Europe

Russia’s Rosneft to take control of Iraqi Kurdish pipeline amid crisis

21 Oct 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russia’s biggest oil company, Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ), has agreed to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion despite Baghdad’s military action sparked by a Kurdish vote for independence.  The move appears to be part of a strategy by President Vladimir Putin to boost Moscow’s Middle Eastern political and economic influence, which was weakened by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rosneft’s investment comes amid a crisis in Kurdistan’s relations with the central government in Baghdad since the region held an independence referendum last month, which angered neighbors Iran and Turkey. The United States called the referendum a provocation but Moscow has effectively supported the vote, saying it understood Kurdish aspirations for […]

Iran reaches agreement on gas with Italian power company

21 Oct 2017   Iran, Italy

Iranian oil and gas companies said they’ve signed agreements with an Italian power company to capture flared gas at one of the world’s largest natural fields. Pars Oil and Gas Co., the National Iranian South Oil Co. and a handful of others said they signed a memorandum of understanding with Italian power company Ansaldo Energia to collect flared gas from Phase 12 of the operations at the South Pars gas field. The World Bank has described natural gas as a bridge fuel to a low-carbon economy, noting it’s unfortunate companies are burning it off at the wellhead. The bank said flaring adds to the amount of potent greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere. It’s also […]

Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea

21 Oct 2017   Russia, Ukraine

Russia’s TV channel REN TV on Friday aired a video of an air strike drill on a decommissioned boat in the Black Sea to warn Ukraine against attempts to recover oil rigs off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. According to REN TV, Russia’s Black Sea fleet showed Ukraine what would happen to its fleet if it attacked oil rigs, adding that Russia’s forces showed Ukraine how groundless its claim was that smaller targets are difficult to strike. Ukraine’s UNIAN news outlet commented that this was “a blunt threat to apply the same force to the actual Ukrainian Navy warships once Kyiv attempts to regain control over its assets seized by Russia in the Black Sea as a result of Crimea occupation or attack vessels under the Russian flag.” Last month, UNIAN reported –quoting Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service–that Russia continued to extract gas on the […]

Russia’s Rosneft to take control of Kurdish oil pipeline amid crisis

20 Oct 2017   Iraq, Russia

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian energy major Rosneft has agreed to take control of the main oil pipeline in Iraq’s Kurdistan, further boosting its role as the main international investor in the semi-autonomous region. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo The move is an apparent part of a broader strategy by President Vladimir Putin to ratchet up Moscow’s political and economic influence in the Middle East. It came amid the crisis in Kurdistan’s relations with the central government in Baghdad, which erupted after the region held an independence referendum last month. Rosneft said its share in the project may total as much as 60 percent, while the current pipeline operator KAR Group will retain 40 percent. Sources familiar with the deal said Rosneft’s investment in the project was seen totaling about $1.8 billion. […]

Maintenance period drags Norwegian oil production lower

20 Oct 2017   Norway

Preliminary production figures for Norway were lower than expected, but still higher than last year, based on preliminary data. Photo courtesy of Aker BP Oct. 19 (UPI) — Oil production from Norway last month was far lower than expected, but still above figures from last year, a government agency said Thursday. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported lower sales and lower production, based on preliminary data for September . Preliminary data show oil production was 1.44 million barrels of oil per day, which was about 11 percent lower than expected. “The oil production was below the forecast in September due to maintenance work on some fields,” the NPD’s monthly report read. Preliminary data for September shows a gain over last year of 3.6 percent. Final figures from August show an average daily rate for oil production at 1.56 million bpd. Total discovered and potential resources are up more than 40 […]

Russia Goes All In On Arctic Oil Development

20 Oct 2017   Arctic, Russia

In April, state-controlled oil giant Rosneft started drilling the northernmost well on the Russian Arctic shelf in the Khatangsky license area in the Laptev Sea. In June, Rosneft struck first oil in the Eastern Arctic in this license. Earlier this month, the oil firm said that recoverable reserves at the field exceed 80 million tons of oil, which is equal to around 586.4 million barrels. Geological data point to reserves at the field at 298 million tons of oil, or some 2.184 billion barrels, and the oil is high quality—light and low-sulfur, according to Rosneft. The Russian oil giant—whose CEO Igor Sechin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin—continues to drill at the field to study its geology, search for more oil, and define future drilling strategies at the license, Rosneft says. Rosneft and Gazprom’s oil unit Gazprom Neft are the only two companies allowed to drill in the […]

