Oil Markets News

04 Apr 2019

Rystad Expects Oil Price Rally in H1 of 2020

Graph: Rystad Energy

The energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy expects that a short-lived price rally through the first half of 2020 as oil prices approach $70 a barrel.It will then lose momentum and be replaced by a need for additional production cuts by Russia and the cartel of oil producing countries, OPEC, the Norway-headquartered firm said.“We retain our bullish stance for the second half of 2019 and first half of 2020 as we anticipate OPEC+ to extend production cuts through 2019…

20 Mar 2019

Ekofisk Shut Down: North Sea Output to Drop

Image: Rystad Energy

Oil production in the North Sea will drop by 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) month-on-month in June 2019 as Ekofisk closes for planned work, according to Rystad Energy’s latest forecast.“Production is expected to remain stable through April 2019, before dropping 80,000 bpd month on month in May 2019. The decrease will continue in June 2019 with an additional 330,000 barrels per day month-on-month drop, as we expect maintenance at Ekofisk feeding fields to impact output by 220,000 bpd…

12 Mar 2019

IMO 2020: Shell, HES to Resurrect Refinery

Royal Dutch Shell has struck a deal with Dutch tank terminal firm HES International to partially restart a German oil refinery mothballed since 2011 in response to new restrictions on marine fuels, two trading sources told Reuters.A new cap set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that will cut the sulfur content in shipping fuel to 0.5 percent from 3.5 percent from next year is set to be one of the biggest fundamental events to hit oil markets in years.HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal is in the process of reinstalling the vacuum distillation unit (VDU) at Wilhelmshaven to produce low-sulfur bunker fuels ahead of the implementation of the IMO rules…

11 Mar 2019

US to Lead Oil Supply Growth to 2024

Dr Fatih Birol (center) and IEA Oil Analyst Toril Bosoni (right) present the findings from Oil 2019 in Houston at CERA Week on 11 March 2019 (Photograph: Getty Images)

The United States is set to drive the global oil supply growth over the next 5 years, thanks to the strength of its shale industry, triggering a rapid transformation of world oil markets, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).IEA said that oil exports from the United States will overtake Russia and close in on Saudi Arabia, bringing greater diversity of supply, by the end of the forecast.While global oil demand growth is set to ease, in particular as China slows down, it still increases an annual average of 1.2 mb/d to 2024, according to the report, Oil 2019.

08 Mar 2019

US to Overtake Saudi in Oil Exports

Graph: Rystad Energy

United States will soon export more oil and liquids than Saudi Arabia, thanks to the continued rise in oil production from US shale plays and the increased oil export capacity from the Gulf Coast.According to Rystad Energy, energy research and business intelligence company, it is a a pivotal geopolitical shift. The US has for decades relied on large-scale imports to satisfy its thirst for oil, but this is about to change.The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that the United States exported more crude and petroleum products than it imported.

24 Feb 2019

Crude Tanker Spot Rates Soften

Pic: Teekay Tankers

Crude tanker spot rates improved significantly during the fourth quarter of 2018, spurred by both winter market seasonality and positive underlying supply and demand fundamentals.According to a stock exchange announcement from Teekay Tankers, in the fourth quarter of 2018, OPEC crude oil production rose to 32.4 million barrels per day (mb/d), the highest level since July 2017 and up from 31.4 mb/d earlier in 2018.Most of this increase came from the Middle East, where higher production levels more than offset lower output from Venezuela and Iran.

23 Jan 2019

The Tanker Market: 2019 and Beyond

Alex and Alice under construction. Photo courtesy Euronav

Late 2018 saw the tanker market bubble upwards through late November, with daily vessel hires moving in the direction of, though not yet reaching levels not seen since late 2014-2015, when oil prices were in freefall and inventories building to the brim. A few pundits have suggested that we are seeing a “mini 2014” where lowered oil prices are coaxing another inventory build which would drive tanker capacity utilization, and per diem freight inflows, higher. The oil market has changed over four years…

13 Dec 2018

ICE to Launch Marine Futures Contracts Ahead of IMO 2020 Sulfur Cap

Pic:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The Intercontinental Exchange will launch new Marine Fuel 0.5% futures contracts in advance of the implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2020.The operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services said in a press release that the new contracts are expected to launch on February 4, 2019, subject to completion of relevant regulatory processes.The new contracts have been developed in response…

01 Nov 2018

Cautious Consolidation for OSV Companies Brings Market Change

A Gulfmark offshore support vessel (CREDIT: Gulfmark)

Will a rising tide in the offshore oil markets float all the boats? In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, that remains to be seen.Offshore services, exploration and production are on a roll. In early October, yet another business combination of big drillers was announced. In a sign of optimism, Ensco announced its plan for an all-stock acquisition of Rowan Offshore, worth around $2.4 billion. The new company will be domiciled in the United Kingdom, but will have a large presence in Houston.

