New Colombian Crude Whets Appetite of US Refiners
The United States has started to import small batches of Colombia's Puerto Bahia heavy crude, an unusual development that underscores at least a temporary shift in the type of heavy oil flowing into U.S. refineries. Typically, U.S. refineries have received their heavy oil from Canada, Venezuela and Mexico. But shipments of those grades have been limited by Canada wildfires, and slipping output in Mexico and Venezuela. The first shipment of the Colombian heavy crude arrived at Lake Charles, Louisiana in February co-loaded with Vasconia crude for refiner Phillips 66, followed by a 260,000-barrel cargo in March for the same customer, according to sources and data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
US Gulf Coast Diesel Exports Down Sharply
Diesel fuel exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast declined sharply since December as increasing output from refiners in South American markets and brimming stocks in Europe squeezed key outlets, Thomson Reuters data show. As a result, distillate inventories in the region have risen 27 percent since October to more than 50.8 million barrels, the highest since September 2011. That level, 90 percent of the region's 26-year high of 55.9 million barrels reached in February 2011, has pressured cash ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) differentials in the U.S. Gulf Coast market in recent weeks. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said last week that distillate exports made up an average of 1.19 million barrels per day of the 4.3 million bpd of U.S. refined product exports last year.
Ecopetrol, JX Nippon Team Up to Explore Brazil Offshore
Ecopetrol reports it has established an Alliance with Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration through its affiliate in Brazil, Ecopetrol Óleo e Gás to explore the FZA-M-320 block, located in shallow waters of the Foz Amazonas basin on the equatorial margin of the Brazilian Amazon region. Ecopetrol has held the exclusive rights for this block since May 2013, which was awarded during the 11th Round carried out by the ANP, the National Petroleum Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency in Brazil.
Record Low Interest in US GoM Leases
A U.S. government sale of oil and gas drilling leases in the western Gulf of Mexico attracted the lowest number of bids on record on Wednesday as slumping oil prices kept producers from plowing money into expensive offshore prospects. The yearly sale, held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), attracted $22.7 million in high bids, the smallest in the western Gulf since 1983 when leases were first broken down into regions, the BOEM said, reaping just one fifth of the value of last year's offers. "The continuing drop in oil prices and low natural gas prices obviously affect industry's short-term investment decisions," BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement, also stressing the long term potential of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. U.S.
Ecopetrol Cartagena Oil Refinery to Restart by March
Colombian state-run oil producer Ecopetrol will fully restart its Cartagena refinery by March, Chief Executive Officer Juan Carlos Echeverry said on Thursday. The action will make Colombia self-sufficient in refined oil products it has had to import in increasing quantities during the facility's refurbishment, which will more than double its capacity to 165,000 barrels per day. "We expect that by March at the latest the refinery will be working one hundred percent" and starting to come on line in the third quarter, Echeverry said of Colombia's second biggest refinery during a conference call. The expansion, estimated to cost more than $6.4 billion…
Colombia Reshuffles Crude Exports to Weather Low Prices
Colombia, Latin America's No. 4 oil producer, is changing the slate of crudes it exports in a bid to offset the falling prices that are crimping the revenues of its top oil companies. The country has started to deemphasize exports of several heavier crudes, mainly Castilla, and increase offerings of Vasconia, a medium blend that fetches about $3.50, or 8 percent, more per barrel. But to lift output of Vasconia, Colombia must increase imports of products such as naphtha and natural gasoline, which are used as diluents to lighten the barrels for export. State-run Ecopetrol has already started to make the shift and has pushed independent producers in Colombia, including Pacific Rubiales, to do the same, brokers and industry sources said.
Magdalena River Project Dredges Up Economic Promise
The hulking backhoe dredges up rocks and silt from the shallows of the muddy Magdalena River in the first laborious step to transform the waterway into an engine of economic growth. The excavation along a verdant stretch near Barrancabermeja, an inland oil and coal hub, is part of a $600 million government bid to reclaim the river, once Colombia's primary transport route. By clearing logjams, the aim is to allow big cargo barges to steam up 900 km (560 miles) from the Caribbean coast to Puerto Salgar, close to the capital Bogota.
Ecopetrol Breaks Silence in Risk-on Day for LatAm Markets
A recovery in LatAm debt spreads opened a window for Colombia's Ecopetrol on Tuesday when it printed a US$1.5bn 11-year bond - the state-owned oil company's first debt issue in nine months. Optimism over Greek debt talks spurred risk buying on Tuesday, leaving LatAm debt spreads tightening against a weaker US Treasury market, and also benefiting the oil credit that has received a battering in secondary this year. "We are trading well today and are tighter across most credit spreads," said a New York based trader focused on Latin American credits. Even with Heinz's jumbo US$10bn multi-tranche deal in the US high-grade market, Ecopetrol came on a relatively quiet day in the primary market, leaving the runway open for the Colombian borrower.
