At the Breakbulk Americas event in Houston, Ed Osterwald, a partner at CEG-Europe, gave a fascinating insight into why the oil and gas business is one of the largest - and most poorly understood - industries in the world.

At the Breakbulk Americas event in Houston, Ed Osterwald, a partner at CEG-Europe, gave a fascinating insight into why the oil and gas business is one of the largest - and most poorly understood - industries in the world.

He described how the sudden emergence of unconventional shale gas and oil in the USA has turned conventional wisdom on its head, making refining incredibly profitable in the US but causing surplus fuel products to be exported elsewhere. He analysed how such trends might affect the global oil and gas industry in the short and long term, as well as the likely knock on effects for the project cargo logistics sector.

In a similar vein, this week saw an equally fascinating report by Reuters that considers the likely impact of this year's reduction in energy prices, which is hastening the decline of big oil as the seven Western majors sell-off assets, cut investment, return money to shareholders and shrink in size. Anyone with an interest in oil and gas industry logistics can read the article here.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Crowley Solutions, which offers turn-key solutions for clients with marine infrastructure, offshore construction and marine cargo and logistics projects. Crowley provides project management, marine engineering, barge transportation, ocean towing, marine project logistics, DP2 tugs to 150 tonnes and barges to 400 ft x 130 ft.

In business
The US ports of Seattle and Tacoma will form a single Seaport Alliance that will unify the management of the two gateway's marine cargo terminals and related functions.

Lone Star Transportation is merging with the Daseke family of open-deck and specialty carriers.

Sloman Neptun Shipping & Transport appointed Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics as its new agent in Sweden.

Total cargo tonnage transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2014 has already surpassed 2013 levels, driven by a surge in North American import and export activity (pictured bottom right).

MeteoGroup is to provide a weather forecasting service to Shell offshore operations in the UK, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands.

ITIC has urged caution following continued attempts by fraudsters to target payments between shipping companies.

Capacity developments
Nicolas has sold a K25 platform trailer combination from Scheuerle-Kamag to Capelle.

950,000 sq m of space within the Churchill Industrial Zone has become available for development at the port of Antwerp.

Bore is set to sell six general cargo vessels, as it refocuses on strengthening its position in the ro-ro sector.

Arkon Shipping and Best Logistics have celebrated the inauguration of their heavy lift and general cargo shuttle service: the Baltic Cargo Shuttle.

Work is progressing smoothly on Zeeland Seaports' extension of the quay at BOW Terminal, in the port of Vlissingen.

Crane Rental Corporation added five cranes to its fleet having seen increased demand in almost every sector of its business.

The Port of Immingham added a Terex / Gottwald HMK 170 EG mobile harbour crane to its fleet.

Crowley Maritime Corporation's liner services group and Seaboard Marine have entered a new vessel sharing agreement (VSA) to service customers in the Dominican Republic trade lane, while also changing their current VSA to Panama and Costa Rica.
Shipment of the week
Blue Water Gothenburg successfully delivered two 58-tonne units, each measuring 7 m wide, for Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu.

Blue Water was responsible for route planning, securing permits, route surveys, as well as the physical transportation of the units. Disruption along the 430 km route did not stop Blue Water delivering the goods safely to the site.
On the move
Norway's TP Shipping has opened a new office in Houston, while Kuehne + Nagel has begun construction on a logistics centre in the west of Singapore. Allport Cargo Services appointed Charles McGurin as joint managing director, as A2SEA named Henri Schumann its new vice president for commercial. Meanwhile, Jorgen Moller, ceo of DSV Air & Sea Holding, will retire at the end of March, 2015 having spent 42 years with the company.

Network and association developments
XLProjects added Kenya's Genuine Freight Services and Volca Freight Forwarders in Mexico to its roster, while Lithuania's Baltkonta joined the Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN).

All about Evie
Evie read with interest the Tradewinds report this week that Fairmount Marine has had one of its heavy lift vessels arrested in Singapore, with the Singapore admiralty sheriff detaining the 50,000-dwt semi-submersible barge Gavea Lifter on Wednesday, according to the newspaper.

She's no idea why the ship has been arrested, but is a little disappointed that Fairmount Marine, which is owned by listed company, Royal Boskalis Westminster, has not responded to requests for further information.

Evie doffed her cap to the winners of the Ocean Exchange 2014 awards, sponsored by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Minesto and Okeanos Technology both scooped awards for environmental technologies, and pocketed a USD100,000 prize in the process. Congratulations!