Tuktoyaktuk,oil project in Beaufort Sea dropped by Chevronj

Something in tug's fuel?
Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall.

In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board on Wednesday, the company withdrew from a hearing on Arctic drilling rules because it has walked away from plans to drill in the EL 481 block, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

The drilling project is the largest yet put on hold after oil prices dropped by nearly half over the last six months, even as a long list of oil companies cut their budgets for 2015 because of the price drop.

[March 18 2013
 On Christmas Day 2012 crews barbecued on the Kulluk deck. But on Dec. 27, the shackle broke and the situation began to worsen.
Exactly why the shackle broke is unclear, since it now rests on the Gulf of Alaska floor. Questions focused on whether the tow line endured excessive strain Dec. 27, when the ships hit slightly choppy seas – 10 to 15 foot swells that typically are not concerning. By all accounts, there was no excessive strain.
The same day, the Aiviq was able to quickly reestablish an emergency towline while two other tugs, the Guardsman and the Nanuq, were sent out to serve as backups.
But later that night, at nearly 11 p.m., one of the Aiviq's engines failed, with the rest failing within hours after fuel injectors became mucked with bad fuel. Chief engineer Carl Broekhuis testified the  an unknown fuel additive caused the bad fuel, which left  a “slime” on the fuel filters. New fuel injectors were flown in and the good fuel was rerouted to bring all four engines back online.
Five months after the incident, Broekhuis and others involved with the operation said they still did not know what the additive was.
[March 18]

This review has confirmed that Shell entered the drilling season not fully prepared in
terms of fabricating and testing certain critical systems and establishing the scope of its
operational plans. The lack of adequate preparation put pressure on Shell’s overall operations
and timelines at the end of the drilling season. Indeed, because Shell was unable to get certified
and then deploy its specialized Arctic Containment System (ACS) – which the Department of the
Interior (DOI) required to be on site in the event of a loss of well control – the company was not
allowed to drill into hydrocarbon-bearing zones. Shell’s failure to deploy the ACS system was
due, in turn, to shortcomings in Shell’s management and oversight of key contractors. L

February 28

Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) announced February 27 it will pause its exploration drilling activity for 2013 in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas to prepare equipment and plans for a resumption of activity at a later stage.


Kulluk - Marshall Islands-flag 

The Coast Guard lifted an order restricting movement of Shell’s Kulluk drill rig February 21.

“The inspection, its seaworthiness, was done by industry class certification. They gave us their inspection for review, so we could understand what they found, if there were any concerns, or not, that needed to be addressed prior to its being transferred, or transported, from Kiliuda Bay.”

Now that the Captain of the Port order has been lifted, Shell is free to start towing the rig to Unalaska whenever it sees fit. It’s not clear when that will be.

“We will know once they start that transit and we will monitor it as they make their transit to Unalaska.”

For now, the rig is anchored in Kiliuda Bay, on the south side of Kodiak Island.

[January 4]

Shell Alaska is in full support of, and is providing resources for, the investigation of the grounding by the Unified Incident Command, made up of federal, state and company representatives. The findings will be available to the public.


[January 1]

The Kulluk -- a $290 million offshore oil rig operated as part of Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts in summer -- washed up shortly before 9 p.m. at Ocean Bay on Sitkalidak Island, located close to Kodiak Island's southeast shore, January 1

KULLUK IMO 8752219

MOU Type:
Column-stabilised Unit
Earl & Wright/Sedco Arctic drilling vessel

Build: 1983
Ship Type: Drillship
Flag: Marshall Islands

The drilling rig KULLUK was built in 1983 by the Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Company Ltd in Tamano, Japan.  KULLUK, whose name means “Thunder” in the Inuvialuit language, was first operated by Gulf Canada Resources, Inc. in the Canadian arctic. She was tended there by two specially designed ice breaking tug support vessels the IKALUK and MISCAROO operated by the Beau-Drill Limited Partnership which was a subsidiary of Gulf.  At the time they were built all of these vessels represented the latest cutting edge technology for arctic oil exploration. KULLUK’s  design is described as an Earl & Wright/Sedco Arctic Drilling Vessel inverted, truncated, conically shaped, ice-strengthened hull. That is to say her hull is shaped like a bowl so that as ice presses in around her, she simply rides up on top of the ice rather than being crushed or penetrated by it. She is admeasured at 27,968 gross tons and 8391 net tons. The KULLUK  first came to Alaska in September 1988 when she drilled an exploratory well for the Amoco Production Company at the Belcher Prospect in the Beaufort Sea in 167 feet of water.  In 1992 and 1993, she drilled four exploratory wells for Arco Alaska at the Kuvlum and Wild Weasel Prospects offshore of ANWR.  After that the rig was stacked for fourteen years in McKinley Bay near Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The rig was purchased by Shell Offshore Incorporated of New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2005 and spent the next year being refurbished where she had been stacked in Canada. The rig is capable of drilling in 400 to 600 feet of water to depths of 20,000 feet. Her derrick measures 160 feet tall by 40 x 40 at the base with a 1,250,000 pound capacity. The rig’s power is provided by three General Motors EMD diesel generators rated at 2816 horsepower each. She has quarters onboard for 108 personnel. The almost-circular main deck is 274 feet long and has a beam of 227 feet.  When originally built the rig had been registered in Canada. Later she was reflagged to the Liberian flag, however, Shell has replaced that flag and registered the rig in the Marshall islands. Shell had plans to use the KULLUK to drill again in the Beaufort Sea, but environmental concerns caused delays with that program. In September 2010, the KULLUK was towed out of Canadian water and brought to Dutch Harbor and anchored in Captains Bay by the ice breaking tug supply vessel TOR VIKING II.  An existing dock at the OSI facility in Captains Bay was modified with a curved face to fit her hull so that the KULLUK can moor there. In December 2010, KULLUK was moved there awaiting a new drilling assignment. 

