Saturday, June 23, 2018

Schlumberger Wins in US Supreme Court on Patent Damages

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that companies can recover profits lost because of the unauthorized use of their patented technology abroad in a victory for Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider.The 7-2 decision overturned a lower court's ruling that had enforced limits on applying U.S. patent law overseas and reduced by $93.4 million the damages sum that rival ION Geophysical Corp had to pay for infringing Schlumberger technology that helps find oil and gas beneath the ocean floor.

China to Cut US Oil Imports Amid Trade Spat

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Chinese oil buyers will keep taking crude from the United States through September, but plan to reduce future purchases to avoid a likely import tariff amid a trade spat between the world's two largest economies, multiple industry sources said.Beijing has put U.S. energy products, including crude oil and refined products, on lists of goods that it will hit with import taxes in retaliation for similar moves by Washington.Beijing did not specify when it will impose a 25 percent tax on oil…

US Oil Pipeline Companies, Producers Seek Relief from Steel Tariffs

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Major U.S. energy companies including Plains All American Pipeline, Hess Corp and Kinder Morgan Inc are among many seeking exemptions from steel-import tariffs as the United States ratchets up trade tensions with exporters including China, Canada and Mexico.There have been nearly 21,000 requests overall for exclusions submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department since the Trump administration imposed levies this year. Of those…

Scottish Government Wins Fracking Case Against Ineos

Paul Wheelhouse (Photo: Scottish Government)

Scotland's highest court has ruled in favor of a government ban on fracking which had been challenged by energy giant Ineos, the Scottish government said on Tuesday."This decision vindicates the extensive process of research and consultation which the Scottish government has undertaken since 2015," Scottish business minister Paul Wheelhouse said in a statement. "Our preferred position is not to support unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland (fracking)…

Asian Shares, Oil Fall as US-China Trade Spat Escalates

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Asian shares fell to a 2-1/2 week low on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump cranked up trade tensions by going ahead with tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to immediately respond in kind.Fears of a global trade war added to pressure on oil prices, which extended Friday's big fall, while the dollar retreated from near 3-week highs against the safe haven yen.Spreadbetters suggested a subdued start for European shares, with FTSE futures off about 0.1 percent. U.S.

China's Tariffs on US Oil Would Disrupt $1 Bln Monthly Business

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China's threat to impose duties on U.S. oil imports will hit a business that has soared in the last two years, and which is now worth almost $1 billion per month.In an escalating spat over the United States' trade deficit with most of its major trading partners, including China, U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he was pushing ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6.China said Friday it would retaliate by slapping duties on several American commodities…

Italy Top Court Rejects Appeal to Stymie Shell, Eni Corruption Trial

Italy's Supreme Court threw out an appeal from Shell and four former Shell managers to stymie a trial on alleged corruption in Nigeria, which also sees Eni's chief on the bench, legal sources said on Wednesday.The long-running graft case revolves around the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria's OPL-245 offshore oilfield for about $1.3 billion. The trial kicked off last month, with the next hearing set for June 20.The…

Venezuela Frees Chevron Executives Held Since April

Venezuela has released two local executives of U.S. oil major Chevron Corp jailed since mid-April during a corruption probe in the oil sector, authorities and the company said on Wednesday. The arrests of Carlos Algarra and Rene Vasquez by intelligence agents at Chevron's Puerto La Cruz offices spooked other foreign companies operating in the OPEC nation in partnership with state oil company PDVSA. "They are free," the state prosecutor's office said in an email to Reuters…

PDVSA Raises Prospect of Force Majeure on Oil Exports

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OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter.Falling production from Venezuela has contributed to a rally in global oil prices to a near four-year high, and other OPEC members may boost output at a meeting later this month to compensate…

Algeria Hires U.S. Law Firm Curtis for New Energy Law

Algeria has hired U.S. law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP and other consultancies to help with a new energy law aimed at attracting much-needed investment, the CEO of state energy firm Sonatrach said on Monday.The OPEC producer, which is also a major gas supplier to Europe, has been trying to attract more foreign investors but firms have been reluctant complaining about bureaucracy and tough terms.The North…