04 Sep 2018

Gulf Platforms Shut ahead of Hurricane

© Robert Cocquyt / Adobe Stock

U.S. oil prices edged up on Tuesday, rising back past $70 per barrel, after two Gulf of Mexico oil platforms were evacuated in preparation for a hurricane.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.04 per barrel at 0034 GMT, up 24 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last settlement.Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Monday it had evacuated and shut production at two oil platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico ahead of the approach of Gordon, which is expected to come ashore as a hurricane.International Brent crude futures…

13 Jul 2018

Total Closes USD 1.5 bln Acquisition of Engie's Upstream LNG Business

Image: Total

Total announces the closing of the acquisition of Engie’s portfolio of upstream liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets for an overall enterprise value of $1.5 billion. Additional payments of up to $ 550 million could be payable by Total in case of an improvement in the oil markets in the coming years. This portfolio includes participating interests in liquefaction plants, notably the interest in the Cameron LNG project in the US, long term LNG sales and purchase agreements, an LNG tanker fleet as well as access to regasification capacities in Europe.

11 Jul 2018

OIG Group Sells MV Blue Giant

MV Blue Giant. Photo: Harren & Partner

Bremen-based shipping company Harren & Partner announced the acquisition of the offshore construction vessel, MV Blue Giant for an undisclosed price from the English operator, OIG Group. Harren & Partner’s Offshore Department, headed by Robert Fowler (offshore@hp-shipping.de) will be responsible for managing the vessel. Peter Harren, Founder and Managing Director of Harren & Partner, explains the strategy behind the purchase: “Although the oil markets are currently still recovering, we have deliberately opted for this investment despite its counter-cyclical nature.

11 Jul 2018

Harren & Partner Buys Offshore Construction Vessel

MV Blue Giant (Photo: Harren & Partner)

Bremen-based shipping company Harren & Partner is looking to grow its offshore salvage business with the purchase of the offshore construction vessel MV Blue Giant from English operator OIG Group.“Although the oil markets are currently still recovering, we have deliberately opted for this investment despite its counter-cyclical nature. Alongside our classic offshore activities, we also wish to further strengthen our position in attractive niche markets such as the salvage business…

06 Jul 2018

Asian Refiners Rush to Secure Feedstock as Trade War Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Carabay)

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect Friday; China retaliates, duty on U.S. crude possible. Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and as Washington plans tough sanctions against Iran aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets. As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's U.S. tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude. Meanwhile, Washington's new sanctions against Tehran are due to kick in from November.

20 Jun 2018

Oil Traders Ready for Musical Chairs as China Tariffs Loom

© Haris / Adobe Stock

Oil markets are bracing for a reshuffle of global trade flows as China threatens to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on imports of U.S. energy products, including crude.China, which has bought an average 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. crude oil this year, is threatening to place a 25 percent tariff on various U.S. commodity exports, including crude oil, although it is so far unclear when such a measure would come in place.The decision came in response to U.S. President Donald…

18 Jun 2018

China's Tariffs on US Oil Would Disrupt $1 Bln Monthly Business

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

China's threat to impose duties on U.S. oil imports will hit a business that has soared in the last two years, and which is now worth almost $1 billion per month.In an escalating spat over the United States' trade deficit with most of its major trading partners, including China, U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he was pushing ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6.China said Friday it would retaliate by slapping duties on several American commodities, including oil.Investors expect the spat to come at the expense of U.S.

15 Jun 2018

China Surprises with Threat on US Energy Exports

© Dale Stagg / Adobe Stock

Beijing surprised oil markets with threats to levy tariffs on imports of U.S. crude oil, natural gas and other energy products on Friday, just as China has risen to the top of the list of importers of oil from the United States.China responded to $50 billion in tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump with a similar amount of levies on a variety of U.S. goods. But China also said it would impose tariffs on U.S. energy products, which analysts considered a surprise as previous tariff threats had centered on agricultural goods and automobiles."This is a big deal.

14 Jun 2018

EIA: Oil Barrel Price Steady Around $70

EIA expects Brent prices will average $71 per barrel in 2018 before declining to $68 per barrel in 2019. In the June 2018 update of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts Brent crude oil prices will average $71 per barrel (b) in 2018 and $68/b in 2019. The new 2019 forecast price is $2/b higher than in the May STEO. The increase reflects global oil markets balances that EIA expects to be tighter than previously forecast because of lowered expected production growth from both the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the United States. Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $77/b in May, an increase of $5/b from April and the highest monthly average price since November 2014.

13 Jun 2018

Spill Prevention & Response: Old Lessons, New Challenges

Credit: and paid for by Sea-Machines

Emerging spill response trends fit into two big categories: technology and a combination of economic and social forces. Both will shape what comes next.Florida’s stunning Tampa Bay stands out as exactly the kind of place where you have to think about hazardous materials emergencies. It was 25 years ago, on August 10, 1993, that a freighter collided with two barges near the entrance of Tampa Bay, causing a fire and spilling over 32,000 gallons of jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline and about 330,000 gallons of heavy fuel, devastating beaches, wildlife and habitat.

20 May 2018

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.

14 May 2018

China's Crude Oil Futures Boom Amid Looming Iran Sanctions

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

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…

09 May 2018

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

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…

13 Mar 2018

BP Expects 90% Compliance for Marine SOx Emissions Caps

© Jordi de Rueda / Adobe Stock

Oil major BP Plc expects more than 90 percent of the world's shipping fleet will comply with new regulations slashing sulfur levels ships are allowed to burn starting 2020, a company executive said on Tuesday. Coming International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will cut the amount of sulfur emissions that ships worldwide are allowed from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. "Potential non-compliance is a significant issue that the market has been contending with," Jason Breslaw, who leads BP's distillate trading origination across the Americas, said at an industry conference in New Orleans.

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