Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Blackrock, Lightsource Target UK Solar Power Portfolio

Asset manager Blackrock and solar energy firm Lightsource have agreed to jointly create a 1 billion pound ($1.3 billion) portfolio of solar power assets in Britain over the next three years, the two companies said on Tuesday. The partnership, called Kingfisher, will initially include 25 of Lightsource's British solar assets with a combined capacity of 156 megawatts (MW), which have already secured government subsidies for their power production.

Anadarko is First U.S. Producer to Slash 2017 CapEx

U.S. oil producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday and said it would cut its 2017 capital budget by $300 million because of depressed oil prices, the first major U.S. oil producer to do so. Anadarko and the rest of the U.S. shale oil industry have been grappling with how to conserve cash and maintain growth opportunities even as crude prices have slumped since January. Many Wall Street analysts had asked U.S.

Oil Rises on Saudi Export Cut Pledge

Saudi Arabia to limit exports to 6.6 mln bpd in August; OPEC to tackle some members' compliance with output deal. Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia pledged to curb exports from next month and OPEC called on several members to boost compliance with output cuts to help rein in oversupply and tackle flagging prices. Brent crude futures were up 68 cents at $49.28 a barrel by 1054 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 64 cents to $46.98 a barrel. At a meeting in the Russian city of St.

Saipem Looks to Novatek Arctic LNG 2 Participation

Italy's Saipem is likely to get a sub-contractor role in a new project to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic by Russia's Novatek, one of Novatek's partners said. Novatek, Russia's largest non-state LNG producer, is aiming to produce as much LNG as the world's biggest exporter Qatar and is drawing up plans to build a second plant, known as Arctic LNG 2, on the Gydan Peninsula that juts into the Kara Sea. Production is due to start in 2022-2023.

Oil Rises After Saudis Signal Export Cap

OPEC, non-OPEC ministers meet in Russia. OPEC official sees oil market rebalancing speeding up in H2. Oil rallied on Monday, erasing early losses after leading OPEC producer Saudi Arabia pledged to cut its exports to help speed up the rebalancing of global supply and demand. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.

Global LNG Deals Set Bullish Tone as Peru Export Halt Tightens Market

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

Asian spot LNG prices stepped higher this week, shrugging off months of weakness, as Royal Dutch Shell replaced lost output from its Peru plant via spot markets and as a flurry of higher-priced deals surprised traders. Peru's liquefaction plant suspended loadings for several weeks without explanation, exerting strain on Shell, which is the sole exporter of Peruvian LNG and was forced to pick up replacement supply on spot markets.

Activists Protest near Oil Rig in Norway's Arctic Sea Area

Environmental activists protested on Friday near an offshore rig contracted by Statoil in the remote Norwegian Arctic, where the firm is looking for oil and gas deposits. The Nordic country wants to open up northern areas for exploration to offset declining production in the south. Oil and gas production is Norway's leading industry, accounting for 20 percent of its economy. From the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship, 11 campaigners launched inflatable boats carrying banners opposing Statoil's Songa Enabler oil rig…

Encana Smashes Profit Estimates

Canadian oil and gas producer Encana Corp on Friday posted a quarterly profit that handily beat estimates and the company said it was expecting a strong 2018 even with current commodity prices. Oil prices began to rise late last year after a two-year slump and are now hovering around $50 per barrel as an OPEC-led production cut and a rebound in demand slowly erode a global glut. Encana has benefited from downsizing its operations to focus on four core North American assets: the Montney and Duvernay in western Canada…

Oil Falls as OPEC Compliance Crumbles

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Gear STD)

OPEC July production to rise 145,000 bpd - Petro-Logistics. Oil prices fell on Friday after a consultancy report forecast a rise in OPEC production for July despite the group's pledge to curb output, reigniting concerns the market will stay awash with crude. Petro-Logistics, which tracks OPEC supply forecasts, said OPEC crude production would rise by 145,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month, taking the group's combined output above 33 million bpd.

Saudis Curtail Crude Flow to United States

Saudi Arabia is making good on promises to curtail oil shipments to the United States with the likely intention to drain visible inventories and support prices. The United States imported an average of 524,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Saudi Arabia in the week ending July 14, the lowest volume for more than seven years (http://tmsnrt.rs/2vI1iE2). Imports from Saudi Arabia averaged just 810,000 bpd over the last four weeks, according to the U.S.

