Iceberg 1: PMPF retakes ship as pirates flee

In a siege that lasted nearly two weeks, forces of Somalia's semiautonomous Puntland region raided a hijacked ship Sunday and safely rescued 22 hostages who had been held captive for nearly three years, authorities said.
The Puntland government said their forces captured the Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1, which was docked near the Gara'ad coastal village in Mudung region.
Hassan Abdi, a pirate commander, who was in touch with the ship's hijackers, said eight pirates on board the vessel were able to escape as Puntland soldiers closed in.
"None of us has been harmed," Abdi said. Puntland authorities said they had laid siege to the MV Iceberg 1 on Dec. 10.

[December 12
A  hostage rescue attempt failed of  MV Iceberg 1, being held hostage by Somali pirates for almost 3 years.  
Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) clashed with pirates  attempting to transport weapons and ammunition to the pirates on board the Iceberg 1 vessel, resulting in 3 pirates killed and 3 other pirates captured.

[March 29 2011]

Panama Flagged, Iceberg 1 is a Roll on Roll Off vessel with deadweight of 4500 tonnes. The vessel, with a crew of 24 and carrying a mixed cargo of general mechanical equipment, was bound for Jebel Ali in the UAE when hijacked. The crew consist of persons from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philipines.

Reports have been received by EU NAVFOR that the MV Iceberg 1 has been hijacked 10 nautical miles off the port of Aden, Yemen, outside the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
The last contact with the vessel was the master stating to his owner that pirates were onboard. The vessel appears to be heading towards the Somali coast. EU NAVFOR units are monitoring the situation.

Iceberg I (12-2007)
IMO: 7429102
according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence is associated with Azal Shipping & Trading of Dubai.
Azal Contracting & Oil Services Corp. is a private firm with many activities specialized in different field of services and investment . AZAL utilizes both its assets and resources efficiently and takes full and early advantages of technical advances and markets needs. Our philosophy is based on blending individuals to form strategic partnerships with multinational corporations.. The ISO 9002 accreditation is a clear signal to our valued clients that Azal Blue Bell Shipping provides a consistently reliable quality services.


Lady Rasha: Iran/Syria MMSI switching?

Lady Rasha


At least three Iranian oil tankers are transmitting such false signals, effectively taking over the identity of Syrian-owned vessels travelling between Syria, Libya and Turkey.

All the vessels in question were registered in Tanzania.

Iranian oil tanker Millionaire sent messages that doubled over a voyage made by a Syrian-owned ship, the Lady Rasha.   Iranian oil tanker Pioneer were mixed up with a Tanzania-flagged cargo ship called the Talavera, recently renamed Chief Ahmed, and travelling from the Mediterranean into the Red Sea.   A day after the Millionaire's MMSI changed, the Lady Rasha left Libya and arrived in Syria on October 26, the Tartous port authority said, where it unloaded cattle and crates, the contents of which the Syrian port authority said were not known.

The Lady Rasha is owned by ISM Group, according to the Syrian port authority at Tartous, a firm that came under the spotlight after Lebanon seized one of its ships with three containers filled with weapons earlier this year, including explosives with labels indicating their origin as Libya.
Ship Type: Crude oil tanker
Year Built: 2008
Length x Breadth: 333 m X 60 m
Gross Tonnage: 163660, DeadWeight: 317356 t
Speed recorded  (Max / Average): 15.4 / 15.4 knots
Flag: Tanzania [TZ]
Call Sign: 5IM407
IMO: 9357391, MMSI: 677030700
Lady Rasha
Vessel's Details
Ship Type: Support vessel
Year Built: 2010
Length x Breadth: 0 m X 0 m
Gross Tonnage: 200, DeadWeight: 0 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 7.4 / 6.2 knots
Flag: Comoros [KM]
Call Sign: D6FW7
IMO: 9506679, MMSI: 616970000


Gemini: four South Korean sailors ransomed

"The four Korean crew members of the MT Gemini have been released," the Korean Foreign
Ministry said in a statement, adding the sailors were being taken to safety aboard a South Korean navy ship.
The release followed an agreement between Singapore firm Glory Ship Management which owns the MT Gemini and the pirates, it said without elaboration.   The foreign ministry official as saying that the ministry had assisted in ransom talks between the boat's owner and the pirates, but declined to say how much had been paid for their release.

[December 2 '11]

The product: tanker with 28,000 metric tonnes of crude palm oil pays 6 million ransom.
The actual pirates, from the Sacad (Hawiye) clan claim to have received $4 million plus, others, including commander Mohamed Garfanje, presumably took the rest. The original demand was for $5 million. Four Korean crewmen are being held as hostages for pirates killed by South Korea in retaking the supertanker Samho Dream in April. $4.00 million is the demand.
Captain Pak Hyeon of the South Korean-managed, Singapore-flag hijacked Gemini IMO: 8412352 is among the Koreans being held.



