News Column

In brief

July 20, 2014

Libya offers first oil from Ras Lanuf

LONDON: Libya'sNational Oil Corp has offered the first crude oil from its major eastern Ras Lanuf terminal for end-July loading, two weeks after a rebel group agreed to end its nearly 1-year blockade of the bulk of the country's oil facilities. NOC has issued tenders to sell 2 million barrels of crude oil from its recently reopened Ras Lanuf, a tender document and traders said.

Orpic to restart units in Sohar

DUBAI: Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (Orpic) has completed scheduled maintenance at some refining units at Sohar refinery with a planned start-up, the operator said.The refinery has capacity to process 116,000 barrels per day of Omani crude. Orpic said last month it planned scheduled maintenance at some refinery units for about a month.

Woodside tweaks up output target

SYDNEY: Woodside Petroleum, Australia's largest independent oil and gas producer, reported an 18 per cent rise in second-quarter production and raised its output target slightly for 2014. It  said it aims to produce between 89 and 94 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) this year, up from an earlier target of 86-93 mmboe.

CB&I wins additional deals in Oman

TEXAS: CB&I, a leading energy infrastructure-focused company, has won additional contracts from Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (Orpic) for the Liwa Plastics Project in the Sultanate. Daniel McCarthy, president, said: "The award of these additional technology contracts demonstrates Orpic's confidence in CB&I's technology portfolio and wide range of services. Our successful project execution has a pull-through effect on the entire organisation."

Petrobras in talks to sell unit stake

SAO PAULO: Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petr?leo Brasileiro is in talks to sell the 40 per cent stake it owns of a Brazilian natural gas distributor to electricity holding company Cia EnergÉtica de Minas Gerais. In a securities filing, Petrobras, as the oil producer is known, said exiting Cia de G?s de Minas Gerais is part of a plan to shed non-core assets. No details on the value of the stake in the gas company, which is known as Gasmig, was unveiled.

Flanagan South oil pipeline delayed

HOUSTON: Construction of the 600,000-barrel-per-day Flanagan South oil pipeline from Illinois to Oklahoma will be complete late in the third quarter, with the first oil flowing early in the fourth quarter, operator Enbridge said.The new timeline for commissioning the nearly 600-mile conduit is later than the company's prior third-quarter in-service date, delaying delivery of another large slug of Canadian crude to refiners along the US Gulf Coast. The arrival of that heavy oil is expected to further cut into imports from supplies like Mexico and Venezuela.

Goldman hires energy marketer

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs has hired London-based oil marketer Roy Golender as vice president of energy sales from Barclays, a company spokesman said. At Barclays, Golender spent four years in commodity derivatives sales, according to his LinkedIn profile. A Barclays spokeswoman declined to comment. Goldman Sachs has affirmed its commitment to commodities trading even as other banks have left the sector or scaled back their activities in the face of public and regulatory scrutiny.

JPMorgan raises oil price forecasts

NEW YORK: JPMorgan Chase & Co has raised its 2014 and 2015 crude oil price forecasts, citing higher demand and losses of supply from Libya and Iraq.The investment bank raised its 2014 forecast for the average Brent price by 6 per cent to $111 per barrel from $105 and its projection for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), or US crude, at $103 per barrel from $93. For 2015, Brent is seen averaging $115 per barrel, up 15 per cent, while JPMorgan's new WTI projection is up $23 to $108 per barrel.

Maersk Tankers continues exit

COPENHAGEN: Maersk Tankers, a unit of AP Moller-Maersk, said it had quit four unprofitable crude oil charter contracts by buying out supertankers and selling them onwards, continuing its exit from crude oil transportation. The company now has charters for just two supertankers, called Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), although the intention is to get out of these contracts too, Maersk Tankers spokeswoman Stine Pedersen said.

Aker Solutions to write down $211m

OSLO: Norwegian oil services firm Aker Solutions will write down 1.3 billion crowns ($211 million) after tax from its earnings in the second quarter due to impairments in its Aker Oilfield Services division, the firm said. The write-down comes after French oil firm Total cancelled a two-year contract with an Aker Solutions vessel off Angola on June 25, which pushed Aker Solutions shares down as much as 7 per cent during trading that day.

Toxic gas exposure kills worker

PARAGUANA: A worker at Venezuela's Amuay oil refinery died as a result of hydrogen sulfide inhalation following a gas leak, refinery employees said.The leak in the refinery's sulphur unit, which did not affect operations at the 645,000 barrel-per-day facility, led workers to evacuate the area, but contractor Juan Carlos Nunez, 38, did not manage to leave in time, the employees said. A spokesman for state oil company PDVSA said the company did not have any immediate comment.

Buckeye's oil line to shut for a week

NEW YORK: US petroleum pipeline operator Buckeye Partners said it will shut its L203 line Ohio to Michigan segment from August 17 to August 23 for planned maintenance. The pipeline segment from Lima, Toledo, East Chicago, Detroit and Woodhaven to Flint, Owosso and Bay City will be shut for a seven-day maintenance, the company said. The capacity of the L203 segment and the type of oil it carries were not immediately available.

