Monday, October 15, 2018

Shell Sees Nigeria Corruption Trial Lasting Many Months

(File photo: Shell)

Royal Dutch Shell expects a landmark corruption trial over a Nigerian oil deal to last many months, warning staff of continued critical media coverage in the $1.3 billion case, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.Shell's Legal Director Donny Ching encouraged employees to study an internal web page that the Anglo-Dutch company set up for the case before responding to questions from relatives and friends.Shell and Italian peer Eni are defendants in a Milan bribery trial…

Mexico Plans to Enforce Odebrecht Fines via Seizure

Mexico plans to enforce fines imposed on Odebrecht over corruption allegations by confiscating some $30 million owed by state oil company Pemex to the Brazilian firm, a top official at the public administration ministry said.Christian Ramirez, coordinator-general of the public administration ministry (SFP), told Reuters on Tuesday that he expected Mexico's tax authority to seize the $30 million "in the coming months."Brazilian…

EU Readies 'Polluter Pays' for Ship Waste

Photo: European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)

The Transport Committee of the European Parliament adopted the Meissner report on the Port Reception Facilities and gave a mandate to the Rapporteur to start negotiations with the Council to finalise the text of the new law.The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes in particular the proposal to strengthen the ‘polluter pays’ principle by discouraging the delivery of unreasonable quantities of garbage, including dangerous waste…

US Grants BP, Serica Licence to Run Iran-owned North Sea Field

(Image: Serica Energy)

BP and Serica Energy received a conditional licence from U.S. authorities to continue operating a North Sea gas field partly owned by Iran's national oil company, Serica said in a statement.The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control extended a licence for U.S.

Bill Allowing US to Sue OPEC Drawing Renewed Interest

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With oil prices hitting fresh four-year highs, long-dormant proposals to allow the United States to sue OPEC nations are getting a fresh look in Congress, though they were once considered a longshot to becoming law.A U.S. Senate subcommittee on Wednesday will hear testimony on the so-called No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, which would revoke the sovereign immunity that has long shielded OPEC members from U.S. legal action.The bill would change U.S.

Sakhalin-1 Consortium to Pay $230 mln to Rosneft

Photo courtesy of Rosneft

Russia's Sakhalin-1 consortium, led by ExxonMobil, has agreeed to pay $230 million to Russian energy giant Rosneft as part of an out-of-court settlement, the managing director of consortium partner ONGC Videsh told Reuters on Friday.The deal was related to a dispute over how oil should be shared between the Sakhalin-1 concession and an adjacent Rosneft field."Rosneft was demanding that it should be paid $1.4 billion ...

HFW, BIMCO to Draft First 2020 Bunker Clause

File Image: International Bunker Industry Association

The law firm HFW has helped shipping association BIMCO draft its first clause relating to the International Maritime Organization's 2020 sulphur emission rules.The Global, sector-focused  law firm said that the new clause, focused on compliance, has been fast-tracked and may be published as soon as the end of October.BIMCO will produce several clauses dealing with specific issues relating to IMO 2020, which sets a new…

Petrobras to Pay $853 Mln US Fine in Car Wash Probe

(File photo: Petrobras)

Petróleo Brasileiro SA will pay an $853.2 million fine to settle U.S. criminal charges the Brazilian state-run oil company bribed politicians and then sought to conceal the payments, the Justice Department said on Thursday.The settlement with U.S. prosecutors is an important milestone for Petrobras, as the company is known, as it tries to put behind it numerous corruption allegations stemming from the landmark "Car Wash"…

Total Buys out Chevron Denmark

Image: Chevron Corporation

French oil and gas major Total has agreed to take all of Chevron’s share capital in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), which will increase its stake in the project and expand its North Sea presence."Total has agreed to purchase from Chevron all the share capital of Chevron Denmark Inc. which holds a 12% interest in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), a 12% interest in Licence 8/06, and a 7.5% interest in the Tyra West pipeline.

