Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal

Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE:PSXP), the master limited partnership of Phillips 66, said on Friday that it would buy assets from Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) in a deal valued at US$2.4 billion including debt, in the largest acquisition the partnership has ever made. Oil firms in the U.S. form master limited partnerships (MLPs) to buy and operate midstream assets. MLPs distribute excess cash to unitholders in the form of tax-deferred dividends. Phillips 66 Partners has reached a deal with Phillips 66 to buy the refiner’s 25-percent stake in each of…

5 Big Gainers In Oil & Gas This Week

Energy has been the worst-performing S&P 500 sector so far this year, losing 10.8 percent year-to-date. The top 15 U.S. oil companies by market capitalization have felt the sting of the failed oil price recovery. (Click to enlarge)Oil prices have risen less than initially anticipated this year, partially due to the continuous U.S. crude oil production gains. In recent weeks, a weaker dollar has been propping up oil prices more than OPEC’s cuts, and efforts to convince the market that rebalancing is well under way. This week, the U.S.…

Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS

Oil spilled from a pipeline at the al-Teym oil field in the oil-rich desert south of Deir al-Zor in Syria after the Syrian Arab Army and its allies had recaptured the oil site from ISIS, video footage uploaded on Friday on YouTube by Berlin-based video news agency Ruptly shows. Earlier this month, Syrian state TV reported that the Syrian army and its allies had retaken the Teym oil field as forces were advancing to clear the city of Deir al-Zor from Islamic State militants. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the army also seized…

OPEC’s Strategy To Clamp Down On Cheating

The latest chapter of the “what will OPEC do next” saga unfolded on Thursday as reports emerged that the cartel and the non-OPEC producers led by Russia may discuss a proposal to consider informal monitoring of crude oil exports, in addition to supervising compliance to production cuts. The OPEC/non-OPEC joint panel on monitoring the cuts, which consists of OPEC’s Kuwait, Venezuela, and Algeria, as well as non-OPEC Russia and Oman, is expected to discuss on Friday in Vienna a recommendation for monitoring exports, Bloomberg reports,…

Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump announced additional sanctions on North Korea today, but the sanctions do not include crude oil. The announcement came after word that oil would be exempt in the new round of sanctions, a senior administration official told Reuters earlier on Thursday. “We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea,” Trump told reporters in New York, Bloomberg reported earlier today. In the new sanctions, Trump gave the U.S. treasury the authority to target specific companies and financial institutions conducting business…

Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output

Sudan and South Sudan have signed a deal to open direct trade along the border and increase production in the oil fields in South Sudan that are currently not functioning, in an agreement that will serve as an economic lifeline to both countries. Both Sudan and South Sudan desperately need the oil and revenues, so the agreement would likely work, analysts told Al Jazeera. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but it has been a bloody road to establishing a stable government whose budget is dependent almost entirely on oil. In December…

U.S. Shale: Water Is the New Oil

Texas has a water problem, and this one isn’t due to Hurricane Harvey… Rising U.S. shale output has led to increased amounts of the water that inadvertently flows out of wells together with oil. For now, drillers use trucks to transport this dirty water—which exceeds the amount of oil produced—to disposal sites, creating heavy traffic on roads. But now, at the heart of the shale boom in Texas, water management companies are thinking about new ways to move this water, creating a new opportunity in the onslaught of U.S. shale—and…

India’s Oil Majors To Lift Borrowing To Cover Dividends, Capex

India’s three major state-held oil refining and marketing firms—Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL)—will increase borrowings to keep their large dividend payments and high capital spend, Moody’s Investors Service said on Tuesday. “These companies’ large dividend payments and high capital spending levels will keep their credit metrics weak, particularly in relation to retained cash flow on debt,” Vikas Halan, a Moody’s Vice…

Iran Looks To Ramp Up Production

Iran’s crude oil production is expected to grow to 4 million bpd by the end of the current Iranian year, March 20, 2018, the chief executive of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Ali Kardor, told Iran’s news agency Tasnim on Tuesday. Iran is currently pumping over 3.8 million bpd of oil, the manager added. Exports of crude oil and gas condensates now exceed 2.6 million bpd, but are further expected to increase as the country plans to raise its output in the second half this year and in early 2018. OPEC’s third-largest producer,…

