Singapore Needs ECA, says Scientist

By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-17 21:05:01

A Singapore-based scientist has urged the nation to implement an Emission Control Area (ECA) to combat rising pollution.

Dr Erik Velasco, of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, made the call during a speech delivered about the nation’s most recent smoke haze event at the Nanyang Polytechnic’ symposium on Air Quality & Public Health.

Singapore regularly experiences haze events which are largely contributed to by wildfires in Indonesia, but, says Velasco, shipping is a major source of pollutants to the atmosphere in Singapore on days not affected by fires in neighboring islands.

Local air quality is affected by the usual urban pollution sources (vehicular traffic and industrial activity), cargo ships crossing the nearby Singapore Strait, natural emissions from the abundant vegetation and ocean, and episodic transboundary pollution originating from wildfires and land-clearing activities in neighboring countries, says Velasco.

“Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. Urban air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year.”

Details

Kuwait to Begin Offshore Exploration in 2017

By Reuters 2015-09-17 16:52:45

Kuwait plans to start an offshore oil exploration programme within two years, state news agency KUNA on Wednesday cited a Kuwait Oil Co (KOC) executive as saying, part of plans to boost oil output capacity.

In comments suggesting Kuwait will maintain energy investments despite plunging oil prices, KOC’s manager of planning, Bader Al-Attar, was quoted as saying his country aimed to add a total of 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production capacity from offshore and onshore areas.

Attar did not identify the potential offshore locations.

Most of Kuwait’s production is from the onshore Burgan field, the world’s second largest, in the southeast of the country, though it also extracts reserves from an offshore Neutral Zone where it shares facilities with Saudi Arabia.

Attar also said Kuwait aims to boost production capacity to 3.5 million bpd by the end of 2015, including from the Neutral Zone, from around 3.15 million bpd now.

A Kuwaiti oil industry source told Reuters last week his country will raise oil output by between 250,000 and 270,000 bpd by the end of the year to make up for production lost from two shut oil fields.

Attar was quoted saying by KUNA his country still wanted to lift output capacity to 4 million bpd by 2020 and sustain this level to 2030. (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Sami Aboudi and David Holmes)

Details

UASC Flag Ship Cargoes Delayed

By MarEx 2015-09-17 16:33:37

A fire aboard the United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) M/V Barzan is expected to delay cargoes by up to two weeks. The flames broke out in the ship’s number two hold as it was about to call Felixstowe in the UK last week.

The M/V Barzan, which is an LNG-ready ship, was 60 nautical miles off Cape Finistere, at the Northwestern tip of Spain when the fire broke out. The crew extinguished the fire and vessel was diverted to Rotterdam for inspection.

The 18,800-TEU vessel is the company’s flagship and the largest in the fleet. Barzan operates UASC’s Asia-Europe service.

This is the second fire onboard a UASC vessel in recent weeks. On August 28, the 13,500-TEU M/V Alula­ sustained a fire in Hamburg.

UASC is a member of the Ocean Three Alliance (OTA), which also includes CMA CGM and the China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL). The OTA services operates in the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Transpacific and Asia-US East Coast trade lanes.

Details

World’s First Undersea Compression Plant

By MarEx 2015-09-17 16:20:32

The world’s first subsea gas compression plant has come online at about 1,000 feet underwater at the Asgard Field in the Norwegian Sea.

Statoil S.A. began the project in 2005 at a cost of about $2.3 billion. The company expects to add about 306 million barrels of oil equivalent over the field’s life. The underwater plant’s ability to compress gas will enable Statoil to produce more oil or gas from the reservoir.

Statoil’s compression plant in Asgard will increase production in the Midgard reservoir by about 20 percent and 25 percent for the Mikkel reservoir.

Until now, compression plants have only been installed on offshore platforms and on land facilities. Statoil says they’ve employed more than 40 new technologies in the compression plant.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate recently granted Statoil permits to build a second subsea compressor in the Gullfaks field in the North Sea.

Details

World’s First Undersea Compression Plant Online

By MarEx 2015-09-17 16:20:32

The world’s first subsea gas compression plant has come online at about 1,000 feet underwater at the Asgard Field in the Norwegian Sea.

Statoil S.A. began the project in 2005 at a cost of about $2.3 billion. The company expects to add about 306 million barrels of oil equivalent over the field’s life. The underwater plant’s ability to compress gas will enable Statoil to produce more oil or gas from the reservoir.

Statoil’s compression plant in Asgard will increase production in the Midgard reservoir by about 20 percent and 25 percent for the Mikkel reservoir.

Until now, compression plants have only been installed on offshore platforms and on land facilities. Statoil says they’ve employed more than 40 new technologies in the compression plant.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate recently granted Statoil permits to build a second subsea compressor in the Gullfaks field in the North Sea.

Details

Non-authorization of EX-IM Bank Impacts U.S. Economy

By MarEx 2015-09-17 16:08:51

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the U.S. Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank in 1934 as part of his New Deal to finance and insure foreign purchases of U.S. products. But despite filling export financing gaps through its loan guarantee and insurance programs for 81 years, the federally-backed bank’s future is uncertain.

Congress allowed EX-IM’s lending authority to expire on June 30 as Tea Party Republicans seeking to limit government intervention in the free market assert the bank chose winners and losers by deciding which companies are approved for loans and insurance.

Due to the lapse in its authority, EX-IM is no longer processing new applications or engaging in new business, and is now focusing on its $107 billion portfolio until it is reauthorized.

According to EX-IM, it backed $27.5 million in exports in 2014, which is about two percent of the U.S. total. The institution also added that small business exports represented more than $10 billion of that total. And in the past six years, the Bank has financed the sale of more than $200 billion in U.S. exports, supporting over 1.3 million private-sector American jobs.

President Obama is among the bank’s supporters, noting that EX-IM supported about 164,000 jobs in 2014, and that it places the U.S. on an equal footing with foreign nations that insure and export their products.

EX-IM’s seaborne shipping policy is that most products insured by the bank should be transported on U.S.-flagged vessels. This includes direct loans of any amount, guarantees above $20 million and products with repayment periods of more than seven years.

Many of the bank’s political supporters have argued that cargo preference laws for U.S. vessels is a cost-effective way to support the nation’s commercial fleet. Cargo preference is one of the ways that U.S. deepwater fleet and U.S. merchant seaman are maintained. The U.S. deepwater fleet supports military operations around the world.

Earlier this week, General Electric (G.E.) stated that it would move 500 jobs overseas in response to EX-IM non-authorization. G.E. intends to move about 400 of those jobs to France, whose export credit agency has already offered financing services. The remaining 100 jobs will be relocated to Hungary and China. The jobs are shifting away from Texas, New York, Maine and South Carolina.

While most developed nations have an export credit agency, China appears to be the country most likely to gain if EX-IM is not reauthorized. According to a White House release, the majority of global official export credit agency activity remained flat in 2014, China’s grew by over 40 percent.

Details