(1) Turkey’s Growing Role in the Mediterranean Oil Trade
Turkey has become a significant player in the Mediterranean oil industry, despite not having its own oil reserves, thanks to its crude oil exports. According to the latest report from shipbroker Banchero Costa, 2023 has been a positive year for the crude oil trade, even with high oil prices and concerns about an economic recession.
From January to August 2023, global crude oil loadings increased by 7.0% compared to the previous year, reaching 1,440.7 million tonnes, excluding cabotage trade. This is a substantial increase from the 1,346.5 million tonnes in the same period in 2022 and the 1,240.3 million tonnes in 2021. It’s also slightly higher than the 1,397.3 million tonnes in 2019.
In this trade, exports from the Arabian Gulf went up by 0.4% year-on-year, reaching 581.0 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2023, accounting for 40.3% of the global seaborne crude oil trade. Russia also saw a 4.7% increase in exports to 154.8 million tonnes, making up 10.7% of the global trade. The United States experienced a surge of 19.9% year-on-year, with shipments reaching 126.4 million tonnes. Meanwhile, exports from West Africa increased by 0.5% year-on-year to 115.5 million tonnes. China’s seaborne imports also rose significantly, up by 23.0% year-on-year to 341.0 million tonnes in the same period, making up 23.6% of the global trade.
(2) Oman Welcomes the World’s First Liquefied Hydrogen Carrier
Oman has taken a significant step in its clean energy journey with the arrival of the Suiso Frontier, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier. GAC, a reputable agency, played a crucial role as the agent for the vessel’s maiden visit to Muscat’s Sultan Qaboos Port.
For countries like Oman committed to achieving Net Zero by 2050 through decarbonization efforts, hydrogen is emerging as a promising export option. The Suiso Frontier, manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), represents a breakthrough in sustainable energy solutions. Its name, “Suiso,” which means hydrogen in Japanese, reflects its pioneering purpose.
The visit of the Suiso Frontier signifies substantial progress in hydrogen transportation and marks a significant step toward establishing a reliable supply chain using the vessel as the preferred carrier.
Meeting this challenge required GAC Oman’s Shipping Business Manager, Sivasankar Kushal, and his team to provide services beyond the typical port call responsibilities, all within a tight timeframe. The GAC team successfully managed pre-arrival preparations, smooth berthing upon arrival, port entry logistics, visitor transportation, and departure formalities. Their meticulous coordination ensured the satisfaction of the vessel’s Master and owner’s representatives.
(3) Strategies for Preventing Risks to Maritime Assets
Ships are essential for global trade, transportation, and exploration, but they are exposed to various risks, including accidents, piracy, war, and environmental hazards. To ensure the safety of the vessel, crew, cargo, and the marine environment, effective risk prevention strategies are crucial. In this essay, we will discuss key strategies that can be employed on ships to minimize potential hazards and ensure safe voyages.
- Competency and Crew Training:
A strong risk prevention strategy begins with a well-trained and competent crew. Proper training equips seafarers with the knowledge and skills needed to handle emergencies effectively. Regular drills, exercises, and simulations prepare them to respond promptly to risks such as fires, collisions, equipment damage, or man-overboard situations. Ongoing education and certification updates ensure the crew stays current with safety regulations and best practices.
- International Regulations and Compliance:
Adhering to international maritime regulations, including those from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), is essential for risk prevention. Compliance ensures that ships are equipped with necessary safety equipment, maintain operational standards, and follow safety protocols. Environmental regulations also play a role in reducing the impact of ship operations on marine ecosystems.
- Risk Assessment and Management:
Conducting comprehensive risk assessments is vital for identifying potential hazards and vulnerabilities on ships. This involves analyzing the ship’s design, hull and machinery condition, operational procedures, cargo handling, and navigational routes. With this information, ship operators can develop comprehensive risk management plans, including preventive measures, contingency plans, and response protocols for various scenarios.