Thursday, September 21, 2017

Total Ups Renewables Stake With Two Deals

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Total buying 23.5 pct stake in EREN RE. Oil major Total has stepped up its expansion into renewables with investments in solar and wind energy producer EREN RE and energy efficiency firm GreenFlex. Bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, Europe's biggest oil companies have been intensifying their push into renewable energy to seek new sources of future revenue. Total said it was buying a 23 percent stake in renewables company EREN RE for 237.5 million euros ($285 million)…

U.S. Interior Chief Seeks Changes at U.S. Monuments

The head of the U.S. Department of the Interior urged President Donald Trump to lift restrictions on activities such as logging and mining in or to shrink the footprints of 10 national monuments, according to the Washington Post. The Post, citing a copy of the recommendations, said late on Sunday that U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended reducing boundaries for Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.

North Atlantic Drilling: No Recovery for Current Shareholders

Bangladesh, Qatar to Ink 15-year LNG Import Deal

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

Bangladesh to take 1.8 mln T a year first 5 years, along with more spot cargoes. Bangladesh will sign a 15-year deal with Qatar's RasGas Co to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) starting in 2018 as the South Asian country turns to the supercooled fuel to fill a domestic supply gap for power generation, two officials told Reuters. The deal will be signed on Sept. 25 in Qatar, said Mohammad Quamruzzaman, managing director of the Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Co, a unit of state-owned oil firm Petrobangla.

OW Bunkers Investors in Legal Action Against IPO Banks

A group of 24 Danish institutional investors in OW Bunker has decided to issue a writ against Carnegie and Morgan Stanley, accusing them of misleading investors ahead of the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier. The investors, which include two of the largest pension funds in Denmark, ATP and PFA, claim they have suffered a loss of 767 million crowns ($123 million) following investment in OW Bunker shares "on the basis of a prospectus which was insufficient in material aspects".

BP in South American Venture with Bridas

British oil major BP has agreed to merge its interests in South American oil company Pan American Energy (PAE) with refiner and fuel retailer Axion Energy in a new joint venture with Axion's owner and PAE partner Bridas Corporation. BP and Bridas, an Argentine energy company 50 percent-owned by China's CNOOC, will hold equal stakes in the newly merged Pan American Energy Group (PAEG) after a cash-free deal that is expected to close early next year, the companies said.

EU Lawmakers to Guard Carbon Market from Hard Brexit

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European lawmakers will vote this week on a plan to protect the carbon market against a collapse of Brexit talks, which they fear would crash the price of tradeable emissions permits. The bill was prompted by mounting concern that Britain could fail to reach at least a transitional trade deal with the European Union before its scheduled departure from the bloc less than two years from now. Britain is the second-largest…

Premier Oil Seeks North Sea Gas Field Buyer

File Image: a typical offshore North Sea installation (Credit: Craig International)

Premier selling 23.5 stake in Babbage gas field; CEO says bidding process yet to be launched. Premier Oil is seeking to sell half of its stake in the Babbage gas field in the North Sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, as it tries to pay down a heavy debt pile it accrued during the oil market downturn. The London-listed oil and gas producer completed a financial restructuring earlier this year and is counting…

San Francisco, Oakland Sue Oil Firms Alleging Climate Change Costs

California cities, San Francisco and Oakland, said they filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change. The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron, ConocoPhillips , Exxon Mobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell , created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels. The cases are People of the State of California V.

Lebanon Passes Oil Tax Law

Lebanon made progress in its efforts to develop a hydrocarbons industry on Tuesday when lawmakers passed a petroleum tax law, as companies prepare to bid on a first round of offshore exploration licences next month. Earlier this month, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil extended by four weeks the deadline for companies to submit bids for exploration and production. Bidding will be held for offshore blocks 1, 4, 8, 9 and 10. The government has pre-qualified more than 50 companies to bid for the licences.

ETP: U.S. Approves Drilling Along Rover Gas Pipeline

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Oil and gas pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Tuesday it received approval from U.S. energy regulators to resume drilling along its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline project. The Rover project from Pennsylvania to Ontario is the biggest gas pipeline under construction in the United States. ETP said operations on nine locations for horizontal directional drilling approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are expected to begin within the week.

