Forbes: The Shipping Industry is Subsidising the Oil Industry by buying Oil

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Forbes has set a new benchmark in green attempts to somehow demonstrate fossil fuels are subsidised, by suggesting that shipping companies buying heavy fuel oil of their own free will is a form of fossil fuel subsidy.

‘Climate-Farce’: Japan And The UN Shipping Agency’s Attitude To Climate Change

Nishan Degnarain
Contributor Manufacturing

Shipping’s dirty little secret

Global shipping has a dirty little secret.  It subsidizes the entire oil industry.

The oil that is burnt on ships is the stuff that the oil industry does not know what to do with.  It is the sludge at the end of the refining process.  There are many fancy names for it, but it is highly polluting, carbon-intensive and can cause serious human and environmental health conditions (one study estimates 40,000 deaths a year due to ship engine oil pollution alone).

If shipping did not take this thick oil residue, the oil industry would have to pay to dispose of it safely.  Right now, the ship fuel industry is worth around $150 billion a year.  

It essentially acts as a subsidy for the entire oil industry, by giving oil refineries a revenue stream and customer base who would pay to dispose of this material.  By having lax environmental controls, the global shipping industry is allowed to just burn this waste product oil into the atmosphere – it is as bad as having coal power stations on the oceans.  Actually, 60,000 of them, which is the size of the global ocean shipping fleet.

So assuming the cost of disposing of oil safely on land was double that of burning this off at sea for free, the true impact of lax environmental standards in global shipping could be as high as a $450 billion a year subsidy on the entire oil industry.

Why is this being allowed? That’s a good question for the G20.

Read more:

Forbes describes Nishan Degnarain as a “Developmental Economist”, but it is clear Nishan has a few things to learn about the oil industry.

There is no need to “dispose of” the residue left after lighter hydrocarbons have been removed from crude oil. If shipping companies were not interested in heavy fuel oil, it would be reprocessed, either turned into tarmac, or converted into gasoline through catalytic cracking.

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September 20, 2020 10:27 am

Make hay (CO2?) while the sun shines. The petroleum for transportation (and apparently fuel cell and hydrogen) industry is doomed, I tell you:
The E-Cat tests are (reportedly) going well: from

“Frank Acland
September 19, 2020 at 12:34 PM
Dear Andrea,

1. So far, are you satisfied with the performance of the E-Cat SKL during the time of the third party testing?

2. Does the testing continue through this weekend?

3. Do you still think you will do the presentation within the year 2020?

Kind regards,

Frank Acland

Andrea Rossi
September 19, 2020 at 4:38 PM
Frank Acland:
1. yes
2. yes
3- yes
Warm Regards,

Reply to  Enginer01
September 20, 2020 11:10 am

I doubt that you are an engineer, though Rossi has fooled quite a few, the smart ones don’t fall for his fraud in the first place or eventually realize that they’ve been hoodwinked.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 11:48 am

S/he claims to be an “enginer”, not an engineer. Of course there is the old joke about engineers from not-so-prestigious programs: Six months ago I couldn’t spel ungineer. Now i are one!

Cold fusion. Riiiiiiigh, tuh!

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Rich Davis
September 20, 2020 5:50 pm

Thumbs up, I always enjoyed that one (as an engineer BSc electrical and electronic engineering)

R Taylor
Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 1:41 pm

“I tell you” might mean something other than that.

Serge Wright
Reply to  Enginer01
September 20, 2020 3:03 pm

This post is about crude oil, not snake oil.

Reply to  Serge Wright
September 21, 2020 6:51 am

Snake oil is all the evironistas have, so yea, it is about snake oil.

Reply to  Serge Wright
September 21, 2020 9:14 am

Not exactly on target. It is about “heavy” oil also known as #6 oil. It is just a hair away from being asphalt. It has to be heated to flow. there are still a few utility boilers around that can burn it (as well as ships). but they are going away.

Reply to  Enginer01
September 20, 2020 4:42 pm

What about the collaboration of female physicists in your projects?
I know about a woman pysicist called Angela Merkel.
Conceivable contact with her?

September 20, 2020 10:33 am

“It subsidizes the entire oil industry.” Those bastichs!!!! Fueling their evil killer ships with oil.

Would the greentards rather they use coal? Perhaps wood? They have already said they will not allow the wind to be subjugated to human’s evil designs.

Reply to  2hotel9
September 20, 2020 11:11 am

Consumers subsidize suppliers, who would have thought it.

Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 12:10 pm

The insidious evil of oil corrupts all. Hehehe!

Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 2:06 pm

So, let them. The shipping industry are big boys, they can do want they want… If it wasn’t fiscally prudent, then they would be doing this…

Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 5:50 pm

The article leaves you thinking that petroleum would be better left in the ground, and as I noted earlier, eventually what is left probably will be. But forget that argument. Time will tell.

As regards “If shipping did not take this thick oil residue, the oil industry would have to pay to dispose of it safely” ignores the fact that Canada’s tar sands and some of the oil in Venezuela resembles this residue. As a child I was wheeled around the Brea Tar Pits in LA (during WW II) for outings. As an adult (engineer) at one point I helped produce cracking catalysts. Just a matter of adding hydrogen to carbon. But E=(delta m)c^2 is better.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Enginer01
September 20, 2020 6:22 pm

Heavy oil will always have a multitude of uses beyond burning it for energy

The oilsands will be in operation for hundreds of years unless someone invents something to fill all those needs

Hot under the collar
Reply to  2hotel9
September 20, 2020 12:11 pm

It’s even worse than that! They’re using barrels of oil to manufacture non-recyclable wind turbines, solar cells and car batteries, let alone the amount of oil required to mine all the materials! All these ‘subsidies’ should not be allowed / sarc.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Hot under the collar
September 21, 2020 7:10 am

“It’s even worse than that! They’re using barrels of oil to manufacture non-recyclable wind turbines, solar cells”

Yes, it seems the “Renewables” industry of Wind and Solar, is also subsidizing the oil companies.

September 20, 2020 10:42 am

Why let facts cloud a useful narrative in support of a noble cause, to wit saving the planet for world tyranny?

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  brians356
September 20, 2020 5:55 pm

brian356, allow me to alter your post for greater impact.

Why let facts cloud the blue sky of a noble cause, to wit, world tyranny?

M Seward
Reply to  brians356
September 21, 2020 12:04 am

Forbes magazine subsidises the oil industry by talking about industry.

Trail thy coat and thee shall be rewarded.

Al Miller
September 20, 2020 10:47 am

We’re nearing peak stupidity! We no longer have any journalists, only propaganda propagators. Which is why I’m so much happier that I’ve unplugged from cable!

Reply to  Al Miller
September 20, 2020 11:52 am

Nah …. re peak stupidity remember this Al: Albert Einstein once said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.”

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  stewartpid
September 20, 2020 12:30 pm

Bit he was not so sure about the universe.

Pedro Oliveira
Reply to  stewartpid
September 20, 2020 2:23 pm

Infinite is misapplied to both: assuming the universe is infinite assumes that time goes on forever; I don’t it does, as human stupidity goes the same applies; if we’re lucky the human species doesn’t go on forever, so the stupidity is also limited.

September 20, 2020 10:52 am

Forbes should write an article about Forbes subsidizing coal because Forbes doesn’t control how power is generated for the whole internet.

paul courtney
Reply to  rhs
September 20, 2020 5:10 pm

rhs: And the next month, how we subsidize NG industry, dammit! Forbes could report that some NG is flared off as waste, and here I am paying them for it!! If we weren’t buying it, they would have to pay to dispose it. Why, I’m just as big a chump as the shipping industry!

Before anyone says they can dispose by flaring off for free, well, not if (there’s the word “if” again) we ban flaring it off and regulate (i.e., prohibit) it to be disposed under ground. Enviros certainly wouldn’t go so far, would they? My guess is they are already there and beyond.

September 20, 2020 10:52 am

A never ending attempt to demonize fossil fuels and attack anyone using them. It’s the Marxist way of attacking Capitalism, the very source of their funds to exist. Anyone notice how the Marxists are out of their stealth mode and it’s no a longer considered conspiracy theory to mention them as the source and cause of world unrest?

Ron Long
September 20, 2020 10:53 am

Right on, Eric. This is greenie whining from start to finish. “one study estimates 40,000 deaths per year…”? I have another study that says 40,000 lives per year are saved by products shipped by ocean freighters. Don’t ask me for the details though.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2020 11:53 am

I think you must have meant 400 billion lives saved daily? Wait a sec while I gin up a wiki entry.

Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2020 12:09 pm

““one study estimates 40,000 deaths per year…””

And I bet they cannot name even one of them.

Reply to  fred250
September 20, 2020 3:06 pm

Biden said a few hours ago that 200 million Americans will have died by the end of his speech. The guy can’t do numbers.

Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 5:57 pm

I propose that we should allow Ginsburg the last word on whether the Senate should allow a SC judge to be appointed during an election year.

In 2016, Ginsburg was all in favor of the Senate moving forward on Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia.
Like most progressives, Ginsburg’s opinion was based solely on what was best for the Democrat party.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 6:28 pm

I got into nisku late Thursday
Biden town hall on CNN
First think I heard was that trump is responsible for every covid death
Not one person needed to die

So now we know all USA deaths are Trumps fault

Which leaves unexplained how anyone died in:

All place where Trump is not president

Biden has the glazed look my dad had as he descended into Alzheimer’s

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 20, 2020 7:04 pm

Earlier in the year Biden declared that 120 million Americans had died from Covid. At this rate, by November there will be no one left alive to vote for him.

Fortunately for him, the Democrats have the cemetery vote locked up.
Or should that be, down cold?

sky king
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 20, 2020 11:20 pm

This on top of his 150 million killed by guns and you have a high mortality year.

David A
Reply to  Scissor
September 21, 2020 4:14 am

Oh my! I have heard of speeches putting folk to sleep, but killing two hundred million?
That is one badass speech.

September 20, 2020 11:02 am


Sails don’t keep food frozen.

M. v Oudwijk
September 20, 2020 11:04 am

The story is actually true, most container vessels are burning fuel with toxic waste. There is only one country where it’s legal to do this: the Netherlands. This fuel is so cheap what makes vessels coming from Asia crossing the Atlantic first going to Europe before continuing their route to America.

There have been many reports about this issue, also aired on national TV.

It is a huge polution problem.
Examinationn of this bunker-fuel showed it contains toxic waste and traces of radio activity – both waste materials usually getting dumped by mafia in the soil of Napels or Mediterrian Sea. Decades before this stuf gets burned in special incinerators at the middle of the ocean (who remembers the ‘80s?)..

The discovery of this article shouldn’t be the subside issue but the fact this bunker oil is still produced.

Anders Valland
Reply to  M. v Oudwijk
September 21, 2020 12:46 am

No, it is not true. Your claim that container vessels are burning toxic waste is not correct. Yes, it is true that there have been attempts at burying toxic waste in residual oil, and that is why shipping companies always sample what they buy and have it tested before use. There is also regulations in place prohibiting this, and anyone caught doing so will face severe penalty.

In addition, the use of additives in residual oil can affect performance, wear and tear of the ship machinery. You can bet shipowners are not interested in that.

As someone else noted, if shipowners do not buy residual oil it will be converted to other products through cracking and further processing. The mere idea of “disposing” with residual oil is silly. Burning it for the energy content is the best option. Modern ships actually have quite a processing plant onboard to handle exhaust gas emissions.

That said, shipping has a relaxed set of criteria for pollutants that should be strengthened. And they will be. The recent move to 0.5% Sulfur (0.1% in special areas) is one such case, and we should learn from it. Sulfur is present in residual oil for its lubrication properties, when removing it there is a need for something else. And while all focus has been on removing Sulfur, noone has said anything about its replacement. We will be paying the price for that. Single issue focus should never be allowed.

Flight Level
September 20, 2020 11:15 am

If you have it, oil brought it.

As simple as it gets. Parts and sub-assemblies for your car. Your pajamas, jackets, bio tofu, name it. Gimmicks used to type and disseminate greenwashing. About everything surrounding us is related to long distance hauling.

Be it air, sea, ground, anything we once knew how to do has to be hauled from where it’s now affordable to own. Or live without it.

Reply to  Flight Level
September 20, 2020 11:26 am

Exactly right and fuel oil is useful because its energy content can be converted into motive power.

Reply to  Scissor
September 20, 2020 1:03 pm

Any power

Reply to  Flight Level
September 20, 2020 2:12 pm

Flight Level – Including solar panels and wind turbines!

September 20, 2020 11:18 am

Oil should be transported by sailing ships. This method was proven centuries ago. With the modern advances in wind power the ships could have three or four Wind turbines an a bank of batteries to store excess generated power.
They could even obtain power from the wind produced from forward motion. I did this as a kid by mounting the propeller from a model airplane onto a bicicle light generator and holding it out the car window. This produced a very bright light.
/Sarc off/

Reply to  Uzurbrain
September 20, 2020 12:36 pm

You should have said “semi-sarc off”. Oil was formerly processed and transported by sailing ships. The practice declined precipitously after the industry experienced peak whales.

