Thursday, December 14, 2017

Exxon, Petrobras Form Alliance to Develop Oil, Gas Projects

Exxon Mobil Corp and Petróleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer also known as Petrobras, said on Thursday they had formed an alliance to develop energy projects around the world. The deal, which was signed in Rio de Janeiro, will have the companies study ways they can cooperate on exploration, production and chemical ventures inside and outside of Brazil. The deal comes two months after Exxon and Petrobras were jointly awarded six oil-rich blocks in Brazilian coastal waters.

Rising US Output Weighs on Oil Prices

Oil prices came under pressure on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) increased its forecast for growth in U.S. oil output next year, raising the prospect of excess supply. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 29 cents to $56.31 a barrel, down from a high of $56.93. Brent crude futures were at virtually unchanged at $62.45 a barrel at 14.44 GMT, after hitting a session high of $63.14. The Paris-based IEA said U.S.

Rising U.S. Output Impacts 2018 Global Market Balance

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Mike Mareen)

The global oil market will likely show a surplus in the first half of 2018, as rising U.S. supply offsets OPEC's discipline in maintaining its production cuts for the whole of next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. "Total supply growth could exceed demand growth: indeed, in the first half the surplus could be 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) before reverting to a deficit of about 200,000 bpd in the second half…

Unafraid Investors Pour Cash into U.S. Shale

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

Financiers keep pouring cash into the shale oil sector, providing producers with a path to keep U.S. output rising through the middle of the next decade. The United States is on track to deliver up to 80 percent of the world's oil production gains through 2025, the International Energy Agency estimates, increases fueled in part by easy access to capital. Rising U.S. production is undermining OPEC's attempts to curb global supply and boost prices…

Brent Eases, Traders Sanguine About Pipeline Outage

Brent futures for delivery in the first months of next year have given up much of their premium since the announcement on Monday that the Forties pipeline system would be shut for emergency repairs. The Forties pipeline system, which carries around 450,000 barrels per day and handles nearly a quarter of North Sea output, is likely to be shut for several weeks, according to owner Ineos. But traders have become much more…

Force Majeure Declared on Some North Sea Liftings

Pipeline shut on Dec. 11; repair work could last several weeks. Deliveries of crude oil through the Forties pipeline in the North Sea are under force majeure for the first time in decades and operator INEOS said on Thursday there was no timeline yet for repair work that could last several weeks. The 169-km pipeline, which carries around a quarter of all North Sea crude output and around a third of Britain's total offshore gas production…

Gazprom Signs Memorandum on Iran LNG

Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it had signed a memorandum on possible cooperation in a liquefied natural gas project in Iran. It said the memorandum was signed with Iranian Oil Industry Pension, Saving and Staff Welfare Fund. Iran LNG is designed to have two lines of 5.25 million tonnes of annual capacity, each with a view of eventually increasing total production to 21 million tonnes per year. Its key shareholders are National Iranian Oil Company as well as Oil Industry Pension…

Sonatrach Plans Closer Ties with Total on Energy Projects

Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach and Total are planning to work more closely together on offshore, petrochemical, solar energy and shale exploration projects, Sonatrach's CEO said on Wednesday. The CEO's comments signal a new chapter for the companies' efforts to cooperate on energy projects and show they have put behind them past disputes, including one in the mid-2000s over profit-sharing on oil and gas contracts. "Our relation with Total is good now.

Statoil Works to Restart Troll A Gas Platform

File Image: one of Statoil's Troll installations located in the North Sea. (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil is working on start-up procedures to restore gas production from its Troll A platform in the North Sea, which was shut on Tuesday following a power outage and a related gas leak, the firm said on Wednesday. Tuesday's Troll A closure landed another blow to Britain's gas supplies that, combined with a shutdown at the country's North Sea Forties pipeline and a deadly accident at Austria's Baumgarten gas hub, caused prices to spike to four-year highs. "We are preparing and checking our systems.

OPEC: Balanced Oil Market by Late 2018

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

OPEC expects the world oil market to be balanced by late 2018 as its deal with other producers to cut output reduces excess oil in storage, even as U.S. and other producers outside the group pump more crude. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in a monthly report, cut its estimate of global demand for its crude in 2018 by 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 33.15 million bpd, in part because of higher U.S. supply.

