Iran Claims Its Oil Exports To India Are Not Dropping

Iran says that its crude oil exports to India have hit 700,000 bpd this month, with sales volume “unprecedented”, Iranian media report, quoting a statement by the Iranian oil ministry. Last week, Reuters reported—citing shipping and industry sources data—that Indian crude oil imports from Iran dropped by 15.7 percent in the fiscal year 2017/18 ended March 31, compared to the previous fiscal year, after India’s state refiners cut supplies from Tehran over a disagreement between Iran and India about the awarding of the…

Will Higher Oil Prices Boost The Global Economy?

The recent oil price rally is sure to boost petrodollar inflows into the government coffers and sovereign wealth funds of oil producing nations. A part of those petrodollars could flow back into the global markets if oil producing countries boost investments in various asset classes, according to some large investment banks. These potential new petrodollar inflows could be a shot in the arm for global markets at a time when central banks around the world are starting to normalize their monetary policies. Yet, as oil producers struggle to patch…

World Bank: Oil Prices To Average $65 This Year

Oil prices are expected to average $65 a barrel this year, up from the $53 per barrel average of 2017, driven by strong consumer demand and OPEC’s continued cuts, the World Bank said in its April Commodity Markets Outlook. The World Bank now expects prices of energy commodities—crude oil, natural gas, and coal—to jump as much as 20 percent in 2018, which is a 16-percentage point upward revision from the bank’s previous commodity market outlook from October last year. “Accelerating global growth and rising demand are…

Asia’s Biggest Refiner To Continue Cutting Saudi Crude Oil Imports

Having slashed Saudi crude imports for May by 40 percent, China’s Sinopec—the largest oil refiner in Asia—will continue to cut imports of the flagship Saudi crude grade in June and July, as the prices for other Middle Eastern grades are more favorable, two executives at Sinopec’s trading arm Unipec told Reuters on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Unipec executives said that Sinopec had requested 40 percent lower Saudi oil import loadings for the month of May and that the request had been approved. Sinopec asked for lower Saudi…

Iran Pushes Back Against The OPEC Deal

Extending the OPEC cuts beyond their current expiry date at the end of 2018 would seem unnecessary if oil prices keep rising, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh told the Iranian oil ministry’s news service Shana on Monday. “High oil prices, even in the mid-term, would destabilize the prices and put pressure on them against OPEC’s interests,” the official outlet of the Iranian oil ministry quoted Zangeneh as saying. When asked about Iran’s position regarding an extension of the OPEC production cuts beyond 2018,…

CenterPoint Energy To Buy Indiana-Based Vectren For $6B

Houston-based CenterPoint Energy and Indiana-based Vectren said on Monday that they had agreed to merge in a US$6-billion transaction to become a leading U.S. energy delivery, infrastructure, and services company. Under the proposed deal, approved by the boards of directors of the two companies, Vectren shareholders will receive US$72.00 in cash for each share of Vectren common stock, and CenterPoint Energy will also assume all outstanding Vectren net debt. CenterPoint expects to fund the deal through a combination of equity and debt. The resulting…

What Is A ‘Fair’ Price For Oil?

Last week, oil prices hit their highest level since late 2014 on the back of continued global and U.S. stockpile drawdowns and expectations that oil demand growth will stay strong this year. Analysts and officials are once again trying to predict what a ‘fair’ price for oil is – a prediction that must take into account the summer driving season, the possibility of new sanctions on Iran, elections in Venezuela and Iraq, continuous OPEC chatter about “mission accomplished or not”, and reports of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia…

U.S. Oil Looks To Conquer European Market

U.S. crude oil and condensate exports to Europe are expected to hit an all-time high of around 550,000 bpd in April, according to shipping programs, and traders expect the record pace to continue this year as U.S. oil is growing popular with European refiners, often at the expense of oil cargoes from OPEC nations and Russia. According to trade flows monitor in Thomson Reuters Eikon, between January and April this year, U.S. crude oil and condensate exports to Europe jumped fourfold compared to the same period of 2017, to 68 large Aframax tankers.…