China to take action against 'uncontrolled' hydro on Yangtze

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China's has urged local governments along the Yangtze river to survey the environmental damage done by the "uncontrolled" development of small-scale hydropower, warning that some plants could be closed, according to a government notice on Wednesday.Local authorities have been instructed to conduct a survey into hydropower construction along the Yangtze River Economic Belt, which stretches from Yunnan in the far southwest to Jiangsu and Zhejiang on the eastern coast.Small plants that damage the environment…

RBS to Cease Financing of 'high-carbon energy' projects

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Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland said on Tuesday it had tightened restrictions on project finance and general lending for high-carbon energy projects and companies, joining other banks like HSBC in shoring up its climate policies. RBS said it would no longer directly finance new coal-fired power stations or thermal coal mines, oil sands or Arctic oil projects and unsustainable vegetation or peatland clearance projects.

Canada Government to Give Briefing on Pipeline Expansion Aid

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The Canadian government will give a 9 am ET (1300 GMT) briefing on Tuesday on how it has decided to aid a Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd crude oil pipeline project, an official said.   Ottawa says it is prepared to financially backstop the planned expansion of the company's Trans Mountain pipeline, which has run into fierce opposition.   Reporting by David Ljunggren

Lebanon Begins Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration

Lebanon's search for its first oil and gas reserves began on Tuesday after authorities approved an exploration plan submitted by a consortium of France's Total , Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek. Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil also said in a televised statement that Lebanon hoped to launch a second offshore licensing round by the end of 2018 or early 2019. In February, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil…

LyondellBasel Valued Braskem at $11.4 billion

LyondellBasell Industries has valued Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA at 41.5 billion reais ($11.4 billion) in an offer to Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA months ago, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Thursday. LyondellBasell made the offer in February but talks stalled in early May, the paper reported, as the conglomerate tries to refinance its debt with Brazilian lenders. The paper did not say how it obtained the information.

Shell: Nigeria's Bonny Light Still Under Force Majeure

Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday a declaration of force majeure remained in place on shipments of Nigerian Bonny Light crude oil, while exports at the Forcados shipping hub were running as normal. Shell's Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), said on May 17 it had declared force majeure on exports of Bonny light following a shutdown on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line stream. Exports of Bonny Light are expected to run at around 195…

China Could Meet Emissions Pledge Earlier Than Expected

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China emissions could peak before 2030. China's top climate envoy on Wednesday said the country could meet its pledge to cap carbon emissions ahead of its target of around 2030, while a senior environmental official said plans for a carbon market were on track despite ministerial restructuring. Xie Zhenhua, China's chief negotiator on the Paris climate agreement in late 2015, said China has already met several objectives it promised to fulfil by 2020…

UN Seeks Traders' Help Enforcing North Korea Sanctions

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A U.N. monitoring group wants to enlist the help of the world's biggest oil trading companies to enforce sanctions that cap the amount of crude and related products North Korea can import, the coordinator said.The U.N. Security Council ramped up sanctions last year after North Korea said it had conducted missile tests that put the U.S. mainland in range of its nuclear weapons.Under the restrictions, Pyongyang is limited to importing 4 million barrels of crude and 500…

US Threatens 'Strongest' Sanctions on Iran

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" against Iran if it did not accept a sweeping series of U.S. demands, including effectively giving up its nuclear ambitions, curtailing its ballistic missile program and ending its expansionist behavior.Weeks after the United States pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, Pompeo spelled out a hardline approach towards the Islamic Republic…

New Rules on Ship Emissions Herald Sea Change for Oil Market

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New rules coming into force from 2020 to curb pollution produced by the world's ships are worrying everyone from OPEC oil producers to bunker fuel sellers and shipping companies.The regulations will slash emissions of sulfur, which is blamed for causing respiratory diseases and is a component of acid rain that damages vegetation and wildlife.But the energy and shipping industries are ill-prepared, say analysts, with refiners…

Trump's State Department Energy nominee Approved by Senate Panel

President Donald Trump's nominee for the top U.S. State Department job dealing with matters related to energy and the global oil industry was approved by a Senate committee on Wednesday, as the United States gears up to re-impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Francis Fannon, a former head of corporate affairs at mining company BHP Billiton and senior director of Murphy Oil Corp , to head the department's energy bureau.

