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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Oil Price Crisis News

Asian Oil, Gas Producers Stepping up Activity after Long Lull

© nattapon7 / Adobe Stock

Asia's oil and gas producers are starting to revive projects aimed at deflating years of ballooning energy imports after new investment dried up following the 2014 industry crisis. Spending has so far been driven mainly by state oil companies such as India's ONGC, Thailand's PTTEP and PetroVietnam, which need to produce more oil and gas to ensure their countries' energy security, executives said this week during an industry event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Asia is by far the biggest, fastest-growing consumer of oil, yet its output is falling faster than in any other region.

Sharp Contrasts in Markets Impact Van Oord

Photo: Van Oord

The year 2017 was dominated by the difficult market conditions in the dredging and oil & gas sectors, says Pieter van Oord, CEO, Van Oord, the Dutch contracting company that specializes in dredging and land reclamation. The global contractor specialising in dredging, marine engineering and offshore projects (oil, gas and wind) said that the volume of work in offshore wind was stable, and the market dynamic in the offshore wind sector will generate a lot of opportunities for years to come.

Wells Fargo Calls $100 Oil a 'Pipe Dream'

Image: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

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.

Projections center on When, not If

The cyclical nature of the offshore exploration and production beast is legendary in financial circles, riding boom and bust waves for years at a time. While industry analysts and insiders alike had forecast a pick-up in activity no sooner than mid-year 2000, the collective industry is “itching” to get back to the business of building, repairing and supplying the myriad of rigs, boats and other business opportunities that abound in a full-blown boom oil market. Patience, it seems, is wearing thin, particularly in the face of dwindling business prospects and the lingering of the $30+ barrel of oil. While it seems all too natural that sustained high prices would sooner than later drive a resurgence of the moribund offshore business…

Offshore Recovery Stalled For Now

As crude oil prices reach Gulf War highs and recent memories of historic low crude prices fade, capital spending on finding and developing new oil reserves continue to play catch up. "The recent oil-price crisis set back non-OPEC output growth for at least a year," a recent report released by Deutsche Banc Alex. Analysts say there is a lag time for exploration spending to play catch up with oil prices - for every one month when crude prices are below the cost of production, it takes three months of high prices to regain the volume of production lost during the low cost period. Crude prices began to rebound from lows near $10 a barrel when OPEC and other major producers cut crude production to raise prices in March 1999.

Iraq's Southern Oil Exports Fall in March

© Esbjörn Strid / Adobe Stock

Oil exports from southern Iraq have fallen by 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month, according to shipping data and an industry source, suggesting OPEC's second-largest producer is heading for a third month of lower shipments. Southern Iraqi exports in the first 21 days of March averaged about 3.36 million bpd, compared to 3.43 million bpd in February, shipping data followed by Reuters and independent tracking by an industry source showed. The fall suggests there is still no…

India's Oil Imports from Venezuela Hit Lowest in over 5 Years

© keller / Adobe Stock

Indian imports of oil from Venezuela have fallen to their lowest levels in over half a decade, shipping and industry data showed, as a severe economic and political crisis hits crude output in the South American OPEC member. India's oil imports from Venezuela averaged around 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) between November, 2017 and February, 2018, a drop of about 20 percent from the same period a year earlier and the lowest such level since 2012, according to data from shipping sources and industry. The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media.

Jacques de Chateauvieux, CEO, Bourbon

The plan, on its face, was simple. At the turn of the century Bourbon embarked on the path to become a dominate player in the global offshore supply vessel sector, building technologically sophisticated vessels for a good price in emerging Chinese shipyards, among others globally. Dubbed Horizon 2012, the plan was backed with a multi-billion dollar investment, a world economy that was firing on all cylinders and an offshore oil and gas market that was steamrolling ahead, powered by oil prices in the region of $150. That was yesterday.

