Gulf Coast Highway - Is The Next Crude Oil Bottleneck At The Gulf Coast?
When it comes to getting crude oil to market, bottlenecks have always existed. Back in 2013-15, producers and shippers in the Rockies faced a serious lack of takeaway options. Midstreamers saw the problem and the money to be made, and quickly built more crude-by-rail capacity — and, over time, pipeline capacity — to fix things. Recently, major takeaway constraints emerged in the Permian, much to the detriment of netbacks at the wellhead. Read more.
Gulf Coast Ports Scramble To Meet Mushrooming Crude Export Demand
The rapid build-out of new and expanded pipeline capacity is now beginning to transport steadily-rising volumes of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast. These volumes of light, sweet crude already exceed the capacity of refiners to process the oil into gasoline and other products, and are now testing the capacity of the coastal port system to accommodate demand for crude exports. Read more.
$1.2B Sabine Neches Waterway Deepening Project Will Expand Capacity, Could Attract Development
An improvement project along the Sabine Neches Waterway with a price tag of more than $1 billion, set to get underway in a few months, is expected to help keep up with recent energy infrastructure expansions in the U.S. The project will deepen the channel from the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of Beaumont and could attract new development for the area. Read more.
U.S. LNG Export Capacity To Double This Year To 7 Bcf/D, Says FERC
Domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity will nearly double in 2019, increasing from 3.6 Bcf/d at the beginning of the year to about 7 Bcf/d by the end of the year, according to FERC's Summer 2019 Reliability and Energy Market Assessment. "Although 1.4 Bcf/d of export capacity began service in March, most of the expected capacity for 2019 is forecast to come online in the second half of the year, beginning in July," according to the report, which was released Thursday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's offices of Electric Reliability and Enforcement. Read more.
Take It To The Limit - Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
U.S. crude exports out of the Gulf Coast averaged more than 2.4 MMb/d in the first four months of 2019 — using infrastructure that is increasingly constrained by a lack of deepwater ports. U.S. crude is reaching destinations worldwide, with large volumes traveling long distances to Asia on gargantuan 2-MMbbl vessels — Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) — loaded offshore by ship-to-ship transfer. Read more.
Lower Mississippi River Still In Flood Stage; Barge Movements Remain Slow
The good news for the week was the reopening of the St. Louis Harbor to barge traffic, but it could close again as flooding continues with more rain expected to add to the misery there all the way down to New Orleans. The St. Louis Harbor reopened to barge traffic on May 16, but the latest predictions are that it could rise again and reach 38 feet on May 25-26. If that happens, the harbor would close from mile 179-184 with long-term projections saying it could last until June 5-9, according to American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL). Read more.
Lawmakers Add Potential Hurdles To Large Container Ships
The state House of Representatives on Friday approved a bill that would add hurdles for massive container ships entering the Houston Ship Channel, an action that analysts and logistics companies say could discourage the ships from calling on the Port of Houston, disrupt business supply chains and raise prices for consumers. The bill, expected to get final Senate approval and head to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott, is a win for energy companies that feared congestion caused by the 1,100-foot-plus-long container ships would constrict exports of crude oil, chemicals and other petroleum products. Read more.
The Port Of New Orleans Receives Equity Ally Award
The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) received the Equity Ally Award recognizing the Port’s efforts to provide access to new opportunities for women and minority entrepreneurs. Tiffany Carter, Director of Procurement, accepted the award on behalf of Port NOLA at the Good Work Network’s annual meeting Friday, May 17 at Audubon Zoo. Read more.
Carrier Relief As MEPC Fails To Agree Plan For Mandatory Speed Limits For Shipping
The 74th sitting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) ended on Friday without agreement of any of the proposals put forward to reduce GHGs (greenhouse gas emissions) from shipping. They included a French and Greek proposal, supported by 120 shipping companies, to impose a mandatory speed limit on shipping. Read more.
Tanker Market: India Crude Oil Imports Outlook Amid U.S. Sanctions
The Iranian sanctions is yet another factor to be considered in the tanker market these days. The repercussions are far and beyond, especially after the latest move by the US to end all waivers, in an attempt to achieve its goal of zero Iranian oil exports. Among the nations most affected is India. Read more.
IMO Agrees On Stricter Efficiency Targets For Some Ships
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday agreed stricter energy efficiency targets for certain types of ships in an effort to speed up action to cut the sector’s emissions. The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee has been meeting in London this week to discuss tougher rules on sulfur emissions and other measures toward meeting a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050. Read more.
In Middle Of Trade War, America’s Busiest Port Gets Ready For Robots
For APM Terminals, the part of global shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S that runs the Los Angeles terminal, the future of cargo handling looks like the future of driving: electric motors replacing gasoline engines, autonomous software replacing human workers. The company says the changes are necessary to meet California rules requiring shipping yards to reach zero emissions by 2030 and to keep business from leaving for other coasts. Read more.
Saudi Oil Infrastructure At Risk As Small Attacks Raise Potential For Big Disruption
A drone strike claimed by Houthi rebels this week forced the Saudis to temporarily halt the flow of a crucial oil artery to the west side of the country. The assault came a day after mysterious incidents damaged two Saudi tankers and two other ships in a key port in the United Arab Emirates. Read more.
Venezuela’s Crude Upgraders Scale Back Output As Exports Dwindle-Sources
The shift signals that state oil company PDVSA is struggling to maintain operations after U.S. sanctions this year eliminated its main customer by restricting sales to U.S. refiners. Read more.
May 16, 2019
In Baltimore, Visions Of Life After Steel
Now, a town that once made steel is in the process of remaking itself. The Sparrows Point peninsula is now home to a “global logistics park” dubbed Tradepoint Atlantic, created to leverage the transport assets—rail lines, highways, and deep-water berths for cargo ships—built to move steel. Read more.
Lafargeholcim Sees Cement Demand Up, Defying Slowdown Fears
LafargeHolcim, the world’s largest cement maker, expects demand to continue rising this year, pushing aside concerns about slowing economies and trade tensions weighing on the construction industry. Chief Executive Jan Jenisch said on Wednesday he was seeing “very good market demand globally” after the Swiss company beat sales and profit expectations during its first quarter. Read more.
Grains-Corn Up For 3rd Session On Us Planting Delays, Soybeans Ease After Rally
Corn up 5.3 pct in 3 sessions, biggest 3 day rally since Nov * Soybeans tick lower after strong gains, US-China trade in focus (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, notching its biggest 3-day gain since late November as concerns over planting delays in the U.S. Midwest underpinned the market. Read more.
Port Of Prince Rupert Plan Outlines Future Expansion
The Prince Rupert Port Authority earlier this week completed a master plan for expanding container terminal capacity and development at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada. Completed in partnership with AECOM, the plan identifies the long-term potential to develop 6 million to 7 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity by developing multiple terminals at the port, authority officials said in a press release. Read more.
May 15, 2019
China To Provide Tariff Exemptions On US Imports; Coking Coal On The List
The Chinese Ministry of Finance has allowed for exemptions on US imports, which have been slapped with tariffs amid ongoing US-China trade tensions, and this includes coking coal, market sources in China said Wednesday. In a notice released by the ministry on Monday and seen by S&P Global Platts, the exemption requires Chinese users or related associations to apply for the tariff exemptions between June 3 and July 5 for imports listed in the first round of tariffs, and between September 2 and October 18 for imports in the second list. Read more.