Canada Ready to Cover Kinder Morgan Loss

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Canada is prepared to cover some losses Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd might suffer if a proposed oil pipeline expansion is delayed and thinks other investors are ready to step in if need be, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Wednesday. The company has given Ottawa a deadline of May 31 to provide assurances it can proceed with a plan to more than double the capacity of its Trans Mountain line from Alberta to British Columbia. The government of the Pacific coast province opposes the project on environmental grounds.

Dana Gas Receives Dividend From Pearl Petroleum

Dana Gas PJSC, the Middle East’s largest regional natural gas company has announced that it received a dividend payment of $22.75 million (AED 83.5m) from Pearl Petroleum Company Limited (‘Pearl Petroleum’) in proportion to the company’s shareholding in Pearl Petroleum.    This brings the total dividend payments received from Pearl Petroleum for the year to date to $36.75 million (AED 135m).

Norway Unhappy with Gazprom-OMV Asset Swap

Norway is not happy with the asset swap deal between Austria's OMV and Gazprom that would give the Russian gas giant access to the Norwegian continental shelf, the Nordic country's oil and energy minister told Reuters on Wednesday. "We have said we are not happy for this deal because we want to have diversified supplies for gas to Europe," Terje Soeviknes said in an interview. "And that is important for the Europeans to know that they have Norway as a stable producer.

Bangladesh Drops Trafigura in LNG Talks as Gunvor Advances

File Image: A rendering of a typical FSRU design (CREDIT: Sener)

Bangladesh has terminated talks with Swiss-based commodity trader Trafigura to install a small floating liquefied natural gas (LNG ) import terminal due to delays in agreeing terms, while rival trader Gunvor advances with a separate project. Once considered an energy backwater, Bangladesh's LNG demand is set to hit 17.5 million tonnes annually by 2025 after importing its first cargo last month, and as traders target Southeast Asia's booming gas markets to boost sales.

Vestas Buys Majority Stake in Swedish Wind Farm

File Image: A Vestas Wind Farm (CREDIT: Vestas)

Swedish utility Vattenfall has brought Danish turbine maker Vestas and pension fund PKA onboard as shareholders in what will become one of Sweden's largest onshore wind farms. Vestas said it would become a 40 percent shareholder in the project through a share purchase agreement, while PKA and Vattenfall will each own 30 percent. "The cost of renewable energy is going down, which is making the market more competitive and creating new opportunities," said Vestas Chief Executive Anders Runevad in a statement.

Global Oil Supply Robust Enough to Cut Iran's Exports -Trump Memo

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Global oil supplies are plentiful enough to withstand a "significant reduction" in petroleum exports from Iran, according to a White House memo issued on Monday as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions on the OPEC member nation.The memo, sent by the White House to the U.S. State Department, paves the way for U.S. efforts to curb Iranian oil exports after Washington's decision to pull out of the 2015…

Conoco Seized PDVSA Products from Isla Refinery

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U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips has seized products belonging to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA from the Isla refinery it runs on Curacao, an island official told Reuters on Sunday.Conoco has won court orders allowing it to seize PDVSA assets on Caribbean islands, including Curacao, in efforts to collect on a $2 billion arbitral award linked to the 2007 nationalization of Conoco assets under late leader Hugo Chavez.“PDVSA products from the installations of the Isla refinery have been confiscated.

China's Crude Oil Futures Boom Amid Looming Iran Sanctions

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A U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is supporting China's newly established crude oil futures, and may spur efforts to start trading oil in yuan rather than dollars, traders and analysts said.Since launching in March, Shanghai crude oil futures have seen a steady pick-up in daily trading, while open interest - the number of outstanding longer-term positions and a gauge of institutional interest - has also surged.Traded daily volumes hit a record 250…

Houthis Say They Fired Missile at Saudi Aramco Center

Yemen's armed Houthi movement launched a ballistic missile at a Saudi Aramco facility in Saudi Arabia's southwestern Jizan province on Monday, the group's al-Masirah TV reported, but a Saudi-led coalition said the rocket fell in the open desert.The Houthis, an Iran-allied group that holds much of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, have fired a series of missiles into the kingdom in recent months, part of a three-year…

Environmental group files complaint to stop Nord Stream 2 in Finland

Pipes for Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Kotka, Finland (Photo: Gazprom)