[October 29,'12]

 An electrical problem led to a valve failure that forced the dome to rapidly descend. The descent was stopped before the dome reached bottom but not before water pressure damaged one side of the dome and some of the buoyancy chambers.
The containment dome was created to suck up spewing oil or gas in hoses and transport it to the surface where it can be flared off. Shell conducted a "top to bottom" review to learn from that mistake and will have the containment barge and system -- an unprecedented piece of oil-spill response hardware --- ready for Arctic drilling next year,

[September 22]Shell’s plans to complete at least some oil exploration wells in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year have finally come to naught, following damage to the company’s new Arctic oil containment dome during testing of the Arctic Challenger containment barge, the company announced Sept. 16.

The company has decided not to proceed with the complete drilling of two planned exploration wells, one in the Chukchi Sea and one in the Beaufort Sea, and is instead going to drill a series of “top holes,” the upper sections of wells that terminate a long way above any likely hydrocarbon zones. The drilling of top holes will enable the more rapid completion of wells during  the 2013 drilling season.

[September 7]] The drillship Noble Discoverer has refueled for drilling and is moving into position over Shell’s Chukchi Sea Burger prospect. Drilling could commence on Sept. 7 or 8, Smith said. Shell had hoped to start drilling at Burger around Sept. 2, but stormy weather caused the drillship have to move into a holding position 10 miles south of the drill site until the weather cleared.
The drillship will need to connect to anchors pre-positioned at the drill site before drilling can commence.
Shell now has all the permits that it needs to start drilling. 

[July 7]The 571-foot Noble Discoverer lost its mooring July 14, drifting extremely close to shore before it was towed farther off shore and re-anchored. Shell and the Coast Guard say an inspection of the hull by a remotely operated vehicle showed no signs of damage or grounding. Divers will take another look no later than July 20.
[July 12]One of Shell's drill ships has arrived in Unalaska and the other is expected by the end of the week. The Noble Discoverer pulled into port on July 7, accompanied by a small flotilla of support vessels. While the ships were originally scheduled to bypass Unalaska on their way to Arctic, persistent sea could keep them around for a while 'it looks now like we’ll be on site and start drilling sometime in the first week of August'.   Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska.

[June 27]Ships bringing oil drilling equipment to Alaska pass through Seattle's Elliott Bay on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, as a Washington State Ferry passes on its way into Seattle. The Kulluk and Noble Discoverer and support ships are headed first to Dutch Harbor. Once open water allows, the rigs will move to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas for offshore drilling.

 [June 26]The U.S. Coast Guard established a 500 yard no-go zone around the vessel and 16 others  as they pass through Washington's Puget Sound.
           The ships have been staged in Seattle, Wa., for the summer drilling season where several have also undergone extensive retrofitting.Once the drilling ships arrive in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, they are protected by a separate Coast Guard imposed safety zone. Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act violations of the safety zone are subject to fines of up to $100,000 and up to 10 years in jail.
     The Puget Sound safety zone went into immediate effect and expires on Aug. 1. 

[June 7]Shell threw a private party June 6 at the Seattle Space Needle to joyously send off the oil giant’s Kulluk and Noble Discoverer rigs to sail to Dutch Harbor in mid-June.  Shell’s plans are to drill up to three Chukchi and two Beaufort wells this summer  - The two rigs are both older than the 2001 Deepwater Horizon, which was to blame to the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010. The Kulluk, from the 1980s, and the Noble Discoverer, built in 1966, were both retrofitted to handle harsh Arctic weather. 
.Shell Oil sued 14 major environmental groups in Federal Court to stave off the "virtual certainty" of legal challenges to its right to harass or kill walruses and polar bears during its summertime Arctic drilling.
     Shell has sued environmental groups three times since February and received two protective injunctions. It sued on Feb. 29 to try to stop 13 environmental groups from launching "last-minute legal challenges" to its Arctic drilling, and claimed Greenpeace had illegally boarded Shell's Noble Discoverer vessel on Feb. 27 in protest.
     Shell sued the same environmental groups again, plus the World Wildlife Fund, on May 2, for a declaration that the Bureau of Ocean Management issued it valid Incidental Harassment Authorizations for marine mammals during exploration in the Chukchi Sea and Camden Bay, on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. Affected species include bowhead whales, gray whales, beluga whales, harbor porpoises, ringed seals, bearded seals, spotted seals and ribbon seals.
     Shell got protective injunctions on March 28 and May 29.
     One order established 500- to 1,000-meter "moving safety zones" around 19 of its vessels, including the Noble Discoverer and the Kulluk, when they are in transit within 12 miles from shore. The second order added Shell's Arctic, land-based, aviation facilities in the North Slope to the list of Shell's drilling vessels, with which Greenpeace and the environmentalists may not interfere.
     U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason agreed that Shell should be allowed to meet its contractual obligations without fear of imprisonment or injury, and issued the orders.
     Greenpeace has an interlocutory appeal of the initial preliminary injunction pending in the 9th Circuit, but precedent allowed Gleason to issue the orders to maintain the status quo.