Drought Forces Panama Canal Draught Restrictions And Pushes Up Rates
El Niño is having a major impact on container traffic through the Panama Canal this year. From May 28, the canal operator is going to reduce the draught at its Neopanamax locks to 43 feet, the latest in a series of depth reductions that have brought the permitted level down from 50ft at the beginning of the year. Read more.
US Oil, LNG Export Buildout Takes Shape On Gulf Coast
The US energy sector is piecing together an infrastructure puzzle to connect booming onshore oil and natural gas production with export markets around the world. The pipeline buildout from the Permian and Williston basins is well underway, and the next missing piece is at the water's edge, mostly in Texas and Louisiana. Read more.
Cameron LNG Export Project In Louisiana Produces First LNG
U.S. energy company Sempra Energy said on Tuesday the first liquefaction train at its $10 billion Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana started producing LNG. Cameron is the fourth big LNG export facility to enter service in the Lower 48 U.S. states, keeping the United States on track to become the third biggest LNG exporter in the world in 2019, behind Qatar and Australia. Read more.
May 14, 2019
USDA: March Ethanol, DDGS Exports Up From Prior Month
The USDA Foreign Agriculture Service released updated export data on May 9 reporting that the U.S. exported approximately 140 million gallons of ethanol in March, along with 956,828 tons of distillers grains. The 140 million gallons of ethanol exported in March was up from 113.82 million gallons exported in February, but down when compared to the 215.06 million gallons exported during March 2018. Read more.
How An Escalating Trade War Could Play Out For Ocean Shipping
Now that U.S. President Donald Trump has pulled the trigger – raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent and threatening more – how will this play out for ocean shipping rates? It depends on the ship type. Some vessel categories are much more heavily exposed to China-U.S. trade than others, and the ultimate rate consequence will be driven by the change in ton-miles (volume times distance), not tons. Read more.
China's Tariff Retaliation Could Blunt US LNG Export Growth Momentum
The promise of a surge of new US LNG export development thanks to government efforts to speed up permitting is threatened now that China has retaliated for Washington's escalating trade war with Beijing. On one hand, easing regulatory burdens means developers of new liquefaction facilities can get approval to build quicker, but, on the other hand, they may not secure financing for the billions of dollars it costs for those facilities if tariffs prevent buyers from signing contracts. Read more.
Swine Fever Set To Reduce China's Soybean Imports Further: USDA
China's import demand for soybeans could be reduced by a cumulative 42 million mt by 2019-20, largely as a result of the African swine fever outbreak in the country, according to the US Department of Agriculture. China's soybean import demand in 2017-18 was 3 million mt below the USDA's initial forecasts decline. Read more.
Massachusetts Coal Plant To Be Redeveloped Into Offshore Wind Hub With 400 MW Of Storage
The former 1,493-MW Brayton Point coal-fired power plant site in Massachusetts is being redeveloped into an offshore wind power support center that will include 400 MW of battery storage, the site owners and developers said Monday. Commercial Development Company and transmission developer Anbaric have agreed to build the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center at the CDC's Brayton Point Commerce Center in Somerset, the companies said in a statement. Read more.
May 13, 2019
EU To Overtake US As The World's Second-Largest Wheat Exporter In 2019-20: USDA
The European Union could overtake the US as the world's second-largest wheat exporter in 2019-20, though it is likely to remain far from the top exporter position which it lost three years ago after difficult weather conditions hammered wheat output in its agriculture powerhouse, France, according to the US Department of Agriculture's latest forecasts. The EU is forecast to export 27 million mt of wheat in the 2019-20 season (July-June), up 12.5% from 2018-19 and up 15.9% from 2017-18, USDA said in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released last Friday. Read more.
U.S. Farmers Cry Against Tariff Hike On Chinese Goods
U.S. farmers have raised an outcry against Washington’s latest move to increase tariffs on Chinese imports, warning of serious consequences for U.S. farms and families as the trade tensions drag on. Washington on Friday increased additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, a move Beijing said it deeply regrets and will be forced to respond to with necessary countermeasures. Read more.
Tanker Collision, Gasoline Spill Closes Portion Of Houston Ship Channel
One barge was severely damaged and another capsized following a collision with a 755-foot (230-m) tanker in the Houston Ship Channel near Bayport, Texas, that spilled about 9,000 barrels of gasoline into the waterway, officials said. No injuries were reported. Salvage teams were at the site on Saturday, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. Read more.
VMA Announces 2019 Port Champion And Distinguished Service Awards During 99th Annual Banquet In Norfolk, VA
Virginia’s ports are an economic engine that relies daily on the hundreds of Federal partners that ensure the safety and security of our ports. The men and women of the U.S Coast Guard, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration routinely work behind the scenes to ensure that our maritime & transportation-related businesses can continue to grow and flourish. Read more.
May 10, 2019
Tanker Owners Resort To Idling Vlccs As Returns Fall Below Operating Costs
The lingering oversupply of vessels in the VLCC market has left shipowners weighing options to either idle, reduce sailing speed extensively or take on only short voyages as freight returns are seen below operating costs. The Time Charterer Equivalent or TCE, which is the earnings accrued, for a modern VLCC has slumped to around $7,000/day on key Persian Gulf to North Asia routes, which hardly covers the daily running cost of the vessel, according to market participants. Read more.
US Ports Pave The Way For Multi-Billion Projects In 2019
Megaships now carry more tonnage, cargo is more diverse and much more of it is shipped throughout the world…especially to U.S. ports. Contractors are in high demand to help ports update infrastructure, add new rail lines, construct more storage facilities, enhance security and improve the efficiencies of port operations. Read more.
Global Coal Market A 'Huge Map Of Volatility,' US Producers Need To Adapt: Javelin
Volatility in the global thermal coal market is the new constant as the Northern European delivered price becomes redundant and demand centers change, requiring US producers to begin to adapt their export strategies, Javelin Global Commodities CEO said Thursday. "Exports are being affected by a supply push on one side and a demand pull on the other," providing a strong opportunity to build the export profile of the US, Javelin's Peter Bradley said at the Eastern Fuel Buyers Conference in Orlando, Florida. Read more.
Port Of Charleston Has ‘Strong’ April, Works Its Biggest Cargo Ship On Record
The Port of Charleston worked its biggest cargo ship on record last weekend, a milestone that came on the heels of another strong month on the waterfront. The State Ports Authority said Thursday that the equivalent of 204,621 20-foot containers crossed its Mount Pleasant and North Charleston terminals in April, a 4.2 percent gain from the same month last year. Read more.
Trump Bans Trade In Iranian Metals, Ratcheting Up Tensions
President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday prohibiting the purchase of Iranian iron, steel, aluminum and copper, ratcheting up tensions with the Islamic Republic less than a day after it declared it may begin enriching uranium again in two months. Trump said in his order that the prohibition on trading in the Iranian metals -- the country is the world’s 18th largest steel exporter -- is aimed at preventing Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon or intercontinental ballistic missiles. Read more.
DNV GL And Windserve Sign Contract For First Classed U.S. Offshore Wind Vessel
DNV GL has secured a classification contract for WindServe’s new Crew Transfer Vessel. WindServe Marine, LLC (WindServe) has awarded DNV GL a contract for classification of one purpose-built offshore Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) for Ørsted North America (Ørsted). Read more.
