27, 2014 Russian citizen Valerii Georgiev ordered crew members on board the M/V Murcia Carrier to dump several barrels containing hydraulic oil overboard. While Georgiev disputes the quantity of oil dumped into the sea, the government believes that approximately 20 barrels were dumped overboard.

The dumping occurred in international waters off the coast of Florida while the vessel was in transit from Costa Rica to New Jersey. It was not recorded in the ship’s oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS).

During the course of the Coast Guard boarding, Georgiev denied that dumping occurred and instructed crew members on board the vessel maintain the same story. However, on June 15 of this year Georgiev admitted wrongdoing by pleading guilty to the environmental violations.

Also in June, the operator of the M/V Murcia Carrier, Glasgow-based Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an accurate oil record logbook and providing false statements with respect to the vessel’s garbage record book. The company was ordered to pay a fine of $750,000 and placed on probation for three years.

The case was investigated by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service. Captain Benjamin Cooper, the Sector Commander for the USCG Delaware Bay said, “the Coast Guard takes marine pollution seriously and works cohesively with our partner agencies to hold those who violate international law accountable for their actions. We anticipate the results of this case will deter future brazen illegal oil discharges into the sea.”

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MSC Diverts Ships from Tunisia

By MarEx 2015-07-09 11:01:14

MSC Cruises said it will drop port calls to Tunisia after the country imposed a state of emergency due to terrorism fears.

MSC will suspend Tunisia from its port rotation during 2015-2016 winter season. The popular destination, La Goulette, will be changed to Valletta, Malta.

The MSC Magnifica and MSC Poesia were scheduled for Tunisia in November and December. Tunisia’s president, Beji Caid Essebsi, declared the state of Emergency on July 3rd following the June 26 attacks on the Port El Kantaoui resort. Thirty-eight tourists were shot by a single Tunisian gunman in what is considered the worst attack in that country in more than a decade.

The attack was carried out by a student who had trained with terrorists that were involved in a March massacre at the national museum in Tunis. In the earlier incident, 12 passengers from the MSC Splendida were also killed along with 12 others museum visitors.

The terrorists attacks are apparently aimed to destroy Tunisia’s economy of which tourism is about seven percent of the GDP.

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