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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Oil Producer News

GSW Frontier (Photo: Stena Bulk)

Stena Bulk Forms Chemical Tanker JV with Bay Crest Management

Golden-Agri Stena, a joint venture between Sweden based tanker shipping company Stena Bulk and Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources, has started a new joint venture with Japan's Bay Crest Management for the the operation and commercial management of chemical tankers.The new joint venture, GSB Tankers, will commence operation on January 1, 2019, managing 18 chemical tankers to start, with the aim of managing 30 vessels within the next two years.The joint venture will operate out of the existing premises of Golden-Agri Stena.

(File photo: Port of Houston)

Chevron Eyes Houston Ship Channel for 2nd US Gulf Refinery

Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials, Pierre Breber, Chevron's head of downstream and chemicals, said."Something on the ship channel side could make a lot of sense for our company…

© Oleksiy Mark / Adobe Stock

Oil Prices Dip as Markets Eye Potential Supply Increases

Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports resumed export activities, while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $75.07 a barrel at 0057 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $70.74 a barrel.Supply outages in Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq pushed oil prices higher late last week, although prices still ended down for a second straight week."Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased.

File Image: A typical Crude Oil train in the United States makes its way south along inland waterways. CREDIT: Dagmar Etkin

BNSF: Crude Rail Service Could Resume Tuesday

BNSF Railway Co on Monday said it could resume service Tuesday on a stretch of northwestern Iowa track damaged when a train left the track and crude oil spilled from derailed cars. The crude oil train derailed near Doon, Iowa, on Friday sending 32 rail cars off the track and spilling an estimated 230,000 gallons of oil into flood waters and toward a nearby river. Crews are nearly finished removing oil from damaged cars and repairing tracks, BNSF said in a statement. Its crews are using booms to contain the oil and skimmers to remove it from the waters…

Oil Up as U.S., China hit the Trade War Pause Button

Oil prices rose on Monday as markets reacted to news that China and the United States have put a looming trade war between the world's two biggest economies "on hold". Brent crude futures were at $79.13 per barrel at 0121 GMT, up 62 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.83 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement. The U.S.

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…

Could US Sanctions Hit Iranian Crude Exports?

Oil prices are at more than three-year highs, driven by an expectation that renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran over the country's nuclear program will disrupt Iranian crude flows.But without the Europe Union, or Iran's other big crude customers, joining the effort, as the EU did in 2012, it will be harder for Washington to hit Iran where it really hurts.U.S.

(Photo: NCSP)

Transneft Rejects Summa's Proposal to Complete Port Deal

Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has rejected a proposal from its rival Summa Group to complete a deal to buy a Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP), a Transneft spokesman said on Monday.If the deal goes ahead it will allow Transneft to take control of Russia's largest port operator. But Transneft said earlier this month it had suspended talks on the deal after the authorities arrested the co-owner of Summa, Ziyavudin Magomedov, on charges of embezzling more than $35 million.Magomedov denied the charges at a pre-trial hearing…

© Charlie Bird / Adobe Stock

Rail Shipments of Canadian Oil to US Seen Rising over 60%

Canadian crude shipments to the United States by rail could rise more than 60 percent this year on demand by Gulf Coast refiners for the heavy crudes and the wide differential between Canadian grades and the U.S. benchmark. The rail shipments could reach as much as 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) by year end and average some 400,000 bpd in 2019, estimated analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Last year, the shipments averaged 130,000 bpd, according to U.S. government data. Canadian crudes have been replacing heavy oil from Venezuela and Mexico at the Gulf Coast…

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Iran Oil Production, Exports Not Impacted by Protests

Iran's crude oil production and exports have not been impacted by the unrest spreading across the country, Iranian oil and shipping sources said on Tuesday, as a crackdown intensified against anti-government demonstrations that began last week. Iran, OPEC's third-biggest oil producer, pumps around 3.8 million barrels per day. "I see no impact on the production and export," one Iranian oil industry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Everything is going normally," another source said, adding that the protests had not spread into the energy sector and "remained in the streets".

