Recent Articles

Oil prices fall on lingering oversupply concerns

27 Apr 2017   Prices

Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by a general sentiment of globally bloated markets, though traders said that prices seemed to have found support around current levels. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $49.34 per barrel at 0137 GMT, down 28 cents, or 0.56 percent from their last close. WTI has lost around 8.5 percent in value from its April peak. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.58 per barrel, down 24 cents, or 0.46 percent, from their last close. Brent is almost 9 percent below its April peak. Traders said that the falls in recent weeks were a result of a realization that global oil markets remained oversupplied, despite efforts led by the Organization of the […]

Oil Seen at or Below $40 If OPEC Doesn’t Extend Output Cuts

27 Apr 2017   Prices

ADIA’s Ruehl Iraq, Iran seen gaining from production cuts at Saudi expense Crude will probably drop to $40 a barrel or below unless OPEC and allied producers extend their collective cuts in output beyond June, according to analysts including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ’s head of research. The six-month cuts that took effect in January have set a floor for prices, but an increasing supply of U.S. shale oil together with record-high inventories are keeping the per-barrel price of crude from rising beyond the upper $50s, Christof Ruehl said Wednesday at a conference in Dubai. “If OPEC and the coalition don’t extend the agreement to continue cuts, that price floor will go,” he said. “Without it, prices would fall, and there’s nothing to stop oil going below $40 a barrel.” The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers including Russia […]

Oil Shortage Feared by 2020 as Discoveries Fall to Record Low

27 Apr 2017   Oil Supply

Global oil discoveries fell to a record low in 2016, the International Energy Agency says, raising fresh concerns about the potential for a petroleum-supply shortage as soon as 2020. The IEA—a Paris group that monitors energy trends for oil-dependent places like the U.S. and Europe—is stepping up its warnings about historically low oil-industry investment during the latest price downturn. Oil companies and producing nations curtailed spending by hundreds of billions of dollars during the price rout, resulting in…

Oil Tankers to Cruise Ships Fueled by LNG Offer Hope on Glut

27 Apr 2017   Prices

LNG-fuelled fleet may rise to 200 by 2020: Energy Aspects Total, Shell sign deals to develop LNG bunkering operations When Russia’s biggest tanker operator launches four new vessels next year, they won’t just be carrying oil to northern Europe but the hopes of the liquefied natural gas industry. Sovcomflot’s Aframax ships, capable of shifting 600,000 barrels of oil through the icy waters of the Baltic Sea to the port of Rotterdam, will be the first tankers run on LNG. That’s good news for fuel supplier Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the other energy companies that have invested more than $700 billion in LNG projects over the past decade. While ships won’t transform the market — Energy Aspects Ltd. estimates that LNG as a marine fuel will account for less than 2 percent of total demand by 2025 — Russian tankers and Mediterranean cruise liners will help ease a global […]

OPEC Ministers to Meet Russia Amid Push to Extend Cuts

27 Apr 2017   OPEC, Russia

Consensus is moving in direction of prolonging deal: Al-Falih Saudi minister will speak to Russian counterpart this week The energy ministers of OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Venezuela plan to meet their Russian counterpart to discuss extending oil-output cuts amid a developing consensus that they should prolong their joint effort to curb supply. Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry Khalid Al-Falih said that he will talk with Russia’s Alexander Novak by phone this week and meet him within the next two weeks. Venezuela’s Oil Minister Nelson Martinez was also planning to visit Moscow after talks in Algeria on Wednesday, said a person familiar with the matter. Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00Playback Rate1 Chapters Chapters captions settings, opens captions settings dialog captions off, selected CaptionsFullscreen This is a modal window. No compatible source was found for this media. Captions Settings Dialog Beginning of dialog […]

Saudi Forces Foil Attempted Attack on Aramco Oil Product Center

27 Apr 2017   Saudi Arabia

Remote-controlled boat laden with explosives intercepted Saudi Arabia building 400,000 barrels/day refinery in Jazan Saudi Arabia’s security forces foiled an attempt to blow up an oil product distribution center in Jazan, a province bordering Yemen in the kingdom’s southwest, according to the state-run news agency. A remote-controlled boat laden with explosives was spotted leaving a small island in Yemeni waters and later intercepted, the Saudi Press Agency said, citing an unidentified spokesman for the Ministry of Interior. Saudi security forces said they would stop any attacks by Houthi rebels, who are threatening shipping routes in the Red Sea with explosive-laden boats and mines. Saudi Arabia entered the conflict in Yemen in March 2015, leading a coalition that’s carried out intensive airstrikes and deployed a limited number of ground troops in an effort to defeat Shiite Houthi militants aligned with Iran. Since the start of the war, the Houthis have […]