Tax Sops for Shore-Side Electricity Supply for Ships in EU

Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General. Photo: The European Sea Ports Organisation

The Transport committee of the European Parliament supported yesterday the removal of tax barriers for the uptake of shore-side electricity supply (OPS) in ports for ships at berth.The Ertug report on the deployment of infrastructure for alternative fuels in the EU which was voted by the Transport committee, pointed out that taxation has a major impact on the price competitiveness of alternative fuels and underlined that…

GSF Condemns Maersk's Sulphur Surcharge

Image: Global Shippers Forum

The Global Shippers Forum has reacted with suspicion to the announcement by the Maersk container shipping line of new fuel surcharge arrangements from 1 January 2019 to recover presumed costs from the introduction of low-sulphur marine fuel from 1 January 2020.Based on the information released by Maersk, the new charges, which are additional to agreed contract rates, are based on two factors - an average cost of fuel…

MSC to Introduce Global Fuel Surcharge

Photo: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

Improving the environmental performance of the container shipping supply chain is a common goal shared by shipping lines, shippers, freight forwarders and non-vessel operating common carriers, as well as governments, regulators, and the public around the world.The UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires that from 1 January 2020, Sulphur content in the fuel used for international shipping must be limited globally to 0.5%…

Lukoil Gets Approval for LPG Supplies to Ukraine

Russia's No.2 oil producer Lukoil has obtained approval from a Russian export control regulator on supplies of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) such as propane and butane to Ukraine, traders said on Friday.LPG and diesel were listed as goods of dual purposes, meaning they can be used both for civil and military aims, amid Moscow's tensions with Ukraine.Only Kremlin-controlled Rosneft has the rights to export LPG to Ukraine, to the tune of around 40,000 tonnes per month.

Samsung Heavy in Talks to Resolve Nigeria Industry Zone Dispute

Photo: Total

The Nigerian arm of Samsung Heavy Industries is in talks to resolve a court action launched by an industrial zone in the west African country where the company has been building a floating oil platform for Total, Samsung Heavy said on Friday."We are in discussions to iron out any misunderstanding or issues raised between the parties," a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement sent to Reuters on Friday."We are yet to…

Swedish Court Revokes Suspension of Gazprom vs Naftogaz Ruling

A Swedish appeals court said on Thursday it had revoked a previous suspension of an arbitration ruling that blocked attempts by Ukraine's Naftogaz to seize Gazprom's foreign assets in a long-running dispute over gas contracts.Reporting by Olof Swahnberg

Environmentalists File Second Complaint to Block Nord Stream 2

Photo courtesy of Nord Stream 2

Environmental campaign group ClientEarth has filed a complaint with a court in Sweden to block the construction through Swedish waters of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline intended to transport Russian gas to Germany, it said on Wednesday.Sweden approved the pipeline in June, but ClientEarth's complaint argues that the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation failed to consider the impact the project would have on wildlife…

Novatek Signs Pact for Kamchatka LNG Transshipment Complex

Photo: Novatek

Russia’s natural gas producer Novatek has signed an agreement of intent on implementing a project for the construction of a marine liquefied natural gas (LNG) transshipment complex in the territory of Kamchatka.PAO Novatek, the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Government of the Kamchatka Territory signed an agreement of intent on implementing a project for the construction…

Qatargas, PetroChina Sign 22-Years LNG Supply Deal

Photo: Qatargas

Qatargas, the world’s largest LNG producer,  has announced a long-term Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with PetroChina International Company Limited, a unit of PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina), to supply China with around 3.4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum.Under the 22-year SPA, which ends in 2040, Qatargas will supply LNG from the Qatargas 2 project, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum…

Gunmen Attack Headquarters of Libya's State Oil Firm

Several armed men attacked the headquarters of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the capital Tripoli on Monday, killing at least two oil staff, a security official said.In the first attack of its kind against the top managers of Libya's state oil industry, two of the gunmen were also killed and at least 10 NOC staff wounded, officials said.Security forces said they had regained control of the landmark glass-fronted…

International Tribunal Rules in Favor of Chevron in Ecuador Case

Chevron Corp said on Friday an international tribunal ruled in its favor and that Ecuador had violated its obligations under international treaties.The tribunal unanimously held that a $9.5 billion pollution judgment by Ecuador's Supreme Court against Chevron "was procured through fraud, bribery and corruption and was based on claims that had been already settled and released by the Republic of Ecuador years earlier."The tribunal was administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.Reporting by Karan Naga

SBM Offshore to Pay Additional Fines to Petrobras

(File photo: SBM Offshore)

SBM Offshore has reached a settlement to pay additional leniency fines of 200 million reais ($48.27 million) to Brazil's state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazilian prosecutors said on Wednesday.As a result of a long-running corruption investigation, the Dutch marine engineering group SBM has agreed to pay a total of 1.4 billion reais in fines and compensations for its role in the scandal.

