Sunday, February 16, 2020

Energy Giants News

China Opens Up to Foreign E&P Firms

© ddukang / Adobe Stock

For the first time, China will this year allow foreign companies to explore for and produce oil and gas in the country, opening up the industry to firms other than state-run energy giants, as Beijing looks to boost domestic energy supplies.The long-awaited opening accompanies a reshuffle of the so-called "midstream" pipeline business, but experts say it may not excite immediate interest from global drillers because of the poor overall asset quality of China's hydrocarbon resources.From May 1, foreign firms registered in China with net assets of 300 million yu

Oil Majors to Raise $27Bln in Selling Spree

Pic: Rystad Energy

Global giants of the oil and gas industry – the so-called supermajors – are looking to sell assets that could fetch a total of $27.5 billion, according to Rystad Energy’s latest assessment.These companies are actively shedding mature assets on a massive scale in a bid to finance higher-yielding investments elsewhere, with the added benefit of pleasing shareholders who are calling for stricter capital discipline.“The expected transactions mean some of the majors are poised to exit certain regions…

CNOOC Earnings on the Rise

(File photo: CNOOC)

China's national offshore producer CNOOC Ltd reported a near 19% rise in first-half profit on Thursday, as higher sales of oil and gas offset weaker global oil prices.The listed arm of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp said that it was able to manage the impact on its business of the China-U.S. trade war and CNOOC President Xu Keqiang said the company would boost oil output to offset currency effects amid the escalating trade tensions.CNOOC said its net profit totalled 30.25 billion yuan ($4.26 billion) for the six months through June.

Cyprus Offshore Gas Discovery: Conflict or Hope?

Map: Rystad Energy

Oil giant ExxonMobil, together with partner Qatar Petroleum (QP), made giant gas discovery to the east Mediterranean region after finding a gas-bearing reservoir offshore Cyprus and estimated in-place gas resources in the reservoir at 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas.The gas discovery off the coast of Cyprus could either bring tensions between the Mediterranean island and Turkey to the boil or help resolve the 45-year dispute between them, British newspaper the Guardian said.At present…

Europeans Sweep Record US Offshore Wind Auction

(Image: BOEM)

A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting bids totaling more than $400 million from European energy giants including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the sale's three winners - Equinor Wind US LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Vineyard Wind LLC, at the conclusion of the two-day sale that attracted 11 bidders and lasted 32 rounds.Mayflower is a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables, a division of Portugal's EDP.

Oil Majors Spending 'Sweet Spot' to Last to 2020

© EK / Adobe Stock

Big Oil is today in a spending sweet spot as years of cost cuts and rising oil prices converge but investments will need to rise after 2020 to boost output, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, said on Tuesday.Oil and gas giants such as Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP are generating as much cash at today's oil prices of around $70 a barrel as they did in 2014, before crude spiraled down from over $100 a barrel to lows of below $30 a barrel.As they emerge from the deepest downturn in decades…

Saudi Aramco, ADNOC to Cooperate on LNG

Saudi Aramco and ADNOC MoU signing ceremony. Photo: Saudi Aramco

The state-owned energy giants of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), signed a cooperation deal to explore potential areas for mutual collaboration in the LNG value chain aimed at bolstering gas production and revenue.The Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran said in a press release that it has signed a framework agreement  with ADNOC to explore opportunities…

Next-wave LNG Race Hits Hurdles in US-China Trade War

© Dmitry Rukhlenko / Adobe Stock

The delay of a U.S. Gulf Coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project has crystallized fears that the U.S. trade battle with China is hampering efforts to line up buyers needed to move ahead with multi-billion-dollar builds.The United States is positioning itself as the dominant provider of the supercooled fuel as Asian nations shift away from dirtier power sources like coal, and this month's approval of a giant Canadian project led by Royal Dutch Shell bolstered enthusiasm for the sector overall in North America.That optimism took a hit on Monday…

Bangladesh Shelves LNG Projects as Others Ramp Up

© Kpics / Adobe Stock

Bangladesh has put aside two smaller liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects with trading houses Gunvor and Vitol to focus on two larger LNG import terminals, one of which is already in use while the second will start up in March.Bangladesh has turned to LNG to offset falling domestic gas output to feed industrial demand and electricity generation in a nation of 160 million people where a third have no power supply.It aims to import 17 million tonnes a year of LNG by 2025, which in today's terms would make it a top five importer.

UK Regulator Probes SSE, Npower Merger

British regulators have launched an in-depth investigation into the tie-up between the retail power unit of SSE Plc and Npower, owned by Germany's Innogy, saying it may reduce competition and increase prices for some households.The merger would create Britain's second-largest retail power provider and reduce the "Big Six" dominating the market to five companies when they are already facing political scrutiny for their tariffs and pressure from smaller rivals.It also comes as German energy giants RWE and E.ON plan to carve up Innogy.

