Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas

China says it has every right to drill in East China Sea

24/07/2015

China said on Friday it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognise a "unilateral" Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters. Japan this week called on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory. Patrol ships and aircraft from both countries have been shadowing each other in the area over the past couple of years, raising fears of a confrontation and clash.

Oil & Gas

Saipem hires Bain to get in shape for cheaper oil

24/07/2015

Italian oil contractor Saipem SPMI.MI is working with Bain & Company to draw up a restructuring plan to help it cut costs and counter falling oil prices that have sapped its order book and stretched its balance sheet, three sources said. Saipem, 43 percent owned by state-controlled Eni ENI.MI, has lost around three-quarters of its value in the last 30 months after a corruption probe in Algeria, two profit warnings and increasingly bleak business prospects. The cancellation of a Black Sea pipeline contract was the latest blow. (Full Story) "The plan is called 'Fit to 60' -- whipping the company into shape to deal with life with crude at $60 a barrel," a source with knowledge of the matter said. Low oil and gas prices have prompted majors and governments the world over to cut energy investments and shelve projects, starving oil service companies of business and forcing them to streamline operations.

Oil & Gas

New South African crude blending terminal to supply Asia from 2017

24/07/2015

Using the world's first dedicated crude oil blending terminal, South Africa will by 2017 mix different grades of crude oil for export to refineries across Asia, enabling them to produce cleaner fuels more cheaply, an official said on Thursday. Construction of the 2 billion rand ($161 million) fuel blending farm, which consists of 12 massive concrete bunkers, should start in August with the first output expected for the second quarter of 2017, said Pieter Coetzee, a director at OiltankingMogs, a joint venture firm developing the terminal. "Our model is based on blending of different grades of crude to supply a specific recipe to a refinery," Coetzee said.

Oil & Gas

Global Petroleum pulls out of Mozambique permit

24/07/2015

Global Petroleum has chosen to withdraw from Juan De Nova Permit in the Mozambique Channel. The decision was taken as a result of slow progress in approval of an application for an extension two years ago. The company said there had been “no visibility” as to when a formal decision would be taken.

Oil & Gas

Flotilla of European gasoline tankers fuels US driving binge

24/07/2015

As a flotilla of gasoline tankers steams across the Atlantic Ocean to the US, European motorists are paying more for their gasoline because Americans are driving more than ever. Surging demand and rising prices for gasoline in the US are luring about double the number of tankers compared with 2014, boosting shipping rates to the highest seasonal levels in seven years. With so much being exported, fuel prices in Europe have increased almost four times faster than crude since February to the equivalent of more than $6 a gallon. The flotilla underscores the rising thirst for fuel after oil prices fell by half since June 2014 and the U.S. economy improved. Americans are driving record miles, raising consumption of gasoline and profit margins for refiners.

Oil & Gas

Russia’s Gazprom files case against Turkmengaz over gas price

24/07/2015

Russian gas company Gazprom said on Friday it had lodged a case against Turkmenistan's Turkmengaz at the international arbitration court in Stockholm over the price in a supply contract. The move came two weeks after Turkmenistan accused Gazprom of not paying for gas supplied from the Central Asian country this year. Gazprom, the world's top natural gas producer, buys gas from Turkmenistan for its own use or resale. But the amount has fallen this year as relations between Moscow and the reclusive former Soviet Union republic are increasingly strained by a competition to supply the large Chinese gas market.

Africa

Bowleven drills in Cameroon

24/07/2015

Bowleven, the Africa-focused oil and gas exploration group, has confirmed the first of a two-well exploration programme in Cameroon, has been drilled to its planned total depth and logged.

Oil & Gas

Petrobras workers on strike

24/07/2015

Brazilian oil workers have begun a 24 hour strike in an effort to halt moves to shrink state-run oil company Petrobas. Union workers, led by FUP – the country’s largest federation of oil workers for refineries and oil platforms – called for employees to walk off their jobs on Thursday at midnight. Petrobas has announced plans to sell $15.1billion of assets by the end of 2016 in a bid to pay down debt.

Americas

Freeport-McMoRan reports $1.85billion loss

24/07/2015

US mining and oil heavyweight Freeport-McMoRan made a $1.85billion loss in the second quarter of 2015. The company posted $2billion of write-downs related to its oil and gas properties and other one-off items. Richard Adkerson, chief executive, said: "Our second-quarter results reflect strong operating performance in our global mining business, and solid production results and continued positive drilling and development results in our oil and gas operations.

Oil & Gas

Oil producers’ ugly duckling refineries just turned into swans

24/07/2015

Oil companies’ least-loved business over the past five years is proving to be their lifeline. Margins from refineries in northwest Europe rose fivefold last quarter to the highest since at least 2003, data from Total SA show. In the preceding quarter, the share of profit from processing crude and chemicals at Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc was four times higher than the same period a year earlier. The turnaround follows last year’s end to an oil boom that tripled the cost of crude for processing since 2009 and spurred a focus on drilling instead of refining. A decade-long doubling of refining capacity in China also swamped European efforts to rein in supply. Crude’s slump in the past year has reversed the dynamic, curbing refining costs and raising demand for fuels. “Refining has become a boon in these times from being a burden over the years,” Iain Armstrong, an oil analyst at fund manager Brewin Dolphin Ltd., said July 22 in London. “The companies will look to make the most of this dramatic change while it lasts.” Shell and BP are scheduled to release second-quarter earnings at the end of the month. Results at their downstream businesses, which include trading as well as refining, are likely to show they also benefited from a market structure called contango, where future prices are higher than those for immediate delivery. That allows their traders to profit by storing cheap oil now to sell for more later.

Oil & Gas

Gallery: Quad 204 ‘Glen Lyon’ FPSO under construction in South Korea

24/07/2015

These images show the Glen Lyon FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) vessel under construction in South Korea. The state-of-the-art FPSO will eventually make a journey across the world to work on the £3billion Quad 204 redevelopment project of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, west of Shetland. Glen Lyon replaces the Schiehallion FPSO, which started producing oil in 1998 and continued doing so for 15 years until operations were suspended for Quad204 subsea work.

Oil & Gas

Surge in gasoline demand throws lifeline to European refiners

23/07/2015

The scramble for gasoline this summer has thrown a lifeline to European refiners, pushing gasoline cracks to multi-year highs and tightening the market for the fuel's components, but the seasonal effect next year is likely to be more muted. Stephen George, chief economist at UK-based consultancy KBC Advanced Technologies, said demand for gasoline in the United States and China had risen by about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) year-on-year, triggered by lower oil prices. "It's about twice as strong as distillate demand growth this year, while new market supplies are skewed to diesel," George said in the Reuters Global Oil Forum on Thursday.

Oil & Gas

Cuadrilla to appeal fracking rejection

23/07/2015

Cuadrilla said it plans to appeal a decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse planning consent for two licences for temporary shale gas exploration sites. The energy firm had wanted to frack and test the flow of gas following drilling at up to four exploration wells at a proposed site between Preston and Blackpool. Prior to last month's decision planning officials at Lancashire County Council recommended its approval, subject to a number of conditions being met, but councillors chose to ignore the advice and rejected it due to adverse impacts on landscape and noise.

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