Lundin Cuts Output From Edvard Grieg Field

Production at the Edvard Grieg field off Norway had to be temporarily reduced following the Forties pipeline shutdown, the field's operator, Lundin Petroleum, said on Tuesday. "Following the Forties pipeline shutdown, Lundin Petroleum has had to temporarily reduce production from Edvard Grieg due to a lack of capability at the St Fergus terminal to process our produced gas," it said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Oil Passes $65 on UK Pipeline Outage

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

North Sea's Forties pipeline shut after cracks found; Forties crude underpins the Brent benchmark. Oil rose above $65 a barrel for the first time since mid-2015 on Tuesday following a shutdown of the UK's biggest North Sea oil pipeline, which helps set the benchmark for global prices. The Forties pipeline, which was scheduled to pump 406,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December, was shut down on Monday after cracks were found in what traders believe is the first unplanned outage for some years.

Statoil Shutters Troll A Output After Power Outage

File Image: one of Statoil's Troll installations located in the North Sea. (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil has shut down production at its Troll A gas platform in the North Sea following a power outage, the company said on Tuesday. "The production has been closed down due to the power outage and at the same time a gas alarm was detected," Statoil spokesman Morten Eek said. It is still not clear when production can restart. "The power outage was resolved pretty fast, but as we are still looking into what caused the gas alarm to go off…

Forties Pipeline Outage Benefits U.S. Exporters

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

The shutdown of Britain's largest crude oil pipeline is an early Christmas gift to U.S. exporters shipping to Asia, and a complication for Middle Eastern and African producers seeking to maintain market share in the world's top importing region. The Forties Pipeline System, which carries about 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the North Sea to Scotland, may be closed for several weeks for unscheduled repair work, operator Ineos said on Monday.

Eni Raises Mexico Estimates as Drilling Campaign Ends

Italian energy group Eni said on Tuesday it had raised its estimates for oil and gas in its Area 1 prospect in Mexico to 2 billion barrels from a previous 1.4 billion after completing its drilling campaign. The state-controlled major said around 90 percent of the resources in place were oil. The development plan for Area 1 will shortly be submitted to local authorities for approval, with production startup planned in the first half of 2019.

Brazil's "Local Content" Rule likely to Stay

Brazil will likely limit planned cuts in local content requirements for future oil exploration and production contracts in a move aimed at appeasing local suppliers and to pave the way for an extension of customs breaks for oil companies. The measures would be a concession to some opponents of "Repetro," a preferential customs regime for oil and gas companies, who were angered by steep cuts in local content requirements for oil contracts, according to Abimaq, a group which represents local suppliers.

Oil Gains on Forties Pipeline Shutdown, New York Blast

Oil prices rose Monday, reversing earlier declines, after a North Sea pipeline shut for repairs and investors focused on commodities following an explosion in New York. Brent crude futures were up $1.20, or nearly 2 percent, at $64.60 by 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.87 a barrel, 51 cents or 0.9 percent above their last settlement. The difference between the two benchmarks <WTCLc1-LCOc1> was the largest since late October…

UK Energy Prices Spike on North Sea Pipeline Casualty

British power and natural gas prices spiked on Monday afternoon, after a shutdown of the Forties oil and gas pipeline in the North Sea exacerbated ongoing supply outages and already high demand due to colder-than-normal weather. Wholesale gas for immediate delivery jumped as much as 28 percent to 74.00 pence per therm, its highest since the second quarter of 2013. Day-ahead prices were nearly 11 percent higher at 63.90 p/therm.

Oil Under Pressure as U.S. Adds Rigs

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

U.S. rig count hits 751, highest since September, as U.S. Oil prices edged lower on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity pointed to a further increase in American production, countering OPEC-led output cuts. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were 10 cents lower at $63.30 a barrel by 1115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.10 a barrel, down 26 cents from their last settlement.

UAE: OPEC to Announce Oil Cut Exit Strategy

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Monday that OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers plan to announce in June an exit strategy from global supply cuts, but that does not mean the pact will end by then. Mazroui said it was premature to talk about the form or shape of such an exit strategy before June, when OPEC, Russia and other producers participating in the supply-reduction agreement - aimed at boosting oil prices - are due to meet next. "We will announce ...

