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Starboard Briefing

New oil find offshore Trinidad

Trinity, an independent exploration and production company focused on Trinidad and Tobago, has made an oil discovery at its TGAL-1 exploration well within the Galeota licence, in which Trinity has a 65 per cent operated interest.

The Trinity-operated well, off the east coast of Trinidad, was spudded on 31 October 2013 to target an updip extension of the producing Trintes Field.

Monty Pemberton, chief executive of Trinity, said: “The TGAL-1 discovery is exciting news for all of Trinity’s stakeholders and our team has done an excellent job in delivering this successful well safely. Trinity’s industrial thesis has always been to pursue low-risk opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago, which we believe is a prolific but under-exploited hydrocarbon province. This is the second successful exploration well Trinity has drilled on the Galeota license since 2012 and demonstrates the further resource potential of the block.”


US-flag line expands isla verde service

Isla Verde

National Shipping Line of America (NSA) expanded its Isla Verde Express service in October by including a Port Everglades call. Formerly linking Houston and San Juan once a fortnight, the new route will be Houston, Port Everglades, San Juan, Houston, again on a 14-day basis. The route is served by the US-flag, 570 teu ‘National Glory’. Adding Port Everglades to its itinerary offers US shippers the fastest transit times to Puerto Rico, while the non-stop service between Texas and Florida is the first US-flag continental service in many years and is being promoted as a green option by taking trucks off the roads.

Additional Maersk services

From January 2014, the Danish container carrier Maersk Line is offering a second port call in Caucedo, Dominican Republic, on its Caribbean feeder service. The service will now call Caucedo on the return leg from San Juan to Manzanillo, Panama, as well as on the outward journey.

Maersk has also announced that a weekly Latin American service, Amazonia Caribbean Express, will commence in February 2014 calling Colombia, Panama, Jamaica, Argentina and Uruguay.

NEW Mexican Navy contracts for Damen

In November 2013 the Mexican Navy (Secretaría de Marina) and Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands signed another contract for a Damen Stan 4207 patrol vessel. The Mexican Navy already operates two similar patrol vessels and currently has two vessels under construction in its Astillero de Marina No. 1 shipyard in Tampico.

This fifth Tenochtitlan-class vessel will be built by the Mexican Navy, while Damen will supply a partial material package and technical assistance. Keel-laying is expected to take place in early 2014. The new vessel will be named ‘Uxmal’ after an ancient Mayan city on the Yucatan peninsula.

This project is an example of how Damen, through its ‘building on site’ programme (Damen Technical Cooperation), enables customers to build high-quality vessels in their own shipyards, allowing them to gain experience and contribute to the development of the local shipbuilding industry.

Martinique ‘cluster’ group makes its debut

The Caribbean Shipping Association’s recent AGM in Panama City provided a showcase for a new Martinique-based organisation called GAT Caribbean which aims to bring new benefits to the whole region.

GAT Caribbean (full name Cluster GAT Caraïbes Logistique et Transports) is a group of transportation companies and public sector organisations based in Martinique. Its mission is to encourage regional public and private-sector members to join the cluster to create, design and share future solutions that can benefit the sustainable development of the transport and logistics industry across the greater Caribbean region and the Americas.

This regional network hopes to boost growth by capitalising on the increased passenger and freight traffic resulting from the major expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015.

In conjunction with the modernised Port of Martinique, and with the support of Martinique’s Regional Council, GAT Caribbean is preparing the French island to become a major Caribbean hub and ‘Gateway to Europe in the Americas’ in the new post-panamax era.