LNG Tankers May Idle for Years as Fleet Expands

April 30, 2009

Some liquefied-natural-gas tankers may lie idle for years because too many are being built as the global recession erodes demand for the fuel.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how the number of LNG tankers sitting at anchor, the red line, has expanded in line with the world fleet, in white, indicating insufficient cargoes. “Some of these ships will remain long-term unemployed, for three or four years in the worst case,” said Morten Frisch, senior partner at Morten Frisch Consulting, an East Horsley, U.K.-based consultant to the LNG industry. Algeria, Nigeria, Qatar, Indonesia, Egypt and Equatorial Guinea are leading cutbacks in LNG cargoes as demand weakens, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a report yesterday. LNG exports fell 5.5 percent to 24.1 billion cubic feet a day in January and February compared with a year earlier, the bank said. The plunge in business may encourage some owners to lease out their vessels for storage, Frisch said. Others may mothball ships, he said.

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OPEC, Asian officials call for curbs on oil speculation

April 30, 2009

CAIRO: OPEC and Asian energy officials called Sunday for new oil investments and tougher measures to combat speculation in crude markets that some have argued helped fuel last year’s oil price spike.

The call came during a one-day energy meeting in Tokyo to discuss volatility in the world oil market. Officials are concerned about another price spike once the world emerges from the global recession. The slowdown has sharply eroded oil demand and driven crude prices down about 65 percent from mid-July levels of $147 per barrel.

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Sirichai Fisheries embroiled in new legal battle

April 30, 2009

Senator Khun Wicharn Sirichai, the Managing Director of Sirichai Fisheries, Thailand, has exclusively released documentation of a legal case in which Indonesian authorities have accused a Thai-flagged trawler of illegal fishing in the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone to BairdMaritime.com.

Sirichai Fisheries was also the owner of the ‘Ekawatnava 5’, a vessel which was sunk in November 2008 in a dramatic explosion caused by the Indian Navy on the false presumption of it being a Somali pirate mother ship. According to documents released, the Thai-flagged trawler ‘Or. Sirichainava 18’ left Somali waters on February 2, 2009, and headed back to the Port of Samutsakhon Province, Thailand.By February 20, the vessel had arrived at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, and was, according to Sirichai, within the vessel’s rights to freedom of navigation, as stated by UNCLOS 1982.

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Financial crisis affecting shipping safety performance

April 30, 2009

Oslo: Updated figures from DNV for 2008 show that losses from navigational accidents within the shipping industry are continuing to increase. This trend is also confirmed by the insurance industry which describes 2008 as a “black year for catastrophes”

DNV monitors the annual frequency of serious accidents. Over the past six years, there has been an increasing incidence of serious navigational accidents in several shipping segments. This is confirmed by leading insurance companies. Collisions, groundings and contact accidents now account for 60 per cent of the most costly accidents. Ola Skauge, Director of Client Services Norwegian Hull Club, said: “In the previous year we noticed a significant raise in claims frequency which hit ship owners and insurers hard. Now the financial crisis is battering us, adding even more challenges to the maritime industry. It is in these times responsible players emerge and investments in safety excellence are proven right. Norwegian Hull Club support the Class’ pro active efforts to send some warning signals, and we expect determined and long term ship owners to continue to focus on safety also amidst the financial turmoil. Cost cutting may be a necessary operational exercise, but cutting corners and losing safety focus will surely jeopardise a sustainable shipping industry.

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Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding SWOT Analysis

April 30, 2009

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. completed a SWOT analysis company profile.

The report examines the company’s key business structure and operations, history and products, and provides summary analysis of its key revenue lines and strategy. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (Mitsui) is engaged in manufacturing of ships, installing steel structures, construction of plants, and manufacturing of power electronics equipment. The company is also engaged in the information communication engineering business. The company primarily operates in Japan. It is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and employs about 9,900 people. The company recorded revenues of approximately $5,787.9m during the financial year ended March 2008 (FY2008), an increase of 5.8% over 2007. The operating profit of the company was approximately $317.1m during FY2008, an increase of 74.4% over 2007. Its net profit was approximately $145.4m in FY2008, a decrease of 14.7% over 2007.

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Ocean Services Expands Offshore Fleet

April 29, 2009

Ocean Services, a member of the Stabbert Maritime Group of Companies, has acquired the Ocean Carrier, an 279 ft X 59 ft deep-water construction vessel in order to expand their commercial fleet.

This new asset marks Stabbert Maritime’s strategic move toward deep-water construction including ROV support, saturation dive support, and core drilling operations. The Ocean Carrier is currently under complete rebuild at Stabbert Maritime’s satellite yard in Houston, Texas. The refit consists of installing a new Dynamic Positioning (DPII) Kongsberg control system, 200-ton crane, and high end interior package. The Ocean Carrier is set for completion on July 15th.

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Philippines asks for ship escorts to fight pirates and protect its seafarers

April 29, 2009

Manila: The Philippines, the largest single provider of the world’s seafarers, urged Pacific Rim transportation ministers Tuesday to aid its ships and sailors through pirate-infested Somali waters amid a slump in global trade.

Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza appealed to officials from the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation addressing the menace of piracy to the world’s merchant ships to provide armed escorts to Philippine ships, said Transportation Undersecretary Maria Elena Bautista.The Philippines supplies about 30 percent of the world’s 1.2 million merchant sailors, and the Foreign Affairs Department says 81 Filipino seafarers are among Somali pirates’ prisoners.A strengthened international naval force has been patrolling the Gulf of Aden since the beginning of 2009 following a surge in hijackings in the area last year.The Philippines is in “Category E,” which Bautista said is the lowest priority in receiving naval escorts near Somali waters.”The appeal of Secretary Mendoza is for the Philippines to be given additional assistance because we have a lot of Filipinos serving in their vessels,” she added.

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