Kremlin oil major piles up investments in Iraq’s Kurdistan amid crisis

19 Oct 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russian state oil major Rosneft has agreed to invest $400 million in five oil blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan, increasing Moscow’s exposure to the semi-autonomous region despite a major spike in tensions with the central government in Baghdad. Rosneft has previously loaned Kurdistan $1.2 billion guaranteed by oil sales and is seeking to help Erbil build two major oil and gas pipelines as part of President Vladimir Putin’s drive to regain influence in the Middle East. The region plunged into a major crisis last month when Kurdistan held an independence referendum, which was immediately denounced by Baghdad and neighboring Iran and Turkey. In the build up to the referendum, only Israel supported Kurdish independence drive while Moscow stayed silent on the referendum – in […]

Rosneft’s Sechin says in talks with Iran to trade oil

19 Oct 2017   Iran, Russia

Russia’s Rosneft has been in talks with Tehran to set up a supply chain to deliver oil from Iran and Central Asia nations to the global markets, Igor Sechin, chief executive of Russia’s oil major Rosneft, said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo Rosneft will forge a partnership with China’s CEFC firm in a number of projects including exploration, production, refining, oil and oil products trading, Sechin told an industry forum in Verona.

China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal

18 Oct 2017   China, Russia

CEFC China Energy is set to gain up to 260,000 barrels per day of oil supplies from Russia as part of its recent deal with Moscow to invest $9.1 billion in the Russian state oil giant Rosneft, according to a new report by Reuters . The recurring shipments will mean China will take five percent of Rosneft’s output, which will challenge Western oil traders’ dominance in the Asian markets. Chinese oil and gas investments have also reached Saudi Arabia, with CEFC offering to purchase a five percent stake in Saudi Aramco. CEFC will buy a 14 percent stake of Rosneft from the Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore. The two entities acquired a 19.5 percent stake from Rosneft just nine months ago. The resale occurred so soon because Glencore, QIA’s partner in the deal, and the QIA itself looked to reduce debt repayments, according to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. “This […]

Volvo Cars, Geely investing US$756M to develop Polestar electrified vehicles;

 Volvo Cars and its owner, China-based Geely Holding, will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (US756 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development. Polestar, the fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary, revealed its first production model in Shanghai, the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. ( Earlier post .) The investment will be used, among other things, to establish a Polestar manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, marking a new chapter in the development of China as a manufacturing hub for Volvo Cars. This will shorten the time Polestar needs to launch its cars. Volvo Cars and Polestar will also benefit from synergies in the development of next generation […]

VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs

The German carmaker last month put out a tender seeking a five-year supply of the strategic metal at a fixed price. But people familiar with the deal said the offer was well below market prices. Cobalt has more than doubled in price from a year ago, when it was trading around $12 a pound, to its current $27.10 a pound as of last Thursday.  “They’re being arrogant because they’re automotive and they’re used to doing it,” said a cobalt trader quoted Sunday in the Financial Times . “They completely misjudged the contents of the tender. There’s no point negotiating – it’s not even a discussion point.” Over 60 percent of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – raising concerns about stability of supply. The big producers are Glencore (LON:GLEN) and China Molybdenum, along with thousands of artisinal miners who […]

Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal

17 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russia’s oil producer Gazprom Neft is ‘holding its nose’ to the OPEC/non-OPEC production cut deal because it has made the company cut its production growth targets, Gazprom Neft’s first deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev told Reuters in an interview published on Monday. “The companies involved in this deal are paying a different price. The effect is equal for everyone, but the contribution of the companies to the deal is different,” Yakovlev said. “This is related to the market players’ ability to increase their output – we have such a possibility and have to ‘hold our noses’. Gazprom Neft makes a big contribution to the deal. For us, this is a very sensitive issue as it is holding up the development of our fields,” said the manager who noted that the company sees the deal as a short-term one. In June this year, Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov said in an […]

UK North Sea Oil Faces Quickening Decline If No Brexit Deal

17 Oct 2017   United Kingdom

The UK oil and gas industry faces a faster decline if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to agree to a trade deal with the European Union. (Bloomberg) — The U.K. oil and gas industry faces a faster decline if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to agree to a trade deal with the European Union, as restrictions on the movement of workers and equipment would increase costs. A “no deal” Brexit, which has become a stronger possibility after talks ended in a deadlock this week, could restrict investments in the North Sea, hastening the existing decline of the aging basin, said Michael Bradshaw, professor of global energy at Warwick Business School. Oil & Gas U.K., the lobby group, has warned that the industry’s cost of trade could almost double if the country reverts to World Trade Organization rules. The U.K. North Sea was already well past its peak when crude […]

Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals

13 Oct 2017   Morocco, Russia

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed supplying liquefied Russian natural gas to Morocco on a visit to Rabat on October 11 during which he signed a string of energy, military, and other deals. Medvedev met with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani and presided at a signing ceremony for 11 bilateral agreements covering cooperation in such areas as customs, agriculture, the military, culture, energy efficiency, and nuclear energy. Medvedev touted what he called a “very promising project to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet the needs of the Moroccan economy,” saying during a press conference that “the potential for cooperation is huge.” Russia’s energy minister, Aleksandr Novak, on a visit to Morocco last month said an LNG regasification terminal was being built and the two countries discussed gas deliveries by the Russian groups Gazprom and Novatek, local media reported. Morocco has few oil and gas reserves of its […]

Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal

13 Oct 2017   Europe, Iran

Europe is scrambling to come up with a contingency plan in the face of a U.S. threat to end the nuclear deal with Iran—a move that lends a high level of uncertainty to European megadeals, including French Total SA’s $5-billion oil deal with Tehran. At stake if Trump refuses to certify Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear accord on 15 October and sanctions are re-imposed are deals with European companies worth over $55 billion in total, according to figures from the Financial Times . If Trump refuses certification on 15 October, Congress would then have 60 days to make a decision on new sanctions, giving Europe two months tome come up with a contingency plan. Right now, there isn’t one. “People in Brussels are looking at whether blocking statutes need to be upgraded or updated,” David O’Sullivan, EU ambassador to the US, told the Financial Times on Thursday. “There’s no […]

British government unveils green spending plans

13 Oct 2017   United Kingdom

The British government said Thursday it would spend more than $3 billion on new energy systems that could help it meet obligations for a low-carbon economy. The British government is legally bound to a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which are counted as the main contributors to climate change, by 80 percent of their 1990 levels by 2050. The government said Thursday it would invest and spend around $3.1 billion through 2021 on new energy systems, nuclear power and renewable energy strategies to help meet its 2050 target. British Minister for Climate Change and Industry Claire Perry said that emissions last year were 42 percent lower than the 1990 benchmark and 6 percent lower than in 2015. At the […]

Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs

13 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, Norway

The government of the global leader in EVs adoption, Norway, proposed on Thursday to trim some of the tax breaks for the heaviest electric vehicles (EVs) in a move that—if implemented—would affect owners of cars such as Tesla Model X, for example. In its 2018 budget proposal unveiled today, Norway’s right-wing minority government has included a proposal to change an exemption from the motor vehicle registration tax. The proposal “implies that only heavy electric cars, with a weight in excess of two tonnes, will be subject to motor vehicle registration tax,” the budget draft says. “Electric cars will still be accorded significant advantages in comparison with cars running on fossil fuels. In addition, the Government proposes that electric cars be exempted from re-registration tax and traffic insurance tax,” says the 2018 budget proposal. Norwegian media dubbed the tax on EVs weighing more than 2 tons the “ Tesla tax […]

Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks

13 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, Europe

In one of Big Oil’s most significant deals in the electric vehicles market yet, Shell said on Thursday that it had signed an agreement to buy one of Europe’s biggest EVs charging networks, Netherlands-based NewMotion. “Under the terms of the deal, NewMotion will continue business as usual as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell,” the oil and gas supermajor said in its statement, which did not disclose the price of the acquisition. NewMotion, launched in 2009, now has more than 30,000 private charge points across the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the UK. The Dutch company also provides access to a network of more than 50,000 public charge points across 25 countries in Europe for more than 100,000 registered charge cards. “Today’s announcement is an early step towards ensuring customers can access a range of refuelling choices over the coming decades, as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport […]

