Europe

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 […]

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 […]

Norway at least doubles Barents Sea reserve estimate

26 Apr 2017   Norway

 The estimated amount of undiscovered oil and gas in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea is likely twice what was previously assumed, the government said. Apart from Russia, Norway is the lead oil and natural gas exporter to the European market, designating nearly all of its offshore production for European Union demand. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said new data from eastern and northern parts of the Barents Sea, areas previously a source of dispute with Russia, led to upward revisions of the reserve estimate by up to 65 percent. NPD Director General Bente Nyland said figures still carry a degree of uncertainty, but added the Barents Sea in general is already expecting a record this […]

Will Russia Join The OPEC Cut Extension?

26 Apr 2017   Russia

As the global oil supply glut grows, Russia has not yet climbed on board of OPEC’s production cut agreement extension. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Chart of the Week (Click to enlarge) • At the end of March, U.S. natural gas storage levels stood at 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), or about 15 percent above the five-year average. • Storage levels tracked average levels for most of the winter, but mild weather in February and March caused inventory drawdowns to slow. • But that pales in comparison to the same period a year ago, when inventories stood near an all-time high, pushing prices below $2/MMBtu. • Gas markets today are a bit more balanced, although slightly elevated storage levels could keep prices from rising to $4/MMBtu. Market Movers • Saudi Aramco says that the company should be valued at $2 trillion ahead of its IPO, but independent analysts […]

Barents Sea Oil Reserves Twice As Big As Previously Thought

26 Apr 2017   Norway

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Tuesday that its latest estimates show that the undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Barents Sea are twice as large as previously thought, drawing criticism from green groups over potential opening up of drilling in sensitive iced areas. The NPD has recently mapped the eastern part of the northern Barents Sea, a large part of which is located in the previously disputed area, “and most of the new information has been collected after the demarcation line agreement with Russia entered into force in the summer of 2011,” the Norwegian oil regulator said. A large part of the resources in the new area—which are estimated at 1.4 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents—are not open for drilling, according to the NPD. The Barents Sea could hold a total of 2.8 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents, equal to 17.6 billion […]

Iceland Geothermal Project Completes Deep Drilling In Volcano

26 Apr 2017   Iceland

Geologists and engineers have successfully drilled into the heart of a volcano in Iceland, as part of a project aimed at assessing the economic feasibility of using deep unconventional geothermal resources to deliver renewable energy. Drilling so deep into such a hot borehole poses many difficulties, but if researchers manage to overcome the challenges, fewer geothermal wells would need to be drilled in the future because the energy content of fluids so deep into the ground is much higher than conventional geothermal steam. The Deployment of deep enhanced geothermal systems for sustainable energy business (DEEPEGS), funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, considers unconventional geothermal resources as those that are superhot, up to 550 degrees Celsius (1,022 degrees Fahrenheit), and very deep—more than 3 kilometers (1.864 miles). Earlier this year the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) at the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland completed drilling at a depth of 4.659 […]

North Sea Oil Floods to Asia Like Never Before on OPEC Cuts

26 Apr 2017   Asia, Norway

Grade’s premium to Dubai oil has lowest close in seven years Smaller gap makes Brent more attractive to Asian refineries North Sea oil is flooding into Asia like never before thanks to the most competitive crude prices in seven years. OPEC’s own output cuts are partly to blame. Brent, a global benchmark, closed at a premium of just 57 cents a barrel to Dubai crude on Monday, the greatest incentive to move North Sea oil east since June 2010, data from PVM Oil Associates in London show. It was at about $2.50 at the end of November, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would cut output. North Sea tankers sailing to Asia soared to a record this month, hauling at least 540,000 barrels a day. Supply of heavy grades, dominating much of the output of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries, has diminished since OPEC and allied […]

