Monday, June 24, 2019

Energy Ministry News

Tainted Oil Set for Russian Refineries, Ports After Dilution

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More than a million tonnes of contaminated oil from Russia's Druzhba ("Friendship") pipeline, expected to be shipped back from Belarus, will end up at Russian refineries and export ports after being diluted to usable levels, sources have told Reuters.The pipeline was halted in April after excessive levels of organic chloride used in oil extraction were found on the million-barrel-per-day pipeline that crosses Belarus and serves customers as far west as Germany.Pipeline operator Transneft…

Petrobras to Bid in Israeli Gas Tender

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Photo: Wikimedia)

Israel's energy minister said on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras will take part in a tender to explore for oil and gas off Israel's shore, Reuters reports."It was agreed that Petrobras ... will take part in a process of oil and gas exploration in Israel," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began a visit to Israel.A previous auction elicited bids from only two groups of companies, but prospects in the waters offshore…

As Traders Tussle Turkmenistan Cuts Exports

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A clash between trading house Vitol and Azerbaijan's SOCAR over Caspian Sea oil shipments is forcing Turkmenistan to slash exports of crude due to a lack of tankers.Turkmenistan typically exports about 200,000 tonnes of oil per month via the Caspian to world markets, mainly from fields operated by the UAE's ENOC and Italy's Eni, but flows have halved in recent weeks, six traders involved in operations said.That happened after Turkmen producers decided to export oil via Russia with the help of Swiss trader Vitol and ditch the previous Azeri route…

Neptune Energy to Present Plan for Norway Fields

Operator Neptune Energy will on Thursday present investment plans for two Norwegian oil and gas fields, the country's energy ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.The plan for Duva (previously known as Cara) and Gjoea P1 amount to almost 10 billion crowns ($1.16 billion), with an aim of producing a combined 120 million barrels of oil equivalents.The discoveries will be tied in to the already existing Gjoea platform, the ministry said.Reporting by Terje Solsvik

Oil Prices Reach 2019 Highs

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Oil prices rose to new 2019 highs on Tuesday, supported by OPEC supply cuts and falling output from Iran and Venezuela because of U.S. sanctions.Brent crude oil futures were up 16 cents at $67.70 a barrel at 1415 GMT, having earlier risen to a 2019 peak of $68.20, their highest since November 2018.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $59.17, up 8 cents from their last settlement. They also touched their highest since November at $59.57.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday scrapped its planned meeting in April…

Brazil, Petrobras Paving Way for Giant Tender

(Photo: Petrobras)

Brazil's government will announce "within days" a deal with state-run oil company Petrobras to settle a multi-billion-dollar contract dispute and clear the way to auction billions of barrels of oil off of the Brazilian coast, a minister said on Monday.Economy Minister Paulo Guedes told journalists that his team sat down recently with officials at the Mines and Energy Ministry, and that "the deal is done."Reuters reported earlier on Monday that Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as it is formally known…

Ghana Exploration Licensing Round Attracts Global Majors

Photo courtesy of Tullow Oil

Sixteen oil and gas firms have submitted applications for one or more of five Ghanaian offshore blocks in the West African country's first exploration licensing round, its energy ministry said.The interest is a major vote of confidence in Ghana, which is keen to unlock more resources after it began pumping from its flagship offshore Jubilee field in 2010.The companies that have submitted applications are Tullow Oil, Total, ENI, Cairn, Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation, ExxonMobil…

Norway Awards Record Number of Exploration Blocks

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Norway awarded a record 83 blocks to explore for petroleum resources in mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf, in a sign of continuing interest from oil companies in the country's oil sector, the energy ministry said on Tuesday.A lack of large discoveries on the shelf has prompted concerns that Norway's top industry, which employs about 170,000 people directly and indirectly, could fall into decline.The government hopes that offering more licenses could trigger more activity."This is the largest licensing award on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Russia's 2018 Oil Output Tops Record

(Photo: Lukoil)

Russian oil production rose to a post-Soviet record high of 11.16 million barrels per day (bpd) last year on an annual average basis, data from its energy ministry showed on Wednesday.The total surpassed the previous annual record average of 10.98 million bpd set in 2017.Russian oil output reached 555.838 million tonnes last year, against 547 million tonnes in 2017. Reuters uses a barrels-to-tonnes ratio of 7.33 to 1.All the Russian majors increased their oil production last month in yearly terms.Rosneft…

Russia: Japan's Mitsubishi Interested in Arctic LNG 2 Project

Photo courtesy of Total

Russia's energy ministry said on Monday that Japan's Mitsubishi Corp has expressed interest in participation in the Arctic LNG 2 project, which is due to start producing liquefied natural gas in the next decade.Novatek owns a 90 percent stake in the project, with France's Total holding the other 10 percent. Novatek intends to keep a 60 percent stake in Arctic LNG 2, offering 30 percent to other investors.Energy ministry officials have met representatives from Mitsubishi, the ministry said without elaborating.Last month two sources said that Mitsui…

