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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


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


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.  


Maritime Consolidation: Palfinger Aims to Acquire Harding

Palfingers potential acquisition of Harding will help it be less dependent on the whims of the offshore energy markets. (Photo: Palfinger Marine)

As maritime markets continue to struggle, merger and acquisition activity should heat up. Today, Austria's Palfinger Group announced that it intends to acquire 100% of the shares in Herkules Harding Holding AS and thus, the globally operating Harding Group


STX Shipbuilding Likely to Enter Court-lead Restructuring

Photo: Robert Kunkel

South Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd will likely need to enter court-supervised receivership due to financial difficulties, the firm's lead creditor Korea Development Bank said on Wednesday. STX Offshore's creditors took control of the company in 2013 after the


Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Could Climb

File image: a so-called ValeMax bulk carrier, typically used in the Brazil-China trades (Credit: Vale)

More coal cargoes, rising oil prices could support rates. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to rise next week on an increase in coal cargoes and higher fuel prices, ship brokers said. That comes as Brent crude futures breached the psychologically


Hercules Offshore Filing for Bankruptcy Again

(Photo: Hercules Offshore)

Hercules Offshore Inc said it planned to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just six months after the rig contractor emerged from bankruptcy protection. The company said it had entered into a restructuring support agreement with some lenders


Offshore Casualty: Harkand Group Collapses

The versatile Harkand Go Electra is a DP2 multi-purpose ROV, survey and air diving vessel and has recently completed its first campaign in the Caribbean. (Photo: Harkand)

As the prolonged slump in energy prices continues to drag on a number of oil and gas and maritime players, word has it that Harkand Group has succumbed, according to staff reports and a report on www.bbc.com. The company was a high-flyer building an enviable fleet of advanced tonnage


Tanker Shipping: Signs of Weakness are Appearing, But Still Money to be Made

Graph: BIMCO

Supported by slow fleet growth and ongoing positive refinery margins, VLCC earnings in Q1-2016 were up from a year ago, but down from Q4-2015 as we expected at $58,367 per day for VLCC (+5.7% year on year).  For the minor crude oil carriers, rates were down from Q1-2015 and Q4-2015


Emas Reels in $32m Contract

Photo: Emas Offshore

 Singapore-listed offshore firm EMAS Offshore Limited wins $32m of new business  has secured new awards and letter of intents for charters amounting to approximately US$32 million, including options.   These new charters will see EMAS Offshore’s Anchor Handling Tug (AHT)


Greece to Evaluate Deep-sea O&G Exploration Bids

Greece will conclude the evaluation of deep-sea oil and gas exploration bids in the coming weeks and will name the preferred bidders soon after, its energy minister said on Friday, as the country seeks to tap into its limited oil reserves.  


US LNG Shipments Point to Global Gas Price Convergence

Image by East-West Center

 The emergence of US liquefied natural gas as a competitive alternative for European and Asian customers, combined with an oversupplied market, should drive more convergence between natural gas prices at major hubs and weaken the link between gas and oil prices, Fitch Ratings says.  


South Korean Shipbuilders’ Off-Shore Debts

Image: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

 Beleaguered South Korean  shipbuilders's total liabilities as of the end of last year for their 34 overseas affiliated companies have reached 5.3584 trillion won (US$4.65 billion), up 28.7% compared to five years ago, reports BusinessKorea.  


Oil prices up on Nigeria outages, Goldman Forecast

Unrest cuts Nigerian output to lowest in decades; U.S., China output also down sharply. Oil prices jumped over 2 percent on Monday to their highest since November 2015 on growing Nigerian oil output disruptions and after long-time bear Goldman Sachs said the market had ended almost two years of


Cuba's Trade Deficit Widens as Commodity Crash Bites

Cuba's chronic goods trade deficit widened by $1.5 billion in 2015 as exports fell 24 percent and imports rose 3 percent, the government said on Wednesday, in the first data showing a commodity crash has hurt the economy.   The information


Wood Group Develops Advanced Analytics Capability with CeADA

Bob MacDonald, CEO of Wood Group Kenny

Wood Group today announced that it is collaborating with the Centre for Applied Data Analytics (CeADAR), located at University College Dublin (UCD), to launch a new data analytics capability to deliver significant savings for the energy and industrial sectors.


Nigeria: What are the Implications for Tanker Demand?

Source: Poten and Partners

 Nigeria’s crude oil production and exports have been hit by severe outages as a result of attacks on oil infrastructure by rebel fighters in the Niger River Delta.    Various sources report that Qua Iboe Terminal has shut down operations until further notice


BW LPG Registers 10% Growth in VLGC Fleet

Photo: BW LPG Limited

 Less domestic petrochemical consumption of LPG would be positive for VLGC shipping as it would result in a greater surplus of LPG available for export.    However, it is still unclear whether this dedicated-feedstock ethylene (five new ethylene plants






 
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