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Iran has warned to close Strat of Homuz, a narrow waterway carrying a fifth of the world’s traded oil, in response to end of sanctions waiver. A news agency cited head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps navy force saying “If we are prevented from using it, we will close it,”. Iran’s warning to close the waterway isn’t new, and its officials have threatened to do so in the past too.
State-run SOCAR has revealed plans of expanding its portfolio of processed grades of oil at its $6.3 billion-STAR refinery in Turkey. General Manager at the Azerbaijani energy firm said that the STAR refinery is already running at full capacity and intends to process approx. 900,000 tonnes of crude from May. The refinery, which started operations in October 2018, has processed only Rosneft’s Urals crude oil.
According to sources, supermajor Chevron has asked Petrobras to prove Pasadena refinery to be operational before taking possession of the facility. Chevron announced in January to spend $350 million for the proposed acquisition of 112,229 barrel-per-day (bpd) Pasadena refinery from Petrobras. Sources revealed that the ownership transfer was stalled after the refinery went under planned overhaul.
The announcement by Washington to end all the US sanctions waivers by May end weighed heavy on the market on Tuesday with oil prices jumping to near 2019 highs. This US strategy will bring the importers of Tehran crude under pressure. Amidst this commotion in the market, Brent soared as high as $74.40 per barrel, increasing 0.5%. WTI touched the highest since October 2018 after reaching $65.95 per barrel.
ExxonMobil has informed that it has signed a sales and purchase agreement for the supply of Liquified Natural Gas with Zhejiang Provincial Energy Group. The agreement has been signed for 20 years during which Zhejiang Energy is expected to receive 1 million metric tons per annum of LNG. Exxon's senior VP of LNG said, "This sales and purchase agreement provides a solid foundation for our strategic partnership with Zhejiang".
Trump administration has firmly denied the renewal of sanction waivers for importing Iranian crude. On Monday the US declared the five nations including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey will not be exempted from the sanctions. According to the sources, this decision was finalised by President Trump on Friday. It is aimed at increasing the pressure on Iran by jeopardising the revenue they get from oil exports.
In a statement released yesterday, oil giant Saudi Aramco informed that it will buy out Shell’s stake in refining joint venture SASREF for approximately $631 million. The Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Co. (SASREF) facility holds a processing capacity of 305,000 barrels of crude oil per day. While the acquisition is in part of Aramco’s downstream expansion strategy, it falls in line with Shell’s renewed focus on lower carbon businesses.
State-owned Qatar Petroleum yesterday informed about inking a 10-year sales agreement with Thailand’s SCG Chemicals. The long-term supply agreement will require QP to deliver 3 million metric tons of Light Naphtha to SCG, beginning April 2019. The agreement marks the first Qatar Petroleum for the Sale of Petroleum Products Company (QPSPP) naphtha feedstock sale to an end-user like SCG in Thailand.
HPCL’s stance on the promoter classification has remained resolute one year after its Rs. 37000 crore-acquisition by ONGC. In a recent regulatory filing, HPCL continued recognizing the Government as its promoter and ONGC as a public shareholder. HPCL’s shareholding pattern hasn’t changed despite a government directive asking it to acknowledge ONGC as the promoter. In response to an inquiry, HPCL has said that it is awaiting certain clarifications from authorities.
Last year, Total signed an agreement with Alphabet Inc.’s Google to work on developing AI solutions for the subsurface data analysis. Working on the same lines, Arnaud Breuillac, Total's head of E&P, recently informed in a conference about the digital factory to be set up by the company. This factory will employ 200 to 300 engineers in order to build the North sea project successfully using AI.
According to the reports, the Khobar-based Arabian Drilling Company (ADC) is ready to acquire the drilling business of Schlumberger in Saudi. Arabian Drilling Company is an alliance between the Industrialization & Energy Services Company which is a Saudi Joint Stock company and Services Petroliers Schlumberger S.A. Further, the ADC website confirms that Services Petroliers Schlumberger owns the rest 49 %.
The oil prices surged by more than 2% on Monday and reached 6 months high. According to the reports, Washington is planning to end the imports of Iranian crude which further supported the crude market. Brent increased 2.5% and was traded at $73.77 per barrel. WTI rallied by 2.2% and was traded at $65.39 per barrel.
Chrysaor Holdings Limited will acquire the business of ConocoPhillips in the UK. After this acquisition, Chrysaor will become the largest oil and gas producer in the UK North Sea with approximately 177,000 boepd production in 2018. The assets of ConocoPhillips includes over 280 MMboe proved and probable (2P) oil and gas reserves. CEO of Chrysaor said, "Acquiring ConocoPhillips UK accelerates our strategy and further strengthens our positions".
Serica Energy has announced substantial increment in its profit in the year 2018. The sales revenue of the company rose to £35m in 2018 from £11m. The Chief Executive of the company said, "In particular we aim to extend the field life of the BKR assets by concentrating on enhancing recovery and reducing costs through eliminating unnecessary complexity". The pre-tax profits of Serica surged to £45 million last year.
The acquisition of one of the biggest oil fields in the West African country in 2011 has now been surrounded by controversy. A court in Nigeria has ordered the arrest of two former ministers and others allegedly connected with the deal's illegal payments. Parties to the transaction, Shell and Eni are accused of settling the dispute over the oil field in an unlawful manner.
India's Reliance Industries has denied commenting on the reports of its ongoing talks with energy supermajor Saudi Aramco. According to the sources, the company might sell its 25% stakes in refining and petrochemical business to Aramco. It is being believed that the energy giant Aramco was first to show interest in Reliance about four months ago. RIL said, “Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis”.
In Argentina’s first offshore licensing round, Norwegian energy major, Equinor won big with the award of seven exploration blocks in the bidding. While on four blocks Equinor secured 100% operatorship, it will partner with YPF and Total on the remaining three blocks. The bidding round which had 38 offshore blocks on offer was the first open bid round for Argentinian offshore acreage in almost three decades.
Oilfield services giant, Halliburton has informed about securing an integrated services contract with Royal Dutch Shell. The contract pertains to post-salt development and pre-salt exploration in the Campos and Santos Basins in Brazil. The three-year contract will require Halliburton to offer drilling services for bringing greater efficiency to the project through the integration of multiple product offerings and technologies.