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Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas has reached an interim agreement with oil supermajors Shell and Total in order to develop integrated gas projects in the country. Signed on Wednesday, the agreement puts into detail the funding and a work plan for 2019 to develop the gas resources to fulfill Oman’s rising energy demand.
UAE state-run ADNOC Refining has awarded a contract to John Wood Group for a new refinery in Ruwais. The contract requires Wood to deliver Pre-Front End Engineering and Designing (Pre-FEED) for the refinery in Ruwais. The contract award is in line with ADNOC’s renewed focus on the downstream sector. The oil major is now accelerating its $45 billion downstream expansion project announced last year.
EIA weekly report showing record US crude production last week sent oil prices on a downhill today. International Brent crude futures dropped 0.3%, to $66.87 per barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures fell 0.2% and were priced at $56.84 per barrel. EIA data released yesterday indicated crude oil production in US hitting 12 million bpd, making it the only country to reach 12 million bpd of production.
While slow growth in the global economy forestalled gains, oil prices still remained in close quarters with year highs achieved day before. Benchmark Brent crude futures were priced at $67.14 per barrel. US WTI crude oil futures climbed 0.3% and were traded at $57.33 per barrel. Despite the concerns about the slowdown in economic growth, supply cuts led by OPEC and US sanctions have kept oil prices on a high tide this year.
Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia has announced that the production might resume from the Neutral Zone which is shared by Saudi and Kuwait. He mentioned that the country is expected to reach an agreement with Kuwait on the same. If this happens, it would add up to 500,000 bpd of the output of Saudi and Kuwait each. Saudi's Energy Minister and Emir of Kuwait had a meeting on Tuesday.
A crude oil pumping station owned by state-run PDVSA was caught in a fire yesterday. A company statement informed that the fire at the 300,000 bpd-Ero pumping station was controlled, with no one injured. PDVSA will, however, experience problems in the transport of crude through pipelines. PDVSA referred to the incident as “an act of sabotage perpetrated by the right-wing opposition.”
Oilfield service giant, Schlumberger and Rockwell Automation have inked an agreement to establish a joint venture, Sensia. The first fully integrated digital oilfield automation solutions provider, Sensia will offer its users scalable, cloud and edge-enabled process automation. The deal is expected to close soon, and the JV will begin operation, in the summer of 2019. While Rockwell Automation owns 53% in the JV, Schlumberger possesses 47% interest in the partnership.
OPEC-led supply and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela continued to push up oil prices today. Brent crude futures rose 0.2% and were priced at $66.58 per barrel. US WTI crude futures mounted 2019 highs and jumped 0.5% to $56.39 per barrel. French bank BNP Paribas said that it is anticipating oil prices “to rally through Q3 2019”, with Brent and WTI to average around $73 and $66 per barrel.
Qatar Petroleum is planning to reduce its dependency on imports and increase its domestic production. In order to fuel up its local energy industry, the firm has signed a preliminary deal with Schlumberger and Baker Hughes worth $2.47 billion on Monday. The initial agreement will involve investment in production facilities, training and development. Qatar is strategizing to boost its LNG production by 43% by 2023-24.
Transocean has entered into an agreement with its customer, Equinor, wherein the company will license and install Automated Drilling Control (ADC). ADC will be installed on the four rigs which are currently working in Norway and the fifth rig which is expected to commence its operations soon in the Norweigan sea. CEO commented, "The ADC upgrades advance our automation efforts and further enhance our industry-leading fleet of semi-submersibles".
Oil prices in the international market edged down on Tuesday due to economic slowdown but remained tight owing to supply cuts. Benchmark Brent crude oil futures dropped 0.6%, to $66.08 per barrel. US WTI crude futures were priced at $55.71 per barrel. Numerous rounds of trade talks have been in motion between the Chinese Vice Premier and Chief Trade Negotiator and US Trade Representative in Washington.
State-run refinery major, IOCL has entered into $1.5 billion term contract to purchase US crude oil from April. In a company statement, the oil guzzler informed that over 3 million tonnes of US crude will be imported under the contract, as part of its strategy to diversify term crude sources. The announcement for the term contract has come just a day before Saudi Arabian Crown Prince’s arrival in India.
Qatar-based Nakilat has entered into an agreement with EPC giant, McDermott to form a joint venture, which will provide onshore and offshore fabrication services in Qatar. The formation of the joint venture is in line with Qatar’s recent localisation program, which aims at enhancing the resilience of the energy sector’s supply chain. The strategic partnership will boost productivity levels at Nakilat’s world-class Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard.
American international corporation, Air Products has secured a contract for Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil’s Golden Pass LNG project. The Pennsylvania-based firm will provide its proprietary AP-C3MRTM natural gas liquefaction technology and equipment, and three MCR® Main Cryogenic Heat Exchangers. Golden Pass LNG, which is a $10 billion project, is integrating liquefaction and export capabilities to the existing framework near Sabine Pass.
India’s largest oil guzzler, IOCL has received clearance from the Expert Appraisal Committee under MoEF for establishing a grass root petroleum storage and distribution terminal in Telangana. The minutes of meeting disclosed that the proposal involves establishing 28 tanks with a combined capacity of approximately 165 million litres with an investment expenditure of ₹570 crore in Yadadri. The project has been allotted a total area of over three lakh sqm.
After China reported a significant drop in its automobile sales in January, the concerns of fuel demand enveloped the world’s second-largest oil user. This affected the oil prices and led to its decline on Monday. Brent dropped and was traded at $66.20 per barrel. It was majorly hit by the weak Chinese car sales data. WTI, on the other hand, increased a little and was at $55.82 per barrel.
India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has released its third-quarter report. The firm reported a 65% profit in its third quarter which was primarily due to a substantial rise in prices. According to the report, the crude production of ONGC dropped 4.8% to 6.03 million tonnes. On the other hand, the gas production of the company increased by 6.6% to 6.7 billion cubic meters.
Oil supermajor ExxonMobil has awarded a contract extension to Rowan’s Relentless Drillship for further operations. In a company statement, Rowan Companies plc announced that its R-Class ultra-deepwater drillship, Rowan Relentless will continue its operations for another 180 days in the US Gulf of Mexico. The drillship has been under contract by ExxonMobil from September 2018.