Global Clean Energy Investments Near All-Time High

Booming Chinese solar installations propelled annual worldwide investments in renewable energy and energy-smart technology 3 percent higher to $333.5 billion last year—the second-highest on record, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report showed on Tuesday. China and the U.S. led the way with the largest portions of clean energy investment, and while European investment dropped — pushed down by changed policies in the UK and Germany — funding for renewables and smart energy tech in Australia and Mexico boomed, BNEF said. The…

IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030

Despite the fact that part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been declared open to drilling, low oil prices and abundance of onshore shale deposits makes the Arctic currently less attractive for development, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, has told a U.S. Senate committee, adding that he didn’t expect substantial volumes of oil from that region before 2030. “With the current context, it will be difficult to believe that there will be a substantial amount of oil production…

Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia

Norway should map the northernmost areas of its part of the Barents Sea close to the Russian maritime border in order to protect its economic interests in the Arctic, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum Terje Søviknes said at an energy conference on Wednesday. “We need to start the discussion about what to do in the far north. We see a development on the Russian side of the border, where they are drilling and likely will find oil,” Søviknes said at the conference, as quoted by Reuters. Norway and Russia agreed in 2010…

Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025

EDF Energy—the developer of the first new nuclear power plant in the UK in a generation, Hinkley Point C, is confident that it can put the first unit into service in 2025, EDF Energy chief executive Simone Rossi said on Wednesday, in what would be an eight-year delay compared to the first plans to have Hinkley Point up and running in 2017. Back in 2007, EDF bosses predicted that UK households would be cooking their 2017 Christmas turkeys with power generated from Hinkley Point—a prediction that turned out to be a bit too ambitious.…

Nigerian Militants Threaten To Attack Oil Facilities Within Days

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)—the militant group responsible for most of the 2016 attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure—threatened on Wednesday to unleash the deadliest round of attacks on Nigeria’s oil sector—“in a few days time”. “This round of attacks will be the most deadly and will be targeting the deep sea operations of the multinationals which include Bonga Platform, Agbami, EA Field, Britania-U Field, Akpo Field; amongst others littered across the deep waters of the Niger Delta region,”…

What’s The Limit For Permian Oil Production?

The ‘hottest shale play’ has been the media’s favorite cliché for the Permian Basin over the past year. And while cliché, the basin straddling West Texas and New Mexico has lived up to this description—its oil production, unlike that in other basins, did not fall off a cliff during the downturn, it recently beat its own record from the 1970s, and is expected to continue to increase production more than any other U.S. shale play and account for most of the American oil production growth. The Permian has been…

Saudis To Award Nuclear Power Contracts In December

Saudi Arabia expects to award the contracts for the construction of its first nuclear reactors in December this year, and will be picking bidders from the pool of U.S., China, France, South Korea, and Russia, a Saudi official working with the project told Bloomberg on Monday. Saudi Arabia has received requests from five bidders from those countries, said Abdulmalik Alsabery, a consultant in the business development department at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. Alsabery declined to name the companies on the short list. “By…

Norway Desperately Needs Large Oil Discoveries

Thanks to costs cuts and large oil discoveries made before the oil price crash, Norway will be able to sustain its oil and gas production over the next five years. But reduced exploration drilling and lack of big discoveries in the past two years spell trouble for Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer after 2023, authorities fear. Nearly two-thirds of the undiscovered resources are thought to be located in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) directorate said last week in its review of the Norwegian Continental…

Shell Approves Its First North Sea Oil Project In Six Years

Shell is going ahead with the redevelopment of the Penguins oil and gas field in the UK North Sea, the oil major said on Monday in its first major oil project sanction in the North Sea in six years. The final investment decision (FDI) on the project authorizes the construction of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel—Shell’s first new manned installation in the northern North Sea in almost 30 years. Shell did not provide details on the total cost of the redevelopment, but analysts at Bernstein had estimated the…

