Saturday, October 21, 2017

Alaska Eyes Foreign Capital to Jump-start Energy Projects

Alaska is pursuing foreign investors for its oil and gas industry, hoping to advance recent discoveries while struggling to compete with lower-cost shale projects and reverse a decades-long output decline. Sovereign wealth funds, banks and state-owned energy companies have met with Alaskan officials, John Hendrix, chief energy adviser to Alaska Governor Bill Walker said in an interview. China Investment Corp (CIC) and state-owned Chinese energy company Sinopec held talks with state officials last month, he said.

Chevron Approves New Tech in North Sea

File Image: A typical North Sea installation (CREDIT: Craig Int'l)

U.S. oil major Chevron has approved an investment to increase output from its Captain oilfield by using a new water-injection technology for the first time in the North Sea, the company said on Friday. Six long-reach horizontal wells will be drilled in the 20-year-old field, around 90 miles northeast of Aberdeen. They are expected to raise the recovery rate 5 to 7 percent. Polymerised water will be injected into the field's oil reservoir…

Schlumberger, Baker Hughes Warn of N. America Slowdown

Schlumberger Ltd and Baker Hughes, the world's top two oilfield services firms, warned on Friday of a slowdown in North America and a challenging year ahead as crude oil prices stay volatile. Schlumberger said investments in North America were moderating as energy companies increasingly shied away from chasing higher production at the cost of financial returns. "Oil prices remain volatile and, as a result, our customers remain cautious," Baker Hughes Chief Executive Lorenzo Simonelli said.

Mexico Expects to Hold a Third O&G Auction in 2018

Mexico's oil regulator will likely add another oil auction in 2018 featuring conventional onshore oil and gas blocks, a senior official said on Thursday, potentially teeing up a third tender in an election year. The bid terms will be announced this year or in early 2018 while contracts will likely be awarded by the summer, Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), said on the sidelines of an energy forum.

Emerson Upgrades Reservoir Simulation Software

Photo: Roxar

Emerson Automation Solutions has launched the latest version of its reservoir management software suite - Roxar Tempest 8.1, designed to provide robust and efficient numerical solutions to support reservoir engineers in maximizing field recovery. The release complements and enhances the advanced uncertainty analysis delivered by Ensemble Smoother Based History Matching, previously introduced in the Tempest 8.0 release, and provides new means of representing flow behavior in the vicinity of fractures.

Oil Slips but Holds Most Recent Gains on Expected OPEC Cuts

Oil prices slipped on Thursday but held on to most recent gains, supported by OPEC-led supply cuts, tension in the Middle East and lower U.S. production. Brent crude fell by $1.13 a barrel to a low of $57.02 before recovering a little to $57.30 by 1345 GMT. The global benchmark was still about 30 percent above its mid-year levels. U.S. light crude was down 75 cents at $51.29, almost 25 percent higher than June's lows.

Kinder Morgan Q3 Revenue Dips on Harvey Impact

(Photo: NASA)

Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc reported a 1.5 percent fall in quarterly revenue, partly due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. In August, Harvey hit the Texas shore as a fierce Category 4 hurricane, causing massive flooding, which knocked out 11 percent of U.S. refining capacity, a quarter of oil production from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and closed ports all along the Texas coast. Kinder Morgan had shut down parts of its KMCC pipeline system for crude and condensate…

Congo Republic Pledges to Reform State Oil Firm as Seeks Bailout

Congo Republic plans to replace the board of directors and appoint an audit committee at state oil company SNPC, as it strives to improve accountability and convince international lenders to bail out the country. SNPC, which holds equity in fields operated by Italy's ENI and France's Total, has been dogged by allegations of corruption and mismanagement, and the government on Wednesday criticised the "dysfunction" of its current set-up.

World’s First Floating Wind Farm Starts Production

The Hywind Scotland floating wind farm. (Photo: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Statoil ASA)

The world's first offshore floating wind farm has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, providing power to approximately 20,000 households. The 30MW Hywind Scotland wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was officially opened today by First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” First Minister Sturgeon said.