Baikal: Iranian-owned tanker departs Greece

Greek coast guard vessels were on November 28 searching for an Iranian tanker that disappeared after being refused a request to refuel off the island of Syros as it was suspected that the vessel was carrying Iranian oil in contravention of a European Union ban.
The Tanzanian-flagged Baikal, part of top Iranian tanker operator NITC’s fleet, approached Syros on November 27  in order to refuel but officials from local company Sekavin refused after they, along with customs officers, checked the documents accompanying the shipment of 146,000 tons of crude oil. The documents did not detail who would be the recipient of the fuel.
“We conducted an initial investigation in order not to break the law. In the end, we did not provide them with any fuel because it would be against the rules,” a Sekavin official told Reuters. “Regardless of its flag, the ship represents Iranian interests.”
Sources said that at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the Baikal set sail from Syros and 17 minutes later, when it was heading toward Myconos, the vessel’s Automatic Identification System was switched off.
Customs officials on Syros notified the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), which does not have a vessel that can be used to track down suspects. As a result, the coast guard was called in. Authorities suspect that the Baikal was delivering the oil to a customer in Greece or the Balkans in contravention of an EU embargo.


Alias: Iranian dry cargo ship deregistered w/18 more

MV Alias

Iranian owners of five dry cargo ships are taking steps to deregister the vessels in Hong Kong just days after the Marine Department sent a letter to owners of 19 Iranian ships asking them to register their vessels elsewhere.The owners who were sent the letters included Eternal Expert, which is the registered owner of the Alias, a 43,309 deadweight tonne handysize dry cargo ship.

Eternal Expert operates through Tehran-based Rahbaran Omid Darya Ship Management, which also manages 15 other Hong Kong-flagged ships. All are handysize vessels, specialising in carrying minor bulk cargoes such as fertilisers, ores and timber, and were built between 1984 and 1986.

The company and several key executives were the subject of tough restrictions imposed by the United States Treasury Department and European Union in October and December last year as part of wider sanctions against Iran.

US and European governments alleged the company was a front for Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which has been accused of being involved in the shipment of components of weapons of mass destruction.

Vessel Identification

Name: Alias
IMO: 8309608
Flag: Hong Kong (china)
MMSI: 477093400
Callsign: VREB2
Former name(s):
- Devotee (not Yet Confirmed)
- Iran Kashani (not Yet Confirmed)

Technical Data
Vessel type: Bulk Carrier
Gross tonnage: 25,768 tons
Summer DWT: 43,309 tons
Length: 189 m


West Delta 32: shallow water rig fire

 West Delta 32 platform went up in flames, with reports that two are dead, four have been airlifted out, and two are missing.

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC engages in the acquisition, exploitation and development of oil and natural gas properties. The company has producing assets located offshore in U.S. federal waters, and Louisiana and Texas state waters in the Gulf of Mexico. As of December 31, 2011, it held an aggregate net interest in approximately 293,400 net acres under lease, as well as had an interest in 1,222 gross wells. The company also had estimated total proved oil, natural gas, and NGL reserves of 45.2 MMBoe; and estimated net proved oil, natural gas, and NGL undeveloped reserves of 19.5 MMBoe. Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC sells its natural gas and oil to marketing companies...


Moldova Ship Registry: new restrictions eyed


Presently more than 400 merchant vessels are registered under Moldova flag. The Prime Minister of Moldova requested organizations to audit the existing fleet, three auditing companies from  Greece, Panama and the UK are to be employed for the task.   Moldova government is considering a new law regulating the Moldova Flag Registry, all the new applicants are to be approved by Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Moldova flag is a known and popular flag of convenience.

 Begonia, which is managed by Tehran-based Soroush Sarzamin Ship Management Co., received a Moldovan flag in June. The Begonia has changed names and flags three times in four years,
BEGONIA (f.k.a. IRAN PRETTY SEA (KHUZESTAN); f.k.a. LAVENDER; f.k.a. PRETTY SEA) General Cargo 23,116DWT 16,694GRT Barbados flag (IRISL); Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9167277 (Barbados) (vessel) [NPWMD]. -to- BEGONIA (f.k.a. IRAN PRETTY SEA (KHUZESTAN); f.k.a. LAVENDER; f.k.a. PRETTY SEA) General Cargo 23,116DWT 16,694GRT Moldova flag (IRISL); Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9167277 (Moldova) (vessel) [NPWMD].


Parmis: IRISL boxship lurking near compound hit

Tanzania’s shipping registry is managed by a company called Philtex Corporation, with a head office in Dubai, and offices in a number of other locations, including Austin, Texas, where the contact person for Philtex Marine Services{USA} is Chad Warren, a U.S. citizen, says he is now based. Reached by phone in Texas this week, Warren described himself as a deputy registrar of the Tanzanian shipping registry, but when asked to explain the Iranian vessels he said “I did not register any of these ships.”