Analysis: US Crude Stocks Decline 3.96 Million Barrels As Imports Fall
US crude inventories fell 3.96 million barrels last week, as a decline in imports outpaced lower crude exports and refinery runs, an analysis of Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday. The stock draw was led by the US Gulf Coast, where inventories fell 4.76 million barrels to 239.85 million barrels. USGC crude imports fell 368,000 b/d to 1.77 million b/d, while US crude exports, which are primarily from the USGC, fell 289,000 b/d to 2.32 million b/d. Read more.
May 8, 2019
Refiners Invest $1 Billion To Meet Shift To Cleaner Marine Fuel: BP
Refiners around the world have invested about $1 billion so far to produce low-sulfur marine fuel to meet new regulations coming into force in 2020, a BP executive said on Tuesday. International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will ban ships from using fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5 percent from 2020, compared with 3.5 percent now, unless they are equipped with so-called scrubbers to clean up sulfur emissions. Read more.
Who'll Win The Fight To Deliver More Light Crude To The Bayou State?
The competition among midstream companies to transport light, sweet U.S. crude to Louisiana refineries and to the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is heating up. On April 1, Energy Transfer and Phillips 66 Partners finally started up the Lake Charles-to-St. James portion of their Bayou Bridge pipeline, which is designed to move light oil to the heart of Louisiana’s refining country. Read more.
Crude Oil And NGL Export Challenges At The Port Of Houston
In terms of raw tonnage, the Port of Houston is by far the busiest in the United States. The 52-mile-long Houston Ship Channel (HSC) — running from just outside downtown Houston out to an area between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula — is the artery that enables the heavy ship traffic, much of it tied to crude oil, LPG, petroleum products and other hydrocarbons. Read more.
Trump’s New Tariff Threats On China May Finish Off Soybean Bulls
The soybean market has not had a whole lot going for it in the past year with ample supplies after years of large global crops, weakening demand out of China, and the U.S.-China trade war. The trade war has undoubtedly, and perhaps single-handedly, kept Chicago-traded soybean futures afloat for the past several months, even in the face of overwhelmingly large U.S. stocks. Read more.
May 7, 2019
A Rising Tide
“Tumbleweeds blowing through the place.” That’s how Kim Scheeler remembers what was then the Port of Richmond — since rebranded as the Richmond Marine Terminal — when he first saw it in 2008. Read more.
Ongoing Planting Delays Could Sow More Problems For U.S. Corn
May is typically the busiest month for U.S. corn planting, but many Midwestern farmers are sidelined waiting for the rain to stop and the fields to dry out after a record wet off-season. Should planting be delayed too much, corn acres are bound to decrease and both growers and analysts alike fear that yields could ultimately suffer as well. Read more.
South Korea To Grant Freight Incentives For Non-Middle East Crude Purchases Until 2021
The South Korean government granted freight incentives for refiners buying crude oil from regions other than the Middle East until 2021 to support companies looking for alternatives to Iranian crude and condensate, an energy ministry official said Tuesday. The freight incentive scheme was supposed to have been terminated at the end of last year as the country's dependence on Middle Eastern crude oil has been easing, while imports from the US, Kazakhstan and other non-OPEC producers rose sharply over the past couple of years. Read more.
Energy Major Shell Has Opened Its New LNG Import Terminal In Gibraltar
The new facility, which was completed by Shell and its subsidiary Gasnor, is being used to supply gas to a newly commissioned 80-megawatt gas-fired power plant as the British Overseas Territory on Spain's south coast moves away from using diesel. Read more.
Libya's Head Of Oil Union Captured As Violence Escalates
Libya's national head of the oil workers labor union was captured on April 29, the state-owned National Oil Corporation said. NOC is calling for the safe return of Saad Dinar after he was taken by an armed group in Suluq, NOC said Saturday on its website. Read more.
Trump Ratchets Up Pressure On China, Threatens Tariff Hikes
President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on China on Sunday to reach a trade deal, saying he would hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon. The move marked a major escalation in tensions between the world’s largest economies and a shift in tone from Trump, who had cited progress in trade talks as recently as Friday. Read more.
U.S. Soybean Prices Drop More Than 2 Pct To 7-Mth Low
Chicago soybean futures on Monday dropped to their lowest in over seven months, extending declines into a seventh session amid expectations that a lack of U.S. corn planting due to delays in rain could fuel a shift to more soybean acreage. The market’s focus was also on the intensifying trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, with U.S. President Donald Trump announcing on Sunday that he would hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week. Read more.
Breaking Down Stereotypes In A Male-Dominated Industry
Breaking down gender stereotypes in the maritime industry is not just important in its own right, it is also beneficial for the industry as a whole. That was one of the key messages to emerge from a special event held at IMO Headquarters in London yesterday, on International Labour Day (May 1). Read more.
May 3, 2019
Number Of LNG Tankers Passing Through Panama Canal In 2018 Up 77% On Year: Canal Authority
The number of LNG tankers through the expanded Panama Canal in 2018 increased 77% year on year, according to the Panama Canal Authority. Looking at the volume of LNG carriers transiting the canal so far in 2019, this year's total could match 2018's number or increase this year if good weather conditions permit. Read more.
U.S. Steel Tariffs Are Making Waves As Far Away As Turkey And Malaysia
Increased tariffs designed to protect the U.S. steel industry are starting to have international repercussions in unexpected places with Malaysia launching an anti-dumping investigation into steel imported from Turkey, a country hit hard by the changed U.S. import rules. What's upset Malaysia's steel industry is a flood of cheap steel from Turkey that used to find a market in the U.S. leading to a request from the Malaysian Steel Association for a government investigation into whether steel from Turkey and Singapore is being dumped at a price lower than the domestic price in the exporting countries. Read more.
A Fleet Of Tankers Is Hoarding Oil For A Gathering Storm
The world’s biggest offshore oil supermarket is stocking up for anti-pollution rules that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts will upend energy markets. The Strait of Malacca off Singapore and Malaysia is not only a waterway linking supply from the Middle East, Africa and the U.S. to Asia, but has also been used in the past decade to store millions of barrels of oil for future sales. Read more.
Shock For Container Lines As Contract Rates Start To Fall Again
In a significant setback for carriers hoping to improve profitability, ocean freight benchmarking platform Xeneta reported that long-term container contract rates had fallen by an average of 4.2% in April. Oslo-based Xeneta, which tracks crowd-sourced data from over 110 million contracted container rates, recorded a 4.8% decrease in contract rates between Asia and North Europe and a 3.4% reduction in transpacific headhaul contracts. Read more.
May 1, 2019
Us Wheat Inspected For Exports Down 23% On Week, Up 60% On Year
US wheat inspected for export fell 23% to 630,402 mt in the week to April 25, but was up almost 60% on the year, data from the US Department of Agriculture show, within the range of analyst estimates of 400,000-850,000 mt. Wheat inspected for export is wheat that has been sold and inspected during loading at export locations for shipment overseas. Read more.
Falling US Caustic Soda Exports Reflect Brazilian Alumina Rate Cut
The ongoing 50% rate cut at the world's largest alumina refinery in Brazil continued to show its fallout on US caustic soda exports in the first two months of 2019, with shipments down 45% on the year, the latest data from the US International Trade Commission showed. That decline also reflected emergency shipments to Brazilian petrochemical producer Braskem in early 2018 when the company suddenly shut a chlor-alkali plant for weeks after a fire damaged the utility that provided its power. Read more.
