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Monday, October 15, 2018


 ALERT - Nigeria – strikes disrupt operations at oil terminals

A summary follows of the ongoing strike called by PENDASAN, the senior staff union for employees of oil companies in Nigeria, which commenced at the Escravos terminal 17 June. Operations have, however, resumed, as reported in Weekly NEWS No. 25/2001 of 22 June:

1/ 20 June local workers came out on strike at the Bonny and Forcados terminals.

2/ 25 June it was reported that operations at the Bonny terminal resumed despite the continuing strike.

3/ Workers at Qua Iboe came out on strike 26 June in sympathy with the workers in Bonny.

4/ As a result of the then week-old strike by local workers it was reported 27 June that delays were being experienced at the Forcados and Bonny terminals. The situation at the Bonny terminal was reported to be serious.

5/ 28 June all operations were suspended at the Qua Iboe terminal.

6/ 02 July it was reported that operations at the Forcados terminal had come to a halt as the strike had taken a new turn of events. Local sources reported that all flares at the terminal had ceased. A pilot and a team of surveyors, having boarded a tanker prior to commencement of loading, returned to the terminal.

7/ In addition, waterways are reported to be unsafe as a result of renewed clashes between local communities. Fighting broke out 01 July, and heavy shooting has been reported. So far the extent of the damage and casualties are not known.

8/ 04 July the strike by local workers at Nigeria's oil terminals was called off.

PENGASAN, the senior staff union for employees of oil companies in the country, had called for the industrial action on June 20. Terminals at Bonny and Forcados were among the most seriously affected, with operations being delayed or halted.

Despite the fact that the strike action has been called off, negotiations between the workers and management are still going on. Loading operations have not yet resumed at Bonny and Forcados, due to very low production levels.

In the meantime, the Forcados area is experiencing disruption due to the continuing strife between the Odimodi and Ogulagha communities. According to local reports, an attack on the Ogulagha community on 3 July resulted in several casualties. Waterways in the area are still considered to be unsafe and no terminal flights are being made.

INTERTANKO will update members on developments as they become available.

Source: GAC Hot Port News

Russia/Novorossiysk – port borders extended

The borders of the Novorossiysk port have been extended to include the water of the tanker handling area at the Single Point Mooring buoys of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

Source: GAC Hot Port News/Gulf Agency Company (Novorossiysk)

 Syria/Banias – new positive response from the Directorate of Ports

Reference is made to our most recent article in Weekly NEWS 25/2001. The Syrian authorities are again requesting full details of reported incidents including name of ship and of persons involved in “illegal practices”. A circular with the following wording has been produced for dissemination to all masters of tankers:

‘’You are welcome in Banias Oil terminal. We would like to inform you that the matter of hospitality from your side, to pilots, authorities, representatives or workers of Banias is up to you and not compulsory, according to national Syrian laws, nor in any other laws or regulations. Anyway, this hospitality should not exceed on any account the customary limits among seafarers.

We shall be glad if you would inform us of any complaint or case you see that exceeds official dealing and mutual respect. This information will ensure that you and your tanker do not encounter problems of any nature. However, you are kindly requested to inform us if you have been:

* Subject to pressure to present exceeded hospitality (gifts).

* Abused when arriving at the terminal.

* Addressed with words out of decorum or politeness.

* Faced with bargaining in order to have your tanker technically accepted.

* Subject to manoeuvring errors on the part of the pilot or tugs during departure.

* We hope you will present a detailed written report of all your problems, including name of persons, their function and the problem caused, in order that we can work out a solution’’ (the quoted wording has been slightly adapted).

The General Directorate of Ports, as per the above, once again expresses willingness to address the various issues and invites the cooperation of tanker owners. If direct response by the master to the General Directorate of Ports is deemed delicate, INTERTANKO is always prepared to take action on the owner’s behalf upon receipt of relevant documents.

It would, under all circumstances, be advisable for the master to insist on obtaining the full identity of all personnel serving the vessel while in port to enable INTERTANKO to focus on named persons. INTERTANKO would ask to be copied on all direct complaints made to the Syrian authorities, for information and possible follow-up.

Source: The General Directorate of Ports, Lattakia

UAE – update on flag ban

The UAE Maritime Law Update reports that on 24 June 2001, following some significant amendments to the proposal, a decision was issued to the effect that the “majority of the decision” would come into force 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.

However, Article 5 (which deals with the auctioning and selling only for scrap of seized vessels) is effective immediately upon publication in the Official Gazette. It is not yet known when that will be.

The situation for tonnage registered by the two IACS Associates, the Croatian and Indian Registers, is so far unclear.

Pursuant to UAE Federal Law No.19 of 1993, the UAE's economic zone is defined as 200 nautical miles beyond its territorial waters, which territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from the mainland and from any island belonging to the UAE.

The decision provides that any vessel presently operating in the UAE territorial waters under a navigation license issued by the Marine Affairs Division of the Ministry of Communication and under contract to the "authorities" (which we presume to mean the Government of the UAE) shall be entitled to operate until the expiry of that vessel's contract(s), but those contracts will not be renewed. The stay of execution therefore continues to apply only to vessels that have contracts with the government.

The Maritime Inspection & Ships Control Department of the Ministry of Communication will inspect and control commercial ships approaching the State's ports, coasts, territorial waters and economic zone to enforce local and international rules relating to the protection of the marine environment. Any vessels in breach of these rules will be seized until violations are corrected. If "correction is useless" then they may be banned.

Source: Gulf Agency Company Ltd./UAE Maritime Law Updated – July 2001

 USA/Houston – repair of the I-610 (Sydney Sherman) bridge / bridge clearance

TXDOT has awarded a contract for permanent repairs to the I-610 (Sydney Sherman) bridge. These repairs are expected to last until early to mid-August.

Effective at 0730 on Friday, 29 June 2001, the vertical clearance of the I-610 Bridge will be reduced to 130 feet due to the installation of scaffolding. The scaffolding will extend 218 feet horizontally over the navigable channel. Parts of the scaffolding will extend below the bridge span and are expected to remain in place for the duration of the repairs.

The first phase of the repair effort requires removal of the outer perimeter fencing and approximately 200 feet of concrete roadway surface. Although the contractor will have a debris containment system in place, Houston Traffic recommends all personnel remain below decks while vessels transit beneath the bridge. There are no other restrictions in place at this time. Vessel Traffic Service Houston/Galveston will maintain communications with the Site Supervisor and provide updated information as it becomes available.

Source: Moran-Gulf Shipping Agencies, Houston