CERCG Looking to Ship LNG from Australia's West to East

State-owned China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group (CERCG) on Monday said it is investigating whether to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Western Australia to the gas-hungry east coast market. The Chinese integrated energy firm, which runs oil and gas projects, processing plants and gas distribution, said in a press release to Reuters that subsidiary CERCG Australia is studying the viability of transporting LNG by road, rail and ship. CERCG Australia's business manager Kevin Gao said the company would use LNG container tanks which can maintain liquefaction for 110 days.

Palmali Lodges $2 Bln Claim Against Lukoil's Litasco

Turkey-based Palmali, one of the biggest shippers in the Caspian region, said on Monday it had lodged a claim worth almost $2 billion against Litasco, the trading arm of Russian oil producer Lukoil, with the English High Court. "The claim concerns an alleged failure by Litasco S.A. to provide contractual quantities of cargo under long term contract between the companies," Palmali said in a statement sent to Reuters.   Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin

Dr. Brian Phillips (Photo: CTG)

Saudi Aramco Selects CTG Ballast Water Testing Device

Oil producer Saudi Aramco has selected Chelsea Technologies Group (CTG), designer and manufacturer of sensors for the maritime sector, to provide benchmark testing for compliance with ballast water standards. This follows Saudi Aramco’s announcement that all ships calling at its ports and terminals will be required to provide ballast water samples, in order to demonstrate compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention).

© Chepe Nicoli / Adobe Stock

Cuban Trade with Venezuela Plunges over Two Years

Cuban trade with socialist ally Venezuela has fallen 70 percent since 2014 due to the South American oil producer's inability to meet delivery contracts and purchase goods as it struggles with low oil prices and a resulting economic meltdown. A cash crunch and lower oil supplies from Venezuela have forced the Communist-run Caribbean island to slash imports and reduce the use of fuel and electricity, helping tip its centrally planned economy into recession in 2016 for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

ENI, Anadarko to Build LNG Terminals in Mozambique

Italy's ENI and U.S. oil and gas firm Anadarko signed agreements with the Mozambique government on Thursday to build two liquefied natural gas terminals in the southern African country. The terminals will be built in Cabo Delgado province, where Mozambique has made massive gas discoveries that could transform it from a poor African country into a major energy supplier to Asia. The agreements were signed by Mozambique's energy minister Letícia Klemens and the regional heads of ENI and Anadarko, a Texas-based oil producer.

File photo: Maersk Line

Maersk Says It's Been Cyber Attacked

Shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, which handles one out of seven containers shipped globally, said the Petya cyber attack had caused outages at its computer systems across the world on Tuesday. The attack came as computer servers across Europe and in India were hit by a major ransomware attack. "Global cyber-attack Petya is affecting multiple businesses," Maersk said on Twitter. The breakdown affected all business units at Maersk, including container shipping, port and tug boat operations, oil and gas production, drilling services, and oil tankers, the company said.

Courtesy Chevron Corporation

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said. A Hague arbitration court awarded the U.S. company $96 million in 2011 in a dispute stemming from a 1973 deal that called for Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, to develop fields in exchange for selling oil to Ecuador at below-market rates. Various appeals by Ecuador against the ruling failed. "We have today paid around $112 million," the central bank head Diego Martinez told a local radio station late on Friday.

Image: Itexpo Team

Iran Strikes $2.4bn Ship Order with Korea

Iran has placed orders worth around $2.4 billion with South Korean shipyards for the construction of ships to carry Iran’s oil and petrochemical products, The Wall Street Journal says. The orders have been placed by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and the oil producer Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC). The Korean companies involved in the case are Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, which is a subsidiary of shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, as well as Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Company.