Palmali Lodges $2 Bln Claim Against Lukoil's Litasco

Turkey-based Palmali, one of the biggest shippers in the Caspian region, said on Monday it had lodged a claim worth almost $2 billion against Litasco, the trading arm of Russian oil producer Lukoil, with the English High Court. "The claim concerns an alleged failure by Litasco S.A. to provide contractual quantities of cargo under long term contract between the companies," Palmali said in a statement sent to Reuters.   Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin

Russia Signs Out-of-court Settlement with Exxon on Sakhalin-1

Russia and U.S. oil major Exxonmobil have signed an out-of-court settlement agreement regarding a legal dispute over the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, Russia's finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday. "The sides have reached a mutually beneficial compromise," the ministry said, adding that the agreement was signed on Sept. 12. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sept. 7 that the dispute had been resolved.     Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Polina Devitt

Saudi Aramco: IPO on Track

Saudi Aramco's planned initial public offering remains on track, the company said on Thursday, after Bloomberg reported that the oil company is preparing contingency plans for a possible delay by a few months into 2019. Saudi authorities are aiming to list up to 5 percent of the world's largest oil producer on both the Saudi stock exchange in Riyadh, the Tadawul, and one or more international markets in an IPO that could raise $100 billion.

Shell to Shed Iraqi Oil Assets

Royal Dutch Shell is set to end a century of oil production in Iraq by withdrawing from two of the Arab state's flagship fields to focus on more profitable gas development. Shell's retreat highlights the challenges foreign operators face with low-margin oil contracts in Iraq, an OPEC member that sits on some of the world's biggest oil reserves and wants to boost production after years of conflict hindered development.

Dover Mulls Upstream Energy Unit Sale

U.S. industrial conglomerate Dover Corp said on Monday it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale, for its upstream energy unit.   The company said the options also include a tax-free spinoff of the unit.   The upstream energy unit is part of Dover's overall energy business, which provides lift equipment services and diamond cutters used in oil and gas exploration and production.   Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha 

CEFC Buys Rosneft Stake as Glencore, Qatar Pull Back

Chinese conglomerate CEFC will buy a 14.16 percent stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft from a consortium of Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority in a move that further strengthens the energy partnership between Moscow and Beijing. CEFC China Energy has grown in recent years from a niche oil trader into a sprawling energy conglomerate and the transaction will allow China, the world's second largest energy consumer, to boost cooperation with the world's top oil producer.

Statoil: Rosneft Oilfield Deal Complies with Sanctions

Norway's Statoil said on Thursday its cooperation with Russia's Rosneft in developing the onshore North Komsomolskoye oilfield was compliant with European Union and U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Statoil confirmed plans to take a 33 percent stake in the northwest Siberian field under an agreement signed with Rosneft in 2013, a year before sanctions on cooperation in oil production were imposed.

Total Expects Approvals for Offshore Greece Exploration

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Total expects approval from the Greek parliament by the end of the year to explore for oil off the western coast of Greece, the French company's chief executive told a Greek newspaper. Greece and a consortium made up of Total, Italy's Edison and Hellenic Petroleum have signed a lease agreement to search for oil and gas in the Ionian Sea. "We expect ratification of the agreement by Greece's parliament by the end of the year to start work," Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne told Ta New newspaper.

French Oil Workers to Strike on Sept. 12

Oil sector workers of France's CGT trade union will join a 24-hour nationwide strike on September 12 to protest against the French government's planned labour reform, two CGT union leaders said on Thursday. Oil sector workers will join the protest and block all inbound and outbound deliveries of petroleum products to refineries and depots, one union official said. Depending on the participation of other sectors, the strike could become indefinite, another official said.

France to End Oil & Gas Production by 2040

France plans to pass legislation by the end of 2017 to phase out all oil and gas exploration and production on its mainland and overseas territories by 2040, becoming the first country to do so, according to a draft bill presented on Wednesday. President Emmanuel Macron wants to make France carbon neutral by 2050 and plans to curb green house gas emissions by leaving fossil fuels, blamed for contributing to global warming, in the ground.

U.S., European Energy Sector Hacked

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Advanced hackers have targeted United States and European energy companies in a cyber espionage campaign that has in some cases successfully broken into the core systems that control the companies' operations, according to researchers at the security firm Symantec. Malicious email campaigns have been used to gain entry into organizations in the United States, Turkey and Switzerland, and likely other countries well, Symantec said in a report published on Wednesday.

Guangzhou Halts Foreign Coal Imports

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Port handles 60 mln tonnes/year of foreign and domestic seaborne coal. Guangzhou port, the largest coal transport hub in southern China, has halted foreign coal imports, according to traders who use the port and said they had been informed of the shutdown by customs authorities and senior company officials. Traders said the move caught merchants using Guangzhou by surprise and interpreted it as a sign of Beijing stepping up its campaign to cut pollution caused by the burning of coal.

Venezuela Arrests Top Oil Exec, 8 Other PDVSA Employees

Venezuela has arrested the state oil company's boss for the western region and eight other executives at PDVSA, according to an internal company memo and a half-dozen sources in the OPEC member's oil industry. It was not immediately clear why Gustavo Malave and the other employees were apprehended, though a series of corruption probes are under way at PDVSA and have entangled other employees. The sources said Malave was arrested on Monday in Zulia state…

Russian Court Told That Oil Boss Gave Minister $2 Mln in a Bag

A Russian court was told on Tuesday that a close ally of President Vladimir Putin personally handed the country's then economy minister $2 million in cash inside a lockable brown bag as part of an elaborate bribery sting. Former Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev is on trial on charges of extorting the $2 million bribe from Igor Sechin, the head of state-owned oil company Rosneft, in exchange for Ulyukayev approving a business deal.