China Unlikely To Maintain Record Oil Product Exports

China exported a record volume of refined oil products in December, but the oil price rally has been driving refining margins down in recent weeks. These falling margins mean January’s oil product exports may be lower as its production falls, Reuters columnist Clyde Russell writes. China’s commodity trade data for December showed that the country exported 6.17 million tons of refined oil products, equal to about 1.6 million bpd using the BP conversion factor of 8 barrels of product/ton. Chinese fuel exports in December increased by…

Saudi Arabia Looks To Test EVs In Harsh Climate

State-held Saudi Electricity Company signed an agreement on Sunday with Japanese energy firms and carmaker Nissan to launch the first pilot project for electric vehicles in the country best known for its oil production and exports. Saudi Electricity signed the deal with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), its affiliate Takaoka Toko Co. Ltd., and car manufacturer Nissan to test the feasibility of EVs in the harsh climate of Saudi Arabia, TEPCO said in a statement on Monday. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest exporter and de facto leader, aims…

Geopolitical Wildcards Could Push Oil Beyond $70

Two of this week’s main market highlights were the continued oil prices rally—with Brent touching above $70 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since December 2014—and a sell-off of U.S. Treasury bonds in the middle of the week. The U.S. government bond sell-off pushed yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bonds to a 10-month high at above 2.5 percent. Generally, yields on Treasury notes go up when there’s less demand for them, and go down when demand is high. While a number of factors have combined to push U.S. government…

Kenya Cuts Share Of Oil Revenues To Local Communities

Kenya has decided to allocate 20 percent of future oil revenues to the communities where crude oil has been discovered, cutting the share from an initial proposal to give local counties and communities 30 percent of future oil income, a senior Kenyan government official told Reuters on Friday. In November 2017, Kenya planned to give 30 percent of oil revenues to the local communities, backtracking on a previous proposal to cap revenues at specific amounts in what analysts saw largely as a political move. In a first draft of the oil revenue bill,…

IEA: $65-70 Oil Could Cause Surge In U.S. Shale Production

Oil producers may be enjoying oil prices at $65 to $70, but these price levels are likely to encourage even more oversupply from U.S. shale, Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said at an industry event on Friday. For most of 2017, the resurgence of U.S. crude oil production was capping price gains and offset part of the production cuts that OPEC and its Russia-led non-OPEC partners have been implementing since January last year. This year also started with the OPEC vs. shale tug-of-war, although in the…

Russia’s Lukoil May Sell 20% In Oil Trader Litasco

Russia’s second-biggest oil producer, Lukoil, is mulling over selling 20 percent of its oil trading arm, Litasco, to managers of the oil trader, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said on Friday. In the summer of last year, Lukoil was said to be studying the possible sale of its Switzerland-based trading arm, Litasco, fearing that the new U.S. sanctions on Russia would make it more difficult for the oil trader to raise new financing. Geneva-based Litasco was set up in 2000 as the exclusive international marketing and trading company…

Saudis Shortlist New York, London, Hong Kong For Aramco IPO

Saudi Arabia has shortlisted New York, London, and Hong Kong for the initial public offering of its oil giant Aramco, with the three exchanges considered either singly or a combination of two of them, or even all three, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing two sources familiar with the latest developments. Picking those three potential venues, plus the domestic Saudi stock exchange, means that Toronto, Tokyo, and Singapore are no longer in the running for hosting what is expected to be the largest IPO in history. Saudi Arabia still plans to have…

Rigid EU Rules Makes ICE Move 245 Oil Futures Contracts To U.S.