Warren added that he has no access to the records of these Iranian ships, and said that their apparent persistence on the Tanzanian registry might be due to a policy of waiting for a 90-day provisional registration period to expire, rather than simply striking them off. Asked how that would explain the NITC tankers showing up on Lloyd’s as newly flagged after the end of August, he said, “I don’t know exactly what is going on.” Asked why the Iranian ships at issue would be using call signs identifying them as Tanzanian, he said their use of these call signs would be “invalid.”

Parmis ex-Iran Piroozi

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said October 11 the precise details of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the compound in Libya still remain unclear.
One month after the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, Clinton said the administration is committed to uncovering the truth about what happened.
"There is much we still don't know and I am the first to say that," Clinton told reporters at the State Department after meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi.

Over the past two months, at least three Iranian-linked container ships, all blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury, have called at the Libyan port of Benghazi. One of them, the Parmis, put in at Benghazi Anchorage as recently as August 30. Since then, it has been meandering along the Libyan coast, going west to the Libyan port of Misurata, then doubling back east this week, past the Libyan port of Sirte. For the Parmis, this is a voyage that began in early August at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, thence to the United Arab Emirates, then Egypt, and on to Libya. This repeats a similar circuit, in which the Parmis sailed in June from Iran, calling in early July at Benghazi. That’s not to suggest any ties between Iran, or the Parmis in particular, and Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. post in Benghazi. The full tale of who master-minded or helped stage that armed assault remains to be uncovered here

Ship Type: Container ship

Year Built: 2003 Length x Breadth: 207 m X 30 m Gross Tonnage: 25391, DeadWeight: 33853 t Speed recorded (Max / Average): 15.9 / 15.9 knots Flag: Tanzania [TZ] Call Sign: 5IM542
IMO: 9283007, MMSI: 677044200

 Ssaka (Until 2011 Feb 18) - Iran Piroozi (Until 2009 Jan 11) - Sakas (not Yet Confirmed) - Iran Piroozi (not Yet Confirmed)


Free Goddess: freed after USD $2.3 ransom

the ransom amount was $2.3 million. The pirate group initially wanted $9 million, but negotiations resulted in a lower amount. The ship's owners, Free Bulkers SA, did not comment about the ransom payment claims.

[February 2]UKMTO received a call from the CSO of Free Goddess stating that he could not contact the vessel. The Free Goddess was en route from Adabiya, Egypt to Singapore, carrying 19,475 mt of steel cable with a crew of 21 Filipinos on board. The vessel is not responding to any calls. UKMTO Dubai also administers the Voluntary Reporting Scheme, under which merchant vessels are encouraged to send regular reports, providing their position/course/speed and ETA at their next port whilst transiting the region bound by Suez, 78°E and 10°S. UKMTO Dubai subsequently tracks vessels and the positional information is passed to CMF and EU headquarters.
9107045 FREE GODDESS A8UM4 Bulker 22051 1995
CEO Ion Varouxakis founded FreeSeas in 2004
Ion G. Varouxakis
Chairman of the Board
of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and President FreeSeas, Inc.
Piraeus , GR
Sector: SERVICES / Shipping
Officer since January 2006
39 Years Old
Ion G. Varouxakis is one of our founders and is the Chairman of our board of directors. He also serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer. In 2003, Mr. Varouxakis founded Free Bulkers, the beginning of a single-vessel, self-financed entrepreneurial venture that led to FreeSeas founding and NASDAQ listing in 2005.
Under Mr. Varouxakis? leadership, FreeSeas has grown to be a leader in the Handysize and Handymax segment in the U.S. capital market. Prior to founding Free Bulkers, Mr. Varouxakis held since 1997 management positions in private shipping companies operating in the drybulk sector.
Mr. Varouxakis holds a candidature degree in law from the Catholic University of Saint Louis in Brussels and a bachelor of science degree in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Mr. Varouxakis is a member of the Hellenic Committee of the Korean Register of Shipping and is an officer of the reserves of the Hellenic Army. Mr. Varouxakis is the brother of Alexis Varouxakis, our Secretary.
Compensation for 2006
Salary $150,000.00
Bonus $0.00
Restricted stock awards $0.00
All other compensation $0.00
Option awards $ $0.00
Non-equity incentive plan compensation $0.00
Change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings $0.00
Total Compensation $150,000.00