NAFTA Talks Continue with Energy in Spotlight

Trade negotiators from Canada, the United States and Mexico have made headway on issues including energy, small businesses and telecommunications in talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the head of a top business lobby said on Monday. "I think we've made a lot of progress," said Juan Pablo Castañon, head of the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE), which represented Mexico's private sector during the trade talks.

Cenovus Energy to Shed Pelican Lake Assets

Canada's Cenovus Energy Inc said on Tuesday it would sell its Pelican Lake heavy oil operations in Alberta for C$975 million ($786.92 million) and the oil company is also considering sale of other assets to reduce debt. Cenovus said the proceeds from the sale would be used to fund the acquisition of ConocoPhillips' assets, which it purchased for $13.3 billion in March. Reuters reported in August that Canadian Natural…

Brazil's 20% Ethanol Import Tax Rule Takes Effect

New rules governing Brazil's ethanol imports, which slap a 20 percent penalty for volumes above a tax-free import quota, took effect on Friday, authorities said. Brazil's foreign trade chamber Camex said in an official written resolution that the rules will be valid for two years. It is the first time that Brazil has taxed ethanol imports, with the government reversing its position of avoiding taxes on the biofuel's trade, following complaints from local producers about rising imports.

US Seeks Faster Approval of Small-scale Natural Gas Export

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The United States is proposing to speed up approval of small-scale exports of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), the U.S. Department of Energy said in a statement released on Friday. The department said the proposed rule would "expedite the review and approval of applications to export small amounts of natural gas in the emerging small-scale LNG export market," which it said includes the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Dow, DuPont Complete Planned Merger

Dow Chemical Co and DuPont said on Friday the companies had successfully completed their planned $130 billion merger to form DowDuPont. Shares of DuPont and Dow stopped trading at the close of Aug. 31 and will now trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "DWDP". Dow and DuPont announced the merger in December 2015. "The true value of this merger lies in the intended creation of three industry powerhouses that will define their markets…

Harvey Hurts Crude Rebalancing, Also Creates 'Opportunity'

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Crude oil's flirtation with backwardation has been hit by the market dislocations caused by Hurricane Harvey, the massive storm that is disrupting the U.S. crude oil import, export and refining hubs along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Two weeks ago the Brent crude futures curve was backwardated, with the front-month contract commanding a premium over the following four months. But by the close on Wednesday, the global benchmark oil was once again mainly in contango…

Big Monthly Loss for WTI Looms in Harvey's Wake

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U.S. gasoline at two-year high above $2 a gallon, as almost a quarter of U.S. U.S. crude oil prices are on track to post the steepest monthly losses in more than a year on Thursday as concerns spread over falling demand in the world's top oil-consuming country after storm Harvey knocked out almost a quarter of its refineries. But prices rallied in the oil products markets, with U.S. gasoline futures hitting a two-year high above $2 a gallon…

OW Bunker Investors to Sue IPO banks

Institutional investors to sue Morgan Stanley, Carnegie. A group of institutional investors in OW Bunker said they plan to sue Morgan Stanley and Carnegie for about $80 million, accusing the two investment banks of misleading them ahead of the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier. Denmark's OW Bunker was valued at $1 billion when it floated in March 2014, but the company filed for bankruptcy in November that year after suffering hedging losses of almost $300 million…

Lukoil Mulls Sale of Litasco Trader, CEO Confirms

Vagit Alekperov, the Chief Executive Officer of Russia's No.2 oil producer Lukoil , confirmed on Wednesday that the company was considering the sale of Swiss unit Litasco. He also told reporters the board of Lukoil would take a decision on the Litasco sale in November. Earlier on Wednesday, industry sources told Reuters that Lukoil was considering selling Litasco because new U.S. sanctions on Russia would make it harder for the Geneva-based energy trader to raise new funds.

Flooding Knocks Out U.S. Refineries

Harvey brings heavy rainfall, flooding to U.S. Gulf coast. Heavy rains from tropical storm Harvey caused large-scale U.S. refinery outages, pushing up gasoline prices, while crude prices rose in early Asian trade on Tuesday on the back of supply disruptions in Colombia and Libya. Refinery shutdowns from the storm helped push U.S. gasoline prices to 2015 highs of $1.7799 per gallon on Monday, although they receded slightly to $1.7325 per gallon by 0103 GMT on Tuesday. U.S.