Saudi Arabia Sees 7,000 Jobs Coming From Solar Program by 2020

27 Apr 2017   Saudi Arabia

Three tenders scheduled for 3.45 gigawatts of photovoltaics Aim is to cut domestic use of crude, diesel and fuel oil Saudi Arabia is hoping its solar-power program will generate 7,000 jobs and build a local manufacturing industry that can export products to the world, reducing domestic demand for its crude oil in the process. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources requires bidders seeking to build about 3.45 gigawatts of solar and wind plants by 2020 to spend 30 percent of the capital they invest through home-grown workers and companies, said Turki al-Shehri, head of the renewable project development office for the kingdom. “We want to create value,” Al-Shehri said in an interview at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York on Tuesday. “We don’t just want to bring in companies that open up manufacturing facilities at a very high premium, which the consumer will end up […]

Saudi Arabia Seen Losing Market Share to Iran, Iraq on Oil Cuts

27 Apr 2017   Saudi Arabia

‘OPEC market share battle hasn’t gone away’: ENBD’s Bell China data for March show Iraq, Iran boosting crude sales Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, is losing market share to Iraq and Iran as a result of OPEC’s agreement to curb supplies to bolster prices, according to the head of research at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. “If you’re talking about winners, you can count Iran and Iraq,” Christof Ruehl said Wednesday at a conference in Dubai. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to production limits for most of its members at a meeting in November and brought 11 other nations on board with the deal in December. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, agreed to cut output by 486,000 barrels a day while Iraq said it would cut 210,000 barrels a day. Iran was permitted to increase output by 90,000 barrels a day, according to the OPEC accord. […]

Amid reshuffling, Africa-focused Tullow Oil ready to grow

27 Apr 2017   Africa

With a reshuffling in the front office underway, Tullow Oil said Wednesday its production offshore West Africa for the first quarter met expectations. Tullow CEO Aidan Heavey is handing the reins over to Paul McDade. The reshuffling follows what Heavey said was an “exceptionally busy” first quarter for the Africa-focused explorer. So far, the company has offered a greater stake in its operations in Uganda and is working to remediate some of the production infrastructure offshore West Africa, which was hampered last year by equipment problems. “As I hand over my role as CEO to Paul McDade, I am confident that Tullow has the financial and operational flexibility to prosper in 2017 and beyond,” Heavey said in a statement . For full-year 2016, the company said […]

Nigeria Seizes Foreign Vessel for Alleged Theft of Shell Crude

27 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria detained a vessel with crew members from countries including Pakistan, Indonesia and Ukraine for alleged theft of crude from a facility owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the navy said. The tanker, MT TECNE, was apprehended before dawn on April 25 while loading crude from the Afremo platform operated by Shell’s Nigerian unit, Ibrahim Dewu, a navy spokesman, said Wednesday by phone from the southern city of Warri. “They had siphoned about 2,000 metric tons of crude oil from the loading jacket before their arrest,” he said. A Nigerian, three Ghanaians and a Benin national were among the crew arrested, he said. Organized criminal gangs have for years stolen crude from pipelines and facilities in the Niger River delta, home to the country’s oil industry, either for sale to vessels waiting offshore or for local refining. Nigeria’s Petroleum Ministry estimates that sometimes as much as 10 percent of […]

Venezuela to Begin Process to Withdraw From Organization of American States

27 Apr 2017   Venezuela

Venezuela said it would begin a two-year process to pull out of the world’s oldest regional diplomatic body, in a move that is likely to heighten tensions with its neighbors over President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian rule. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Wednesday that Mr. Maduro ordered the withdrawal from the Organization of American States after 19 of the group’s 34 members agreed on a resolution to…

Venezuela Says It Will Leave Pro-Democracy Organization

27 Apr 2017   Venezuela

Venezuela said Wednesday that it would pull out of the Organization of American States , which has long been critical of President Nicolás Maduro’s unyielding accumulation of power at the expense of the country’s democratic institutions. The move increases Venezuela ’s isolation while its government is struggling to put down mass street protests demanding new elections. And it shows that the country — which, through anticapitalist rhetoric and oil largess, once aimed to challenge the United States as a power in Latin America — is becoming something of a pariah in its own region.

