Encana Lifts Output Guidance For Core U.S., Canada Shale Assets

Helped by production growth and lower costs, Canada’s oil and gas producer Encana Corp (NYSE:ECA) returned to a net profit in the second quarter and revised upward its production guidance for its four core assets in North America. Encana reported on Friday net earnings of US$331 million compared to a loss of US$601 million in the second quarter last year, easily beating analyst forecasts. Production from the core assets—the Permian and the Eagle Ford in the U.S. and the Montney and Duvernay shale plays in Canada – increased by…

Exxon Sues U.S. Treasury Over Fine Imposed For Violating Russia Sanctions

Exxon is suing the U.S. Treasury Department to challenge the Treasury’s US$2-million fine imposed for breaching Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia. According to the Treasury Department’s findings that Exxon, in 2014 when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was at its helm, signed documents with Rosneft and its CEO Igor Sechin, who is on the list of Specially Designated Nationals under the sanctions. Exxon is now disputing that ruling. The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) “determined that ExxonMobil did not…

TransCanada’s LNG Pipeline Project Hits Legal Setback

Canada’s federal court of appeal has sent TransCanada’s proposed gas back for redetermination by the National Energy Board (NEB), which had previously dismissed requests that the project be subject to federal, not provincial, approval. The court ruled earlier this week that the NEB had made a mistake in determining that the project was not under federal jurisdiction when it sent the plan to provincial approval. Michael Sawyer, a former environmental consultant, wanted the 900-km pipeline project to be considered to be under federal…

OPEC Sees July Oil Output Increase By 145,000 Bpd

OPEC’s crude oil production is expected to increase by another 145,000 barrels per day in July over June, driven by higher production in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and the UAE, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a forecast by consultancy Petro-Logistics.  “OPEC-14 supply is expected to exceed 33 million bpd in July which represents an increase of 145,000 bpd over June, driven by higher supply in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Nigeria,” Daniel Gerber, chief executive of Petro-Logistics, told Reuters in an email. “July volumes represent…

Saudis Cut Oil Exports To U.S. To Seven-Year Low

Saudi Arabia is following through on cuts to its crude oil exports to the United States, weekly EIA crude import data show, after Riyadh stated a couple of months ago that it would purposely reduce exports to the U.S. to force a reduction in the world’s most transparently reported inventory. According to EIA figures, U.S. crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia averaged 524,000 bpd in the week to July 14, the lowest weekly level since June 11, 2010. In the week to July 7, U.S. imports of crude from Saudi Arabia averaged 851,000 bpd.   …

BP Reportedly Approached Potential Buyers Of Some North Sea Assets

BP has contacted possible buyers of oil and gas assets that it holds in the North Sea, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, but BP told the Journal that it stays committed to the UK North Sea. “At the minute, there’s been initial conversations,” one of the people told the Journal, while some of the sources said that conversations did not exclude any BP asset in the North Sea. Possible buyers include private equity firms, the Journal’s sources said. BP said that it remained…

U.S. Fines Exxon For Violating Russia Sanctions Under Tillerson

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said on Thursday that it is imposing a US$2-million civil monetary penalty against ExxonMobil and some of its subsidiaries for having breached Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia in May 2014.   “Between on or about May 14, 2014 and on or about May 23, 2014, ExxonMobil violated § 589.201 of the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations when the presidents of its U.S. subsidiaries dealt in services of an individual whose property and interests in property were blocked, namely, by signing eight legal…

India’s State Refiners To Import Less Iranian Oil In 2017/18

India’s government-run refiners plan to import less Iranian crude oil in the 2017/2018 fiscal year ending March 2018, than the crude from Iran they bought in the previous fiscal year, according to India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Iran is offering a 60-day credit period for oil deliveries this 2017/2018 fiscal year, Reuters quoted Pradhan as telling Members of Parliament in a written response to a question. In the previous fiscal year, Iran was offering a 90-day credit period for oil purchases. Earlier this year, reports suggested…