Periscope near Royal Navy’s submarine base at Faslane, with Russian squadron?

Maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) from France, Canada and the U.S. conducted patrols in conjunction with British surface warships in the search for the submarine in late November and the first week of December, operating out of RAF Lossiemouth in northern Scotland.   The aircraft and supporting airlifters arriving around Nov. 26. The deployment appeared to end last December 6.

The incident began when a periscope was sighted in waters where U.K. and other submarines would normally surface as they head into or out of the Royal Navy’s submarine base at Faslane, home of the U.K.’s ballistic missile submarines.   On Nov. 28, the U.K. reported it was tracking four Russian warships passing through the Strait of Dover and into the English Channel heading out into the Atlantic. 

At the height of the operation, aircraft involved in the hunt included two U.S. Navy P-3 Orions, a single CP-140 Aurora from the Royal Canadian Air Force and a Dassault Atlantique 2 of the French navy. Also involved was one of the U.K.’s Raytheon Sentinel radar-reconnaissance aircraft.

[December 4 Russian squadron with Tank Landing ship Aleksandr Otrakovski enters the Mediterranean]
Russian sailors stand in formation in front of their Russian navy frigate Smolny at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, November 25, 2014. 
Russia’s Northern Fleet convoy of warships and auxiliary vessels led by large submarine chaser Severomorsk has entered the Mediterranean Sea through the Straits of Gibraltar, 

November 29 The Russian ships are transiting  the Channel
Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen, NATO's military spokesman, said the alliance was aware of the Russian ships' location.

"Our information indicates that the ships are transiting and have been delayed by weather conditions. They are not exercising in the Channel, as some Russian headlines would have us believe," he said.   German Chancellor Angela Merkel , on the eve of the November 30 Moldova elections warned Russia not to interfere in post-Soviet states, including Moldova.

Squadron includes BDK-55 Aleksandr Otrakovski BDK LST 775 Ropucha Northern 1977 121st Landing Bde   The Ropucha (toad), or Project 775 class Tank Landing ships are classified in the Russian Navy as "large landing craft" (Bol'shoy Desatnyy Korabl). They were built in Poland in the Stocznia Północna shipyards, in Gdansk. They are designed for beach landings and can carry a 450 ton cargo. The ships have both bow and stern doors for loading and unloading vehicles, and the 630 m² of vehicle deck stretches the length of the hull. Up to 25 armored personnel carriers can be embarked.The 28 ships of this type where commissioned from 1975 to 1991.

[November 28 Russian Navy  foray into Channel isn’t “alarming, it’s normal maritime traffic.”]
November 28, 2014 14:10 
At least four vessels led by the anti-submarine ship Severomorsk plan drills in the expanse of water separating England from continental Europe.

. NATO said the foray isn’t “alarming, it’s normal maritime traffic.”
 Severomorsk «Североморск» 30 December 1987 In service with the Russian Pacific Fleet.

The Udaloy class are generally considered the Soviet equivalent of the American Spruance class destroyers. There are variations in SAM and air search radar among units of the class. Based on the Krivak class, the emphasis on ASW left these ships with limited anti-surface and anti-air capabilities.

Russia’s currency USDRUB, +2.30%  on November 28 traded at 49.965 against the greenback, its weakest level ever..
 Bank of Russia on November 28 said it’s extending limits on currency swaps for the next two weeks in a move to discourage bets on a weaker ruble.
“When you combine the fundamentals that Russia is facing right now,” in the form of Western sanctions and the further fall in oil prices, “it’s going to limit how much [the central bank] can improve the value of the ruble,” said Jameel Ahmad, chief market analyst at FXTM

[February 25 2010 Marshal Shaposhnikov: Russian DDG to Somalia

On February 24, Russia's Pacific Fleet dispatched the large anti-submarine warship Marshal Shaposhnikov, a rescue tugboat and the Pechenga tanker to fight pirates off the Somali coast. 1155. Udaloy class (guided missile destroyer) Udaloy-7 +. 15.2.1986

D. (tons): 6,200-6,700 tons standard
8,200-8,900 tons full load
Speed (kts): 30
Dimensions (m): 163.0-164.0 meters long
19.3 meters beam
6.2-8.0 meters draft
M./Engine: COGAG: 2 M62 cruise gas turbines, 15,000 shp; 2 M8KF boost gas turbines, 45,000 shp; 2 shafts, 60,000 shp, 29.5 knots; 3'000 n.m/14 kts
Man./Crew: 296
2 x 4 SS-N-14 or SS-N-22 Sunburn (1155.1)
(R: 90 n.m; S: 2,5 mach)
8 x 8 Kinzhal (SA-N-9) Total: 64
(R: 8 n.m; S: 3 mach; r: 10-12'000 m)
2 SA Kortik
1 x 2 AK-130 DP (130 mm)
4 x 6 AK-630 gattl. AA
(6x30 mm; 6'000 rds/m/mount)
2 x 4/533 mm Total: 30
2 x 10 RBU-Udav ASW RL (R: 1'200 m)
Helicopter KA-32
Electronics: Radar: MR-700 Fregat-A/Top Plate 3-D air search, MR-320M Topaz-V/Strut Pair air/surf. search
Sonar: Zvezda-2 suite with MGK-345 Bronza/Ox Yoke bow mounted LF, Ox Tail LF VDS
Fire Control: 2 MR-360 Podkat/Cross Sword SA-N-9 SAM control, 2 3P37/Hot Flash SA-N-11 SAM control, Garpun-BAL SSM targeting
EW: Start-series suite with Wine Glass intercept, Bell Shroud intercept, Bell Squat jammer, 2 PK-2 decoy RL, 10 PK-10 decoy RL

