Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mexican Oil Regulator Approves Onshore JV Projects

Mexico's first two onshore oil and gas projects to be developed by joint ventures between state-owned Pemex and new partners were approved by regulators on Friday. The auctions to pick Pemex's partners for the two extraction projects covering the Cardenas-Mora and Ogarrio fields, both located in southern Tabasco state, will take place on Oct. In both tie-ups, Pemex will have a 50 percent stake, while the partners will have the remaining half and will be designated as the operators of the projects.

Australia Plans to Limit LNG Exports

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Australia's conservative government unveiled a radical plan on Thursday to restrict exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at times when domestic shortages push up local prices, aiming to ease soaring energy costs for local manufacturers. The plan would allow Australia's resources minister to impose controls on LNG exports on advice from the market operator and regulator, as the government seeks to cap domestic gas prices, which have become a political hot potato. "It's not a threat. This will be export controls.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 15th Week

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U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 15th week in a row, but the pace of those additions slowed in April to the lowest in five months as crude prices fell below $50 a barrel on doubts OPEC will continue to cut production enough to reduce the global glut. Drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to April 28, bringing the total count up to 697, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday.

In Demand: Hoegh LNG’s Sveinung Stoehle

The business model: Hoegh LNG president and CEO, Sveinung Støhle. Photo: handout

Satisfied with the recent opening of a new floating LNG import terminal in Turkey plus contract successes in Africa and Asia, Hoegh LNG CEO and president, Sveinung Stoehle, cautiously lets us into his stylish Oslo offices for a bit of “disclosure”. The Hoegh business model is winning out, and now six floating storage and regasification units, or FSRUs, are in operation with four newbuilds on the way. The terminal in Turkey was built in just six months: “It would be years…

Op/Ed: Trump Signals New Day for Offshore Energy

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National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi weighs in on President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore energy. It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) applauds President Donald Trump’s Executive Order recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that in the year 2040…

Kongsberg Maritime, SES Form Strategic Alliance

Kongsberg Maritime and Stress Engineering Services form strategic alliance to serve customers within offshore drilling and floating production systems (Photo: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg Maritime Inc., the North American division of Norway headquartered marine and offshore technology company Kongsberg Maritime, and Houston headquartered Stress Engineering Services (SES) have formed a strategic alliance to better serve existing and new clients with cost effective engineering services and fully integrated technical solutions within offshore drilling and floating production systems. By combining…

Trump to Order Review of Offshore Drilling Bans

File Image: Credit James Fisher

U.S. President Donald Trump will today order a review of offshore areas currently off limits to oil and gas drilling to determine which might be reopened, in his administration's latest move to expand domestic energy production. The order could lead to a reversal of bans on drilling across swathes of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans and the Gulf of Mexico that former President Barack Obama's administration sought to protect from development.

Oil Rebounds Output Cut Extension Hopes

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

Reuters poll shows analysts expect extension of output deal, but despite gain, oil set for second week, month of losses. Oil prices rebounded on Friday after dropping to a one-month low the previous day, prompting investors to buy at cheaper levels ahead of a May OPEC meeting at which producers could extend output cuts. Optimism is rising about the prospect of a year-long production curb deal, with most analysts polled…

U.S. Refiners Bet Big on Refined Export Markets

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

U.S. refiners have come out of maintenance season betting that big exports to Mexico and South America will help alleviate high product inventories and boost margins as the critical summer driving season nears. The first wave of earnings results from several large independent U.S. refiners showed that they are not chasing U.S. gasoline profits, due to already high inventories and steady-but-not-spectacular demand. Instead…

Crude Prices, Cost Cuts Drive Exxon Mobil's Profit

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly-traded oil producer, said on Friday its quarterly profit more than doubled due to rising crude prices and cost cuts.   The company posted net income of $4.01 billion, or 95 cents per share, compared to $1.81 billion, or 43 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.   Production fell 4 percent to 4.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Reporting by Ernest Scheyder 

Norway races Australia for Japan's Hydrogen Business

Norway may provide cleanly produced hydrogen to Japan; but Australia hopes to export the fuel extracted from brown coal. Norway and Australia are racing each other to show they can supply Japan with hydrogen, hoping to fulfil its ambition to become the first nation significantly fuelled by the super-clean energy source. While Australia has planned to derive liquid hydrogen from brown coal for some time, Norway could steal…

