December 14, 2018
EIA: 760,000 Tons of Densified Biomass Fuel Produced in August
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in August, with sales reaching 730,000 tons. Read more.
U.S. Oil Drillers Cut Most Rigs Since May 2016: Baker Hughes
U.S. drillers this week cut oil rigs by the most in over two year even as record production has turned the United States into a net oil exporter for the first time in history. Read more.
CN Eyes Stake in Halterm Container Terminal in Halifax
Canadian National Railway is seeking to emulate its success on Canada’s west coast by establishing a bigger beachhead on the east coast by bidding, with an unidentified partner, to acquire a stake in Halterm Container terminal at the Port of Halifax. Read more.
Corpus Christi Ship Channel Gets Funding Nod for 75-Foot Depth: Permian Producers Can Gear Up for Supertankers
After three decades of wrangling, Texas officials have approved funding to expand the Port of Corpus Christi, which will widen and deepen its shipping channel -- a project that will have national and international implications. Read more.
December 13, 2018
US Met Coal Exports Total 5.29 Million Mt in October: US Census
US metallurgical coal exports in October totaled 5.29 million mt, up 42.8% from the prior month and up 25.2% from the year-ago month, according to data released Thursday by the US Census. It was also the second-highest total this year, behind 5.34 million mt in April. Read more.
Grain Vessel Loading Activity Remains Strong as Ocean Freight Rates Inch Up
During October and November, an average of 36 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded per week, while 41 vessels were either loading or waiting to be loaded in the U.S. Gulf. Read more.
USGS: Permian's Wolfcamp is Largest Potential Oil and Gas Resource Ever Assessed
The Permian Basin's Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations in West Texas and New Mexico hold the most potential oil and gas resources ever assessed, the U.S. Interior Department said Thursday. The region in the Permian's western Delaware Basin holds more than twice as much oil as the largest previous assessment - the Wolfcamp shale in the Permian's separate Midland Basin southeast of Midland. That study was completed two years ago. Read more.
Tenaris Working on Phase II Expansion of Midland Service Center
Tenaris' Midland Service Center, which has been open two years, is undergoing expansion as the company works on the second phase of its facility. "We've expanded the size of the yard, adding land to store pipe," said Luca Zanotti, president of the European company's U.S. operations, while visiting the Midland facility. Read more.
December 12, 2018
LNG Buyers Try to Ditch U.S. Gas Commitments
Several large liquefied natural gas (LNG) players have tried to offload their obligation to buy future cargoes from the United States, shedding excess commitments made years ago in the rush for new sources and commercial terms for the fuel. The sale of multi-year "strips" of LNG cargoes represent portfolio adjustments by the buyers rather than backlash against U.S. gas, several Asian and Europe-based traders said. Read more.
Four New Cruise Terminals Underway in the U.S.
The Cruise Lines International Association anticipates positive year-over-year growth for the industry globally in 2018, with a passenger forecast of 28 million. The U.S. and Canada saw impressive growth in 2017 with a five percent increase over the previous year, and North America represented the largest ocean passenger volume in 2017 (49 percent) with a total of more than 13 million ocean cruise passengers. Read more.
Tellurian Inks Preliminary Offtake Deal to Supply Driftwood LNG Export Volumes to Vitol
Tellurian took a step Thursday toward building commercial support for its proposed Driftwood LNG export terminal in Louisiana by disclosing that it had reached a preliminary supply deal with commodity trader Vitol. The first offtake agreement announced to date by the developer is also believed to be the first long-term LNG contract inked by a US supplier that will be linked to Platts JKM, the benchmark price for spot LNG in Northeast Asia. While spot cargoes from the US are often sold basis JKM, long-term contracts have been mostly linked to the US Henry Hub price. Read more.
Sasol's US Lake Charles LLDPE Unit Mechanically Complete, Cracker Completion Imminent
The linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit of Sasol's Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) in the US is mechanically complete, and mechanical completion of the cracker is imminent, a company spokesman said on Thursday. Read more.
Louisiana Offshore Port Ships Most Oil Ever on Supertankers
As the race to build new supertanker ports in the U.S. intensifies, LOOP this week is poised to send out three Very Large Crude Carriers, or VLCCs, carrying 6 million barrels of crude bound for overseas, according to a person familiar with the matter. And more VLCCs are set to load later this month. Read more.