Cape Surge Brings Baltic Index Back Above 1,000 Points
After spending 69 days below 1,000, the Baltic Dry Index is back above the psychological mark, closing on Tuesday at 1,011 points. Capesize spot rates are now in double-digit territory, fractionally below where they were prior to the Vale dam disaster in January but still below last year. The Baltic Capesize Index leapt 27.3% to close on $11,718 as miners in both basins ramped exports. Read more.
Enterprise Products Says Crude Volumes At Marine Terminals Hit Record
Enterprise Products Partners LP said on Wednesday volumes at its crude marine terminals jumped to a record of nearly 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter, despite a disruption on the Houston Ship Channel. A petrochemical fire and fog halted vessel traffic for several days and disrupted movements in the nation’s busiest oil port in late March and into April. Read more.
April 30, 2019
Coal Stockpiles Grow At Europe’s Ports After Warm Winter
The delivery of increasing volumes of coals from the U.S., Russia and other suppliers has been flooding the market for months," said Joe Aldina, head of coal analytics at S&P Global Platts. “Mild winter weather in Europe cut power demand and worsened the problem. Read more.
Poland Releases Emergency Stocks Due To Russian Crude Contamination
Poland is releasing emergency oil stocks in response to the shutdown of pipeline crude supplies from Russia caused by a contamination issue, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. The emergency release is aimed at sustaining normal operations at Poland's two main refineries, which are located on the Baltic coast at Gdansk and inland at Plock, and is "fully in accordance with how the IEA system is meant to work," the agency said. Read more.
RPT-ANALYSIS-No Stone Unturned: S.Korea To Sweep World For Iran Oil Replacement
South Korea will likely return to a familiar game plan to replace Iranian oil it will no longer have access to after May now that the United States intends to tighten sanctions on Iranian exports. South Korea is the biggest buyer of Iranian condensate, an ultra-light oil prized by the country’s refiners as a raw material for petrochemicals manufacturing. Read more.
GDP Data Illustrate Both The Good And Bad Of Trump's Trade Wars
One big headline from Friday’s initial report on first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product is the boost growth received from the fallout of President Donald Trump’s trade wars. Yet below the surface are signs of how his disruptive approach to trade is also dampening growth in a way that may be more worrying for the long term. Read more.
April 29, 2019
Trump Asks OPEC To Boost Oil Supply, Blames State Taxes For Gasoline Prices
US President Donald Trump showed Friday he remains focused on domestic gasoline prices as the global oil supply impact from his decision to tighten Iran sanctions comes into focus. Trump said in comments to reporters and separately in a tweet that he spoke with OPEC producers and asked them to increase supply to lower prices. Read more.
China, US Face Off On Iranian Crude Flows, With Risks To Global Economy
China and the US are in an intense standoff over Iranian crude oil, with China indicating they may continue to import those medium and heavy barrels even after a sanctions waiver expires next week and the US threatening potentially severe consequences if they do. "Really, we're now in a pretty serious poker game," said Richard Nephew, the principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the US State Department during the Obama administration. Read more.
China's Iron And Steel Association Warns On Over-Capacity, Shrinking Profits
China's Iron and Steel Association said on Sunday the industry faces ongoing risks from excess capacity, as well as sluggish demand and increased raw material costs that could squeeze profits. The country's sprawling steel sector, which has cut 150 million tonnes of steel production over the past three years, was "far from achieving its tasks" amid Beijing's supply-side reforms, the association said in an online statement. Read more.
April 26, 2019
Are Lower Coal Prices What The Cement Industry Needs?
This week ICR takes a look at the downward trend in coal prices and discusses whether cement producers will benefit from the drop in prices or whether the cement sector should be looking more at sustainable long-term fuel options. Morgan Stanley reports that April's data of Newcastle and Atlantic Basin prices has seen thermal coal retreat by 23-30 per cent YoY, as evidenced by the key contract between global mining company Glencore and Japan's Tohoku Electric Power, ending March 2020, which settled ~US$15/t below the previous-year’s deal at US$94.75/t. Read more.
Trump Administration Sidelines U.S. Offshore Drilling Plan After Court Ruling
The Trump administration’s plans to expand offshore drilling are on hold after a March court ruling blocked drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told the Wall Street Journal. The newly-confirmed secretary in an article published on Thursday said the agency’s five-year plan for oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf would be sidelined indefinitely as it waits for the case to go through the appeals process. Read more.
Global Steel Industry Watches For Outcome Of Indian Elections
The swearing in of Narendra Modi as the 15th prime minister of India on 26 May 2014 brought a renewed sense of enthusiasm and vigor to the nation, against the promise of “ache din” – good days – in the future. Five years on, as the world’s largest election is underway in the country, feelings about the current political situation are complicated, but what is certain is that the world will be watching carefully for the outcome of the vote. Read more.
China’s Imports Of U.S. Soybeans Rise In March From A Month Earlier
China’s imports of soybeans from the United States, the second-largest supplier to the country in 2018, rose in March from the previous month as more cargoes booked during a truce in the trade dispute between the two countries arrived. China, the world’s biggest soybean buyer, imported 1.51 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States in March, data from the General Administration of Customs released on Thursday showed, up from February’s shipments of 907,7545 tonnes. Read more.
April 25, 2019
Iraq Needs A Lot More Water To Fuel Its Oil Growth Ambitions: IEA
Iraq could become the world's fourth largest oil producer by 2030 -- if it can secure adequate water for well injection, attract sufficient investment and maintain safety and political stability, the International Energy Agency said Thursday. Iraqi oil output, which averaged 4.54 million b/d in March, is expected to rise to nearly 6 million b/d over the next 10 years, contingent on those factors, according to a report released by the IEA. Read more.
Kemp: Plastics Company Bringing Big Business To Georgia Port
A California-based plastics company has chosen the Georgia coast to open a packaging and shipping facility that will be one of the largest exporters using the Port of Savannah, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday. Plastic Express plans to export about 25,000 cargo containers through Savannah each year. Read more.
Texas Exports, Boosted By Oil, Rise 3 Times Faster Than The US Increase, Outshining California
Robust demand for Texas oil and gas in the first two months of 2019 pushed the state’s export activity into high gear: triple the national rate and contrasting with a slight decline by California. The Lone Star State’s exports totaled more than $50.9 billion in the January-February period of 2019, increasing 9% from a year earlier, according to WISERTrade, a trade research firm. Read more.
U.S. Oil Flowing Freely To China Again
It seems Asia’s biggest oil buyer can’t stay away from crude pumped in the world’s fastest-growing supplier for long. A supertanker laden with U.S. oil is floating off China’s eastern coast, awaiting discharge at one of the Asian nation’s busiest ports. Read more.
Wind Energy Boosts Q1 Cargo At Port Of Galveston
Wind energy brought significant cargo growth for the Port of Galveston during the first three months of 2019, the port announced Monday. Cargo related to wind energy increased to 21,355 tons in the first quarter, up from 928 tons for the same period last year. Read more.
Houston Ship Channel Economic Impact Study To U.S. Is Released
Port Houston released the full results of the nationwide Economic Impact Study of the Houston Ship Channel. Results show that the private and public terminals of the greater Port of Houston account for ten percent of all jobs supported by the U.S. coastal ports in 2018. Read more.
From Influencer To Innovator? Solutions To Kickstart US Shortsea Shipping
Shortsea shipping has never really taken off in the US but the disruption caused to logistics by the likes of Amazon a new opportunity is being seen for palletized cargo transport within the States for last mile delivery of both consumer and industrial products. Speaking the recent CMA Conference in Connecticut two influencers, Capt John Konrad, best known for the gCaptain website, and Capt Robert Kunkel, a well-known shipbuilding expert, in the shortsea shipping space were able to explain what has failed to work in the US context since the early 2000’s - when the US Maritime Administration first sought to promote the concept. Read more.