Updated Forecast: Floating Production System Orders

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World Energy Reports has released its midterm five year forecast of production floater orders. The forecast, detailed in the March 2017 WER report, reflects positive and negative developments in underlying business drivers since WER’s five year forecast last October. Likelihood that the November U.S. election results will accelerate U.S. More rapid expected increase in cost of capital – U.S. Overall, the net impact of…

Anadarko Shares Dive as Wells Close

Shares of Anadarko Petroleum Corp plunged on Thursday after the oil and natural gas producer said it would temporarily close more than 3,000 wells in Colorado in the wake of an explosion that killed two. The company's stock fell more than 5 percent to $56.69 in Wednesday afternoon trading, touching six-month lows. A recently built home in Firestone, roughly 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver, exploded on April 17. Local media reported that two men were killed while repairing a water heater when the explosion took place.

Total Expects Decision on First Libra FPSO by Summer

A decision on the first floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the giant Libra project in Brazil will be made by the summer, Total's head of exploration and production said on Thursday. "We are actively working actively on Libra to have the first FPSO decided before summer," Arnaud Breuillac told an oil summit in Paris. Total is one of the partners in Libra with Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.

Oil Prices Fall After Libyan Oilfields Restart

Oil prices fell on Thursday after news that two key oilfields in Libya had restarted, pumping crude for export into an already bloated market. Benchmark Brent crude fell $1.22 a barrel to a low of $50.60 before recovering slightly to around $50.80 by 1330 GMT. The contract has fallen more than 10 percent from this month's peak. U.S. light crude oil hit a low of $48.51, down $1.11 a barrel on the day. Libya's Sharara oilfield…

Keppel FloaTEC Secures Contract for TLWP in Vietnam

Keppel FloaTEC LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract worth about $40 million from PTSC Mechanical & Construction (PTSC M&C) to provide engineering, technology and construction management support services for the Repsol Ca Rong Do Tension Leg Wellhead Platform (TLWP) to be built in Vietnam. PTSC M&C, the service arm of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), is the main engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractor for the TLWP.

US Authorizes Non-FTA LNG Export from Golden Pass

Photo: Golden Pass LNG Terminal

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products LLC to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. Golden Pass is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to any non-FTA country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas.

Argentina Authorizes Natural Gas Exports to Uruguay

Argentina's government authorized the export of up to 350,000 cubic meters (12.4 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day to neighboring Uruguay for the next two years, its official gazette said on Wednesday. Argentina is seeking to ramp up production by exploiting one of the world's largest shale reserves, Vaca Muerta, but it remains a net importer of gas, primarily from Bolivia. Argentina must import equivalent amounts of gas to what it is exporting to Uruguay, the gazette said.

Drilling Costs Rise Along with U.S. Oil & Gas Activity

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

U.S. oil and gas drilling costs have started to rise in response to a surge in activity and are set to increase further as the slack in the rig market declines. Drilling costs increased by 7 percent between November 2016 and March 2017, according to preliminary data on producer prices from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase has offset only a small part of the 34 percent slump between March 2014 and November 2016 (http://tmsnrt.rs/2q6RNzc).

China's Utilities Ready for Coal Buying Spree

File Image: a loaded bulk carrier at sea. File Image: AdobeStock / (c) Lucasz Z

China's utilities are readying for a months-long buying spree to shore up thermal coal reserves ahead of the hotter summer months, sources say, in a strategy aimed at averting a supply crunch but which may drive prices higher. Top power generating companies will need to purchase more than 40 million tonnes of thermal coal by the end of June to provide a cushion of supply during the third quarter, the second-highest demand period of the year after winter…

Hess Q1 Loss Shrinks on Higher Crude Prices, Cost Cuts

U.S. oil producer Hess Corp reported a smaller quarterly loss on Wednesday, helped by an uptick in crude prices and lower operating costs. U.S. crude prices averaged $51.78 per barrel in the first three months of the year, up 54 percent from a year earlier. Hess's average realized crude oil selling price, including the effect of hedging, was $48.58 per barrel in the first quarter ended March 31, up from $28.50 a year ago. Higher selling prices helped Hess make up for a fall in production.

