Europe

Russian Maritime Oil Exports Fall For First Time In 2017

23 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia exported 4.822 million bpd of crude oil by sea in May, down from a record 5.21 million bpd in the previous month, energy data provider Kpler has said, adding that this is the first monthly decline in Russia’s crude oil exports this year—another tentative gleam of hope for oil bulls, after the Energy Information Administration yesterday reported a 2.5-million-barrel decline in crude oil inventories. What’s more, Kpler says, this month should see another draw in Russian exports. The data provider sees them, based on loadings until now, at between 4.2 million and 4.4 million barrels daily. This, the company notes, is the lowest since August 2016. Further falls are also likely: preliminary loadings data seen by Reuters suggests that loadings from Russian ports on the Baltic Sea are set for a decline in the first 12 days of July. The decline is seen at 300,000 tons of crude, […]

Norwegian oil production better than expected

22 Jun 2017   Norway

Crude oil production from Norway, the region’s top supplier, was better than expected, a national energy regulator said Wednesday. Norway is a main oil and natural gas supplier for the European economy, designating nearly all of its offshore production for exports. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation’s energy regulator, said preliminary figures for May were lower than the previous month, but better than expected. Based on preliminary data, the average production for May was 1.98 million barrels per day for oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra light form of oil. That’s about 5 percent less than the previous month. About 80 percent of the total volume was oil and the NPD said the 1.61 million barrels per […]

Total Pledges $1 Billion Investment in Iran Gas Field

21 Jun 2017   France, Iran

France’s Total SA said Tuesday it would push forward with a $1 billion investment this summer in a giant Iranian gas field, the first commitment by a Western company to put real money into the Islamic Republic’s re-emerging energy industry. The Paris-based oil giant has been at the forefront of Western energy companies looking to return to Iran after sanctions on its energy industry were lifted in January 2016. Total reached a preliminary agreement late last year with China National Petroleum Corp. and an Iranian company…

From Middle East to Argentina, France’s Total bets on cheap resources

21 Jun 2017   France

As the world witnesses spectacular growth in oil and gas production from the U.S. shale deposits, the boss of French energy giant Total paradoxically says this is one area where he doesn’t want to expand. Instead, chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told Reuters he can find an edge over rivals by going after cheaper reserves elsewhere, including from shale in Argentina and deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as through new gas technology. “Shale oil is too expensive,” said Pouyanne, who has clinched strategic deals for Total in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iran since taking over as CEO at the end of 2015. Rapid growth in U.S. shale production has led to a sharp increase in global oil supplies that depressed prices. […]

Iran expects contract developments with French major Total

20 Jun 2017   France, Iran

Iran is in the final stages of signing agreements with French energy company Total to develop parts of the giant South Pars field, Iran’s energy minister said. The French energy company, under pressure from Washington in the pre-sanctions era , was the source of Iranian frustration after showing a lack of progress in developing parts of the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf. With sanctions pressures easing in the wake of a multilateral nuclear deal, chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in February that future growth could come from projects in the Islamic republic. Total is among the major European energy companies moving into the Iranian energy sector with the recent signings of memoranda of understanding with its […]

Russia claims new oil field discovered in the Arctic

20 Jun 2017   Arctic, Russia

Preliminary data indicate a new oil field has been discovered in an area said to hold at least a dozen promising reservoirs, Russian oil company Rosneft said. Rosneft said three core samples from the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well in the northern Laptev Sea showed “high oil saturation.” “On the basis of primary studies already, it can be concluded that a new oil field has been discovered, the volume of the resource potential of which is increasing as the drilling continues,” the company said in a statement . The well was the first drilled into the area by Rosneft, which holds 28 licenses in the Russian Arctic. The company boasted that it’s success in the region has been “excellent” so far and said the preliminary […]

British North Sea target of new drilling plans

20 Jun 2017   United Kingdom

New drilling planned for the British waters of the North Sea by early 2018. The focus area is in a region targeted for development by British energy company BP. Photo courtesy of BP June 19 (UPI) — New drilling off the coast of Britain will start in April to appraise prospects west of the Shetland Islands, a drilling company said. The company, North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., said it was awarded a contract with Siccar Point Energy, an exploration and production company, to examine the waters west of Sheltand. “The contract will commence on April 1st when Siccar Point Energy will drill and test an appraisal well on the Cambo discovery with the data being used to refine the development project requirements,” the drilling company stated. “The minimum backlog for the contract is estimated at $7 million.” Siccar Point took control over the Cambo reservoir when it acquired a regional […]

US oil groups feel Russia sanctions freeze more than Europeans

20 Jun 2017   Russia, USA

Russian President Vladimir Putin this month made an emotional tribute to Christophe de Margerie, the former boss of France’s Total who was killed in an accident in 2014.  At the launch of a new gas tanker named after Mr de Margerie, Mr Putin declared him a “great friend of our country”, a sentiment that extends to many executives at Total’s European oil and gas peers.  While US energy groups stepped back from Russia in response to a sanctions regime that Washington lawmakers moved to tighten this month, rivals in the EU have held fast, ducking through loopholes in Brussels’ restrictions to keep joint ventures running.

