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Oil Prices

Weak Oil Threatens US Export of LNG

Plunging global oil prices may turn hopes for cheap liquefied natural gas supplies from the United States into a costly disappointment for Asian buyers who have already invested billions of dollars in long-term contracts. The 26 percent price slide since June to $85 a barrel exposes cracks in the assumption by utilities and industrial companies from Japan to India that cheap U.S. LNG would muscle into high-value Asian energy markets from 2016. Oil prices form the backbone of LNG trade to Asia, because exporters outside the United States typically tie 25-year supply deals to crude oil prices. If prices continue to fall, these suppliers from Qatar to Australia will regain their edge over upstart U.S. producers. "From the buyer's view, $80 oil makes oil-linked supplies less expensive ... it makes U.S. LNG relatively less attractive for buyers," said one industry source with a commercial focus on North American projects. When Asian buyers signed for U.S. supply deals, the discount to rival oil-linked LNG supply was around $1.90 per mmBtu, but now that could be as low as 90 cents, and an oil price of $80 a barrel effectively results in a dead heat. Asian buyers such as Korea Gas Corp., Tokyo Electric and India's Gail now face the potential for a glut of increasingly cheap oil-linked LNG. Projects Suffer


Offshore Recovery Stalled For Now

As crude oil prices reach Gulf War highs and recent memories of historic low crude prices fade, capital spending on finding and developing new oil reserves continue to play catch up. "The recent oil-price crisis set back non-OPEC output growth for at least a year," a recent report released by Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown states, adding, "While currently high oil prices should spur investment, the extensive 16-month price slide should delay any significant output response from non-OPEC producers


Big Oil Profits Expected To Fly High

The near record oil prices have left U.S. oil majors as the envy of industry during the third quarter reporting period, according to many industry analysts. "This is clearly a sector that investors shouldn't worry about having disappointing earnings surprises," said one. "The question is not whether they will beat consensus estimates, but by how much they'll beat estimates," said another. Such expectations from analysts and investors come as crude oil prices in the third-quarter hit


EIA: Would More Crude Oil Help?

Yesterday (April 27), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council co-hosted a conference on “U.S.-Saudi Relations and Global Energy Security.” At this conference, as he has stated recently in other venues, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali al-Naimi, stated that, “There is no general shortage of crude oil in today's market -- supplies are readily available


Venezuela's Oil Falls to $42.44

Image for Venezuelas oil

  Venezuela's petroleum export basket dropped to $42.44 per barrel this week from $47.05 last week to reach a 5-1/2-year low, the Petroleum Ministry said on Friday. The South American OPEC member's basket, which includes crude oil and refined products, trades at a discount to other benchmarks because of its higher content of heavy oil. Venezuelan oil prices averaged $88.42 last year, down from $98.08 in 2013.


China Shipbuilders may Merge to Stay Afloat

Picture by China COSCO Container Shipping

 The China's four state-run shipping-related companies  are reportedly in the initial phases of combining units in order to beef up the national shipbuilding industry, says local media.   The chances of mergers between China Ocean Shipping, China Shipping Container Lines, Sino Trans & CSC Holdings and China Merchants Group  has improved as they now suffer in a lackluster business climate, the Chinese-language Securities Daily reports.  


Oilfield Stocks Take A Hit As Crude Dips Below $30

Profit-taking hit oilfield service and drilling stocks on Monday as U.S. crude oil prices shed over a dollar to dip below $30 a barrel for the first time since February 28. On Monday afternoon, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange's oilfield service index was off 4.82 points or 4.6 percent at 100.03, while U.S. April crude oil futures were $1.23 lower at $29.68 a barrel. Halliburton Co., the world's biggest oilfield service provider, was off more than five percent at 36-3/8 while Schlumberger Ltd


Oil Prices Slip

According to reports, oil prices fell by three per cent Monday, slipping below $59 a barrel as traders looked ahead to U.S. supply data due out Wednesday that is expected to show rising inventories of crude. Doubts about OPEC's ability to implement a 1.2 million barrels a day production cut also weighed on prices. Last week, oil prices surged after the U.S. Energy Department data showed a large decline in crude-oil inventories


Subsea Hardware Spending to Double to $124 Billion

Douglas-Westwood (DW) forecast subsea hardware spending is set to double to $124 billion during 2013-2017 compared to the preceding five-year period. The new third edition of Douglas-Westwood’s Subsea Hardware Market Forecast has launched analyses the market through to 2017, examining the key activity trends to provide detailed insight for major players and new entrants alike.   “The prospects for the subsea hardware sector look good, however


DP World: Low Bunker Prices to Fuel Economic Growth

Photo courtesy of DP World

Falling ship operating costs and low bunker prices will translate into higher profitability fueling economic growth, says Dubai-headquartered DP World.   As bunker fuel prices drop, so too could shipping costs. Dubai-headquartered DP World says falling oil prices are good news for global shipping.  It plans to double investments this year, local media reports.   The Chairman of  DP World Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has stated that the fall in oil price may stimulate


