Foreign Oil News

06 Feb 2020

US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

©  Mariakray / Adobe Stock

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

18 Jul 2019

Revolutionary Guards Seize Oil Tanker in Gulf

Iran has seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in the Gulf, state television quoted Iran's Revolutionary Guards as saying on Thursday."A foreign vessel smuggling one million litres of fuel in the Larak Island of the Persian Gulf has been seized," the station said, adding that the ship was seized on Sunday.The Revolutionary Guards said the impounded vessel - which Iranian authorities have not yet named - was the same one it towed after it sent a distress call."The vessel that Iran towed to its waters after receiving a distress call, was later seized with the order from the court as we found out that it was smuggling fuel," the Guards said in a statement quoted by state television.The Guards said they had seized no other ship in the Gulf.Iranian navy vessels came to the assistance of a disa

26 Dec 2018

Soldier-run PDVSA and AWOL Oil Output

© natanaelginting/Adobe Stock

Last July 6, Major General Manuel Quevedo joined his wife, a Catholic priest and a gathering of oil workers in prayer in a conference room at the headquarters of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.The career military officer, who for the past year has been boss at the troubled state-owned oil company, was at no ordinary mass. The gathering, rather, was a ceremony at which he and other senior oil ministry officials asked God to boost oil output."This place of peace and spirituality…

31 Jul 2018

Eni to Invest $1.8 Bln in Offshore Mexican Oil Fields by 2040

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi(Photo: Eni)

Italian oil major expects to invest $1.795 billion in three offshore Mexican oil fields by 2040, according to a development plan approved by Mexico's oil regulator on Tuesday.The plan covering the Amoca, Mizton and Tecoalli shallow water fields is the second one approved by the regulator, known as the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), following a landmark 2013 energy opening that has led to more than 100 oil and gas contracts being awarded in a series of auctions.Eni sees initial crude oil production of 8…

08 Feb 2018

Texas Flood: U.S. Oil Pours into Global Markets

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

United States taking share from OPEC nations in Asia, Europe, as China’s biggest U.S. crude buyer to double imports. In the two years since Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports, tankers filled with U.S. crude have landed in more than 30 countries, ranging from massive economies like China and India to tiny Togo. The repeal has unleashed a flood of U.S. shale oil, undercutting global crude prices, eroding the clout of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and seizing market share from many of its member countries.

28 Nov 2017

ExxonMobil's Canada Offshore Project Produces First Oil

Photo: ExxonMobil Canada

The Hebron oil project off the coast of eastern Canada has produced its first oil, operator Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday, in a boost to Atlantic Canada's output after years of weak crude prices. At its peak Hebron will produce up to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), Exxon said. It will help Atlantic Canada offshore production climb 44 percent to 307,000 bpd by 2024, according to estimates from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The platform is located 200 miles (350 kilometres) off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in depths of 300 feet (92 metres) and the oil field…

28 Nov 2017

GoM Stakeholders Energized Despite Lingering Oil Bust

Miss Marilene Tide (Credit Tidewater)

Gulf of Mexico vessel builders – and their customers – adapt to a lean offshore market. After oil prices plunged in late 2014 – pressured by shale output – demand for offshore vessels in the Gulf of Mexico shrank, day rates for boats fell and non-working units were idled. This year, several GoM boat builders filed for Chapter 11, or voluntary bankruptcy, while others consolidated. The most diversified companies kept their heads above water. Today, the outlook's a bit brighter. Crude oil prices hit bottom early last year. Tidewater Inc.

22 Dec 2016

BOEM Oil and Gas Lease Sale: 48m Acres

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced the bureau will offer more than 48 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development, in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Central Planning Area (CPA). “As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico remains an important component of our domestic energy strategy to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Hopper said. BOEM will livestream Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 247 on March 22, 2017. Livestreaming the sale enables BOEM to deliver pertinent bid information immediately to a much broader national and international audience.

04 Aug 2016

Iranian Ports Not Affected by Sanctions

Photo: Ports and Maritime Organization

Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Mohammad Saeed-Nejad says the nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 has removed all sanctions imposed on Iranian ports. The  big vessels and famous international shipping lines are facing no restrictions in their traffic in the Iranian ports, says a report by IRNA. The number of foreign oil supertankers docking at Iran’s southern Kharg oil terminal has seen a major increase. He said big trawlers and well-credited shipping lines of the world are berthing in Iranian ports.