GM Factory Seizure Threatens Oil Sector In Venezuela

27 Apr 2017   Venezuela

The Venezuelan government’s seizure of a GM factory, as reported by Reuters, signals that the deeply corrupt regime of President Nicolas Maduro is escalating its self-defeating actions. Ironically, for oil prices, this could prove bullish, as the operating environment is increasingly hostile and the few foreign firms still operating oil assets may flee the country. Of course, with oil providing between 40 percent and 70 percent of government revenues (depending on the oil price), a seizure of foreign oil assets by Maduro’s regime would display a level of short-sightedness unrivaled by other oppressive government officials. But the GM seizure suggests that it is indeed a possibility, and Maduro’s regime is anything but rational. In essence, the GM factory seizure represents a tipping point, putting Venezuela far closer to seeing its oil production shrink, rather than expanding it. Foreign firms, many of which have already packed their bags and left, […]

Trump advisers to discuss whether U.S. stays in Paris climate pact: official

27 Apr 2017   Climate, USA

White House advisers and Trump administration officials will meet on Thursday to discuss whether the United States should remain in the Paris climate agreement, a White House official said on Wednesday. The meeting, which will include member of the National Economic Council and cabinet officials such as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, was scheduled for 1:30 P.M. EDT (1730 GMT) after being postponed earlier this month. The administration is expected to make a decision on whether to remain a party to the deal by the time leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations meet in late May. The accord, agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, […]

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending April 21, 2017

27 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, USA

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.3 million barrels per day during the week ending April 21, 2017, 347,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 94.1% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging over 9.7 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging about 5.1 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 8.9 million barrels per day last week, up by 1.1 million barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged over 8.1 million barrels per day, 4.9% above the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 916,000 barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 54,000 barrels per day last week. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic […]

Oil Prices Pull Higher As Refiners Soak Up Soaring Crude Imports

27 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, USA

In today’s game of rock-paper-scissors from the weekly EIA inventory report, crude inputs were propelled higher (like a rock), blunting the impact of super-strong imports (the scissors). On paper, the crude draw is bullish, but a modest rally is being kept in check somewhat by solid builds to the products. Hark, here are five things to consider in oil markets today: 1) Even though crude imports jumped higher by over 1.1 million barrels per day last week, a climb into unchartered territory by refinery runs meant that crude inventories were drawn down by 3.6 million bbls. Refinery runs jumped to 17.3 million bpd, the highest level on record, as cheap and available crude – as opposed to strong demand – is driving on refining activity. Refinery runs are now a surreal 1.44 million bpd – or 9 percent – higher than year-ago levels: (Click to enlarge) 2) Crude imports […]

As Venezuela Declines, So Does Its Latin American Influence

27 Apr 2017   Venezuela

A document circulating in Peru, part of a broad political corruption investigation, stands as a quaint piece of Hugo Chávez memorabilia. It’s a 2006 letter allegedly penned by the late socialist Venezuelan president to one of his regional comrades, Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala. It suggests Chávez gave Humala’s campaign $2 million in what the letter calls “revolutionary aid.” Humala, who became Peru’s president in 2011 and left office last year, denies taking cash from Chávez. But the letter recalls something larger: a time when Venezuela wielded clout. A decade ago, as crude prices soared above $100 a barrel, the South American nation with the world’s largest oil reserves was a petro sugar daddy. The firebrand Chávez cast his largesse from the Bahamas to Buenos Aires, buying influence for his left-wing, anti-U.S. revolution. Venezuela used to be sugar daddy to the region’s leftists. Now it can’t feed itself. Chávez […]

EIA Takes Markets By Surprise, Reports Major Crude Oil Inventory Draw

27 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, USA

Amid growing pessimism regarding an extension of OPEC’s oil production deal, and a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported an estimated increase of 897,000 barrels in U.S. commercial inventories, the EIA reversed the mood with a draw of 3.6 million barrels for the week to April 21. Analysts had expected a respite for oil prices with a decline in inventories of 1.6 million barrels and though they were out of luck with API, EIA exceeded the expectations. The EIA reported that crude inventories stood at 528.7 million barrels at the end of last week, still near the upper seasonal limit despite refineries increasing their runs after the end of maintenance season, which some analysts argued was the reason for the hefty weekly inventory increases that we saw over the last couple of months. They may well have been right, as refinery runs averaged 17.3 million barrels in the […]

Trump Order Aims To Allow Drilling At National Monuments

27 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, USA

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to identify national monuments that can be rescinded or resized – part of a broader push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development. The move comes as part of Trump’s effort to reverse a slew of environmental protections ushered in by former President Barack Obama that he said were hobbling economic growth – an agenda that is cheering industry but enraging conservationists. Trump signed the order at the Interior Department in Washington, saying that his predecessors’ use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to create monuments marked an “egregious abuse of federal power.” He said the order […]