One of the world’s largest commodity exchanges, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), will move trading in 245 futures and options contracts on North American oil and natural gas liquids to the U.S. from Europe to meet growing customer demand for execution of contracts in the U.S. after stricter rules on European markets entered into force on January 3. ICE has said in a circular to customers that effective February 19, it would be moving 245 oil and natural gas liquids contracts from ICE Futures Europe to ICE Futures U.S (IFUS). ICE clarified…

PetroChina’s Biggest Refinery Doubles Russian Pipeline Oil Intake

Since the new Russia-China oil supply agreement took effect at the start of the year, PetroChina’s largest refinery has almost doubled the amount of Russian pipeline crude oil that it is processing, a senior industry source with direct knowledge of the volumes told Reuters on Wednesday.   According to the source, the 410,000-bpd PetroChina refinery in the northeast port city Dalian will process 260,000 bpd of Russian pipeline crude oil in 2018, up by 85-90 percent compared to 2017. The higher volumes of Russian pipeline crude will replace…

The Biggest Loser Of The OPEC Deal

OPEC’s oil production and supply cuts—now in their second year—have claimed a victim. It’s an industry that’s vital for the crude oil exports of oil-producing countries: supertanker shipping. The supertankers, or very large crude carriers (VLCCs), are vessels capable of carrying around two million barrels of oil. As OPEC and its non-OPEC allies work to remove a combined 1.8 million bpd off the market to draw down the global glut, the number of supertankers voyaging from the Middle East to Asia, for example, has dropped.…

Saudi Aramco Looks To Secure $6B In Cheap Loans Before IPO

In a sign that it is trying to ensure that its highly anticipated IPO will take place this year, Saudi Aramco is seeking to obtain up to US$6 billion in cheaper loans before the share sale, taking advantage of banks that are willing to boost ties with the Saudi oil giant and position themselves for roles in the IPO, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources at banks and export credit agencies. According to two sources, Aramco could raise at least US$5 billion, backed by export credit agencies, in transactions on which Citigroup, Standard Chartered,…

Shell Sells Stake In Iraqi Oil Field To Japan’s Itochu

Royal Dutch Shell has sold its 20-percent stake in Iraq’s West Qurna-1 oil field to Japan’s Itochu Corporation, and Iraq has approved the transaction, a senior Iraqi oil official told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. “Shell sold its stake in West Qurna 1 to Itochu and the oil ministry approved it. We met with Itochu and discussed the required financial investments and operations at the field,” Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, the head of Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC), told Reuters. The operator and lead contractor…

Venezuela’s Parliament Outlaws Maduro’s Cryptocurrency

The Venezuelan Parliament, run by the opposition, voted on Tuesday to declare Nicolas Maduro’s plan to issue an oil-backed cryptocurrency—the Petro—illegal, claiming that it violates the constitution and attempts to mortgage part of the country’s oil reserves. Since losing majority in the National Assembly in 2016, Maduro has been ignoring the legislature, and the pro-government Supreme Court has overturned almost every measure that the opposition-dominated parliament has passed since then. In a July 2017 election boycotted…

Goldman: OPEC Will Talk Oil Prices Down If Brent Tops $70

OPEC doesn’t want central banks around the world the start responding to inflationary pressure from oil prices above $70 a barrel, nor do they want U.S. shale investments to rise, so the cartel will try to talk oil prices down if Brent exceeds $70 per barrel in the coming days, according to Goldman Sachs. At 09:32 a.m. on Wednesday, Brent Crude was up 0.41 percent at $69.10, just shy of the $70-a-barrel mark, after the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a staggeringly large draw of 11.19 million barrels of United States crude…

Trump’s Offshore Plan Unlikely To Spark Drilling Rush

Last week, the Trump Administration proposed the most aggressive U.S. offshore oil and gas drilling plan since the Reagan Administration, offering to open more than 90 percent of the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for consideration of future exploration and development. The draft proposal—which will now undergo a public comment period and proposed program drafts that will take months—has drawn harsh criticism from the governors of the Pacific states and from Florida. Analysts, however, think that the opposition to offshore drilling…