Egypt Inks Oil & Gas Exploration Deals

Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla has signed three oil and gas exploration deals for 16 new fields in the Western Desert worth at least $81.4 million in total with Royal Dutch Shell and the U.S.-based Apex International Energy. The Petroleum Ministry said in a statement that the first deal would see Shell invest $35.5 million, and the other two would see Apex, which is operating in Egypt for the first time, invest a combined $45.9 million on two projects.

China to Penalize Refineries for Crude Reselling, Unauthorized Expansion

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Chinese refineries newly allowed to import crude oil will be penalized for reselling crude oil or expanding capacities without approvals, according to a policy document issued by the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) on Monday. Qualifications will be stripped and trade permits revoked for the refineries that recently were allowed to use or import crude oil if they are caught in these violations, the NDRC said in a 38-page document that also covers exploration and storage.

Trump Prohibits Dealings in New Venezuelan Government, PDVSA Debt

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting dealings in certain Venezuelan public sector debt on to pressure the government of President Nicolas Maduro to halt its "tyranny," the White House the White house said on Friday. The order prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and by its state oil company, PDVSA. But the White House said the order allows Treasury to provide licenses for other commercial and humanitarian transaction…

Seadrill to launch Chapter 11 Restructuring by Sept 12

Offshore drilling contractor Seadrill plans to launch a long-awaited Chapter 11 debt restructuring by Sept. 12, and aims to raise $1 billion in new capital, it said on Thursday. Once the biggest offshore rig firm by market value and the crown jewel of Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen's business empire, Seadrill shares have plunged 99 percent from a 2013 peak as energy firms have slashed spending to cope with lower prices.

Revolution or Evolution? Iraq Mulls Oil Trading Changes

There is little doubt that Iraq's mooted shift to using Dubai crude futures from long-standing price assessor Platts will shake up the trading of Middle East oil, but is it a once-off shock or the first of the dominoes to fall. Iraq's state oil marketer SOMO has asked its customers for feedback on a planned move to use Oman futures traded on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) instead of the average of Platts' Oman-Dubai quotes in pricing its main Basra grade.

Sistema to Pay Rosneft $2.3 Bln in Damages

A Russian court ruled on Wednesday that conglomerate Sistema should pay more than 136 billion roubles ($2.3 billion) to oil major Rosneft in a dispute over oil producer Bashneft. Sistema controlled Bashneft until 2014 when the government seized its stake, saying Bashneft's privatisation had been illegal. Rosneft bought a controlling stake in Bashneft from the government in 2016 and in May filed the lawsuit seeking compensation from Sistema, saying assets were removed from Bashneft.

Wind Turbine Tie-Ups Under Pressure

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Siemens Gamesa, Nordex underperform following tie-ups; more deals expected with Nordex, Senvion seen as takeover candidates. A sell-off in shares of recently merged wind turbine makers highlights the growing speed at which competition in the sector is heating up, raising expectations for more deals in the quest for scale. In the latest sign of the squeeze, Siemens Gamesa last week said it would cut 600 staff, less than a month after it revealed third-quarter operating profit had dwindled by a fifth…

Argentine Biodiesel Industry: U.S. Duties Will Halt Exports

File Image: A typical U.S. based ethanol plant.

Argentine biodiesel exports will be priced out of the U.S. market, its leading industry body said, after Washington decided on Tuesday to impose steep duties on imports that it said were unfairly subsidized. The countervailing duties on soy-based Argentina biodiesel could be as much as 64.17 percent, according to a statement from the U.S. Commerce Department. Duties of up to 68.28 percent will be imposed on palm oil biodiesel imports from Indonesia.

Former CEO of Brazil's Petrobras Charged with Corruption

Brazilian prosecutors on Tuesday charged the former chief executive officer of state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro with corruption, alleging he used his position to take bribes from construction firm Odebrecht. Aldemir Bendine served as CEO of Petrobras, as the company is known, between 2015 and 2016, and was brought in to clean up the firm after its central role in Brazil's massive political graft scandal.

BHP Profit Surges, but Looks to Exit U.S. Shale

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Underlying net profit jumps to $6.7 bln from $1.2 bln. BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner, reported a surge in underlying full-year profits on Tuesday and said it would exit its underperforming U.S. shale oil and gas business, pleasing disgruntled shareholders who had called for a sale. The Anglo-Australian mining giant, which is under pressure from U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management to rethink its investment in oil and boost shareholder returns, was buoyed by a recovery in industrial commodities markets.

Norway's Labour Calls for Debate on Oil Tax Regime

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Norway should review its generous tax regime on oil drilling because of climate change, the opposition Labour party said on Monday, three weeks before a parliamentary election which opinion polls suggest it is on course to win. Labour's Marianne Marthinsen, a member of parliament's Finance Committee, told daily Aftenposten that Western Europe's top oil producer should look at changing rules that allow oil firms to reclaim costs of "failed exploration campaigns".

