Category Archives: Oil

Tanker Market: “Libyan” Factor a Boon for Suezmax and Aframaxes’ Fortunes

The resurgence of Libyan oil production will offer support to Suezmax and Aframax tankers, in terms of demand, but in the short-term, prospects aren’t that rosy. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Charles R. Weber noted that “Libyan crude production posted strong gains during May, rising from 700,000 b/d at the end of April to a three‐year high of 800,000 b/d early during May and subsequently concluding the month at 827,000 b/d, according to the country’s National Oil Company. The gains follow a restart of production at the Sahara oil field late during April after a weeks‐long closure and a restart of the El Feel (Elephant) field during May after having been offline for two years. A technical issue led to a short blip in production at the Sahara field – the country’s largest – during mid‐month likely implies that the average production rate for the month will be lower than the headline figures suggest, but directional improvements and multiple‐year highs imply a positive demand‐side development for Aframax and Suezmax tankers servicing regional cargo flows”, said the shipbroker.

Indeed, CR Weber notes that “a fresh influx of cargoes during late May proved quite supportive of Aframax rates – if only briefly. Aframax TCEs on the MED‐MED route jumped from just $10,700/day at the start of the month to over $25,500/day by May 24th. Contributing to the gains were modest supply gains from Ceyhan, as well as coverage of prompt cargo purchases of North Sea crude grades (during a brief Brent contango futures structure ahead of the OPEC production cut extension) which simultaneously propelled NSEA‐UKC Aframax TCEs to over $30,000/day. Suezmax rates in the same markets rallied in tandem as they have been trading at an effective floor dictated by Afrramaxes, with $/mt rates matching those of the smaller class. Any cheer among owners was short‐lived, however, as Aframax TCEs have largely corrected: presently, the MED‐MED route yields ~$9,776/day and the NSEA‐UKC route yields ~$11,977/day”, it said.

According to CR Weber, “the outlook for the remainder of Q2 and the start of Q3 doesn’t appear particularly rosy, despite potential for Libya to yield a steadier and elevated export flow during the coming months. Natural Aframax demand in the North Sea market is set to decline m/m during June, and the July program shows the fewest loadings of 2017. Meanwhile, Ceyhan loadings are unlikely to observe much further upside following May’s gains. Adding to prospective negative pressure, Suezmaxes appear poised for a wider supply/demand imbalance in the West Africa region, which could elevate vies by Suezmax units for Aframax cargoes. Nigeria’s Forcados crude stream is poised to return following repairs to the pipeline linking fields to the Forcados terminal. Though notionally positive for Suezmaxes (the traditional workhorse of West African exports) the return of Forcados could weaken regional crude differentials to Brent. This would make West African crude more attractive to Asian buyers seeking to offset a lack of supply growth in the Middle East due to extended OPEC production cuts with purchases elsewhere, thereby supporting VLCCs at the expense of Suezmaxes”.

The shipbroker added that “on a YTD y/y basis, VLCC demand in West Africa has grown by 28% while Suezmax demand has shrunk by 25%. Meanwhile, both the Aframax/LR2 and Suezmax fleets are grappling with extraordinarily high net fleet growth rates as a massive newbuilding delivery program is ongoing amid limited phase‐outs of older units. The Aframax/LR2 fleet is has expanded by 2.7% YTD and is projected to conclude the year with a net annual growth rate of 6.9% for 2017 while the Suezmax fleet has expanded by 5.4% YTD and is projected observe a net annual growth rate of 10.0%. Moreover, the majority of this year’s newbuildings have yet to enter the Atlantic basin. Our analysis of AIS and fixture data shows that the average Suezmax newbuilding does not appear in the West Africa market for 95 days after delivery – and of the 26 Suezmax units delivered since 1 Jan, just five have traded cargoes from West Africa so far. To put the volume of recently delivered units that have yet to enter the region into perspective, there are around 10 spot market‐serviced Suezmax loadings and 17 total Suezmax loadings in West Africa, per week”, the shipbroker concluded.

Source: HSN 6.6.2017

Libya: NOC statement on status of NC-96 and NC-97 concessions (Wintershall)

NOC and Wintershall signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on August 26, 2010, to extend Wintershall’s 50-year concession for areas NC-96 and NC-97 and to convert to EPSA IV terms, in line with other foreign operators in Libya.

Wintershall’s concession otherwise expired on March 27, 2016. Zuetina port, from which NC-96 and NC-97 production is exported, was blockaded by units of the Petroleum Facilities Guards at that time. Wintershall restarted production on September 16, 2016, when force majeure was lifted at Zuetina, and shut production on March 7, 2017. In the interim period, NOC and Wintershall held a number of meetings to discuss implementing the 2010 MOU. Wintershall chose not to honor its commitments and was not included in the latest loading plans as a consequence.
If Wintershall kept to its agreements, including seeking a resolution by arbitration, production and exports could continue. Instead, it has tried to interfere in Libyan internal politics and to take advantage of the weakness of the state.
10 May 2017
Tripoli

Libya: NOC Discover New Gas/Condensate Offshore Libya

National Oil Corporation (NOC) and ENI North Africa Libya (Operator), being partners in an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA IV) signed in June 2008, announce a New Gas/Condensate Discovery in Contract Area ‘D’ (NC41) in Tripoli-Sabratah Basin, Offshore Libya.

