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Oil prices drop on rise in U.S. drilling

20 Mar 2017   Prices

Oil prices fell on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts pressured already-bloated markets. Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were 20 cents below their last settlement at 0025 GMT (8:25 p.m. ET on Sunday), at $51.56 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 28 cents at $48.50 a barrel. Traders said that prices were under pressure due to rising U.S. drilling activity and ongoing high supplies by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) despite its pledge to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) together with some other producers like Russia. “Crude oil has attempted to break out of the trading range that formed last […]

Bullish Crude Bets Cut by Most Ever as Price Falls Below $50

20 Mar 2017   Prices

The exodus of oil-price optimists has begun. Money managers cut bets on rising West Texas Intermediate crude by a record amount during the week ended March 14, while wagers on a further price drop doubled as oil remained below $50 a barrel. “It’s sort of a negative feedback loop, where money managers were selling because the price was falling, and the price was falling in part because money managers were selling,” said Tim Evans, an analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York, in a telephone interview. Bets on rising WTI crude during the report week were reduced by the most on record in data going back to 2006, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Friday. The cuts came as prices tumbled below $50 a barrel for the first time this year, and anxious executives discussed rising U.S. rig counts at an industry meeting in Houston. On Monday, […]

Oil Prices Seen Stuck Below $60 This Year as High Stocks Persist

20 Mar 2017   Prices

An historic agreement between OPEC countries and other oil producers to reduce their output won’t be enough to nudge crude prices above $60 a barrel this year, according to energy lender Arab Petroleum Investment Corp.  Consumer countries have built up large stockpiles of crude during nearly three years of low prices, and U.S. shale production is rebounding as prices have recovered since OPEC reached the production deal November. That means the process of balancing the market will take at least until the second half of this year, the company known as Apicorp said Monday in a report.  The inability to balance the market in the first half of the year will mean the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should extend the six-month deal, which took effect on Jan. 1, for the rest of the year, it said. OPEC meets in Vienna on May 25.  “While oil prices are expected to recover toward the end of the year, they will remain in the $50-$60 band given the high level of stocks,” Apicorp said. “We expect OPEC to maintain the agreed production quota at around 32.5 million barrels a day for the rest of the year.” Brent crude was trading at about $51 a barrel at 10:26 a.m. in Dubai.

Beijing, Saudi Arabia agree to more oil cooperation, exports to China

20 Mar 2017   China, Saudi Arabia

China and Saudi Arabia will increase their cooperation in the oil sector, including in Saudi oil exports to China, the two countries said in a joint communique issued on Saturday at the end of Saudi Arabian King Salman’s visit to Beijing. The world’s largest oil exporter has been looking to cement ties with the world’s second-largest economy. After losing market share to Russia last year, Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world’s second-largest oil market, by working mostly with China’s top three state oil firms. “Both countries are willing to raise their level of cooperation in the oil sector, including supplying Saudi oil to the continuously growing Chinese market,” the two said in […]

Exclusive: Libya’s NOC says expects to regain Es Sider, Ras Lanuf oil ports

20 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has been coordinating with military forces from eastern Libya and has “no reason to believe” it will not regain control of the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil ports, NOC’s chairman said. The loss and recapture of the ports this month by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) had raised doubts over its willingness to let the Tripoli-based NOC manage the ports. Revenue from the sites is controlled by a central bank and U.N.-backed government in the capital which pro-LNA factions oppose. Eastern officials accuse rivals in Tripoli and the western city of Misrata of supporting a March 3 attack on the ports by a faction known as the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB). An oil guard commander appointed by the […]

Saudi king’s Asia tour trumpets Aramco’s moves downstream

20 Mar 2017   Saudi Arabia

Saudi King Salman’s lavish tour of Asia, arriving in each country on a golden escalator with 400 tons of luggage, had a hardnosed marketing mission – to cement the kingdom’s place as leading oil supplier to the world’s biggest consumer region. The string of deals inked on his three-week tour to Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China also point to a fresh strategy, one to increase Saudi leverage over refined product and petrochemical markets, known as the downstream sector. “Our strategy is about growth in the downstream,” said Amin Nasser, chief executive officer of state oil company Aramco, told Reuters on Sunday. “The growth in that sector is very important, and anything integrated between refining, petrochemical, with marketing and distribution, is of interest to us.” Saudi Arabia’s […]

IRENA, IEA study concludes meeting 2˚C scenario possible with net positive economics