4 Factors That Could Derail The OPEC Deal

OPEC and its Russia-led non-OPEC allies in the deal managed to stay together for a full year of high compliance with the oil production cuts and have agreed to extend the pact for a second year to the end of 2018. This year, however, the cartel and friends face even more challenges in sticking together until the end of the December, with both supply and demand uncertainties adding to the unknowns. On the one hand, within the cartel, possible production slumps from two OPEC members could trigger an early exit. Another internal OPEC factor could…

Iraq Bans Kurdish Firm From Operating Kirkuk Oil Fields

After Iraq’s federal forces recaptured the oil fields in Kirkuk in October, the Iraqi Parliament voted on Monday to ban Kurdish engineering company Kar Group from operating Kirkuk’s oil fields. Baghdad—which never recognized the legitimacy of the Kurdistan region’s referendum at end-September—moved in October to take control over the oil-rich area around Kirkuk. In mid-October, Iraqi government forces seized the oil fields around Kirkuk, which had been under Kurdish control since 2014. The military maneuver knocked…

Kuwait Energy In Talks To Merge With London-Listed Firm

After failing to complete an initial public offering in London last year, independent oil and gas company Kuwait Energy may find a way to get access to the London Stock Exchange through a possible merger with a company already listed there. Kuwait Energy is in merger talks with London-listed SOCO International, in what could be a merger of equals, Reuters reported on Monday, citing two sources familiar with the talks. In May 2017, Kuwait Energy said that it would seek an IPO on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. At the time, Kuwait Energy…

OPEC Won’t Compensate For ‘Small’ Supply Outages

OPEC is closely following the protests in Iran and the economic struggles of Venezuela, but the cartel will not intervene in the market by ramping up supply unless significant prolonged production disruptions in those two countries occur, Reuters reported on Monday, citing a senior OPEC source from a major Middle Eastern producer. “Even if there was a supply disruption (from Iran or Venezuela)… OPEC will not raise output,” the senior OPEC source told Reuters. “OPEC’s policy is to bring inventories down to their normal…

Is An Oil Price Correction Overdue?

Oil prices rallied in the first week of 2018, supported by increased geopolitical risk and severely cold weather in the eastern U.S., but the ‘perfect storm’ that pushed oil prices higher also raises the risk of a correction and of heightened herd mentality in trade, analysts reckon. Protests in Iran, possible new U.S. sanctions against Tehran, and Venezuela’s economic collapse could be the main geopolitical risks that could drive oil prices up early this year. Oil prices made their strongest start to a year in four years, with…

Libya Triples Oil Revenues In 2017 As Production Recovers

Libya’s oil revenues nearly tripled in 2017 to US$14 billion as the country managed last year to gradually recover its oil production, reaching 1 million bpd for the first time since 2013. According to data by Libya’s central bank, the revenues from oil sales almost tripled last year from US$4.8 billion in 2016. The surge in oil revenues amid recovering production and recovering oil prices allowed Libya to halve its budget deficit last year, to US$7.85 billion (10.6 billion Libyan dinars), from US$15 billion (20.3 billion dinars) in…

Pacific Coast, Florida Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling Plan

The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Florida’s Republican governor, are opposing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s plan to open more than 90 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas drilling. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, which proposes to make over 90 percent of the total OCS acreage available to consider for future exploration and development. Under the current program, 94 percent of the OCS is…

Oil Price Rise Not Enough: Angola Ditches U.S. Dollar Peg

To offset the decline in its foreign currency reserves, OPEC member Angola—which relies on oil for 90 percent of government revenues—is ditching its currency peg to the U.S. dollar and will allow a more flexible exchange rate regime with the currency trading within a band. Since the oil price crash of 2014, Angola’s economy has suffered badly, and its foreign reserves have dwindled. Now Angola is trying to protect foreign reserves and is joining other oil producing nations that have devalued or floated their currencies to protect…