SKF Launches Magnetic Bearings Tuning Service

E300V2 Cabinet (Photo: SKF)

SKF has rolled out a new service called 'certified tuning E300V2', which leverages the capabilities of the E300V2 control cabinet for SKF S2M magnetic bearings. The development is as a spin-off from a previous subsea electronic system developed for the Norwegian Åsgard project and offers the ability to monitor and control magnetic bearings from a remote location. “The new service allows machine tuning to be conducted by an OEM from their own site…

Search Suspended for Worker Missing in US Oil Platform Blast

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a worker missing from an oil production platform in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain that exploded and caught fire late on Sunday. Missing is Timothy Morrison, 44, of Katy, Texas, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Seven other workers were sent to hospital with injuries in the incident. "The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one," Commander Zac Ford said in the statement.

CEFC Eyes Big League with Rosneft Oil Offtake Deal

As part of its recent $9.1 billion investment in Russian oil giant Rosneft, little-known CEFC China Energy will have access to up to 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil - giving it the sort of market clout to potentially challenge dominant Western oil traders like Vitol. For China, the world's top crude importer, having access to Russian oil would be a big step towards its ambition to create a globally integrated oil supply chain.

Kurdistan Orders to Resume Full Oil Production after Brief Stoppage

The minister of natural resources for Iraq's Kurdistan, Ashti Hawrami, has ordered the resumption of full production from the Bai Hassan and Avana oilfields after a brief interruption on Monday, a source at the ministry told Reuters. Earlier on Monday, trading sources and an official at the Iraqi oil ministry in Baghdad said Erbil had stopped works at the two fields, resulting in an immediate production loss of 350,000 barrels per day.   By Reuters London Energy Desk

Update: Worker Missing after Oil Platform Explosion

The search continued for a worker missing from an oil production platform in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain that exploded and caught fire late Sunday, sending six others to hospital with injuries, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Coast Guard rescue crews and a helicopter failed to locate the worker overnight, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Alexandria Preston. In addition, authorities on Monday were checking for any evidence of oil leaking from the facility, she said.

Oil Rises as Kirkuk-Iraqi Fighting Escalates

Iraq forces move into oil-rich, Kurdish-held Kirkuk. Oil markets jumped on Monday as Iraqi forces entered the oil city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and raising concerns over exports from OPEC's second-largest producer. Iraq launched the operation in the multi-ethnic region on Sunday as the crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) escalated. Tensions have been building since the KRG voted for independence in a Sept. 25 referendum.

Asia Buyers Turn to U.S. for Cheap Crude

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

Traders send more U.S. crude to Asia on wide WTI-Brent spread; but China accounts for bulk of region's crude imports from U.S. Asia is set to ramp up crude oil imports from the United States in late 2017 and early next year, with buyers searching out cheap supplies after hurricanes hit U.S. demand for the commodity at a time of rising production in the country. As many as 11 tankers, partly or fully laden with U.S. crude…

Investors Hit Peak Bullishness on Oil: Kemp

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

The wave of investor bullishness towards oil that started back in July and August may have peaked at the end of September, according to the latest position records published by regulators and exchanges. Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long position in the five major futures and options contracts linked to petroleum by a total of 32 million barrels in the week to Oct. 10. Hedge funds cut their net long position in every one of the major benchmarks including Brent (-16 million barrels)…

About 13% US Gulf Oil Output Offline Due to Hurricane Nate

About 13 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production remains offline in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Friday. That equals about 220,000 barrels per day in production that is offline, according to BSEE. Oil companies evacuated staff from Gulf platforms and curtailed output ahead of the storm, which hit the region last weekend. About 7 percent of U.S. Gulf natural gas production remains offline, BSEE said.

$800mln Gas Pipeline Proposed as Argentina Preps for Shale Boom

Gas transporter TGS, controlled by Pampa Energía, has proposed an $800 million pipeline and gas treatment plant in Argentina's Vaca Muerta shale fields, a company source said, aiming to address a key barrier to increasing production. The project, subject to approval by the government of Neuquen province, could be built in a year and a half and would transport gas produced by companies including state-run YPF SA , Tecpetrol, Dow Argentina and Exxon Mobil Corp , the source said.

Oil Rallies on Chinese Import Boost and Mideast Tensions

© prathaan / Adobe Stock

Oil prices firmed on Friday as bullish news from strong Chinese oil imports to turmoil in the Middle East put Brent on track for a nearly 3 percent weekly gain. The developments added to other signs that the market was finally rebalancing after years of excess, but analysts warned that the 2018 balance was still shaky. Brent was at $57.20 at 1335 GMT, up 95 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $51.44 per barrel, up 84 cents from its last settlement.