Petrobras To Issue $2B New Bonds, Exchange Shorter-Term Debt

Petrobras plans to offer U.S.-dollar denominated global notes in one or more series for a total principal amount of up to US$2 billion, and to purchase or exchange five series of outstanding notes, Brazil’s state-controlled oil firm said on Monday as it seeks to cut debt and extend bond maturities.   The new notes issue is subject to market and other conditions, said Petrobras, which is the world’s most indebted oil company. Petrobras plans to use the net proceeds from the sale of the new notes for general corporate purposes, including…

New Saudi Railway Expected To Reduce Dependence On Crude Oil

Saudi Arabia plans to soon issue contract tenders for a 1,000-mile railway between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and to extend links to serve oil giant Aramco, Saudi Railway Company’s chief executive Bashar Al Malik told Bloomberg in an interview published on Monday. Saudi Arabia has been planning the 1,000-mile Red Sea-Persian Gulf link—Land Bridge—since 2008, but tabled it after Saudi Arabia and private companies failed to initially agree on the financial terms of a deal. The Saudis are now “moving ahead to implement…

Will Low Oil Prices End Saudi Arabia’s Gas Subsidies?

Although Saudi Arabia has managed to narrow its budget deficit, the Kingdom continues to feel the fiscal pressure of low oil prices, and is mulling over the phasing out of gasoline subsidies, and making gas prices level with varying international prices, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the plan. Under the plan, Saudi Arabia is said to be studying raising gasoline prices by the end of 2017 to bring them to parity with international prices—which would mean a rise of about 80 percent for octane-91 grade gasoline compared…

Nigerian Workers Stop Oil Product Loading As Union Goes On Strike

Oil workers in Nigeria stopped on Monday the loading of oil products, natural gas, and aviation fuel as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) joined an indefinite nationwide strike of its current affiliate United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC), demanding better conditions and pay as well as recognition of the ULC.    Electricity union workers have also joined in the strike. The ULC is a breakaway union from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). ULC split from the NLC last year over power struggles, and the NUPENG…

Mexico’s 2018 Election Could Derail Its Oil Boom

Three years ago, Mexico opened its energy sector to private investments in a landmark energy reform that ended more than seven decades of monopoly of its state firm, Pemex. Now Mexico has begun liberalizing gasoline prices as well. After an initially slow start to attracting foreign investment, Mexico’s offshore oil auctions have recently started paying off, after an alliance (including foreign firms) announced a “world class discovery” estimated to hold more than 1 billion barrels of oil in place—one of the major global…

Harvey Brings In First Drop In U.S. Industrial Output Since January

After six consecutive monthly gains, U.S. industrial production fell by 0.9 percent in August as Hurricane Harvey hit Gulf Coast refining, chemicals, and plastics materials production, the Federal Reserve said on Friday. “Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in late August, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly 3/4 percentage point,” the Fed said, noting that “The manufacturing industries with the largest estimated storm-related effects were petroleum refining, organic chemicals,…

Oil Spill Threatens Athens Beaches

Greek authorities continued to struggle on Friday to clean up an oil spill that occurred last Sunday when an oil tanker sank near the country’s main port, Piraeus, with the fuel now spreading to Athens beaches. Environmental groups and opposition parties are now accusing the government of managing poorly the clean-up activities, and is calling for resignations. A 45-year-old oil tanker, Agia Zoni II, carrying more than 2,500 metric tons of fuel oil and marine gas oil, sank early on Sunday off the island of Salamis, some seven miles off the…

U.S. Diesel, Heating Oil Inventories At Historical Low

Even before Hurricane Harvey shut down more than 20 percent of U.S. refining capacity, U.S. diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil stocks had dropped during the summer months, for the first time since record keeping began in 1982, a Reuters analysis of EIA data showed on Friday. Distillate inventories dropped by 2.2 percent between June and September, the first ever fall in that period since 1982. To compare, distillate stocks have typically increased by an average 10 percent since 2000 during the summer months, because that’s when refiners consciously…

Hurricane Harvey Oil, Chemical Spills Top 22,000 Barrels

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, more than 22,000 barrels of crude oil, refined products, and chemicals spilled at various sites in Texas, according to company reports to the U.S. Coast Guard that Reuters has reviewed. Apart from the oil and chemicals, millions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of other toxic substances spilled during and after Harvey slammed Texas at the end of August. The spills in the heart of the U.S. refining industry are one of the worst in the past few years, but are dwarfed by the 190,000 barrels that were…

Brazil’s Pre-Salt Areas Attract 17 Major Oil Bidders

As many as 17 companies have registered to bid next month in two rounds of exploration license awards in Brazil’s pre-salt layer, Brazilian Oil and Gas Secretary Marcio Felix said on the sidelines of an event on Thursday. Brazil is eager to award new exploration licenses in the most promising blocks in its pre-salt layer as it tries to boost its economy and attract more foreign investment. Before Felix gave the exact number of the different bidders in the two rounds, the country’s oil and gas regulator ANP had previously said that 10…

Does Russia Really Need The OPEC Deal?

