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OPEC AND FRIENDS AGREE ON WAY TO MONITOR OIL CUT TO END GLUT

OPEC and Friends Agree on Way to Monitor Oil Cut to End Glut

OPEC and other oil producers agreed on a way to monitor their compliance with last month’s historic supply deal, putting global markets on track to re-balance aftermore than two years of oversupply.The countries have already cut oil supply by 1.5 million barrels a day, more than 80 percent of their collective target, since the deal took effect on Jan. 1,Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and Industry Khalid Al-Falih told reporters in Vienna.
“Compliance is great -- it’s been really fantastic,” Al-Falih said Sunday. “Based on everything I know, I think it’s been one of the best agreements we’ve had for
a long time.”Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Algeria and Venezuela met counterparts from non-OPEC nations Russia and Oman to find a way to verify that the 24 signatories to theirDec. 10 accord are fulfilling pledges to remove a combined 1.8 million barrels a day from the market for six months. They intended to prove the Organization ofPetroleum Exporting Countries is serious about eliminating a global glut and dispel skepticism stemming from previous unfulfilled promises.

Monitoring Mechanism
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouk, who chairs the five-member monitoring committee, emerged smiling from the hour-long meeting with a message of success:oil producers were in “total agreement” on the monitoring mechanism and wouldn’t accept anything less than 100 percent compliance with the cuts.
The committee, comprising ministers from Kuwait, Russia, Algeria, Venezuela and Oman, will meet next on March 17 in Kuwait and again in May. OPEC’s secretariatwill present it with a report on the 17th day of each month, the group said in a statement. A technical group, consisting of delegates from each of the fivecommittee members along with OPEC president Saudi Arabia, will meet each month to prepare the report.
The monitoring committee will assess data submitted by each producer country, along with information from agencies such as IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates,Argus Media Ltd. and the International Energy Agency, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. The committee will evaluate compliance with production targetsonly, though the technical group may also look at export data to support its analysis, Novak said.
Secondary Sources
Oil prices rose to an 18-month high of more than $58 a barrel after OPEC and several non-members agreed to end two years of unfettered production and instead cutoutput. Crude has since slipped about 5 percent from that peak as traders await proof that they will follow through.
Benchmark Brent crude was 0.2 percent lower in London at $55.36 a barrel at 9:36 a.m. local time, after gaining 2.9 percent over the previous two sessions.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has already exceeded its target with an output reduction of more than 500,000 barrels a day, Al-Falih said, while
Algeria and Kuwait have also cut to levels beyond their targets, according to ministers from those nations. Other OPEC members such as Iraq and Venezuela have notyet reached their quotas but say they are more than half-way there.
Al-Falih said he hoped all countries would reach full compliance with the deal next month and forecast that brimming global stockpiles of crude oil would return
to normal levels by the middle of the year. The agreement expires at the end of June, though producers will discuss in May whether to extend it, Kuwait’s
Al-Marzouk said.
Russia has pared production by an average of 100,000 barrels a day, a milestone it hadn’t expected to reach until next month, Novak said. The largest producer
involved in the agreement said it would make a daily reduction of 300,000 barrels by April or May.
“We are starting to see a shift in the momentum and the emergence of more bullish sentiment on the market,” Al-Marzouk said earlier Sunday. “These are all
encouraging signs that we are on the right track.” Producers are keeping the door open for a possible extension of the six-month deal, Novak said. However, there’s no indication that the cuts will need to beprolonged after June, Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa said Saturday in an interview.
OPEC’s production fell by 220,900 barrels a day to 33.085 million a day in December, led by declines in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, according to secondary sourcesdata in the group’s monthly report published Jan. 18. The organization agreed to reduce its output to 32.5 million barrels a day, although that total included about740,000 barrels a day from former member Indonesia.
“We started to trust each other better, which is just as important as the market re-balancing,” Novak said. “One year ago not many believed in the success of this
initiative.”
HALLIBURTON AND BAKER HUGHES ABANDON MERGER

US oil service giants Halliburton and Baker Hughes have ended a proposed multi-billion dollar merger, announced in November 2014, after facing stiff resistance fromUS and European regulators and plunging oil prices.

The proposed US$28 billion takeover by Halliburton of Baker Hughes would have created a behemoth oil service company that could rival the global leader Schlumberger.The deal has faced opposition from the start as regulators felt that the mega merger would reduce competition and lead to higher prices that would ultimately hurtconsumers.

Dave Lesar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton said in a joint statement: "While both companies expected the proposed merger to result in compellingbenefits to shareholders, customers and other stakeholders, challenges in obtaining remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions that severelydamaged deal economics led to the conclusion that termination is the best course of action."

As part of the deal falling through Halliburton will be required to pay Baker Hughes a termination fee of US$3.5 billion"This was an extremely complex, global transaction and, ultimately, a solution could not be found to satisfy the antitrust concerns of regulators, both in theUnited States and abroad," said Martin Craighead, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baker Hughes.

Last month the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to stop the merger, saying it would leave only two dominant suppliers in the well drilling and oilconstruction services industry.

The continued low oil price has played its part as well and the downturn has changed the financial attractiveness of the deal. Last week, Baker Hughes reporteda bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss. Last month, Halliburton announced 6,000 job cuts.

