Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts

Ecuador has temporarily shelved its idea to ask from OPEC later this month to be exempt from its share of the production cuts, because the cartel’s supply restrictions are successfully propping up oil prices, Ecuador’s Oil Minister Carlos Perez said on Thursday. “For now we are not going to submit the request. We’ll analyze along with OPEC’s members which alternatives they can offer. For sustaining prices, we have to support OPEC’s measures, which are so far succeeding,” Perez said in a press conference,…

Oil Tycoon Hamm Slams EIA’s Overoptimistic Shale Forecasts

As a powerful oil market mover, the EIA needs to have “more sophisticated” forecasts about U.S. shale production, because overly optimistic expectations depress oil prices and disadvantages the U.S. market, shale billionaire and Continental Resources chief executive Harold Hamm said in an interview with Bloomberg published on Thursday. The EIA is “a very powerful market mover, and so it’s necessary they understand all of these things,” said Hamm who is scheduled to take part in an EIA webinar on crude oil production…

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s US$1-trillion Government Pension Fund Global, recommended on Thursday the removal of oil and gas stocks—US$35 billion worth of shares—from the fund’s equity benchmark index to make Norway’s wealth and economy less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices. “This advice is based exclusively on financial arguments and analyses of the government’s total oil and gas exposure and does not reflect any particular view of future movements in oil…

Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013

The oil and gas sector has become increasingly positive about corporate earnings and credit availability to the point that 69 percent of industry executives expect to actively pursue an acquisition over the next 12 months—with the deal appetite in oil and gas at its highest level since 2013, the EY Oil & Gas Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB) survey showed on Wednesday. Deal appetite among oil and gas executives was much higher than the global average of 56 percent, EY said, noting that 96 percent of the oil and gas senior managers expect…

Trump Offers To Mediate South China Sea Dispute

Reining in North Korea and discussing bilateral trade with China were at the top of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Asian tour agenda. But after he left Beijing and visited Vietnam, Trump addressed an issue that he hadn’t mentioned while in China: the dispute in the South China Sea, regarding territorial claims by Beijing as well as Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia. And Trump offered to mediate in the dispute. “South China Sea—as you know, we’re looking at—we’re looking at it together.…

Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia

Russia is throwing a life-line to defaulting Venezuela after the two countries signed on Wednesday a deal to restructure US$3.15 billion worth of Venezuelan debt owed to Moscow. Under the terms of the deal that Russia’s Finance Ministry announced today, Venezuela will be repaying the debt over the next ten years, of which the first six years include “minimal payments”.       “The debt relief provided to the republic from the restructuring of its liabilities will allow funds to be allocated for the…

Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners

European refiners have seen their energy costs drop alongside the fall in oil prices, which has boosted their competitive position compared to North and South America, but Europe is still lagging in lowering energy costs compared to refineries on the other side of the Atlantic. Before the oil price crash of 2014, refineries in Europe had much higher costs than those in the Americas, as high oil prices usually widen refinery costs differences between regions, Stephen Wright, vice president at Solomon Associates, said at the World Refining Association…

Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production

Sudan has discussed the development of its oil industry following the removal of many U.S. sanctions on the country—including on oil and petrochemical industries—with Russia’s Lukoil and with other firms from Europe and Canada, Sudan’s Oil Minister Abdul Rahman Osman said on Tuesday.   “There are many companies that are not committed yet, but they have sent emissaries or they are already negotiating in order to see their potential in coming into Sudan,” Osman said on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Petroleum…

Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire

Four oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been shut after a fire broke out at Shell-operated Enchilada oil platform last week, Shell said on Tuesday. “Production is shut in at the Shell-operated Enchilada and Salsa platforms, as well as the associated Hess-operated Conger field,” said Shell which has a 37.5-percent stake in the field. “In addition, Shell safely shut in all production operations at its Auger platform due to downstream constraints caused by this incident,” the Anglo-Dutch oil major said, as quoted by Reuters.…

OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance

Some non-OPEC members allied with OPEC in the oil production cuts could become official members of the cartel in the future, the UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Tuesday. “There is definitely a willingness and a wish to expand OPEC,” Al Mazrouei said, when asked if non-OPEC oil producers that are cutting production in coordination with the 14-member cartel could join OPEC eventually. “It would have been difficult to try to rebalance the market alone and so I think there is a rationale for this group…

Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled

Environmentalist organizations took the Norwegian government to court over the awarding of oil drilling licenses in the Arctic, and argued on the first day of hearings on Tuesday that the 2015 licenses should be withdrawn as they violate Norway’s constitution and the country’s pledge to fulfill the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement. “We argue that these licenses are not allowed under the law as per the Constitution,” Cathrine Hambro, who represents the plaintiffs, told an Oslo court in her opening argument, as quoted…

Is OPEC Deal Compliance About To Crash?

