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Dozens killed in air strikes on fuel market in Syria

Air strikes on a fuel market in a village in northern Syria have killed and wounded dozens of people and destroyed several tanker trucks, according to opposition monitoring groups. Activists said war planes also struck another market in the northern village of Maskaneh which is under the control of Islamic State, killing at least 12 people and wounding many others. It was not immediately clear whose war planes carried out the strikes, although the monitoring groups said the Russians targeted both markets.

Oil & Gas

UAE to play key role in market stability, says oil minister

The United Arab Emirates will play a key role in the stability of oil markets in the future and is committed to continue spending on its energy projects regardless of the oil price, the country's oil minister said on Thursday. "You have a reputation as a government to maintain your supply arrangements with your legacy customers and keep your commitments," Suhail al-Mazrouei said at the closing session of an oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi. "That is what makes them come to us, is that they know we will spend in good days and difficult days."

Oil & Gas

Oil trades near $48 as US crude stockpile seen expanding again

Oil traded near $48 a barrel before US government data forecast to show crude stockpiles increased for a sixth week in the world’s biggest consumer. Futures gained as much as 0.7 percent in New York after advancing 3.8 percent Tuesday. Inventories probably expanded by 2.5 million barrels in the US, keeping supplies more than 100 million barrels higher than the five-year seasonal average, a Bloomberg survey shows before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Crude may never rise to $100 a barrel again, according to Vitol Group, the world’s largest oil independent trader.

Oil & Gas

Oil speculators boosting bearish bets miss best rally in 8 weeks

Hedge funds betting oil would sink toward $40 a barrel missed the biggest rally in eight weeks. Money managers’ short positions in West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 24 percent in the week ended Oct. 27, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Net-long positions declined 15 percent, the most since July. Oil surged after a government report on Oct. 28 showed that US refiners came back from seasonal maintenance faster than expected, boosting crude demand. Prices slipped to a the lowest level since August before the data’s release on concern that oil companies aren’t cutting production fast enough to stem a global oversupply.

Oil & Gas

Chevron reduces 2016 budget, plans to reduce headcount by 10%

Oil major Chevron said it had reduced its 2016 budget by 25% as well as laying off around 10% of its workforce. The company said it plans to spend between $25billion to $28billion next year. It will also reduce its spending in 2017 and 2018, an acknowledgement that oil prices are not expected to rise drastically in the next few years.

Other News

BG Group shares fall 2.5p on third quarter results

Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was a heavy faller in the London market after revealing a sharp fall in third-quarter pre-tax profit. The lender said its pre-tax profit before one-time items and restructuring costs came in at £842 million for the quarter, compared to £2.05 billion a year earlier. The FTSE 100 Index opened 15.8 points down at 6379.8, following a fall of more than 40 points in the previous session.

Markets

Sinopec’s profit drops 92%

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.’s third-quarter profit plummeted 92 percent as lower oil prices and production dwarfed an increase in refining revenue. Net income at Asia’s biggest refiner, known as Sinopec, was 1.64 billion yuan ($258 million), or 0.013 yuan a share, compared with 19.3 billion yuan, or 0.165 yuan, a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Thursday. That compares with the 4.27 billion yuan average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Higher refining revenue was swamped by a drop in oil prices. Brent, the benchmark for more than half of the world’s crude, averaged about $51 a barrel in the third quarter, compared with more than $103 a year ago.

Markets

Maersk cuts profit outlook for 2015 on weaker shipping market

A.P. Moeller-Maersk cut its profit outlook for 2015 citing a weaker global container shipping market. The owner of the world’s biggest shipping line said it now sees underlying profit of about $3.4 billion, compared with a previous forecast for $4 billion, according to a statement to the stock exchange on Friday. “Particularly the container shipping market deteriorated beyond the Group’s expectations especially in the latter part of the third quarter and October,” the company said. “The Group now expects no market recovery within 2015. Initiatives have been taken to adjust Maersk Line’s network accordingly.”

Oil & Gas

Freeport-McMoRan strengthens its board of directors

Freeport-McMoRan has appointed two new members to its board of directors. The move comes a day after the company revealed it would be considering whether to make changes to the oil and gas side of its business. Andrew Langham and Courtney Mather will join the team which is comprised of 11 directors, nine independent directors and two executive directors.

Oil & Gas

Oil drillers hunker down for more pain one year into bear market

A year after oil sank into a bear market, the industry is still hunkering down for a long period of low prices, with Europe’s biggest producer seeing only the first glimpses of a recovery. In the last five months, US production sank by 590,000 barrels a day, or more than 6 percent. The bad news: Drillers are cutting costs with a speed and brutality not seen in decades, enabling many to continue producing at a high level even as prices remain low. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sees crude falling by another $10 a barrel as storage tanks fill up in the coming months. “I see the first mixed signs for recovery,” said Ben Van Beurden, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s chief executive officer, speaking at the Oil & Money conference in London.