China To “Deal Seriously” With Violators Of Oil Sanctions On North Korea

China’s government promised on Friday to “deal seriously” with people or companies that may have violated United Nations sanctions by illicitly delivering oil to North Korea. On Wednesday, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported that Chinese shipping companies were dodging the UN sanctions on oil sales to North Korea by registering ships in third countries. According to the newspaper, which quotes Asia-Pacific shipping records, at least several vessels are owned by Chinese companies, but are registered in third countries like…

Norway Wins Lawsuit Over Arctic Oil Drilling

A Norwegian court ruled on Thursday that Norway’s government had not violated the constitution in awarding drilling licenses in the Arctic, and dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups that wanted the Artic oil drilling licenses withdrawn. In November 2017, environmentalist organizations took the Norwegian government to court over the awarding of oil drilling licenses in the Arctic, arguing on the first day of hearings that the 2015 licenses should be withdrawn as they violate Norway’s constitution and the country’s…

Gazprom Gas Exports Rise To Record High In 2017

Russia’s Gazprom raised its exports by 8.1 percent annually to a record high of 193.9 billion cubic meters in 2017, the chairman of Gazprom’s management committee, Alexey Miller, said on Wednesday. In a speech at the end of December 2017, Miller said that “Last year, we set an absolute record for gas exports with 179.3 billion cubic meters. We will beat that amount by the year’s end, with over 190 billion cubic meters of gas delivered to consumers. I would like to note that this year will see several countries at once set…

Russia Boosts 2017 Crude Oil Production To 30-Year High

Despite the fact that Russia is cutting its oil production as part of OPEC and allies’ deal to restrict global oil supply, Moscow’s average daily crude oil production inched up again in 2017, to a 30-year-high of 10.98 million bpd, according to Russian Energy Ministry data. Non-OPEC Russia, like OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and most of the other cartel members, entered the joint deal on January 1, 2017 at a very high level of production, which took much of the sting out of the cuts. In the last quarter of 2016, Russia’s…

BP To Book $1.5B One-Off Charge From U.S. Tax Reform

BP expects to book a one-off charge of US$1.5 billion to its Q4 2017 earnings due to the U.S. tax reform, as the new legislation requires revaluation of BP’s U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities, the UK supermajor said on Tuesday. Details of the final actual revaluation and charge will be released when BP reports fourth-quarter 2017 earnings on February 6, the group said. BP is joining its competitor, Royal Dutch Shell, which said last week that it expected to book a US$2-2.5-billion charge in its fourth-quarter 2017 results following…

U.S. Shale Can’t Offset Record-Low Oil Discoveries

The U.S. shale resurgence has been one of the main themes in oil markets this year, while OPEC’s production cut deal to deplete the oil overhang and boost oil prices has been the other key development in 2017. U.S. shale production is expected to grow over the next few years as the companies that survived the worst of the downturn showed resilience in the face of the lower-for-longer oil prices. But three years of low oil prices also led to the global oil industry slashing investments in conventional oil exploration, and deferring or revisiting…

Forties Pipeline To Return To Normal Rates Around New Year

The Forties Pipeline in the North Sea is expected to return to normal flow rates of some 450,000 bpd around new year, the operator of the pipeline, Ineos, said in its latest media update on the progress of the repairs. Ineos shut the pipeline down on December 11 after discovering a hairline crack in the pipe just south of Aberdeen. Following the announcement of the controlled shutdown, Brent prices spiked not only because the pipeline carries some 450,000 bpd, but also because Ineos said that the repair would take “weeks rather than days.”…

Higher Oil Prices Slow China’s Crude Stockpiling

Taking advantage of the low oil prices, China increased its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) by almost 14 percent between June 2016 and June 2017, according to data by its National Energy Administration (NEA). As oil prices increased in the third and fourth quarter this year, the pace of the Chinese state oil reserve stockpiling has eased, according to analysts cited by Reuters. China rarely releases figures about its strategic reserves, and the data announced today is the first in eight months. According to the NEA, China had 37.73 million tons…

