Details of Skandi Pacific Fatality Revealed

By MarEx 2015-07-16 00:39:01

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released details of the fatal accident on board Skandi Pacific on July 14. The accident occurred when the anchor handler, managed by DOF Management, was 166 km NW of Karartha, Western Australia (on the Northwest Shelf).

During the early hours of July 14, Skandi Pacific stopped working cargo with the drilling platform Atwood Osprey due to heavy weather. While attempting to shelter from the weather and secure cargo a wave came over the back deck of the vessel and shifted cargo.

A crew member was attempting to secure cargo when he was crushed between a moving mini-container and a cargo skip. He was removed to the nearby drill platform to receive medical assistance but died of his injuries.

An investigation is underway.


World’s Largest Semi-Sub Crane Vessel Ordered

By MarEx 2015-07-15 18:52:48

Sembcorp Marine has entered into a contract worth approximately $1 billion with Heerema Offshore Services to build a new DP3 semi-submersible crane vessel.

With the vessel length of 220 meters (720 feet), width of 102 meters (335 feet) and displacement of 273,700mt, the vessel will be the largest dual-fuel semi-submersible crane vessel in the world.

Scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2018, the vessel is designed for the installation and decommissioning of major offshore facilities world-wide. It will be equipped with two Huisman heavy-lifting offshore cranes of 10,000 MT lifting capacity each and a large reinforced work deck area.

The vessel will be built at the Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard. Phase 1 of Tuas Boulevard yard spans 73.3 hectares and is equipped with four VLCC drydocks with a total dock capacity of 1.55 million deadweight tons. Phase II spans 34.5 hectares and will include a steel fabrication facility and another three dry docks, including an offshore dock measuring 255 meters (836 feet) by 110 meters (360 feet) where the vessel will be built.

Jan Pieter Klaver, CEO of Heerema Marine Contractors, said: “We strongly believe in the successful cooperation between Sembcorp Marine and Heerema to build the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessel. The new vessel’s two tub mounted cranes and dual fuel engines will enable Heerema Marine Contractors to offer unparalleled installation and decommissioning services. This will meet our long-term strategy of delivering the best possible services to the global offshore oil and gas industry.”

William Gu Wei Guang, Head of Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters, said: “We are thankful and pleased that HOS has placed their trust and confidence in Sembcorp Marine to deliver the world’s largest heavy lift vessel. With our new facilities at Tuas that boost deeper quayside draft and wider dock space, we are confident that we will be able to meet our customer’s expectations. This is also in alignment with our strategic vision to penetrate into the deep water draft market segment and also serves as a great testimony to our continuous commitment in providing one-stop, tailor-made solutions to our customers.”

The contract is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of Sembcorp Marine for the year ending December 31, 2015.


China Warns Manila Over Spratly Ship Repairs

By Reuters 2015-07-15 17:36:09

On Wednesday, China condemned the Philippines for doing repairs to a rusting ship it ran aground on a South China Sea reef, demanding Manila remove the vessel while adding that Beijing “reserved the right to take further measures.”

The Foreign Ministry did not elaborate on those measures in a statement that called Manila the “real regional trouble maker” for reinforcing the ship, which has sat on Second Thomas Shoal since 1999. The wording of the warning mirrors what China has said in the past when it’s particularly angry with other countries.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Philippine navy had been using wooden fishing boats and other small craft to move cement, steel and welding equipment to the BRP Sierra Madre since late last year for repair work aimed at stopping the ship from breaking apart.

Manila regards Second Thomas Shoal, which lies 105 nautical miles (195 km) southwest of the Philippine region of Palawan, as being within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. China, which claims virtually all the South China Sea, says the reef is part of its territory.

The 100 meter-long (330-foot) BRP Sierra Madre, a tank landing ship, was built for the U.S. Navy during World War Two.

It was eventually transferred to the Philippine navy, which deliberately grounded it on Second Thomas Shoal to mark Manila’s claim to the reef in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea. A small contingent of Philippine soldiers is stationed onboard.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it was “extremely dissatisfied with and resolutely opposed to” the repairs.

Manila had promised many times to remove the ship, but the repair work showed it was “two faced”, it said.

