Friday, February 23, 2018

United States News

Trump Nominee for Key U.S. Energy Post Would Oppose Russia Pipeline

U.S. President Donald Trump (Photo: White House)

U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for a top State Department energy position said on Thursday he would oppose Russia's proposed natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany - the Nord Stream 2. "The United States' position, it is my understanding, is to strongly oppose that pipeline," Francis Fannon, who has been nominated Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, said during his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.

LNG Market to Suffer From Oversupply Until 2021 - Vitol

© Carabay / Adobe Stock

Global prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will face pressure from oversupply over the next two to three years, particularly in warmer months, top energy trader Vitol said on Wednesday. New LNG production in countries such as the United States and Cameroon that is set to start up in the coming months means pressure on the rapidly expanding market will be particularly felt in 2019, Pablo Galante Escobar, who heads Vitol's LNG trading, told the IP Week conference.

Aruba Begins Talks with U.S. over Aruba Refinery Pause

File Image: The island of Aruba, with the local refinery seen in the far background (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Hans)

The Aruba government said on Thursday it started talks with the United States after Houston-based firm Citgo Petroleum slowed work on an overhaul of the Caribbean island's 235,000-barrel-per-day refinery due to a lack of credit. Sanctions imposed last year by President Donald Trump's administration on Venezuela and its state-run oil company, PDVSA, limit their access to long-term credit, affecting oil projects in the OPEC-member country and in the Caribbean islands where PDVSA operates. Citgo, the U.S.

Colonial Allocates Cycle 14 Shipments on Main Distillate Line

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) maxsym Yemenyalov)

Colonial Pipeline is allocating Cycle 14 shipments on Line 2, its main distillate line, the company said in a notice sent to shippers on Friday. Committed information on the line will be available on Feb. 27, the company said. Line 2 runs from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina. This allocation is for the pipeline segment north of Collins, Mississippi, Colonial said. The company's cycles are five-day periods when a sequence of all in-season products is pumped.

Merkel Sees No Threat in New Gas Pipe to Russia, Poland Disagrees

Photo: Nord Stream 2

The planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Germany and Russia poses no threat to Europe's energy security, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, publicly disagreeing with her Polish counterpart. Poland, Ukraine and Baltic states fear the pipeline to be laid under the Baltic Sea would increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas and could cut off Ukraine - still fighting a conflict with Russian-backed separatists - from gas transit fees.

BP to Boost U.S. Investment After Tax Reform

BP CEO Bob Dudley

British oil and gas company BP will increase investment in the United States after the lowering of tax rates under President Donald Trump, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Tuesday. "It is important for us, there is no doubt we will increase investments," Dudley, himself a U.S. citizen, said in an analyst call after BP reported a surge in profits in 2017. BP invested $90 billion in the United States over the past decade…

Brent Crude Eases, as Canadian Supply Drop Boosts U.S. Futures

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

Monday U.S. holiday pulls WTI's Friday gain into Tuesday. Brent crude oil prices eased on Tuesday, pulled down by a stronger dollar and a bout of profit-taking, while U.S. futures gained, bringing the discount between the two key futures contracts to a six-month low. Brent crude futures were down 51 cents from Monday's close at $65.16 a barrel by 1253 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 41 cents from their last close on Friday at $62.09 a barrel.

Inflation Buiilds, Oil Slides

© xtock/Adobe Stock

Oil fell for a third day on Wednesday, dropping nearly 1 percent on concerns about rising U.S. production and another drop in financial markets after U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected. Brent crude futures fell 55 cents to $62.17 a barrel by 1350 GMT. The price has lost 11 percent since hitting a high above $71 in January and has now wiped out all its 2018 gains. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 77 cents to $58.42 a barrel. U.S.

Colonial Allocates Cycle 12 Shipments on Distillate Line 20

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

Colonial Pipeline Co is allocating space for Cycle 12 shipments on Line 20, which carries distillates from Atlanta to Nashville, Tennessee, according to a notice sent to shippers on Thursday. Committed information will be available on Friday, the pipeline operator said. The company generally announces allocations when nominations, or requests for space to ship petroleum products on its lines, exceed its ability to meet the five-day lifting cycle.

Colonial Allocates Cycle 12 Shipments on Main Distillate Line 2

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

Colonial Pipeline is allocating Cycle 12 shipments on Line 2, its main distillate line, the company said in a notice sent to shippers on Tuesday. Committed information on the line will be available on Thursday, the company said. Line 2 runs from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina. This allocation is for the pipeline segment north of Collins, Mississippi, Colonial said. The company's cycles are five-day periods when a sequence of all in-season products is pumped.

