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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Higher Oil Prices News

Renewed Optimism is Exploration

Gross exploration wells drilled, success rates and discovered commercial resources for the W40 group of companies, 2013-2017. Source: Westwood

Renewed optimism is the theme for exploration in 2018, driven by higher oil prices and improving exploration performance. The cost of exploring has fallen more than 50% since 2013/14 and there are fewer companies competing for acreage, said a research report by Westwood Global Energy Group. It could be argued that there has not been a better time to be exploring in the last decade. The geology economic to explore increases considerably above $60/barrel and in the first quarter of 2018 the oil price averaged $67/barrel.

Hyundai Merchant Marine Loss Grows in Q3

Image: Hyundai Merchant Marine

South Korea's largest shipping firm by sales Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) said that its operating loss in the third quarter increased to 123.1 billion won (US$108.65 million) from 29.5 billion won in the same period last year.According to the company, the net loss widened due to unfavorable market conditions and high fuel costs.According to Yonhap, the net loss reached 166.7 billion won (US$146.7 million) in the July-September period, compared with a net loss of 60.3 billion won during the same period last year."Bunker fuel prices reached $445 per metric ton in the third quarter…

Why is Saudi Arabia Halting Red Sea Oil Shipments?

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait.

Maersk: Disappointing Q1 Earnings Hit Share Price

(Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk missed first-quarter profit expectations on Thursday and warned that political and trade tensions clouded the outlook, sending shares in the world's biggest container shipper sharply lower.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the three months to March 31 rose 5 percent to $669 million but came in well below the $852 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.Chief Executive Soren Skou called the result "unsatisfactory"…

Sembcorp Marine Swings to Q2 Loss

(Photo: Sembcorp Marine)

Singaporean rig builder Sembcorp Marine Ltd swung into the red in the second quarter, and cautioned a trend of negative operating profit would continue in the near term as overall business volume remains low.It turned in a loss of S$55.6 million ($40.68 million) for the three months ended June, compared with a profit of S$5.1 million in the same period a year ago.Sembcorp Marine, majority owned by industrial conglomerate Sembcorp Industries Ltd, saw its revenue more than double to S$1.63 billion due to revenue recognition on delivery of some rigs.

White House Escalates China Trade Dispute in hopes for Early Solution: Kemp

File Image: CREDIT Hapag Lloyd

The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November.U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 percent.The levies are…

Fitch Warns: Shippers' Costs and Capex may Increase

Image: Port of Hamburg

More stringent fuel regulations regarding sulphur content could significantly increase global shipping companies' operating costs and capex needs, says Fitch Ratings in a new report."This may negatively affect their credit quality unless they manage to pass these costs to customers. Many shipping companies have started implementing fuel surcharges to recover costs associated with the new sulphur cap regulation, but their ability to sustain these will depend on market fundamentals…

LNG Prices Climb on Limited Supply

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose this week to their highest since February as buying interest from China remained firm and as supply is expected to be limited during maintenance in August.Spot prices for July delivery in Asia were at $9.60 per million British thermal units (Btu) this week, gaining 40 cents from the previous week and are at the highest for this time of the year since 2014.Higher oil prices had been deterring some buyers from snapping up cargoes in the spot market in recent weeks but some of them may now need to cover their requirements promptly…

Middle East Gulf Exports Soar in January 2017

Middle East Gulf region crude oil exports by berth month and departure month from February 2016 to January 2017. (Image: Genscape)

During January – a month when all eyes were on oil production cuts – exports leaving the Middle East Gulf (MEG) region hit the highest level in at least two years, according to Genscape. At the end of November 2016, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) addressed the perceived global oversupply of oil and consequent low prices. OPEC members agreed that all countries, except Iran, would cut total production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), starting on January 1.

MOL Group Q1 Shows Robust Earnings Growth

North Sea block. Photo: MOL Group

MOL Group announced its financial results for Q1 2017 in which all business segments – Upstream, Downstream, Consumer Services, Gas Midstream – managed to increase their contributions compared with the same period of the previous year. Upstream EBITDA surged year-on-year by 50% and reached USD 219mn capitalizing on higher oil prices and the very competitive asset base. Production remained stable at 111,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Downstream posted an all-time high first quarter clean CCS EBITDA delivering USD 324 mn, which is 15% higher than in the same period of the previous year.

Maersk: Shipping Recovery Coming

File Image: Credit Maersk

Maersk Line posts loss, but company sees improvement. A.P. Moller-Maersk beat first-quarter net profit forecasts on Thursday, boosted by the energy business it plans to spin off, but also reported signs of improvement at its long-suffering container shipping business. Shares in the Danish conglomerate climbed almost 5 percent after it said a gradual recovery in freight rates should boost earnings at Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping business, over the rest of the year.

