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Monday, October 22, 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.

Stena Bulk Forms Chemical Tanker JV with Bay Crest Management

GSW Frontier (Photo: Stena Bulk)

Golden-Agri Stena, a joint venture between Sweden based tanker shipping company Stena Bulk and Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources, has started a new joint venture with Japan's Bay Crest Management for the the operation and commercial management of chemical tankers.The new joint venture, GSB Tankers, will commence operation on January 1, 2019, managing 18 chemical tankers to start, with the aim of managing 30 vessels within the next two years.The joint venture will operate out of the existing premises of Golden-Agri Stena.

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.

Norway Oil Workers, Employers Reach Deal to End Strike

© Inge / Adobe Stock

Norwegian drilling rigs workers will end their industrial action after the union representing 1,600 striking employees reached a deal with the group acting for their employers, the parties said on Thursday.The strike began on July 10 after the Safe union and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association could not come to an agreement over wages and pension conditions. The industrial action led to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field."The strike is over ... All workers will go back to work today…

Equinor to Boost Drilling to Extend Norwegian Shelf Life

Photo: Harald Pettersen / Equinor

Oil producer Equinor aims to boost the recovery rate from its Norwegian fields to well above the global average to extend production from the mature basin beyond 2030.Equinor announced plans on Tuesday to drill up to 3,000 wells offshore from its native Norway in coming decades - almost as many as it has drilled since its startup in 1972 - to mitigate declining output from older fields, and extend the production lifetime of more than 20 installations.The company said it remained on track for to keep profitable oil and gas production in Norway towards 2030…

Venezuela's Crude Sales to U.S. Fall in July

Venezuela's crude exports to the United States declined to 494,400 barrels per day (bpd) in July after rising the prior three months, showing the impact of asset seizures against state-run oil firm PDVSA, according to Thomson Reuters data.July was the first month crude exports fell below 500,000 bpd since the months of January through March.U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips in May began seizing PDVSA's overseas assets in an attempt to collect on a $2 billion arbitration award.

Chevron Eyes Houston Ship Channel for 2nd US Gulf Refinery

(File photo: Port of Houston)

Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials, Pierre Breber, Chevron's head of downstream and chemicals, said."Something on the ship channel side could make a lot of sense for our company…

Exxon Expects More Oil from Guyana's Offshore Block

Exxon Mobil Corp and its partners now expect the large Stabroek oil block offshore Guyana to contain about 25 percent more recoverable resources than estimated, they said on Monday.Exxon and U.S.-based partner Hess Corp said more than 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent could be recovered from the Stabroek block, which is part of one of the biggest oil discoveries in the world in the last decade.The previous estimate was 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, said.Besides Exxon and Hess, China's CNOOC is also part of the consortium that is interested in Guyana's Atlantic coast resources.Exxon said production from Stabroek could reach over 750…

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.

Storm Gordon Starts Kicking Up Waves on U.S. Gulf Coast

Photo: NOAA

Waves began to batter parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday as the region felt the first hit of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane before it comes ashore with high winds and heavy rain, forecasters said.The storm also caused a jump in global oil prices after the evacuation of two oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.Gordon was due to come ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and Mississippi, and drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain in areas still recovering from last year's hurricanes…

Wintershall CEO Meets Norwegian Prime Minister on Growth Plans

Photo: © Wintershall/Bernd Schoelzchen

Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall, Germany's largest crude oil and natural gas producer, has presented Wintershall’s growth plans in Norway during a visit by Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, to Berlin.Mehren announced a further increase in production during a discussion with the Prime Minister and representatives of German energy politics and the energy industry, which was held at the Norwegian Embassy."It has become clear during the last few weeks that Wintershall and DEA will become the company Wintershall DEA within the next year.

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…

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 Oct 2018 - Marine Design Annual

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