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$50

Markets

Shell remains positive of BG merger deal even at $50 oil

Oil major Shell has told investors its purchase of BG Group will work even if the oil price stays at an average of $50 a barrel for the next two years. According to reports, the lowest estimate yet for the oil price has been made in a bid to retain shareholder support for the $51billion deal amid plunging crude markets.

Oil & Gas

Africa oil boom fades as $50 crude shuts door on high-cost deals

“On the brink of a boom,” was the banner on PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s review of Africa’s oil industry 16 months ago. Now, oil below $50 has made more than two out of three investment projects on the continent non-viable. “Capital markets are effectively closed to the oil and gas industry” in Africa, Tony Hayward, former head of BP Plc and now chairman of Genel Energy Plc, said at a conference in Cape Town last month. “A decade of exploration, with billions of dollars invested and only limited commercial success.”

Oil & Gas

Oil set to end fourth month below $50 as investment curbed

Crude was poised to end the month below $50 a barrel for the fourth time amid a global glut that’s showing no signs of relief for oil and gas companies that posted more than $19 billion in writedowns in a single week. Futures slid as much as 1.3 percent in New York. Output from Iraq, the second-biggest OPEC producer, exceeds 4 million barrels a day, Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said, according to the Almada news website.

Markets

Brent crude breaks the $50 barrier

The price of Brent crude has broken back above the $50 barrier as a report on inventories in the US outweighed a gloomy outlook on manufacturing in China. Benchmark Brent rose more than 2% after the Energy Information Administration said US crude inventories fell 1.9 million barrels to 453.97 million last week, exceeding analysts expectations.

Oil & Gas

Crude below $50 throws East Africa’s oil projects into doubt

Kenya and Uganda ended months of debate in August to sign an agreement on an oil pipeline costing almost $4 billion. Finding the money to build it and companies to start pumping crude may be a harder task. The 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) pipeline is key for exporting the region’s crude when production finally begins -- 2018 in Uganda’s case. With oil prices languishing below $50 a barrel, there’s little incentive for companies such as Tullow Oil Plc, Africa Oil Corp., China’s CNOOC Ltd. and France’s Total SA to keep investing. “The lower oil price has created a great deal more of uncertainty around future oil production, given that additional capital expenditure will be required to make oil production a reality,” Razia Khan, head of Africa economic research at Standard Chartered Plc in London, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Oil & Gas

For Norway, oil at $50 is worse than the global financial crisis

When the financial crisis brought the global economy to its knees, Norway was largely unscathed. But oil under $50? That's another story. Unemployment peaked at about 3.7 percent in 2010 in the post-crisis aftermath. Falling oil prices already pushed the jobless rate to 4.3 percent in May, the highest in at least 11 years, and that was before a renewed drop in Brent crude. Here are a few ways it's harder for Norway to deal with plunging oil prices than a global financial meltdown.

Markets

Oil rebounds after drop below $50 for first time since January

Oil climbed amid speculation the drop below $50 a barrel in London for the first time since January was excessive. Brent futures gained 1.7 percent, paring a 5.2 percent fall on Monday. US oil prices have slumped close to levels that will curb supply growth, according to consultant Petromatrix GmbH. The nation’s crude inventories probably declined for a second week, according to a Bloomberg survey before government data due Wednesday.

Markets

Russia braces for longest recession in decades with $50 oil

For an economy that lives and dies by crude prices, the latest downturn in the world oil market means Russia’s recession may stretch into next year for the longest slump in two decades. Russia’s first economic slump since 2009 looked like it would plateau as oil gained 40 percent from a six-month low in January. Crude’s recovery has faltered in recent weeks, raising questions about government assurances that the economy will return to growth in 2016 and further squeezing a budget already on course for its widest deficit in five years. Oil jitters will test the optimism of President Vladimir Putin, who’s declared that Russia had put the worst of the economic crisis behind it, and heap pressure on his regime before early parliamentary elections in September next year. Russia, which ING Bank NV estimates needs oil at $80 a barrel to balance its budget, will endure a two-year economic contraction if crude prices remain at $60 through 2016, according to the central bank.