Brazil Court Freezes Petrobras's TermoBahia Sale

A Brazilian federal court on Monday temporarily halted the sale by Petroleo Brasileiro SA of its 50 percent stake in thermal power station operator TermoBahia to Total Brasil E & P, part of France's Total, following a lawsuit, according to a document seen by Reuters.   The sale was part of a $2.2 billion deal signed in December which included the sale of stakes in oilfields by Petrobras to the French firm. (Reporting by José Roberto Gomes)

Sempra Energy to buy Oncor for $9.45 bln

Sempra Energy said it will buy Oncor for $9.45 billion in cash after Energy Future Holdings Corp, which indirectly owns Oncor, abandoned a deal to sell the power transmission company to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. San Diego-based Sempra expects to own about 60 percent of a reorganized Energy Future after the transaction that is valued at $18.8 billion, including Dallas-based Oncor's debt, it said late on Sunday.

Total: Maersk Deal to Boost Earnings

French oil major Total said on Monday that its acquisition of Maersk Oil for $7.45 billion would boost its earnings and cash flow, and bolster its dividend prospects. "This transaction is immediately accretive to both cash flow and earnings per share and delivers further growth over coming years," said Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne in a statement. "It is in line with our announced strategy to take advantage of…

Rosneft, Trafigura Purchase Essar Oil Refinery

Rosneft to double Vadinar refinery capacity; may supply Venezuelan oil to Vadinar refinery. Russian oil major Rosneft, oil trader Trafigura and Russian fund UCP closed their $12.9 billion purchase of Indian refiner Essar Oil on Monday, giving the companies a foothold in a country that is among the world's fastest growing oil users. The purchase is the biggest foreign acquisition ever in India and Russia's largest outbound deal. It helps Russia deepen economic ties with India that stretch back to the Soviet era.

U.S. Biofuels Mandates Under High Stakes Scrutiny

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U.S. biofuels regulations, which mandate mixing corn-based ethanol into gasoline, have lately drawn together a diverse cast of political opponents. They include an upstart gas station owners' trade group, a former Obama administration environmental adviser and billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a refiner and served as U.S. President Donald Trump's special advisor on business regulation - until he resigned Friday amid allegations of a conflict of interest.

PDVSA Defends Relationship With Russia

Venezuela's alliance with Russia is "perfect," the president of state oil company PDVSA said on Friday, blasting what he said was a U.S.-led attempt to sully the growing ties between the two nations. Reuters last week published a Special Report revealing that Venezuela's unraveling socialist government is increasingly turning to Russia for the cash and credit it needs to survive and offering prized state-owned oil assets in return, sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

Mexico Raises Pemex Deductions to Continue Oil Output

Mexico's finance ministry on Friday said state oil company Pemex will be allowed to deduct more costs for developing some projects so the firm can maintain production, which has been steadily declining since 2004. The cost recovery adjustments will allow Petroleos Mexicanos, as Pemex is formally known, to continue producing some 150,000 barrels per day of oil and 500 billion BTUs of natural gas per day from so-called…

Petrobras, Brazil Dispute Transfer of Rights Worth $30 bln

Brazil's government and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro are locked in a dispute over the value of offshore oil blocks involving an estimated $30 billion, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Friday. The dispute, which has previously been reported, centers on a 2010 contract in which Petrobras paid the government for the transfer of exploratory rights over some oil areas off the coast. Oil prices were much higher at the time the original contract was signed, at around $90 per barrel.

Siemens Gamesa to Cut 600 Jobs in Denmark

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Wind power group Siemens Gamesa said on Friday it plans to cut 600 staff at a wind blade factory near Aalborg in northern Denmark. The move comes in order for Siemens Gamesa to "remain competitive" amid increasing demands from customers to produce locally and bring down costs, company spokesman Jan Kristensen said. Siemens Gamesa has 2,100 employees at the factory.   Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

VA Governor urges Trump to drop VA Offshore Drilling Plan

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday. McAuliffe, a Democrat, had previously said that any federal drilling plan that includes his state must include a revenue-sharing program. In the letter, dated Aug. 11 and sent to Kelly Hammerle, national program manager of the U.S.

Asia Could Import more Venezuelan Crude if U.S. Sanctions Hit

North Asian refiners keen to buy; Indian refiners may raise Venezuela purchases as well. Asia would be the biggest beneficiary of any potential sanctions by the United States on Venezuela's oil sector, said traders and analysts, as exports from the South American OPEC member could be redirected to the region, filling a vacuum left by producer supply cuts. Washington is considering sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry…

Transocean to Buy Songa Offshore

(File photo: Songa Offshore)

About 77 pct of Songa shareholders have so far accepted deal. Transocean, one of the world's biggest drilling rig operators, has agreed a deal to buy Norwegian competitor Songa Offshore for 9.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.1 bln), the two companies said on Tuesday. The deal, which would be mostly paid for in shares and convertible bonds, would strengthen Transocean's position in offshore drilling as Songa is Norwegian oil major Statoil's largest drilling service provider.