Hedge Funds Are Certain Oil Prices Will Head Higher

Money managers have amassed close to record long positions in the six-major oil-linked futures and option contracts, and the ratio of longs to shorts is even higher than when it was when hedge fund managers held a record net long position in oil back in January, suggesting that they have never been so convinced that oil prices will increase in the short term. In the six most important petroleum contracts, money managers held long to short positions in a ratio of nearly 14:1 for the week ended on April 20, compared to a 12:1 ratio at January 23,…

Is The Oil Market Ready For Sanctions On Iran?

Oil market participants and analysts will be intently watching the Trump Administration over the next month. May 12 is the deadline for the U.S. President to decide to waive sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear deal that global powers reached with Iran in 2015, allowing Tehran to resume oil exports and regain part of its market share. The re-imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil is not 100-percent certain, although the probability is high, various analysts say. The potential loss of Iran’s oil exports varies from zero to 1 million…

Shell’s Profits Soar From Strong Asian Demand

Oil major Shell has snapped up over 8 million barrels of June-loading crude oil grades from the Middle East and Russia and has resold some of the cargoes in Asia, taking advantage of the strong Asian demand, Reuters reported on Friday, citing five trading sources. Wider Brent premium over the Middle Eastern benchmark Dubai this month has made Atlantic crude oil supplies more expensive than the Middle Eastern and Russian supplies, which are priced off the Dubai benchmark. According to two of Reuters’ sources directly involved in the trades,…

Private Chinese Chemical Giant Gets Largest-Ever Oil Import Quota

Hengli Petrochemical, a unit of private Chinese chemical giant Hengli Group, has obtained state approval to import 400,000 bpd of crude oil—the largest quota ever handed to a private Chinese refiner, as it aims to start a new refinery this year, challenging the smaller independent Chinese refiners. Listed Hengli Petrochemical said in a stock exchange filing that the Chinese state economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), had approved the import quota.   Hengli Petrochemical has plans to begin this October…

Can $80 Oil Be Justified?

Oil prices could reach $80 a barrel in April, although such a price would not be justified by market fundamentals, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday. Asked whether $80 oil is a fair price for oil, Novak told reporters at the end of an OPEC/non-OPEC ministerial meeting in Saudi Arabia that he couldn’t rule out anything, and geopolitical factors could push prices up. But $80 oil, according to Novak, is not the price that fundamentals are currently supporting, Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted the minister as…

EPA Set To Unveil More Flexible Rules For Oil And Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to announce on Friday a new policy that could help avoid costly legal battles over companies violating pollution standards in the oil and gas industry, by encouraging them to self-report and fix violations rather than wait for EPA to conduct investigations, The Hill reports, citing an EPA source with knowledge of the plan.   The head of the office of enforcement of EPA, Susan Bodine, plans to announce the policy—which is not yet finalized—at an event in Dallas today. EPA’s…

Gazprom And Saudi Aramco Boost Gas Cooperation

Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom and Saudi Aramco have agreed to boost their cooperation in the gas sector, widening the possible areas of collaboration in the industry. The chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Alexey Miller, held working meetings on Wednesday in Riyadh and Dhahran in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Saudi Aramco’s President and CEO Amin Nasser, at which the parties agreed to set up a joint coordinating committee to follow up on the memorandum of understanding on gas cooperation…

CNOOC Sells LNG In First Auction As China Looks To Avoid New Gas Crunch

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) sold two liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes on a local exchange for the first time, just as China emerged from severe gas shortages this winter, during which industrial gas users had to divert supplies to residential customers. CNOOC sold a 60,000-ton LNG cargo for delivery in July and a 30,000-ton cargo for November delivery at an auction on the Shanghai Petroleum and Gas Exchange, Reuters reported, quoting an official at the exchange. “Interest in the auction was very strong,” the official…