Suncor Holding Off On Crude Expansion Amid Canada Pipeline Confusion

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Suncor Energy Inc , one of Canada's biggest oil producers, will not sanction further expansions of crude production until it becomes clearer when new pipelines will be ready, Chief Executive Steve Williams said on Wednesday.A court overturned last week the Canadian government's approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, adding to "troubling" pipeline delays, Williams said at a Barclay's investor conference in New York.Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg

U.S. Shale Producer Magnolia Looks to Triple Market Footprint

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Edelweiss

U.S. oil producer Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp aims to at least triple in market valuation in coming years as it develops shale acreage across eastern and southern Texas, Chief Executive Steve Chazen said on Wednesday.Magnolia's shares have rallied about 33 percent this year alongside a rise in crude prices and as the company has focused on shareholder returns amidst rising pressure from Wall Street on the sector.The company…

Brazil Okays Shell, Total, BP, Others for Pre-Salt Bids

File Image: CREDIT Adobestock / © donvictoriO

Brazil's oil industry regulator ANP said on Wednesday it has approved six energy companies to bid for four pre-salt blocks in the Campos and Santos Basins to be auctioned on Sept. 28.The companies approved to bid are Shell, Total, BP, Germany's DEA, QPI from Qatar and Chinese-owned CNODC Brasil Petróleo e Gás Ltda.

Colorado Vote on Drilling Rules Coming in November

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Shamtor

A Colorado ballot initiative that would mandate increased distance between new oil wells and populated areas will face the state's voters in November, state officials said on Wednesday.The proposal, opposed as anti-fracking by oil and gas producers, would require new projects to be at least 2,500 feet (762 m) from buildings, parks, streams and certain wildlife areas. The state currently requires as little as 500 feet (152 m) of separation.Reporting by Liz Hampton

Oil Hits Multi-Week Highs on U.S. Inventories, Falling Iran Exports

File Image: AdobeStock / © Mikesjc

Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday, with Brent at its highest in seven weeks and U.S. crude touching a three-week peak, supported by a drawdown in U.S. crude and gasoline stocks and reduced Iranian crude shipments as U.S. sanctions deter buyers.Brent crude jumped $1.19, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $77.14, after touching $77.41, its highest since July 11.U.S. oil settled 98 cents, or 1.4 percent higher at $69.51 a barrel, after touching $69.75, its highest since Aug. 7.U.S.

OPEC could Compensate for Sanction-Related Iranian Supply Drop

OPEC will discuss in December whether producers can compensate for a sudden drop in Iranian oil supply after U.S sanctions against Tehran start in November, the head of Iraq's state-oil marketer SOMO, Alaa al-Yasiri, told Reuters on Wednesday.Yasiri said a sudden drop in Iran oil exports will have a negative impact on prices and market fundamentals.Iraq has resumed crude shipments to Iran from its Kirkuk oil fields following a few days stoppage due to logistical issues, he said, adding that so far Iraq had only shipped

Petrobras to Appeal Dutch Ruling Favorable to Vantage Drilling

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Wednesday it will appeal an unfavorable Dutch court ruling related to the suspension of a drilling contract with U.S.-based Vantage Drilling Co.Petrobras said it was informed that a Dutch court had granted a request by the U.S.

Oil Higher on Lower Iran Exports, Rising U.S. Supply

File Image: AdobeStock / © Scanrail

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, supported by news of a fall in Iranian crude supplies as U.S. sanctions deter buyers, but gains were limited by evidence of a rise in U.S. inventories.Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 45 cents at $76.40 a barrel by 1225 GMT. U.S. light crude was 50 cents higher at $69.03 a barrel.Iran's crude oil and condensate exports in August are set to drop below 70 million barrels for the first time since April 2017, well ahead of the Nov. 4 start date for a second round of U.S.

US Energy Companies Fume over Rejected Steel Tariff Exemptions

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The U.S. Commerce Department recently granted a tariff exemption to oil major Chevron for its imports of 4.5-inch Japanese steel tubes for oil exploration.But the department rejected a similar request from Borusan Mannesmann Pipe to exclude 4.5-inch steel pipes imported from Turkey for casing used to line new oil wells.The reason: multiple U.S. steelmakers objected to Borusan's application, arguing they could supply the product, according to the department. Chevron drew no such objections.When U.S.

