U.S. GOM Rigs in Decline

By MarEx 2015-09-22 15:40:21

As crude oil prices tumble, the number of active offshore rigs has declined by about 20 percent worldwide since 2014. In August 2015, there were 377 active rigs compared to just 304 in August 2015.

But the number of active offshore rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has fallen more rapidly as more than 46 percent of the rigs are unused compared to 2014. Over the past 15 years, the U.S. GOM’s share of active offshore rigs worldwide has declined significantly—from almost half of all active offshore rigs worldwide in 2000 to less than 20 percent since 2008.

In the U.S. GOM, technology advancements accelerated the development of the deepwater. The move to deeper waters prompted the departure of rigs operating in the shallow waters of the U.S. GOM.

Natural gas prospects in the U.S. GOM have also become less profitable, as the largely shale-driven increase in onshore natural gas supply contributed to decreases in U.S. natural gas prices. The number of active offshore rigs in the U.S. GOM declined from 122 in January 2000 to 41 in January 2010, before falling to 19 in June 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon offshore explosion and blowout.

The U.S. GOM active offshore rig count recovered to 57 by December 2014, and currently the number is 33.

From 2000 to 2006, the share of active rigs operating offshore in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America grew significantly. That share remained steady over the past decade. The expansion of offshore drilling in India and China largely accounted for the growth in offshore rigs in the Asia Pacific region. During the early 2000s, Qatar and Iran accounted for much of the growth in active offshore rigs in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia accounting for a large portion of the regional growth since 2006. Mexico accounted for the growth in active offshore rigs in Latin America in the early 2000s, as national oil company Pemex increased its offshore activity to arrest declining production from aging fields. Since 2006, Brazil has been responsible for much of Latin America’s growth.

Most of the more recent growth in active offshore rigs outside the United States has occurred in Africa. Angola and Nigeria account for much of the growth in the region after 2010. Angola has more than 10 offshore oil projects expected to come online within the next five years. Nigeria’s offshore activities have been focusing on the deepwater and ultra-deepwater; at least three deepwater projects are in development and are projected to come online within the next five years.

SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Administration


Cement Tanker Runs over Fishing Vessel

By MarEx 2015-09-22 15:31:55

Five fishermen are dead and another four are missing after the Asia Cement 2 ran over a fishing vessel, Shih Hui 31, off the coast of Taoyuan City, Taiwan. The incident occurred around 1:48 am local time on September 18 as the cement tanker was in transit from Hualian to Taichung.

The collision caused the fishing vessel to capsize while the cement carrier sustained no damage during the incident.

Rescue teams were dispatched after the collision and divers recovered the bodies of five fishermen the next day. The fishing vessel’s 66-year-old captain, Chi Wan-te, was among the recovered bodies.

U-Ming Marine, Asia Cement 2’s operator, the Keelung City Government and China Marine Surveyors have agreed to tow the Shi Hui 31 to the port of Tapei.


Finland to Build LNG Terminals

By MarEx 2015-09-22 15:15:46

The European Union has approved Finland’s plan to grant €23 million ($25 million) in public funding to construct the nation’s first LNG terminal. The small-scale terminal will be located in Pori, which is in the Satakunta region on Finland’s west coast. The project is part of country’s infrastructure plan to create a network of small LNG terminals.

Public funding will cover less than 30 percent of the terminal’s investment cost and Skangas of Sweden, the facility’s developer and owner, will fund the remaining investment.

Skangas is investing €86 million ($90 million) into the terminal that will consist of a LNG storage tank, loading docks, process units, flare torch, three loading docks for roadway tankers, a transformer building and a heat production unit and will have an overall capacity of 30,000 cubic meters.

The LNG terminal is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and Finland intends to encourage the use of LNG and cleaner fuels as the maritime industry IMO emissions standards implemented on January 1, 2015.


Marathon Buys Aker’s Stake in Crowley Tankers

By MarEx 2015-09-22 15:10:31

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) has agreed to buy Aker Philadelphia Shipyard’s stake in the Crowley Maritime Corp joint venture for the operation and chartering of four 50,000 dwt product tankers, which are valued at $150 million per vessel. MPC will take delivery of the four vessels by 2016’s third quarter.

The tankers are still under construction at Aker and the company intends to complete construction. But, it has sold its ownership position to Marathon for an estimated $110 million.

Aker and Crowley signed a joint venture agreement in 2013, which was valued at about $600 million to build four product tankers with options for additional vessels. In March, Aker and Crowley announced they had secured $325 million loan underwritten by a consortium of banks and financial institutions to finance the construction of the vessels.

The tankers will be Jones-Act qualifying vessels that are built at Aker and managed by Crowley including technical operation and commercial management of the ships.

Aker is also building four 50,000 dwt tankers for a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc., which will be delivered in late 2016 through 2017. The shipyard has also contracted with Matson Navigation for two 3,600 TEU containerships, which will be delivered in 2018.

In July, Aker announced it will change its name to Philly Shipyard pending shareholder approval.


Marathon buys tanker JV interests

Marathon Petroleum has taken over Aker Philadelphia’s stake in a Jones Act product tanker joint venture (JV) with Crowley Maritime.
The transaction relates to the operation and chartering of four 50,000 dwt product tankers under construction at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc (APSI), to be delivered