BP, SOCAR to Ink Caspian Sea Exploration Deal

Azeri state energy company SOCAR plans to sign a production-sharing agreement with BP to jointly explore prospects in a new block, D-230, in the North Absheron basin of the Caspian Sea before the end of 2017, a source at SOCAR said on Thursday. BP and SOCAR signed a memorandum of understanding on joint exploration of this block in May 2016 in a move that reflected efforts by SOCAR and foreign companies to make new discoveries in the oil-rich country.

Aker BP Wins Approval for Gas Lift at Tambar

Norway's oil and gas watchdog has approved Aker BP's plans to modify facilities at the Tambar oilfield to support North Sea oil production it said on Thursday. The approved modification includes installation of a gas lift module to inject natural gas into wells to help to produce oil from the reservoir. "The gas lift is being installed because the reservoir pressure at Tambar is no longer sufficient to ensure satisfactory production," Norway's Petroleum safety authority said in a statement.

Oil Falls on Higher U.S. Crude Inventories

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

U.S. crude stocks up by 3.1 mln barrels at 468.5 mln as Goldman expects average Brent price of $58 a barrel in 2018. Oil prices slipped on Thursday as U.S. fuel inventories rose despite efforts by OPEC to cut production. Brent crude oil was down 60 cents at $56.34 a barrel by 1055 GMT. U.S. light crude was 75 cents lower at $50.55. Both benchmarks have risen more than 20 percent from their lows in June as world oil markets tightened.

Total Reinforces its Exploration in West Africa

Map: Total

Total and the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea (ONAP) signed a Technical Evaluation Agreement to study deep and ultra deep offshore areas located off the coast of Guinea Conakry, covering approximately 55,000 square kilometers. “By taking this position on a new under-explored area, Total pursues its exploration strategy targeting deep offshore prospective basins,” declared Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration for Exploration & Production at Total.

Petronas' Canadian Unit to Look at other LNG Opportunities

Progress Energy, a wholly-owned unit of Malaysia's Petronas, will look at other liquefied natural gas opportunities as a way to monetize its Canadian gas assets after Petronas scrapped a $29 billion LNG project this year, a company executive said on Wednesday. Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned energy company, abandoned plans to build the Pacific Northwest LNG plant in northern British Columbia in July due to weak prices…

About 33% of US Gulf Oil Output Offline after Nate

About 32.7 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Wednesday. That equals about 571,854 barrels per day in production that is offline, according to BSEE. Oil companies evacuated staff from Gulf platforms and curtailed output ahead of the storm, which hit the region last weekend. About 21 percent of Gulf natural gas production remains offline, BSEE said.

Glencore Sees Record Oil Trading Volumes as Margins Shrink

Glencore looks set to cement its position as the world's second-largest oil trader as it tries to offset low volatility and tight margins with record volumes this year, its global head of oil, Alex Beard, told Reuters. The London-listed commodities trader and miner will shift around 6 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and refined product this year, up 25 percent from last year. The figure represents around 6 percent of global supply and only rival Vitol trades more oil, at some 7 million bpd.

Most US Oil Execs See Prices below $60/Barrel through 2018

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. oil executives see crude oil prices remaining below $60 per barrel through 2018 and not hitting $70 until at least the next decade, according to a survey published on Wednesday by consultancy Deloitte Services LP. The survey, based on a poll of 250 executives at companies that produce, transport and refine oil and natural gas, reflects a shift from last year when many respondents forecast commodity prices would rise and capital spending budgets grow. U.S.

EIA Raises US Oil Production Growth Forecast for 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday it expects U.S. crude oil production in 2018 to rise by more than previously expected. The agency forecast that 2018 crude oil output will rise by 680,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.92 million bpd. Last month, it expected a 590,000 bpd year-over-year increase to 9.84 million bpd. For 2017, it forecast a rise of 380,000 bpd to 9.24 million bpd. Last month, it expected a 400…

Danos Acquires Construction Assets in West Texas

Logo: Danos

Danos has acquired the civil construction assets and transitioned several skilled craftsman from Renegade Backhoe Services (RBS), located in Levelland, Texas. With this acquisition, Danos takes over RBS’ fleet of backhoes, heavy-haul trailers, dump trucks and associated construction services equipment. “In addition to our well-established production and roustabout lines of services, Danos can now offer support for construction operations to customers in Western Texas and Eastern New Mexico…

Kazakhstan Ready to Discuss Extension of Global Oil Output Cut Deal

Kazakhstan is open to discussing the possible extension of a global deal to cut oil production if such an issue arises, RIA news agency quoted Kazakhstan's energy ministry as saying on Wednesday. "We have not received a proposal about an extension. If the issue of an extension arises, then it will be discussed with consideration of the oil price environment, as well as the supply and demand balance on the global oil market," RIA quoted the ministry as saying.

