Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Venezuela News

US Extends License for Chevron's Operations in Venezuela

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The U.S. Treasury Department on Saturday renewed a license allowing Chevron, the last U.S. energy company operating in Venezuela, to continue working in the country until April 22.In January, the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA in an effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro, though he remains in power. The Treasury issued Chevron a six-month license to operate…

Exxon to Load First Crude from Guyana This Weekend

The Liza Phase 1 development project utilizes the Liza Destiny floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel moored approximately 120 miles offshore Guyana, with four undersea drill centers supporting 17 wells. (Photo: Hess Corp)

The first-ever cargo of Guyana's crude for export is scheduled to begin loading this weekend so the oil can be processed at Exxon Mobil's refining system, the company told Reuters on Friday.Exxon has so far made 15 discoveries of oil reserves in Guyana, turning a risky exploration venture into one of the world's most promising oil mega-projects. The company is entitled to the first two crude cargoes to be exported from the Liza field…

US Refiners Grab HSFO on Back of IMO 2020

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U.S. refiners are scooping up cheap high-sulfur fuel oil for processing from Russia and the Baltic states as they take advantage of new shipping rules that have cut demand for the dirtier marine fuel, according to oil traders and shipping data.U.S. refiners Valero Corp, Chevron Corp and Phillips 66 have been buying HSFO, traders said, taking advantage of their complex operations to turn HSFO blended with crude oils into products like diesel…

Venezuela Alters Oil Royalty Formulas, Driven by IMO 2020

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Venezuela has changed the formulas for calculating royalties energy companies pay the government to remove references to fuel oil and some crude grades, driven by stricter rules governing marine fuel emissions, according to a document seen by Reuters.A ban by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on the use of fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5%, aimed at reducing pollution…

Brazilian Beaches Hit by Second Oil Spill

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Crude oil smudges have been spotted at some Brazilian beaches in the northeast state of Ceará, the country's navy said on Monday, almost two months after the area was hit by another oil slick.That was part of a broader spill, whose origin remains a mystery, that stained hundreds of beaches on Brazil's northeast coast between September and November, threatening marine life, tourism and fishing.The navy said samples of the new spill were being sent for analysis to a marine studies institute…

Oil Traders Bet on Economic Upswing in 2020

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Crude oil traders are betting the market will tighten significantly next year, even as the major statistical agencies predict production will outstrip consumption and oil inventories will rise.Most of the divergence can be explained by differing assumptions about global growth in 2020.The International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Organization of the Petroleum…

Venezuela's Oil Exports top 800,000 bpd Again

Venezuela's oil exports eased in October, but surpassed 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) for second month in a row, helping to drain an inventory buildup that had forced the OPEC country to cut output, according to documents and data.Since the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA in January to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro, the OPEC-member country has struggled…

Brazil Federal Police Investigate Greek Ship in Connection with Oil Spill

Brazil's federal police on Friday announced a potential breakthrough in the investigation into the causes of a mysterious oil spill that has baffled authorities and Brazilians for about two months.Police said they were investigating a Greek-flagged ship allegedly responsible for the oil spill, which they claim may have occurred about 700 km (420 miles) off the Brazilian coast between July 28-29 after the vessel made a stop in Venezuela.In a statement…

Saudi Still China's Top Oil Supplier

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Saudi Arabia held its position as China's largest crude oil supplier in September helped by demand from new refineries and as imports from Iran and Venezuela continued to fall due to U.S. sanctions, customs data showed on Friday.The drone and missile attack on oil-processing plants in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14, knocking out half of the country's production, will likely have an impact on deliveries in October.At the height of the disruption…

US Gives Chevron More Time in Venezuela

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The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday renewed a license allowing Chevron, the last U.S. operating energy company in Venezuela, to continue drilling in the country for another three months through Jan. 22.The license has been a subject of intense debate within the Trump administration as it pursues a campaign to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Its renewal represented a win by some in the administration, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who see keeping a U.S.

India's Oil Imports at 3-year Low

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India's oil imports fell to their lowest in more than three years in September to 3.82 million barrels per day (bpd), data obtained from industry and shipping sources showed, as some refiners cut purchases due to shutdowns for maintenance and fuel upgrades.Last month, Saudi Arabia replaced Iraq as top oil supplier to India after a gap of about 13 months, the data showed.September oil imports, which dropped below 4 million bpd for the first time since June 2016…

Total Says Geopolitics Hurting Crude Supply

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Oil markets have lost 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude supply this year due to geopolitical issues, a senior executive at French oil and energy group Total said on Friday at a conference.The geopolitical issues that led to the crude supply loss include U.S.

Sinopec Weighs Output Cuts Due to Freight Rate Surge

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Asia's largest refiner, Sinopec, is weighing plans to cut oil imports in December and reduce output at its refineries after a surge in global tanker freight rates hit margins, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.The cost of shipping crude to Asia has surged in the past two weeks after companies stopped using nearly 300 tankers for fear of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.Refining margins have yet to catch up with the jump in freight rates…

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…

Venezuela, China Expanding Crude Oil JV

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A Venezuelan oil joint venture with a state-owned Chinese company has started an expansion project to boost output to 165,000 barrels per day (bpd), President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday, from a current capacity of 110,000 bpd.Sinovensa, owned by PDVSA subsidiary Venezuelan Petroleum Corp (CVP) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), produces extra-heavy Orinoco crude and blends it with lighter oil to produce medium-grade Merey."Thanks always to China…

Chevron Cleared to Stay in Venezuela

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The Trump administration said on Friday it has renewed Chevron Corp's license to drill for oil and gas in Venezuela despite sanctions, signaling it sees value in having the U.S. oil producer operate in a country on the verge of economic and political collapse.The Treasury Department said it renewed the license for three months for Chevron, the last U.S. oil company operating in Venezuela, a member of the OPEC producer group. The license runs through Oct.

Repsol Profit Beats Estimates

(Photo: Repsol)

Spanish energy company Repsol trimmed its full-year earnings outlook on Wednesday as lower oil prices and refining margins weighed on profits, but a share buy-back and better than expected results bolstered its stock.Repsol proposed buying and cancelling 5% of its outstanding shares, helping send its stock more than 5% higher in early afternoon trade as investors forgave a fall in second-quarter adjusted…

Trump Camp Split on Chevron's Venezuela License

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo (US State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain)

The Trump administration is split over whether to renew a license this week for energy company Chevron Corp's operations in Venezuela, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supporting a renewal and others opposing it, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.At issue is a six-month U.S. Treasury Department license that expires on July 27 that has allowed Chevron to keep operating its four joint ventures in Venezuela despite U.S.

Dominican Republic Kicks Off Licensing Round

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The Dominican Republic's first oil licensing round will be a success if it awards more than two of the 14 blocks on offer this year, a government official said at an event disclosing the Caribbean nation's fiscal terms.The licensing round, which began on Wednesday with disclosure of contract terms, comes after Brazil, Guyana and Mexico attracted billions of dollars in oil investment. Cuba and Panama also have taken steps to attract producers with new contract terms…

Venezuela Sells Oil to Tiny Turkish Firm

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With U.S. sanctions blocking Venezuela from selling oil to the United States, state-owned energy firm PDVSA has turned to several little-known buyers that include a tiny Turkish company with no refineries but ties to President Nicolas Maduro's government, according to internal documents and a PDVSA source.Until recently, some of the world's largest petroleum and refining firms, including U.S. companies Chevron and Valero Energy…