September 20, 2020 11:38 am

Perhaps Forbes should be asked to make a statement that their business does not use any fossil fuel power and not using any business equipment made via or transported via fossil fuel transport.

If they refuse to answer then we start a campaign on social media – #forbeshipocrasy etc

paul courtney
Reply to  Steve Richards
September 20, 2020 6:04 pm

Steve: Better question to Forbes- Why did they subsidize the glossy paper industry all those years (do they still?)? It saved those evil glossy paper people all the disposal costs of unrecycleable glossy paper!

September 20, 2020 12:07 pm

Alarmist idiots must be allergic to reality…

Residual fuel oil: A general classification for the heavier oils, known as No. 5 and No. 6 fuel oils, that remain after the distillate fuel oils and lighter hydrocarbons are distilled away in refinery operations. It conforms to ASTM Specifications D 396 and D 975and Federal Specification VV-F-815C. No. 5, a residual fuel oil of medium viscosity, is also known as Navy Special and is defined in Military Specification MIL-F-859E, including Amendment 2 (NATO Symbol F-770). It is used in steam-powered vessels in government service and inshore powerplants. No. 6 fuel oil includes Bunker C fuel oil and is used for the production of electric power, space heating, vessel bunkering, and various industrial purposes.

In Fig. 2, HFO, MDO/MGO, and LSHFO are considered Bunker fuels, which highlights a significant proportion of the merchant fleet is powered by this fuel type.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 20, 2020 3:14 pm

The industry is already being forced to make it cleaner and it might make sense to use a cleaner fuel oil near port. At sea, however, it’s like pissing into the wind, i.e. it makes no sense.

Forbes is also wrong about the industry having to pay for its disposal without the shipping industry. Coking for example can be used to generate lighter fuels.

Reply to  Scissor
September 21, 2020 5:02 am


Reply to  Enginer01
September 21, 2020 6:09 am

A real engineer should know that. Use Wikipedia at the very least.

September 20, 2020 12:26 pm
Pat from kerbob
September 20, 2020 12:27 pm

I just got back from a drive to the store.

I’m subsidizing the oil industry


Shoki Kaneda
September 20, 2020 12:32 pm

This just in! Some people buy solar panels, effectively subsidizing their production. Looks like a Congressional investigation might be in order.

September 20, 2020 12:40 pm

What`s forbidden here (in Norway) is to drive cars on that stinky “solar- oil” or ship bunkers- oil.
It is very well possible indeed if you maybe also dilute it enough with cheap enough kerosene. But, it is tax- free, and may contain up to 3-5% sulphur.

“Clean diesel” is smelling of chemical laboratory, typical NO2 that is called “NOx”, which is a good sign of very high compression and efficiency. That smell tells of a very sublime and superbe diesel engine. (However toxic, by the way.)

Compare to Detroyt diesel, turbo 2 stroke, that is severely strong because it runs on pure hydrogen, and recycles the carbon to where it came from, out in the air, from which it may be further disposen in the local village mainstreet if you use Detroyt diesel with hevy load and bottom throttle. Dragsters are run by it to give maximum smoke on the festivals also..

But, one winter day I suddenly smelt something quite strange behind a private, 4 stroke diesel car. It was the characteristic smell of nitration acid, the mixture of HNO3 + H2SO4 quite exdactly.

Which is surely the result and smell of cheapest possible fuel also for cars.

There are “Heavy bunkers oils” so thick that they must heat it and keep it warm before it can float from the tanks and through the fuel and injection- pumps.

But large and good diesels run very well on it.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
September 20, 2020 12:42 pm

Pollution from bunker oil on international shipping was improved subtatially from January 2020.

For ships without scrubbers, the maximum sulphur content was reduced from 3.5% to 0.5%. This means a lot.