20 Mar 2017   Climate

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by 70% by 2050 and completely phased-out by 2060 with a net positive economic outlook, according to new findings released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Perspectives for the Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition —a joint study by IRENA and the IEA—launched on the occasion of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, presents the case that increased deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in G20 countries and globally can achieve the emissions reductions needed to keep global temperature rise to no more than two-degrees Celsius, avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement reflected an unprecedented international determination to act on […]

Bets soar that NYMEX crude futures will head lower:

18 Mar 2017   Prices

Money managers’ position in NYMEX crude futures took a bearish turn in the latest reporting period, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released Friday. The CFTC data confirmed what analysts suspected was a drastic shift in speculative positioning recently after crude futures fell sharply March 8 and kept declining until a week later, when prices found some support. A sharp buildup in speculative net length left the market vulnerable to the downside, analysts said. Net length rose after OPEC’s supply-cut deal was announced November 30, and accelerated this year. It reached a record-high 405,328 contracts the week ending February 21, according to CFTC data. Article continues below… The following two reporting periods saw money managers cut back slightly on net length, but longs still outnumbered shorts by a nearly 7:1 ratio. But for the week that ended March 14, longs-to-shorts stood at a 3:1 ratio, driven by […]

Oil prices edge up as drop in U.S. crude stocks eases glut worries

18 Mar 2017   Prices

An oil derrick and wind turbines stand above the plains north of Amarillo, Texas, U.S., March 14, 2017. Oil prices edged up on Friday as a drawdown in U.S. crude inventory eased concerns about a global supply glut. Brent crude was up 7 cents, or 0.14 percent, at $51.81 per barrel at 8.21 p.m. ET, after closing the previous session down 7 cents at $51.74. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up 11 cents, or 0.23 percent, at $48.86 a barrel. Official data showed crude inventories in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, fell last week as imports plunged, dropping after nine consecutive increases. [EIA/S] Crude stockpiles fell by 237,000 barrels in the week to March 10, beating analyst expectations for an increase of 3.7 million barrels. “Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih continued to express concern about high global inventories,” ANZ said in a note. […]

Oil Set for Weekly Gain as Saudis Say Willing to Extend Curbs

18 Mar 2017   Prices

Oil headed for a weekly increase as U.S. stockpiles retreated from record levels while Saudi Arabia said it’s prepared to continue production curbs in the second half of the year. Futures were little changed in New York, up 0.9 percent for the week. U.S. inventories last week fell for the first time this year, according to Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday. Output curbs by OPEC and its partners may continue past June if global stockpiles remain above the five-year average, according to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. Oil last week broke below $50 a barrel for the first time since December as rising U.S. output countered production curbs by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other nations. While markets are still struggling to clear a surge in supply from OPEC at the end of 2016, compliance with the cuts remains above 90 percent, the […]

Weak Physical Oil Market Hits $50 Billion Hedge Funds’ Bet

18 Mar 2017   Prices

The real world of oil trading — where actual cargoes are bought and sold — is doing little to help the hedge funds and other speculators who placed record bets that OPEC and its allies would drive up prices. Saudi Arabia, Russia and other big producers are trying to clear a global crude glut, but three months into the effort the physical oil market is still signaling plentiful supplies. The persisting excess offers little comfort to financial traders, whose bets that futures prices will rise equate to about $50 billion in nominal terms. The signs of physical oversupply abound from Europe to West Africa to the U.S. A North Sea grade that helps to set the global Brent benchmark is trading near its weakest in almost two years. In West Africa, lackluster demand means Angolan crude cargoes are selling more slowly than in previous months. In America, a closely […]

Expert Analysis: The OPEC Cuts May Be Working

18 Mar 2017   OPEC

WTI traded to a 3.5 month low on Tuesday at $47.09 after OPEC members shook production cut deal confidence for a second straight week. Saudi Arabia contributed to bearish concerns by reporting February production of 10.01m bpd for a 263k bpd m/m increase (secondary source estimate for Feb was less than 9.8m bpd) while Iraq released a goal of producing 5m bpd by the end of 2017. – We continue to have a short term positive view of sub $50 WTI choosing to focus on IEA estimates that OPEC is 90 percent compliant with their 1.2m bpd production cut goal (other analysts see +100 percent compliance) rather than the mixed rhetoric from members. To help their effort Bloomberg reported that non-members cut exports by 240k bpd in February. In terms of rhetoric, Saudi Arabia also worked to walk back some of the concerns they created (and perhaps intimidate […]

