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Largest Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale In History Attracts Lukewarm Interest
by Zainab Calcuttawala
21 Mar 2018 at 8:00pm
The Interior Department?s U.S. Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 250 attracted $139 million in bids concentrated in deepwater offshore Louisiana and others areas near the Mexican border, according to a report by S&P Global Platts. While this sale was the largest for the body of water in history, the new round of lease sales bested the previous edition by $4 million, which is a relatively small difference overall. Still, bidding in the Mississippi Canyon area was active, with a string of multimillion-dollar bids being topped by a $7 million offer?

5 Top Picks As The Lithium Race Heats Up
by Charles Kennedy
21 Mar 2018 at 4:30pm
The twentieth century was the age of oil. Could the twenty-first be the age of lithium? It?s definitely starting to look that way. The lithium market is one of the fastest-growing commodity markets in the world. The market for batteries is set to grow to $120 billion over the next two years, fueled by the massive new demand for electric vehicles (EV) and battery-powered tech. The boom in renewable energy sources, which need lithium-batteries to compete at cost with fossil-fuels, should only add fuel to the fire. Tesla, the industry leader?

Oil Traders, Supermajors Diverge On Demand Forecasts
by Irina Slav
21 Mar 2018 at 4:00pm
The world?s oil supermajors and largest oil trading companies are not in agreement on the future trends in oil demand, a recent event has revealed. This, although normal, should serve as a signal to everyone watching the oil industry that any forecasts on supply and demand, regardless how bullish or bearish they are, need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Or two. It wasn?t always this way. Once, oil demand was something certain to grow consistently, as there were no alternatives to fossil fuels. Now there are a growing number of these?

North Sea Oil Has Escaped Its Death Spiral
by Nick Cunningham
21 Mar 2018 at 4:00pm
The oil industry is expected to increase spending in the North Sea and the number of projects that could receive a greenlight is set to rise this year for the first time in half a decade. An estimated 12 to 16 green-and brown-field projects are expected to be sanctioned in 2018, according to a report from Oil & Gas UK. To put that in context, only 17 projects moved forward between 2014 and 2017, combined. That would translate into additional spending of about 5 billion pounds and the production of 450 million barrels of oil equivalent over?

Federal Judge To Turn Courtroom In Climate Science Classroom
by Zainab Calcuttawala
21 Mar 2018 at 4:00pm
U.S. District Judge William Alsup is inviting oil and gas companies and climate scientists to present the best available knowledge on climate change in his courtroom, according to a new report by the New York Post. Lawyers from two California cities and five major oil and gas firms are on the hook to overview the history of climate change research and discuss the Earth?s cooling and warming cycles. Alsup may be seeking a formal introduction of the fossil fuel companies? view on climate change for court records, Michael Wara, a lawyer?

Is Guyana Prepared For An Oil Boom?
by Viktor Katona
21 Mar 2018 at 3:00pm
Guyana?s story shares many similarities with the story of the ugly duckling. One of the poorest countries in South America, it has historically been entirely dependent on oil imports. In the past three years though, Guyana has sprung up as one of the hottest oil spots in the region, with ExxonMobil alone accounting for seven hydrocarbon discoveries in one single exploration block, Stabroek. However, the pace of discoveries will only highlight the deficiencies of the Guyana?s political system, and there remains a serious risk that these?

Iran Moves Closer To Achieving Gasoline Independence
by Tsvetana Paraskova
21 Mar 2018 at 2:30pm
Iran has drastically cut its gasoline imports in recent weeks as it started the second phase of an oil refinery, moving closer to reaching gasoline independence, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing trading sources. Iran?OPEC?s third-largest oil producer?has been reliant on gasoline imports for years because of lack of refining capacity and the Western sanctions that had limited the choices for funding and spare parts for refinery maintenance. Now Iran has started the second phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in Bandar Abbas,?

The World?s Largest Oil Traders Are Shifting Strategy
by Tsvetana Paraskova
21 Mar 2018 at 2:00pm
The world?s largest independent oil trader, Vitol, is looking to secure long-term deals with some of the biggest oil-producing countries in the Middle East, in what has become a challenging wider oil-trading market. Vitol is in discussions to seal either joint venture, or long-term offtake and supply agreements with Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Kuwait, Ian Taylor, who stepped down as CEO last week to become chairman at the oil trading group, told Bloomberg in an interview on the sidelines of the FT Global Commodities Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland.?