South Korea Seizes Hong Kong Oil Tanker

South Korea has impounded a Hong Kong-registered oil tanker suspected of having secretly transferred refined oil to a North Korean vessel, thus violating United Nations sanctions, South Korean officials announced on Friday. The officials said that Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker Lighthouse Winmore had docked at the South Korean port of Yeosu on October 11 to load 14,039 tons of refined petroleum from Japan, according The New York Times. A few days later, the tanker set sail from Yeosu en route to Taiwan. But instead of reaching Taiwan, the ship transferred…

Venezuela To Launch Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Within Days

Venezuela is getting ready to launch within days its own cryptocurrency–El Petro–which will be backed by more than 5.3 billion barrels of oil and support $267 billion worth of financial instruments, Venezuela’s Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez said on Thursday. Earlier this month, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro shocked both analysts who follow the country’s flirting with default and the cryptocurrency community by announcing that Venezuela wanted to launch the petro cryptocurrency, backed by oil, diamonds…

There Aren’t Enough Truckers In Texas

Permian’s production growth—the main driver of the second shale revolution as oil prices crept higher this year—may be limited not by geological or technological constraints, but by a shortage of truck drivers to transport the increasing volumes of oil pumped out of the most prolific areas to pipelines and storage hubs. With the recovery of oil prices and booming Permian production, companies are looking to re-hire truckers after having dismissed a lot of them in the aftermath of the 2014 oil price crash. The truckers, however,…

Libya’s Damaged Pipeline Will Come Back Online In January

The Libyan crude oil pipeline blown up on Tuesday will take about a week to repair, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, an explosion on the Zaggut to Es Sider oil pipeline in eastern Libya occurred, NOC has confirmed. The pipeline transports crude oil to Libya’s largest oil export terminal, Es Sider. Although the pipeline operator, Waha Oil Company, immediately diverted production to another pipeline, NOC expects production losses of 70,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd, Libya’s…

Eni Begins Drilling For Oil Offshore Alaska

The U.S. unit of Italy’s oil major Eni started this week the spudding of a new oil well in the Beaufort Sea, in the first Arctic exploration operations on the Outer Continental Shelf in more than two years, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has said. The start of the drilling follows BSEE’s approval of Eni’s application for permit to drill at the end of November.    If exploratory drilling is successful and new development ensues, it could lead to new production of 20,000 barrels of oil per…

Analysts See WTI Averaging $56 In 2018

Expectations of robust oil demand growth and high OPEC and allies’ commitment to the production cuts have prompted analysts to raise again their forecast for oil prices in 2018, and they now see WTI averaging $55.78 per barrel next year. According to a Reuters poll of 32 analysts and economists on Thursday, WTI is expected to trade at an average $55.78 a barrel in 2018, compared to the previous forecast of $54.78 a barrel in the survey carried out right after OPEC and the non-OPEC producers part of deal extended their agreement through the…

2017 Is The UK’s Greenest Electricity Generation Year Ever

This year has been the greenest year for the UK’s electricity generation in history, with renewable energy sources generating more electricity than coal for 90 percent of the days in 2017, according to National Grid figures and estimates by power research group MyGridGB. Wind farms alone generated more electricity than coal-fired power plants on more than 75 percent of the days this year, MyGridGB data show, as carried by the Guardian. All renewable sources combined generated more electricity than coal-fired plants on 315 days this year,…

Goldman: Oil Markets To Balance Sooner Than Expected

One of the biggest investment banks is one of the most bullish voices in predicting the state of the oil market next year. Goldman Sachs is more optimistic about the speed of the oil market rebalancing than many experts and other banks, and OPEC itself. Goldman Sachs expects that the global oil overhang will have cleared by the middle of 2018, accelerating OPEC’s exit from the production cut pact that is currently set to expire at the end of 2018.    “The oil re-balancing continued its progress through November,” thanks…

