Sunday, February 17, 2019

Energy Ministry News

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

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

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…

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.

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…

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.

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

File Image: Adobestock / © Mikesjc

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…

US Judge Halts Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Photo: TransCanada Corp

A U.S. judge in Montana has halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline designed to carry heavy crude oil from Canada to the United States, drawing a sharp rebuke on Friday from President Donald Trump.The ruling of a U.S. Court in Montana late on Thursday dealt a major setback to TransCanada Corp, whose stock dropped 2 percent in Toronto. Shares of companies that would ship oil on the pipeline also fell.TransCanada said in a statement it remains committed to building the $8 billion…

Rosneft Snubs Government Oil Meeting

Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, a critic of OPEC and long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin (File photo: Rosneft)

Russia's largest oil firm, Rosneft, snubbed a meeting chaired by Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday aimed at consulting domestic energy companies as leading global producers signal a possible cut in crude output.A return to oil production curbs by OPEC and its allies next year cannot be ruled out, two sources in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Wednesday, in an effort to avert a supply glut that could weigh on prices.Some Russian companies…

​​​​Cambodia to Boost Clean Energy Use

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Cambodia will push ahead with plans to use hydropower and coal to electrify the entire country by 2020, but solar energy will play some role, especially in remote areas, an energy ministry official said on Wednesday.The Southeast Asian nation has electrified rapidly since 2000, when only 16 percent of the population had access to power, according to the World Bank.Today, 87 percent of villages and 73 percent of households are connected to the grid, said Victor Jona, a spokesman for the department of energy at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.Hydropower accounts for 40 percent of the mix…

Israel Exploring Eastern Mediterranean

(Image: Israel Ministry of Energy)

Israel will tender off 19 new offshore blocks to oil and gas companies, its energy ministry said on Sunday, hoping to rebound from a disappointing bidding round a year ago.Israel discovered in 2009 that it had large reserves of natural gas off its Mediterranean coast.It will publish details of the tender by the end of the month and, about half a year later, choose the winning companies, said Udi Adiri, the ministry's director general.Last year's auction elicited bids from only two groups of companies…

Chevron becomes first oil major to exit Norway

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U.S. oil firm Chevron will become the first oil major to formally exit the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) as it transfers its last stake in an exploration license, according to a government letter.Oil majors, including Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell, have scaled down their presence in Norway by selling or merging their assets in the mature region to focus on new growth opportunities elsewhere.Chevron is also seeking to sell assets in the British North Sea in order to focus on growing U.S.

Norway to Spend More Looking for O&G Near Russian Border

Norway plans to step up spending on looking for oil and gas in the northern Barents Sea close to its border with Russia, the country's 2019 budget showed on Monday.The government has proposed to allocate an extra 50 million Norwegian crowns ($6.04 million) to conduct a so-called 3D survey over a large geographical structure that straddles the border with Russia."Knowledge is crucial both for good resource management and for safeguarding national economic interests," Norway's Oil…