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Oil Prices

Weak Oil Threatens US Export of LNG

Plunging global oil prices may turn hopes for cheap liquefied natural gas supplies from the United States into a costly disappointment for Asian buyers who have already invested billions of dollars in long-term contracts. The 26 percent price slide since June to $85 a barrel exposes cracks in the assumption by utilities and industrial companies from Japan to India that cheap U.S. LNG would muscle into high-value Asian energy markets from 2016. Oil prices form the backbone of LNG trade to Asia, because exporters outside the United States typically tie 25-year supply deals to crude oil prices. If prices continue to fall, these suppliers from Qatar to Australia will regain their edge over upstart U.S. producers. "From the buyer's view, $80 oil makes oil-linked supplies less expensive ... it makes U.S. LNG relatively less attractive for buyers," said one industry source with a commercial focus on North American projects. When Asian buyers signed for U.S. supply deals, the discount to rival oil-linked LNG supply was around $1.90 per mmBtu, but now that could be as low as 90 cents, and an oil price of $80 a barrel effectively results in a dead heat. Asian buyers such as Korea Gas Corp., Tokyo Electric and India's Gail now face the potential for a glut of increasingly cheap oil-linked LNG. Projects Suffer


Offshore Recovery Stalled For Now

As crude oil prices reach Gulf War highs and recent memories of historic low crude prices fade, capital spending on finding and developing new oil reserves continue to play catch up. "The recent oil-price crisis set back non-OPEC output growth for at least a year," a recent report released by Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown states, adding, "While currently high oil prices should spur investment, the extensive 16-month price slide should delay any significant output response from non-OPEC producers


Oilfield Stocks Take A Hit As Crude Dips Below $30

Profit-taking hit oilfield service and drilling stocks on Monday as U.S. crude oil prices shed over a dollar to dip below $30 a barrel for the first time since February 28. On Monday afternoon, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange's oilfield service index was off 4.82 points or 4.6 percent at 100.03, while U.S. April crude oil futures were $1.23 lower at $29.68 a barrel. Halliburton Co., the world's biggest oilfield service provider, was off more than five percent at 36-3/8 while Schlumberger Ltd


Big Oil Profits Expected To Fly High

The near record oil prices have left U.S. oil majors as the envy of industry during the third quarter reporting period, according to many industry analysts. "This is clearly a sector that investors shouldn't worry about having disappointing earnings surprises," said one. "The question is not whether they will beat consensus estimates, but by how much they'll beat estimates," said another. Such expectations from analysts and investors come as crude oil prices in the third-quarter hit


EIA: Would More Crude Oil Help?

Yesterday (April 27), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council co-hosted a conference on “U.S.-Saudi Relations and Global Energy Security.” At this conference, as he has stated recently in other venues, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali al-Naimi, stated that, “There is no general shortage of crude oil in today's market -- supplies are readily available


Venezuela's Oil Falls to $42.44

Image for Venezuelas oil

  Venezuela's petroleum export basket dropped to $42.44 per barrel this week from $47.05 last week to reach a 5-1/2-year low, the Petroleum Ministry said on Friday. The South American OPEC member's basket, which includes crude oil and refined products, trades at a discount to other benchmarks because of its higher content of heavy oil. Venezuelan oil prices averaged $88.42 last year, down from $98.08 in 2013.


Oil Prices Slip

According to reports, oil prices fell by three per cent Monday, slipping below $59 a barrel as traders looked ahead to U.S. supply data due out Wednesday that is expected to show rising inventories of crude. Doubts about OPEC's ability to implement a 1.2 million barrels a day production cut also weighed on prices. Last week, oil prices surged after the U.S. Energy Department data showed a large decline in crude-oil inventories


Subsea Hardware Spending to Double to $124 Billion

Douglas-Westwood (DW) forecast subsea hardware spending is set to double to $124 billion during 2013-2017 compared to the preceding five-year period. The new third edition of Douglas-Westwood’s Subsea Hardware Market Forecast has launched analyses the market through to 2017, examining the key activity trends to provide detailed insight for major players and new entrants alike.   “The prospects for the subsea hardware sector look good, however


DP World: Low Bunker Prices to Fuel Economic Growth

Photo courtesy of DP World

Falling ship operating costs and low bunker prices will translate into higher profitability fueling economic growth, says Dubai-headquartered DP World.   As bunker fuel prices drop, so too could shipping costs. Dubai-headquartered DP World says falling oil prices are good news for global shipping.  It plans to double investments this year, local media reports.   The Chairman of  DP World Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has stated that the fall in oil price may stimulate


Oil Majors to Preserve Dividends Despite Oil Collapse

Oil well

  Europe's oil majors will strike a sober note in their fourth-quarter results and investors will focus on companies' plans to maintain cherished dividends and their strategies to cope with the oil prices collapse that caught many unawares. Having sold around $120 billion in assets in recent years to boost balance sheets and keep up dividend payouts, companies are expected to increase borrowing and further cut costs as they come to terms with oil prices that have more than halved