Aker BP's 2017 Guidance Unchanged Even as Q3 Production Slips

Norwegian independent oil company Aker BP maintained its 2017 full-year output guidance of 135,000-140,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd) after reporting lower third-quarter volumes on Wednesday, a spokesman said. "There is no change for the full-year guidance... Lower third-quarter production was primarily due to maintenance," the spokesman said. Aker BP reported earlier on Wednesday third-quarter output at 131,900 boepd, down from 142,700 boepd in the second quarter.

Oil Rises, but Doubts Swirl on Sustainability

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

Barclays raises Q1 2018 Brent forecast to $56 per barrel, but says Q2 2018 prices to fall back to $48 per barrel. Oil prices rose for a third day on Wednesday as OPEC said the market was gradually tightening after years of oversupply, but the 2018 outlook was less certain. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at $56.80 per barrel at 1129 GMT, up 19 cents. Brent closed 2 percent higher the previous day. U.S.

OPEC Again Raises Oil Demand Forecast

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

Demand for OPEC crude in 2018 raised by 230,000 bpd. OPEC forecast higher demand for its oil in 2018 and said on Wednesday its production-cutting deal with rival producers was successfully getting rid of a glut, pointing to a tighter global market that could move into a deficit next year. OPEC said the world would need 33.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of its crude next year, up 230,000 bpd from its previous forecast.

Majority of US Gulf Oil Output Offline Due to Nate

About 58.5 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Tuesday. That equals about 1.02 million barrels per day in production that is offline, according to BSEE. Oil companies evacuated staff from Gulf platforms and curtailed output ahead of the storm, which hit the region last weekend. About 46 percent of Gulf natural gas production remains offline, BSEE said.

Feast or Famine? Oil Market in 2018

© jdoms / Adobe Stock

In the Bible, Joseph was interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven thin cows, but he might have been talking about the oil market (“Genesis”, chapter 41, verses 29-30). Just as Pharaoh’s kingdom experienced a cycle of feast and famine, depending on the Nile inundation, the oil market swings between periods of undersupply and oversupply. “The problem of oil is that there is always too much or too little,” as Myron Watkins…

Tendeka Wins Lower Completion Contract in Middle East

Scott Watters, Chief Operating Officer with Tendeka (Photo: Tendeka)

Tendeka has been awarded a project to supply the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) with its Inflow Control Device (ICD) technology which will enhance production through more effective reservoir management. The multimillion-pound deal will involve Tendeka installing Advanced ICD equipment in 55 horizontal wells over two years in Northern Kuwait. Tendeka will perform reservoir simulations for each well, working closely with KOC to ensure optimum reservoir performance.

DNV GL Acquires ComputIT

Are F. Tjønn, CEO, DNV GL - Software (Photo: DNV GL)

DNV GL said it has acquired ComputIT, a specialist independent company for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and R&D. ComputIT develops unique high-end technology for simulating fires, explosions and gas dispersion. “This acquisition brings us world-leading capabilities in the CFD domain,” says Are F. Tjønn, CEO, DNV GL - Software. With its roots in the offshore sector, ComputIT has also served onshore oil and gas, power generation, chemical, transport, maritime, and construction industries.

U.S. Output 'Set for Last Spike' in 2018 - Vitol

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

U.S. oil output could be set for a last spike in 2018 before growth flattens for a number of years as rising costs make a big chunk of production uneconomic, the head of top oil trader Vitol, Ian Taylor, told Reuters. The United States has turned into a major oil exporter in recent years on the back of a shale revolution, which created a global oil glut and sent prices plunging to below $30 per barrel last year from as high as $110 in 2014.