Shell Advises Shareholders To Reject Binding Climate Resolution

Royal Dutch Shell has recommended that its shareholders vote against a climate resolution that an activist climate group wants passed at the annual general meeting next month. Dutch climate group Follow This has filed for a third consecutive year a proposal for a binding resolution to be voted at Shell’s AGM. “Shareholders support Shell to take leadership in the energy transition to a net-zero-emission energy system. Therefore, shareholders request Shell to set and publish targets that are aligned with the goal of the Paris Climate…

Tesla May Be The Biggest Winner Of China’s New Car-Market Rules

China is removing a limit on foreign ownership of carmaking joint ventures that has been in place since 1994, and that comes as welcome news for Tesla, which has been trying to set up a local manufacturing unit in China while facing a lot of negative publicity at home of late. And let’s face it, Tesla could sure use the win. China—which has been limiting foreign carmakers to owning no more than 50 percent of any local joint venture—will lift the foreign ownership cap for electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid car manufacturers…

Tesla Pauses Model 3 Production To Fix Bottlenecks

Tesla is not out of “production hell” yet—it is suspending Model 3 production for four to five days this week to ease bottlenecks, just days after Elon Musk said that he was more optimistic about the rate of production and after admitting that too much automation was holding back the ramp-up of its mass-market model. This is the second such pause so far this year, and a Tesla representative said that both halts had been planned. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order…

Oil Market Uncertain As Geopolitical Fears Fade

The oil price rally was halted early on Tuesday as concern over the Syria conflict escalating somewhat eased and U.S. shale production continued to grow. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, WTI Crude was up 0.06 percent at $66.26, while Brent Crude was up 0.31 percent at $71.64. On the one hand, the geopolitical risk premium is definitely back in oil markets this year, and according to market participants and analysts, it will not be going away anytime soon. Fears that the Syrian conflict could spread across the Middle East, the possibility of renewed…

Ecuadorians Challenge Chevron Over $9.5B Award In Canadian Court

Ecuadorian farmers and indigenous people will seek to show an Ontario Court of Appeal this week that Chevron Canada is legally liable for a US$9.5-billion award that the Ecuadorians won against the U.S. parent Chevron Corp in Ecuador over past environmental pollution. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs will be asking Ontario’s top court at the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday to overturn a previous ruling that prohibits them from going after Chevron Canada for the award they won in Ecuador against Chevron Corporation. In early 2017, a Canadian court…

Musk Blames Robots For Tesla Production Crisis

Part of the “production hell” that Tesla’s Model 3 has been going through was due to too much automation along the manufacturing lines, Elon Musk said, indicating that robots are not all they have cracked up to be, and human contributions have been undervalued. After Tesla’s chief executive Musk took CBS This Morning’s co-host Gayle King on a tour of the Silicon Valley factory, Musk said later on Twitter commenting on the CBS story “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake.…

JP Morgan: Oil Prices Won’t Go Higher Than $70

Oil prices at $70 may be the top of the range in the price of oil that we’re going to see over the next few years, David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas” on Monday. “Yes, we’ve got those geopolitical issues, but I don’t know if sanctions would be that effective, it has to be a global effect,” Kelly said. Based on the cuts in production and on growth in the U.S. shale industry, oil at $70 a barrel may be “as high as it gets”, according…

The Biggest Hurdle To China’s Yuan-Priced Crude Benchmark

China finally launched last month its yuan-denominated crude oil futures that have been in the works for years, after several delays. The start of the new contract trading was successful, attracting interest from institutional and retail investors, and major commodity trading houses Glencore and Trafigura.   Yet, it’s too soon to call the less-than-a-month-old contract a total success, because it still faces a long road toward building reputation and history, analysts say. They have also identified the single biggest risk factor for…