Wilmington Welcomes Its Largest Container Ship Ever
North Carolina Ports has made history. It welcomed its largest capacity-wise ship ever to the Port of Wilmington. Read more.
US Coal Producer Ramaco Wins Important Legal Victory In Wyoming
Coal producer Ramaco has won an important legal victory in Wyoming after a Wyoming District Court judge ruled that the company's proposed Brook Mining mine be allowed to extract coal beneath surface land near Sheridan. The surface land is owned by Big Horn Coal, a subsidiary of Utah-based coal mining company Lighthouse Resources. Read more.
Crude Sets Six-Month High As Market Digests Potential Loss Of Iranian Barrels
Oil futures settled higher for a second session Tuesday, with crude notching fresh six-month highs as the market weighed global supply outlooks in the wake the US ending Iran sanctions waivers. ICE June Brent settled up 47 cents at $74.51/b and NYMEX June WTI up 75 cents at $66.30/b at the market close. Read more.
April 23, 2019
South Korea To Make Last Ditch Effort To Convince Washington To Extend Iran Waiver
The South Korean government plans to find ways to convince the US to consider extending the waiver to sanctions on Iran granted to Seoul, a senior government official said Tuesday, in a move that highlights the importance of Iranian crude oil for Asia's fourth biggest energy consumer. However, Seoul remains hopeful that Washington may re-consider and possibly extend the waiver for South Korea to allow importing Iranian crude oil and condensate beyond May 2, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told S&P Global Platts. Read more.
Dry Bulk Market: Scrapping Of Older Ships A One-Way Street To Shipping’s Recovery
Unless ship owners pick up their ship recycling activities freight rates will remain in sub-par levels, is the main view of an ever increasing number of market delegates. In a recent report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “once again, we are faced with the situation of the Dry Baltic Index being below 1,000 points. Read more.
FONASBA Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Fifty years ago today, on 23rd April 1969, delegates representing Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and (as it was then) West Germany, met at the offices of Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in the Baltic Exchange in the heart of the City of London, to form the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents. Fast forward half a century and whilst in some respects FONASBA has changed out of all recognition, some things remain essentially unchanged, including that it is still based at the Baltic Exchange. Read more.
A Ban On Dirty Shipping Fuel Is Coming. So Why Are Prices Surging?
Demand for the shipping industry’s main fuel is widely expected to collapse like never before in 2020, so it might come as a surprise that its value is soaring. High-sulfur fuel oil at the Dutch port of Rotterdam in January is now trading at about $16 a barrel less than crude oil, close to the strongest in 18 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Read more.
April 22, 2019
Biggest European Shipbuilders Collaborate On Vessel Connectivity
The biggest European shipbuilders have announced a new cooperative initiative to develop and demonstrate a connected vessel platform. This project is named Code Kilo. Read more.
India To Surge Past Us In Steel Use In 2019, Rank Next Only To China: Study
Country will continue to hold second spot in 2020; While fiscal deficit might weigh on public investment to an extent, continuing infra projects are likely to support 7% growth in steel demand. India will outstrip the United States to become the second largest steel consuming nation in the world in calendar 2019 after China. Read more.
Oil Hits Nearly 6-Month Highs As US Says It Will End Iran Sanctions Waivers
Oil prices spiked on Monday — past highs not seen since last fall — after reports that Washington is set to announce that all buyers of Iranian oil will have to end imports, or be subject to U.S. sanctions. The White House confirmed the reports on Monday morning. Read more.
Oil Markets Key To Success Of China’s Crude Futures Ambition
It’s been a year since China opened up its futures market to the world with Shanghai’s launch of a new crude oil futures contract hosted on a new exchange called the International Energy Exchange (INE). Designed specifically to attract international participants, China hopes that the Shanghai crude futures contract can create a new China-based global pricing point for crude oil alongside incumbent international crude benchmarks like Brent, WTI and importantly for Middle-East crudes going to Asia, Platts Dubai. Read more.
April 19, 2019
Hard Hat And A Hammer, Part 2 - Can A Permian Crude Takeaway Overbuild Be Averted?
Only a few months after major crude oil takeaway constraints out of the Permian Basin caused price spreads to widen, the pipeline network serving the U.S.’s most prolific shale play may be on the brink of becoming overbuilt. We’ve already seen a number of new expansions and pipeline conversions completed in the past six months, and construction is underway on another 2 MMb/d of new pipeline capacity scheduled to come online between now and the first quarter of 2020. Read more.
Everything Has Changed, Part 4 - The Frac Sand Revolution
Nowadays, the hydraulic fracturing of a typical Permian well with a 10,000-foot lateral requires about 12,500 tons of frac sand — enough sand to fill more than 500 large sand trucks. That sand needs to be at the ready — delivered, offloaded, stored, and set for blending and use. Read more.
Complicated - Petchem Demand, Exports Add Complexity To Propane Market
Until just a few years ago, the rise and fall of U.S. propane inventories each year was driven in large part by winter weather: the colder the temperatures in the major propane-consuming areas, the bigger the draw on stocks. Things have gotten much more complicated lately, though, thanks to a combination of rapid NGL production growth, a generally booming propane export market, and the vagaries of petchem margins. Read more.
Saudi Arabia Leads Middle East’s Rush To Renewables, But Policies Lag Behind Ambition
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has ambitious plans to tap into the potential of renewables to fill a shortfall in regional power demand. But opinions are divided on how realistic the Kingdom’s strategy is, given its track record of delayed projects and a shortage of domestic policies to help support investment. Read more.
More Iron Ore Expected From Brazil But Probably Not Enough To Cut Sky-High Prices
A supply squeeze on iron ore which has driven the price up by 35% over the past three months is showing its first sign of easing, though perhaps not for long with pent-up demand likely to give the steel-making material a second wind which could see the price surge through $100 a ton. Pressure on iron ore is expected to ease after a court decision in Brazil cleared the way to re-start production at the mothballed Brucutu mine, one of several closed after a second dam-collapse disaster raised doubts about the stability of all dams used to retain mine waste. Read more.
April 18, 2019
Port Of Baltimore Public, Private Terminals Breaks 44-Year Cargo Record
The port of Baltimore’s public and private terminals handled a combined 43 million tons of international cargo last year, breaking a 44-year record, officials announced Monday. The haul was enough to inch Baltimore’s port up one in the rankings to 11th among major U.S. ports, and the record $59.7 billion in cargo value ranked ninth in the nation, according to the Maryland Port Administration. Read more.
Trump Executive Order Could Pave Way For Washington Coal Port Terminal
An executive order from President Donald Trump that could help pave the way for coal exports garnered praise from Wyoming leadership this week. But critics see it as a way to lessen local control over issues of water quality in favor of industry's bottom line. Read more.
GRAINS-Soybeans Rebound From 4-Mth Low, But S.American Output And Swine Fever Caps Gains
U.S. soybean futures edged up on Thursday to ease from a 2019-low touched the day before, but gains were checked by expectations of ample South American supply and fears swine fever outbreaks in China could hit demand for oilseeds there. Corn prices were unchanged, while wheat inched higher despite forecasts for bumper global stocks. Read more.