Russia Gets Foothold In The World’s Hottest NatGas Discovery

12 Oct 2017   Argentina, Russia

Chinese E&P major Sinopec reportedly put its Argentina assets up for a $1 billion sale this week. With one of the interested buyers said to be Russia’s Rosneft. And that latter firm made ever bigger waves in the global natural gas industry this week. With the purchase of a stake in one of the largest — and most geopolitically complicated — development projects in the world. That’s the Zohr natgas field, offshore Egypt. A find made by Italian major Eni — which holds a massive reserve of 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Eni announced this week it is selling a 30 percent interest in Zohr to Rosneft. With the Russian firm paying $1.125 billion for the stake, and reimbursing Eni for a proportionate share of historic costs. That will now give Rosneft a foothold in one of the world’s most important emerging natgas areas: the eastern Mediterranean. […]

France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects

12 Oct 2017   France, Shale Oil

As part of efforts to support energy transition, France’s biggest listed bank, BNP Paribas, said on Wednesday that it would no longer do business with companies whose main business is exploration, production, trading, or marketing of oil and gas from shale or tar sands projects. In one of the latest signs that the banking industry is evaluating the wisdom of doing business with the oil and gas industry in the face of mounting pressure from investors, BNP Paribas also said that it wouldn’t finance any oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region. The bank will also no longer finance LNG terminals that predominantly liquefy and export gas from shale projects, and choke off funding for pipelines that carry oil and gas from shale and/or tar sands. It doesn’t stop there. BNP Paribas won’t finance coal mines and coal-fired power plants either, and will be no […]

UK’s Shale Gas Sector Insiders Refute University Study

12 Oct 2017   United Kingdom

Industry insiders claim that the fledgling industry will evolve successfully despite hurdles. A new report by the University of Edinburgh, which claims that output from offshore fields in the North Sea will be depleted within a decade , is causing alarm and division within the UK. A study of output from offshore fields estimates that close to 10 percent of the UK’s original recoverable oil and gas remains – about 11 percent of oil and 9 percent of gas resources. Most of the UK’s liquids production occurs in the central and northern sections of the North Sea. The report also throws doubt on those in the country that want to offset these loses by tapping into the country’s shale gas resources. The analysis claims that fracking will “barely” be viable in the UK, especially in Scotland, because of a lack of sites with suitable geology. Other problems, according to […]

LNG fuel strides continue for French company

11 Oct 2017   France, Norway

Norwegian energy major Statoil will start using liquefied natural gas as a maritime fuel at the port of Rotterdam by the next decade, a French gas company said. French energy company ENGIE and its Japanese consortium partners said they were selected by Statoil to supply LNG as fuel for four crude shuttle tankers at the Norwegian port of Rotterdam. “The four planned dual fuel vessels are to come into service in early 2020,” the French company said. “They will be operated by Statoil in northern European seas.” Deliveries will be supported by bunkering vessel ENGIE Zeebrugge, which is currently in service in Belgian waters. The French company in June said the ENGIE Zeebrugge was its first to provide ship-to-ship supplies for LNG as a […]

Europe Stands Divided On Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

11 Oct 2017   Pipelines, Russia

Nord Stream 2—Gazprom’s pipeline project to twin the existing Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, is dividing European nations and European Union (EU) institutions—with one group cheering on the resultant cheap gas, and the other group fearing Russia’s increased grip on the region. Proponents and supporters of the project argue that Germany and neighboring countries will get cheap, reliable gas from Russia that will complement—not replace—gas from existing supply routes. Opponents of the project argue that Russia’s Gazprom will increase its share of the European gas market, which would boost its already dominant position in Central and Eastern Europe, and therefore undermine the efforts of some European countries to diversify their gas supplies away from Russia. Opponents also see Nord Stream 2 as Moscow gaining political leverage over the EU. Nord Stream 2—currently planned for completion by the end of 2019—faces stiff opposition from […]

Rosneft To Buy 30% Stake In Giant Zohr Gas Field

Russia’s oil giant Rosneft has closed the deal to buy from Italy’s Eni a 30-percent stake in the offshore concession in Egypt where the giant Zohr gas field is located, for US$1.125 billion, the Russian firm said on Monday. Rosneft also refunded its share in past project costs to the Italian company, which discovered Zohr in 2015 and plans to start production by the end of this year. Zohr has a total potential of 850 billion cubic meters of gas in place and is the largest natural gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, according to Eni, which has also divested an additional 10 percent in the concession to supermajor BP. Under the initial terms of Eni’s deal with Rosneft from December last year, the Russian firm would pay US$1.125 billion and the pro-quota reimbursement of past expenditures, which amounted at the time to around US$450 million. In addition, […]

Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties

10 Oct 2017   China, Russia

Even before the OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts took effect in January 2017, Russia had already beaten Saudi Arabia to become China’s single largest oil supplier for 2016. Since then, Saudi Arabia has sacrificed still more of its market share in the prized Chinese market, while Russia has dominated Beijing’s top suppliers’ list for most of this year. Now Russia’s oil giant, Rosneft—whose chief executive Igor Sechin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin—is reportedly aiming to further increase its crude oil deliveries to China, as Russia looks to boost energy ties with the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top driver of global oil demand growth. Since the OPEC/Russia oil production deal began, the U.S. has stepped up sanctions on Russia, which made Western banks and companies even more cautious in dealing with Russian firms. Considering this, it’s not a huge surprise that Rosneft and Russia want to boost ties […]

New drilling begins in Barents Sea

10 Oct 2017   Norway

New drilling has started in a prospect in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea near one of the region’s larger discoveries, Lundin Petroleum said. Lundin’s subsidiary in Norway said Monday it started drilling an exploration in the Hufsa prospect in the southern waters of the Barents Sea. The well is located just south of the Filicudi and Johan Castberg proven discoveries in Norwegian waters. “The Hufsa prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 285 million barrels of oil equivalent,” the company said in a statement . Johan Castberg was one of the more significant finds in the region in recent years. The field has estimated proven reserves of between 400 million and 600 million barrels of oil, […]

Statoil drills two dry UK wells, makes one discovery

9 Oct 2017   United Kingdom

Statoil’s exploration campaign off Britain yielded one discovery and two dry wells this year, the company said on Monday. Results of the Mariner Segment 9 and Jock Scott wells were disappointing, while the third, a sidetrack to Statoil’s Verbier well in the outer Moray Firth, proved at least 25 million barrels of oil. “Whilst the results of the other two exploration wells were disappointing, we are convinced of the remaining, high-value potential on the UK continental shelf,” Jenny Morris, Statoil’s vice president for UK exploration, said in a statement. “The Verbier result certainly gives us the confidence and determination to continue our exploration efforts,” she added. The preliminary results suggest that the Verbier discovery could hold from 25 million to 130 million barrels, […]

Exclusive: Russia’s Rosneft aims for big boost in oil exports to China – sources

7 Oct 2017   China, Russia

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) wants to boost its supplies of oil to China through Kazakhstan to as much as 18 million tonnes (36,000 bpd) per year from around 10 million tonnes in 2017, three industry sources said on Friday. Such a big increase may significantly drain flows of Urals blend to Europe at a time when Russian oil output has been reduced as part of a global pact to support prices. “(Rosneft’s head Igor) Sechin would like to boost oil supplies to China to 13 million tonnes per year with a possibility of further increase to 18 million tonnes,” a source familiar with Rosneft’s plans said, adding that there has been no decision yet at government level. He didn’t […]

Russia and Saudi Arabia keen to develop relations: Russian Energy Minister

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak is seen on a camera screen during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producing countries in Vienna, Austria September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger MOSCOW (Reuters) – A meeting between Russian and Saudi Arabian leaders shows a mutual will to develop relations between the two countries, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih in Moscow on Friday. King Salman of Saudi Arabia met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, agreeing joint investment deals worth several billion dollars. The signed documents were testimony to the mutual desire to develop relations, Novak said, adding that energy remains the key area of cooperation for both countries.

Russia To Become A Leader In Energy Storage

6 Oct 2017   Russia

Here’s a fun fact about Russia: it gets a fifth of its energy from hydropower. This might sound shocking for a country whose image is so tightly linked to oil and gas, but Russia has a lot of big rivers and it’s putting them to good use. Now, Moscow is moving into other renewables and, more interestingly, energy storage as well. Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this week that Russia could find a place among the world’s leaders in solar power generation and energy storage. Russian solar panel makers, the minister added, can already produce an efficiency factor per panel on par with global leaders, at around 20 percent, although some of the world’s leading producers have already exceeded that figure. Renewables news stories from Russia are not a frequent occurrence, and that’s understandable: there are too many oil headlines and there have not been indications from Moscow […]