OPEC and Russia are coordinating the first joint OPEC/non-OPEC deal to curb oil output since 2001, but the apparent unity in the face of lower-for-longer oil prices doesn’t disguise the fact that the cartel and Russia have separate agendas for production, expansion, and global market shares.   Earlier this week, in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report, OPEC revised down its forecast for Russia’s oil supply growth by 70,000 bpd for 2018. This means an anticipated net increase of 60,000 bpd for Russia’s oil output in 2018.…

Alberta Banking On An Oil Sands Boom

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley cut the ribbon that marked the official opening of an oil sands expansion project near Fort McMurray on Wednesday. The new project is expected to produce 20,000 bpd of oil by mid-2018, thanks to a US$1.64 billion (2 billion Canadian dollars) investment. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) and Nexen Energy ULC—a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s CNOOC—started last month the production of ultra-heavy crude oil from the Hangingstone Oil Sands Project. Japex and Nexen launched production using the…

WTI Breaks $50 As Bullish Sentiment Builds

Buoyed by strong global oil demand growth and reduced OPEC supply, U.S. benchmark WTI jumped above the psychologically important US$50 threshold on Thursday, topping that level for the first time in five weeks and aiming for the highest closing since the end of May. At 12:30pm EST today, WTI traded up 1.74 percent at US$50.16, while Brent was up 1.05 percent at US$55.74. Brent is now above the US$55 psychological level for the first time since May 25, when OPEC decided to extend the production cuts as-is in a move that largely disappointed a market…

Demand For Angola’s Oil In Asia Increases

Japan’s biggest refiner has just imported two of Angola’s crude grades for the first time in three years in a move that non-traditional buyers of Angolan oil like Japan could replicate soon, due to the narrow spreads that now exist between Brent and Dubai, and to lower freight rates, Platts reported on Thursday, citing industry sources. This month, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy imported a very large crude carrier (VLCC) loaded with Angola’s Cabinda and Kissanje grades, the first Japanese import of the Cabinda variety since 2012…

Shell Looks To Exit Iraq’s Majnoon Oil Field

Shell has decided to sell its interest in Iraq’s Majnoon oil field after the oil major and Iraq failed to agree on future production plans and investments budgets, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a letter of Iraq’s oil ministry to Shell that it had seen. “We respect your desire and decision to seek an acceptable end of Shell Iraq Petroleum Development SIPD’s interest in Majnoon,” reads the oil ministry’s letter that is dated August 23 and signed by Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luiebi.   Three local oil officials…

Strongest Demand Growth In 2 Years Boosts Oil Prices

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said earlier today that oil demand growth continues to be solid and that global oil inventories are shrinking. At 10:45am CST, WTI was up 1.51 percent at US$48.96, while Brent was trading up 1.07 percent at US$54.85. Global oil demand grew “very strongly” year-on-year in the second quarter this year, which prompted the IEA to revise up its growth estimate to 1.6 million bpd for this year. This is the second consecutive month in which the agency has lifted its demand…

The $10 Trillion Resource North Korea Can’t Tap

North Korea may not have proved petroleum reserves, but it’s estimated that the secluded belligerent nation sits on reserves of more than 200 minerals—including rare earth minerals—worth an estimated up to US$10 trillion. Of course, there are no official reports on how much North Korea’s mineral wealth really is, but according to rough estimates from earlier this decade, Pyongyang’s deposits of coal, iron ore, zinc, copper, graphite, gold, silver, magnesite, molybdenite, and many others, are worth between US$6 trillion…

New Gas Discovery Offshore Cyprus Not Commercially Viable

Eni and Total have discovered gas while drilling in Cyprus waters close to the giant Zohr gas field discovery offshore Egypt, but the estimated quantity of the newly discovered field is too small to develop on its own, Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Tuesday. The field contains less than 0.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, but the drilling proved that the Zohr-type geological model works, Lakkotrypis told reporters, as carried by Associated Press. “We’re not disappointed with this drilling,” the minister said,…