Truck Drivers See Orders, Miles Fall In Latest U.S. Slowdown Signal
At a truck stop in Ridgefield, N.J., driver Paul Richards reviews a notebook where he tracks miles driven and what he is hauling. His paycheck is down about 25 percent from the same period a year ago, and his weekly miles have dropped as well. Read more.
April 17, 2019
Oil Prices Retreat On Global Output Uncertainty, Despite A Surprise Dip In U.S. Supplies
Oil futures headed lower on Wednesday, with U.S. and global benchmark giving up earlier gains as traders weighed uncertainty surrounding global crude production against data from a U.S. government report that revealed the first weekly decline in U.S. crude stocks in a month. A report from China also revealed better-than-expected quarterly economic growth, easing concerns over a slowdown in energy demand. Read more.
Commodity Firm Trafigura Jumps Into Chemical Trading With New JV
Global commodities house Trafigura Group said on Wednesday it is entering petrochemicals trading by teaming up with Houston-based Altis Group International to take advantage of an expanding sector. Geneva-based Trafigura estimates the value of the global petrochemical market at $729 billion and growing. Read more.
Vale Expects To Resume Brucutu Mine Operations Within 72 Hours: Filing
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA said in a securities filing late on Tuesday that within 72 hours it expects to resume operations at the Brucutu mine, its largest in Minas Gerais state. Brucutu was shuttered in early February by request of Minas Gerais state prosecutors after a tailings dam burst in late January in the town of Brumadinho, killing hundreds of people. Read more.
GRAINS-Wheat Firm After Losses, But Global Production Outlook Caps Gains
Chicago wheat futures edged up on Wednesday, supported as investors looked for bargains after the market dropped to a one-month low in the last session on pressure from expectations of bumper production across the northern hemisphere. Soybean prices edged up, while corn was little changed. Read more.
April 16, 2019
Keppel Imports First LNG Cargo From North America
The gas unit of Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corporation has completed the first import of LNG under Singapore’s Spot Import Policy, which allows up to 10% of Singapore’s total long term contracted gas supplies to be imported on a spot cargo basis. Keppel Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings, said Monday the spot cargo of 160,000m3 of liquified natural gas, which reached Singapore on 10 April 2019, originated from a liquefaction project in North America, also marking the first time that Keppel Gas has diversified its gas supply portfolio beyond Southeast Asia. Read more.
All Aboard! Treasure On The High Seas For Gas Dealers
In the booming market for supercooled natural gas, the most precious commodity is the ship. A global quest for cleaner energy has fired up demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), which produces less carbon dioxide than coal. Read more.
The U.S. Exported 2 Million Barrels Per Day Of Crude Oil In 2018 To 42 Destinations
In 2018, U.S. exports of crude oil rose to 2.0 million barrels per day (b/d), nearly double the 1.2 million b/d rate in 2017. Export volumes by destination changed significantly during the year, as U.S. crude oil exports to China fell and exports to other destinations such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Canada increased. Read more.
US Corn Inspected For Export Up 11% On Week, Down 25% On Year: USDA
The amount of US corn inspected for export in the week ended April 11 totaled 1.182 million mt, up 11% compared with the previous week, US Department of Agriculture data showed Monday. The total in the most recent reporting period fell 25% compared with the 1.576 million mt inspected in the same week a year ago, according to the USDA's weekly Federal Grain Inspection Service report. Read more.
Mexico Asks US For Section 232 Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Exemption
Mexico's government asked the US for an exemption from the latter's Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, it said Monday. Mexican Secretary of the Economy Graciela Marquez Colin sought the exemption from US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross during Friday's US-Mexico CEO Dialogue in Yucatan, Mexico. Read more.
Port Of New Orleans Receives National Planning Award
The Port of New Orleans’ (Port NOLA) Strategic Master Plan, Port NOLA Forward, will earn the Port a Silver 2019 National Planning Achievement Award for Economic Development Planning from the American Planning Association (APA) for identifying and seizing upon economic growth opportunities. “Being recognized by a distinguished planning body like the American Planning Association is an honor and validation that we as an agency are on the right course,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port NOLA President & CEO. Read more.
April 15, 2019
Energy Dept. Investing $100 Million In Near Zero Emissions Coal Plants
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday it is investing $100 million in federal research funding into developing coal power plants with "near zero emissions." Coal power has been on the fast decline in the United States, as it struggles to compete with cleaner forms of electricity like natural gas plants and wind and solar farms. Read more.
Iron Ore Shortage After Vale Disaster Hurting Brazil Steelmakers: Report
A decision by Brazilian mining company Vale SA to halt production at ten sites in Minas Gerais state following a deadly dam disaster has affected deliveries of iron ore pellets to clients, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Monday, citing industry sources. Vale is trying to resolve the problem by bringing iron ore pellets produced in the northeastern state of Maranhão to clients in the southeast. The longer distances involved are adding to transportation costs, Valor said. Read more.
Trump Plan To Ship Natural Gas By Rail Stokes Fear Of ‘Bomb Trains’
President Donald Trump wants to allow natural gas to be shipped in railroad cars, a move that would open new markets hungry for the fuel but could risk catastrophic accidents if one were to derail. Trump on Wednesday ordered the Transportation Department to write a new rule permitting super-chilled natural gas to be shipped in tank cars. Read more.
Interview: Oil Prices Above $70/B Already Hurting Demand Growth - IEA's Birol
Current oil prices above $70/b are already starting to drag on global oil demand and threaten to soften demand growth forecasts this year, the International Energy Agency's executive director Fatih Birol said Friday. The recent ramp-up in oil prices is weighing on demand, especially as it is occurring in countries such as China, US and India, which are the world's biggest oil consumers, Birol said. Read more.
US Sanctions Businesses Transporting Venezuelan Oil To Cuba
Washington: US Treasury department has sanctioned four maritime shipping companies and nine of their oil tankers over crude deliveries to Cuba in an attempt to pressure Havana to end support for Venezuela’s former President Nicolas Maduro. The sanctions raise US pressure on the “the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro,” the Treasury said in a statement on Friday. Read more.
April 12, 2019
Corps of Engineers Completes Closure of Bonnet Carre Spillway, 43 Days After It Opened
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the final bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Thursday, ending a 43-day opening that marked the first time in history the facility has been used two years in a row. The gradual closure, which began just over two weeks ago, came as the Mississippi River was falling in the New Orleans area. Read more.
Exxon Mobil Reaffirms Commitment to Beaumont
“The absolute No. 1 thing is logistics,” Exxon Mobil’s Beaumont refinery plant manager Ryan Bucholtz told a gathering of business and political leaders at the Civic Center. “The ability to get all of the different types of crude to Beaumont at an affordable cost really sets us apart from other communities.” Read more.
“Unique” Conditions Pressuring Capesize Freight Rates
Unprecedented factors have come into play in the dry bulk market, with shipbrokers expecting additional downward pressure, mostly in Capesize rates, moving forward. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “the tragedy in Brazil’s Vale Brumadinho where a tailings dam collapsed in January ranks among the world’s worst mining disasters. Read more.
Steel Shipments Rise 2.9% Year-Over-Year in February
American steel mills shipped 7.7 million tons in February, a 4.2% increase over the 8 million tons shipped in January. The American and Iron and Steel Institute reports that shipments were up 2.9% in February as compared to the 7.5 million tons shipped in February 2018. Read more.