13 Jul 2016

Indonesia Hopes Fishermen Can Net Its South China Sea Claims

Indonesia wants to send hundreds of fishermen to the Natuna Islands to assert its sovereignty over nearby areas of the South China Sea to which China says it also has claims. President Joko Widodo has launched an unprecedented campaign to bolster fishing, oil exploration and defence facilities around the island chain after a series of face-offs between the Indonesian navy and Chinese fishing boats. "We are aware that if we don't do this there could be many claims that disrupt the integrity of Indonesian territory," Chief Maritime Minister Rizal Ramli told reporters on Wednesday. The announcement of the plan came a day after the Permanent…

02 Mar 2016

US Imports Rare Bolivian Condensate Cargo

The United States imported a 272,000-barrel cargo of Bolivian condensate bought by trading firm Trafigura last week after more favorable crude spreads prompted larger purchases of foreign oil last month, according to traders and ThomsonReuters data. Refining and trading companies in the United States turned to crude and condensate imports in February to find cheap oil after the arbitrage opened as a result of an inversion in the spread between benchmark U.S. crude oil prices and Brent. Purchases of African crudes increased to 11.66 million barrels in February, the highest volume since October including Nigerian condensate, according to the same data. Most crudes arriving were light and sweet, competing with U.S. grades.

21 Jan 2016

Stuck at Sea, BP's LNG Shipment Highlights Egypt's Payment Struggle

BP's diversion of a tanker of liquefied natural gas (LNG) away from Egypt due to payment issues is the first sign that the country's currency crisis could be jeopardising its energy supplies, traders said. Earlier this month the tanker British Sapphire was diverted to Brazil rather than discharging in Egypt, with the delivery of the LNG cargo for Egypt delayed up until October, traders said. BP declined to comment. Egypt's state-owned EGAS was not available to comment. Egypt has been struggling to pay for U.S. dollar-priced oil products and LNG due to an acute foreign currency crisis, worsened by the Russian airliner disaster in October, which hit tourism revenue.

21 Jan 2016

Biofuels to Help Power Next US Navy Deployment

USS Princeton refuels with biofuel in 2012. Image: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel  to conduct operations in the Pacific. The "Great Green Fleet"  warships powered by alternative energy is a milestone toward easing the military's reliance on foreign oil. Most of the group's ships will run on a mix of 90 per cent petroleum and only 10 per cent biofuels, though that could change. The Navy originally aimed for the ratio to be 50/50. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off the deployment in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island near San Diego…

19 Jan 2016

RINA to Start Classifying Iranian Ships in Weeks

Italy's RINA expects to start verifying safety and environmental standards for Iranian ships including oil tankers in a matter of weeks, the classification society said, stealing a lead on rivals as business interest in Iran heats up. Without verification from such bodies, ships are unable to call at international ports or secure insurance. RINA said it had signed an agreement this week with Iran's Asia Classification Society, enabling the Genoa-headquartered group to provide services to Iranian shipping firms. Under Iranian regulations, international players have to team up with local counterparts when providing cover for Iranian flagged vessels.

19 Jan 2016

Insurer Caution to Slow Oil Tanker Market's Return to Iran

Foreign oil tanker owners are expected to make a slow return to Iran despite the lifting of many sanctions as insurers tread carefully, leaving shipping players unwilling to pick up cargoes as quickly as Tehran has wanted. A nuclear deal between world powers - known as the P5+1 - and Iran led to the removal on Saturday of international oil export prohibitions as well as restrictions on banking, insurance and shipping for Tehran. With U.S. sanctions still in place, which exclude U.S. persons, banks and insurers from trading with Iran including dollar business, shipping and marine insurance sources say many foreign companies are likely to take their time. They are also mindful of sanctions being reimposed in a "snap back" if Iran reneges on commitments.

15 Jan 2016

Iran's Tankers Target India, EU

File Image: A large tanker transits the Suez Canal enroute to Europe. (credit: Suez Canal Authority)

Iran wants to up exports to India by 200,000 bpd within 6 months. With Iran ready to resume business as usual with the world under a historic nuclear deal, Tehran will target India, Asia's fastest-growing major oil market, and old partners in Europe with hundreds of thousands of barrels of its crude. Iran expects the United Nations nuclear watchdog to confirm on Friday it has curtailed its nuclear programme, paving the way for the unfreezing of billions of dollars of assets and an end to bans that have crippled its oil exports.