Schlumberger to Acquire Majority Stake in Eurasia Drilling

Photo: Eurasia Drilling Company

Russia's Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) said on Thursday it would sell a 51 percent stake in the company to the oilfield services provider, U.S.-based Schlumberger NV. The agreement is subject to approval by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS), the company said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed since it is subject to approval. The agreement, if approved, would extend a strategic alliance with Schlumberger that dates to 2011, Eurasia added.

Brent Oil Climbs Above $50 for First Time Since Early June

Brent crude oil rose above $50 per barrel for the first time since early June on Thursday, adding to gains made the previous session when falling U.S. crude and oil product inventories lifted the market. Brent futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, stood at $50.10 at 1257 GMT, 40 cents up from their last settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $47.42 per barrel, 30 cents higher.

Oil Steady as Fuel Stock Dip Fuels Demand Hopes

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

Big drop in gasoline, diesel stocks lifts refinery margins. Oil prices were steady on Thursday, holding gains made the previous session after falling U.S. crude and oil product inventories lifted the market. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, stood at $49.72 per barrel at 0939 GMT, 2 cents up from their last settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $47.10 per barrel, 2 cents below their last close.

China Moves to Ease State Oil Majors' Grip on Storage

Beijing on Wednesday issued a draft of new regulations for China's growing oil and fuel storage industry, helping loosen the state-owned oil majors' grip on the sector as the nation pushes to reform its vast energy markets. The government is looking to update storage policies issued in 2006, consolidating regulations for crude oil and rules for oil products under a single framework. The main change proposed is to remove…

Vietnam Plans Oil Reserves Equivalent of 90 Days of Imports by 2020

Vietnam's prime minister has approved a plan for the country's total crude oil and oil product stocks to be at least 90 days' worth of net imports by 2020. The southeast Asian country joins developing nations such as China and India in establishing an oil buffer that will enhance their energy security as imports have jumped while domestic production is on the decline. The 90-day net import level is a standard set by the International Energy Agency for its OECD members.

Russia to Work with OPEC on Oil Market Rebalancing

© Aikon / Reuters

Russia is ready to continue working with OPEC to help rebalance oil markets, a Russian energy source said on Wednesday, adding that Moscow welcomed a flexible approach by OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia to accommodate rising output from Nigeria and Libya. "We welcome the constructive approach and flexibility of our partners in addressing the challenges which arise on the path towards a balanced market," the source, who is close to the Russian delegation negotiating with OPEC, said.

Russian Think Tank: Oil Exports to Decline in 2017

© Mikhail Perfilov / Adobe Stock

A think tank that advises the Russian government on taxes and energy-related issues said on Wednesday it expects the country's oil exports to fall this year thanks to a global deal to cut output, contrasting with official forecasts for a rise. Vygon Consulting said in a presentation to reporters that oil exports this year are seen declining by 0.7 percent to 252.5 million tonnes (5.1 million barrels per day) from around 255 million tonnes in 2016, a record high.

Qatar Seeks to Open New LNG Markets with Floating Terminals

Qatar Gas Transport Company and Norwegian shipping business Hoegh LNG have embarked on a joint project to open new markets for Qatar to sell its liquefied natural gas (LNG) via floating import terminals. Hoegh LNG, a developer of floating LNG import terminals, expects to start work on the import terminal project in a matter of months, CEO Sveinung Stohle told Reuters. Stohle said Hoegh LNG and Qatar Gas Transport Company…

Mexico Sets Next Deep-water Oil, Gas Tenders

Mexico's oil regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission, set Jan. 31 as the date for the next round of auctions for deep-water oil and gas tenders in the Gulf of Mexico. The so-called 2.4 auctions will offer 30 areas, of which 10 are in the Cordilleras Mexicanas deepwater basin, 10 others in the Salina Basin, nine in the Perdido Fold Belt off the U.S.-Mexico maritime border and one more in the Yucatan platform. The…

Total, BP Unit, YPF Invest $1.15 Bln in Argentina

Argentina's state-run oil firm YPF SA, France's Total, Wintershall Energía SA and BP unit Pan American Energy LLC announced on Tuesday a $1.15 billion joint investment to increase shale gas production. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Caroline Stauffer and Luc Cohen; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

