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All the latest in Oil, Gas, Commodity news and analysis

China?s Teapots Don?t See Major Impact From Shandong Oil Product Rules
by Tsvetana Paraskova
18 Jan 2019 at 6:00pm
Chinese independent refiners?commonly known as teapots?are not expected to be heavily impacted by restrictions on production, blending, and sales of oil products that the Shandong province, home to most independent refiners, released this week, sources at the companies tell S&P Global Platts. Earlier this week, the provincial government of Shandong issued a list reiterating restrictions in the oil products sector and mandated provincial authorities to start random checks for compliance with regulations such as refiners to operate?

Eastern Forces Kill Senior Al Qaeda Commander In Southern Libya
by Tsvetana Paraskova
18 Jan 2019 at 5:00pm
Eastern Libyan forces, who launched earlier this week a military operation in Libya?s south to fight extremists and secure oil facilities, have killed a senior operative for Al Qaeda, a spokesman for the eastern Libyan forces said on Friday. The Libyan National Army (LNA)?based in the eastern city of Benghazi and led by eastern strongman General Khalifa Haftar?killed Abu Talha al-Libi, a commander in Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and two other militants, including one Egyptian, Reuters quoted LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari?

Tesla Cuts 7% Of Full-Time Jobs To Keep A Lid On Costs
by Tsvetana Paraskova
18 Jan 2019 at 4:00pm
Tesla said on Friday that it would reduce full-time employee headcount by around 7 percent, aiming to cut costs as it looks to start delivering lower-priced variants of its Model 3. According to the BBC, Tesla employs more than 45,000 people, so the announced job cuts would affect around 3,000 employees. Last year was Tesla?s most challenging, and at the same time most successful, year in its history, Elon Musk wrote in an email sent to all Tesla employees on Friday morning. ?However, starting around May, we will need to deliver at?

Saudis Look To Build Oil Refinery, Petrochemical Plant In South Africa
by Tsvetana Paraskova
18 Jan 2019 at 3:00pm
Saudi Arabia plans to build an oil refinery that would use Saudi crude, as well as a petrochemical plant in South Africa, as part of US$10 billion investments, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Friday while on a visit to South Africa. Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco will lead the construction of the oil refinery in South Africa, al-Falih noted. ?There have been exchanges of talks by Saudi Aramco teams and they have been supported by the South African energy ministry,? Reuters quoted the Saudi minister as saying after a meeting?

Sinopec Ready To Pour $3 Billion In Iran Oil
by Irina Slav
18 Jan 2019 at 1:00pm
China?s largest crude oil refiner, Sinopec, has offered US$3 billion to Iran?s state oil company, NIOC, to jointly expand the development of a major field in Iran, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources in the know. The sources, who wished to remain unnamed, said the Chinese company considered the offer safe from the sanctions the United States reimposed on Iran last November because the initial deal for the development of the Yadavaran field was inked back in 2007. The offer, according to the Wall Street Journal, was made?

Oil Prices Jump As China Seeks To End Trade War
by Tom Kool
18 Jan 2019 at 12:00pm
Oil prices were relatively quiet this week, bouncing around, but closed out the week on a positive note. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge)Friday, January 18th, 2019 IEA: Balancing oil market will be a ?marathon.? The IEA said in its latest Oil Market Report that ?the journey to a balanced market will take time, and is more likely to be a marathon than a sprint.? The agency noted that while Saudi Arabia seems determined to follow?

CNOOC Eyes Doubling Of Reserves By 2025
by Irina Slav
18 Jan 2019 at 11:00am
China?s CNOOC will seek to boost its crude oil reserve base and increase the number of new exploration projects it is involved in twofold over the next seven years, Reuters reports, citing a statement by the company on Chinese network Wechat. CNOOC focuses on offshore oil and gas, and is the largest operator in this area in China and has recently been very active in its international expansion to offset production declines at mature Chinese fields. The announcement of the reserve and production boost plan comes in response to an urging from?

US Oil, Gas Rig Count Plummets As Oil Prices Surge
by Julianne Geiger
18 Jan 2019 at 10:36am
Baker Hughes reported a drastic reduction to the number of active oil and gas in the United States this week. The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs fell by 25 rigs, according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs decreasing by 21 to reach 852 and the number of gas rigs decreasing by 4 to reach 198. The oil and gas rig count is now 114 up from this time last year, 105 of which is in oil rigs. WTI prices were trading significantly up on Friday as China extended an offer to US negotiators to boost imports from the United?

