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Oil Price Drop Imminent If Moscow Says ?No? To Extension
by Irina Slav
20 Nov 2017 at 1:32pm
As the November 30 meeting in Vienna of OPEC and its partners in the oil production cut deal nears, worry has returned among traders: one of the brokers of the deal might decide to walk out on the deal instead of participating in another extension. We?re talking about Russia, the world?s top producer and exporter, who many believe played OPEC and specifically its leader, Saudi Arabia, by agreeing to a relatively minor production cut from its nearly record-high rate of production. Reports emerged last week that Russia is considering?

Keystone XL Is Far From Certain
by Nick Cunningham
20 Nov 2017 at 1:29pm
The state of Nebraska just cleared one of the last hurdles for the Keystone XL pipeline, potentially ending a decade-long saga over the 1,700-mile pipeline. The Nebraska Public Service Commission, a five-member regulatory body, voted 3-2 in favor of the project, which would give TransCanada permission to build the pipeline through the state. Nebraska had been the last thorn in Keystone XL?s side after the Trump administration gave the greenlight earlier this year. But while the approval is a massive victory for TransCanada ? the company?s?

Can OPEC Control The Oil Bulls In Vienna?
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Nov 2017 at 1:26pm
Until a month ago, oil analysts and investors thought a nine-month extension of the OPEC production cut agreement was a foregone conclusion. But as the November 30 meeting draws near, oil prices have begun to rally on the back of a growing geopolitical risk premium as tensions rise in the Middle East. In addition, signs of a tighter oil market and of ?steadily returning? stability, as OPEC loves to put it, have pushed oil prices to their highest levels in more than two years. Now it?s those higher oil?

Is The LNG Glut Real?
by Nick Cunningham
20 Nov 2017 at 1:16pm
LNG prices have tanked over the past few years after a wave of new natural gas export capacity has come online in places like Australia and the U.S. However, despite fears that the LNG market would collapse under a massive glut of gas, the supply/demand balance for LNG is a lot tighter than expected. A new report from Columbia University?s Global Center on Energy Policy argues that a group of about a dozen relatively small countries have popped up to buy some of those LNG cargoes, relieving the market of its expected glut. On their own, each?

Iraq?s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
by Zainab Calcuttawala
20 Nov 2017 at 1:12pm
Iraq?s giant Majnoon oilfield has attracted the attention of British Petroleum and Italian Eni, according to Iraqi officials who spoke to Reuters on Monday. Royal Dutch Shell is slated to exit the play in southern Iraq by June 2018, paving the way for other oil majors to take its place. American Chevron and French Total had both been eager to work on Majnoon as well, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi said last month. The field?s reserves are estimated at 38 billion barrels of crude oil. Reports emerged mid-September that Shell was looking?

Energy Majors Hit Hard By Climate Regulations
20 Nov 2017 at 12:42pm
They say that bad news come in threes. The headlines one day this past week certainly gave credence to that notion?at least for the fossil fuel business. The first news came out of Siemens, a Munich-based industrial conglomerate somewhat akin to the troubled General Electric. After last week?s disastrous news from GE?a 50 percent dividend cut and plans for a complete corporate makeover?we shouldn?t have been surprised. GE?s difficulties weren?t just due to poor business conditions. There has also been too?

South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Nov 2017 at 12:29pm
Between November 1 and 20, Iraq?s crude oil exports from the south averaged 3.5 million bpd, up by 150,000 bpd from October and close to record highs, as Baghdad tries to offset the drop in exports from the northern route from Kirkuk to Ceyhan after Iraqi forces reclaimed control of Kirkuk oil fields from Kurdish forces in mid-October. According to shipping data tracked by Reuters and to an industry source tracking, the southern Iraqi exports so far this month have been just below the 3.51 million bpd record of December last year, when Iraq?

