Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana operational

 The first tanker that will carry LNG from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana has arrived. Asia Vision, Owner Chevron San Francisco Ca, U.s.a. Operator Chevron San Francisco Ca, U.s.a, . has moored at Sabine Pass,    The Asia Vision is one of two tankers that had been at anchor in the Gulf of Mexico since January waiting to enter Sabine Pass LNG terminal. The other ship is the Energy Atlantic, Owner: Spectacle Shipping and Trading Ltd. Operator: Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Hellas) SPLLC.

[October 28 2010 Maido: Crew holes up, cuts power, pirates sail off ]

shy guy, not recent: Dr.Niels Hartmann

Dietrich Schulz

Gas carrier Maido was boarded by pirates Tuesday, October 26 from one skiff approximately 100 nautical miles south east from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, later in the evening they eventually abandoned it, after having been unable to get control over the crew who had locked themselves in.
IMO: 9135779
MMSI: 226028000
Callsign: FNHC
Flag: France

Category: Tanker
Beam: 15
Length: 98
Draught: 5.3

Hartmann Reederei of Leer, Germany, confirms that its managed gas carrier Maido was boarded by pirates yesterday evening (Tuesday, October 26), at a position around 100 miles off the Tanzanian coast. Maido is now known to be safe, the pirates have left the vessel and there are no injuries among the 13 seafarers on board.

The vessel’s crew reacted promptly and professionally during the attack. The authorities, including the regional military command, were alerted immediately, Maido’s power systems were shut down and all crew took shelter in a designated secure area. Having failed to enter this area, the pirates left the vessel. Maido then continued its voyage.

The vessel flies the French flag and has a crew of three French nationals (including the Master), one Polish national and nine Filipinos. She had loaded a cargo of liquefied petroleum gas at Mauritius. The Master reported safe arrival at the planned discharge port of Dar Es Salaam this morning (Wednesday, October 27). During the attack, Maido suffered superficial damage from gunfire.

Arctic Sea: now L.T.W. Express, Gustavia I., Anguilla

L.T.W. Express, ex-Shelley Express, Gustavia I., Anguilla

(Ship name as reported by AIS: L.T.W. EXPRESS)
 [Leading the way, LLC .... UAE leading the way in energy transition ??]
General Cargo  General Cargo
IMO:  8912792
MMSI: 376859000
Gross Tonnage: 3988
Summer DWT: 4706 t
Build: 1991
Flag: PA
Last Reported: 2015-05-07 09:40:00
Vessel Name: ARCTIC SEA
Flag: BB
Last Reported: 2011-11-03 15:26:00
Vessel Name: ARCTIC SEA
Flag: MT
Last Reported: 2010-05-12 08:55:00
Vessel Name: JOGAILA
Last Reported: 2005-03-01
Last Reported: 2000-05-01
Vessel Name: ALRAI
Last Reported: 1998-12-01
Last Reported: 1998-05-01
Vessel Name: OKHOTSKOE
Last Reported: 1996-01-01

[March 14, 2015 The AIS satellite-tracking device removed and transmitting? ]:
Shelley Express ex-Arctic Sea
Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 13 lifted a five-year ban on delivery of the S-300 air defense missile system. It would significantly bolster the Islamic republic's military capability by providing a strong deterrent against any air attack.   The White House said Secretary of State John Kerry had raised concerns over the move in a conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

]March 3 2014 Shelley Express at Las Palmas]
Shelley Express still at Las Palmas

Shelley Express, ex Arctic Sea   It's ba-ack

In August 2009, the 'hijacked' Arctic Sea was off Las Palmas.   Three Russian Il-76 transport planes (each capable of carrying 44 tons of cargo) were used to bring in the crew and maybe Surface-to-Air S-300 missiles destined for Iran by the Russian industrial complex. Perhaps after the urging of interested nations, the Moscow government intervened with naval forces, 'found' the vessel and sentenced the woeful hijackers,  a Latvian and an Estonian, as well as three others described as stateless.   This is a brief statement of an intriguing mystery.   more   also and read

Owner Pmac Maritime, P.O.# 60011, Sharjah UAE >>>Petrofac International Ltd.[FTSE 100] ???   {April 2013)


Tankers up on Contango return: container rates down on slow trade

 Were daily tanker earnings to drop to $40,000, traders would be able to use the ships to store millions of barrels of crude at sea because the oil-price structure means they can sell cargoes for later in the year at a profit. Rates of $40,000 would be higher than the annual averages in 2009-2014.