Reserve estimate raised for North Sea oil field

25 Apr 2017   Norway

Norwegian government says there’s more oil than initially estimated in the Edvard Grieg field in the North Sea. Map courtesy of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. April 24 (UPI) — Results of a well on the Edvard Grieg oil field in the North Sea led to an increase in the estimated reserve potential, the Norwegian government said. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said it was assessing the results of an appraisal well drilled in the central waters of the North Sea about 1.5 miles from the platform designated for the Edvard Grieg oil field. Edvard Grieg was proven as an oil field in 2007 and, according to the NPD, operator Lundin Petroleum put the reserve estimate at 220 million barrels of oil equivalents. Based on the results from the latest appraisal well, the NPD said the reserve estimate was revised upwards by between 10 million and 30 million barrels of recoverable […]

Norway’s Statoil plays down risks ahead of Arctic drilling

25 Apr 2017   Arctic, Norway

Norway’s Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. Despite opposition from environmentalists, the company plans to drill five wells in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea, including Korpfjell, which will be the world’s northernmost well and in a formerly disputed border area with Russia “We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May … followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central),” said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill. All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, with sea and wind conditions similar to the […]

Energy Firms’ $5.1 Billion Financing for Russia Gas Pipeline Stokes EU Fears

25 Apr 2017   Europe, Russia

European energy firms pledged Monday to finance half the cost of a natural-gas link from Russia to Germany, lending support to a pipeline plan that is fueling tensions within the European Union. A consortium of five companies—Engie SA, OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Uniper SE and Wintershall Holding GmbH—said they would provide up to €4.75 billion ($5.1 billion) in long-term financing to Nord Stream 2 AG, a wholly owned…

Russia elbows Saudi Arabia aside as China’s top crude oil supplier in March

25 Apr 2017   China, Russia

Workers look at a drilling rig at a well pad of the Rosneft-owned Prirazlomnoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Nefteyugansk, Russia, August 4, 2016. Russia reclaimed its position as China’s biggest crude oil supplier in March, customs data showed on Tuesday, displacing Saudi Arabia after two months in second place as Moscow fights to hang on to its slice of the Chinese market. Russian shipments grew nearly 1 percent to 1.104 million barrels per day (bpd) from the same month a year earlier, as China’s private refineries maintained high processing rates and restocked inventories after receiving fresh 2017 import quotas. China’s crude imports rose to a record in March, overtaking the United States and shattering expectations. Saudi shipments were 1.072 million barrels in March, up nearly 15 percent from a year ago, the General Administration of Customs said. For the first three months, Saudi arrivals stood […]

Russia’s Oil Cuts Won’t Be So Easy If OPEC Deal Is Extended

25 Apr 2017   Russia

Country typically increases output in second half of the year Rosneft and Lukoil plan higher spending and more drilling For Russian oil companies, the historic agreement to boost prices by cutting output in conjunction with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was an easy win. Extending the deal will be less straightforward. Cuts so far this year came alongside the traditional seasonal stagnation in Russian production, meaning the country made relatively few sacrifices in exchange for an increase in crude prices of more than 10 percent. For the powerful Russian oil bosses who plan to discuss the OPEC accord with Energy Minister Alexander Novak this week, a decision by the government to extend the cuts beyond June would stymie plans to boost output, creating many more headaches than the initial agreement. “It was not a surprise and not a big deal to have production going down in the first […]

UK Conservatives pledge energy price cap, hitting utility shares

24 Apr 2017   United Kingdom

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party said it would cap domestic energy prices if it retained power in an election in June, targeting an industry it accuses of not working properly and sending shares in the leading providers down sharply. Shares in British energy suppliers Centrica and SSE fell by 4-5 percent after ministers said the Conservative’s election manifesto would include pledges on controlling energy prices. Energy bills have doubled in Britain over the past decade to about 1,200 pounds ($1,640) a year, angering consumers who face rising inflation, and drawing the ire of politicians ahead of a June 8 national election. Energy companies say higher prices reflect increased wholesale costs and environmental levies. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has previously said the energy market does not work properly and called for more competition in […]

U.S. Treasury says it will not issue drilling waivers to Russia sanctions

22 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrives to meet with China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. The U.S. Treasury will not give permission to U.S. companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp, to drill in areas prohibited by U.S. sanctions on Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday. Mnuchin said in a statement that the decision had been made in consultation with President Donald Trump. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Exxon Won’t Get Drilling Waiver for Russia, Mnuchin Says

