Friday, September 25, 2020

Energy Ministry News

Oil Prices Up as Faith in Supply Cuts Grows

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Oil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by growing confidence that producers are following through on commitments to cut supplies and as fuel demand picks up as coronavirus lockdowns ease.Brent crude futures were up 1.4%, or 48 cents, at $36.01 a barrel by 1210 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 2.3%, or 75 cents, to $34. There was no WTI settlement on Monday because of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday."The current recovery in oil prices has primarily been driven by supply considerations.

Gas Output to Resume at Israel's Leviathan After Brief Halt

File photo: Noble Energy

Production at Israel's offshore Leviathan natural gas field will resume in the coming hours after an emergency shutdown on Saturday, the project's operator Noble Energy said [on Saturday].The platform's flare system had been activated to burn off excess gas, generating a flame visible from shore, in what Israel's Energy Ministry called an "emergency closure."Noble initially referred to it as an "operational event" but updated later it had been a false alarm caused by a gas detector…

Azerbaijan's Jan-April Oil Output Flat

A night view of BP's Shah Deniz Platform located in the Caspian sea, off the coast of Azerbaijan / Credit: BP

Azerbaijan's oil and gas condensate output was flat in January-April at 12.4 million tonnes compared with 12.44 million tonnes in the same period last year, the Energy Ministry said on Thursday.Natural gas output rose to 13.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) in the first four months of 2020 from 11.6 bcm.Azerbaijan exported 10.26 million tonnes of oil in January-April, 9.8 million tonnes of which was oil produced by an international consortium led by BP while 409,000 tonnes were produced…

Indonesia Weighing Subsidy Options for Biodiesel Program

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The Indonesian government is considering alternate plans to increase subsidies for the country's ambitious biodiesel program after crude oil prices tumbled, a finance ministry official said on Wednesday.A historic crash in oil prices this year has widened the cost difference between standard diesel fuel and the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), making biodiesel more expensive to be subsidized."At the moment, it is impossible to cover for incentives until the end of the year," said Febrio Kacaribu…

Saudi Arabia to Reduce Oil Production Further

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Saudi Arabia will voluntarily deepen oil output cuts from June as low oil prices are causing huge pain to the kingdom's budget and global demand remains weak due to lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic.The announcement by the kingdom to add 1 million barrels per day (bpd) - equal to 1% of global supply - to the previously announced cuts follows last week's phone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman.Trump had worked last month to persuade Saudi Arabia…

Russian Oil Majors Examine Assets for Cuts

For illustration only - A Gazprom offshore platform - Image Credit: Gazprom

Russian oil companies are examining which wells they will cork, looking mainly at mature fields where production was falling anyway and as Moscow needs to deliver its biggest output cut ever to comply with the new global supply deal, sources said.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil nations including Russia, the group known as OPEC+, agreed to their deepest oil cut ever - 10 million barrels per day (bpd) - from May in the face of collapsing demand.Russia…

Ecuador Scrambles to Contain Oil Spill in Amazon Region

Ecuadorean authorities on Thursday were scrambling to limit the environmental impact of a crude oil spill in the country's Amazon region, where pipeline bursts prompted by a landslide this week caused crude to enter the Coca river.The Energy Ministry said in a Wednesday evening statement that it had placed barriers around the spill in an area home to several indigenous communities and near the source of drinking water for the city of El Coca, with some 45,000 residents.State-run Petroecuador…

Equinor's $466M Floating Wind Farm Plan Approved

Hywind Tampen Illustration - Image Credit: Equinor

Norway approved on Wednesday Equinor's 4.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($466 million) plan to build floating offshore wind turbines that will provide electricity to North Sea oil and gas platforms, the energy ministry said.The long-planned project is going ahead despite Equinor's decision to cut investment following a plunge in oil prices that has reduced the company's cash flow.Five platforms at Norway's Snorre and Gullfaks fields will be the first in the world to receive power from a floating wind park…

OPEC+ Debates Biggest Ever Oil Output Cut as Virus Destroys Demand

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OPEC and allies are working on a deal for an unprecedented production cut equivalent to around 10% of global supply, an OPEC source said after U.S. President Donald Trump called on oil nations to stop the oil rout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for Monday, April 6, Azeri's energy ministry said, but details were still thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. Oil prices have fallen to around $20 per barrel from $65 at the start of the year as more than 3 billion people went into lockdown because of the virus…

Update: Brent Oil Rises above $32 on Hopes of Output Deal

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Benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose as high as $33.05 a barrel on Friday on rising hopes of a new global deal to cut global crude supply.Brent crude futures were up 9.3%, or $2.79, at $32.73 a barrel by 1014 GMT. Brent soared as much as 47% on Thursday for its highest intraday percentage gain on record. It closed 21% up, still about half the $66 at which it was trading at the end of 2019.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude also moved back into positive territory, rising 4.8%, or $1.22, to $26.54 a barrel after advancing by 24.7% on Thursday.U.S.

