Daily Archives: April 5, 2012
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 8 new projects and updated 45 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field development news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
- French Guiana: Shell to Begin Guyane Drilling in Mid 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 16 – Mar 22, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 9 – Mar 15, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 23 – Mar 29, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 2 – Mar 8, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia: Saipem Lands Ichthys LNG Work (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Brazil: OGX Encounters Huge Hydrocarbon Column in Santos Basin (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News Feb 3 – Feb 9, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
New York-listed Ensco has ordered another ultra-deepwater drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries at an estimated cost of $645 million, just days after inking a long-term deal with BP for another rig in the series.
The Ensco DS-8 will be the sixth Samsung DP3 drillship in the offshore driller’s fleet when it arrives in the third quarter of 2014.
Ensco has also secured an option to acquire a further two of the vessels.
The fifth rig, Ensco DS-7, is currently being built in South Korea with delivery slated for the second half of this year.
On Monday, BP hired the fourth drillship, the Ensco DS-6, on a five-year deal that will ultimately garner Ensco $1 billion at a dayrate of around $522,000.
Ensco said the latest order came in response to “the high level of customer demand driven by an ongoing trend of successful offshore discoveries”.
Like the previous five ordered since 2007, the new drillship will be equipped for ultra-deepwater drilling in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, extendable to 12,000, and a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 feet.
- South Korea: Seadrill Confirms Samsung Drillships Contracts (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Anadarko Contracts ENSCO 8506 Semi (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: SHI to Build Seventh UDW Drillship for Pacific Drilling (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Pacific Drilling Extends Option for its 7th Drillship (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Pacific Scirocco Drillship Begins Work in Nigeria (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Stena Drilling Wins 5 Year Contract for Its Newbuild Stena IceMAX Drillship (mb50.wordpress.com)
- UK: Ensco Ranks 1st Among Offshore Drillers by Costumer Satisfaction (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea’s Samsung Wins USD 1.1 bln Order for Two Drillships (mb50.wordpress.com)
(Reuters) – A major Chinese ship insurer will halt indemnity cover for tankers carrying Iranian oil from July, dealing a blow that narrows the insurance options for Tehran’s main export already constricted by payment barriers caused by Western sanctions.
With Western sanctions on Tehran increasing, sources at the China P&I Club told Reuters on Thursday it did not want to stand alone in the market, especially after insurers in Japan and Europe plan to either limit or ban their own coverage for tankers operating in Iran.
This is the first sign that refiners in China, Iran’s top crude buyer, may struggle to obtain the shipping and insurance to keep importing from the Middle Eastern country. Iran’s other top customers — India, Japan and South Korea — are running into similar problems, raising questions on how Tehran will be able to continue to export the bulk of its oil.
Crude oil prices are up nearly 14 percent since the start of this year on concerns that Iranian supplies may be disrupted due to Western sanctions. Brent crude traded above $123 a barrel on Thursday. <O/R>
The China P&I Club, whose members include major Chinese shipping firms Sinotrans (0368.HK) and COSCO Group COSCO.UL (600428.SS), is the first Chinese maritime insurer to confirm it will halt business with tankers operating in Iran.
“Many ship owners want to join our club and want our club to cover this risk, but considering all these regulations from the United States and the EU, I know the China P&I club will not do that,” said a Hong Kong-based official with the insurer, which provides coverage to more than 1,000 vessels.
“The China P&I club will not take the risk. We have asked our members not to go there, if they go there, they take their own risk,” the official added, who wished not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Starting in July, European insurers and reinsurers will be barred from indemnifying ships carrying Iranian crude and oil products anywhere in the world, in line with sanctions on Tehran.
Iran sells most of its 2.2 million barrels per day of oil exports in Asia, where China, India, Japan and South Korea are the four biggest buyers.
Growing pressure by the West has led some Iranian oil buyers to cut imports, but the problem over obtaining maritime insurance could altogether halt shipments to Asian customers. Chinese imports from Iran are already down more than 21 percent in the first two months of 2012 to around 395,000 barrels per day compared to the same period last year.
Along with Russia and the Middle East, China is one of the few remaining alternatives for Asian ship owners to replace European-based coverage. It is not clear if other Chinese ship insurers also planned to follow China P&I Club and cut coverage.
“I really don’t know what will happen,” said a Beijing-based Chinese industry official. “We are talking about $1 billion in coverage (per tanker). No single insurance company can handle that.”
European insurers provide cover for the majority of the world’s oil tanker fleet. Industry officials say ship owners who still legally trade with Iran will be pressed to find sufficient, or comprehensive, alternative insurance.
“Western insurance companies, taking advantage of their market dominance, have been raising insurance costs gradually for ship owners,” said a Chinese shipping executive.
