Weekly Press Review – 28 August 2017

The sale of Maersk oil and gas assets to Total made headlines this week. Total agreed to buy the oil and gas unit AP Moller-Maersk, paying Maersk with $4.95 billion (R65.03 billion) of its own shares and assuming $2.5bn of the company’s debt.

The board at Grindrod is investigating the possibility of a separate offshore listing process.

According to the press, Mike Hankinson, executive chairman of Grindrod said, “The Grindrod board has for many years reiterated the intention to separate the shipping business from the balance of the group, as it does not believe that the value of the shipping business is fairly reflected in the Grindrod share price.”

The company has said that it has appointed South African and foreign advisers to assist and it is expected that the listing process will be concluded within the first half of next year.

Despite Sasol announcing a 15 percent fall in headline earnings, Sasol shares traded in positive territory this week.

According the press, the stock moved 1.58 percent up in early trade with the shares settling 0,57 percent up at R392.80 at the close of the JSE on Friday.

Sea Harvest, the fishing division of Brimstone, is working towards the purchasing of a freezer ship valued at $15.5 million.

According to the press, Felix Ratheb, executive head of Sea Harvest, says the vessel is a necessity to ensure optimal use of the fleet.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) says that it is making progress in the fight against abalone poaching after two separate arrests last week and the confiscation of abalone worth approximately R13 million.

According to the press, the department says, “The protection of Marine Living Resources, including abalone, is one of the priorities of the department.”


Weekly Press Review – 9 October 2015

There is exciting news in the scientific world as scientists discover a host of totally new marine species.

According to the press scientists have made the discovery in the “twilight zone” around the Hawaiian islands.

The discoveries were made during a 28-day trip aboard a research ship from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and includes a new species of start fish, sea horses, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, algae and fish.

Advanced diving technologies were used to reach the extraordinary depths required (60m – 90m) for this research.  The scientists discovered many creatures that they could not identify and that are believed to be completely new to science.

The specimens will be sent to a number of museums from around the world in an attempt to identify them.

Also in the news this week was the awarding of Blue Flag status to seven of Cape Town’s most popular beaches.

The beaches were awarded the Blue Flag status at an event hosted by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom by the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa.  The event took place in Hermanus.

Our Blue Flag status beaches are:  Bikini Beach, Mnandi Beach, Strandfontein Beach, Llandudno Beach, Camps Bay Beach, Clifton 4th Beach and Silwerstroom Beach.

News of a cargo ship El Faro that sank in a hurricane off the Bahamas made the pages of local newspapers yesterday as safety officials began an investigation into why the vessel decided to chart such a risky course. Investigators hope to retrieve the vessel’s black box.

According to other reports, Nigeria’s offshore contracts with international oil companies are being reviewed. Analysts predict the move will bring uncertainty to an industry that already lacks regulatory clarity. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has production sharing contracts with Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Total and Eni.

Transnet, who’s infrastructure expansion plans have received significant press coverage over the last few years, attracted some more coverage this week as Reuters quoted company sources that claimed that consideration was being given to cutting expansion plans.

Weekly Press Review – 25 July 2014

The final journey of the ill-fated Costa Concordia has continued to make headlines this week.   In what is being described as the greatest salvage operation in history, the righted and raised vessel has slowly been towed to its final destination, Genoa in Northern Italy.  She will now be scrapped.  A sad end for a once beautiful vessel.

It would seem that shark barriers are big business.  In the press this week is yet another proposal for yet another device designed to keep the sharks along the coast of False Bay at bay.

The Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board is planning a series of experiments to be conducted along the False Bay coast later in the year and in early 2015.  The tests will use electric cables as a potential alternative to more traditional shark nets. According to Geremy Cliff, head of research at the KZN Sharks Board, funding had been allocated to pursue research into electric shark repellent technologies.

He added that the KZN Sharks Board was committed to trying to find alternative options to protect bathers and at the same time reduce the death rate of large sharks, dolphins, turtles and other marine species.   These technologies were apparently originally looked at in the 1990’s.

Also making the headlines this week is the news that the latest round of oil and gas drilling has begun offshore South Africa.  The companies involved in this particular project are Total and Canadian National Resources.  Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi visited the Eirik Raude at Block 11B/12B in the exploration block Brulpadda 1AX approximately 180 km south of Mossel Bay.  The minster was quoted as saying that he is holding his breath waiting for a call from Total saying that they have found oil.

The wait is now on to see whether this site has anything to offer the South Africa oil and gas industry – which is desperate for a find.