Turkish ship hijacked off Somalia; 6 others escape

October 31, 2008

Pirates hijacked a Turkish ship with 20 crews off the coast of Somalia but at least six other ships have fended off pirate attacks in the last two days.

The M/V Yasa Neslihan freighter was boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, the International Maritime Bureau in Malaysia said. Noel Choong, a Maritime official, said an Italian-operated cargo ship with 26 crews managed to escape a pirate attack in the same area Tuesday with unspecified aggressive maneuvers. NATO sent three ships over the weekend into the Gulf of Aden -one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes for anti-piracy patrols and to escort cargo vessels. But attacks have continued unabated. On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy said commercial shipping vessels foiled five recent attempted hijackings by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. In one instance, a Spanish military patrol plane thwarted pirates trying to hijack an oil tanker by buzzing them three times and dropping smoke canisters. At least 77 ships have been attacked in the African waters this year. Thirty-one ships have been hijacked, and 10 remain in the hands of pirates along with nearly 200 crew members.

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Tap eyes full capacity as revenue surges

October 31, 2008

Australia’s Tap Oil’s revenue are up 72% for the quarter ending in September despite a 37% slide in production, but the company said it is on target to generate revenue at close to full capacity by the end of 2008.

Tap posted higher revenue of A$22.2 million (US$14.8 million) for the three month period compared to the previous quarter due to higher oil and gas prices, while total production fell 69,924 barrels of oil equivalent to 118,196 boe. “During the quarter, Tap Oil restored the majority of its production base, with successful tie-in of Woollybutt South in July, restoring gas re-sales from John Brookes in August and progress to repairs at the Harriet venture facilities damaged by the Varanus Island incident,” the company’s chief executive said today in the quarterly report. He added that Tap’s cash position is starting to reflect the stronger production performance. At the end of September Tap had net cash of A$47 million, but this had improved to over A$60 million by late October. Looking to the future the company is in the midst of shooting wall-to-wall 3D seismic across Western Australian permit WA-351-P, which it says has liquefied natural gas- gas scale potential, reinforced by Hess’ three recent gas discoveries in the adjacent permit. Tap is also starting an exploration programme over Block M in Brunei as well as expects the Fletcher-3 appraisal well in Santos operated permit WA-191-P to be spudded next month. The well is designed to evaluate the oil discovery made by the Fletcher-1 and 2 well in 2007. Taps’ participation in Fletcher-3 has increased from 8.2% to 10.9333%.

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China Merchants and Citic Group sign up for Ningbo port investment

October 31, 2008

Shanghai: China Merchants Holdings (International) and Citic Group said they would jointly develop a new port in Daxie.

The South China Morning Post reported analysts predicted a total investment of 3.2 billion yuan (HK$3.63 billion) in the port, known as Port Zone C and located in Ningbo Daxie Development Zone, which will have a quay length of 1,600 metres and accommodate three or four container berths. China Merchants will hold 20 per cent of the joint venture, while Shanghai Citic Port Investment will hold 41 per cent. Ningbo Port will have 39 per cent, according to the website of China Merchants. The port is adjacent to the China Merchants International Terminal Ningbo Daxie, 45 per cent owned by China Merchants.

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Russian shipyard to float out new ice-class tanker Oct. 31

October 31, 2008

Russia‘s Admiralty Shipyard will move a new enhanced ice-class tanker, the Mikhail Ulyanov, from a dry dock to a wet dock for the final stages of construction work.

The floating out ceremony is to be attended by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, Transport Minister Igor Levitin, Culture Minister Alexander Adveyev, St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko, and other dignitaries. The St. Petersburg-based shipyard, Russia’s oldest, is building for Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping company, a series of two 70,000dwt enhanced ice-class tankers, designed to ship oil from Prirazlomnoye (an Arctic oil field operated by Sevmorneftegaz, a subsidiary of Gazprom). Construction of the Mikhail Ulyanov started in 2007 and is to be completed in the summer of 2009. A second tanker, the Kirill Lavrov, is also due to be launched in 2009. Sovcomflot took delivery of the country’s first Arctic shuttle tanker, the Vasily Dinkov, from Samsung Heavy Industries last year. The Vasily Dinkov, along with its sister tankers – the Shturman Albanov and the Kapitan Gotsky – have an ice-enhanced hull structure, designed in accordance with LU6 (1A Super) ice-class, under the classification of the Russian Register of Shipping. They will be able to operate in temperatures of minus 40°C, breaking ice of up to 1.5mtr thick without an icebreaker escort.

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Rederi Transatlantic signs with Stora Enso

October 31, 2008

Swedish company Rederi AB Transatlantic has signed an agreement to take over Stora Enso’s service for the transport of forest products from southern Finland.

Rederi will deploy three Ro Ro vessels on the routes Kotka to Lübeck and Kotka to Gothenburg. The new service will be operated from Rederi’s offices in Gothenburg and Helsinki and from a newly opened office in Lübeck. “Transatlantic is proud of the extended confidence shown in the company,” says Rederi AB Transatlantic’s President Carl-Johan Hagman, commenting on the new agreement with Stora Enso. “Stora Enso is a very important customer for us and the extended cooperation is entirely in line with our strategy to increase our activity in the Baltic Sea region, with a focus on Nordic base industry,” he said.

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‘Rio Negro’ christened in Korea

October 31, 2008

Hamburg Sud has christened the ‘Rio Negro’ at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in Okpo, Korea.

The 286-metre vessel is the third newbuilding in a series of six identical container vessels, each with a slot capacity of 5,900 TEU. The ‘Rio Negro’ is named after a tributary of the Amazon which rises in Columbia and then flows into the Amazon in Brazil. Following delivery on 4 November, the ‘Rio Negro’ will initially be deployed in Hamburg Sud’s New Good Hope Express Service, which connects Asia and South Africa with South America East Coast. The vessel is then scheduled to be phased into the shipping group’s Europe to South America East Coast Service in March 2009.

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Shanghai Waigaoqiao delivers world’s first VLCC built to Common Structural Rules

October 30, 2008

Shanghai : Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard delivered to Singapores Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd becoming the first very large crude carrier (VLCC) built to Common Structural Rules (CSR).

The 318,000-dwt Hua San, the first of 11 VLCCs confirmed to Lloyd’s Register class at Shanghai Waigaoqiao, was delivered to the owners five months ahead of schedule, ushering in a CSR era that is committed to increase the durability of hull structures for the modern fleet. “We are obviously very proud to have supported the design, construction and now delivery of the world’s first VLCC built to Common Structural Rules. That the vessel was delivered well ahead of schedule is a testimony to the professionalism of our partnership with Ocean Tankers and Waigaoqiao Shipyard,” said Nick Brown, General Manager China for Lloyd’s Register Asia. “With a global recession looming and financing harder to find, the industry spotlight rightly has intensified on maintaining the construction of quality ships. The success of this project is the result of our strategy to work with yards and owners who share our vision for quality.” The Hua San is the first of an initial order of six VLCCs ordered by Ocean Tankers at Shanghai Waigaoqiao, four of which were classed to Lloyd’s Register.

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