U.S. Uncompleted Well Backlog Looms over Market

U.S. oil and gas exploration and production companies are drilling new wells faster than they can be fractured and hooked up to gathering systems, creating a growing backlog of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells. By June, the number of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells across the seven largest shale plays had topped 6,000, according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The estimated number of uncompleted wells across the seven plays has risen by more 1…

Oil Climbs as Demand Absorbs Glut

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

OPEC-shale "tug of war" keeps market fairly range-bound. Oil rose on Tuesday as demand soaked up some of the surplus supplies from OPEC and the United States, but traders said the market was trading in a tight range and showed few signs of big short term moves. Benchmark Brent crude was up 70 cents at $49.12 a barrel by 1150 GMT, while U.S. light crude oil was 65 cents higher at $46.67. "We're stuck in a range that ...

Ecuador, Shunning OPEC, to Increase Production

OPEC member Ecuador will no longer comply with an agreed OPEC production cut due to the country's financial difficulties and plans to gradually raise its oil output, the government said on Monday. Oil Minister Carlos Perez said that Ecuador's compliance with the agreed cuts was only around 60 percent, putting current output at 545,000 bpd. "We need funds for the fiscal treasury and for that reason we've taken the decision to gradually increase production…

Naftogaz to Sign Gas Deals with Vattenfall, Trafigura

Ukraine's Naftogaz plans to sign natural gas purchase agreements with Trafigura Trading (Europe) Sarl and Vattenfall Energy Trading GmbH as it expands supply from Europe. Kiev has looked to diversify away from Russian energy imports since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. Naftogaz plans to sign an framework agreement with Vattenfall which will allow it to buy gas worth up to 105.9 billion hryvnias ($4.1 billion), a July 17 regulatory filing showed.

Lundin Extends Contract for Ocean Rig

Image: Ocean Rig

Ocean Rig UDW, contractor of offshore deepwater drilling services, has announced that Lundin Norway AS, has declared their third option to extend the existing contract of the Leiv Eiriksson. In addition, Ocean Rig has granted Lundin 2 additional options to drill further wells in the future. As a result of these developments, the rig now has firm employment until at least the end of September of 2017 and should Lundin exercise its additional seven one-well options…

US Shale Oil Output up for 8th Month at 5.6 Mln BPD -EIA

© Roberto Giobbi / Adobe Stock

U.S. shale oil production is forecast to rise for the eighth consecutive month, climbing 112,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5.585 million bpd in August, the U.S. Energy Department said in a report on Monday. The increase comes amid market concerns that rising shale output will dampen the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' efforts to curb a global supply glut. The U.S. shale production level would be the highest since record-keeping began in 2007, according to the EIA's monthly drilling productivity report.

Azerbaijan's Oil and Natural Gas Output Fall in First Half

Azerbaijan's oil production dropped by 9 percent year-on-year to 19.161 million tonnes in the first half of 2017, the country's State Statistics Committee said on Monday. Natural gas output in the six months was also down year-on-year, dropping to 14.115 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 14.923 bcm in the same period of 2016. Azerbaijan produced 41.03 million tonnes of oil and 29.33 bcm of gas in 2016.   (Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin and Margarita Antidze)

Oil Edges Up as U.S. Drilling Slows

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

U.S. drilling growth slows but rig count still high; China's refiners process near record amounts of crude. Oil edged up to around $49 a barrel on Monday as a slowdown in the increase of rigs drilling in the United States eased concern that surging shale supplies will undermine OPEC-led cuts. U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday. Rig additions over the past four weeks averaged five, the lowest since November.

Petrobras Oil Output Rises in June

Brazil's Petrobras produced 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil on average in June, a 0.6 percent increase over the prior month, the state-owned company said on Monday.   Natural gas production rose 1.8 percent to 80.3 million cubic meters per day, Petrobras added. Total oil and natural gas production in Brazil reached 2.81 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, the company said.   Reporting by Luciano Costa 

Oil Firm as Higher Demand Outweigh Supply Worries

Shell declares force majeure on Bonny Light exports; OPEC's compliance with production curbs has slipped - IEA. Oil prices edged higher on Friday and were on track for solid weekly gains following positive demand signals, production issues in Nigeria and a reported decline in stocks. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were up 43 cents at $48.85 per barrel at 1111 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.45 per barrel, up 37 cents.