Compare DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class


Liberian-flag mt Bareilly to load Kurd crude at Ceyhan for ENI via SOMO

[November 30]Eni has put the Bareilly on subs at Worldscale 245 for a Ceyhan-Mediterranean voyage with a November 28-30 laycan, and a source close to the deal confirmed the details.

Market sources said that the cargo is Kirkuk, a heavy sour crude produced from the fields in northern Iraq and exported through the Iraq-Turkey export pipeline to Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.

Vessel's name: Bareilly Last updated: Nov 07, 2014
Ex-name(s): ALDANA IMO number: 9299769
Flag: Liberia Call sign: A8KG7
Port of Registry: MONROVIA Summer DWT: 106061.00 MT
Type of vessel: Oil Tanker Built: Sep 07, 2005
Type of hull: Double Hull Owner: Porlock Maritime Company Limited
Class Society: Det Norske Veritas Operator: Columbia Shipmanagement (Deutschland) GmbH

[December 1]
Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO will sell its first cargoes out of the Turkish port of Ceyhan since March at the end of November after reaching a deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government last week, market sources said on Wednesday.

The oil will be a blend of Kurdish crudes, the sources said.

Italy’s Eni will load a cargo of about 600,000 barrels loading on Nov. 29 with Lukoil’s trading arm Litasco expected to pick up another, a regional shipping source and a trader said.

SOMO approached its clients following the deal with the KRG to see if they would be interested in buying the crude, traders said, at the official selling price for Iraq’s usual grade out of Ceyhan, Kirkuk. 


MV Rena: Bay of Plenty boaties stay away!

11 Sep 2014: "MV Rena  operations are still under way, and they need to be able to work without other vessels getting in the way."
Bay of Plenty boaties are being reminded they aren't allowed near the Rena wreck after a spate of vessels breached the exclusion zone.
There have been 56 recorded breaches since the start of 2014 of the two nautical mile exclusion zone around the wreckage of the vessel, which ran aground on Astrolabe Reef near Tauranga in October 2011.

[April 2 2012 Rena: Interim Report -took a short cut to be on time]

An interim report on the Rena cargo ship grounding has revealed that the crew may have been taking a short cut which caused the incident.
The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission's report into the grounding of Rena on the Astrolabe Reef in October last year has stated that the crew were desperately trying to meet the deadline to reach port.
Several course changes were made in order to do this which resulted in the vessel trying to pass the reef at just 2km, as opposed to the recommended 4.8km.
After the grounding, the Rena leaked hundred of tonnes of fuel, in what has been called New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster. New Zealand’s government has estimated the cost of the clean up at NZ$130m.
Both the captain and the navigating officer have pleaded guilty to mishandling the vessel and then doctoring documents after the crash – they’re due to be sentenced on 25 May.
The commission's final report is due out next year.
So far it has been difficult to ascertain what can be learnt from the Rena disaster and what, if any, changes need to be made to safety regulations to prevent a similar incident happening again.

[October 15, 2011]There were claims today that the Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef because someone on board deliberately changed its course.

One expert 3 News spoke to said the ship used only one navigational aid - a beacon around 20 kilometres away, and never checked its own charts because if it had it would have been obvious it was on a collision course.

Marine accident specialist John Riding says the Rena is not there because of bad luck, but because of bad decision making.

Mr Riding believes a massive error in navigation means the course of the boat was deliberately changed long before it hit the Astrolabe.

He says about an hour from the port of Tauranga the Rena’s radar picked up a signal from the port's entry beacon.

It then changed course, slowly turning towards the beacon. The new route set a collision course with the reef.

“It appears to me that if he'd looked at the chart it would have been obvious what would happen,” says Mr Riding. “We are genuinely talking about the ‘ABCs’ of navigation, these are the basics that have gone wrong.”

All ships must eventually line up with the entry beacon where a pilot boards the ship to help guide it safely into the port.

3 news understands the Rena was meant to meet its pilot at 3.30am that morning. It hit the reef at 2.15, still on schedule to meet that deadline.

Port of Tauranga CEO Mark Carins says if ships miss their rendezvous time they simply do not come in to port.

“We won't risk the safety on that, so if they miss the window, they miss the window, and depending on the size of the ship they would have to wait for a few hours.”

But waiting at sea with a fully laden ship is expensive. Even the government is questioning whether the Rena was racing to get into Tauranga.

Environment Minister Nick Smith says it appears from the charts that they were in a rush to get to port.

“[They] went full bore, cut the corner and hit the reef and there's a proper inquiry that needs to take place to confirm that course of events.”

Mr Riding says every ship is under pressure to arrive on time, otherwise it costs money.