December 11, 2018
Oil and Gas Flow to Texas Coast Spawns Building, Tensions
Oil and gas production in the U.S. has skyrocketed, particularly in the Permian Basin, most of which underlies West Texas. Producers there are employing new drilling technologies to meet — some would say prolong — the global demand for fossil fuels. Read more.
US Chemical Growth Continues Despite Global Slowdown – ACC
US manufacturing and export growth will continue to drive demand for basic and specialty chemicals, even as major economies slow and the “synchronised global upswing” unravels, the US American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Wednesday. Read more.
Proposed $8.5 Billion Plaquemines LNG Terminal and Pipeline Faces Environmental Review
The environmental impacts caused by the construction and operation of a proposed $8.5 billion Venture Global Plaquemines LNG Terminal will be discussed during a public meeting hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Belle Chasse on Tuesday (Dec. 11.) Read more.
Spoils of Trade War: Argentina Loads Up on Cheap U.S. Soybeans
Argentina - one of the world's top soybean exporters, and the top exporter of processed meal and oil - usually has no reason to import beans. But this year, the South American nation has raced to the top of the list of U.S. soybean importers because the prices of U.S. beans have fallen by 15 percent since late May, when China first threatened tariffs on them. Read more.
December 10, 2018
Toyota Worries Trump’s Tariffs Could Hurt Car Sales
Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America, told the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday that Trump’s proposed use of section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act to put 25 percent tariffs on foreign cars would jack up car prices and undercut sales. The move would especially hurt foreign carmakers like Toyota, he said. Read more.
Alberta's Oil Cuts Could Hit Light Oil Producers, Rail Shipments
Alberta's decision to mandate output cuts to reduce a supply glut will have negative effects on North American producers of lighter oil used for blending and U.S. refiners importing crude via rail, even as several major Canadian energy companies cheered the move. Read more.
Goldman Sachs Says Iron Ore Markets Will Be Dull Next Year
Iron ore prices continue to grind higher, recovering after a sharp tumble in late November. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 0.3% to $67.38 a tonne, logging the sixth gain the past seven trading sessions. Read more.
Thaw with China Could Boost Frozen U.S. Gas Projects
Easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China could unlock new American liquefied natural gas projects that stalled this year while seeking customers. But people in the industry say they need more confidence that warmer relations will endure before they can move forward. Read more.
December 7, 2018
Why the China-Us Trade War Truce Could be a Raw Deal for Brazil’s Soybean Farmers
The truce in the US-China trade war could push down prices for Brazil’s forecast bumper soybean harvest and ramp up market uncertainty if Washington and Beijing strike a deal on supplies, industry analysts said. Read more.
Bunge Names Syngenta CEO to Board Under Deal with Activist Investors
Bunge Ltd. appointed the CEO of agrichemicals company Syngenta to its board on Wednesday as part of an agreement with activist investors D.E. Shaw and Continental Grain Co. Read more.
Fracking’s Major Contribution to Cleaner Air
Clean natural gas is now the leading source of electricity generation, driving U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions to their lowest levels since 1992, even as CO 2 emissions around the globe increased 50% since 1990. Read more.
Americas Aframax Rates Boom on USGC Exports, Intraregional Draw
Freight rates for Aframax vessels carrying cargoes on both upcoast and trans-Atlantic routes continued to soar Friday, with rates for USGC-trans-Atlantic voyages far surpassing their highest level since S&P Global Platts began assessing them in March 2018 and East Coast Mexico-USGC since the first assessment in November 2015. Read more.
December 6, 2018
Vessel Arrives at Cheniere Texas Corpus Christi LNG Export Plant
A liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel, the Maria Energy, arrived at Cheniere Energy Inc's $15 billion Corpus Christi LNG export facility in Texas on Saturday, according to Reuters vessel tracking data. Read more.
Georgia Ports Authority to Build Inland Distribution Hub In Gainesville in State’s Northeast Region
The Georgia Ports Authority, which runs the container port of Savannah and the breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off port of Brunswick, will announce on Monday that it will build an inland distribution facility near Gainesville, Ga. in the Northeast region of the state. Read more.
Exclusive: Report Reveals Maryland Has $263 Million Funding Gap for Howard Street Tunnel Project
The Maryland Ports Administration needs to close a $263 million funding gap to in order to begin reconstruction of the Howard Street Tunnel, according to a new report obtained by the Business Journal. Read more.
