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RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-03-2017

Oil slid for a third day as record-high U.S. crude stockpiles were seen jeopardizing OPEC’s efforts to drain a global surplus. Futures declined 1.2% in New York. While Saudi Arabia’s February crude shipments fell again, indicating OPEC’s top producer is cutting deeper than it pledged, U.S. stockpiles expanded by 1.5 MMbbl last week. Still, Citigroup said the increase in American inventories was “muted” compared with earlier gains and may peak as refineries restart after maintenance.

Oil prices decline as U.S. stockpiles set record

Iraq’s crude exports rose 1% by volume in February, contrasting with a decrease in monthly shipments by Saudi Arabia after both countries agreed to OPEC’s plan to cut oil production in an effort to prop up prices and trim a global oversupply. Exports increased to 3.85 MMbpd last month, about 39,000 bpd more than in January, according to port-agent reports and ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

Iraq's February oil exports rose despite OPEC output cuts

Saudi Arabia continued to lead OPEC’s efforts to cut production, helping the organization get closer to a goal set out in a historic accord last year. Riyadh lowered oil supply by 90,000 bbl to 9.78 MMbpd in February from a month earlier, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. It was the second month in a row that the world’s biggest crude exporter pumped below its own target of 10.06 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia still bears brunt of oil cuts as OPEC output drops

Energy, the second worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year, could see further pain. Chevron, one of the top-weighted holdings in a popular energy ETF (the XLE) fell nearly 2 percent on Monday after posting disappointing quarterly earnings Friday, and Exxon Mobil and Schlumberger closed down about 1 percent each. Crude oil, which has generally moved in tandem with energy names for the last year, has fallen 2 percent in 2017.

The energy sector is nearing a 'critical' level. Here's why.

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-06-2017

When the who’s who of the oil industry met a year ago in Houston, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister had harsh words for U.S. shale drillers struggling with the worst price crash in a generation. "Lower costs, borrow cash or liquidate," said Ali Naimi, who managed the world’s largest oil-exporting business for more than two decades. In the year since, the drillers have largely taken Naimi’s advice. While more than 100 have gone bankrupt since the start of 2015, the companies that survived have reshaped themselves into fitter, leaner and faster versions that can thrive with oil at $50/bbl. Now, it’s OPEC that’s seeking solutions, desperate to drive prices up even further in a push to repair the economies of the countries it serves.

Leaner, fitter, faster: U.S. shale challenges OPEC again

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations. The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators, including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information, are no longer required to respond.

EPA withdraws information request for the oil and gas industry

Libya’s biggest oil port was seized by an armed group, dealing a blow to the North African country as it seeks to revive production of its most important commodity. Brent crude futures climbed. Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia that’s not allied to the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, took control of the Es Sider terminal on Friday afternoon, according to people with knowledge of matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. The facility had previously been under the control of eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar.

Libya's largest oil port seized in blow to production surge

Europe’s appetite for natural gas is leading to a growth “renaissance” as its stores of the fuel languish at the lowest levels since 2013, according to Gazprom PJSC. Europe’s appetite for natural gas will probably meet or even exceed last year’s growth as the region needs to replenish its lowest gas storage levels since 2013, according to Gazprom PJSC.

Gazprom says Europe's appetite for gas keeps getting bigger

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-08-2017

Oil majors have long been passive watchers of the pump war between OPEC and U.S. shale producers, but not any more. Majors were unable to grow output for the past decade even as oil prices soared above $100 per barrel due bad capital discipline and huge project delays. The oil price slump since 2014 has prompted the world's biggest oil firms to drastically cut costs but also to force contractors to make projects more efficient and extract the same amount of barrels for fewer dollars. As a result, most majors are now planning exceptionally strong production growth until at least 2021, a Reuters analysis of the latest investor presentation and corporate plans showed.

Oil majors reverse decade of stalled growth to beat supply crunch fears | Reuters

Argentina's state-run oil company YPF has cut horizontal drilling costs by more than half and slashed the time required to complete new wells, the chairman said on Monday at the CERAWeek energy conference. The company cut the cost of horizontal drilling to around $8 million from $17 million a well, while the time required to complete a new well has been shaved to 15 days from 40 days, Miguel Gutierrez told the gathering in Houston. Those efficiencies have pushed break-even prices to below $40 per barrel, a significant gain for Argentina, which has struggled to attract capital since crude prices started to decline in 2014.

Argentina slashes drilling costs, sees more efficiencies | Reuters

The rising cost of fracking sand shows how drillers of oil and gas are facing rising costs and capacity constraints

The Cheap Resource That Worries Oil Shale Drillers - WSJ

Analysts forecast that crude will remain stuck in its current tight-trading range in the mid-$50s a barrel until at least the spring, as the market continues to be pulled in opposite directions by OPEC output cuts and rising U.S. shale production.

