David Cameron and the President of Mexico have discussed the prospects for co-operation on energy as part of Europe’s efforts to diversify the sources of its fuel supplies away from Russia during the ongoing stand-off over Ukraine. The discussion came as the Prime Minister hosted Enrique Pena Nieto for lunch at 10 Downing Street on the second day of his state visit to the UK. The Mexican leader will visit Aberdeen for talks with senior representatives of the UK oil and gas sector tomorrow, when he is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on future collaboration. Mr Cameron’s official spokesman told reporters the two men had “talked about how the EU and Mexico can continue to co-operate on energy matters, including as part of the EU’s strategy to increase diversification away from Russian energy sources”.
Ships carrying oil from Mexico are sailing to South Korea for the first time in more than two decades as the US shale boom brings bargains from around the globe. The voyage is evidence of the competition OPEC producers face as the Us pumps the most oil in more than three decades, exacerbating a global glut in supplies while demand slows in Asia. Refiners in South Korea and Japan ordered at least eight cargoes from the Latin American nation this year, including the most heavily discounted Mexican oil in two decades, according to company officials and shipping data compiled. The fight for market share among global producers is playing out in Asia as increased output from American shale fields reduces the need for imports in the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation. Mexico’s sales to the Us, its largest buyer, dropped 6.5 percent in the first eleven months of last year. “Middle East and Mexican crude grades have similar specifications, which means Korean refiners don’t have to change much when they process Mexican oil,” Kim Jae Kyung, a research fellow at Korea Energy Economics Institute, said by phone Thursday. “Middle East producers will have to fight for market share.”
The Mexican president will visit Aberdeen next week to sign an energy collaboration agreement, it has been confirmed. Enrique Pena Nieto will formally announce the memoranda of understanding at a meeting with North Sea leaders in the Town House on Thursday. He will be hosted by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Energy Minister Matt Hancock. In the afternoon, he will visit Robert Gordon University to meet academics and view a presentation on the energy sector, before viewing a demonstration of the Drilling and Advanced Rig Training Simulator.
BP has claimed any gulf spill compensation payments by it should be less to reflect the oil price plunge. The oil giant is currently in a legal wrangle over what civil penalties it should make following the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in 2010. The company said in legal filings before the final round of the case next month that penalties – which could beup to $18billion – would have a “very significant economic impact” on BP and its exploration and production business. BP claims any future ruling should take into account the fall in the oil price, the company’s clean-up efforts and the environmental improvement in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico authorized preliminary bidding rules for new offshore blocks as the country prepares for an investment deluge in its recently opened oil industry. Oil regulator CNH approved rules today for 14 shallow-water exploratory blocks that will be auctioned to private companies by the end of July, according to a live feed of the meeting. In a separate vote, the agency also approved production-sharing contracts for the winners.
Oil major Chevron has begun production from its Jack and St Malo deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said the delivery is a key part of its upstream work with plans to reach 3.1 million barrels per day by 2017. The fields are among the largest in the Gulf of Mexico and were discovered in 2004 and 2003.
SeaBird Exploration has received a Letter of Award (LOA) from TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company to acquire up to 300,000km of 2D seismic data in Mexico and the US Atlantic. The company said the LOA will provide TGS access to up to six seismic vessels from SeaBird over a period of 36 months.
Mexico’s state-owned oil firm Pemex has evacuated 15,000 workers from platforms in the Campeche area of the country ahead of a storm. Pemex said its technical analysis group for emergency response had recommended the evacuation.
US-based Stone Energy has secured a rig for a multi-year deep water drilling program in the Gulf of Mexico. The primary contract term for the ENSCO 8503 drilling rig will be for 30 months and is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2015.