Woodside FLNGs Get Government Go-Ahead

By MarEx 2015-08-19 20:33:11

The Australian Department of Environment has approved Woodside Energy’s $40 billion plans to progress with the Browse FLNG project.

The approval is valid until 31 December 2070, and allows for Woodside to install, operate and decommission the infrastructure for the development of the Torosa, Brecknock and Calliance gas fields, located approximately 425 km north of Broome, Western Australia, in the Browse Basin, using FLNG technology.

The Browse Joint Venture participants agreed to enter the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase for the proposed floating LNG development earlier this year, a key milestone in preparing for a final investment decision, targeted for 2H 2016.

The Browse FLNG Development concept is based on three FLNG facilities using Shell’s FLNG technology.

Initial development plans involved an onshore plant at James Price Point on the remote Kimberley coast, but the idea was scrapped just weeks before a final investment decision was due, after finding it would cost at least $80 billion.

Participants in the Browse joint venture include Woodside as operator, Shell Development Australia, BP Developments Australia, Japan Australia LNG (MIMI Browse) and BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf).

The approval notice is available here.


Hapag-Lloyd Buys 6,000 Reefers

By MarEx 2015-08-19 19:57:06

Hapag-Lloyd is investing a double-digit million amount in 6,000 of the latest generation of reefer containers. The order is the largest in the company’s history.

Hapag-Lloyd is already one of the largest reefer carriers in the world today and expects benefit from increasing transport volumes not just on East-West trades, but also on North-South and Latin American trades.

“We operate a state-of-the-art reefer fleet that is the fourth-largest in the world. With the new reefers, we are expanding our leading position even further in this specialized business with its specific demands and will thus benefit from the growing reefer market,” says Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd.

“With our enhanced reefer fleet, we are ideally positioned for the Latin American trade, which is an important part of the reefer business – right on time for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal next year.”

In April this year, Hapag-Lloyd ordered five new 10,500 TEU ships with a high number of slots for reefers. Each of these ships can accommodate up to 2,100 reefers. The newbuildings are to be used primarily on trades to and from South America, as this region is one of the strongest reefer markets in the world.

The new reefers are to be gradually integrated into the container fleet, starting in the coming weeks.

Hapag-Lloyd uses reefers to transport temperature-sensitive cargo such as fruits, vegetables and pharmaceutical products as well as meat and fish. Around 1,000 of the newly ordered containers will be fitted with controlled-atmosphere technology, which prolongs the life of certain fruits and vegetables, while maintaining the same quality. The state-of-the-art containers will also have cooling units with the highest level of efficiency. Thanks to optimized power control, they will consume significantly less energy, without any change to performance and temperature precision.


Divers First In On Sewol Recovery

By Wendy Laursen 2015-08-19 19:38:14

Salvage work on the Sewol ferry began in South Korea on Wednesday when divers started surveying the condition of the vessel in order to finalize plans for raising it.

The survey is expected to take several weeks, as the country is trying to recover the ship without any serious damage to the vessel or any remains of people still missing.

Sewol ship sank April 16, 2014 en route to the southern resort island of Jeju. The disaster saw 304 people killed, most of them students on a school excursion. There are nine people still unaccounted for.

The $72 million project to recover the ferry was awarded to a Chinese consortium led by China’s state-run Shanghai Salvage. The consortium has brought 96 divers in to study the condition of the ferry and the notoriously strong currents at the location.

The vessel is expected to be hoisted from the seabed early next year and have the project completed before the end of June.

The vessel lies in 40 meters of water and will be lifted using metal beams. If successful, it will be a salvage industry first, as a ferry as heavy as 6,700-tons has never been lifted before without cutting it into separate parts. With water inside, the Sewol is estimated to weigh about 8,500 tons.

Airbags will initially be used to raise the vessel from the seabed so that the beams can be inserted underneath the ferry. Cranes will then lift it on to a submerged platform to bring it to the surface.

The salvors will net the ship to prevent any contents being lost.

Some South Koreans have questioned whether the expense of the salvage is merited, given the slim chance of finding any more bodies or uncovering any fresh evidence regarding the cause of the tragedy.

There is also a risk for the divers involved. South Korean divers, working in dangerous conditions with strong currents and low visibility, recovered 295 bodies from Sewol before abandoning the search in November last year. One lost his life during the efforts.

Families of the victims have gathered on the island with placards wishing for the safe recovery of the nine bodies.


Egypt’s New Electronic System Will Speed Transits

By MarEx 2015-08-19 16:35:43

Egypt’s Ministers of Transportation, Finance and Trade announced the application of an electronic system to link data at its ports. The system will connect all of Egypt’s ports to one database, which will be used in custom clearance and inspection procedures. The linkage system is expected to expedite queues for ships that can wait up to six days to be inspected into just four hours.

Egypt is also implementing a “one-stop-shop” system, which will allow investors to receive approvals through a single process. Per a newly-approved law, Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), will obtain permits and licenses on behalf of investors from government bodies.

With the Suez Canal expansion completed, the Egyptian government is now encouraging investment and, in February, it announced corporate tax cuts in the zone to one-third of the national rate in order to boost investments. Egypt expects that cutting clearance time from days to a few hours there will be more investment.