Oil & Gas

Saudi Arabia withdrew billions from markets, estimates show

Saudi Arabia has withdrawn as much as $70 billion from global asset managers as OPEC’s largest oil producer seeks to plug its budget deficit, according to financial services market intelligence company Insight Discovery. "Fund managers we’ve spoken to estimate SAMA has pulled out between $50 billion to $70 billion from global asset managers over the past six months," Nigel Sillitoe, chief executive officer of the Dubai-based firm, said by telephone Monday. "Saudi Arabia is withdrawing funds because it’s trying to cut its widening deficit and it’s financing the war in Yemen," he said, declining to name the fund managers. Saudi Arabia is seeking to halt the erosion of its finances after oil prices halved in the past year. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s reserves held in foreign securities have fallen about 10 percent from a peak of $737 billion in August 2014, to $661 billion in July, according to central bank data. The government is accelerating bond sales to help sustain spending.

Markets

Bibby eyes up £50billion market removing subsea structures

Aberdeenshire firm Bibby Offshore is eyeing a £50billion-plus North Sea decommissioning market for further opportunities after completing two major projects this year. Multimillion-pound deals with Endeavour Energy and Tullow Oil SK have given the offshore services company an appetite for more of the kind of projects that will only increase in number as the basin reaches maturity. Endeavour appointed Westhill-based Bibby to carry out work on the Renee and Rubie fields, located in blocks 15/27 and 15/28 of the central North Sea, about 72 miles east of Aberdeen, in a contract lasting 60 days. The project, completed during the past few weeks, saw dive support vessel (DSV) Bibby Sapphire and a construction support ship, the Olympic Ares, recover a variety of subsea equipment.

Markets

BW Offshore earnings hit by FPSO explosion

BW Offshore said its earnings before tax had been negatively impacted by an accident earlier this year offshore Brazil. The company said the recovery project for the FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) vessel was still ongoing. In March an explosion on the Cidade de Sao Mateus killed nine of the 74 people on board.

Oil & Gas

Gulf Keystone boosted by strong revenue and production results

Gulf Keystone has posted strong results as its revenues increased by 61% from $18.7million to $30.1million from the same time last year. The company revealed its losses after tax were also down from $248.2million to $77.7million. Gulf Keystone said it had strong production performance from its Shaikan operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq where it acts as operator with a 75% working interest.

Markets

Chinese stocks take tumble as oil stocks rebound

Chinese stocks have tumbled again after their biggest decline in eight years while most other Asian markets rebounded from a day of heavy losses. The mixed picture comes after a tumultuous day on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average ended down 3.6% after trimming much bigger losses. European markets were also hit badly. Analysts said it was unclear whether this was a sign the worst was over, or a reprieve in a longer-term bear market.

Oil & Gas

Out in the real world, oil market is much better than it looks

The global oil market is healthier than it looks, signaling that crude’s plunge to six-year lows has probably gone too far. While futures tumbled below $45 a barrel in London for the first time since 2009, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered Plc say other measures suggest physical markets for crude have stabilized or even strengthened in recent weeks. China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, will keep buying extra barrels to fill its strategic reserve this year, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “While oil fundamentals aren’t strong, physical markets do not corroborate the substantial weakness in flat price,” New York-based Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Longson said in a report Monday. The “latest oil pricing pressure appears more financial than physical.”

Markets

Wall Street hit by sharp decline in energy stocks

The US stock market endured its worst performance in 18 months, driven lower by another slump in Chinese shares and heavy selling by technical traders. The global rout started in China, where sharp declines in energy and property stocks pushed the Shanghai Composite down more than 3%. That selling soon spread to European and US markets, where the Standard & Poor’s 500 index moved further below a closely watched trading level.

Markets

Petrobras posts sharp decline in profits

Petrobas said its net income has fallen by 89% after the company was hit with a one-time charge for underperforming assets. The Brazilian firm’s quarterly profit fell to $150.4million which was affected by a charge to resolve a tax issue with the country’s federal government as well as fines related to its gas and energy, refining and supply and exploration and production units.

Markets

Apache hit by losses, despite production rise

Apache has reported a loss of $5.6billion in its second quarter results. The company said the figure includes an after-tax ceiling test write down of $3.7billion resulting from low commodity-price levels and $1.9billion of other items. Apache said despite the losses it expects to increase its production guidance for 2015.

Markets

Unruffled in Riyadh, Saudis stick with stocks as oil tumbles

The Saudi stock market is showing its mettle in the face of the latest oil rout that drove Brent into a bear market in July. The kingdom’s Tadawul All Share Index has retreated 4.2 percent since the end of June, compared with declines of 15 percent in Brazil in dollar terms, 11 percent in Russia and almost 10 percent in Nigeria. Brent, the benchmark oil grade against which Saudi crude is priced, has tumbled 21 percent in that period. The resilience shows how the world’s biggest crude producer is riding out the slump thanks to the confidence of locals who account for almost all the $525 billion market’s investors and the government’s determination to press ahead with infrastructure spending.