Non-OPEC producers deliver 64 percent of pledged oil output cuts in Feb -source

18 Mar 2017   OPEC

Eleven non-OPEC oil producers that joined a global deal to reduce output to boost prices delivered 64 percent of promised cuts in February, an industry source said on Friday, still lagging the higher levels of OPEC itself. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 to boost prices and reduce a supply glut. Compliance numbers were reviewed at a meeting in Vienna on Friday comprised of officials from countries monitoring adherence to agreed output levels — OPEC members Kuwait, Venezuela, Algeria plus non-OPEC Russia and Oman. Russia plans to step up its adherence, saying on Friday that it will cut output by the full amount it had pledged — 300,000 bpd — by the end of April and will maintain that level until the deal expires at the end of June. […]

Saudi ‘Mission Impossible’ Makes Longer OPEC Oil Cuts Inevitable

18 Mar 2017   Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has set a near-impossible target to end the current round of OPEC oil-production cuts, indicating that a policy rollover into the second half of the year is a near certainty. OPEC, which pumps about 40 percent of the world’s oil, and several non-OPEC countries including Russia agreed in December to reduce production for six months in an effort to bring supply and demand into balance. At the time, the producers said they could extend the deal for an extra six months. In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that OPEC would extend the cuts after they expire in June if oil stockpiles were “still above the five-year average.” Because oil stocks are so far above that level, the target will probably still be out of reach when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gathers in Vienna on May 25. “It […]

Iraq Could Complicate OPEC Extension

18 Mar 2017   Iraq

Oil prices are refusing to budge this Friday, despite a large increase in the U.S. rig count and some bearish noises from OPEC. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Friday, March 17, 2017 Oil prices are set to close out the week unchanged from a week earlier, having moved up and down over the past few days. The latest report from the EIA was a merciful one for crude, showing a small but all-important drawdown in crude inventories. Had crude stocks jumped again last week, oil prices surely would have dropped significantly. Still, there is a weak case for much higher oil prices in the near-term, given that U.S. inventories are still at a record high and oil production is rising. Saudi Arabia prepared to extend cuts if inventories remain high . Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said in a Bloomberg interview that OPEC would be prepared to […]

Beijing, Saudi Arabia agree to more oil cooperation, exports to China

18 Mar 2017   China, Saudi Arabia

China and Saudi Arabia will increase their cooperation in the oil sector, including in Saudi oil exports to China, the two countries said in a joint communique issued on Saturday at the end of Saudi Arabian King Salman’s visit to Beijing. The world’s largest oil exporter has been looking to cement ties with the world’s second-largest economy. After losing market share to Russia last year, Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world’s second-largest oil market, by working mostly with China’s top three state oil firms. “Both countries are willing to raise their level of cooperation in the oil sector, including supplying Saudi oil to the continuously growing Chinese market,” the two said in […]

Intra-Kurdish tensions high amidst provocations and protests

18 Mar 2017   Iraq

A volatile rivalry between two Kurdish factions, which burst into deadly fighting two weeks ago in Sinjar, continues to escalate with protests and provocative troop movements.Forces aligned with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, the acting president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), have deployed to several areas in Erbil and Dohuk provinces, provoking demonstrations and creating friction with local residents.The deployments appear to be a response to the… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

U.S. Rig Count Soars, Putting Yet More Pressure On OPEC

18 Mar 2017   USA

This week’s Baker Hughes report shows the U.S. domestic oil and gas rig count up 21 rigs this week, bringing the total to 789 active oil and gas rigs—a fantastic 313-rig increase over last year. The bulk of this week’s gains were oil rigs, which saw a 14-rig gain, while gas saw a build of 6, with one miscellaneous rig added last week. The number of active oil rigs in the United States now sits at 631—244 rigs over the number of rigs this time last year. In sharp contrast, Canada saw a 31-rig decrease to its oil rigs, while the number of gas rigs in Canada dipped by 10 this week. Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent barrels were traded slightly up (.02% and .04% respectively) on Friday preceding the release of the report, with WTI still trading below $49 per barrel at $48.76. At 12:32pm EST, Brent […]

Russia to cut oil output by 300,000 bpd by end-April: Energy Minister

18 Mar 2017   Russia

Russia will cut its oil output by 300,000 barrels per day by the end of April and will maintain production at that level until the global oil cuts deal expires at the end of June, Energy minister Alexander Novak said on Friday. Russia had cut output by 160,000 bpd by the middle of March, said Novak, a figure he said would reach 200,000 bpd by the end of the month. Asked if it was expedient to prolong the cuts deal that includes OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, Novak said: “It’s too early to talk about it in the middle of March, (the matter) should be discussed and a decision should be made at […]