US E&Ps Can Turn A Profit On $50 to $60 Oil, Barclays Finds

27 Apr 2017   Shale Oil

Declining development costs and capital efficiency improvements position US E&P companies to earn solid returns at $50 to $60 per barrel oil prices, says Barclays’ report. Sharp declines in development costs and advancements in capital efficiency means exploration and production companies (E&Ps) can turn a solid profit even if oil remains in the $50 to $60 per barrel range, according to Barclays’ analysis of year-end 2016 annual reports. In fact, Barclays is projecting that within that range, the industry can deliver average recycle ratios (per-barrel profit divided by the cost of discovering and extracting the product) close to 145 percent, grow reserves and production at a consistent 7 percent rate and keep balance sheets in shape. Last year, drill-bit finding and development costs dropped 30 percent from 2015 and 50 percent from 2015, Barclays said in an April 26 equity research report. Permian and Appalachian players have typically been […]

Range Recalls ‘Incredibly Creative Solution’ for Marcellus/Utica ‘Problem’

27 Apr 2017   Shale Gas

‘Dragon-class’ and VLEC vessels facilitate transoceanic trade of surplus US ethane. On March 9, 1776, the Scottish economist Adam Smith published his influential book The Wealth of Nations , which has left an indelible mark on international trade ever since. Interestingly, exactly 240 years later a pioneering liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier departed a Philadelphia-area terminal bound for Europe and opened a new chapter in the global gas business. Laden with more than 27,000 cubic meters of ethane, the Ineos Intrepid – a new class of LNG vessel – embarked on a nearly 4,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to Ineos’ ethane cracker in Rafnes, Norway. As Ineos noted at the time , never before had shale gas produced in the United States been shipped to Europe. Previously ethane had only been transported in small vessels on short routes, according to ship designer Evergas . The Ineos Intrepid is […]

Fast-rising U.S. shale oil output puts OPEC cut at risk: Rystad

27 Apr 2017   Shale Oil, USA

Shale oil output in the United States is rising much faster than expected and gaining market share globally, increasing the risk of a “volume war” with OPEC and weaker oil prices, the founder of oil and gas consultancy Rystad Energy said. Rystad Energy expects U.S. shale oil output to grow by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month for the rest of this year and into 2018 if oil prices hold around $50-$55 a barrel, well above estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for monthly gains of about 29,000 bpd in 2017 and 57,000 bpd in 2018. “We see a risk for a weaker oil price towards the end of the year … because shale is delivering so much oil and OPEC might fight back,” Jarand […]

Crude stocks decline, product inventories rise sharply: EIA

27 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, USA

U.S. crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories USOILC=ECI fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week to April 21, compared with analysts’ expectations for an decrease of 1.7 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub USOICC=ECI fell by 1.2 million barrels, EIA said. Refinery crude runs USOICR=ECI rose by 347,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates USOIRU=ECI rose by 1.2 percentage points. Gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI rose by 3.4 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1 million-barrel drop. […]

Will Trump Spark An Offshore Drilling Boom?

27 Apr 2017   Offshore, USA

In a bid to fend off criticism over a dearth of achievements in his first 100 days in office, President Trump plans to sign a flurry of executive orders this week. Among them is an executive order intended to open up new areas of offshore oil and gas drilling. “This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers,” a White House official told the Reuters earlier this week. The order calls for a “review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration.” Specifically, the Trump administration is hoping to open up new areas to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, plus areas in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The Obama administration had previously designated the Atlantic and the Arctic off limits […]

First US Bakken crude set to arrive in Asia mid-May:

27 Apr 2017   Shale Oil, USA

The first cargo of US Bakken crude is heading to Asia, adding to the widening list of western crude moving eastward amid the narrowing spread between low sulfur crude in the West against high sulfur crude in the East. Western trading firm Mercuria Energy has chartered a vessel to move a cargo of the crude, which has a gravity of 43 API, into Asia for the first time ever, according to a source close to the matter. The crude has been co-loaded with US Mars crude on the VLCC Maran Canopus, traders said. The VLCC left the US Gulf Coast on March 20 and is due to arrive in Singapore on May 13, according to cFlow , S&P Global Platts trade flow software. The vessel is currently located off the coast of South Africa. It is unclear however, if the cargo has a final outlet. Article continues below… Oilgram […]