Venezuela And Russia Team Up To Tackle The Petrodollar

6 Oct 2017   Russia, USA, Venezuela

Three weeks after the U.S. imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to cripple its economy and choke the Maduro regime, which in turn prompted Caracas to announce it would no longer receive or send payments in dollars, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro proposed to expand his own personal blockade of the U.S., by proposing that all oil producing countries discuss creating a currency basket for trading crude and refined products. One which is no longer reliant on the (petro)dollar. “ Developing a new mechanism of controlling the oil market is necessary ,” Maduro said on Wednesday at the Russian Energy Forum, being held in Moscow this week. Quoted by RT , Maduro also blamed trade in crude oil paper futures as having an adverse impact on the oil market, which has undermined attempts by OPEC to stabilize prices. To counteract such “speculation”, Maduro proposed an alternative currency basket, […]

Why Russia Is Playing All Sides In The Middle East

6 Oct 2017   Russia

With the Trump administration lately focused mostly on domestic policy – even as Mueller’s ongoing Russian probe continues to hang over Trump’s head – U.S. power and influence in the Middle East has found itself in retreat, a continuation of unsuccessful and/or failed policies implemented by the Obama administration, resulting in a power vacuum that has to be filled, and one country has emerged willing to take America’s spot. As Bloomberg wrote today , “the Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians – they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems.” And now, none other than Saudi Arabia is the latest to make friendly overtures toward the Kremlin, when Saudi King Salman visits Moscow on Wednesday, the first monarch of the oil-rich kingdom to do so. At the […]

Gazprom Neft Hit Hard From OPEC Production Cut

6 Oct 2017   Russia

Thursday . A new Reuters report also says Dyukov maintains that Gazprom’s production strategy has supported the international agreement to lower oil output and rebalance global markets on the supply side. In concert with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia agreed to lower production by 300,000 barrels per day last November. OPEC itself was on the hook to bring down bloc-wide output by 1.2 million bpd. Though the cartel’s compliance topped 100 percent during the early months of the agreement’s implementation, Nigeria and Libya have ramped up production since then. The latest figures show OPEC compliance leaning towards 80 percent. Originally, OPEC members Nigeria and Libya had been granted exceptions to the deal due to months and years of domestic strife, respectively. Both nations have experienced a dramatic resurgence in their oil sectors since January, however. The change of outlook in Nigeria led Abuja to declare that it […]

Russia’s Gazprom Neft CEO says oil production to be lower in 2017

6 Oct 2017   Russia

FILE PHOTO: Alexander Dyukov, head of Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft, attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian oil firm Gazprom Neft supports the global oil output cut deal as it has helped to bring stability to oil markets, company CEO Alexander Dyukov told a conference in Moscow on Thursday. He added that Gazprom Neft’s 2017 oil production would be lower than in 2016.

Putin Says Oil Pact With OPEC May Be Extended to End of 2018

5 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

President Vladimir Putin said Russia is open to extending a deal with OPEC to curb oil supplies to the end of 2018, though he’ll wait to make a decision until nearer the expiry of the existing pact in March. The comments are the strongest signal yet that the Kremlin is willing to redouble efforts to lift global energy prices, coming as Putin prepares to welcome King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia to Russia for the first time this week. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo called them a “very strong endorsement” of the deal. “Based on the realities in March 2018, we will make our decision, but I do not rule out that we may extend” the agreement, Putin said at the Russian Energy Week conference […]

Russia says to sign deals with Saudi worth over $3 bln

Russia and Saudi Arabia will sign joint investment agreements worth more than $3 billion during a visit to Moscow by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying on Wednesday. The deals will include a $1.1 billion agreement for Russian petrochemical firm Sibur to build a plant in Saudi Arabia, the energy ministry cited Novak as saying in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper. A joint Russian and Saudi fund will invest $150 million in Russian private oilfield services firm Eurasia Drilling Company Limited, the ministry quoted Novak as saying.

Saudi-Russia ties set to strengthen with king’s Moscow visit

Investment deals, oil market bonhomie and the Syrian war will dominate landmark talks between the leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia on Thursday that are set to solidify a deepening relationship between the two energy powers. A delegation to Moscow, led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, will sign more than $3bn worth of deals between Saudi and Russian energy companies, officials said. It is the first trip to Russia by a Saudi monarch and reflects a new-found friendship between the world’s largest crude exporters that underpins a global agreement which has helped prop up oil prices.  A relationship previously marked by mutual distrust has been replaced during the past year by strategic co-operation bound by economics, trade and geopolitics. Ties between the countries have warmed as Moscow’s relations with the west have deteriorated, and as its influence in the Middle East has risen following its intervention in the Syrian conflict.  “Previously, our relations with Saudi Arabia used to be just on the surface, but right now they are developing rapidly,” Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “There is very good potential, and we are looking ahead with confidence, both with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general.” The linchpin of the friendship is a deal struck in December last year by Moscow and Riyadh for a cut in crude production by Russia and the Saudi-led Opec cartel, which helped drag the oil price up above $50 a barrel, easing pressure on both countries’ oil-dependent budgets.  Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, told the Financial Times that there was “a large pipeline of co-operation projects to be discussed far beyond our joint [oil market] stabilisation efforts”. The talks between Mr Putin and King Salman will also focus on Syria, where Moscow and Riyadh have backed rival sides in the conflict, and the wider Middle East.