Former Banker Pleads Guilty to Role in Laundering Embezzled PDVSA Funds

A former executive with Swiss bank Julius Baer pleaded guilty on Wednesday for his role in a billion-dollar scheme to launder money embezzled from the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, the U.S. Justice Department said.Matthias Krull, 44, a German national who is a former Julius Baer Panama vice chairman, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the department said in a statement.Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington

Pemex Unit Fined $22 Mln by Competition Authority

Mexico's competition authority said on Tuesday that it has fined a unit of state-owned oil company Pemex for presenting an annual compliance report on antimonopoly measures in the recently opened fuel market a year after it was due.The Federal Commission for Economic Competition, or COFECE, fined Pemex's Industrial Transformation unit, responsible for a range of refining and logistical activities, 418.31 million pesos ($22.1 million) for the late report.COFECE said the report…

PDVSA to Resume Use of Caribbean Oil Terminal

© korkeakoski / Adobe Stock

Venezuela's PDVSA and NuStar Energy LP have reached an agreement over outstanding storage fees, allowing the state-run company to resume use of a key storage terminal in the Caribbean, the U.S. energy firm said on Monday.NuStar had suspended PDVSA several times since 2017 from using its St. Eustatius facility over millions of dollars in missed payments.The terminal played a role in a legal dispute between PDVSA and ConocoPhillips…

ConocoPhillips Signs $2 Bln Settlement with PDVSA

U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips said on Monday it has settled with Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, to recover about $2 billion in arbitration payment.The International Chamber of Commerce awarded ConocoPhillips that amount in April after PDVSA failed to uphold various contractual commitments.ConocoPhillips began seizing PDVSA's overseas assets in May.(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

Mercuria Energy Takes 30% Stake in Aegean Marine

Photo: Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.

Mercuria Energy Group and Aegean Marine Petroleum and  have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) making Mercuria the only lender to Aegean. Both are working towards landing a billion dollar credit deal and closer collaboration.Mercuria and Aegean have executed a letter agreement detailing the US$30 million of incremental liquidity Mercuria is providing to the Company by way of amendments and waivers to the Trade Finance Facility and other financing arrangements.With this significant step completed…

Federal Judge Orders Keystone XL Pipeline Review

File Image: Adobestock / © Berkut34

A federal judge in Montana on Wednesday ordered the U.S. State Department to do a full environmental review of a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, possibly delaying the project's construction and dealing the latest setback for Canada's TransCanada Corp.For more than a decade, environmentalists, tribal groups, and ranchers have fought the $8-billion, 1,180-mile (1,900-km) pipeline that will carry heavy crude to Steele City, Nebraska from Canada's oilsands in Alberta.U.S.

China Move to Drop Crude off Tariff List a Relief for Sinopec

Photo: Sinopec

China's decision to remove crude oil from its latest tariff list in an escalating trade war with the United States was a relief to state oil firms prompted by a strong lobbying effort by main importer the Sinopec Group, Beijing-based oil sources said.Dropping crude oil from the final tariff list on $16 billion in U.S. goods announced late on Wednesday underscores the growing importance of the United States as a key global producer and critical alternative supply source for top importer China…

Australian States Delay Approving New Energy Policy

© John / Adobe Stock

Australia's states on Friday held off approving a plan to end more than a decade of climate and energy wars and spur investment in new power supply, disappointing industry seeking certainty on energy policy.Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is pushing a National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in a bid to bring down electricity prices, which have more than doubled over the past decade, and ensure supplies following a string of blackouts in 2016 and 2017.Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said after a meeting with state governments th

Nord Stream 2 Seeks Alternative Route to Avoid Danish Waters

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 consortium said on Friday it has applied to Denmark for an alternative gas pipeline route through the Baltic Sea that would avoid the Nordic state's territorial waters.Denmark is facing a dilemma on whether the project can be built near its Baltic coast and its parliament may pass legislation allowing it to veto the Nord Stream 2 pipeline going through Danish territorial waters on security…

Venezuela Dodges Oil Asset Seizures with Export Transfers at Sea

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has limited the damage from an unprecedented slump in crude exports by transferring oil between tankers at sea and loading vessels in neighboring Cuba to avoid asset seizures.But the OPEC member nation is still fulfilling less than 60 percent of its obligations under supply deals with customers.Venezuela has been pumping oil this year at the lowest rate in three decades after years of underinvestment and a mass exodus of workers.