Saudi-Led Bloc Eases Up On Qatari Demands

Diplomats from the four Arab countries that are leading the boycott against Qatar have signaled that the Saudi-led bloc is no longer demanding that Qatar comply with a list of 13 demands that many analysts and politicians have said are too draconian for the tiny gas-rich nation to agree to meet. Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) told reporters at the UN on Tuesday that the four countries no longer want Qatar to comply with the 13 demands, but have come up with six broad principles which they want Qatar…

“Dirty, Difficult, And Dangerous”: Why Millennials Won’t Work In Oil

Like many industries today, the oil industry is trying to sell its many job opportunities to the fastest growing portion of the global workforce: Millennials. But unlike any other industry, oil and gas is facing more challenges in persuading the environmentally-conscious Millennials that oil is “cool”.   During the Super Bowl earlier this year, the American Petroleum Institute (API) launched an ad geared toward Millennials, who now make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.    “This ain’t your…

BP, Total, YPF To Invest $1.15B In Argentina’s Vaca Muerta Shale

A BP unit and subsidiaries of France’s Total and Germany’s Wintershall have signed an investment agreement with Argentina’s state-run oil company YPF to jointly invest US$1.15 billion in the Vaca Muerta shale formation in Argentina. BP’s unit Pan American Energy LLC, Total Austral, Wintershall Energía, and YPF are committing the investment over the next five years to drill more than 60 wells in the Aguada Pichana area, YPF said in a statement on Tuesday. The partners also agreed to split the Aguada Pichana area into…

Hackers ‘Likely Compromised’ UK Energy Targets

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned that hackers have been targeting the country’s energy sector, and some targets are likely to have been compromised, according to a document by the cyber security center obtained by Motherboard from an industry source on the condition of anonymity. The NCSC, which is part of the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ, said in the document, as carried by Motherboard: “The NCSC is aware of connections from multiple UK IP addresses to infrastructure associated with advanced state-sponsored…

Head Of Libya’s NOC To Attend OPEC/Non-OPEC Meeting

OPEC has invited Libya to share its production plans with the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) next week, and Libya will attend the gathering, with National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla leading the delegation, NOC said on Tuesday. The recovery of Libya and Nigeria’s crude oil production in the past two months has rekindled fears that rising supply from those two African producers exempt from the OPEC cuts is offsetting a large part of the reductions and is depressing crude oil prices, alongside…

Kuwait: Oil Market To Balance By March, No Deeper Cuts Needed

Although the oil market is taking longer than anticipated to return to balance, the oversupply should be cleared by the time OPEC’s cuts expire at the end of March next year, and the cartel does not need to further cut output for the time being, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq told Reuters in an interview published on Tuesday. “We are in the first two weeks of the extension period. It is too early to say now what I will do in November,” al-Marzouq told Reuters, but added that there was no need for OPEC to convene…

Norway’s Giant Gas Field Is Set For Record Output

The giant gas field that holds around 40 percent of total gas reserves on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is set to produce a record amount of gas this year, just as gas demand in the UK is on the rise. Output at Norwegian field Troll—operated by Statoil—is expected to rise to record levels this year after Norway increased its production allowance for the field’s gas output, Bloomberg quoted a senior Statoil manager as saying.    “They are gently and carefully opening the valve for Troll,” Tor Martin…

India Plans Next Merger On Road To Creating Oil Giant

India’s top refiner Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) may buy out the government’s 66-percent stake in exploration company Oil India, in a second deal involving oil firms that is part of India’s plan to create a giant integrated oil company, ET Now news reported on Monday, citing sources. It was not immediately clear if the transaction would be an all-cash deal, an all-stock deal, or a mix of the two, ET Now said. However, a possible IOC-Oil India deal would probably be an easier transaction to execute than the plan to merge the third-largest…

