Marine Link
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Oil Producer News

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.

BNSF: Crude Rail Service Could Resume Tuesday

File Image: A typical Crude Oil train in the United States makes its way south along inland waterways. CREDIT: Dagmar Etkin

BNSF Railway Co on Monday said it could resume service Tuesday on a stretch of northwestern Iowa track damaged when a train left the track and crude oil spilled from derailed cars. The crude oil train derailed near Doon, Iowa, on Friday sending 32 rail cars off the track and spilling an estimated 230,000 gallons of oil into flood waters and toward a nearby river. Crews are nearly finished removing oil from damaged cars and repairing tracks, BNSF said in a statement. Its crews are using booms to contain the oil and skimmers to remove it from the waters…

Hundreds of Oil Workers Strike in Norway

Photo: Harald Pettersen / © Equinor

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, leading to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field and helping send Brent crude prices higher.One union said hundreds more workers would join the strike on Sunday if an agreement over union demands for a wage increase and pension rights was not reached.Royal Dutch Shell said that due to the strike it was temporarily closing production at its Knarr field, which has a daily output of 23…

Oil Falls After Libyan Ports Reopen, Trump Tariff Threat

© Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

Global oil benchmark Brent fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to levy new tariffs on China and Libya announced the reopening of key oil export terminals.The spectre of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.Brent crude fell $2.10, or 2.7 percent, to a low of $76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1325 GMT. U.S.

Oil Prices Dip as Markets Eye Potential Supply Increases

© Oleksiy Mark / Adobe Stock

Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports resumed export activities, while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $75.07 a barrel at 0057 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $70.74 a barrel.Supply outages in Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq pushed oil prices higher late last week, although prices still ended down for a second straight week."Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased.

Petrobras CEO Parente Resigns

(File photo courtesy of Petrobras)

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's chief executive quit on Friday in a surprise move that wiped $12 billion off the state-controlled oil producer's market valuation, after Brazil's government responded to a national trucking strike by intervening in the company's fuel pricing policy.Pedro Parente, who in two years in the job had succeeded in slashing the scandal-plagued company's debt and restoring it to profitability, said in a resignation letter to President Michel Temer it was clear after the last week's turmoil that new talks would be needed on pricing policy."Given this situation…

PDVSA Raises Prospect of Force Majeure on Oil Exports

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter.Falling production from Venezuela has contributed to a rally in global oil prices to a near four-year high, and other OPEC members may boost output at a meeting later this month to compensate for the shortfall and other risks to global supplies.Oil is the financial lifeline for the embattled socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro…

Sistema Welcomes Efforts to Resolve Conflict with Rosneft

Russia's Sistema conglomerate said on Thursday it welcomes all efforts to resolve its legal conflict with Rosneft after the oil major filed a new, $2.2 billion, lawsuit seeking damages. "Sistema welcomes any and all efforts for the settlement of the conflict on conditions that would suit all sides," a spokesman for Sistema said. The lawsuit relates to the 2009-2014 dividends paid by Rosneft-controlled oil producer Bashneft, formerly owned by Sistema. Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin

CERCG Looking to Ship LNG from Australia's West to East

State-owned China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group (CERCG) on Monday said it is investigating whether to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Western Australia to the gas-hungry east coast market. The Chinese integrated energy firm, which runs oil and gas projects, processing plants and gas distribution, said in a press release to Reuters that subsidiary CERCG Australia is studying the viability of transporting LNG by road, rail and ship. CERCG Australia's business manager Kevin Gao said the company would use LNG container tanks which can maintain liquefaction for 110 days. "It should be possible for us to ship 100 or 200 of our 40-foot ISO containers, each containing 18 tonnes of LNG, from Australia's West Coast to customers on the East Coast," he said on Monday.

Exxon, Petrobras Form Alliance to Develop Oil, Gas Projects

Exxon Mobil Corp and Petróleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer also known as Petrobras, said on Thursday they had formed an alliance to develop energy projects around the world.   The deal, which was signed in Rio de Janeiro, will have the companies study ways they can cooperate on exploration, production and chemical ventures inside and outside of Brazil.   The deal comes two months after Exxon and Petrobras were jointly awarded six oil-rich blocks in Brazilian coastal waters. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; editing by Diane Craft)

Rosneft, PDVSA Sign New Oil and Gas Agreements

Photo: PDVSA

President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro, held a meeting with CEO of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, to bolster the joint work between Venezuela and Russia and sign new agreements on gas exploration and exploitation. People’s Minister of Petroleum and President of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., Manuel Quevedo, along with PDVSA Executive Vice President and Vice President of Trade and Supply, Ysmel Serrano; People’s Minister of Finance, Simón Zerpa; Sectoral Vice President of Economy, Wilmer Castro Soteldo, and a high level delegation of Rosneft also participated in the meeting.