GLOBAL SCENARIO OF STEEL AND COAL IS AFFECTING SHIPPING INDUSTRY

With the global demand and consumption of commodities like steel and coal, the movement of the dry bulk shipping
industry and its companies, like Diana Shipping (DSX), DryShips (DRYS), Navios Maritime Holdings (NM), Safe Bulkers (SB), and Diana Containerships Inc. (DCIX), are affected. The Guggenheim Shipping ETF (SEA) tracks shipping companies.
With higher demand and consumption of commodities, the demand of ships increases. The demand across global
economies would negatively impact the shipping industry.With U.S. steel consumption rising and coal demand from
India rising, demand for the dry bulk shipping industry is estimated to be positive.

Steel
According to the World Steel Association estimates, global steel use will increase by 3.1% to 1.53 billion
metric tons in 2014. It will increase by another 3.3% in 2015 to reach 1.58 billion metric tons. Reversing its
growth trend of 6.1% in 2013, apparent steel consumption in China is expected to slow to 3% in 2014
and 2.7% in 2015.There’s a continuous slowdown as the government gains control of over capacity and pollution in the steel industry. According to data from Commodore Research, stockpiles in China have declined for 15 trade weeks and are 21% lower on a year-over-year (or YoY) basis.
However, the scenario would be completely reversed in U.S. steel consumption growth with 4% estimated growth
in 2014 and 3.7% in 2015, after a 0.6% dip in 2013.

Coking and steam
For 2014, the world’s coking coal imports are likely to reach 275 million metric tons, which is 4% compared to
last year, according to Clarkson research. However, steel mills have been restocking since April and if this
continues, there would be high demand for Chinese stocking volume in the upcoming months. However, the freight
differential between import and domestic coal would have to remain favorable for imports.
Looking ahead, it’s anticipated that as soon as India’s government is prepared to avoid a severe blackout similar
the one that occurred in July, 2012, demand for Panamax will be supported over this quarter and the next.

China to expect lackluster external demand in years to come: economist

China should expect lackluster external demand to continue for years to come as the world’s major economies may be entering a period of “great moderation,” a senior economist said.Speaking at the Future China Global Forum in Singapore, Hu Yifan, chief economist at Hong Kong-based securities firm Haitong International, said that it may be a period of time comparable to the great moderation seen between 1985 and 1997.“That period of time is marked by mainly medium-speed growth for the major economies, coupled with low inflation rate and volatility,” she said in a panel discussion.Therefore, the contribution of net export to China’s economic growth will be zero or even in the negative territory, she added.The countries had also been carrying out structural reforms during that period of time while using cautious policies to ensure that the economic environment are normal, just like what China is doing at present, she said.

Other economists at the panel said that they expect lackluster contribution from external exports to China’s economic growth in the coming years, too.Shen Minggao, head of China research at Citigroup Global Markets Asia Limited, said that the rebound of external demand is likely to lag behind the rebound of major economies such as the United States, partly due to the re-industrialization or de- globalization in these economies.

Shen said that she expected the current account surplus of China to be within the range of 2 to 3 percent in the second half of this year. Li Wei, an economist with Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited, said that the bonus from China’s reform efforts will not be there within the next two to three years but that China would be able to handle the economic challenges relying on internal demand.

Consumption is expected to grow by some 10 percent in nominal terms or 8 percent in real terms, while investment growth will still be at 13 percent despite a significant slowdown. This would give rise to annual growths between 7 percent and 7.5 percent, he said. “I don’t think that we should expect the Chinese growth to slow down further because of the reforms. The growth used to be some 15 percent in the second quarter of 2007, while now it’s some 7 percent. I think it is nearing the end of the slowdown and stabilizing, because the growth rate is in line with the underlying potential,” he said. Li said he expects the Chinese economy to grow by 7 percent in 2014, while Shen and Hu respectively said they expected growths of 7.1 percent and 7.5 percent.

Guy Stear, head of research at Societe Generale Asia, said he expects a growth of slightly below 7 percent for China next year. Hu said that the support factors of growth for China in the coming years would still be investment in infrastructure.

“It is not necessarily real estate. It can be investments to build or upgrade airports, high-speed trains and subways, as well as efforts to upgrade the environmental system,” she said. “Of course, the driver has to be consumption in the long run, but it takes time and a lot of reform efforts in areas such as urbanization, income distribution and services sector development. Whether these reforms will be successful or not will determine the future of China,” she added.

Hu also said that she thinks it is only the early “winter” for China’s real estate sector, given that the current round of cooling measures target the supply side, while measures in the past had targeted the demand side. The banks are also starting to be cautious in lending money to developers. The long-term measures such as property tax are also being considered.

However, she said that the real estate markets in different cities might experience different levels of adjustment.Nevertheless, the adjustments in the real estate sector will not necessarily lead to a major slowdown in the Chinese economy, as public housing projects will make up for some of the losses in investment.

The economists are divided on whether consumption growth will slow down in the case of a real estate sector correction, with Hu saying that it might help consumption as people do not need to save so much to buy houses.Stear, however, said that the correction might be disastrous as consumers are more likely to panic than spend. Shen said that the housing prices in China has peaked and that the correction might last between 2 and 4 years, with 2015 being probably the most challenging year for real estate developers.

Maersk: Implications of the 2015 ECA sulphur regulation

From 1 January 2015 new legal requirements will come into force in the Emission Control Areas (ECA) in North Europe (Including the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel) and North America (200 nautical miles from American and Canadian shore). This legal requirement will lower the maximum allowed content of sulphur in fuel burned in the ECA’s to 0.1% sulphur from todays 1.0%.