22 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

Exxon Mobil Corp. won’t be allowed to bypass U.S. sanctions against Russia to resume drilling for oil in a joint venture that seeks to tap billions of barrels of that country’s crude. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the decision was made after consultation with President Donald Trump, according to a statement on Friday. Exxon initially requested the drilling waiver in 2015 and pushed for approval every few months since then, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The waiver request drew criticism from a cross-section of leading U.S. policymakers, from Republican Senator John McCain, who wondered in a tweet whether Exxon was “crazy,” to Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and sanctions hardliner who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We understand the statement today by Secretary Mnuchin in consultation with President Trump,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, said […]

Trump denies Exxon permission to drill for oil in Russia

22 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

The Trump administration has denied ExxonMobil permission to bypass sanctions to drill for oil in Russia. “The Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said in a statement Friday. Mnuchin said he consulted with President Trump on the decision. Exxon had applied for a waiver from sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in a bid to resume its lucrative joint venture with Russian state oil giant PAO Rosneft. In a statement, Exxon said “we understand” the decision by the Treasury Department. Exxon explained that its application for a license was aimed at meeting the company’s “contractual obligations” in Russia, where competitors are allowed to drill under European sanctions. There are powerful reasons why Exxon would want to get back into business with Rosneft: Their agreement to form a joint venture, signed in 2011, […]

Russia says to discuss extending oil cut with OPEC on May 24

22 Apr 2017   Russia

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday a decision on extending a global pact to cut oil production had not yet been taken, but would be discussed with OPEC on May 24. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading oil producers have pledged to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), with Russia’s contribution of cuts amounting to 300,000 bpd to be gradually phased in. The goal was to reduce bulging global inventories and lift oil prices. Despite a modest recovery in the market, oil stocks remain high and the focus is now on whether OPEC and non-OPEC producers will prolong the cuts into the second half of 2017. OPEC’s next policy-setting meeting is set for May 25, with a decision expected at that time on whether to extend the curbs. Novak said information on the oil market’s situation and forecasts were being […]

Energy sector putting strain on Norwegian economy

22 Apr 2017   Norway

Most industrial managers expressed optimism about the pace of the economy, though oil and gas suppliers were less convinced, Norway’s government said. Norway is a leading oil and gas supplier to the European economy, designating nearly all of its offshore production toward exports. Tepid growth in Europe, coupled with lower energy prices by relative standards, could be creating issues on the margins of the Norwegian economy. Statistics Norway, the country’s record-keeping agency, reported that industrial managers were developing a sense of optimism as trends moderate toward recovery. “The business tendency survey for the first quarter of 2017 shows that the downturn in total production has leveled off compared with the fourth quarter of 2016,” it reported. “For manufacturers of capital goods, there […]

Russian gas project in the Arctic gets European support

22 Apr 2017   Russia

Financing for a liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic north of Russia by foreign creditors is a political win, Russian gas producer Novatek said Friday. Novatek, the largest private natural gas company in Russia, leads the project aimed at sourcing the markets in the Asian-Pacific. It controls 60 percent of the project in the Arctic north of Russia, alongside French energy company Total and the China National Petroleum Corp. Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said unnamed export credit agencies in Germany and Sweden have joined the financing model for the LNG project. “The project is actually supported in terms of international funding volume, but I believe participation of Germany and Sweden is highly important politically,” he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as […]

Russia Hits 250,000 Bpd Oil Production Cut Milestone

22 Apr 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russia has cut 250,000 bpd of its crude oil output, with another 50,000 bpd to go as per its agreement with OPEC, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told media today, adding that the other 50,000 bpd will be cut by the end of the month. The undertaking took as basis the country’s record-high October output, which exceeded 11 million bpd. Earlier this month, Novak said that the ministry will start discussing Russia’s possible participation in the production cut extension that is currently being negotiated by OPEC members in order to increase prices further, having failed to push them up to $60 a barrel since the start of the year. Novak said last week that “It still remains unclear whether the agreement should be extended. We’ll have consultations with our companies and other countries in the nearest future, and we have to see how he situation unfolds in April and consider […]