“The master's job is to make sure you do it safely. Every master has that on his shoulders.”

MV Cape Ray returned to its home port

MV Cape Ray returned to its home port in Portsmouth, Virginia, Sept. 17 at the conclusion of its successful mission of neutralizing and destroying Syrian chemical weapons in the Mediterranean Sea.“We went around the Mediterranean while the specialists were processing the chemicals. The days soon began to go by and it became pretty much routine for us,” Squire added. “All in all though, it was a good trip.”

[June 25 Cape Ray departs Rota, MVArk Futura takes final Syrian shipment]

the MV Cape Ray left for the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro to retrieve an estimated 560 tons of mustard blister agent and other materials extracted from Syria's war-fractured territory. The move took place two days after President Bashar Assad's regime delivered the last of its declared chemical-warfare stockpile into international custody, enabling the commencement of a destruction operation slated to take place in the Mediterranean Sea.

Defense Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the boat's initial trip to Italy "is expected to take several days."   Upon arriving at Gioia Tauro, the Cape Ray would receive chemicals shipped from Syria on board the Danish vessel Ark Futura. The U.S. vessel would then embark for international waters, where it would employ a chemical process to render the substances largely harmless.

[April 10]

Captain of the MV Cape Ray, Rick Jordan, speaks to the press. 

The MV Cape Ray, which is on a mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, will be held up indefinitely in Rota, Spain, while the international community waits for the Syrian regime to hand over the remainder of its stockpile,

[January 30] The MV Cape Ray left Portsmouth, Va., on January 27 and is due to arrive in the southern port of Gioia Tauro in about “two to three weeks.”

[January 30]

The Norwegian cargo ship Taiko docked in preparation for shipment of chemicals
 Norwegian cargo ship Taiko today has been a new turn in Syria and brought containers of chemical warfare agents. Photo: Rune Thomas Ege
Posted 01/27/14 - 6:48 p.m. , changed 27/01/14 - 7:03 p.m.

The Norwegian cargo ship Taiko went out to fetch the second shipment of chemical weapons and weapons as Monday was carried out from Syria.   A second shipment of chemical weapons materials has been removed from Syria under a deal to eliminate its arsenal, the joint U.N. mission overseeing the disarmament said January 27.

[January 16]

In the transfer of the primary agents at an Italian port from the Danish vessel to an American one, where they will be destroyed at sea, The Calabrian port of Gioia Tauro has been chosen for the chemical transfer, an Italian government source said.
HMS Montrose on anti-pirate patrol

A Royal Navy ship, HMS Montrose, is about to join the escort of the Danish and Norwegian vessels transporting the chemical stocks from Syria.

Class & type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 tonnes, standard
Length: 133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: CODLAG with four 1510 kW (2,025 shp) Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators powering two GEC electric motors delivering 2980kW (4000 shp) and two Rolls-Royce Spey SM1A delivering 23,190 kW (31,100 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph) (higher speeds have been recorded in trials)
Range: 14,485 kilometres (9,001 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 185 (plus up to 20 augmentees (Royal Marines, etc))
Electronic warfare
& decoys: 4 x 6-barrel Seagnat decoy launchers
DFL3 offboard decoys
Anti-air missiles:
1× 32-cell Sea Wolf GWS.26 VLS canisters for 32 Sea Wolf missiles (range 1-10 km)
Anti-ship missiles:
2 × quad Harpoon launchers
Anti-submarine torpedoes:
2 × Twin 12.75 in (324 mm) Sting Ray torpedo tubes
1 × BAE 4.5 inch Mk8 gun 2 × 30mm DS30M automated guns, or, 2× 30mm DS30B guns 2 × Miniguns 4 × General-purpose machine guns
Aircraft carried:
1×Lynx HMA8, armed with; 4× Sea Skua anti ship missiles, or 2× anti submarine torpedoes or 1×Westland Merlin HM1, armed with; 4× anti submarine torpedoes
Aviation facilities:
Flight deck Enclosed hangar
Chinese sailor aboard Yancheng
Chinese guided missile frigate Yancheng arrived in Syrian territorial waters on January 7, proceeding to dock at Latakia Port and then escort the first batch of chemical weapons out of Syrian territory. Joining Yancheng in the escort of Danish and Norwegian ships was Russian missile cruiser Peter the Great. All four ships first rendezvoused in international waters off Syria before commencing the mission, during which China and Russia are reportedly working in coordination with, rather than under the command of, European forces.

[January 9]
Russian cruiser Pyotr Veliky
From the Russian side, the heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) is participating in the operation, Spokesman Eystein Kvarving said. Kvarving emphaszed that the Russian and Chinese ships would not be under the Danish-Norwegian command but would coordinate their actions with it. [January 7]

The Chinese frigate 运城/ Yuncheng docked at Limassol port on January 5, 2014, Cyprus. -- A Chinese ship arrived to escort ships picking up chemical weapons materials from Syria on January 7. The frigate Yancheng is working closely with other ships from Russia and Europe.