The 2015 requirements will have significant positive effects on the environmental and health in the regions nd Maersk Line fully supports such a development, subject to strict regulatory enforcement to safeguard the environmental benefits and ensure a level playing field for ship operators.

IMPLICATIONS

This requirement will have the following effects and implications for society, Maersk Line, and our customers:Environment and Health: Sulphur emissions (SOx) will be reduced by 90% which will have significant positive effects on the environment and on health in general. SOx emissions are toxic and cause respiratory implications as well as acid rain.

Maersk Line: Fuel with a sulphur content of 0.1% is significantly more expensive than fuel with 1.0% sulphur content required in ECA areas today. By 2015, Maersk Line expects to purchase 650,000 tonnes of fuel with 0.1% sulphur content annually for our fleet, equal to 7% of all fuel purchased. Based on the current price difference of USD 300 per ton (approx. 50%), the additional cost to Maersk Line will be around USD 250 Million per year.

On top of that Maersk Line will face increased costs for buying services from third-party feeder operators, who will also have increasing fuel costs.

Customers: To offset the additional cost incurred, Maersk Line will incorporate the higher average fuel costs into the existing standard bunker surcharge (SBF). We expect that additional cost to customers in affected trades will be between USD 50 and 150 per 40’ container to and from main ports, depending on transit time inside ECA areas and whether touching ECA areas at both origin and destination. Reefer containers will incur higher cost due to fuel used to generate power on board vessels; also cost will fluctuate depending on the volatility of low sulphur fuel prices.

Maersk Line will communicate more detailed SBF increases per trade when we get closer to implementation date and price difference between the different fuel types can be more precisely estimated.

NEED FOR STRONGER ENFORCEMENT

The North American ECA requirements are strongly enforced, but the current weak enforcement of the North European ECA requirements combined with the significant cost burden increase in 2015 might lead to increased non-compliance.This would not only weaken the positive effect on air quality, it would also be a major competitive disadvantage for the shipping companies that follow the rules.

Maersk Line is strongly encouraging relevant national authorities to put in place strict enforcement regimes that will create an industry level playing field and ensure that the positive environmental impact is not diluted.

Global iron ore market likely be leveled by the BIG 3 miners

Think of iron ore market and the name of 3 biggies viz., Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale rings in the ears as the sole determinant of market dynamics catering to nearly 70% of global trade. The behemoths have traditionally played stellar role in balancing of the market forces in over and under supplied situation.Iron ore levels have been turbulent in the last 2 months plummeting to within whisker of 2 years low of USD 89 per tonne after climbing to 2 months high in April at USD 118 per tonne. However the glory of 2010 and 2011 has vanished owing to supply increasing progressively over the years as the miners implemented massive capacity expansion in anticipation of rollicking growth in China gobbling up volumes.Reality is more bitter than sweet with the Chinese economy and steel demand cooling heels with the government hell bent on reining shadow credit and demand propped by the highly speculative housing sector. Reality rates and land values have plummeted obviating the need to indulge in any fanciful buying. If steel production has rocketed so has iron ore inventory touching 115 million tonnes (usual inventory of 70 million tonnes).

Experts have delved in ambiguity to zero upon the mosaic of reasons for divergent movement in iron ore price levels when the mills fetish for production remains insatiate. Think tanks are fertile with theories reasoning out the decline and prophesying market trends. If snapping of credit lines and clamping on using iron ore stocks for buying credit lines has throttled the demand a concerted strategy by the miners to ease out high cost small miners seems plausible on the supply side.

Number of high-cost Chinese iron ore miners have been forced shut their doors for good recently.

According to the China Metallurgical Mining Enterprise Association, around 20% to 30% of Chinese iron ore mines have closed so far, taking a large amount of supply off the market. According to report around 80% of China’s mines have operating costs of around USD 80 to USD 90 per ton. In comparison, BHP Billiton, Vale and Rio Tinto produce ore at around USD 53, USD 68, and USD 44 per ton respectively.

Around 250 million tons of iron ore is expected to be taken out of the market as high-cost Chines mines close. Removing this supply could be enough to level out the market. Both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are going to dump around 130 million to 150 million tonnes of additional iron ore supply on the market this year. Analysts believe that the demand for iron ore over the same period is only set to expand by 30 million to 50 million tons. However, with Chinese supply dropping out of the market, the balance could be brought back in line, supporting prices.

It seems to be the right time for these iron ore industry leaders to launch this assault on high-cost

producers thereby bringing in capacity and price rationalization by weeding out high cost Chinese miners. Even though glorious past of price levels above USD 150 per tonne might be history market is expected stabilize at more respectable USD 100-105 per tonne in 2015 after the cleansing.

Global iron ore market likely be leveled by the BIG 3 miners

Think of iron ore market and the name of 3 biggies viz., Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale rings

in the ears as the sole determinant of market dynamics catering to nearly 70% of global trade.

The behemoths have traditionally played stellar role in balancing of the market forces in over

and under supplied situation.

Iron ore levels have been turbulent in the last 2 months plummeting to within whisker of 2 years

low of USD 89 per tonne after climbing to 2 months high in April at USD 118 per tonne. However the

glory of 2010 and 2011 has vanished owing to supply increasing progressively over the years as the

miners implemented massive capacity expansion in anticipation of rollicking growth in China gobbling

up volumes.Reality is more bitter than sweet with the Chinese economy and steel demand cooling heels with the government hell bent on reining shadow credit and demand propped by the highly speculative housing sector. Reality rates and land values have plummeted obviating the need to indulge in any fanciful buying. If steel production has rocketed so has iron ore inventory touching 115 million tonnes (usual inventory of 70 million tonnes).