Statoil cleared for Barents Sea exploration

21 Apr 2017   Norway

 Norwegian energy company Statoil can spend the next month or so drilling an exploration well in a prospect in the Barents Sea, the government said. “Statoil is the operator for production license 532 in the Barents Sea and has received consent to drill exploration well 7219/9-2 in a prospect named Kayak,” the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said in a statement . The company will use a mobile drilling rig for the well and drilling should last around 27 days, the government said. The site is about 85 miles northwest of the Goliat license area in the Barents Sea. Production from Goliat comes from 12 oil-producing wells. A peak rate of 100,000 barrels of oil per day is expected. The reserve area […]

Europe’s Coal Power Is Going up in Smoke — Fast

21 Apr 2017   Coal, Europe
Europe’s Coal Power Is Going up in Smoke — Fast

The long goodbye for coal in Europe is accelerating as the cost of shifting to green energy plunges.  Companies including Drax Group Plc, Steag GmbH to Uniper SE are closing or converting coal-burning generators at a record pace from Austria to the U.K., made obsolete by competition from cheaper wind and solar power. After more than 500 years of using the carbonaceous rock — which fueled the industrial revolution even as emissions warmed the atmosphere — the continent simply can’t afford it anymore and is moving on.  “It’s an entirely different fuel-price world,” said Johannes Truby, an analyst at the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Since 2012, the agency has cut its outlook for European Union coal use in 2030 by 12 percent and now expects just 114 gigawatts of capacity will remain by then, compared with 177 gigawatts in 2014, the latest annual data available.

Countries including the U.K., France, Portugal, Austria and Finland are phasing out coal with policies in place to end its use in power generation. Elsewhere in the world, the fossil fuel is in a life-or-death struggle because green energy produces cheaper electricity and employs more people. Even in the U.S., where President Donald Trump vowed to cut environmental standards to revive coal jobs, many plants can’t compete with abundant and low-cost natural gas.

Russia To Help Build 2 Nuclear Power Plants In Iran

20 Apr 2017   Iran, Nuclear, Russia

Russian experts will help the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran build two 1,000-MW nuclear power plants, Iran’s Energy Minister told media. Construction will start soon, Hamid Chitchian also said, adding that a third joint power plant construction project with Russia, which will have a capacity of 1,400 MW, has already begun. The announcement is part of deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran, expanding into a growing number of industries, from oil to defense and fisheries. Earlier this year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian companies are “keen” on strengthening their ties with Iran, not least in the power plant construction sector. Energy-hungry Iran plans several more such projects, and it’s likely that Russian companies will be among the preferred bidders. Yesterday, Iran’s ambassador to Russia said in a statement that Tehran would be happy to strengthen bilateral ties further, noting their joint stance on the political situation […]

Exxon Seeks U.S. Waiver to Resume Russia Oil Venture

20 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft, according to people familiar with the matter. Exxon has been seeking U.S. permission to drill with Rosneft in several areas banned by sanctions and applied in recent months for a waiver to proceed in the Black Sea, according to these people. The…

Exxon Mobil Seeks U.S. Sanctions Waiver for Oil Project in Russia

20 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia so it may drill in the Black Sea in a venture with the Russian state oil company Rosneft , a former State Department official said Wednesday. An oil industry official confirmed the account. The waiver application was made under the Obama administration, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and the company has not dropped the proposal. The proposal is now before the Trump administration at a delicate time in Russian-American relations, with rising tensions over the war in Syria and a looming congressional inquiry into reports of Russian efforts to influence the United States presidential election. The appeal did not come up during Senate confirmation hearings of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson , who was Exxon Mobil’s chief executive before his appointment by President Trump and was known to have a strong […]

Exxon seeks waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia:

20 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

Exxon Mobil Corp ( XOM.N ) has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia as the oil major looks to resume its joint venture with Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ), the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Exxon has been seeking permission from the United States to drill with the Russian state-owned Rosneft in certain banned areas and applied in recent months for a waiver to proceed in the Black Sea, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter. ( on.wsj.com/2osAxzB ) The company wound down drilling in Russia’s Arctic in 2014 in the face of U.S. sanctions targeting cooperation between Western companies and Moscow’s oil sector. Exxon and Rosneft in 2012 unveiled an offshore exploration partnership that could […]

