Rogue ship operators who switch off or manipulate AIS data to hide potentially illegal operations with sanctioned countries are a hot topic at the moment, but more stringent monitoring action is required by industry stakeholders to ensure they remain compliant.
The escalation of political strains between the US and Iran seen in recent weeks has added more uncertainty to global energy and shipping markets. The sensitivity arises from the status of the Strait of Hormuz, the 65km-wide sea channel which separates Iran from Oman, and through which around 20% of global oil supply passes.
The boom in liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade shows no signs of abating, with globally-traded volumes likely to edge up towards 350million tonnes (mt) in 2019. LNG is seen as complementary to climate targets and offers diversification from reliance on pipeline gas. The key demand driver is China, which will soon overtake Japan as "number-one" LNG importer. Activity is rising in Europe, too, with Germany soon to join the ranks of buyers.