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Oil & Gas

Russia said to move closer to new oil tax to spur production

28/08/2015

Russia took another step toward changing how it taxes the oil industry after the Finance Ministry proposed reducing its reliance on duties tied to crude production with a new levy on earnings. The ministry sent this month a preliminary plan on new taxes to oil producers and officials, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The proposal would keep Russia’s export tax, reduce its production levy and introduce a charge of 70 percent on profit from oil projects, they said. “Discussions will continue, but this is an important step forward,” Alexey Kondrashov, Ernst & Young LLP’s global oil and gas tax leader based in Dubai, said by phone. “Russia taxes primarily oil production and export, thus heavily relying on a royalty-based system. The share of profit-based taxes is almost negligible,” which prevents development of more sophisticated extraction projects, he said.

Americas

Here’s one thing standing between you and even cheaper gasoline

28/08/2015

Oil has lost a third of its value in two months, bringing U.S. drivers within pennies’ reach of $2.50 gasoline. And there’s at least one thing standing in the way of a steeper decline at the pumps: ethanol. While the crude rout dragged gasoline futures down about 60 cents a gallon, ethanol’s dropped a mere 15 cents -- making it costlier than gasoline this week for the first time since January.

Oil & Gas

Sir Ian Wood warns UK will be “biggest loser” from decline in oil price

28/08/2015

Industry leader Sir Ian Wood said the “biggest loser” from the current oil price downturn would be the UK public if more was not done to incentivise investment. The oil tycoon warned the government would likely face having to make further reforms if the oil price stays at its current level for the next few months. Sir Ian Wood said a recent jump this week in oil price should be “forgotten” as a current price of between $45 and $55 a barrel “just doesn’t work in the North Sea”.

Oil & Gas

OEG Offshore merges US business with CRT

28/08/2015

OEG Offshore has merged its US business with equipment provider Cameron Rental and Tank Inc (CRT). The multi-million dollar move has been made in a bid to enlarge the combined businesses with a full geographic network of locations across the Gulf of Mexico region. OEG Houston’s recent relocation to a larger office facility in the city’s energy corridor and its merger with CRT is the next step in the development of the company’s strategy to offer services to the Gulf of Mexico region.

Oil & Gas

China oil giants say employees are safe

28/08/2015

China’s biggest oil companies say they’ll cut costs, but not employees. As the collapse in crude prices curbs profits and prompts a wave of layoffs in the energy industry from Schlumberger Ltd. to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chinese state energy giants say their employees are safe. The oil and gas industry has cut more than 176,000 jobs globally this year and more reductions are likely, according to Swift Worldwide Resources. While eschewing those layoffs may avoid a repeat of protests early last decade when China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and PetroChina Co. fired tens of thousands of workers, it’s going to make further cost savings a challenge, said Gordon Kwan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc.

Oil & Gas

Reports from oil and gas sector criticised

28/08/2015

Oil and gas firms are among the worst offenders for unnecessarily long annual reports, according to PwC. The global professional services giant said yesterday businesses of all kinds risked putting off investors by burying gems of information in lengthy reports. Documents from oil and gas companies weigh in at a hefty 172 pages on average, the fifth longest out of 18 sectors covered by a PwC’s Searching for Buried Treasure study.

Oil & Gas

For OPEC, this year’s painful oil slump will bring gains in 2016

28/08/2015

While OPEC’s fight to snatch market share from rival oil producers might look like a costly failure as prices languish below $50 a barrel, an entirely different picture could emerge next year. Supplies outside OPEC are expected to contract in 2016 for the first time since 2008, sliding by 200,000 barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency. With consumption set to grow by 1.4 million barrels a day, OPEC and its de facto leader Saudi Arabia could seize the chance to broaden their market as competitors damaged by the price slump fall off. “To declare their policy a failure is a pretty big leap,” said Greg Sharenow, who manages $15 billion as executive vice president of Pacific Investment Management Co. “I don’t think you could view Saudi and OPEC’s business plan and model as being a six- or 12-month view. In the long-run, what you’re going to see is lower non-OPEC supply, higher demand and greater market share for them.”