Oil Rises from 18-Year Lows after U.S., Russia Agree to Talks

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Oil recovered ground on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to talks to stabilize energy markets, with benchmarks climbing off 18-year lows hit as the coronavirus outbreak cut fuel demand worldwide. Brent crude was up by 30 cents, or 1.3%, at $23.06 a barrel by 0635 G5MT, after closing on Monday at $22.76, its lowest finish since November 2002. U.S. crude was up by $1.21, or 6.0%, at $21.30 a barrel, after settling in the earlier session at $20.09, lowest since February 2002.

Norway Offers 36 Offshore Blocks, None in Barents Sea

Illustration; Offshore rigs in Norway - Image by mariusltu - AdobeStock

Norway is offering oil firms 36 offshore exploration blocks in this year's licensing round in mature areas and for the first time in a decade did not offer any blocks in the Barents Sea.All the blocks are offered in the western part of the Norwegian Sea, with interested parties asked to send their comments by May 11, the oil and energy ministry said."In demanding times, it is important to plan for the future," Norway's Oil and Energy Minister Tina Bru said in a statement."Regular…

U.S. Crude Hits 18-year Low as Lockdowns Spread

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Oil prices fell for a third session on Wednesday, with U.S. crude futures tumbling to an 18-year low and Brent hitting a more than 16-year low as travel and social lockdowns to counter the coronavirus raised prospect of the steepest ever annual fall in oil demand.U.S.

Indonesia Plans New Gas Pricing for Industrial Users

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Indonesia plans to unveil a new gas pricing policy for industrial customers in March in a bid to lower energy costs for manufacturers, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif said on Thursday.Indonesia's President Joko Widodo earlier this week asked his cabinet to come up with a strategy to lower gas prices for manufacturers to around $6 per million British thermal units (mmbtu).Manufacturers have been complaining about gas prices running at about $8-$9 per mmbtu,…

Majors Press Mexico to Resume Oil Auctions

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Big oil companies operating in Mexico have launched a drive to convince leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to resume auctions of oil and gas contracts he has branded a failure in reviving the industry.Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, among other firms in Mexico's Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (Amexhi), say they have met output targets and investment pledges worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the initial phases of their contracts."We've been complying (with contractual obligations)…

Lebanon Delays Petrol Tender

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Lebanon's energy ministry delayed a fuel tender by one week on Monday to allow for more competition as it seeks to stave off supply shortages during the worst economic crisis in decades.The ministry is trialing a state tender for 150,000 tonnes of 95 octane gasoline and has received offers from two companies.The tender, which aims to supply around 10% of the country's needs, is a first in import-dependent Lebanon, where private companies usually procure fuel.Gas stations suspended a strike on Friday to hold talks with authorities…

Energean Seeks to Pipe Karish Gas to Cyprus

Stena's DrillMAX drilling Karish North, offshore Israel (Photo: Energean)

Energean Oil & Gas said on Tuesday its Energean International unit submitted an application to import and supply natural gas to Cyprus starting in 2021.In its application to Cypriot authorities, it said it sought to supply gas through a pipeline from the Karish block offshore Israel to Vassiliko, Cyprus.The pipeline would be 215 kilometers long and transport natural gas from the Karish North field, which contains 25 billion cubic meters of discovered recoverable resources.Total investment, Energean said, will be about $350 million and will be funded by Energean.

France Plans 1 GW Offshore Wind Farm

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France wants to construct a wind farm off the coast of Normandy as the nuclear-dependent nation moves to expand power generation from renewable sources, the energy ministry said on Monday.The planned 1-gigawatt (GW) wind farm could have up to 80 wind turbines of around 12 megawatts each, in an area where wind conditions and the seabed are very favorable for offshore wind power at a competitive price, the ministry said in statement.France is racing to boost the share of renewable generation capacity in its energy mix and reduce its dependence on nuclear energy.

Oil Prices Creep Higher on U.S.-China Hopes and OPEC Talks

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Oil prices crept upwards on Monday, with Brent reaching its highest in more than a month after the previous day's boost from growing expectations of a U.S.-China trade deal and Iran flagging OPEC discussions over a deeper output cut next month.Brent crude futures for January rose 91 cents to $62.60 a barrel by 1429 GMT, erasing earlier losses. December U.S. crude futures also swung back into positive territory, up 94 cents at $57,14 a barrel. Both reached peaks last seen in late September.Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S.

Russian Oil Output Down in October

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Russia lowered its oil output to 11.23 million barrels per day (bpd) last month from 11.25 million bpd in September, missing again its obligations under a global pact to curb production, energy ministry data showed on Saturday.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers - a group known as OPEC+ - have since January implemented a deal to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day to support the market.According to Reuters calculations, which use a tonnes/barrel ratio of 7.33…