Oil Surges 5 pct as OPEC Agrees Output Cut

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Oil prices jumped more than 5 percent on Friday as big Middle East producers in OPEC agreed to reduce output to drain global fuel inventories and support the market.Benchmark Brent crude oil rose $3.26 a barrel to a high of $63.32 by 1355 GMT. In early trade, Brent had fallen below $60 when it looked as if oil exporters might not agree.U.S. light crude rose $2.62 to a high of $54.11 a barrel before slipping to around $53.90.Prices fell almost 3 percent on Thursday after the Organization…

Norway Postpones Decision on Arctic Oil Terminal

The Johan Castberg oilfield is expected to start producing in late 2022 (Image: Equinor)

The Norwegian government has postponed a decision on whether to mandate the construction of an oil processing terminal near the Arctic tip of northern Europe until the third quarter of next year, it said on Friday.If built, the onshore Veidnes terminal would receive crude via a pipeline from Equinor's offshore Johan Castberg oilfield, which is expected to start producing in late 2022.Equinor originally ditched plans for an onshore terminal in order to save costs, preferring instead to load oil on to crude tankers at the field before exporting it to global markets.Parliament earlier this year u

Brazil Council Approves Sixth Round Pre-salt Auction

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The Brazilian energy advisory council on Monday approved the sixth-round auction for Brazil's coveted pre-salt offshore oil area to be held next year, the energy ministry said.The auction will include the two new blocks of Southwest Sagittarius and Brava Norte in addition to the previously considered three of Aram, Southern Cross and Boomerang, the ministry said. Southern Cross is a combination of the former Southeast Lula and the South and Southwest Jupiter blocks.The statement confirmed an earlier report by Reuters citing a person familiar with the matter. The auction is scheduled for Nov.

Russian OPEC Coordinator Marshavin Leaving Energy Ministry

Roman Marshavin, one of the Russian Energy Ministry officials who orchestrated the 2016 landmark deal with OPEC, is leaving his job, four government sources told Reuters on Friday.Alexei Gospodarev from the ministry of industry and trade may take over as head of the Department for International Cooperation, two of the sources added.The Energy Ministry did not immediately respond a request for comment, while Marshavin could not be contacted.Marshavin was part of the team, headed by Energy Minister Alexander Novak…

Upset by Trump's Iran Waivers, Saudis Push for Deep Oil Output Cut

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When U.S. President Donald Trump asked Saudi Arabia this summer to raise oil production to compensate for lower crude exports from Iran, Riyadh swiftly told Washington it would do so.But Saudi Arabia did not receive advance warning when Trump made a U-turn by offering generous waivers that are keeping more Iranian crude in the market instead of driving exports from Riyadh's arch-rival down to zero, OPEC and industry sources say.Angered by the U.S. move that has raised worries about over supply…

Lukoil: No Need to Cut Output in 2019

(File photo: Lukoil)

Russia's Lukoil sees no need to cut crude output in 2019, CEO Vagit Alekperov said on Monday, as global producers discuss the situation in oil markets.Russia is part of a group of OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing nations that teamed up two years ago in an effort to rebalance the market. The group first decided to cut output but changed course in June as prices spiked on fears of a shortage.On Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC and its allies agreed that technical…

Poland Sees First Nuclear Power After 2030

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Poland expects its first nuclear power plant to start operating after 2030 as the country aims to cut its use of coal in producing electricity, Deputy Environment Minister Michal Kurtyka said.The east European country, which hosts global climate talks in December, generates around 80 percent of its electricity from coal in outdated power plants, many of which will have to close in the coming decade.Poland has considered building a nuclear power plant for years, but has yet to take a binding decision on the project."The discussion over launching the nuclear power plant has accelerated.

Oil Rises After Russia Leans Towards Output Cut

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Oil reversed course and rose as much as 3 percent on Thursday, after industry sources said Russia had accepted the need to cut production, together with OPEC ahead of its meeting next week.Prices, however, were still set for its biggest one-month fall in November since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, having lost about 22 percent so far.A seemingly relentless rise in crude supply from the United States, now the world's top producer, together with Saudi Arabia's insistence that it will not cut output on its own to stabilise the market…

Wind Beats Solar in Danish Green Energy Auction

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Wind emerged as the most competitive power source in Denmark's first auction where wind and solar competed for state subsidies on equal footing to deliver power at the lowest price.Subsidies which have underpinned the growth of renewable energy are cooling as governments around the world opt for more competitive contract tenders, favoring project developers that submit the lowest bids.Denmark, which hopes to end green subsidies altogether before 2030, has adopted new rules under…

Oil Surges 5 Percent

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Oil prices jumped by more than 5 percent on Monday after the United States and China agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade dispute, and ahead of a meeting this week of the producer club OPEC that is expected to cut supply.U.S. light crude oil rose $2.92 a barrel to a high of $53.85, up 5.7 percent, before easing to around $53.00 by 1240 GMT. Brent crude rose 5.3 percent or $3.14 to a high of $62.60 and was last trading around $61.75."From Argentina to Alberta, the oil market news is about supply curtailments," said Norbert Rucker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.