Oil & Gas

Oil heads for biggest weekly gain since April amid US growth

28/08/2015

Oil headed for its biggest weekly advance since April after rising the most in more than six years as U.S. economic growth beat forecasts. Futures climbed as much as 2.1 percent in New York, extending a 10 percent rally on Thursday. U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 3.7 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, exceeding all projections in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The nation’s crude stockpiles declined last week, paring a surplus, government data showed Wednesday. Oil is poised for its first weekly gain in nine weeks, sustaining a rebound above $40 a barrel as concerns eased over a slowdown in the U.S. and China. Prices fell Monday to the lowest close since February 2009 and are still down almost 20 percent this year on signs a global supply glut will persist.

Oil & Gas

Global subsidiary lands record deal

28/08/2015

A record contract win for a subsidiary of Aberdeen and Inverness-based Global Energy Group (GEG) subsidiary is potentially worth £25million over six years. GEG said the new framework agreement with Scottish Water involved group company PSI and could stretch to 12 years, thanks to extension options, delivering more financial gains. PSI, which is based in Dalgety Bay, Fife, and part of Global-owned Ross-Shire Engineering, specialises in chemical dosing systems for the water industry but also serves other sectors. The business was launched in 1997.

Oil & Gas

UK plans to end aid to small-scale renewables in blow to solar

27/08/2015

The UK proposed to end an assistance program for small-scale renewable energy projects as part of a drive to cut the costs to consumers of subsidizing clean technologies. Ministers plan to cap the budget for the assistance and end it for new entrants after March 2019, according to the proposals outlined Thursday on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website. If it isn’t possible to rein in spending, the program of guaranteed electricity prices, known as feed-in tariffs, may close in January, it said. The tariff program “has exceeded all renewable energy deployment expectations,” the government said. “However, this deployment success has also come with costs exceeding our projections.”

Oil & Gas

Iran says some in OPEC do not want high oil price

27/08/2015

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh blamed the latest drop in oil prices on some members of OPEC and questioned whether any OPEC emergency meeting would reach an agreement, the oil ministry's news agency Shana reported. "To balance the oil price... OPEC members should balance their production. An emergency meeting has been requested and we don't have a problem with that," Shana cited Zanganeh as saying.

Oil & Gas

PetroChina profit dives 63 pct in first half

27/08/2015

PetroChina, China's biggest oil and gas producer, reported a 63 percent drop in its first-half profit, with earnings upstream and in the marketing segment both taking a hit from lower prices.

Oil & Gas

Norway’s Wealth Fund Lost More Than 5% in Past Month, CEO Says

27/08/2015

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, lost more than 5% on its investments in the past month, the head of the $830billion fund said. The revelation follows the biggest selloff in Chinese stocks in two decades. The most recent developments suggest China’s transition to a more consumer-driven economy is proving difficult, Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad said Wednesday in the Staavi and Valebrokk podcast for newspaper VG. “We can’t put everything away safely into the bank -- we need to invest in risk,” Slyngstad said in the podcast. “We invest in bonds, we invest in stocks and we invest in real estate, in the world economy.”

Health & Safety

Oil company pleads guilty to breaching safe workplace duties after death of workers

27/08/2015

An oil company has pleaded guilty to breaching its duty to provide a safe workplace after the death of two workers on a rig. Stena Drilling Australia is expected to be sentenced next month after entering the plea at a Magistrates Court in Victoria. It followed the deaths of floorman Peter Meddens and toolpusher Barry Denholm who had been working on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit.

Oil & Gas

Statoil boss calls for “fundamental and structural” change to North Sea cost structure

27/08/2015

The head of Statoil yesterday cautioned oil and gas companies against decommissioning too early and said the Norwegian firm’s £4.5billion North Sea Mariner development was on track. Statoil president and chief executive Eldar Saetre said there were a lot more resources to be found but costs needed to be restructured in a “fundamental and sustainable” way to ensure their recovery. He was speaking after his first visit to the Norwegian oil giant’s new regional base in Kingswells, Aberdeen.

Oil & Gas

Noreco pays debt from sale of licences as it restructures finances

27/08/2015

Noreco (Norwegian Energy Company) said the sale of a number of licences has allowed the firm to repay some of its debt and interest. The company has been making moves to strengthen its finances with a restructuring proposal approved earlier this year. In its second quarter results for the year the firm, which has gone through a number of challenges in the past year, said it has made a partial repayment of NOK250million of debt and interest in the NOR10 bond this month.

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