Eni plans to restart Norway's Goliat Oilfield

Photo: Eni

Italian oil firm Eni said on Friday it planned to restart production at its Goliat oilfield in the Arctic Barents Sea within a few days. The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said earlier on Friday the company could bring back on stream the 100,000 barrels-per-day field which was shut since Oct. 6 due to safety issues. "We are currently completing pre-startup checks... and will restart when these are complete. This will take a few days," Eni's spokesman said.   Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis

Putin Okays Loading Start at Yamal LNG

President Vladimir Putin launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic (Photo: SCF Group)

President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic, which will further expand Russia's global energy reach. The Yamal project, which required investments of $27 billion, will allow Russia to fulfil a plan to double its share of the global LNG market by 2020 from around 4 percent now. The LNG was loaded onto the ice class tanker "Christophe de Margerie"…

Oil Edges Up on Chinese Demand

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

Strong Chinese imports support crude; U.S. crude output hits highest levels since 1970s. Oil prices edged up on Friday, helped by rising Chinese crude demand and threats of a strike in Africa's largest oil exporter. But prices were still on track for their largest weekly loss since early October amid concerns that rising U.S. production would undermine OPEC-led supply cuts aimed at curbing a glut. By 1039 GMT, Brent crude was up 39 cents at $62.59 a barrel, but still heading for a weekly slide of 1.8 percent. U.S.

Maersk Drilling: One Dead After Tambar Oilfield Accident

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

Maersk Drilling said on Friday that an employee, a Norwegian citizen, has died following an accident on a drilling rig at Aker BP's Tambar oilfield off Norway on Thursday.   Another person was injured and is receiving medical treatment but his condition is not critical, said Maersk Drilling, which is owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk.   The field's production has been shut, Aker BP said in a separate announcement.   Reporting by Teis Jensen 

Norway Gives Approval to Restart Arctic Goliat oilfield

File Image: an offshore Norway oil iunstallation. CREDIT: Statoil)

Italian oil firm Eni has received permission to restart production at its Goliat oilfield in the Arctic Barents Sea following a shutdown lasting more than two months, Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said on Friday. The PSA ordered the company to shut the 100,000 barrels-per-day field on Oct. 6 due to problems with the Goliat platform's explosion-proof electric motors. Eni, the operator, has 65 percent, and Norway's Statoil holds the remaining 35 percent stake in the world's northernmost offshore oilfield…

Alaskan Lease Sale Draws Tepid Response

File Image: the Trans alaska Pipeline. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Roger Asbury)

An oil-and-gas lease sale that raised concerns with environmentalists due to the vast amount of acres offered in Arctic Alaska drew few bids on Wednesday, government officials said. Seven bids were received, covering about 80,000 acres - or less than 1 percent of the 10.3 million acres offered in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska by the Trump administration. It was, by far, more territory than ever offered in any of the previous 12 NPR-A lease sales held since 1999.

Sinopec Sues PDVSA as Relations Fray

Sinopec USA, a subsidiary of Chinese oil and gas conglomerate Sinopec, has sued Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in a U.S. court, claiming it never received full payment for an order of steel rebar. The lawsuit asks for $23.7 million for breach of contract and conspiracy to defraud. The legal action signals a split with another of Venezuela's biggest backers as the cash-strapped country seeks to restructure some $60 billion in debt in a landscape of low oil prices and production.

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell Paid No Tax in Australia for 2016

Oil, gas giants paid no Australian tax in 2016; but commodity rebound seen boosting tax revenue in 2017. Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp paid no tax in Australia in the 2016 financial year, the third year in a row, despite reporting billions of dollars in income from operations in the country, a report from the tax office showed on Thursday. Exxon Mobil, which has oil and gas production in the Bass Strait and a stake in the giant Gorgon LNG project among other assets in Australia…

Crude Oil Rally Stalls as Fuel Prices Soften

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

Surging prices for refined products, especially distillate fuel oil, led crude prices higher between June and November, but now fuels are slipping and putting crude under pressure. Gross refining margins for producing distillate fuel oil from U.S. crude rose from $14 per barrel in June to more than $25 per barrel in the middle of November. The U.S. distillate market started the year in substantial oversupply, with inventories well above the long-term average (

Russia is Developing Subsea Production Systems

Kirinskoye field subsea production facility (Image: Gazprom)

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade is working with Gazprom and several Russian research institutions to develop domestic subsea production systems for prototype production in 2019 and testing in 2020. The initiative is underway as the country aims to reduce its dependence on imports in its oil and gas industry, specifically in natural gas liquefaction projects. Subsea production systems enable hydrocarbon production in severe climatic conditions…

European Oil Margins Sink, but Recovery Expected in 2018

Benchmark European oil refining margins, sank to a 15-month low on Wednesday, pressured by weakness in the gasoline market, but traders are betting on a recovery in the coming months as refinery maintenance is likely to tighten supplies. The refining margin, a measure of the profit refiners can theoretically make from converting a barrel of crude into oil products, was trading at below $4 a barrel on Wednesday, according to Reuters calculations, near a low not seen since September 2016.