FreeSeas Frees Up Cash For Acquisitions 03.24.09
FreeSeas has secured waivers on its debt and refinanced an existing credit facility, and with its newfound financial freedom, it wants to do some bottom feeding.
FreeSeas (nasdaq: FREE - news - people ) Chief Executive Ion Varouxakis made a bullish call on the dry-bulk market, saying the waivers on $153.0 million in debt will allow it to take advantage of plunging asset values in the market. The company also refinanced the existing credit facility for its vessel the Free Maverick. "These modifications to our loan agreements, coupled with recent charter announcements, have provided FreeSeas with a greater level of operational and financial flexibility," said Ion Varouxakis.
"To a lesser extent, we believe these waivers position us for growth as we see unprecedented opportunities for acquisitions at current market prices."
FreeSeas is taking a more aggressive stance than its rival Diana Shipping, which last month said it would wait until asset values dropped further before jumping into any acquisitions.
Meanwhile, FreeSeas said it agreed with Hollandsche Bank - Unie N.V. to refinance a balloon payment of $27.1 million due Aug. 1 on the loan for its ship Free Maverick. The balloon payment will be replaced by a new three and a half year facility, which is payable through 13 quarterly installments of $600,000 beginning on Aug. 1, and one installment of $19.3 million payable on Nov. 1, 2012, the company said.
Home port: Monrovia Class society: Bureau Veritas Build year: 1995 Builder*: Saiki Heavy Industries Saiki, Japan
Owner: Freeseas - Athens, Greece
Manager: Free Bulkers - Athens, Greece

Former name(s):
- Bbc Barranquilla (Until 2007 Oct 31)
- Barranquilla (Until 2006 Nov 17)
- Ubc Barranquilla (Until 2004 May 05)
- Bernes (Until 2001 Nov 19)


ARA Libertad seized by hedge fund

ARA Libertad

Officials of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), which runs Tema Port, seized the ARA Libertad on the orders of a United States court and said they would only release it after a court order to do so.The Argentine training ship has been seized in Ghana, on a court order obtained by a US bondholder, who lost money when Argentina defaulted on its debts a decade ago.

 On Octoer 2, a Ghanaian court issued an injunction and interim preservation order to NML Capital Ltd, a subsidiary of Elliott Capital Management.

In 1994 the Republic of Argentina issued a series of sovereign bonds. The bonds contained a clause dealing with jurisdiction and immunity in relation to claims on the bonds and were subject to New York law. Between June 2001 and September 2003 NML Capital Ltd bought a number of bonds at between 55.37% – 62.82% of their face value. In November 2003, NML declared “events of default” based on the subsequent failures by Argentina to pay interest as it fell due on the bonds. Argentina sought to restructure its external debt to a sustainable level in 2005 but NML refused to take part in any restructuring offer, instead bringing a claim in New York seeking payment of the principal amount of the bonds that had fallen due (US$284,184,632.30). On 18 December 2006 the US District Court of the Southern District of New York entered judgment against Argentina in favour of NML for the sum claimed.


Sedco 706:Transocean halt lifted

Sedco 706

Brazil has lifted an injunction to suspend offshore drilling by contractor Transocean, relating to a November 2011 oil spill in the Frade offshore field northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

Chevron had contracted Transocean's Sedco 706 rig, but Brazil's oil regulator ANP said in a July report that Transocean had no responsibility for the spill.

If it had remained, the injunction would have shut down Transocean's 10 drilling rigs operating in Brazilian waters, eight of them under contract by Petrobras, by Oct. 27. The court said there are 72 rigs operating in Brazil.

Fischer accepted ANP's argument that losses in revenue to Petrobras and the government in royalties would amount to more than 6.7 billion reais ($3.8 billion) over two years if Transocean's rigs were suspended from operating."The original injunction was groundless and targeted Transocean unfairly," a Transocean spokesman said. "The company and its employees were completely exonerated by ANP's investigation which concluded that the leak resulted from geological factors and was totally unrelated to the actions of the Transocean rig crew."

The Transocean ban is related to a lawsuit seeking nearly $20 billion from it and Chevron Corp .
The ban on Transocean remains in force in Frade. Chevron and Transocean say they were not negligent in the spill and are fighting the lawsuits and related criminal charges.
[August 3]A Brazilian court on August 1 ordered Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Transocean to halt their activities in Brazil in 30 days or face daily fines of 500 million Brazilian reais ($250 million). The court decision is part of ongoing cases related to a drilling accident last November at the Chevron-operated Frade offshore oil field. The accident caused an estimated 3,700 barrels of crude to seep from cracks in the seabed. Chevron voluntarily halted production at the field in March, when a second set of seepage was discovered at the field.
Magda Chambriard, head of the ANP, said during a Senate hearing that irregularities in the company's activities found by a Brazilian court were "light" and they "weren't reason for the discontinuing of the company's operations," according to comments posted on the Senate's website.

[December 12,2011] Brazil sues Transocean for $10.6 billion:The suit, which includes Chevron, could jeopardize oil companies' plans to step up their presence in Brazil after the discovery of huge offshore reserves several kilometers (miles) beneath the ocean floor estimated at 50 billion barrels or more.

Reaching that oil will be technically challenging but Brazil expects it will push its crude output to 7 million barrels a day by 2020. That could see it challenge the United States for the rank of world No. 3 oil producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia.