Musk: Tesla Will Be Profitable, Cash Flow Positive In Q3, Q4

Elon Musk said early on Friday that Tesla would be profitable and cash flow positive in the third and fourth quarters this year, reiterating that the electric vehicle maker is in no need of raising cash—contrary to the opinion of many analysts who see the company burning cash too quickly. Replying to an article by The Economist on Twitter, Musk tweeted early on Friday: “The Economist used to be boring, but smart with a wicked dry wit. Now it’s just boring (sigh). Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv…

Iraq Delays Major Oil Auction After Amending Contract Terms

Iraq has pushed back this month’s auction to award the rights to develop 11 oil and gas fields to international companies with ten days, after it amended some of the contract terms, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the process. Originally, the oil auction was scheduled to be held on April 15, but one of Bloomberg’s sources said that the Iraqi Oil Ministry had rescheduled the auction for April 25 after introducing some changes, to give companies more time to study the new terms of the contract. Under the original…

Far-Right Indian Party Opposes Aramco’s $44B Mega Refinery Plan

Indian far-right regional party Shiv Sena will not allow under any circumstances the newly announced Saudi Aramco-Indian project for a US$44-billion mega refinery and petrochemical complex in the Maharashtra state to be completed, the party’s leader Uddhav Thackeray said on Thursday. On Wednesday, Saudi oil giant Aramco signed an agreement to build the refinery on India’s West Coast. The refinery will be able to refine 1.2 million barrels per day, and goes a long way towards satisfying both India’s and Saudi Arabia’s interests.…

Oil Industry Neglected Cybersecurity During The Downturn

Striving to adapt to the lower-for-longer oil prices with cost cuts, oil companies put investment into boosting cybersecurity on the back burner during the worst of the oil price plunge in 2015 and 2016, while hackers grew increasingly inventive and bolder, security experts told the Houston Chronicle. The projects to strengthen the networks and systems against cyber attacks did not receive the necessary attention and funding, and today most security teams are still short of staff or technology to effectively monitor and prevent cyber attacks, the…

Qatar’s LNG Exports To The UK Plunge

The UK, which imports some 13 percent of the gas it consumes in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes, has been relying heavily on Qatari LNG imports to meet demand in recent years. So far into 2018, however, the UK imported more LNG cargoes from elsewhere than from Qatar—reflecting increased global supply from new start-ups, as well as lower Qatari production over the past few months as some trains have been undergoing maintenance in the tiny country that is the world’s top LNG exporter.   According to an S&P Global…

Energy Stock Returns Disconnected From Oil Price Rise

The lack of consistent comprehensive measurement of breakevens and efficiency gains across upstream oil and gas company portfolios has led to a disconnect between investor returns and the oil price increase over the past year, consultancy Deloitte said in a report this week. Although all upstream companies took actions to high-grade and transform their asset portfolios during the downturn, shareholders have not yet seen the benefits of these actions. The share prices of 73 percent of upstream companies across the world have failed to increase alongside…

Mogul Fridman Sticks To BASF Oil Merger Despite Russia Sanctions

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman continues to pursue the plans to merge the oil assets of his investment vehicle LetterOne with Wintershall Group, the oil and gas business of Germany’s chemicals company BASF, the tycoon said on Wednesday. “As far as I know talks are ongoing,” Russian news agency Interfax quoted Fridman as saying. There’s no change and U.S. sanctions are not directly impacting talks, he added. In November last year, BASF confirmed that it was in talks to potentially merge Wintershall with the oil and gas…

Sinopec To Slash Crude Imports From Saudi Arabia By 40%

China’s Sinopec, the largest oil refiner in Asia, will shut down its biggest refinery for a major overhaul starting May 1. This will coincide with a period in which Sinopec will have slashed its Saudi crude oil imports by 40 percent after the Saudis unexpectedly raised the official selling price of their flagship Arab Light crude oil for Asian customers. Sinopec will close for around 40 days beginning May 1 its 460,000-bpd refinery and the whole ethylene complex of Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang,…