BP ‍to Build Another Lubes Plant in China

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

BP said on Wednesday it plans to build its third plant for blending lubricants in China for about 1.5 billion yuan ($227 million) as it looks to meet the country's rapidly growing demand. BP's China president Xiaoping Yang said the country was a key growth market for premium lubricants. The new plant, which will have an annual production capacity of 200,000 tons, is expected to start operation before the end of 2021.

Oil Falls on U.S. Stocks, Global Demand Doubts

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U.S. gasoline, distillate stocks increase but OPEC/Russia-led supply cuts lend market support. Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a surprise rise in U.S. inventories of refined products in what the market interpreted as a sign of flagging demand. Brent crude futures were down 48 cents at $62.38 a barrel by 1002 GMT, down 2 percent since last Wednesday, while U.S. crude futures were off 46 cents at $57.16 a barrel. With global equities under pressure from sliding technology stocks and the U.S.

Brazil Daily Oil Output to Double by 2026

Brazil's daily oil production should rise 3.8 percent this year over last and double by 2026, the director of a research arm of the government said on Tuesday. Output should pick up to 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 from 2.6 million bpd last year and surge to 5.2 million bpd by 2026, Jose Mauro Coelho, head of the Energy Research Company (EPE), said at an event in Rio de Janeiro. "You have fields going into production…

US Senate Pushes Alaska Wildlife Refuge, But Drillers Look Elsewhere

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Even as the U.S. Senate moves to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the real action is 150 miles (241 km) west, where industry proponents hope a coming sale of 10 million acres of land will revitalize the state's sagging crude production. The Trump administration, through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, will auction off 10 million acres on Wednesday in the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A), a hotbed of oil exploration and development in the western part of Alaska's North Slope.

Cheniere Boosts LNG Tanker Fleet Amid Asian Demand Boom

© Kpics / Adobe Stock

U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer Cheniere Energy has expanded its shipping fleet with a flurry of spot vessel charters to keep up with Asian winter demand growth as spot prices hit three-year highs, market sources said. Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana pumped out 22 cargoes last month and more are expected as it ramps up its fourth production unit, or train, with more than half of all November volumes sold to China, Japan or South Korea, according to ship-tracking data.

Indonesia to Keep OPEC Membership Frozen

Indonesia will keep a freeze on its membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), deputy energy minister Arcandra Tahar said on Tuesday, following "directions" from the country's President. Indonesia's OPEC membership was suspended in December 2016, less than a year after it rejoined the cartel, when the net oil importer could not agree to production cuts. "There are several reasons, but what is clear the decision was we will keep the (membership) freeze…

Tokyo Gas, Alaska Gasline Ink LNG LOI

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

Tokyo Gas Co Ltd said on Tuesday it signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) regarding the sale and purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The move follows China's biggest state oil company Sinopec, one of the country's top banks and its sovereign wealth fund agreeing last month to develop the $43 billion natural gas project in Alaska, as the cash-poor U.S. state seeks to revive its dwindling energy industry.

Russia: Second LNG Plant in Arctic

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: GAC)

Russia on Tuesday started production at its second liquefied natural gas plant, Yamal LNG, with the aim of shipping the first cargo on Dec. 8 from the remote Arctic port of Sabetta. Russia's No.2 gas producer Novatek owns a 50.1 percent stake in Yamal LNG. France's Total and China National Petroleum Corp each control 20 percent, while China's Silk Road Fund owns 9.9 percent. Russia, seeking to produce more than 70 million tonnes of LNG per year in its remote Arctic regions…

Oil Slips in post-OPEC Profit Taking

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

U.S. crude stocks likely fell 3.5 million barrels. Oil slipped towards $62 a barrel on Tuesday as investors took profits in the wake of OPEC and other producers' pact to extend output cuts, although an expected drop in U.S. crude inventories lent support. Crude also slipped on concerns that the OPEC-led producer group's Nov. 30 decision to prolong their supply-cutting deal through 2018 could bolster U.S. output, which climbed to nearly 9.5 million barrels per day in September.