April 10, 2019
Gulf Coast Refineries Reach Record Runs
American refinery runs reached a new record in 2018 as higher diesel margins pushed oil companies to keep pumping petroleum through their refineries despite a decrease in margins from gasoline, a new report from the Energy Department said. Refinery runs - a measure of how much petroleum refineries are processing - averaged 17.3 million barrels per day in 2018, the highest annual average on record and the fifth consecutive year of record-high refinery runs. Read more.
Rig Count Spikes After Weeks of Declines
The number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States jumped in biggest gain in nearly a year as crude extended a rally that began earlier this year. Led by Texas, the number of rigs drilling for oil jumped by 15, the largest increase since May and the first weekly increase since early February, according to the Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes. Read more.
Big Oil is Feeling the Heat and Dipping into Green Energy
Norway’s $1 trillion government-owned investment fund will redirect monies it has earned from oil and gas investments and place them instead in clean energy projects. The Government Pension Fund Global said Friday that it will now invest as much as $14 billion into such deals. Read more.
Hard Hat and a Hammer - Permian Crude Differentials Squashed Amidst a Potential Overbuild
Crude differentials in the Permian are getting squeezed. The spread between Midland and WTI at Cushing widened out to near $18/bbl at one point in 2018, when pipeline capacity was scarce. Read more.
April 9, 2019
Alabama Gas Tax Increase Beneficial for the Port of Mobile
The Alabama State Port Authority said the gas tax increase passed by the state legislature last month is very beneficial for the Port of Mobile. The money raised will help fix infrastructure, like roads and bridges in the state, but some of that money will go to the port to help deepen and widen the Mobile Shipping Channel. Read more.
Houston Sets Limits on Large Container Ships
At a special meeting the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority passed a resolution that would limit traffic for large vessels that cause one-way traffic limitations on the key ship channel approach of Galveston Bay to once a week. Those ships could also not arrive and depart from a Port Houston terminal on the same day. Houston Pilots require one-way traffic for ships over 1,096ft. Read more.
Marathon Petroleum to Invest $1.2B in Galveston Bay Refinery
Marathon Petroleum will spend $1.2 billion upgrading its Galveston Bay refinery complex in the next three years as part of ongoing program to integrate and modernize its Texas refineries. For the past few years the Ohio-based refiner has been in the process of integrating its Galveston Bay refinery, now the second biggest in the nation, with the adjacent Texas City refinery, which it bought from BP for $2.4 billion in 2013. Read more.
As U.S. Shale Oil Exports Rise, Pricing Focus Will Shift to Gulf Coast
The rise of U.S. shale oil and gas production is widely known to have disrupted the domestic energy market in a number of ways. But more importantly, it has shifted the United States from being one of largest importers of oil toward becoming a net exporter of crude oil and oil products. These tectonic shifts will change the focus of oil pricing, shifting it to the Gulf Coast and on-the-water crude oil and crude products. In other words, those bound for export. Read more.
April 8, 2019
Shell Enters Into 20-Year Deal with Rio Grande LNG
The liquefied natural gas arm of oil giant Shell has become the first customer at NextDecade's proposed $15 billion Rio Grande LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville. NextDecade announced the 20-year sale and purchase agreement at the LNG2019 conference in Shanghai on Monday night. Read more.
Houston Ship Channel Shut as Storm Hits Chemical Disaster Site
The Houston Ship Channel was shut on Sunday as violent storms wracked the site of one of the worst Gulf Coast industrial disasters in 14 years. All outbound vessels emerging from the northwest end of the waterway were halted and inbound traffic was limited to ships and barges already en route to final destinations, Intercontinental Terminals Co LLC said in a statement. Read more.
New Plans to Bring More Gas to New England and the Maritimes
The shutdown of natural gas production from the Sable Offshore Energy Project on Canada’s East Coast as of January 1, 2019, increased the Canadian Maritimes’ reliance on gas exports from New England this winter as consumers worked to link up with fresh supply to replace SOEP. The tightening supply in the region has prompted expansion plans from TransCanada to move more Western Canadian and Marcellus/Utica gas to New England utilizing its Mainline and other eastern systems. Read more.
Drilling Down: Atmos Energy Developing Salt Dome Storage in East Texas
Dallas natural gas company Atmos Energy is moving forward with plans to further develop an underground storage facility that the company bought in East Texas. Its subsidiary, Atmos Pipeline Texas, filed permit applications with the Railroad Commission for two storage wells by recompleting a previously existing vertical well at the site and drilling a new vertical well down to a depth of 6,207 feet on its Bethel Salt Dome lease in Anderson County. Read more.
Port of New York/New Jersey Tackling Port Congestion
In January, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey inaugurated a major expansion of its ExpressRail system, the final rail facility in a network aimed at handling over 900,000 rail lifts a year. The Port Jersey facility marks the culmination of a $600-million Port Authority capital investment program dating back to the 1990s that established on-dock and near-dock rail access at all of its major marine terminals. Read more.
April 5, 2019
Third Neo-Panamax Crane on Its Way to Port of Wilmington
The Port of Wilmington will soon get its third neo-Panamax crane. According to NC Ports, the crane will arrive on Monday. It’s scheduled to begin its trek up the Cape Fear River early in the morning, passing Southport around 7:30 a.m. and arriving to the port sometime in the 10 a.m. Read more.
Cleaner and Greener in New Orleans
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) and the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) a National Clean Diesel Funding grant that will cover 40% of the cost of retrofitting one diesel-electric switcher locomotive with a Tier 4-compliant prime-mover. Read more.
Overpass Signals Growth in Oil by Rail at Port of Beaumont
The Port of Beaumont’s Orange County Terminal is addressing infrastructure needs to keep up with its growing success as a hub for oil and refined products. The latest project to be completed there is a $12.5 million overpass that prevents tanker trucks and other vehicles from getting stranded by oil trains coming and going from the terminal site. Read more.
Analysis: US LPG Cargoes Sail to India Amid Altered Trade Flow
US LPG is being exported directly to India in a new evolution of global trade flow, with four Very Large Gas Carriers laden with LPG set to reach India in April, and cargoes have been set to be delivered for May and June as well. With key LPG buyer China no longer sourcing LPG from the US due to the ongoing trade tensions between the two countries, the Chinese have been exploring alternative sources. Read more.
April 4, 2019
Energy Secretary Says U.S. Should Debate Shrinking the Oil Reserve
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that Congress should consider whether to shrink the government’s emergency oil reserve as the boom in domestic oil production has cut reliance on petroleum imports. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which stores crude oil in a series of salt caverns at heavily guarded sites on the Texas and Louisiana coasts, was authorized by Congress after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s sparked a U.S. fuel crisis. Read more.
Port Report: Outlook for Trans-Pacific Shipping Rates is Meh as Imports Expected to Slow
Spot rates for ocean freight into the U.S will face a “challenging” 2019 for growth, according to Maritime Strategies International, as the box ship industry will “be characterized by moderate growth in supply and demand.” MSI’s outlook comes amid a similar tamping down of expectations around U.S. container imports, which will see a marked slowdown from last year. Read more.
Clean Energy and Climate Change are Helping Big Oil, Goldman Sachs Says
The push towards decarbonization is creating barriers to entry in the oil industry, making major oil players – known as "Big Oils" -- more profitable, Goldman Sachs' head of EMEA Natural Resources Research, told CNBC. Read more.
Energy, Petrochemicals Stimulating Increased Activity at Louisiana Ports
Driven largely by energy and petrochemical interests, from offshore production to the booming plastic resin industry, ports of Louisiana are assertively expanding capabilities. With state and federal grants often providing a boost, Louisiana ports are beefing up infrastructure to efficiently handle these oil-and-gas-related commodities and other cargos. Read more.