Iran Signs Deal With Japan’s Toyo To Boost Output At Offshore Field

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed on Monday a memorandum of understanding with a consortium that includes Japan’s engineering group Toyo to revamp the facilities and upgrade gas production at the Salman field in the Persian Gulf. Iranian company Petropars is also part of the consortium, Iran’s oil ministry’s news service, Shana, reported.   Under the memorandum of understanding, NIOC, Petropars, and Toyo will finance studies for the rehabilitation project, but if they decide to turn the MoU into a deal, it would…

Mexico Delays Oil Auction, Allows Investors To Assess Recent Finds

Mexico’s next offshore oil auction will be held in January next year instead of in December 2017 as initially planned, in order to give bidders more time to assess all new data in view of the recent huge finds in the Mexican part of the Gulf of Mexico, the head of Mexico’s oil regulator told Bloomberg in an interview published on Monday. Last week, UK-based Premier Oil, along with its partners Talos Energy and the Mexico City-based Sierra Oil & Gas, said that they struck oil in excess of 1 billion barrels in the shallow waters in…

UK’s Centrica Merges Oil Business With Bayerngas Norge

UK energy company Centrica is combining its European oil and gas exploration and production business in a joint venture with Bayerngas Norge, creating one of Europe’s leading independent E&P companies that will have combined 2017 production in the range 50 million-55 million barrels of oil equivalent from 27 producing fields. Centrica, the owner of utility British Gas, is the latest European utility that is splitting off oil exploration businesses to focus on energy supply and services. Earlier this year, France’s Engie sold its…

North Korea’s Fuel Prices Soar After China Suspends Exports

Diesel and gasoline prices in North Korea have jumped since China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) halted sales of fuel to Pyongyang, Reuters reported on Monday, citing data on prices collected by North Korean defectors.   At the end of last month, reports emerged that CNPC, the main supplier of diesel and gasoline to North Korea, has suspended fuel sales to North Korea because it is worried that it may not receive payments. North Korea imports all the oil and oil products it consumes—mostly from China—and a prolonged suspension…

U.S. Opposes Japanese Plan To Drill For Oil Offshore Russia

The United States has objected to a project of a Japanese consortium and Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft to drill for oil offshore Russia, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.   Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), Inpex Corporation, and Marubeni Corporation signed in December 2016 a Heads of Agreement with Rosneft to potentially jointly explore in the southwestern offshore area of Sakhalin Island of Russia. The three Japanese companies expect to strengthen Japanese-Russian…

Saudi Fuel Oil Demand Jumps While Global Consumption Drops

Residual fuel consumption in Saudi Arabia jumped to 625,000 bpd in April, the highest since October last year, and contrary to the general global trend of declining fuel oil demand worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Although Saudi Arabia increasingly desires to move its domestic power sector away from crude oil towards natural gas, residual fuel oil has become increasingly important,” the IEA said in its monthly oil market report released Thursday, and quoted by Platts. “Indeed, [Saudi] use of fuel oil may…

Iraq Will Need Iranian Gas For Power Generation

Over the next seven years, Iraq will need Iranian natural gas supplies to feed its power-generation plants, because domestic gas output will not be enough, Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, Qasim Al-Fahdawi, has said. “New stations are entering into service soon, hence the country’s need for gas imports,” Iraqi News quoted Al-Fahdawi as saying. Natural gas output from Iraq’s southern fields in the Basra province will not be enough to meet the demand for powering electricity generation, according to the minister. However,…

Exxon, Hess, Statoil Sign Oil Exploration Deals Offshore Suriname

ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, and Statoil have signed 30-year production sharing contracts with Suriname’s state oil company Staatsolie for two blocks offshore Suriname, not far from one of the biggest recent discoveries: Liza offshore Guyana. A consortium of Exxon, Hess, and Statoil signed on Thursday a production sharing contract for Block 59, with each company holding a third of the interest. Statoil also signed a deal for Block 60 where it has a 100-percent interest and the operatorship. “For the exploration period, a minimum work…