Saudi Arabia’s $80 Oil Target Could Backfire

Although OPEC and allies have never officially targeted any specific price of oil with the production cut agreement, each member of the pact knows very well where they want oil prices to be in order to balance their budgets that have been stretched thin in the price plunge. OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader—Saudi Arabia—is the most closely watched oil nation for hints about an unofficial oil price target, and speculation has been ripe since the start of the deal in January 2017 as to what price the Kingdom is aiming…

Oil Prices Surge After Houthi Missile Attacks On Riyadh, Aramco Facilities

Houthi rebels in Yemen upped the ante on Wednesday, firing ballistic missiles over Riyadh, according to the Houthis, in retaliation for air raids by a Saudi-led coalition. The Royal Saudi Air Defense intercepted at least one ballistic missile over Riyadh on Wednesday. Multiple blasts were heard, and plumes of smoke could be seen from the capital. Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement launched earlier on Wednesday drone strikes on a Saudi Aramco facility and on an airport in Saudi Arabia, Houthi-owned Al-Masirah TV channel reported on Wednesday. Aramco…

Are U.S. Oil Majors Primed For A Comeback?

The two U.S. oil supermajors—ExxonMobil and Chevron—have gone through a rough patch over the past three years with the oil price crash that battered company earnings and energy stocks and indexes. Despite expectations that the relatively steady increase in the price of oil from Q4 2017 onwards would help integrated oil groups to lift their earnings, the two U.S. majors reported 2017 financials that analysts described as underwhelming, especially compared to the profit and cash flow growth of their European peers. The two U.S. firms…

Shell: Crude Oil Theft In Nigeria Rose 50% In 2017

Despite the fact that Nigeria as a whole managed to increase and stabilize its crude oil production last year, crude oil theft on Shell’s pipeline network resulted in a 50-percent increase in oil losses, the oil major said in its 2017 sustainability report this week. Crude oil theft resulted in losses of around 9,000 bpd in 2017, more than the 6,000 bpd lost in 2016, but less than the rate of 25,000-bpd loss in 2015, Shell said. The number of sabotage-related spills in 2017 increased to 62 compared to 48 in 2016, but was less than the 94…

Russian Firms To Invest $22.5 Billion In Oil Production In 2018

Russian companies are expected to invest US$22.5 billion (1.3 trillion rubles) in oil production this year, with crude output and exports forecast at the same levels as in 2017, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday. Russia’s vertically integrated oil companies invested US$23 billion (1.33 trillion rubles) in oil production in 2017, up by 10 percent compared to the 2016 investments of US$21 billion (1.21 trillion rubles), Novak said, as quoted by the TASS news agency. “Last year we had a very large increase of…

China Leads Global Renewable Investment With $126.6 Billion

China invested a total of US$126.6 billion in renewable energy in 2017, the highest figure ever and accounting for 45 percent of global green energy investment, the ‘Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018’ report showed. Total global investment in renewables last year increased by 2 percent to US$279.8 billion, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to US$2.2 trillion, and to US$2.9 trillion since 2004, according to the report by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance…

Permian Oil Boom Threatens To Overtax Electrical Grid

The shale boom in the Permian where companies are intensively drilling while keeping costs low has led to an unprecedented electricity demand in West Texas, straining the grid as local utilities try to keep up with demand. In the 2.0 shale boom in the Permian, companies are replacing the expensive diesel-powered and natural gas-powered generators for powering compressors with a cheaper option— hooking up to the grid, the Houston Chronicle reports. This shift among oil companies to use more electricity from the grid is catapulting electricity…

Tax Income Earned ISIS Much More Than Oil Smuggling

Contrary to what has been assumed so far, black market oil sales were not the only and not even the largest revenue stream for ISIS, an investigation of The New York Times has revealed. Islamic State militants have been almost entirely expelled from Iraq and Syria, but for nearly three years they had held vast territories in the Middle East because they ran those areas with two complementary tools—brutality and bureaucracy—according to the team of NYT journalists and experts who have analyzed more than 15,000 pages of internal ISIS…