Petrobras Makes Discovery in Colombian Caribbean Waters
The Petrobras Orca–1 exploratory well (Tayrona Block) has revealed a natural gas accumulation in Colombian Caribbean deep waters, 40 km off the coast of La Guajira. This is the first discovery in the history of the deep water exploration of this region of the Caribbean. Petrobras is the operator (40%), in partnership with Ecopetrol (30%), and Repsol (30%). Well drilling ended in September, reaching 4,240 meters. The water depth is 674 meters. The natural gas accumulation was confirmed at 3,600 meters. Petrobras will continue operations as planned in order to assess the discovery.
Colombia's Ecopetrol Sees Recovery in 2015
Colombia's top energy company Ecopetrol is targeting production of 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2015, a steep recovery over this year, clouded by rebel attacks on infrastructure and exploration failures. Ecopetrol chief financial officer Magda Manosalva told a conference in London that while the primary focus would remain on Colombia, the company also planned to bid for fields in Mexico, which is opening up its energy sector. "We see the internationalization as a chance to diversify," Manosalva said, adding that the firm would focus on available onshore fields. Rebel group attacks pushed Ecopetrol's production to an average of 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day so far this year -- well below the nearly 1 million in 2013.
Statoil Exploration Update
Statoil has completed the Martin well in US Gulf of Mexico and the Dilolo well in the Kwanza basin in Angola. Statoil announces a small discovery in its Martin prospect located in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Statoil does not consider this to be a commercial discovery. The well has been drilled efficiently and plug and abandonment operations (P&A) are now ongoing. Once P&A operations are completed the Maersk Developer rig will move to the impact Perseus prospect in De Soto Canyon (DC) 231.
Guerrilla attacks Ecopetrol Oil Field in Colombia
Leftist guerrillas attacked an oil field Friday for Ecopetrol in northeastern Colombia, as part of an escalation of attacks on the economic infrastructure of the country that holds in tension the peace negotiations between the Government and the FARC. Ecopetrol said the two attacks affected the Tibú field, located in the department of Norte de Santander, which borders Venezuela, with a production of 1,800 barrels of oil per day. "Ecopetrol rejects the attacks against a team workover and field season Tibú, Norte de Santander, which endangered the lives of workers and neighboring communities," said a statement from the company that produces 750,000 barrels of oil a day.
Oil Companies Bidding for Blocks in Colombia
Oil companies were bidding on Wednesday for 95 oil areas Colombia is offering for exploration and production in an effort to raise output from around 1 million barrels per day and increase stagnant reserves. Rights for the onshore, offshore and nonconventional or shale oil areas will be awarded to bidders who offer the largest share of production to the government or based on how much companies commit to invest in lesser-explored regions. The government said earlier this year it hoped to attract $2.6 billion in investment into the oil sector through the so-called Colombia Round 2014. Colombia's last oil auction took place in 2012. The blocks on offer total more than 22 million hectares.
Ecopetrol Seeks Diluent Naphtha Cargo for July
Colombia's state-run Ecopetrol has launched a tender to buy a 170,000-180,000 barrel cargo of diluent naphtha to be received on July 10-18 at the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Caribbean or Barranquilla port, according to a document seen by Reuters on Monday. The oil company this month bought several cargoes of gasoline, ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) and jet fuel while its 80,000 barrel per day (bpd) Cartagena refinery undergoes a big expansion project to double its crude distillation capacity. For this tender, the company will receive bids until Tuesday and they must be indexed to natural gasoline prices at Mont Belvieu, the invitation says. Colombia has two refineries, Cartagena and Barrancabermeja, with more than 300,000 bpd of joint capacity. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga)
Colombia's Ecopetrol to buy Three ULSD Cargoes
Colombia's state-run Ecopetrol has launched a tender to buy three 280,000-290,000 barrel cargoes of ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) to be received June 3-28, according to a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday. This marks at least the ninth tender that Ecopetrol has held to buy fuels on the open market since its 80,000 barrel per day (bpd) Cartagena refinery started maintenance and expansion work in March that will stop its major units until the second quarter of 2015. The cargoes, with a maximum of 30 parts per million of sulfur, can be delivered at the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Caribbean or Pozos Colorados port in Colombia, the invitation says. The company will receive bids until May 21 and they must be indexed to ULSD prices at the U.S. Gulf Coast. Reporting by Marianna Parraga
Colombia's Ecopetrol Offers To Buy ULSD & Gasoline
Colombia's state-run Ecopetrol launched a tender to buy a 68,000-70,000 barrel cargo of ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) and a 91,000-95,000 barrel cargo combining ULSD and gasoline, according to a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The shutdown of a key pipeline in Colombia since March has affected the oil company and other producers in the Andean country. Exports of medium Vasconia crude have declined in recent weeks, according to traders. The company said in the invitation that it will receive the cargoes in the U.S. Gulf Coast or in the Buenaventura port in Colombia from May 27 to June 16. The combined cargo must contain 68,000-70,000 barrels of ULSD and 23,000-25,000 barrels of gasoline RON 92, it added.