Iraq's Luaibi to Reopen Pipeline to Turkey

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Berkut 34)

Iraq plans to reopen a crude oil pipeline from the Kirkuk oilfields to Ceyhan in Turkey, the oil ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, a route partly still in use by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Iraq largely stopped sending oil through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline in 2014 after the region was overrun by Islamic State militants. Recaptured by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces over the past two years, there have been some intermittent flows.

Oil Rises Above $56 on Saudi Export Cut

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

Saudi Arabia to cut crude allocations for November; offline U.S. production after storm Nate lends support. Oil rose to above $56 a barrel on Tuesday, supported by Saudi Arabian export cuts in November and comments from OPEC and trading companies that the market is rebalancing after years of oversupply. Saudi Arabia has cut November allocations by 560,000 barrels per day (bpd), in line with its commitment to an OPEC-led supply reduction pact.

Chevron Restaffs GoM Platforms

Chevron Corp said on Monday it has sent staff back to U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms that were shuttered ahead of Hurricane Nate, but would not speculate on when operations would return to normal.   The shutdowns ahead of the storm took more than 120,000 barrels of oil per day of Chevron's production offline.   Chevron also said its pipeline subsidiary, Chevron Pipe Line Co, has re-opened its Whitecap pipeline and Fourchon and Empire terminals to receive and ship crude.   Reporting by Ernest Scheyder 

New HT/HP Subsea Valve Coating Developed and Deployed

Photo: Hardide Coatings

An international collaboration between Hardide Coatings and Master Flo Valve Inc (MFV) has developed a new solution to protect high temperature, high pressure (HT/HP) subsea choke valves. The valves are the first of their kind to feature the Hardide-T coating, which can be applied to choke valve stems so they can withstand temperatures up to 400°F and pressures of 20,000 psi. Canada-headquartered MFV found that alternative…

Cairn Oil and Gas to Invest $4.6 bln in New Exploration

Cairn Oil and Gas, part of Vedanta Ltd, will invest 300 billion rupees ($4.6 billion) in exploration projects off India's east coast and in the onshore fields of Barmer in the west, its acting CEO said. The company expects approvals to be in place by the end of October, Sudhir Mathur told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Forum in New Delhi, as Cairn undertakes a fresh investment plan after the extension of its production contract until 2030.

BHP Billiton to Resume Production on GoM Platforms

Australian oil producer BHP Billiton started mobilizing staff to its Neptune and Shenzi platforms at the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Nate, expecting to make progress on resuming output over the next 24 hours, the firm said on Monday. BHP Billiton on Friday completed the evacuation of the oil platforms ahead of Nate, which made landfall on Saturday at the mouth of the Mississippi river. Reporting by Marianna Parraga

Statoil: UK Exploration Wells Disappoint

Statoil's exploration campaign off Britain yielded one discovery, one dry well and one non-commercial discovery this year, the company said on Monday. Results of the Mariner Segment 9 and Jock Scott wells were disappointing, while the third, a sidetrack to Statoil's Verbier well in the outer Moray Firth, proved at least 25 million barrels of oil. "Whilst the results of the other two exploration wells were disappointing…

Oil Stabilizes After OPEC Comments

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

U.S. oil production, refineries reopen after storm Nate as investors raise bullish bets on WTI - CFTC. Oil prices stabilised on Monday after one of the most bearish weeks in months, propped up by OPEC comments signalling the group and other producers may take further action to restore market balance in the long term. Oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico started returning to service after Hurricane Nate had forced the shutdown of more than 90 percent of crude output in the area.

Chevron Starts LNG Output at Wheatstone Project

Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. Photo: Chevron Corporation.

Chevron Corporation announced it has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. The first cargo is on track to be shipped in the coming weeks. “First LNG production is a significant milestone and is a credit to our partners, contractors and the many thousands of people who collaborated to deliver this legacy asset,” said Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson. At full capacity…

Randgrid FSO Begins Gina Krog Field Contract

Image of Randgrid FSO by Teekay Corporation

Teekay Offshore Partners announced the Randgrid FSO, which was converted from one of the Partnership’s shuttle tankers at Sembcorp’s Sembawang shipyard in Singapore, has commenced its charter contract with Statoil ASA (Statoil) on the Gina Krog oil and gas field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. “Today marks a significant milestone in Teekay Offshore’s FSO franchise with the start-up of our largest FSO project to-date,” commented Ingvild Sæther, President and CEO of Teekay Offshore Group Ltd.