Environmental campaign group ClientEarth on Monday said it had submitted a complaint to a Finnish court seeking to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline through Finnish waters citing the risk of serious harm to marine life.Finland approved the pipeline last month and the pipeline's operator started preparatory work shortly after that.The work involves detonating World War Two bombs on the sea floor along the pipeline's proposed route and ClientEarth said that could cause serious harm to porpoises…

PDVSA Retrenches in Caribbean

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Venezuela's PDVSA will let the 335,000 barrel-per-day refinery it leases in Curacao halt operations once crude inventories are exhausted as no new shipments are planned to the Caribbean following ConocoPhillips's legal actions, according to two sources.PDVSA is also changing its trade arrangements to start delivering all its oil for exports in Venezuelan waters, including the ship-to-ship transfers that have to be made for sending cargoes to Asian destinations.Conoco last week started several legal actions to satisfy a

US Military Seeks Rules for Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

File photo: U.S. Navy personnel detonate a floating mine during an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Connerly)

An expansion of oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico would interfere with U.S. military testing unless the Pentagon and another agency develop rules to govern the work, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a report this week.The Defense Department concluded in a report it sent on Wednesday to U.S. lawmakers that drilling east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico, a demarcation more than 200 miles (320 km) west of Florida…

Iran says US exit from deal will not impact its oil

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to quit a multinational nuclear deal would not affect Tehran's oil exports."Trump's decision will not have any impact on our oil export ... that era is history now," he told state television.Trump announced a U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal on Tuesday and said he was preparing new sanctions against Iran. Zanganeh said foreign investment was needed to develop Iran's its oil industry…

Eni Has Recouped All Outstanding Iran Payments

Eni has recouped all outstanding payments that Iran owed the Italian oil company for past investments and has no plans for any new projects, Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi told shareholders at its annual meeting on Thursday.Descalzi was responding to questions after Washington decided to impose new sanctions against Iran and abandon a 2015 international agreement which had curbed Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for removal of U.S.

Croatia Acts to Cut Red Tape for FSRU Terminal Project

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The Croatian government proposed a special law on Thursday to facilitate the construction of an EU-backed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northern Adriatic.The floating terminal is expected to start operations in 2020.The European Union wants the facility to help diversify sources of supply and reduce dependence on Russian gas, most notably for countries in central Europe.Brussels will invest 101.4 million euros ($121 million)…

PDVSA Sued in US Court over Nonpayment

Venezuela's state-run oil firm PDVSA is being sued for more than $25 million in a U.S. court over non-payment of notes issued for work performed by Canadian energy contractor SNC-Lavalin, according a court filing.The suit, filed in a district court in Manhattan, is the latest in a recent series of court actions seeking to press the cash-strapped oil firm for payment, with actions in recent days by ConocoPhillips and Rusoro. PDVSA's declining oil revenues have thrown Venezuela into severe recession.

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

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South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new…

Sanctions spell the end of OPEC output deal

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President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran marks the end of the current output agreement between OPEC and its allies.OPEC is likely to insist the current agreement remains in effect, at least for now, but the prospective removal of several hundred thousand barrels per day of Iranian exports from the market will require a major adjustment.Saudi Arabia has already promised to "mitigate" the impact of any potential supply shortages…

PDVSA Halts Caribbean Storage, Shipping; Diverts Oil Cargo

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Venezuela's state-run PDVSA suspended oil storage and shipping from its Caribbean facilities following a move by ConocoPhillips to temporarily seize the firm's assets on four islands, according to a PDVSA source and Reuters data.PDVSA has begun concentrating most shipping in its main crude terminal of Jose on Venezuela's eastern coast and recalling tankers to Venezuelan waters to avoid seizures that would further cut…

Iran Prepares to Export New Oil Grade amid Sanctions Threat

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Iran is readying the first commercial exports of its West Karoun crude oil grade for May or June, two sources familiar with the matter said, even as fresh economic sanctions against the country loom.Iran has already been shipping samples of the grade to customers since production from the West Karoun oilfields in southwest Iran nearly doubled in the past year to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), the sources said. A new export…

Could US Sanctions Hit Iranian Crude Exports?

Oil prices are at more than three-year highs, driven by an expectation that renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran over the country's nuclear program will disrupt Iranian crude flows.But without the Europe Union, or Iran's other big crude customers, joining the effort, as the EU did in 2012, it will be harder for Washington to hit Iran where it really hurts.U.S.