Aker BP Ups 2017 Output View

Oil firm Aker BP, the second-largest operator of oil and gas platforms off Norway, raised its 2017 output guidance and lowered its production cost outlook as it posted second-quarter earnings roughly in line on Friday. The company is the result of a merger between the Norwegian business of oil major BP and the Norwegian oil company Det norske controlled by billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke. Aker BP said its output guidance for 2017 would be raised to a range of 135…

Oil Firm as Signs of Higher Demand Outweigh Worries of Excess

Oil prices edged higher in choppy trading on Friday and were on track for solid weekly gains following positive demand signals and a reported decline in stocks. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were 27 cents higher at $48.69 per barrel at 0915 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.31 per barrel, 23 cents higher. Both contracts were more than 5 percent above the week's lows…

Xodus wins Subsurface Contract with Cairn Oil and Gas in India

Xodus Group CEO, Wim van der Zande

Xodus Group won a contract with Cairn Oil and Gas of Vedanta Ltd. to conduct exploration and appraisal work on its Rajasthan block in north-west India over the next two years. The first stage of the work will focus on delivering new drilling prospects and an exploration drilling plan, in partnership with Cairn Oil and Gas’ in-house team. Subsequent stages, which will likely commence in 2018, will require project management of the drilling programme in the field as well as subsurface analysis of drilling results.

Suriname Signs Offshore Oil Deals with Exxon, Hess and Statoil

Suriname's state oil company Staatsolie said on Thursday it signed production sharing contracts involving Exxon Mobil Corp, Hess Corp and Statoil ASA for two blocks off the coast of the South American nation. The thirty-year exploration and production agreements involve the areas known as Block 59, to be developed by a consortium consisting of Exxon and Hess, and Block 60, to be developed by Statoil. The area off the…

Bibby Completes Decommissioning Work for Maersk Oil UK

Barry Macleod, UKCS managing director at Bibby Offshore (Photo: Bibby Offshore)

Bibby Offshore, a subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, has announced a multimillion dollar contract with a global energy player Maersk Oil UK to provide late life production enhancement and decommissioning support in the North Sea. The contract saw Bibby Offshore’s diving support vessel Bibby Polaris operate at two separate locations, undertaking production system isolations and critical component replacements to facilitate late life production enhancement…

Premier Oil: North Sea Exploration No Longer Attractive

Shares at three-month high after Zama oil discovery. Premier Oil, which produces more than half its oil in the British North Sea, said on Thursday that exploring for resources in the basin was no longer attractive, a day after it announced a major discovery off Mexico. The company's shares have surged to a three-month high after it found potentially more than a billion barrels of oil in the Mexican Zama field, which Wood Mackenzie analysts called one of the 20 largest shallow-water finds in two decades.

Saudis Curb U.S. Oil Shipments

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

Saudi Arabia is trying to support oil prices by reducing its crude shipments to the United States in a bid to cut the amount of oil in commercial storage. U.S. crude imports from Saudi Arabia averaged less than 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks ending on July 7, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia are running at the slowest rate since 2015, and the slowest for the time of year for over five years (http://tmsnrt.rs/2tM4mAO and http://tmsnrt.rs/2thOpza).

Oil Falls as OPEC Production Cuts Fade

IEA says oil markets remain oversupplied; global demand outlook nevertheless rises, IEA says. Oil prices fell on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the oil market could stay oversupplied for longer than expected due to rising production and limited output cuts by some OPEC exporters. The Paris-based IEA said rising consumption in Germany and the United States was helping boost oil demand but the world still faced a fuel glut. Brent crude was down 40 cents at $47.34 a barrel by 1120 GMT. U.S.

Facebook's Zuckerberg Drills Down into North Dakota's Oil Patch

© David Gaylor / Adobe Stock

Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg toured a North Dakota drilling rig on Tuesday and peppered industry workers in the No. 2 U.S. oil-producing state with questions about automation, safety and fracking. The visit to North Dakota, which pumps about 1.1 million barrels of oil per day - more than some OPEC members - is part of Zuckerberg's plan to tour all 50 states this year and learn about their local economies and communities.

Australian Group to Raise Money for Israel Shale Oil Project

Israel's REM Energy partnership issued a prospectus on Wednesday for an offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to raise 25 million shekels ($7.1 million) to advance the country's largest shale oil project. The partnership, controlled by Northwood Exploration Israel, plans to build a plant in southern Israel to produce oil and electricity from oil shale. Established in 2011, Northwood is owned by Australia's Casella family, owners of Casella Wines.

