the last few months I have quite often found myself using
an English expression which I thought had its origins as a
translation of a traditional Chinese curse - "May you
live in interesting times".
when it came to actually using it in this article, I conducted
my due diligence and discovered that, in all probability,
the saying was apocryphal and that no actual Chinese source
had ever been proven
the closest one having an approximate
English translation as "Better to live as a dog in an
era of peace than a man in times of war".
case you get the message - better to live during quiet times.
has definitely not been the case this year, and more specifically
in the last few months.
energy complex has been turned topsy-turvy by the dramatic
increased production of "fracked" oil - to name
a few results:
traditional tanker routes have changed, reversed or nearly
prices have fallen to levels not seen for many years.
oil, gasoline (petrol to my compatriots across the water)
and crude derived products across the spectrum have all
taken a dive.
dare I say it, slow steaming is losing its luster as owners
and charterers once more look to increasing speed as the
price of bunkers has decreased 20-30 % over the last few
most of us in the US breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed
that unusual feeling of money being put back into our pockets
or rather not so much being taken out, and Oil Diplomacy suddenly
does not seem to be so one sided.
are the unintended and unanticipated consequence.
cheaper oil mean less investment in "alternative"
(renewable) energy or in more energy efficient vessels? We
have already seen a deliberate slow down in the building of
drilling rigs, indeed any business model with its revenue
budgeted on a certain price of oil is certain to have been
apart from the stresses and additional complications being
foisted onto the bunker industry by the upcoming 0.1% ECA
zone sulfur limit in January 2015, the industry was rocked
by the bankruptcy of one of its largest players - a situation
which some attributed to the total reversal in the price of
gas oil, which had originally been forecast to increase with
the implementation of the January sulfur limit.
bankruptcy exploded within an incredibly short space of time
and has left those involved with a tangled legal web which,
I have no doubt, will take a long time to sort out. So large
was this collapse that all buyers and sellers worldwide are
left coping with a very valid concern over the creditability,
or counter party risk, of whomsoever they work with in bunkers.
in interesting times.
wishes to you and your families for Happy Holidays.