Elizabeth Rosenberg, a sanctions expert formerly at the US Treasury and now with the Center for a New American Security, points to the “regulatory arbitrage” between the EU and US sanctions. “US firms see an uneven playing field,” says Ms Rosenberg. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been a glittering prize for foreign oil companies. With proved reserves of 110bn barrels of oil and 32tn cubic metres of gas, according to BP, it is one of the world’s largest holders of economically producible hydrocarbons.Sanctions slapped on Moscow in 2014 by the US, EU and other countries in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea were aimed at cutting off the development of its new oil frontiers from western help.

Iran sees gas deal with Total within weeks: minister

Iran expects to sign a long-delayed gas deal with French oil major Total ( TOTF.PA ) in the next few weeks, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Saturday. “Iran and Total are summing up the discussions on signing the contract for the development of phase 11 of South Pars, and this is almost in the final stages,” said Zanganeh, quoted by the oil ministry’s news website SHANA. “The contract … will be signed before the end of the (current) government,” Zanganeh said. Re-elected in May, President Hassan Rouhani is expected to form his new cabinet in August. Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said in late May that the company planned to conclude the South Pars gas deal before […]

Russia’s Rosneft says oilfield discovered offshore Eastern Arctic

19 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft said on Sunday it had found an oilfield in the Laptev Sea in the eastern Arctic. “The result of the drilling at the Khatanga license block allows Rosneft to be considered the discoverer of (oil) fields in offshore Eastern Arctic,” the company said in a statement. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Mark Potter)

Are Russia And The Saudis Planning A Natural Gas Cartel?

The fledgling production cut strategy of OPEC (Saudi Arabia) and non-OPEC (Russia and the FSU) shows that a new strategy is needed to counter the ongoing doubts in the markets. At the same time, Russia and Saudi continue to give indications of a possible OPEC 2.0 scenario, in which a possible Russian membership is on the table. This would confront the market with a renewed and stronger oil cartel, although the overall strategies need to be adjusted. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, via its oil giant Aramco has openly stated to be interested in global gas investment opportunities, starting in Russia’s Siberian region. While the media still looks at the current discussions as a pure crude oil cooperation strategy, some see another development on the horizon. The real power of OPEC, non-OPEC cooperation would increase if they would not only include a crude oil production cut, but also […]

Russia’s Central Bank sees mid-term risk from oil prices

17 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia’s Central Bank cuts its key lending rate, saying there are mid-term risks present from lower-than expected crude oil prices. File photo by DyMax/Shutterstock June 16 (UPI) — Crude oil prices are lower than expected following a decision to extend an OPEC-led production deal, presenting a risk to growth, Russia’s Central Bank said. Contrasting a decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve this week to raise its rates, Russia’s Central Bank said Friday it was cutting its key rate to 9 percent annually. “Mid-term risks remain elevated,” the bank’s press secretary said in a statement . “First, they are connected with the further dynamics of oil prices, which [under the agreements reached] began to take shape at a lower level than expected.” Russia is party to an agreement led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to offset supply-side strains by trimming production. Russia is the largest contributor among non-OPEC […]

Russia’s Central Bank Sees Oil Prices Down To $40 In 2018-2019

17 Jun 2017   -, Prices, Russia

In view of the current price movements and the oil market outlook, Russia’s central bank is keeping its oil price forecast for this year at US$50 per barrel, and still believes that the price of oil will drop to roughly US$40 in 2018-2019, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said in a statement on Friday, after the bank cut the key interest rate to 9 percent annually. Although the pace of economic recovery has somewhat exceeded the Bank of Russia’s expectations, medium-term inflation risks remain in place, governor Nabiullina said. In the medium-term, “ The external economic situation will likely remain unstable, as confirmed by the volatility of oil prices. We do not rule out that [oil] production in the US will grow and other countries, which are not parties to the agreement, will expand their supplies to the global market. Demand-side risks are also in place. They result […]

Russia’s Gazprom gas exports to Europe up 13.2 percent year-on-year so far in 2017

16 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia’s largest natural gas producer Gazprom said on Thursday its gas exports to Europe and Turkey rose 13.2 percent year-on-year between January 1 and June 15. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Edmund Blair)

The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching.