Fred. Olsen Energy edges closer to financial restructuring

© Boris Vandenhautte / MarineTraffic.com

Norwegian drillship and rig operator Fred. Olsen Energy, owner of the yard that built the RMS Titanic, is considering a debt and equity restructuring that would almost wipe out the value of its current shares, the company said.With debt and liabilities of more than $840 million at the end of June, Fred. Olsen last month stopped paying its creditors to preserve liquidity, making it the latest victim of a slow recovery in the oil and gas exploration sector.The owner of seven drillships and rigs…

Hapag-Lloyd on 2020 Low Sulphur Fuel

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

LSF2020 refers to the new “Low Sulfur Fuel” regulations, which will come into effect on 1 January 2020.These regulations are the biggest of a series of steps by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to reduce marine pollution (MARPOL) in response to the threat of climate change.The LSF2020 emission regulations mean ships will have to significantly reduce emissions on the high seas as well as in coastal areas. This change does not only concern Hapag-Lloyd but it challenges the entire shipping industry.

Unipec Suspends US Oil Imports as Trade Spat Intensifies

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China's Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, three sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.The sources declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.It is not clear how long the temporary halt will last, but one of the sources said Unipec has no new bookings of U.S.

Texas Pipeline Blast Injures 7, Explosions Probed

Authorities on Thursday morning were investigating what caused a fire and a series of natural gas pipeline explosions on Wednesday in Midland County, Texas, which sent seven people to the hospital and shut down five lines before being extinguished late in the evening.Workers and firefighters were responding to a leak when the blast occurred, Midland County Fire Marshal Dale Little said on Thursday.Five workers with critical injuries were airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock…

US Sees Little Impact from Keystone XL Pipeline's Planned Route

© Milos / Adobe Stock

The Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project cleared a hurdle on Monday as the Trump administration said in a draft environmental assessment that an alternative route through Nebraska would not do major harm to water and wildlife.The State Department's assessment of a plan for an alternative route through Nebraska submitted by TransCanada Corp, the company trying to complete the pipeline, said Keystone XL's cumulative effects…

SBM Offshore Reaches Settlement in Brazil Corruption Probe

(File photo: SBM Offshore)

SBM Offshore has reached a settlement in a long-running corruption investigation it faced in Brazil, allowing the Dutch marine engineering group to take up new business there.SBM said late on Thursday it would pay approximately $189 million to the Brazilian authorities and state oil company Petrobras in fines and compensation for damages.The company would not receive earlier agreed performance bonuses worth about $180 million in the period until 2030…

Middle East Oil & Gas Shipping Routes are at Risk

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea after Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two crude tankers, underscoring risks caused by the conflict in the world's top oil exporting region.Iran, in its row with the United States over sanctions, has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the other major strategic shipping route for oil from the region and the main route for…

Settlement Reached in Petrobras' Texas Refinery Emissions Case

(Photo: Petrobras)

A U.S. unit of Brazilian state-run company Petrobras agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit over alleged toxic emissions from its Pasadena, Texas, oil refinery, two environmental groups said.The settlement comes in the midst of the company's efforts to sell the refinery. The deal is subject to approval by a federal judge.Petrobras did not respond to a request for comment.Under the terms of the agreement, Petrobras…

French Tidal Energy Project Clears another Hurdle

EU competition regulators approved on Thursday French support for an EDF-operated tidal energy project, saying the scheme was in line with the bloc's energy and climate goals.The Normandie Hydro plant, located at Raz Blanchard on the English channel and to be developed by OpenHydro, will be made up of seven turbines with a power generation capacity of 14 megawatts.French authorities will provide operating and investment aid, part of which will be repayable advances that will be reimbursed if the technology is successful

Rosneft suing Exxon-led oil project over dispute between neighbours

(Photo: Exxon Neftgas)

Russian oil major Rosneft's $1.4 billion lawsuit against the ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1 consortium relates to a row over how oil should be shared between the Sakhalin-1 concession and an adjacent Rosneft field, court papers show.Rosneft filed the suit in the Sakhalin district arbitration court in Russia's far east, accusing the consortium of unjust enrichment, an allegation the consortium denied. Rosneft did not disclose the exact nature of the dispute.According to court documents reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday…

