Daily Energy News From OilSlick.com


Chevron Looks To SE Asia For Growth In Renewables
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, is looking to the Philippines and Indonesia as growth areas for its renewable energy businesses, including geothermal power production. The company has not been active in renewable energy development in the Philippines, but a recent shift in government policy may change that. Continue reading
Transocean Refuses To Comply With Spill Subpoenas
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, is refusing to honor subpoenas issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board regarding the company's involvement in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Switzerland-based Transocean says the U.S. Chemical Safety Board does not have jurisdiction in the matter. Continue reading
Petrobras To Miss 2010 Domestic Production Goal
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, will miss its 2010 domestic production target by 4.6% despite announcing record daily output earlier this week. The company produced an average of 2mi llion barrels per day in Brazil this year, missing its goal of 2.1 million barrels per day. Continue reading
BHP/Anadarko Rumor Gets New Life
Several months after the Australian newspaper, citing unidentified sources, mentioned Anadarko Petroleum as a possible backup plan for BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, in the event BHP was not able to acquire fertilizer giant Potash Corp., the story got new life after the Daily Mail of the U.K. reported BHP may be mulling a bid for Anadarko. Continue reading
Spill Costs Look Manageable For BP, AP Says
Analysis performed by the Associated Press shows BP's financial obligations related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill seem manageable eight months after the worst oil spill in U.S. looked as though it could bring Europe's second-largest oil company to the brink of bankruptcy. Continue reading
New York, Ohio Pension Funds Lead BP Suits
The New York State Common Retirement Fund and four public pension funds from Ohio have been named lead plaintiffs in a consolidated class action lawsuit against BP, the second-largest European oil company. The plaintiffs are seeking damages as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Noble Says Tests Confirm Significant Israel Gas Find
Noble Energy said recent test results at the Leviathan field off Israel's coast confirm a major natural gas discovery of at least 16 trillion cubic feet. Leviathan-1 is located in 5,400 feet of water 29 miles southwest of the Tamar discovery. The entire Leviathan field is about 125 square miles in size. Continue reading
Brazil's Tupi, Iracema Fields Reserves Top Estimates
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said the country's Tupi and Iracema hold a combined 8.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserve, topping previous estimates. Tupi, the second-largest oil find in the Americas in three decades, holds 6.5 billion barrels of recoverable reserves while Iracema is home 1.8 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Continue reading
Brazil's Abrolhos Area Reopened To Exploration
Brazil's Abrolhos region, an offshore area in northeast Brazil previously closed to oil exploration, has been reopened to energy producers after a Brazilian federal court overruled a ban on oil exploration in the area. Brazil's national oil regulator, ANP, made the announcement on Tuesday. Continue reading
Energy Spending To Jump 11% In 2011, Barclays Says
Buoyed by rising oil prices and an improving global economy, global oil companies are expected to spend $490 billion in 2011, an 11% increase from 2010 as the race to find new oil deposits intensifies, according to Barclays Capital. The spending figure includes estimated expenditures on new wells, platforms and related infrastructure. Continue reading
Plenty Of Oil And Gas Assets For Sale
Oil and gas producers across the world have put $90 billion in assets up for sale, signaling that the robust mergers and acquisitions activity seen in the energy sector in 2010 is likely to carry over into 2011. The data appeared in the Financial Times, which cited industry research firm Derrick Petroleum Services. Continue reading
Petrobras Shares Jump On Brazil Production Data
Shares of Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, touched their highest level in six weeks after Brazil announced its November oil production soared to a record. The country is the second-largest oil producer in South America after OPEC member Venezuela. Continue reading
Hedge Funds Bearish On Nat Gas
Hedge funds are upping their bearish bets on natural gas futures, wagering that forecasts for temperatures that are higher than normal in first weeks of January will dampen demand for the fuel. Bearish positions on natural gas futures rose by the most since October last week, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Iraq Oil Production Jumps
Iraq, the lone OPEC member not subject to the cartel's production quota system, said oil production topped 2.6 million barrels per day for the first time in two decades, which will allow the country to increase exports by 5% to 2 million barrels per day in January. Continue reading
Petrobras Commences Guara Presalt Test
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, announced that it has started a long-term test at its Guara presalt site in Brazil's Santos Basin. The test is expected to last five months and Petrobras is aiming to produce 14,000 barrels of oil per day during the testing phase. Continue reading
PetroChina Sells Pipeline Stake For $2.9B
PetroChina, China's largest oil company, sold a 60% stake in its PetroChina Beijing Natural Gas Pipeline to a separate, publicly traded unit of the company, Kunlun Energy, for $2.9 billion. Beijing Gas Group Co., a unit of Beijing Enterprises Holdings, owns the other 40% of the business. Continue reading
Massey Could Have Multiple Suitors
Massey Energy, the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia, could have multiple suitors if the Virginia-based company decides to pursue a sale of itself, a move that is viewed as more likely in the wake of the resignation of CEO Don Blankenship. Last Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported Massey's board was considering bids from two potential buyers. Continue reading
Total Looking To Enter Congo
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, is reportedly in talks with South African firms SacOil Holdings Ltd. and DIG Oil about acquiring a stake in an exploration block in Eastern Congo. Total would cover initial exploration costs in exchange for the stake, Dow Jones reported. Continue reading
Libya Says Oil Prices Will Reach $100bbl
Libya, an OPEC member, said oil prices will reach $100 per barrel and that market conditions will dictate whether OPEC raises its production quotas. Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Corp., made the comments ahead of a meeting of Arab oil ministers in Cairo this weekend. Continue reading
Exxon Pays $650M For Petrohawk Assets
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, will pay $650 million to acquire Petrohawk Energy's natural gas wells and pipelines in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas. The deal is Exxon's second natural gas purchase in 2010. The company acquired XTO Energy for $35 billion in June. Continue reading
Former CEO Browne May Be Looking At BP Assets
Riverstone Holdings, a New York-based private equity firm at which former BP CEO Lord John Browne is a partner and managing director, is reportedly considering making offers for several of the British oil giant's businesses that are part of the company's planned asset sales. Continue reading
Exco Buys Marcellus Assets For $459.4M
Exco Resources, the independent oil and gas producer, said it will acquire some Marcellus Shale assets from Chief Oil & Gas for $459.4 million. The acquired assets include producing properties with gross output of about 40 million cubic feet per day from 15 producing wells prospects located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, according to Reuters. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Lag Brazilian Market Again
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, could lag Brazil's Bovespa, the country's benchmark stock index, again in 2011 after being one of the index's laggards in 2010 as investors remained concerned about the cost of the company's exploration budget and the impact that could have on profitability. Continue reading
Rio Tinto Makes $3.9B Bid For Riversdale
Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, has offered $3.9 billion for Australia-based Riversdale Mining, a producer of coking coal. The acquisition is Rio's first big splurge since its 2007 acquisition of aluminum producer Alcan, a deal that wrecked Rio's balance sheet with $40 billion in debt. Continue reading
BP Fights Alaska Probation Violation Charges
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is fighting charges that it violated terms of its probation in Alaska, pleading not guilty on Monday to probation violations tied to the company's criminal conviction for a 2006 oil leak on Alaska's North Slope. BP was found guilty of violating the federal Clean Water Act as a result of that spill. Continue reading
Halliburton Pays $35M To Settle Nigerian Bribery Claims
Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services provider, will pay $35 million to Nigeria to settle the country's charges the company employed bribery tactics to a natural-gas liquefaction project. Texas-based Halliburton will pay $32.5 million to Nigeria's government and $2.5 million in legal fees. Continue reading
BP Restarts Production At Azerbaijan Platform
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, has restarted production at an oil platform in the Azerbaijan area of the Caspian Sea after shutting the platform due to faulty firefighting equipment. The Chirag platform, which produces 90,000 barrels a day, was shut down last Saturday after the problems were discovered during routine maintenance, according to the Guardian newspaper. Continue reading
Shell Lifts Nigeria Force Majeure
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, lifted a month-old force majeure provision in Nigeria after the company was able to stabilize production in the country's oil-rich Niger Delta. In November, Shell declared force majeure after the Trans-Niger pipeline was attacked by militant rebels Continue reading
Gabrielli Staying At Petrobras
Petrobras chief executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli will remain at the helm of Brazil's state-run oil producer under the President-Elect Dilma Roussef's new administration. Incoming Mines & Energy Minister Edison Lobao confirmed that Gabrielli will remain in the top spot at Petrobras. Continue reading
Chevron Nigeria Pipeline Attacked
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, confirmed that one if pipelines in Nigeria, the top oil producing nation in Africa, was blown. The announcement comes just two days after a militant rebel group claimed responsibility for an attack in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta. Continue reading
Buckeye To Buy Bahamas Stake For $1.36B
Buckeye Partners, the Texas-based pipeline master limited partnership, will pay $1.36 billion to acquire an 80% stake in Bahamas Oil Refining Co. from private-equity firm First Reserve Corp. in a deal that will be financed with debt and equity. First Reserve will get $250 million of a new, Class B of units as well as $150 million of common units, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Chesapeake Soars As Ichan Boosts Stake
Shares of Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, surged almost 9% today after filings showed billionaire investor Carl Icahn doubled his stake in the Oklahoma-based company to 5% from 2.5%. Icahn is also in talks with Chesapeake management about ways to increase shareholder value. Continue reading
Williams May Buy BP Canadian Assets
Williams Cos., the Oklahoma-based natural gas pipeline operator, is reportedly interested in buying a natural gas liquids (NGL) facility in Canada from BP, Europe's second-largest oil company. Last week, BP said it was looking to sell up to $2 billion worth of its Canadian assets as part of its plan to sell $30 billion in assets by mid-2011. Continue reading
Chevron Optimisic On Steam Oil Project
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said a project to increase production by using steam into an oil field shared by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia has shown promising results. Continue reading
Algeria Considers All Options For BP Assets
Algeria is considering an array of options for BP's assets in the North African country, including purchasing the assets for itself or allowing another company to acquire them. BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, previously agreed to sell its Algerian assets to TNK-BP, the company's joint venture with Russian investors. Continue reading
Shell To Apply For 3 Gulf Wells
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, is in the process of preparing three new exploration plans for deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico as drilling at depths greater than 500 feet still remains idle in the Gulf two months after a moratorium banning deepwater drilling was lifted. Continue reading
Total To Acquire Stakes In Oil Sand Projects
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, will pay $1.7 billion to acquire stakes in Canadian oil sands projects from Suncor Energy, Canada's largest oil company. Suncor and Total will pool their interests in the Fort Hills, Joslyn and Voyageur projects in the Athabasca region. Continue reading
BP, Chevron Mentioned In WikiLeaks Post
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, may have acted to cover up a gas leak in Azerbaijan in 2008 and Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, allegedly held talks with Iranian officials about developing oil reserve's along Iran's border with Iraq, according to U.S. Embassy cables published whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks. Continue reading
Shale-Gas Output May Double By 2035
Production of shale-gas in the U.S. may double by 2035, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA's Annual Energy Outlook also said U.S. energy imports will fall to 18% of consumed energy by 2035 down from 24% this year.

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Chevron To Spend $4B On Gulf Project
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will invest $4 billion on a new deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico. The company will develop an oilfield that is 5,200 feet beneath the Gulf's surface. Production at the field, which is located 225 miles south of New Orleans, is slated to start in 2014. Continue reading
Exxon Announces Brazil Discovery
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said its Brazilian unit discovered oil at the BM-S-22 block in Brazil's Santos Basin after previously drilling a dry well there. The company confirmed the Sabia-1 well encountered hydrocarbons. which Exxon's Guarani prospect failed to do last year. Continue reading
Potash Sees Demand Rising In 2011
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer producer, said it expects rising demand for crop nutrients in 2011 as farmers scurry to meet increased global food demand. Potash CEO Bill Doyle said a 5% increase in grain production will be necessary just to meet current food consumption. Continue reading
Chevron Group Plans $5.4B Russian Pipeline Expansion
A consortium led by Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, will spend $5.4 billion to expand the capacity of an oil pipeline that runs from Kazakhstan to the Russian Black Sea. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium wants to boost the pipeline's capacity to 67 million metric tons by 2014. Continue reading
DOJ Sues Spill Companies
The Justice Department confirmed today that it will sue BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, and four other companies for their role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the larges oil spill in U.S. history. The suit was filed today in a New Orleans federal court. Continue reading
BP May Sell Gas Assets For $2B
BP, Europe's largest oil company, is looking for buyers for Canadian gas assets that may be worth $2 billion or more. The assets include pipelines and facilities. The company has hired Credit Suisse to look for buyers of the assets that handle natural-gas liquids such as propane and ethane, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Makes Second Meta Discovery This Month
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil producer, announced another oil discovery in Colombia's Meta province in the central part of the South American country. The discovery is Ecopetrol's second announced Meta find this month, bring the company's total of new discoveries this year to seven. Continue reading
DOJ Expected File Civil Suits For Gulf Spill
The Justice Department is expected to become the latest party to join civil lawsuits related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history, in the first significant legal action on behalf of the federal government since the spill. The Justice Department did not comment on the news. Official word on the Department joining the litigation is expected on Wednesday. Continue reading
BP Gets $775M For Pakistan Assets
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, sold its Pakistan assets to Hong Kong's United Energy Group for $775 million, raising more cash through asset sales to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. On Monday, BP rejected an offer from two Pakistani firms. Continue reading
Petrobras Slashes 2011 Production Forecast
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer, reduced its production outlook for 2011 by more than half because of declining output at aging fields. The company said it expects oil output to increase 3.5% to 4% in 2011 compared with a previous estimate of up to 9.4%. Continue reading
BP Rejects Bid For Pakistan Assets
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, has rejected a bid by Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) to acquire the British oil giant's Pakistan assets because the offer was much lower than what BP received from other interested parties. Continue reading
Petrobras To Declare Tupi Commercial By Year End
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said it will declare the Tupi field commercially viable by the end of this year. Tupi, discovered in 2007, is believed to hold 5 billion to 8 billion barrels of oil. When the field was discovered, it was the largest oil find in the Americas in the three decades. Continue reading
Tesoro Planning IPO For Logistics Unit
Tesoro, the Texas-based oil refiner, announced on Monday that it will spin-off its logistics business in a $200 million initial public offering. A minority stake in the business will be sold to the public in the form of a master limited partnership (MLP). Energy MLPs are typically known for high dividends and yields. Continue reading
GE To Acquire Wellstream For $1.25B
Dow component General Electric will acquire U.K.-based oil services firm Wellstream for $1.25 billion in cash and a special dividend. Wellstream rejected an offer from GE in October, but the company's board unanimously agreed to the industrial conglomerate's latest offer. Continue reading
Twelve Companies Bid For Syria Licenses
Syria's Deputy Oil Minister Hassan Zainab said that 12 oil companies have submitted 14 bids to explore oil in eight exploration blocks in Syria. The country is looking halt declining output by awarding exploration licenses to foreign oil companies with more advanced technology. Continue reading
Venezuela Boost Oil Shipments To China
Venezuela, South America's largest oil producer, is now the third-largest supplier of crude to China, the largest country in the world by population. Venezuela says it is now sending 364,000 barrels of oil per day to China, or more than 10% of its daily production of 3 million barrels. Continue reading
Document Says Venezuela's Oil Industry Deteriorating
A U.S. Embassy cable released by whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks that is dated October 15, 2009 highlights deteriorating conditions in Venezuela's oil industry and that President Hugo Chavez's popularity may be suffering as a result of his country's faltering economy. Continue reading
Occidental Buys U.S. Asssets, Raises Dividend
Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said it will acquire $3.2 billion in oil and natural gas assets in North Dakota and southern Texas following the $2.45 billion sale of its Argentine business to China's Sinopec (SNP) on Friday. Continue reading
Sinopec To Acquire Occidental's Argentina Unit
China's Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, will pay $2.45 billion to acquire all of Occidental Petroleum's Argentina business known as Occidental Argentina. The acquisition is the second multi-billion dollar purchase by a Chinese oil major in Argentina in recent weeks. Continue reading
Shell Denies It Has Spies In Nigeria
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, is adamantly denying a U.S. embassy cable released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday that alleges the company's top manager in Nigeria said Shell has sources inside of all the Nigerian government agencies that affect the company's business. Continue reading
BP Delays Libya Plans Again
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, once again delayed plans to start a new drilling project off the coast of Libya until next year, citing operational issues with the rig originally intended for use on the project. BP said in July it was ready to commence drilling in the Gulf of Sirte, but has delayed the project multiple times since then. Continue reading
Chevron To Raise Spending 20%
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will increase capital expenditures by 20% to $26 billion in 2011 with $22.7 billion of that total geared toward the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The rest will be focused on downstream assets such as refineries. Continue reading
Panel Has Harsh Words For BP, Halliburton
A member of the government panel investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill called BP, Halliburton and Transocean ''breathtakingly inept'' and said the companies made mistakes that were ''largely preventable.'' Panel member William Kelly said the U.S. is also to blame because the government cannot maintain proper oversight of the oil industry.