Nigeria Defies Calls To Curb Crude Oil Output

Although it faces mounting pressure to join OPEC’s production cuts, exempt producer Nigeria will resist any attempt to cut its oil output because it needs time at least until March next year to make sure its production gains are sustainable, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday. “We have a nine-month exemption period within which to come back to the table,” Kachikwu told FT. “You need that timeframe to see if any recovery is sustainable,” the minister added, putting…

Saudi Aramco Boosts Crude Oil Stockpiles In Japan

Saudi Aramco will fill on Wednesday all of its 8.18 million barrels of leased crude storage capacity in southwestern Japan, a source at the Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry told S&P Global Platts on Monday, as the Saudis are trying to keep hold of their North Asian customers amid OPEC’s production cuts and low oil prices. Aramco has received a fully loaded very large crude carrier (VLCC) with 1.89 million barrels at Okinawa, which it will add to the 6.29 million barrels it is currently storing there. Aramco has been using…

Goldman: Harvey, Irma Cause 900,000 Bpd Drop In Demand

In the wake of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma, oil demand is expected to drop by some 900,000 bpd this month, Goldman Sachs said on Monday.   “Irma will have a negative impact on oil demand but not on oil production or processing,” Goldman analysts said in a note, as carried by Reuters. “Harvey’s negative impact on demand will remain larger, however, given the large concentration of energy-intensive petrochemical activity in its path,” the bank said. According to Goldman’s estimates, the combined effects…

BP To List U.S. Midstream Assets

BP said on Monday that its wholly owned indirect subsidiary BP Midstream Partners LP had filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the NYSE that is expected to take place in the fourth quarter this year, depending on market conditions. The proposed maximum aggregate offering price is US$100 million, according to the filing with the SEC. BP Midstream Partners was set up as a vehicle to own, operate, develop, and acquire pipelines and other midstream assets. The company will be headquartered in Houston, with offices in Chicago, Illinois, BP said. …

Russia’s Rosneft Expects $40 Oil In 2018

Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, expects oil prices to average between $40 and $43 per barrel next year, and is preparing for such prices, Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin told TV channel Rossiya 24 in an interview broadcast on Monday. Last week, Sechin was quoted as saying that the recent rise in oil prices was due to a weak dollar, instead of efforts by OPEC to combat the global crude supply glut. Sechin’s oil price forecast is basically in line with Russia’s economic estimates from earlier this year. At the beginning…

North Korean Sanctions May Hurt China’s Oil Giants

Tensions over North Korea’s flexing of its nuclear capabilities over the past few months reached a new peak last weekend when Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test so far. South Korea, Japan, and the United States are on high alert, and U.S. President Donald Trump is stepping up his rhetoric aimed at the countries who continue to do business with North Korea. “The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” President Trump…

Azerbaijan, BP Extend Deal For Caspian Oil Field Until 2050

Azerbaijan will sign in the coming days a new deal with BP to continue the development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oil field in the Caspian Sea until 2050, extending the existing contract that is set to expire in 2024, Azeri media quoted President Ilham Aliyev as saying on Wednesday. ACG was Azerbaijan’s first offshore oil Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) contract with Western majors. The country and a consortium of foreign oil companies signed back in 1994 a 30-year deal to develop the field. Foreign partners in the venture—alongside…

Norway’s Mature Offshore Oilfield Attracts Record Number Of Bidders

A total of 39 companies have applied for new acreage in Norway’s 2017 licensing round in the mature and best explored areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf—a record high since the awards in predefined areas (APA) scheme was launch in 2003, Norway’s Petroleum and Energy Ministry said on Wednesday. The number of applications is nearly twice as many as in last year’s licensing round for the mature areas, and some 20 percent higher than the previous record-high of applications in 2014, the ministry said, in what could be…

Putin Reluctant To Cut Off North Korean Oil Supplies

Amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear tests, South Korea’s president has pleaded with Russia to help it with its push to cut off oil supplies to Pyongyang’s regime, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging for diplomacy, saying that sanctions and pressure won’t work, while stopping oil supply would have a worrying impact on regular North Koreans. “We too, are against North Korea developing its nuclear capabilities and condemn it, but it is worrying cutting the oil pipeline will harm the regular people,…

Aramco Looks To China Ahead Of IPO

Saudi Arabia is getting ready to list 5 percent of its crown jewel—state oil firm Aramco—in what could be the biggest IPO ever. The Saudis claim that the whole company is worth US$2 trillion, while most external analysts think the fair valuation is at least US$500 billion lower than that estimate. If the Saudis continue to pursue their target valuation, they may have to turn to major Chinese investors such as sovereign wealth funds and major state companies, who have deeper pockets than major institutional investors in the West. This…