Norwegian company envisions wind energy role for oil production

20 Apr 2017   Norway

A Norwegian energy company said it was moving to the next phase of testing for a project that would use wind power to facilitate offshore oil production. DNV GL is leading a joint research project that includes the Norwegian Research Council, the regional subsidiary of Italian energy company ENI and U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil as its partners. The partnership is testing whether or not wind power could be used to help push water into offshore fields to increase reservoir pressure and stimulate production. The first phase of the wind-powered water injection project, which DNV dubbed WIN-WIN, determined that the design could be used as envisioned. The consortium said it was now moving into a second phase to refine and test the electrical systems. “We […]

New concept for production at Danish oil field

20 Apr 2017   Denmark

The start of production from an oil field in the Danish waters of the North Sea could serve as a testing ground for future development, a German company said. The regional subsidiary of German energy company Wintershall, Wintershall Noordzee, said Wednesday it started production from the Ravn field, its first in the Danish waters of the North Sea. The company said the field was developed using what it called an “appraisal through development concept,” which makes it so the company can both test and develop the reservoir’s performance. Wintershall said this could open the door for further field development options. “Ravn paves the way for potential further oil and gas developments in this […]

Russia interested in oil and gas opportunities in Senegal

18 Apr 2017   Russia, Senegal

Russia has an opportunity to foster a better trade relationship with Senegal, an emerging West African oil producer, the Russian foreign minister said.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted his Senegalese counterpart, Mankeur Ndiaye, at his Moscow office to discuss opportunities in the energy sector.  “Our trade and economic cooperation has been on the rise, our companies have been looking at a number of promising projects in Senegal, including those in the oil and gas industry, ship-building and fishing sectors,” the Russia foreign minister was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying.  Russian interest in Senegal follows a March decision by the British subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. to outline areas of mutual interest offshore Gambia and Senegal with Australian energy company FAR Ltd.  FAR Ltd. has a stake in the SNE and FAN prospects off the coast of Senegal. When discovered in 2014, SNE in particular was considered one of the larger discoveries ever made. By the company’s estimates, more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil may be in basins off the coast of Senegal.

Russia takes conservative approach on the price of oil

15 Apr 2017   -, Russia

Russia is taking a conservative approach to the price of oil, pegging its scenario for growth at $40 per barrel for the nation’s benchmark Urals crude oil. “Taking into account that world oil reserves remain at a high level and intensive growth of shale oil production in the United States, we are lay[ing] down $40 per barrel price of Urals oil in our conservative scenario,” Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. Economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported Urals crude prices in March averaged $49.94 per barrel, a decline of 7 percent from the February average. All major crude oil benchmarks lost value in March, though the downturn for Urals crude […]

Libya’s Haftar says Russian base not being discussed – RIA

13 Apr 2017   Libya, Russia

The question of a Russian military base being set up on Libyan territory is not being discussed, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar as saying on Thursday. (Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alexander Winning)

Russia plans to cut oil output by 300,000 barrels per day

13 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia says it will cut 300,000 barrels of oil per day from its production levels by the end of the month in coordination with an OPEC-led agreement. File Photo by tcly/Shutterstock April 12 (UPI) — According to state media in Russia, the country’s oil minister has upped the ante on how much the country will cut out of its production levels through June. “Our plans have not changed — by the end of the month we will reduce daily reduction of oil output of 300,000 barrels,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by state news agency Tass. “We will maintain this level in May-June.” Tass reported Tuesday that total crude oil production from Russia last month was 11.04 million barrels per day, about 67 percent toward a quota outlined in a deal with OPEC, but also cited the minister as saying cuts by the end of […]

Russia stands by OPEC oil production commitments

12 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia will be 100 percent in compliance with the terms of a production deal coordinated by OPEC by the end of the month, Russia’s oil minister said. Russia is the largest contributor among non-member states to a deal implemented in January by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. According to Russian news agency Tass, total crude oil production from Russia last month was 11.04 million barrels per day, a decline from the benchmark used by OPEC of 202,300 barrels per day, or about 67 percent of its quota. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that, at the very least, full compliance to a cut of 250,000 barrels per day could come by the end of the month, possibly sooner. Russia last year was […]