15 Jan 2016

U.S. Light Crude Imports Surge Again

U.S. imports of light crude from across the Atlantic are set to jump this month to their highest in more than two years, according to market sources and trade data that indicate global oil flows are being scrambled by the lowest prices in years and the end of the 1970s era U.S. export ban. Shipments totaling some 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) are booked or underway from producers including Norway and Nigeria, a surprisingly rapid revival of flows that had dwindled to nearly nothing in 2014-2015, after the U.S. shale oil revolution got in full swing. The arbitrage has opened as a result of an inversion in the spread between benchmark U.S. crude oil prices and global Brent. After five years at a discount due to the eruption of domestic production, U.S.

14 Jan 2016

US Light Oil Imports Resurge to Highest in Years

U.S. imports of light crude from across the Atlantic are set to jump this month to their highest in more than two years, according to market sources and trade data that indicate global oil flows are being scrambled by the lowest prices in years and the end of the 1970s era U.S. export ban. Shipments totaling some 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) are booked or underway from producers including Norway and Nigeria, a surprisingly rapid revival of flows that had dwindled to nearly nothing in 2014-2015, after the U.S. shale oil revolution got in full swing. The arbitrage has opened as a result of an inversion in the spread between benchmark U.S. crude oil prices and global Brent. After five years at a discount due to the eruption of domestic production, U.S.

01 Sep 2015

Nigeria Ramps up Push to Eradicate Oil Theft

Nigerian authorities hope to put an end to rampant oil theft in eight months by increasing drone and naval monitoring of territorial waters and working with local communities, the state oil company chief said on Tuesday. The Niger delta has been plagued by oil theft for years that has left the region heavily polluted and prompted foreign oil companies, particularly Shell, to sell onshore assets. "We must eradicate oil theft in eight months ... Most of our product pipelines are ruptured and attacked frequently," Emmauel Ibe Kachikwu, head of the National Nigerian Petroleum Corp, said in an emailed statement. The reason for the deadline was not immediately clear.

31 Jul 2015

Fratelli Neri Orders Damen Tug

Damen's ASD 3212 Tug

One of the largest Italian tug owners, Fratelli Neri S.p.A, ordered its first Damen tug, an ASD 3212, on 21 July 2015. The vessel will be the first ASD tug in the Mediterranean region with a Damen Render Recovery Escort winch. The family-owned, Livorno-based harbour towage company has been in operation for over 100 years. Besides this new tug, the company has ordered two additional second-hand Stan tugs 2608 from Damen Trading. “Damen’s well-known high quality construction and reliability, as well as fast delivery times, were the main reasons behind our decision to place this order.

14 Jul 2015

Train Lobby Pushes to Weaken Safety Rule

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is set to be a chief beneficiary of a bid by Senate Republicans to weaken new regulations to improve train safety in the $2.8 billion crude-by-rail industry, a key cog in the development of the vast North American shale oil fields. A series of oil train accidents, including the July 2013 explosion of a train carrying crude in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people, led U.S. and Canadian regulators to announce sweeping safety rules in May. Among other things, U.S. oil trains are required to install new electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. But in late June, the Republican-controlled Senate Commerce Committee approved a measure to drop that requirement, and order years of new research to confirm the safety benefits of ECP brakes.

30 Jun 2015

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

When night falls over western Venezuela, armed gangs known as "pirates" sometimes ride boats into muggy Lake Maracaibo to steal equipment from oil wells. In the country's Paraguana peninsula, opposite the Caribbean island of Aruba, slum dwellers at times break through a perimeter wall into Venezuela's biggest refinery and rob machinery, construction tools, and cables to sell as scrap. On the other side of the OPEC country in Monagas state, around 26,000 potential barrels were lost in March during a shutdown after state oil company employees and contractors stole copper cables and caused a tank to overflow. Venezuela's national crime pandemic - the United Nations says the country has the world's second-highest murder rate after Honduras - is a growing headache for the oil industry…

20 Mar 2015

EPA’s SmartWay Initiative Makes Way on the Water

Photo: Donald Hutton

Exhaustive studies by The National Waterways Foundation (NWF), a center for research and learning where industry leaders address public policy issues related to America’s inland waterways system, conclude that inland waterways transport generates fewer emissions of particulate matter, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide than rail or truck on a per ton mile moved basis. But, it’s one thing to claim that metric, and another altogether to prove it to shippers and other freight stakeholders. The time to do that, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is now.

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