Oil & Gas

Russia’s Sechin says U.S., not OPEC, rules oil markets


Igor Sechin, the head of Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, said on Wednesday the United States is calling the shots on global oil markets, while the influence of OPEC has shrunk. The United States emerged with renewed vigour as a top producer thanks to its shale boom. By refusing to curb its output to prop up oil prices, OPEC has tried to maintain its share in the global market, shrugging off lower prices which damage U.S. producers.

Oil & Gas

OPEC revenues hit five year low


OPEC nations’ revenue from petroleum exports plunged below $1 trillion last year for the first time since 2010, highlighting how slumping crude prices hurt countries reliant on oil sales to fund their economies.

Oil & Gas

OPEC moots $80 as new ‘fair’ oil price


Nearly a year after oil markets entered a deep downward spiral, unmoored from the $100-a-barrel mark that had anchored them for years, some OPEC members are publicly talking for the first time about a new "fair" price for their crude.

Oil & Gas

OPEC seen backing Saudi Arabia’s plan to keep supplies elevated


When Saudi Arabia argues next week that OPEC should keep up production to fight the rise in US shale oil levels, prices will be on its side. Crude plunged for eight of nine weeks prior to group’s November gathering, when the kingdom faced down opposition from the majority of fellow members, who advocated output reductions to tackle a global glut. With oil companies around the world cutting investment, US output peaking and prices up, Saudi Arabia’s strategy will be extended at OPEC’s semiannual meeting on June 5, say Societe Generale SA and Bank of America Corp.

Market info

Hedge funds lose faith in oil rally as OPEC seen boosting supply


Speculators are losing faith in the oil rally, judging that OPEC will keep increasing supply from the highest level since 2012. Their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 2.1 percent, as long wagers fell the most in two months and short bets declined to the lowest since August, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. OPEC’s push to defend its share of the global oil market has just begun and its members may further increase production, the International Energy Agency said May 13. Saudi Arabia said it boosted output to the highest level in at least three decades. Oil explorers in the U.S. reduced the rig count last week by the least since December, diminishing the probability that supply will contract.

Oil & Gas

Tony Hayward: ‘Beaten shale prices set to boost crude’


A combination of cost-cutting measures by oil and gas firms and Opec’s decision not to curb output is laying the foundations for the next crude price surge, former BP chief executive Tony Hayward said yesterday. A slump in crude prices from summer highs of more than $100 per barrel to less than $50 at the turn of the year has made life miserable for energy companies, many of which have had to mothball projects and offload staff. The price drop was caused by the build-up of a massive supply glut, which was brought about by a stand-off between Opec and US shale producers. Opec was bent on pumping out so much oil that the price would be driven down to the point that US shale producers would no longer be able to make a profit, forcing them to shut down. Mr Hayward said the tactic is paying off and that Opec, whose leading nations can produce oil cheaply, will ultimately regain market share.

Oil & Gas

Nigeria, Algeria see oil prices staying low for a long time


Oil prices are likely to stay low for a long time after falling more than 40 percent in the past year, said officials from two OPEC nations. Nigeria and Algeria both warned that oil prices, currently at around $60 a barrel, probably won’t recover to the 2011-2013 level of more than $100 a barrel. “You forecast at your own risk, but it seems to me that we should be regarding this as a permanent shock,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister, said on a panel discussion Sunday in Washington near the end of the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings. “We should prepare our economies for that eventuality.”

Oil & Gas

Shale output is falling faster than expected


Shale drillers will see production drop sooner than expected under a US government forecast, a momentum change that hints at an eventual price rally. Just five months after Saudi Arabia put the market into a tailspin by refusing to cut supply despite a global glut, the shale oil industry will record its first monthly dip since US officials began weighing output in 2013. The projected production drop is small, just 1 percent. Yet investors took note, pushing oilfield stocks to the top five spots in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on Tuesday, led by rig operators Ensco Plc and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc.

Market info

Oil rises as Saudis increase prices amid Iran export uncertainty


Oil rose after Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers left the timing of increased crude supplies from the OPEC member uncertain and as Saudi Arabia raised prices for shipments to Asia. Futures climbed as much as 2.5% in New York. Physical oil markets won’t be affected by Iran before 2016 as the potential lifting of sanctions, which could allow the Persian Gulf nation to boost production, still faces obstacles, according to Morgan Stanley. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, narrowed the discount on its main Arab Light grade for next month’s sales to Asia. Oil has advanced the past three weeks amid speculation that Iran won’t be able to boost its crude exports immediately and add to a global supply glut that drove oil almost 50% lower in 2014.

Oil & Gas

Here’s the next biggest challenge to global crude oil prices


The next big threat to oil prices isn’t from OPEC or Bakken shale. It’s Russian samovars, or teapots. Simple refineries that process crude into fuel oil are scaling back, because when oil prices slump, the government reduces the discount that these refiners -- known as teapots to those in the industry -- get for exporting fuel. They use less crude, freeing it up for sale abroad, which in turn adds to the global glut. Russia may increase oil exports by as much as 250,000 barrels a day this year, according to James Henderson, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies who’s followed the country’s energy industry for more than 20 years. That would equate to 5% growth in shipments, the most in at least a decade. “The pain Russia is feeling from low oil prices has made more crude available for export,” Henderson said by phone March 18. “Quite a few of Russia’s simple refineries could reduce their runs.”

Oil & Gas

No change of heart by Opec, Doha delegates told

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) won’t change policy at its next meeting unless other producers cut first, according to a former Qatar energy minister. Producers' cartel Opec is scheduled to next meet in Vienna in June, seven months after deciding to maintain output levels and protect market share.