Russia Thwarts ISIS Attack In Far East Oil Hub

27 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, said on Wednesday that it had foiled an attempt by alleged Islamic State supporters to carry out a terror attack in a crowded place on the Far East Russian island of Sakhalin, which is an oil and gas hub. Sakhalin is the site of many oil and gas operations and currently has Russia’s only LNG plant. Gazprom and Shell are the major partners in the Sakhalin-2 venture, with Gazprom holding 50 percent plus one share, and Shell owing 27.5 per cent minus one share in Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd—the Sakhalin II project operator. The Russian security service said today that they had detained two people—one citizen of a Central Asian republic and one Russian citizen—in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin’s administrative center. During house searches, the FSB seized an improvised explosive device, components for making one, Islamic State propaganda material, and banned […]

Oil Trades Below $50 Amid Mixed Signals on U.S. Crude Stockpiles

26 Apr 2017   Prices

Nationwide supplies gained 897,000 barrels last week: API Crude prices to climb to new highs in coming months: Andurand Oil traded below $50 a barrel in New York amid conflicting signs on whether U.S. crude stockpiles are retreating. Futures were little changed, having fallen to a three-week low on April 24. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report U.S. crude supplies increased by 897,000 barrels last week. Meanwhile, a Bloomberg survey forecasts stockpiles probably fell by 1.75 million barrels before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Oil’s rally faltered last week amid concern rising U.S. output will offset efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to trim a global glut. While OPEC members mull an extension of the six-month deal past June, American drillers targeting crude continue to add rigs to shale fields. The “latest API report on U.S. petroleum stocks was filled […]

Oil falls on bulging U.S. crude inventories, record global supplies

26 Apr 2017   Prices

Oil prices resumed their downward trend on Wednesday as data showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories and record supplies in the rest of the world cast doubt on OPEC’s ability to cut supplies and tighten the market. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $49.32 per barrel at 0052 GMT, down 24 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last close, after gaining 0.7 percent in the previous session. WTI has fallen for seven of the past eight sessions. Traders said that a report late on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 897,000 barrels in the week to April 21 to 532.5 million barrels had weighed on WTI. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark […]

Top 5 Risks To Oil Prices

26 Apr 2017   Prices

Global oil inventories have started to decline and the supply/demand balance will soon tip into a deficit, if it hasn’t already. That will accelerate the drawdowns in crude oil stocks, and bring the market back into “balance,” providing a lift to oil prices. That, at least, is the working assumption. But there are a series of gigantic question marks out there – a handful of countries could upend the theory that the oil market is on a smooth trajectory towards balance. Here are the five countries that could provide an unexpected jolt to the oil market: 1. Venezuela. Venezuela’s economy has been in freefall since oil prices collapsed in 2014. The situation has deteriorated rapidly more recently, however, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets. While things could certainly drag on, the situation in Caracas definitely has the feel of some sort of final stage for […]

Can An OPEC Extension Push Oil To $60?

26 Apr 2017   OPEC

It now seems quite likely that OPEC will agree to an extension of November’s production cut agreement at their May meeting. The question facing analysts and market watchers is how much a cut extension will impact the market going forward, and whether it will deliver the boost in prices that OPEC is hoping for. In November, the agreement was a boon to the price, sending WTI north of $50, only for prices to fall a few months later. The impact of the deal, which was publicized for months beforehand and enjoyed blanket coverage from all major market media outlets, was significant but temporary. Inventory reports in February caused the price to crash back down, and apart from a brief swing upwards after U.S. missile strikes in Syria, an event which had analysts crowing over the return of the risk premium, prices have slumbered near $50, far below where OPEC […]

OPEC’s No.2 Plans Significant Raise In Crude Output Next Year

26 Apr 2017   Iraq

Iraq has started work on the third and final phase of the Halfaya oil field expansion, with the goal to double production capacity next year, a company official at the state-run firm overseeing fields in the province told Reuters on Tuesday. With more facilities to separate crude oil from associated gas, production capacity at the Halfaya oil field is set to double to 400,000 bpd in 2018, said Adnan Noshi, head of Maysan Oil Co. The Halfaya oil field, operated by PetroChina, is the biggest field that Maysan Oil is overseeing, and is pumping 200,000 bpd. The total production of Maysan Oil is currently 380,000 bpd, Noshi told Reuters. Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer behind Saudi Arabia, plans to boost its crude oil production by 600,000 bpd to 5 million bpd by the end of this year, regardless of its participation in OPEC’s production cut deal. Iraq has been the […]

British company Petrofrac lands $70 million contract in Iraq

26 Apr 2017   Iraq

British energy company Petrofac said Tuesday it scored a multimillion-dollar contract in part to help Iraq expand port facilities for the Persian Gulf. “Over the coming months we will focus on effective deployment of our operations, engineering and projects’ activities across the contracts to enable our clients to unlock maximum value from their oil and gas assets,” Petrofac’s regional managing director, Mani Rajapathy, said in a statement . The British company in December secured a $75 million contract to help with the expansion of a crude oil export facility at a southern Iraqi port at Basra. The Iraqi government is developing the southern export expansion project with the goal of expanding exports capacity from offshore facilities by […]