Kuwait Plans To Boost Oil Output Capacity To 4.75 Million Bpd By 2040

Kuwait plans to increase its crude oil production capacity to 4.75 million bpd by 2040, compared to a current capacity of 3.15 million bpd, the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum International, the refining arm of Kuwait Petroleum Corp., told Bloomberg in an interview published on Thursday.   Kuwait’s more immediate plans are to raise its capacity to 4 million bpd by 2020 and keep that capacity until 2030, when it would seek to start raising it to 4.75 million bpd by 2040, Kuwait Petroleum International’s CEO Bakheet al-Rashidi said. “This…

Nigeria Agrees To Production Cap When Oil Output Reaches 1.8 Million Bpd

Nigeria is ready to support OPEC’s cuts and limit its crude oil output when it reaches a stable 1.8 million bpd, Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said on Wednesday. Nigeria and Libya—exempt from OPEC’s production cuts because of militancy that had crippled their production last year—were the two producers that contributed the most to the 393,000-bpd increase in the cartel’s total crude output in June compared to May. Libya’s output jumped by 127,000 bpd to 852,000 bpd, while Nigerian crude production rose…

Capping Libya, Nigeria Output Won’t Help Erase The Glut

The steady recovery of oil production in Libya and Nigeria in recent months has prompted OPEC to consider limiting the output of the two African producers that are currently exempt from cuts in the deal.   The Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) is gathering in Russia on July 24, and has invited Nigeria and Libya to attend to discuss their current production and short-term plans. According to Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq, OPEC might ask the two nations to cap output as soon as possible. Talk of Libya…

IEA: Shale Boom Sets U.S. On Track To Challenge World’s Top Gas Exporter Spot

Thanks to the shale revolution, by 2022 the U.S. will be on course to challenge Australia and Qatar for the world’s top gas exporter status, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new report published on Thursday.   The U.S.—currently the world’s biggest gas producer and consumer—will account for 40 percent of the additional gas production in the world by 2022 “thanks to the remarkable growth in its domestic shale industry”, according to the IEA. “By 2022, US production will be 890 bcm, or…

IEA: Market Shows Waning Confidence In Oil Rebalancing

The rebalancing of the oil market is taking too long, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its Oil Market Report on Thursday. Since the record net long position that money managers built in February on hopes that OPEC’s cuts would rebalance the market, investors’—and industry bodies’—confidence has been waning. “Brent prices have closed below $50/bbl each day since early June and few investors expect a recovery anytime soon,” the IEA said. Since the start of the production cuts, some issues have…

OPEC Reports Rising Output, Sees Lower Demand For Its Oil In 2018

OPEC’s crude oil production averaged 32.61 million bpd in June, up by 393,000 bpd over May, and the cartel’s first look into the 2018 oil market points to demand for OPEC crude at 32.2 million bpd next year, down by 100,000 bpd compared to this year. In its Monthly Oil Market Report released on Wednesday, OPEC said that crude oil output within the cartel last month increased mostly in Libya, Nigeria, Angola, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, while production showed declines in Venezuela. According to secondary sources, Saudi Arabia’s crude…

Oil Markets Pessimistic Despite Bullish News

The sentiment in the oil market has soured so much over the past two months that investors seem to be reacting to every piece of bearish news, and largely ignoring bullish signs from the industry. According to analysts, bullish news is on the horizon, but the market will continue to be biased toward news that is negative for crude prices until we see significant global inventory reductions, slower production, and greater demand. Case in point: last week’s EIA report of a massive 6.3-million-barrel draw in U.S. commercial oil stockpiles spurred…

Energy Commodities See Worst Performance In 19 Years

Despite OPEC’s efforts to boost oil prices, fears of persistent global oversupply slammed the price of oil in the second quarter of this year, pushing prices down for their worst first-half performance since 1998. Not only did oil prices suffer the worst start to a year in almost two decades—energy commodities as a whole logged in their worst H1 in 19 years. The S&P GSCI Energy Total Return index lost 18.8 percent year-to-date through the end of June 2017, its worst start to a year since 1998, Jodie Gunzberg, Managing Director of…