The Natural Gas Giant To Challenge Israel

5 Oct 2017   Israel, Lebanon, Russia

When Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri paid a visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin mid-September , most media coverage revolved around political and military issues. Yet the meeting was part of Mr. Hariri’s charm offensive to attract foreign investors to Lebanon’s offshore zone, a long-cherished glimmer of hope for the heavily indebted country that has suffered from chronical political paralysis for some decades already. After a 29-month deadlock during which Lebanon had no president, the team of Hariri and President Michel Aoun was determined to provide a much-needed boost to end legislative obstructionism and get down to work. Although Lebanon’s offshore licensing round officially began in 2013, the bids of pre-qualified companies are due by October 12, 2017. But is the four-year wait worth it? If, 10 years ago, Lebanese officials mooted the possibility of kick-starting gas imports from Syria under a 25-year term agreement (never materialized, as Syria […]

Saudi King Seeks Oil-Pact Extension on ‘Epochal’ Russia Visit

Salman, Putin to meet as ties warm between one-time rivals Saudi visit shows Russia’s Middle East influence after Syria Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is making an historic first visit to Russia by a monarch of the Gulf kingdom as he and President Vladimir Putin seek an understanding on whether to extend an agreement curbing oil supplies. King Salman is due to meet with Putin on Thursday after he arrived for the four-day official visit late Wednesday. His journey to Moscow, ahead of planned talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington early next year, underscores a shift in strategic direction by Saudi Arabia as Russian influence in the Middle East expands following Putin’s military intervention in Syria. Photographer: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images “Is there really anything in the world that’s absolutely permanent?” Putin told an energy forum in Moscow on Wednesday, in response to a question about […]

Saudi’s Falih says oil agreements with Russia helping market stability

Agreements reached between Russia and Saudi Arabia on global oil supply have helped oil markets to stabilize, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday. The two countries, the world’s biggest producers of crude, helped secure a deal between OPEC and rivals including Russia to cut supplies until the end of March 2018 in an effort to reduce a price-sapping glut. Falih, whose country is the de facto leader of the 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, also said he welcomed the contribution of U.S. shale oil supplies as global demand for crude was on the rise. Sponsored “Shale coming in and happening again in 2018 doesn’t bother me at all. The market can absorb it,” Falih said, speaking alongside Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak as part of a panel discussion at an energy forum in Moscow. The comments came a day after Russian President […]

New Form Of Alternate Energy To Power International Horse Show

5 Oct 2017   Biofuels, Finland

A Finland utility is expected to use horse manure to power the entire Helsinki International Horse Show later this month, according to a press release from Finnish utility, Fortum. And while the jokes practically write themselves, the headway of this alternative energy is serious business. The entire event will be powered by a manure/wood-based bedding combination—all 135 tonnes that will be generated during the event by the 250 horses attending—from lighting, scoreboards, and more. Electricity consumption at the event is expected to be about 140 MWh. The energy output would require the equivalent of the annual manure output of 14 horses. The poop-bedding mixture will be transported from the event by Fortum HorsePower to Fortum’s power plant where it will be used to produce the energy needed. “I am really proud that electricity produced with horse manure can be utilized for an event that is important to equestrian fans […]

Europe’s Largest Refinery To Shutter For Two Months

5 Oct 2017   Europe

The refinery has been partially shut down earlier this year for almost two weeks after a short circuit caused a major fire on July 31 st . Pernis refines 400,000 barrels per day of oil, making it Europe’s largest refinery, and ranks as one of the world’s top refineries. The financial impact of the temporary closure is sure to be sizable, though Shell has not yet released any figures. A similar incident occurred at the refinery in 2012 when flaring forced it to reduce production. The shut down was the latest in a string of refinery problems that have boosted refining margins in Europe to their highest since November 2015. Earlier this year, a fire at Total’s Leuna oil refinery near Leipzig in eastern Germany disrupted diesel and gasoline supplies to gas stations in the region, and some retail stations were running out of fuel. In Greece, […]