16 Jun 2017   Netherlands

The wind over the canal stirred up whitecaps and rattled cafe umbrellas. Rowers strained toward a finish line and spectators hugged the shore. Henk Ovink, hawkish, wiry, head shaved, watched from a V.I.P. deck, one eye on the boats, the other, as usual, on his phone.  Mr. Ovink is the country’s globe-trotting salesman in chief for Dutch expertise on rising water and climate change. Like cheese in France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations from as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management.  That’s because from the first moment settlers in this small nation started pumping water to clear land for farms and houses, water has been the central, existential fact of life in the Netherlands, a daily matter of survival and national identity. No place in Europe is under greater threat than this waterlogged country on the edge of the Continent. Much of the nation sits below sea level and is gradually sinking. Now climate change brings the prospect of rising tides and fiercer storms.

Putin’s Newest Oil Play: Russia Gains Foothold In Iraqi Oil Patch

14 Jun 2017   Kurdistan, Russia

The Kurds of Iraq are going through one of their most tumultuous periods of history. On the verge of finally seeing the much-heralded independence referendum, through Erbil is doing everything it can to stay financially afloat, squash the Islamic State and expand its oil sector – and it is a pretty thin line to walk with all the events going on simultaneously. The latest developments in Kurdish-Russian relations might be indicative of even deeper cooperation and convergence between the two nations, as new petroleum deals will inevitably have political ramifications. Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, Russia’s leading state-owned oil companies, seem very intent on increasing their presence in Kurdistan, with the former walking an extra mile by venturing into Kurdistan’s infrastructure segment. The KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government)-Rosneft pre-payment deal, signed this February, has successfully laid the groundwork for future rapprochement. Under the conditions of the deal, Rosneft is reported to […]

Poland welcomes U.S. natural gas but defends coal power

14 Jun 2017   Poland

The first shipment of American liquefied natural gas from Louisiana’s Cheniere Energy arrived in Poland on Wednesday, a feat hailed as an energy milestone in both Poland and Europe . Some U.S. commentators have even suggested that American suppliers could help end Polish dependence on Russia’s state oil company, Gazprom , which provides 59 percent of the country’s annual natural gas consumption. Poland’s government has said that it does not intend to renew its supply agreement with Gazprom when it lapses in 2022 . Planning to cut ties with its oil-rich neighbor is a challenging […]

Could Russian Hackers Cause Power Outages In The US?

14 Jun 2017   Russia, USA

Hackers believed to be allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be highly disruptive against the world’s electrical systems, researchers have reported. The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride or Industroyer, is known to have disrupted the electrical system in Ukraine in December, briefly shutting down one-fifth of Kyiv’s electric power. Dragos, one of the cybersecurity firms that identified the malware in a report on June 12, said Russian government hackers had shown an interest in targeting power grids in other countries as well, including the United States. The malware is capable of attacking power systems across Europe and Asia, and “with small modifications” could be used in the United States to cause outages of up to a few days in portions of the grid, Dragos said. With modifications, the malware could also attack other types of critical infrastructure, including local transportation […]

Total Eclipse: Oil Giant Sees its Future in Electricity

14 Jun 2017   France

France’s Total SA, one of the world’s largest oil companies, sent its top executives to Silicon Valley last summer, where they met with tech investors and futurists. At Tesla Inc.’s Bay Area factory, a Total executive tweeted a photo of a gleaming, red Model S—an electric car that burns no oil products at all. The trip was meant to “open their minds,” said Total Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné. Total, like its…

Low-carbon trajectory is the only option, European leaders say

13 Jun 2017   Climate, Europe

European leaders highlight the need to pursue a low-carbon economy during an energy forum held in Vienna. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI June 12 (UPI) — There’s no alternative but to pursue an energy strategy that calls for a low-carbon trajectory for economic growth, European leaders said from Vienna. More than 100 delegates were on hand for a forum in Vienna on the transition to an energy pathway focused on renewable and alternative energy resources. “There is no other alternative for the Energy Community members than to follow the path towards a sustainable, low-carbon future,” Janez Kopac, the director of the energy community secretariat, said in a statement . “Sustainability measures are opportunities for job creation, economic growth, health improvements, and never a burden.” Turkey and Armenia are included in the community as observer states alongside their European counterparts. The forum in Vienna was to provide a platform that […]

