Saturday, August 8, 2020

Oil Firms News

U.S. Oil Firms Hit Brakes on Return-to-work as Virus Cases Soar

Downtown Houston buildings - Credit:  Casey E Martin

U.S. energy companies slammed the brakes on returning staff to their Houston offices as COVID-19 cases soared and top hospitals warned they could soon run out of beds for the most severely ill patients.A record number of new illnesses in Texas this week spurred local officials to impose restrictions as new cases topped 5,000 on two days in a row. Intensive care unit (ICU) beds were 97% full at Houston's Texas Medical Center…

U.S. Oil Firms' Quarterly Reports to Show Depths of Slump

Illustration by Namning, AdobeStock

Investors are in for more bad news on the energy front in the coming weeks as a host of the sector's biggest companies report quarterly results following the historic collapse in oil prices.Forecasts for U.S. energy sector earnings this year have dropped along with oil prices, weighing on shares along with worries over debt, layoffs and possible bankruptcies.Analysts see a 58.9% year-over-year decline in energy earnings for the first quarter…

OPEC+ Debates Biggest Ever Oil Output Cut as Virus Destroys Demand

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OPEC and allies are working on a deal for an unprecedented production cut equivalent to around 10% of global supply, an OPEC source said after U.S. President Donald Trump called on oil nations to stop the oil rout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for Monday, April 6, Azeri's energy ministry said, but details were still thin on the exact distribution of production cuts.

Norway Offers 36 Offshore Blocks, None in Barents Sea

Illustration; Offshore rigs in Norway - Image by mariusltu - AdobeStock

Norway is offering oil firms 36 offshore exploration blocks in this year's licensing round in mature areas and for the first time in a decade did not offer any blocks in the Barents Sea.All the blocks are offered in the western part of the Norwegian Sea, with interested parties asked to send their comments by May 11, the oil and energy ministry said."In demanding times…

Oil Giants Set Health Checks, Work-from-home Rules

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Major energy companies in the United States imposed work-from-home rules for office staff and began health checks for remote or critical workers as coronavirus spread and threatened an industry reeling from falling demand and profits.BP, Exxon Mobil, Kinder Morgan, Motiva Enterprises and Royal Dutch Shell told most office staff to work from home starting Monday.

Saudi Aramco Launches Largest Shale Gas Development Outside US

Amin H. Nasser (Photo: Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Aramco is launching the biggest shale gas development outside of the United States to boost domestic gas supply and end the burning of oil at its power generation plants, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told Reuters on Monday.The world's top crude oil exporter has for years battled for market share with rapidly expanding shale oil producers in the United States…

Oil Firms to Spend $53Bn at Stabroek Block

Image: Rystad Energy

Global oil firms are preparing to spend more than $53 billion in Guyana’s coveted Stabroek Block during the coming decade.According to Rystad Energy research, recent discoveries in the Guyana-Suriname basin have proven a wider petroleum system and may cause an upgrade in resource estimates, drawing extra attention to upcoming wells.It said that with more than 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil discovered in Stabroek thus far…

Total CEO: Governments Not Oil Firms Must Drive Carbon Curbs

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It is up to governments to drive decarbonisation and consumers will have to pay more to achieve carbon neutrality, Total's chief executive said, adding the French firm has no intention of moving away from oil and gas production.Oil firms should not be seen as "villains" amid growing pressure from investors and climate activists, chief executive and chairman Patrick…

Majors Press Mexico to Resume Oil Auctions

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Big oil companies operating in Mexico have launched a drive to convince leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to resume auctions of oil and gas contracts he has branded a failure in reviving the industry.Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, among other firms in Mexico's Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (Amexhi), say they have…

Oil Companies Swap Stakes in Mexico

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With Mexico's government insisting that energy companies increase oil and gas output before it auctions off more of the country's vast reserves or offers more partnerships with state-run Pemex, firms ranging from foreign majors to local players are scrambling to buy and sell blocks they already own.The negotiations are creating a dynamic secondary market for oil acreage…

Big Oil Stuns Brazil in Back-to-back Auction Flops

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Major global oil firms snubbed a second Brazilian oil auction in a row on Thursday, passing up offshore blocks and forcing officials to reconsider a bidding system that gives a privileged position to state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA.The only block awarded in Thursday's bidding went to Petrobras, as the Brazilian state-run firm is known, and Chinese state firm CNODC, a unit of China National Petroleum Corp, which offered the minimum bid.

