Alex Lawler News

11 May 2018

Iran's Oil Customers in Europe Might Reduce Imports

© compuinfoto / Adobe Stock

European oil companies are not ruling out reducing Iranian oil imports after the threat of new U.S. sanctions, with some expecting banking issues to hinder trade, but there was no rush to immediately cut volumes.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was exiting an international nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions that seek to reduce oil exports from OPEC's third-largest producer.But as of Friday, companies in Europe said they were still taking Iranian oil.

20 Apr 2018

Trump Rails Against Oil Prices, OPEC Pushes Back

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump accused OPEC on Friday of "artificially" boosting oil prices, drawing rebukes from some of the world's top energy exporters."Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea. Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!" Trump wrote on Twitter.It was unclear what triggered the tweet, Trump's first mention of OPEC on social media during his term.U.S. oil prices are near a three-year high…

02 Mar 2018

North Sea Forties Crude Sailings Resume

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

Loadings of Forties crude at Hound Point terminal in Scotland have resumed, a spokesman for Ineos, operator of the Forties pipeline, said on Friday.   "At the moment, sailings from Hound Point have re-commenced," spokesman Richard Longden said, adding that a vessel had sailed on Thursday.   Ineos had said on Thursday that loading was temporarily postponed due to adverse weather conditions.   Forties is one of five North Sea crudes which underpin the Brent benchmark.   Reporting by Alex Lawler

14 Feb 2018

North Sea Crude-Forties Slips to Lowest Since mid-2017

File Image: CREDIT Fendercare

North Sea Forties crude differentials weakened on Wednesday to the lowest since mid-2017.   Gunvor sold a cargo from floating storage. Such sales are often seen as a sign of a plentifully supplied market.   PLATTS WINDOW Forties: Glencore bought from Gunvor a cargo loading on a ship-to-ship transfer basis from the Blue Pride on Feb. 28-March 2 at dated Brent minus 65 cents.   Gunvor also offered a Feb. 25-27 cargo at dated Brent minus 70 cents, meaning on average Forties was worth dated minus 70 cents, equalling the mid-2017 low reached on Monday. (Reporting by Alex Lawler

12 Feb 2018

OPEC Sees Balanced Oil Market by Year-end

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OPEC said on Monday the world oil market would return to balance only towards the end of 2018 as extra barrels from the United States and other non-member producers offset an OPEC-led deal intended to clear a supply glut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said outside producers would boost supply by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. That was the third consecutive rise from 870,000 bpd forecast in November. "The steady oil price…

14 Dec 2017

Force Majeure Declared on Some North Sea Liftings

Pipeline shut on Dec. 11; repair work could last several weeks. Deliveries of crude oil through the Forties pipeline in the North Sea are under force majeure for the first time in decades and operator INEOS said on Thursday there was no timeline yet for repair work that could last several weeks. The 169-km pipeline, which carries around a quarter of all North Sea crude output and around a third of Britain's total offshore gas production, has been closed since Monday, following the discovery of a small crack in part of the system onshore in Scotland. Force majeure, which suspends a company's contractual obligations in the wake of situations that lie beyond its control, is common in oil-producing nations like Nigeria where unrest often disrupts output, but very rare in the North Sea.

07 Sep 2017

In Sign of Oil Rebalancing, North Sea Floating Storage Shrinks

The volume of global price benchmark North Sea crude being held in floating storage has declined sharply since mid-August, according to shipping data and trade sources, a sign that a long-awaited market rebalancing is gaining momentum. Two supertankers being used to store North Sea crudes offshore the UK, Desimi and Gener8 Neptune, contain about 4 million barrels of oil, trade sources said. Three weeks ago, the total was closer to 10 million barrels. The clearing of the crude to destinations including China and South Korea has been encouraged by a rise in the price of Brent crude for delivery soon relative to later supplies, trade sources said, a feature known as backwardation. "The whole market is tightening up," said a North Sea trade source.

30 Aug 2017

Crude Slips, Gasoline Jumps in Storm's Choppy Wake

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Goldman Sachs says 23 pct of U.S. refining capacity is shut. Crude oil slid and gasoline futures hit their highest since mid-2015 on Wednesday as flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Harvey shut over a fifth of U.S. refineries, curbing demand for crude while raising the risk of fuel shortages. Refineries with output of 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd) were offline on Tuesday, representing 23 percent of U.S. production, Goldman Sachs said. Restarting plants even under the best conditions can take a week or more. "It will be a while before operations can return to normal and the U.S.