Experts have delved in ambiguity to zero upon the mosaic of reasons for divergent movement in iron ore price levels when the mills fetish for production remains insatiate. Think tanks are fertile with theories reasoning out the decline and prophesying market trends. If snapping of credit lines and clamping on using iron ore stocks for buying credit lines has throttled the demand a concerted strategy by the miners to ease out high cost small miners seems plausible on the supply side.

Number of high-cost Chinese iron ore miners have been forced shut their doors for good recently.

According to the China Metallurgical Mining Enterprise Association, around 20% to 30% of Chinese iron ore mines have closed so far, taking a large amount of supply off the market. According to report around 80% of China’s mines have operating costs of around USD 80 to USD 90 per ton. In comparison, BHP Billiton, Vale and Rio Tinto produce ore at around USD 53, USD 68, and USD 44 per ton respectively.

Around 250 million tons of iron ore is expected to be taken out of the market as high-cost Chines mines close. Removing this supply could be enough to level out the market. Both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are going to dump around 130 million to 150 million tonnes of additional iron ore supply on the market this year. Analysts believe that the demand for iron ore over the same period is only set to expand by 30 million to 50 million tons. However, with Chinese supply dropping out of the market, the balance could be brought back in line, supporting prices.

It seems to be the right time for these iron ore industry leaders to launch this assault on high-cost

producers thereby bringing in capacity and price rationalization by weeding out high cost Chinese miners. Even though glorious past of price levels above USD 150 per tonne might be history market is expected stabilize at more respectable USD 100-105 per tonne in 2015 after the cleansing.

RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR DRY BULK SHIPPERS IN 2014

The dry bulk shipping industry is inherently volatile and cyclical, mainly due to the inelasticity of supply and demand’s contingency upon major commodities.Shippers can’t change their supply immediately in response to changes in market demand, because it takes about two years to build a new ship. Besides, demand for commodities is uncertain, depending on the overall macroeconomic conditions in major countries as well as the development of world trade.

As a result, even minor changes in shipping demand could lead to substantial increases or decreases in average shipping rates. To monitor the latest movement in shipping rates on major routes, investors can refer to Baltic Dry Index, published daily by Baltic Exchange, which is the most accepted benchmark.Plus, seasonal weakness also affects dry bulk shipping rates at certain times of the year.

Tightened Supply

After the surge in new orders for dry bulk carriers during 2007 and 2008, which resulted in depressing shipping rates,dry bulk shippers have become more cautious about macroeconomic activities worldwide, and they slowed their fleet expansion during 2012 and early 2013. Supply therefore tightened.As a result, demand has exceeded supply in 2014 for the first time since the recession, as suggested by major shippers’ active fleet purchases. As the U.S. economy is recovering gradually, so is demand for dry bulk shipping.

In 2014, projected increases in shipping rates resulting from tightened supply will benefit shippers and ease price competition in the dry bulk shipping industry.

Growing demand in China

China has always been one of the most important players in world trade, especially after the U.S. and EU’s financial crisis. On January 10, 2014, China’s Custom Administration declared that China had surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest trading nation, since China’s annual trade in goods passed the $4 trillion mark for the first time. So,the demand for major commodities in China is crucial to the prosperity of the dry bulk shipping industry.

Even though China’s economic growth is estimated to slow down in 2014 because of the ongoing reform implemented by the new central government, trade will become more important to China’s economy.The economic reform and relaxation of the “one-child” policy indicate ongoing urbanization and infrastructure construction along with more demand for major commodities, which domestic production can’t meet. Also, Chinese companies and consumers are more likely to purchase imported goods rather than domestic products that are more expensive and lower in quality.

GROWTH OF LNG FUEL IN MARITIME SHIPPING

The marine shipping industry is moving towards a heavy use of LNG, driven primarily by new emissions standards that come into place in 2015 combined with the low cost of natural gas from unconventional shale resources. Traditionally, big ships use bunker fuel, the heaviest and dirtiest of the petroleum fuels, but costs have risen in the past decade.

These economics combined with environmental regulations and the growth in gas infrastructure have served as the tipping point which could see LNG establish itself as a viable primary fuel for commercial vessels in the US.

New maritime regulations include the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) requirements and Phase II of California’s Ocean Going Vessel (OGV) Clean Fuel Regulation. In 2015, seaborne traffic in North America, the US Caribbean, and European waters will be mandated to reduce fuel sulfur content from 1.0% to 0.1%.

In order to meet the emissions requirements ship owners must either use low-sulfur diesel which is not widely available and twice the cost of LNG or else install expensive exhaust scrubbers similar to those used on coal fired power plants.The third alternative, which has the lowest costs and the best performance is to convert to LNG fuel.

Bunkering facilities for LNG need to be built to fuel the ships, but they are beginning to be built out now.The global fleet of 42 LNG-powered ships will almost triple by 2014 and increase 42-fold to almost 1,800 vessels by 2020,according to DNV GL, the largest company certifying the merchant fleet for safety. Thirty-seven new LNG-fueled ships and two conversions are on order, scheduled for delivery in the next three years.

