Volkswagen is set to name Matthias Mueller as its new chief executive after the company was embroiled in a scandal over an alleged US vehicle emissions test rigging. The head of the Porsche sports car brand has been widely tipped to succeed Martin Winterkorn who stepped down from his role earlier this week. Officials in both Europe and the United States have stepped up their investigations into the scandal.
The European Commission’s push toward the creation of a European Energy Union, aiming to make energy in Europe more secure, affordable and sustainable, stepped up a gear last month with the release of the ‘Summer Package’ of reforms to existing energy policy initiatives. This latest set of reforms is yet another indication that energy policy-making is increasingly considered as a European policy to be tackled with a coordinated and centralized approach in the EU institutions. Despite plenty of discussion about the UK’s relationship with the European Union since May’s election, the EU’s latest plans for the future of energy mix in Europe have failed to raise attention outside of Brussels.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, cut pricing for all October oil sales to the U.S. and Northwest Europe and reduced the premium on its main Light grade to Asia by 30 cents a barrel. State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. cut its official selling price for October sales to Asia of Arab Light crude to 10 cents a barrel more than the regional benchmark, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The discount for Medium grade crude for buyers in Asia widened 50 cents to $1.30 a barrel less than the benchmark.
Upstream oil and gas deal activity in June saw a $4.3billion decrease in comparison with the previous month. Research and consulting firm GlobalData said work, including capital markets and mergers and acqusitions, totalled $19.3billion from 125 transactions in June, while in May the total was $23.6billion across 119 deals. Analysts said Europe, the Middle East and Africa led the global acquisitions market in terms of value last month with a 39% regional share totalling $4billion.
China's Sinopec Corp 0386.HK is shipping its second ever jet fuel cargo to Europe, once considered a rare trade route, as the refiner looks to expand its global market share with demand lagging output levels at home, industry sources said. The world's No. 2 refiner shipped out 90,000 tonnes of jet fuel to Europe in late June, said two sources, who did not want to be named because of rules on talking to media. Shipping fixtures show a vessel, SKS Donggang, was chartered by trader Noble NOBG.SI and loaded with jet fuel from Yangpu in south China around the same time. SKS is near Madagascar now and moving towards Le Havre, France, according to shiptracking data.
Briggs Marine has won an eight year contract from DONG Energy for contingency and repair of export and array cables for offshore windfarms in the UK and Northern Europe. The deal will cover nine sites in Britain, five in Denmark and four in Germany. Briggs has formed a strong relationship with DONG Energy since last year when it provided interim repair capability for their UK windfarms.
Norwegian oil firm Det Norske said it will appeal a government decision to give it a smaller stake in the Johan Sverdrup oilfield than it had been seeking. The company revealed their plans as it reported lower than expected second quarter earnings for 2015. Det Norske believes it should have been given a larger share than the percentage proposed by operator Statoil of 11.89%.
Gazprom has been given more time to respond to charges by European Union antitrust regulators after it was alleged the company levies excessive prices and blocks rivals in Eastern Europe. The European Commission announced in April that the Russian oil giant had been given 12 weeks to reply to the charges. Antitrust regulators had brought the charges after more than two years of investigation.
Atlas Knowledge has secured a contract to deliver safety training for workers involved in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project. The deal will see a total of 11 courses delivered to almost 300 onshore personnel working on the planned construction of the pipeline. It will bring natural gas across Greece, Albania and Italy through the Southern Gas corridor.
Industry body Oil & Gas UK and the Gas Forum have criticised a decision by the European Energy regulator regarding changes to the EU Network codes. A call has been made for the UK to retain its existing ‘gas day’ of 6am until 6am. However ACER , the European Energy Regulator, has decided that, from October 1 2015 the UK gas market will have to operate two different gas days for its upstream and downstream network.
A report has been published on the performance of subsea cabling in high energy environments to support the development of commercial wave and tide energy sites. The aim of the analysis, by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and The Crown Estate, is to improve the industry’s understanding of how best to specify and manage subsea cables. Tests were done by investigation how the cables installed at EMEC test sites in Orkney have been performing since installation.
One of the top positions at an Aberdeen-based oil and gas company has been filled by a worker with around 40 years experience in the industry. Dave Stewart has landed the role of chief executive officer at Wood Group PSN and will begin in the role in April 2015.
The former head of BP’s Aberdeen-based North Sea operation warned yesterday the UK oil and gas industry is facing an early death unless there is swift political action to prevent it. Dave Blackwood, who retired from BP in 2009 and is currently a non-executive director with Granite-based energy service firm Expro Group, was speaking as reports in Saudi Arabia said the kingdom was prepared to increase its oil output and claim a bigger global market share, potentially putting further pressure on the UK industry after the oil price slump of recent months. Adding his voice to widespread calls for swift tax cuts for North Sea operators, Mr Blackwood said: “Nothing less than radical change will prevent the premature demise of the basin, let alone maximise economic recovery.”
As Leader of Aberdeen City Council I felt it was important to try and take a lead on how politicians interact with the Oil and Gas Industry. Aberdeen is a global city that has achieved so much success thanks to the Oil and Gas industry being on our doorstep. It concern us all that the price of oil has dropped so heavily in such a short space of time and whilst we accept there will always be fluctuations in the price of oil I believe the time is now right for the industry and governments at all levels to work together to maintain confidence in the North Sea.
Heard the one about Vladimir Putin, the oil price and the ruble’s value against the dollar? They will all hit 63 next year. That’s the joke doing the rounds of the Kremlin as the Russian government digs in to weather international sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. According to at least five people close to Putin, pressure from the US and Europe is galvanizing Russians to withstand a siege on their economy. The black humor is part of an image of defiance not seen since the Cold War. As the economy enters its first recession in more than five years, the ruble depreciates to records and money exits the country, Putin’s supporters are closing ranks and say he’s sure to run for another six-year term in 2018.
The plunging oil price is giving an unexpected lift to Europe’s crisis-battered southern periphery as decreasing fuel costs help spur demand. Spain, Europe’s fourth-largest economy, could add as much as 1 percent to annual growth with oil prices between $80-90 a barrel, the government said. Italy, which is in its fourth year of recession, stands to boost GDP 0.3% points with a sustained $10 oil price drop, according to BNP Paribas SA. “There’s no doubt lower oil prices will act as a stimulus to growth in the region,” Frederik Ducrozet, a Paris-based economist at Credit Agricole, said. “Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy would be clear beneficiaries.”
The European Union has abandoned a plan to label oil sands as highly polluting. A directive from the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive had planned to force energy suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of their products.