Russia, Saudis See Oil Inventories Falling After Price Drop

12 Jun 2017   Prices, Russia

Market to be balanced in first quarter of 2018: Russia’s Novak Saudi minister sees stockpiles falling faster in coming months A deal among oil-producing countries to curb production and balance an oversupplied market will achieve its objective in the first quarter of next year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, after prices tumbled on news of a build-up in U.S. inventories. His Saudi counterpart, Khalid Al-Falih, said at a joint news briefing in Astana, Kazakhstan, that inventories were declining worldwide and reductions would accelerate in the next three to four months. Inventories will settle to their five-year historical average — OPEC’s target — before the end of the year, though Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest producer, may modify its policy if output cuts don’t have the desired effect, he said. “If we will see over the number of weeks or months reasons to adjust, we will adjust,” Al-Falih told […]

Russia’s Novak says no need to review oil output cut deal

12 Jun 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday there was no need to review a global agreement on reducing oil output as it was too early to make any decisions. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; writing by Jack Stubbs; editing by Jason Neely)

EU renews concerns over Russian gas pipeline

10 Jun 2017   Russia

Any operations for the second string of the Russian natural gas pipeline Nord Stream remain under scrutiny, the European Commission said Friday. European opposition to expanding the Russian natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea faded early this year after the European Commission found no legal grounds to block the project. Russia is one of the main suppliers of natural gas to the European economy. Russian natural gas company Gazprom said exports during the first quarter were up nearly 20 percent for the German economy, 24 percent to Poland and 14 percent for France. European governments are wary over Gazprom practices in the region, as the company usually controls both the gas supplies and the transit networks. Spats between […]

Finance Minister: Russia Adapted To Lower-for-Longer Oil Prices

10 Jun 2017   Russia

This year Russia’s budget is reaching its highest level of resistance to oil price swings in the past nine years, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Parliament on Friday. We see that the so-called non-oil and gas budget deficit is going down, which demonstrates the resistance of the budget to various fluctuations related to international environment, Siluanov said, as quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency. The share of the non-oil and gas deficit is expected to fall by 0.6 percentage points to stand at 8.4 percent of GDP, the lowest in nine years, the minister said. The share of oil and gas revenues in 2017, on the other hand, is expected slightly down from previous years, at around 40 percent of all federal budget revenues, according to Siluanov. While the non-oil deficit is expected down, the value of the Russian ruble is up 11 percent year-on-year, RT quoted Siluanov […]

Norway Risks Oil, Gas Output Cut If Wage Talks Fail

10 Jun 2017   Norway

5 Norwegian oil and gas fields will shut down production unless a wage deal is agreed with the Lederne trade union, an industry lobby group says. OSLO, June 9 (Reuters) – Five Norwegian oil and gas fields will shut down production unless a wage deal is agreed with the Lederne trade union, an industry lobby group said on Friday. The shutdown would affect fields operated by Statoil , Shell and Eni and would cut output by 443,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) said in a statement. The deadline for the talks is at midnight Friday (2200 GMT), but shutdowns would only start on Sunday, the lobby group said. Voluntary negotiations broke down last month and the two sides now face a mandatory process under a state-appointed mediator before any strike is allowed by Norwegian law. “The industry still faces significant challenges […]

Comey testimony fuels push for new US sanctions on Russian energy sector

10 Jun 2017   Russia, USA

Comey testimony may increase odds of new sanctions Senate Republicans and Democrats negotiating new sanctions amendment McCain pushing new sanctions targeting Russian energy sector Former FBI Director James Comey told a US Senate panel Thursday he had no doubt the Russian government was behind hacks in last year’s US presidential election, testimony which could motivate the Senate to approve new sanctions on Russia’s energy sector as early as next week. Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he was sure the Russian government had interfered in the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and now-President Donald Trump, including cyber intrusions in voter databases and email accounts at the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign. This, along with other revelations made during Comey’s testimony before the Senate committee “could stoke anti-Russia sentiment and increase the odds of new Congressional sanctions,” according to analysts with ClearView Energy Partners. Article continues below… Oilgram News brings […]