It also risks alarming foreign oil companies eager to expand in one of the world's fastest-growing oil frontiers, where state-controlled oil company Petrobras accounts for more than 90 percent of the output, and government leaders are moving to assert even greater control of natural resources.


Esperanza, Kamari I: tranship Iran Oil

Kamari I
Vitol acquired the Iranian fuel oil early this month in a ship-to-ship transfer off Malaysia from a National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) vessel, the Leadership, onto a Vitol-chartered tanker, the Ticen Ocean. The Ticen Ocean was sub-contracted by Vitol for floating storage off the Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas from Titan Petrochemicals [TTNP 0.972 -0.008 (-0.82%) ], a Hong Kong company which itself hired it from shipowner Frontline [FRO 3.775 -0.105 (-2.71%) ] of Norway. Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, is buying and selling Iranian fuel oil, undermining Western efforts to choke the flow of petrodollars to Tehran and put pressure on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. Vitol[ parent Vitol Holding B.V.] last month bought 2 million barrels of fuel oil, used for power generation, from Iran and offered it to Chinese traders, Vitol acquired Iranian fuel oil early this month in a ship-to-ship transfer off Malaysia from a National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) vessel, the Leadership, onto a Vitol-chartered tanker, the Ticen Ocean. The Ticen Ocean was sub-contracted by Vitol for floating storage off the Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas from Titan Petrochemicals, a Hong Kong company which itself hired it from shipowner Frontline of Norway. Frontline said Titan had told it the ship was not used to store Iranian oil. "Our only counterpart in this matter is Titan and they have said it is not correct that there has been Iranian oil on the boat," said Frontline CEO Jens Martin Jensen. The Leadership left Iran's main oil export terminal at Kharg Island during the week of August 23, passing through the Strait of Malacca before disappearing from freight tracking systems off the Malaysian coast on September 4. Since sanctions were imposed, Iranian vessels have frequently switched off the onboard 'black-box' transponders used in the shipping industry to monitor vessel movements. Industry sources in Tanjung Pelepas who monitor shipping transfer operations in Malaysian waters said Vitol later brought alongside another tanker, the Speranza, to replace the Ticen Ocean as floating storage. The Speranza, owned by China's Sino Shipping Holdings, arrived at Tanjung Pelepas on September 13-14, Reuters data shows. Vitol also transferred some of its fuel oil from the Ticen Ocean between September 11-12 to another vessel, the Kamari I, according to Reuters data. That cargo was delivered to Vitol's storage terminal on the Malaysian island of Tanjung Bin, inside Tanjung Pelepas port, one trading source said. Swiss-based Vitol [[parent Vitol Holding B.V.] is not obliged to comply with a ban imposed in July by the European Union on trading oil with Iran because Switzerland decided not to match EU and U.S. sanctions against Tehran. Ship info IMO number 9002609 Name of the ship SPERANZA Type of ship CRUDE OIL TANKER MMSI 353035000 Gross tonnage 158475 tons DWT 299700 tons Year of build 1993 Builder ODENSE STEEL SHIPYARD - ODENSE, DENMARK Flag PANAMA Class society KOREAN SHIPPING REGISTER Manager & owner SINO SHIPPING HOLDINGS - HONG KONG, CHINA Former names LA ESPERANZA (not yet confirmed) EHM MAERSK (not yet confirmed) BRITISH VALOUR (not yet confirmed) ELISABETH MAERSK (not yet confirmed)


Anti-Piracy: Australian African Global Investments

Saracen and Sterling Corporate Services train and equip the largest militia group in Somalia -- essentially a private army for the president of Puntland.   In the semi-autonomous Puntland region, they built a force of more than 1,000 men equipped with planes, helicopters and more than 80 vehicles. Funding of around $50 million came from Abu Dhabi. Somali tribal leaders, and the South Africans training the force, claim it is an anti-piracy coast guard.      

 Mr Lafras Luitingh registered the company - Australian African Global Investments - in 2006. It has branches in South Africa, Uganda and other African countries and is involved in logistics, transport and chartering planes and ships. The Australian company was registered by Taurus Financial Services [Gordon Hatch] in Sydney. "
 The men behind Saracen and Sterling are mostly former South African mercenaries and prominent among them is Mr Luitingh.

[January 20, 2011]Saracen International is training a anti-piracy army in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland — and being financed by an anonymous Middle Eastern country.

Several people with knowledge of Saracen’s operations confirmed that the country is the United Arab Emirates.
Saracen International is a private security company based in South Africa, with corporate offshoots in Uganda and other countries. The company was formed with the remnants of Executive Outcomes, a private mercenary firm composed largely of former South African special operations troops that operated throughout Africa in the 1990s.