Hapag-Lloyd Projects Higher FY '17 Earnings

File Image: CREDIT (port of Boston)

CEO sees closer supply-demand balance in shipping market; higher earnings forecasts upheld after wider net loss. German container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd on Friday said it should achieve higher earnings this year, based on expectations for a moderate increase in freight rates and cost savings. "The outlook is fairly positive," Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen said in a video interview on the company's website. The shipping industry is slowly coming out of a year-long slump that caused the collapse of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping last year…

Frontline Expects VLCC Storage Play to Rise

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

Tanker firm Frontline, controlled by billionaire investor John Fredriksen, expects a growing number of supertankers to be used for storing crude in anticipation of higher oil prices, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday. While none of Frontline's own vessels are currently used for this purpose, independent shipbrokers estimate that around 10 of the world's very large crude carriers (VLCCs) have recently been contracted for oil storage. "It sounds correct, and the number is rising," Frontline Chief Executive Officer Robert Macleod said. "It's always an option," he added.

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, noted the weekly decline in the rig count was likely just a brief pause in a drilling recovery expected to continue through at least 2019. Drillers cut two oil rigs in the week to June 30, bringing the total rig count down to 756, still more than double the 341 rigs in the same week a year ago…

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 could cap increases, brokers said on Friday. "Middle East rates to the east have crept up one or two points (on the Worldscale measure)," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of BRS Baxi in Singapore. "Rates are up to W52.50 today. There is a slightly firm undertone," he added.

US Oil Drillers Add Rigs for 8th Week in Row

U.S. drillers this week added oil rigs for an eighth consecutive week, the longest recovery streak in the rig count in over two years, as crude prices rebounded toward the key $50-a-barrel mark that makes the return to the well pad viable. Drillers added 10 oil rigs in week to Aug. 19, bringing the total rig count to 406, compared with 674 a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>. The oil rig count has risen by 76 since the week ended July 1, the most weekly additions in a row since April 2014, after U.S. crude prices touched $50. Energy companies kept adding rigs despite prices dipping below $40 earlier this month but analysts have revised down rig count growth forecasts.

BP Deepwater Horizon Costs Balloon to $65 Billion

Response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010 (File photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

BP said on Tuesday it would take a new charge over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill after again raising estimates for outstanding claims, lifting total costs to around $65 billion. The post-tax, non-operating $1.7-billion charge BP will take in its fourth quarter results came after claims resolved in recent months were about seven times higher than anticipated, the London-based company said. The claims were part of the Court Supervised Settlement Program that was set up in the wake of the disaster and included nearly 400,000 cases, BP said.

Offshore Sector Shows Improvement: Sembcorp Marine

Semi-submersible platform. Photo: Sembcorp

Global exploration and production (E&P) capex spending continues to show signs of improvement, underpinned by higher oil prices, says Sembcorp Marine Ltd (SembMarine). Offshore rigs utilization and day rates have stabilized, but rig orders recovery may take some time as the oversupply in most drilling segments has yet to re-balance. The production segment remains encouraging and we are responding to increasing enquiries and tenders for innovative engineering solutions. We continue…

Schlumberger, Subsea 7 Mull Oil Services JV

(Photo: Subsea 7)

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services firm, and smaller peer Subsea 7 said on Friday they were entering exclusive talks to form a joint venture to deliver subsea installations and services for oilfields. The news lifted Subsea 7 shares on hopes the talks could be the first step towards a full takeover, in a sector that has already seen consolidation with the 2016 merger of Technip and FMC Technologies. In recent months, oil firms have returned to profits due to higher oil prices and the benefits of deep cost cuts they made during the downturn.

Record-size US Offshore Oil Lease Sale Draws Modest Bidding

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Oil and gas drillers bid modestly on Gulf of Mexico acreage in the largest lease sale in American history on Wednesday, dealing a setback to the Trump administration's efforts to rapidly pump up investment in the region. The Interior Department had offered up a record 77 million acres (31.2 million hectares) for development in the Gulf with discounted royalty rates on the shallower tracts as part of a broader effort by President Donald Trump's administration to ramp up U.S. fossil fuels output.

As Operators Look for the Bottom, Gulf Gloom Persists

Credit: Yesenia Rodriguez

Gulf of Mexico vessel operators want to see sustained, higher oil prices. After a rough two years, supply boat owners and operators in the Gulf of Mexico hope crude oil prices will improve in 2017. That would encourage activity among the offshore drillers that they service and would put unemployed boats back in the water. Vessel owners aren’t necessarily banking on a good year ahead, however. “Utilization of OSVs and PSVs in the Gulf is below 50 percent now, down from about 70 percent a year ago and 90 percent two years ago…

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…

Subsea 7: Offer Could Change if McDermott Cooperates

File Image: A Subsea 7 offshore support vessel. CREDIT: Subsea 7

Norwegian offshore oil services firm Subsea 7 is open to potentially sweetening its $2 billion offer for McDermott if the U.S. company would work with it to identify additional benefits of a deal, Subsea said on Wednesday. The Norwegian firm's comments come a week before McDermott's shareholders vote on a planned combination with Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I), which McDermott's board has recommended its investors to support while rejected Subsea's proposal "Subsea 7 is open to…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2018 - Workboat Edition

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