Roy W. Spencer
September 20, 2020 12:46 pm

I will admit to subsidizing the food industry by eating.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
September 20, 2020 1:17 pm

And the scotch industry
Books and magazines

I’m a subsidy machine

As is everyone

As an interested observer, not a scientist, I find articles like this deeply disturbing

The absence of logical rational thought in so much public discourse worries me far more than any potential climate outcome

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 20, 2020 1:26 pm

I just finished one of my last Habana Cohibas, I am subsidizing evil tobacco AND evil Castro regime, and subsidizing evil oil to do it! Is there no end to the insidious evil of evil oil?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  2hotel9
September 20, 2020 6:25 pm

Did quite a few trips down there in the late 90s for Sherritt

Had to get better than sitting on a patio with a Cohiba and a bottle of really old amber rum, sipping for hours

Alas I neither smoke or drink anymore

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 21, 2020 6:56 am

I got the cigar bug when in Honduras oh so long ago. Used to have a trucker who brought in Cuban cigars from Canada in the late ’80s into ’90s, now I just order on the intrawebsthingy and they come right to the house. Progress! Although, have to get a couple of friends to chip in, a box of 25 ain’t cheap.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 20, 2020 3:18 pm

Males have been gladly subsidizing maternity wards, with willing participation from females.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
September 20, 2020 1:25 pm

Forbes are subsidising CO2 production by breathing. Perhaps they should wear paper bags over their heads to reduce this and diminish needless brain activity on their part.

Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
September 20, 2020 2:54 pm

I subsidise the wind industry, by eating lots of beans.

Carl Friis-Hansen
September 20, 2020 12:49 pm

Best place to bunker VLSFO fuel is in Rotterdam where the price is currently $308.50 per metric ton.

I suppose it is where Greenpeace bunker their ships.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 20, 2020 1:14 pm

Surely their ships run on moonbeams an unicorn flatulence?

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 20, 2020 3:21 pm

Zwarte Piet should deliver coal to them instead.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 20, 2020 7:39 pm

VLSFO? Aren’t we supposed to burn more sulfur to make sulfuric aerosols which supposedly cause cooling? And 70% of the world’s agricultural lands are deficient in sulfur.

Gordon A. Dressler
September 20, 2020 1:03 pm

There are so many things in the Forbes article extract above that are just plain false:

1) There is no “dirty little secret”. The price for Bunker-C oil (the common grade of fuel oil used by ocean going ships) is openly publicized on the international commodities markets and the major purchasers of such are widely known (hence the article’s specific reference to “the shipping industry”).

2) The purchasing of low-grade fuel oil in the open commercial markets around the world cannot be called a “subsidy” to the entire oil industry any more than the purchase of commercial solar PV panels can be called a “subsidy” to the entire green, renewable energy industry or the purchase of tomatoes in a grocery store called be called a “subsidy” to the entire agricultural industry.

3) “The oil that is burnt on ships is the stuff that the oil industry does not know what to do with.” This is a self-contradictory statement (beside being one of poor sentence construction). And there are many categories of “fuels oils”, the general term that includes oil burnt on marine vessels. Wikipedia ( ) lists 6 different US classifications, Number 1 – Number 6 (“Bunker C”), and gives uses beyond just marine shipping, such as land based power generation, fueling commercial trucks and heavy vehicles, commercial boilers and home heating, and as petrochemical feedstock. And catch this: in 2019 the price per barrel of Bunker C fuel oil in the open markets EXCEEDED the price of gasoline for automobiles for the first time in history (see ).

4) There is even a lower grade (i.e., much heavier) residue at the end of the oil refining process that is known as bituminous residue (commonly called “pitch” or “asphalt”). And the oil industry has a ready market for that “stuff” as well, as alluded to in the above article’s last sentence.

5) To compare marine vessels using any fuel oil (especially Bunker C) to “coal power stations on the oceans . . . Actually, 60,000 of them . . .” is just laughable. A typical coal-fueled power plant produces around 500 MW output (“nameplate rating”), although some go as high as 3,000 MW. In comparison, “To give an example of what the shipping industry demands nowadays, Maersk’s Triple-E container ships – the largest container ships in the world with a capacity of over 18,000 twenty-foot-container equivalent units . . . (have engines with a) . . . combined power of 59,000 kW . . .” (see ). So, if we very conservatively round today’s “typical “marine engine rating upward to 60 MW (total), it would still be only about 12% that of a “typical” coal-fired power plant. Math matters. And purely for reference, the RMS Titanic’s engines at full power produced (46,000 HP, or about 34 MW equivalent).

6) “So assuming the cost of disposing of oil safely on land was double that of burning this off at sea for free . . .” Well, why not assume the cost of such disposal was half that, or maybe 10% of that, or maybe 10 times that . . . or maybe 100 times that (yeah, that’s the ticket!) . . . or . . .

As to Forbes’ final question of “Why is this being allowed?”, the straightforward answer is “Such stupidity on your part does not deserve a response.”

