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Oil & Gas

Data takes Aberdeen-based SMS to new markets

As a region, the north east of Scotland is known globally for its innovative company base and as an exporter of a wealth of skill and expertise built up in the offshore energy industry.


Oil rises as ExxonMobil declares force majeure on shipments of Nigeria’s biggest crude export grade

Oil rose as Exxon Mobil Corp. declared force majeure on shipments of Nigeria’s biggest crude export grade. Futures rose as much as 0.5 percent in New York, reversing an earlier decline of 1.4 percent. Force majeure was declared on Qua Iboe crude after “a system anomaly observed during a routine check of its loading facility,” Exxon said in an e-mailed statement Friday. This follows a similar disruption in May and June. The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has targeted oil installations in Nigeria this year, claimed earlier this week that they attacked the Qua Iboe crude pipeline. Oil has traded between about $44 and $51 a barrel in the past month after almost doubling since February amid a spate of supply disruptions including the attacks in Nigeria. While there’s still a consensus that the worst of the oil glut that sent prices to a 12-year low is over, the International Energy Agency cautioned this week that “the road ahead is far from smooth” amid seasonal weakness in demand and the return of some halted supply. West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery was at $45.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 1:14 p.m. London time. The grade rose 93 cents to settle at $45.68 on Thursday. Total volume traded was about 6 percent below the 100-day average. Brent for September settlement increased 12 cents to $47.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract increased $1.11 to $47.37 on Thursday. The global benchmark crude traded at an 96-cent premium to WTI for September delivery.

Oil & Gas

Oil decreases for third week on signs of Iran export boost

Oil in New York headed for its third weekly decline as Brent crude’s discount to U.S. prices increased on signs Iran is moving closer to boosting exports. West Texas Intermediate futures dropped as much as 3.3 percent in New York and are down 8.4 percent for the week after slipping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday. International sanctions on Iran may be lifted Monday, allowing for a boost in oil shipments from the fifth-biggest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The European benchmark’s discount to WTI widened to the biggest intraday gap since July 2010.

Oil & Gas

Shale’s running out of survival tricks as OPEC ramps up pressure

In 2015, the fracking outfits that dot America’s oil-rich plains threw everything they had at $50-a- barrel crude. To cope with the 50 percent price plunge, they laid off thousands of roughnecks, focused their rigs on the biggest gushers only and used cutting-edge technology to squeeze all the oil they could out of every well. Those efforts, to the surprise of many observers, largely succeeded. As of this month, U.S. oil output remained within 4 percent of a 43-year high.

Oil & Gas

Shale drillers are now free to export US oil into global glut

US shale drillers will soon be able to sell their oil all over the world. Too bad no one needs it right now. A congressional deal to lift the 1970s-era prohibition on shipping crude overseas has the potential to unleash a flood of oil from Texas and North Dakota shale fields into markets already flush with cheap supplies from the Persian Gulf, Russia and Africa. The arrival of US barrels in trading hubs from Rotterdam to Singapore will intensify competition for market share between oil-rich nations, publicly traded producers and trading houses, adding pressure to prices that have tumbled 67 percent in the past 18 months. In the longer term, it may also extend a lifeline to shale drillers strapped for cash after amassing huge debt loads during the boom years.

Oil & Gas

Oil refiners shrug off agreement to remove US export limits

Restrictions on US crude exports may disappear. That doesn’t mean the sky is falling for refiners. A Bloomberg index of 11 US independent refiners rose 2.3 percent in New York Wednesday, after congressional leaders agreed on a deal to lift a 40-year ban on most oil exports. Some refiners, which process crude into gasoline and diesel, would get a tax break on the cost of transporting oil as part of the deal. The break is expected to be $119 million in 2016, or about 0.5 percent of next year’s combined pre-tax profits of the refiners in the index, according to government and analyst estimates.

Other News

US judge dismisses lawsuit over disputed cargo of crude oil

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit over a disputed cargo of Iraqi Kurdish crude oil which showed up last year off the shore of Texas. The incident prompted months of legal wrangling as Iraq sought to block the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from directly exporting oil. The case has now been dismissed by US District Court Judge Gray Miller because the vessel which carried the crude had sailed away after the US buyer had balked at taking delivery because of the legal fight.