Type: Frigate
Length: 134.1 m (440 ft)(CCTV report)
Beam: 16 m (52 ft) (CCTV report)
Propulsion: CODAD, 4 x Shaanxi 16 PA6 STC diesels, 5700 kW (7600+ hp @ 1084 rpm) each
Speed: 27 kn estimated
Range: 8025 nautical miles estimated
Complement: 165
Sensors and processing systems:
Type 382 Radar (Upgraded from Type 381 Radar "Sea Eagle S/C") 3D air/surface search radar
Type 344 Radar (Mineral-ME Band Stand) OTH target acquisition and SSM fire control radar
4 x Type 345 Radar(MR-90 Front Dome) SAM fire control radars
MR-36A surface search radar, I-band
Type 347G 76 mm gun fire control radar
2 x Racal RM-1290 navigation radars, I-band
MGK-335 medium frequency active/passive sonar system
ZKJ-4B/6 (developed from Thomson-CSF TAVITAC) combat data system
HN-900 Data link (Chinese equivalent of Link 11A/B, to be upgraded)
AKD5000S Ku band SATCOM
Electronic warfare
& decoys: Type 922-1 radar warning receiver
HZ-100 ECM & ELINT system
Kashtan-3 missile jamming system
Armament: 1 x32-cell VLS HQ-16 SAM / anti submarine rocket launcher
2 x 4 C-803 anti-ship / land attack cruise missiles
1 x PJ26 76 mm dual purpose gun
2 x Type 730 7-barrel 30 mm CIWS guns
2 x 3 324mm YU-7 ASW torpedo launchers
2 x 6 Type 87 240mm anti-submarine rocket launcher (36 rockets carried)
2 x Type 726-4 18-tube decoy rocket launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 Kamov Ka-28 'Helix' or Harbin Z-9C
Aviation facilities: hangar

Danish Ark Futura across the bay

December 7, the UN confirmed that a small number of containers with “priority one chemical materials” were on board the Ark Futura cargo ship, one of two vessels in charge of collecting the materials. They will wait in international waters for additional chemicals to be delivered to Latakia for collection. A spokeswoman said the loading took only “a couple of hours”, but this delicate phase of the operation had been “months in the planning”.

[December 5]

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, speaks to reporters during a visit to the Cape Ray, in Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 2, 2014, to discuss the ship`s upcoming mission to destroy chemical weapons from Syria. The Cape May is expected to depart for the mission about January 16 with 64 specialists from the Army`s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Tent housing a filtration system.

Inside the plastic tent are two storage tanks, each containing a cistern where the lethal agents will be mixed with water and other chemicals.

The roughly 500 tonnes of highly toxic chemicals which Bashar al-Assad's regime had stockpiled for the manufacture of Sarin and VX nerve agents are still in 12 bases around the country, three days after they were due to arrive in Latakia for loading on to Danish and Norwegian ships. Those freighters – the Ark Futura and the Taiko – have returned to the Cypriot port of Limassol since it became clear how far the schedule laid down by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had slipped.

Some of the materials have been packed into US-provided drums, but none of them have been loaded, a diplomat said. It is not clear whether the armoured Russian trucks flown into Syria to transport the chemical weapons have reached all 12 locations. Meanwhile, US trucks carrying equipment like such as GPS tracking devices to help the movement of the chemicals have been held up at the Jordanian border, apparently by bureaucratic delays.

A handout picture taken on December 29, 2013, and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, shows a Norwegian officer on deck watching the cargo vessel "Taiko", IMO number: 8204975 earmarked to transport chemical agents from war torn Syria.

Ark Futura IMO: 9129598

 Syria apparently has not begun to move weapons toward the port staging areas.   An official from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said security concerns and bureaucracy are the primary reasons President Bashar al-Assad's government missed Tuesday's deadline.

Bad weather and a complex multinational procurement effort for equipment have also delayed the operation.

For now, the delay is not raising concern in Washington, which characterized the deadline as ambitious. The State Department said it was satisfied to see "forward progress."

HDMS Esbern Snare (L17) is an Absalon-class support ship, and is along with her sister ship, the HDMS Absalon, the largest combat vessel currently commissioned in the Royal Danish Navy.

Two cargo ships and their warship escorts are waiting at Cyprus’ Limassol port for word on when they can travel to Syria to begin hauling out more than 1,000 tons of chemical agents. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the U.N. said Saturday that a Dec. 31 deadline to remove the most toxic chemicals was unlikely to be met. They urged President Bashar Assad’s government to “intensify efforts” to meet internationally set deadlines

[December 27] Danish chemical expert Bjorn Schmidt speaks to reporters aboard the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare in Cyprus’ Limassol port on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Schmidt said that Danish and Norwegian cargo vessels can safely ferry up to 500 tons of Syria’s most dangerous chemical weapons out of the strife-torn country. He said sealed containers full of chemical compounds that when mixed can create lethal Sarin and VX gasses will be loaded at opposite ends of the two cargo ships.(AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)(Credit: AP) Esbern Snare has since October been pirate hunting on the Somali coast during NATO's Operation Ocean Shield.

Italy has agreed to let the Norwegian and Danish ships use one of its ports — it has not yet said which port — to transfer the most toxic chemicals to a U.S. ship.
The United States is supplying nearly 3,000 container drums, loading, transportation, and decontamination equipment. Washington also is providing GPS locators that will let authorities track the chemicals. Russia is providing large capacity and armoured trucks, water tanks, and other logistical supplies. It has also indicated the possibility of helping with security for cargo operations at the port and in Syrian territorial waters. China is providing surveillance cameras and 10 ambulances.

