Oil Up as U.S., China hit the Trade War Pause Button
Oil prices rose on Monday as markets reacted to news that China and the United States have put a looming trade war between the world's two biggest economies "on hold". Brent crude futures were at $79.13 per barrel at 0121 GMT, up 62 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.83 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement. The U.S. trade war with China is "on hold" after the world's largest economies agreed to drop their tariff threats while they work on a wider trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, giving global markets a lift in early trading on Monday.
McDermott Closing CB&I Deal
Offshore engineering firm McDermott International Inc will close its acquisition of Chicago Bridge and Iron Co NV on Thursday, creating an integrated onshore and offshore services group that will expand its presence in the Middle East.McDermott's offshore engineering and construction work will combine with CB&I's onshore skills including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and power plants. McDermott will bolster its service offerings in Saudi Arabia, where it is already adding facilities and has contracts with national oil company Saudi Aramco.David Dickson, McDermott's chief executive officer who this week met with Saudi Aramco executives in Houston, said on Tuesday the kingdom "is going to be a big part of our future.
Renewed Optimism is Exploration
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.
PAO Sovcomflot: Tanker Market is Challenging
PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) continued to increase the share of its fleet serving long-term energy projects over the first quarter ending 31 March 2018. This helped offset the negative impact of the protracted decline in freight rates that continues within the conventional tanker freight markets. Nikolay Kolesnikov, Executive Vice President and CFO of PAO Sovcomflot, commented on the quarter's results: "In the first quarter of 2018, conditions within the global conventional tanker market remained extremely challenging.
LNG is the Bridge to ‘Zero Emissions’ Shipping
The advent of industry wide tightening of allowable sulfur emissions is getting nearer. Suddenly, with the deadline now little more than one year away, the countdown clock will very soon be ticking much louder. Simply stated, the cap on allowable sulfur content in marine fuels, presently at 3.5 percent in many geographical regions, will be reduced to 0.5 percent in January 2020. The 0.1 percent sulfur cap, already in effect since 2015 in coastal Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) in Europe and North America…
China and Shifting Seaborne Iron Ore Dynamics
The seaborne iron ore market appears to be in something of a sweet spot currently, with largely steady demand and prices that have been flatlining for the past couple of months. Of course, another way of saying that a market is enjoying relatively stable and good times is that it's boring, but in iron ore there is plenty of action bubbling beneath the seemingly calm exterior. It's not so much that iron ore prices or volumes are expected to shift dramatically in the coming months, it's more that structural changes in the world's biggest importer, China, are re-shaping how the industry works.
Gunvor, Oceangold and Maas Capital Form Tanker JV
A new ship holding company has been formed through a joint venture agreement between physical energy trader Gunvor Group, ship management company Oceangold Tankers and investor Maas Capital.The three partners hold an equal share in the new company, ClearOcean Tankers, which has been incorporated in Cyprus.The new joint venture company has entered into shipbuilding contracts for six vessels from South Korean shipyards, including four MR2 product tankers from STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. and two LR2 product tankers from Daehan Shipbuilding Co.
Norway Expects Gas Export Prices to Slip in 2019
Prices of Norwegian gas exports are likely to rise slightly this year amid strong demand, but will fall back in 2019 as liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries in Europe are expected to increase, the government said in its revised budget on Tuesday.Europe's largest gas supplier after Russia forecast gas export prices would rise by 0.1 crowns per standard cubic metres (sm3) to average 1.8 crowns (22.43 U.S.
Torm Stops Taking Orders in Iran Due to US Sanctions
Danish oil product tanker operator Torm on Tuesday said it has stopped taking new orders in Iran as a consequence of U.S. plans to reimpose sanctions on Tehran."We follow the situation closely and always follow the rules. Therefore, we have also stopped taking new orders in Iran," a spokeswoman told Reuters.Torm operates 79 oil product tankers worldwide.The United States last week withdrew from an international nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the country.While it is still unclear how U.S.
