Wednesday, April 21, 2021

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Oil India's Baghjan Well Catches Fire

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An ongoing gas leak at state-run oil and gas explorer Oil India Ltd's Baghjan well in the eastern India state of Assam caught fire on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.Oil India suspended operations at the well in its Baghjan oilfield on May 27 after an uncontrolled gas emission, which has since been ongoing. The company said the fire at the well was being brought under control by experts. There were no casualties from the fire, it said.Oil India has sought help from Singapore-based Alert Disaster Control to contain the blowout.

OPEC, Russia Extend Record Oil Cuts

OPEC, Russia, and allies agreed on Saturday to extend record oil production cuts until the end of July, prolonging a deal that has helped crude prices double in the past two months by withdrawing almost 10% of global supplies from the market.The group, known as OPEC+, also demanded countries such as Nigeria and Iraq, which exceeded production quotas in May and June, compensate with extra cuts in July to September.OPEC+ had initially agreed in April that it would cut supply by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) during May-June to prop up prices that collapsed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Iraq to Further Cut Oil Output

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Iraq will further cut its oil output and remains committed to the OPEC+ deal, finance minister and acting oil minister Ali Abdul Ameer Allawi said on Twitter.OPEC and its allies such as Russia are due to decide later this month whether to extend record oil cuts they approved in April. Iraq has shown weak compliance with its output reduction targets in May.+(Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Nigeria Launches Licensing Round for Marginal Oilfields

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Nigeria has launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields in nearly 20 years, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said on Monday, despite court rulings last week that barred some of the fields from being auctioned.Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks that are typically developed by indigenous companies. The new licensing round is the first marginal field round since 2002, which the country hopes will boost oil output and bring in much-needed revenues from fees associated with the licenses."A total of 57 fields located on land…

US Crude Futures Plunge to Lowest on Record

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U.S. crude oil futures collapsed below $0 on Monday for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut, ending the day at a stunning minus $37.63 a barrel as desperate traders paid to get rid of oil.Brent crude, the international benchmark, also slumped, but that contract was nowhere near as weak because more storage is available worldwide.While U.S. oil prices are trading in negative territory for the first time ever, it is unclear whether that will trickle down to consumers, who typically…

OPEC, Russia Approve Biggest-Ever Oil Cut to Support Prices

OPEC and allies led by Russia agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%. Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have destroyed demand for fuel and driven down oil prices, straining budgets of oil producers and hammering the U.S. shale industry, which is more vulnerable to low prices due to its higher costs. The group, known as OPEC+…

Oil, Fishing, Tourism: Alaska Economy Faces Triple Hit from Coronavirus

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The U.S. state of Alaska is so far distant from the worst medical ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, but its economy is in critical condition. Alaska is especially vulnerable because it depends on oil, tourism and fisheries – basic industries that are reeling from the global coronavirus pandemic – and the state government gets most of its revenue from investment earnings that have now evaporated."Alaska is experiencing a perfect storm, a most terrible trifecta, the hat trick from hell," said state Senator Natasha von Imhof, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, at a hearing Saturday.

Operations Suspended at Ecuador Oilfields Amid Protests

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Ecuadoran state-run oil company Petroamazonas EP suspended operations at three oil fields in the Amazon region on Monday, the country's energy ministry said, as protests against austerity measures convulse the country.Taken together, the suspensions could reduce crude output by 59,450 barrels per day (bpd) if not lifted, the ministry said in a statement posted on Twitter. It added that the suspension took place after the fields were "taken" by "individuals not affiliated with the operation," without providing any details."At the moment no staff have been retained…

Iran building oil pipeline to terminal outside Gulf

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Iran is building a $1.8 billion oil pipeline to its port of Jask outside the mouth of the Gulf, the country's oil minister said, as part of plans to protect its exports against potential problems in the region and to boost shipments of Caspian oil.Iran has been planning since at least 2012 to set up the terminal on the Gulf of Oman, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.Tehran has threatened to block the vital Gulf oil shipping route during its standoff with the United States, after Washington last year withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions…

U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Firms Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba

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The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, amid an acute fuel scarcity in the island that is forcing people to line up for gasoline and public transport.Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba's state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela," the Treasury…

Ireland to Freeze New Offshore Oil Exploration Licences

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Ireland plans to freeze the issuing of new exploration licences for oil in Irish waters but not for gas, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told journalists on Monday during a visit to New York, Irish media reported.Varadkar said he would announce at a U.N. climate summit "that Ireland will also decline to issue any new exploration licences for oil in Irish waters (though new licences for gas will continue to be issued)," Virgin TV News reporter Gavan Reilly said in a Twitter post.Reporters for the Irish Times and Examiner newspapers also reported the comments.