Gazprom considering Japanese gas pipeline

9 Jun 2017   Japan, Russia

Japan could start getting a secure line for natural gas from Russia if the conditions are right, Russian energy company Gazprom said. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI June 8 (UPI) — If the economics of an agreement are constructive, Japan could eventually get its natural gas from a Russian pipeline, a Gazprom executive said. Japanese companies are playing a role in the development of liquefied natural gas projects led by Gazprom in the Yamal Peninsula in the far north and on the Pacific coast. Alexander Medvedev , the deputy chairman of the country, said that could open doors for a Japanese gas pipeline as well. “We cannot exclude on the basis of general preconditions that construction of such a pipeline will be economically feasible,” he was quoted as saying by Russia news agency Tass. “Prospects and the situation are good; all our counterparts are set for fruitful work.” In the […]

US LNG cargoes arrive in Poland, Netherlands, first into northern Europe

9 Jun 2017   Poland

* Cargoes are first ever shipments into northern Europe * Dutch cargo seen as Statoil replacement, PGNiG’s spot deal * Not necessarily sign of wave of US LNG coming to Europe The first two US LNG cargoes to reach northern Europe have now landed in Poland and the Netherlands, marking a historic new chapter in the US LNG export sector that began with the first Lower 48 deliveries to world markets in February last year. The Clean Ocean and Arctic Discoverer, which both departed the Sabine Pass LNG export facility last month, arrived late Wednesday and early Thursday at Poland’s Swinoujscie port and the Dutch Gate terminal respectively, according to cFlow, Platts trade flow software. US LNG exports began in February last year, but before Wednesday no cargoes had landed in the liquid hubs of northwest Europe or elsewhere in northern Europe, faced with competition from domestic supply and […]

How Would Scottish Independence Affect the Region’s Oil, Gas Industry?

7 Jun 2017   Scotland

Rigzone outlines how Indyref2 could shape the region’s oil and gas sector. Scottish independence from the UK could lead to fewer Scottish oil and gas jobs, according to Airswift CEO Peter Searle. “If Scotland exits the UK this may create economic instability, which could negatively impact the oil and gas sector as companies might view the country as a less desirable place to operate,” Searle told Rigzone. “In turn, this would likely reduce the number of available Scottish oil and gas jobs as companies look to move operations to more stable locations,” he added. A Scottish exit could potentially create significant uncertainty within the wider UKCS (UK Continental Shelf) too, particularly with regard to issues such as the delineation of the Scottish Continental Shelf (SCS), the allocation of decommissioning liabilities and tax treatment, Rystad Energy Senior Vice President Mark MacLean said. “The end result could lead to reduced capital […]

BP pumps more capital into North Sea programs

British energy company BP is putting more capital into its North Sea program with nearly $200 million in contracts, an energy services company said. Cape Industrial Services said it secured 400 jobs in the North Sea energy sector in a contract that provides BP with storage tank services and other support across the regional exploration, production and transportation sector. “Cape Industrial Services Ltd. has secured two contracts to extend the group’s longstanding relationship with BP in the U.K. North Sea for a further three years,” the company said in a statement . “These contracts have a combined estimated value in excess of $190 million.” The contract marks a rebound for the North Sea portfolio of BP, which last […]

All Dutch trains now run on 100% wind power

5 Jun 2017   Netherlands

Initially, trains in the Netherlands were set to run entirely on renewable energy by 2018. However, it seems officials have been able to beat that goal by an entire year. As of the first of January this year, all public transport trains are being powered by renewable energy, namely from wind power. The historical land of windmills is leading the charge in wind energy development. According to DutchNews.nl , there’s currently a total of 2,200 wind turbines across the country. These windmills generate enough power to sustain the equivalent of 2.4 million homes. The trains alone consume about 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year, which is roughly the total power consumption of every home in the country’s largest city, Amsterdam. The goal was accomplished in partnership with Eneco, a Dutch sustainable energy supplier . According to Eneco account manager Michel Kerkhof “What makes this contract and partnership unique […]

Oil in the $50s Is New Reality for CEOs Gathering in Russia

Rising shale production will offset OPEC cuts: Rosneft CEO Unclear how OPEC can phase out its curbs, say BP and Total A crude price in the $50s is the new reality for bosses of some of the world’s largest producers as output caps from OPEC and its allies are balanced out by rising U.S. shale. Executives of energy companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc to Russia’s Lukoil PJSC and Gazprom PJSC , who gathered this week at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, see an oil price of $50 to $55 at least for this year. “Unless something extreme happens, we are not going to get back to much higher,” IHS Markit Ltd. Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, author of the definitive history of the oil industry, said in an interview at the conference on Friday. “The exception was $100 per barrel, that was an aberrant period. […]