UK Regulator Probes SSE, Npower Merger

British regulators have launched an in-depth investigation into the tie-up between the retail power unit of SSE Plc and Npower, owned by Germany's Innogy, saying it may reduce competition and increase prices for some households.The merger would create Britain's second-largest retail power provider and reduce the "Big Six" dominating the market to five companies when they are already facing political scrutiny for their…

Iran: New Sanctions Won't Stop its Oil Industry

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The Iranian oil industry will continue to develop even if the United States pulls out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and Tehran would see the accord as operational as long as it can sell oil, the Oil Ministry website quoted senior officials as saying on Monday. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the Iran deal by not extending sanctions waivers when they expire on May 12 unless European signatories of the accord fix what he calls its "flaws". "They cannot stop Iran.

Conoco Moves to Seize PDVSA's Caribbean Assets

File Image: A view of the local refinery on the island of Aruba. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Hans)

U.S. oil firm ConocoPhillips has moved to take Caribbean assets of Venezuela's state-run PDVSA to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award over a decade-oil nationalization of its projects in the South American country, according to three sources familiar with its actions. The U.S. firm targeted facilities on the islands of Curacao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius that accounted for about a quarter of Venezuela's oil exports last year. The three play key roles in processing, storing and blending PDVSA's oil for export.

Aker BP Beats Street, May Increase Drilling

File Image: An Aker BP offshore installation at the Tambar Field. (CREDIT: Aker BP)

Norway's Aker BP, partly owned by oil major BP, beat quarterly earnings forecasts on Monday, helped by record output and higher oil prices, and said it may drill more wells this year than previously planned. The company, controlled by a Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, is focusing more on developing its existing business after growing via a series of acquisitions, including last year’s purchase of Hess assets for $2 billion.

Vivo Energy IPO Launches with 2 bln Pound Valuation

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Largest Africa-focused IPO since 2005; Vivo to join FTSE 250 index. Vivo Energy PLC launched on the London Stock Exchange on Friday with a valuation of nearly 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion), the largest London IPO so far this year and the largest Africa-focused IPO in more than a decade. The initial offer price for the just under 30 percent of the company floated was set at 165 pence per share and the shares advanced to 169.50 pence in conditional trading.

Allianz Limits Coal Insurance Policies

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Germany's Allianz will immediately stop insuring single coal-fired power plants and coal mines, the company said on Friday, following criticism from environmental groups. But Allianz said it would continue to insure companies generating power through multiple sources, including coal and other fossil fuels. It wants to phase out any coal insurance by 2040, it said. Environmentalists said the measures were a step in the right direction but one group, Unfriend Coal, said the deadline of 2040 was too distant.

Oil Strong as U.S. Decision on Iran Sanctions Looms

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Investors "wait-and-see" before Iran deadline as EU stakeholders work to save Iran nuclear accord. Oil prices strengthened on Friday but stayed below recent highs as global supplies remained tight and the market awaited news from Washington on possible new U.S. sanctions against Iran. Brent crude oil was up 30 cents at $73.92 a barrel by 1110 GMT. The benchmark contract hit a 3-1/2 year closing high of $75.17 on Monday. U.S. light crude was 30 cents higher at $68.73.

US Lifts Keystone Pipeline Pressure Restrictions

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Pressure restrictions on TransCanada Corp's Keystone oil pipeline was lifted on May 1 in a letter issued by U.S. pipeline safety regulators, a spokesman for the agency told Reuters on Thursday.It was not immediately clear what current rates are, said Darius Kirkwood, a spokesman for U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).The company had shut down its 590,000 barrel-per-day Keystone pipeline, which links Alberta's oil sands to U.S.

Exxon's Rosneft JV LNG Project Proceeds - Despite Sanctions

Exxon Mobil is pushing ahead with efforts to develop its $15 billion Far East Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project with Russia's Rosneft despite being forced to exit some joint ventures due to Western sanctions. Two months ago Exxon invited companies including China National Petroleum Corporation's engineering arm to bid for construction contracts by October, sources with knowledge of the matter said. A final investment decision is due in 2019, they said.