MOL buys Eni's Adriatic Offshore Gas Stakes

Image: ENI

MOL Group’s Croatian INA agreed to buy Eni Croatia BV, a wholly-owned member of Eni Group, through which Eni participated in the joint project of gas production in Croatia’s offshore areas Northern Adriatic and Marica.INA will become the 100% owner and the sole operator of the Northern Adriatic and Marica fields after all conditions are fulfilled, including receiving clearance from the antitrust authorities, which is…

Oil Majors Win Dismissal of New York City Climate Lawsuit

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A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by New York City seeking to hold major oil companies liable for climate change caused by carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.In dismissing the city's claims against Chevron Corp , BP Plc, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan said climate change must be addressed through federal regulation and foreign policy."Climate change is a fact of life, as is not contested by Defendants," he wrote.

US Energy Regulator Wants More Disclosure of Cyber Attacks

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The U.S. government on Thursday asked power generators to disclose more information about cyber attacks amid growing concern that foreign hackers could disrupt the electric grid.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an energy industry regulator, called for the power industry's regulating body, the North American Electric Reliability Corp, to expand rules that require reporting of cyber security incidents to…

Norway Oil Workers, Employers Reach Deal to End Strike

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Norwegian drilling rigs workers will end their industrial action after the union representing 1,600 striking employees reached a deal with the group acting for their employers, the parties said on Thursday.The strike began on July 10 after the Safe union and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association could not come to an agreement over wages and pension conditions. The industrial action led to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field."The strike is over ...

US Revokes Citgo CEO's Visa

Citgo Petroleum Corp, the U.S. subsidiary of Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA , said on Wednesday that the United States had revoked the visa of its president and chief executive Asdrubal Chavez, cousin of Venezuela's late president Hugo Chavez, but it did not say why.Late on Wednesday U.S. State Department spokesman Noel Clay said the United States has broad authority to revoke visas, but does not discuss individual cases because they are confidential under U.S.

Tidewater and GulfMark Announce Merger

(File photo: Tidewater)

Tidewater Inc. and GulfMark Offshore, Inc. announced Monday that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive agreement to combine the two companies, creating the industry’s largest owner of offshore support vessels and continuing consolidation in the offshore sector.The combined company will be operated under the Tidewater brand and will be led by Tidewater president and CEO John Rynd…

Brazil Charges Former Vantage Drilling Chief with Corruption

Brazilian federal prosecutors on Thursday charged the former chief executive of U.S. oil services company Vantage Drilling with corruption and money laundering, accusing him of offering $31 million in bribes to public officials.Federal prosecutors said in a statement that the charges against former CEO Paul Bragg related to irregularities in a 2009 contract worth $1.8 billion to charter a drill ship to state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasiliero SA.Reuters was unable to locate Bragg or his representatives.

US Oil Exports to India Soar Ahead of Iran Sanctions

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U.S. crude oil exports to India hit a record in June and so far this year are almost double last year's total as the Asian nation's refiners move to replace supplies from Iran and Venezuela in a win for the Trump administration.U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has been pressuring its allies to cut imports of Iranian goods to zero by November and India's shift advances the U.S. administration efforts to use energy to further its political goals.The United States has become a major crude exporter…

EPA Scraps Plan to Force US Refiners to Blend More Biofuels

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ditched a detailed plan that would have forced refiners to blend more biofuels into their gasoline and diesel in 2019 to compensate for volumes likely to be exempted under the agency's small refinery hardship waiver program, according to newly released EPA documents.The plan would have boosted the renewable fuel blending obligation for the refining industry to 11.76 percent from 10.88 percent to offset volumes lost under the waiver program…

Equinor Acquires Energy Trader Danske Commodities

CEO Henrik Lind (left), Danske Commodities, and Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president, Marketing & Supply in Equinor. (Photo: Thomas Priskorn / PRISKORN)

Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor, formerly Statoil, is acquiring the Danish energy trading company, Danske Commodities for EUR 400 million (USD 470 mln). "Equinor has reached agreement to buy 100% of the shares in Danish energy trading company Danske Commodities (DC) for EUR 400 million, with smaller contingent payments depending on DC’s performance over the next couple of years," said a press release from the company.