Oil Prices Extend Losses After Saudi Pledge

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Oil prices retreated about 2% on Wednesday, extending the previous day's declines after Saudi Arabia said it would quickly restore full production following last weekend's attacks on its facilities and as U.S. crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly.Tension in the Middle East remained elevated, however, after the Saudi Defence Ministry held a news conference, displaying drone and missile debris it said was "undeniable" evidence of Iranian aggression. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he ordered a major increase in sanctions on Iran in the latest U.S.

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

Oil Prices Fall After Trump's Tariff Threat Against China

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Oil prices fell on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would sharply raise tariffs on Chinese goods this week, risking the derailment of trade talks between the world's two biggest economies.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.68 per barrel at 1338 GMT, down 26 cents. WTI hit $60.04 earlier in the session, its lowest since March 29.Brent crude futures were broadly steady at $70.88 per barrel, having earlier hit its lowest since April 2 at $68.79.Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that he would hike U.S.

Trump, Saudi Arabia at Odds Over Oil Price

(File photo: Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

U.S. President Donald Trump and the Saudi government have closely aligned views on most issues but they disagree significantly on the desirable level for oil prices, which could become a source of volatility in 2019/2020.In keeping with his iconoclastic approach to governing, Trump has kept up a public commentary on oil prices and the role of Saudi-led OPEC in messages on Twitter as well as television interviews.So far in 2018/19, the president’s interventions have revealed his preference for a benchmark…

Trump Calls for OPEC to Boost Production

File photo: The floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) PSVM in Block 31 offshore Angola. (Photo: BP)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost oil production to lower the price of the commodity."Very important that OPEC increase the flow of Oil. World Markets are fragile, price of Oil getting too high. Thank you!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.Immediately following Trump's tweet, U.S. crude oil futures fell by more than $1 to $58.33 a barrel and Brent futures were down by more than $1 to a session low of $66.76 per barrel.Crude oil prices have risen this year amid supply cuts by OPEC as well as U.S.

Rising US Oil Clout on Show in Houston

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A glance at the attendee list at one of the world's largest energy industry events in Houston this week left little question about the growing influence of the United States over global oil politics.Present: top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo. Absent: leading Saudi and Russian officials, and most OPEC nations.As the United States weans itself off foreign oil imports - thanks to booming domestic production - the complex web of politics and business interests that have shaped decades of Washington's energy diplomacy in the Middle East and beyond is changing.That shift was unmistakable in Houston this week.In his keynote address…

Hedge Funds Buying Oil Despite Trump's OPEC Comments

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Hedge funds continued to boost their bullish position in crude and fuels last week despite a call from U.S. President Donald Trump for OPEC to "relax and take it easy".Hedge funds and other money managers were net buyers of an extra 16 million barrels of Brent crude futures and options in the week to Feb. 26, according to ICE Futures Europe.Fund managers have been net buyers of 155 million barrels of Brent futures and options since Dec. 4, increasing their net long position in 11 out of the last 12 weeks (https://tmsnrt.rs/2EJUvB4).Funds were net buyers in the week to Feb.

Trump Warns Saudi Arabia on Oil Prices

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U.S. President Donald Trump has warned OPEC not to tighten the oil market too much and risk another spike in prices that could harm the global economy – and his re-election campaign in 2020.“Oil prices getting too high,” the president warned in a message posted on Twitter on Monday. “OPEC please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!”The president has kept up a regular commentary on oil prices over the last year and has pressed Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

DOE Chief Perry: OPEC Bill Could Spike Oil Prices

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (CREDIT: US DOE)

The United States needs to be cautious about pending legislation that would allow the Justice Department to sue OPEC and other oil producers over supply cuts because it could result in higher prices in the long term, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Thursday."We need to be really careful before we pass legislation that may have an impact that goes way past its intended consequences," Perry said at a news conference.The bill could curtail supply management by oil producers in global markets, possibly leading to a petroleum glut and lower prices.