Thursday, July 9, 2020

Middle East News

Iran's Oil Storage Almost Full as Sanctions and Pandemic Weigh

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Iran has slashed crude oil production to its lowest level in four decades as storage tanks and vessels are almost completely full due to a fall in exports and refinery run cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic, industry data showed.Total onshore crude stocks surged to 54 million barrels in April from 15 million barrels in January, and swelled further to 63 million barrels in June, according to FGE Energy.Market intelligence…

Refineries around Asia Join Chinese Peers in Increasing Production

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Refineries from India to South Korea are expected to increase output from June, joining their Chinese counterparts as the easing of lockdown measures boosts demand for oil products, industry executives said.The average operating rate for refineries in Asia is expected to rise to 75.5% and 82.2% in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, from 72.4% in the second quarter out of total capacity of about 35 million barrels per day…

Saudi Oil Price Hike Throws Asian Lifeline to U.S. Shale

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Saudi Arabia's decision to jack up the price of its July exports to Asia may have opened the door for U.S. crude oil producers to boost sales to the region that consumes more oil than anywhere else in the world.State-controlled producer Saudi Aramco hoisted its official selling prices (OSPs) to all regions for July-loading cargoes, but the biggest hikes were for the key Asian region, which takes the bulk of the kingdom's exports.Benchmark Arab Light crude was boosted to a premium of 20 U.S.

Seafox Drops Takeover Pursuit of GMS

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Dutch jack-up services company Seafox has ended its pursuit to acquire rival Gulf Marine Services.After it in April floated an idea about the possible takeover of GMS, the GMS board rejected the plan deeming the move opportunistic, valuing the company's equity "at only US$32 million," and urging its shareholders not to accept it.Seafox has previously said that its offer, if made firm, would be 10 pence per GMS share (or $0.09…

GMS Fleet Utilization at 2015 High as More Middle East Work Secured

A GMS jack-up unit/Credit: GMS

Gulf Marine Services PLC (GMS), a UAE-bases supplier of offshore jack-up service units, has won a seven-month contract for one of its E-Class (large) vessels, and an extension for a smaller unit.Under the 7-month contract which also includes extension options, GMS will provide support for offshore activities on behalf of a Middle East client, the company said Tuesday.The vessel will be mobilized for the start of operations during the summer of 2020.

Rystad: Oilfield Services Firms' Market Cap Halved. Offshore Drillers Have it Worst

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Oilfield services companies have collectively lost almost half of their market capitalization, hit by the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, with offshore drillers, in particular, the most affected, Norway's Rystad Energy has said in its analysis released on Friday."It is widely acknowledged that the oilfield services sector (OFS) is the energy world’s worst-hit market from the Covid-19 pandemic. What is staggering is the extent that the capitalization of listed OFS companies has fallen…

More Disruption and Uncertainty in Store for Petrochemicals

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The impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on the oil, gas and chemicals industries’ integrated value chains is radically shifting relationships and profitability.It is also making planning virtually impossible, as BASF suggested last week.The environment around refining and chemical margins remains challenging, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden also said this week.“The key to the profitability of our chemicals plants and refineries is their integrated value chain from their feedstocks to the multiple products they produce…

Ampelmann Makes One Millionth Offshore Transfer in Middle East

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Ampelmann, a Dutch company providing crew transfer gangways to the offshore energy industry, has said it has achieved a milestone of one million safe personnel transfers in the Middle East.The company said Wednesday that the milestone, which it took nearly a decade to achieve, was achieved during a project with vessel owner Halul Offshore Services, a subsidiary on Milaha.The millionth transfer crew transfer was made via Ampelmann's A-type system…

China's Crude Imports from Saudi Slip, Russia Up 31%

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China's March crude oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia fell 1.6% from a year earlier, while purchases from No.2 supplier Russia rose 31%, Reuters' calculations based on customs data showed on Sunday.China's March crude oil imports rose 4.5% year on year to 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd) as refiners stocked up on cheaper cargoes despite falling domestic fuel demand and cuts in refining rates due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic.Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 7.21 million tonnes…

Record Oil Output Cuts Fail to Make Waves in Coronavirus-hit Market

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The minimal impact on oil prices from a global deal for record output cuts showed that oil producers have a mountain to climb if they are to restore market balance as the coronavirus shreds demand and sends stockpiles soaring, industry watchers said.After several days of discussions, oil producing and consuming countries aim to remove nearly 20 million barrels per day (bpd) or 20% of global supply from the market, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday.The oil market has barely shrugged…

Pertamina Buys NWS Condensate at 'Deep Discount'

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Indonesia's state oil and gas company PT Pertamina has bought a cargo of Australian North West Shelf (NWS) condensate at a deep discount of $8 a barrel to dated Brent on a cost-and-freight (CFR) basis, three trade sources told Reuters on Wednesday. That was equivalent to a spot discount of $10 a barrel on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, the sources said, likely the widest spot discount in years. The cargo, due to arrive in early June, was sold by Exxon Mobil Corp, two of the sources said.

