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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


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.  


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.


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


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 Steady, Supply Outlook Unclear

Oil prices were little changed on Monday, with little news to influence a market waiting to see whether U.S. production from shale fields will grow enough to offset planned output cuts by OPEC, Russia and other producers next year. Brent futures for February delivery were down 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $54.97 a barrel by 11:43 a.m. EST (1643 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for January rose 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $51.96 per barrel on its last day as the front-month.


OPEC Sees Oil Prices Returning to $80/Barrel by 2020

OPEC forecasters expect oil prices will rise by no more than $5 a barrel a year to reach $80 by 2020, with a slowing in rival non-OPEC production growth not enough to absorb the current oil glut, according to OPEC sources.   The sources said the figures came from an updated mid-term strategy report discussed this week by representatives from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, which has yet to be fully endorsed by OPEC ministers.  


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


Statoil Wins Licences Off UK, 'Resets' Exploration Off U.S.

Norway's Statoil was the second top bidder for 13 oil exploration leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and won six licences offshore Britain, it said on Thursday, in a sign it may be looking to boost reserves after slashing costs. "The importance of oil companies' ability to replenish


CNOOC Reports Worst Result Since At Least 2011

File photo: CNOOC

 China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd reported its worst annual result since at least 2011, with revenue from its core oil and gas business tumbling 17 percent last year, but it expects to raise output 2017 as oil prices rebound.  


Maersk Reaches Key North Sea Tax Deal with Denmark

File photo: Maersk Oil

Shipping and oil company A. P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Danish state that means it will pay less tax on its North Sea oil and gas activities through 2025.   The deal, which has been under negotiation for months


Shipping Confidence Steady despite Industry, Political Pressures

© Federico Rostagno / Adobe Stock

Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-February 2017, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens.    In February 2017, the average confidence level expressed by respondents was 5


Ezra Holdings Files for Bankruptcy in US

Pic: Ezra Holdings

 Oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings of Singapore filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the weekend, blaming a prolonged slump in the energy industry, Reuters reported.  Ezra  has been facing hostile actions from creditors at home and abroad as it struggles to recover from a


TEN Strengthens Vessel Base

Photo: Tsakos Energy Navigation

 Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN)'s growth has continued unabated in 2017 with the delivery of one VLCC, the Hercules I, one aframax tanker the Marathon TS and the shuttle tanker Lisboa, currently all under long-term employment to solid counterparties.   


Asia Tankers-VLCC Weighed by Excess Tonnage

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

MidEast, West Africa rates diverge; oil output curbs in Iraq and West Africa could weigh on tanker market.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are likely to remain under pressure with hire rates from the Middle East to Asia tracking lower in the face of excess tonnage in


Subsea 7 CFO has 'Measured Optimism' of Oil Service Market Recovery

File photo: Subsea 7

Oslo-listed oil services firm Subsea 7's Chief Financial Officer Ricardo Rosa told an energy conference in Oslo he sees gradual market recovery as oil prices stabilize, and the outlook for subsea project awards increasing within the next 12 months.


EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway


Consolidation – A Path to Subsea Vessel Sustainability

Graphics: Subsea Vessel Operations expenditure by Sector – 2017-2021. Source: Douglas-Westwood, World Subsea Hardware & Vessel Operations Market Forecast

 In recent years, the speed with which newbuild vessels have entered the market has amplified the subsea vessel demand/supply imbalance, says a report by Douglas-Westwood London.   This has been further exacerbated by sustained low oil prices


Shell Shelves Prince Rupert LNG

Photo: Prince Rupert LNG

 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has officially shelved its plans to build the Prince Rupert LNG project, which had been planned for Ridley Island in British Columbia. However, it  is still considering the potential of its other West Coast LNG option.  


OPEC's Hope for Goldilocks Price Fade: Kemp

File Image: CREDIT GearSTD AdobeStock

CERAWeek has exposed all the contradictions at the heart of OPEC’s attempt to rebalance the oil market without rekindling the shale boom or conceding too much market share to rivals.   The oil industry conference in Houston started with a celebration of higher prices


Record Number of OSVs to Be Delivered in 2017

© panalot / Adobe Stock

Vessel oversupply will continue to plague the offshore industry this year as a record total of 465 offshore support vessels (OSV) are expected to be delivered in 2017, according to VesselsValue.   Beginning with the drop in oil prices and then lower demand for offshore research projects


Algeria to Renew LNG Deal with France's Engie in March

Algeria's state energy company Sonatrach will renew a deal with French gas and power group Engie to supply 10 billion cubic meters of LNG per year, a source at Sonatrach told Reuters on Wednesday. The signing ceremony will take place in France, likely before the end of March


Rising Oil, Salmon Prices Lift Norway Pension Fund

© ulkan / Adobe Stock

Norway's Folketrygdfondet 2016 return up on higher oil and salmon price Norway's domestic state pension fund Folketrygdfondet said its 2016 return increased to 7.1 percent from 7.0 percent in 2015, increasing the market value to 212.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($25.12 billion).  






 
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