Brazilian Banks, Funds Join Arbitration Against Petrobras

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Top Brazilian funds and banks like Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA have joined a collective arbitration action against Petróleo Brasileiro SA seeking compensation for graft at the state-controlled oil giant, a newspaper report said on Thursday. State-owned banks Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil SA and pension funds including Petros, Previ and Funcef also took part in the action, Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Petrobras to Buy Back $1.4 bln of Bonds Due in 2020

Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Wednesday it will buy back around $1.4 billion of bonds due in 2020 as part of an ongoing deleveraging strategy. In a securities filing, Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, said it would buy back just over $1 billion of global notes with a 5.75 percent coupon at the price of $1,065.63 a unit, and just under $400 million of global notes with a 4.875 percent coupon at a price of $1,045.55 per unit.

HollyFrontier Posts Q1 Profit

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U.S. independent refiner HollyFrontier Corp posted a quarterly profit on Wednesday, compared to a year-ago loss, as its refining margins rose. Net income attributable to company shareholders was $268.1 million, or $1.50 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of $45.5 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier. The year-ago quarter included integration costs related to the acquisition of Petro-Canada Lubricants and other charges.

Chesapeake Beats Street as Costs Fall

Chesapeake Energy Corp's quarterly profit exceeded analysts' estimates on Wednesday, as it produced more oil and natural gas at higher prices while continuing to lower costs, pulling shares in the company around 3 percent higher. Chesapeake's production rose nearly 5 percent to 554,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), while its number of gross wells supplying to the market dropped 25 percent. The Oklahoma-based company's average realized oil price rose 10 percent to $56.89 per barrel in the quarter…

Shanghai Crude Futures off to Cautiously Good Start

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

The new Shanghai crude oil futures have been trading for just over a month and have so far managed to build up reasonably strong volumes, but this success may only mask some wider concerns. The yuan-denominated contracts were launched on March 26 by the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) and are enjoying trading volumes averaging around 80,000 a day, with the open interest around 16,000. The INE contract offers seven grades of Middle Eastern and domestic crude for delivery to various locations in China…

BP CFO Mulls Dividend Boost this Year

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock) / © Kasto)

BP Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary on Tuesday said the company might consider boosting dividends later this year following a recovery in oil prices and profits. "With these oil prices, we will now see net debt naturally start to decline and that will give an opportunity later this year for potential further distribution around buybacks or a conversation with the board around dividend," Gilvary said in an analyst call after reporting first-quarter earnings.

BP Profit Surges 71 pct

BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley (CREDIT BP PLC)

BP reported a 71 percent jump in profit in the first quarter on Tuesday, driven by higher oil and gas prices and increased production as it undergoes an era of rapid growth. London-based BP reported first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company's definition of net income, of $2.6 billion, exceeding forecasts of $2.2 billion, according to a company-provided survey of analysts. That compared with a profit of $1.5 billion a year earlier and $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Oil Stumbles, but Iran Uncertainties Support

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © scanrail)

Israel presses U.S. to scrap nuclear deal with Iran. Oil prices slid on Tuesday as the dollar remained near a four-month high, but worries that U.S. President Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal underpinned the market. Brent crude for July delivery was trading 58 cents lower at $74.11 by 1157 GMT. The June contract expired on Monday, settling up 53 cents at $75.17. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery was 70 cents down at $67.87 a barrel, after settling 47 cents higher on Monday.

Noble Energy Q1 Profit Beats Street

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Shamtor)

Oil and gas producer Noble Energy Inc beat analysts' first-quarter profit estimates on Tuesday, helped by a surge in onshore shale production and broadly higher oil prices. The company, which drills oil wells in the DJ Basin as well as the Permian and Eagle Ford shale plays, said its U.S. onshore oil production rose over 30 percent in the first quarter. "Our core positions in the U.S. onshore business provide a great foundation for high-return, high-margin growth," Chief Executive Dave Stover said in a statement.

[Op/Ed] Congo and OPEC: A Marriage of Mutual Need

NJ Ayuk (Photo: Centurion Law Group)

The Republic of the Congo has suffered dearly during the oil collapse; and Congolese President Denis Nguesso has pledged that the country would no longer be sitting on the side lines — suffering the effects of global decision-making in the oil industry without a voice. In an official communiqué announcing the bid for OPEC membership, he stated that he wished to “place our country in the rank of the world’s leaders.”In January…

Rising U.S. Rig Count Fails to Dent Bullish Crude Price

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Diter)

U.S. rig count rises to 825, highest since March, 2015. Oil fell on Monday after a rising rig count in the United States suggested the shale boom is showing no signs of slowing, but prices remain near their highest in more than three years and are set for a second straight month of gains. The prospect of the United States reimposing sanctions on Iran and OPEC's continued discipline in withholding output have kept the market well above $70 a barrel for most of this month.