Gazprom?s Power Of Siberia Gas Link To China 75.5% Complete
by Tsvetana Paraskova
21 Mar 2018 at 1:00pm
The Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline from Russia to China is 75.5 percent complete, Russia?s gas giant Gazprom said on Wednesday, updating the market on the project that is planned to send pipeline gas to the fast-growing Chinese market. As present, 1,629 kilometers (1,012 miles) of the pipeline are built, or 75.5 percent is complete, Gazprom said, adding that Russia would start supplying China?s CNPC with natural gas as planned, on December 20, 2019. Gazprom has a 30-year contract with CNPC for the supply of an annual 1.3 trillion?

Did Venezuela Just Lose A Key Ally?
by Nick Cunningham
21 Mar 2018 at 1:00pm
Venezuela?s debt crisis is only expected to grow worse this year, and the government could be without one of its most important benefactors, raising the odds of yet another default. China has sent around $50 billion to Venezuela over the years, loans that were repaid in oil shipments. China needed oil and Venezuela needed cash, and the relationship worked for a period of time. But as Venezuela?s economic situation took a turn for the worse, China slowly backed away. Or, more accurately, China allowed Venezuela more lenient repayment?

Kuwait Seeks Foreign Investments To Diversify Away From Oil
by Tsvetana Paraskova
21 Mar 2018 at 1:00pm
OPEC member Kuwait is looking to attract increasing amounts of foreign direct investment as it plans to diversify its oil-dependent economy and regain the status of a business hub in the Middle Eastern region, top Kuwaiti officials said this week. ?The problem is that the oil price has been low and it?s been [impacting] on investment - this has encouraged us to get income from more products other than oil,? Kuwait?s Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, said, as quoted by The National. Foreign direct?

Scientists Are One Step Closer To Nuclear Fusion
by Brian Westenhaus
21 Mar 2018 at 12:00pm
Colorado State University scientists, using a compact but powerful laser to heat arrays of ordered nanowires, have demonstrated micro-scale nuclear fusion in the lab. They have achieved record-setting efficiency for the generation of neutrons ? chargeless sub-atomic particles resulting from the fusion process. This process, which powers the sun, happens when nuclear reactions between light elements produce heavier ones. The work of these scientists is detailed in an open paper published in Nature Communications, and is led by Jorge Rocca,?

BP On Schedule To Drill First Deepwater Mexican Well By 2020
by Irina Slav
21 Mar 2018 at 11:00am
BP will begin drilling for oil in a Mexican deepwater offshore block in two years, after its drilling plan was approved by Mexico?s oil and gas regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH). BP operates the block in partnership with Statoil and Total, after the consortium won the rights to develop it in 2016. The block is located in the Salina Basin in the Gulf of Mexico and its development would involve an investment of almost US$200 million, tapping some 75 million barrels of oil equivalent. Mexico has been eagerly seeking foreign?

Egypt: The Next Natural Gas Hotspot
by Nick Cunningham
21 Mar 2018 at 10:30am
The Eastern Mediterranean is becoming a major source of natural gas production, and Egypt is at the center of this emerging gas hub. In February, Noble Energy and its partners reached an agreement with the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings to sell gas from offshore Israel to Egypt, a deal that could jumpstart a much wider campaign to develop natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. The deal is politically risky for Egypt, where dealings with Israel have historically been taboo. Nevertheless, after years of halting progress, the agreement is?

Saudi Crown Prince: Oil Markets Are Close To Regaining Stability
by Irina Slav
21 Mar 2018 at 9:30am
The global oil market is close to regaining stability, Saudi Arabia?s Crown Prince Mohammed said at a meeting with President Trump at the White House ahead of bilateral talks on a number of issues. The Crown Prince added that Saudi Arabia had reserves equal to 84 years worth of supplies. Mohammed is on a two-week visit in the United States and oil is naturally high on his agenda, what with the Aramco IPO coming next year. With regard to this, there will hardly be any major news coming during the prince?s visit: last week Bloomberg?s?

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