Russia’s Novak: no need now to talk about additional oil output cuts – magazine

4 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

There is no immediate need to talk about additional oil output cuts as part of a global deal between OPEC and non-OPEC nations, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with the Oil and Gas Vertical magazine published on Tuesday. Sponsored

Russia proposes a mechanism to monitor crude oil exports

4 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

Ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries attending a conference in Moscow may take up export monitoring, Russia’s energy minister said. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he expected around 30 ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers to show up for a five-day conference in Moscow, which began Tuesday. Before they arrived, he said a mechanism to monitor oil exports could be added to agenda. “At the latest meeting we agreed to monitor oil exports,” he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. “This is a new instrument, which has not been clearly formed yet, which is why I think it will be one of the main issues on the discussion agenda from the viewpoint of export […]

Saudi king heads to Russia, with oil, investment and Syria on agenda

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s biggest oil exporters, are expected to discuss cooperation on oil production and differences over Syria and Iran on Thursday during the first visit to Moscow by a reigning Saudi Monarch. A slew of investment deals, including on a liquefied natural gas project and petrochemical plants, could also be signed during King Salman’s trip and plans for a $1-billion fund to invest in energy projects are likely to be finalised. The visit, including talks in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin, reflects a rapid deepening of ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, driven by a mutual […]

Mixed results from new North Sea drilling

4 Oct 2017   Norway

The Norwegian government said Tuesday it confirmed a discovery of oil and gas in the North Sea but said efforts to find new reserves in untested waters failed. The Norwegian government published data Tuesday from an appraisal well drilled by Aker BP, a merger of Norwegian energy companies and a subsidiary of BP, about 7 miles away from the producing Froy filed in the North Sea. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said the company ran through a column of oil measuring 44 feet and confirmed it as a discovery. Before drilling, the company estimated the well held about 63 million barrels of recoverable oil and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas. “Analyses are ongoing […]

Scotland To Permanently Ban Fracking

4 Oct 2017   Scotland

The Scottish government said on Tuesday that it wants to extend a current moratorium on fracking into a permanent full ban , with a final vote likely taking place at the Scottish Parliament later this year. “I can confirm that the decision of the Scottish Government is that we will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland,” Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told the Scottish Parliament today. In January 2015, the Scottish Government put in place a moratorium on granting consents for unconventional oil and gas developments in Scotland. Back then, the government promised to undertake further research on potential impacts before holding a full public consultation. The consultation ran from January 31 to May 31, 2017, and received more than 60,000 responses, the government said. Today, Minister Wheelhouse told the Parliament that 99 percent of respondents in the consultation were against fracking. The ministers […]

Russia’s Gazprom aims for 10 percent of China gas market after 2025

Russia’s biggest natural gas producer Gazprom aims to take a 10 percent share of the Chinese gas market after 2025, a company executive told an energy conference on Wednesday. Gazprom said earlier this year it planned to begin supplying gas to China through Siberia on Dec. 20, 2019.

Statoil, Shell and Total to store CO2 offshore Norway

3 Oct 2017   North Sea, Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it was leading a partnership aimed at advancing Paris climate efforts through carbon capture and storage. Statoil said it would lead a project alongside the Norwegian subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell and French supermajor Total in storing carbon dioxide captured from industrial facilities in eastern Norway at an offshore site. “Statoil believes that without carbon capture and storage, it is not realistic to meet the global climate target as defined in the Paris agreement,” Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for new energy solutions, said in a statement . The International Energy Agency described carbon capture and storage as a necessary addition to other low-carbon energy technologies meant […]

Report: Russia may be the next ‘energy superpower’

3 Oct 2017   Russia

Russia could exploit its position on the oil market given recent geopolitical turmoil and end the year as the “energy superpower,” a market report read. Russia is a member of a committee monitoring the effort to drain the surplus on the five-year average of global crude oil inventories and the largest contributor among parties that aren’t a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The OPEC-led effort helped put a floor under the price of Brent crude oil at around $50 per barrel, tacitly supporting the economies of oil producers hit hard by last year’s market collapse. With oil prices holding steadily above $50 per barrel, the Russian government said Friday it revised its estimate for the […]