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OGX Makes Another Campos Basin Find
OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the oil company run by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, announced that is discovered more oil in Brazil's Campos Basin. The company has made several offshore discoveries this year. The company drilled through an oil reservoir 116 meters (380.6 feet) thick at the 1-OGX-25 well in the Campos Basin, making it just OGX's second find at those depths, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Mexico To Permit Contracts For Private Companies
Petroleos Mexicanos or Pemex, Mexico's state-run oil producer, has won permission from the country's Supreme Court to move forward with plans to award service contracts to private companies that want to explore for oil in the country, a move Pemex hopes will help it exploit more resources and stem the tide of declining output. Continue reading
Upton To Lead Energy & Commerce Committee
Fred Upton (R-MI) will likely become chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee when the Republican majority assumes control of the House in January. Upton beat out former Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) for the top spot on one of the House's most prestigious committees. Continue reading
Repsol Makes Massive Argentine Gas Find
Repsol YPF, Spain's largest oil company, said it discovered 4.5 trillion cubic feet of unconventional natural gas in the Patagonia region of Argentina, the country's largest gas discovery in 35 years. The company, which has drilled four wells in the region, said it also found shale gas. Continue reading
BP May Sell Bonds To Chinese Investors
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is mulling the sale of corporate bonds targeted at Chinese investors as the British oil giant looks for new sources of cash to pay for up to $40 billion in costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company said it may sell yuan- and yen-denominated debt as well as bonds denominated in Australian and Canadian dollars. Continue reading
AGL To Buy Nicor For $2.4 Billion
AGL Resources, the Georgia-based natural gas utility, will pay $2.4 billion in cash and stock to acquire Nicor in a deal that will double AGL's customer base. Nicor shareholders will receive $21.20 in cash and 0.8382 share of AGL for each share they own, according to a statement issued by both firms. Continue reading
BP May Sell North Sea Assets
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is mulling the sale of some of its assets in the North Sea, a transaction that may be worth up to $1 billion, as part of its plan to sell $30 billion in assets to raise cash for costs tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
New Offshore Facilities To Help Iraq Boost Output
Iraq, holder of the world's fifth-largest oil reserves, expects to increase oil exports next year when two offshore facilities in the Persian Gulf come online the country's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region resumes oil shipments. Iraq's natural gas reserves are the fifth-largest in the Middle East. Continue reading
National Oilwell Not Cooperating With Spill Probe
Oil services provider National Oilwell Varco is not cooperating with the White House panel investigating the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which led to 11 deaths and the largest oil spill in history. BP (BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, operated the Deepwater Horizon. Continue reading
Riversdale Confirms Talks With Rio Tinto
Australia's Riversdale Mining, the developer of African coal mines, confirmed that it received a $3.46 billion takeover from mining giant Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest iron ore producer. The news sent Riversdale's Sydney-listed shares to their highest level in a decade. Continue reading
Massey Soars On CEO Departure, Takeover Talk
Shares of Massey Energy, the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia, surged 2.4% today after the Virginia-based company announced the departure of CEO Don Blankenship, prompting more speculation Massey is a prime takeover target. Blankenship, 60, had been CEO of Massey for a decade. Continue reading
Petrobras Finds More Oil In Sergipe Basin
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said it discovered additional signs of oil in Brazil's Sergipe Basin after saying it found large accumulations of crude in the same area in late October. The company made the discovery at the SEAL-M-495 block at a depth of 4,570 feet. Continue reading
Algerian Government Stands In The Way Of BP Asset Sale
The Algerian government has become a thorn in the side of BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, in the British oil giant's efforts to sell its assets in the North African country to TNK-BP. BP had previously announced the sale to TNK-BP, its joint Russian venture, but the Algerian government has refused to release data on the Salah and In Amenas gas fields. Continue reading
Eni Boosts Zubair Production
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, said it has been able to boost output by 10% at Iraq's Zubair field in the southern part of the country. Zubair is believed to be one of the more lucrative fields in Iraq. Current production from the Zubair field stands at 201,000 barrels per day, up from 183,000 barrels per day in February, according to the Associated Press. Continue reading
JPMorgan Sees $120 Oil Before End Of 2012
JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by market value, is forecasting that oil prices will reach $120 per barrel by the end of 2012 as demand by emerging market economies continues to flourish. The bank said OPEC countries are unlikely to boost production in the first half of next year unless prices move above $100 per barrel. Continue reading
Rio Tinto May Buy Riversdale Mining
Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest iron ore producer, is reportedly in talks to acquire Australia's Riversdale Mining for $3.1 billion, according to the Daily Telegraph, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter. Rio is reportedly willing to offer about $15 a share for Riversdale, which closed at about $14 a share last Friday. Continue reading
Goldman Likes European Oil Firms
In a note to investors on Thursday, Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs expressed positive sentiment toward European integrated oil companies, saying the group stands to benefit from rising oil prices, rising non-OPEC production and increased global refining capacity. Continue reading
Exxon Signs Deal To Develop Indonesia Gas Field
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, signed an agreement with Indonesia's PT Pertamina to jointly develop the Natuna D-Alpha natural gas block in the Asian country. Pertamina is also in talks with six other global oil producers about joining the project. Continue reading
Marathon, Noble In Force Majeure Tiff
Marathon Oil has reportedly oil services provider Noble Corp. that will it will cancel a contract for an ultra-deepwater rig in the Gulf of Mexico even if the rig commences work before the end of this year. Noble said Marathon is claiming that the Interior Department's failure to finalize deepwater drilling and spill response regulations and the Department's decision to withhold new deepwater drilling permits is a force majeure event, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Sinopec Buys Stake In Chevron Gas Project
Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, will purchase a minority stake in Chevron's deepwater Gendalo-Gehem natural gas project in Indonesia. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Sinopec has made several deals already this year to boost its exposure to international deepwater projects. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Makes Oil Discovery In Meta Province
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-controlled oil producer, said an exploratory well in the province of Meta turned up oil, marking the company's sixth new discovery this year and its third in the Eastern Llanos region. The Akacias-1 well, which began drilling on August 31, 2010, reached a depth of 11,780 feet, the company said. Continue reading
Petrobras Expects To Resolve Royalty Issue In 2011
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it expects to resolve issues regarding royalty payments for offshore drilling sometime in 2011. Brazil's government is currently considering royalty legislation and if not passed, the bill would return to the Lower House to be considered again in 2011. Continue reading
Obama Rejects Florida Drilling
The Obama administration retreated from a decision made earlier this year and will block oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean south of Delaware in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico that is close to Florida. In March, President Obama voiced support for drilling in the Atlantic and in the Gulf 125 miles off the coast of western Florida. Continue reading
BP Halts Production Of Alaska Rig
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, halted construction of a drilling rig at its Liberty project in Alaska in order to properly evaluate the rig's safety systems. The company's Liberty project, with an estimated price tag of $1 billion, will explore an area of the Beaufort Sea that holds more than 100 million barrels of oil. Continue reading
Total Moves Forward With North Sea Project
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, is moving ahead with the second phase of the West Franklin field in the U.K. North Sea, a project with an estimated price tag of $1 billion. Production is expected to start in 2013 and yield 40,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent. Continue reading
Shell, Gazprom Sign Oil, Gas Accord
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, and Russian oil giant Gazprom have signed what the two companies are calling a new agreement on ''global cooperation,'' making it easier for Shell to gain access to Siberia's abundant oil and natural gas reserves. Continue reading
BP Pares Energy Trading Staff
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is reducing its global energy trading staff by up to 10% in an effort to conserve costs. The company previously said earlier this month it would pare its energy trading business because profits have been down this year due to a lack of volatility in oil prices. Continue reading
Brazil To Decide On BP's Devon Asset Purchase In 2011
Brazil's oil regulator, the ANP, will wait until next year to decide whether or not to allow BP to proceed with its planned purchase of Devon Energy's Brazil assets. Earlier this year, BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, agreed to pay Devon $7 billion for its Brazilian assets. Continue reading
Noble Energy Announces Leviathan Gas Find
Noble Energy, the Texas-based independent oil and gas exploration firm, and partner Ratio Oil Exploration said Israel's offshore Leviathan field contains natural gas. Ratio did not disclose the size or the commercial viability of the gas discovery, but said it expects to provider further details in the next two weeks. Continue reading
Anadarko Makes Major Mozambique Gas Discovery
Anadarko Petroleum, the independent oil and gas producer, said it will consider building liquefied natural gas facilities in Mozambique after making its third significant natural gas discovery at the Lagosta prospect in the Mozambique's Rovuma Basin. Continue reading
Husky Energy Acquires Exxon Assets
Husky Energy, the Canadian oil and natural gas producer, will pay $841 million to purchase oil and gas properties in western Canada from Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company. The purchase will help Husky add 33,000 barrels per day in oil equivalent production. The company produced 306,500 barrels per day last year. Continue reading
Petrobras Finds Light Crude In Amazon
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, says a recent oil and natural gas discovery in Brazil's Amazon region contains some of the lightest oil ever found in Brazil. The company said production at the Igarape Chibata 1 well could reach 2,500 barrels per day. Continue reading
West Qurna Production Could Hit 750,000bpd
Production at Iraq's West Qurna Stage 1 oil field, which is jointly operated by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, could more than triple to 750,000 barrels per day in the next three years, according to an Iraqi oil official. The field holds an estimated 8.6 billion barrels of reserves. Continue reading
Cnooc's Bridas Buys BP Pan American Stake
Cnooc's Bridas Corp., the Argentine oil producer owned by China's largest offshore oil driller and Argentina's billionaire Bulgheroni family, will pay $7.06 billion for BP's 60% stake in Pan American Energy, Argentina's largest exporter of oil. Cnooc had been rumored to be the most interested suitor for the Pan American stake for several months. Continue reading
Shell Looking To Sell Texas Fields
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, is reportedly looking to sell its gas fields in South Texas, a deal that could be worth up to $1 billion, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The most likely buyers could be a private equity firm or a master limited partnership, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
BP Wins Indonesia Production Contract
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it was awarded a 100% interest in the North Arafura oil and gas production sharing project in the Indonesian province of Papua. The contract was signed on Friday by BP and members of the Indonesian government. Continue reading
BP Makes Major Gas Find In Egypt
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it made a ''significant'' natural gas discovery in the Deepwater West Nile Delta in Egypt. Further appraisal is underway at the Hodoa discovery in the West Mediterranean Deepwater, Nile Delta concession, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Shell Looking At Shale Gas Project In Mexico
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, is rumored to be interested in developing shale gas projects in northern Mexico with Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-controlled oil producer. Shell has previously said it is looking to boost its production of natural gas. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Raise Up To $40B Over Next Five Years
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, expects to raise $30 billion to $40 billion through the credit markets to help fund the company's ambitious exploration budget, which calls for the company to spend $224 billion through 2014, by far the largest exploration budget of any of the world's oil majors. Continue reading
Eni To Continue Operating In Ecuador
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, was able to successfully renogiate its contract to continue operating in Ecuador, the smallest OPEC member in terms of production, through 2023. The company is also planning almost $110 million in investments over the coming years in Ecuador. Continue reading
Petrobras Starts Work On Major Ethanol Pipeline
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said it started work on a $3.3 billion ethanol pipeline on Tuesday that will have the ability to transport 21 million cubic meters of ethanol per year. The project is expected to be completed in 2014. The pipeline will start in Brazil's Goias state and stretch to the Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo states. Continue reading
Cabot Sells Canadian Unit For $61.3 Million
Cabot Oil & Gas, the independent oil and natural gas producer, said it will sell its Canadian business to newly public Tourmaline Oil Corp. for $61.3 million, marking Cabot's second asset sale this week. Cabot will receive cash and 3 million shares of Toronto-listed Tourmaline Oil. Continue reading
Kinder Morgan Files For IPO
Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based pipeline operator, has filed plans for an initial public offering that could raise up to $1.5 billion for the company that went private three years ago in a $22 billion leveraged buyout. The company will convert into a corporation from a limited liability company. Continue reading
Statoil Sells Oil Sands Stake, May Sell Gulf Assets
Statoil, Norway's biggest oil company, said it will sell a 40% stake in its Canadian oil sands project to Thailand's PTT Exploration & Production for $2.28 billion and may be looking to sell its assets in the Gulf of Mexico next to raise cash for other projects. Continue reading
Hess Pays $1.05B For Bakken Shale Acres
Hess will pay $1.05 billion to privately held TRZ Energy LLC for 167,000 net acres in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. The acreage has production 4,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to a statement issued by Hess. The transaction has an effective date of October 1, 2010 and is expected to close by December 28, 2010. Continue reading
Repsol Ends Talks With Ecuador
Repsol, Spain's largest oil company, said it has terminated negotiations with Ecuador's government regarding the extension of oil contracts, making the company the second in less than a week to pull out of talks with the Central American's country's government. Continue reading
Massey To Explore Sale Of Company
Massey Energy, the largest coal producer in the Central Appalachia region, has reportedly started the process of exploring a sale of the company. Virginia-based Massey is expected to form a special board committee to explore the sale and an official announcement from the company is expected soon. Continue reading
Petrobras Departs Ecuador
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, will stop pumping oil in Ecuador, the smallest OPEC producer, after failing to reach a new production sharing agreement with the Central American country's government. Ecuador has been pressing for foreign oil firms operating there to share more revenue with the government or risk not having their exploration licenses renewed. Continue reading
BP Retires Glacier Park Leases
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it will not pursue further oil and natural gas production in Northwestern Montana near the Glacier National Park. The company is giving up rights to a lease of almost 400 acres near the park's entrance and about 1,850 acres total. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil May Sell Some North Sea Assets
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, may be looking to sell some of its North Sea oil assets, according to a report in the Sunday Times of London. The paper cited unidentified sources. The paper also said the company may be looking to part with 100 gas stations in Scotland. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Sells Some Gulf Assets For $1B
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, will sell several shallow-water Gulf of Mexico shelf oil and natural gas properties to Energy XXI for $1.01 billion. Among the properties are nine fields on almost 131,000 acres that produce 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Continue reading
Chevron Sells Some Carribean Assets
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will sell its fuels marketing and aviation businesses in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Guyana, St. Kitts, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Trinidad, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize to a unit of France-based Rubis for an undisclosed sum. Continue reading
BP Alaska Unit Could Face More Penalties
The Alaska unit of BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, could be the target of stiffer penalties in Alaska because the company continued to display negligent behavior in the state following its 2006 Prudhoe Bay pipeline spill. Mary Frances Barnes, a federal probation officer made the comments in a petition filed in a petition filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alaska. Continue reading
Cabot To Sell Midstream Assets To Williams For $150M
Cabot Oil & Gas, the independent oil and gas producer, said it is selling $150 million worth midstream assets in Pennsylvania to Williams Partners in an effort to restructure its capital budget. The deal includes a 25-year gathering agreement for 75 miles of pipelines. Continue reading
Walter Energy Offers $3.2B For Western Coal
Walter Energy, the Florida-based coal producer, has offered $3.24 billion to acquire Canadian coal miner Western Coal in the latest sign the coal sector is fertile territory for mergers and acquisitions activity. The Wall Street Journal recently mentioned Walter as a possible takeover target for BHP Billiton (BHP), the world's largest mining company. Continue reading
Noble Idles 10 Rigs
Noble Corp., the world's second-largest provider of offshore contract drilling services, said it will idle 10 rigs and send them to the shipyard because they were not able to land contracts. Noble has now stacked 12 rigs out of its 65-rig fleet because of the inability to find new work for the rigs. Continue reading
Panel Says BP Ignored Warning Signs
The National Academy of Engineering said British oil giant BP and other contractors involved with the Macondo well project ignored warning signs in the days leading up to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20. The panel said there is no clear evidence BP employees aboard the rig put profits ahead of safety. Continue reading
Petrobras Exports Could Hit 800,000 BPD by 2020
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said it exports its oil exports to reach 800,000 barrels per day by 2020 as the company taps into Brazil's pre-salt fields such as Libra and Tupi. The company currently exports and imports oil, but said it expects imports will cease in 2014. Continue reading
BP Looks To Tighten Day-To-Day Controls
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it is looking to exert tighter control over its day-to-day operations in an effort to increase safety following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Carl-Henric Svanberg, who became chairman of BP in January, made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times. Continue reading
Half Of Transocean Jackup Fleet Out Of Work
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, said four more of its rigs are now out of work, bringing the total of the company's jackup rigs that are out of work to half of the 65-unit fleet. Switzerland-based Transocean made the announcement in a fleet update earlier today. Continue reading
Brazil's Nautilus Field May Hold 300M Barrels
The Nautilus field, in Brazil's oil rich Santos Basin, may hold 300 million barrels of reserves, according to Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company. Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, is the operator of the Nautilus field. The first discoveries at Nautilus were announced in May. Continue reading
Temasek Buys $106M In Petrobras Shares
Temasek, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, purchased $106 million worth of Petrobras American depositary receipts during the third quarter, according to 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings showed Temasek purchased 3.2 million Petrobras (PBR) ADRs. Continue reading
BP Sells Spanish Assets
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, agreed to sell its Spanish liquefied petroleum gas distribution business to France's Rubis for an undisclosed sum. The French company said combined annual sales from the purchase will exceed 50,000 tonnes and added that the deal will provide an immediate benefit to its bottom line. Continue reading
Exxon, Conoco Look For Lower Norway Costs
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. company, and ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil producer, are looking for ways to lower production costs in Norway to boost production at aging fields. Norway is the world's seventh-largest oil exporter, but has had to deal with declining production over the past decade. Continue reading
Pickens Buys BP Shares, Sells Transocean Stake
Legendary energy investor T. Boone Pickens bought almost $20 million worth of BP American depositary receipts during the third quarter, according to regulatory filings. Pickens's BP Capital Management LP bought shares of Europe's second-largest oil company after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Hayward Considers Post-BP Options
Tony Hayward, the embattled former CEO of BP, apparently has a fair amount of options to consider for his re-entry into the business world, including his role in the formation of a small energy consultancy known as 3E Capital. Hayward also serves as a non-executive director of TNK-BP, BP's (BP) joint venture with Russian investors. Continue reading
Exxon Nigerian Platform Attacked
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said one of its offshore platforms on the southeast coast of Nigeria was attacked on Sunday. Violence aimed at Nigerian oil assets has been increasing in recent weeks. Last week, seven workers at an Afren Plc offshore field were abducted. Continue reading
ArcelorMittal Could Be Interested In Massey
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer, could consider an acquisition of Massey Energy, the fourth-largest U.S. coal producer, if the Virginia-based company decides to put itself up for sale. Massey (MEE) has recently said it is evaluating strategic options, including a possible sale. Continue reading
Shell LNG Project Wins Environmental Approval
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, won environmental approval from Australian regulators for the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas vessel, which Shell plans to float off the coast of Western Australia. The vessel is expected to produce 3.6 million metric tons of LNG, 1.3 million tons of condensate and 400,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas each year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
BP To Sell African Assets For $300M
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is reportedly in talks to sell its marketing assets in several countries in Southern Africa to commodities trader Trafigura for $300 million. The sale could be announced as early as Monday and comes as part of BP's plan to sell $30 billion in assets to raise cash for expenses related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Petrobras Faces Suit Over Share Sale
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, is facing a lawsuit from the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro regarding the company's $42.5 billion oil-for-shares swap with the Brazilian government that allowed Petrobras to purchased rights to 5 billion barrels of oil reserves. Continue reading
BHP Cancels Potash Bid
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, has officially nixed its $38.6 billion hostile bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan because it feels it cannot convince the Canadian government to approve the deal. The government blocked the bid earlier this month, but also gave BHP a month to make a new offer. Continue reading
Chevron Could Pursue More Acquisitions
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, could pursue more acquisitions of shale gas properties and other assets as the right opportunities present themselves, the company said. Earlier this week, Chevron said it would acquire shale gas producer Atlas Energy (ATLS) for $4.3 billion. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Spend $400B Through 2020
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, could spend up to $400 billion on exploration projects through 2020 as the company taps into Brazil's pre-salt oil fields which are among the most oil-rich deposits found in the Americas in several decades. The company was already forecasting capital expenditures of $224 billion through 2014. Continue reading
Coal India Interested In Massey Mine
Coal India, the world's largest coal producer, is reportedly mulling the purchase of a mine owned by Massey Energy, an acquisition that would mark Coal India's first U.S. acquisition. Newly public Coal India, which is state-controlled, is researching the mine, according to sources familiar with the situation. Continue reading
Goldman Raises Halliburton Price Target
Goldman Sachs analyst Daniel Boyd raised his price target on Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services firm, to $42 from $40, saying the company is poised to increase its international revenue, a point of emphasis during the company's recent analyst meeting. Continue reading
Errors Seen In Moratorium Report
The Interior Department's inspector general has found that an Obama administration report on the deepwater drilling moratorium contains errors and was misleading. The report implies that independent oil industry experts examined and approved the moratorium before it was put into place, among other misleading lines. Continue reading
Halliburton To Boost 2011 CapEx
Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services provider, said it plans to increase 2011 capital spending by at least 20% as it looks to boost profits in markets outside of the U.S. The company plans to spend $2.5 billion to $3 billion next year compared with $2.1 billion this year. Continue reading
Anadarko, Tullow To Boost Ghana Output
Anadarko Petroeluem and U.K.-based Tullow Oil plan to increase production of oil and natural gas off the coast of Ghana when production starts at the Jubilee field next month. The partners, including Kosmos Energy LLC and Ghana National Petroleum Corp., are examining plans for the Owo and Tweneboa fields development starting in 2012, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Morgan Stanley Says Woodside ''Plan B'' For BHP
A bid for Australia's Woodside Petroleum would be a ''plausible plan B'' for BHP Billiton if the world's largest mining company is not able to acquire Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. UBS also mentioned Woodside, Australia's second-largest oil and gas producer, as a possible target for BHP in a note published last week. Continue reading
PNC Stops Financing Mountaintop Mining
PNC Financial Services, the fifth-largest U.S. retail bank by assets, said it will no longer loan money to coal producers for mountaintop mining projects, a controversial technique used by coal producers to extract the resource from select areas, particularly in the Appalachian region. Continue reading
Halliburton Subpoenaed On Hydraulic Fracturing
Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services company, was subpoenaed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after refusing to provide data on hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique to extract natural gas from shale formations. Halliburton was one of nine companies to refuse the EPA's request for information. Continue reading
Higher Oversight Costs Loom For Drillers
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is advocating for the creation of an additional regulatory agency to monitor deepwater drilling operations and the panel said the oil industry is going to be responsible for forming the new agency and paying for it. Continue reading
Chevron To Acquire Atlas Energy For $4.3B
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, will acquire Atlas Energy, a major player in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, for $4.3 billion. Chevron will pay $3.2 billion in cash for Atlas and assume $1.1 billion in debt. The deal values Pennsylvania-based Atlas at $43.34 a share, a 37% premium to Monday's closing price. Continue reading
Petrobras Looks To Raise Another $40B
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, will try to raise another $40 billion in capital over the next five years through bank loans and bond sales to help finance its exploration budget, which calls for the company to spend $224 billion through 2014. That budget is by far the largest among the world's major oil companies. Continue reading
Transocean Soars On Barclays Comments
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, surged $3.10, or almost 5%, to $67.02 today after Barclays Capital analyst James Crandell raised his price target on the stock to $77 from $70. Crandell made the call last week and said that deepwater drilling is brisk and that rig rates appear to have stabilized. Continue reading
Commission Says BP Didn't Put Profits Ahead Of Safey
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill said today that it found no evidence the British oil giant put profits ahead of safety when operating the Deepwater Horizon rig and added that the company's responses to issues on the rig look to be ''professional and justifiable.'' Continue reading
Shell To Sell 10% of Woodside Stake
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest company, will sell 10% of its stake in Australia's Woodside Petroleum, Australia's second-largest largest oil and natural gas company, for $3.35 billion. Shell will use some of the proceeds to invest in its Australian natural gas business. Continue reading
Bullish Bets On Oil Rise
Bullish bets by hedge funds on oil futures rose to a four-year high during the week ending November 2, taking advantage of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing package and a weaker U.S. dollar. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission said bullish wagers on oil prices rose 8.6%. Continue reading
Shell Sells Gulf Wells For $450M
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, will sell its stakes in six oil and natural gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico to W&T Offshore for $450 million as part of Shell's plan to divest up to $8 billion in assets by the end of next year. W&T Offshore (WTI) is a Texas-based independent oil and gas producer. Continue reading
BP, Cnooc May Sign Major Production Agreement
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, and Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil explorer, are reportedly close to signing a major production agreement ahead of British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to China next week. Sky News originally reported the story on Saturday. Continue reading
Shell Presses Ahead With Arctic Plan
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, is looking to advance its plan to drill in the Alaskan Arctic by launching a public lobbying campaign, including national advertising, on Monday. The plan was delayed when the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Massey Soars On Alpha Natural Takeover Rumor
Massey Energy, the Virginia-based coal producer that last month said it was considering strategic alternatives including a possible sale, surged $4.73, or 11.2%, to $46.94 on Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported rival Alpha Natural Resources may be mulling a takeover bid. Continue reading
BHP Could Set Sights On Anadarko, UBS Says
After another one of its massive acquisition attempts failed, BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, might make a run at Anadarko Petroleum or Woodside Petroleum, Australia's second-largest oil and gas producer, according to a note published by UBS. Continue reading
Canada Blocks BHP Bid For Potash
In what many analysts and investors considered a surprising move, Canada's government blocked BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion hostile takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer producer, saying the deal would not provide a ''net benefit'' to Canada. Continue reading
Transocean Sees Q4 Revenue Lower By $200M
Trasnocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, said it expects its fourth-quarter revenue will be lighter by $200 million due to downtime for its rigs related to the U.S. government's moratorium on deepwater drilling. The company said on Wednesday the moratorium reduced third-quarter revenue by $118 million. The moratorium was lifted last month. Continue reading
BP To Halt Production At Gas Field
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, will halt production at its North Sea Rhum natural gas field next week in order to comply with European Union sanctions against Iran. BP said production at the field will stop in the middle of next week. The field is 240 miles off the coast of northern Scotland and is a 50:50 venture with Iranian Oil Co. U.K. Continue reading
Apache Q3 Profit Surges 74%
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, said its third-quarter profit soared 74% rose to $765 million, or $2.12 a share, from $440.6 million, or $1.30, a year earlier driven by increased demand and higher oil prices. Apache shares jumped $5.21, or almost 5.1%, to close at $107.79, good for the biggest gain in 15 months. Continue reading
Transocean Q3 Profit Slumps
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, said its third-quarter profit to $368 million, or $1.15 per share, from $710 million, or $2.20 per share, a year earlier as the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico hampered revenue. The moratorium was lifted last month. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Up Gasoline Output
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said it could increase gasoline output by 30,000 barrels per day if demand rises in Brazil. Brazilians fill-up their tanks with traditional gasoline about as much as they do with ethanol produced from sugar cane. Petrobras has not increased its gasoline output in decades and admits to having limited spare capacity. Continue reading
Chesapeake Q3 Profit Rises
Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, said its third-quarter profit rose to $558 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with $192 million, or 30 cents, a year earlier as gas production jumped. Gains from contracts used to lock in commodity prices added $687 million to Chesapeake's income in the same period last year, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
EOG Slammed By Quarterly Loss
EOG Resources, the independent oil and gas producer, plunged $9.10, or 9.3%, to close at $88.64 today on volume that was roughly five times the daily average after reporting a third-quarter loss and cutting its 2010 production outlook. The Houston-based company reported its results after the market closed on Tuesday. Continue reading
Devon Q3 Profit Beats Estimates
Devon Energy, one of the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producers, said its third-quarter profit rose to $2.1 billion, or $4.79 per share, compared with $499 million, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier as revenue surged 27% to $2.35 billion thanks to higher energy prices. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Wants To Work Alone In Abu Dhabi
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, is among four oil majors looking to renew contracts to produce oil in Abu Dhabi, which holds 90% of the oil and natural gas in the United Arab Emirates, but Exxon would prefer to work alone in the sheikhdom rather than continue under a current partnership with rival firms. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Makes New Discovery
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil company, said it found evidence of oil at an exploration well in the Meta region in central Colombia. The well was drilled vertically to a depth of 3,300 feet in an area where the company already has some production activity, Ecopetrol said in a statement. Continue reading
Marathon Q3 Profit Surges
Marathon Oil said its third-quarter profit rose to $696 million, or 98 cents per share, from $413 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier as higher oil prices and improved refining margins helped boost results. Revenue jumped 28% to $18.6 billion. Continue reading
BP Profit Slumps 66%
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said its third-quarter profit fell 66% to $1.8 billion, or 9.4 cents a share, from $5.3 billion, or 28.2 cents a share, a year earlier as the company took a $7.7 billion charge related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company has now taken $39.9 billion in charges related to the largest spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Anadarko Posts Q3 Loss
Anadarko Petroleum, owner of a 25% non-operating interest in the Macondo well project, said it lost $26 million, or 5 cents a share, in the third quarter compared with a profit of $200 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding charges, Anadarko earned 21 cents a share, but analysts were expecting a profit of 28 cents. Continue reading
Exco Management Group Offers $4.36B For Company
A management group led by CEO Douglas Miller has offered $4.36 billion to acquire Exco Resources, an independent oil and natural gas exploration firm. The group is offering to pay $20.50 a share for the Texas-based company, a 38% premium to where the shares closed on Friday. Continue reading
BP Could Post Lower Q3 Profit
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is expected to post a 15% drop in third-quarter profits when the company delivers results on Tuesday. The company is expected to report a profit of $4.6 billion compared with $5.4 billion a year earlier, according to the mean of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Continue reading
Baker Hughes Q3 Profit Triples
Oil services firm Baker Hughes said its third-quarter profit more than tripled to $255 million, or 59 cents a share, from $55 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier as revenue surged 83% to $4.08 billion from $2.23 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of 47 cents a share on revenue of $3.68 billion. Continue reading
Oil Majors May Develop Abu Dhabi Gas Project
Abu Dhabi Gas Development Co., also known as Adnoc, has decided to move forward with plans to develop the $10 billion Shah natural gas project, an endeavor ConocoPhillips (COP), the third-largest U.S. oil company, split from earlier this year and the sheikhdom has reportedly selected three oil majors as potential partners on the project. Continue reading
ONGC May Pay $2B For Exxon Angolan Field
Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India's largest oil explorer, is talks with Exxon Mobil's Angolan unit to acquire a 25% stake in an oil field in the African nation for $2 billion. Indian oil producers are looking to make more acquisitions as concerns grow that they are falling behind Chinese rivals in the race to acquire more energy resources. Continue reading
Total ''Confident'' Regarding Abu Dhabi
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it is ''confident'' it will be able to renew an oil development partnership with Abu Dhabi when its current production contract with the emirate expires in 2014. The French company said it expects the partnership to be renewed as Abu Dhabi looks to boost its oil output. Continue reading
Petrobras Makes Second Angola Find
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer, said it made a new oil discovery in the Cabaca Sudeste-2 area of the 15/06 oil block off the coast of Angola, the African country that competes with Nigeria for the top spot among the continent's oil producers. Continue reading
Libra May Be Biggest Americas Discovery In 34 Years
Brazil's Libra field, which was previously believed to at least rival the Tupi field in size, may hold reserves of 15 billion barrels, double initial estimates, making Libra the biggest oil discovery in the Americas in 34 years. Tupi, which was discovered in 2007, was previously thought to be the largest oil find in the Americas since Mexico's Cantarell field was discovered in 1976. Continue reading
Chevron Q3 Profit Falls
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter profit slumped 1.6% to $3.77 billion, or $1.87 a share, missing the consensus estimate of $2.15 a share because of foreign currency losses and exploration losses associated with two dry wells. Continue reading
Total Q3 Profit Rises 47%
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said its third-quarter profit rose 47% to $3.88 billion from $2.64 billion a year earlier as higher oil prices and increased production contributed to the increase. The French company said output increased by 4% during the quarter. Continue reading
Potash Still Discussing BHP Alternatives
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer maker, said that it remains in ''very active conversations'' about alternatives to BHP Billiton's $40 billion hostile bid for the Canadian fertilizer giant. Potash CEO Bill Doyle said that anyone thinking that BHP is the only company that recognizes Potash's value is using a ''remarkable thought process.'' Continue reading
Halliburton Slammed On Panel Comments
Shares of Halliburton, the second-largest oil services firm in the world, lost almost 8% on volume that was nearly nine times the daily average after a White House panel said the company used faulty cement in the Macondo well, which could have contributed to the well's explosion and the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Q3 Profit Up 55%
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter profit surged 55% to $7.35 billion, or $1.44 per share, from $4.73 billion, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier thanks to higher oil prices and increased production. Revenue increased 16% to $95.3 billion. Continue reading
Cnooc Revenue Soars 64%
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, said its third-quarter revenue increased by 64% to $5.8 billion as the company was able to increase output thanks to a spate of new acquisitions. The company, China's third-largest oil producer, also cited high oil prices as a reason for the top-line growth. Continue reading
Shell Q3 Profit Up 6.5%
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, said its third-quarter profit rose 6.5% to $3.46 billion from $3.25 billion a year earlier as increased production and higher oil prices helped drive the results. Revenue jumped to $90.7 billion from $75 billion. Continue reading
Petrobras To Produce 50,000bpd At Tupi In 2011
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, will produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day at the Tupi field in 2011, according to Brazilian press reports. Tupi, one of Brazil's pre-salt oil fields, is believed to hold as much as 8 billion barrels of oil. When the field was discovered in 2007, it was the largest oil find in the Americas in 31 years. Continue reading
BP Venezuela Asset Sale Worth $800M
BP's sale of its Venezuela assets to TNK-BP, the company's joint venture with Russian investors, is valued at $800 million, according to Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez. Latin America's largest oil producer authorized the sale of the BP assets to TNK-BP last week. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Q3 Profit Doubles
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter profit more than doubled to $3.06 billion, or $2.05 a share, from $1.47 billion, or 97 cents, a year earlier as demand improved and oil prices remained high. The company also cited widening refining margins. Continue reading
PetroChina Q3 Profit Up 13%
PetroChina, China's largest oil company said its third-quarter profit rose 13% to $5.21 billion thanks to increased demand and higher oil prices. PetroChina's average selling price for crude during the third quarter jumped 46% to $71.76 a barrel, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Q3 Profit Surges 55%
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil producer said its third-quarter profit surged 55% to $935 million as production jumped 16% to 632,000 barrels per day. The company said revenue rose 11% to $5.36 billion and is forecasting daily output of 685,000 barrels for 2010. Continue reading
Alaska Reserve Estimate Dramatically Cut
The U.S. Geological Survey said today the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska may only 10% of the untapped oil the area was originally believed to hold. The USGS said the area may hold only 896 million barrels of conventional, undiscovered oil compared with a 2002 estimate of 10.6 billion barrels. Continue reading
Valero Posts Q3 Profit
Valero Energy, the largest U.S. refiner, said it earned $292 million, or 51 cents a share, in the third quarter rebounding from a year ago loss of $629 million, or $1.12 a share. Revenue surged 20% to $22.21 billion after a 46% decline a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a profit of 48 cents on revenue of $20.19 billion. Continue reading
Chevron, Total Execs Criticize BP
Executives from Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, and France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, were openly critical today of the design rival BP used for the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, BP CEO Bob Dudley chided rivals, including Chevron, for creating a climate of fear in the wake of the Gulf spill. Continue reading
National Oilwell Q3 Profit Up 5%
National Oilwell Varco, the maker of equipment used to produce oil and natural gas, said its third-quarter profit rose 5% to %404 million, or 96 cents a share, from $385 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier. Sales dropped 2.4% to $3.01 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of 90 cents a share on revenue of $2.97 billion. Continue reading
Several Groups Interested in Shell Nigeria Assets
A consortium led by former BP (BP) CEO John Browne is among the parties interested in buying $4 billion worth of Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian assets. Shell, the largest European oil company, has said it is looking to sell some assets in Nigeria after dealing with frequent militant attacks on its pipelines, pumping stations and other equipment. Continue reading
Valero Sells Pipeline Stake
Valero Energy, one of the largest U.S. oil refiners, said it will sell a 50% stake in the Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline System to Genesis Energy LP for $330 million in cash. Valero acquired its stake in the pipeline in 2004 and said it has received between $27 million and $33 million per year in distributions from that investment. Continue reading
BP Not Turning Its Back On U.S.