January saw the worst start to a year for container ship earnings for three years. Vessels returned just $5,957 a day on average. The average between 2010 and 2014 was $7,712.Many of the world’s busiest container shipping routes are suffering from the slowdown in emerging markets and weak growth in Europe. China’s economy grew at 6.9 percent last year, the slowest since 1990. Europe’s predicted 1.5 percent expansion in 2015 would be among the weakest globally

[January 25  As OPEC saw its prices sink below $30 a barrel:. the cost to ship the commodity rose.   ].


[December 7 2011 Low rates yield slow steaming]

Shipping companies are cooperating to ease overcapacity and revive rates. Vessels reduce their speeds, known in the industry as slow steaming, to better manage overcapacity within the global fleet of about 600 VLCCs, Sejling chief commercial officer at Maersk Tankers. said. Lower speeds increase the amount of time needed to complete a voyage, effectively curbing the supply of ships.

SLOW steaming very large crude carriers to an average speed of 12 knots could increase fleet utilisation as tonnage is absorbed on voyages of longer durations, A new time charter clause for slow and super slow steaming will be published shortly by BIMCO. The clause was adopted by the Documentary Committee subject to the drafting team conducting a pre-publication review of some of the key features of the clause. The team met in London on 30 November and made a number of improvements to the layout and structure of the clause. The clause will now be circulated to all Documentary Committee members before being published by Special Circular along with explanatory notes.

The Clause deals with a number of potentially difficult technical and legal issues as it is designed to cover all types of ships and trades from the container to the bulk sector. The technical aspects have been resolved and clarified with the assistance of engine designers Wartsila and MAN Diesel. Two types of slow steaming are contemplated by the Clause: Slow steaming down to a level which would not require the owners to make any modifications to the engine – basically the cut-out point for the engines auxiliary blowers; and, should the owners and charterers agree that the vessel can slow steam to a greater degree, then an additional optional provision is given to deal with “ultra” slow steaming – which will apply only in a few cases.

In all cases the master retains the right to refuse to slow steam as the right of the charterers to order slow steaming is subject to the obligations of the master in respect of the safety of the vessel, crew and cargoThe trend to run many ships at speeds of 16 knots or even less is stoking problems for main engines

All six members of the Bloomberg Tanker Index (TANKER) from Frontline to General Maritime Corp. will lose money this year as fleet capacity exceeds the number of cargoes, We’ve had the longest period of sustained upturn in the history of the tanker markets until 2008,” Serck-Hanssen said.
Frontline, also based in Hamilton, will report a net loss of $228.3 million for this year, compared with 2010 net income of $161.4 million, the mean of 20 estimates showed. The company said Nov. 22 it would pay no third-quarter dividend and may run out of cash in 2012. The shares slumped 83 percent in Oslo this year, valuing Frontline at 1.99 billion kroner ($345 million). General Maritime, the New York-based operator of 29 tankers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 17.

BIMCO is the largest of the international shipping associations representing ship-owners controlling around 65 percent of the world’s tonnage and with members in more than 120 countries drawn from a broad range of stakeholders having a vested interest in the shipping industry, including managers, brokers and agents. read


Navy to Convert UCLASS Program Into Unmanned Aerial Tanker

In part informed by the Pentagon’s UAV strategic program review (SPR) led by Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) effort is being retooled as primarily a carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling platform. Read more

[May 19 2013 USS George H. W. Bush: Northrop Grumman X-47B launches,touch and go

The prototype X-47B took off successfully May 14 from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia and made two low approaches to the ship before heading back toward land.
The test aircraft, which has been designed and built by the weapons maker Northrop Grumman, isn't intended for operational use; instead, the military is using the information it gathers during these demonstrations to develop the drone program.
The Navy already operates two other unmanned aircraft: the small, low cost ScanEagle, which does not carry weapons; and the Fire Scout, which is armed but built more like a helicopter.

The program cost is $1.4billion over eight years. A planned variant of the craft, the X-47C will have a larger payload provision of 10,000lbs and a wingspan of 172ft.