A little more than a decade after its first tests in the European market, North America companies have begun to penetrate the marine LNG fuel market with formidable speed. North America will at least have 31 LNG fueled vessels by 2018. Including “LNG-ready” vessels, this number rises to 42. More impressive however is that none of these vessels were in operation prior to 2013. The first LNG-fueled ship (that is not an LNG container ship) was a Norwegian ferry built in 2000. LNG container ships have for decades used the boil-off from their LNG cargo for fuel.
In the United States and Canada, Harvey Gulf International Marine plans to add new vessels to its fleet that already includes five LNG-fuelled vessels. Harvey Gulf is also building the first LNG bunkering facility in the U.S.

The biggest vessels ordered so far are two container ships for delivery in 2015 and 2016 for TOTE Inc., which runs services between the United States and Puerto Rico and Alaska. The design for the LNG-powered vessels won the Next Generation Ship Award in June at the industry’s biggest conference in Oslo.Another ship owner, Matson has also decided to move forward with the construction of two new Aloha class 3600TEU containerships at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. Designed for service between Hawaii and the West Coast, the 260.3 meter long vessels will be the largest containerships constructed in the US and feature dual fuel engines and hull forms optimized for energy efficient operations.

An LNG powered ferry set a new world speed record for ships in 2013 at 58.1 knots. The Francisco, an Argentine ship owned by Buquebus and built by Incat is powered by dual GE LM2500 turbines that produce 22 megawatts each (~30,000 horsepower).The innovative ship is an aluminum catamaran with a unique wave piercing design.

FLNG & FSRU

Aside from the fuel transition, there are also new developments in off-shore gas production. Floating LNG (FLNG) production and Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) are an emerging sector of off-shore infrastructure.Though currently limited in number, and not a factor in the USA, this revolutionary technology has the potential to greatly expand international markets for gas on both supply and demand sides by providing facilities on ships that can be relocated as needed to meet evolving market conditions and avoiding the risk of expensive stranded assets such as unused LNG import terminals in the USA.

FLNG has been pioneered by Royal Dutch Shell who recently floated the hull for its new vessel, the Prelude, which will be the largest ship ever built and the first FLNG project. This new technology offers the ability to develop stranded gas fields that are too far from shore to economically develop by traditional methods. FLNG vessels will be able to fill LNG container ships directly at the source of production. The Prelude will produce at least 5.3 million tons per annum (MTPA) of liquids, 3.6 MTPA of LNG, .4 MTPA of LPG and 1.3 MTPA of condensate. Malaysia’s state owned oil and gas company Petronas is working on its own FLNG vessel, PFLNG 1, which is expected to launch in Q4 2015 and will produce 1.2 MTPA of LNG.

FSRU vessels can be a vital link for new markets by enabling the cargo of an LNG carrier to be converted into its gaseous form on-board the vessel for direct delivery into shore-side gas pipelines. Prior to the advent of FSRUs, expensive (and permanent) shore-side storage and regasification facilities had to be built in order to import LNG. Since LNG markets can change quickly, having the ability to relocate expensive facilities to new locations as the market demands offers tremendous flexibility and allows new markets to be developed quickly. In January 2013, the floating regasification market reached 31.7 MTPA of import capacity spread across eight different countries.

Conclusion

The fact that LNG has proven performance in cutting edge ship designs, favorable economics and decisive environmental advantages creates a compelling case for the maritime industry to commit to LNG. Just as diesel replaced steam locomotives in a rapid transition, it is possible to see a similar transformation happening in maritime shipping.

EU LIFTS BAN ON IRANIAN OIL TANKER INSURANCE

The EU amended a key part of its Iranian sanctions package imposed in July 2012 by lifting its ban on the provision of insurance for tankers carrying crude oil from Iran.EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels agreed to suspend the sanctions with immediate effect for six months."Today's decision has lifted the prohibition on the provision of insurance and transport in relation to Iranian crude oil sales to its current customers," the Council of the European Union said in a statement. Iran currently sells crude oil to only six countries -- China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan.

The EU said that it had also suspended its ban on the import, purchase or transport of Iranian petrochemical products and related services."To enable the transport of Iranian crude oil and petrochemical products, the prohibition on the provision of vessels is also suspended," it said.The lifting of the sanctions was timed to coincide with the entry into force of the deal on Iran's nuclear program agreed in November in Geneva by Iran and world powers.EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Monday talks would begin next month with Iran and the other world powers on reaching a full deal."We aim to start negotiations on a comprehensive solution with Iran in February," Ashton said.

The UN atomic watchdog confirmed on Monday that Iran's partial nuclear freeze, part of the landmark deal with world powers struck in November, began on Monday as planned.The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report passed to member states that Iran "has ceased enriching uranium above 5%" fissile purities at the Natanz and Fordo facilities,AFP reported.The report said that Iran was also converting its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, a particular concern to the international community since it can relatively easily be further purified to weapons-grade.It added that Iran "is not conducting any further advances to its activities" at Natanz, Fordo or the heavy-water reactor under construction at Arak, which could in theory provide Iran with weapons-grade plutonium.

JAPANESE INSURANCE

Japanese buyers of Iranian crude can now restart using international P&I clubs for the provision of insurance for tankers carrying Iranian crude.P&I clubs can offer insurance of up to $7.7 billion per VLCC, but they halted cover for tankers carrying Iranian oil after the EU imposed sanctions against Tehran in June 2012.