Denmark and Norway are providing cargo vessels and military escorts in the form of two navy frigates to ship the chemicals out of Latakia. They first will take the most toxic chemicals, which are the top priority for destruction, and later return to pick up hundreds of tons of less dangerous chemicals. Finland will provide a chemical weapons emergency-response team

[December 7]

The MV Cape Ray, a retired cargo ship currently docked at a Virginia private shipyard on the Elizabeth River near the Midtown Tunnel, December 5th, 2013. The Cap Ray is preparing for a high-profile mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons

The Cape Ray was activated twice in the past decade, each time to help move military supplies for the Iraq war.

It was buzzing with activity again on December 5. Department of Defense civilians began mounting the two mobile hydrolysis units below deck, defense officials said. The units will be enclosed in a special tent equipped with an advanced filtration system, ensuring that any chemical leaks would be contained. The entire neutralization operation would take place below deck, defense officials said.

If it gets the green light on the mission, the ship would come under the control of the Navy's Military Sealift Command. It would be staffed with a crew of about 100 people - a mix of Defense Department civilians and private contractors, defense officials said.

Under the working plan, several hundred tons of chemicals would be loaded into shipping containers in Syria, moved to Latakia, a Syrian city on the Mediterranean Sea, and transferred to a non-Syrian port. To avoid docking in the war-torn country, the Cape Ray would pick up the containers from a third country, destroy the chemicals while at sea, then offload the waste at a commercial treatment facility, defense officials said.

The Pentagon began developing the field-deployable hydrolysis system in response to the Syrian civil war. The system - which takes an existing technology and makes it mobile - went through final testing this summer.

Neutralization is achieved by mixing hazardous chemical agents with water and other chemicals, and then heating the mixture.

[December 5]

frigate "Helge Ingstad"

Norwegian frigate will, December 9, sail for Syria, to assist in the work of freighting chemicals from the Syrian weapons programme. Norway has also offered the use of a transport vessel.

The frigate "Helge Ingstad" will be used to escort the freighters which will be used to transport the chemicals to the US, where they will be destroyed.

Bestykning 1 × Mk 41 VLS for missiler
32 × RIM-162 ESSM SAM
8 × Naval Strike Missile
4 × 324 mm torpedorør for Sting Ray torpedoer
1 × 76 mm OTO Melara SR kanon
4 × 12,7 mm Browning M2HB mitraljøser
Sensorer AN/SPY-1F (luft/overflate)
CAPTAS MK II V1 aktiv/passiv tauet sonar
MRS 2000 skrogmontert sonar
Kommandokontroll Link 16, Link 11
Mannskap ca. 120
Fly NH90 Nato Frigate Helicopter

Norway has granted NOK 90 million in support to the UN's work to destroy Syria's store of chemical weapons.
Destruction of so-called "category 3" chemical weapons, which are unfilled munitions, has proceeded at a rapid clip, and has been completed well before the target date of January 31st. At least for now, it is unlikely that Syria has the capacity to make or fill any new weapons.

However, another looming deadline is proving rather harder to meet. By the end of this month, 500 tonnes of the deadliest chemicals in Syria’s arsenal are meant to have been removed from the country for destruction elsewhere. Known as "priority chemical weapons", including nerve agents, such as sarin and mustard gas, these are deemed too dangerous to take into a third-party country for commercial reprocessing (in fact, Albania was approached to host their destruction, but refused).

First, the weapons must be sealed and packaged in special containers brought across the border from Lebanon by Syrian technicians who have been trained there by OPCW specialists. Then they must be transported by road from multiple sites to Syria’s biggest port, Latakia, some 225 kilometres (140 miles) north of Damascus, the capital. Once there, they will be loaded on to ships provided by Norway and Denmark and taken to an American government-owned vessel, the Cape Ray, a 200-metre (650-foot) cargo ship that is part of a reserve fleet used for transporting military hardware at short notice. The Cape Ray is being fitted with a mobile unit that has been developed for breaking down lethal chemical agents into a sludge similar to industrial toxic waste. This will eventually be treated for disposal by commercial firms in a number of different countries, according to Ms Kaag. When the Cape Ray arrives in the Mediterranean it will be escorted by several American navy warships.

MV Cape Ray (AKR-9679)

Built in 1977, the ship was delivered to Saudi Arabia's National Ship Co. as MV SEASPEED ASIA. Later renamed SAUDI MAKKAH, she was purchased by the Maritime Administration in 1993 and was subsequently converted for military use. Renamed MV CAPE RAY (T-AKR 9679), she was assigned to the Ready Reserve Force on December 17, 1994. Since then, she is maintained in reduced operating status in a layberth at Portsmouth, Va. If required, she can be fully activated within 5 days.
General Characteristics:    Built: 1977
Builder: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Japan
Purchased by MARAD: 1993
Propulsion system: two Diesel engines
Propellers: one
Length: 648 feet (197.5 meters)
Beam: 105 feet (32 meters)
Draft: 32 feet (9.75 meters)
Displacement: approx. 35,350 long tons full load
Speed: 16+ knots
Aircraft: none
Armament: none
Crew: 9 civilian mariners in ROS; 29 civilian mariners when activated
Homeport: Portsmouth, Va.