The discovery exploration Well B1-16/3 is located approximately 140 km from the Libyan Capital Tripoli City and 5 km to the North of the producing Bahr Essalam Gas Field. The well was drilled in water depth of about 150 m and reached a total depth of 9780 feet (2981 meter).

The production test results are summarized in the following Table:

 

Libya: National Oil Corporation warns oil market against illegal contracts (Statement)

 National Oil Corporation (NOC) today reasserted that it is the only body authorized by United Nations resolutions to export crude oil and oil products from Libya.

 NOC confirmed that term contracts covering the entire production for 2017 for all Libyan crude grades have already been entered with 16 international oil companies. Only these companies are legally contracted to buy Libyan crude oil and to charter shipping tankers from Libyan ports for 2017. The companies are the following: ENI, Total, OMV, Repsol, Rosneft, LukOil, Cepsa, Saras, API, Glencore, Socar, Unipec, Vitol, Gunvor, Petraco, and BB Energy. 

 NOC identified a group of individuals abusing the status of political division in Libya by entering into illegal contracts with unknown or unqualified companies. 

NOC said these individuals, and others associated with them, have offered Libyan crude oil for sale at huge discounts below the Official Selling Price (OSP). if implemented the losses to the state of Libya of these contracts would be hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. 

NOC warned the maritime market and crude oil market that these contracts are illegal and that entering into them may lead to serious legal consequences and financial losses. NOC does not accept responsibly or liability whatsoever for any loss or damage incurred as the result of entering into contracts with unauthorized individuals. 

NOC also confirmed that all crude oil exports are paid by documentary letters of credit, and at the Official Selling Price (OSP) without any discount.

 NOC – Tripoli 26.03.2017

 

NOC Libya: Full Statement issued by NOC’s Chairman on Fuel smuggling

Eng. / Mustafa Sanalla, NOC Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “I was deeply hurt by the story I heard yesterday of a Libyan family who suffocated to death as a result of using charcoal for heating due to the power cuts. This family is one example of thousands of tragic cases that the ordinary desperate Libyan citizen suffers from because of the criminal practices by the gangs who smuggle the subsidized fuel across the borders and because of everyone who closes a field or hinders the operations of a productive public facility. The millions that the country loses because of these gangs’ crimes could have been used in improving the power networks and the maintenance of the power plants in order to solve the rotational load shedding problem”

“I shouldn’t forget to pay tribute to the souls of those patriotic martyrs of fuel smuggling combating soldiers who were assassinated by the smugglers’ treacherous bullets”

“There is no justification other than the ridiculous attempt to defend the fuel smuggling bandits, trying to justify their crimes and disguise clear facts by telling lies and fraud. This is shame on every traitor and unperceptive individual who shouts with falsehood by defending and ingratiating those killing criminals.”  

“The responsibility of the occurrence of any security breaches of any kind, size or motive at Zawia Refinery will be assumed by the gangs of fuel smuggling. We will consider such breaches as terrorist acts and the doer of such acts, whoever are, will be considered supported by those gangs and will be charged of terrorism. Unprecedented local and international procedures will be taken against whoever tries to abuse the wealth of the Libya people. We will never be tolerant with this issue in any way.” 

“I urge again the inhabitants of the western region, in general, and people of Zawai city and Zwara city in particular. I call upon their conscience and patriotism to stand together against the criminal bandits and to pull out these poisonous weeds from their land, because they are the first to be affected by those gangs due to the shortage of fuel in petrol stations or its unavailability at the official price, in addition to the interruptions of the desalination station in Zwara  resulted from the fuel smuggling gangs’ stealing of the fuel’s allocations despite Brega Oil Marketing Company’s providing the distribution companies with the required quantities.”

Mr. Sanalla also explained that “Economy Controllers affiliated with Ministry of Economy in different regions are the entities which give permission to the four distribution companies (namely, Sharara Dahabia, Rahela, Libya Oil and Turek Sari’a) to issue licenses for the petrol station after  separating of distribution activity and transfer of oil products under the Resolution of the General People’s Committee (previously) of the year 2007 No. 289 and 293 and under the current political division which led to dividing the distribution companies departments, which has to be stopped sooner and not later.”

“These gangs are part of international criminal organizations that are involved in smuggling fuels, humans, and drugs across the borders. Their presence is a threat for both the Libyan national security and the International security in the Mediterranean region. Everyone must be awakened from the hangover of their narrow-minded material interests that they are chasing, because the threat that Libya is facing is a very huge one.”  

NOC Tripoli – 6 January 2017