UAE’s ADNOC Studies Banking Majors For IPO Release

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-held oil company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is studying proposals from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, HSBC, and First Abu Dhabi Bank to have lead roles in the potential listing of ADNOC’s distribution business, expected to raise up to US$2 billion, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. Earlier this week, ADNOC said it would be expanding partnerships and possibly listing minority stakes in some of its services businesses with attractive growth and…

First Private Offshore Exploration In Mexico Yields 1-Billion-Barrel Find

Mexico’s opening of its energy sector to private oil drilling in 2013 is starting to pay off, as a joint venture of private international companies struck oil in excess of 1 billion barrels in the shallow waters in the southern Gulf of Mexico. London-listed Premier Oil Plc said on Wednesday that, together with its joint venture partners Talos Energy (Operator) and Sierra Oil & Gas, it had made a world class oil discovery in the Zama-1 exploration well in Block 7, the first offshore exploration well drilled by the private sector in…

Kazakhstan Not Backing Out Of OPEC Production Cut Deal

Kazakhstan is standing by its commitment to stick to the OPEC/non-OPEC agreement for production cuts, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said on Wednesday, reiterating the official Kazakh position that the country does not want out of the deal despite media reports to the contrary. Kazakhstan is part of the 11 non-OPEC nations that joined OPEC’s collective production cuts deal, pledging to collectively cut a total 558,000 bpd of crude oil production, which includes a commitment from Russia to cut 300,000 bpd. Kazakhstan—which…

France’s Total To Enter Oil JV with Qatar

France’s major Total SA and state-held Qatar Petroleum are getting ready to formally launch this week a 25-year joint venture to develop the Al Shaheen oil field in Qatar, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Monday, at a time when Qatar is engulfed in one of the worst diplomatic crises with its Arab Gulf neighbors. Total and Qatar Petroleum will launch this week the North Oil Company, in which the Qatari company will hold 70 percent, and Total will own 30 percent. Total signed back in in June 2016 the agreement with Qatar Petroleum that…

Qatar: Gulf Dispute To Have Limited Impact On Oil, Gas Trade

The world’s biggest LNG exporter, Qatar—which is locked in a bitter dispute with many of its Arab Gulf neighbors involving restricted port access for Qatari vessels—expects the rift to continue to have a limited impact on its crude oil and gas trade, Qatar’s Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed al-Sada said an at energy event on Monday. “Despite the illegal siege currently enforced on Qatar, [it] has never failed a single shipment and has not compromised on its longstanding image of being a reliable supplier of energy…

Will Capping Libyan And Nigerian Output Salvage The OPEC Deal?

Since they struck the production cut deal in late November, OPEC and the non-OPEC partners that are part of the agreement have seen U.S. shale ramping up crude production more than anyone has expected, undoing the cartel’s efforts to bolster oil prices. But over the past three months, OPEC has also seen its very own Libya and Nigeria—exempt from the output cuts on the grounds that militancy had crippled their production—boost their respective production to the point of further unnerving the oil market and complicating even more…

Low Oil Prices Lead To Fastest Mature Fields Decline In 25 Years

The lower-for-longer oil prices are leading to the fastest drop in crude output of mature conventional fields in 25 years as companies cut spending on older fields, Bloomberg reports, citing figures by energy consultancy Rystad Energy. Last year, mature fields across the world—which account for around one-third of global oil supply—saw their total output drop by 5.7 percent, the steepest decline since 1992. This year, the projected decline is around 6 percent, if the price of oil remains at current levels, according to Rystad Energy.…

Saudi Aramco: Industry Didn’t Invest $1 Trillion Due To Low Oil Prices

Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco is warning again that if the oil and gas industry doesn’t start investing again, the global oil supply/demand curve will reach a turning point in “a couple of years,” Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser said on Monday, noting that the oil price crash that began in 2014 has already wiped out US$1 trillion worth of investments. “About $1 trillion in investments have already been lost since the current downturn began,” Nasser said in a speech at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul…

