Conservative party merger alters landscape in Alberta’s oilpatch

By Doug Alexander and Josh Wingrove Alberta’s two main conservative parties have voted to unite, creating a political heavyweight in the heart of Canada’s oilpatch that is poised to unseat Premier Rachel Notley and push to kill the province’s carbon tax. Members of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties voted to ratify a merger agreement […]

U.S., Russia Vie For European Gas Dominance

WASHINGTON: U.S. legislation renewing and tightening sanctions on Russia, stalled in the House of Representatives, was not passed before the U.S. and Russian presidents met at the G20 summit in Hamburg. The proposed bill had already received criticism not only from Russia but also from Germany and Austria about the impact sanctions may have on Europe’s gas supply. Europe and the United States need not worry: Energy markets have undergone significant transformation in favor of importers, and Russia’s tough talk warning against sanctions…

Trump May Have Unintentionally Killed U.S. Nuclear

President Trump has a different view of climate change than the previous administration. His decision to disassociate the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords has received the lion’s share of recent publicity in this regard. Now the President’s March 28th Executive Order (EO) could harm the U.S. nuclear power industry (although we doubt that was his intent). The EO directs the EPA, among other things, to review the previous administration’s “Clean Power Plan”. There are two main parts to the CPP with respect to electric…

U.S. Coal Finds Footing In European Markets

U.S. responsible for 40 percent of the world’s new gas production by 2022: IEA A report by the EIA indicated that coal exports—for both steam coal, used for power generation, and metallurgical coal, used for refining steel—have increased by 58 percent from Q1 of 2016 to Q1 of 2017. The majority of the increase was in steam coal, which grew by 6 million short tons (MMst). Big U.S. coal customer: Europe The majority of the coal was shipped from ports on the Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast. The U.S. exported a total of 10.135 million…

Did Kyrgyzstan Get Sold A Hydropower Pup?

Barely a week passed after Kyrgyzstan triumphantly declared it had struck a deal with an international company willing to take up one of its ambitious hydropower projects for the agreement to begin looking highly suspect. The first alarms were rung in the Czech Republic, where Liglass Trading, the obscure company that has committed to building and operating Akbulun HPP and Naryn HPP-1 in the Upper Naryn cascade, is based. Journalists there were apparently startled by news that a company they had never heard of had managed to land a contract for…

New Discoveries To Kickstart Trinidad And Tobago’s Energy Sector

Early last month BP and its Spanish partner Repsol announced that their joint venture, BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT), had made significant gas finds in fields off the coast of Trinidad. According to statements issued by both companies, BPTT’s Savannah and Macadamia exploration wells had identified approximately 2trn cu feet of gas reserves, which would underpin new development and exploitation operations in the blocs. The initial strikes at the Macadamia and Savannah wells are only the beginning of a more extensive round of testing and development…

Could Clean Energy Spark A Mineral Boom?

A new World Bank report released today highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals. Using wind, solar, and energy storage batteries as key examples of low-carbon or “green” energy technologies, the report, “The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future” examines the types of minerals and metals that will likely increase in demand as the world works towards commitments to keep the global average temperature…

Mexico Auctions First Gas Pipeline Capacity

Mexico’s National Center for Natural Gas Control (CENAGAS) conducted its first open season for capacity rights to its natural gas pipeline grid. The auction took place in May 2017. In “Round 0”, which took place in October 2016, CENAGAS allocated approximately 4.1 Bcf per day of capacity to PEMEX, Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission, and a number of independent power producers.Source: EIA The recent “Round 1”—technically the second round—allocated the grid’s remaining 2.2 Bcf per day to…

Oil Market Aloof Despite Falling Inventories

The dog days of summer seem to be bringing on even more dog days for OIL. From my perch, there now seems to be very hard caps on where oil can go from here for the time being – both on the upside and, most probably, on the downside as well. On the downside, there is the fact that oil stocks are rebalancing. A continuing rebalancing of the global and U.S. oil supplies is what we’ve been waiting for the last 3 years and should stop any major drops in oil prices. We see that rebalancing in the domestic chart on oil stockpiles, now nearer…