The Japan Ship Owners' Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association, in a special circular obtained by Platts Monday, said:"EU-owned or registered vessels will be permitted to transport oil and petroleum cargoes from Iran, or that originate in Iran."International P&I clubs will also be able to "provide cover to both EU and non-EU owned or registered vessels undertaking transportation of oil and petroleum products," it added.However, it will not apply to ships chartered by state entities such as National Iranian Tanker Company and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, it added.Japan P&I Club has advised its member shipowners "to ensure that any contract/s will be fully executed by July 20, 2014 at the latest."This is because regulators have not confirmed if there would be any grace period for run-off similar to the grace period contained in the initiating Council Regulation (267/2012 EC) if the suspensions are not extended beyond six months, it said.

Despite the lifting of the EU sanctions, the president of the Petroleum Association of Japan said Monday that he does not expect Japanese refiners' crude imports from Iran to change in the short term."We do not expect import volumes of Iranian crude to fluctuate in the short term," Yasushi Kimura said at a press conference in Tokyo.

HMM SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) launched its inaugural service from Europe to West Africa on 14 TH November 2013 The service branded Nigeria Express Service (NES) offers direct weekly vessel calls from North Europe to West Africa. In addition to offering extensive port coverage the service also offers one of the best transit times from Dakar to North Europe.

HMM is represented in West Africa through dedicated offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Senegal as provided by the Sharaf Group.

ABB WINS OVER $23 MILLION MARINE ORDERS FOR FOURTEEN CONTAINER SHIPS

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won two orders in the third quarter to provide the waste heat recovery systems, each powered by a power turbinegenerator (PTG), for fourteen new 8,800 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container vessels.

The first seven post-panamax vessels will be built at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd., (DSIC) and the other seven vessels at New Times Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., for China International Marine Containers Group Co. and Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A (MSC). When delivered, in 2015 and 2016, the ships will serve under a long-term charter agreement to MSC, one of the world's largest container ship owners.

The employment of a waste heat recovery system (WHRS) to increase energy output onboard ships is becoming an increasingly viable means of reducing fuel costs. In marine propulsion plants, around 50 percent or more of the energy from fuel is lost to heat when converted to mechanical work by the main engine. By supplementing a ship's main propulsion plant with a waste heat recovery solution, up to 4 percent of the lost fuel energy can be recovered and
converted into electricity. More efficient energy use also reduces CO2 emissions in relation to the engine's mechanical power output.

ABB's scope of supply includes power turbines with control valves, alternators, reduction gears and dynamic compensators. The package also includes two newest generation turbochargers. The electrical output of the system is 1.65 megawatt (MW).

"We are delighted to see that our customers have chosen ABB's innovative solution for their container fleet," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of Process Automation division. "This demonstrates a commitment by both ABB and its customers to help vessels run more efficiently and economically, and at the same time improve their environmental performance."

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.

EMISSIONS RULES SET TO INCREASE SHIPPING COSTS

A European Union proposal to regulate ships’ carbon emissions will likely increase shipping costs.

Maritime transport is the only transport mode not included in the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, the trade publication says. Shipping is responsible for 4 percent of Europe’s total GHGs and globally the sector represents 3 percent of GHG emissions.

But despite rules to limit sulfur content in fuel that take effect in 2015, total maritime transport GHGs are expected to rise to 5 percent by 2020. Under the new International Maritime Organization regulations, ships in some Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) must cut their fuel sulfur content from 1 percent to 0.1 percent as of January 2015. Additional regulations that take effect a year later will require new vessels to cut their nitrogen oxide emissions.

GE MARINE UNVEILS 12V250 MARINE DIESEL ENGINE TO MEET EPA TIER 4I AND IMO TIER III EMISSIONS.

At the International Workboat Show, GE Marine will unveil its ecomagination-qualified 12-cylinder V250 Marine Diesel engine that reduces emissions by 50 percent to meet EPA Tier 4i and IMO Tier III emission compliance. GE's breakthrough technology eliminates the need for a urea-based after-treatment emissions reduction system. In addition, the 12V250 engine offers increased power of 3,150 kW at 900 rpm and 3,500 kW at 1000 rpm while maintaining low life-cycle cost, reliability and fuel efficiency.

Almost one year ago at the 2012 International Workboat Show GE announced its timeline for meeting EPA Tier 4i and IMOTier III emission compliance without the need for Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR) exhaust gas after-treatment
for its L250 and V250 medium speed marine diesel engines (1,550 - 4,650 kW).
"The display of this engine exemplifies GE Marine's commitment and capability to provide breakthrough technologysolutions to the global marine industry," said John Manison, general manager of GE Marine. Our new technology enablesthe industry to meet the upcoming emission compliance requirements as well as to reduce both capital and operating
expenses."
GE Marine's engine technology eliminates the need for an SCR and storing or using urea aboard a vessel, therebypreserving cargo and tank space.
SCR requires using a diesel exhaust fluid, typically urea, to reduce NOx (nitrous oxide) in an after-treatment ofexhaust gas. GE's non-SCR solution is based on the technological advancements of the L250 and V250 engines andrequires no supplemental equipment or fluids.
FUGRO AWARDED THREE-YEAR CONTRACT BY CHEVRON IN ANGOLA

Fugro has been awarded a large three-year contract by Chevron’s subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Ltd,to support its development program at Block 0, off the coast of Cabinda province, Angola.