BP's new CEO Bob Dudley said his company remains committed to the U.S. and that BP will not leave the market despite the heavy damage inflicted on its public image following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history. Dudley told the Confederation of Business Industry that ''BP will not be quitting America. There is too much at stake, both for BP and the U.S.'' Continue reading
BP Sells 4 Gulf Fields For $650M
BP, the largest oil and natural gas producer in the U.S., said it will sell four mature fields in the Gulf of Mexico to Japan's Marubeni Oil for $650 million in cash as part of the British company's plan to sell $30 billion in assets to raise cash to pay for costs tied to the Gulf oil spill. Continue reading
Gap Widens Between BP, Shell
The market value gap between Royal Dutch Shell and BP, Europe's two largest oil companies, is as wide as it has been since the end of June, putting pressure on new BP CEO Bob Dudley to right the ship and resume paying dividends soon. Shell's market value is currently $67 billion larger than BP's, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
UBS Upgrades Petrobras
UBS upped its rating on Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, to ''neutral'' from ''sell,'' saying that the 13% tumble the stock has taken over the past three months means there is less downside risk. UBS maintained its $31.69 price target on Petrobras. Continue reading
PetroVietnam Still Interested In BP Assets
PetroVietnam, that country's state-run oil producer, is considering the possibility of using its preemptive rights to acquire BP's assets in the Southeast Asian country. The British oil giant agreed to sell those assets to TNK-BP, its joint venture with Russian investors, earlier this week. Continue reading
Schlumberger Q3 Profit Doubles
Schlumberger, the world's largest oil services company, said its third-quarter profit more than doubled as energy producers bolstered their onshore drilling activity in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company said its profit rose to $1.7 billion, or $1.38 a share, from $787 million, or 65 cents, a year earlier. Continue reading
BHP Could Sell $33B In Assets After Buying Potash
Assuming it is successful in acquiring Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, could sell $31 billion to $33 billion in assets as part of a broader restructuring plan, according to a Deutsche Bank note. BHP has borrowed $45 billion to fund its $38.6 billion hostile takeover of the world's largest fertilizer producer. Continue reading
Colombia Oil Output Reaches 11-Year High In September
Colombia, South America's third-largest oil producer behind Venezuela and Brazil, said is September oil output jumped to 798,000 barrels per day, its highest level since 1999 and a 17.4% increase over the year earlier period. Colombia's average daily output has been averaging around 775,000 barrels this year up from 671,000 bpd in 2009. Continue reading
Chevron OK's Big Gulf Project
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, approved a $7.5 billion plan to explore for oil and natural gas at deepwater depths in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest investment plan in the Gulf to be announced since the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling was lifted earlier this month. Continue reading
Cnooc May Bid $5B For Jubilee Field Stake
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, is reportedly made a $5 billion joint bid with Ghana National Petroleum Corp. to acquire Kosmos Energy LLC?s assets in Ghana, including the privately held company's stake in the Jubilee Field. The all-cash bid from Cnooc and Ghana National was received two weeks ago, Bloomberg News reported, citing people close to the talks. Continue reading
Noble Q3 Profit Drops
Noble, the second-largest provider of offshore drilling rigs by fleet size, said its third-quarter net profit fell to $86 million, or 34 cents per share, from $426 million, or $1.63 a share as revenue slumped 32% to $613 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 35 cents per share on revenue of $635 million. Continue reading
Core Labs Beats Estimates
Core Laboratories, the Dutch oil services provider, said its third-quarter net income rose 24% to $38.5 million, or 79 cents a share, as revenue surged 19% year over year to $199.2 million. The company posted record operating income of over $60.2 million. Analysts expect Core Labs to earn 78 cents a share. Continue reading
Marathon Acquires Stakes In Kurdish Blocks
Marathon Oil said it has acquired stakes in four exploration blocks in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, marking the Texas-based company's first investment in Iraq. The company will take 80% interests in two open blocks northeast of Erbil and have working interests in two blocks northwest of Erbil. Continue reading
BHP's Potash Bid Facing Hurdles
BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion hostile takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer maker, may be in danger of not receiving approval from the Saskatchewan provincial government after authorities rejected an offer of $358 million by BHP to invest in local infrastructure. Continue reading
Exxon, Chevron Among Bidders For Iraq Gas Fields
Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil companies, and Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, are expected to be among the bidders for licenses to develop three major Iraqi natural gas fields when the auction process kicks off on Wednesday. Continue reading
Occidental Q3 Profit Surges
Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter profit rose thanks to robust performances in its energy trading and chemicals businesses. California-based Occidental said profit from continuing operations increased to $1.19 billion, or $1.46 a share, from $927 million, or $1.14, a year earlier. Revenue rose 19% to $4.9 billion. Continue reading
Peabody Q3 Profit Doubles
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, said its third-quarter profit more than doubled on higher demand for coal. The company said its net income rose to to $224.1 million, or 83 cents a share, from $106.8 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier. Excluding charges, Peabody earned 99 cents a share. Sales surged 12% to $1.86 billion from $1.67 billion. Continue reading
Massey May Be Seeking Sale
Massey Energy, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, surged about 5% today on volume that was almost quadruple the daily average on news the company is seeking strategic alternatives, which may include a possible sale. The gain was Massey's best in 17 months and made the stock one of the top performers in the S&P 500. Continue reading
BP To Link Bonuses To Safety
In a bid to repair its badly damaged public image, British oil giant BP said it will link employee bonuses for the current quarter to safety performance. An internal email to BP staffers from new CEO Bob Dudley said safety would be the lone factor in determining fourth-quarter bonuses. Continue reading
BP Waives Spill Cap For Some Victims
BP told a federal judge today that it is waiving a $75 million liability cap for certain economic damages caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history. BP lawyers said the company is waiving the statutory limitation on liability under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act even though it denies engaging in any gross negligence in connection with the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig and resulting spill, according to the Associated Press. Continue reading
McMoRan Cuts Production Outlook
McMoRan Exploration, the independent oil and gas exploration firm, said it expects full-year production of 160 million cubic feet of natural gas per day this year, the third time this year the company has lowered its production view. In 2009, the company produced 202 million cubic feet per day. Continue reading
BP Sells Assets To TNK-BP For $1.8B
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, sold its assets in Venezuela and Vietnam to TNK-BP, the British oil company's joint venture in Russia, for $1.8 billion. TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer, will pay BP $1 billion by October 29 and the rest of the tab when the deals close, which should be early next year. Continue reading
Halliburton Q3 Profit Rises
Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services company, said its third-quarter profit doubled as onshore natural gas drilling ramped up, making up for sluggish activity in Halliburton's other business areas. Halliburton earned $544 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $262 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier. Continue reading
Exxon Contracts Transocean Ship
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, will pay Transocean $703,000 a day, starting in the first quarter next year to lease the Deepwater Champion to drill oil and natural gas wells in the Black Sea. The companies have a five-year drilling contract, which calls for the Deepwater Champion to spend 2011 in Turkey before moving to either the U.S. Gulf of Mexico or waters off Brazil, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
BP Pakistan Asset Sales Could Face Tough Road
BP's proposed auction of $600 million worth of assets in Pakistan, assets Europe's second-largest oil company previously said it was looking to sell, may draw the ire of Pakistan's government, which believes it has rights of first refusal giving it priority in the bidding process. Continue reading
TNK-BP Will Buy BP's Venezuela Assets
TNK-BP, BP's joint venture with several Russian billionaires, will reportedly acquire the British oil giant's Venezuela assets. TNK-BP is expected to acquire three BP assets in Venezuela by the end of the year. When BP said it was looking to sell its Venezuela assets several weeks ago, TNK-BP was immediately mentioned as a potential suitor. Continue reading
Colombia Halts Oil Auctions
Colombia, South America's third-largest oil producer behind Venezuela and Brazil, said it has halted the auction of 76 oil blocks that started earlier this year after drawing investment commitments of more than $650 million following the auction of more than 200 blocks in June. Continue reading
Fitch Boosts Ecopetrol Outlook
Fitch Ratings has boosted its outlook to positive on Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil producer, after raising Colombia's outlook on Thursday. The outlook change increases the chances that Fitch may raise its foreign issuer default rating of BB+ could be raised. That rating is one step into junk status. Continue reading
Iran To Hold OPEC Presidency In 2011
Iran will hold the presidency of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2011 for the first time in 36 years the cartel announced at its meeting in Vienna today. Iran is OPEC's second-largest exporter behind Saudi Arabia. Iran is home to about 10% of the world's oil reserves. Continue reading
Chevron To Commence Liberia Drilling In 2011
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will start looking for oil off the coast of Liberia in 2011. The company reached an exploration agreement with the West African nation earlier this year. Chevron will hold a 70% interest in three exploration blocks in the Atlantic Ocean. Continue reading
Apache To Start Planning For Aussie Project
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, said its Apache Julimar unit will start planning for the development of the Balnaves oil discovery off the coast of western Australia after three appraisal wells in the region proved successful. Balnaves, in license WA-356-P, is an oil accumulation in the Mungaroo formation in a separate reservoir beneath the gas reservoirs of the Brunello field, according to PennEnergy. Continue reading
Statoil Announces Black Sea Plans
Norway's Statoil, that country's biggest oil and gas producer, said it will team up with Turkey's state oil company Turkiye Petrolleri AO to explore oil in the Black Sea. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the two companies will start talks on a joint venture soon. Continue reading
Occidental's Irani To Step Down In May
Ray Irani, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, will end his tenure at the helm of the fourth-largest U.S. oil company in May. Occidental had said earlier this year Irani would depart sometime in 2011, but the company did not specify when. COO and President Stephen Chazen will replace Irani. Continue reading
BP Quiet On Future Gulf Plans
BP, the second-largest European oil company, is keeping quiet on its future plans in the Gulf of Mexico following the U.S. Interior Department's removal of a ban on deepwater drilling. BP, the largest oil and natural gas producer in the U.S., has not said if it will bid for future lease permits in the Gulf. Continue reading
Shell, BP Sell Stake In Zimbabwe Joint Venture
Royal Dutch Shell and BP, Europe's two largest oil companies, agreed to sell a stake in their BP and Shell Marketing Services, a joint venture in Zimbabwe, to Masawara Plc, an investment company controlled by Zimbabwean businessman Shingai Mutasa. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. Continue reading
Shell Chides BP Over Gulf Spill
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser was vocal in his criticism of the design BP used for the Macondo well and the company's inquiry into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, perhaps signaling the start of a new spat between Europe's two largest oil companies. Voser said to better investigate the accident, BP should be looking more closely at its well design. Continue reading
Credit Suisse Cuts Rating On Petrobras
Credit Suisse lowered its rating on Brazilian oil giant Petrobras to ''neutral'' from ''outperform'' today, marking the third downgrade of Brazil's state-run oil producer this month following the company's massive $70 billion share offering and news that Petrobras will sell $60 billion in bonds over the next several years. Continue reading
Russian Oil Tax May Hamper Output
A proposed oil tax from Russia's government could reduce output in one of the world's top oil producing countries and lower cash flow available to Russian oil firms. Research firm Troika Dialog said Russian oil producers could see their free cash flow cut by up to 15% if the new tax is implemented. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Gives Up On New Zealand Project
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it will withdraw from an exploration project in the Great South Basin off the Southland coast of New Zealand due to high technical risks and a harsh operating environment. Exxon Mobil was one of three companies that won five-year exploration permits for the Great South Basin in 2007. Continue reading
Chevorn Warns On Q3 Results
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter financial results will lag those posted in the second quarter and the company blamed a weaker U.S. dollar, lower oil prices and the White House ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the weak results. Continue reading
Drilling Moratorium Lifted
The Interior Department lifted a White House ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico today and said that permits for new drilling projects will be issued by the end of this year. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the ban will be lifted for companies that can meet the government's new set of safety standards. Continue reading
BP To Start Libya Drilling Next Month
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it expects to commence deepwater drilling operations off the coast of Libya next month, according to Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Corp. The operations were originally supposed to start this month. Continue reading
Venezuela Approves PetroChina Investment
Venezuela, an OPEC member and South America's biggest oil producer, has approved PetroChina's involvement in a joint venture that will produce 400,000 barrels per day Junin block 4 in Venezuela's oil-rich Orinoco region. Venezuela has signed several agreements with foreign oil producers this year to extract more oil from Orinoco. Continue reading
Colombia Says Oil Output Surged In September
Colombia, South America's third-largest oil producer behind Venezuela and Brazil, said its oil output surged to 798,000 barrels per day in September, a 17.3% jump from September of 2008 and an increase of 9,000 barrels per day from the August level. Colombia is working to attract more foreign investment so it continue boost oil output. Continue reading
RBS Downgrades BP
RBS Securities analyst David Cline pared his rating on BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, to ''hold'' from ''buy'' today, saying that the stock's recent bullish performance will not convince investors that company was not ''grossly negligent'' in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Cnooc Pays $2.16B For Chesapeake Shale Stake
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, will pay $1.08 billion to acquire a third of Chesapeake Energy's Eagle Ford Shale project in south Texas, representing the biggest acquisition of U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company. Cnooc plans to purchase 33.3% of Chesapeake's 600,000 acres in Eagle Ford. Continue reading
BP Talking With Cnooc About Argentine Asset Sale
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is reportedly in talks with Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, about selling its 60% stake in Argentina's Pan American Energy to the Chinese firm for $10 billion. Pan American is Argentina's largest oil exporter and the country's second-largest oil producer. Continue reading
Schlumberger Faces DOJ Probe
Schlumberger, the world's largest oil services company, is facing a Justice Department probe related to bribery allegations in Yemen. The allegations concern contract payments Schlumberger made to a consulting firm with ties to Yemen's government at a time when Schlumberger sought approval to create an oil-exploration databank in Yemen, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Petrobras Peru Gas Discovery Could Double Reserves
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said its natural gas discovery in Peru, which may hold up to 1.7 trillion cubic feet of the fuel, may be enough to more than double the company's international gas reserves. Petrobras announced the discovery in a regulatory filing on Friday. Continue reading
Statoil, Talisman Pay $1.3B For Shale Properties
Canada's Talisman Energy and Norway's Statoil said they will pay $1.33 billion to acquire oil shale properties in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas. Statoil also will pay $180 million a 50 percent stake in Talisman?s existing Eagle Ford holdings, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Marathon To Sell Minnesota Assets For $900M
Marathon Oil will sell its Minnesota refining and retail operations to private equity firms Acon Investments LLC and TPG Capital LP for about $900 million in an effort to raise cash to pay for exploration projects. Marathon originally agreed to the deal in May and at the time it was valued at $800 million. Continue reading
Sinochem Having Trouble With Potash Bid
Sinochem International, China's largest chemicals trader, is having difficulty garnering financial support from China's government to make a rival bid to BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion hostile takeover for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer producer. Continue reading
BP Considered Abandoning Macondo Before Spill
BP reportedly considered abandoning the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico just days before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, leading to 11 deaths and the worst oil spill in U.S. history. A BP engineer told a panel investigating the tragedy today that staffers in BP's Houston office considered quitting the project in mid-April. Continue reading
Petrobras Continues To Plunge
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil giant, continued a precipitous decline on Thursday with the company's U.S.-listed shares tumbling 3.4% on more than triple the average daily volume as investors remain concerned that the company's recent $70 billion share offering has suppressed demand for the stock. Continue reading
BP Prepares To Sign Azerbaijan Gas Deal
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is preparing to sign a deal with Azerbaijan's natural gas company to develop and explore a massive natural gas field in the Caspian Sea, a sign that the British oil giant is still able to strike big deals despite its badly tarnished reputation in the U.S. Continue reading
Petrobras Slammed By Barclays Downgrade
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, saw its U.S.-listed shares tumble by 4.4% today after Barclays cut its rating on the stock to ''equal weight'' from ''overweight'' while adding that the oil giant may need to sell more shares on top of its recent $70 billion share offering, the largest share sale on record. Continue reading
GE Buys One Oil Services Firm, Rejected By Another
General Electric, the industrial conglomerate and Dow component, said it will acquire privately held oil-field equipment maker Dresser for $3 billion in a deal that is expected to add to GE's 2011 per share earnings. Texas-based Dresser had $2 billion in sales last year. Continue reading
TNK-BP May Buy BP Algerian Assets
TNK-BP, the joint venture between the British oil giant and several Russian billionaires, is mulling the purchase of BP's Algerian fields as the Russian company looks for ways to bolster its global presence. TNK-BP said that as soon as BP receives approval from Algeria's government to sell the assets, the Russian firm will take a ''serious look'' at them. Continue reading
Plains Exploration Pays $578M For Eagle Ford Assets
Plains Exploration, the Texas-based independent oil and natural gas producer, said it will pay $578 million in cash to acquire a stake in 60,000 acres in the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas. Plains Exploration said the deal is expected to close by the end of this year. Continue reading
Exxon Selling Some Gulf Assets
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it will sell some oil and gas producing assets as well as pipeline holdings in the Gulf of Mexico. The assets are in mature fields and Exxon said the sales are part of normal management of the company's asset portfolio. Continue reading
Transocean Refused Request For Documents
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, has twice refused an investigative panel's request for safety documents pertaining to the company's rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The Switzerland-based company was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded in the Gulf on April 20, killing 11 workers. Continue reading
Ecopetrol May Issue $500M In Bonds
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil producer, said it may sell $500 million in bonds this quarter and may sell more debt next year as the company seeks more cash to finance its expansion plans. The company's planned sale for the fourth quarter would be its first bond issue in over a decade. Continue reading
Chevron Announces Repurchase Plan
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will begin repurchasing up to $1 billion of its own shares on a quarterly basis starting in the current quarter, an indication the Dow component expects oil prices to remain high, according to some industry analysts. Continue reading
Petrobras May Have To Sell $60B In Bonds
Petrobras, Latin America's largest company by market value, may have to sell $60 billion in bonds on a top of a $70 billion share offering, the largest ever, to meet its financing needs, according to a report by Nomura Holdings. The $70 billion share offering will be used to finance the company's $224 billion exploration budget through 2014. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Looks For Help On $4.2B Pipeline
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil producer, is looking for partners to help it build a $4.2 billion pipeline that will be used to transport crude to Colombia's northern coast. The company is looking to invest heavily in infrastructure over the next few years in an effort to double daily output over the next decade. Continue reading
Iraq Boosts Oil Reserve Estimate
Iraq lifted its estimate of oil reserves in the country to 143.1 billion barrels from a previous estimate of 115 billion barrels. That estimate was taken in 2001. The increased estimate moves Iraq past neighbor and rival Iran as home to the fourth-largest reserves in the world. Continue reading
Exxon May Sell Part Of Japanese Retail Unit
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, may sell part of its Japanese gasoline business, news that sent Tonengeneral Sekiyu K.K., Exxon's Japanese unit, to its lowest price in two years in Tokyo trading. Exxon Mobil is considering selling some of its retailing operations on the southwestern island of Kyushu, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Petrobras Approves Supplemental Lot
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said its board of directors approved the sale of a supplemental lot of shares as part of the company's previously announced secondary offering, the largest share sale ever. The supplemental lot will raise another $3.1 billion for Petrobras. Continue reading
Chevron Gets Approval For U.K. Well
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, won approval to drill a well in U.K. waters marking the company's first deepwater well since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Great Britain has not implemented a U.S.-style moratorium on deepwater drilling in the wake of the Gulf spill because it says its safety system is more than adequate. Continue reading
TNK-BP May Bid For BP Assets Next Week
TNK-BP, the British oil giant's joint venture with a group of Russian investors, may bid for BP assets in Venezuela and Vietnam as early as next week. TNK-BP would bid to purchase BP's stake in a natural gas project in Vietnam and three assets in Venezuela. BP recently received approval from Venezuela's government to pursue the sale of assets there. Continue reading
Sinopec Pays $7.1B To Invest In Repsol's Brazil Unit
Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, said it will invest $7.1 billion to acquire a 40% stake in Repsol's Brazilian business. Repsol, Spain's largest oil company, is looking to raise cash to expand its exploration efforts in Brazil. The combined Repsol-Sinopec entity will be one of Latin America's largest privately owned energy producers. Continue reading
BP To Use Gulf Assets As Collateral
BP said it will use some of its assets in the Gulf of Mexico as collateral to back the $20 billion fund that is being used to compensate victims of the Gulf spill. BP pledged collateral consists of an overriding royalty interest in oil and gas production at BP's Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog, Great White and Mars, Ursa and Na Kika oil and gas assets in the Gulf, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
BP Doesn't Expect Gross Negligence Accusation
BP's new CEO Robert Dudley said he does not expect the U.S. Justice Department to accuse the British oil giant of gross negligence when it concludes its investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Dudley will become the first American CEO of BP tonight at midnight. Continue reading
Total Makes Vietnam Discovery
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it discovered oil in the Lac Da Vang prospect off the coast of Vietnam. The discovery marks Total's second in the area, coming about 10 months after the initial discovery. Total's Total E&P Vietnam unit and partners on block 15-1/05 made the find. Continue reading
BP Expects To Pay Dividend In 2011
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value, is likely to resume paying a dividend in the first quarter of 2011 after the company suspended its payout earlier this year to conserve cash in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
European Majors End Iran Investments
Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Eni and Statoil, four of the five biggest European oil comapnies, said they will halt investments in Iran's energy industry so they can avoid sanctions by the U.S. government, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The U.S. is threatening to expand sanctions against Iraq because of the country's plans to expand its nuclear capacity. Continue reading
Sincohem Struggles In Potash Bid
Sinochem International, China's largest chemicals trader, is having a difficult time finding partners to help to launch a rival bid to BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer maker. Speculation is rampant that Sinochem needs several non-Chinese partners to launch a legitimate bid for Potash. Continue reading
China To Boost Saudi Oil Imports
China, the world's largest energy consumer, will increase its imports of oil from Saudi Arabia by 19% to 50 million metric tons this year compared with 41.95 million tons last year. Earlier this year, China surpassed the U.S. as Saudi Arabia's biggest oil customer. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Starts Production At Russian Field
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it has started producing oil at the Odoptu field off the coast of northeastern Russia. Exxon said the project started producing on schedule and within budget parameters set forth by the company. Exxon unit Exxon Neftegas Ltd. is managing the project for a group of five companies. Continue reading
Shell Adds Gulf Platform
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, said it will add a second production platform at its Mars field in the Gulf of Mexico. The field is located 130 miles south of New Orleans. Shell is looking to expand its presence in deepwater projects in the Gulf despite the problems faced by rival BP in the wake of the largest U.S. oil spill. Continue reading
Management Shake-Up At BP
Robert Dudley is due to become BP's new CEO on Friday, replacing Tony Hayward, but Dudley has already announced a significant management change in BP's exploration and production division, ousting Andy Inglis, the head of that unit. Dudley is attempting to restore BP's reputation following the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Exxon, Chevron May Bid For Iraqi Gas Fields
Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil companies, and Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, are expected to be among the 13 companies bidding for rights to develop Iraqi natural gas fields when the country opens bidding in October. On Monday, press reports said Eni SpA (E), Italy's largest energy company, would also be among the bidders. Continue reading
Takover Rumors Fuel Range Resources Options Trade