Aramco Insiders Suggest The Company May Not Be Worth $2 Trillion

26 Apr 2017   Saudi Arabia

As Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, pushes his nation’s Vision 2030 economic overhaul and crows of the $2 trillion Saudi Aramco valuation (ahead of its potential IPO), WSJ reports that officials at the state-owned oil company are applying internal value estimates of $1.3 to $1.5 trillion to the valuation, calling bin Salman’s estimate “unrealistic and mind blowing.” Since deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, announced the stock-offering plan and his $2 trillion estimate early last year. Insiders and outsiders have questioned how he arrived at that number. A team of about two dozen employees have been working since last year to try and figure how to take Aramco public while working with Western consultants to explore ways to restructure Aramco in order to maximize its value, say people familiar with the process. The team has determined several variables – what some call “ levers […]

Will Libya’s Production Rebound As Its Largest Oil Field Re-Opens?

26 Apr 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil field, Sharara, which has been offline for most of the past month, is set to reopen after the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) reached an agreement with protesters who have repeatedly shut down the pipelines that pump oil into the field, according to PFG chief, Brigadier General Idriss Abu Khamada. The deal that the PFG has reached will lead to the reopening of the Sharara field, which produces 200,000 bpd, according to Khamada. At the end of March, unnamed armed factions were said to have blocked production at the Sharara and Wafa fields in western Libya, cutting the country’s total output by 252,000 bpd . Sharara alone produced 220,000 bpd before the shutdown, accounting for a large part of Libya’s overall 700,000 bpd production until that point. It resumed pumping oil after a two-year pause last December. Less than a week later, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) […]

Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – Group Wants Nigerian Govt Involved in Italian Trial

26 Apr 2017   Nigeria

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA Resource Centre, has petitioned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, requesting the representation of Nigeria as an aggrieved party in the hearing of the Milan Court’s prosecution of Shell and ENI with respect to the scandalous Malabu deal. In a petition addressed to Mr. Osinbajo, who also doubles as the Chairman Asset Recovery Committee, HEDA in the petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, urged the federal government to request that the Italian court judge should recognize Nigeria as a civil party to the criminal proceeding in order to request adequate compensation for the damages received by the corruption scheme. “The media was awash about six years ago with information on how one of Nigeria’s richest oil field, OPL 245 was sold in shady circumstances and more than half of the $1.1 Billion paid to Malabu Oil and Gas for the procurement was used […]

Turkey kills allies in strike on Sinjar

26 Apr 2017   Iraq, Turkey

The bombing raid targeted a PKK affiliate, but KRG Peshmerga were killed. A former IS group hideout occupied by fighters from several PKK-aligned militias west of Sinjar, Nov. 12, 2015. (PATRICK OSGOOD/Iraq Oil Report) Turkish jets bombed several positions on and around Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain overnight Tuesday, killing at least six members of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) security forces.The Turkish military said it was targeting an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long guerrilla war against the Turkish state, although no PKK-backed fighters appear to have been killed in the Sinjar strikes.Neither the Iraqi nor Kurdistan governments said they had a… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Some oil companies in Venezuela pull expats amid protests: sources

26 Apr 2017   Venezuela

As political turmoil in Venezuela persists, oil firms including Norwegian major Statoil ASA ( STL.OL ) and Spain’s Repsol SA ( REP.MC ) have further reduced their already-dwindling ranks of expatriate employees in the country, sources familiar with the situation said. Statoil, Repsol and Chevron Corp ( CVX.N ) are among the foreign oil companies that hold minority stakes in more than 40 joint ventures with state-run Petroleos de Venezuela [PDVSA.UL] (PDVSA), providing cash-strapped Venezuela with crucial crude production and income amid a debilitating economic crisis. Venezuela, South America’s largest oil exporter, has been pummeled by a brutal economic crisis that has millions skipping meals, unable to afford soaring prices for basic goods and facing long lines for scarce products. More than a dozen people have been killed during near […]

Death toll in Venezuela’s unrest rises to 26

26 Apr 2017   Venezuela

Two Venezuelan men died on Tuesday from gunshots at political demonstrations, bringing to 26 the number of fatalities around this month’s protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government. The state prosecutor’s office said Orlando Medina, 23, was gunned down on a street in western Lara state during a protest local media identified as anti-Maduro. Luis Marquez, 52, died in the Andean state of Merida in the early morning after being shot on Monday at a pro-Maduro rally, state ombudsman Tarek Saab said. In more than three weeks of chaos since Venezuela’s opposition launched street protests, 15 people have died in violence around demonstrations and 11 others in night-time lootings, the state prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday. Political activists and Venezuelan media have reported more deaths, but those have not been confirmed. […]