Oil Breaks Losing Streak ahead of US Inventory Data

Oil prices edged up in volatile trading on Tuesday, rebounding from six days of losses, ahead of U.S. crude inventory data forecast to show a drawdown. U.S. crude futures settled up 33 cents to $49.56 a barrel, breaking a streak that saw the benchmark lose 7.4 percent. Brent crude settled up 50 cents at $52.10 a barrel. Analysts forecast U.S. crude oil stocks to fall by 1.6 million barrels in the most recent week. The industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) is due to release its inventory figures at 4:30 p.m.

Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Down in March

Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States declined in March for the third month in a row this year to 651,710 barrels per day due to falling exports of main grade Merey, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuela's crude output fell in 2016 to its lowest level in 23 years. Analysts expect another decline in 2017 due to lack of investment and to cash flow problems affecting state-run oil firm PDVSA, which controls more than 40 joint ventures for exploration and production.

Russia Considers Raising Oil Output

Russia is ready to keep its oil production stable, but may increase output if it feels that prices are unlikely to fall as a result, the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying on Tuesday. Dvorkovich said a fragile balance has been reached in the global oil market, which should not be disturbed by any "sharp moves", according to the agency. He also said that a decision on whether…

Ecuador Gives Schlumberger $150 mln to Settle Part of Debt

Ecuador has given oil services company Schlumberger NV $150 million in central bank notes that can be used to pay taxes, President Rafael Correa said late on Monday, part of efforts to pay down a $1.1 billion debt with the company. Correa told reporters that Schlumberger had been given Central Bank Notes, known by the Spanish acronym TBC. "Schlumberger is being paid ... we have already given them $150 million in TBC, I believe," Correa said in the city of Guayaquil.

OPEC 'Cut' Strategy Headed for Failure?

File Image: A loaded VLCC underway (CREDIT: EuroNav)

Is it yet time to call the crude oil output cuts by OPEC and its allies a failure? Certainly there is an increasing disconnect between the rhetoric of OPEC and other producers cutting output on the one hand and the reality of a well-supplied crude oil market and mixed signals on the level of global inventories on the other. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, have…

Norway Doubles Barents Sea Oil & Gas Estimates

Norway on Tuesday doubled its estimate of undiscovered oil and gas resources in its region of the Arctic Barents Sea as a formerly disputed area bordering Russia was included for the first time, the country's oil regulator said. The new forecast by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) predicted about 2.8 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalent (17.6 billion barrels) could yet be found in the Barents, up from 1.4 billion seen earlier. "This figure is naturally associated with some uncertainty.

Alberta Crude Oil Leak Came from Inter Pipeline System

A crude oil leak in central Alberta's Strathcona County on Friday afternoon came from Inter Pipeline Ltd's Cold Lake regional pipeline system, the company said in a statement on Monday. Calgary-based Inter Pipeline has isolated a segment of the pipeline near its Strathcona Terminal in Edmonton for repairs, and said it is working with regulators to investigate the cause of the incident. There were no details on how much…

Oil Slips as Investors Fret About Rising US Drilling

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Oil prices dipped on Monday, reversing earlier gains as concerns about a pick up in U.S. drilling activity trumped expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017. "It's a still game of very narrow trading ranges between these mixed drivers," said ABN AMRO's senior energy economist Hans van Cleef. Brent crude futures fell 41 cents by 1447 GMT to $51.71 per barrel after hitting a session high of $52.57 a barrel. U.S.

Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling

File photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Norway's Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. "We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May ... followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central)," said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill.

Rolls-Royce Power Plant for Belgian Greenhouse

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Since the beginning of the year, two Rolls-Royce combined heat and power plants have been supplying energy to a new tomato greenhouse operated by Maxburg BVBA in Meer in Belgium. The two gas-powered gensets have reliably supplied over 20 Megawatt hours of heat and power to date. Maxburg is now the 30th greenhouse for which Rolls-Royce has delivered combined heat and power plants. Since 2005, no less than 52 combined heat…

New Executive Orders Loom on Environment, Energy

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U.S. President Donald Trump this week will sign new executive orders before he completes his first 100 days in office, including two on energy and the environment, which would make it easier for the United States to develop energy on and offshore, a White House official said on Sunday. "This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Oil Inches Back Up, OPEC Promises Support

OPEC looks set to extend output cuts through 2017; but rise in U.S. drilling undermines group's efforts. Oil prices recovered some lost ground on Monday after big losses last week, driven by expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017, although a rise in U.S. drilling capped gains. Brent crude futures rose 38 cents by 1148 GMT to $52.34 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures added 41 cents to reach $50.03 a barrel.