Marathon Creates Top U.S. Refiner with Andeavor Acquisition

Marathon Chief Executive Gary Heminger

Marathon paying $152/share to create biggest independent refiner; Andeavor assets include pipelines, refineries, gas stations. Marathon Petroleum Corp said on Monday it would buy rival Andeavor for more than $23 billion, forming a company that would leapfrog Valero Energy Corp as the largest independent U.S. refiner by capacity. Shale oil fields have pushed U.S. crude production to record highs and industry experts argue…

Hedge Funds Trim Crude Positions, but Boost Fuels: Kemp

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Redindie)

For all the bullish chatter, hedge fund managers have become cautious about increasing their exposure to crude oil, though they are becoming increasingly optimistic about the outlook for refined fuels again. Hedge funds and other money managers cut their combined net long position in the six most important futures and options contracts linked to petroleum by six million barrels in the week to April 24. Net length was reduced in NYMEX and ICE WTI (-17 million barrels)…

Petrobras Seeks Partnerships

Photo courtesy Petrobras

Petrobras informs that it has started the disclosure stage of two divestment opportunities (Teasers) related to the sale of its interest in refining and logistics in Northeast and South regions of Brazil. Petrobras intends to sell 60% of its equity interest in each of these new companies. Two subsidiaries will be set up for each region. The Northeastern subsidiary will comprise two refineries, namely Landulpho Alves (RLAM)…

Germany Approves New Offshore Wind Parks

A typical offshore wind farm (CREDIT: Siemens)

Orsted, Innogy report winning approvals. Germany granted approval on Friday for offshore wind parks capable of generating 1,610 megawatts (MW) of power at contract prices well above the unexpectedly low bids seen in an auction a year ago. The total amount of electricity that could be produced by the parks equates to the power generated by one large nuclear power station, or two big coal- or gas-fired power plants. Six projects were granted licences for construction at an average 4.66 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)…

Exxon Profit Disappoints as Refining Sector Weighs

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as weakness in its chemical and refining operations offset a boost from higher crude prices. It was the second consecutive quarter of weakness in Exxon units that make gasoline, plastics and related products. Exxon blamed weak margins for the income drop in those segments. Shares of Irving, Texas-based Exxon fell 1.5 percent to $79.64 in premarket trading.

Refiner Phillips 66 Reports Q1 Profit Dip

U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 reported a 2 percent fall in first-quarter profit on Friday, hurt by higher costs.   The company's consolidated earnings fell to $524 million in the first quarter from $535 million a year earlier.   Adjusting for number of shares outstanding the company earned $1.07 per share, from $1.02 per share a year earlier.   Adjusting for some items, Phillips 66 earned $512 million from $294 million.   Reporting by Taenaz Shakir

Singapore Court Blocks Noble Group Shareholder Meeting

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Renaschild)

Noble has other investor meetings due in next few weeks; but court decision could complicate restructuring process. A Singapore court blocked commodity trader Noble Group Ltd from holding its annual meeting of shareholders on Monday following legal action sought by dissident shareholder, Goldilocks Investment Co. Ltd. Friday's ruling is the latest skirmish between Noble and Goldilocks, Noble's third-largest shareholder…

Oil Retreats Slightly, but Iran Concerns Support

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © scanrail)

Brent on course for third straight weekly rise. Oil prices edged lower on Friday as the dollar rose, but Brent was still headed for a third week of gains amid supply concerns should the United States reimpose sanctions on Iran. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 16 cents at $74.58 a barrel at 1049 GMT. This month, Brent hit highs above $75, a level last seen in late 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 21 cents to $67.98 a barrel. This month, WTI has gained around 4.7 percent. U.S.