Statoil to Become Equinor, Dropping 'Oil'
Shareholders in Norway's largest company, Statoil, will approve on Tuesday the board's proposal to drop "oil" from its name as its seeks to diversify its business and attract young talent concerned about fossil fuels' impact on climate change.From Wednesday, the majority state-owned company will change its 46-year-old name to Equinor and trade on the Oslo Exchange under the new ticker EQNR.The Norwegian government, which has a 67 percent stake in the firm, has said it will back…
Valero Boosts Imports of Venezuelan Oil as Sanctions Loom
U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp this year boosted its imports of Venezuelan crude ahead of U.S. sanctions over the country's disputed presidential election and as other customers received less of the OPEC-member's exports, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data.Venezuelan oil production has tumbled to a multi-decade low this year, cutting shipments to buyers in the United States and elsewhere and worsening a severe economic recession. Its crude exports averaged 1.19 million barrels per day (bpd) in the January-April period…
Maersk: Disappointing Q1 Earnings Hit Share Price
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"…
Oil Removed from Decades-old Swedish Shipwreck
A diving contractor has removed oil from the wrecked research vessel Thetis, more than 30 years after the vessel sank.When the fishery research vessel Thetis went down into 30 meters of water close to Smøgen on the west coast of Sweden in 1985, it took a substantial quantity of fuel oil down with it. Quantities of the oil later escaped from the wreck and appeared periodically among the skerries on that part of the coast.Norwegian specialist Miko Marine said it had been asked by…
New Rules on Ship Emissions Herald Sea Change for Oil Market
New rules coming into force from 2020 to curb pollution produced by the world's ships are worrying everyone from OPEC oil producers to bunker fuel sellers and shipping companies.The regulations will slash emissions of sulfur, which is blamed for causing respiratory diseases and is a component of acid rain that damages vegetation and wildlife.But the energy and shipping industries are ill-prepared, say analysts, with refiners likely to struggle to meet higher demand for cleaner…
China's Crude Oil Futures Boom Amid Looming Iran Sanctions
A U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is supporting China's newly established crude oil futures, and may spur efforts to start trading oil in yuan rather than dollars, traders and analysts said.Since launching in March, Shanghai crude oil futures have seen a steady pick-up in daily trading, while open interest - the number of outstanding longer-term positions and a gauge of institutional interest - has also surged.Traded daily volumes hit a record 250,000 lots last Wednesday…
Asia: LPG Shipping and LNG Pricing
While declining Asian LNG prices have reduced margins on the long-distance LNG trade, causing spot-charter rates for LNG vessels to fall, LPG shipping earnings are forecast to remain buoyant on the back of low oil prices and the absence of fuel substitution. According to LPG Forecaster, published by global shipping consultancy Drewry, low oil prices have not triggered the substitution of LPG as the fuel of industrial use, as feared by some analysts. As a result, LPG shipping demand has remained intact and low bunker prices have supported vessel earnings.
Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade
Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo, could slip further next week as more tonnage becomes available with the easing of recent tanker traffic jams in China, ship brokers said on Friday. Charter rates from the Middle East to Japan slipped to a six-month low on Thursday, falling by 12 Worldscale points or almost $14,000 since April 21.
Wells Fargo Calls $100 Oil a 'Pipe Dream'
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 few years. Barrels price will bounce between $30 and $60 in the coming years, according to top bank’s diagnosis. “We continue to hear that big cutbacks are on the cusp of happening,” he said. “The evidence, however, implies otherwise. Shale production has caused American output to stand higher than it did in 2014, before the oil price crisis began.
Indonesia, CNOOC Talks End in Deadlock
Early renegotiation of gas selling price with China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has ended in deadlock as the ceiling price proposed by CNOOC was seen as too low, according to Asian Pulse. Indonesia has signed a long term contract to supply China's Fujian province with 2.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually from Tangguh, Papua. Under the agreement in 1992 the LNG price was tide with crude oil price or around $2.4 per MMBTU based on a ceiling price of $25 per barrel of crude oil. The ceiling price is no longer acceptable to Indonesia with the soaring crude oil price at present. Currently the LNG price is around $8 per MMBTU based on a crude oil price of $65 per barrel.
Poland Cuts Dependence on Russian Oil but at a Cost
Poland's imports of Russian oil last year fell to their lowest level since 2005, a central bank report published on Tuesday showed, though Warsaw's bid to diversify its energy imports also meant paying higher prices.Russian oil accounted for 76 percent of all oil purchases, down from 96 percent in 2012, as state-run refiners PKN Orlen and Lotos increased their purchases of oil from sources other than Russia.PKN Orlen signed a long-term agreement on regular oil supplies with Saudi…
Could US Sanctions Hit Iranian Crude Exports?
Oil prices are at more than three-year highs, driven by an expectation that renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran over the country's nuclear program will disrupt Iranian crude flows.But without the Europe Union, or Iran's other big crude customers, joining the effort, as the EU did in 2012, it will be harder for Washington to hit Iran where it really hurts.U.S.
Sanctions spell the end of OPEC output deal
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran marks the end of the current output agreement between OPEC and its allies.OPEC is likely to insist the current agreement remains in effect, at least for now, but the prospective removal of several hundred thousand barrels per day of Iranian exports from the market will require a major adjustment.Saudi Arabia has already promised to "mitigate" the impact of any potential supply shortages, in conjunction with other suppliers and consumer countries…
Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions
South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…