“China’s determination to maintain its national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights is resolute. China again urges the Philippines to immediately stop its illegal encroachments and fulfil its promises to remove the ship,” the ministry added.

In a statement issued after the Reuters report, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, the spokesman for the Philippine navy, said “minor repairs” were being done to the vessel.

“It behoves the Philippine navy to ensure the ship’s habitability and safety,” Arevalo said.

Just to the west of Second Thomas Shoal is Mischief Reef, one of seven coral formations in the Spratlys that China is rapidly turning into islands that Beijing says will have undefined military purposes.


Det norske to Appeal Sverdrup Ownership Decision

By Reuters 2015-07-15 17:30:54

Norwegian oil firm Det norske said on Wednesday it would appeal a government decision giving it a smaller stake in the giant Johan Sverdrup oilfield than it wanted, and reported second-quarter operating earnings below expectations.

Det norske had argued that it should have a larger share in the field than the 11.89 percent proposed by operator Statoil in February. But a decision by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has since cut it to 11.57 percent.

Sverdrup, Europe’s costliest offshore energy project, contains up to three billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and could operate for 50 years.

Det norske, controlled by billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke’s Aker, said it has decided to appeal the ministry decision to the government.

“For Det norske, it is a decisive principle that the ownership interests in Johan Sverdrup are to be distributed according to a combination of volume and value. We do not see this principle reflected in The Ministry of Petroleum & Energy decision on the unitization split,” Chief Executive Karl Johnny Hersvik said in a statement.

The field, also owned by Lundin Petroleum, Maersk and state holding firm Petoro, is forecast to start production by the end of 2019.

Det norske has earlier said it was keeping all possibilities open, including taking legal action.

Det norske reported an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $122 million for the quarter, below expectations for $131 million and $20 million in the same period a year ago.

A comparison with earnings figures a year earlier is skewed because Det norske has since acquired Marathon Oil’s Norwegian business, significantly increasing its production and revenue.

The firm reiterated its 2015 production forecast of between 58,000 and 63,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.


France Lures Australia with Submarine Stealth Technology

By Reuters 2015-07-15 17:27:04

France will offer Australia its stealth technology for submarines, never before shared abroad, if it wins a lucrative deal to build Australia’s fleet of next-generation submarines, state-controlled French naval contractor DCNS said on Wednesday.

Germany’s ThyssenKrupp and DCNS separately are competing with a Japanese government-led consortium for the A$50 billion ($37.38 billion) contract to replace aging Collins-class subs, the biggest contract in Australian defense history.

Japan, which has had a ban on exporting defense technology since World War Two, had been seen as the front runner for the contract, but political pressures in Australia for domestic production have given fresh momentum to the European bidders.

A spokesman for DCNS said that, while the company had privately informed the Australian government of its willingness to share the stealth technology, it hoped a public acknowledgment would generate good will with the Australian public.

“These technologies are the “crown jewels” of French submarine design knowhow and have never been offered to any other country,” DCNS spokeswoman Jessica Thomas added in an email exchange.

“By the very nature of these stealth technologies and the decision to release them to the Australian government, this is a significant demonstration of the strategic nature of this program for the French authorities.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is eager to deepen security ties with Japan, reflecting a U.S. desire for its two allies to take a bigger security role in Asia as China’s military might grows.

The United States, hoping to promote Australia-Japan cooperation, is backing the Japanese-built submarine, which is also packed with American surveillance, radar and weapons equipment, sources familiar with Washington’s thinking have told Reuters.

A contract to supply a variant of Japan’s Soryu-class submarine would give Tokyo its first major overseas arms deal after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year eased curbs on military exports, which had isolated defense contractors for seven decades.

But Abbott, facing intense political pressure to secure the thousands of manufacturing jobs that the build would bring, decided to open up bidding to Germany and France.

Last month, influential Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon blasted Japanese defense officials over comments that Australia was incapable of building a version of a high-tech Japanese-designed submarine at home.

A panel comprised of former U.S. Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter, former Australian judge Julie Anne Dodds-Streeton, lawyer Ron Finlay and former BAE Systems executive Jim McDowell is overseeing the 10 month bidding process.