Oil & Gas

Oil market balance expected later this year

The global crude-oil market will return to balance in the second half of this year from an oversupply of 2million barrels a day that has caused prices to plummet, Opec Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri has said. Speaking at a conference in Manama, Bahrain, Mr El-Badri said demand in 2014 was weaker than expected “at just below 1million barrels a day” and will rise by 1.2million barrels a day this year.

Oil & Gas

Oil drops as gain in Saudi Arabian output boosts OPEC production


Oil fell after the first monthly gain since June as Saudi Arabia stepped up production, lifting OPEC’s output beyond its collective quota for a ninth month. Futures decreased as much as 1.4% in New York. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.6 million barrels a day in February, according to a survey. Oil sank almost 50% in 2014 as Saudi Arabia led the group’s decision in November to maintain its output target at 30 million a day, exacerbating a global glut. West Texas Intermediate’s discount to European prices settled at the widest in more than a year on Feb. 27 as US crude stockpiles expanded to the highest level in weekly data that started August 1982. The oversupply has driven US drillers to cut the number of rigs in service for a 12th week to the fewest since June 2011, Baker Hughes Inc. data showed.


Opinion: Investing in future talent


We've all read plenty of stories predicting the future of the oil industry, with endless questions like: What will the oil price be in six months? Will we receive a tax cut as an industry in the imminent budget announcement? When Will OPEC reduce production to reduce the surplus supply of oil and gas? So it may seem strange timing to talk about recruitment and investing in the future with universal cuts - but this is key to securing the industry for generations to come. The most frustrating factor of these unanswered questions is that we have very little control over the outcomes. For many, it is a tough and trying time as leaders have very little choice but to say farewell to long-serving staff in order to reduce their cost base. Having witnessed a dip in the industry before, one thing that always astounds me is how the cycles of recession and talent wars continue.

Market info

Citi: Oil could plunge to $20, and this might be ‘the end of OPEC’


The recent surge in oil prices is just a "head-fake," and oil as cheap as $20 a barrel may soon be on the way, Citigroup said in a report on Monday as it lowered its forecast for crude. Despite global declines in spending that have driven up oil prices in recent weeks, oil production in the US is still rising, wrote Edward Morse, Citigroup's global head of commodity research. Brazil and Russia are pumping oil at record levels, and Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have been fighting to maintain their market share by cutting prices to Asia. The market is oversupplied, and storage tanks are topping out.

Oil & Gas

Oil holds gains as US drillers cut rigs amid global glut


Oil held gains after the biggest weekly advance in almost four years as signs of a drilling slowdown in the US bolstered speculation that companies are cutting back crude production amid a global glut. Futures were little changed in New York after rising 7.2% last week. Drillers reduced the number of rigs in service by 83 to 1,140, the lowest level since December 2011, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. Oil workers at two BP Plc plants in the Midwest joined the biggest strike at refineries across the nation since 1980 as negotiations on a new labor contract stalled. Oil slid almost 50% last year as US producers pumped crude at the fastest pace in more than three decades. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also resisted calls to cut supply, signaling it would fight to maintain market share. Venezuela wants OPEC to discuss steps to halt price fluctuations, according to Oil Minister Asdrubal Chavez.

Oil & Gas

Oil trades near six-year low as OPEC fails to turn focus from glut


Oil extended losses to trade near an almost six-year low as OPEC’s warning that prices may surge without new investment in production failed to shift the market’s focus from more immediate signs of a global supply glut. Futures fell as much as 0.6% in New York. A spike to $200 a barrel is possible without spending for the long term, according to OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri. US crude inventories probably rose to 402.1 million barrels last week, the most in records dating back to August 1982, a survey shows before a government report on Wednesday.

Oil & Gas

Oil slides to near six-year low; Saudi Arabia holds firm despite supply glut


Oil fell to the lowest level in almost six years as signs that Saudi Arabia’s new king will maintain its production policy and rising US crude stockpiles bolstered speculation that a global glut will persist. Futures dropped as much as 2.7% in New York, extending a 6.4% slide last week. King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, who took over after the death of King Abdullah on January 23, pledged to maintain the policies of his predecessor in a speech on Saudi national television. US inventories climbed to 383.5 million barrels last month, the highest level for December since 1930, the American Petroleum Institute reported.

Oil & Gas

Oil falls to lowest since ’09 as saudis signal continuity


Oil fell to the lowest in almost six years on speculation the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia won’t signal any change in strategy for the world’s largest crude exporter. US benchmark oil futures slid 1.6%t, reversing an initial gain of as much as 3.1%. Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who succeeds Abdullah on the throne, said he would maintain his predecessor’s policies.

Oil & Gas

Oil prices probably won’t keep gains made after death of Saudi king


The increase in oil prices after the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah will probably be temporary amid an oversupply in the crude market. Brent, the global oil benchmark, climbed as much as 2.6% on Friday while US marker West Texas Intermediate jumped 3.1% after the king’s death was announced by the Saudi royal court. The new King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Abdullah’s half-brother, said he will maintain the policies of his predecessor in a speech on Saudi national television. Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi will remain in his post, a royal decree announced.

Oil & Gas

OPEC’s El-Badri says oil will rebound instead of fall to $20


Oil prices will rebound rather than extend their decline to as low as $20 a barrel because a collapse since June isn’t merited by global supply and demand, OPEC’s Secretary-General said. Producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should be first to reduce their output amid a surplus that’s pushed crude below $50 a barrel, Abdalla El-Badri said in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday. Iraq, OPEC’s fastest-growing supplier, said it needs to boost output to compensate for revenues eroded by the price slump.

Oil & Gas

Eni boss warns oil price could jump to $200


Italian oil firm Eni has warned oil could jump to as much as $200 per barrel if the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fail to cut production. The company said the oil price slide is leading to under investment within the oil industry. Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s chief executive, said mismanagement may lead to longer-term shortages and cause prices to soar several years’ time.