Creditor Opposes Russian Oil Tycoon’s Plan To Oust Glencore As Shareholder

Sberbank, the top Russian state lender and major creditor of the two oil companies of billionaire Mikhail Gutseriyev, is against a plan by the tycoon to merge the firms and replace current shareholder Glencore, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the idea. Gutseriyev wants to merge the two firms, RussNeft and Neftisa, and replace Glencore as shareholder in RussNeft. A few years ago, Gutseriyev’s oil assets went through debt restructuring that split them into two. The billionaire has built his oil assets and wealth with…

UK Oil Wealth Fund Would Have Been Worth $703 Billion Today

If the UK had established in the 1980s a wealth fund in which to invest North Sea oil revenues—similar to what Norway actually did in the 1990s—a UK fund would be worth more than US$703 billion (500 billion British pounds) today, a progressive UK think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), said in a policy paper published on Wednesday. “A Citizens’ Wealth Fund could also equalise wealth between generations by storing and investing present windfalls for the benefit of future generations who may not have the…

Environmental Group Vows To Sue Shell Over Climate Change

In the latest legal campaign against Big Oil, Friends of the Earth Netherlands vowed on Wednesday to take Shell to court if it doesn’t act on demands to align its corporate strategy with the global climate objectives. “Shell is liable for its substantial contribution to climate change and for the associated social and environmental damages,” Friends of the Earth Netherlands, or Milieudefensie as it is known in Dutch, said in a letter sent to Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden today. The organization requests a written…

How Canadian Drillers Adapt To Extreme Crude Discounts

Canada’s oil producers had just started to slowly recover from the oil price crash when they began to face increased constraints in marketing and monetizing their heavy crude oil. Transportation bottlenecks widened the discount to which Western Canadian Select (WCS)—the benchmark price of oil from Canada’s oil sands delivered at Hardisty, Alberta—trades relative to West Texas Intermediate (WTI), weighing on Canadian producers’ revenues and profits, increasing their debts, and battering their share prices. Some Canadian…

Upstream Oil Investments Bounce Back

Until recently, oil industry analysts and executives were lamenting the slump in global investment in upstream oil, and many continue to predict a looming oil supply shortage in the early 2020s, when the sector will feel the pinch of the plunge in major project investment during the downturn. But higher oil prices and lowered development and project costs have lately led to cautious optimism and measured risk-taking within the industry that is set to see an uptick in global oil investment this year, energy consultants Wood Mackenzie say. While…

Deloitte: WCS-WTI Oil Price Gap Could Ease In 2018

The wide discounts to which Canadian oil benchmarks are priced to WTI could diminish later this year as increased refinery capacity on both sides of the border would give more outlets to Canadian producers, consulting firm Deloitte said in a forecast on Tuesday. Transportation bottlenecks since the end of last year have blown out the price differential between Western Canadian Select (WCS) and WTI, and at the end of last year WCS traded at a discount of US$30 to WTI as the transportation capacity was unable to keep up with rising production from…

Santos Agrees To Discuss $10.4B Takeover Bid From U.S. Harbour Energy

Australia’s oil and gas producer Santos said on Tuesday that it would engage in talks with U.S. Harbour Energy Ltd, after receiving the fourth unsolicited takeover bid from the U.S. firm since August 2017, with the latest bid raising the offer to US$10.4 billion (13.5 billion Australian dollars). Santos has allowed the U.S. firm to start a due diligence after receiving the offer last week. The indicative offer price is US$4.98 per Santos share, equivalent to A$6.50 Australian dollars, the Australian firm said, noting that this was the fourth…

Houthi Missile Hits Saudi Oil Tanker

A Saudi oil tanker was targeted by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on Tuesday afternoon local time off Yemen’s port of Hodeidah, sustaining minor damages and completing its course north, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported, citing the Arab coalition that is fighting the Houthis in Yemen. One of the Saudi oil tankers was attacked west of Hodeidah, a port currently under Houthi control, Turki al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition told Al Arabiya. The attack was thwarted after one of the Arab coalition’s ships intercepted…