Keystone XL Pipeline Gains Approval After A 9-Year Battle
by Zainab Calcuttawala
20 Nov 2017 at 11:05am
Nebraskan regulators voted to approve the construction of a portion of TransCanada?s Keystone XL pipeline in the state on Monday, according to emerging reports regarding the project. The Nebraska Public Service Commission made a 3-2 decision to allow the pipeline, but unsurprisingly, its opponents vow to challenge the decision in courts. "While we are very pleased with Nebraska's approval, it underscores that Canadian regulators need to keep pace if we are going to build a truly diversified set of markets," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley stated?

Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Nov 2017 at 10:46am
Iraq?s security forces have found mass graves inside oil wells in an area in northeastern Iraq close to the oil-rich Kirkuk, and they believe the bodies are of civilians executed by ISIS, a security source told local media on Monday. Iraq will now collect DNA samples to identify the victims, the security source told The Baghdad Post. This is not the first time a mass grave has been uncovered by Iraqi forces who have recaptured almost all of Iraq?s territory formerly held by ISIS militants. A week ago, Iraqi authorities said that mass?

Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Nov 2017 at 10:15am
Chevron?s Nigerian unit and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have signed the second and final phase of a US$1.7-billion alternative financing agreement for a joint project in Nigeria that is expected to boost the country?s crude oil production by 39,000 bpd in the long term, NNPC said on Sunday. The joint venture of NNPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) expects the project to boost production will cost some US$1.7 billion, of which US$780 million will be provided by third parties. In the first financing stage, Nigerian?

Who's Next? Venezuela's Collapse Puts These Nations At Risk
20 Nov 2017 at 10:03am
"It's a wake-up call for a lot of people who will say ?Look, the stuff I own is actually very risky'..." warns Ray Jian, who oversees about $6 billion at Pioneer Investment Management Ltd. in London. "People have been ignoring risks in places like Lebanon for a long time," and the official default of Venezuela this week has emerging-market money managers are looking to identify countries that might run into trouble down the road. (Click to enlarge)While Bloomberg reports that while none are nearly as badly off as Venezuela - where a combination?

Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
by Irina Slav
20 Nov 2017 at 9:10am
As Venezuela?s crude oil production continues to decline, a co-member from OPEC is stepping in to fill the gap, Reuters reports, citing industry and OPEC sources. This year, daily production is set to fall by at least 250,000 barrels and next year the pace of decline may accelerate, reaching 300,000 bpd. The monthly rate of decline this year has been 20,000 bpd. As a result, Venezuela is unable to maintain its production quota under OPEC rules?and Iraq, which produces heavy oil similar to Venezuela?s grade, has increased its shipments?

Iran: Most OPEC Producers Back Extension Of Cuts
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Nov 2017 at 9:04am
The majority of OPEC members are in favor of the cartel extending the oil production cuts, but a final decision will be made at the highly-anticipated meeting on November 30, according to Iran?s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh. ?The majority of members support the extension of the plan, but the final decision should be taken at the next OPEC meeting,? Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Monday. According to the Iranian oil minister, if OPEC extends the cuts, it will also extend the exemption for Iran not to curb its production. In the?

Short Bets On Oil Spike Ahead Of OPEC Meeting
by Irina Slav
20 Nov 2017 at 7:36am
Short bets on Brent crude jumped by the most since June last week, signaling the return of uncertainty that OPEC will agree to extend the oil production cut deal it sealed a year ago. Data from CFTC cited by Bloomberg revealed that hedge funds increased their bearish bets on the international crude benchmark by 8.7 percent in the week to November 14. Interestingly, speculators were more bullish on WTI, with bets on a price increase for the U.S. benchmark rising by 10 percent. At the beginning of this week, however, prices remained relatively unchanged?

ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
by Irina Slav
20 Nov 2017 at 7:09am
ConocoPhillips will only invest in new projects that can be profitable at an oil price of below US$50 a barrel, CEO Ryan Lance told the FT, adding that the company will continue to focus increasingly on U.S. shale despite skepticism about its growth potential among analysts. Conoco believes that in addition to operational efficiencies that have been improving in the shale patch over the last few years, shale is more resilient to oil price swings than other segments of the industry. That?s despite the inability of a lot of shale boomers to?

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