Saudi Arabia’s rivals in the shale fields from North Dakota to Texas aren’t flinching as the Persian Gulf kingdom wages a price war to reclaim market share and chill competition. The U.S. companies believe they have a lot more staying power than many of Saudi Arabia’s partners in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. Several producers plan on increasing production. “Saudi Arabia is really taking a big gamble here,” Archie Dunham, chairman of shale producer Chesapeake Energy Corp., said during a telephone interview. “If they take the price down to $60 or $70 a barrel, you will see a slowdown in the U.S. But you’re not going to see it stop. The consequences for other OPEC countries are far more dire.”
A top priority for a Republican-led Senate will be to send President Barack Obama a bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline and dare him to veto it. While most senators support TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $5.4 billion Canada-to-U.S. oil pipeline, the Senate under a Democratic majority hasn’t held a binding vote on it since 2012. The Republican-controlled House has repeatedly voted to permit the pipeline’s construction. Advocates say the shift in the chamber’s leadership next year will give them more leverage in the oil-versus-environment debate that has raged since TransCanada applied for a permit in 2008. At the same time, Obama probably would veto legislation that requires approval, and Republicans are far short of the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a veto. “On issues like Keystone, Republicans will quickly try to bring up a bill and could send it to the president,” said Charles Ebinger, director of the energy security initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “But I think the president will veto it. The president will be very hard on any bill that massively appears to be expanding the use of oil or gas in this country.”
A senior Petroleo Brasileiro SA executive cited in a corruption investigation took a leave of absence, clearing the way for the company to report earnings and debate a fuel-price increase. Sergio Machado, head of the state-run oil producer’s transport unit Transpetro, will take 31 days unpaid leave, he said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The decision follows a refusal by auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers to sign off on quarterly results bearing his signature, said two people with knowledge of the issue. Petrobras delayed discussing a gasoline-price increase at an Oct. 31 board meeting where members disagreed about dismissing Machado, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter isn’t public. Petrobras will seek a 5 percent increase in gasoline prices at a board meeting today, O Globo reported today, citing an unidentified source.
Bibby Offshore has set its sights on Houston. Its Texas-based division Bibby Subsea has launched a recruitment drive in America’s energy capital to coincide with development of its new Houston base.
Empresas ICA SAB’s contract to supply engineering services for Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Canada is signaling to investors that the Mexican construction company is seeking energy projects abroad to cut debt and boost profit. Mexico’s largest construction company surged 4.6 percent in the past two sessions, the biggest back-to-back increase in more than five months, after announcing a $264 million contract with partner Fluor Corp. to build well pads for heavy-oil extraction at Shell’s Carmon Creek project in Alberta. The worst performer among Mexico’s industrial and construction stocks this year, ICA has tumbled about 10 percent, while global peers gained about 19 percent. The contract with Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, will boost ICA’s net income and open the door for increased participation in crude projects domestically and abroad through the joint venture with Fluor, Monex Casa de Bolsa analyst Roberto Solano said. “This type of contract is like a key that can open opportunities to similar projects in the future,” Solano said yesterday in an interview from Mexico City. “Participating in this project generates a favorable scenario for the company when considering new projects in Mexico as the energy sector opens.” Mexico’s landmark 2013 energy law opens the country’s energy industry to private competition for the first time since 1938 to help stem declining crude production.
Technip has entered a contract deal to supply its proprietary ethylene technology and process design package (PDP) for a grassroots cracker in a US-based petrochemical complex. The technology will be used for the proposed ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) complex, which is currently being evaluated by Odebrecht and Braskem in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers is demanding that the Rio de Janeiro- based producer fire a top executive who is cited in a corruption investigation before it approves the third-quarter earnings, said two people with direct knowledge of the issue. Petrobras discussed dismissing Sergio Machado, the head of the Transpetro transport unit, for four hours at a board meeting yesterday without reaching a decision because some members said they were concerned it would cause friction in President Dilma Rousseff’s ruling coalition, the people said, who declined to be named because the information isn’t public. PwC may have additional demands apart from Machado’s dismissal before it approves the earnings report, one of the people said. Machado has denied any irregularities and says the accusations are absurd, Transpetro said in an e-mailed response from its press department. Machado has no knowledge about discussions at Petrobras’s board meeting or any recommendations from PwC, according to the response. Petrobras and PwC didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and e-mails requesting comment after normal business hours. Rousseff’s press office directed all questions to Petrobras when contacted by phone.
Statoil will invest $1.5billion in the Stampede development in the Gulf of Mexico. The Norwegian company owns a 25% share in the project which is operated by Hess. Stampede consists of Green Canyon Blocks 468,511 and 512 and there are an estimated 350million barrels of recoverable oil.
Production in Texas and North Dakota saw net income increase to $2.7billion, ConocoPhillips today confirmed. The final tally was an increase on last year’s $2.48billion. Its share price currently sits at $2.17 – a slight gain on the previous period’s $2. The positive figures follow a massive strategy shift orchestrated by chairman and chief executive Ryan Lance.
North American Petroleum (NAP) has seen production from its Shoats Creek Project increase by a third. The company holds a 35% interest in the area alongside Northcote Energy with 35% and Springer Oil and Gas with 30%.
Oil major Chevron will invest an estimated $6billion in the development of the Hess Corporation operated Stampede project in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s subsidiary, Union Oil Company of California (Union), will run the deepwater subsea development which will be tied back to a newly constructed Tension Leg platform.
Oil major Chevron and state-owned Pemex have signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to explore opportunities for collaboration in deepwater and heavy oil fields. The companies signed the document in Mexico City, which will provide the opportunity to work jointly across a wide range of projects which could be beneficial for both.
Brazil’s Mining and Energy Minister Edison Lobao confirmed he will step down from his post.
BP's bid for a new trial over causes of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill should be rejected because the judge didn’t rely on excluded testimony, Halliburton Co. said in court papers.
Oil major Chevron has made a new oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said a significant oil pay had been made at the Keathley Canyon Block 10 in the Guadalupe prospect.
South American focused Baron Oil has won approval from state-owned Perupetro to convert its third work phase from seismic into a drilling obligation after additional hydrocarbon discoveries. The Peruvian oil and gas provider also approved the company’s Force Majeure (FM) clause, which will be invoked on Block Z-34 in the country.
Royale Energy has confirmed a new high rate well in California’s Sacramento basin. The McKinney well will now be placed on production for seven to 20 days before being opened an additional 30 feet.
Donnycreek Energy has entered into an arm’s length agreement with Contact Exploration to merge and create a new corporation. The two companies will become Kicking Horse Energy and the merger will consolidate the interests of Donnycreek in Alberta, Canada.
Stockpiles of oil from Alaska’s North Slope have surged to a five-year seasonal high as tanker maintenance slows loadings, forcing the grade to trade at a discount to U.S. crude for the first time since 2010.
From her little vantage point in Cuero, Texas, of the U.S. shale oil boom, Jill Potts doesn’t see anything to worry about.
Land in the Permian Basin, the busiest shale patch in the U.S. oil boom, is worth either $1,000 an acre or 50 times more, depending.
Oil traders might see the 27 percent slide in global prices as a bear market. For U.S. consumers, it’s more like an early holiday gift.
Atco Ltd. is looking for partners in Mexico as it positions itself to tap the $5 billion in pipeline and power projects to be offered as part of the country’s energy industry opening.
BP chose to “cut corners” when an oil pipeline was built across land belonging to Colombian farmers, then put up “a smokescreen of obfuscation" when things went wrong, a QC has said in the High Court.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves, her challenger in a tight election contest, have clashed in a feisty debate.