OPEC is declaring victory in its efforts to rebalance supply and demand and bring the oil market back to stability—its favorite proxy buzzword for less volatile and relatively high oil prices. While OPEC is taking credit for some of the oil price rally in recent weeks, a number of various other factors have combined to push oil prices up—strong oil demand growth, weaker U.S. shale growth, falling U.S. inventories, and the return of some geopolitical risk from the Middle East with the Iraq-Kurdistan standoff and Saudi government purge.…

Brazil Announces New Round Of Pre-Salt Oil Block Auctions

Brazilian energy policy council CNPE approved on Thursday the fourth round of auctions for the coveted pre-salt oil blocks and set the date of the auction for June 7, 2018. The energy policy council also approved the 15th round of the auction for bidding under the concession regime on non-pre-salt oil blocks, and scheduled it for March 29. The pre-salt auction will include blocks in the Santos and Campos basins, while the auction for 70 blocks under the concession regime includes offshore blocks in the Ceara, Potiguar, Sergipe-Alagoas, Santos,…

Big Oil Back To Boosting Shareholder Returns

Thanks to huge cost cuts across the board and recent oil price improvement, Big Oil exited the survival mode in which it had languished for three years, and the pressure is on again to boost shareholder returns by removing the scrip dividends and resuming share buybacks. Trying to maintain dividends while they were heavily bleeding cash at the beginning of the downturn, all of Europe’s Big Oil resorted to scrip dividends and suspended share buybacks. The only oil major that actually cut its dividend was Italy’s Eni, which reduced its…

PDVSA Months Behind On Payments To India’s Biggest Oil Producer

While bondholders of PDVSA debt are waiting to receive the latest bond payment from Venezuela’s cash-strapped state oil firm, the company is six months behind in payments to the largest Indian oil producer ONGC, two sources close to the transactions have told Reuters. Since April, PDVSA has failed to pay dividends to ONGC for the Indian company’s investment in an energy project in Venezuela, for a total backlog of some US$540 million, according to the sources. ONGC’s overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh confirmed to Reuters that…

Blockchain Isn’t The Only Tech Disrupting Global Energy

Digital disruption may be one of the most overused buzzwords these days, but the world is going increasingly digital and disruption is everywhere—we have drones delivering pizzas and home gadgets connected to our phones. Digitalization has so profoundly changed our lives that it’s inevitable that’s also transforming all industries and the ways product manufacturers and service providers and consumers interact. The energy sector is no exception to this trend, and is seeing various changes in production and distribution thanks to…

Senators Call For Investigation Of Enbridge Pipeline

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan are raising serious concerns about the conditions of Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac and are seeking a federal investigation to determine if Enbridge has complied with reporting and safety standards. Following reports that Enbridge did not disclose problems in the protective coating of Line 5 for more than three years, the Senators are asking the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) “to determine whether Enbridge committed…

ConocoPhillips Extends Share Buybacks Through 2020

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) plans to extend share buybacks for another year to boost capital spending to $5.5 billion annually through 2020, based on a flat real WTI price of $50 a barrel, in a sign that it’s targeting higher profits and shareholder returns. ConocoPhillips aims to achieve greater than 30-percent payout of cash provided by operating activities to shareholders annually, including dividends and share buybacks, the largest independent U.S. exploration and production company said on Wednesday ahead of its analyst and investor meeting…

China Relaxes Rules For Teapot Refiners

In a rather unexpected move, China raised the crude oil import quotas for “non state trade”—basically for independent refiners—by 55 percent for 2018 compared to 2017, signaling that it could be relaxing the rules for the so-called teapots and giving them more share of China’s oil imports. China’s Ministry of Commerce not only issued larger quotas, but made the announcement earlier than expected. Non-state companies now can begin applying for 2018 crude oil import quotas for a total of 142.42 million tons, or…

Chevron Bets On Canada Shale After Majors’ Oil Sands Exodus

After selling part of its Canadian downstream business, Chevron is now betting on Canadian shale development in a welcome move for the local oil industry that has seen oil majors dump stakes in Canada’s oil sands this year. Chevron Canada Limited said on Monday that it was moving into development on a portion of its lease holdings in the Kaybob Duvernay area of west-central Alberta, following a successful three-year appraisal program. The initial development program is expected to comprise some 55,000 acres of Chevron’s operated position…