23 May 2017

OPEC Set to Prolong Oil Cuts

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OPEC will likely agree to extend production cuts for another nine months, delegates said on Tuesday as the oil producer group meets this week to debate how to tackle a global glut of crude. OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, favours extending the output curbs by nine months rather than the initially planned six months, as it seeks to speed up market rebalancing and prevent oil prices from sliding back below $50 per barrel. On Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih won support from OPEC's second-biggest and fastest-growing producer…

20 Apr 2017

Iraq's Oil Exports Fall in April Amid Port Work, OPEC Cut

Oil shipments from Iraq's southern terminals have fallen so far in April, according to loading data and an industry source, reflecting a temporary drop in export capacity and Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC production cuts. OPEC's second-largest producer has curbed output this year as part of an OPEC-led supply reduction deal, although OPEC figures show that until March Iraq had delivered a smaller cut than other members such as top exporter Saudi Arabia. Exports from southern Iraq - the outlet for most of the country's crude - in the first 19 days of April averaged 3.10 million barrels per day (bpd), according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and by an industry source.

10 Jan 2017

Iraq Oil Exports Steady Despite Start of OPEC Cut

Oil exports from Iraq's southern ports in the first nine days of January have held steady at December's record high, according to loading data and an industry source, despite the start of an OPEC agreement to cut production. Shipments so far this month have averaged above 3.50 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the loading data tracked by Reuters and by the industry source. In all of December, Iraq's southern exports reached a record high of 3.51 million bpd, Iraq's oil ministry said on Monday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries started implementing an agreement to cut production on Jan. 1. Iraq has said it will cut production by 200,000 bpd as part of the deal.

27 Dec 2016

Oil up 1.7%, Adds to Year's Gains Ahead of OPEC Cuts

Oil jumped 1.7 percent Tuesday, continuing its year-end rally with support from expectations of tighter supply once the first output cut deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in 15 years takes effect on Sunday. U.S. crude prices have surged 25 percent since mid-November, helped by expectations for OPEC's supply cut and generally solid U.S. economic figures that have also bolstered equity prices. Trading was thin on Tuesday, with less than one-third of the usual volume in futures contracts in West Texas Intermediate crude oil. With oil near $54 a barrel, U.S. crude futures are not far from the year's high of $54.51 high reached on December 12. "Some of the doubts (in OPEC) people are showing are going to have to be put to rest," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

05 Jul 2016

Oil Sheds 5% on Brexit Worry, Supply Builds

NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices tumbled nearly 5 percent on Tuesday as investors worried that Britain's exit from the European Union would slow the global economy, making it unlikely energy demand will grow enough to absorb a supply glut. Brexit worries hit Britain's property market and drove the pound to a 31-year low. A flurry of data from China in coming weeks is likely to show weaker trade and investments. Traders also cited data from market intelligence firm Genscape showing a build of 230,025 barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub for U.S. crude futures, during the week to July 1. "There are risk-off trades across the board," said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Washington-based commodities broker Powerhouse.

26 Jan 2016

Oil Rises Towards $31 on Hopes of Deal

Oil rose on Tuesday to above $31 a barrel on hopes that OPEC and non-OPEC producers were inching closer to a deal to reduce output in the face of one of the biggest supply gluts in decades. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is making renewed calls for rival producers to cut supply alongside its members, but Russia, seen as key to any deal, has so far refused to cooperate. Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said on Tuesday he saw "some flexibility" for a deal, an idea has been repeatedly mooted and dismissed for over a year. Brent crude was up $1.02 at $31.52 a barrel by 11:05 a.m. EST (1605 GMT), rebounding from a decline earlier in the session. On Jan. 20, Brent reached as low as $27.10, its lowest since November 2003. U.S.

09 Mar 2016

Iran Plays Hardball with European Oil Buyers, Slowing Exports

Iran has managed to sell only modest volumes of oil to Europe since the lifting of sanctions seven weeks ago and several former buyers are staying away, citing legal complications and Tehran's reluctance to sweeten terms to win back customers. Tehran had been unable to sell crude to European firms since 2012 when the EU imposed sanctions over its nuclear programme, depriving it of a market that accounted for over a third of its exports and leaving it relying completely on Asian buyers. Since the restrictions were lifted in January, Iran has sold four tankers - 4 million barrels - to Europe, including to France's Total, Spain's Cepsa and Russia's Litasco, according to Iranian officials and ship-tracking data.