Halliburton Gains from North American Drilling Surge

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Halliburton Co said on Monday that oil producers are completing nearly as many wells as they are drilling, a major reversal from when companies left wells unfinished in anticipation of higher oil prices. Increased demand for Halliburton's pressure pumping and well-construction services helped the world's No.2 oilfield services provider report slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue. Halliburton's shares were up more than 1 percent at $47.72 in morning trade on Monday.

Schlumberger expects reactivation costs to squeeze margins

Schlumberger NV warned on Friday that margins would remain under pressure as the oilfield services provider spends more to bring back idled equipment to meet rising demand from North American shale producers after a two-year lull. Shares of the company, whose quarterly profit nearly halved due to a jump in costs, fell as much as 4.4 percent to $73.18, their lowest in nearly a year. Oilfield service providers, including Schlumberger's rival Halliburton Co…

South Korean Tender Stirs LNG Market

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Asian spot LNG prices jumped this week, buoyed by hopes Korea Gas Corp's new tender would match past buying sprees and by emerging demand from China and Japan. Spot prices for June delivery rose to $5.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), a 20 cent jump over last week, but traders cited sharply divergent views on pricing, saying the disagreements contributed to market inertia. Still, Korea Gas Corp's Thursday tender for June and July supply - set to close on April 26 - immediately stirred up bullish offers…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 14th Week in a Row

© Steve Boyko  / Adobe Stock

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 14th week in a row, extending an 11-month recovery that is expected to boost U.S. shale production in May in the biggest monthly increase in more than two years. Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 21, bringing the total count up to 688, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. That is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 343 active oil rigs. U.S.

Eni to Shut Goliat Field in Sept for 3 Weeks

Italy's Eni plans to shut its Goliat oilfied in the Norwegian Arctic for 2-3 weeks in September to fix operational problems, Norway's oil safety watchdog said on Friday. The world's northernmost oilfield in production started operations in March 2016 but these have been interrupted several times due to technical issues. Eni said the shutdown plan was submitted to the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority in March, said a spokeswoman for the safety watchdog…

Iran's Crude Exports Dip to 14-month low

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

Iran's crude exports to hit 14-month low; May exports to total 1.66 mln bpd in May. Iran's crude oil exports are set to hit a 14-month low in May, a person with knowledge of the Middle Eastern country's tanker loading schedule said, suggesting the country is struggling to raise exports after clearing out stocks stored on tankers. Part of the drop may also be attributable to a decline in demand, as loadings bound for India…

ConocoPhillips looks to Aussie Transcontinental LNG Pipeline

File Image: A typical natural gas pipeline arrangement (CREDIT AdobeStock / (c) pisotckii)

ConocoPhillips will consider diverting natural gas from fields in northern Australia along a proposed transcontinental pipeline that would link directly to markets in the southeast, a senior executive told Reuters on Thursday. The U.S. oil major is also leaning towards developing the Barossa gas field offshore northern Australia, with a final decision due in early 2019, Kayleen Ewin, the company's vice president for sustainability, communications and external affairs, said in an interview.

Murky Inventory Estimates Leaves Oil Markets Guessing

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Oil supplies remain plentiful despite OPEC-led cut; measuring stored oil globally is notoriously difficult. The jury is still out over whether an OPEC-led production cut aimed at tightening oil markets is working, or if the producer club has simply enabled higher prices without making much of a dent in the global fuel supply overhang. Analysts say there are early indications that at least some inventories, key in gauging the health of the market, are starting to draw down.