Top Russia Oil Boss Scorns Tesla, Electric Cars as Overrated

3 Jun 2017   Russia

Igor Sechin calls Tesla’s valuation, growth plans excessive Electric cars in Europe ‘not as popular as had been expected’ The day after President Donald Trump said the U.S. will exit from the Paris climate deal, the Russian chief of the world’s largest listed oil producer by output is taking on electric cars. Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of Rosneft PJSC , called manufacturers including Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. overvalued and said electric cars are “not as popular as had been expected” in Europe’s biggest economies. Sechin challenged Tesla’s valuation and business model in particular, citing “extremely aggressive” sales growth plans and criticizing the carmaker’s capital expenditures. “The market’s assessment of the prospects of electric car producers, in our view, is significantly overestimated,” Sechin said in a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “The unconditional truth remains in the fact that the hydrocarbon power industry has […]

‘Axis of love’: Saudi-Russia detente heralds new oil order

A meeting between the two men who run Russia and Saudi Arabia’s oil empires spoke volumes about the new relationship between the energy superpowers. It was the first time that Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) boss Igor Sechin and Saudi Aramco chief Amin Nasser had held a formal, scheduled meeting – going beyond the numerous times they had simply encountered each other at oil events around the world. Their conversation also broke new ground, according to two sources familiar with the talks in the Saudi city of Dhahran last week who said the CEOs discussed possible ways of cooperating in Asia, such as Indonesia and India, as well as in other markets. The sources did not disclose further details, but […]

EU planning to spend billions on climate issues

1 Jun 2017   Climate, Europe

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (C) speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sideline of the G7 Summit in Italy on May 26. Germany accounts for nearly 23 percent of all emissions tied to fossil fuels in the EU. Photo by Tiberio Barchielli/Chigi Palace Press Office/EPA June 1 (UPI) — The European Union is planning to spend tens of billions on climate-related issues by 2020, EU sources said ahead of the U.S. announcement Thursday on the Paris agreement. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his intention Thursday to start the process of pulling out of the international climate accord. Speaking from Berlin on Wednesday, European President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed that leaving the treaty isn’t automatic. “The climate agreement says: It takes three, four years after the treaty took effect in November 2016 to withdraw from the agreement,” he said. “This means […]

Russia’s Economy Minister: Russia Can Live Forever At $40 Oil

1 Jun 2017   Russia

The OPEC/non-OPEC deal is working, and the current underlying key assumption of Russia’s economic policies—oil prices at US$40—can allow it to live forever at that price or below, Russia’s Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told Bloomberg in an interview on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday. OPEC and Russia are already achieving what they intended to achieve with the deal—a decline in crude oil inventory levels around the globe, the minister said. Arguing that OPEC “has not failed at all” in its attempt to drive oil prices up, Oreshkin said that the price of oil is now much higher than it was this time last year, before the cartel and 11 non-OPEC producers led by Russia struck the initial output cut deal. “We are targeting tighter short-term end of the curve,” the minister said, noting that hedge funds are currently taking risks with medium-term prices […]

OPEC and Russia Outline Vision for Permanent Oil Alliance

1 Jun 2017   OPEC, Russia

OPEC and Russia added more detail to their vision for a permanent alliance between oil producers currently working to clear a global surplus. When the 24-nation coalition agreed last week to persevere with output cuts until March, officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia spoke of continuing to co-operate beyond that point. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in Moscow on Wednesday they’re considering how to formalize the partnership. “‘The cooperation and collaboration between us — OPEC and non-OPEC — will outlive the implementation process,” Barkindo told reporters. “We are putting in place, if you like, the building blocks for a Catholic marriage. We do not expect a divorce in this marriage.” OPEC and Russia overcame years of mutual distrust in December when they assembled the alliance to cut oil supply and try to end a three-year price slump that has […]

Russia-OPEC Deal Extension Hastens Decline of Oil Heartlands

1 Jun 2017   -, Russia

Output at higher-taxed West Siberian fields is dropping Rosneft, Lukoil pursuing projects with higher-margin barrels Russia’s deal with OPEC has bolstered state coffers by putting a floor under crude prices, but it’s also had one unintended consequence: depressing output in the nation’s West Siberian oil heartlands. With the Kremlin offering lower tax rates for new projects in the Caspian and East Siberia, Rosneft PJSC, Lukoil PJSC and other producers have looked elsewhere for the cuts that will allow Russia to comply with 300,000 barrels-a-day of production curbs. That means the Soviet-era fields of West Siberia. “West Siberian output is the first to go under knife,” said Alexander Kornilov, an oil analyst at Aton. “These are the least profitable barrels.” Since Russia joined forces with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, futures have rebounded from last year’s lows and the exporters have been able to earn more while pumping less. […]