Goldman: Post-Harvey Reconstruction To Boost U.S. Oil Demand

As devastating as Hurricane Harvey was to Texas, reconstruction is now expected to be ultimately positive for U.S. oil demand in a few months as fuel consumption is expected to increase as people rebuild homes, Goldman Sachs said in a report on Tuesday published by Bloomberg. “The potential for some U.S. onshore production curtailment and the likely demand recovery during the reconstruction suggest that the impact on the balance may become slightly positive after a few months,” Goldman analysts said in the report. “Such an outcome…

Brazil To Limit Private Stakes To 5% In Eletrobras Privatization

Brazil will allow private investors willing to buy into its state-held utility giant Eletrobras to obtain a maximum of 5 percent each, regardless of whether they are domestic or foreign investors, Brazilian Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira has told the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper in an interview. At the end of last month, Brazil proposed a plan to put up for privatization 57 major state infrastructure assets, including selling some or all of its 51-percent stake in Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras—as Eletrobras is officially named—by…

UK Aims To Lead Global Oil Decommissioning Industry

The UK, whose offshore waters hold some of the most mature oil and gas fields, has the chance to become a pioneer in oil decommissioning, and should develop the expertise and sell it globally, Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said on Tuesday, ahead of his speech at the ‘Offshore Europe’ oil and gas conference starting in Aberdeen today.   The North Sea will be one of the first regions in the world to begin decommissioning—clean-up and dismantling old oil rigs and pipelines—on a large scale. “The…

Local Industry Welcomes Indonesia’s Revised Oil Sharing Deals

Struggling to attract international investors to revive its declining oil production, Indonesia has tweaked anew the production sharing contracts it introduced at the beginning of this year­—a move that is seen as “positive” for investors, the executive director of the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) told Reuters. In January this year, Indonesia launched the so-called Production Sharing Contract (PSC) scheme based upon the sharing of a “Gross Production Split”. Under the PSC, Indonesia’s government…

Oil Takes Center Stage In Norway’s Election

Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, Norway, is holding a general election next week—the outcome of which will be largely determined by the oil policies and oil-related economic issues that are taking the center stage in the debates and in voters’ minds ahead of an election that’s too close to call. The Conservative Party currently in power in a coalition government and the opposition Labor Party—the two biggest parties—are neck-and-neck in polls. Whoever wins would probably need the support of smaller…

Indian ONGC To Bid For Israel’s Offshore Oil & Gas Blocks

In what could be a first major official energy deal between the two countries, India’s state-owed ONGC plans to bid for exploration rights of oil and gas blocks offshore Israel, Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Reuters on Monday. “We will definitely bid for Israel’s oil-and-gas blocks,” Pradhan told Reuters, after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel in July, which laid the foundations for wider industry cooperation between the two countries, including in the energy sector. In August, a senior-level…

Brent Prices Fall After North Korean Nuclear Test

Brent prices were down on Monday morning after investors shied away from crude oil markets and instead turned to safer-haven gold futures after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test over the weekend. At 09:40 am CST on Monday, Brent Crude was down 0.23 percent at US$52.63. Meanwhile, spot gold prices today touched a one-year high as investors flocked to safer asset classes. WTI Crude, the U.S. benchmark, was holding steady, up 0.38 percent at US$47.47. Trading in crude futures today is expected to be thin due to the Labor…

Goldman Sachs: Oil Majors See Upside At $50 Oil

Although oil prices are now half what they used to be three years ago, Big Oil is better positioned now than it was when oil prices were sky high, Michele Della Vigna, co-head of European equity research at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC in an interview on Monday. In the dizzy spending days between 2010 and 2014, when oil prices were above US$100, those high prices were actually “dreadful time” for the international oil majors, because everyone was eating the lunch, and Big Oil’s competitive positioning was destroyed, according to Della…

China Readies Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Benchmark Backed By Gold

The world’s top oil importer, China, is preparing to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan and convertible into gold, potentially creating the most important Asian oil benchmark and allowing oil exporters to bypass U.S.-dollar denominated benchmarks by trading in yuan, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The crude oil futures will be the first commodity contract in China open to foreign investment funds, trading houses, and oil firms. The circumvention of U.S. dollar trade could allow oil exporters such as Russia and Iran,…

Chinese Teapots Team Up In Refining Conglomerate

The Shandong province in China has approved a request by the largest independent oil refiners—typically known as teapots and most located in the province—to set up a refining conglomerate to boost their coordination amid fierce competition from state refiners. The Shandong province—home to more than 70 percent of China’s teapots—has authorized the consolidation, Xinhua news agency reports, citing a document issued by the Shandong Economic and Information Technology Committee on Friday. Major independent refiners, including…