Gazprom Expects No Changes to Key Projects from New US Sanctions

Gazprom said on Monday that new U.S. sanctions against Moscow would not result in the Russian gas exporter having to make changes to key projects, although they could cause delays. Several provisions of the sanctions law signed by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month target Russia's energy sector, which produces much of its foreign income, with new limits on U.S. investment in Russian companies. Last month Gazprom said the sanctions might delay some giant gas projects…

Sierra Club sues US Energy Department

Environmental group the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Energy Department on Monday in hopes of forcing it to reveal the groups it has consulted in conducting an eagerly awaited study on the electricity grid. It was the latest push-back on the department’s study from backers of renewable energy such as wind and solar power who fear it could be used by the Trump administration to form policies that could slow growth in the industry.

Drilling Ship Leaves Vietnam Block after China Row

The drilling ship at the centre of a row between Vietnam and China over oil prospecting in disputed waters in the South China Sea has arrived in waters off the Malaysian port of Labuan, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed on Monday. Drilling by the Deepsea Metro I ship was suspended in Vietnam's Block 136/3 last month after pressure from China, which says the concession operated by Spain's Repsol overlaps the vast majority of the waterway that it claims as its own.

Andeavor to buy Western Refining Logistics

U.S. pipeline operator Andeavor Logistics LP said on Monday it would buy rival Western Refining Logistics LP for $1.5 billion as it seeks to expand into the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico. Western Refining unitholders will receive 0.5233 Andeavor Logistics units for each Western Refining unit. The deal values each Western Refining unit at $25.28, representing a premium of 6.4 percent to Western Refining Logistics' Friday closing price.

IOC Buys More U.S. Crude; to Lift Eagle Ford Shale Cargo

Indian state-refiner IOC bought 1.9 million barrels of U.S. crude in its second import tender seeking oil from the Americas, making it the first Indian refiner to purchase Eagle Ford shale oil, a senior official said on Friday. IOC bought 950,000 barrels of light sweet Eagle Ford shale oil and 950,000 barrels of heavy sour Mars crude for end-October delivery from trading firm Trafigura, the refiner's finance director, A.K. Sharma, told Reuters.

Saudis Favor New York for Aramco Listing

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New York float would demand more disclosure than London; NYSE would give Aramco access to larger pool of capital. Saudi Arabia favours New York for the main foreign listing of state oil giant Aramco, even though some financial and legal advisers have recommended London as a less problematic and risky option, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. A final decision on where to stage what could be the world's largest…

U.S. Senators Against Blockade of Venezuela Oil Cargoes

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Four U.S. Senate Republicans from oil refining states urged the Trump administration on Thursday to not block oil shipments from Venezuela as part of U.S. sanctions against the country, saying it could raise costs for U.S. fuel consumers. The United States sanctioned President Nicolas Maduro and other Venezuelan officials after Maduro established a constituent assembly run by his Socialist Party loyalists and cracked down on widespread opposition. It has not placed sanctions on the OPEC member's oil industry.

Protesters Storm Shell's Niger Delta Crude Station

Hundreds of Nigerian protesters stormed a crude oil flow station owned by Shell in the restive Niger Delta on Friday demanding jobs and infrastructure development, a Reuters witness said. The protesters complained they were not benefiting from oil production in their area, a common refrain in the impoverished swampland that produces most of Nigeria's oil. They also demanded an end to oil pollution in the area. Soldiers and security guards did not disperse the crowd as it entered the Belema Flow Station in Rivers State…

KeystoneXL Opponents Vow Long Fight as Nebraska Hearing Concludes

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline vowed on Thursday to block construction of the controversial project if Nebraska regulators approve the proposed route later this year. Nebraska regulators wrapped up a final public hearing a day early on Thursday on TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline after four days of contentious exchanges between lawyers. They will make their final decision by Nov. 23. After the hearing…

Argentina Cuts Tariffs on Used Oil Equipment Imports

Argentina's government published a decree on Thursday eliminating or reducing tariffs on imports of used equipment for oil and natural gas companies, a measure long sought by the industry, but it included requirements to buy some locally produced goods. The new rules would go into effect on Friday and apply through June 2019, according to a resolution published in the Official Gazette. Developing the Vaca Muerta shale fields…

Denmark Reports Maersk Oil for North Sea Discharge

The Danish environmental protection agency (DEPA) said on Thursday it had reported Maersk Oil, the oil unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, to the police for discharging chemicals into the North Sea in connection with oil production. "Maersk Oil has in several cases, in violation of the regulations of the marine environment law, released so-called 'red' chemicals in connection with oil extraction in the North Sea," said the agency in a statement.