Russian Energy Minister: Deeper Cuts Still On The Table

31 May 2017   Russia

Deeper cuts to OPEC’s oil production are not out of the question, but their implementation will depend on how things unfold with the current OPEC agreement, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with CNBC. “You know, we have the capability to react to any situation that might arise on the market. And to this end we have a technical committee working on this every month,” the minister said, adding that it was his opinion that in the next couple of months, stockpiles globally will continue to decline. In two months, the committee that was set up to monitor compliance and inventory developments during the agreement will meet in Moscow to discuss how the extension is going. Oil prices tumbled 5 percent after OPEC made its announcement yesterday, signaling the market expected more than just an extension of the current rate of cuts: it expected OPEC, combined […]

Russia wants continued cooperation with OPEC, non-OPEC after oil cut deal expires

31 May 2017   -, Russia

Russia needs to work out new principles jointly with OPEC and non-OPEC nations to continue cooperation even after the current oil output cut deal expires, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday. “It is necessary to work out new framework principles for continued steady cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC even after the expiration of the Vienna agreements,” Novak told an energy conference with OPEC held in Moscow. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)

Putin, Saudi Prince to Meet After Extending Oil-Supply Curb Deal

30 May 2017   Russia, Saudi Arabia

Talks likely to focus on oil-market cooperation, Syria Two biggest oil producers put aside rivalry to prop up prices Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Moscow Tuesday after the world’s biggest oil exporters reached a deal to prolong supply cuts for another nine months. Prince Mohammed, who met Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in China in September, left Saudi Arabia for meetings in Russia with Putin and other top officials, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said on Twitter Tuesday. While on opposite sides of the six-year Syrian civil war, with Russia and Iran backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels supported by Saudi Arabia and other allies, cooperation between the crude producers has proven key to an accord aimed at propping up global oil prices. OPEC and its partners on Thursday agreed to […]

Move Over Tesla, Europe’s Building Its Own Battery Gigafactories

30 May 2017   Electric Cars, Europe

Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a 500 million-euro ($543 million) plant to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units for Daimler AG , which produces Mercedes-Benz and Maybach luxury cars. The facility 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Berlin highlights a push by both major automakers and power companies into energy storage. The technology is crucial to drive the next generation of green vehicles and to hold electricity from wind and solar farms for when it’s needed most. With two dominant industries moving in the same direction, the cost of batteries is likely to plunge quickly, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “As battery costs fall and their energy […]

Russia Seeking Bids For Colossal Green Energy Auction

30 May 2017   Renewables, Russia

Russia issued government tenders on Monday for contracts to build 1.9 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by utilizing foreign direct investment to create thousands of jobs for the country’s citizens, who are facing a multi-year recession. “Russia has had a long history of leadership in the energy sector and now has the opportunity to extend that leadership into renewable energy,” Adnan Amin, of the International Renewable Energy Agency, told Bloomberg. Developing green energy “can significantly contribute to the country’s economic objectives such as economic growth and employment,” he added. Strict local-content rules passed in 2012 and 2014 for parts used in renewable energy initiatives have stifled the sector’s growth in recent years. The proportion of Russian-made parts necessary for any wind turbine or solar panel plant to function in the country stands at 40 percent in 2017. In the coming years, that percentage will become more stringent. The new […]

First Urals crude imported to US East Coast since 2013

11 May 2017   Russia, USA

Russian Urals crude was recently imported into the US East Coast for the first time since 2013, according to US Customs data. More shipments of the medium-to-light sour grade may be making the rare trip across the Atlantic as lower differentials, coupled with affordable freight rates, opened the opportunity, according to market sources. Two Urals cargoes aboard the same vessel were unloaded along the US East Coast within the past two weeks. The first, a 580,000-barrel shipment, arrived on the Elias Tsakos in Wilmington, Delaware, on April 30. Another 140,000 barrel shipment, also on the Elias Tsakos, arrived in Philadelphia on May 6. The cargoes were shipped by Statoil from storage in the Bahamas. Article continues below… Crude Oil Marketwire delivers vital intelligence to help you make critical decisions. Delivered daily direct to your desktop, Crude Oil Marketwire provides detailed market information, including crude oil price spreads, daily crude […]