This Oilfield Services Company Is A Buy

This morning, oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) announced results for Q2 2017. SLB has dropped around twenty-five percent since the beginning of the year as the effects of the capex cuts by oil companies following crude’s collapse started to bite, and this morning’s numbers looked on the surface like more of the same. Read a little deeper, however, and there is good reason for optimism. That, combined with the type of technical setup that regular readers will know I favor, convinces me that SLB is a great buy at these levels…

The Gasoline Glut Is Almost Gone

Friday July 21, 2016 In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers. Let’s take a look. 1. Gasoline inventories back in long-run average (Click to enlarge) – U.S. gasoline stocks spiked in early 2016, one factor that led to the precipitous decline in prices. – Stocks have remained mostly elevated since then, but more recently, strong drawdowns…

Global Energy Advisory 21st July 2017

Ecuador has announced plans to start increasing its oil output, effectively breaking off its engagement with OPEC in the cartel’s production cut deal. Ecuador is a small producer and it had pledged to cut 26,000 bpd from its oil output, which it never did. It cut about 60% of that, so its daily production currently stands at 545,000 barrels. That’s a bit more than what Saudi Arabia undertook to slash from its daily output to support prices. The initial announcement by Ecuador’s Oil Minister Carlos Perez struck the market hard,…

Strong Short Sellers Dominate Crude Markets

Crude oil and natural gas futures posted similar moves this week. Both markets surged to the upside to levels not seen since June. Both of their rallies came close to triggering strong breakouts to the upside and both of their moves ended with violent closing price reversal tops on the daily chart. This trading pattern typically indicates the selling is greater than the buying and that the crude oil and natural gas markets are still being controlled by strong-handed short-sellers. The final blow to the bullish traders will be closing price reversal…

OPEC Deal At Breaking Point As Compliance Falls

WTI has traded in a $3.90 range so far in July ($43.65 / $47.55) and the sideways price action has lead to waning market enthusiasm for bulls, bears and option traders who are betting aggressively on a quiet market. Over the last two weeks fund gross long positions in NYMEX WTI haven’t budged while gross short positions have been cut by 28%. In ICE BRENT speculators have also been inactive on the long side while cutting gross shorts by 13%. In options markets WTI U17 at the money implied volatility has dropped to a multi-week low at 28% on…

IMF: Saudi’s Oil GDP To Fall 2% On Back Of OPEC Cuts

The International Monetary Fund expects Saudi Arabia’s oil gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 1.9 percent this year as the OPEC leader commits to implementing the bloc’s production cuts. The oil production cuts are affecting overall real GDP growth as well, which the IMP expects to be “close to zero”. Non-oil GDP growth will hover around 1.7 percent and accelerate in the medium term as structural reforms promised in the Vision 2030 agenda began to take shape. “Fiscal consolidation efforts are beginning to bear…

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

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

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

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

Daily OPEC Oil Prices Now Public For The First Time Ever

Despite the oil industry being arguably the most vital and influential sector in the world, the average member of the public knows relatively little about its inner workings. Oil prices are possibly the most obvious example of this, with constant discussions over whether they will drop below $40 or if they are set to rise. What many investors are unaware of, however, is that there are over a thousand types of crude oil. This means that Western Canadian Select, currently trading at 37.27, is already below that much-hyped $40 mark, and while Brent…

Oil Prices Slip On Falling OPEC Compliance

Oil prices fell on Friday after preliminary reports showed that OPEC’s July output has increased once again while deeper cuts remain unlikely  (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge)Friday, July 21, 2017 Oil prices posted more gains this week, as the EIA reported deeper inventory reductions with Brent briefly traded above $50 per barrel for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday. There is a bit more confidence in the oil market than…

TransCanada’s LNG Pipeline Project Hits Legal Setback

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

OPEC Sees July Oil Output Increase By 145,000 Bpd

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

U.S. Oil Rig Count Falls By 1 As Canada Adds 15 Rigs

The number of active oil rigs in the United States fell this week by 1 rig—it’s second loss in four weeks, and its third loss this year—in a sign that the gains we’ve seen week after week are starting to slow. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 950 rigs, with oil rigs falling by one and gas rigs falling by one. The market may want to rejoice in this week’s falling US rig count, but things don’t look so good everywhere when it comes to oil prices—Baker Hughes also reported…