Petrofac Names External Specialist to Oversee SFO Probe

Oilfield services provider Petrofac on Wednesday appointed Edward Sparrow as an external specialist to oversee an investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office announced in May. Sparrow is a partner at the law firm Ashurst LLP, Petrofac said in a statement. The SFO said in May it had begun an investigation into the activities of Petrofac and its subsidiaries in connection with a probe into Monaco-based Unaoil. Petrofac had said in May that it would set up a committee responsible for responding to the investigation…

US Interior Department Rescinds Coal Valuation Rule

© Jim / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of the Interior said on Monday it has rescinded an Obama-era rule that reformed how energy companies value sales of oil, gas and coal extracted from federal and tribal land to protect taxpayers because it caused "confusion and uncertainty" for energy companies. "Repealing the valuation rule provides a clean slate to create workable valuation regulations," Zinke said in a statement. The valuation rule…

US to Relax Rules Protecting Sage Grouse, a Win for Oil

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The U.S. Interior Department on Monday launched an overhaul to an Obama-era plan to protect sage grouse that it says aims to both preserve the species of bird while expanding opportunities for oil development in western states where they live. The move is a win for the drilling industry which had long argued that the plan developed by former President Barack Obama was too restrictive, but a setback for conservation groups…

Addax Shuts Offices after Swiss Bribery Case

Chinese-owned oil firm Addax Petroleum is shutting its offices in Geneva, Houston and Aberdeen, it said on Monday, a month after it agreed to pay 31 million Swiss francs ($31.85 million)to settle charges of suspected bribery of foreign officials. Confirming a report in the Tribune de Geneve newspaper, Addax said its parent firm Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SIPC) would integrate the three offices into a new technical centre in Beijing.

Keystone XL Pipeline Fate in Balance as Nebraska Opens Hearings

Nebraska regulators will hear final arguments for and against TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline this week before deciding whether to approve its route later this year, the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project after President Donald Trump gave it federal approval. The proposed 1,179-mile (1,897-km) pipeline linking Canada’s Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries has been a lightning rod of controversy for nearly a decade…

Russian Minister Blacklisted Over Siemens Turbines to Crimea

The European Union on Friday imposed sanctions on three more Russians, including Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov, and three Russian companies over the delivery of Siemens' turbines to Moscow-annexed Crimea. The EU first introduced sanctions on Russia after the 2014 military takeover of the Black Sea peninsula from Kiev, and stepped them up repeatedly as Moscow then backed separatist unrest in the east of Ukraine.

Regulators Block Testimony ahead of Keystone XL Hearings

Nebraska regulators weighing the fate of TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline have ruled that opponents of the project cannot use one of their best arguments against it in final hearings next week: that America does not need the oil. The state’s five-member Public Service Commission is scheduled to hold court-like hearings on Aug. 7 to 11 before deciding whether to approve the project’s route, marking the…

PXP Energy Eager to Resume South China Sea Drilling

Philippine oil and gas firm PXP Energy Corp expressed eagerness on Thursday to resume exploration in the disputed South China Sea and said any joint venture development would likely involve a Chinese company. Chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters he was looking to discuss plans to resume PXP's stalled Reed Bank project in the hotly contested waterway with the Philippine government. "We should start doing that because…

UK: Wood Group Takeover of Amec Could Hurt Competition

Britain's market regulator said a takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler by oilfield services firm Wood Group could hurt competition. Wood Group in March agreed to buy Amec Foster Wheeler for 2.2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion). Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the merger could lead to competition concerns in the supply of engineering and construction services and operation and maintenance services on the UK continental shelf.

HollyFrontier's Profit Tops Estimates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

U.S. oil refiner HollyFrontier Corp on Wednesday reported a quarterly profit that handily beat analysts' estimates, helped by higher production and refinery margins. HollyFrontier said its refinery gross margin jumped 29.2 percent to $11.47 per produced barrel in the second quarter ended June 30. The company produced 483,210 barrels per day (bpd) of refined products, compared with 442,660 bpd, a year earlier. Robust demand for refined products and declining inventories have benefited refiners…

European Oil Majors Enter U.S. Offshore Wind Markets

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Statoil, Shell, DONG Energy turn to U.S. offshore wind; oil firms bring big budgets, offshore tech and risk experience. Some European oil majors have made inroads into the emerging U.S. offshore wind energy market, aiming to leverage their experience of deepwater development and the crowded offshore wind arena at home. Late entrants to the offshore wind game in Europe, which began with a project off Denmark 25 years ago and is now approaching maturity…

The Energy Patch: where rights offerings are "sexy" again

Energy businesses that are trying to exit bankruptcy are finding a saviour in some of their own creditors, which have been scooping up newly issued stock from the companies at hefty discounts. More than a dozen so-called rights offerings have raised billions of dollars over the past 18 months, according to data compiled by Reuters, to help revitalize these energy companies in return for large fees and juicy investment returns. But those benefits have not been equally shared among all the creditors providing the cash.