Shell Says Russia Oil Must Be Considered for Brent Benchmark

11 May 2017   Russia

Market should discuss including Russian crude in global marker Says difficult to add more North Sea oil to current yardstick Royal Dutch Shell Plc , the world’s largest oil trader, said the time has come to debate using Russian crude to help determine the global Brent benchmark, in what would be the most radical shift in how European prices are calculated since the 1970s. Mike Muller, the head of crude trading at Shell, said at the Platts Global Crude Oil Summit in London that he wants a discussion about calculating the price in Europe using not just oil pumped in the North Sea — as has been the case since the 1970s — but potentially including Russian crude and even grades pumped in West Africa and the Caspian Sea basin. Shell is not just the largest oil trader but also the custodian of the master contract that governs the […]

Russian researcher claims edge in Arctic oil and gas

11 May 2017   Arctic, Russia

Ahead of a meeting of littoral states, a Russian expert said Wednesday there are new methods to offer an edge in assessing Arctic oil and gas reserves. Vladimir Cheverda, a project director at Russia’s Institute of Oil and Gas Geology and Geophysics, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying seismic surveys used to get a better understanding of reserve potential is difficult given the geological and technical challenges of working in extreme climates. “Some oil companies attempted to establish systems of observation on floating ice but faced uncontrollable hindrances,” he said. “We managed to determine the source of the obstacles and are developing completely new methods for 3D seismic survey of minerals, as well as software designed for modern high-capacity […]

Scotland’s Oil, Gas Sector Emerging From Downturn

11 May 2017   Scotland

Scotland’s oil and gas sector is emerging from the downturn, with people getting back into work and businesses growing in confidence, says SNP Deputy Leader Angus Robertson. Scotland’s oil and gas sector is emerging from the downturn, with people getting back into work and businesses growing in confidence, according to SNP Deputy Leader Angus Robertson. “The SNP has sought to support those out of work to retrain in other sectors and we’ve invested in innovation,” Robertson said in a statement sent to Rigzone. “Meanwhile the Tories have twiddled their thumbs and made clear they would rather oversee the managed decline of the oil and gas sector than see it thrive over the long term,” he added. Robertson stated that more support for exploration in Scottish waters is fundamental to ensure stable revenues and employment in the years ahead. The deputy leader also called on the next UK government to […]

Opec and Russia poised to roll over oil output cuts

9 May 2017   OPEC, Russia

Opec and Russia are on course to extend their oil output cuts in an attempt to draw down supplies and bolster the price, with Saudi Arabia saying the cartel is prepared to do “whatever it takes” to end the supply glut. Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, said on Monday he expected the Opec-led production deal to be rolled over until at least the end of this year. His comments follow a bruising sell-off last week that led to prices falling to their lowest levels in six months. “Based on consultations that I’ve had with participating members, I am confident the agreement will be extended into the second half of the year and possibly beyond,” said Mr Falih during an industry event in Kuala Lumpur. “The producer coalition is determined to do whatever it takes to achieve our target of bringing stock levels back to the five-year average.” Russia, which has led a group of non-Opec member producers in assisting with the cuts, also appears to be backing an extension, which is expected to be agreed at the next Opec ministerial meeting on May 25.

Saudi Arabia and Russia Signal Oil-Cuts Extension Into 2018

Prolonging cuts will speed up rebalancing of market: Novak Saudi Minister Al-Falih confident of agreement to extend Saudi Arabia and Russia signaled they could extend production cuts into 2018, doubling down on an effort to eliminate a supply surplus just as its impact on prices wanes. In separate statements just hours apart on Monday, the world’s largest crude producers said publicly for the first time they would consider prolonging their output reductions for longer than the six-month extension widely expected to be agreed at the OPEC meeting on May 25. “We are discussing a number of scenarios and believe extension for a longer period will help speed up market rebalancing” the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement. Speaking in Kuala Lumpur earlier Monday, his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih said he was “rather confident the agreement will be extended into the second half of the year and […]

Russia announces oil production milestone above Arctic Circle

6 May 2017   Russia

Nearly 200 tankers have left an oil field above the Arctic Circle in Russia that’s passed the production milestone of 35 million barrels, Gazprom Neft said. A subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy company Gazprom, said Friday total cumulative production from the Novoportovskoye field above the Arctic Circle has reached 5 million metric tons, or around 35 million barrels. “The Novoportovskoye oil and gas-condensate field is one of the most significant in the Yamal Peninsula,” the company said in a statement . “Eighty-five wells are currently in operation at the field, producing between 50 and 1,100 tonnes of oil per day. A total of 19 wells at the field have been constructed so far this year at the field. Pilot projects were completed […]