Chevron expects Q2 profit to rise

NEW YORK: Chevron, the second-largest oil company in the US, said it expects its second-quarter profit to rise, helped in part by asset sales and fewer one-time charges. The company said its quarterly profit should "be higher" in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, when it posted net income of $4.51 billion, or $2.36 per share.

Exxon refinery cuts back production

HOUSTON: ExxonMobil's 560,500 barrel per day (bpd) Baytown, Texas refinery cut back a catalytic light ends unit's production after a hole was discovered on a pipe, according to a notice the refinery filed with state pollution regulators. A light ends unit takes gases from other production units at the refinery and separates them out for use as fuel or other products.

Anti-fracking protesters arrested

WASHINGTON: Two dozen protesters were arrested in Washington while demonstrating against hydraulic fracturing and the US gas industry's push to sell "fracked" liquefied natural gas abroad.Protesters blocked entrances to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's headquarters for more than 90 minutes, holding signs calling the agency the "Fracking Expansion Rubberstamp Commission" and chanting "Wake up FERC."

Fred Olsen sees rig market imbalance

OSLO: Norwegian rig firm operator Fred Olsen Energy said it expected the supply and demand imbalance in the rig market to deepen this year and the next as it reported second-quarter profits that lagged forecasts. Rates in the offshore rig market have fallen from a 2013 high as oil companies cut spending to boost profitability, just as newly built rigs have entered the market. "The demand and supply imbalance is expected to increase further through 2014 and into 2015," Fred Olsen Energy, which operates floating rigs in the North Sea, Brazil and East Africa, said.

Rosneft to explore offshore in Cuba

HAVANA: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was hopeful Russian oil company Rosneft and Cuban state oil company Cupet could begin jointly exploring Cuba's potential offshore oil reserves "in the very near future." Shortly before Putin began his six-day trip to Latin America, Rosneft and fellow state oil company Zarubezhneft agreed to help Cupet explore offshore in Cuba, which has limited onshore production and depends on Venezuela for oil imports.

US oil output from shale to rise: EIA

NEW YORK: US oil production from the fastest-growing shale plays is set to rise by some 72,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August, according to Energy Information Administration data issued. Bakken oil production for August will rise by about 17,000 bpd to 1.11 million bpd compared to the month prior, according to the EIA's drilling productivity report.

Tesoro performing planned work

NEW YORK: Tesoro Corp said it was performing planned, unspecified maintenance at its 166,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez, California. "We do not anticipate any impact upon our ability to fulfill product supply commitments as a result of this maintenance," company spokeswoman Tina Barbee said. The company had reported a major unit start-up at the refinery.

VNG finds more oil, gas off Norway

OSLO: German gas firm VNG has discovered an oil and gas field off Norway and found that an existing oil find is bigger than expected, a partner and the Norwegian oil directorate said. The Bue discovery, announced on Friday, is estimated to contain 6-25 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), while the existing Pil discovery, which lies nearby, is now seen to contain 72-171 million boe, up from 50-170 mmboe seen in April.

Bahrain gets power projects

MANAMA: Three major power plants costing BD280 million ($738 million) will be constructed Bahrain, said a senior government official.The planned 400-220kV plants will be built in the Hidd, Umm Al Hassam and Riffa districts of the kingdom, Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs Dr Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza was quoted as saying in a report. He said the project will be the first to be financed by Kuwait under the GCC Development Programme. He pointed out that arrears dropped from BD148 million in November last year to BD132 million in February.

Kuwait Energy picks BofA

LONDON: Kuwait Energy, an independent oil and gas company with assets across the Middle East, has mandated Bank of America (BofA) Merrill Lynch as sole bookrunner and lead manager for fixed income investor meetings. A RegS-only US dollar transaction may follow, subject to market conditions, sources said. Earlier, Fitch Ratings assigned Kuwait Energy a long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of 'B-' with a stable outlook.

Protesters shut down port

TRIPOLI: Protesters have shut down the eastern Libyan oil port Brega, state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) said, days after the government celebrated the reopening of major ports after almost a year of blockage. NOC spokesman Mohamed El Harari said the state-run Sirte Oil Co would have to shut down its production of 43,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the protest by state oil guards continued.

Safco posts profit decline

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Co (Safco) posted a fifth-straight decline in quarterly earnings, missing analyst estimates with a 7.8 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit after higher sales failed to make up for lower prices.The company, part of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), one of the world's biggest petrochemical companies, said it made SR639 million ($170.4 million) in the quarter, against SR693 million in the same period last year.

Sipchem Q2 profit jumps

DUBAI: Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) beat analysts' forecasts with rises in profit margins and sales as second-quarter net profit jumped 41 per cent. Sipchem made a profit of SR244.6 million ($65.3 million) in the three months to June 30, up from SR174.0 million in the prior-year period, according to a bourse filing. Five analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast Sipchem's quarterly profit would be SR176.8 million.

GPIC bags key certification

MANAMA: Bahrain-based Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC) has secured the ISO 17025:2005 quality standard certification.The certification relates to general requirements for efficiency testing laboratories, calibration by the International Service for Reliability based in the US and approval by the International Co-operation Agency of reliability laboratories, said a report. This is proof that the company's laboratory operations match international standards in testing and examination of products to ensure compliance with the highest degree of health and safety, the company's technical services manager Khalid Al Benali said.

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Source: Oil & Gas News

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