Photo: Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex)

Exxon, Total, Chevron in Talks With Pemex on Gulf

Oil majors are in talks with Mexico’s state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) as the struggling state-run oil producer seeks partners to develop deepwater crude in the Gulf of Mexico, reports Bloomberg. Petroleos Mexicanos is in talks with Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and Chevron Corp. as Mexico’s struggling state-run oil producer seeks partners to develop deepwater crude in the Gulf of Mexico. Pemex seeks Areas of Mutual Interest agreements to evaluate whether the companies have opportunities to work together in offshore areas.

Photo: National Iranian Tanker Company

Iranian Tankers Free to Enter International Ports

Restrictions on Iranian tankers’ insurance have been removed and the country’s crude carriers are now allowed to enter any oil terminal in the world, National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC)'s CEO Ali Akbar Safaee said. “With the resolution of insurance problems, international insurance institutes have  expanded their coverage to Iranian vessels, which can now berth at all ports,”he said. “Accordingly, all tankers that are under Iran’s ownership as well as any [foreign] tanker that enters Iran’s ports will not have any problem with regards to the issue of insurance," he added.

Petrobras Board Member Fraga Britto Quits

Luiz Augusto Fraga de Britto Filho quit as board member of embattled Brazilian state-controlled oil producer Petróleo Brasileiro SA on Monday.   In a securities filing, the company known as Petrobras said Fraga Britto had resigned to take office as a top member of Brazil's top budget auditing court, known as TCU. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Photo: Sembcorp Marine Ltd

Slowdown, Brazil Impact Hit Sembcorp

The strain of low oil prices on the offshore and marine sector was in full display as  the world’s second-largest builder of oil rigs Sembcorp Marine Ltd posted its first quarterly loss in at least 12 years. The company took impairment charges and provisions of S$609 million for projects of its client Sete Brasil Participacoes SA and others. It’s the first quarterly loss since the company started reporting data in 2003, according to Sembcorp Marine’s website. Sete Brasil is a private company set up in 2010 to build, own and lease deepwater rigs to state-run oil producer Petrobras.

By Coface, the international trade credit insurance company

Has the Oil Price Hit the Low Point?

There are questions whether the low oil price is benefiting South Africa. ICE Brent spot price is trading around $30, the lowest level in 12 years, seen in the context of market surplus. The December meeting in which OPEC failed to set a total production quota and the Chinese stock market turmoil is seen as a sign of increasing concern about China’s health. While expectations of an oversupplied market in 2016 continue, some oil analysts predict an oil price per barrel under $20 in the coming months. The fall in the oil price has party been offset by the weaker rand / dollar exchange rate.

Shell Names Top Exec to Head BG During Integration

Royal Dutch Shell's top executive planning the integration of BG Group will become transitional CEO of BG after expected completion of the $48 billion acquisition next month, company sources said. The appointment of Dutchman Huibert Vigeveno to oversee the complex merger of the two global businesses comes as no surprise. Vigeveno was appointed last August to spearhead the joint Shell-BG integration committee along with BG's Sinead Lynch, and had previously headed Shell's operations in China and had also worked for the Anglo-Dutch company in Brazil, two key markets for the combined group.

Photo: Maersk

Timoteo’s First Steps on the Bridge

Rising from more than 25 years of civil war starts with education, equipping Angolans not just for their current jobs, but also for the rest of their careers and lives. Meet two Maersk colleagues who are taking part in the rise of their country. Note: This story originally appears in the Maersk Post. From the bridge of the Maersk Winner, Dario Timoteo looks out across Luanda’s bay as the sun dips towards the Atlantic. He has dreamt of this moment and after many years of study and work, it has become a reality.

Image: Hercules Offshore Inc.

Hercules Offshore to Begin Restructuring

The Houston-based NASDAQ-listed drilling contractor Hercules Offshore Inc. (HERO) has entered a restructuring agreement with a noteholder group, and expects a prepackaged reorganization plan. HERO says the agreement will convert $1.2B of debt to new common equity, and noteholders will backstop $450M of new debt financing to fully fund the remaining construction cost of the Hercules Highlander and provide additional liquidity to fund the company's operations. HERO's existing equity holders will see their stake reduced to 3.1%. John T.