Oil prices edge up as drop in U.S. crude stocks eases glut worries

17 Mar 2017   Prices

Oil prices edged up on Friday as a drawdown in U.S. crude inventory eased concerns about a global supply glut. Brent crude was up 7 cents, or 0.14 percent, at $51.81 per barrel at 8.21 p.m. ET, after closing the previous session down 7 cents at $51.74. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up 11 cents, or 0.23 percent, at $48.86 a barrel. Official data showed crude inventories in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, fell last week as imports plunged, dropping after nine consecutive increases. [EIA/S] Crude stockpiles fell by 237,000 barrels in the week to March 10, beating analyst expectations for an increase of 3.7 million barrels. “Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih continued to express concern about high global inventories,” ANZ said in a note. […]

Oil Set for Weekly Gain as Saudis Say Willing to Extend Curbs

17 Mar 2017   Prices

Oil headed for a weekly increase as U.S. stockpiles retreated from record levels while Saudi Arabia said it’s prepared to continue production curbs in the second half of the year. Futures were little changed in New York, up 0.9 percent for the week. U.S. inventories last week fell for the first time this year, according to Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday. Output curbs by OPEC and its partners may continue past June if global stockpiles remain above the five-year average, according to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. Oil last week broke below $50 a barrel for the first time since December as rising U.S. output countered production curbs by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other nations. While markets are still struggling to clear a surge in supply from OPEC at the end of 2016, compliance with the cuts remains above 90 percent, the […]

Wall Street Bullish On Oil Prices Despite Saudi Warnings

17 Mar 2017   Prices

Oil prices have given up some of the gains achieved since the OPEC deal was agreed to in late November, and confidence in the buoyancy of crude prices is starting to falter. There are plenty of reasons why: U.S. shale is coming back; OPEC cuts led to higher prices in December, but have had little effect since then; crude and refined product inventories are still extraordinarily high; and speculative bets are looking overly optimistic at this point. But the major investment banks tracking oil markets are surprisingly steadfast in their predictions that the market is proceeding steadily towards balance, albeit at a slow pace. A roundup of the latest research notes from Wall Street banks show little fear of a major downslide in prices. Bloomberg points out that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup are all sticking to their predictions of moderate price gains this year. […]

Why Oil Demand May Be Higher Than Expected

17 Mar 2017   Energy Demand, Prices

Investors fretting about too much oil supply may get some cheer from demand, or at least the statistics that consistently underestimate it. The International Energy Agency’s closely watched annual estimates of global crude demand have been revised up for the past seven years by an average of 880,000 barrels a day, according to a Wall Street…

OPEC will need to extend output curbs to sustain oil price recovery: Reuters poll

17 Mar 2017   OPEC

OPEC will have to extend its oil output curbs in order to sustain a recovery in prices, as a revival in crude production outside the group may scupper its efforts to erode an overhang of unused inventory, a poll of market analysts showed on Friday. Six of the 10 analysts polled by Reuters said they believed OPEC will extend its output cuts beyond June this year, while two felt the group did not need to extend the deal and a further two were undecided. “If OPEC is genuinely pursuing an inventory target, then an extension to current supply restraint is needed,” BNP Paribas analyst Harry Tchilinguirian said. “But given recent producer statements suggesting that a rollover of this policy is contingent on […]

Iraq’s oil exports dip so far in March after OPEC cut

17 Mar 2017   Iraq

Oil exports from Iraq’s southern terminals have edged lower so far in March, according to loading data and an industry source, although not as much as expected, potentially raising questions over the country’s compliance with OPEC production cuts. A March loading program had pointed to southern exports from OPEC’s second-largest producer falling to 3 million barrels per day (bpd), which a source familiar with the matter said was related to Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC cuts. But exports from southern Iraq – the outlet for most of the country’s crude – in the first 14 days of March have averaged 3.25 million bpd, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and by an industry source. Two Iraqi oil officials said on Wednesday the rate in the first half of March […]