OPEC Oil Supply Lost in Fog of Data

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries coordinates the policies of its members by giving each of them a production allocation rather than limiting how much they can export. OPEC agreements have been specified in terms of output rather than exports since the first allocations were agreed in March 1982 (“Annual Statistical Bulletin”, OPEC, 2017). Quotas, as the production allocations are informally known, apply to crude oil but not to condensates or other natural gas liquids.

Shell Exiting Ireland Upstream Sector

Royal Dutch Shell said it is selling its stake in the Corrib gas venture in Ireland for up to $1.23 billion, marking its exit from the upstream business in Ireland. The buyer is a unit of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the deal includes an initial consideration of $947 million and additional payments of up to $285 million between 2018-2025, subject to gas price and production, Shell said in a statement. The transaction…

Tariff Fight Roils Argentina’s Shale Patch

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

Argentina needs oil rigs to develop its vast shale oil and gas resources. The United States has plenty of idle equipment laying around after its own unconventional drilling boom cooled. But moving that machinery from the plains of Texas to the windswept Patagonian desert is proving complex and costly for global oil majors who say Argentina's protectionist past is slowing efforts to spark its own shale revolution. A move…

Oil Passes $48 as API Reports Drop in U.S. Crude Stocks

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

API reports U.S. crude inventories fall 8.1 mln barrels; U.S. 2018 oil production outlook slightly revised downward - EIA. Oil rose above $48 a barrel on Wednesday in response to a fall in U.S. fuel inventories and a cut in the U.S. government's forecast for crude output and despite OPEC suggesting the oil market will see a surplus next year. U.S. crude inventories fell by 8.1 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, much more than the forecast.

Shell Exercises FPSO Turritella Purchase Option

FPSO Turritella (Photo: SBM Offshore)

Shell E&P Offshore Services B.V. will exercise its right under the charter agreement to purchase the floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) Turritella, enabling a Shell affiliate to assume operatorship of the Gulf of Mexico ultra-deepwater Stones development in its entirety. The company selling the FPSO is a joint-venture (JV) owned by SBM Offshore with 55 percent interest, Mitsubishi Corporation with 30 percent interest and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) with 15 percent interest.

US Natgas Output up in 2017, but Still below 2015 Record

© Nightman1965 / Adobe Stock

U.S. dry natural gas production in 2017 was forecast to rise to 73.30 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) from 72.29 bcfd in 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday. The latest July output projection was unchanged from EIA's forecast in June but falls short of the record high 74.14 bcfd produced on average in 2015. EIA also projected U.S. gas consumption would fall to 72.86 bcfd in 2017 from a record 75.11 bcfd in 2016.

Total to Invest $3.5 Bln over Five Years in Qatari Field

France's Total will invest $3.5 billion over five years in Qatar's offshore Al Shaheen oilfield and expects to keep production running at 300,000 barrels per day in future, French and Qatari executives said on Tuesday. Total's investment commitment was announced while Qatar is embroiled in a political crisis. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed sanctions on Qatar accusing it of backing terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

Total to Maintain 300,000 bpd Output from Al Shaheen Oilfield

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne aims to maintain production of 300,000 barrels a day from the Qatari offshore Al Shaheen oilfield for "many years", he said on Tuesday. Pouyanne was speaking at a news conference in the Qatari capital Doha to mark the inauguration of North Oil Company (NOC) as the new operator and developer of Al Shaheen, taking over from Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk. Total won a 30 percent stake in Qatar's largest offshore oil field last year.

Statoil Recruitment Plan Targets Skilled Workers

Statoil needs to recruit skilled workers to all disciplines in the coming years. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

Statoil said plans to recruit more than 50 skilled workers annually in the years ahead to ensure that the company has the right competence and capacity on the Norwegian continental shelf. “We believe it will be possible to maintain profitable and sustainable production at the current level on the Norwegian continental shelf up to 2030 and beyond. However, this means that we must continue to attract talented personnel with good qualifications…

Virgina Offshore Wind Project Moves Forward

One of DONG Energy's turbines in the U.K. (Photo: DONG Energy)

An offshore wind project in the U.S. mid-Atlantic is moving forward, as project owner Dominion Energy Virginia has signed an agreement and strategic partnership with DONG Energy to build two 6-megawatt turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two companies will now begin refining agreements for engineering, procurement and construction. Dominion Energy remains the sole owner of the project. Engineering and…

Marsol Signs Two-Year OOCEP Contract

Photo: Marsol International

Marsol International, a UAE-based global marine solutions provider focused on the offshore oil terminal market and related infrastructure, has signed a two years contract with Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production LLC (OOCEP) for the provision and management of the marine and offshore activities related to the tanker loading, via the single point mooring (SPM) offshore marine terminal including maintenance works, vessels, equipment and manpower.