Speculation that Range Resources, the Texas-based independent natural gas company, may be a takeover target sent options volume in the name to a two-month high on Tuesday. More than 25,000 calls to buy the stock changed hands, 24 times the four-week average and 7 times the number of puts to sell, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
BP Sells First Post-Spill Bonds
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, reportedly sold $3.5 billion in five- and 10-year bonds on Tuesday, marking the company's first debt sale since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20. Investors were so anxious to get their hands on the BP debt that the company had to increase the size of the offering from the originally planned range of $2 billion to $3 billion. Continue reading
Brazil's Government Buys Bulk Of Petrobras Offering
Brazil's government in a bid to increase its control of state-run oil producer Petrobras combined with several other groups to purchase almost 70% of the company's $70 billion share offering. The Petrobras share sale is the largest ever. Continue reading
Exxon, Shell To Increase Iraq Drilling
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, said they plan to double the number of new wells in Iraq's West Qurna Phase One in an effort to boost output there. Current production at the project ranges from 200,000 to 250,000 barrels per day. Continue reading
BP Swaps Trade At Investment-Grade Level
Credit default swaps used to protect debt issued by BP against default are trading near investment-grade levels just over two months after oil stopped leaking from the broken Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. BP swaps soared following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20 as investors speculated that the British oil giant may go bankrupt. Continue reading
Eni To Bid For Iraqi Gas Fields
Eni SpA, Italy's largest energy company, is one of the international energy producers interested in acquiring rights to develop natural gas fields on Iraq. Iraq is looking to auction gas contracts in October. Thirteen companies, including Eni, have signaled they will be participate in the auction process. Continue reading
Sinochem Seen As Likely Rival To BHP For Potash
Sinochem International, China's largest chemical's trader, appears to be the most likely contender to potentially offer a rival bid to BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion hostile takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer maker. Bloomberg News broker the story, citing three unidentified people familiar with the talks. Continue reading
BP Gets Permission To Sell Venezuela Assets
Venezuela's government has given BP approval to discuss the sale of the British oil giant's oil assets in the South American country, according to Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez. In August, Ramirez said BP would need approval from President Hugo Chavez's administration prior to selling the assets. Continue reading
Halliburton Says BP Ignored Well Problems
Halliburton, the second-largest oil services firm in the world, is contesting BP's claim that Halliburton's cement job on the Deepwater Horizon rig allowed natural gas and oil to flow up to the rig, leading to the rig's explosion on April 20. Halliburton says BP's design for the Macondo well is to blame for the accident. Continue reading
Lukoil Buys Back 5% Of Shares From Conoco
Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil company, repurchased 5% of its shares from ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company. The Russian oil giant spent about $2.4 billion to buy 42.5 million of its American depositary receipts from Texas-based ConocoPhillips. Continue reading
Apache, BHP Team Up For Aussie Project
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, and Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, announced on Friday that they will spend $1.5 billion to develop a natural gas field off the coast of western Australia 60 miles west of Onslow. Continue reading
BP Preparing Its Own Spill Estimate
Following a private study that was published in Friday's issue of Science magazine that estimated 4.4 million barrels of oil spewed from the Macondo well into the Gulf of Mexico, BP is working on its own estimate of how much oil leaked into the Gulf. The final total of how much oil leaked into the Gulf will be critical in determining the amount of fines BP faces. Continue reading
BP May Boost Azerbaijan Loan
BP, Europe's second-largest oil economy by market value, may boost the size of a loan backed by oil sales in Azerbaijan to $2.25 billion from $2 billion after the transaction attracted surplus demand, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. Continue reading
Angola Exceeding OPEC Quota
Angola, which competes with Nigeria for the top spot among Africa's oil producing-countries, is producing 1.9 million barrels of oil per day, exceeding the production quota set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC's production quota for Angola is 1.65 million barrels per day. Continue reading
Hess Gets 5-Year Extension In Libya
U.S. oil giant Hess received a five-year extension received a five-year extension from Libya's government for the company's exploration and production licenses off the Libyan coast. The license is for an exploration block 300 miles off the Libyan coast in the Sirte basin, where Hess first found hydrocarbons in 2008. Continue reading
U.S. Regulators Approve BHP's Potash Bid
U.S. regulators have given BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, approval to move forward with its $39 billion hostile takeover bid bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer producer. The regulatory hurdle is the first in what will likely be a lengthy process. Continue reading
Study Says 4.4M Barrels Leaked Into Gulf
An independent study released today appears to confirm government estimates that just over 4 million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The new study says 4.4 million barrels leaked into the Gulf, just over the government's 4.1 million barrel estimate. Neither figure includes the 804,877 gallons of oil BP successfully siphoned directly from the well, according to Politico. Continue reading
El Paso Buys Wolfcamp Shale Acres For $180M
El Paso, the independent natural gas transmission company, said it will pay $180 million to acquire 123,100 acres of land in the Wolfcamp Shale in Texas. Houston-based El Paso is already active in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shale plays and the company says it has been successful in those regions. Continue reading
Potash Sues To Stop BHP Takeover
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer producer, filed a lawsuit today to block a $38.6 billion hostile takeover attempt by BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company. Potash is requesting an injunction against BHP because it says the Anglo-Australian mining giant's bid is ''built upon false and misleading statements and omissions.'' Continue reading
Chevron Aiming To Be Top-Four LNG Producer
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it may become the fourth-largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world in the coming years as new projects start to come online. The company aims to surpass rivals such as Exxon Mobil (XOM), the largest, U.S. oil company, and state-run firms from Algeria and Indonesia. Continue reading
Petrobras To Price Offering On Thursday
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, will price its massive secondary offering, the largest share sale ever, tomorrow. Market participants polled by Dow Jones Newswires expect the share offer to price in a range between $14.52 and $15.70. That applies to the Sau Paulo-listed stock, not Petrobras ADRs. Continue reading
Sinochem Hires Banks For Possible Potash Bid
Sinochem, China's largest chemicals trader, has reportedly hired Citigroup and Deutsche Bank to help it launch a possible counterbid to the $38.6 billion BHP Billiton is offering for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer maker. Continue reading
Russian Oil Firms In Talks With Brazil
Russian oil producers such as Gazprom are in talks with Brazil to expand Russia's participation in Brazil's booming oil sector. Russia's Energy Ministry said ''the Russian government is prepared to provide multifaceted support for the expansion of cooperation between Russian and Brazilian companies,'' according to the Moscow Times. Continue reading
Cairn Energy Makes Greenland Discovery
U.K.-based Cairn Energy announced that it found evidence of oil and natural gas off the coast of Greeland, revising statements made last month when the exploration and production firm said that it only found evidence of natural gas. Cairn said it found oil and gas over a 400 meter section at a depth of 4,358 meters, according to Barron's. Continue reading
Total Will Start Production At Nigerian Field In 2012
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it will begin pumping oil at it the deepwater Usan field off the coast of Nigeria in 2012. Peak production at Usan is expected to be 180,000 barrels per day, the French company said. The company added that it is concerned that new legislation being considered by Nigeria's parliament could diminish investment in the country's oil industry. Continue reading
JPMorgan Likes Cameron, National Oilwell
In new coverage of several capital equipment stocks, JPMorgan said its best to take a ''defensive'' approach with the group and named Cameron International and National Oilwell Varco as two of its preferred names in the space. The bank rates Cameron and National Oilwell ''overweight.'' Continue reading
Credit Suisse Likes Chevron, Lowers Oil Price Target
In a research report issued on Monday, Credit Suisse reiterated its preference for integrated oil stocks, saying that Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, is among the integrated oil companies ''that have a strong reinvestment opportunity set.'' Credit Suisse also lowered its 2011 oil price target to $72.50 from $80 a barrel. Continue reading
Exxon May Sell Argentine Unit
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, may be interested in selling its Argentine business, ESSO, according to a report in the local financial daily El Cronista. Exxon wanted to sell the ESSO business in 2008, but was not able to attract offers it viewed as compelling. Continue reading
Chevron Signs Turkish Exploration Deal
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said today that its Turkish unit has signed a deepwater exploration deal with Turkey's state-controlled oil producer, Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakl, or TPAO, to explore and drill in the Black Sea. Chevron already manages a pipeline in Turkey and has transportation operations there. Continue reading
McMoRan Buys Plains Exploration Assets For $818M
McMoRan Exploration said it will pay $818 million in cash and stock to acquire shallow water assets in the Gulf of Mexico from Plains Exploration & Production, a deal that will give McMoRan a majority interest in Plains Exploration. McMoRan will pay about $75 million in cash and issue 51 million shares for Plains' shallow water. Continue reading
Sinochem Asks Government To Support Potash Bid
China's Sinochem, that country's largest chemicals trader, is asking its home government to support a competing bid to BHP Billiton's $40 billion hostile offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world's largest fertilizer maker. China's Economic Observer broke the story, citing unidentified sources. Continue reading
Chevron, Sinopec May Sign Shale Accord
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, and China's Sinopec, Asia's biggest refiner, are in talks to develop shale-gas resources in China together and the two companies could sign an accord by the end of this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Petrobras Increases Offering Size
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, increased the size of an already enormous secondary share sale, the proceeds of which will be used the finance the company's exploration of Brazil's pre-salt oil fields. On Friday, the company said it will sell up to $78 billion worth of new shares. Continue reading
BP May Finish Sealing Macondo On Saturday
BP plans to bring an end to the worst oil spill in U.S. history on Saturday by finally plugging the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The company plans to inject more cement into the bottom of the well in an effort to finally plug it and prevent any further oil or gas from leaking out. Continue reading
Massey Energy Issues Profit Warning
Massey Energy, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, said tighter regulations and an idled mine will crimp operating results this year prompting the company to tell investors it expects to post a third-quarter loss. The company said its 2010 operating results will be at the low end of estimates. Massey did reaffirm its 2011 guidance. Continue reading
Total Says Gulf Drilling Costs Rising
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said drilling costs in the Gulf of Mexico will rise 20% in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster and the largest oil spill in U.S. history, but added that the increased costs will not deter major energy players from seeking new discoveries in the Gulf. Continue reading
Chevron, PetroChina Reach Accord
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, and PetroChina, China's largest oil producer, said they may partner on the development of Australian natural gas fields so that Chevron is able to supply the Chinese company with liquefied natural gas to meet China's demand for cleaner-burning fuels. Continue reading
Reliance May Invest In Chesapeake Shale Assets
Reliance Industries, India's biggest company by market capitalization, is reportedly mulling an investment in a shale-gas asset owned by Chesapeake Energy. Reliance has purchased interests in three U.S. shale-gas assets this year, including two purchases in the Marcellus Shale. Continue reading
Anadarko Cancels Diamond Offshore Contract
Anadarko Petroleum canceled a drilling contract with offshore oil services provider Diamond Offshore, claiming force majeure due to the U.S. government's ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Several oil and gas producers have canceled contracts with Diamond Offshore following the ban and the company has been forced to move rigs out of the Gulf to make up for the lost revenue. Continue reading
Petrobras Expects Gulf Production By Year End
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer, said today that it expects its Cascade and Chinook oil fields in the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico to start producing oil by the end of this year. The company said the U.S. government-imposed moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf has delayed the rest of its drilling program there. Continue reading
Batista Says OGX Assets Worth Over $8.51bbl
Eike Batista, the Brazilian billionaire that controls OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, reiterated his view that $7 billion is ''very little'' to acquire a stake in his company and its oil assets while adding that oil reserves in OGX's fields is worth more than the $8.51 per barrel Petobras (PBR) recently paid to acquire 5 billion barrels of reserves from Brazil's government. Continue reading
Total Prefers Exploration To Acquisitions
France's Total, which has $19 billion in cash and cash equivalents, the largest hoard among integrated oil companies, said it would use some of those funds to step up its exploration efforts to increase oil and natural gas output rather than pursue acquisitions. The comments were made at an investor meeting in London today. Continue reading
Cnooc May Bid $10.2B For BP Assets
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, may bid up to $10.2 billion for BP's 60% stake in Argentina's Pan American Energy LLC and is likely to seek a partner for the investment, according to Citigroup. Cnooc acquired 20% of Pan American earlier this year and Citigroup's estimate assumes a 10% premium over that investment to acquire the BP stake, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Chevron Increasing Brazilian Production
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, is boosting production at its Frade field off the coast of Brazil's Espirito Santo state. The California-based company said it is increasing output at Frade to 65,000 barrels per day. Drilling at Frade is about 45% complete and Chevron has another 18 months of drilling there left to go, the Wall Street Journal reported. Continue reading
National Oilwell Pays $500M BW Offshore Unit
National Oilwell Varco, the largest U.S. maker of oilfield equipment, said it would pay $500 million to acquire the Advanced Production and Loading Plc unit of Norway's BW Offshore. National Oilwell is using the deal to bolster its product line for offshore drilling products. Continue reading
Shell Looks To Spend $1B Annually In China
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, could spend up to $1 billion a year in China if two natural gas wells in the Sichuan province prove commercially viable. Shell's CFO Simon Henry said if the projects prove to be successful, the company could invest $1 billion a year over the next five to seven years, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Total To Continue Shopping Spree
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company and the continent's biggest refiner, is sitting on more cash than larger rivals Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil and the French company looks poised to continue making acquisitions, according to industry analysts. Continue reading
Cliffs Pares Production Outlook
Coal producer Cliffs Natural Resources said it expects North American coal sales volume to equal 3.9 million tons in 2010, a total that includes about 1 million tons from production related to its purchase of INR Energy's coal operations. Cliffs said it expects to sell 3.4 million tons of metallurgical coal and 500,000 tons of thermal coal. Continue reading
Brazil Still Important For Shell Despite Block Sales
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, said its plan to sell four exploration blocks in Brazil is not a negative reaction to new Brazilian oil laws and that the country still remains an important part of the Dutch oil giant's global growth plans. Continue reading
OGX Confirms Cnooc, Sinopec Will Bid For Assets
Eike Batista, the Brazilian billionaire that controls OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, confirmed that Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, and Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, are among the energy companies that may be interested in purchasing a $7 billion stake and assets from OGX. Continue reading
Libra Field May Rival Tupi In Size
An official with Brazil's Energy Ministry said today that the country's Libra oil discovery may hold up to 8 billion barrels of oil, an amount that puts the field close to the size of Brazil's Tupi field, which is the largest oil field discovered in the Americas in more than three decades. Continue reading
BP Spill Claims May Be Less Than $20B
Following a meeting with BP CEO Bob Dudley, Citigroup analysts are saying that the British oil giant will face less than $20 billion in compensation claims related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company agreed to set aside $20 billion in an independent claims fund earlier this year. Continue reading
Barron's Bullish On Petrobras
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, was on the receiving end of some bullish press in the most recent issue of Barron's, the second positive article on Petrobras the weekly publication has published since July. Barron's said Petrobras trades at about 8.5 times estimated 2011 earnings of $4.22 per ADR, a discount to Exxon Mobil (PBR), the largest U.S. oil company. Continue reading
BP To Expedite Macondo Kill
BP may be able to speed up the process of permanently killing the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico and complete the task by the end of this month, sooner than was expected just two days ago. The company needs to conduct a bottom kill operation, which includes injecting cement into the bottom of the well. Continue reading
Cnooc, Sinopec Mull Offer For OGX Assets
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, and Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, are considering an offer worth at least $7 billion for assets and a stake in OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the energy firm controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista. Continue reading
Transocean Up On Analyst Comments, Dividend Appeal
Shares of Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, surged $3.52, or almost 6.4%, to $58.82 today after after a report from FBR Capital Markets said the company's liability for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is less than previously expected. Continue reading
Liberia Approves Chevron Agreement
Liberia's government has approved an agreement with Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil, that will allow the oil giant to explore for oil off the coast of the West African nation. Chevron announced it was in talks with Liberia's government in late August and said it has signed a deal for three big deep-water blocks. Continue reading
Chevron, Exxon In Ukraine Gas Talks
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, are reportedly in talks with officials in Ukraine about exploring for natural gas in the country's Black Sea Region. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), Europe's largest oil company by market value, is also involved in the talks. Continue reading
BlackRock, Soros Buy Stakes In Far East Energy
Asset manager BlackRock and an investment fund with ties to billionaire George Soros acquired stakes in Far East Energy, a Texas-based development stage energy company that is looking to develop natural gas in China. BlackRock (BLK), the world's biggest money manager, paid $9.5 million to acquire almost 10% of Far East. Continue reading
Total Buys 20% Of Aussie LNG Project
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it will pay $790 million to acquire a 20% stake in Santos Ltd.'s proposed liquefied natural gas project in Australia's Queensland state, marking the French company's first major investment in an Australian LNG project. Continue reading
BP Accepts, Spreads Blame For Spill
BP said its own engineers were at fault for the blast that killed 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig in April, but the British oil giant was not shy about sharing some of the blame with Transocean, the rig's owner, and Halliburton, which was responsible for cementing the well. Continue reading
Petrobras Tumbles On Offering Size
Petrobras, the largest Latin American company by market value, shed more than 4% in Sao Paolo trading today, good for the stock's biggest one-day loss since February, on concerns that a planned $78 billion share offering will pressure the stock and dilute earnings. The offering is scheduled for later this month. Continue reading
Benchmark Changes Price Targets On Oil Stocks
Research firm Benchmark Co. reaffirmed its ''market weight'' rating on integrated oil stocks, but issued several earnings revisions and price target changes for oil names in the firm's coverage universe. Continue reading
Marathon Pares Peak Estimate For Gulf Wells
Marathon Oil, the Texas-based integrated oil firm, said its Droshky development in the Gulf of Mexico will produce less oil and natural gas than previously expected. The project, which started operations in July, has been producing about 45,000 net barrels of oil equivalent a day, including 39,000 barrels a day of liquid hydrocarbons and 39 million cubic feet a day of natural gas. Continue reading
BP Spent $3.6M On Google Ads In June
In an effort to perhaps do some damage control and heal its battered public image, BP spent $3.59 on Google advertisements in the month of June, making the British oil giant the sixth-largest ad spender on the largest U.S. search engine. BP ranked just behind online auction site eBay (EBAY), which spent $4.25 million on Google ads in June. Continue reading
Cnooc Signs Revised Agreements With BP, Chevron
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, has signed revised production-sharing agreements with BP and Chevron, the second-largest European and U.S. oil companies, respectively. The amended agreements comes as part of Devon Energy's (DVN) decision to part with its South China Sea assets. Continue reading
Linn Energy To Buy Permian Basin Assets For $352.2M
Linn Energy LLC, the largest publicly traded U.S. oil and gas partnership, will pay $352.2 million to acquire assets in the Permian Basin in west Texas. The properties will be acquired in three transactions, according to a statement issued by Linn. Linn said the assets produce about 3,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Continue reading
Enterprise Will Buy General Partner For $8B
Enterprise Products Partners LP, the largest publicly traded master limited partnership, will acquire its general partner, Enterprise GP for $8 billion. Unitholders of Enterprise GP (EPE) will receive 1.5 units of Enterprise Products for each Enterprise GP unit they own. Continue reading
Vale Fertilizer Company Has $12B For Acquisitions
Brazil's Vale, the largest iron ore producer in the world, is looking to expand its footprint in the fertilizer business by forming a new company, Vale Fertilizantes SA, which has set aside $12 billion for acquisitions and new projects. That sum is expected to be spent over the next three years. Continue reading
Shell Won't Bid For Woodside
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, will not make an all-out acquisition bid for Australia's Woodside Petroleum, the country's second-largest oil and natural gas producer. Shell already owns 34% of Woodside, but Shell Australia chairman Ann Pickard said her company was not preparing a bid for Woodside. Continue reading
Yanzhou Coal To Pay $682M For Stake In Mongolian Firm
Yanzhou Coal, China's fourth-largest coal producer, will pay $682.1 million to acquire 51% of Inner Mongolia Haosheng Coal Mining in an effort to bolster reserves as Chinese coal demand continues to escalate. Yanzhou said it is looking to make ''significant'' increases to its annual output over the next five years. Continue reading
BP Boosts Asset Sales Target To $40B
BP, Europe's largest oil company by production volume, has raised its target for asset sales to $40 billion due to the rising costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Last week, BP said its spill costs have jumped to $8 billion. In July, the company said it would sell $25 billion to $30 billion of assets over the next 18 months. Continue reading
BP Spill Costs Hit $8 Billion
BP, Europe's second-larges oil company by market value, said its costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst oil spill in U.S. history, have reached $8 billion. No oil has flowed from the Macondo well since July 15 and BP says no oil has been recovered since July 21. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Raise Up To $75B In Share Sale
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil giant, could raise up to $75 billion in what will be the world's largest secondary offering, the company said in a regulatory filing. The announcement comes a day after the company agreed to pay Brazil's $8.51 per barrel for 5 billion barrels of oil to be acquired through an oil-for-shares swap. Continue reading
EOG Resources To Sell Gulf Assets
EOG Resources, the independent oil and gas producer that is a former unit of Enron, has hired BMO Capital Markets to help it sell natural gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the company's plan to focus more on oil output and production. The assets include 22 shallow water exploration blocks. Continue reading
BHP Billiton May Be Interested In Anadarko
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, may be interested in acquiring Anadarko Petroleum, one of the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producers. Anadarko shares gained almost 3% after the Australian newspaper broke the story of BHP's interested in the Texas-based energy producer. Continue reading
Mariner Gulf Platform Explodes
An oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico owned by Mariner Energy exploded today, causing the evacuation of all of the rig's workers, but the U.S. Coast Guard has said there are no signs of an oil leak. The site of the largest oil spill in U.S. history, caused by the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, is east of the Mariner rig. Continue reading
BP Asset Sales May Total $27.2B
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value, may raise $27.2 billion through planned asset sales to raise cash to pay for expenses tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. That sum is in the middle of the $25 billion to $30 billion range BP said it would raise when it announced the asset sales in July. Continue reading
Petrobras Will Pay $42.5B For Government Oil
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, will pay the country's government $42.5 billion, or $8.51 per barrel, for 5 billion barrels of oil. The announcement came after two weeks of negotiations between the company and the government and the price is almost exactly in the middle of the $5-$12 per barrel that investors had expected Petrobras to pay. Continue reading
Rowan Soars After Winning Contracts
Rowan Cos., the drilling services provider, surged $2.31, or almost 9%, to $28.02 after winning contracts with Saudi Aramco that will put two of Rowan's rigs previously working in the Gulf of Mexico to work in the Middle East. The contracts will last three years and commence in the second quarter of 2011. Continue reading
Petrobras, Brazilian Government Agree On Oil Price
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, and Brazil's government, have reportedly agreed on a price for 5 billion barrels of oil the company will acquire from the government in exchange for new shares of the oil giant. The price is expected to be in the middle of the $5-$12 range. Continue reading
BP May Resume Macondo Work On Thursday
BP may resume its efforts to permanently plug the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico as early as tomorrow. Work on the well has been delayed for three days to rough seas caused by tropical storms. Depending on the weather, BP may be able to removed the rig's blowout preventer in within 36 hours, according to National Incident Commander Thad Allen. Continue reading
Transocean Soars On Takeover Talk
