Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Middle East News

Saudi Arabia Halts Red Sea Oil Exports after Tanker Attacks

© Lasse Pape / MarineTraffic.com

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through a strategic Red Sea lane after Yemen's Iran-aligned rebels attacked two tankers in the waterway, underscoring the risk of an escalation in tensions in the region.Brent crude futures rose 59 cents to $74.52 a barrel by 1008 GMT, extending their rally into a third day but falling from a 10-day high in earlier trading.Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a three-year proxy war in Yemen…

CGG Names Baidoukov CFO

CGG has appointed Yuri Baidoukov as Group CFO, effective September 1, 2018. He will be based in Paris and report to the Chief Executive Officer, Sophie Zurquiyah.Baidoukov brings to the role 25 years of international oil and gas industry experience. He is currently Group CFO at OiLSERV Group, a Middle East and North Africa Oilfield Services company. Prior to this, he was CFO of Maersk Oil US, and Group CFO of Integra Group, a CIS oilfield services company.

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.

U.S. Oil Prices Steady Ahead of Sanctions on Iran

© christian42 / Adobe Stock

Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with U.S. crude near a 3-1/2-year high, but supply remained tight with investors concerned by the prospect of a big fall in crude exports from Iran due to U.S. sanctions.U.S. light crude was down 5 cents at $72.71 per barrel by 1331 GMT, after hitting $73.06 on Wednesday, its highest since November 2014. Benchmark Brent was up 5 cents at $77.67.The United States this week demanded all countries halt imports of Iranian oil from November…

India Cuts Iranian Oil Imports Ahead of Sanctions

© Jose Gill / Adobe Stock

Indian refiners cut imports of Iranian oil last month as they started weaning their plants off crude from the country to avoid sanctions by the United States that are set to take effect in November.India's monthly oil imports from Iran declined to 592,800 barrels per day (bpd) in June, down 16 percent from May, according to data from industry and shipping sources.The United States in May said it would reimpose the sanctions after withdrawing from a 2015 agreement with Iran…

Saudi Arabia Resumes Oil Exports through Red Sea Lane

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it has resumed all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb.Saudi Arabia halted temporarily oil shipments through the lane on July 25 after attacks on two oil tankers by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement.A statement by the Energy Ministry said shipments had resumed on Saturday."The decision to resume oil shipment through the strait of Bab al-Mandeb…

Saudi Aramco, Petronas tap Banks for Jumbo Financing

Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's Petronas have approached banks to replace a short-term $8 billion loan raised earlier this year for a joint venture with long-term financing of approximately the same size, banking sources familiar with the matter said.The two state energy companies borrowed $8 billion from a large consortium of international banks in March for a refinery and petrochemical joint venture in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.The project…

Europe's Iranian Oil Purchases Set to Plummet

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Leeylutung)

Key lender for Europe's oil purchases cuts credit from June 30. European refiners are cutting purchases of Iranian oil faster than expected as the U.S. prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iran, threatening a more severe impact than the last round of punitive measures in 2012 even though the EU has not joined in. Washington said that companies would have to wind down their activities with Iran by November 4 or risk exclusion from the U.S. financial system.

U.S.: Global Oil Capacity Will Make Up for Iran Cutbacks

Brian Hook, State Department  Director of Policy Planning (Photo:U.S. Department of State)

The United States aims to reduce Tehran's oil revenue to zero in an effort to force the Iranian leadership to change its regional. A senior U.S. State Department policy adviser said they believe there is enough spare global oil capacity to make up for a lower supply from Iran. Brian Hook, the State Department's director of policy planning, told a news conference that the U.S. goal was to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports.

U.S. Crude Hits $75 as Oil Supply Risks Mount

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

U.S. crude oil prices rose above $75 a barrel for the first time since 2014 on Tuesday after Iran appeared to threaten to disrupt oil shipments from the Middle East Gulf if Washington pressed ahead with sanctions."The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran's oil exports," the website, president.ir, quoted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as saying. "They don't understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported…

Oil Prices Retreat from 3-1/2 Year High

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Redindie)

Crude prices fell on Tuesday in volatile trading after early gains lifted the U.S. benchmark past $75 a barrel for the first time in more than three years, which prompted traders to book some profits ahead of the U.S. July Fourth holiday. Crude rallied early on supply concerns, then slid as traders booked profits. U.S. light crude was down 25 cents to $73.69 a barrel by 12:43 p.m. EDT, rebounding from a session low of $72.73 a barrel. In early trade, the contract rose as high as $75.27, a 3-1/2 year high.