Ecuador to Offer Oil Block Terms in January

Ecuador will offer oil exploration and production blocks in January under new contract terms that it expects will attract more interest and allow the OPEC-member country to compete with its neighbors for foreign investment, the oil minister said. The new terms will allow producers to be paid in oil and enable them to export or sell the barrels to local refineries, said Carlos Perez at a conference at Rice University in Houston on Friday.

Exxon Shuts Two Subsea Production Systems Ahead of TS Nate

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Friday it has stopped oil production at its Julia and Hadrian South subsea production systems in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate. The company also said it has finalized transport plans to pull staff from its Mobile Bay platform in the Gulf. On Thursday the company pulled all staff from its Lena platform in the Gulf. The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by the Saturday just before it makes landfall on the Louisiana coast sometime early Sunday.

Speculators Cut U.S. NatGas Net Longs Again - CFTC

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Gear STD)

U.S. natural gas speculators cut their net long positions for a second week in a row on less cold winter forecasts and an increase in production to record levels.   Speculators in four major New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) markets reduced their bullish bets by 28,839 contracts to 225,886 in the week to Oct. 3, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.   Reporting by Scott DiSavino 

70+ pct of U.S. GoM Output Offline Ahead of Nate

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

About 71 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Friday. Nate is forecast to enter the Gulf and strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall late Saturday in Louisiana, near several major refineries. Oil companies have evacuated staff from Gulf platforms and curtailed output ahead of the storm…

U.S. Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for 4th Week in Five

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

The U.S. oil rig count fell for a fourth time in the last five weeks as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as energy firms reduced spending plans in response to recent crude price declines. The oil rig count fell by two to 748 in the week to Oct. 6, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher…

WTI Discount to Brent Reflects Logistics Constraints

Even as crude stocks decline elsewhere in the United States, stocks are rising in the Midwest, especially around the delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange’s light sweet crude contract at Cushing in Oklahoma. Crude stocks at Cushing hit a low of 56 million barrels on July 28 but have since risen by almost 7 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In the rest of country…

ConocoPhillips Withdraws Workers From GoM Ahead of Nate

ConocoPhillips said on Friday it is evacuating non-essential personnel from its Magnolia oil platform in the central Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate. It joined other oil companies that have reduced staff or curtailed production on offshore platforms over the past day. Nate is expected to move up the central Gulf of Mexico and become a Category 1 hurricane before striking the U.S. Gulf Coast late Saturday or Sunday.   Reporting by Ernest Scheyder

Ecuador Still Exceeding OPEC Production Target

Ecuador remains out of compliance with its OPEC oil output reduction target, Carlos Perez, the country's oil minister said on Friday. Perez made the comments during a presentation on investment in the country's energy sector at Rice University. Ecuador's oil production was 548,400 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, and its output has declined in 2017. However, the South American country has not hit its 26,000 bpd OPEC reduction target, he said. Reporting by Gary McWilliams

Ketelaars Takes the Lead for DNV GL - Oil & Gas in the Americas

Frank Ketelaars (Photo: DNV GL)

Frank Ketelaars took up the position of Director of Region Americas in DNV GL – Oil & Gas on 1 October, as North America’s energy system undergoes a transition. DNV GL’s recently published Energy Transition Outlook shows significant shifts in US federal energy and climate change policies. Reducing dependence on imports is a key driver for the energy transition in North America. Large shale gas reserves have enhanced energy security…

Asian Spot LNG at Highest Level Since January

File Image: A laden LNG carrier transits the Mediterranean Sea this past week (CREDIT: Robert Murphy)

Spot LNG prices hit $8.5/mmBtu as market tightens, but market outlook remains weak due to rising output. Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) edged to their highest level since January this week, as the market gradually tightened ahead of the peak-demand winter heating season and as consumption in China soars amid its huge gasification programme. Spot prices Asian LNG <LNG-AS> rose 10 cents to $8.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), their highest since January this year.

T/S Nate Kills 22 in Central America, Bears Down on U.S. GoM

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

Tropical Storm Nate killed at least 22 people in Central America on Thursday as it pummeled the region with heavy rain while heading toward Mexico's Caribbean resorts and the U.S. Gulf Coast, where it could strike as a hurricane this weekend. In Nicaragua, at least 11 people died, seven others were reported missing and thousands had to evacuate homes because of flooding, said the country's vice president Rosario Murillo.