Transocean, the largest provider of offshore drilling services, surged $3.43, or 6.74%, to $54.33 today after Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen said his Seadrill Ltd. may make an offer for Transocean. Options traders purchased more than 1,000 Transocean September 55 calls and 1,500 January 60 calls on the news. Continue reading
BP Sells Malaysian Assets For $363M
BP, Europe's largest oil company by production volume, said it sold its Malaysian chemical business to to Petroliam Nasional Bhd. for $363 million as part of the oil major's plan to divest assets to raise for costs associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Occidental CEO To Retire Next Year
Ray Irani, chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, is expected to set a retirement date for sometime in 2011 as investors up their criticism of Irani's compensation and Occidental's lack of an adequate succession plan. Continue reading
Brazil May Get Access To Nigerian Oil
Brazil may get access to Nigerian oil and natural gas projects if the South American country opts to participate in two Nigerian hydropower projects. Nigeria is Africa's largest nation by population and the continent's top oil producer. Continue reading
Halliburton Wins Contract To Redevelop Iraq Field
Halliburton, the second-largest oil services firm in the world, won a contract from Italy's Eni SpA (E) to redevelop Iraq's Zubair oil field in the southern part of the country. Financial terms of the the deal were not disclosed. Continue reading
Lukoil Won't Buy All Of Conoco's Stake
OAO Lukoil Holdings, Russia's largest private oil producer, said it will not purchase all of ConocoPhillips' 20% stake in the company. ConocPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil producer, said earlier this year it would sell its Lukoil shares as part of a plan to reduce its debt. Continue reading
Chevron To Look For Oil Off Liberia
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said that it has reached an agreement to explore for oil off the coast of the West African nation of Liberia. Like many of Africa's oil-producing countries, Liberia is trying to tap into more of its oil resources after years of civil war. Continue reading
Oil To Rebound To Over $100bbl By 2012, Bank Says
Sweden's Nordea Bank, the largest bank in the Nordic region, said oil prices will exceed $100 barrel in 2012 as the global economy rebounds in 2011, spurring demand for crude. Nordea said it expects crude will trade for an average of $79 a barrel in this year?s fourth quarter, $85.75 in 2011 and $102.50 in 2012. Continue reading
Energy Group May Meet To Discuss Petrobras Swap
Brazil's National Energy Policy Council could meet in the coming days to discuss the terms of the proposed oil-for-shares swap between Petrobras, the country's state-controlled oil producer, and the government. The council may meet as early as Wednesday in the hopes of quickening the process of pricing the oil Petrobras wants to acquire from the government. Continue reading
Cameron Can't Delay Removal Of Blowout Preventer
Cameron International, the manufacturer of the Deepwater Horizon rig's blowout preventer, was rejected in its effort to postpone the removal of the device by a U.S. district judge. The company said if the device is removed it could alter evidence important to discovering the causes behind the rig's April 20 explosion. Continue reading
Russian Pipeline To Ship Oil To China
In a move to focus more of its oil trade on the east, Russia opened a new Siberian pipeline today to transport oil to China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer. The pipeline runs from eastern Siberia to northeastern China and is part of Russia's plan to expand pipelines that reach the Pacific Ocean in order to meet rising oil demand from Asia. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Face $10bbl Oil
Brazil's President reportedly wants the government to charge Petrobras $10 a barrel for the 5 billion barrels of oil the company wants to acquire from the government in an oil-for-shares swap. A source involved in the discussions told a Brazilian newspaper that price could be set in the range of $10-$12 a barrel. Continue reading
BP Report Says Engineers Misread Test Results
An internal investigation by BP into the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion reportedly shows that BP engineers misread pressure data that showed an explosion was about to occur, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the report. The company is expected to make the investigation's findings public within the next 10 days. Continue reading
BP Has Spent $1M A Week On Ads Since Spill
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value, said it has spent $1 million per week on advertising since the start of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in an effort to restore its public image. The Deepwater Horizon rig, operated by BP, exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Israel Gas Field May Have Oil, Too
Israel's Leviathan natural gas field, an offshore field that contains 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, may contain up to 4.2 billion barrels of oil, according to partners that work on the project. Those partners include Texsas-based Noble Energy (NBL) and Israel's Delek Group. Continue reading
BP Opts Against Greenland Drilling
BP, Europe's largest oil company by production volume, confirmed it would not participate in the bidding process for exploration licenses off the coast of Greenland despite being involved in the process at a nascent stage. BP did not say whether the decision has anything do with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
PetroChina First-Half Profit Rises
PetroChina, China's largest oil company, said higher oil prices and improved demand helped its first-half profit surge 29% to $9.61 billion from $7.41 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose 65% to $100.5 billion. The profit growth lags the recent numbers put by U.S. rivals and Chinese competitor Cnooc (CEO). Continue reading
Pershing Square Has Postion In BP Swaps
Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund run by Bill Ackman, said it is holding BP credit default swaps in a bet that Europe's second-largest oil company by market will continue to struggle with credit issues in the wake of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Credit default swaps are used to protect against issuer default. Continue reading
Brazil, Petrobras Still At Odds
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer, and the country's government are still in heated talks over the price of 5 billion barrels of oil the company is planning to acquire from the government in exchange for newly issued shares. A decision on the price is expected on August 30 or later. Continue reading
Blowout Preventer Was Not Recertified
A Transocean staffer told federal investigators on Wednesday that the blowout preventer used on the Deepwater Horizon rig was not recertified in 2005 as was required by federal regulations. When functioning properly, a rig's blowout preventer is supposed to prevent a spill if a rig explodes. Continue reading
Shell Continues Push For Arctic Drilling
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, told a panel investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that offshore drilling in Alaska's Arctic region is safer than it is in the Gulf, a move that highlights the company's strong to desire to start drilling in the Arctic after spending $3 billion on leases and equipment in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Continue reading
BHP To Meet With North American Investors
BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers will travel to the U.S. next week to meet with shareholders that own significant stakes in Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the Canadian fertilizer giant that BHP is trying to acquire for $38.6 billion. Kloppers said earlier today that his company would be ''disciplined'' in its approach to acquiring Potash, implying a raise to BHP's $130 per share bid is not likely. Continue reading
Investors Want Petrobras Oil Under $7.50
Petrobras shareholders are likely to be satisfied if the Brazilian oil giant can pay less than $7.50 a barrel for the 5 billion barrels of oil it wants to purchase from Brazil's government, according to Ted Harper of Frost Investment Advisors. Harper made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Spill Panel Questions Command, Compensation
A government panel investigating the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig is focusing its examination on how the involved companies distributed command of the rig while scrutinizing the process by which managers received bonuses. An eight-member panel comprised of Coast Guard and Interior Department officials has been looking into the Deepwater Horizong tragedy for the past two days. Continue reading
Conoco May Decide On Gas Project In December
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, along with partner Origin Energy may make a decision to approve a $31 billion Australian natural gas project in December and could discuss working with rival firms to speed up production for the project, known as Australia Pacific LNG. Continue reading
OGX Petroleo May Sell Stakes To Oil Majors
OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, the oil company controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, may sell stakes in fields off the coast of Brazil, according to a Brazilian press report. Interested parties are believed to include Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil companies. Continue reading
Rio Tinto Probably Won't Bid For Potash
Mining giant Rio Tinto will not launch a competing offer to BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion hostile bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, according to sources close to Rio Tinto. On Monday night, a Canadian newspaper said Rio Tinto may preparing to partner with a Chinese firm, possibly Sinochem or Cnooc (CEO), to bid for Potash. Continue reading
BP Audit Found Almost 400 Problems On Rig
BP conducted an internal audit of the Deepwater Horizon rig that turned up nearly 400 maintenance issues that Transocean, the rig's owner, was trying to solve prior to BP approving the rig for use in the Gulf of Mexico. A BP staffer told the US Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that he insisted the worst of the issues be fixed before he would approve the rig for work in the Gulf. Continue reading
Transocean Says BP Design Caused Well Explosion
Buddy Trahan, a Transocean supervisor that oversees six of the company's rig in the Gulf of Mexico, said issues with BP's design for the Macondo well led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, which killed 11 works and led to the largest U.S. oil spill in history. Continue reading
Shell Starts Drilling Near Tupi Field
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, said it has started drilling off the coast of Brazil, near the Tupi oilfield, which is believed to hold up to 8 billion barrels of crude. Shell's well is in the BM-S-54 block just north of Tupi in the Santos Basin. Continue reading
Chinese Group Mulling Potash Bid
An investor group led by Chinese private equity fund Hopu Investment Management is reportedly mulling an offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, which rejected a hostile offer from BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, earlier today. The Hopu consortium is made up of investors from Canada, the U.S. and Asia, and includes at least two sovereign-wealth funds, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Potash Board Rebuffs BHP Hostile Bid
The board of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the largest North American maker of its namesake crop nutrient, rejected BHP Billiton's now hostile $38.5 billion offer for the company and press reports are saying Potash may be seeking other suitors. Potash said its board believes the BHP significantly undervalues the Canadian fertilizer producer. Continue reading
Petrobras Share Sale Could Be Delayed Again
Rumors swirled late last week that Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, may again delay a planned $25 billion share offering aimed at minority shareholders. The company originally scheduled the offering for July, but it was postponed to September as the company and Brazil's oil regulator tried to negotiate the price of 5 billion barrels of oil Petrobras will purchase from the government. Continue reading
Barron's Bullish On Helmerich & Payne
Hemlmerich & Payne, the Oklahoma-based provider of rigs used to extract gas from shale formations, is poised to gain market share as more exploration companies abandon old rigs in favor of more advanced technology, according to a piece in the most recent issue of Barron's. Continue reading
BP Continues Search For Drill Pipe
BP is continuing its efforts to locate a section of drill pipe that it must remove before it can replace the blowout preventer on the Maconodo well. The drill pipe and blowout preventer are integral to investigations into what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon rig. The rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Sinopec Shows First-Half Profit
Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, said its first-half profit rose 6.7% to $5.22 billion from $4.88 billion a year earlier as China's booming economy helped spark demand for oil and gas. Analysts had expected Sinopec to post a first-half profit of $4.76 billion. Continue reading
Third Estimate Could Be Sought For Petrobras Oil
Brazil's government may seek a third analysis for the price of oil that it is looking to sell to Petrobras in what has become on a difficult-to-execute oil-for-shares swap with the state-controlled oil giant. A third appraisal would only take place if Petrobras and Brazil's oil regulator cannot come to terms on a price for 5 billion barrels of oil that the company wants to purchase. Continue reading
Cnooc First-Half Profit More Than Doubles
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, said its first-half profit more than doubled to $3.8 billion from $1.8 billion as China's surging economy and higher oil prices drove profit growth. Analysts expected Cnooc to post a profit of $3.38 billion. Output outside of China accounted for 14% of Cnooc's production in the first six months of the year. Continue reading
Transocean: BP Refuses To Provide Documents
Transocean, the largest provider of offshore contract drilling services, says BP is refusing to provide documents that could determine the cause of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20. Switzerland-based Transocean is the rig's owner. Transocean says BP has not provided documents in almost two months. Continue reading
Shell Could Spend $50B In Australia Over Next Decade
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, may spend as much as $50 billion in Australia over the next 10 years as the company shifts more of its production to natural gas. Shell's Australia budget is larger than what the company is looking to spend in any other part of the world. Continue reading
BHP Takes Potash Bid Hostile
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, will take its $39 billion offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan directly to the Canadian fertilizer giant's shareholders after Potash rejected the offer on Tuesday, marking the start of what is now a hostile takeover attempt. Continue reading
Petrobras Credit Rating Not In Danger
A rising debt-to-capitalization ratio at Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil giant, does not appear to be a threat to the company's investment grade credit rating despite the fact that the ratio has touched 34%, close to the company's 35% self-imposed threshold. Continue reading
Shell Declares Force Majeure In Nigeria
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, declared force majeure in Nigeria following attacks on two of the company's pipelines in the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria. Nigeria, an OPEC member, vies with Angola for the top spot among Africa's oil producers. Continue reading
Kosmos Scuttles Ghana Sale To Exxon
Kosmos Energy, the Texas-based privately held oil explorer, scrapped plans to sell $4 billion worth of assets in Ghana to Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, after the government in the African country opposed the deal. Kosmos said it will focus on exploring for oil in Ghana with international partners. Continue reading
BHP Offers $39B For Potash
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, offered $39 billion to acquire Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the largest North American maker of its namesake fertilizer. Potash rejected the offer, saying it was ''significantly less than the company's intrinsic value.'' Continue reading
Apache To Sell $1.5B In Bonds
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, said it will sell $1.5 billion in 30-year bonds to help fund the purchase of $7 billion in assets from BP. The debt sale will be Apache's first in almost two years and is expected to commence in a matter of days. Continue reading
Anadarko Makes Mozambique Oil Discovery
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, announced the first major discovery of oil off the coast of the East African nation Mozambique. Anadarko's Ironclad well encountered about 125 feet (38 meters) of sands saturated with crude and natural gas, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Chevron Makes Anothe Aussie Find
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said that its Acme well off the coast of western Australia has made a major natural gas discovery in the Carnarvon Basin, marking Chevron's ninth significant find in Australia in the past 12 months. Chevron drilled the Acme-1 well through more than half a mile of water and down to a depth of 15,469 feet to find the gas deposit, according to the San Francisco Business Journal. Continue reading
Icahn Adds To Chesapeake Stake
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn's hedge fund, Icahn Capital LP, boosted its holdings of natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy during the second quarter, according to a 13F filing with the SEC. Icahn's funds held 12.7 million Chesapeake shares, or 2% of the total outstanding, as of June 30 compared with 2.12 million as of March 31, the filing showed. Continue reading
Afghanistan Discovers 1.8B Barrel Field
Afghanistan discovered an oilfield in the northern part of the country that may hold up to 1.8 billion barrels of reserves. The discovery was made between the northern Balkh and Shiberghan provinces after a geologic survey. Afghanistan is now searching for a commercial partner to develop the field. Continue reading
Buffett Trims Conoco Stake
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) trimmed its stake in ConcocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, by 5.1 million shares, according to the latest 13F Filings. Berkshire Hathaway now owns 29.1 million shares of the oil company. Continue reading
Transocean Dividend Blocked
Transocean, the largest provider of offshore contract drilling services, will not be able to pay a planned $1 billion dividend to shareholders following a ruling by a Swiss court. The Commercial Register of the Canton of Zug denied Transocean's application for the first of the dividend's four payments. Continue reading
BP To Use Angola, Azerbaijan Sales To Back Fund
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value, will use oil sales in Angola and Azerbaijan to back $5 billion loans to be used for the $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil. BP will borrow $3 billion against income earned in Angola and $2 billion against profits from Azerbaijan. Continue reading
Petrobras Share Sale May Be Delayed
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is reportedly considering delaying a massive secondary share offering by Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petrobras until after the country's October presidential election. Brazil's Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported that Lula is concerned that if the offering is not as successful as hoped, it could impact the chances of Lula's preferred candidate, Dilma Rousseff. Continue reading
Petrobras Q2 Inches Higher
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said its second-quarter net income rose to $4.7 billion from $4.6 billion a year earlier. The profit increase significantly lagged the results recently posted by other integrated oil companies. Revenue rose to $30.2 billion from $25.1 billion. Continue reading
Cnooc Profits Likely To Trump Rivals
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, is likely to post first-half profits that more than double the numbers posted by rivals PetroChina, China's largest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value. An increase in diesel demand from Chinese factories helped Cnooc sell more oil in the first half of this year, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Shell Says Nigerian Sabotage Rising
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, said militant rebels in Nigeria are increasing their attacks on the company's oil assets in the African country, including three acts of sabotage just this month. Shell has the largest presence in Nigeria of any western oil major. Continue reading
Petrobras Profit Will Lag Rivals
When Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, reports second-quarter earnings on Friday, the company's profit increase is expected to be the smallest among the world's major integrated oil companies. Analysts expect the company's quarterly performance to be worse than any other oil company, except BP (BP), which posted a record loss due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Wells FargoTo Restrict Loans To Coal Producers
Wells Fargo became the latest in a long line of major U.S. banks that will restrict lending to coal companies that engage in mountain top removal coal mining, a controversial and expensive practice that sees coal companies blow the tops off mountains to better access coal. Continue reading
Brazil's Oil Regulator Says $8 Is Fair In Oil Swap
Haroldo Lima, the head of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), Brazil's oil regulator, said a price of $8 per barrel is ''reasonable'' for Petrobras, the country's state-controlled oil producer, to pay the government to acquire rights to 5 billion barrels of crude. The oil-for-shares swap between Petrobras and the government has been delayed by efforts to properly price the oil Petrobras wants to purchase. Continue reading
BP To Pay Record Fine For Texas City Blast
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value, will pay a record fine of $50.6 million for safety violations at its Texas City refinery, the site of a fatal 2005 blast that killed 15 employees. The company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are still in talks on $30 million in new fines at the plant. Continue reading
Shell Evacuates Workers From Gulf Rig
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company by market value, said it is evacuating workers from the Nautilus rig and Fairway field in the Gulf of Mexico because of the threat of a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center issued storm warnings for the northern part of the Gulf yesterday. Continue reading
Exxon Resumes Nigeria Shipments
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, has resumed shipping oil from Nigeria after cleaning up an offshore spill in the southern part of the country. Exxon declared force majeure following a pipeline leak in early May, but lifted that provision today. Continue reading
UBS Cuts Rating On Petrobras
UBS cut its rating on Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, to ''sell'' from ''neutral'' due to concerns surrounding the company's oil-for-shares swap with Brazil's government. On Tuesday, press reports said Petrobras and Brazil's oil regulator are in disagreement over the price of the oil the company wants to acquire from the government. Continue reading
BP Delays Libya Project
BP, Europe's largest oil company by production volume, will delay a deepwater exploration project off the coast of Libya until all of the project's plans are finalized. The company did not say for how long the project will be delayed, but BP and Libyan officials maintained the project will be safe. Continue reading
BP, Feds Close To Deal On Spill Fund
BP, the largest European oil company by production volume, and the U.S. government are close to an agreement that would use BP's future revenue from Gulf of Mexico exploration projects to secure the $20 billion fund that will be used to compensate victims of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Petrobras, ANP Disagree Over Price In Oil Swap
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, and the National Petroleum Agency, Brazil's oil regulator, are in disagreement regarding the price of oil Petrobras wants to acquire in exchange for company stock. Petrobras is looking to acquire 5 billion barrels of crude from the government. Continue reading
Storm Forces BP To Halt Relief Well Drilling
BP was forced to stop drilling a relief well it was planning to use to permanently plug the Macondo well due to the threat of a tropical storm that may move into the area where Macondo is located. The suspension in drilling the relief well will delay efforts to kill Macondo by two or three days. Continue reading
Qatar May End $6B Exxon Chemicals Project
OPEC member Qatar is considering selecting a different partner for a $6 billion petrochemicals complex it previously agreed to build with Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company. Qatar Petroleum, the country's state-run oil company, said it has ended its relationship with Exxon and is currently seeking new partners. Continue reading
Alpha Natural May Be Considering Whitehaven Bid
Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, is reportedly considering a $2.75 billion acquisition of Australia's Whitehaven Coal, according to Australian press reports. Speculation about suitors for Whitehaven has been intensifying since last week when the company said it was in talks with third parties about potential deals. Continue reading
Conoco, PetroChina In Shale Gas Talks
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, and PetroChina, China's largest oil company, are in talks regarding the exploration and development of shale gas in China's Sichuan province in the southwestern part of the country. As part of the discussions, Conoco is expected to conduct exploration and development operations in a 3,000-kilometer area of the province. Continue reading
BP Makes Initial Contribution To Spill Fund
BP, the largest European oil company by production volume, has made an initial contribution of $3 billion to the $20 billion escrow fund that the company formed in June at the behest of the White House to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill. The spill is the largest in U.S. history. Continue reading
Nabors Acquires Superior Well For $900M
Nabors Industries, the biggest onshore oil driller, will acquire Superior Well Services for $900 million in cash and debt. Bermuda-based Nabors will pay $735.6 million in cash and the rest in debt to bolster its portfolio of pumps and services used to parse natural gas and oil from rock formations. Continue reading
Ecuador Begins Oil Negotiations This Week
In his continuing bid to take more profits from foreign oil companies operating in his country, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa will renegotiate existing contracts with Italy's Eni SpA and Spain's Repsol this week. Eni is Italy's largest oil company and Repsol is Spain's largest oil producer. Continue reading
Eni Delays Indian Exploration Project
Eni SpA, Italy's largest energy producer, said it will delay a drilling project off the coast of India by at least a year due to concerns about offshore drilling following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and a shortage of available rigs, according to sources familiar with the matter. Continue reading
Citigroup May Lead $20B Spill Fund
Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. lender by assets, may be appointed by BP to lead the company's $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Sources familiar with the talks said Citigroup will probably share the duties with another bank based in the Gulf coast area. Continue reading
BP Facing $10B Suit Unrelated To Spill
BP may be on the cusp of permanently killing the Macondo well, but that does not mean the company's legal woes are over. Far from it. The company is facing a $10 billion class action suit that could have as many as 12,000 plaintiffs that says BP's Texas City refinery emitted toxic benzene for over a month. Continue reading
Peabody Mentioned As Possible Whitehaven Suitor
For the second time this year, Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, has been mentioned as a possible suitor for Australia's Whitehaven Coal, a producer of thermal coal. Whitehaven shares rose to a record high in Sydney trading on Thursday on speculation the company was in talks with unidentified firms regarding potential deals. Continue reading
Petrobras, Vale Make Gas Discovery
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, and Vale, the largest iron ore producer in the world, have reportedly made a natural gas discovery in Brazil's Espirito Santo basin, according to Brazil's oil regulator. The discovery was made at the 1BRSA826AESS well at the offshore ES-M- 468 Block, according to press reports. Continue reading
Reliance Buys Marcellus Acres From Carrizo
Reliance Industries, India's largest company by market value, said it will pay $392 million to acquire 60% of Carrizo Oil & Gas's Marcellus Shale acreage. Carrizo is a Texas-based independent oil and natural gas producer. Reliance will pay $340 million in cash and the remainder of the deal price will go toward Carrizo's drilling costs. Continue reading
BP Wraps Up Cement Job On Macondo Well
BP said that is completed pouring cement into the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, a job the company started Thursday morning. The company said it will continue to monitor the well to measure the effectiveness of the procedure. Plugging the well with cement brings BP one step closer to permanently killing the well. Continue reading
Devon Energy Q2 Profit Soars
Devon Energy, the independent oil and gas producer that has been shedding offshore assets, said its second-quarter profit more than doubled to $706 million, or $1.58 per share, from $314 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier, helped by asset sales and higher oil and natural gas prices. Continue reading
Cameron Q2 Profit Slides