Global Gas Production Reaches Highest Growth In A Decade
by OilPrice.com
18 Jan 2019 at 9:00am
The industry achieved a net production increase of 164 billion cubic metres (bcm), which represents the highest production growth since 2010, according to research by Rystad Energy. ?Year-on-year growth was clearly driven by North America, which accounted for 71 bcm, followed by the Middle East with 39 bcm. Europe was the only region that experienced a reduction in 2018,? Rystad Energy partner Espen Erlingsen said. Rystad Energy forecasts the supply surge will continue in the coming years. Expected average annual growth from 2018 to?

U.S. Refiners Rush To Buy Heavy Oil As Trump Looks To Punish Maduro
by Irina Slav
18 Jan 2019 at 9:00am
Refiners in the United States are stocking up on heavy crude, pushing prices higher, as the Trump administration prepares to slam more punitive measures on Caracas after the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela for a second term after elections considered illegitimate by Washington. Reuters reports that officials from the presidential administration met with oil industry executives to discuss the measures on the table, including the suspension ofrefined product exports to Venezuela or Venezuelan crude oil imports into the United?

Washington Likely Keep Iran Sanction Waivers In Place
by Irina Slav
18 Jan 2019 at 7:30am
The United States is unlikely to entirely remove waivers for Iran sanctions it granted to eight large importers of the commodity in November, according to analysts, as quoted by Reuters. The countries most likely to receive waiver extensions are also the countries most in need of the oil supply they receive from Tehran: China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey. Italy, Taiwan, and Greece, which were granted waivers in November, are smaller importers of Iranian crude. Earlier this week, Washington?s special representative for Iran, Brian?

This Is How Much Each OPEC+ Member Needs To Cut
by Tsvetana Paraskova
18 Jan 2019 at 7:30am
OPEC published on Friday the long-awaited list of oil production quotas for each country in the OPEC+ deal, as it seeks to shore up market confidence that the cartel and allies will do whatever it takes to rebalance the market. OPEC and its non-OPEC partners led by Russia decided in early December to start a new round of cuts, aiming to lift the price of oil that had started to plummet in October on fears of building oversupply and uncertain demand growth going forward. The OPEC+ deal will be removing a combined 1.2 million bpd off the market in?

Shell: Clean Energy Advances Too Slow To Meet UN Climate Targets
by Tsvetana Paraskova
17 Jan 2019 at 11:00pm
Clean energy solutions are not moving fast enough to meet the UN targets for curbing the effects of global warming, and alternative energies are unlikely to meet those targets without policy support, Charles Holliday, the chairman of oil supermajor Shell, said on Thursday. ?Our analysis says we could solve this problem with the technology we have, but there is not enough pull to get it over in the kind of time frame that the scientists say we really need to avoid that,? the Washington Examiner quoted Holliday as saying at an energy?

OPEC+ To Hold Extraordinary Meeting On April 17-18 In Vienna
by Tsvetana Paraskova
17 Jan 2019 at 4:00pm
OPEC has decided to hold an extraordinary full ministerial meeting on April 17 in Vienna to discuss the state of the oil market and the production cut deal, while the cartel?s non-OPEC partners will join for a full OPEC+ meeting on the following day, April 18, an OPEC official told S&P Global Platts on Thursday. OPEC could still hold its regular full ministerial meeting in June, as it usually does, the official with the organization told Platts. A month before the full ministerial meeting in the middle of April, representatives?

Low Oil Prices Are Not The Only Problem For The Permian
by Nick Cunningham
17 Jan 2019 at 4:00pm
While low oil prices are beginning to slow the growth of U.S. shale, in the years ahead oil and gas drilling could be curtailed by a different problem: a shortage of water. Water is a crucial ingredient in the fracking process, and drillers use copious volumes of it. The problem for the U.S. oil industry is that so much of the output growth expected over the next half-decade or so depends very heavily on the Permian basin, where water is increasingly scarce. Water already accounts for about 15 percent of the cost of a shale well, according to analysts?

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