Keystone XL Operator TransCanada's Profit Rises 14 pct

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Maksym Yemelyanov)

Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada Corp reported a 14 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Friday, helped by booming use of its oil and natural gas pipelines in the United States. Canada's oil output hit a record last year, but transportation infrastructure has failed to keep up with the growth. With pipelines nearly full and rail capacity limited, a glut of crude has weighed on Canadian oil prices. TransCanada said earnings from its Canadian natural gas pipelines fell 10.2 percent to C$253 million…

Nigeria's State Oil Firm Illegally Paid $707 mln in Fuel Subsidies

Nigeria's state oil company illegally paid 216 billion naira ($707.4 million) in fuel subsidies in 2017, according to a Senate probe, the findings of which were released on Thursday.The investigation by the upper legislative house said that parliament had not approved those payments by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation last year, and any further spending on subsidies should be halted with immediate effect.Reporting by Camillus Eboh Writing by Paul Carsten

Singapore to Require Flow Meters for Bunker Transfers

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Seafarer81)

Singapore's Maritime Port Authority (MPA) is set to announce it is making use of mass-flow-meters (MFM) mandatory onboard marine gasoil barges used to refuel large ships, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The announcement will be made at a gala dinner in the city state organised by the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) later on Thursday, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Higher Refining Margins Boost Valero Profits

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Sharrif Che'Lah)

Valero Energy Corp posted a better-than-expected first quarter profit as the independent U.S. refiner benefited from higher refining margins. The company said refining margins, or the difference between buying of crude and average selling price of refined products, rose 6.1 percent to $2.21 billion in the first quarter ended March 31. Valero has a diverse set of refineries that allows it to take advantage of volatile crude price differentials and process lower-quality feedstock into high value refined products.

Oil Rises on Iran Sanctions Talk, PDVSA Output

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © scanrail)

Price gains built on likely U.S. sanctions against Iran; falling Venezuelan output further tightens markets. Oil rose on Thursday, supported by expectations of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, declining output in Venezuela and continuing strong demand. Brent crude oil futures were last up 90 cents at $74.90 a barrel at 1204 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 66 cents to $68.71 per barrel.

Husky Energy Profit Surges, Cuts Output Forecast

The Husky Prince George Refinery (CREDIT Husky)

Canadian oil and gas producer Husky Energy Inc reported a jump in quarterly profit on Thursday, but lowered its 2018 output forecast, saying it would temporarily cut heavy oil production due to weakening prices of the commodity. The company now expects production of 310,000 to 320,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2018, down from previous forecast of 320,000 to 335,000 boepd. Average operating costs of production was C$13.33 per boe in the quarter, compared with C$13.75 per boe, a year earlier.

ConocoPhillips Beats Street on Oil Prices, Cost Cuts

Conoco Chief Executive Ryan Lance (CREDIT: Conoco)

U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, on rising crude prices and cost cuts. Conoco, like many of its peers, has seen results steadily improve in recent quarters alongside commodity prices and as better technology makes operations more efficient. The company's stock has also risen as it has prioritized shareholder returns over production increases, an approach increasingly favored by Wall Street.

Eni Staying in Cyprus Despite Island's Standoff with Turkey

Italy's Eni will not relinquish its interests in Cyprus, its CEO said on Wednesday, as an uneasy standoff between Turkey and the Mediterranean island lingered over offshore hydrocarbons resources.The Italian state-controlled energy giant had to abandon a scheduled drill for oil and gas south of Cyprus in February because of Turkish military exercises. The broader region has yielded some of the largest natural gas finds…

Subsea 7: Offer Could Change if McDermott Cooperates

File Image: A Subsea 7 offshore support vessel. CREDIT: Subsea 7

Norwegian offshore oil services firm Subsea 7 is open to potentially sweetening its $2 billion offer for McDermott if the U.S. company would work with it to identify additional benefits of a deal, Subsea said on Wednesday. The Norwegian firm's comments come a week before McDermott's shareholders vote on a planned combination with Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I), which McDermott's board has recommended its investors to…

Hess Losses Narrow as Oil Rallies, Costs Dip

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto)

U.S. oil and gas producer Hess Corp reported a smaller quarterly loss on Wednesday as the company benefited from higher crude prices and lower costs.   Net loss attributable to Hess narrowed to $106 million, or 38 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $324 million, or $1.07 per share, a year earlier.   Total revenue and non-operating income rose to $1.39 billion from $1.25 billion.   Reporting by Karan Nagarkatti