Oil Firms To Boost Drilling In Norway’s Mature Offshore Areas In 2018

Following a discouraging 2017 Arctic exploration campaign, oil companies plan to nearly double exploration drilling offshore Norway with a focus on more mature areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), according to preliminary company drilling plans. Up to 50 exploration wells, including such to delineate previously made discoveries, could be drilled offshore Norway in 2018, up from 26 wells drilled in 2017, according to data and estimates compiled by Reuters. This year, oil companies focused on frontier exploration drilling in the Barents…

Russia Sees OPEC & Co Exit Oil Cuts Pact Very Smoothly

OPEC and its non-OPEC allies led by Russia will exit the production cuts deal very smoothly, and could extend supply restrictions in some form to ensure they would not be flooding the market, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters in an interview published on Friday. Novak said that he saw no direct connection between the oil production cuts and Saudi Arabia’s plan to list 5 percent of its oil giant Saudi Aramco—currently planned for the second half of 2018—in what would be the world’s biggest IPO ever.…

Saudi Welfare Program To Ease Impact Of 80% Fuel Price Hike

Saudi Arabia on Thursday made the first payment totaling US$533 million (2 billion riyals) as part of its new household allowance program that reaches 10.6 million beneficiaries, before it starts raising food and gasoline prices. Known as the Citizens Account, the allowance scheme is a national cash transfer program that was first announced by the Government in December 2016 and opened for registrations in February 2017, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The allowance is aimed at easing the direct and indirect impact of the gasoline…

Canada’s Inflation Rises On Higher Gasoline Prices

Driven by higher gasoline prices, Canada’s annual inflation rate jumped to 2.1 percent in November, after a 1.4-percent yearly increase in October, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, announcing figures that beat both analyst expectations and Bank of Canada’s ideal target of 2-percent inflation for possible interest rate hikes. The annual inflation rate last month was the highest since January 2017, Statistics Canada said. Excluding the gasoline price index, Canada’s consumer prices increased by 1.5 percent year over year in November…

What Will Drive The Next Oil Price Crash?

As we roll into 2018, analysts and investors are more optimistic that the oil market will further tighten next year and support higher oil prices, but rising U.S. shale production will likely cap any significant price gains. On the demand side, expectations are that global economic growth will support solid oil demand growth. On the supply side, Venezuela’s dire situation, possible new sanctions on Iran, and increased tension in the Middle East mostly with the Saudi-Iran issues and the Iraq-Kurdistan standoff may take more barrels off the…

A $1.7 Billion Natural Gas Pipeline To Ease The Permian Glut

Kinder Morgan, DCP Midstream, and a unit of Targa Resources are moving forward with their plan to build a US$1.7-billion gas pipeline in the Permian that could ease some of the takeaway bottlenecks in that basin, and reduce natural gas flaring that has increased greenhouse gas emissions. Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, DCP Midstream, and an affiliate of Targa Resources Corp announced on Thursday a final investment decision to proceed with the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project (GCX Project), designed to transport up to 1.92 billion cubic feet per…

Nigeria Streamlines Oil Operations With Automation

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Thursday that it had achieved 98 percent automation of all crude oil supply and marketing operations, which helps it to account for every barrel of Nigerian oil sold across the world. The automation, expected to be completed next year, now allows the Nigerian state-held company to monitor sales and transactions of every barrel of every blend Nigeria is selling to the global markets, according to the General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the Corporation, Malam Mele Kyari.   …

The Surprising Location Of Next Year’s Shale Rush

Higher oil prices in recent months have instilled renewed confidence in U.S. shale drillers and prompted them to look for drilling opportunities in basins beyond the permanent growth story these days, the Permian. Companies are increasing drilling and pipeline deal-making in the oil-rich rocks of Colorado, and are returning to the least explored of the major U.S. shale basins—the Denver-Julesburg Basin (DJ Basin) northeast of Denver. Over the past four months, firms have announced more than $2 billion worth of drilling deals, and another…

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