T. Parker Host Receives Strategic Investment
T. Parker Host (“Host” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce a strategic investment from Metalmark Capital (“Metalmark”). Metalmark is a leading private equity firm with a long track record of successfully investing in family and founder-owned businesses in targeted sectors, with particular expertise in infrastructure and commodity-related industries. Read more.
December 5, 2018
Barge Transport Should Benefit from New Ohio River Petrochemical Plant
A large petrochemicals plant under construction along the Ohio River is providing some welcome new business for inland barging, as well as an economic boost to an area hit hard by declines in the manufacturing and coal industries. Read more.
$1.25 Billion Chemical Complex Planned on Mississippi River
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, alongside officials from Yantai, China-based Wanhua Chemical Group Company Ltd., announced November 16 the company will build a $1.25 billion chemical manufacturing complex in Convent, La., on the east bank of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish. The site covers 250 acres near the intersection of Louisiana Highways 3125 and 3214 and also offers access for deep-draft vessels and rail service. Read more.
Amid Delays at Port of Baltimore, Longshoremen and Management Agree to Arbitration
Work slowdowns by longshoremen at the port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal are disrupting operations so much that some shipping line customers may move their cargo shipments to other ports, the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore said in a court filing. Read more.
December 4, 2018
How a 205-Year-Old Grain Dynasty Won Activist Victory Over Bunge
In the world of agribusiness, the Fribourgs are royalty. Their 205-year-old family business has shaped some of the biggest twists in global food trading, becoming a household name in the 1960s after it led the unprecedented sale of U.S. wheat to the Soviet Union. Now, it’s shaping the business of American farming again, pushing for the shake-up of a storied rival: Bunge Ltd. Read more.
Port of Gulfport Completes $570 Million Expansion, Restoration: Report
Heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina 13 years ago, the Port of Gulfport has completed a $570 million expansion and restoration project, WXXV reports. The Gulfport-based television station reported that the port has grown to 300 acres -- almost twice the size before Katrina hit in 2005. Read more.
AAPA Questions CBP Policy on Agency’s Staff Facilities at Ports
On Wednesday (Nov. 28), the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) addressed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies requesting port authorities to build and incur the costs of CBP staffing facilities at ports. In a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, AAPA expressed concern over CBP seeking ways to build new facilities, while there continues to be a shortage of CBP officers for maritime activities. Read more.
November 30, 2018
American Soybean Farmers Look for New Markets and Fresh Ways to Ship
American farmers expect a bumper soybean harvest this year. If only they can figure out where to sell the fruits of their labor. Read more.
Shale Boom Raises Specter of New Glut: Gulf Coast Oil Terminals
Within 18 months, new pipelines opening in the nation’s most prolific shale basin promise to carry an added 2 million barrels of oil a day to the Gulf Coast. But the extra crude will arrive at a time when existing terminals in the Corpus Christi area can already offer only about 300,000 barrels a day of unused capacity. Read more.
U.S. Could Become Net Exporter of Petroleum by 2022
The United States could become a net exporter of petroleum in less than five years, the first time the country would achieve such a feat since at least 1949, according to a new report. The shift from importer to exporter is driven by the surge in U.S. oil production that has followed the unlocking of crude reserves from shale formations, according to the report by the research firm IHS Markit. Read more.
November 29, 2018
Race to Export US Shale Gets Fierce, Gulf Coast Terminals Want In
The race to export U.S. shale oil overseas is about to get fierce, with at least nine proposed terminals angling for a piece of a very limited pie. Within 18 months, new pipelines opening in the nation’s most prolific shale basin promise to carry an added 2 million barrels of oil a day to the Gulf Coast. But the extra crude will arrive at a time when existing terminals in the Corpus Christi area can already offer only about 300,000 barrels a day of unused capacity. Read more.
Plains' Expanded Sunrise Oil Pipeline System Starts Service, Volumes Up
Plains All American Pipeline LP said on Tuesday the expanded Sunrise Pipeline oil system from the Permian to Cushing, Oklahoma, was placed into service this month, offering much-needed relief from transportation constraints in the basin. Volumes on the expanded line are currently at about 300,000-350,000 barrels per day (bpd), higher than the company's previous estimate of about 200,000-250,000 bpd, a company executive said during an earnings call. Read more.