German power company examining new wind energy options

12 Apr 2017   Germany, Wind

Technology for wind energy could use fixed-wing or sails for power in a way that would make deployment easier for deep waters, a German company said. German energy company E.ON said it made an investment commitment with Ampyx Power to test so-called airborne wind energy technology. “This novel technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market as airborne wind devices are cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain than conventional wind turbines,” the German company explained. “Additionally, they are easier deployed in deeper waters surrounding countries such as Portugal, Japan and the United States.” Ampyx Power is a pioneer in the development of novel wind energy technologies and the company said teaming up with E.ON was “clear […]

Is Britain’s ‘largest oil discovery in decades’ really all that?

11 Apr 2017   United Kingdom

A large oil find has been declared 60 miles west of Shetland, off the north coast of Scotland. It’s being described as the UK’s “ largest undeveloped discovery ”. Taken at face value, this is exciting news for an industry still reeling after the oil price collapse of the past few years (environmentalists though are less enthusiastic ). The discovery was made by Hurricane Energy, a specialist exploration firm, which announced that its Halifax well had found large amounts of oil. It said it had also successfully undertaken a production test in which oil flowed at an impressive rate. This find may even be connected with a previous discovery nearby (the Lancaster field ) and hence be part of one large accumulation of nearly a billion untapped barrels. Hurricane Energy specialises in trying to extract oil from so-called fractured “basement” reservoirs . While most oil, including most North Sea […]

Fixing Russia’s Growth for Economists Takes One Ruble at a Time

10 Apr 2017   Russia

The ruble’s “ serious weakening ,” as forecast by Russia’s Economy Ministry, may be seriously good for growth. While the authorities in Russia have wavered this year over the benefits and disadvantages to the economy of a strong exchange rate, analysts are coming down on the side of depreciation. A weaker ruble is better for growth in the view of more than half the 19 analysts in a Bloomberg survey . “As Russia is still export-orientated and many of the big corporations have revenues in U.S. dollars, a weaker ruble is favored over a too-strong ruble as it keeps them competitive in what remains their main source of income,” said Christopher Shiells, senior emerging-market analyst at Informa Global Markets in London. Given the ministry’s updated baseline outlook released last week, Russia may get just what it needs to give the economy a pop after almost two years of recession. […]

Norway issues new drilling permits for North and Barents Seas

8 Apr 2017   Norway

The government of Norway, one of the largest oil and gas exporters to Europe, said Friday it signed off on new drilling permits in its territorial waters. Norwegian energy company Statoil was granted a drilling permit for a well in the Snøhvit field in its northern territorial waters. “This is the first well to be drilled in the license area,” the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate stated. The Norwegian government confirmed a sizable discovery of oil and natural gas at the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea three years ago at 525 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and more than 130 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves. According to government estimates, there are roughly 18 billion barrels […]

Politics Eclipse Carry as Ruble Tumbles After U.S. Syria Strikes

8 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia’s ruble fell the most among major global currencies on Friday and the nation’s borrowing costs climbed after U.S. airstrikes on Syria dimmed hopes for improved ties under Donald Trump. The Russian currency weakened 1.4 percent against the dollar by 6:20 p.m. in Moscow, the most in almost a month, after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the attacks as an “act of aggression.” Stocks posted the steepest drop worldwide, credit default swaps climbed for the first time this week, and yields on local-currency government bonds advanced. Rebounding oil prices and attractive real interest rates have made the ruble one of the best-performing currencies in developing nations this year amid a global hunt for higher returns. Russian markets rallied after Trump’s November election, but the strikes, in response to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of poison gas to kill scores of civilians, show the chances of a detente are […]

