German-Russian Oil Cooperation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – The Russian petroleum company, Rosneft, is expanding its activities in Germany, thereby reducing Germany’s dependence on the transatlantic oil industry. While public discussion is focused on ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s candidacy for the chair of Rosneft’s board of directors, the company has increased its share to 25 percent of Germany’s crude oil imports, and has become the third largest oil processing enterprise in Germany. It has plans to further strengthen its position in the country, inspired by the close German-Russian natural gas cooperation, which provides Germany significant influence over Western Europe’s supply of Russian gas. Achieving predominant influence over the EU’s supply and a growing independence vis-à-vis the energy giants of the transatlantic era, facilitates Berlin’s pursuit of an independent German-EU global policy.

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US to Sell Off its Strategic Emergency Oil Reserves

The US government plans to sell half of the Strategic Emergency Oil Reserves and gasoline. The days of OPEC embargoes of the 1970s are now long past. The government plans to increase its budget for the financial year by $500 million. Therefore, over the next decade, the government wants to increase financial leeway by as much as $16.6 billion. With the US at a net exporter level and the shift toward electric cars, it becomes questionable if we need the Strategic Emergency Oil Reserves any more. Continue reading

Russia Regains Status As China’s No.1 Crude Supplier

 

China imported daily average of 4.69 million tons, or 34.38 million bpd, of crude oil from Russia last month. That’s 9.3 percent more than the February average, putting Russia back at the top spot of China’s foreign oil suppliers, above Angola, which sits at number 2. Saudi Arabia fell to number 3 in March, as it cuts output deeper than it was expected to under the OPEC agreement from November.

The shuffle comes amid talks in OPEC about extending the six-month production output cut to further strengthen prices, which turned out to be less responsive to the international effort than expected. Continue reading

Fracking Comes to the Arctic in a New Alaska Oil Boom

Alaska’s North Slope region, including the National Petroleum Reserve (NPRA), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). US Geological Survey/Wikipedia

 

Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama’s 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive new volumes of oil. The Conversation

This comes at a time of low oil prices, when many observers felt the Arctic would remain off limits. Alaska has proved precisely the opposite. Although it has gone largely unnoticed outside the industry, foreign firms are partnering with American companies to pursue these new possibilities. I expect this new wave of Arctic development will help increase US oil production and influence in world oil markets for at least the next several decades. Continue reading

U.S. Shale Faces A Workforce Shortage

 

A problem for the U.S. shale oil and gas industry that analysts and observers have warned about for a long time has materialized: there is a shortage of workers. According to one service provider for E&Ps, trucker jobs remain vacant even with an annual paycheck of $80,000, which is certainly a big change from a couple of years ago when layoffs were sweeping through the shale patch.

This shortage could dampen the prospects of not just shale producers, who are eager to ramp up production as quickly as possible and take advantage of higher international oil prices, but it will also seriously hamper the recovery of the oilfield services segment, which has been hit harder than E&Ps by the price crash. Continue reading

Saudi King Goes East In Search Of Friends And Cash

 

The Saudi King kicked off a month-long tour of Asia this week, as the oil kingdom looks to bolster ties in the east as it loses confidence in the U.S. as a stable ally.

The trip began in Malaysia where King Salman inked a $7 billion deal, promising to invest in a Malaysian petrochemical complex run by state-owned oil company Petronas. From there, he will tour Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China and the Maldives. Continue reading

Russia Gains Upper Hand In Asian Oil War

The Saudi-led OPEC cuts may have supported oil prices and reduced market volatility, but they have also opened the door wide to rival crude grades flowing into the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers: Asia.

Reduced supplies by OPEC resulted in higher prices for Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai and a narrower Brent/Dubai spread, which made the shipment of Brent-price-linked crude grades to Asia profitable. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia’s Fake Surrender: Why The Oil Price War Is Still On

What do you do when everyone is bugging you to do something, but you don’t want to do it? The simple answer is that you make it look like you are doing something in order to get others off your back.