Saudi Aramco to meet August Asia Crude Demand

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

To supply full volumes to India, SE Asia; four north Asia buyers also to receive full supplies. Saudi Aramco <IPO-ARMO.SE> will meet the full August crude oil requirements of its customers in India and southeast Asia as well as four of its North Asian buyers, several sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. This shows how Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, aims to retain market share in Asia, the region with the world's strongest demand growth.

Swiss Singapore to Start Naphtha Trading in Singapore

To set up naphtha trading desk, hired 1 trader so far; aims to set up office in the US by year-end. Commodity trader Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises is expanding its trading operations in Singapore and may start an office in the United States by the end of the year, said three industry sources on Tuesday. The company, which is part of the Indian multinational conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, is starting a naphtha trading desk at its Singapore office, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

Oil Falls as Banks Cut Price Forecasts

BNP Paribas, Barclays chop price forecasts and oversupply keeping medium-term outlook weak. Oil prices fell on Tuesday as global oversupply encouraged several banks to cut their forecasts for crude for this year and 2018. Brent crude was down 50 cents at $46.38 a barrel by 1120 GMT. U.S. crude was 50 cents lower at $43.90. "The fundamental mood has taken a turn for the worse," Harry Tchilinguirian, head of oil strategy at French bank BNP Paribas, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

Fire Extinguished at Syncrude Oil Sands Plant

A small fire broke out in a sulphur emissions reduction unit at the Syncrude oil sands plant in northern Alberta on Monday morning and was extinguished within two hours with no injuries to workers, a Syncrude spokesman said.   Spokesman Leithan Slade said the unit was being assessed for damages and it was too early to tell if there would be any effect to Syncrude production. (Reporting by Nia Williams)

OSV Companies Running Out of Options -Study

© corlaffra / Adobe Stock

As oil continues to sell below $50 per barrel, 2017 could be one of the toughest years in decades for Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) companies, according to a study of 44 companies in the industry by AlixPartners. The firm’s analysis highlights these companies’ rising debt burdens, making it increasingly unlikely that most of them can maintain solvency. The industry faces grave financial pressure, which is clear from recent bankruptcy filings and distressed mergers.

Oil Falls as Global Supplies Increase

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

OPEC may ask Libya, Nigeria to cap output. Oil fell on Monday, adding to heavy losses at the end of last week due to rising drilling activity in the United States and no let-up in supply growth from both OPEC and non-OPEC exporters. Prices dropped even as OPEC signalled it may widen its production caps to include Nigeria and Libya, whose output has recovered in recent months after being curtailed by years of unrest. Brent crude futures fell 51 cents on the day to $46.20 per barrel by 1120 GMT, while U.S.

Ophir's COO Higgs to Step Down

William Higgs (Photo: Ophir Energy)

British oil and gas explorer Ophir Energy's Chief Operating Officer William Higgs will step down as the company reduces costs by cutting staff positions at its London headquarters, the company said on Friday. Energy companies have cut costs over the past few years due to a fall in oil prices. Ophir has faced further challenges in launching its Fortuna project in Equatorial Guinea - Africa's first deepwater floating liquefaction facility.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs, Pace Remains Slow

© Jason Smith / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a 24th week in the past 25 as the year-long drilling recovery continues but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as crude prices declined despite OPEC-led efforts to end a global supply glut. Drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to July 7, bringing the total count up to 763, the most since April 2015, Baker Hughes energy services company said in its closely followed report on Friday. That compares with 351 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago.

Vattenfall to Save $356 Mln a Year after Sweden Tax Phase Out

Swedish state-owned power utility Vattenfall will save about 3 billion Swedish crowns ($356 million) a year after the country's nuclear tax has been phased out and will use the savings to extend the life of its reactors, its CEO told Reuters. On July 1, in a long expected move, Sweden started a two-year phasing out of its tax on nuclear power production, which many nuclear energy producers, including Vattenfall , said had created losses and halted investments. "The tax reduction will be 3 billion crowns per year ...