23 Mar 2016

Iraq Oil Exports Hold Steady in March

Iraq's oil exports have held steady so far in March, according to loading data and industry sources, halting for now the rapid supply growth that has increased downward pressure on prices. Baghdad has given verbal support to an initiative by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and outside producers to freeze output in an effort to boost prices. Producers are due to meet on April 17 to discuss the plan. The lack of export growth is partly involuntary as it reflects disruptions on Iraq's northern pipeline, offsetting near-record southern exports. Still, coupled with outages in other producers, it has supported a price rise this year .

07 May 2015

Work Starts at North Sea's Hound Point VLCC Jetty

A month of planned maintenance has started at the North Sea loading terminal for Forties crude, which helps set the Brent benchmark, an industry source said on Thursday, preventing VLCC loadings.   Hound Point's Jetty 1 is the key loading berth for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), so the closure makes moving Forties to far-flung destinations like Asia more difficult and has weighed on the price of Forties.   The facility's operator, BP, said in March Jetty 1 would close for maintenance from May 6 to June 8 . BP could not immediately be reached on Thursday.   In 2014, spring maintenance at Jetty 1 lasted for about six weeks, during which time Forties differentials slumped to multi-year lows.     (Reporting by Alex Lawler, editing by David Evans)

19 Apr 2016

Iran's Crude Oil Exports Show Rise in April

Iran has boosted its crude oil exports so far in April to around 1.75 million barrels per day, according to an industry source and shipping data, as OPEC's No. 3 producer works to recover market share following the lifting of sanctions.   That volume, if sustained for the rest of April, would be up from average March exports of about 1.60 million bpd. Iran says it is exporting more than the figures suggest.     (Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Alexander Smith)

04 May 2016

Oil Turns Lower after US Crude Build

A bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories to fresh record highs pushed oil markets lower on Wednesday after an early rally over concerns about production cuts in Canada's oil sands region due to a wildfire. U.S. crude stocks, which have been setting record highs since January, grew 2.8 million barrels last week, government data showed, about a million barrels more than analysts' expectations. Gasoline stocks also posted a surprise increase. The data overshadowed concerns over evacuations in the Canadian province of Alberta, where a wildfire raged unchecked through the Canadian city of Fort McMurray in the heart of the country's oil sands region, prompting some companies, including Suncor Energy and Royal Dutch Shell, to cut back production.

26 Aug 2015

Maersk Seeks to Shut Janice in UK North Sea

Janice (Photo: Maersk Oil)

Maersk Oil said on Wednesday it would seek regulatory permission to shut its Janice installation, which produces around 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) from three UK North Sea oilfields, as the Danish firm reviews its operations due to falling oil prices. It is one of the first North Sea oil fields to be threatened with closure due to the drop in prices, with Brent crude futures having plunged to around $43 a barrel from over $100 a barrel last June. North Sea producers have been under increasing pressure to cut costs and improve production efficiency…

14 Sep 2015

OPEC: Crude Demand will Grow in 2016

OPEC on Monday predicted higher demand for its crude oil next year, sticking to its view that a strategy of letting prices fall will tame the U.S. shale boom and cut a global surplus. The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said a weaker outlook for China would contribute to slower global oil demand growth next year. "U.S. oil production has shown signs of slowing," OPEC said in the report. OPEC said it expected demand for its crude next year to average 30.31 million barrels per day (bpd), up 190,000 bpd from last month, despite the slower demand growth overall due to a weaker outlook for Latin America and China. Oil is trading below $50 a barrel, less than half its level of June 2014.

31 Dec 2014

Oil's Worst Year Since 2008

Oil prices fell on Wednesday as concerns about demand for fuel kept worries about a global supply glut intact. Both Brent and U.S. crude significantly pared losses just before government data showed U.S. crude oil inventories fell 1.8 million barrels last week, a bigger drop than analyst expectations for a 100,000-barrel dip in stocks. After initially paring more losses, crude futures pushed lower. U.S. gasoline stocks rose 3.0 million barrels and distillate stocks were up 1.9 million barrels last week, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed, as refiners lifted capacity utilization 0.9 percentage point to 94.4 percent. The EIA data followed American Petroleum Institute data released on Tuesday that showed an increase in U.S. stockpiles.

12 Nov 2015

OPEC Sees Oil Supply Hole in 2016 as Low Prices Curb Rival Output

OPEC said its oil output fell in October and forecast supply from rival producers next year would decline for the first time since 2007 as low prices prompt investment cuts, reducing a global supply glut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it pumped 31.38 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, down 256,000 bpd from September. That is the first decline since March, according to OPEC figures. The forecast of a decline in supply outside OPEC, if realised, would be a further indication the group's strategy is working. OPEC last year abandoned a longstanding policy of propping up prices and instead raised output, seeking to recover market share taken by higher-cost rival production.

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