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More shale, who cares? Saudi Arabia pushes for at least $70 oil

Budget needs are forcing Saudi Arabia to push for oil prices of at least $70 per barrel this year, industry sources say, even though U.S. shale oil producers could benefit and Riyadh’s share of global crude markets might be further eroded. Riyadh, OPEC’s de facto leader, said it was steeply cutting exports to its main customers in March and April despite refiners asking for more of its oil. The move defies U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands for OPEC to help reduce prices while he toughens sanctions on oil producers Iran ...

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Price of oil at $60-70 per barrel suits both producers and buyers — Lukoil

The OPEC + Agreement has made it possible to balance the world oil market and set a price for a resource that suits both the producer and the buyer, said Lukoil’s first executive vice president, Ravil Maganov. “I think that OPEC + is good. It has allowed to balance the market. Today’s price of $60-70 per barrel suits both the manufacturer and the buyer. And it rids the speculators from unnecessary trouble, because they win on the rise, hedging in advance, and win on the fall of prices,” he said. ...

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Oil & Gas UK Business Outlook 2019

Oil & Gas UK published its annual Business Outlook review and presented its findings in both London and Aberdeen on 20 March. Westwood’s Technical Manager, Alyson Harding, comments. One of the key messages was that £200 billion needs to be spent to achieve “Vision 2035” of at least 1 million boepd production in 2035 and a cumulative of 8.4 billion boe produced between 2019 – 2035. Of this, £20 – £30 billion would need to be spent on unlocking the 2.5 billion boe contingent resources where development options are being ...

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Is “Energy Independence” a Worthy Goal?

Say “energy independence” to most people, and they will agree that it is a worthy and laudable policy goal. The right wants to wean us off of foreign oil. The left wants to wean us off of oil, period. Both seem to think it’s a bad thing that we buy oil or other fuels from foreign countries. I’m not convinced. Energy is important to any economy, but I don’t think “energy independence” is any more important or worthy a goal than “food independence” or t-shirt independence. It indulges the “imports ...

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Planned U.S. oil storage boom faces new scrutiny after tank-farm fire

A three-day petrochemical fire that spread a cancer-causing chemical and thick smoke over Houston suburbs this week has spurred calls for tougher safety regulations that could affect a nearly dozen crude-export terminals proposed for the U.S. Gulf Coast. Federal, state and local officials have begun investigating whether Mitsui & Co’s Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) met safety and environmental regulations after the fire in Deer Park, Texas, spread quickly among rows of giant tanks that hold up to 3.3 million gallons of fuel each. The blaze released toxic benzene which led ...

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Oil price rising as glut evaporating

Crude oil prices are on the rise. Last week WTI topped $60 a barrel for the first time since Nov 9, 2018 and Brent hit a four-month high at $68.69 on Thursday. The determination of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies, Russia included, to continue with their experiment of cutting output to get rid of the glut in the market seems working. Fresh evidence of the success of Opec’s strategy arrived last Wednesday when the US Energy Information Administration posted a large and unexpected drop in ...

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Oman oil minister excited to be part of Sri Lanka oil refinery project

Oman’s oil minister said on Sunday he was excited to be part of a Sri Lanka oil refinery project in a sign that plans for the sultanate’s involvement may be back on track. Sri Lanka said last week that Oman Oil Co had made clear it was interested in taking a 30 percent stake in the new refinery on Sri Lanka’s south coast. But an Omani official denied the Middle Eastern country had agreed to invest in the project. Rumhy joined Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the laying ...

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China’s majors fill up on gas at the right time

China’s oil majors are filling up at the right time. PetroChina’s losses on gas imports swelled last year, thanks to low rates at home. Yet the $200 billion behemoth and rivals are preparing to buy more liquefied natural gas from the United States anyway. It’s a good way to help defuse trade tension, of course. More importantly, the purchases can lock in supply before an expected shortfall. PetroChina said on Thursday that it took a 24.9 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) hit on its gas imports last year, 960 million yuan ...

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China’s Sinopec lifts upstream capex to four-year high, plans record crude runs

Asia’s top refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) boosted spending on exploration and production by 41 percent last year as crude oil reserves tumbled at its biggest oilfield. Sinopec’s upstream capital expenditure rose to 59.6 billion yuan ($8.9 billion), its highest since 2014, as the company prepares to ramp up exploration at the Shengli oilfield and shale gas blocks in the southwestern Sichuan province. The jump in spending was partially in response to Beijing’s call for energy security, while untapped proven crude reserve from Shengli fell to 16 million ...

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TTF trades at premium to Asian gas for first time since 2015

Asian gas customers are paying less than their European counterparts for the first time in years as swelling global LNG supplies pressured the region’s main index below Europe’s benchmark hub price this week. Deliveries of liquified natural gas on the Japan/Korea Marker last settled at USD 4.73/MMbtu (EUR 14.20/MWh), less than half where they stood in October and some of their lowest levels in nearly three years. By comparison, the relevant May contract on the Dutch TTF gas hub last closed at EUR 14.65/MWh. Though trading at its lowest level ...

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Alberta sees OPEC pricing go from too cheap to too pricey

Trying to fix the crude market has been hard enough for OPEC. Alberta’s go at it is proving a bigger challenge than the oil-rich Canadian province anticipated. Since mandatory production cuts were announced in December, local heavy crude has gone from too cheap to too expensive. While pipelines remain as full as ever, the extra cost of shipping the oil by train to the U.S. means it’s not competitive with American and Mexican crudes. On Monday, Alberta dialed back the cuts for the third time since they were implemented in ...

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Refinery news roundup: Works, upgrades in focus in Europe as strikes loom

Refinery maintenance works remain the focus in Europe, although attention has shifted to upgrades in preparations for the upcoming lower global marine fuel sulfur cap, and industrial action also threatens refinery operations. Under global IMO regulations, it will be mandatory to cut sulfur emissions from marine fuels used in international waters to 0.5% from next year, down from the current 3.5%. Industrial action is increasingly in the spotlight in the refining sector. The Unite union in the UK will ballot its members at the Essar Stanlow refinery for possible industrial ...

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Oil Traders Are Now Watching Workers’ Phones to Spot Problems at Refineries

In the $40 trillion global oil-trading market, the smallest clue can be worth millions. Take the number of people working at a refinery: Outside contractors are brought in for routine maintenance or to handle accidents that could limit demand for crude oil or curb the supply of fuels. While oil companies rarely reveal such sensitive information, traders can gain insight into refinery operations by tracking the number of mobile phones at the plant, a proxy for the arrival of support crews. It’s the latest example of how traders, rival companies ...

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U.S. natural gas plant liquid production continues to hit record highs

Since 2012, when horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques became more common, U.S. production of natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) has significantly increased, averaging 4.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018, up from 2.5 million b/d in 2012. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. NGPL production is concentrated within six producing regions. The Permian, Eagle Ford, and Appalachian regions made up more than half of all U.S. NGPL production in 2017. An additional one-quarter of NGPL production was located in three other regions—the Anadarko Basin in western Oklahoma and Texas; the ...

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Battle Of The Giants In Shale Heartland

Chevron and ExxonMobil plan to significantly ramp up production in the US shale heartland as the oil behemoths are seeking to go from shale to scale in the Permian. An in-depth report by Rystad Energy’s shale team examines which operator holds the best potential in the prolific basin spanning parts of Texas and New Mexico. Here are five takeaways: Drilling activity ExxonMobil will have to drill about twice as many new wells as Chevron to reach the communicated production goal. The explanation relates in part to the difference in base ...

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