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 20, 2020 1:19 pm

Yep, that is why we are all ridiculing the hell out of it, and they make it so easy.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 20, 2020 2:16 pm

The merchant ships of the world are, by order of the IMO, now strictly controlled on their engine emissions. The shipping companies have a choice, fit expensive scrubbers or burn expensive distillate.

Reply to  Graham3
September 20, 2020 3:34 pm

Scrubbers can be turned off, like the Chinese do with most of theirs.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 20, 2020 2:38 pm

Yeah, I think every highway department on the planet disposes this stuff on land, but first they add some gravel to it….

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  Yooper
September 20, 2020 4:09 pm

Yep. That was my straight job for forty years: Operating hot mix asphalt plants.

Take crushed gravel, dry it out and heat it to 325F,
Mix in about 4% (varies with the class of mix) asphalt (comes in several grades) at the same temperature,
Drop it into dump trucks.
Haul it to where we’re fixing your favorite road.
Spread it out.

September 20, 2020 1:17 pm

This article in Forbes is beyond stupid.

Refineries have been exiting the heavy oil business for years (which includes 6 oil and asphalt). These oils get coked or hydrocracked to upgrade them to gasoline and diesel. (Sorry Eric these oils are far too heavy for a fluid catalytic cracker [FCC]). Cokers and hydrocrackers are installed because the margins are substantial relative to the heavy oil market. The shippers aren’t subsidizing the oil industry; they are paying a competitive price for a product that has multiple markets and additional processing options.

Mr. Degnarain needs to learn about refining. 100 barrels of crude oil gets turned into 100 to 110 barrels of product (all refineries have some volume gain in processing.) Nothing gets ‘disposed of’; hasn’t been for decades.

Dave: Can you supply a “The Stupid – It Burns” meme?

Carlton Yee
September 20, 2020 1:26 pm

has anyone else noted that Forbes Mag. has tilted pretty far left? May capsize soon, like Guam.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  Carlton Yee
September 21, 2020 4:22 pm

The magazine went downhill fast after Malcom died. Its just gibberish now.

Bruce Cobb
September 20, 2020 1:36 pm

Oh good grief, the Stupid, it burns. Too bad the shipping industry couldn’t use it as their source of energy.

Master of the Obvious
September 20, 2020 2:09 pm

The Forbes article is pure tommyrot.

First, only refineries that run on heavy crude oils make much heavy ends at all. A refinery running on light, sweet crude (like Nigerian) crack everything up to lighter distillates and other products. I don’t know if a refinery running on something like West Texas Intermediate would make much heavy ends to justify having tankage (which has to be heated and circulated to keep #6 fluid). Unless they have the tanks, they would also crack it.

A refinery running a heavy oil (like Venezuelan) will make heavy ends. However, it can be cracked to lighter fractions. The refineries don’t bother because they can sell it as Bunker 6 or #5 to industrial boilers and what few oil-fired power plants that remain.

The yield on BTU’s and $$$ is better to sell the higher-boiling oils (#3-#6) than to crack. However, if there was no market for it, the refiners would crack rather than paying for disposal. If either Mr. Degnarian or the Forbes editors had spent ten minutes on even Wikipedia, they would had gotten at least an inkling that the conclusion (premise?) was bunk.

Joseph Zorzin
September 20, 2020 2:13 pm

Off subject- sorry, but-

“Michael Moore: Shut down government until Republicans back down on Supreme Court vote ”

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 20, 2020 2:48 pm

I’m all for it! Shut it all down, no welfare, no unemployment, no food stamps or wic no medicare/medicaid, no social security, nothing from government. And Trump can hang it all around the Democrat Party’s neck like a millstone.

Trump is going to name a SC replacement and they ARE going to be seated, then next year or the one after, etc etc he will name and seat another one. It is going to be glorious to listen to the howling&gnashing of teeth from the left. What a bunch of ‘tards.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 20, 2020 2:48 pm

Maybe Mikey-Poo ought to spend some time with the Cornell Legal Information Institute:
18 U.S. Code § 2384. Seditious conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 20, 2020 6:01 pm

Ginsburg herself declared in 2016 that there is no reason for the Senate to not move forward on an election year appointment.

Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2020 11:52 pm

And McConnell said that the people should choose the President before they go ahead with a nomination.
And he was in a position to do something about it
Scalia died in Feb 2016, not 6 weeks before the election
It’s McConnell who is the leading hyprocrite as he pulled the plug on Garland for 8 months saying no confirmation in election year

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Duker
September 21, 2020 3:12 am

Hypocrisy is a normal part of politics. I’m sure McConnell doesn’t mind being called a hypocrite as he gets what he wants.