Oil Seen Stuck in Mid-$50s Range - WSJ

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-09-2017

By 2035, the U.S. may have surpassed Australia and Qatar to become the world’s biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas, according to the chief executive officers of Canadian energy giant Enbridge Inc. and LNG exporter Tellurian Inc. The U.S. already has about 70 million tons a year of LNG capacity coming online, Meg Gentle, Tellurian’s CEO, said in an interview at the CERAWeek by IHS Markit energy conference in Houston Wednesday. That compares with Australia’s 87 million and Qatar’s 82 million tons, respectively, she said.

America May Be the World's Biggest LNG Supplier in Two Decades - Bloomberg

Five years ago, the thought of $55/bbl oil would have given Piotr Galitzine heartburn. Now it’s keeping one of his steel-pipe shops in Houston open 24/7 and fueling a flurry of orders. It’s stoking business for National Oilwell Varco Inc. too, with the oilfield equipment giant selling more land-based than offshore gear for the first time in better than a decade. And it’s got Perry Taylor on the hunt for truckers to haul frac sand. Even at $80,000 a year, jobs are hard to fill. “It’s tough,” said the CEO of Agility Energy Inc. “We’ve got commitments that are very difficult to keep right now, because we can’t get the drivers.”

Oil price stability in mid-$50s restoring confidence in shale country

For the last two years, they’ve been locked in a battle for supremacy of the oil market. But for a couple of hours in Houston over dinner on Sunday, the head of OPEC and leaders of some of America’s top shale producers shared a table for a rare off-the-record chat about the future of oil. Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general of the OPEC, dined with 20 or so U.S. shale executives including Scott Sheffield of Pioneer Natural Resources, John Hess of Hess Corp., Robert Lawler of Chesapeake Energy and Tim Leach of Concho Resources, according to people who attended the event and asked not to be named because it was private.

OPEC meets with U.S. shale producers in rare show of detente

Iran’s crude-oil exports touched 3 MMbpd for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. That level, lasting just one day, was reached in the current Iranian month that began Feb. 19, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, according to state news agency IRNA.

Iran's crude oil exports increase to level last seen in 1970s

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-10-2017

Jim Cramer congratulated oil speculators for getting the oil market dead wrong. Again. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitment of traders report, large speculators, meaning money managers, were holding a net long position of 525,000 futures contracts just before oil dropped. They were betting on a huge spike in the price of crude. Carley Garner is a commodities expert and co-founder of DeCarley Trading, and said the position far exceeds the net-long position that speculators had prior to the massive oil decline in 2014. Garner said the odds favor a decline in the multi-year trend line of $47.50, but could potentially touch $44.30.

Cramer Remix: What’s driving oil’s massive liquidation

Senior Saudi energy officials told top independent U.S. oil firms in a closed-door meeting this week that they should not assume OPECwould extend output curbs to offset rising production from U.S. shale fields, two industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. Oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and top non-OPEC exporter Russiaare in an uneasy truce with U.S. shale firms after a two-year price war that sent many shale producers to the wall. The Saudis and Russia led a deal to curb output in late 2016 to end a global supply glut that pushed oil prices to a 12-year low.

Saudis to US oil firms: Don’t expect OPEC cuts to offset rising shale output

The inventory rise stoked concern that the glut could persist because shale supply, along with more output from Brazil and Canada, could offset output cuts by OPEC and some non-OPEC suppliers. The U.S. government expects U.S. oil output to rise 330,000 bpd in 2017, mostly from shale, but some analysts and producers are forecasting the increase could be more than double that amount.

Saudis to US oil firms: Don’t expect OPEC cuts to offset rising shale output

U.S. oil drillers can add millions of barrels per day to the global market, so long as they do so gradually, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Tuesday. The market can absorb another 3 million to 5 million barrels a day of production from the United States "over a number of years," according to Falih, who is also chairman of Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco. That increase would offset declining output in places like Mexico and the North Sea, he added.

US can grow oil output by 5 million barrels a day: Saudi oil minister

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-11-2017

A pioneer of the U.S. shale revolution wants to take fracing to America’s final frontier. Success could help revive Alaska’s flagging oil fortunes. Paul Basinski, the geologist who helped discover the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, is part of a fledgling effort on Alaska’s North Slope to emulate the shale boom that reinvigorated production in the rest of the U.S. His venture, Project Icewine, has gained rights to 700,000 acres inside the Arctic Circle and says they could hold 3.6 Bbbl of oil, rivaling the legendary Eagle Ford.