India, S. Arabia in New Petro Relationship

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi meeting the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2019. Photo: PIB

India and Saudi Arabia have decided to expand its ‘energy relationship’ into next phase to include Saudi partnership in building additional crude oil storage reserves in India, a new refinery on the west coast of India and investment in retail sector in petroleum.Saudi Arabia is its second-biggest supplier of crude oil after Iraq. It sold 40.33 million tonnes of crude oil to India in 2018-19 fiscal…

Norway Sovereign Fund to Divest E&P Firms

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Norway's $1.1 trillion sovereign fund will divest companies solely dedicated to oil and gas exploration and production in a bid to shield itself from a long-term fall in oil prices, the finance ministry said late on Tuesday.The move will partly shift the world's largest sovereign wealth fund away from oil and gas, as called for by the central bank, which had…

Equinor, SSE Win Contract for Largest Offshore Wind Project

(Image: Equinor)

Equinor and Britain's SSE have won a tender to build three wind farms off Britain, which the Norwegian firm said together will form the world's largest such development.Like other European oil firms, Equinor is developing its renewables business and is focused on offshore wind given its experience as an offshore oil platform operator."The successful bids for…

Mexico's Pemex Narrows Loss

Mexican state oil company Pemex reported a narrower loss of 52.7 billion pesos ($2.7 billion) in the second quarter on Friday, as the heavily indebted firm faces the prospect of a fresh downgrade from credit rating agencies critical of its direction.The loss was nearly 70% lower than what the company, formally known as Petroleos Mexicanos, reported in the second quarter last year…

Vattenfall May Raise Offshore Wind Target

(Photo: Vattenfall)

Sweden's Vattenfall may raise its target for installing offshore wind power generation in Europe beyond the 11,000 megawatts (MW) it now plans to have in place by 2025, an executive said.Gunnar Groebler, the Swedish power firm's board member in charge of wind, had announced the 11,000 MW target in January, after installed capacity reached 3,000 MW at the end…

Only 10% of Shale Firms Reports Positive Cash Flow

Graph: Rystad Energy

Only four, out of the financial performance of 40 dedicated US shale oil firms under study, reported a positive cash flow balance in the first quarter of 2019, bringing down the share of companies with a positive cash flow balance from the recent norm of around 20% to just 10%.Nine in ten US shale oil companies are burning cash, according to Rystad Energy.Total…

Russia Signals OPEC Should Raise Output

(Photo: Lukoil)

One of the key Russian officials to foster a supply pact with OPEC, Kirill Dmitriev, signaled on Monday Russia wanted to raise oil output when it meets with OPEC in June because of improving market conditions and falling stockpiles.Dmitriev, head of the Russian state's direct investment fund, was the first Russian official to predict a deal with OPEC in 2016 and since then became a key defender of the pact despite pressure from domestic oil firms

Oil Majors Rush to Dominate US Shale

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In New Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert, Exxon Mobil Corp is building a massive shale oil project that its executives boast will allow it to ride out the industry's notorious boom-and-bust cycles.Workers at its Remuda lease near Carlsbad - part of a staff of 5,000 spread across New Mexico and Texas - are drilling wells, operating fleets of hydraulic pumps and digging…

Norway Oil Exploration Refunds Are Not State Aid -ESA

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Norway's regulations allowing oil and gas companies to claim refunds for exploration spending do not constitute state aid, the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (ESA) said on Wednesday."Having scrutinized it on the basis of a comprehensive complaint, ESA is satisfied that this tax rule does not entail state aid," ESA President Bente Angell-Hansen said in an emailed statement.The case was brought to ESA by Bellona…