“Now they say they don’t want to provide cover to those disputed regions. China should really make its own comprehensive considerations (on this issue).”
An official with the China P&I club held out hope the European Union would decide on a last-minute easing of the sanctions. European nations are divided over the sanctions, while oil refiners, insurers and tanker owners face lost business opportunities with OPEC’s second-largest producer.
“As far as I’ve seen with these new published sanctions, it seems to us that there might be some room for compromise,” said a Beijing-based club official, who wished not to be named.
China P&I Club is not a member of the Group of International P&I Clubs, an association of customer-owned ship insurers which cover 95 percent of the world’s tankers against pollution and personal injury claims. The Chinese insurer has applied to join the club and could be taking the action on Iranian coverage to ensure it becomes a member, industry sources said.
The Japan P&I club, the only Asian-based member of the Group of International P&I Clubs, said last month it would only be able to provide a fraction of cover for tankers operating in Iran.
“It’s now non-life (insurers) and shippers who can tell us how many cargoes we will be able to ship from Iran,” said a manager from a Japanese firm that buys Iranian crude, adding that importing cargoes without insurance was unthinkable.
(Additional reporting by Aizhu Chen in Beijing, Risa Maeda in Tokyo and Meeyoung Cho in Seoul; Editing by Ed Lane)
- Japan refiners want force majeure to cover Iran oil shipping ban (mb50.wordpress.com)
- India ships will lose insurance due to Iran sanctions, may look to China – Reuters (reuters.com)
- S&P: Tankers Brace For Headwinds From Iran Trade Sanctions (gcaptain.com)
- Iran oil exports fall as sanctions take toll (business.financialpost.com)
By gCaptain Staff On April 5, 2012
LONDON (Dow Jones)–Saudi Arabia’s state shipping company, Vela, is set to ship more oil to the U.S. this month, after a flurry of activity in March caught the attention of market participants, shipbrokers told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.
Vela has chartered at least three supertankers, capable of carrying around 6 million barrels of oil, to ship crude to the U.S. later this month, shipping fixtures show.
“They definitely are having a more active program going west,” a shipbroker said.
In mid-March the Saudi shipping company chartered 11 ships to carry oil to the U.S. Gulf, in part to feed the expansion of a Gulf Coast refinery co-owned by Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, a person familiar with the matter said.
-By Sarah Kent, Dow Jones Newswires
- Saudi Vela To Send 11 Supertankers To US In March/April (gcaptain.com)
- Saudi Arabia sends tankers to US with pledge to bring down oil price (telegraph.co.uk)
- Oil Prices: Saudi Pumping Surge & US-EU Iran Strategy (globalbarrel.com)
- Oil, politics, talk and reality- Mar 21 (energybulletin.net)
- Tanker Bookings Indicate More Saudi Oil Headed To U.S. (amp2012.com)
- India Nudges Saudi Arabia…Yo Send Us More Oil Please (gcaptain.com)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is currently blocking implementation of voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas, claiming such measures are “unnecessary,” discriminatory and would make it harder for minorities to vote.
But if you’re planning to visit Holder’s office in Washington, D.C., you better bring a photo ID. The Department of Justice has two armed guards stationed outside its headquarters to check IDs of anyone who wants to enter — employees and visitors.
Holder’s politically motivated crusade against voter ID laws has the support of liberal advocacy organizations ranging from the Center for American Progress and Media Matters to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Advancement Project.
Each of these organizations has criticized photo identification for voting, yet they require it to enter their Washington, D.C., offices as well. There’s even a sign in the building of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: “ALL VISITORS MUST SHOW ID.”
Holder is able to block laws in South Carolina on Texas because they are subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a civil rights-era law that gives the Department of Justice authority over voting changes. It remains unclear if those states will be able to enforce their laws for this November’s election.
“The Obama-Holder Department of Justice has launched an all-out war on voter ID and other measures,” former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell said upon launching a new initiative called Protect Your Vote. “Although Holder’s actions are purported to prevent African-Americans from being disenfranchised, in reality they serve as a crass political attempt to ensure his boss gets re-elected this year.”
Liberals have long trotted out false arguments about voter ID laws, claiming they suppress the vote among those individuals who do not have photo identification. But a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s voter ID law revealed there was no such hardship. Opponents of the law were unable to produce a single plaintiff who could plausibly claim inability to get a photo ID. In addition, states with longstanding voter ID laws, such as Georgia and Indiana, have actually experienced an increase in turnout of minority voters.
Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey
- Voter ID (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Video: Liberals opposing voter ID laws require ID to enter their buildings (theblaze.com)
- Justice Department files objection to Texas voter ID law – Fox News (foxnews.com)