Reply to  Duker
September 21, 2020 7:25 am

His position was based on Obama being a lame duck, Trump is not. Add to that the fact Democrats are all declaring that this election will have to be settled by the SC, it is imperative there be a full bench.

Reply to  2hotel9
September 21, 2020 8:29 am

Is there anyone out there dumb enough to believe that if the situation were reversed, IE Dem President and Dems in control of the Senate, that the Democrats wouldn’t be fast tracking the nomination?

The hypocrites are the ones who are condemning others for what they would do, if given the chance.

Reply to  2hotel9
September 21, 2020 2:31 pm

if the situation was reversed ?

I was when McConnell was MINORITY leader and he blocked every Obama judicial appointment he could using the cloture vote numbers required
As for seeing if Trump is a lame duck … we wont know till after the election date and the counting has finished.
If the Senate didnt really want Garland they could have just voted NO, but the nomination wasnt proceeded with in any form. After all the constitution says its the elected senators who confirm or deny

Reply to  Duker
September 22, 2020 5:48 am

Just as Schumer and Pelosi have been trying, and failing, to do with Trump’s nominees. See how that works?

Reply to  Duker
September 21, 2020 8:28 am

It really does amaze me how progressives actually do believe that history starts whenever it is convenient for them.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2020 4:27 pm

Just like they always throw temper tantrums and break other people’s stuff when they don’t get their way.

Reply to  Duker
September 22, 2020 5:54 am

You planning to join the rioters and looters when your party and Creepy Joe have their collectivist heads handed to them in November? America has a President who is effectively blocking leftist political crap and undoing the leftist political crap that your boy Barri and the Democrat Party have forced on America. And the Democrat Party’s solution is to burn, loot and murder in every city they control. Please do keep it up. Americans are watching and we don’t like any of this leftist, anti-American sh*t.

Reply to  Duker
September 22, 2020 6:43 am

Yawn. Literally it’s nothing more than political posturing. Literally everyone is a “hypocrite” when it comes to trying to justify their political expediency. Who cares. If the Ds could’ve gotten a nominee through the Senate in 2016, they would have. If Trump can now, he will. There’s no principle that’s violated except the fake one that makes us think there has to be some overarching moral superiority for our political calculus.


September 20, 2020 2:53 pm

It’s very lazy blogging just to recycle these vacuous semi-sentient bodily discharges of left-green media drones. There’s much better stuff out there.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
September 21, 2020 7:13 am

I know, right? And we’re paying Charles such a ridiculous salary. Such a scandal.

How do you handle it on your climate blog?

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
September 21, 2020 8:31 am

Speaking of lazy, this site has a mechanism by which anyone can submit an article for publication.

If the issue is so important to you, go for it. If not, then stop complaining about others being too lazy to do your work for you.

Joe B
September 20, 2020 3:03 pm

“Hundreds of thousands of seaman have been stuck at sea …”.
Is this author completely deranged?
Publishing an outrageously preposterous lie like that in Forbes magazine?

To refresh people’s memories, the highly impactful regulation that greatly curtailed Sulphur emissions in ship fuel – known as IMO 2020 – was just implemented on a global scale 9 months ago.
This has led a huge drop in the emission of sulphur from ships’ stacks.

One surprising beneficiary of these rules has been the US unconventional oil producers as their light, low sulphur product has been shown to be ideal feedstock for Low and Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil as the low asphaltene component inhibits sludge precipitation.

This has certainly been one of the weirder, fact free published articles that I have read in quite some time.

September 20, 2020 3:34 pm

Shipping Goods by water-born craft is the most efficient available and the use of oil is also, there, at its most efficient. Alarmists love to attack efficient things and protect costly and useless things like large scale solar and wind-power.

John Robertson
September 20, 2020 5:25 pm

Is this further evidence,from Gang Green,that madness is contagious.?Naturally the enlightened writer knows that the shipping industry needs not be competitive,that the price of fuel plays no part in their buying decisions.
Forbes has fallen a long way,in true progressive fashion,I am sure they can go lower.

Gunga Din
September 20, 2020 5:43 pm

Time to reactivate the NS Savannah?
And build sister ships?

Robert of Ottawa
September 20, 2020 5:46 pm

Sue me you green bastards.

I am subsidizing the oil industry by buying gasoline for my car. I am also personally, and wilfully, producing CO2; some may say to the detriment of the planet, but not my wife and children, who will be very dispirited when I stop producing CO2.