OPEC: U.S. Shale To Rise Much Faster Than Expected

Higher oil prices, robust oil demand growth, and higher upstream activity will lead to faster-than-previously-expected growth in U.S. shale production until 2022, OPEC said in its World Oil Outlook 2017 published on Tuesday. Compared to last year’s annual OPEC outlook, the medium-term outlook for non-OPEC liquids growth has “changed quite considerably”, the cartel said, citing the “US tight oil sector’s resilience and ability to bounce back.” “Most strikingly, US tight oil production has exceeded previous…

BP Joins Shell In World’s Largest Oil Hedge

BP has helped Mexico to carry out its annual oil hedge program in which the country spent the equivalent of $1.25 billion to lock in oil export prices for 2018, industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday, in what is a second oil supermajor after Shell helping Mexico in Wall Street’s biggest oil hedge.   In September last year, Shell became the first oil major to venture into the territory of Wall Street’s biggest banks in helping Mexico make the world’s largest commodity hedge, four sources with knowledge of the issue told…

Aramco Oil Reserves Audit Unlikely To Be Completed In 2017

The independent audit of how much oil reserves Saudi Aramco really has is taking longer than initially planned—not because of surprises, but because the Saudis want to make sure that auditors have all the data to avoid skeptical comments at a later stage, sources close to the audit tell Reuters. Aramco is opening the books for an audit ahead of the planned IPO—currently slated for the second half of 2018—expected to fetch billions of dollars to fund Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to overhaul its economy and diversify sources…

Norway’s Oil Sector Faces Existential Crisis

Oil companies have recently focused on frontier exploration drilling in the Barents Sea offshore in Norway, neglecting the powerhouse of the Norwegian oil industry, the North Sea. Exploration activity in the North Sea—the most mature area of Western Europe’s biggest oil producer—is at an 11-year low this year, which is a concern for the industry’s regulator, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). “That worries me,” NPD Director General Bente Nyland told Bloomberg in a recent interview, voicing the industry…

Is This The Cure To Saudi Arabia’s Oil Curse?

Saudi Arabia plans to start issuing tourist visas soon in a bid to boost its tourism and diversify its economy that is heavily dependent on oil revenues. “Tourist visas will be introduced soon,” The Times quoted Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the head of the Saudi tourism authority, as saying. Currently, Saudi Arabia is issuing visas for Muslims who want to make the trip to Mecca—Islam’s holiest site—for the Hajj, but other entry permits for foreigners are expensive and difficult to secure. According to The…

Russian LNG Unfazed By U.S. Sanctions

Russia’s energy industry faces a new round of U.S. sanctions—including on oil projects in any location if a designated entity holds more than 33 percent. And in Europe, where Russia’s gas giant Gazprom currently holds a large share of the gas supplies, Poland and Lithuania are buying U.S. LNG in an effort to shake off Russian dominance. Despite the sanctions and cold shoulders from Poland and Lithuania, Russia still has plans to boost its LNG capacity and exports, with one of its major LNG export projects focusing on Asia, more…

Shell Tops Q3 Forecasts In Big Oil’s Solid Earnings Season

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) was the last of the five supermajors to report Q3 profits, and it further boosted the positive mood for Big Oil this earnings season, reporting on Thursday a strong cash flow and a better-than-expected net profit rising 47 percent on the year. Shell booked current cost of supplies (CCS) earnings attributable to shareholders and excluding identified items—the measure closely watched by analysts and Shell’s proxy for net earnings—of $4.103 billion for the third quarter, up by 47 percent on the year,…

TransCanada Wants Alberta To Commit To Keystone XL Capacity

TransCanada is urging the government of Alberta to buy capacity for its proposed Keystone XL pipeline in a ‘take or pay’ agreement similar to the one the province had pledged for the now-defunct Energy East pipeline, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the issue. Alberta had committed to a 20-year take or pay transportation service agreement with TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline. However, in early October, TransCanada said that it would not be proceeding with Energy East designed to carry oil…

Russia’s Rosneft To Invest Billions In Iranian Oil & Gas

Russia’s oil giant Rosneft and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed on Wednesday a road map for strategic cooperation in oil and gas in Iran–cooperation which Rosneft’s chief executive Igor Sechin said would involve a total of US$30 billion of investments.   The parties could soon sign several binding agreements, and the total production from those projects could be up to 55 million tons of oil equivalents annually, equal to 1.1 million boepd, Russian media quoted Sechin as saying after the signing of the strategic road…