Montreal Port Terminal Poised for Second Major Expansion
The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and LOGISTEC Corp. yesterday announced a second phase expansion for Viau Terminal. Since a first phase was completed in 2016, the terminal has handled about 350,000 containers annually. Read more.
Port of Cleveland's New Operator Could Pump Up Volume
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will start the upcoming shipping season with a new general cargo handler. Montreal-based Logistec Corp. will become exclusive marine terminal operator as of April 1. Port Authority officials believe Logistec will help expand the Port of Cleveland's cargo handling operations. Read more.
April 3, 2019
Trading Firm Trafigura Sees Oil Price Rising to $70s/Bl in 2020
Global commodities trader Trafigura Group sees Brent oil staying around current levels, about $66-$67 a barrel, or slightly higher for the rest of the year, and rising to the $70s in 2020, its co-head of oil trading Ben Luckock said on Monday. Read more.
Ship Channel Restrictions Mean Hustle for Its ‘Traffic Cops’
Traffic remains constricted on a 7-mile portion of the Houston Ship Channel a week after pollutants leaked into the waterway, flowing from a breached containment wall at the charred Intercontinental Terminals Co. That has prompted a lot of hustle in a windowless room at Ellington Airport, where civilians and U.S. Coast Guard members monitor the ship channel with cameras, radar and the automatic identification system, or AIS, that ships use to share their location, vessel type, speed and route. Read more.
Tellurian to Decide on Louisiana Driftwood LNG Project in First-Half of 2019
Tellurian Inc plans to make a final investment decision on its proposed $30 billion Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Louisiana in the first half of 2019, the chief executive of the development company said on Tuesday. "We will likely move forward with the first phase of the project with about half a dozen customer/partners," CEO Meg Gentle told Reuters at the BloombergNEF Summit in New York, which should allow the company to produce the first LNG in 2023 and complete the project in 2026. Read more.
Activity Halted at Venezuela's Oil Port, Upgraders After Blackout: Sources
Venezuela's main oil export port of Jose and four crude upgraders have been unable to resume operations following a power blackout on Monday, according to industry workers and a union leader close to the facilities. The most recent oil shipment for export, on the carrier Dragon chartered by Russia's Rosneft, left Jose, which is owned by state-run PDVSA, on March 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and PDVSA's trade documents. Read more.
Prince Rupert Quietly Becomes a Port Powerhouse
An Exxon-Mobile Corp.- led consortium has pulled back from a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Prince Rupert and Ottawa is selling the expanding Ridley Terminal, but the northwest B.C. city’s bustling port expects an even bigger share of gas exports. The alternate decision by LNG Canada to proceed with its $14 billion export terminal at Kitimat will add to the record-breaking tonnage now handled at the Prince Rupert docks, said Brian Friesen, vice-president of trade development and communications at the Port of Prince Rupert. Read more.
Steel Producer Nucor to Build $1.3B Mill in Rural Kentucky
Steel producer Nucor Corp. announced Wednesday it will build a $1.35 billion manufacturing mill in a rural Kentucky county, creating several hundred jobs while expanding its presence in the bluegrass state. Gov. Matt Bevin said the steel plate mill to be built at Brandenburg in Meade County ranks as one of the state's largest-ever single investments. Read more.
Ohio River Projects Flowing Forward
Nearly $3 billion and 25 years later, the new Olmsted Locks and Dam #53 on the Ohio River are open, helping float more than $40 billion a year in commerce through the superstructure. Head up river about four miles and the Port of Paducah is situated in Kentucky, where Southern FS has planned a key fertilizer handling facility to help serve its new territories in Kentucky and Missouri, as well as Illinois. Read more.
April 2, 2019
Kinder Morgan Sells Stake in Offshore Crude Oil Export Terminal
Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has sold its stake in a proposed offshore crude oil export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico known as Texas COLT, the company confirmed. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kinder Morgan confirmed in a Monday afternoon statement that the company sold its stake to Enbridge, the lead developer in the project. Read more.
Port of South Louisiana: Tonnage Powerhouse, National Asset
“We are the largest grain exporter in the United States of America,” Aucoin said. “More than 50 percent of the grain that leaves the United States leaves through our grain elevators. We have seven grain elevators located within the Port of South Louisiana.” Read more.
Magellan Scraps Plans for Permian Gulf Coast Pipeline Amid Talks to Combine It with Another Project
Oklahoma-based Magellan Midstream Partners is scraping plans for its proposed Permian Gulf Coast Pipeline — amid ongoing discussions to combine the project with another crude oil pipeline. The 600-mile Permian Basin to Gulf Coast pipeline project is unlikely to proceed as originally announced, Magellan Vice President Suzanne Costin reported in a Monday afternoon filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more.
China Buys More U.S. Soybeans as Trade Talks Kick Off – Traders
Chinese state-owned firms bought about 1.5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans for shipment in July and August, in their second major purchase of U.S. supplies this month, three traders with knowledge of the deals said. The purchases come as U.S. and Chinese officials meet in Beijing for negotiations aimed at ending a protracted trade war between the two economic giants that has slashed U.S. commodity exports to China, most notably soybeans. Read more.
Feds Release Analysis of Coos Bay Gas Export Terminal and Pipeline
Federal energy regulators issued a draft analysis Friday of the environmental impacts of the Jordan Cove Energy Project, the controversial proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the north spit of Coos Bay and a feeder pipeline that would stretch across southern Oregon to a gas hub in Klamath County. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also opened a public comment period on the analysis and project until July 5. Public hearings will be held in southern Oregon. Read more.
Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston
Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data. Read more.
Norfolk Southern Breaks Ground on Atlanta HQ, Names Three New Execs
Norfolk Southern Railway yesterday broke ground on its new Atlanta headquarters and named three company officers to executive positions. NS Chairman President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires was joined by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at a groundbreaking ceremony held in Atlanta's Midtown area. Read more.
April 1, 2019
Russian Coal Faces Growing Competition in Mediterranean
Russian thermal coal exports to the Mediterranean region fell by 13pc to 25.9mn t last year, reflecting increased competition with US coal, according to Global Trade Tracker (GTT) data. The region's overall thermal coal imports fell by 2pc, mainly as a result of the drop in Russian and Colombian supply. Imports of US coal rose significantly. Read more.
With Cash to Spend, Steel Industry Moves to Catch Up with the Robots
Steven Bugajski woke up on Thursday and counted nearly two dozen new email messages that had arrived since he closed his eyes the night before — all of them promising solutions for “digital transformation” for his 118-year-old company. Mr. Bugajski, general manager for global information technology at U.S. Steel, acknowledged some digital overload from the bombardment of offers. Read more.
Port of New Orleans to Buy New Gantry Cranes
The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) have voted to approve the purchase of two new 100-foot gauge container gantry cranes to be used at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. “These new cranes are vital to our success and growth here at Port NOLA,” said President and CEO Brandy D. Christian. Read more.
Deer Park Spill Still Affecting Houston Ship Channel
Traffic remains backed up at the busy petroleum port of Houston, Texas as cleanup continues for the spill from the International Terminals Co. tank farm on the Houston Ship Channel. While an earlier draft restriction has been lifted, the channel in the area of the spill is still limited to transits during daylight hours only, and even then it is only available one way at a time for large vessels. Read more.