Pat from kerbob
September 20, 2020 5:55 pm

To put a point on the mockery;

The world is awash in horribly bad “journalism”.

It seems to me that anyone subscribing to Forbes is subsidizing something the world needs less of and that is intrinsically detrimental to society.

September 20, 2020 6:03 pm

Residual oils are put into the bunker market because the bunker market exists. If there were no bunker market, refiners would either make asphalt cement (not all resids can met asphalt cement specs), process the residual oil in a coker (typically a delayed coker and sometimes a Flexicoker(Exxon)), or shift to a lighter crude slate, which is easy to do nowadays given the abundance of shale oils. In any case, residual oil which did not go into the bunker market would not be processed in an FCC (author is incorrect about this). The net effect of no bunker fuel market is that refiners would run less crude to meet the demand of other markets (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, petrochemical feedstocks, etc.). Possibly, some refiners would go out of business. It happens.

John Sandhofner
September 20, 2020 6:49 pm

“The Shipping Industry is Subsidising the Oil Industry by buying Oil” So what else do ships use for energy? Nuclear? Sure they burn oil. It is called buying what you need to operate. Subsidising doesn’t sound like the right term to use here.

Mike G
September 20, 2020 7:16 pm

” – it is as bad as having coal power stations on the oceans. Actually, 60,000 of them, which is the size of the global ocean shipping fleet.”
Yeah. 60,000 of the smallest coal power stations ever built. Before oil, they were powered by coal.

September 20, 2020 8:07 pm

Forbes is majority owned by a Chinese co. The ships produce clouds as seen by satellite images…..long narrow clouds.

September 20, 2020 9:59 pm

Farmers are being subsidized by the ethanol industry or is it the other way around?

Vincent Causey
September 20, 2020 11:45 pm

Sounds like an exemplar of efficiency to me. Who will pay to take away worn out renewables?

September 21, 2020 1:25 am

I am a Naval Architect and regular attendee of the marine Environmental Protection Committee at IMO (the UN specialised agency for maritime affairs).

Yes, we burn ‘dirty fuel’, but are making huge steps to improve this. But what this doesnt account for is that this ‘dirty fuel’ transports well over 90% of world goods, and in a far more fuel efficient manner – up to 17 times more efficient than air and 10 times more than road.

So you all rely on our fuel and it is less polluting tha your cars, lorries and airplanes.


September 21, 2020 3:55 am

One advantage to using the sludge oil is that there is less of a fire hazard. During WW II as the Japanese navy fuel situation became more critical and refining capacity was reduced by the bombing of their facilities they started using unrefined light crude from Borneo to fuel their ships. That fuel contributed to the loss of ships in battle due to fire. The fuel also had a high enough sulfur content to cause the steel in their boilers to become brittle and fail over time.

September 21, 2020 5:09 am

What are the thoughts on Elon Musk? He is constantly saying that global warming is real, that fossil fuels must be replaced by Teslas, renewables, and Powerwalls to save the earth, and that Big Oil is heavily subsidised. Meanwhile Tesla receives billions in carbon credits.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Zane
September 21, 2020 9:23 am

In case it’s not completely obvious to you, Elon Musk is above all else an egotistic SALESMAN.

Sure, his companies have developed some commercially useful and sellable products, but that does make his pronouncements meaningful, let alone true.

Blame the politicians and bureaucrats for the “carbon credits” that Tesla receives, and which any money-digging capitalist like Musk is all too willing to take. Ethics? . . . don’t bother to go there.

September 21, 2020 5:14 am

Bunker is highly polluting, it is true. Anyway, they are building ships to run on LNG. Container ships, cruise ships, bulk carriers… The greens say these emit more methane. Well stop buying Chinese crap then. Knit your own socks.

September 21, 2020 8:12 am

Preem , a company known for its small environmental impact, would like to clean this heavy oil so it is more usable and less pollutant.
But the Swedish government and the green party hesitate.
We have to think of our reputation, let someone else do the dirty job!

September 21, 2020 11:48 am

By that logic, everything is subsidized – nobody is forcing the shippers to buy that stuff, right?

Reply to  TonyG
September 21, 2020 3:40 pm

Only their evil killer ships, they are as insidiously evil as evil oil is. We are doomed, DOOMED I say! Evil oil has permeated the entirety of human civilization!( I really need to make a sandwich board if this keeps up)

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