Oil prices extend gains after drop in U.S. stockpiles

17 Mar 2017   Prices

Crude oil prices rose on Thursday to extend gains from the previous session after official government data showed U.S. stockpiles had eased from record highs. Prices surged on Wednesday after a slew of market reports and official data offered some hope that a near three-year global glut in oil is coming to an end, albeit more slowly than many have anticipated. The market was also buoyed after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in line with expectations but did not signal any pick-up in the pace of further rises. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 39 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $49.25 a barrel by 0734 GMT, having surged 2.4 percent in the previous session while posting its first increase in eight days. Brent futures climbed 47 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $52.28. They had […]

Iran’s Natural Gas Rush Won’t Bring Export Riches — For Now

17 Mar 2017   Iran

Iran is on track to out-produce Qatar, the world’s biggest LNG exporter , at the vast natural gas deposit they share in the Persian Gulf. But as much as they might want , the Iranians won’t have much gas to export because they are likely to use most of the new production themselves. 1. How much natural gas does Iran export? Almost nothing. Iran has 18.2 percent of proven gas reserves, ahead of Russia and Qatar, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Unlike its competitors, which have built far-flung pipelines and liquefied natural gas plants to reach foreign buyers, Iran exported 8.4 billion cubic meters (300 billion cubic feet) in 2015 while importing 7.5 billion cubic meters the same year. Until recently, it was a net importer, buying or bartering for gas from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan because its domestic distribution network doesn’t supply the entire country. […]

Halfway into 2017’s oil supply cut, Asia remains awash with fuel

17 Mar 2017   Oil Supply

Halfway into an OPEC-led oil supply cut, Asia remains awash with fuel in a sign that the group’s efforts to rein in a global glut have so far had little effect. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other suppliers including Russia have pledged to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of this year to rein in oversupply and prop up prices. Yet almost three months into the announced cuts, oil flows to Asia, the world’s biggest and fastest growing market, have risen to near record highs. The Asian surplus will pressure global oil prices and weigh on the budgets of major oil producing nations but may also help spur growth in demand needed to soak up the excess. […]

Saudi Arabia Says Oil-Supply Cuts May Be Extended If Needed

17 Mar 2017   Saudi Arabia

OPEC and its allies may prolong production cuts after they expire in June if the world’s crude inventories remain excessive, Saudi Arabia ’s Energy Minister said. The curbs will be sustained if stockpiles are “still above the five-year average, if the markets are still not confident in the outlook, if we don’t see companies and investors feel good about the health of the global oil industry,” Khalid Al-Falih said in a Bloomberg television interview in Washington. “We want to signal to them that we’re going to do what it takes to bring the industry back to a healthy situation.” The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on May 25 to decide whether to continue its production cuts, aimed at ending a slump that battered the economies of energy exporters around the world. The strategy is moving global markets in the “right direction” and fundamentals have improved considerably, Al-Falih […]

Russia Urges Calm After Libya Strongman It Backs Takes Oil Ports

17 Mar 2017   Libya

Russia urged restraint after a powerful Libyan military commander that it supports regained control of key oil facilities taken by forces loyal to the United Nations-backed government.  “We urge all the conflicting Libyan sides to show common sense and to refrain from the use of force to avoid the danger of escalation of civil conflict,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.  Troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar, the eastern Libyan commander who’s in conflict with the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, recaptured the country’s biggest port, Es Sider, and its third-largest, Ras Lanuf, on Tuesday after weeks of clashes that curbed oil production.  The fighting, including airstrikes, dealt a blow to international efforts to restore stability in the country that has Africa’s largest crude reserves. The ports had been seized by a rival group earlier this month that passed control of them to the government, which urged Haftar’s army not to bomb the oil facilities.

Intra-Kurdish tensions high amidst provocations and protests

17 Mar 2017   Iraq

A volatile rivalry between two Kurdish factions, which burst into deadly fighting two weeks ago in Sinjar, continues to escalate with protests and provocative troop movements.Forces aligned with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, the acting president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), have deployed to several areas in Erbil and Dohuk provinces, provoking demonstrations and creating friction with local residents.The deployments appear to be a response to the…

Nigeria: Oil Companies Urged to Relocate Bases

17 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Captains of industry and commerce have endorsed calls by the Nigerian government for oil companies to relocate their headquarters to their areas of operations. The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) said this would be a major step in quelling the under development, poverty and associated social vices of militancy and insecurity in the areas. “Doing otherwise will tantamount to playing the ostrich game,” said Dr Emi Membere-Otaji Fnim, PHCCIMA President said. He mentioned international firms like Shell, Chevron and Total. Fnim said the move to relocate the firms would also increase economic activities while the youths would be gainfully engaged instead of doing crime. “It’s time for government to in reality walk the talk to rejig the economies of the oil producing area states,” said Fnim. The call comes amid militants’ attacks in the Delta State, which while is the continent’s leading […]