Saudi Arabia Vs. Russia: The Next Oil Price War

International oil markets could be heading towards a new war, as leading OPEC and non-OPEC producers are vying for increased stakes. The unexpected cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, instigated by the full support of Saudi Arabia (OPEC) and Russia (non-OPEC) has brought some stabilization to the crude markets for almost half a year. The expected crude oil price crisis has been averted, it seems, leaving enough room when looking at the fundamentals to a bull market in the coming months. As long as Saudi Arabia, Russia and some other major producers (UAE, Kuwait), are supporting a production cut extension, financials will be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. The effects of the 2nd shale oil revolution, as some have stated, have been mostly mitigated by a reasonably high compliance of OPEC and non-OPEC members to the agreed upon cuts, while geopolitical and security issues have […]

Russia sees slow economic growth irrespective of oil prices

6 Apr 2017   Russia

Even if crude oil prices move above $60 per barrel, the Russian economy likely won’t expand much more than 1 percent, the head of the central bank said. Russia’s economy lingered in recession last year and the national currency, the ruble, declined in value after crude oil prices dipped below $30 per barrel. So far in April, crude oil prices have posted steady gains amid signs the global market was returning to balance following a long period of oversupply. The price for Brent crude oil was marching toward $55 per barrel in early Wednesday trading. Russian Central Bank Chief Elvira Nabiullina said the national economy is becoming less dependent on crude oil prices and growth won’t improve […]

Seadrill in a Free Fall Seen Left to Day Traders as Hope Fades

6 Apr 2017   Norway

Seadrill Ltd. , once the crown jewel of billionaire John Fredriksen’s business empire, is at the mercy of short-term speculators as the biggest funds shun the offshore driller amid a struggle to avoid bankruptcy. “It’s trading at option value and day traders are the ones pushing the price up and down,” Anders Bergland, an analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities AS , said Tuesday, right after the company again warned shareholders and bond investors they were facing steep losses in any restructuring deal. “There are no funds buying this right now, it’s trading.” Seadrill fell as much as 29 percent on Wednesday after closing 38 percent down the day before, already at a record low. The stock traded 25 percent lower at 6.51 kroner as of 12:47 p.m. in Oslo. The company has been working on a restructuring of the offshore-drilling industry’s biggest debt load for more than a year. […]

When Will Russia Run Out Of Oil?

5 Apr 2017   Russia

On a global level, 2015 and 2016 marked the lowest level of new conventional oil discoveries since 1952. In 2016, only 3.7 billion barrels of conventional oil were discovered, roughly 45 days of global crude consumption or 0.2 percent of global proved reserves. Globally, exploratory drilling fell by almost 20 percent in 2015 and fell even further in 2016. Russia’s exploration activities, which were hit not only by plummeting oil prices but also by a targeted sanctions regime, suffered a double blow during this period. In 2015, only seven new hydrocarbon discoveries were made in Russia, three of them in the Baltic Sea. In 2016, oil and gas companies in Russia discovered 40 prospective fields , however, the 3P reserves of the largest among them, Rosneft’s Nertsetinskoye, amounted to 17.4 million tons. This stands in stark contrast with pre-sanction period achievements, for instance, 2014’s largest find, Pobeda, is believed […]

Gazprom boasts of expanding gas exports

4 Apr 2017   Russia

Days after opposition to a pipeline expansion project fell, Russian energy company Gazprom said its natural gas sales to foreign countries are up 15 percent. Russia is one of the main suppliers of natural gas to the European economy. Gazprom, the dominant gas player, said exports during the first quarter were up nearly 20 percent for the German economy, 24 percent to Poland and 14 percent for France. According to a review of the data by Russian news agency Tass, Gazprom gas supplies to foreign countries were up 15 percent year-over-year during the first quarter. That supports a January report from S&P Global Platts, which found European demand for natural gas accelerating against declining domestic production. The figures from Gazprom follow a report last […]

BP Sells Key North Sea Pipeline System to Ineos for $250 Million

BP Plc agreed to sell the Forties pipeline, one of the most important pieces of oil infrastructure in the U.K. North Sea, to Ineos AG for $250 million. Ineos will make a cash payment of $125 million on completion and transfer a share of future earnings up to $125 million over seven years, BP said in a statement Monday. The London-based oil producer will retain rights to use the pipeline system’s capacity. The two companies confirmed last month they were in discussions for the pipeline, which transports crude used to set the price of Dated Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil. BP is selling assets to help pay for the 2010 oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, for which it set aside more than $50 billion. It also needs to bring down debt and maintain dividends as oil continues to trade at half […]