Underwhelming Model 3 News Crushes Tesla’s Market Cap

This past week has been packed with news coming from or concerning Tesla. Judging from Tesla’s dismal stock market performance this week, last Sunday’s Elon Musk announcement that Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule and SN1 was expected to be completed on July 7, has been obliterated by a flurry of negativity for Tesla’s stock news. Tesla’s first-half vehicle deliveries were at the low end of its target. The company flagged “a severe production shortfall of 100 kWh…

OPEC Considers Capping Oil Output Of Exempt Libya, Nigeria

OPEC is thinking of putting a ceiling on the crude oil outputs of Libya and Nigeria, as rising production from these two OPEC producers exempt from the cuts is further complicating the cartel’s efforts to draw down oversupply and boost oil prices, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing OPEC delegates. “Nigeria is definitely becoming a worry for us,” a delegate to OPEC from a Persian Gulf Arab country told The Journal, while OPEC delegates from a few other nations have expressed similar concerns. According to a Platts…

Wells Fargo Expects Prolonged Stagnation in Oil Prices

Wells Fargo’s securities team downgraded on Friday their ratings on the stocks of three U.S. oil field services companies, expecting a “prolonged stagnation” in oil prices ahead that could affect oil and gas companies’ investment decisions. Wells Fargo’s Jud Bailey and his team downgraded Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP), Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR), and Oil States International (NYSE:OIS) in view of an “unexpected glut” as U.S. shale output increasingly disrupts global balances, Barron’s reports,…

Engie’s North Sea Oil & Gas Field Back Online After Gas Leak

The Gjøa platform in the North Sea off the Norwegian coast is back in production after a gas leak shut it down on June 21, the operator of the oil and gas field, ENGIE E&P, said in a statement on Friday. Gjøa will gradually increase production back to its normal level shortly after start-up, said ENGIE, which holds 30 percent in the field. On June 22, ENGIE said that late on the previous day a condensate leak occurred at the Gjøa platform. The situation quickly came under control, and no injuries occurred. The…

Eni Pumps First Oil From 45,000 Bpd Field Offshore Ghana

Italian oil and gas major Eni SpA started pumping first oil from the 45,000-bpd Sankofa oil field on Thursday, Italy’s Embassy in Ghana said on Twitter. The first-oil ceremony was attended by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo and Eni’s chief executive officer Claudio Descalzi. Sankofa is one of the fields of the US$7.9 billion Integrated Oil&Gas Development Project, in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block off Ghana’s western coast, for which Eni said in May that it would start production ahead of schedule. The…

U.S. Crude Oil Exports Up To 1.02 Million Bpd In May

U.S. crude oil exports rose to 1.02 million bpd in May compared to 1.00 million bpd in April, according to foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau out on Thursday.   Canada was the biggest market of U.S. crude exports, taking in 372,000 bpd, according to Census Bureau figures quoted by Reuters. U.S. oil exports to China stood at 147,000 bpd, and U.S. crude exports to the Netherlands came in at 108,000 bpd. Other countries to which the U.S. exported crude oil in smaller quantities included Malaysia, the UK, Colombia, Curacao, Peru, Bahamas,…

France Announces End Of Gasoline Cars By 2040

France plans to stop the sale of gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars by 2040, its new Energy Minister Nicolas Hulot said on Thursday, just a couple of weeks after the energy ministry announced plans to stop granting oil exploration licenses. “The target is a tough one. But France wants to become the No. 1 green economy,” Bloomberg quoted Hulot—an environmental activist—as saying at a news conference today to present France’s ‘Climate Plan’. The energy ministry would offer tax incentives for people who replace…

Are Hedge Funds Falling Into An Oil Market Bear Trap?

