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In a welcome move, the UK government has announced major funding for multiple carbon capture schemes in its Budget for 2020. Although UK chancellor Rishi Sunak refrained from mentioning any new measures for North Sea oil and gas extraction, his first budget laid emphasis on environment-friendly investment. The UK Committee on Climate Change has proposed the country’s first carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facility and it should be operational by 2026.
Rystad Energy has predicted a drop in oil industry investments this year. “Our current assessment forecasts that COVID-19 could result in global exploration and production (E&P) investments falling by around $30 billion in 2020", said the head of Rystad’s oilfield service research. There is no clear sign as to when the effect of the epidemic will ease.
One of the industry's most prestigious conferences, CERAWeek has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. The event was scheduled for this month in Houston. Scrapping this conference will reduce a chance of the industry officials "to discuss how to deal with declining demand caused by the virus epidemic". During the course of this development, IHS Market highlighted the measures taken by the companies to protect the workers.
India's Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has shown concerns over increasing tensions amidst the oil-producing countries. "In today's times when there is a tension in the oil-producing countries then there is a direct impact on the prices of oil in the markets", said Pradhan. India is also planning to look for other oil import countries apart from the gulf nations.
The second-largest US oil company, Chevron expects $10 billion-$11 billion charge in the fourth quarter. Following this, the company is also planning to sell some of its natural gas projects to prepare for long term low prices. "With capital discipline and a conservative outlook comes the responsibility to make the tough choices necessary to deliver higher cash returns to our shareholders over the long term", said the Chief Executive.
According to the sources, OPEC and its allies were close to agreeing on one of the deepest output cuts of the decade. The group might increase the current cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day by more than 400,000 bpd. Saudi's Energy Minister has commented that he "feels good" about this week's meeting. Since 2017, OPEC+ has been curbing the output in order to balance the increasing output from US.
Aquarius Marine Coatings (AMC) has introduced a new anti-foul coating solution for offshore oil and gas. Coppercoat-Commercial has high levels of copper and is a natural anti-microbial agent. It will effectively protect sub-sea infrastructure from hosting layers of plant, animal and microbe growth. This coating does not contain any volatile organic compounds and offers protection against degradation forms.
Global carbon emission has hit record levels in 2019 because of the increased use of natural gas. According to the analysis of the Global Carbon Project, CO2 emissions were on a course to rise 0.6% this year. This increase has been recorded even after a substantial decline in the use of coal. "Natural gas is now the biggest contributor to the growth in emissions", says the Carbon Budget report.
Rovco, a subsea technology company has launched a new product called “SubSLAM Live”. It is 3D streaming technology which will allow clients to live stream 3D underwater point clouds to any device in the world. “The model is compressed and progressively sent over a low-bandwidth <256Kb network link to a cloud server along with the ROV's position", says Rovoco's CSO.
Shanghai Futures Exchange has informed that China will launch low-sulphur fuel oil futures in the first quarter of 2020. This would be China's second bonded oil futures contract. The first contract was in March 2018 on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), a ShFE subsidiary. Apart from this, ShFE will actively promote the launch of alumina future also.
In unprecedented discussions, the Indian Parliament yesterday debated the air toxicity currently threatening the 48 million people residing in the Delhi NCR region. The debate saw opposition leaders demanding the government to set up a parliamentary panel to find long-term solutions to the problem. The air quality index in New Delhi exceeded 500 this month, about 10 times the recommended limit.
The biggest conference of the oil and gas industry, ADIPEC 2019 is currently happening in Abu Dhabi. During the conference, ADNOC's CEO Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber has addressed the industry professionals saying "Oil and gas industry will remain an essential pillar of the future diversified energy mix". He has called out on the industry to modernize in order to keep up with the fast-evolving energy landscape.
Saudi Aramco has started its Initial Public Offering (IPO). Aramco has also shared a few specifics on the number of shares to be sold, pricing or the date for a launch. The company could offer 1%-2% of its shares on the local bourse. Its Chairman said, "Today is the right opportunity for new investors to reap the benefits of Aramco’s ability to achieve value, and boost it on the long-term”.
Petronas has set up a $350 million venture capital arm. The state firm's newly-launched Petronas Corporate Venture Capital is for industrial and energy investments. "The fund will act as a minority stakeholder in early to growth-stage companies", said the company. Petronas is Malaysia's largest employer and contributor to government revenue. The company has also informed that it is looking for investment opportunities in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
After a 40-year career with oil supermajor BP, Group CEO Bob Dudley will step-down from the company’s board in February 2020 and later retire on 31 March 2020. In a statement released by BP yesterday, the firm informed that Bernard Looney, the current chief executive (upstream), will step up as the CEO of the company. Dudley remained at the helm of the supermajor for more than nine years.
In a major shock to OPEC, one of its smallest members, Ecuador yesterday said that it will leave the oil cartel effective from Jan. 1, citing fiscal problems. Ecuador is looking to boost crude production to extract more income and has broken the output quota fixed by the cartel on multiple occasions. The South American country struggling with tight liquidity due to a wide fiscal deficit and immense foreign debt.
Celebrated corporate raider and energy industry magnate, T. Boone Pickens passed away yesterday at the age of 91. Pickens, who suffered a stroke back in 2016, closed his BP Capital energy hedge fund. The oil tycoon contributed heavily towards the advances in medical research, athletic and educational initiatives. He will also be remembered for encouraging the increased domestic utilization of abundant natural gas.
Oil supermajor ExxonMobil has confirmed that it has signed an exclusivity agreement with Var Energi. This agreement will enable further negotiations on the possible sale of Exxon's Norwegian upstream assets. But the oil giant has informed that the final aggrement is yet to be signed. ExxonMobil is ready to sell its stakes in 20 partner-operated fields. This decision has been taken two years after Exxon sold its operated assets.