Wednesday, January 27, 2021

United States News

Biden Announces Return to Global Climate Accord, New Curbs on US Oil Industry

Joe Biden - Image by Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced America's return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change, the centerpiece of a raft of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring U.S. leadership in combating global warming.The announcements also included a sweeping order to review all of former President Donald Trump's actions weakening climate change protections, the revocation of a vital permit for TC Energy's Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada…

LNG Shipping Rates from US Surge to Record Highs

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The cost of shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Asia hit a record high on Tuesday as appetite for the fuel from buyers there and delays through the Panama Canal reduced the amount of ships for hire.Freezing temperatures across Asia and Europe have pushed up LNG prices and lifted wider gas prices as buyers grapple with shrinking inventories and the shortage of tankers.Shipping sources said an apparent ban on Australian coal imports into China…

Oil Rises to 11-month High

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Oil hit an 11-month high just below $57 a barrel on Tuesday, bolstered by Saudi Arabia's plans to limit supply, offsetting worries that rising coronavirus cases globally would curtail fuel demand.Brent crude settled up 92 cents, or 1.7%, at $56.58 a barrel by after touching its highest level since last February at $56.75. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 96 cents, or 1.8%, to $53.28.Saudi Arabia plans to cut output…

Oil Slips, Set for 20% Annual Drop in Tumultuous 2020

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Global crude prices slipped on Thursday and lost more than a fifth of their value in volatile trade in 2020, as lockdowns to combat the novel coronavirus depressed economic activity and slammed fuel demand.Still, Brent and U.S. crude benchmarks have more than doubled from April's decade lows. The start of coronavirus vaccinations bolstered demand in the fourth quarter, and prices recovered to the highest in about 10 months.On the last trading day of 2020, Brent fell 49 cents, or 1%, to $51.14 a barrel as of 10:49 a.m.

US Oil Industry Group Pledges to Fight Possible Biden Fracking Limits

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If U.S. President-elect Joe Biden tries to restrict development of oil and gas drilling on federal lands, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will use "every tool at its disposal" including legal action, chief executive Mike Sommers said in an interview with Reuters on Monday.Biden has said he supports a ban on new gas and oil permits — including fracking — on federal lands.Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technology that has allowed the U.S.

Global Crude Market Finds Support From China Demand

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China, the global oil market's lifeline this year, has stepped up purchases from exporters like Russia, the United States and Angola in recent weeks, while buyers elsewhere pare orders as coronavirus infections surge and fresh lockdowns are put in place.China, the world's largest importer of crude, is the only major buyer expected to see increased oil demand this year as the pandemic destroyed consumption globally.With China's imports expected to reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) next year…

Shell to Shut Its Convent, La. Refinery Amid Pandemic

(Photo: Jiri Buller / Shell)

Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it will shut down its refinery in Convent, Louisiana, the largest U.S. facility to close since the coronavirus pandemic first hit and devastated economic demand worldwide.The shutdown, to occur this month, comes after Shell failed to find a buyer.The refinery is the ninth in North America either to announce a shutdown or to be idled since the pandemic, which has delivered a heavy blow to fuel demand globally.

Coronavirus, Consolidation Taking Toll On Energy Jobs

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Oil and gas companies worldwide are taking an axe to their employment rolls, shedding workers to survive what is expected to be a prolonged stretch of weak demand.Exxon Mobil Corp said it will cut its workforce by 15%, or about 14,000 people, along with oil majors Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.All told, more than 400,000 oil and gas sector jobs have been cut this year, according to Rystad Energy, with about half of those in the United States…

Exxon to Cut 14,000 Jobs as Pandemic Hits Oil Demand

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ExxonMobil Corp said on Thursday it could cut its global workforce by about 15%, including deep white-collar staff reductions in the United States, as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices.Exxon and other oil producers have been slashing costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new projects. The top U.S. oil company earlier outlined more than $10 billion in budget cuts this year."The impact…