China's Energy Giants Return to Asian LNG Market as Sellers

© chalermchai k/ Adobe Stock

Falling industrial demand and mild weather have turned China's energy giants into sellers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia for the first time since last year's massive import spree. Chinese players were on the receiving end of last year's doubling of LNG prices, largely driven by their rapid shift to gas to combat coal smog as well as elevated regional demand for the fuel. Although a CNOOC executive last week warned producers not to expect a similar payday in 2018…

Trafigura's LNG Trade Soared in 2017

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

Commodities trader Trafigura grew liquefied natural gas (LNG) traded volumes by 27 percent to 8.1 million tonnes of the super-cooled fuel this year after expanding its trading desk, aided by sharp Asian demand growth. Swiss trading houses are expanding into the global market for LNG, until recently the preserve of energy giants, and expect to grab a $10 billion share of the business this year, delivering more than 8.5 percent of global supply. Trafigura…

Big Oil Heads to Rio for Deepwater Auction

File Image: A Brazil-based oil rig (Credit: AdobeStock / (c) donvictorio)

Brazil will auction eight blocks in its coveted deepwater oil region on Friday, a prospect that has lured top executives from the world's biggest oil companies to Rio de Janeiro for the bidding round. The oil firms and Brazilian officials expect to see aggressive bidding for the more than 12 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves on offer. "It's going to be competitive," Bernard Looney, chief executive for upstream at oil major BP, told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Rio this week.

Buyers Eye Sinopec's Argentina Oil Assets

Sinopec's Argentine assets worth about $750 mln-$1 bln; Sonangol, Rosneft among potential suitors. Advisers to China's Sinopec have offered its oil assets in Argentina to about a dozen potential suitors, three sources familiar with the matter said, as losses and labour headaches prompt Asia's largest refiner to pull out. The Argentine oil and gas assets, mainly in the southern province of Santa Cruz, could be worth $750 million to $1 billion, one of the sources said.

Swiss Traders Grab $10 Billion Slice of LNG Market

File Image: A large LNG carrier at sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

Traders mopping up LNG glut, finding new emerging market buyers. Swiss trading houses are muscling in on the global market for liquefied natural gas, until now the preserve of energy giants, and expect to grab a $10 billion share of the rapidly growing business this year. Trafigura, Gunvor, Vitol and Glencore are all shaking up a decades-old system dominated by Western oil majors and state energy producers which sell LNG directly to large consumers on long-term contracts.

Cheniere Energy to Open China Office

File Image: a large LNG carrier at sea. (CREDIT: QGTC)

U.S. natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc is setting up an office in Beijing to help it clinch long-term supply deals with Chinese buyers, four industry sources said. Cheniere, which held extensive talks with China earlier this year, will be the first operator of a U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility to establish a presence in the country. The move follows an agreement in May between the U.S and China to boost trade under the so-called 100-day trade talks that will allow Chinese buyers to purchase long-term supplies from the U.S. directly.

Europe to be Natural Gas Kingmaker

File Image: CREDIT MISC

It's probably not quite here yet, but the trend is unmistakeable; the world is moving to a globally-linked natural gas market and the rise of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the key driver. Much of the increase in LNG capacity is because of the rapid boost to plants in Australia and the United States, as both countries take advantage of abundant local reserves of natural gas to muscle in on a market that until recently had been dominated by a few established producers and buyers.

China Suitor Tightens Grip on Curacao Oil Project

China's Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co will submit a plan by April to revamp a century-old oil refinery in Curacao, as it seeks to secure a $5.5 billion project that will give China a foothold in the Caribbean's second-largest oil refinery. Guangdong Zhenrong, a commodity trader with strong backing from Beijing, signed a binding framework pact with Curacao's government on Nov. 19, Chen Bingyan, the firm's director and chief negotiator for the venture, told Reuters, moving past a memorandum of understanding in September.

Sinopec to Sell Gasline Unit Stake

China's Sinopec Corp said on Tuesday it would sell half of its premium natural gas pipeline business to investors, a move spurred by Beijing's reform push to boost efficiency and increase infrastructure investment in cleaner fuel. Sinopec, the country's second-largest oil and gas group, said it would hold 50 percent in the Sichuan-East China pipeline project after the completion of the divestment plan that has won board approval. It did not give a value of the target assets, or a timeline for when the sale would be completed.

Coming Wave of Gas puts Focus on Finding New Shores

Shell is building the world’s largest offshore floating facility, to produce liquefied natural gas safely at sea. Photo Shell Global

Energy giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total are looking to build terminals and power plants in new markets to soak up the industry's rapidly burgeoning supply. Companies have invested billions in plants to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in places such as Australia and the United States. But gas demand growth is slowing, prices are down and the LNG volumes companies are set to produce will exceed those even major buyers such as China and Japan can absorb.