A father of fracing sees Alaska's North Slope emulating Eagle Ford

Marathon Oil Corporation announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell its Canadian subsidiary, which includes the Company's 20% non-operated interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), to Shell and Canadian Natural Resources Limited for $2.5 billion in cash, excluding closing adjustments. Marathon Oil also announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire approximately 70,000 net surface acres in the Permian basin from BC Operating, Inc. and other entities for $1.1 billion in cash, excluding closing adjustments. The acquisition includes 51,500 acres in the Northern Delaware basin of New Mexico, and current production of approximately 5,000 net boed.

Marathon announces multi-billion-dollar oil sands divestiture, Permian acquisition

Oil dropped below $50 in New York for the first time since December as concerns that OPEC’s output cuts are failing to rein in record U.S. stockpiles triggered the biggest slump in more than a year. West Texas Intermediate fell as much as 3% after losing 5.7% the previous three sessions. Crude supplies rose 8.2 million to the highest level in weekly government data since 1982. Harold Hamm, the U.S. shale oil billionaire, warned on Wednesday that the industry could “kill” the market if it embarks on another spending binge. The market swoon stoked the second-highest WTI options trading volume ever and sent volatility surging.

U.S. stockpiles drive oil below $50 for first time this year

Harold Hamm, the billionaire shale oilman, said the U.S. industry could "kill" the oil market if it embarks into another spending binge, a rare warning in a business focused on fast growth to compete with OPEC.  The statement, at an energy conference in Houston on Wednesday, comes as top shale companies announce large increases in spending for this year, and the U.S. government says domestic oil output next year will surpass the record high set in 1970. OPEC ministers have said they are keeping a close watch on shale production to decide in late May whether to extend their oil-supply cuts into the second half of the year.

Industry spending binge may 'kill' oil market, shale billionaire Hamm warns

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-13-2017

Oil prices will tumble to $40/bbl if OPEC doesn’t extend its pact later this year to cut output, according to one of the most prominent producers in the shale patch. U.S. shale drillers are keeping an eye on the second half of the year to see if OPEC and non-OPEC members extend their agreement, which lasts through June, to reduce production by 1.8 MMbpd, Scott Sheffield, chairman of Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co., said Tuesday in an interview at the CERAWeek industry conference held by IHS Markit in Houston.

Oil to hit $40 if OPEC fails to expand cuts, Pioneer says

Only several months into the agreement between OPEC and 11 non-OPEC countries to cut production by 1.8 MMbopd, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo has urged other producers to join in the effort. “We should not close this broad platform,” said Barkindo during remarks at the 2017 CERAWeek conference on Tuesday, in Houston. “Others are welcome to join, because in our view, for the first time, we are turning a historic page in oil, that if solidified, has a potential to maintain stability, not only for the short term, but the medium-to-long term.”

CERAWeek ’17: OPEC asks others to join production cuts, IEA lobbies for investment

China’s imports surged in February from a year earlier with the nation posting a rare trade deficit as exports slipped. Analysts said seasonal factors mostly explain the swings. Imports soared 38.1% in U.S. dollar terms, almost double economist projections Exports dropped 1.3% versus estimated 14% increase in Bloomberg survey Trade deficit was $9.15 billion, the first negative reading in three years. That compared with projections for a $27-billion surplus.

Chinese imports surged in February as domestic demand heats up

A cargo of chilled natural gas hauled from Louisiana in late December has become a symbol of how global trade is changing for a fuel increasingly seen as a cheap, cleaner-burning option for countries from Latin America to China and India. The tanker Maran Gas Achilles passed through the Panama Canal and was headed toward Asia at a speed of 20 knots when, suddenly, it made a sharp U-turn in the Pacific. Next stop: Mexico’s Manzanillo terminal on the southwest coast, where it unloaded.

U.S. shale seen changing global gas trade

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-14-2017

Oil prices are down nearly 10% over the past month, leading some to wonder if we're set for a resumption of the plunge seen between 2014 and early 2016. Executives at oil companies, however, are optimistic. A new note from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dives into fourth quarter earnings calls to get a sense of how these CEOs were dealing with the downturn that has been dragging on for nearly three years. The team of strategists, led by Peter Hackworth, came away with good news for oil bulls.

Oil executives confident that energy future is bright

Baker Hughes recently announced the average U.S. rig count for February 2017 was 744, up 61 from the 683 counted in January 2017, and up 212 from the 532 counted in February 2016. The average Canadian rig count for February 2017 was 342, up 40 from the 302 counted in January 2017, and up 131 from the 211 counted in February 2016.

U.S. rig count grows by 212 from February 2016

Oil steadied below $49 a barrel as U.S. drillers continued to boost activity, countering OPEC’s efforts to drain a global glut. Futures were little changed in New York after falling 9.1% last week, the biggest weekly loss since November. Rigs targeting crude in the U.S. rose to the most since September 2015, according to Baker Hughes. In Libya, crude production dropped 11% as clashes among rival armed groups led to the closure of some of the OPEC nation’s biggest oil-export terminals.

