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September 28, 2021 / 12:40 PM Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the officer who went viral for blasting the military's leadership amid the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, has been sent to the brig, according to a report.

"All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud," Scheller's father, Stu Scheller Sr., told Task & Purpose. "He was asking for accountability. In fact, I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-blowing."

Scheller first rose to internet stardom by posting a video to Facebook blasting military leaders for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, questioning their command decisions on the events leading up to and during the final evacuation effort. ​​Scheller would go on to release several more videos, generating praise and controversy while drawing the ire of military leadership. Eventually, he was told by superiors to stop posting to social media altogether, an order he immediately ignored by posting about the gag order.

The officer also seemingly realized that the last post could result in his trip to the brig.

"What happens when all you do is speak truth and no one wants to hear it. But they can probably stop listening because… I’m crazy… right?" Scheller wrote at the end of the post.  "Col Emmel please have the MPs waiting for me at 0800 on Monday. I’m ready for jail."

Scheller is "currently in pre-trial confinement," a spokesperson for Training and Education Command said of the officer's status.

"The time, date, and location of the proceedings have not been determined. Lt. Col. Scheller will be afforded all due process," the statement continued.

But the elder Scheller defended his son, arguing that he was only asking for "accountability" from the military's top brass.

"He’s asking for the same accountability that is expected of him and his men," he said.

"I’ve had Vietnam veterans contacting me applauding him for his courage because they too want to know: Was it all worth it?" he continued. "And by demanding accountability and honesty from his senior leaders, that’s all he was asking. And the way the Marine Corps has dealt with it: They have now put him in jail."

September 27, 2021 / 11:30 AM Iran Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO)’s representative at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mandana Mansourian, has been elected as IMO technical committee’s vice-chairwoman for the third consecutive year.

As reported by the PMO portal, Mansourian who is Iran’s permanent representative at IMO was appointed to the position during the 71st IMO annual meeting which was held virtually by IMO’s office in London.

In this meeting held during September 20-24, Mansourian received the highest votes by the attendees to keep the position for the third year.

The Iranian official is the first female vice-chair of the organization’s technical committee.

The International Maritime Organization, known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization until 1982, is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.

The IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee (TC) oversees the organization’s capacity-building program and the implementation of technical cooperation projects for which the organization acts as the executing or cooperating agency.

The Technical Cooperation Committee of IMO has important responsibilities for presenting technical cooperation, especially to developing countries.

It is worth mentioning that the chairman of the board of Iranian Coastal and Marine Structural Engineering Association (ICOMSEA) Babak Bani-Jamali was also elected as the vice-president of the marine engineering committee of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (known as PIANC) in 2019.

As reported by Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, the decision was made in the Annual General Assembly of PIANC which was held in the Japanese city of Kobe during June 3-7, 2019.

PIANC’s mission is to provide expert guidance and technical advice on technical, economic, and environmental issues pertaining to waterborne transport infrastructure, including the fields of navigable bodies of water (waterways), such as canals and rivers, as well as ports and marinas.

September 24, 2021 / 11:55 AM (Bloomberg) -- ConocoPhillips agreed to acquire Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Permian Basin assets for $9.5 billion in cash, accelerating the consolidation of the largest U.S. oil patch. The deal, announced by Shell in a statement Monday, will give ConocoPhillips additional daily production of 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent. That will make ConocoPhillips one of the Permian’s biggest producers, rivaling Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Chevron Corp. in terms of crude output.

The Permian, which straddles West Texas and New Mexico, is the world’s busiest shale patch and accounts for nearly half the current activity in U.S. oil fields. Houston-based ConocoPhillips already boosted its footprint there earlier this year when it took over independent producer Concho Resources Inc. for about $13 billion. 

Shell’s retreat from the Permian comes as the Anglo-Dutch giant reconfigures its strategy in favor of less carbon-intensive fuels while targeting net-zero emissions. Shell was ordered by a Dutch court in May to slash emissions harder and faster than planned after losing a case against an arm of Friends of the Earth. 

Shell said the proceeds will be used to fund $7 billion in additional shareholder distributions after the close of the deal, which is expected in the fourth quarter. The company also disclosed the Permian business had a pretax operating loss of $491 million in 2020, a year in which oil prices collapsed due to the pandemic.

Morgan Stanley and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. were Shell’s financial advisers on the deal and Norton Rose Fulbright was its legal adviser.

ConocoPhillips dropped 0.5% to $56.76 at 4:51 p.m. in after-hours trading in New York. Shell’s American Depositary Receipts climbed 1.3% to $39.99.

The transaction is just the latest in a string of shale-related transactions in 2021. Fueled by higher cash flows on the back of a recovering oil price, independent U.S. exploration and production companies have sought out mergers to cut costs and gain scale, with the encouragement of investors who have suffered over several years of disappointing returns from the industry.

U.S. shale has also kept a lid on production in the past year despite the rebound in prices, in an effort to avoid repeating the output boom during the previous cycle that led to a glut and helped erode profitability. 

September 23, 2021 / 12:10 PM Synergy Marine Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Synergy Group, has signed an agreement to take over Maersk Tankers’ technical management business. This will strengthen Synergy Group’s position within technical management, and Maersk Tankers will become a service company focused on commercial management.

“Maersk Tankers has been transformed from a traditional tanker company into a service company over the past few years. The agreement with Synergy Group marks the next big step on our strategic course, offering both the technical and commercial businesses optimum conditions in which to thrive. Maersk Tankers will become a service company focused on the commercial management market, delivering financially and environmentally viable solutions for shipowners,” says Christian M. Ingerslev, CEO of Maersk Tankers. The technical management business, which has been part of Maersk Tankers since 1928, maintains vessels to ensure their safe, efficient and cost-competitive operation. It employs close to 3,300 people, of which 140 work onshore. Synergy Group, a leading ship manager founded in 2006 and with 14,000 seafarers and more than 1,000 shore-based employees, has been carefully chosen as the new owner to grow and develop the technical management business.

“At Synergy, we have always strived to provide high-quality services to our ship-owning partners. Being considered the right owner of Maersk Tankers’ technical management business is testament to our beliefs and philosophy of working towards creating a platform for high-quality and technically adept services. The crew’s well-being is paramount, and we are committed to providing sustainably responsible services,” says Captain Rajesh Unni, founder and CEO of Synergy Group. Under the agreement, Synergy Group will take over the entire technical management business of Maersk Tankers. This includes customer and supplier contracts, as well as the technical management of 82 vessels, including the vessels in Maersk Product Tankers. More vessels mean access to more data, which Synergy Group will use to optimise vessel performance and reduce the environmental impact of shipping.

The vast majority of the employees in Maersk Tankers’ technical management business will become part of the Synergy Group, which will strengthen the company’s presence in Denmark, Singapore and India.

Following the takeover, the two companies will work together on the management of the vessels in Maersk Product Tankers.

The takeover of the technical management business is expected to be completed during November 2021.

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