”Car Biz Is Hell”: Musk Is Back To Sleeping At The Factory

They say not to bring your work home with you, but what about bringing your home to work? Elon Musk is doing just that, saying on Monday that he is back to sleeping at the factory in an attempt to fix the production woes at Tesla’s mass-market Model 3. In a Twitter exchange on Monday, Musk quashed rumors that Tesla’s Vice President of Engineering Doug Field has fallen out of grace, and tweeted that as chief executive, he is focusing on the most critical issues, which currently is the Model 3 production, while Field is focused on vehicle…

China Imposes Tariffs On U.S.-Made Pipeline Materials

China is imposing tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including steel and alloy pipe for oil and gas, effective on Monday, in a retaliatory move after the U.S. imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as the trade dispute between the United States and China escalates. China is now levying higher tariffs on US$3 billion worth U.S. goods, including a 15-percent tariff on the steel pipe that is used in oil and gas pipelines and that is manufactured in the United States, notably along the Texas Gulf Coast. Along with U.S. stainless steel and alloy…

China’s Sinopec To Significantly Boost Natural Gas Capacity Supply

In an effort to increase the share of natural gas in its energy supply, China’s state energy company Sinopec plans to nearly triple receiving capacity for liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2023, and to raise its domestic shale gas production by two-thirds by 2020. Sinopec will aim to lift the share of natural gas to half of its total energy supply by 2023, according to company executives. The drive is also fitting the broader Chinese push to fight pollution by having millions of households switch to natural gas from coal for heating. This resulted…

The Bakken Is Booming Once Again

The Permian has been stealing headlines and analyst attention over the past year, and rightly so, as it’s the only U.S. shale play that continued to grow even when all others suffered during the downturn. But higher oil prices over the past few months have prompted drillers to grow production not only in the Permian, but also in the older and more developed plays such as the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana. The Bakken crude oil production has started to grow again and is expected to beat in the first half of 2018 its own production record…

Latin America Plans Record Number Of Oil Auctions In 2018

Many Latin American countries have changed regulations to welcome foreign capital to their oil sectors, and now those countries combined are set to hold this year the highest number of oil auctions in history, aiming to attract international companies to bid on a total of 1,100 oil and gas blocks. Mexico plans an onshore bidding round on up to 37 areas in July, and nine unconventional blocks in September. The country also hopes to hold an auction in the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow waters for heavy oil reserves, according to Reuters data. Brazil…

U.S. Watchdog Rebukes Tesla For Disclosing Details Of Fatal Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is unhappy that Tesla has disclosed details of a deadly crash involving a Tesla Model X that the safety regulator has started to investigate. Last week, the NTSB said that two investigators were conducting field investigation into a March 23 fatal crash in California that killed the driver. As of March 27, the regulator said that it was yet unclear if the automated control system was active at the time of the crash. The start of the investigation, as well as a rating agency downgrade, sent Tesla’s…

Is Russia Cheating On The OPEC Deal?

After three months of steady output, Russia’s crude oil production increased in March to 10.97 million bpd, the highest level since April 2017, as the top two Russian companies boosted their production. According to data by the Russian Energy Ministry, Russian oil production in March was 46.39 million tons, or 10.97 million bpd, up from 41.85 million tons in February, or 10.95 million bpd. The March production level showed the first increase since December 2017, and is slightly above Russia’s quota in the production cut deal. Russia’s…

Europe’s Biggest Gas Field To Close Over Quake Risk

Europe’s biggest gas field–Groningen in the north of the Netherlands–has been pumping gas for more than half a century and supplies gas to 98 percent of the Dutch population. But the field has been causing earthquakes that have become a growing concern for residents and authorities. After years of debates and measures to curb production at the field, the Dutch government decided this week that output at Groningen will be terminated by 2030, with a reduction by two-thirds until 2021-2022 and another cut after that. The authorities have already…

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