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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


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.  


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.


The New Offshore Reality

(Photo: Oyvind Hagen, Statoil)

As a mix of traditional heavyweights and start-ups fight to keep Norway’s offshore industry afloat, collectively they assess   Swedbank’s chief economist, Harald Andreassen, isn’t “too hopeful” about the long-term prospects for the oil price, but then again, “I’m less certain of this than I’ve ever been as an economist,” he told a floating production conference in Oslo


Firmer MidEast, WAfrica Sentiment Supports VLCC Rates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Middle East rates helped by fewer old vessels; about 96 MidEast cargoes fixed, 25 to come.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could rise next week on firm sentiment in the Middle East and West Africa markets but higher oil prices and fewer floating storage opportunities


OSV Companies Running Out of Options -Study

© corlaffra / Adobe Stock

As oil continues to sell below $50 per barrel, 2017 could be one of the toughest years in decades for Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) companies, according to a study of 44 companies in the industry by AlixPartners.   The firm’s analysis highlights these companies’ rising debt


Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan to Drill Offshore Alaska

Image of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, acquired on 3 June 2017 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, on board the Aqua satellite. (Photo: NASA)

Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years.  


Russian Think Tank: Oil Exports to Decline in 2017

© Mikhail Perfilov / Adobe Stock

 A think tank that advises the Russian government on taxes and energy-related issues said on Wednesday it expects the country's oil exports to fall this year thanks to a global deal to cut output, contrasting with official forecasts for a rise.  


Wells Fargo Calls $100 Oil a 'Pipe Dream'

Image: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

 USD 100 per barrel oil  is but a “pipe dream,” Wells Fargo said in a new investor note, reports MarketWatch.   The report quoted Wells Fargo’s John LaForge saying that he’s doesn’t expect oil prices to climb anywhere near $100 a barrel over the next


DOF Subsea Shelves IPO Plans

Pic: DOF ASA

Norway's DOF Subsea has decided to hold off on launching its initial public offering (IPO), citing volatile market conditions.   Company shareholders DOF ASA, with 51 percent, and a fund managed by First Reserve, with 49 percent ownership


US LNG Going Global

© Anatoly Kolodey / Adobe Stock photo

The U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) market is ripe with opportunity, according to American Action Forum (AAF).   "When coupled with the tension surrounding Qatar (the largest exporter of natural gas in the world), this makes U.S


Avance Gas Expects Weak 2017, Recovery from 2018

Peder Simonsen (Photo: Avance Gas Holding)

Shipping firm Avance Gas Holding , which transports liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), expects freight rates for its vessels to remain weak in 2017 despite an improvement in the last two weeks, the Oslo-listed firm said. A sharp influx of newly built very large gas carriers (VLGCs) pushed global


Oil Traders Brace for US Gulf Coast Storm

Oil traders from Texas to Louisiana braced on Tuesday for supply disruptions as Tropical Storm Cindy, formed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, threatened to hit refining and production centers with wind and rain later this week.   Cindy was located about 265 miles (430 km) south of Morgan City


Faroe Islands Looks to Restart Hunt for Oil and Gas

Oil companies are interested in restarting the hunt for oil and gas in the scarcely explored seas off the Faroe Islands neighbouring the more mature UK North Sea, the head of the Faroese Geological Survey said.   No economically viable discoveries have been made on the Faroese shelf but the


Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years

© Jelle van der Wolf / Adobe Stock

Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on Wednesday after hitting a 10-month low in volatile trade, as growing U.S. production and reduced Chinese refinery activity fed mounting concern over the stubborn global crude glut.   U.S. crude futures settled at $42.53, down 98 cents or 2


Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Supported by Floating Storage

File Image: Credit Suez Canal Authority

Trafigura hires five VLCCs to store oil; short-term storage a profitable play.   Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could creep higher as more ships are chartered for floating storage and crude oil shipments increase ahead of the northern winter, brokers said.  


Multipurpose Shipping Looks Bullish

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

 Many key drivers for dry cargo demand have reported a significant uptick in 2017, resulting in improving conditions for all vessels in the multipurpose shipping sector, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecast report published by global shipping consultancy


LNG Price Row between GAIL, Cheniere Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Fotmart)

India's biggest importer of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) is trying to re-negotiate prices with the U.S. seller, sources said, undermining plans by U.S. President Donald Trump to export more gas to the fast-growing Asian nation.   At a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister


US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for First Week since January

© Stojanovic Milos / Adobe Stock

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for the first time since January and the pace of additions slowed this quarter due to declines in crude prices despite an OPEC-led effort to cut production and end a multi-year supply glut.   Analysts, however






 
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