Semco Maritime Expands in Houston

Photo courtesy of Semco Maritime

Rig upgrade and repair specialist Semco Maritime opens new Houston office on January 23, offering services for rig customers in Canada, Gulf of Mexico and Brazil.   Project management and offshore engineering company Semco Maritime is now opening a new, larger office in Houston


Tanker Firms Eye US Listings as Market Rebounds

Photo courtesy of Euronav

Inspired by an upturn in shipping markets after one of the worst sector downturns on record, a batch of oil tanker companies are looking to raise capital through U.S. listings.   While crude prices have fallen more than 50 percent since June, tanker prospects have brightened


Maersk Chief Warns on Global Trade

Nils S. Andersen, Maersk Group CEO (Source: Maersk Line)

Nils Andersen,  chief executive  of AP Møller-Maersks, has warned that global trade will never return to scorching pre-crisis growth rates, in part because western companies are looking to manufacture more goods closer to home, says a report in the Financial Times.


BP Freezes Pay in 2015 to Cut Costs

BP is freezing base pay across the group this year, the latest in a series of steps by oil majors to cut costs in response to sinking oil prices.   Over the past year, oil majors have been selling assets to protect cash flows and shareholder dividends.  


BP, Conoco Cutting North Sea Jobs

Oil majors BP and ConocoPhillips will cut over 500 jobs in the North Sea following similar moves by rivals to reduce costs in one of the world's most expensive exploration areas as oil prices tumble. Although the cuts are relatively small for companies with dozens of thousands of employees


Ship Efficiency a Priority, Even with Low Crude Prices

Photo: Ecoships

Ship efficiency is just as relevant and important in a bearish oil market as when shipowners have to pay over $600 for a metric ton of heavy fuel oil, Newport Shipping avows.   Hakan Ozcan, the Chief Financial Officer of Ecoships, the technical ship management arm of Newport Shipping Group


Traders to Store W.African Crude in US Until Prices Recover

Traders are shipping West African crude to the United States to store the oil until prices recover, as the global glut forces them to source any tanks available and as seaborne cargoes are able to compete better on price with U.S. crude.  


Falling Oil Prices Help Boost Braemar Revenues

Image: Braemar Shipping

Braemar Shipping Services said its ship broking division saw an improvement in its performance during the last quarter. The merger in July with smaller rival ACM Shipping also came in as shot in the arm. A strong dollar and weak oil prices are good for business, too, and freight rates


U.S. Oil Traders Storing W.African Crude

Glencore, Suncor, ENI, Vitol all booking tankers; U.S. crude oil stocks at highest ever level for time of year. Traders are shipping West African crude to the United States to store the oil until prices recover, as the global glut forces them to source any tanks available and as seaborne


The Deepwater Sector's Perfect Storm

Photo: Petrobras

Impact of $50 oil and Petrobras implosion on contracting in the floating production sector     The drop in oil/gas prices and ongoing implosion in Petrobras have combined to create a perfect storm in the deepwater sector. More than 170 projects involving oil production floaters and 35


BP Asks for Lower Fine in Gulf Spill Trial

BP Plc, citing low oil prices, tried to whittle away at $13.7 billion in potential fines under the Clean Water Act on Tuesday as the penalty phase started in its trial over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.   BP said its fine should be modest as it took extensive steps to mitigate the


Oil Drop Won't Stop China in South China Sea

 South China Sea (Map by Council on Foreign Relations)

South China Sea spats are a territorial fight and not about the oil, points out a report appeared in Bloomberg. "When it comes to territorial tensions in the South China Sea, it’s more about what goes through it than what lies beneath it," says the report.


Bunker Throughput up in Rotterdam Port

The biggest containership of the world – bunkered in Rotterdam

Bunkering rose again for the first time since 2011 in Rotterdam, the biggest bunker port of Europe: 10.6 million tonnes compared to 10.4 in 2013. The whole of the increase is accounted for by marine gas oil and diesel; sales rose from 500,000 to almost 700,000 tonnes


Keppel Q4 Profit Up; 2014 Profit Beats Street

Keppel Corp's full-year profit up 2 pct at S$1.9 bln. Singapore's Keppel Corp Ltd said fourth-quarter net profit rose 6.1 percent to S$725.9 million ($544.8 million), while its full-year profit rose 2 percent and beat analysts' consensus.


Oil Majors Seek to Claw Back Costs from Service Firms

Global oil majors say they are demanding cheaper but better services from engineering and service companies, or simply taking work back in-house, after losing hundreds of billions on cost overruns in the last five years. Cost overruns and delays were the main reason why oil majors generated






 
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