Cameron International, the company that produces blow-out preventers used on about half of the world's oil rigs, said its second-quarter profit fell to $129.2 million, or 52 cents per share, from $138.6 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier due to acquisition costs and the company's exposure to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Transocean Q2 Profit Falls
Transocean, the largest provider of offshore contract drilling services, said its second-quarter profit fell 11% to to $715 million, or $2.22 a share, from $806 million, or $2.49, a year earlier, due to lower rig demand and expenses tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Apache Pares Loan Used To Buy BP Asset
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, has lowered the size of a loan being used to purchase $7 billion in assets from BP to $1.5 billion from $5 billion after raising almost $3.5 billion through share sales. A consortium of U.S. banks had agreed to provide Apache with $5 billion in unsecured financing. Continue reading
BP Begins Static Kill Effort
BP has commenced the so-called ''static kill'' effort to permanently plug the Macondo well. The company started pumping mud into the top of the well at 4 p.m. Eastern time today and BP said it may pause the operation from time to time to study the well's pressure and locate where the mud is flowing to. Continue reading
Baker Hughes Profit Misses Estimates
Baker Hughes, the world's third largest oil services provider, said its second-quarter profit rose to $93 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with $87 million or 28 cents per share. Excluding charges, the company earned 41 cents a share, two cents shy of Wall Street Estimates. Continue reading
BP Sells Colombia Assets For $1.9B
BP will sell its oil assets in Colombia to that country's state-run oil firm, Ecopetrol, and Canada's Talisman Energy for $1.9 billion as part of the British company's plan to divest $30 billion in assets over the next 18 months to raise cash to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Anadarko Q2 Loss Shrinks
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas exploration firm, said it posted a smaller loss in the second quarter helped by increased production from onshore assets. The company lost $40 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $226 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped $2.6 billion from $1.9 billion. Continue reading
Petrobras Won't Expand Offering To All Shareholders
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said that it will not expand its planned $25 billion secondary share offering to all investors, opting to keep the offering aimed at minority shareholders. The company denied a press report that the offering may be expanded. Continue reading
Iraq Delays Gas Field Auctions
Iraq will postpone auctions to award exploration rights for three major natural gas fields after industry executives said the OPEC member must boost its natural gas processing and transport infrastructure before seeking foreign investment in the fields. Continue reading
BP Well Leaked 4.1M Barrels, Government Says
A team of U.S. government scientists said that BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico probably spewed 4.1 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf before the well was capped in July, creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history. At 4.1 million barrels, the spill would be about 16 times the amount leaked by the Exxon Valdez, which released an estimated 257,000 barrels in a 1989 accident, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Anadarko Sells Assets To Western Gas
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, said it will sell $498 million in Colorado assets to Western Gas Partners, a Texas-based master limited partnership. The deal is the third between the two companies in the past 13 months. Continue reading
BP Puts Pakistan, Vietnam Assets Up For Sale
BP has told the governments of Pakistan and Vietnam that it wants to sell its assets in those countries as part of the British oil giant's plans to raise $30 billion over the next 18 months through asset sales. BP will use the proceeds to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and to reduce debt. Continue reading
BP, Exxon Form Canadian Venture
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and BP, the largest European oil company by production volume, are teaming up with Imperial Oil to explore for oil and natural gas in Canada's Beaufort Sea. The companies have been working on a joint venture since 2009. Imperial is Exxon's Canadian subsidiary. Continue reading
House Votes To End Drilling Ban
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to end the government-imposed six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as part of broader energy legislation aimed at boosting safety protocols and raising fees on oil and gas production. The bill must also be approved by the Senate before it can be signed into law. Continue reading
Total Says Q2 Profit Rose 72%
France's Total, Europe's third largest oil company, said its second-quarter profit surged 72% to $3.9 billion from $2.2 billion a year earlier, helped by increased production and higher oil prices. Analysts were expecting a profit of almost $3.5 billion from the company. Continue reading
Chevron Q2 Profit Triples
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its second-quarter profit tripled to $5.41 billion, or $2.70 a share, from $1.75 billion, or 87 cents, a year earlier, soundly beating Wall Street estimates. The company said improved demand and higher oil prices drove the profit increase. Revenue surged 32% to $53 billion. Continue reading
Consol Profit Misses Estimates
Coal miner Consol Energy said higher acquisition and mining costs pressured second-quarter profits, causing the company to miss Wall Street estimates. Consol earned $67 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with $113 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Consol earned 45 cents a share, well below the Street estimate of 66 cents. Revenue jumped 20% to $1.3 billion. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Q2 Profit Nearly Doubles
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said its second-quarter profit soared 91% to $7.56 billion, or $1.60 a share, from $3.95 billion, or 81 cents, a year earlier, beating estimates by 15 cents a share. The jump in profits is the biggest for Exxon since 2003. Revenue surged 24% to $92.5 billion. Continue reading
Shell Profit Rises 15%
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, said its second-quarter profit jumped 15% to $4.39 billion from $3.82 billion a year earlier helped by increased production and higher oil prices. Excluding one-time items, Shell earned $4.21 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $4.02 billion. Revenue surged 42% to $90.57 billion. Continue reading
BP To Hire HSBC To Sell Vietnam Assets
BP is reportedly in talks to hire HSBC to help the British oil giant its stake in the Nam Con Son gas project in Vietnam as part of BP's efforts to raise cash to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Four Indian companies and Vietnam's state-controlled oil company are interested in acquiring BP's stake. Continue reading
Hess To Acquire American Oil & Gas
Hess said it will purchase American Oil & Gas for about $445 million in stock to boost its presence in North Dakota's Bakken Shale. The Hess offer is a 9.4% premium to Tuesday's close of $6.69 for Colorado-based American Oil & Gas, which has a market cap of about $432 million. Continue reading
Oil Still Faces Resistance $80
French bank Societe Generale expects crude oil futures to encounter significant resistance at the $80 a barrel level where the price will hit the 50% Fibonacci level from May's plunge. The bank said as long as $80.45 to $80.85 remains resistance, the next move for oil could be on the downside. Continue reading
Enbridge Acquires Atlas Assets For $682M
Enbridge Energy Partners, the U.S. master limited partnership affiliate of Canada's biggest fuel transporter, will pay $682 million to acquire pipelines and plants from Atlas Pipeline Partners to increase its natural gas footprint in Oklahoma and Texas. Atlas Energy (ATLS), Atlas Pipeline's parent company, will use the proceeds to reduce its debt load. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Q2 Profit Rises
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said its second-quarter profit jumped to $4.16 billion, or $2.77 a share, from $859 million, or 57 cents, a year earlier. Excluding gains from asset sales and a charge for an idled refinery, Conoco earned $1.67 a share, beating Wall Street estimates by 11 cents. Continue reading
Four Indian Companies To Pursue BP Vietnam Assets
A group of four Indian companies, including Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the country's largest oil company, will join Vietnam Oil and Gas Group to acquire BP's stake in the Nam Con Son gas project in Vietnam. Press reports broke last week that said ONGC would be interested in increasing its 45% stake in the project. Continue reading
Massey Posts Loss After Mine Accident
Massey Energy, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, posted a second-quarter loss of $88.7 million, or 88 cents per share, compared with a profit of $20.2 million, or 24 cents per share, a year earlier as the company took charges of 86 cents per share related to the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in April that killed 29 workers. Continue reading
BP Posts Record Loss
BP, the largest European oil company by production volume, posted its largest quarterly loss ever when the company said it lost $17.2 billion in the second quarter, taking a pre-tax charge of $32.2 billion related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company also confirmed Managing Director Robert Dudley will succeed Tony Hayward as CEO on October 1. Continue reading
Occidental Profit Disappoints
Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said its second-quarter profit surged 56% to $1.1 billion, or $1.31 a share, from $682 million, or 84 cents, a year earlier, but that missed Wall Street estimates by four cents, sending the stock down $2.98, or 3.59%, to $79.94. Continue reading
Range Resources Posts Q2 Profit
Range Resources, the oil and natural gas exploration firm, said it earned a second-quarter profit of $9.1 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $39.9 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue surged 25% to $224.8 million. Analysts had been expecting a profit of 11 cents a share of on revenue of $225 million. Continue reading
Major Oil Field Discovered Off Ghana's Coast
Tullow Oil, the British oil producer, and two U.S.-based partners made what Tullow is calling a ''major'' discovery off the coast of Ghana. The company said the Owo-1 exploration well found a vertical reservoir of over 500 feet of light sweet crude oil in the Deepwater Tano license. Continue reading
BP Could Speed Asset Sales
After winning a 58% premium in its $7 billion asset sale to Apache, BP could increase the pace of its asset sales plan after Robert Dudley becomes CEO of the British oil giant. BP sold Apache (APA) assets in North America and Egypt for about $19 a barrel of proven reserves, compared with average valuations of $11 to $12 a barrel, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Hayward To Step Down In October
BP CEO Tony Hayward will leave his post at the helm of the British oil giant in October for a job with TNK-BP, the company's joint venture in Russia. Hayward is likely to be replaced by Managing Director Robert Dudley, a 30-year oil industry veteran who will become BP's first American CEO, according to press reports. Continue reading
Chavez Threatens To Cut U.S. Oil Supply
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has threatened to cut oil supplies to the U.S. if his country is on the receiving end of a military attack from Colombia, a U.S. ally. Chavez is reportedly upset over claims that Venezuela is home to Colombian rebels and claims that the U.S. has orchestrated those claims. Continue reading
Ecuador Increases Oil Nationalization
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said on Saturday that he will change his country's oil laws to allow his government to increase nationalization of oil assets if oil producers operating in Ecuador do not obey the new laws. The law could go into affect on Monday if approved by Ecuador's national assembly. Continue reading
Hayward Departure Could Be Announced Monday
Tony Hayward's tenure as CEO of BP, the largest European oil company by production, is expected to come to an end on Monday. Managing Director Robert Dudley is expected to take the reins of the British oil giant, becoming the first American-born CEO in the company's history. Continue reading
Relief Well Ships Disconnected Due To Storm
BP was forced to disconnect ships that had been drilling relief wells near the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico to due to a named storm, Bonnie, which is approaching the region. The National Hurricane Center said on Friday that Bonnie had been downgraded to a tropical depression. Continue reading
Murphy Oil To Sell 3 Refineries
Murphy Oil, the Arkansas-based independent oil and gas producer, said it will sell three refineries after receiving unsolicited inquiries. There had been speculation that Murphy may shut the refineries, but the company said it will sell them instead. The company hopes to have the sales completed by the first quarter of 2011. Continue reading
Schlumberger Q2 Profit Rises
Schlumberger, the world's largest oil services provider, said its second-quarter profit surged 33% to $818 million, or 68 cents a share, matching Wall Street estimates. The 33% jump in quarterly profits lags the gain posted by U.S.-based rival Halliburton earlier this week. Halliburton (HAL) said its profits surged 83%. Continue reading
BP May Still Sell Alaska Assets
After failing to come to terms with Apache regarding the sale of its Alaska assets, BP is said to still be interested in selling those assets, including 50% of its stake in Prudhoe Bay, as the British oil major continues its efforts to raise cash to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
BP To Keep Well Capped
BP will keep the Macondo well capped as tropical storm approaches the Gulf of Mexico. The storm has reportedly delayed the company's efforts to finish a relief well it was hoping to have online by August to permanently to plug Macondo. The relief well has been delayed by a week due to the storm. Continue reading
Alaska Judge Blocks Artic Drilling Plans
A federal judge in Alaska ruled yesterday that the Interior Department did not sufficiently address environmental concerns surrounding plans to drill in Alaska's Chukchi Sea. The judge also said the government did not gather enough information on how drilling in the Chukchi Sea would affect wildlife in the region. Continue reading
Anadarko Will Meet With BP
Anadarko, the independent oil and gas producer that owned a 25% non-operating interest in the Macondo well project, said it plans to meet with BP to discuss legal disputes over financial liabilities related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill without moving forward with court proceedings. Continue reading
Diamond Offshore Q2 Profit Misses Estimates
Diamond Offshore, the offshore rig operator, said its second-quarter profit tumbled 42% to $224 million, or $1.61 per share, from $387 million, or $2.79 per share a year earlier due to lower activity in the Gulf of Mexico following the government's moratorium on deepwater drilling. Continue reading
BP Upped Lobbying Spending In Q2
BP's congressional lobbying expenditures rose 6.3% in the second quarter from the first as the British oil giant attempted to address the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The company spent more than $1.7 million on lobbying in the second quarter compared with $1.6 million in the first quarter. Continue reading
Encana Posts Q2 Loss
Encana, Canada's biggest natural gas producer, lost $505 million, or 68 cents a share in the second quarter compared with profit of $239 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier as price hedges hampered revenue. Revenue plunged 40% to to $1.47 billion from $2.45 billion a year ago. Continue reading
India Interested In BP Vietnam Stake
In its ongoing effort to compete with China for global energy assets, India's government is mulling a bid for BP's Vietnam natural gas assets as the British oil giant looks to sell $10 billion in assets to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Big Oil Companies Plan Spill Containment System
Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, the three largest U.S. oil companies, and Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company are planning to build a $1 billion containment system to capture and contain oil from an underwater well in the event of an explosion. Continue reading
BP Can Keep Well Capped For Another Day
The government will permit BP to keep the Macondo well capped for another 24 hours as there is currently no reason to believe that a leak could morph into one as large as the one that caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Peabody Raises Earnings Forecast
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, boosted the lower end of its full-year earnings forecast after delivering second-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates. Peabody said its second-quarter profit jumped to $206.2 million, or 76 cents a share, from $79.2 million, or 29 cents, a year earlier. Continue reading
Concho Acquires $1.65B In Marbob Assets
Concho Resources, the Texas-based oil and natural gas exploration firm, will pay $1.65 billion to acquire assets in New Mexico's Permian Basin from privately held Marob Energy. The cash-and-stock acquisition is the largest in Concho's history. The deal is expected to close by the end of November. Continue reading
Apache Will Acquire BP Assets For $7B
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, will acquire $7 billion in North American and Egyptian assets from BP after press reports said Apache may acquire up to $11 billion in BP assets. BP will use the cash to pay for liabilities related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Oil, Gas Leaking From Macondo Well
Oil and gas are leaking from a cap on the Macondo well, meaning the cap that has stopped the flow of oil since being put in place on Thursday may have to be reopened. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said BP could continue testing the cap, which would keep it shut for another day. Continue reading
Feldman Won't Step Down Due To Investments
Martin Feldman, the U.S. District Court judge that scuttled the government's ban on deepwater offshore drilling, will not remove himself from the case despite his ownership of several energy stocks. Environmental groups have asked that Feldman be removed from the case due to potential conflicts of interest. Continue reading
Noble Q2 Profit Declines
Citing the U.S. government's moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Noble, the provider of offshore contract drilling services, said its second-quarter profit fell to $217.9 million, or 85 cents a share, compared with a profit of $391.8 million, or $1.49 a share, a year earlier. Revenue slumped to $710 million from $898.9 million. Continue reading
Halliburton Q2 Profit Surges 83%
Halliburton, the second-largest oil services provider in the world, said its second-quarter profit surged 83% driven by demand for services used on onshore drilling projects. The Houston-based company added 1,700 new employees during the quarter after hiring 1,200 new workers in the first quarter. Continue reading
Apache/BP Talks Stall
BP's efforts to sell Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas company, $10 billion to $11 billion in assets, including half of BP's stake in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, hit some stumbling blocks over the weekend, raising concerns that the two companies may not reach a deal. Continue reading
President To Have Final Say On Petrobas Swap
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will have the final say in how much Petrobras will pay for 5 billion barrels of oil the state-controlled oil giant wants to acquire from the government in exchange for shares in the company. Lula's term expires later this year and Brazil's elections are slated for October. Continue reading
Seismic Tests Show No Leaking Oil
Seismic tests performed on the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico show no leaking oil and the tests, administered by BP, also indicate no additional damage has been done to the well. Additionally, pressure readings indicate a lower amount of oil in the well's reservoir. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Up Four This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of U.S.-based rigs exploring for natural gas this week rose while the number of rigs searching for oil fell. Overall, the number of active rigs rose by four to 1,571 this week. Continue reading
Asset Buyers May Have To Pay BP Claims
Buyers of BP assets may be stuck with legal claims the British oil giant is facing related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill because of laws prohibiting fraudulent transfer of assets. Those laws allow spill victims to sue purchasers of BP assets and successor liability could leave purchasers facing legal claims originally aimed at BP. Continue reading
BP Acquires Verenium's Biofuels Unit For $98M
BP said it will acquire Verenium's cellulosic biofuels business to bolster its exposure to alternative fuels. BP will pay Massachusetts-based Verenium (VRNM) $98.3 million $98.3 million for the business, sending the shares to their best one-day performance in over a decade. Continue reading
Chevron Sells Nigerian Block To Total
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, will sell a stake in a Nigeria offshore oil block to France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, a deal that will bolster Total's already significant presence in Africa. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Continue reading
BP Begins Pressure Test
BP stopped the flow of oil from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since the well started spewing oil on April 20 and said it expects to know within 48 hours if its efforts to finally cap the well will prove successful. The well has been leaking 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil per day. Continue reading
Apache Close To Acquiring BP Assets
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas driller, is close to acquiring $10 billion to $11 billion in assets from BP, according to people familiar with the talks. The assets sales may include half of BP's 26% stake in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay and could be announced early next week. Continue reading
BP Gets Go-Ahead For Pressure Test
The Obama Administration has given BP approval to move forward with pressure testing for a new cap on the leaking Macondo well, a move the company hopes will finally stop the flow of oil from the well. Oil has been spewing from the well since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Mitsui Refuses To Pay BP
Mitsui, the Japanese oil producer that held a 10% non-operating interest in the Macondo well project operated by BP, will not pay $111 million requested by the British company as part of the costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Senators Want BP To Stop Libya Drilling
A group of U.S. senators want BP to halt planned drilling projects in Libya due to an investigation involving the British oil company and and the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. BP signed an exploration agreement with Libya's state-run National Oil Corp. in 2007. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Looks To Double Output By 2020
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-controlled oil producer, is planning to invest $80 billion to double its daily output to 1.3 million barrels of oil by 2020. The company, Colombia's largest, maintained its stance that it plans to produce 1 million barrels per day 2015. Continue reading
Petrobras May Pay More Than Expected In Oil Swap
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, may be forced to pay more than previously expected to acquire 5 billion barrels of oil reserves from Brazil's government, according to client note published by Credit Suisse today. Petrobras plans to exchange newly issued shares to compensate the government for the oil. Continue reading
BP Short Interest Declines
The recent surge in BP shares has sent traders who were short the stock running to cover their positions, reducing what was recently a massive short interest in the embattled British oil giant. Data released by the New York Stock Exchange shows the short interest in BP has fallen to 15 million shares from 26 million shares. Continue reading
Magellan Midstream Buys BP Assets
Magellan Midstream Partners, the master limited partnership that operates a massive network of oil and gas pipelines in the U.S., will acquire Texas pipelines and oil storage capacity in Oklahoma from BP for $289 million. The Texas assets link refineries in that state while Magellan will 7.8 million barrels of storage capacity in Oklahoma. Continue reading
Abu Dhabi Mulls BP Investment
Abu Dhabi is considering an investment in BP, the British oil giant that has lost more than half its value in the wake of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Despite the plunge in BP's shares since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, the stock has rallied 20% in the past month. Continue reading
Eni Makes Major Angolan Discovery
Eni SpA, Italy's largest energy company, said it has made a significant discovery off the coast of Angola. Angola vies with Nigeria for the top spot among Africa's oil producing countries. Eni said that the discovery holds ''material volumes of oil.'' Eni's Cabaca South East-1 well is located 470 meters below sea level, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Brazil's Franco Well Could Produce 50,000bpd
The National Oil Regulatory Agency, Brazil's oil regulator, said it has wrapped up its first test formation at the Franco well and that 50,000 barrels of oil per day may be produced at the well. Franco, which is the name given to the Brazilian state's 2-ANP-1-RJS well, has light oil measuring about 30 degrees API, the Wall Street Journal reported. Continue reading
Devon Reports Oil Sands Leak
Devon Energy, the Oklahoma-based energy producer that has been selling offshore assets to focus on onshore exploration in North America, reported a blowout at a well in the Canadian oil sands region, but the company was able to cap the leak after oil spewed into the air for 36 hours. Continue reading
New Drilling Moratorium Issued
The Obama Administration issued a new moratorium on deepwater drilling after the previously issued six-month ban on drilling at depths of greater than 500 feet was struck down by a U.S. district court in June and that ruling was upheld by an appeals court last week. Continue reading
BP Makes Progess On Installing New Cap
BP is working to install a new cap on the leaking Macondo well with the hope of capturing all of the oil that is spewing from the well into the Gulf of Mexico. The company hopes to have a new cap in place next week after removing an old cap as part of the plan to stop the leak. Continue reading
Bullish Bets On Oil Tumble
Hedge funds pared their bullish bets on oil prices last week to a 15-month low, according to Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Crude oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange surged 5.5% to $76.09 a barrel as of July 9, the best one-week performance since May. Continue reading
Apache Could Acquire BP Assets
Apache, the largest U.S. independent oil and gas company, is reportedly in talks with BP regarding the purchase of a massive chunk of BP assets, perhaps up to $12 billion worth. BP is looking to raise cash to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and has previously said it would sell at least $10 billion in assets over the next year. Continue reading
Continental Resources Boosts 2010 Budget
Oklahoma-based Continental Resources said it will raise its 2010 capital budget by 53% to $1.3 billion as it looks to expand drilling projects in North Dakota, Montana, western Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming. The company expects production to rise 15% to 17% this year, up from previous estimates of 13%. Continue reading
Shell May Buy Stake In Santos Project
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil producer by market value, may acquire a stake in a $14 billion gas project in Queensland, Australia operated by Santos Ltd. Shell may spend about $1.75 billion to buy up to 35% of the Gladstone liquefied natural gas project, according to the Australian Financial Review. Continue reading
Diamond Offshore Moves Gulf Rig To Egypt
Diamond Offshore, the largest U.S.-based provider of offshore contract drilling services, said it will move the Ocean Endeavor rig to Egypt from the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to gain more international contracts following the Obama Administration's six-month moratorium on offshore drilling at depths greater than 500 feet. Continue reading
Anadarko Refuses To Pay BP
Anadarko Petroleum, the independent oil and gas producer that held a 25% non-operating interest in the Macondo well project, said it will not pay BP, the project's operator, $272 million requested by the British company to help pay for cleanup costs related to the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Court Rejects Stay On Moratorium
A U.S. appeals court said it expects to issue a ruling early next week on whether or not it will support a lower court's ruling to lift the Obama Administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. The moratorium was imposed following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, which was operated by BP (BP). Continue reading
Exxon Mobil To Repurchase $3B In Stock
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it will repurchase $3 billion worth of its own stock in an effort to retire some of the shares the company issued to complete its $36 billion acquisition of XTO Energy. Exxon Mobil acquired the equivalent of at least 45 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas beneath 3.34 million U.S. acres with the purchase, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Diamond Offshores Sells Rig To Ensco
Diamond Offshore, the provider of offshore contract drilling services, sold its Ocean Shield rig to rig to U.K.-based Ensco (ESV) for $186 million. Texas-based Diamond Offshore said it may use the proceeds to invest in other deepwater projects despite the uncertainty surrounding that segment of the market. Continue reading
Third Capture Vessel Could Be Ready Soon