The Oil Company That Lost $800 Billion In Shareholder Value

China’s biggest oil and gas producer PetroChina debuted on the Shanghai stock exchange in November 2007, becoming the first $1-trillion company in the world.   Ten years later, almost to the date, PetroChina’s Shanghai-listed shares have dropped by a staggering 82 percent since the IPO, wiping out shareholder value of $800 billion, Bloomberg calculated. That’s more than the current market capitalization of Microsoft, or the value of the entire Italian stock market, or the combined net worth of the world’s 12 richest…

Trump’s China Trip To Reap Billions In Energy Deals

U.S. President Donald Trump will visit China November 8-10 for a series of bilateral and commercial events, including a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. On that trip, President Trump’s first visit to China—the country that he has repeatedly criticized for trade practices and the way it has handled relations with North Korea—the administration will be taking some 40 U.S. companies on a trade mission to forge deals and discuss Chinese investments in the U.S. One of the biggest deals up for discussion is an investment of…

Tensions Rise As Iraq Halts Kirkuk Oil Exports

Since the Iraqi army took control of the fields in the oil-rich Kirkuk area in mid-October, reports of disruptions in oil flows have been a daily occurrence, but now, according to an official at the Kirkuk provincial council, Iraq’s oil ministry has ordered a stop to all oil exports from Kirkuk’s oil fields to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.   “The halt is not a technical issue,” Ahmed Askari, head of the oil and gas committee at the Kirkuk Provincial Council, told Kurdish news outlet Rudaw. “Because…

PetroChina Boosts November Oil Product Exports Significantly

PetroChina will be boosting its oil product exports by 26 percent in the month in November in line with its strategy to increase exports to overseas markets, Platts reported on Wednesday, quoting a source at PetroChina, China’s second-largest oil refiner. For this month, PetroChina plans to export some 1.51 million mt of oil products, up by 25.8 percent compared to October, according to the PetroChina source. The November exports will be 700,000 mt of gasoline, 620,000 mt of gasoil, and 190,000 mt of jet fuel.  PetroChina’s Dalian…

Russia’s Gazprom To Help Build Iran-India Gas Pipeline

Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom will take part in a project for the construction of a gas pipeline between Iran and India, Russian media quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Wednesday. Russia and Iran are expected to sign today a memorandum of understanding on Gazprom’s participation in the Iranian oil and gas sector. By the end of this year, the parties will draft and sign the legal framework for the project, Novak said. Indian, Pakistani, Russian, and Iranian companies will be taking part in the project,…

Big Oil Urges OPEC: Keep Floor Under Oil Prices

The oil market and analysts already largely expect OPEC to extend the production cut deal beyond March 2018, which many feel would finally rebalance supply and demand.   OPEC’s new tagline is indeed all about restoring oil market stability and sustained stability in the global oil industry—these, OPEC says, are its main policy drivers. While the organization is said to favor extending the deal throughout 2018, and as its leader Saudi Arabia continues to spray the market with its ‘whatever it takes’ promises, now major…

Puerto Rico Scraps $300M Power Grid Deal With Whitefish Energy

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) will cancel a US$300-million deal with Montana-based Whitefish Energy for restoring the power after Hurricane Maria hit the island, following criticism over the way the tiny Montana firm obtained the contract. The deal has been criticized by Puerto Rican officials and U.S. federal authorities after details emerged that the terms of the deal had not been obtained through competitive public bidding. Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, asked on Sunday the electricity authority to…

Iraqi Pipeline Disruption Takes 250,000 Bpd Off The Market

Crude oil from northern Iraq, including from the Kurdistan region, stopped flowing from the oil pipeline between Kirkuk and the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan early on Monday local time, Bloomberg reports, citing a port agent. According to a Kurdish shipping source who spoke to Reuters, the flows resumed on Monday after a technical stoppage for several hours that had completely halted the flow of crude. The flow was still reduced to 200,000-220,000 bpd, according to the source. The typical flow of the pipeline is some 600,000 bpd, and it…

Bahrain Wants Qatar’s GCC Membership Frozen

In the latest chapter of the ongoing spat between some Arab countries and the world’s leading LNG exporter Qatar, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa has called for freezing Qatar’s membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In a series of messages on Twitter, Al Khalifa said that Bahrain would not attend the next GCC meeting if Qatar is present, and criticized it for refusing to comply with the demands of the Saudi-led coalition that had imposed a blockade on Qatar. Qatar, Bahrain,…