Sinovel Fined for AMSC Trade Secret Theft

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JJAVA)

A U.S. judge ordered Sinovel Wind Group Co Ltd, a Chinese wind turbine maker, to pay a $1.5 million fine after the company was convicted and charged for stealing trade secrets from Massachusetts-based AMSC. U.S. District Judge James Peterson in Madison, Wisconsin, also sentenced Sinovel to one year of probation, during which it must pay the unpaid balance of a $57.5 million settlement it reached with AMSC. The U.S. Justice Department said Sinovel has already paid AMSC…

Brazil Court Blocks $892.7 mln from SBM Related to Petrobras Contracts

A Brazilian federal court ruled that state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA can subtract $892.7 million it owes in future fees to Dutch group SBM to cover fines and damages it has been ordered to pay Petrobras for its role in a graft scheme, according to a written statement prosecutors released on Friday.Under a lawsuit filed against companies in the Dutch group, federal prosecutors calculated losses incurred by Petrobras under the scheme amounted to $303 million.Reporting by Ana Mano

Asian Refiners Rush to Secure Feedstock as Trade War Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Carabay)

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect Friday; China retaliates, duty on U.S. crude possible. Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and as Washington plans tough sanctions against Iran aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets. As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's U.S. tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude.

Preparations for Aramco IPO Listing Stalled - WSJ

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Public listing preparations of state-run Saudi Aramco <IPO-ARMO.SE> have stalled, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, has been expanding its global footprint by signing downstream deals and boosting the capacity of its plants ahead of the eagerly awaited initial public offering. Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fall from Grace: Batista Gets 30-Years for Corruption

Eike Batista, the former mining and oil magnate who was once Brazil's richest man, was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for bribing Rio de Janeiro state's disgraced ex-governor, according to a court document published on Tuesday.Batista's conviction and sentencing by federal judge Marcelo Bretas are the latest in a wave of graft investigations that have sent scores of powerful businessmen and politicians to jail.The eccentric former billionaire's meteoric rise and fall mirrored the recent fortunes of Brazil

Fate of Argentine Biodiesel Industry Hinges on EU Sanctions

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

Argentina's biodiesel industry is at risk after the European Union threatened to impose tariffs on imports from the South American country, following accusations that the nation unfairly subsidized its biofuel sector. The threat of tariffs has halted Argentine biofuel sales to the EU, industry sources told Reuters, adding that imposing a tax would leave 85 percent of the country's biofuel exports without a viable market and may force suppliers to close shop.

Union Workers Strike at Total's North Sea Oil Platforms

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Britain's largest labour union, Unite the Union, announced series of 24 hour and 12 hour rig worker strikes at Total's North Sea oil and gas platforms, a statement said on Thursday. There will be three 24 hour stoppages on July 23 and Aug. 6 and 20 as well as two 12 hour stoppages on July 30 and Aug.

What Glencore-Tohoku Coal talk Impass Means for Market

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Leonid Eremeychuk)

Electric utilities in Japan and other Asian countries are driving blind when it comes to coal prices after the failure of Japan's Tohoku Electric and Glencore to agree on an annual thermal coal contract that is used to set prices for the region. Tohoku Electric, a major Japanese utility, and Glencore, the world's biggest exporter of seaborne thermal coal, abandoned the talks last month on their annual Australian supply contract.

Glencore Announces $1 bln Share Buyback

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto)

Commodities trader and miner Glencore said on Thursday it would buy back shares worth up to $1 billion in a programme of purchases running to the end of 2018.   Glencore said the programme will be split into two halves, the first 350 million pounds worth of shares to be bought by Citigroup Global Markets by Aug. 7 and the remainder at the discretion of the broker.   Reporting by Justin George Varghese

China's Ethanol Push in Doubt as U.S. Trade Dispute Widens

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © scanrail)

Beijing slows approval process for new ethanol plants; ationwide roll-out of E10 fuel by 2020 in doubt. China's ambitious push to use biofuel in cars nationwide by 2020 is in doubt amid concerns about supplies of raw material such as corn, complicated by an escalating trade dispute with Washington, producers and analysts say. In September last year, the government outlined radical plans to roll out the use of ethanol in gasoline nationally by 2020, in part to digest its huge corn stocks.

China Keeps LNG off Tariff List - for Now

file Image: a typical LNG carrier laden with cargo crosses the Med in a recent photo (CREDIT: Robert Murphy)

China embroiled in festering trade dispute with United States even as Chinese imports of U.S. LNG expected to surge -Morgan Stanley. China's omission of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its vast list of U.S. products that face hefty import duties from Friday has preserved a potential weapon should the trade war with Washington deepen. It also underscores Beijing's desire to ensure supplies of gas as it pushes to switch millions of households and businesses away from using coal as a key part of its 'war on pollution'.