Exclusive: Venezuela’s cash-strapped PDVSA offers Rosneft oil stake

17 Mar 2017   Venezuela

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has offered Russian counterpart Rosneft a stake in a joint venture in the country’s Orinoco Belt extra-heavy crude area, five industry sources said, in a sign of the Latin American nation’s dire economic situation and Moscow’s growing muscle there. Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ), Russia’s top oil producer, has been offered a 10 percent stake in the Petropiar joint venture. PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] has a 70 percent share, and U.S. oil company Chevron Corp ( CVX.N ) holds 30 percent of the venture, which includes an oil field and a 210,000 barrel-per-day oil upgrader. Two sources said the offer was part of a larger package put to Rosneft as PDVSA seeks to raise money for major debts with providers and bond payments. It is unclear […]

China’s Crude Oil Production Falls 8% Year Over Year

17 Mar 2017   China

China’s crude oil production dropped by 8 percent annually to 31.44 million tons in January and February, as high domestic production costs prompted refineries to import more crude oil, according to data by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In the first two months of this year, the total crude processing volume stood at 90.76 million tons, up by 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Crude oil imports, on the other hand, rose by 12.5 percent to 65.8 million tons, Xinhua news agency reports, quoting NBS figures. Despite the higher global oil prices at around $50 this year, compared to last year’s lows, Chinese refineries still preferred to import crude rather than buy domestically produced oil due to the high production costs, NBS noted, as reported by Xinhua. China’s domestic crude oil output faltered in 2016, after the oil price slump pushed many of its […]

China, Saudi Arabia Ink $65-Billion Worth Of Preliminary Deals

17 Mar 2017   China, Saudi Arabia

China and Saudi Arabia have signed preliminary deals that could be worth as much as $65 billion if finalized, Xinhua reports . The news came on the first day of a four-day visit by Saudi King Salman to China. China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Ming said that President Xi Jinping and King Salman inked a total 14 cooperation agreements, including a memorandum of understanding on 35 projects for “production capacity and investment cooperation”. Among the industries that the agreements cover are oil production, petrochemicals, and even space. China is a crucial market for Saudi oil, and the king’s visit is widely seen as an attempt to secure future exports, preferably under long-term contracts, which is the standard approach of the Kingdom toward crude oil exports. Outside oil exports, Saudi Arabia is also looking for opportunities to expand its refining and chemical production markets, Reuters notes , as part of […]

China’s crude oil output falls 8 pct

17 Mar 2017   China

China’s crude oil output fell 8 percent year on year in the first two months of 2017 as refineries slashed production and imported more due to high exploitation costs, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Thursday. Crude oil output came in at 31.4 million tonnes during the period, while imports gained 12.5 percent to 65.8 million tonnes. Although the global oil price has hovered around 50 U.S. dollars per barrel this year, domestic refineries still opted for more imports due to high production costs, according to the NBS. In the first two months, natural gas output totaled 25.2 billion cubic meters, unchanged from the same period last year. Imports of natural gas grew 7.5 percent. China aims to increase domestic crude oil output to 200 million tonnes by 2020, while supply capacity for natural gas should exceed 360 billion cubic meters. […]

China’s Sinopec nears deal to buy Chevron’s South African oil assets: sources

17 Mar 2017   China

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is nearing an agreement to buy a majority stake in Chevron Corp’s South African assets, which are estimated at $1 billion, two people familiar with the transaction said. The sources said that Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner, was the last bidder remaining, and close to completing a deal with the U.S. oil major. If the deal is finalised, it will be Sinopec’s first refinery asset in Africa, forming a part of the Chinese major’s global fuel distribution network. Sinopec declined to comment. Chevron first announced plans in January 2016 to sell the stake in the business unit, which includes a 110,000-barrels-per-day refinery in Cape Town, South Africa. Chevron spokesman Braden Reddall said “the process of soliciting expressions of interest in the 75 percent shareholding is ongoing.” The remaining 25 percent interest is held by a consortium of Black Economic Empowerment shareholders and an […]

