Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Energy Ministry News

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…

Oil Steady as Russia Commits to Output Cuts

(Photo: Rosneft)

Oil prices were steady on Monday, holding on to strong gains last week, after Russia affirmed its commitment to a deal with OPEC producers to keep production in check and support prices.Brent crude was down 1 cent at $62.01 a barrel by 0055 GMT, having logged a weekly gain of more than 4% last week, its best weekly gain since Sept. 20.West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 4 cents at $56.62 a barrel, having risen more than 5% last week, also the biggest weekly increase since Sept.

Operations Suspended at Ecuador Oilfields Amid Protests

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Ecuadoran state-run oil company Petroamazonas EP suspended operations at three oil fields in the Amazon region on Monday, the country's energy ministry said, as protests against austerity measures convulse the country.Taken together, the suspensions could reduce crude output by 59,450 barrels per day (bpd) if not lifted, the ministry said in a statement posted on Twitter. It added that the suspension took place after the fields were "taken" by "individuals not affiliated with the operation…

Ecuador to Quit OPEC in 2020

Ecuador, one of the smallest members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said on Tuesday it will leave the 14-nation bloc from Jan. 1 due to fiscal problems.The Andean nation is attempting to increase crude production to raise more income and has on multiple occasions broken its output quota fixed by OPEC."The decision is based on the issues and internal challenges that the country must take on related to fiscal sustainability," the energy ministry said in a statement…

Russia: Saudi Oil C-Suite Changes Won't Impact Cooperation

Saudi Arabian oil industry: under new management.

(Photo: © Adobe Photo Stock / Phattana)

Changes in the management of its oil ministry by Saudi Arabia will not impact cooperation between Russia and the Middle East kingdom, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated today, adding that he plans to meet his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih in the near future and ahead of a planned visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country.Saudi Arabia has named Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the its sovereign wealth fund, the PIF, chairman of Saudi Aramco, replacing Falih.

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…

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…