The September drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that affected 60% of the country’s LPG production did not end up having a considerable impact on the global LPG shipping market, according to maritime research consultancy Drewry.The consultancy attributed the industry’s resiliency to the incident to Saudi Arabia’s stockpile and increased exports from the U.S.The drone attack in Saudi Arabia on September 14, in which oil installations were targeted, forced the country to shut down its key Abqaiq oil processing plant and the Khurais oil field, which took out almost half of Saudi oil production. As most of the LPG produced in the country is through associated gas production, about 60% of the country’s LPG production was estimated to be affected. Saudi Arabia exported 8.3 million tonnes of LPG in 2018 and 4.2 million tonnes in 1H19.The LPG market experienced an initial shock following the attack, with LPG prices rising over 10% in Asia, but they soon fell after an assurance of continuing supplies from Saudi. The country also released their cargo acceptances for October loadings without any cancellations, which further eased market fears. However, Saudi Arabia delayed cargoes to countries such as India, which compelled the latter to seek additional cargoes from alternative sources such as the UAE in light of the increased demand before the Indian festive season.Looking ahead, Drewry said it expects Saudi Arabia’s contract prices for October 2019 to increase over USD 50 per tonne from USD 350 per tonne in September. According to the consultancy, the increase in October will mark an end to three successive monthly declines in Saudi CP rates and will trigger renewed LPG trading activity in the market.Any rise in Saudi CP prices will cause the U.S.-Asia propane price arbitrage to expand, favoring increased exports from the U.S.The consultancy concluded that a rise in VLGC rates could be expected as the attack on Saudi Arabia will push more vessels to move towards the U.S. from the Middle East. VLGC spot rates on the benchmark AG-Baltic route increased to USD 67.1 per tonne on September 27 from USD 58.7 per tonne before the Saudi attack on September 14.
It’s hard to believe that this is actually my last column as sports editor of this publication. For the past year, I’ve had the privilege of fully immersing myself in USC athletics, and time sure does fly when you’re having fun.Going into last January, I remember saying that I wanted my tenure as sports editor to be as intriguing as possible, and now that it’s almost over, I realize that’s exactly what I got and more.I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly from the majority of the 21 intercollegiate sports that USC has to offer. Women’s sand volleyball notching a perfect season on their way to a national title, the football program capturing one of the nation’s best recruiting classes and baseball returning to the postseason for the first time in a decade were a few of the positive highlights that I had the fortune of seeing firsthand last spring.Then came the storm of the fall, which has already featured a 22-match winning streak by the No. 1-ranked women’s volleyball team, a thrilling NCAA tournament game win on penalty kicks by women’s soccer and the mid-season revival of the football team under the leadership of interim head coach Clay Helton. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but a Pac-12 Championship game would truly be the icing on the cake.Last but not least, a copy of the Oct. 13 issue of the DT hangs in the sports office. In bold, the headline on the front page reads “Coach Steve Sarkisian fired.” Every time, I take a glance at the front page, it brings back memories of a story within the story. On the surface, the story discusses the termination of Sarkisian, just a day after he was asked by Athletic Director Pat Haden to take a leave of absence for health reasons that turned out to derive from alleged alcoholism. Putting my journalistic duties aside, though, I saw a man whose life unraveled publicly in the most unfortunate of ways.Something I’ve always considered when writing is that student-athletes, coaches and administrators are all human, too. For that reason, I never wanted to be the one that absolutely bashed a coach or dug up dirt on a group of players. First and foremost, I always aimed to maintain my integrity and relationships, whether that be with coaches, players or sports information directors.Call it a learning experience, but I just look back at all of the mistakes I’ve made during my time as sports editor. I’ve misspelled words, messed up headlines, misidentified players in photos and made a few inaccurate predictions here and there. As a perfectionist, those errors always killed me. In effect, I owned up to those missteps and took the criticism, whether it be in public or private, just like any coach or player would if they made a wrong decision or played poorly. But at the end of the day, we move on because there’s almost always another game to be played in the near future or, in my case, another paper to be put out the next day.There’s no doubt in my mind that this position has helped me grow into the person I am today. The sports section has taught me so much, both internally and externally.I’m just hoping that when someone picked up the paper each day, or read online or on social media, they learned something new or were moved by a certain story, thought or opinion.The great amount of power sports carry is indisputable, but words only further strengthen them and have the ability to bring them to life in ways one could never imagine. That’s what I’ve been trying to accomplish when I put my head down and start pitching stories, writing or editing every day.I ‘ve got a couple issues left, but I just wanted to take the time to say thank you.Thank you to all of the student-athletes, coaches, sports information directors, athletic department administrators, mentors and, last but not least, my writers. Without y’all, this section wouln’t be possible.It may sound like I’m about to sign off for the last time, but don’t worry, I’ll be back. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.Darian Nourian is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Persian Persuasion,” ran Fridays.