Oil Nears 3-1/2-year High on Middle East Sabre Rattling

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © lucadp)

OPEC supply cuts since 2017 have tightened market; oil has also risen on U.S. sanctions threat against Iran. Oil traded near its highest in 3-1/2 years on Thursday, boosted by potential disruptions to flows from Iran and the Middle East despite a fresh demand from U.S. President Donald Trump that OPEC cut prices. Brent crude futures were at $78.12 a barrel at 1050 GMT, down 12 cents. U.S. crude futures were up 32 cents at $74.46, within sight of Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.

Mermaid Maritime Wins Middle East Contract

DSV Mermaid Endurer. Photo: Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited.

Thailand-based subsea and offshore drilling services company Mermaid Maritime Public Company announced that its Middle East business unit has been awarded a subsea services contract in a GCC country with an initial contract value of USD 16 million.The contract award, with work scheduled to be performed in the Arabian Gulf during the course of August 2018 until March 2019, will involve the use of the DP2 Dive Support Vessel ‘Mermaid…

Cepsa, GP Global to Produce Marine Lubricants in India

Photo: Cespa

Cepsa and Global Energy Private Limited (GPGEPL), part of UAE-based global conglomerate GP Global, have announced an exclusive partnership to manufacture and market Cepsa branded marine and power generation lubricants in India.As per the agreement, GP Global will manufacture, package and even import Cepsa branded lubricant products in India.“India is a huge market for port modernization and coastal shipping development. Major initiatives have been taken in this direction by our government.

Seaborne LPG Trade Rebounds: Dorian LPG

Photo:  Dorian LPG Ltd

Seaborne LPG trade rebounded in the second calendar quarter of 2018 thanks to heavy lifting schedules in the Middle East and the United States, as well as an improvement in arbitrage economics towards the end of the three-month period, said Dorian LPG.After a lackluster first calendar quarter of 2018, exports from the United States peaked at approximately 2.7 million metric tons in May 2018, and total U.S. exports for the first…

Fairfield Geotechnologies Wins Persian Gulf Project

Fairfield Geotechnololgies announced it is slated to begin an extensive Z700 acquisition project in the Persian Gulf, beginning December 2018. The nearly eight-month project in the Middle East is a significant 4D opportunity for Fairfield Geotechnologies.Fairfield Geotechnologies’ Z700 data acquisition system is designed to meet the challenging HSE and acquisition requirements of this project. Z700’s simplified deployment and…

Cantium Contracts Rowan Jack-up

 Image: Rowan Companies plc

Rowan Companies plc announced that the Rowan EXL III, an EXL Class high specification jack-up rig, has been awarded a six-month contract from Cantium in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.The contract is expected to commence in early November 2018. The EXL III is currently under contract with Cantium in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico through mid to late August 2018. Rowan is a global provider of contract drilling services with a fleet of 27 mobile offshore drilling units…

Oil Steady as U.S.-Iran Row Balances Trade Worries

© Andrey Burmakin / Adobe Stock

Oil prices steadied on Tuesday as tension between the United States and Iran highlighted risks to supply and trade disputes raised the prospect of slower economic growth and weaker energy demand.Brent crude oil was down 10 cents at $72.96 a barrel by 1328 GMT. U.S. light crude was unchanged at $67.89."The impact on oil supplies if U.S.-Iran tensions escalate significantly cannot be underestimated," said Abhishek Kumar, senior analyst at Interfax Energy.

Middle East Oil & Gas Shipping Routes are at Risk

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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 Iranian…

DNV GL Provides Tech Support for 3 Norwegian Wind Farms

The wind farms comprise 70 Siemens Gamesa 4.2MW turbines, located near Stavanger in Norway. Image: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, today announced that the company’s technical expertise was an important part of the due diligence of the Bjerkreim cluster, a 294-megawatt group of wind farms in Norway.The German asset manager for renewable energy investments Luxcara recently entered long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 100% of the output and environmental attributes…