Oil Workers Sue Shell over GoM Platform Fire

File photo: Shell's Enchilada Fixed-Leg Platform

Three offshore oil workers filed a lawsuit against units of Royal Dutch Shell and Enbridge, seeking $1 million in damages for injuries they allegedly received during a Nov. 8 fire on a U.S. Gulf of Mexico production platform. The suit, filed in Galveston County court in Texas on Dec. 5, claims safety lapses on Shell's Enchilada platform caused severe injuries to the three. The complaint seeks more than $1 million in damages from Shell International Exploration and Production, Shell Offshore…

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

(Photo: BSEE)

Italian oil producer Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday. The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long. The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S.

BSEE Oversees Spudding of New Oil Well in Arctic

Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Italian oil producer Eni began drilling the new well off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, reports Reuters. "New oil exploration in Arctic federal waters is underway this week with the spudding of a new oil well from an existing man-made island in the Beaufort Sea. Two Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel were on-hand Monday ensuring compliance with approved permits, federal regulations and safety standards as Eni U.S.

Iran Oil Production, Exports Not Impacted by Protests

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Iran's crude oil production and exports have not been impacted by the unrest spreading across the country, Iranian oil and shipping sources said on Tuesday, as a crackdown intensified against anti-government demonstrations that began last week. Iran, OPEC's third-biggest oil producer, pumps around 3.8 million barrels per day. "I see no impact on the production and export," one Iranian oil industry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Everything is going normally," another source said, adding that the protests had not spread into the energy sector and "remained in the streets".

Algeria Inks Deal with Vitol to Cut Fuel Imports

© Morad Hegui / Adobe Stock

Algeria's state energy company Sonatrach said it has signed a deal with oil trader Vitol to send crude abroad for refining as the country seeks to reduce a record fuel import bill. CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour said Sonatrach would pay processing costs before bringing refined fuel back to Algeria, and said it was also negotiating to buy shares in a foreign refinery, but did not give details. "Our goal is to reduce our imports of gasoline, they are too high," Ould Kaddour told reporters on Tuesday. The deal is due to take effect in early February, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Big Oil Takes Stage for Post-austerity Beauty Contest

(File photo: Shell)

With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world's biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards. Royal Dutch Shell and Total are emerging as frontrunners after a three-year slump thanks to strong growth projections but Exxon Mobil, the biggest publicly traded oil company, has largely disappointed with a weaker outlook. Major oil companies slashed spending and cut costs after oil prices collapsed…

Exxon Selling Stake in Terra Nova Oil Project

Terra Nova FPSO (Photo:Suncor)

Exxon Mobil Corp is selling its entire stake in the Terra Nova oil project off the eastern coast of Canada, though the world's largest publicly traded oil producer said it was committed to remaining an investor in the region. The project, located about 217 miles (350 km) off Newfoundland and Labrador, produced about 5,000 barrels of oil per day in 2016. Exxon is selling all of its 19 percent stake in the project and initial bids are due March 30, according to data and a document from Schlumberger's oil and gas asset sale business.

Exxon Quits Some Rosneft Joint Ventures Citing Sanctions

Exxon's exit from projects will not affect the Sakhalin project off the eastern coast of Russia, Exxon and Rosneft spokesmen said. (Photo: Rosneft)

Exxon Mobil Corp will exit some joint ventures with Russia's Rosneft, citing Western sanctions first imposed in 2014, while the Russian company said the pullout will result in serious losses for its U.S. partner. The move is an about-face for Exxon, which had opposed the sanctions over Russia's invasion of Crimea and argued they unfairly penalized U.S. companies while allowing foreign energy rivals to operate in the country, the world's largest oil producer. Yet the sanctions…

Transneft Rejects Summa's Proposal to Complete Port Deal

(Photo: NCSP)

Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has rejected a proposal from its rival Summa Group to complete a deal to buy a Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP), a Transneft spokesman said on Monday.If the deal goes ahead it will allow Transneft to take control of Russia's largest port operator. But Transneft said earlier this month it had suspended talks on the deal after the authorities arrested the co-owner of Summa, Ziyavudin Magomedov, on charges of embezzling more than $35 million.Magomedov denied the charges at a pre-trial hearing…

In US Gulf, Robots, Drones Take on Dangerous Offshore Oil Work

File Image: A photo taken during an offshore DNV GL Drone-enabled survey (CREDIT: DNV GL)

At BP's massive Thunder Horse oil platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a dog-sized robot called Maggie uses magnetic tracks to creep along pipes connecting the giant oil facility to the sea floor. Before MaggHD, dubbed "Maggie" by BP, the dangerous inspection job was reserved for highly paid specialist technicians who did their jobs while rappelling along the platform. The energy industry has turned to robots and drones to cut costs and improve safety in some of the world's tougher working environments. Drones inspect gear high up on floating rigs.

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.

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…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News