Booming U.S. Oil Exports Could Hit A Bottleneck

U.S. crude oil exports have been setting new records lately, but as both the U.S. oil production and exports are set to increase, analysts and traders warn that booming exports may reach infrastructure limitations in two to three years, which would weigh on U.S. oil prices due to high domestic production with constrains in takeaway capacity. U.S. crude oil exports hit a record-high of 1.98 million bpd in the week to September 29, according to EIA data. This was the highest weekly average since the U.S. removed restrictions on crude oil exports…

Morgan Stanley: Oil Stocks Are Very Interesting Now

The oil industry is a pretty interesting sector now as it has lagged year to date, it’s under-owned, and has much better value historically, Andrew Sheets, chief cross asset strategist at Morgan Stanley, told CNBC on Friday, joining the growing chorus of other analysts who have recently turned bullish on European and U.S. oil stocks. The oil sector has lagged the move in oil prices which have been creeping higher and now sit higher than a year ago, Sheets said.   The industry is also interesting because now it is in a very different…

Higher Oil Prices Help Exxon Beat Q3 Forecasts Despite Harvey

Driven by higher commodity prices, third-quarter earnings of ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) jumped 50 percent annually and beat analyst expectations, despite the fact that Hurricane Harvey dented some of the profits. Exxon reported on Friday earnings of $0.93 per diluted share for Q3, up by 48 percent from the $0.63 EPS for the third quarter last year, as commodity prices improved and performance in the upstream and downstream divisions strengthened. Impacts related to Hurricane Harvey reduced earnings by an estimated 4 cents per share, Exxon said. The…

Analysts Raise Oil Price Forecasts

Just a few of months ago, analysts and investment banks slashed their oil price forecasts as OPEC’s production cuts drew down the global oil oversupply slower than initially expected, and rising U.S. shale production capped any short-lived oil price gains. But at the end of the summer, as OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) started reporting stronger-than expected global oil demand growth and an accelerated pace of inventory declines, the market sentiment began to change. As 2018 and the November 30 OPEC meeting draw nigh, the…

Here’s Where The OPEC Deal Gets Sticky

Oil prices plunged on May 25 when OPEC and its non-OPEC partners extended their production cut deal through March 2018. At the time, the market had not only expected deeper or longer cuts, but also it also wanted to know how the group would return to ramp up production after the pact expires. Five months ago, the lack of an exit strategy was an equally (if not bigger) worrying sign to the oil market than the slow pace of inventory drawdowns. In managing expectations and communicating a longer-term strategy for after-the-cuts, OPEC failed. Now,…

Big Oil Sinks $1 Billion Into Climate Fund

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI)—the voluntary alliance of some of the biggest oil companies in the world—said on Friday that it had made its first three investments in supporting the low-carbon industry and more efficient engine technology, in its first specific action aimed at supporting the growth of low-carbon technologies. In November last year, OGCI—which includes BP, Shell, Saudi Aramco, Total, Eni, Statoil, Repsol, CNPC, Pemex, and Reliance Industries—said it would allocate US$1 billion for fighting climate…

Brazil’s Pre-Salt Auction To Proceed Despite Injunction

The government of Brazil is confident that the auction for its promising pre-salt oil layer will proceed as planned today, after it had appealed an injunction ordering the suspension of the auction issued late on Thursday, Brazilian Mining and Energy minister Fernando Coelho Filho told Reuters. On Thursday, the leftist Workers Party sought an injunction, and a federal judge in the Amazonas state issued an injunction ordering the suspension of the today’s auction. The Workers Party is against foreign firms operating oil blocks and against…

Daimler Pulls Ahead Of Tesla In Electric Truck Race

While Tesla has pushed the unveiling of its semi-truck out to November, Daimler announced on Wednesday the world premiere of its all-electric heavy-duty truck, the E-FUSO Vision One, as the competition between the U.S. electric vehicle carmaker and Germany’s car and truck manufacturer intensifies. Daimler, the owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand, has been saying for months that it is ready to take on the competition from Tesla in the electric truck market. Daimler is also moving into EV, like almost all legacy automakers in the world. Daimler’s…

