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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.  


Maersk Profit Plunges

Photo: Maersk Line

 Danish shipping and offshore energy conglomerate Maersk Group reported its profit at US$ 224 million for the first quarter of 2016, a drop of 86 percent compared to $ 1.6 billion seen in the same period a year earlier.   Hit by low oil prices and freight rates


Transocean Posts Quarterly Profit on Cost Cutting

Photo: Transocean

Offshore rig contractor Transocean Ltd posted a quarterly profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, as cost cutting helped counter a slump in crude oil prices.   The company's net income attributable to controlling interest was $249 million, or 68 cents per share


DNV GL 7 JIPs in North America

New research from DNV GL has revealed that cost management has become an even higher priority for senior oil and gas professionals  Courtesy DNV

In a concerted drive to find smart solutions to safely reduce complexities and cost in the North American oil and gas industry, DNV GL is leading seven new joint industry projects (JIP) from the region in 2016. The initiatives will support overall efficiency efforts in the pipelines


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


Canada Non-resource Exports to Surge in 2016

Canadian non-resource exports should post healthy gains this year, the country's trade financing agency said on Monday, a development the central bank is counting on to help revive an economy hobbled by weak global energy prices.   Export Development Canada predicted the consumer goods


Crude Prices up 3% on Gasoline Rally, Weak Dollar

Crude oil prices rose about 3 percent on Tuesday on the back of a rally in the gasoline market and as a tumbling dollar boosted commodities denominated in the greenback after bets the Federal Reserve will hold U.S. interest rates where they are.  


Argentina Crude Exports Poised to Hit Record

Argentina's oil producers have shipped record volumes of crude this month, spurred by a new government subsidy that has also prompted state-owned oil company YPF to return to the export market for the first time in years.   The surge in shipments abroad comes just a month after Argentina's


Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade

file image: A VLCC transits the Suez Canal (Suez Canal Authority)

Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo, could slip further next week as more tonnage becomes available with the easing of recent tanker


Oil Rally is Not Just About Hedge Funds: Kemp

Oil prices are becoming dangerously overheated as speculators anticipate a rebalancing of supply and demand that has barely started, according to many oil analysts.   "Even as oil rallies, analysts have barely nudged up their price forecasts as they worry that crude's recent gains


Chevron Suffers Loss, Plans Job Cuts

Photo: Chevron Corp

 Chevron Corp. reported a first-quarter loss as slumping oil prices continued to drag down revenue. The company said that it is "on target" to lay off a total of 8000 workers by the end of 2016, up from a previously stated goal.  


Shipping Industry Flying On The Dragon’s Back

Graph: Clarksons Research

 As the many Greek players in the shipping industry know well, the legend of Icarus tells us the dangers of flying too high. Merchant vessel earnings eventually found their 2008 heights just as unsustainable, even as some talked of a “new paradigm”.  


Oil Price Bottoming Depends on Global Growth - IEA chief

International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol

International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol said on Sunday that oil prices may have bottomed but that would depend on global economic growth. Asked if oil prices had reached a bottom, Birol told Reuters: "It may well be the case, but it depends on economic growth."


Partners Tap Standardization to Trim Newbuild Costs

Photo: DNV GL

Unfamiliar specifications and processes often result in rework, delays and misunderstandings, and are adding thousands of engineering hours to the design and construction of offshore oil and gas installations. Cost savings are delivered by addressing variations in owner, operator


A Look Back At The Tanker Market

Graph: Clarksons Research

 The fall in the oil price after the summer of 2014, coupled with the decision by OPEC to keep oil production at elevated levels has combined to support an improved tanker market, but just how good are these “good times” in a historical context? Clarksons Research Analysis.


Pirates Switch to Kidnapping Crew as Oil Fetches Less

Pirate gangs in West Africa are switching to kidnapping sailors and demanding ransom rather than stealing oil cargoes as low oil prices have made crude harder to sell and less profitable, shipping officials said on Tuesday.   Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea - a significant source of oil






 
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