OPEC Can’t Count on American Drivers to Help Boost Oil Prices

17 Mar 2017   USA

Rising U.S. oil production isn’t the only thing getting in the way of OPEC’s efforts to drain a global glut. American drivers aren’t helping either. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is counting on growing demand to bolster the production cuts it’s making in a bid to balance the market. But motorists in the U.S. — the world’s largest consumer of gasoline — are using less, not more. And that’s not likely to change any time soon. About 40 percent of the crude in America is processed into the motor fuel, government data show. As the price of gasoline has risen more than 30 percent since February 2016, drivers are burning less, swelling supplies to near record highs. Meanwhile, new cars offer consumers an ever-widening variety of more efficient options to cut back on fuel use. “Don’t expect the U.S. driver to save the market this year — he […]

Trump Weighing Eni’s Arctic Drilling Bid in Post-Obama Pivot

17 Mar 2017   Arctic

The Interior Department is weighing Eni SpA ’s request to explore for oil in waters north of Alaska, giving the Trump administration a chance to reverse course from former President Barack Obama’s attempt to curtail Arctic drilling. Eni’s exploration well would be in an area it previously leased from the federal government, and so it isn’t covered by the executive order Obama issued in December to block the sale of new drilling rights within huge swaths of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. As the Trump administration considers ways it could reverse Obama’s directive, approving this plan could encourage more oil companies to consider Arctic exploration. Although some oil companies have abandoned plans to launch expensive quests for crude off Alaska’s coast, recent discoveries have fanned interest in waters near the shoreline that can be drilled at a lower cost. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is conducting an initial, […]

1st US offshore wind farm goes ‘full throttle’ during storm

17 Mar 2017   Wind

The company that built the United States’ first offshore wind farm says the powerful storm that hit the Northeast this week was a chance to go “full throttle” and put the turbines through their paces. Deepwater Wind says all five turbines off Rhode Island operated at full capacity during much of Tuesday’s nor’easter. It says the wind farm automatically powered down for several hours when the sustained wind speeds exceeded 55 mph, the designated limit. Winds got as high as 70 mph. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski says the offshore wind industry loves strong storms and the wind farm handled the season’s worst conditions superbly. The blustery late-season storm plastered the Northeast with sleet and nearly three feet of snow is some areas.

North Carolina ready for offshore wind energy auction

17 Mar 2017   Wind

More than 100,000 acres off the coast of North Carolina go on the auction block Thursday for potential wind energy development, the U.S. government said. The U.S. Department of Interior pounded the gavel to open the seventh offshore wind auction, putting 122,405 acres off the North Carolina coast on the block for commercial wind energy leasing. In August 2014, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division with the Interior Department, identified three areas offshore North Carolina that were suitable for potential wind energy development. The closest to the shoreline would be the Wilmington West wind energy area, located 10 nautical miles from shore. The furthest out would be the Kitty Hawk wind energy area, which begins 24 nautical miles from shore. North Carolina Gov. Pat McRory’s government […]

Sierra Club says EPA’s Pruitt flouting integrity rules

17 Mar 2017   Climate

Following a review of fuel economy standards from the White House, the Sierra Club said it filed a complaint against the EPA for violating integrity rules. President Donald Trump vowed during a visit to the American Center for Mobility near Detroit to review, or possibly revoke , guidelines submitted by his predecessor that were aimed at putting more clean vehicles on the road. Former President Barack Obama during his second term in office issued a mandate that called for an increase in fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The Obama administration said the goal of the mandate was to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, the economic sector […]

Trump’s proposed FY 2018 budget cuts overall DOE budget 5.6%; eliminates ARPA-E, ITLGP, ATVMP

17 Mar 2017   USA

The Trump Administration has released its “America First” budget blueprint for the FY 2018 budget. The core of the blueprint is a $54-billion increase in defense spending in 2018 that is offset by targeted reductions in other areas. For the Department of Energy (DOE), the blueprint requests $28.0 billion—a $1.7-billion (5.6%) decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level. Within that, the proposed budget would provide a $1.4-billion increase above the 2017 annualized CR level for the National Nuclear Security Administration—an 11% increase. The new budget proposal focuses resources toward early-stage research and development of energy technologies and reflects increased reliance on the private sector to fund later-stage research, development, and commercialization. The budget proposal emphasizes what it calls energy technologies best positioned to enable American energy independence and domestic job-growth in the near to mid-term. It also emphasized continued progress on cleaning up sites contaminated from nuclear weapons production […]