We should keep all this in mind when evaluating the latest reports that OPEC has agreed to cuts. Bloomberg tells us right up front that OPEC has merely agreed to the “outline of a deal” that will be taken up at its November meeting. Continue reading

Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales – source

 

 

Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month’s sanctions relief.

A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil. Continue reading

Plunging prices could force a third of U.S. oil firms into bankruptcy

Saudi Arabia’s economic war on America’s oil industry will soon start to show its effect. Declining prices mean less profit. Less profit means operating costs, mainly wages, are unsustainable. Unustainable operating costs mean layoffs and bankruptcies. This leads to collapse of the oil industry.

 

Drillers from Houston to Riyadh won’t quit pumping despite the oil glut.

 

Three major investment banks — Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc.   — now expect the price of oil to crash through the $30 threshold and into $20 territory in short order as a result of China’s slowdown, the U.S. dollar’s appreciation and the fact that drillers from Houston to Riyadh won’t quit pumping despite the oil glut. Continue reading

US Shale Declining And OPEC Still Climbing

Essentially, OPEC has killed off the U.S. shale industry, which was predicted last year. See the OPEC category for further articles on Saudi Arabia’s economic warfare scheme against the United States.

 

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There is new data out today. The EIA published their International Petroleum Statistics yesterday. The EIA also published their Drilling Productivity Report which gave their expected shale oil and gas production through September. Then this morning OPEC published their Monthly Oil Marketing Report with OPEC crude only production numbers through July.

First the Drilling Productivity Report. Of course most of the Drilling Productivity Report is projection, not history. And that projection goes through September 2015.

The EIA has the Bakken peaking in December and declining 107 thousand barrels per day since that point. A secondary peak was reached in April and declining steadily since then. Continue reading

California oil spill: Aerial images reveal devastation after over 100,000 gallons of oil spills into ocean

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From the air the oil shimmers, dark and sinister. On the ground, it is sticky and foul.

A series of images released by environmental activists have revealed the true crisis confronting a stretch of California coastline after more than 100,000 gallons of oil were leaked into the ocean.

As Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation declared to speed the dedication of resources to the area, clean-up teams north of Santa Barbara embarked on a third day of efforts to remove patches of oil.

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Plains All American Pipeline Ruptures; 21,000 Barrel 4-Mile Oil Slick On Santa Barbara Beaches

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Emergency officials and Exxon Mobil were responding Tuesday afternoon to a ruptured pipeline that was leaking crude oil into the ocean off the Santa Barbara County coast, authorities said. The Santa Barbara County office of emergency management has identified the responsible party as Plains All American Pipeline.

As The LA Times reports, by 3:45 p.m., the leak had left a 21,000 barrel four-mile-long sheen of oil extending about 50 yards into the waters along Refugio State Beach in Goleta, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson. Continue reading

Oil prices: OPEC plan to strangle US suppliers working

Demand for oil will strengthen this year, according to OPEC, as the cartel said its strategy of pumping oil into the market to squeeze out US producers was taking effect.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps a third of the world’s oil, believes demand will average 29.27m barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, representing an increase of 80,000 bpd from its previous prediction.

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Russia opens way to missile deliveries to Iran, starts oil-for-goods swap

Obama’s ‘deal’ with Iran, giving them everything it wanted without restriction, is driving Israel into a corner where it will either have to strike or be struck. Now that the S-300 air defenses for Iran will be rolling in, the window of opportunity for successful first-strike capability is closing fast.

 

(Reuters) – Russia paved the way on Monday for missile system deliveries to Iran and started an oil-for-goods swap, signaling that Moscow may have a head-start in the race to benefit from an eventual lifting of sanctions on Tehran.

The moves come after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran this month on curbing its nuclear program.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ending a self-imposed ban on delivering the S-300 anti-missile rocket system to Iran, removing a major irritant between the two after Moscow canceled a corresponding contract in 2010 under pressure from the West. Continue reading