Shell CEO: "foolhardy" to Set Carbon Reduction Targets

BP CEO Bob Dudley (CREDIT BP PLC)

CEO says a target will expose Shell to lawsuits; BP has also taken cautious approach on targets. Royal Dutch Shell's boss said it would be "foolhardy" for the oil and gas producer to set hard targets to reduce carbon emissions as it risked exposing the energy giant to legal challenges. The energy industry has struggled in recent years to find a clear path to secure its role as the world shifts from fossil fuels in order to meet the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals.

BP to Boost Stake in UK's 'Giant' Clair Field

BP's Clair Ridge platform. Photo: BP

BP announced that it has entered into agreements with ConocoPhillips that will significantly increase its holding in the Clair field, a core asset of BP’s North Sea business in the UK, while also selling its non-operating interest in the Kuparuk and satellite oilfields in Alaska. BP has entered into an agreement to purchase from ConocoPhillips a 16.5% interest in the BP-operated Clair field, west of Shetland in the UK, buying a ConocoPhillips subsidiary that will hold this interest in the field.

ConocoPhillips sells 16.5 pct of North Sea Asset to BP

Ryan Lance, chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips

U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips said on Tuesday it would sell a 16.5 percent stake in the Clair field to oil major BP for an undisclosed price. Houston, Texas-based ConocoPhillips will retain a 7.5 percent interest in the North Sea offshore oil field through a unit while BP will hold a 45.1 percent interest. Reuters reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-conocophillips-northsea-exclusive/exclusive-conoco-moves-to…

Ontario Government Scraps Cap-and-Trade Program

Premier Doug Ford's (Photo:Ontario Government)

The Ontario government announced it would end the province's cap-and-trade program, a policy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fulfilling one of Premier Doug Ford's election promises. The government said it would start a wind-down of all programs funded out of cap-and-trade carbon tax revenues immediately. Ford's government says it aims to reduce gasoline prices by 10 cents per liter and lower energy bills by "getting Ontario out of the carbon tax business".

Seadrill Suggests Consolidation for Drilling Market Recovery

Seadrill CEO, Anton Dibowitz (Photo:Seadrill)

On Tuesday, Seadrill CEO, Anton Dibowitz said consolidation of smaller offshore oil rig companies would help boost drilling market recovery in the drilling market. The statement comes a day the offshore rig firm emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Seadrill started trading new shares on the New York Stock Exchange and plans to list new shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange by end of July. Shares of Seadrill, controlled by Norwegian-born John Fredriksen…

Glencore, Vitol Shortlisted in Hellenic Stake Sale

Anglo-Swiss Glencore Energy and Swiss Vitol will be qualified to submit a binding bid for a majority stake in Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum, sources close to the process said on Tuesday. Athens last month received five expressions of interest for a 50.1 percent holding in Hellenic in one of the biggest asset sales under the country's three international bailouts since 2010. Along with Glencore Energy UK and Vitol Holding B.V.…

Saipem: MoU for California-based Renewable Energy Deal Signed

Saipem has signed a Memorandum of Understanding as well as an exclusive agreement with California Ethanol & Power, LLC, for the realisation of a low carbon emission plant for the production of ethanol fuels, electricity from renewable sources, biomethane and other secondary products derived from sugar cane cultivated on site. The plant will be located in the south of California, in the territory of the Imperial County…

Iran's Rouhani Hints at Threat to Neighbors' Exports

President Hassan Rouhani appeared on Tuesday to threaten to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries if Washington presses ahead with its goal of forcing all countries to stop buying Iranian oil. The comments, published on Iran's presidential website on Tuesday and partially repeated at a later news conference in Switzerland, could be open to interpretation. However, when asked whether he intended to make a threat, Rouhani declined to provide a clarification.

Petrobras Makes $983m Deposit Related to U.S. Class Action

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Tuesday it made a $983 million deposit as part of a deal to settle a class action in the United States.   In a securities filing, Petrobras said this deposit is the second one related to the class action. A third one, of $984 million, is due on January 15, 2019. Reporting by Carolina Mandl