Repsol to Test Canadian Blend Crude at its Spain Refineries
Repsol will test the first batches of Canadian crude at its Spanish refineries later this month as the oil major takes advantage of a provision that allows Canadian crude to be re-exported through U.S. ports, said a source with knowledge of the deal. Repsol has bought a cargo of Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy blend crude that will arrive in the European country at the end of May to be used as a test for several refineries, the source said. "The 600,000 barrels of WCS were loaded at Freeport (Texas) after obtaining the license to export them from the United States. Mexican Maya was also loaded to optimize the freight," the source added.
EXMAR Teams Up With Pacific Rubiales
EXMAR has teamed up with Pacific Rubiales to build a small-scale LNG export project in northern Colombia. The Colombian-Canadian exploration and production player and EXMAR have begun front-end engineering and design for the scheme. Plans involve building a small liquefaction barge and a pipeline from the company’s La Creciente gas field to the Caribbean coast and shipping to the targeted markets. The project is targeting Caribbean and Central American markets. Pacific Rubiales…
Fairbanks Morse Engine and Achates Power Team Up
Manufacturer of opposed-piston engines Fairbanks Morse Engine, an EnPro Industries company, signed a joint development and licensing agreement with Achates Power, Inc. —an innovator of improved internal combustion engines that are clean, more fuel efficient and lower cost—to reduce emissions and fuel consumption of Fairbanks Morse proprietary diesel and dual-fuel opposed-piston engines. Fairbanks Morse opposed-piston engines have proven their reliability in a wide range of critical applications including nuclear standby power…
Offshore Brazil: The Libra Field & Brazil’s Pre-Salt Policy
Brazil’s Libra pre-salt field, in Block SS-AUP1 in the Santos Basin, with estimated recoverable oil volumes of 8-12 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) and in place volumes of between 25-40 billion BOE, was the country’s first pre-salt field to be auctioned. The rules governing this historical auction have been shunned by important super-majors such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BP and also by major players such as the BG Group and Statoil. Many industry analysts were surprised that state-owned players from China…
Aker Solutions Wins Murphy Umbilicals Deal
Aker Solutions has been selected to supply two production control umbilicals and three umbilical termination assemblies (UTAs) to Murphy Exploration & Production Company - USA. The products will be delivered to the Murphy operated Dalmatian field in the De Soto Canyon located in the Gulf of Mexico which is jointly owned by Murphy and Ecopetrol America Inc. Contract value is undisclosed. The main control and injection umbilical will tie the host facility to Murphy's De Soto Canyon Block 4 well for a distance of 21 miles (34 km). The second umbilical is an infield umbilical that will connect two blocks 5 miles (8 km) apart. The umbilicals will be used in water depths of approximately 6 000 feet (1 800 metres). Installation is planned for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Technip Wins Important GofM Subsea Contract
Technip awarded Murphy Exploration & Production Co. contract for development of Dalmatian Field in Gulf of Mexico. The lump-sum contract is for work at a water depth ranging from 530 to 1,800 meters on a field jointly owned by Murphy and Ecopetrol America Inc., comprised of the De Soto Canyon Blocks 4, 47, 48 and 91. The project consists of a subsea tie-back to an existing Gulf of Mexico platform. The contract covers: project management, engineering, fabrication and installation of a gas riser, an oil riser, a 38-kilometer flowline and a 34-kilometer pipe-in-pipe flowline with associated PLETs and jumpers; installation of a main subsea control umbilical, infield umbilical, and associated foundation and flying leads, then pre-commissioning.
Colombia Oil Reserves Rise 2.9 %
Colombia's oil reserves had risen 2.9 percent to 2.445 billion barrels by the end of 2013, up from 2.38 billion barrels a year earlier, taking reserves to their highest despite a missed exploration target, the energy ministry said on Monday. Foreign investment into the Andean nation's oil and gas sector has surged in recent years and the government is preparing to tap non-conventional or shale resources offering such blocks in its 2014 oil auction which concludes in July. Though…