Shell: Breakeven For Brazilian Pre-salt Less Than $40

Shell is confident that it can produce oil from Brazil’s promising prolific pre-salt layer for less than $40 per barrel, that’s why the supermajor is taking part in this week’s Brazilian auction, Wael Sawan, Executive Vice President Deepwater at Shell, told Reuters on Wednesday. The pre-salt layer holds high-quality and prolific oil reserves, and recent Brazilian reforms have made them more attractive assets, Sawan told Reuters on the sidelines of an oil industry event in Rio de Janeiro. Shell believes that it can extract oil…

U.S. Fund, Co-Investors Buy Asian Firm In Record $5B Renewables Deal

Independent infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is betting big on renewables by signing a binding agreement to buy Asia-Pacific’s largest independent renewable firm, Equis Energy, for US$5 billion including debt in a record renewable energy generation acquisition. GIP, together with co-investors—Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and CIC Capital Corporation, a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of China Investment Corporation—are buying Singapore-based Equis Energy in a transaction expected…

Saudis To Lift Sovereign Wealth Fund Assets To $400B By 2020

As it is trying to boost private-sector growth and diversify its economy away from crude oil, Saudi Arabia aims to make its Public Investment Fund (PIF) one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds and double its assets to US$400 billion (1.5 trillion Saudi riyals) by 2020. The Saudis published the 2018-2020 program of PIG on Wednesday to detail the objectives in domestic and international investments and expected annual returns in each of the fund’s planned investment pools. The program is one of twelve realization programs part…

Russia To Boost Oil Production In 2018 If OPEC Deal Not Extended

While the oil market is awaiting what Saudi Arabia and Russia—the leaders of the OPEC and non-OPEC producers part of the production cut deal—will decide on the future of the pact, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying on Wednesday that Russia planned to increase its oil production next year, even if the global agreement is extended beyond March. “We forecast that in 2018 we will have small growth relative to the year 2017, but it will to a large extent depend on what decisions are taken on extending…

Can Venezuela Avoid Default?

The oil and bond market participants have hardly had time to take a breather after Venezuela’s disputed regional election, as the cash-strapped crisis-stricken country has to make more than $2 billion in bond payments over the next week—payments that it can’t miss because it could otherwise trip the wire to bondholders just waiting for a default.   In the past week, the government of the country that sits on the world’s biggest oil reserves failed to pay bond coupons worth a total of $586 million. But these payments…

Saudi Aramco’s IPO Has Never Been Linked To Oil Prices, CEO Says

Contrary to what oil market observers have been saying for months, the plans for listing 5 percent in Saudi Aramco have never been connected to the state of the oil market and the price of oil, Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser told Al Arabiya TV on Tuesday. “The offering since the beginning was never linked to the market or the condition of the market,” Nasser told the television on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.   “There is no doubt, oil market stability is very important…

Hedge Fund: China’s Petro-Yuan Plan Could Upend Oil Markets

China launching a yuan-denominated oil futures contract by the end of this year will shock those investors who have not been paying attention to the Chinese plans, Adam Levinson, managing partner and chief investment officer at hedge fund manager Graticule Asset Management Asia (GAMA), told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. In July, the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, INE, a subsidiary of Shanghai Futures Exchange, completed a four-step trial in crude oil futures denominated in yuan and said that it would carry preparatory works for the…

OPEC’s Newest Member Looks To Raise Oil Production

OPEC’s newest member country, Equatorial Guinea, is seeking to lift its crude production after smaller oil companies acquired stakes in offshore oil fields operated by U.S. Hess Corporation, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, told Bloomberg in an interview published on Tuesday. On Monday, Hess Corporation said that it had entered into an agreement to sell its interests in offshore Equatorial Guinea to Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy for a total consideration of US$650 million, effective…

Aramco CEO Warns Of Imminent Oil Supply Crunch

As much as US$1 trillion of investments has either been deferred or canceled with the lower-for-longer oil prices, and this underinvestment will impact the future of energy, Amin Nasser, the chief executive of Saudi Aramco, said on Tuesday. “Not much investments have been going into the energy sector… $1 trillion has been either deferred or cancelled,” Nasser said at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Of the US$1 trillion investment, US$300 billion was earmarked for oil exploration and another US$700 billion for…

LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says

The world’s LNG market will continue to be oversupplied into the mid-2020s as new supplies continue to outweigh demand, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA added that Chinese demand could tighten the market earlier than that. “We will see massive amounts of new LNG capacity coming to the market … so we will probably continue to have well-supplied markets into the middle of the 2020s,” Keisuke Sadamori, director of energy markets and security at the IEA, said on Monday in Singapore, as quoted by Reuters.…

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