Argentina’s Push to Mimic Permian Success Faces Long Road Ahead

26 Apr 2017   Argentina

Vaca Muerta geology a match, support services fall short Energy assets could be key to country’s economic future Argentina’s Vaca Muerta, one of the largest shale formations outside of North America, offers tons of promise for the country’s energy future. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for it. Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren , billionaire investor Paolo Rocca and bullish Morgan Stanley economists all predict lightning fast growth in the region, comparing it to the Eagle Ford and Permian basins in the U.S., oil and natural gas-saturated plays that have spurred billions in revenue. Photographer: Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images The reason: Vaca Muerta offers Argentina, which has struggled for years with rampant inflation, an economic lifeline for the future. Still, before the field reaches its potential, gas and oil pipelines need to be built, roads, train lines and power networks need upgrading, and drilling costs that run 30 […]

Venezuela’s Complicated Crisis For Oil

26 Apr 2017   Venezuela

The cold logic of the oil market dictates that crisis usually equals profit. That’s because a crisis in oil usually means a supply crisis, as some large producing country becomes embroiled in war or civil unrest or sanctions or some other geopolitical mess. The country currently occupying the unenviable position of being the likeliest source of a supply shock is Venezuela. The collapse in oil prices has savaged the country’s economy and brought political tensions to a head in the form of a constitutional crisis, mass protests and, particularly over the past week or so, looting and fatalities. From the oil market’s perspective, the question is whether Venezuela’s intensifying problems will cause an outright collapse in its production, currently running at about 2 million barrels a day. It’s a bit more complicated than that, though. Venezuela’s supply has slumped already: But so has domestic demand: Put the two together, […]

Mexico’s Pemex will look to repeat new hedging program

26 Apr 2017   Mexico

 Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex will consider repeating a recently instituted hedging program in future years, as it looks to firm up its balance sheet and avoid the need for surprise budget cuts, a top executive said late on Tuesday. Petroleos Mexicanos [PEMX.UL], as the company is officially known, reported on Tuesday that it has hedged its output through December, the first time it has done so in 11 years, as an insurance policy against volatile oil prices. The oil hedging program, which will run from May to December and guarantees a price of $42 per barrel for up to 409,000 barrels per day, will cost the company $133.5 million. “It’s important to give the market certainty that faced with […]

U.S. Power Demand Flatlined Years Ago, and It’s Hurting Utilities

26 Apr 2017   USA

Utility CEOs seek new ways to profit amid historic shift Renewables also cutting in on power generation monopoly Electric utilities have been doing everything they can to preserve their bottom line from conducting multi-billion mergers to snapping up more profitable natural gas businesses. Their trouble lies in one thing they can’t control: demand. Power consumption in the U.S. has stalled for the last decade, breaking the link the industry has enjoyed with economic growth. For more than a century after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in the 1870s, electricity demand rose steadily, boosting utility profits in the process. The lull couldn’t have come at a worse time for the industry, which is already struggling with the end of their historic monopolies. Power-sipping appliances, LED lighting and a shift away from heavy industry all have contributed to the slowdown, and that’s forcing traditional generators from Duke Energy Corp. to […]

The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming

26 Apr 2017   Electric Cars

Oil major Total SA says EVs will drive 30% of car sales Outlook is more bullish on EVs than most forecasters Electric cars are coming fast — and that’s not just the opinion of carmakers anymore. Total SA , one of the world’s biggest oil producers, is now saying EVs may constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade. The surge in battery powered vehicles will cause demand for oil-based fuels to peak in the 2030s, Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s conference in New York on Tuesday. EVs will make up 15 percent to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030, after which fuel “demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.” Couse’s projection for electric cars is the highest yet by a major oil company and exceeds BNEF’s own forecast, said Colin McKerracher, head […]

Perry Says Trump Should Keep Paris Climate Deal and Renegotiate

26 Apr 2017   Climate, USA

Energy secretary says he won’t advise Trump to abandon UN deal Perry criticizes Germany for allowing emissions to rise U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the U.S. should renegotiate the Paris accord on climate change instead of abandoning it, criticizing Germany for allowing its fossil-fuel emissions to rise. “I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from Paris accord,” Perry said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York on Tuesday. “I will say that we need to renegotiate it.” US @SecretaryPerry will recommend @POTUS renegotiate the Paris agreement; asks EU countries for fewer words, more action. #BNEFSummit pic.twitter.com/3XmDLApkwr — BloombergNEF (@BloombergNEF) April 25, 2017 The remark puts Perry among a group of advisers urging President Donald Trump to stick with the United Nations accord that he vowed to scrap during his campaign last year. The White House has said it […]