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

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

Ban On Venezuela Oil Imports Could Hurt U.S. Refiners

If the U.S. administration decides to impose sanctions on Venezuela that include a ban on crude oil imports from the South American country, refiners on the Gulf Coast might pay a price, according to PIRA Energy’s managing director for oil, Rick Joswick. The possibility of sanctions against senior government officials in Caracas and against the oil industry of conflict-torn Venezuela surfaced earlier this week, when Washington officials told media “all options were on the table.” This followed President Trump’s statement…

NEB to reconsider B.C. natural gas pipeline jurisdiction: judge rules

VANCOUVER — A Federal Court of Appeal judge has ruled the National Energy Board must reconsider whether a proposed TransCanada Corp. natural gas pipeline in B.C. falls under provincial or federal jurisdiction. The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project, a roughly 900-kilometre proposed pipeline from Hudson’s Hope to a facility on the province’s Lelu Island, has […]

Encana named in California climate-related lawsuit

Calgary-based Encana Corp. is named in three large lawsuits that attempt to link damages from climate change to industry’s alleged attempts to hinder action to address it. In the latest of a growing number of such lawsuits around the world, Encana is one of 20 energy majors and their subsidiaries facing claims from three California […]

EI benefit use on the decline in Alberta as economy recovers

The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits continues to decline in Alberta, outpacing the rest of the country according to the newest data from Statistics Canada. In May, 72,000 people received regular EI benefits in Alberta, down 7.2 per cent from the previous month and 11.1 per cent from a year earlier. On a national level, the decline from the previous […]

BP Reportedly Approached Potential Buyers Of Some North Sea Assets

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

Why Oil Prices Can’t Gain Traction

Despite U.S. oil stocks falling 7.6 million barrels, the biggest drop since September, a recent Financial Times article reports, quoting U.S. Energy Information Administration data, that the oil price is struggling to get back to $48 per barrel, let alone the heady heights above $50 it achieved in May. U.S. refineries are running flat out to meet summer demand, drawing down on U.S. stocks — but still, the price is not responding. Meanwhile U.S. exports are booming. Rather than being constrained by OPEC cuts, global production is rising.…

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

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

New Solar Tech Produces 50% More Energy Than Silicon Cells

Researchers have created a concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system with embedded microtracking that is capable of producing 50 percent more energy per day than the standard silicon solar cells. “Solar cells used to be expensive, but now they’re getting really cheap,” says Chris Giebink, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Penn State. “As a result, the solar cell is no longer the dominant cost of the energy it produces. The majority of the cost increasingly lies in everything else—the inverter, installation…

Brazil Seeks To Lure Oil Investors With Lower Royalties

Brazil’s oil industry regulator ANP has released the model contract for the next round of oil bids, seeking to motivate bidders with lower royalties and the removal of local content as a required part of the bid. The latter was a big problem for oil companies, but for the local government, it was a way to ensure that oil investments benefit local employment prospects. Now, local content requirements will come into play after an offer is approved and will be more flexible than before. For onshore blocks, for example, the local content requirement…

Settling The Ukrainian Gas War

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has taken on many facets, of which the energy-related ones are seemingly the easiest ones to solve. As Kiev and Moscow are exploring the limits of arbitration, it seems that all the necessary prerequisites and conditions for a potential settlement are present. It has to be said that such a dispute adjustment faces numerous obstacles, with political headwinds dominating not only the two nations’ energy discourse, but also its coverage in the media. If one is to avoid the temptation to have recourse to…

Investments In Nigerian Oil Played Part In Becker’s Bankruptcy

Unsuccessful investments in the Nigerian oil industry may have had a part to play in tennis legend Boris Becker’s recent bankruptcy, according to documents from the sports whistleblowing website Football Leaks, cited by German magazine Der Spiegel. The Telegraph quotes Spiegel as reporting that at one point in time, Becker considered a single investment of over US$10 million in the Nigerian oil industry. However, Spiegel does not say whether the investment was indeed made and if yes, whether it was successful. Other documents, however, including…

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on track to start construction in September

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion remains on track to begin construction in September, Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said Wednesday in the face of environmental and political opposition that threatens to derail the project. Anderson, speaking on Kinder Morgan Canada’s first quarterly earnings call since it went public in May, said he looks forward […]

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