Prysmian Bolsters Offshore Cable Production

Responding to an increased demand for European offshore wind farms, energy and telecom cable systems manufacturer Prysmian Group has expanded capability at its U.K. production facility in Wrexham to manufacture both 33 kV and 66 kV submarine cable cores used for the inter-array cable connections in offshore wind farms. The new product line will enable the linking and collecting of power produced by offshore wind turbines before onward transmission to the onshore grid.

Iraq's Oil Exports Fall in April Amid Port Work, OPEC Cut

Oil shipments from Iraq's southern terminals have fallen so far in April, according to loading data and an industry source, reflecting a temporary drop in export capacity and Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC production cuts. OPEC's second-largest producer has curbed output this year as part of an OPEC-led supply reduction deal, although OPEC figures show that until March Iraq had delivered a smaller cut than other members such as top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Rolls-Royce to Provide Mooring System for Statoil's Njord A

Photo: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has been chosen by Norway-based engineering and construction services firm Kvaerner to provide a mooring system for Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil’s oil platform, Njord A. Njord A is being upgraded by Kvaerner and Rolls-Royce has been chosen to provide an upgrade to its mooring system. The contract has a value of about £15 million ($19 mln). Njord A is a semisubmersible floating steel platform, with an integrated deck with drilling and processing facilities, as well as living quarters.

China Demand Drives Singapore Crude Storage Sales

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22.6 million barrels of crude sold from storage in March; Chinese demand, more crude deliveries to Asia trigger sales. Crude oil sales from storage tanks around Singapore rose to an 11-month high in March, with nearly half of the volumes going to China and traders clearing inventories ahead of record shipments to Asia expected to arrive in April. Traders sold a total of 22.6 million barrels of crude from storage in Singapore, southern Malaysia and northern Indonesia in March, Thomson Reuters Eikon trade data showed.

ConocoPhillips: Slow & Steady Wins the Race

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

ConocoPhillips has beaten its 2017 asset sales target less than four months into the year, after shedding $30.8 billion worth of energy assets in six years. But instead of a chorus of cheers on Wall Street, Chief Executive Ryan Lance is facing investor skepticism that the company can deliver growth from remaining oil and gas fields. ConocoPhillips' most recent sales of Canadian oil-sands properties and U.S. natural gas…

Oil Prices Rebound, but Oversupply Weighs

AdobeStock / Gear STD

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait signal likely cut extension; falling U.S. crude stocks offer some support. Oil prices regained some ground on Thursday, after steep losses in the previous session, as leading Gulf oil producers signalled a likely extension of OPEC-led supply cuts beyond the middle of the year. Brent crude futures were at $53.45 per barrel at 1117 GMT, up 52 cents from their last close. U.S. crude futures were up 45 cents at $50.89 a barrel.

Hedge Funds Confidence in OPEC Starts to Fray

OPEC and some of the most important hedge funds active in commodities reached an understanding on oil market rebalancing during informal briefings held in the second half of 2016. OPEC committed to implement credible production cuts and reduce global crude stocks while hedge funds responded by establishing bullish long positions in both flat prices and calendar spreads. OPEC effectively underwrote the fund managers’ bullish…

Industry Entrepreneur Acquires Oil Plus

Mark Cavanagh (right) who has acquired Oil Plus beside the company’s managing director Kevin Murray.  (Photo: Oil Plus)

An energy industry entrepreneur has snapped up Oil Plus Ltd, a specialist oil and gas consultancy based in Berkshire, south England. Mark Cavanagh, managing director of Crandale Consultants, acquired the business from John Crane Inc, a division of Smiths Group plc, for an undisclosed value. Oil Plus plans on adding to its workforce over the next 12 months as it targets double-digit growth and forecasts turnover of £3 million.

Demand for Arabian Gulf Crude Export Dips in Q1

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Seaborne demand for Arabian Gulf crude exports down 14 percent in first quarter 2017 in very large crude carriers (VLCC) and Suezmaxes. In the first quarter of 2017, more than 2.5 trillion ton miles were completed by the global VLCC and Suezmax fleet. This was down 4.6 percent from the previous quarter with a reduction in VLCC work done being the major contributor at -5.42 percent. Over 50 percent of seaborne demand for crude exports stems from the Arabian Gulf.