Latin America Looks Toward Oil Cargo Sitting Offshore Venezuela

Latin American countries that import U.S. fuel cargoes, mostly from the Gulf Coast, are scrambling to find alternatives to U.S. shipments after Hurricane Harvey battered Texas and Louisiana, leading to massive flooding at refineries, and disruptions at port operations. Regular Latin American buyers of U.S. fuel such as Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia are now eyeing a fleet of two dozen tankers loaded with some 7 million barrels of fuel that have been sitting off the Venezuelan coast for weeks, Reuters reports, citing trading and shipping sources.…

Has Iraq Stopped Cheating On The OPEC Deal?

OPEC’s no.2 Iraq is currently producing 4.32 million bpd of oil, below the 4.351 million bpd ceiling it had pledged in the production cut deal, Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said on Friday, in what is the first sign that one of the worst-compliant producers so far may have finally started to stick to its commitment—a couple of months after the original agreement was set to expire. Despite Iraq’s optimism, its central government doesn’t yet have the full picture of the oil exports of the Kurdistan Regional Government,…

U.S. Taps Strategic Petroleum Reserve After Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry authorized on Thursday an emergency release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) of 500,000 barrels of crude oil after Hurricane Harvey disrupted the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana, and led to motor fuel price spikes and shortages. “In response to the impacts from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Secretary of Energy has authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to negotiate and execute an emergency exchange agreement with the Phillips 66 Lake Charles Refinery. This decision will authorize…

Lukoil To Sell Oil Its Trading Arm Due To Russia Sanctions

Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil is studying the possible sale of its oil trading arm, Switzerland-based Litasco, fearing that the new U.S. sanctions on Russia will make it more difficult for the oil trader to raise new financing, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing industry sources. Litasco’s sale could take place sometime at the end of this year, a senior industry source told Reuters, adding that this could be the first move to Lukoil selling more assets abroad to focus on upstream in Russia. “One of the reasons…

Mexico Gives Pemex Two More Years To Explore 101 Oil Blocks

Mexico’s energy ministry on Monday extended by two years the leases on 101 oil and gas exploration blocks assigned to state oil firm Pemex that were due to expire on August 28. Under Mexico’s energy reform of 2013, the government opened oil and gas exploration blocks to international investments for the first time in more than 70 years, ending Pemex’s monopoly. The state oil company was allowed to keep many of its blocks on the condition that it carries out a minimum amount of work to explore them. A total of 65 of the 101 blocks…

Saudi Arabia Shortlists 25 Bidders For First Utility-Scale Wind Plant

Saudi Arabia has shortlisted 25 companies that qualify to bid for proposals to build a 400-MW wind power plant in the northern part of the Kingdom, in what would be the first utility-scale wind power project, the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.   REPDO has qualified 25 companies—including major players in renewables such as Acciona, Enel Green Power, EDF Energies Nouvelles as well as technology giants such as GE, units of Siemens, Marubeni, and Mitsui, among…

Venezuela’s Oil Minister To Discuss OPEC Deal With Saudis, Russians

Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino, who was appointed again as minister last week, plans to visit Saudi Arabia and Russia ahead of the September 22 meeting of the joint OPEC/non-OPEC panel set up to monitor the cuts, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Monday, quoting Del Pino as saying. Del Pino had served as Venezuela’s oil minister until January this year, when he was replaced by Nelson Martinez. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reshuffled again the government and the top management of embattled state-held…

UAE Pledges More Cuts To Meet OPEC Commitment

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-held oil company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will cut by 10 percent its October crude term agreements for three grades, as the UAE is moving closer to finally meet its OPEC commitments. “In line with the UAE’s OPEC commitments, ADNOC has informed customers of its crude oil nomination cut for October,” Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei tweeted on Monday.   “In October, ADNOC will cut 10% from its Murban, Das and Upper Zakum term agreements,”…

China Creates World’s Biggest Power Group With $271B In Assets

China has approved the merger between its biggest coal producer Shenhua Group Corp, and one of the top five state power companies, China Guodian Corp, in a deal that would create the world’s largest power company by installed capacity and with assets worth US$271 billion (1.8 trillion Chinese yuan). China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission issued on Monday a one-line statement that it has approved the merger, which is part of the Chinese government’s efforts to streamline power operations and reduce…

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