Oil Rebounds on U.S. Inventory Figures, Saudi Comments

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

U.S. crude inventories rise less than expected - EIA. Oil prices rose on Wednesday, rebounding from earlier losses after U.S. crude stocks rose less than expected and Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said major oil producers would prefer tighter markets than to end supply cuts too early. U.S. crude inventories rose 1.8 million barrels last week, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed compared with expectations for an increase of 2.8 million barrels.

U.S. Crude Stocks Rise Despite Cushing Drawdown

File Image: AdobeStock_CREDIT Maksym Yemelyanov

U.S. crude stocks rose less than expected last week, but the storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, saw yet another drawdown that has halved stocks in the last three months, a trend that may continue until more refiners shut for maintenance. Crude inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week to Feb. 9, short of analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.8 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Rising U.S. Supply Knocks Oil Prices Again

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

Physical crude price falls as exporters chase customers; U.S. crude inventories rise. Oil fell for a third day on Wednesday, under pressure from concern about rising U.S. production and how much it would hurt efforts by OPEC and its partners to control global supplies. Brent crude futures fell 26 cents to $62.46 a barrel by 1028 GMT. The price has lost 11 percent since hitting a high above $71 in January. It has now wiped out all the 2018 gains. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 40 cents to $58.79 a barrel.

OPEC Sees Balanced Oil Market by Year-end

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OPEC said on Monday the world oil market would return to balance only towards the end of 2018 as extra barrels from the United States and other non-member producers offset an OPEC-led deal intended to clear a supply glut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said outside producers would boost supply by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. That was the third consecutive rise from 870,000 bpd forecast in November.

U.S. Refiners to Export Gasoline as Domestic Demand Slows

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

U.S. gasoline consumption has levelled off as the stimulus provided by low and falling oil prices between 2014 and 2016 has faded, so refiners are increasingly turning to diesel and customers in emerging markets. U.S. gasoline consumption is forecast to rise by just 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, after remaining essentially unchanged last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Slower consumption growth stands in contrast to the earlier surge when usage rose by almost 260…

Enerplus Profit Beats as Oil Focus Pays Off

Photo: Enerplus Corp

Canadian oil and gas producer Enerplus Corp reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates on Friday as the company's strategy to focus on oil assets paid off. Shares of the company, which has historically produced more natural gas than oil, were up as much as 4.5 percent. Enerplus, which has significant operations in the United States, recently entered the Denver-Julesburg Basin in Colorado and has said it expects oil to account for 55 percent of its overall production this year.

China Rebuffs U.S. Criticism of its Venezuela Ties

China's support for Venezuela has benefited ordinary people and been broadly welcomed, the foreign ministry said on Monday after the U.S. Treasury accused China of aiding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government with murky oil-for-loan investments. In a Friday speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the U.S. Treasury's top economic diplomat, David Malpass, said China's focus on commodities and opaque financing deals had hurt, not helped, countries in the region.

Harsher Sanctions Needed Against Venezuela -OAS chief

OAS boss Almagro says regime "has become more tyrannical." U.S. weighs tougher sanctions after Tillerson tour. Sanctions should be stepped up against Venezuela's leaders and oil sector in response to the country's repressive political climate, the head of the Organisation of American States (OAS) said on Tuesday. Under President Nicolas Maduro, "dictatorship has become more tyrannical" and the suffering of its 30 million people has increased amid dire shortages of food and medicine, said Luis Almagro.

Transocean Upbeat About Offshore Recovery, Despite Quarterly Loss

File photo: Transocean

Drilling contractor Transocean Ltd on Wednesday expressed optimism about a recovery in offshore drilling activity this year, despite reporting its third quarterly loss in a row. Companies that provide services and equipment for oil and gas exploration and production, among the worst hit by the 2014 oil price downturn, have grown optimistic about the future as oil prices recently have bounced back. In recent quarters, companies that focus on providing services to onshore shale producers have posted the biggest gains…

Shell: U.S. Shale's "rational behaviour" Helping Prices

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

U.S. shale oil producers have stopped chasing record production numbers and have become more focused on profitability, meaning this "rational behaviour" is helping to prop up oil prices, Royal Dutch/Shell's Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday. The company's Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl told the same news conference Shell could easily double production from shale assets in the United States, Canada and Argentina in the next 5-10 years from the current 275,000 barrels per day.