BP may have a third vessel ready to start collecting oil from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico within the next two or three days, according to National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen. If weather cooperates, the Helix Producer I vessel could be linked to the Macondo well in 48 hours. Continue reading
Chevron Wins Gulf Permit, Hercules Says
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, received a federal permit to restart drilling at shallow-water depths in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Hercules Offshore. Hercules (HERO), which has the largest fleet of shallow-water rigs in the Gulf, said its Hercules 120 rig started a well for Chevron on July 2. Continue reading
Hayward Meets With Abu Dhabi Prince
BP CEO Tony Hayward met Ab Dhabi's crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin ZayedAl Nahyan today in what some analysts believe is a bid by the embattled Hayward to secure investments from Middle East sovereign wealth funds to help shore up BP's financial position. The prince is chairman Mubadala Development Co., one of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth funds. Continue reading
BP Resists Advance Notice Request
BP is resisting a request from the Justice Department to provide the agency with advance with advance notice of asset sales that may be used to raise cash following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company has said it will sell $10 billion in non-essential assets over the next year to raise cash to pay for spill costs. Continue reading
BP Spill Costs May Reach $33B
Sanford C. Bernstein said in a note to clients today that BP's costs for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may reach $33 billion, a number that is higher than previous estimates, because of increased oil flow from the leaking Macondo well. BP said it is ahead of schedule on completing relief wells that would be used to cap Macondo and stop the flow of oil. Continue reading
Total To Buy UTS Energy For $1.4B
Total, Europe's second-biggest oil company by market value, will buy Canada's UTS Energy for $1.4 billion in cash and stock to bolster its footprint in the Canadian oil sands region. The oil sands in western Canada are believed to hold the second-largest oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia. Continue reading
Tullow Looks To Expand Ghana Project
U.K.-based Tullow Oil Plc is looking to expand the Jubilee Field project off the coast of Ghana. Tullow is hoping to pump 60,000 barrels a day at Jubiliee by November or December and then double that output within three to six months. The Jubilee Field is believed to hold 1 billion barrels of oil. Continue reading
Anadarko Shares Briefly Halted Today
Shares of Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas exploration firm, were briefly halted today on the New York Stock Exchange after printing a trade at $99,999.09. The shares were halted from 10:56 a.m. to 11:01 a.m. and the trade was removed from the records. Continue reading
BP Recovers 12,000 Barrels Through First Half Of Tuesday
BP recovered 12,215 barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico through the first 12 hours of Tuesday, representing a capture rate that is 2.6% below the previous 12-hour period. BP is in the process of installing a new oil-collection vessel that could double the capture rate. Continue reading
BP Won't Issue New Shares
BP has ruled out issuing new shares to pay for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a move that would have diluted current shareholders. BP's American depositary receipts rose $2.56, or 8.72%, to $31.91 on the news. The company's London-traded shares were up almost 4%. Continue reading
Libya Sovereign Wealth Fund May Take BP Stake
Libya's sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority, may take a stake in embattled oil giant BP following news that Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Co., will recommend the investment to the fund. The news follows press reports that were published on Sunday that several Middle East sovereign wealth funds may be mulling investments in BP. Continue reading
Relief Well May Be Ready By End Of July
A relief well that may be able to cap the leaking the Macondo well may be ready by the end of July, ahead of schedule, according to BP. BP said there is a chance the relief will be ready by the end of this month, but chances are it will be some time in August when the well is operational. Continue reading
BP May Sell Colombia, Venezuela Assets
BP is mulling the sale of oil fields in Colombia, Venezuela and Vietnam to raise cash to pay for the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The company previously said it would sell up to $10 billion in non-essential assets over the next year in an effort to shore up its financial position as the cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill continues to swell. Continue reading
Force Majeure Claimed on Diamond Offshore Rigs
Devon Energy and Murphy Oil have claimed force majeure on drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico leased from Diamond Offhsore, citing the U.S. government's six-month moratorium on drilling at depths of greater than 500 feet. Diamond Offshore (DO) has rejected the claims. Continue reading
DoD Still A Big BP Customer
Despite months of harsh rhetoric from the Obama Administration, the Defense Department is still one of BP's biggest and most reliable customers, relying on the same oil company that the White House has portrayed as a villain for jet fuel and other oil-based products for military use. Continue reading
Sovereign Wealth Funds Consider BP Investment
Several Middle East sovereign wealth funds are reportedly considering investments in embattled oil giant BP, which may include the acquisition of select BP assets or a direct cash investment in the company. The story was initially reported by the National, Abu Dhabi's state-run daily newspaper. Continue reading
BP Asks Partners To Pay Part Of Spill Tab
BP is asking its partners on the Maconodo well project, Anadarko Petroleum and Japan's Mitsui to pay part of the costs associated with cleanup efforts for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP owned 65% of the project while Anadarko owned 25% and Mitsui 10%. BP was the primary operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers. Continue reading
Rowan Buys Skeie Drilling For $130.6 Million
Rowan Cos., the Texas-based provider of offshore and onshore drilling services, will buy Norway?s Skeie Drilling & Production ASA for $130.6 million to bolster its footprint in overseas markets. Rowan already owns about 1.5% of Skeie and will issue about 5.95 million shares to owners of 48.8% of Skeie stock, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Mining Companies Reach Deal On Aussie Tax
BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata have reached an agreement with the Australian government whereby the companies have agreed to a reduced resources tax. The companies have agreed to a 30% tax on profits, which is a lower rate than the original government proposal of 40%. Continue reading
Petrobras Share Sale On Track For September
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said its $25 billion secondary share offering aimed at minority shareholders is on track for a September offering date and that Brazil's October presidential elections will not delay the share sale. Petrobras is still waiting for Brazil's oil regulator to tell the company how much it will need to pay for 5 billion barrels of crude Petrobras wants to purchase. Continue reading
Peabody Enters Mongolian Joint Venture
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, and China's Winsway Coking Coal Holdings announced today they have entered into a joint venture to produce metallurgical coal in Mongolia. The companies did not disclose any financial details of the joint venture. Continue reading
TNK-BP May Buy BP Assets
TNK-BP, the Russian oil venture owned by the British oil producer and a Russian businessman, may be interested in some of BP's international assets as a way of bolstering the joint venture's global presence. BP has already discussed selling some assets to the Russian venture to raise cash amid rising costs tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Exxon, Shell Look To Sell German Gas Business
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil firm, are looking to sell their their German gas storage business, a transaction that could net the two companies $1.22 billion. The business is a joint venture between the two companies. Continue reading
House Bill Would Bar BP From New Leases
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) is considering introducing legislation that would block BP from winning new offshore drilling leases for up to seven years due to the company's safety record. Miller's bill is expected to be part of broader legislation aimed at bolstering offshore drilling protocols. Continue reading
Shell Halts Production At Gulf Platform
Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company, halted production at its Perdido platform in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Alex moves closer to the region. The company has evacuated 930 workers from various Gulf projects over the past several days due to Alex, the first major storm of the 2010 hurricane season. Continue reading
DoJ Tells BP To Provide Advance Notice On Depletion
The Justice Department is requiring BP and other companies tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that they must provide advance notice to the government before depleting assets that could be used to cover costs, including legal costs, related to the spill. Continue reading
Alex Disrupts BP Cleanup Efforts
Tropical storm Alex, the first tropical storm of the 2010 hurricane season, forced BP to halt skimming and burning of oil today as waves reached heights of six to seven feet and winds gusted up to 23 knots. On Monday, BP and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) evacuated hundreds of workers from platforms in the Gulf of Mexico because of the storm. Continue reading
Coal Producers Fall On China Concerns
Shares of U.S. coal producers slumped today on speculation that cooling economic growth in China would hamper demand for coal for use in electricity generation and steel production. The Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL) fell $1.86, or 5.83%, to $30.07 today, putting the ETF right a critical support level. Continue reading
Exxon, Shell May Bid For BP, JPMorgan Note Says
The loss of more than half of BP's market value following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may be enough to motivate rivals such as Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil firm, to consider acquiring their embattled rival, according to a note circulated by JPMorgan today. Continue reading
Pension Plan Sues BP
BP's employee pension plan is suing the oil major due to mounting losses in the company's stock price following the largest oil spill in U.S. history. BP shares, which touched a new 52-week low today, have lost more than 50% of their value since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. Continue reading
Total Stops Oil Shipments To Iran
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it has stopped shipping oil and oil-related products to Iran following the announcement of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. Total did not say when it stopped shipping oil to Iran or how much oil it was shipping to Iran. Continue reading
Noble Buys FDR For $2.16 Billion
Noble, the second-largest offshore driller in the world by fleet size, will acquire FDR Holdings, the company formerly known as Frontier Drilling for $2.16 billion in cash from a private equity venture managed by the Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings LLC. Continue reading
BP Rig Fund May Cover Only 50% Of Costs
A $100 million fund set up by BP to cover lost wages for oil rig workers in the Gulf of Mexico may only be good enough to compensate workers for half of those lost wages if a government-imposed moratorium on deepwater drilling lasts as long as six months, according to Louisiana State University. Continue reading
Share Buybacks Hurt BP
Embattled oil giant BP repurchased more than $37 billion of its own shares from 2005 to 2008, but the value of those shares has dwindled to just $15 billion, excluding dividends, as BP's stock has been hammered following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
BP, Shell Move Workers Out Of Gulf
Royal Dutch Shell and BP, the two largest European oil companies, are moving some workers out of the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Alex approaches the region. The storm could turn into a hurricane within the next 48 hours. BP said its cleanup efforts for the Gulf oil spill are unaffected at this point. Continue reading
BP Cleanup Tab Hits $100M Per Day
BP said it has spent $300 million in the past three days cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the first time the company has reached the $100 million per day mark since the largest oil spill in U.S. history started more than two months ago. The company also said its total cleanup costs have now reached $2.65 billion. Continue reading
Venezuela Seizes Helmerich Rigs
Venezuela confirmed the seizure of 11 idled oil rigs owned by Helmerich & Payne and attacked the Oklahoma-based company for not renegotiating leases rates last year when oil prices were dropping. The president of Petroleos de Venezuela, the country's state-run oil company confirmed its workers are now in control of the rigs. Continue reading
Venezuela Wants To Seize Helmerich Rigs
Venezuela's state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, is looking take control of 11 oil rigs owned by Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne, which PDVSA accuses of attempting to hamper Venezuela's oil production. PDVSA will ask Venezuela's National Assembly to approve seizure of the rigs. Continue reading
Judge Denies Government Request On Drilling Ban
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman denied a government request to stay an order that allows for deepwater offshore drilling to resume. Earlier this week, Feldman overturned the Obama Administration's six-month moratorium on drilling at depths of over 500 feet. Continue reading
Bearish Bets On BP Rise
The short interest in American depositary receipts of BP nearly quadrupled in the first half of June, according to data released by the New York Stock Exchange where the embattled oil giant's U.S.-listed shares trade. BP has been battling to contain the largest oil spill in U.S. history for the past two months. Continue reading
Peabody Says Coal Demand Will Soar
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, said it expects global coal demand to surge over the next three decades, fueled by increased consumption by China and India. The U.S. economic recovery will also help stoke coal demand, Peabody noted. The company said a ''30-year super cycle'' coal demand is currently in its nascent stages. Continue reading
BP Removes Well Cap
BP removed a cap on the leaking Macondo well that had been used to divert oil to capture ships on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico following a collision with an underwater remote- operated vehicle, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The vehicle closed a vent on the cap, interrupting the oil capture process on Wednesday. Continue reading
Well Manager Put On Leave By BP
BP said Donald Vidrine, the manager that oversaw operations on the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20 killing 11 workers, has been on administrative leave since the accident. Vildrine was the top-ranking BP employee on the rig when it exploded, according to congressional testimony delivered BP CEO Tony Hayward last week. Continue reading
OGX Petroleo Eyes Colombia Production
OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes, the Brazilian oil producer controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, is looking to begin producing crude in Colombia by 2012 as that country works to reduce violence and bolster foreign investment in its energy resources. Continue reading
Petrobras To Delay $25B Secondary Offering
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, will delay its $25 billion secondary share offering aimed at minority shareholders until September because Brazil's government has to decide on the price of oil reserves Petrobras will purchase in a related transaction. The news sent Petrobras shares to their lowest price in three weeks. Continue reading
Pensions Lose Big On BP's Decline
Forty-two state pension funds lost more than $1.4 billion on investments in shares of BP as the shares have tumbled amid the worst oil spill in U.S. history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. BP's London-listed shares closed at their lowest level since 1997 on Tuesday. Continue reading
Petrobras Says Tupi Production Could Start In Q4
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said it will begin pilot production at Brazil's Tupi oil field in the fourth quarter and that the project is moving forward as scheduled. The Tupi field was discovered in 2007 and was the largest oil discovery in the Americas in more than three decades. Continue reading
Hurricane Concerns Send BP Swaps Soaring
Concerns that the first storm of the 2010 hurricane season could hamper BP's cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico sent credit default swaps tied to BP debt soaring by 61 basis points to 539.3 basis points today. Credit default swaps are used to protect against issuer default on corporate bond issues. Continue reading
Patriot Shares Rocked By Mine Closure
Patriot Coal, the Missouri-based coal miner, lost $2.72, or almost 17%, to close at $13.48 today on volume that was triple the daily average after the company said it will close its Harris No. 1 mine in West Virginia, resulting in the loss of 175 jobs. Patriot Coal is the fourth-largest U.S. coal producer. Continue reading
Judge Lifts Drilling Ban
The Obama Administration's six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was lifted today by a New Orleans federal judge. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman barred the government from enforcing the ban while granting a preliminary injunction. The government said it will appeal the decision. Continue reading
Documents Show Spill Could Be 100,000 BPD
Internal BP documents reveal that the company believes 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day could leak into the Gulf of Mexico if the company's models are incorrect about the spill rate. That is well above the most recent estimate from government scientists that puts the spill rate at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. Continue reading
BP Will Keep U.S. Assets
BP Managing Director Robert Dudley said the company will keep its U.S. assets and look for others to sell as the company looks for ways to bolster its financial position. The company said it is evaluating U.S. assets to be used to guarantee the $20 billion compensation fund it agreed to last week. Continue reading
Petrobras Share Sale Could Involve Oil Rights
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said its planned secondary share offering to raise funds for its exploration budget could include an oil rights swap and may also include a production-sharing agreement. Under an oil-rights swap, the government would grant Petrobras the right to explore and produce up to 5 billion barrels of crude from government-held presalt areas, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Anadarko Wants To Cancel Noble Contract
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, has asked a Houston federal court to cancel an offshore rig leasing contract with Noble because Anadarko claims the government-imposed six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico could be considered a force majeure situation. Continue reading
No Decision Yet On BP Suit Of Anadarko
BP has not yet decided whether or not to pursue a lawsuit against Anadarko Petroleum, the independent oil and gas producer that held a 25% non-operating interest in the Macondo well project. Speculation has swirled that BP may sue Texas-based Anadarko for the latter's attempts to avoid its share of financial responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
BP To Select Assets To Back Fund
BP is reviewing its U.S. portfolio to select assets that will be used to guarantee the $20 billion compensation fund the company agreed to last week. The company will make the $20 billion contribution to the fund over four years and the fund will be used to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
BP Looking To Increase Capture Rate
BP is looking to increase its oil capture rate at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico after recovery operations were halted yesterday due to a lightening storm and an equipment malfunction aboard BP's drillship. BP recovered more than 21,000 barrels of oil after recovery operations resumed on Saturday. Continue reading
Rig Count Rises By 12 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 12 this week to 1,539. Of those rigs, 953 were exploring for natural gas and 574 for oil while 12 were listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
BP May Seek $5 In Bank Loans
BP may be approaching banks for as much as $5 billion in loans as the company struggles to cope with rising cleanup and legal costs tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The bank financing would be in addition to $10.5 billion in undrawn credit lines BP has access to. Continue reading
BP Ratings Cut By Moody's
Moody's Investors Service lowered its long-term debt rating on BP to ''Aa2'' from ''A2'' and the unsecured Issuer Rating of BP Corp. of North America to ''Baa1'' from ''Aa3.'' The ratings agency also pared the senior unsecured issuer rating of BP Finance Plc. to ''A3'' from ''Aa3.'' Continue reading
Anadarko Cut To Junk By Moody's
Moody's Investors Service lowered its rating on independent oil and natural gas producer Anadarko Petroleum to ''Ba1'' from ''Baa3.'' The new rating is one notch into junk status, which will result in higher borrowing costs for Texas-based Anadarko. Continue reading
Petrobras Could Face Ratings Downgrade
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, is more likely to face a ratings downgrade than an upgrade due to a rising debt load and increased government interference, according to Fitch Ratings. Fitch said the probability of a negative action is higher than that of a positive action. Continue reading
BP Capture Rate Soars
BP captured 18,600 barrels of oil from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, an increase of 78% from Tuesday's capture rate. Wednesday's capture rate was the largest since the well started leaking in late April. The Gulf oil spill is the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
S&P Cuts BP Credit Rating
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered BP's credit rating to ''A,'' its second downgrade of the British oil giant in the past month. S&P cited rising political pressure on BP and growing leak estimates from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, already the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
BP Mulls Debt Financing Options
BP is considering a corporate debt issue of up to $10 billion as the company searches for ways to raise cash to pay for costs related to the largest oil spill in U.S. history. BP is also considering bank loans. A bond sale could commence as early as next week, according to sources familiar the issue. Continue reading
Asset Sales In BP's Future
BP will raise $10 billion this year through asset sales, according to the company's CFO Byron Grote. Asset sales combined with the cancellation of the company's $10 billion dividend and plans to reduce investments in drilling operations will be enough to ensure the company's viability going forward, Grote said. Continue reading
Oil Futures Could Retest 2010 Highs
After breaking through the 200-day moving average, a significant resistance area, oil futures could be poised to retest the 2010 high of around $87 a barrel, according to technical analysis by the Schork Group. After trading as high as $87.15 on May 3, crude futures declined as much as 26% due to a stronger U.S. Dollar and Europe's sovereign debt woes. Continue reading
Sovereign Wealth Funds Lose $5B On BP
The sovereign wealth funds of China, Kuwait, Norway and Singapore have lost a combined $5 billion on their investments in BP since the start of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in late April. The four funds were among the 12 largest holders of BP stock at the start of May, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
BP Agrees To $20B Gulf Escrow Fund
BP reached an agreement with the Obama Administration to contribute $20 billion over four years into an escrow account that will be used to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history. The fund will be independently administered by Kenneth Feinberg. Continue reading
BP, White House Spar Over Escrow Account
Talks between BP and the Obama administration regarding an escrow account that will be used to pay cleanup and legal costs related to the largest oil spill in U.S. history have stalled, according to people familiar with the discussions. BP CEO Tony Hayward is scheduled to meet with President Obama tomorrow and the President is expected to push the escrow account issue. Continue reading
Lower Liabilities Lift Anadarko, Transocean
Shares of Anadarko Petroleum and Transocean soared 6.45% and 8.33% today, respectively, on speculation that the companies may face lower financial liabilities related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, owned the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers. Anadarko owned a 25% stake in the rig, which was operated by BP. Continue reading
Fitch Cuts BP's Credit Rating 6 Notches
Fitch Ratings pared BP's credit rating six notches to ''BBB'' from ''AA,'' two levels above junk status, due to the unknown cleanup and legal liabilities the oil giant faces as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history. Fitch lowered its rating on BP from AA+ on June 3. Continue reading
Spill Estimates Continue To Climb
BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico may now be leaking as much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day, according to government estimates. That is the fifth increased estimate since the spill began in late April and 12 times as high as BP's original estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. Continue reading
Mosaic May Buy Mexican Rival
Mosaic, the second-largest North American maker of potash fertilizer, may be in talks to acquire Mexican rival Grupo Fertinal for as much as $1 billion. The acquisition would give Minnesota-based Mosaic its first presence in Mexico. Talks between the two parties have been ongoing for six months, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Rivals Seek Distance From BP
Executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, the three largest U.S. oil companies, are hoping to distance themselves from U.K.-based rival BP as they prepare to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. The U.S. oil majors are likely to ask Congress to not punish them for BP's mistakes in the Gulf of Mexico, which have led to the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
BP Can Pay Short-Term Spill Costs
According to a report in the New York Times, BP has the cash to pay for near-term costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but investors are worried about the longer-term picture is more muddled as investors fret about the company's ability to absorb cleanup and legal bills that could reach as much as $60 billion by some estimates. Continue reading
Transocean Cannot Delay Spill Claims
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, cannot apply a 159-year old maritime law to limit its liability related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to U.S. District Court judge in Houston. Judge Keith Ellison said claims against the company can proceed under the the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Continue reading
Long Bets On Oil Continue To Decline
Hedge funds pared their bullish bets on oil futures to a 10-month low as economic data reports indicate U.S. demand for crude may continue to decline. Long bets on NYMEX-traded crude fell 30% last week to 17,457 contracts, the lowest level since July 2009, according to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Continue reading
KKR May Purchase $400M In Eagle Ford Assets
Private equity firm KKR & Co. is mulling the purchase of $400 million in assets in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas from privately held Hilcorp Energy. The two firms have held discussions regarding a sale to KKR, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people close to the talks. Continue reading
BP Spill Costs Reach $1.6 Billion
BP has now spent $1.6 billion on cleanup efforts for the oil spill caused by the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, representing a $350 million jump in costs in the last week, according to the Guardian, a U.K.-based newspaper. The costs included $25 million payments made to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi to help the states control environmental damage. Continue reading
Options Market Signals More Declines For BP
BP, the embattled oil major that has seen almost $140 billion in market value evaporate since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, could be facing even more substantial declines if options traders are correct in their bearish bets on the stock. Continue reading
Transocean Outlook Pared By Moody's
Moody's Investor's Service lowered its outlook on Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, to ''negative'' from ''stable'' due to the company's exposure to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest spill in U.S. history. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers. Continue reading
Moratorium Could Hurt Superior Energy's Financials
Superior Energy Services, the New Orleans-based oil services firm, said the Obama Administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico could reduce its earnings per share by up to 20 cents a share in the second half of this year. Continue reading
Pioneer Natural May Sell Shale Assets
Pioneer Natural Resources, the Texas-based independent oil and natural gas exploration firm, is mulling the sale of some its natural gas assets in the Eagle Ford Share to India's Reliance Industries, that country's largest company by market value. Continue reading
Government Doubles Leak Estimate
