Egypt could use Suez Canal to retaliate against Ethiopia dam move: Sabbahi – Politics – Egypt – Ahram Online


CORRECTION – Egypt could use Suez Canal to retaliate against Ethiopia dam move: Sabbahi – Politics – Egypt – Ahram Online.

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Hawaii residents renew fight for free market in shipping | Hawaii Reporter


Hawaii residents renew fight for free market in shipping | Hawaii Reporter.

Brilliant Waste of Time


Have you discovered the PlanetInAction online Google Earth ship simulator yet?

It’s a brilliant way to waste away an hour or two. First go to the review  for an explanation of how the controls. From there you can follow the link to the game itself. You have a choice of ships, from a bunker lighter to the impressive Queen Mary 2. The simulation opens in Rotterdam, not far from the offices of DVB, and because it is based on Google Earth, can be reset anywhere. I just spent a nervous 20 minutes threading a closed river barge through the Pool of London, just avoiding HMS Belfast and finally berthing on the quay outside the Clarksons office.

PlanetInAction have produced the ship simulator as a showcase for their talents, and are looking for investors to develop it further. Contact details are on the website. I have to go now. I am about to moor the Queen Mary 2 outside the Spinnaker office at Leigh-on-Sea!

Wärtsilä Oil and Gas Calendar


Wärtsilä calendar of oil and gas exploration, drilling, and technology events for the next twelve months.

The shipping calendar is generating a lot of interest, and I am following it up with one for the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry is a much bigger industry than shipping, and there are far more conferences and events. While the shipping conference calendar is unique (I haven’t come across another on the Internet), there are some oil & gas-related conference calendars. I have used the US Society of Petroleum Engineers calendar and the Oil & Gas Journal listings as the main source of listings for collating my oil & gas calendar, plus the usual suspects like Informa and so on. Of course, if you are a conference organisor and I haven’t included your event, please send me a comment with the website location. I would also like to thank the nice people at Wärtsilä for sponsoring the oil & gas calendar.

 Best Golf Course at an Oil & Gas Conference?

As you might expect there are a lot of oil conferences in Houston, the Middle East and Brazil, but I wanted to share with you the annual conference for the American Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). This takes place in Coeur d’Alene, which I assumed was in France. In fact, Coeur d’Alene is in Idaho, USA. Coeur d’Alene is a purpose built resort, with the hotel being a modernist interpretation of a German Rhine Schloss. As well as the conference, there is a champagne cruise on the lake and a golf tournament. It is the golf course that caught my eye. The par three 14th green floats in the lake. In fact, the floating green is computer controlled and changes position everyday. The Coeur d’Alene has been voted America’s Most Beautiful Golf Course and if the American Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers need a speaker on the shipping at Coeur d’Alene, I’m your man (and I don’t even play golf)!

The Schmidt Act.


Here’s a mischievous thought for a Friday. Imagine what it would be like if the EU had a Jones Act – the Schmidt Act.

This thought was prompted by a posting on the gCaptain blog, which reprints a recent article on Reuters about the US Jones Act. For those who don’t know, the 1920 Jones Act (US Merchant Marine Act of 1920) was designed to ensure there would be enough American-controlled ships in times of war. The ships must be at least 75% American in content, crewing and ownership. To support the fleet, all trade between US ports, including Porto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska, must be carried on ships conforming to the Jones Act. Essentially one of the biggest trading countries in the world enforces cabotage.

Imagine if a similar sized group of consumers, such as the EU had introduced the same restrictions, including that all shipments between one EU port and another EU port had to be carried on EU-built, crewed and owned ships. The biggest beneficiary would probably have been the container industry. Once the big ships arrive at the main hub ports from the Far East, all the ongoing EU internal feeder traffic would have to be on EU ships. It would be like the inland waterway model had been extended up to 3500-TEU or more. I think German shipyards would have been the main beneficiaries, and maybe the Lindo shipyard in Denmark would still be open. There is also a lot of oil and gas moved internally within the EU. A steady stream of gas carriers, crude oil and product tankers would have kept the shipyards of Spain, Portugal and Italy busy. Its nice to think there would be a thriving merchant marine across the whole of Europe.

This is clearly what the writers of the Jones Act had in mind for the US, but the Jones Act has many critics inside the US, who say it increases the cost of carriage and the Act does not do what it was set out to do – create a secure supply of merchant shipping in times of need. It also has its defenders, who cite job and wealth creation. Most agree the Jones Act is not working as its original writers intended. But then who is to say the Schmidt Act would have been any different.

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