OPEC Oil Output Falls in November to Lowest since May

© SLDigi / Adobe Stock

OPEC oil output fell in November by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to its lowest since May, a Reuters survey found, pressured by a drop in Angolan and Iraqi exports, strong compliance with a supply cut deal and involunary declines. OPEC's adherence to pledged supply curbs rose to 112 percent from October's 92 percent, the survey found. Top exporter Saudi Arabia pumped below its OPEC target, as did all other members except Ecuador, Gabon and the United Arab Emirates.

Engie Plans to Go Green

French utility Engie plans to switch all of its gas operations to biogas and renewable hydrogen by 2050, making it 100 percent green, its chief executive said on Monday. The power and gas group has some 70 biogas projects worldwide, including 40 in France, and says that if all its projects get approval its annual investment in biogas could soar tenfold to hundreds of millions of euros per year. Engie, which has sold its fossil gas activities as part of a broader restructuring…

China Trims Appetite, but Coal Prices Unfazed

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Snap Happy)

There are indications that China's appetite for imported coal may be starting to ease in line with Beijing's efforts to limit the use of the fuel over winter in a bid to lower air pollution. China's seaborne imports were 18.26 million tonnes in November, down from 20 million in October, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts. It's the fourth consecutive monthly decline for seaborne coal imports…

Oil Falls After U.S. Drilling Picks Up

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

Oil prices still near highest since mid-2015 on OPEC deal. Oil fell on Monday after U.S. shale drillers last week added more rigs but prices still held close to their highest since mid-2015, supported by an extension to output cuts agreed last week by OPEC and other producers. Drillers in the United States added two oil rigs in the week to Dec. 1, bringing the total count to 749, the highest since September, energy services company Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report late on Friday.

German Onshore Wind Subsidies Cut by 2.4%

© chungking / Adobe Stock

Feed-in tariffs for onshore wind parks in Germany that were not awarded in auctions will decline by 2.4 percent from April 1, 2018, as capacity expansion was ahead of the government's target rate, Germany's energy regulator said on Friday. * Germany is shifting from a subsidy-based system to one of auctions, but very small facilities or those approved by end-2016 and starting operations by end-2018 are still eligible.

US Shale Eases Into Detente with OPEC as Supply Cut Extended

U.S. producers applauded Thursday's decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers led by Russia to extend output cuts until the end of 2018. Texas and North Dakota - the two largest U.S. shale-producing states - described it as a boon for their producers. Their appreciation was in contrast to a more combative style in recent years, when shale states seemed to relish openly bashing the group.

Russia's Gazprom says Jan-Nov Gas Exports Up

Russian gas exports outside ex-Soviet countries increased 8.3 percent, year-on-year, in January-November to 175 billion cubic metres (bcm), Gazprom said on Friday. Gazprom Group's gas production increased 14.6 percent to 426.4 bcm in the first eleven months of the year, the company said in a statement.   Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; writing by Maria Kiselyova    

Saudi Arabia, Russia Reach Compromise on Oil Pact: Kemp

Ministers from OPEC and their allies have agreed to extend their production pact all the way to the end of 2018 but with a review in June that will take into account market conditions and progress towards rebalancing. The outcome represents a successful compromise between de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia (which wanted to announce an extension throughout 2018) and non-OPEC heavyweight Russia (which wanted to avoid giving such a long commitment).

MEG Energy Expects to Produce More Oil in 2018

Photo: MEG Energy

Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp said on Friday it expects higher production in 2018, compared to its 2017 forecast. The company expects to produce 85,000 to 88,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, compared to its 2017 forecast of 80,000 to 82,000 bpd. MEG Energy expects capital expenses of C$510 million ($396.02 million) next year, the majority of which will be used to drill new oil wells. The company said…

Oil Prices Rise After OPEC Extends Output Curbs

Oil edged up on Friday after OPEC and other major producers agreed to continue reining in output until the end of next year to try to reduce the global oil glut and boost prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers led by Russia agreed on Thursday to keep current limits on output in place until the end of next year, although they signalled a possible early exit from the deal should the market overheat and prices rise too far.