[May 2]

The U.S. Navy is inaugurating its first squadron that mixes advanced unmanned drones with conventional aircraft.   The maritime strike squadron, nicknamed the "Magicians," will be officially launched at the Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado, near San Diego.   Along with eight manned helicopters, the squadron will include a number of unmanned helicopter drones, known as MQ-8B Fire Scouts, that can track targets at sea or on land.

[June 22 2011]
The aircraft was conducting a targeting mission, meaning it was using its onboard sensor package to lase a target for another aircraft, the program source says.

The aircraft was launched from the USS Halyburton frigate during a deployment to support anti-piracy and littoral missions around the Middle East. The ship was recently diverted to support the NATO mission in Libya, . Two Fire Scouts were deployed on the Halyburton earlier this year.

Last year, a Fire Scout lost communications with its ground station during a test flight out of NAS Patuxent River, Md. The incident drew national attention because an anomaly occurred that allowed the aircraft to slowly head into restricted airspace 40 mi. away from Washington, which is under strict airspace rules. Flight testing of the Fire Scout restarted last September after about a six-week testing pause owing to the incident; a fix has been implemented.

The testing standdown pushed back timing for a formal operational evaluation slated for last fall. Instead, Navy officials opted to deploy the Fire Scouts for operations on the Halyburton. Aviation Week
A team of Northrop Grumman engineers and operators on board the ship helped re-familiarize Navy operators with Fire Scout’s control systems. Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s Fire Scout prime contractor.


NATO’s SNMG2 takes shape

EGV Bonn and HMCS Fredericton as seen from the speedboat. Image:2016

German Navy’s combat support ship EGV Bonn, together with the Italian frigate ITS Libeccio and the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton, headed for the eastern Mediterranean. Turkish frigate TCG Barbaros joined them in Aksaz, Turkey.

The group conducted a range of drills before and after their port call in Aksaz. The drills included replenishment at sea exercises and helicopter landings.

[November 15 2015  France.s only carrier to Eastern Med ]

Charles de Gaulle (R91) can hold up to 40 aircraft and support 100 flights a day. - The aircraft carrier has already been deployed against IS. The ship - France's only such vessel - was used as a base for French jets in the Gulf from February to April. The Charles de Gaulle carrier is usually accompanied by several frigates, a refuelling ship and an attack submarine
 French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) has entered the Persian Gulf and could soon start strike missions against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) France said on February 20.The ship entered crossed the Strait of Hormuz and entered the region on Feb. 15 after completing operations in the Gulf of Aden and is set to join USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in conducting airstrikes. [Mosul?]
“They’re in the [Persian] Gulf,” a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) ,
“They haven’t gone operational yet but they probably will soon.”   
French president François Hollande announced the mission on Jan. 14, a week after the attacks in Paris on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.   During his remarks in Toulon, Hollande said the attacks, “justifies the presence of our aircraft carrier.”
[January 12 

;Charles de Gaulle (R91) will deploy to the Persian Gulf to strengthen the French contingent already fighting ISIS in the region,   The aircraft carrier would operate in the Gulf on its way to India, where the French Navy’s flagship is scheduled to take part in drills in mid-April and the deployment is set to be announced by President Francois Hollande on Jan. 14, during the annual New Year’s speech to the armed forces.   . It is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses two 75 m C13‑3 steam catapults of a shorter version of the catapult system installed on the U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, one catapult at the bow and one across the front of the landing area.   The addition of Charles de Gaulle would add up to another 30 aircraft to France's commitment to operations

[September 16 2014 USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77):: airstrikes against Sinjar and against SW of Baghdad]

F/A-18C Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on Sept. 10. The strikes destroyed six ISIL vehicles near Sinjar and an ISIL fighting position southwest of Baghdad that was firing on ISF personnel. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.

August 4:There are reports of significant displacement from Sinjar City and surrounding areas to Jebel Sinjar (Sinjar Mountain) and areas predominantly to the west and north of Sinjar, with some displacement to the east as well. The exact number of displaced people on Jebel Sinjar is unknown; however reports indicate that some 35-50,000 people displaced in nine locations, reportedly surrounded by ISIS armed elements.

“The airstrike southwest of Baghdad was the first strike taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense."   The US air strike was against IS fighters in the Sadr al-Yusufiyah area, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Baghdad,