Oil Higher as OPEC Efforts Offset U.S. Supply

Bloated U.S. market still weighs on prices; U.S. to review lifting of sanctions against Iran. Oil edged higher on Wednesday as OPEC said it was committed to eroding a global surplus of crude, but increasing shale production in the United States and still-high global stocks threatened to pull prices lower. Brent crude futures were up 27 cents at $55.16 a barrel at 1106 GMT, while U.S. crude futures were up 20 cents at $52.61.

China's Record Crude Imports Somewhat Deceptive

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

Record crude imports and refinery processing in the first quarter give China's oil sector the appearance of exceptional strength, but in this case looks can be a little deceiving. This isn't to say that China's crude demand and refinery throughput is weak in any shape or form, rather that there are factors that make it look stronger than it actually is on a fundamental basis. Looking at the refining sector first, March saw 11.19 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude being processed…

Norway OKs Statoil’s Trestakk Plan

Image: Statoil

Norwegian authorities have approved the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) of the Trestakk discovery on the Halten Bank in the Norwegian Sea. Investments are calculated at NOK 5.5 billion ($646 million), almost half of the original estimate. Trestakk was discovered in 1986, and expected recoverable volumes are 76 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly oil. Tied into the Åsgard A production vessel, Trestakk is expected to come on stream in 2019.

Eni Shuts Down Oil Center at Major Italy Field

Italian oil major Eni said on Tuesday it had decided to temporarily shut down a treatment plant serving its biggest domestic oil field in southern Italy to meet a local order. Closure of the oil centre in the Val d'Agri field follows a request by the regional government of Basilicata to halt operations because it said there were leaks from storage tanks at the site. The oil centre is located in the Val d'Agri oil concession area which produces around 75,000 barrels of oil per day.

Dutch to Cut Gas Output to Reduce Earthquake Risk

The Netherlands will reduce production of its Groningen gas field by 10 percent from October to limit the risk of earthquakes, the country's economy minister said in a letter to parliament on Tuesday. Output has been cut several times from 53.9 billion cubic metres in 2013 to 24 billion bcm as criticism mounted that Dutch authorities had failed to adequately assess the risk to citizens from earthquakes caused by production at Europe's biggest field.

Oil at 11-day Low on U.S. Shale Projections

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

U.S. shale production set to rise to 5.19 mln bpd in May; OPEC to meet May 25 to consider output cut extension. Oil prices hit their lowest in 11 days on Tuesday on news that U.S. shale oil output in May is expected to post the biggest monthly increase in more than two years, fuelling concerns that U.S. production growth is undermining efforts to cut oversupply. U.S. government drilling data showed shale production next month was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels per day (bpd)…

Oil Slides as U.S. Pumps More

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

Brent, WTI prices drop about 1 percent. U.S. rig count gains for 13th consecutive week. Crude oil slid lower on Monday on signs that the United States is continuing to add output, largely counteracting strong economic growth in China and OPEC efforts to cut production. Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 50 cents at $55.39 at 1126 GMT. On Thursday, before major markets closed for a holiday break, they settled up 3 cents at $55.89 a barrel. U.S.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 13th Week in a Row

© Ghost / Adobe Stock

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 13th week in a row, with the number of active rigs rising to near a two-year high, as energy companies boost spending on new production to take advantage of a recovery in crude prices. Drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to April 13, bringing the total count to 683, the highest since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Thursday. At this time a year ago, there were 351 active oil rigs.

Strong Rouble Limits Effect From Oil Cut Deal for Russia

A strong rouble is deflating Russian oil producers' and government hopes for a revenue boost from a global deal to curb output that was designed to lift prices and reduce inventories. The price of Russia's flagship Urals oil blend has risen around 20 percent since OPEC and 11 other large producers, led by Russia, agreed late last year to cut production in the first half of this year. In the same time though, the rouble has climbed by more than 10 percent versus the dollar, eroding gains for Russian oil.

For North Korea, Cutting Off Oil Supplies Would Be Devastating

Isolated North Korea doesn't consume much oil, but curbing or cutting off its supplies in retaliation for further nuclear or long-range missile tests would be painful and potentially destabilising to the regime of Kim Jong Un. U.S. Separately, the Global Times, an influential Chinese tabloid whose stance does not necessarily reflect official policy, said in an editorial on Wednesday that "Chinese society" would approve of "severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before…