Germany Offered to Build LNG Terminals to Avert US Pipeline Sanctions

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Berlin offered to spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build two liquid natural gas terminals in a bid to dissuade the United States from imposing sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to bring gas directly from Russia to Germany, Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.The weekly paper said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz made the proposal in an Aug. 7 letter before Washington imposed sanctions on companies involved in building the Baltic Sea pipeline…

US Energy Exports Severely Disrupted by Hurricane Laura

File photo (Credit: Andrew Kendrick, U.S. Coast Guard)

Oil and gas exports from the United States have been severely disrupted by Hurricane Laura, with nearly a million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports likely reduced this week by closures of U.S. Gulf Coast terminals and disruptions at ports.The hurricane also temporarily suspended operations at several liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the world’s third largest exporter of the super-cooled gas, with shipments on…

US LNG Loading Delays Expected as Hurricane Slams Gulf Coast

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Loadings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the United States likely will be delayed as a powerful storm strikes the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast, forcing several LNG plants to shut.Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a wall of water 40 miles (64 km) inland from the sea.

Equinor Axing Jobs in US, Canada and UK

Equinor's Houston office (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor)

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor is set to cut jobs significantly in the United States, Canada and Britain to adjust to a fall in oil prices, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.The group plans to cut employee numbers in those countries by about 20% and contractor numbers by around half to ensure profitability at lower oil prices, the spokesman told Reuters, adding that the targets were communicated internally on Tuesday.Equinor will also not drill any new unconventional wells this year in the United States…

PDVSA Changes Oil Deals to Include Shipping as Sanctions Bite

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Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA has begun offering to ship its own oil, figuring in the costs in crude supply deals to help customers who have struggled to hire vessels to carry the country’s oil due to U.S. sanctions, according to company documents seen by Reuters.The United States has blacklisted vessel owners, shipping operators and threatened to sanction any tanker facilitating the country’s oil exports as it tightens…

U.S. Sends First Crude Shipment to Saudi Arabia in Years

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The United States sent a shipment of crude to Saudi Arabia in June, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on Wednesday, in what appears to be the first such delivery since the U.S. ban on crude exports ended in 2015.The United States shipped about 550,000 barrels, or 18,300 barrels per day (bpd), of crude to Saudi Arabia in June, U.S. Census data shows. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has no recorded instances of a U.S. crude shipment to Saudi Arabia.U.S.

Japan's Seven & i to Buy Marathon Petroleum's Speedway Gas Stations for $21B

Illustration only - Image by Daniel Case / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Japanese owner of 7-Eleven convenience stores has agreed to buy Marathon Petroleum Corp's Speedway gas stations for $21 billion, brushing aside coronavirus concerns to return to the table five months after initially balking at the deal.The acquisition is one of the biggest this year, suggesting the pandemic, while forcing many companies to focus on protecting balance sheets instead of expansion, has not killed off global dealmaking altogether.The move will help Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd shift focus beyond Japan…

US-China Cold War Would Redirect Energy Flows

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Worsening diplomatic relations between the United States and China are putting a spotlight on their economic inter-dependency in the context of global supply chains for both technology and energy.Top policymakers in the United States and some of its closest allies, including Australia and Britain, have recently hardened the language in which they describe relations with China.China has been labelled a “strategic competitor”…

US Oil Exports to Europe Rebound

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The United States has increased oil supply to Europe in July for the first month since May, making up for output cuts from OPEC+ members, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.U.S. crude supply to Europe reached nearly 31 million barrels in July, according to Refinitiv Eikon data as of July 24. With crude prices back above $40 a barrel, U.S. producers have rushed to claim market share while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, is still cutting supply drastically.U.S.

Chevron Diversity Ratio to Improve as Layoffs Progress

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Oil major Chevron Corp expects to reduce the dominance of white males in company management during cost-cutting this year, upping the share of senior level jobs held by women and ethnic minorities to 44% from 38% last year, the company said in a statement.Like most of its peers in an industry struggling with the collapse of oil prices this year, Chevron is cutting spending, consolidating business units, and has asked some…

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…