Oil Prices May Fall in Q3 Say Citigroup

Weakening economies in Europe, Asia, cause Saudi to produce surplus crude Citigroup Inc. has said oil prices may fall in the third quarter, as economies weaken in Europe and Asia and Saudi Arabia produces surplus crude, Bloomberg reports. Increased crude production from Saudi Arabia and Iraq may be a "major downside risk to prices" if the economic crisis worsens, said Citigroup analyst in New York, Edward Morse. "Saudi Arabia continues to push prices lower" by cutting June official selling price differentials to Asia and increasing output to about 10 million barrels a day, Morse said. "What's most dangerous to prices would be a repeat of conditions in 1997-1998, when Saudi overproduction coincided with an unexpected Asian financial crisis that hit hard at demand."    

Russia Ramps up Fuel Exports in Fight for European Market

© Mikhail Perfilov / Adobe Stock

Russia plans to sharply increase fuel exports and carve out a larger share of the European market following an extensive $55 billion modernisation of its refineries, companies' plans and analysts' reports show. Russia embarked on a modernisation of its biggest refineries in 2011 following a fuel shortage crisis. It also changed its tax system to favour production of cleaner and higher-quality fuel. The modernisation, which has not been completed yet, led to a surge in output of light products and exports, which has hurt European refineries' margins.

Oil Prices At Nine-Year High As Iraq Suspends Exports

Oil prices rocketed to a new nine-year high Nov. 22 after Iraq suspended oil exports under its humanitarian exchange program with the United Nations. London January Brent futures opened at $25.90, the highest oil price since January 1991 when allied forces were preparing to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Prices leapt as Iraq's Oil Minister Amir Mohammed Rasheed confirmed that Iraq had stopped oil deliveries under the latest six-month phase of its oil-for-food exchange with the UN. Baghdad protested the UN's proposal to extend by two weeks the sixth phase of the program and accused the United States of trying to push other Security Council members into accepting a draft resolution on weapons inspections.

Rig Rates Down 10 Percent

According to a Nov. 25 report from Business Standard, the current global credit crisis and an over 63 percent fall in crude oil prices in the last four months have resulted in oil companies drilling fewer wells in offshore areas. This has increased the availability of rigs across the world and helped bring down rig rentals by up to 10 percent in the recent past. The rig rates have corrected primarily in the shallow water fields where there have been traditionally more rigs available. (Source: Business Standard)

Ship Recycling Prices Plunge 25%

Demolition Prices for elderly ships have fallen by a quarter in 2012 to date, and owners are encouraged to dispose of recycling candidates sooner rather than later, says Mark Williams of Braemar Seascope. Addressing the 7th Annual Ship Recycling Conference in London on 19th June, the Braemar Seascope Research Director told delegates that deflating international steel prices were likely to translate into lower offers for recycling tonnage in the coming quarters. Meanwhile, rapid reductions in the value of the Indian…

Oil Instability, Consolidation Muddy Offshore E&P Picture

The cyclical nature of the oil business has blossomed into full bloom during the latter part of 2000, as a host of political power plays have sent oil prices on a virtual rollercoaster, albeit mostly up, helping to send it soaring as high as $37/barrel at the time of this writing. The business of accurately predicting the direction in which oil pricing will go has seemingly become less of a science and more of a speculative game. While it was the Asian financial crisis which led prices to the cellar in 1997, it is another crisis — the potential advancement of hostilities in the Middle East — which have helped to send the price back up to near decade (read: Gulf War) heights.

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.

The U.S. Gulf Market: When Will It Turn Around?

Discussions around our office and with various clients usually entail an exchange of anecdotal information believed to explain the current situation with the quest to predict when things will turn around. There are a host of different viewpoints, most seemingly relevant, but no one satisfactory answer. In previous downturns in the offshore service sector, there was usually a fairly clear understanding embraced by most of why things were slow. This downturn is more difficult to understand. Back in 1998 when the Asian financial crisis impacted oil prices, it was easy to see why E&P fell. This downturn also affected most oil fields around the world about the same. The price of oil was too low to drill new wells and upgrade production at a profit.