The company makes little public about its operations and personnel, but it appears to be run by Lafras Luitingh, a former officer in South Africa’s Civil Cooperation Bureau, an apartheid-era internal security force notorious for killings of opponents of the government.According to a report by the African Union, an organization of African states, Erik Prince, the founder of international security giant Blackwater Worldwide, provided initial funding for a project by Saracen International to win contracts with Somalia’s embattled government. Mr. Prince moved to the United Arab Emirates late last year.
The Somalia coastline is 3,025 km. This includes the the total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea. Somalia’s coast is equivalent to the distance from the tip of Maine to Jacksonville, Fla.

In response to requests for an interview with Prince, his spokesman e-mailed a brief statement that the Blackwater founder is interested in "helping Somalia overcome the scourge of piracy" and has advised antipiracy efforts. Spokesman Mark Corallo said Prince has "no financial role" in the project and declined to answer any questions about Prince's involvement.


Energy Centurion:release, hijackers take some oil

Energy Centurion hijacked by pirates in Gulf of Guinea was released August 30, some 60 miles east of Lagos, Nigeria, and was steaming toward a "safe port."
The tanker held 57,000 tons of gas oil on board and about 3,000 tons was stolen by the pirates.
Isle of Man-registered hijacked tanker was shadowed by French, Nigerian Navy and US air carrier [LHD? LSD?]was said ready to assist.    

Vessel's name: Energy Centurion
Ex-name(s): Not Applicable IMO number: 9387970
Flag: Isle of Man Call sign:
Port of Registry: Douglas Summer DWT: 0 MT
Type of vessel: Built: Aug 22, 2008
Type of hull: Owner:
Class Society: Det Norske Veritas Operator: Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A


Sedco 706: ANP decision on Chevron Frade field

"The elements evaluated and described by the National Agency of Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANP), in its report show in detail that the accident could have been avoided if Chevron had conducted its operations in full compliance with regulations, in accordance with good practice in the oil industry and with its own procedures manual. ...Thus, there is no doubt that if Chevron had properly managed the uncertainties of geology, the risk analysis had been performed in accordance with the rules and respected the basic assumptions of safety, the accident could have been avoided."

[November 25, 2011]
Chevron's drilling rights have been suspended by Brazil's National Petroleum Agency after on evidence that the company had been "negligent" in its study of data needed to drill and in contingency planning for abandoning the well in the event of accident.

The agency, known as ANP, rejected a request from Chevron made before the leak to drill wells in the deeper subsalt areas in the Frade field where the spill occurred. The field is located in the oil-rich Campos Basin and is the only block in Brazil where Chevron produces oil as the operator. The only rig working for Chevron off Brazil is Transocean Ltd's Sedco 706, which drilled the well that leaked.

The Campos Basin is currently the source of more than 80 percent of Brazil's oil output.

While Chevron said lon November 23 it had not received formal notice of the drilling halt, the company announced an indefinite voluntary suspension of all current and future drilling off Brazil, apart from plug and abandonment work.

"Chevron acknowledges, however, that ANP has posted a notice of suspension to its website," the company added. more back


Nikolay Filchenkov, Caesar Kunikov to Sevastopol

Nikolay Filchenkov

Nikolai Filchenkov and Caesar Kunikov, Tapir Large Landing Shipsreturned on July 28 from the Mediterranean to the home port of Sevastopol, having accomplished their missions in the Mediterranean. Ten warships, together with escort vessels from Russia’s Northern, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets, entered the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month. The ships were scheduled to convene in early August for joint exercises.
[June 18]Nikolai Filchenkov and Caesar Kunikov amphibious assault vessels will be heading to the Syrian port of Tartus, but didn't give a precise date. The official said the ships will carry an unspecified number of marines to protect Russians in Syria and evacuate materials from Tartus if necessary.

Large Landing Ship "Nikolay Filchenkov"

Project 1171 / Alligator Class

The Project 1171 Tapir Large Landing Ship (Bol'shoy Desatnyy Korabl' BDK) is a beachable, general-purpose LST-type design with bow and stern ramps for unloading vehicles. Produced in at least four different types beginning in 1966, there are numerous variations in detail between units. Many have been retired, and remaining units may be in reserve, given the Russian Navy's decreased emphasis on amphibious operations.

Large Landing Ship "Nikolay Filchenkov" was built by Yantar Zavod, Kaliningrad. Laid down 30 Jan 1974, completed 29 March 1975, commissioned on 12 Dec 1975.


Amin: Alvan: Iran ships diesel to Syria


Iran and Syria have resumed working together to fight Western sanctions on their oil as shipping records showed two Iranian vessels have delivered diesel to Syrian ports over the past week, the first fuel shipments from Iran in about three months.   A third vessel appeared to be on its way to Syria along the same route, but then dropped anchor off the coast of Port Said in Egypt, shiptracking data showed.