Editorial: Across the Seas & Around the World

Greg  Trauthwein, Editor & Associate Publisher

Norwegians are seafarers, with maritime and offshore oil and gas tightly woven into the DNA of this population of more than five million. On the eve of Norshipping 2015, which is personally my twelfth Norshipping since 1993, the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA) released its annual


Offshore O&G: Weathering the Storm

Courtesy Fleet Operators

Vessels are stacked as Gulf oil operators retrench and day rates fall. In the Gulf of Mexico, vessels serving offshore oil-and-gas exploration and production are being stacked or idled as the rig count there declines. Oil companies are retrenching while crude prices remain weak


Hoegh LNG's Bond Issue

Image: Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd

 Hoegh LNG (HLNG) has successfully completed the issuance of a USD 130 million senior unsecured bond in the Nordic bond market with maturity date expected to be 5 June 2020. The bond issue will be swapped from floating to fixed interest rate.  


Mexico Removes Bid Limit on Shallow Water Oil Tenders

Mexico's oil regulator voted on Friday to relax previously established rules on bidding terms and contracts that form the first step in an historic sector opening that kicks off this summer with the public auction of 14 shallow water fields.  


ASL Profit Nosedives

Photo by ASL Marine

 Singapore shipbuilding group ASL Marine has posted a sharp drop in net profit for its third quarter as revenues from its shipbuilding, shiprepair and chartering segments fell across the board.   Net profit for the three months to March 31 plummeted 65


Vard in Red

Siem Stingray. Photo: Vard Holdings

 Offshore shipbuilder Vard Holdings reported a net loss of $40mln in the first quarter, on back of unrealized foreign exchange losses from a 15-year USD-denominated yard construction loan in Brazil.   Net foreign exchange losses in the quarter amounted to $37mln


Torm Posts First Quarterly Profit in Five Years

TORM Ugland (Photo: Torm)

Debt-stricken Danish tanker operator Torm has posted its first quarterly net profit in five years thanks to higher freight rates. The company swung to a net $8.6 million profit in January-March compared with a net loss of $222.6 million in the first quarter last year.


Maersk Beats Forecasts, Loses Shipping Market Share

Photo: Maersk

Maersk Line lost market share in container shipping in the first quarter, disappointing analysts who said A.P. Moller-Maersk's  forecast-beating results on Wednesday had been helped by one-offs.   While the world's largest container shipping business reported a jump in net profit to


Offshore Oil & Gas: Floating Production Market a Bright Spot

Safe stroll: crew aboard the Maersk Peregrino FPSO off Brazil (and above) Photo: Oeyvind Hagen Statoil

Despite industry gloom about the offshore market, orders for production floaters continue to flow.  Over the past few weeks a speculatively-ordered FLNG found use off Africa, negotiations began to convert a third LNG carrier to an FLNG, an FSRU was ordered and a modified LNG tanker has been


Fincantieri Reports Loss in Q1

Image: Fincantieri

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has fallen to a loss in the first quarter as financial costs rose.   Fincantieri ended the first quarter of 2015 with Euro1.11 billion consolidated turnover and an EBITDA equal to Euro59 million. This equated to a loss of Euro27 million


Challenges Ahead for Marine Insurance

Dieter Berg, president of the International Union of Marine Insurance. Photo by IUMI

 The marine insurance sector is undergoing a rapid period of change and it is critical that insurers understand the risks the industry is facing and offer products that match these new trends, Dieter Berg, president of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) said.  


Prepare for Growth, Oil Industry Told

Photo: BP

The North Sea oil and gas industry has been urged to buck the trend and prepare for growth in the near future.   Attendees at an event organized by subsea intervention and commercial diving specialists K.D. Marine in Aberdeen recently, heard an upswing in oil price was imminent and


Rolls-Royce Marine Unit to Cut 600 Jobs

Photo: Rolls-Royce

British engineering group Rolls-Royce (RR.L) said it would cut 600 jobs in its Norwegian-focused marine business in response to the lower oil price, a move it said would have a "broadly neutral" impact on 2015 profits.   Rolls-Royce is in the middle of a cost-saving plan in its


Ferry Firm DFDS Looks to Expand

Danish ferry and transportation firm DFDS is on the takeover trail, its chief executive said, after reporting its highest first-quarter operating profit on record and turning around its loss-making English Channel route. Earnings before interest, taxes


Harnessing Offshore Wind Peaks in U.S.

Wind Energy Photo IWEA

  For the US energy industry, 2014 will be remembered as the year when crude oil prices fell below 50$/bbl, resulting in significant realignments in the sector. Aside from the oil price collapse and the historic high of domestic natural gas production






 
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