Oil steadies below $49 as U.S. drilling threatens longer glut

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will sell almost all of its production assets in Canada’s oil sands in a $7.25-billion deal that cuts debt and reduces involvement in one of the most environmentally damaging forms of fossil-fuel extraction. All of the company’s oil-sands interests apart from a 10% stake in the Athabasca mining project will be sold to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Shell said Thursday. The Hague-based company will continue as operator of the Scotford upgrader, which converts heavy oil to lighter liquids for easier transport, and the Quest carbon capture and storage project.

Shell cuts debt with $7.25-billion sale of Canada oil sands

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-15-2017

The Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil and natural gas production for seven key regions. EIA's approach does not distinguish between oil-directed rigs and gas-directed rigs because once a well is completed it may produce both oil and gas; more than half of the wells produce both. While shale resources and production are found in many U.S. regions, at this time EIA is focusing on the seven most prolific areas, which are located in the Lower 48 states. These seven regions accounted for 92% of domestic oil production growth and all domestic natural gas production growth during 2011-14.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

OPEC’s worst enemy isn’t U.S. shale drillers. It’s the hedges propping them up. American oil explorers who survived the worst of the 2014-2016 market rout are shrugging off the 14 percent slide in prices this year from a high of $55.24 to less than $48 a barrel Tuesday. The price would have to drop to the $30s or lower to dent the bottom line of many drillers now working U.S. shale fields, said Katherine Richard, the CEO of Warwick Energy Investment Group, which own stakes in more than 5,000 oil and natural gas wells.

Oil at $40 No Problem as U.S. Drillers Snub OPEC With Hedges - Bloomberg

The Global Macro Investor founder and former Goldman Sachs alum been here before. Like others, he’s been warning that oil is vulnerable to a change of heart from big money managers and hedge funds. They’ve been piling into the commodity for months, on a bet prices will keep moving higher, but may now jump out.

This is where the real risk for oil prices kicks in - MarketWatch

Oil’s fall from grace last week started with hedge funds, and it may only get worse from here. Investors cut bullish wagers on West Texas Intermediate crude to a one month-low, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data, a move that came just prior to a market dive that sent prices below $50 a barrel for the first time since December. "This report is just the beginning," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. "The volume and breadth of the decline this week show that there was massive liquidation. Next week’s report will be the blockbuster."

Oil Bulls Exit Before Market Dive on Swollen U.S. Stockpiles - Bloomberg

RE: OPEC, for some quiet moments.. - admin - 03-16-2017

Oil rebounded above $48/bbl amid a reported decline in U.S. crude stockpiles as the IEA said the market needs time to drain a global inventory glut. Futures advanced as much as 2.4% in New York after slumping almost 11% the previous seven sessions. U.S. inventories fell by 531,000 bbl last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report. Government data Wednesday is forecast to show stockpiles rose for a 10th week. Oil markets are still struggling to clear a surge in supply from OPEC at the end of last year, according to the IEA.

Oil gains on U.S. stockpile reduction

Saudi Arabia, seeking to breathe life into its decades-old alliance with the U.S., claimed “a historic turning point” in bilateral relations after President Donald Trump welcomed Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the White House. “Relations had undergone a period of difference of opinion,” a senior adviser to the crown prince said in a statement after Tuesday’s meeting. “However, today’s meeting has put things on the right track, and marked a significant shift in relations, across all political, military, security and economic fields.”

Trump wins Saudi prince praise for 'turning point' in ties

Total has started production from the Moho Nord deep offshore project, located 75 km offshore Pointe-Noire in the Republic of the Congo. The project has production capacity of 100,000 boed. “Moho Nord is the biggest oil development to date in the Republic of the Congo.  A showcase for Total’s deep offshore operational excellence, it consolidates our leading position in Africa.” stated Arnaud Breuillac, president, exploration & production at Total. “Moho Nord will contribute to the reinforcement of the cash flow of the Group and to its production growth.”

Total starts production on deepwater Congo field

A pioneer of the U.S. shale revolution wants to take fracing to America’s final frontier. Success could help revive Alaska’s flagging oil fortunes. Paul Basinski, the geologist who helped discover the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, is part of a fledgling effort on Alaska’s North Slope to emulate the shale boom that reinvigorated production in the rest of the U.S. His venture, Project Icewine, has gained rights to 700,000 acres inside the Arctic Circle and says they could hold 3.6 Bbbl of oil, rivaling the legendary Eagle Ford.

A father of fracing sees Alaska's North Slope emulating Eagle Ford