The contract includes the provision of offshore positioning services and accurate navigation systems for
Chevron’s drilling units, vessels and structures, together with both onshore and offshore survey services.
Fugro’s offshore geophysical data acquisition services will be supplemented by data processing,
interpretation and reporting. At Chevron’s onshore facilities in Malongo, Fugro’s survey services will include subsidence evaluations, topographical surveys, chart production, interpretation and reporting.
NEW SPEED AND DISTANCE LOG REQUIREMENTS

SOLAS requires that speed and distance measuring devices are fitted on:

1. cargo ships of 300 gt and over and passenger ships irrespective of size for measuring speed and distance through
the water (SOLAS regulation V/19.2.3.4)
2. ships of 50,000 gt and over for measuring speed over the ground in the forward and athwartships direction
(SOLAS regulation V/19.2.9.2).
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a clarification that on ships requiring both devices
(i.e. ships of 50,000 gt and over) the requirement should be fulfilled by two separate devices: one speed and
distance measuring and indicating device capable of measuring speed through water; and one separate speed and
distance measuring and indicating device capable of measuring speed over the ground in the forward and athwartships
direction.
These amendments are published in IMO resolution MSC.334(90) and the IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1429 and apply to
devices installed on ships constructed on or after July 1, 2014.
What should owners and operators do now?
Owners and operators of ships being constructed on or after July 1, 2014, should bring this information to the
attention of their designers, shipyards, surveyors and other relevant employees and parties, and take any
necessary action
INDIA, CHINA GAS REFORMS OPEN DOOR TO MORE IMPORTS

Moves by China and India to raise local gas prices will pave the way for increased imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG),

as the two nations try to ensure they can meet rapidly increasing demand for the fuel.
Gas prices in both countries have been kept artificially low at levels well below globally traded LNG costs, meaning
either LNG importers suffer a loss or local LNG users have to pay a big premium to domestic prices.
India last week nearly doubled the price from around $4.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) to a pricing formula
that will bring prices to around $8.40 per mmBtu from April 1, 2014.
China made a more modest reform, increasing non-residential natural gas prices by 15 percent, but prices will be higher
at up to $10-$12 per mmBtu in many coastal provinces.
Chinese and Indian gas demand is expected to soar in the coming decade, driven by growing energy demand and efforts
by China in particular to increase the amount of cleaner burning natural gas in its energy mix.
SALVAGE OPERATION PLANNED FOR MOL COMFORT
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced in the official statement that the company has contracted a salvage company to
recover the two MOL Comfort’s hull parts, after the containerships’ hull was split into two on June 17 during heavy
weather while the vessel was en route to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The company did not reveal the name of the salvage company.
Currently, according to MOL’s statement, the fore and aft parts are drifting near 14’10”N 63’27”E and 13’13”N 62’05”E
respectively in an east-northeast direction. The weather at the site is still adverse. The patrol boat, which has
departed Port of Jebel Ali, U.A.E. on June 19, is expected to arrive at the ocean site around June 24, MOL said.
“Some of the containers might be lost or damaged during the incident, but majority of the cargo are confirmed to
be aboard the fore and aft part.We confirmed no large volume of oil leakage,“ MOL further stated.
SPA AUTHORITIES PLAN TO SPEND SR 3.43 BILLION ON DEVELOPMENT

With traffic continuing to rise at all of the Kingdom's major seaports, the Saudi Ports Authority (SPA) and King Abdul Aziz Port plan to spend SR 3.43 billion ($ 914 million) on port development in the Saudi Arabia.

Among these developments is a SR 615 million ($ 164 million) plan that includes a SR 191.3 million ($ 51 million) powerplant to be constructed at King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam to boost power generation capacity from 50 megawatts to120 megawatts.
As well, a new container terminal at a cost of SR 172.5 million ($ 46 million) will be built in Dheba Port, with twoothers to be constructed at King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail at a cost of SR 142.5 million ($ 38 million), with bothdue for completion by 2014.
In addition, more than SR 2812.5 million ($ 750 million) is to be invested into the expansion of Dammam’s King Abdul AzizPort, with SR 2006.25 million ($ 535 million) set aside for container terminal capacity expansion and SR 798.75 million($ 213 million) for other facilities, following a 10 percent increase in container handling in 2012 compared to 2011figures.
Commenting on the increase in traffic and container volume across the Kingdom, Sahir Tahlawi, general manager at JeddahIslamic Port (JIP), said: "Growth at the Red Sea Gateway Terminal in Jeddah accounted for the handling of one million TEUin 2011 and increased to over 1.5 million TEU last year, reflecting the Kingdom's massive growth of import and exports.
Overall, the SPA's development plans for all domestic seaports are an indicator that more international companies arebecoming interested and doing business with the Kingdom."
He added that in addition to expanding the seaport network and container capacity, the Kingdom has also realized leisureand tourism, as a valuable economic driver and has announced plans to build a SR 101.3 million ($ 27 million) cruiseand leisure vessel terminal at Yanbu Commercial Port, also under its key development plan.
As one of the Kingdom’s primary container hubs, the JIP has witnessed increased volumes by more than 25 percent, recordinga 5.15 percent in growth of imports and exports in the first half of the year, rising to 3.6 million tons and an averageincrease of 10.9 percent per annum forecast through 2016.
According to data from the SPA, the Kingdom's ports handled 16,264,525 tons of cargo last month, with the total for 2013at 75,172,657 tons, excluding oil.
GREEK SHIPOWNERS PLACE ORDERS FOR 142 NEWBUILDINGS AT CHINESE SHIPYARDS
Greek Shipping Minister, Kostis Moussouroulis revealed in his recent official visit to China that the Greek shipowners
had placed an order for 142 newbuildings at Chinese shipyards.
According to Official Chinese news agency Xinhua, the Minister said that, the order, which was signed last month,
represents 60% of all Greek newbuilding orders placed worldwide.
Greek Prime Minister also met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and they agreed on further cooperation since
the shipbuilding and shipping industries are the most important sectors for economic and trade cooperation between
the two countries.
President Xi Jinping highlighted that China is looking forward to closer cooperation between the two countries on
trade, shipping, culture and tourism.
JEBEL ALI PORT FIRST IN REGION ACHIEVES UNDSS CERTIFICATE
Global marine terminal operator DP World announced today that its flagship Jebel Ali Port has become
the first port in the Middle East Region to achieve the United Nations Department of Safety and Security
(UNDSS) Certificate, a benchmark for security management systems.
The certificate was awarded following an inspection visit to Jebel Ali by a team of UNDSS experts who
evaluated the security measures implemented by DP World, UAE Region, with particular focus on emergency
response plans, security awareness for staff, security briefing for security personnel,
and documentation procedures.
JEBEL ALI PORT FIRST IN REGION ACHIEVES UNDSS CERTIFICATE
Global marine terminal operator DP World announced today that its flagship Jebel Ali Port has become
the first port in the Middle East Region to achieve the United Nations Department of Safety and Security
(UNDSS) Certificate, a benchmark for security management systems.
The certificate was awarded following an inspection visit to Jebel Ali by a team of UNDSS experts who
evaluated the security measures implemented by DP World, UAE Region, with particular focus on emergency
response plans, security awareness for staff, security briefing for security personnel,
and documentation procedures.
COSCO, ANL TO OPERATE JOINT SINO AUSTRALIA SERVICE