More than 17,000 ships transited the Suez Canal in 2014, which is about 50 ships per day. The expanded canal will increase traffic about 100 ships per day.

The government expects the system to be functioning throughout all ports in about three months.


Elmer Morley, MPT Founder, Passes at 85

By MarEx 2015-08-19 15:48:21

Maritime Professional Training’s founder, Elmer Morley, and father to Lisa Morley, Ted Morley and Amy Beavers, passed away from pancreatic cancer on August 17th. Each of his children hold prominent positions at MPT.

Morley was a chief engineering instructor at Maritime Professional Training, which he founded in 1983. MPT is one of the largest privately held maritime training facilities in the U.S. and consistently trains over 10,000 students annually.

He was also a father, grandfather, great grandfather, and loving husband to Beverly. The Morley family will honor its patriarch on August 22nd at a public service at Rio Vista Community Church, located at 880 S. Federal Hwy in Fort Lauderdale at 2 PM on Saturday, August 22nd. All are welcome to join in honoring his life and legacy.


GoM Rigs Drawing Little Interest

By Reuters 2015-08-19 14:43:40

A U.S. government sale of oil and gas drilling leases in the western Gulf of Mexico attracted the lowest number of bids on record on Wednesday as slumping oil prices kept producers from plowing money into expensive offshore prospects.

The yearly sale, held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), attracted $22.7 million in high bids, the smallest in the western Gulf since 1983 when leases were first broken down into regions, the BOEM said, reaping just one fifth of the value of last year’s offers.

“The continuing drop in oil prices and low natural gas prices obviously affect industry’s short-term investment decisions,” BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement, also stressing the long term potential of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production.

“While this sale reflects today’s market conditions…it underscores a steady, continued interest in developing deep water federal offshore oil and gas resources.”

U.S. oil prices have slumped over the past year due to oversupply, from over $107 a barrel in June 2014 to $40 on Wednesday, denting oil producers’ profits and leading to thousands of industry job cuts. Even cheaper onshore developments have stalled as companies reassess their yearly budgets.

In Wednesday’s sale, five companies submitted 33 bids on 33 tracts covering 190,080 acres (76,923 hectares) in the western region, BOEM said.

Australia’s BHP Billiton was the most active with 26 bids. BP made one bid, Colombia’s Ecopetrol made four, three of which were made jointly with Anadarko Petroleum, and Houston-based Peregrine Oil and Gas made two.

Last year saw 93 bids on 81 tracts totaling $110 million in high bids. In 2012, when oil prices fluctuated between $100 and $80 a barrel, there were 131 bids on 116 tracts, with high bids hitting $133 million, a BOEM spokesman said.


Traffickers Arrested in Migrant Deaths

By MarEx 2015-08-19 14:15:12

Italian police have arrested eight human traffickers for the deaths of 49 migrants aboard a fishing vessel in the Mediterranean. The dead were discovered August 15. Officials say they were suffocated by engine fumes. The ship’s remaining 312 survivors were transported to Catania.

The traffickers are from Libya, Morocco and Syria and they will face homicide and illegal immigration charges. The migrants told authorities the traffickers prevented them from leaving the ship by beating them and kept them captive in the vessel’s hold.

Illegal migration in the Mediterranean has become an epidemic for the EU, especially Italy. More than 200 migrants were killed earlier this month when their fishing vessel capsized. The International Organization for Migration reported that more than 2,300 have died this year fleeing Africa.

The EU’s Migration and Home Affairs ministry recently said it will provide aid to member countries hardest hit by the wave of migrants. Officials expect to provide at least $33.4 million soon.

Meanwhile, Greek officials intend on meeting with EU representatives about how best to use the $528 million in aid it has received to integrate migrants into its population.


Korean Yards in Recession

By MarEx 2015-08-19 14:06:22

About thirteen executives of Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea have resigned following record Q2 losses. CEO Ko Jae-ho is among the resignations, but the company’s seven-member board was not affected.

DSME is the world’s second largest shipbuilder and reported a loss of more than $2 billion in Q2 2015. Its primary shareholder is Korea Development Bank, which is reevaluating its position. The shipbuilder intends to sell non-core assets to improve its shipbuilding competitiveness.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) are also facing financial difficulties. Hyundai reported a $2.5 billion Q2 loss and Samsung reported a $1.2 billion loss. The Big Three South Korea yards plan to lay off about 3,000 employees this year.

The DSME board has accepted the voluntary resignations and is said to be advising others to resign. The company will release about 1,300 senior management staff before 2016.

HHI has already revamped its senior management team and the company has released about 31 percent of its senior staff in 2014 and this July it replaced 25 executives.

The yards mostly attribute losses to delays in the construction of oil and gas rigs.


New Zealand ports battle for business

Ports of Auckland (POAL) has detailed plans to take on major competitor Port of Tauranga’s (POT) catchment in the Bay of Plenty region.
Timing its news just 24 hours ahead of the release of POT’s annual results, POAL revealed that its third inland port will be located right on POT’s doorstep at Mt