($1 = 1.3376 Australian dollars)


South Korea Thinks Big on LNG Bunkering

By Reuters 2015-07-15 17:02:15

South Korea plans to build LNG bunkering terminals at some of its ports as part of a drive to dominate the market for building ships fuelled by both oil and gas.

The energy ministry in the world’s biggest shipbuilder said it hoped to win 70 percent of global orders for duel-fuel tankers by 2025.

LNG-fuelled tanker and LNG bunkering markets are expected to grow rapidly in Europe and China as restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions boost interest in cleaner fuels such as gas.

The ministry said in a statement that it expected the international market for manufacturing LNG-fuelled ships and modifying other vessels to take LNG to soar to a value of nearly 150 trillion won ($130 billion) in around a decade from six trillion won now.

“From a long-term perspective, we will build LNG bunkering terminals at the country’s major ports where large vessels arrive and depart,” the ministry said on Wednesday.

The government plans to add an LNG bunkering terminal to a public gas terminal in the city of Tongyeong, about 370 kilometres south of Seoul, by 2017 with similar facilities in the cities of Gwangyang, Boryeong and Incheon later.

The world’s second-largest LNG importer also plans to start running bunkering shuttles from vessels carrying LNG to those that need it as fuel in 2018.

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering are the world’s top three shipbuilders.

($1 = 1,141.1500 won)


First for Non-Russian Arctic Cruise Vessel

By MarEx 2015-07-15 16:50:18

Last week history was made as Poseidon Expedition successfully carried out a direct crossing between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land and back again. This route shortens the sailing distance between Svalbard and Russia considerably more than when sailing via mainland Russia. It is a cruise many Arctic operators plan to organize as soon as Russian authorities give general authorization.

Poseidon Expeditions’ Sea Spirit received the first permit to cruise into the territorial waters of Franz Josef Land without initially calling at a mainland Russian port.

The unprecedented voyage began July 3 in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and headed into the Russian High Arctic a few days later, navigating northeast through seasonal sea ice. The authorization was granted July 8, marking the first occasion in history that a non-Russian, foreign-flag vessel entered Franz Josef Land territorial waters without first stopping in a large port such as Murmansk or Arkhangelsk.

The current voyage, with 106 passengers and invited guests aboard, is scheduled to make stops at Alexandra Land, Northbrook Island, Hooker Island, Rudolf Island, Champ Island and other historic or wildlife-significant areas of the uninhabited polar archipelago, sea ice permitting.

The region consists of nearly 200 islands, with much of the terrain covered with glaciers. The archipelago served as a jumping-off point for notable attempts to reach the North Pole during the Heroic Era of polar exploration in the decades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Nikolay Saveliev, president of Poseidon Expeditions, was pleased and excited to be aboard for the occasion. “A lot of behind-the-scenes effort by many employees and shipboard staff went into this achievement,” he said. “Speaking as both a company official and as a passenger, I truly appreciate the hard work that everyone put forward to make this happen, all designed to give our guests a truly unique polar expeditionary experience that was previously unattainable.”

Saveliev also commended the Russian authorities for their cooperation in making the “incredible polar landscape of Franz Josef Land more readily accessible to visitors.”

Sea Spirit was built in 1991 as Renaissance V, then sailed for a decade in Alaska and worldwide as Spirit of Oceanus. The ship underwent technical improvements for polar cruising in 2010, and has been providing expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic under its current name the past five years.


Rescue of 13 Migrant Boats off Libya

By Reuters 2015-07-15 15:40:04

Around 2,700 migrants were rescued from 13 boats near the coast of Libya on Wednesday, Italy’s coastguard said.

A German navy vessel and a search and rescue ship deployed by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres participated in the rescues along with the Italian navy and coastguard.

A spokeswoman for the Italian coastguard said the rescues had all been carried out in an area around 35 miles (55 km) from the coast of Libya.

An estimated 150,000 migrants have reached Europe by sea so far in 2015, most of them in Greece and Italy, the International Organization for Migration said. More than 1,900 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean, twice the toll during the same period last year, said spokesman Joel Millman.

The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that Greece urgently needed help to cope with 1,000 migrants arriving each day.

The vast majority of the migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East depart from Libya, where human traffickers have taken advantage of a breakdown in order to build up a lucrative business. (Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Ros Russell)