Baker Hughes sees chance of mid-2017 rebound

26 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, USA

Industry headwinds remain in some business segments because the global oil and gas sector hasn’t fully recovered from 2016, Baker Hughes reported. The company has reported steady gains in North American exploration and production figures, released as weekly rig counts. Spending on exploration and production plummeted last year after crude oil prices collapsed to below $30 per barrel, but the appetite for 2017 has improved since members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cap production to offset supply-side strains. The company reported a 15.3 percent decline in quarterly revenue to $2.26 billion as North American activity was not enough to compensate for lags elsewhere. “While the onshore rig count increase in North America has been more robust than […]

U.S. gas prices continue slow summer rise

26 Apr 2017   Prices, USA

The price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States is on the increase and could move higher as summer demand figures into market metrics, analysis finds. Motor club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.42, relatively unchanged from last week, but 13 cents higher than one month ago. Refiners are moving forward with a summer blend of gasoline, which is more expensive to make because of the additional environmental safeguards needed in warmer months. Coupled with the expected rise in demand, AAA said it expects gas prices to move steadily higher. “As gas prices continue to reach new heights and hit an all-time high for the year, the summer demand has not kicked in, […]

Solar-Power Subsidies Are Money Well Spent

26 Apr 2017   Solar

Regarding Robert Bryce’s “Thanks for Giving Me Your Tax Money” (op-ed, April 19): Mr. Bryce, you and your community are welcome for your reliable and competitive solar electricity. Yours is one of 1.4 million American households, and skyrocketing, that have solar on their roofs. Your claim that only the wealthy are benefiting from solar energy is flat wrong. Our customers come from all walks of life and are investing in solar in large part because the cost of panels has dropped by more than 82% in the last six years. A…

Ohio and Pennsylvania increased natural gas production more than other states in 2016

26 Apr 2017   Shale Gas

After reaching a record high of 79 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015, U.S. marketed natural gas production fell to 77 Bcf/d in 2016, the first annual decline since 2005. Texas, the state with the most natural gas production, fell by 2.5 Bcf/d, while Ohio and Pennsylvania each increased by about 1.2 Bcf/d. EIA measures natural gas production in three different ways. Gross withdrawals are the full volume of compounds extracted at the wellhead, which includes all natural gas plant liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases after oil, lease condensate, and water have been removed. Marketed natural gas production excludes natural gas used for repressuring the well, vented and flared gas, and any nonhydrocarbon gases. Dry natural gas production is marketed production minus natural gas plant liquids. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Monthly Note: Natural gas production in 2016 […]

ExxonMobil’s Dividend Tradition Faces Challenge as Oil Sputters

ExxonMobil has boosted it’s dividend every April for at least a decade, delivering more than $98 billion directly to shareholders. (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. has boosted it’s dividend every April for at least a decade, delivering more than $98 billion directly to shareholders. This year, the payout will likely rise again. The open question is by how much. Exxon slowed quarterly dividend growth the last two years as the industry fought through the worst price rout in a generation. Now, with oil prices stuck at around $50 a barrel and with little guarantee they’ll rise by much, analysts are debating whether the company remains conservative, boosting its free cash flow, or if it will reward investors who stuck with it through the lean times. Exxon raised its dividend 2 cents a year ago to 75 cents. Now, Bloomberg Dividend Forecasts estimates the Irving, Texas-based company will announce a […]

Unsung Gulf of Mexico Tracks New Crude Oil Production Record

26 Apr 2017   Offshore, USA

Permian Basin hoards the spotlight, but meanwhile, offshore producers are a fraction of a percentage point away from hitting another all-time high during the first half of the year, according to RBN Energy. Far from the $40,000 per acre land rush for shale in the Permian Basin, operators in the Gulf of Mexico are toiling offshore to outpace their own production records. In January, Gulf of Mexico (GOM) production totaled 1.75 million barrels per day, less than a percentage point away from the previous record set in 2009, according to Housley Carr, an analyst at RBN Energy LLC. Within the next month or so, the 2009 record is expected to fall. By 2018, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects a total of 1.9 million barrels per day in 2018, Carr noted in an April 24 report. “Admittedly, that’s an increase of only [300,000 barrels per day] from 2016, […]