More Anhydrous Ammonia to be Shipped from Portland Terminal
Deerfield, Illinois-based CF Industries announced it has reached a deal with Boise-based J.R. Simplot Co. for use of Simplot’s Rivergate Terminal, which has two 25,000-ton ammonia tanks at the North Portland facility, considered the largest deep-water ammonia terminal on the West Coast. Read more.
November 28, 2018
New Grain Terminal to Provide 4 Million Tonnes of Western Canada Export Capacity by 2020
Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited (P&H) is pleased to announce that it is moving forward to build and operate Fraser Grain Terminal, a new export facility in Surrey, B.C. The project received Vancouver Fraser Port Authority permit approval last week. Read more.
Study: Kalama Methanol Project Would Help Fight Climate Change
A new study of the proposed $2 billion methanol refinery draws a surprising conclusion: From a global climate change perspective, it’s better to build the plant than not to build it. Read more.
Port of Astoria Log Exports on Hold Because of Trade War
A bulk carrier at the Port of Astoria's Pier 1 loaded with 5.5 million board feet of timber from Astoria Forest Products is set to leave Friday for China. The Daily Astorian reports it could be the last log export for the Port until the deepening trade war between the U.S. and China is resolved. Read more.
November 27, 2018
Dry Bulk Shipping: BDI Weakness in Q4, as the Trade War Limits Demand Growth and Demolitions Stall
The improved fundamental market conditions in the first three quarters of 2018 have seen the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rise significantly – up by 24%, 25% and 41% in Q1, Q2 and Q3 respectively, when compared with the same time last year. Read more.
Contura, Alpha Shareholders Approve Merger to Create Largest US Met Coal Producer
Shareholders of Contura Energy and Alpha Natural Resources approved a proposed merger at a special meeting Wednesday, with the deal expected to close Friday, the companies said. Read more.
Canada's Ridley Terminals Coal Exports Fall to Nine-Month Low in October
Coal exports from Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, totaled 538,486 mt in October, down 11.3% from September and the lowest level since 454,562 mt exported in February, according to data from the Prince Rupert Port Authority released Friday. Read more.
November 26, 2018
Ports Need to Think Outside the Box to Make Their Terminals More Cost-Effective
Pressure is mounting on container ports to improve efficiency in terminal operations, as wholesale change in the shipping industry continues to increase competition and drive down revenue per box. Read more.
Port Everglades Officially Opens New $120 Million Terminal
At Port Everglades, excitement in the air as the port opens its brand new $120 million-dollar terminal. Read more.
Rivers of Optimism at Waterways Symposium
The first speaker was Allen Sinai, chief global economist and president of Decision Economics, an economic and financial forecasting firm with locations in New York, Boston and London. His message was simple: “Think growth for the next few years.” Sinai said the current economic expansion, which will soon become the longest in history, is solidly powered by consumer spending, business investment and government spending. He doesn’t expect it to end for the next couple of years. Read more.
November 20, 2018
Plan Moving Forward to Build New Port Along Mississippi River
The proposal for a port along the Mississippi River in Lincoln County, originally brought forward in 2014, is finally moving forward. The plan calls for 6,500 acres of what's mostly farmland near Winfield to be turned into a multi-billion dollar complex. Read more.
Interview: Shipping Firms Wasting Money on Paper in Digitalization Era
The sheer volume of data that is potentially available can be overwhelming and companies from shipping, as well as many other sectors, are still working out how to really seize the full potential of everything digitalization can offer. Read more.
November 19, 2018
The Dawn of Offshore Mega-Terminals
The US is becoming a major exporter of oil, and it needs increasingly bigger and better infrastructure to keep the commodity flowing. As a result, the country is looking to build offshore shipping terminals big enough to handle the size and volume of a new generation of mega-tankers. Read more.
Kinder Morgan's Miss. Gulf LNG Export Plant Passes Environmental Test
U.S. energy company Kinder Morgan Inc's proposed Gulf liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Mississippi took a step toward receiving federal approval for construction on Thursday after staff at the federal energy regulator issued a draft environmental report. In the report, known as an environmental impact statement, staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded that construction and operation of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but those impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels if the company follows the recommendations in the draft report. Read more.
Port's Harbor Island Project Facing Delays Due to Federal Funding
It appears a previously announced project that would allow some of the world's biggest oil tankers to load and unload at Harbor Island on the Port of Corpus Christi's outskirts will have to be scaled back. It's all a matter of money. Port Commissioners say there's not enough of it right now, and there won't be until the federal government starts funding the already approved dredging of the inner harbor. Read more.