OPEC Deal Pushes Russian Oil Output Down 1.6 Percent From Peak

3 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia cut its crude production in March, moving closer to fulfilling its agreement with OPEC as the deadline approaches. Production of crude and condensate fell to 11.05 million barrels a day, down 1.6 percent from Russia’s post-Soviet high of 11.23 million barrels in October, according to data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK statistics unit. Russia has committed to reducing supply by as much as 300,000 barrels a day by the end of this month. Russia is the largest of the 11 non-OPEC producers cooperating with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce oil supplies by a combined 1.8 million barrels a day to neutralize a global glut. Brent crude closed Friday at $52.83 a barrel, up 19 percent from its November low before the deal was announced. Five OPEC members have signaled their support for extending the six-month deal, along with non-member Oman, which also joined the agreement […]

Rosneft takes key step in push into Middle East

3 Apr 2017   Middle East, Russia

Russia’s Rosneft will this week take custody of its first independently sourced cargo of Kurdish crude oil from Turkey’s port of Ceyhan, a key step in its strategic push into Middle East energy markets and its attempts to expand trading. The world’s largest listed oil company by output has spent the past four months trumpeting agreements to buy oil from Egypt, Libya and Iraqi Kurdistan, drilling exploration wells in southern Iraq and mulling opportunities in Lebanon, as it chases deals to fuel its fledgling international expansion.

Russian Economy Crawled to Growth With Recession in Rearview

1 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia’s economy returned to growth at the end of 2016, turning the page on seven consecutive quarters of contraction that laid waste to the middle class after oil prices crashed. Gross domestic product gained 0.3 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter after a decline of 0.4 percent in the previous three months, the Federal Statistics Service said Friday. That matched the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. GDP shrank 0.2 percent in the full year, the statistics service said, confirming its first reading. The challenge for the world’s biggest energy exporter now is for its recovery to gain traction as consumer demand continues to sag and the outlook for oil remains dim. Russia may now be at a turning point as capital-intensive businesses […]

Putin Exploits Europe’s Divisions in Bid to Dominate Gas Supply

This small port town offers a textbook case of how Russian President Vladimir Putin has thwarted U.S. and European efforts to rein in Moscow’s most powerful source of leverage and cash: energy. Karlshamn’s local leaders in January opened its port to Russia’s state-owned energy company, PAO Gazprom, in defiance of Swedish national authorities alarmed by a growing Russian military presence in the Baltic Sea. A subcontractor for a Gazprom subsidiary is now allowed to store pipes here for an $11 billion…

Russia Reaches 2/3 Of Oil Output Cut Target

31 Mar 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russia has cut crude oil production by 200,000 barrels daily , Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. That’s two-thirds of the amount it agreed to cut under the OPEC-non-OPEC agreement closed at the end of last year. The 300,000-bpd reduction that Russia agreed to represents 2.7 percent of its October output, which exceeded 11 million bpd . This went up to 11.23 million bpd in November – the month that was taken as the basis, from which individual cut quotas were assigned. The country, which was the largest non-OPEC producer that signed up for the cut agreement, said it would reduce production gradually, raising suspicions about whether it will try to find a way around it. Still, the amount is small compared to its total daily output, and the cut will be helped by the start of maintenance season. Together, OPEC and the 11 non-OPEC producers that signed up for […]

Report: Operators Stepping Up Search for North Sea Decommissioning Staff

31 Mar 2017   United Kingdom

Operators are improving the ways in which they search for North Sea decommissioning staff, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group. Operators are improving the ways in which they search for North Sea decommissioning staff, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group. “Leading operators are recognizing that they need tailored talent acquisition and development plans for decommissioning that include sourcing and training interdisciplinary teams of technical and non-technical staff,” the report said. “These operators are starting to highlight decommissioning careers to attract the right talent to both central and business unit roles,” the report added. BCG’s North Sea Decommissioning report highlighted that many engineers acknowledged that decommissioning is the future of the industry in the region, but revealed that a significant portion of engineers with relevant experience are at or close to retirement. The report also stated that finding talent for the sector […]