At current market prices, the two shipments are worth around $90 million in total.    A third vessel appeared to be on its way to Syria along the same route, but then dropped anchor off the coast of Port Said in Egypt, .
The first tanker is the Amin [Sierra Leone], third vessel is the Alvan [[Panama], 

Crude oil tanker

Gross Tonnage: 81306, 自重: 157985 t

 Sierra Leone [SL] 

IMO: 9422366, MMSI: 667002257

AMIN Sierra Leone 9LB2375 2012-07-05 09:02
AMIN Bolivia CPC834 2012-05-20 19:11
AMIN Malta 9HA2120 2012-03-17 13:21 

AMIN – Very large crude carrier (VLCC), IMO: 9422366. Owned by IRISL subsidiary ISIM Amin Limited. Previously flagged by Malta but registered by Bolivia on March 27, 2012 with Auris Marine Company as its owner.
Vessel's name: Amin Last updated: Apr 23, 2011
Ex-name(s): Not Applicable IMO number: 9422366
Flag: Call sign: 9HA2120
Port of Registry: VALETTA, MALTA Summer DWT: 157985.4 MT
Type of vessel: Oil Tanker Built: Nov 20, 2009
Type of hull: Double Hull Owner: ISIM AMIN LTD
Class Society: Lloyds Register Operator: Noah Ship Management DMCCO


Ship Type: Crude oil tanker
Year Built: 1992
Length x Breadth: 183 m X 32 m
Gross Tonnage: 28223, DeadWeight: 47059 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 10.7 / 10 knots
Call Sign: 3FLZ9
IMO: 8913631, MMSI: 373174000
Ex Statira, Trust Runner, Sea Runner, Invincible, Sokolniki

Added to [russian] REGISTER OF SHIPS 08.02.2012


Former name: STATIRA
Year of name change: 2011
RS number: 914321
IMO number: 8913631
Call sign: 3FLZ9
Port of registry: Panama
Flag: Panama
Last Special survey: 16.02.2011
RS Class notation: KM* L4 AUT1 oil/chemical tanker type 3(ESP)
RS Class notation (second):  
Hull renovation: -
Date of renovation: -


Harmony Wish: transported TELs to North Korea?

Missile launch vehicles, called TELs – for transporter, erector, launcher were shipped from Shanghai to North Korea last August on board the Harmony Wish, a Cambodian-flagged cargo vessel. Japanese authorities tracked the ship by satellite and searched it after it had delivered its cargo, when it transited through Japan the following month,  Although no suspicious vehicles were on board the ship when it was searched in Japan, authorities found documents detailing the cargo it had unloaded in North Korea, which included the vehicles,   The UN security council imposed sanctions against North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006, stepping them up after a second test in 2009 to try to derail the country's rogue nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. The sanctions restrict exports of weapons or technology that could be used to boost those programmes.   

8853776 HARMONY WISH XUNB8 General Cargo Ship 1991

Name: Harmony Wish
IMO: 8853776
Flag: Cambodia
MMSI: 515251000
Callsign: XUNB8
Former name(s):
- Hoei Maru (Until 2008 Jul 31)

Technical Data
Vessel type: Grab Dredger
Gross tonnage: 1,999 tons
Summer DWT: 3,720 tons
Length: 85 m
Beam: 13 m
Draught: 4.5 m

Additional Information
Home port: Phnom Penh
Class society: Inclamar
Build year: 1991
Builder*: Kamishima Shipbuilding
Osakikamijima, Japan
Owner: Harmony Growing Shipmanagement
Dalian, China
Manager: Harmony Growing Shipmanagement
Dalian, China


Professor Katsman: Vladimir Lisin beneficial owner

 Vladimir Lisin 

Professor Katsman


Universal Cargo Logistics (UCL) admitted last week that the container vessel had docked in Syria, but said the firm had no knowledge of the cargo's contents as they were in sealed containers and passed by Russian customs officials.       UCL is registered in the Netherlands, while the boat is registered by a Maltese company called Rusich 12 Ltd, which is owned by a Russich-NW Shipholding.   The firm, Rusich-12, is part of several companies registered at the address of advocates Ganado & Associates in Valletta, as subsidiaries of Russich-NW Shipholding, which is registered in Cyrus and owned by Universal Cargo Logistics (UCL) of the Netherlands, one of several businesses owned by Russian oligarch and billionaire Vladimir Lisin.   Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin was a welder before studying metal engineering at a university in Siberia.   He is Russia's second richest man, having made his fortune, estimated at 10.2 billion pounds, in the steel industry.   Professor Katsman, managed by  the North Western Shipping Company, delivered the cargo of arms to Syria.