  There appear to be 3 phases to the plan, firstly, to move the 1330 tonnes to the Port of Latakia, secondly to transport these chemicals to the MV Cape Ray presumably in the Mediterranean somewhere, and to commercial toxic waste destruction facilities and finally to destroy the most toxic by hydrolysis on the MV Cape Ray and the rest by normal convention toxic waste destruction at civilian facilities, by mid 2014 – all possible, well apparently, until yesterday’s 11th hour request by Minister Mekdad.

It is understood that most of the CW is North of Damascus and will have to move through a number of contested areas before it reaches Latakia.


[December 2]
The United States is donating a ship and destruction equipment, but it has not yet reached agreement about where the naval vessel will anchor while it processes the toxic chemicals. Latakia, is likely the northern port from which Syria will export hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals to a floating destruction facility. 

Under a deal worked out between the United States and Russia, Syria will relinquish control of its chemical weapons and destroy its entire stockpile of 1,300 tons of sarin, mustard gas and other lethal agents. The size of the stockpile, including 800 tons of industrial chemicals destined for incineration at commercial toxic waste plants, means it can only be transported by land and sea. Syrian forces will have to transport the chemicals through contested territory to Latakia. For the program implementation and the removal out of country it is necessary the roads are open and safe to be used.

[October 31]

amphibious warfare ship Admiral Nevelskoi
Israeli aircraft have carried out a strike near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, a US official says.

The official said the strike targeted Russian-made missiles intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.   One unnamed US official told the Associated Press that the missiles targeted by Israel were Russian-made SA-125s.   Since Russia replaced all of its S-125 sites with SA-10 and SA-12 systems, they decided to upgrade the S-125 systems being removed from service to make them more attractive to export customers

“I think we’ve made it crystal clear we would prefer that Russia was not supplying assistance ” to the Syrian regime in its war against opposition forces, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Rome May 9.   Russia is not planning to supply Syria with any weapons beyond the current contracts that are nearing completion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said refuting speculations that Moscow was going to sell S-300 air defense systems to Damascus.
[June 10]
 U.S. intelligence agencies have identified three Russian amphibious warships in the eastern Mediterranean that are believed to be carrying weapons shipments that might be used to resupply the Syrian regime, according to a Pentagon official.

The United States has been tracking the ships since they left Russian ports several days ago. U.S. satellites were able to see some indications of containers being loaded onto the ships. It's believed the ships may be carrying some components of the controversial Russian S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons for the regime.
The destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, the tanker Pechenga and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krylov left the port of Vladivostok on March 19 to join the task force.

[May 30]

The first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets has arrived there according to  Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
There had been a "bank transfer" in connection with the S-300 transaction but that Russian banks were becoming increasingly nervous about dealing with Assad.   Russian newspaper Kommersant reported today that Russia expects to deliver the long range surface-to-air missile systems by the second quarter of 2014..Most likely this is bluff, To complete its Syrian contract, Russia will need at least seven-to-nine months for first S-300 to be delivered

There were some problems with payments because big Russian banks were scared of dealing with Assad, but there was a bank transfer.There are also not big banks and banks that are not based in Moscow. Beyond the down payment there was almost certainly a second payment, maybe a third.
[May 29]
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said he could “neither deny nor confirm” the reports claiming that the delivery had already been finalized, 
[May 28]
Russia says it will go ahead with deliveries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that the arms will help deter foreign intervention.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missiles were a "stabilising factor" that could dissuade "some hotheads" from entering the conflict.



Shipping from St. Petersburg to the Syrian port of Tartus is expected. 2011 annual report by S-300’s manufacturer,mentioned a contract for the missile systems for Syria. The report has since vanished from the plant’s website, but was cited by the respected Vedomosti business daily at the time as saying that the contract was worth $105 million and that an unspecified number of S-300 systems were slated for delivery between 2012 and early 2013.. The report has since vanished from the plant’s website, but was cited by the respected Vedomosti business daily at the time as saying that the contract was worth $105 million and that an unspecified number of S-300 systems were slated for delivery between 2012 and early 2013.  The manufacturer is unlikely to have ready-to-ship S-300 systems lying on the shelves: Whatever leftovers there were from a deal with Iran, scrapped in 2010, were long ago snatched up by other customers such as Algeria. This means the systems would need to be produced and test launches conducted, a job that would take about a year. Furthermore, dozens or even hundreds of staff would have to be trained to operate the complicated machinery, which should take about six months. This would push Assad’s most optimistic deadline of owning fully operable S-300 complexes to November 2013 at best, with spring of 2014 being a more realistic estimate.

Alexandria Egypt

 Israeli and American officials have urged Russia not to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 air defense weapons. The Kremlin has yielded to American entreaties not to provide S-300s to Iran. But the denial of that sale, analysts say, has increased the pressure within Russia’s military establishment to proceed with the delivery to Syria.
[September 2 2010]
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is said to be concerned over the possibility that Russia will follow through with the delivery of the S-300 surface to- air defense system to Iran via Syria.

Russia has issued mixed messages regarding the future of the 2005 deal in recent months, first saying that the new round of sanctions on Iran passed by the United Nations in June would not impede the deal and later saying that it would.

Despite the Israeli objections, a top Russian official issued a statement on Sunday saying that Moscow would honor its deal with Syria.

“I would like to emphasize that the Russian Federation is fully honoring its earlier agreements with Syria,” Russian presidential aide Sergey Prikhodko told the Interfax news agency.