Starting June 9, Cosco and ANL will jointly operate Sino Australia Service with six vessel deployments, including

five vessels from Cosco and one from ANL.
The new loop will enhance Cosco’s existing service network in the Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
and Australia trade.
The SAS port rotation is Ningbo, China; Shanghai; Xiamen, China; Shekou, China; Hong Kong; Sydney; Melbourne,
Australia; Brisbane, Australia; and back to Ningbo.
GLOBAL SHIPPING SECTOR FACES RISKS FROM FALLING US OIL IMPORTS AND INNOVATIVE VESSEL DESIGN

Three emerging trends -- falling US oil imports, the return of some manufacturing capacity to rich industrialised

nations and advances in vessel design -- could significantly change the competitive landscape for global shipping
companies and affect their creditworthiness over the next five years, says Moody's Investors Service in a report
on the sector published today.
"The credit impact arising from each of these trends is likely to vary according to industry segment -- crude oil
tankers, containers and dry-bulk -- creating the potential for a few winners and many losers," says Marco Vetulli,
a Vice President - Senior Credit Officer in Moody's Corporate Finance Group and author of the report.
"Rated companies adversely affected by these trends that do not proactively manage these risks are likely to face
rising operating and financial pressures that could eventually hurt their ratings."
Moody's notes that the ongoing shift in trade patterns owing to falling US oil imports has credit-negative
implications for the entire tanker industry as it is likely to depress freight rates. Crude oil tanker companies,
such as Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG, unrated), that operate large fleets of the types of vessels typically
used on long-haul routes are the most vulnerable, although OSG's US Flag business will benefit. Companies that
operate smaller, more flexible tankers, such as Sovcomflot JSC (Ba2 stable) and Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp.
(B3 stable), are likely to fare better.
The partial reshoring of manufacturing capacity back to rich industrialised nations and rising income levels in
Asia are altering patterns in the trade of semi-finished products, with credit implications mainly for the container
segment. Moody's expects that companies with operations on Asia to US trade routes, such as CMA CGM S.A.
(B3 positive) and Hapag-Lloyd Holding AG (B2 negative), could be adversely affected as transportation volumes
on these routes are likely to fall. Furthermore, such companies might need to rebalance some of their capacity
from long-haul trade to smaller vessels more suited to intra-Asia trade. Conversely, companies, such as
Wan Hai Lines Ltd. (Ba3 negative), that already operate mainly on intra-Asia routes are likely to benefit from the
increase in cargoes. Tightening environmental regulations and high fuel costs are strong incentives for shipowners
to invest in the new generation of "greener" vessels to cut operating expenses, but the lack of financing is
a constraint. Although this trend is common to all shipping sectors, it represents a particular challenge for the
dry-bulk industry, where the average fleet age is quite high and the current financial condition of most players
is fairly weak. However, Moody's would expect Navios Maritime Holdings, Inc. (B2 negative) to be less adversely
affected by this trend than other dry-bulk carriers because it has a relatively young and efficient fleet.
Japanese conglomerates are likely to be affected to a lesser extent. While not immune to the global trends,
the two rated Japanese companies, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYKK, Baa2 negative) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
(Baa3 negative), should fare better than some of their peers because of their sheer size, diversification and
solid relationships with banks.
SHREYAS SHIPPING TO LAUNCH INDIA COASTAL FEEDER
Shreyas Shipping and Logistics announced plans to launch a coastal container service between West India and South India.
The service will cover the ports of Kandla, Mundra and Chennai. The first vessel call at Kandla is currently scheduled
for May 16.
Mumbai-based Shreyas already operates a weekly coastal service linking the ports of Mundra, Kandla, Hazira, Cochin,
Tuticorin and Mangalore.
Thanks