Phillips 66 Q2 Profit Beats Street

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

U.S. independent oil refiner Phillips 66 reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit helped by strength in its chemicals and refining units. The company said earnings from its refining business, its biggest income generator, rose more than 50 percent to $224 million in the second quarter due to higher volumes and lower costs. Phillips 66, which also stores and transports fuels, said earnings from its chemicals business rose to $196 million from $190 million helped by higher volumes and improved margins.

Hedge Fund Short Covering Lifts Oil

In recent weeks short covering, rather than long building, has driven oil prices higher, which suggests fund managers are becoming less bearish about prices rather than more bullish. Hedge funds and other money managers continued to reduce their short positions in crude and refined fuels in the week to July 25, pushing prices higher. Hedge funds reduced total short positions in the five major futures and options contracts linked to crude…

U.S. Court Says Regulator Incorrectly Set Renewable Fuel Standard

A U.S. court on Friday said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency erred when setting standards for how much renewable fuel must be included in fuel sold in the United States and ordered the agency to try again, according to a court filing. The EPA had sought to lower the amount of biofuels that needed to be mixed into U.S. fuel. But the U.S. Appeals Court, District of Columbia Circuit said the agency had incorrectly…

Siemens Offers to Buy Back Gas Turbines Delivered to Crimea

Germany's Siemens on Friday said it has renewed an offer to buy back gas turbines delivered to Crimea in breach of Siemens contracts and European Union sanctions. "Siemens did offer to repurchase all turbines before they were illegally moved to Crimea against clear contractual agreements," a Siemens spokesman said in a statement. "The offer was turned down and, as we have recently published in our statement, we renewed our offer to buy back the equipment and annul the original contract," the statement said.

Russia's TPE says Siemens Declined to Buy Back Turbines

Russia delivered Siemens turbines to sanctions-hit Crimea after the German company declined to buy then back from Russia's Technopromexport (TPE), a TPE official said in statement. The delivery of the Siemens turbines to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, sparked a scandal because Crimea is subject to EU sanctions on energy equipment. "In 2016, at the initiative of Technopromexport, Siemens was officially offered to buy back the turbines…

Ecuador: Payment Deal with Schlumberger in Place

Ecuador said on Thursday it had successfully negotiated a payment plan with Schlumberger , although it did not specify if the deal included reimbursement for roughly $850 million owed to the oil service company. Ecuador's economy has struggled since the 2014 collapse of oil prices and a devastating earthquake last year that killed some 670 people and cost an estimated $3 billion. Schlumberger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At Noble Group, Staff Exits and Debt Increase Risks

Noble shares fall as much as 49 pct after overhaul plan. Noble Group is slimming down drastically to its core Asian coal-trading business, but that may not be enough to revive its fortunes due to a staff exodus, shrunken balance sheet and debts of more than $3 billion, analysts and industry sources say. Once Asia's largest commodities trading house, Singapore-listed Noble is a shadow of what it was during the boom years…

Exxon Mobil Quarterly Profit Soars

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, said on Friday its quarterly profit nearly doubled on surging margins at its operations outside the United States.   The company posted net income of $3.35 billion, or 78 cents per share, compared to $1.7 billion, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.   Production fell about 1 percent to 3.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.   Reporting by Ernest Scheyder 

TransCanada Beats Street on U.S. Pipeline Performance

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) pisotckii)

TransCanada Corp , Canada's No.2 pipeline operator, reported a better-than-expected profit on Friday, helped by strength in its U.S. natural gas pipelines and liquids pipelines units. Revenue from the company's U.S. natural gas pipelines unit more than doubled to C$879 million. The Calgary-based company's net income attributable to shareholders rose to C$881 million, or C$1.01 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with C$365 million, or 52 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Baker Hughes Posts Smaller 2Q Loss

Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes , now part of General Electric Co, on Friday reported a smaller quarterly loss compared with a year earlier, when it incurred restructuring charges. Net loss attributable to Baker Hughes narrowed to $179 million, or 42 cents per share in the second quarter ended June 30, from $911 million, or $2.08 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell slightly to $2.40 billion from $2.41 billion.

Saudis Stop Tankers From Entering Yemen, UN Says

A Saudi-led military coalition and the government of Yemen denied four oil tankers access to a Yemeni port last week, a move that could hurt the flow of aid and exacerbate a cholera outbreak in the country, a United Nations agency said. The vessels were on their way to Hodeidah, a Red Sea port controlled by the rebel Houthi movement that is aligned with Iran. Saudi Arabia, a regional rival of Iran, is leading a military coalition fighting the Houthis.

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