Jotun Coatings Announces Price Increase

Jotun has acknowledged the steep rise in the cost of raw materials through 2010 used in some of their coatings. This rise in costs has significantly affected all paints and coatings manufacturers worldwide. Consequently, Jotun has been forced to increase prices on some of its products, but emphasises that it has not affected its entire range. Throughout 2010 the market price of major raw materials used in coatings, such as epoxies, titanium dioxide, acrylics and metal-based materials has increased by up to as much as 50 per cent. The surprisingly high global demand coupled with the downscaling of capacity following the 2007 financial crisis has caused an imbalance in the raw materials market for coatings…

House GOP Spearheads Bill to Expand Domestic Drilling

Today, the House passed H.R. 4899, The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act by a vote of 229-185. If enacted the bill would expedite oil and gas leasing on federal lands, open new offshore drilling areas and expand drilling in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. This bill is everything Big Oil wants for Christmas. Reviving “Drill Baby Drill” can’t magically lower prices of a global commodity, and any economic gains pale in comparison to the long-term damage climate change threatens to inflict on our economy. Bringing about additional droughts, wildfires and other extreme weather events is no way to save money. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the only course of action that respects the seriousness of the climate crisis.

Hyundai Heavy $600M Order for LNG Carriers

* Photo: Abdelkader, LNG Carrier Hyundai Heavy built and selected as one of the world’s best ships in 2010.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, won a $600 million order to build two 155,000 m3 LNG carriers, including an option for another same class vessel, from Greece-based Dynagas Ltd. These membrane-type LNG carriers are due for delivery in the second half of 2013. They will feature the Dual Fuel Diesel Engine System which allows the ship to run on oil fuel or natural gas. Due to tightening global regulations on carbon emissions, increasing demand for LNG as an alternative energy source after Japanese nuclear crisis…

Milaha Eyes Global Expansion

Photo: Qatar Navigation Q.P.S.C.

Qatar Navigation (Milaha) is planning to expand operations and capabilities in Qatar and overseas as part of its long term plan to improve efficiency and profitability. During the General Assembly meeting, Sheikh Ali bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Milaha’s Board of Directors presented an overview of the company’s activities and financial results for 2017 along with highlights of business plans for the year 2018. "The Chairman underlined the impact of industry-wide and geopolitical challenges on the company’s financial performance…

Lubmarine Outlines Position in Supply Crisis

Marine lubricants supplier TOTAL Lubmarine has outlined its position concerning increasing raw material costs and growing shortages of marine lubricants. Andrew Knox, Head of Marketing at TOTAL Lubmarine, says, "Recent events have shown how tight the worldwide situation is. This is due to a long historical period of low and decreasing margins which have discouraged the industry from investing. "With the 2004 and 2005 increases in crude oil and lubricant raw material market prices, industry profitability has worsened, and the incredible acceleration in cost increases in recent months puts the industry in an unprecedented position of vulnerability. Since July, base oil price costs have increased by between 24 and 35 percent.

Oil Skidding Toward 11-year Low

Oil prices extended their freefall on Friday, flirting with 11-year lows, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that global oversupply of crude could worsen next year. Brent and U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell as much as 5 percent on the day and 12 percent on the week as mild pre-winter weather and a plummeting U.S. stock market added to the toll on oil prices. Oil traders and analysts alike have been perplexed by oil's decline since the Dec. 4 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries which all but abandoned price support for crude by removing OPEC's production ceiling in an oversupplied market. "It's very tough to find a cause to get bullish here," said Peter Donovan, broker at Liquidity Energy in New York.

Oil Below $40/bbl After Rise in US Oil Rigs

U.S. crude oil prices on Friday dove below $40 a barrel for the first time since the 2009 financial crisis, notching their longest weekly losing streak in 29 years after a further rise in U.S. drilling and a drop in Chinese manufacturing. Oil prices pushed briefly below the $40-pivot mark following weekly data that showed U.S. energy firms added two oil drilling rigs last week, the fifth increase in a row. The rise in rigs, which is emerging now after a second quarter lull in prices, is adding to concerns U.S. shale production is proving slow to respond to falling prices, prolonging a global glut. "Everyone is still looking at it saying 'Wow, you still don't have production coming down,'" said Tariq Zahir, founder at Tyche Capital in Laurel Hollow, New York.

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