Clay Maitland, Chairman





 



Oil Prices and Their Impact on Shipping

Oil Prices and Their Impact on Shipping
The precipitous decline of oil prices in the past six months worldwide is a tectonic shift in the energy market.  The principal reasons for the decline are the glut of high-quality crude oil supply and demand which is not keeping up with supply. The supply is increasing because of the new technologies being applied to the extraction of oil from shale beds. All crude oil is held in shales which are a product of ancient seabeds and marine organisms. Over gological time some oil under pressure is excreted from the shale matrix and pools upward in more accessible loci, usually under impervious domes such as salt domes. From these accumulations past drilling has been able to extract the oil fairly easily. Now technology has advanced such that in shales not having readily accessbile oil, a combination of water and sand and some chemicals forced into the beds creates fractures which allow the oil to be released, follow the fracture lines and accumulate near the proximate start of the fractures. The sand holds the fractures open for the seepage. This process is relatively inexpensive for each well. Exacerbating the problem is the political maneuvering within he OPEC cartel as it disintegrates.  The change in prices has extraordinary implications for the world economy of the future but immediate and in general beneficial implications for blue water and brow water shipping although some sectors of the industry will be hurt.

... Read more and watch the video after the break

The Challenges (and Folly?) of Drone Ships

The Challenges (and Folly?) of Drone Ships

The maritime press has presented two recent projects on unmanned ship remotely controlled. Rather than drone on about these notions, I will say why I believe them quite technologically possible and feasible but practically unworkable. I can think of some immediate reasons why these are the cases and can also think of another technology which is a much greater threat to shipping as a whole. Both drone technology and the other threat are long-term and not immediate concerns. Nothing in shipping happens overnight. We must recall that the ship cycle is 20-25 years from newbuilding and that the electronic cycle, while interesting, still has not met the test of cost of maintenance required for commercial service.  


... Read more and watch the video after the break

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Maritime TV 'Conversations with Cartner'
A weekly discussion on maritime industry issues of the day with Shipmaster and Maritime Lawyer, Dr. John A.C. Cartner.


The opinions expressed by Dr. John A.C. Cartner in the ‘Conversations with Cartner’ Video Series and accompanying blogs are the opinions of Dr. Cartner and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff and management of Maritime TV, or its parent network, TV Worldwide, Inc.
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