LNG Shipping on Recovery Path: Golar

Photo: Golar LNG Limited

The shipping market recovery is underway, says Golar LNG. Shipping demand has exceeded supply growth for the first time since 2013. "The shipping market is showing strong signs of improving. As of today, the effective time charter rates being achieved in 4Q are more than twice that recorded in 3Q. An improving trend is expected to continue into 2018-2019 when shipping supply should lag demand created by increased production.

Venezuela Arrests Ex-oil Bosses

Venezuelan authorities on Thursday arrested two once-powerful officials who had run the oil ministry and state energy company PDVSA as part of a deepening industry purge also seen as a power play by leftist President Nicolas Maduro. In the highest-profile arrests to date, engineer Eulogio Del Pino and chemist Nelson Martinez were detained early on Thursday on accusations of graft and seeking to sabotage the nation's ailing energy industry, prosecutor Tarek Saab said in a televised speech.

U.S. Interior Dept. says Federal Energy, Mineral Revenues Rose by $1bln

Energy and mineral production on federal and tribal land generated $7.1 billion in disbursements in fiscal year 2017, $1 billion more than the previous year, the U.S. Interior Department said on Thursday. *Interior attributed the increase in disbursements to a larger number of lease sales totaling higher acreage, efforts to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens, and higher oil and gas prices experienced during the year.

Chevron to Study Mexican Oil Block

U.S. oil major Chevron Corp will focus on studying the geology of its block in Mexico's deepwater Gulf during the first four-year phase of its contract, rather than drilling new wells, a senior executive said on Thursday. The company, which leads a consortium that includes Mexican state oil firm Pemex and Japan's Inpex, won the rights to deepwater Block 3 at auction late last year. The auction was part of a sweeping 2013-14 energy reform that ended Pemex's decades-long monopoly…

Oil Mixed as OPEC Extends Cuts

© jwjarrett / Adobe Stock

Oil was mixed on Thursday after OPEC members agreed to extend curbs on output to the end of next year at a meeting in Vienna, though a final deal hinged on the decision of non-OPEC producers, expected toward the end of the day. Iran's energy minister announced that Nigeria and Libya will be included in the oil output deal. Under the deal, due to expire in March 2018, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

OPEC Agrees Oil Cut Extension to End of 2018

OPEC agreed on Thursday to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018 as it tries to finish clearing a global glut of crude while signalling it could exit the deal earlier if the market overheats. Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market doesn't flip into a deficit too soon, prices don't rally too fast and rival U.S. shale firms don't boost output further.

Russian Oil Industry Pipe Maker TMK Prepares for U.S. Spin-off


TMK, Russia's largest maker of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, is preparing its U.S. subsidiary IPSCO Tubulars for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares. The announcement comes amid concerns among some Russian officials about a potential expansion of U.S. sanctions against Moscow and as Russia itself has pledged to cut its oil output by 300,000 barrels per day as a part of the global deal. OPEC and non…

Qatar's New LNG Giant to Start Operations Jan. 1

Qatar Petroleum's merger of liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers Qatargas and RasGas will take effect on Jan. 1 when the combined entity will commence operations, industry sources said on Thursday, citing an internal company memo. In an email inviting staff to a convention at the Sheraton in Doha on Dec. 6, Qatargas Chief Executive Khalid Khalifa Al Thani told staff to expect an update on the strategy and leadership team of the new company, two sources said.

First Oil and Contract Start-up for Libra FPSO

(Photo: Teekay)

Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. announced that its jointly owned floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit, the FPSO Pioneiro de Libra (Libra), has achieved first oil and commenced its 12-year charter contract with a group of international oil companies, including Petrobras, Total, Shell, CNPC and CNOOC Limited, on the Libra oil field where it will perform early well tests. The Libra FPSO unit is the first unit to produce oil on the giant Libra block…

Yinson to Take Over Layang FPSO from THHE

 Photo: Yinson Holdings Berhad

Malaysia’s Yinson Energy Sdn Bhd plans to take over the Layang floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) project from TH Heavy Engineering Bhd (THHE)  Edge Markets reported. THEE, which has the Layang FPSO contract with Japan’s JX Nippon. has applied to Kuala Lumpur High Court, Malaysia to allow it novate the contract and deliver the vessel to Yinson. Yinson has confirmed this in the Bursa Malaysia filing on Wednesday, saying it has no objection to the THHE application.