Oil prices have had a bumpy ride over the past month. On June 21, they hit a ten-month low amid concerns over rising supply from the U.S., Libya, and Nigeria, and over lack of evidence that OPEC was really prepared to do “whatever it takes” to draw down global oversupply. Then the price of oil crept up from the lows, logging in eight consecutive winning sessions before July 4—the longest bullish run since 2012—with WTI gaining 11 percent since it touched the 10-month low two weeks ago. And then on Wednesday, WTI plummeted…

Russia Offers Saudis A Part In Arctic LNG Project

Russia has extended an invitation to Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco to participate in the Arctic LNG-2 project, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. Cooperation between the two countries that are leading respectively the OPEC and non-OPEC nations into the collective crude oil production cut deal, have “top-flight” energy cooperation, which could further deepen if the Saudis were to take up the offer for a role in Arctic LNG-2, according to Novak. “Saudi Aramco…

Russian Energy Minister: No Additional Output Cuts Are Needed

While the oil market is increasingly questioning if OPEC/non-OPEC’s production cuts have any effect, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak weighed in on Thursday, saying that the production cut pact was working to reduce global oversupply and price volatility, and there was no need to take immediate additional moves to lift the price of oil. “We believe that it is necessary to move within the framework of the agreed decisions and that new, snap decisions are not necessary,” Novak told Reuters in an interview published…

‘’U.S. Rig Count Must Drop 150 For Oil Markets To Balance’’

Analysts and investors have been growing increasingly concerned that the OPEC-led production cuts would not be enough to bring the oil market back to balance, and now one investment bank, Morgan Stanley, is saying that if the market stands any chance of rebalancing next year, U.S. shale possibly needs to drop around 150 rigs. “If OPEC doesn’t balance the market, the oil price will have to force it somewhere else, most likely in U.S. shale. For a chance of a balanced market in 2018, the U.S. rig count can no longer grow and possibly…

Investors Benefit In Surprise Move From Canadian Oil Major

While many oil companies doubled down on debt to maintain or even increase dividends while profits were hard to come by in the ‘lower-for-longer’ oil price world, Canada’s biggest oil producer—Suncor Energy—is winning the hearts and minds of investors and stock analysts by not making capital investments in new projects in its core business: Canada’s oil sands. “We’ve decided to let the shareholders see the cash,” Suncor’s chief executive officer Steve Williams told The Wall Street Journal…

Syrian Army Set To Recapture Oil Field Near Palmyra From ISIS

Syria’s army is advancing against ISIS militants in the central Homs province, and has encircled terrorists in the al-Hael oil field near the ancient city of Palmyra, Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Wednesday. Army units are currently less than a mile away from the al-Hael oil field, and are closing in on ISIS militants in the field from the west, south, and southeast, SANA quoted a military source as saying. Separately, Syrian Army forces have targeted ISIS hideouts west of the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, killing many terrorists.…

Saudis Refuse To Relinquish Grip On Key Asian Market

While it is cutting more than required in the OPEC deal, Saudi Arabia is not ceding its grip on its biggest Asian market—Japan—and is raising market share by selling more light crude to its prized market to compensate for revenues lost from cutting the supply of the heavy crude variety. According to trade flows data by Thomson Reuters Eikon, Japan’s imports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia rose by 7.7 percent annually in the first half this year, to 1.3 million bpd, making the Saudis the biggest crude supplier to Japan. Saudi…

India’s Top Refiner Seeks To Buy U.S. Sour Crude For The First Time

In a bid to diversify supplies, India’s biggest oil refiner has issued its first tender to buy sour crude from the U.S. and Canada, Reuters reported on Tuesday, just a week after U.S. President Donald Trump hosted India’s Prime Minister at the White House at the beginning of the U.S. administration’s Energy Week. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) seeks to buy up to 2 million barrels of crude grades Mars, Southern Green Canyon, and Thunderhorse from the U.S.—along with Canada’s Western Canadian Select, according to Reuters’…

Total OPEC Crude Oil Exports Drop In June

Despite higher exports from Saudi Arabia and Libya, OPEC’s combined crude oil and condensates exports dropped in June compared to May, and were below the levels from October last year for a fourth time this year, energy data provider Kpler has said. OPEC’s total crude and condensate exports stood at 25.187 million bpd last month, down from 25.424 million bpd in May, and down from 25.493 million bpd in October 2016. The lower June overseas shipments were driven by declines in exports by the UAE, Algeria, Kuwait, and Iran, Kpler data…

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