White House seeks to cut EPA budget 31 percent as Trump targets regulation

17 Mar 2017   USA

President Donald Trump’s administration is proposing a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, eliminating its climate change programs and trimming back core initiatives aimed at protecting air and water quality, according to budget documents released on Thursday. The White House’s proposed 2018 budget for the agency comes as Trump seeks to clear away regulations he claims are hobbling U.S. businesses – like oil drillers and coal miners. The proposed cuts are a starting point in negotiations with Congress, and could be tempered. The proposal would eliminate 3,200 EPA employees, or 19 percent of the current workforce, and effectively erase former President Barack Obama’s initiatives to combat climate change by cutting funding for the agency’s […]

Sharp drop in US emissions keeps global levels flat

17 Mar 2017   Climate

Climate-warming emissions from burning fossil fuels have remained flat for a third year in a row in a development that suggests a shift to a greener global economy is happening faster than previously thought. A striking drop in carbon pollution in the US, where emissions fell back to what they were in 1992, helped to keep global CO2 levels in 2016 virtually unchanged from the two previous years, the International Energy Agency said. “This is a very welcome development,” said Fatih Birol, IEA executive director. “It appears we now have the first signs of an established trend of flat emissions as a result of natural gas replacing coal in major markets and renewables becoming more and more affordable.” Mr Birol said it was especially significant that emissions stayed flat during a period of sustained global economic growth, currently about 3 per cent per annum.

Tax Breaks Could Save U.S. Oil Industry Billions

17 Mar 2017   USA

A tax reform proposed by the Trump administration could free up to $10 billion annually for the U.S. oil industry and maybe encourage more investments in additional production. Leaving aside the chances of this reform turning into actual legislation in its current version, these savings may not be good news for the industry. The proposal sees a cut in top-tier corporate tax from the current 35 percent to between 15 and 20 percent. Since oil and gas are among the most heavily taxed industries in the U.S, Bloomberg notes, the annual savings could exceed $10 billion. There is a catch, however: to benefit from these cuts, E&Ps will have to surrender some existing tax incentives, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, Vincent Piazza, notes. Even if they do, it remains uncertain if the savings will be put to work building production and if they are, this may actually spell doom for […]

Russia’s Lukoil backs OPEC production cut extension

17 Mar 2017   Russia

It’s reasonable to give serious consideration to extending a production agreement led by OPEC, the head of Russian oil company Lukoil said Thursday. Russia is contributing as a non-member state to an effort steered by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that aims to correct an oversupplied market through managed production declines. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak chaired a joint meeting with OPEC in December that called for voluntary managed declines from non-member states. The terms of the OPEC agreement, which went into force in January, extend for six months, with the option for an extension based on market conditions. Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said he will look for clarity on the issue when the major producers meet again later this […]

Oil Prices Rally on Report of Drop in U.S. Inventory

16 Mar 2017   Prices

Oil prices rose Wednesday, snapping a week-long losing streak, as a drop in U.S. stockpiles supported a rally from Tuesday’s three-month lows. Light, sweet crude for April delivery settled up $1.14, or 2.4%, at $48.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is its biggest one-day gain since Jan. 11. Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained 89 cents, or 1.7%, to $51.81 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Crude levels in…

Iran’s Natural Gas Rush Won’t Bring Export Riches — For Now

16 Mar 2017   Iran

Iran is on track to out-produce Qatar, the world’s biggest LNG exporter , at the vast natural gas deposit they share in the Persian Gulf. But as much as they might want , the Iranians won’t have much gas to export because they are likely to use most of the new production themselves. 1. How much natural gas does Iran export? Almost nothing. Iran has 18.2 percent of proven gas reserves, ahead of Russia and Qatar, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Unlike its competitors, which have built far-flung pipelines and liquefied natural gas plants to reach foreign buyers, Iran exported 8.4 billion cubic meters (300 billion cubic feet) in 2015 while importing 7.5 billion cubic meters the same year. Until recently, it was a net importer, buying or bartering for gas from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan because its domestic distribution network doesn’t supply the entire country. […]

Global oil stocks rise, but IEA says OPEC curbs may create H1 deficit

16 Mar 2017   OPEC

Global oil inventories rose for the first time in six months in January, despite OPEC’s production cuts, but if the group maintains its output limits, the market may tilt into deficit in the first half of 2017, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. The IEA said crude stocks in the world’s richest nations rose in January for the first time since July by 48 million barrels to 3.03 billion barrels. “The actual build in OECD stocks in January reminds us that it may be some time before global stocks start to fall,” the agency said. Compliance by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with its agreed output cut of 1.2 million barrels per day in the first half of this year […]