Oil Storage at Sea Approaching Record Levels

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Oil traders are storing as much as 80 million barrels of oil on tankers at sea, with further ships being sought as land storage sites fill up fast due to a global glut of stocks, shipping industry sources say.Traders rushed for storage after global oil demand collapsed by a third due to the coronavirus outbreak, and as top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia have refused to curb output so far, creating what is believed to be the biggest oil glut in history.The last time floating storage reached similar levels was in 2009…

Coronavirus Paralyzes Oil, Gas Sales into China

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Short-term sales of crude oil and liquefied natural gas into China almost ground to a halt this week as the coronavirus slows economic activity and cuts demand and buyers ponder legal action to avoid having to honor purchase agreements, trade sources said.Typically, trade would have revived after the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January, but China has extended the break into February to try to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus…

Coronavirus hits Supertanker Rates

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Freight rates for supertankers on the Mideast Gulf and U.S. Gulf routes to Asia have fallen to their lowest since mid-September as the coronavirus outbreak hit Chinese oil demand, ship brokers told Reuters.China's Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, and so-called "teapot" independent refineries have reined in operations in the face of plunging consumption."The market has gone back to what it was before the COSCO sanctions came in," one ship broker said, referring to U.S.

Global Wind Capacity to Reach 626 GW

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The global wind power industry is expected to install more than 626,800 MW of new capacity over the next decade, said a report.According to a report from Navigant Research, this new capacity represents a market worth more than $92 billion in 2019 and more than $1 trillion over the forecast decade.According to the report, global offshore wind development is expected to experience a 16% compound annual growth rate over a 10-year forecast period.China…

China Can't Meet Its US Energy Commitments

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The more you delve into the details of China's commitment to buy an additional $52.4 billion in U.S. energy over the next two years, the more it becomes apparent the goal is unachievable, even with the best will in the world.As part of the "Phase 1" trade truce between Beijing and Washington, China undertook to buy energy over and above a $9.1 billion baseline of U.S. imports in 2017, with a split of an extra $18.5 billion in…

Oil Market Shrugs Off Libya Crisis

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Oil prices fell more than 1% on Tuesday on expectations that a well-supplied market would be able to absorb disruptions that have cut Libya's crude production to a trickle.Brent crude was down 97 cents at $64.23 a barrel by 1258 GMT, having risen to its highest in more than a week on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 75 cents at $57.79."Market participants appear to fret less about supply disruptions in the Middle East, or at least the risk of disruptions, thanks to the impressive growth we have seen in U.S.

What Does US-China Trade Deal Mean for Oil Markets?

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After over a year of trade tensions, the US and China signed a “phase one” trade deal on 16 January. As part of the deal, China has agreed to increase the value of energy imports by $52.4 billion above 2017 levels over the next two years. What could it mean for the oil market?Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president, macro oils at Wood Mackenzie said, “This trade deal is beneficial to the broader global economy, but will have limited…

Wood Group Sees Higher Annual Earnings

Wood is delivering brownfield modifications services to Equinor’s Martin Linge offshore installation on the Norwegian continental shelf. (Photo: Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam / Equinor)

Oilfield services provider John Wood Group Plc expects higher core earnings in 2019, with strong performance in its engineering services unit in the Middle East, Asia and the Caspian region offseting slowing U.S. onshore drilling demand.The Aberdeen-headquartered company said on Thursday adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is expected to be in a range of $850 million to $860 million for the year ended Dec.

CNPC Pulls Staff from Iraq Oilfield

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China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a top investor in Iraqi oil, has withdrawn about 20 employees from the West Qurna-1 field operated by U.S. major Exxon Mobil because of tensions in the region, a company source familiar with the matter said.CNPC made the move on Sunday after last week's killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, the Beijing-based source said, adding that the state firm has…