[June 1]"With respect to the reported docking of a ship [Professor Katsman] carrying Russian arms, this is obviously of the utmost concern given that the Syrian government continues to use deadly force against civilians," U.S. Ambassador Rice told reporters at UN headquarters.   "As for supplying weapons, Russia does not provide weapons that could be used in a civil conflict," Russian President Putin said.   
"We know that there has been a very consistent arms trade even during this last year of violence in Syria coming from Russia to Syria. We also believe that the continuing supply of arms from Russia has strengthened the Assad regime," said U.S. Secretray of State Clinton. "What those arms are being used for we can not speak with any accuracy

 [May 26] ODAI from North Korea is scheduled to dock today in Latakiya 
“North Korea is  continuing to send arms to Syria. The shipments arrive by air and sea and they are being paid by a special slush fund that the Iranian government set up for this purpose.”
 Professor Katsman, is owned by a Maltese firm, which is owned by a Cypriot company that is owned by Russian firm.
Diplomats said the Russian firm might have been acting on behalf of state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, though that was not clear. 

9368261 PROFESSOR KATSMAN UBOG3 General Cargo Ship 5465 2008

Vessel Identification

Name: Professor Katsman
IMO: 9368261
Flag: Russia
MMSI: 273355040
Callsign: UBOG3

Technical Data
Vessel type: Cargo
Gross tonnage: 4,970 tons
Summer DWT: 5,465 tons
Length: 128 m
Beam: 16 m
Draught: 3.5 m

Additional Information
Owner: Volga Baltic - Moscow, Russia
Manager: North Western Shipping
St.petersburg, Russia

Receive: 23/07/2010 04:44
IMO: 9368261

Name: Odai
IMO: 8992675
Flag: North Korea
MMSI: 445683000
Callsign: HMVZ6
Former name(s):
- Nikolla (Until 2008 Sep 09)
- An Qiang (Until 2005 Oct 03)
- Jin An 3 (not Yet Confirmed)


HaiYang ShiYou 201: pipelayer for 901 rig sea trials

The new 2.8-billion yuan-vessel, which can lay pipes at depths of 3000 meters and lift 4,000 metric tons, will officially operate at the South China Sea's Liwan 3-1 gas field, which has water depths of 1,500 meters.

First, however, it will undergo a one-month trial in shallower waters, where it will lay about 1.5 kilometers of pipe for testing.  Liwan 3-1 is the country's first deepwater natural gas field, and was discovered by Husky Energy Inc in 2006. It is set to start commercial production next year to supply gas to Zhuhai in Guangdong province.

The pipe-laying crane ship, together with the deepwater drilling platform, will help the company go from shallow waters to the more challenging deepwater, and protect China's energy security and national interests in the territorial waters.   The vessel, known as Hai Yang Shi You 201, which started undergoing construction in September 2009, is part of CNOOC's deepwater fleet, which cost the company a total of 11.5 billion yuan ($1.8 billion).

The fleet, which has six vessels, is designed to meet the country's requirements to explore deepwater areas for sustainable energy supplies, said Jin Xiaojian, general manager of CNOOC's engineering department.

The construction pace accelerated in 2006 when the Liwan 3-1 field was discovered, boosting the company's confidence in the existence of oil and gas in the South China Sea, Jin said.

The drilling rig, the outfit's "flagship", officially started operating at the Liwan 6-1-1 field located 320 kilometers to the southeast of Hong Kong, marking the country's new era of deepwater exploration in the South China Sea.

The area is estimated to have about 16 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and about 30 billion tons of oil, which would account for one-third of China's total oil and gas resources, CNOOC has said.
9555371 HAI YANG SHI YOU 201 Offshore Construction 25448 2010

Ship Type: Crane ship
Year Built: 2012
Length x Breadth: 204 m X 39 m
Gross Tonnage: 53350, DeadWeight: 25448 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 5.8 / 5.8 knots
Flag: China [CN] 
Call Sign: BFAG3
IMO: 9555371, MMSI: 413302380


Rena: Balomaga and Relon each get seven months

Navigation Officer Leonil Relon, 37:

Captain Mauro Arieves Balomaga, 44
Rena captain and navigation officer's sentencing:

Captain Mauro Arieves Balomaga, 44:


* operating a ship in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk (section 65(1)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994 -

Seven months prison to be served concurrently


* perverting the course of justice - (section 117(e) Crimes Act 1961)

(four charges)

.SEVEN MONTHS PRISON to be served concurrently


* being the master of a ship from which harmful substances and/or contaminants were discharged into the coastal marine area (sections 338(1B) and 15(B) Resource Management Act 1994 -


Navigation Officer Leonil Relon, 37:


operating a ship in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk (section 65(1)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994 -

.SEVEN MONTHS PRISON to be served concurrently


perverting the course of justice - (section 117(e) Crimes Act 1961)

(three charges)

.SEVEN MONTHS PRISON to be served concurrently


being a person responsible for the navigation of a ship from which harmful substances and/or contaminants were discharged into the coastal marine area (sections 338(1B) and 15(B) Resource Management Act 1994 -


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