Scientists commissioned by the U.S. government estimate BP's broken Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking twice as much oil as previously thought, perhaps 20,000 barrels a day and up to 40,000 barrels, contributing to what has become the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The spill is now in its 52nd day. Continue reading
BP Has 3 Days To Bolster Capture Plan
The U.S. Coast Guard has given BP 72 hours to bolster its plan to capture oil in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a letter that was released today. The Coast Guard wants BP to outline plans for redundancy among collection systems that will prevent interruptions in the oil capture process. Continue reading
Canadian Oil Output To Surge
Canada's crude oil production is expected to surge 60% over the next 15 years, according to report released today by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Canadian oil production will jump to 4.34 million barrels a day by 2025, from 2.72 million barrels a day in 2009 as the country taps into its oil sands resources. Continue reading
Drilling Moratorium May Sooner Than Six Months
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a Senate committee that the White House plan to halt deepwater drilling for 33 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico for six months following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April that resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history may end sooner than expected. Continue reading
BP, Anadarko Bonds Tumble
Credit default swaps used to protect against default on debt issued by embattled oil giant BP rose to a record today as the company's stock price tumbled to its lowest level since 1996 after a Florida State professor said the Macondo well is leaking more oil than previously estimated. Continue reading
Total, Aramco May Build Petrochemical Plant
France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, and Saudi Aramco, the largest state-run oil company in the world, are considering building a petrochemicals plant next to a joint refinery project the companies are working on in Jubail. The companies started discussions on the project last year. Continue reading
BP To Contribute To Wildlife Fund
BP said it will use revenue generated from the sale of captured oil from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico to contribute to a new wildlife fund created to protect wildlife and their habitat along the Gulf coast. BP said that sales of oil captured from skimming efforts will also go to the fund. Continue reading
BP Will Pay Q1 Dividend
Following speculation that its dividend may be in danger amid rising cleanup costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP said today that will pay a first-quarter dividend of 84 cents per American depositary share. The dividend will be paid June 21 to shareholders of record as of May 7. Continue reading
Diamond Offshore Falls On Leak Rumors
Diamond Offshore, the largest U.S. deepwater driller, saw its shares trade to a new 52-week low today on news that one of the company's rigs in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking oil. Press reports said a pilot spotted an oil plume originating from the Ocean Saratoga rig, leased to privately held Taylor Energy of New Orleans . Diamond Offshore did not comment. Continue reading
Poll Respondents View BP, Government Unfavorably
Nearly three-quarters of the respondents in a Washington Post-ABC News poll view the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a major environmental disaster and nearly two-third's of the poll's respondents believe the federal government should pursue criminal charges against BP. Continue reading
Regulators Give OK To Alaska Pipeline
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved plans that will allow the Alaska Denali pipeline to compete for shipping commitments during Alaska's open season. The decision may allow for two open seasons and multiple pipeline, but there are no guarantees that even one pipeline will be constructed. Continue reading
EOG Ordered To Suspended Pennsylvania Drilling
EOG Resources, the independent oil and gas driller, has been ordered by the state of Pennsylvania to halt natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale for up to a week after one of the company's wells suffered a blowout on June 3. EOG said that it voluntarily suspended operations in Pennsylvania. Continue reading
Petrobras Borrowing Costs Decline
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, is seeing its borrowing costs decline as the company nears the sale of $25 billion in stock, the biggest planned secondary share offering in the Americas. Petrobras will use the proceeds to fund its exploration budget. Continue reading
Iran Halts Natural Gas Discussions
Iran canceled talks with European oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol regarding the development of the country's South Pars natural-gas field. Iran will grant development rights to an Iranian consortium, according to the country's state-controlled news agency. Continue reading
BP Capture Rate Rises
BP said it is capturing more oil from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico as the oil giant fights to contain what has become the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The company said it captured 10,500 barrels on Saturday, up from 6,077 barrels on Friday. Continue reading
Rig Count Falls Due To Moratorium
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of U.S. rigs exploring for oil and natural gas fell by 29 this week to 1,506 due the government's moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading
BP May Caputure 90% Of Leaking Oil
BP's latest attempt to recover leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico by diverting the oil to a capture ship is working and the company hopes to be able to capture 90% of the spill using this method. BP started using this method late last night and believes a recovery rate of 1,000 barrels a day has already been reached. Continue reading
Hayward Sold BP Shares Before Spill
BP CEO Tony Hayward sold about $2 million worth of his company's stock a month before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and creating the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Hayward sold 223,288 shares on March 17 and press reports say there is no reason to believe the share sale was improper. Continue reading
Petbras Makes Offshore Discovery
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it made a discovery of crude oil three miles below the ocean floor in the Marlim field off the coast of southeast Brazil. The Brava discovery may hold about 380 million barrels of recoverable oil and natural gas in the pre-salt layer, equal to 2.6 percent of the company's proven reserves, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
BP May Be Forced To Sell Assets
BP may have to sell assets, including a 26% stake in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, the largest U.S. oil field, to pay for cleanup and legal costs associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Investors seem to believe that asset sales are more likely than a rival acquiring BP. Continue reading
Producers Must Resubmit Shallow-Water Plans
Oil and natural gas producers operating in shallow-water areas of the Gulf of Mexico must resubmit drilling plans to prove the plans meet enhanced safety and environmental protocols following a government-imposed moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. Shallow-water exploration can proceed once the new applications are approved. Continue reading
Hayward's Job On The Line Due To Spill
Speculation is swirling that BP CEO Tony Hayward's job is on the line as his company struggles to contain what has become the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service downgraded BP because spill-related costs are expected to negatively impact the company's financials. Continue reading
Petrobras Selects Banks For Offering
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, has selected six banks to manage a $25 billion share offering aimed at minority shareholders, a sign that the company intends to move forward with the share sale despite the recent slump in international equity markets. Continue reading
Anadarko May Look Away From Gulf
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, may shift its exploration focus away from the Gulf of Mexico following a government-imposed moratorium on deepwater drilling there. The company expects to spend $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion on exploration projects this year. Continue reading
Natural Gas May Rise To $4.80
Technical analysis performed by Energy Security Analysis Inc. shows natural gas prices may jump to $4.80 per million British thermal units this month. Analyst Chris Kostas said the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator shows NYMEX-traded natural gas futures are poised to move higher, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Investigation Weighs On Energy Sector Debt
The specter of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department is pressuring bonds issued by companies such as BP and Transocean with credit default swaps on bonds issued by those companies rising to record levels today. Credit default swaps are used to protect against issuer default. Continue reading
BP Sees No Delays For Refinery Expansion
BP's plans to spend $3.8 billion to upgrade a 119-year old refinery in Indiana, the largest Midwest refinery, will not be affected by the company's exposure to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP said. Permits for the refinery's expansion were issued in 2008, but the Environmental Protection Agency ordered a review of those permits in November 2009. Continue reading
BP Could Be Takeover Target As Shares Fall
Despite gaining over 3% on Wednesday, BP shares have plunged more 35% since April 20, erasing close to $70 billion in market value in the process, perhaps making what was once the largest oil company in Europe vulnerable to a takeover. BP faces massive cleanup and legal costs related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest in U.S. history. Continue reading
Peabody May Be Interested In Whitehaven Coal
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, is a potential bidder for Australia's Whitehaven Coal, a producer of pulverized coal for steelmakers. Peabody previously tried to acquire Australia's Macarthur Coal, the world's largest producer of pulverized coal, several times, but gave up after its last offer was rejected. Continue reading
Bullish Options Trade Spotted In Anadarkp
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas exploration firm, has seen its shares plunge about $31 since the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig due to the company's 25% non-operating interesting in the rig, but options traders may be feeling bullish on the name. Continue reading
DoJ Considers Criminal Charges Against BP
The Justice Department is considering criminal charges against BP and is investigating whether civil laws were broken leading up to the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which resulted in 11 deaths and the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Continue reading
Petrobras Searches For New Zealand Discovery
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, is looking to make a major natural gas discovery off New Zealand's North Island in an effort to support a planned liquefied natural gas project in the region. On Tuesday, Petrobras won rights to explore 4,760 square miles in the Raukumara Basin north of East Cape, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Robots Are BP's Latest Attempt To Plug Gulf Leak
BP will use undersea robots to cut damaged pipe from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in a bid to stop what has already become the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The plan is risky and could result in an increased flow of oil following the failed top kill effort. Continue reading
Bullish Bets On Gas Futures Plummet
Hedge funds and other speculators are closing long positions on gasoline futures at the quickest pace in nearly four years as concerns that the European sovereign debt crisis will impact the global economic recovery persist. Long positions in gasoline futures and options on the New York Mercantile Exchange tumbled to 14,228 in the week ended May 25, the lowest level since February 2007, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Chevron Says Spill Should Not Impact Drilling
While acknowledging the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, already the worst in the U.S. history, has obviously tarnished the oil industry's reputation, Chevron CEO John Watson said offshore is too important to U.S. energy supplies and the economy to not proceed. Chevron is the second-largest U.S. oil company and a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Continue reading
Gulf Spill May Not Be Capped For Months
In the wake of BP's failed top kill effort, the Obama Administration is saying the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, already believed to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history, may not be capped until August. The leak is now in its 41st day and may be spewing as much as 798,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. Continue reading
DoJ Opposes Transocean Liability Cap
Transocean's request to limit its financial liability related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to $26.7 million was described as ''simply unconscionable'' by the Justice Department, indicating the company's efforts to apply a 150-year old maritime law to limit its damages may prove futile. Continue reading
Shell Acquires East Resources For $4.7B
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, will acquire, privately held East Resources for $4.7 billion in cash to bolster its footprint in U.S. shale formations. Shell will gain acreage in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford Shales through the acquisition. Continue reading
Moratorium Will Not Impact Rigs Currently Producing
A six-month moratorium on new drilling leases will not have an affect on 591 deepwater wells currently exploring for oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico, nor will the plan impact more than 4,500 currently operating in the Gulf's shallow waters. Continue reading
Drilling Moratorium Extended By President Obama
President Obama will extend a moratorium on offshore drilling leases for six months and cancel plans to drill off the coast of Virginia following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, which resulted in 11 deaths. The plans are part of the Obama Administration's efforts to bolster offshore drilling safety protocols. Continue reading
Dividend Yield Signals ''Opportunity'' In BP
A dividend yield that resides close to 8% could signal a buying opportunity in shares of BP, which had lost 30% since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, according to Wall Street analysts. BP shares were up $2.97, or 7%, to $45.38 today on news that the company's top kill effort was making progress in stemming the flow of leaking oil from the Macondo well. That was the biggest gain for the stock in almost a year. Continue reading
BP Spill May Be Twice As Large As Valdez
The amount of oil that has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's Macondo well may be twice the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989, according to government estimates. BP previously said the well was spewing 5,000 barrels of oil per day, but U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) puts that amount at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day. Continue reading
BP Begins ''Top Kill'' Effort
BP began the so-called ''top kill'' effort to stem the flow of leaking oil from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico today, a plan that is viewed as the critical to the company's efforts to plug the leaking well. The plan may take two days to complete and stands a 60% to 70% chance of success, according to BP CEO Tony Hayward. Continue reading
Marathon Reduces Shale Drilling
Declining natural gas prices have led Marathon Oil, the fourth-largest U.S. energy producer, to scale back its drilling plans in U.S. shale formations. The company told investors today that it plans to drill three to five new wells in the Marcellus Shale, down from previous plans of six to 10 new wells. Continue reading
Transocean Halts Drilling At India Site
Transocean, the world's largest provider offshore drilling services, halted drilling at a site in India due to safety concerns. Transocean was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers. India's Reliance Industries, the country's largest company by market value, owns 90% of the Deepwater Expedition rig, which Transocean stopped from drilling. Continue reading
Shell Drilling Plans Draw Scrutiny
Plans by Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European oil company by market value, to drill for oil and natural gas off the coast of Alaska are drawing intense scrutiny following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell had hoped to begin drilling in the in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas later this year. Continue reading
Crude Futures Could Fall To $58
Newedge Group is saying crude futures look ''weak'' and technical analysis performed by the firm shows oil futures could fall to $58 a barrel, according to Bloomberg News. NYMEX-traded crude for July delivery gained $2.76, or 4%, to close at $71.51 today, good for only the third positive trading of 18 in May. Continue reading
Transocean Cannot Limit Liability, Lawyers Say
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, cannot limit its financial liability related to the Gulf of Mexico, lawyers representing victims of the spill told a Houston court today. Transocean is seeking to use a 150-year old statute limit its financial exposure from the spill. Continue reading
Williams Buys Marcellus Shale Acres For $501M
Williams Cos., the natural gas producer, said it acquired 42,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale for $501 million, almost doubling the company's total acreage in the region. Oklahoma-based Williams acquired the acreage from Alta Resources LLC. The acres are in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Continue reading
Fake Twitter Account Mocks BP Cleanup Efforts
In a testament to a rise in the power and popularity of social media, a fake Twitter account mocking BP's oil spill cleanup efforts has become the latest public relations nemesis for the oil giant to contend with. The account, @BPGlobalPR, has been active since May 19 and fits within Twitter's guidelines for parody and satire. Continue reading
MMS Employees Accepted Industry Gifts
Employees of the Minerals Management Service (MMMS), the government agency that oversees offshore oil drilling, accepted gifts from oil and natural gas industry executives according to a report released by the Interior Department. Gifts included tickets to sporting events and meals. Continue reading
OPEC Not Concerned With $70 Oil...Yet
Oil ministers from OPEC's 12 member countries are not yet concerned with oil prices that currently reside below $70 a barrel and they see no need for an emergency meeting due to the price decline, according to Kuwait's oil minister, Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah. Continue reading
Hayward Says Top Kill Has 70% Chance Of Success
BP CEO Tony Hayward said process known as "top kill" has a 60% to 70% of working to plug the leak at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The process involves injecting heavy fluids into the well and is expected to start on Wednesday. If top kill proves ineffective, the company said it would cut a pipe above the blowout preventer and use a line to redirect oil to the surface. Continue reading
Investors Sue BP Directors
BP investors, including the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, are suing the company's directors, alleging they were negligent in monitoring safety concerns at the Deepwater Horizon rig prior to an explosion at the rig that resulted in 11 deaths and a massive oil spill. The suit was filed in a Delaware court on May 21. Continue reading
Senators Question Transocean Payout
Eighteen Democratic Senators want U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Transocean's plans to pay a $1 billion dividend to shareholders. The senators allege the payout may be a way for the world's largest offshore drilling services provider to limit its financial liability related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Continue reading
Petrobras Aims To Start Franco Production In 2015
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it hopes start production at Brazil's Franco field, the country's second-largest oil field, by 2015. The company will purchase the field from Brazil's government in exchange for new shares and expects initial production of 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per day. Continue reading
Feds Chide BP Cleanup Effort
Government officials frustrated with a lack of progress in efforts to cleanup the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are threatening to remove BP from efforts to seal a leaking well that is spewing crude into the Gulf. At the same the officials admitted that only BP and other oil companies have the know-how to solve the situation. Continue reading
Venezuela To Up Oil Output
Venezuela, an OPEC member, plans to gradually increase oil production this year before a more significant ramp-up in 2011. The comments from President Hugo Chavez contradict previous statements from the country's oil officials that production would not increase this year. Continue reading
Shell Removes Nigerian Production Warning
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, lifted its warning regarding a shortfall in Nigerian production after the company repaired damaged pipelines in the Niger Delta. The company previously said it would miss production targets for May and June due to a fire and leaks at its Trans Niger pipeline. Continue reading
BP Refuses To Use Less-Toxic Dispersant
BP has refused an order from the Environmental Protection Agecncy (EPA) to use a less-toxic chemical dispersant to break-up oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said the dispersant it is currently using is the best option to break-up oil below the Gulf's surface. Continue reading
Commodites May Have Topped, Commerzbank Says
Commodities ranging from crude oil to soft commodities such as soybeans may have topped and have limited potential to rebound, according to technical analysis by Commerzbank, Bloomberg News reported. Commerzbank said the outlook for the commodities complex is ''negative.'' Continue reading
Petrobras May Up Share Sale To $80B
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, may seek approval to up the amount of a proposed secondary share offering to $80 billion. In a regulatory filing, Petrobras's board proposed lifting a cap on the issuance of preferred shares to 2.4 billion shares from 200 million and capped the issuance of new voting shares at 3.2 billion shares. Continue reading
Climate Bill Could Cut Oil Imports 40%
Legislation aimed at limiting greenhouse gases and increasing domestic energy production could reduce U.S. oil imports 33% to 40% by 2030, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The bill was introduced last week by Sens. John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman. Continue reading
Anadarko Project Approved Hours After Rig Explosion
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas company, was granted approval for another offshore drilling project in the Gulf of Mexico hours after an explosion at BP's Deepwater Horizon rig. Texas-based Anardarko owned a 25% stake in the BP (BP) project the Deepwater Horzion rig was being used for. Continue reading
BP Seizing 5,000 Barrels A Day In Gulf
BP said it is capturing 5,000 barrels of oil per day from its leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this week, the company said it was capturing just 1,000 barrels per day. The company has said since late April that 5,000 barrels per day were leaking into the Gulf, but BP was forced to acknowledge today that the total is actually higher. Continue reading
Petrobras May Delay Share Sale
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it may delay a $25 billion share offering aimed at minority shareholders if global equity markets continue to weaken. The offering is part of a larger share sale which could reach up to $60 billion. Those funds would be used to fund the purchase of 5 billion barrels of oil reserves from Brazil's government. Continue reading
Peabody Still Hunting For Aussie Acquisitions
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, is still on the prowl for Australian acquisitions after being rebuffed several times by Macarthur Coal, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal for steelmakers. Macarthur rejected Peabody's $3.3 billion offer earlier this week. Continue reading
U.S., Mexico Evaluating Oil Moratorium
The U.S. and Mexico are considering a moratorium on oil production in the Western Gap of the Gulf of Mexico where the two countries share a coastal border. President Obama and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon met today in Washington and announced the proposed moratorium. Continue reading
Alaska Politicians Favor Shell Drilling
Alaska's congressional delegation today voiced support for Royal Dutch Shell's plans to begin an offshore drilling project in the North Slope this summer. The project, along with other offshore drilling endeavors has come under scrutiny following BP's Macondo well spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading
Crude Could Fall To $66
Crude oil could fall to $66 a barrel, after the June contract expires on Thursday, an eight-month low, Bloomberg News reported, citing technical analysis by Cameron Hanover. NYMEX-traded crude has traded lower in 10 of the past 12 trading sessions and traded below $68 per barrel today. Continue reading
Clean Harbors Revenue To Benefit From Spill Cleanup
Clean Harbors, the Massachusetts-based provider of industrial and environmental cleanup services, said its second-quarter revenue will benefit from the company's role in cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said its role in the cleanup effort could help its second-quarter revenue beat estimates by 15%-20%. Continue reading
Oil Services Firms Could Benefit From Spill
Analysts that follow oil services firms said that some services providers could benefit due to tighter safety restrictions following the massive oil spill at BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. BP (BP) said it has been able to cut the flow of oil at the well by 1,000 barrels per day. Continue reading
China National Acquires Shell Unit For $1.5B
China National Petroleum, that country's biggest energy producer, will pay $1.5 billion for a 35% stake in Royal Dutch Shell's oil and gas unit in Syria. That price tag is according to an analyst estimate. China National and Shell they will work together on joint projects in Syria after the agreement is reached. Continue reading
Occidental Looks Onshore After BP Spill
Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, is among the oil producers rushing to find new onshore sites for oil exploration following BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that will likely result in tighter restrictions on offshore drilling in the U.S. Continue reading
MMS Official Speeds Up Retirement Plans
Minerals Management Service administrator Chris Oynes announced his retirement on Monday in an email to colleagues, marking the first personnel fallout in the wake of the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has resulted in a 5,000-barrel per day oil spill. Continue reading
Cnooc Inks Iraq Deal
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil driller, and Turkish Petroleum, that country's state-run oil company, inked a deal to develop the 2.5-billion-barrel Missan oil field in Southern Iraq. China's Sinochem International originally partnered with Cnooc in an unsuccessful bid for the Missan fields during Iraq's first licensing auction last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Macarthur Rejects Peabody's Latest Bid
Macarthur Coal, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal for steelmakers, has rejected Peabody Energy's $3.3 billion takeover offer, calling the bid too low. It is Australia-based Macarthur's third rejection of a Peabody offer. Peabody is the largest U.S. coal producer. Continue reading
BP Capturing 1,000 Barrels Per Day
BP said it is capturing 1,000 barrels of leaking oil per day at Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, or about 20% of the estimated total that is spewing into the Gulf. The company inserted a mile-long pipeline to the leaking well over the weekend to stop the flow of oil. Continue reading
Australia Open To Negotiation On Resource Tax
Australia's government said its proposed 40% tax increase on mining companies operating in that country ''has room for negotiation.'' Since the proposal was announced, shares of mining firms have been punished on speculation that the tax hike would imperil new investments and hamper mergers and acquisitions activity within the sector. Continue reading
Petrobras To Raise 2010 Output 22%
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said it will increase its 2010 oil output by 22% as more of Brazil's new pre-salt oil projects start to come online. The company will add 250,000 barrels per day in production from pre-salt discoveries, including the Tupi Field. Continue reading
BP Inserts Tube To Siphon Oil
BP is making some progress in controlling the flow of oil from a leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico after inserting a tube into a broken pipe at the well. The tube has successfully moved some oil to the surface after a similar effort failed on Saturday. BP said the tube will not control all of the leaking oil, but that this is an important step. Continue reading
Rig Count Rises 14 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 14 this week to 1,506. The number of gas rigs rose by two to 951 while the number of oil rigs jumped by 16 to 544. Eleven rigs were listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Libra Discovery May Top Brazil's Franco Find
According to seismic data obtained by Brazil's oil regulator, a well being drilled at the Libra oil discovery may hold more oil than the Franco oil find, which was believed to be Brazil's second-largest pre-salt discovery after the Tupi field. Tupi is believed to hold 8 billion barrels of crude. Continue reading
BP Tries Tube To Stem Leaking Oil
BP is trying to insert a tube into a leaking pipe to contain the flow of oil at its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to divert the spilling oil to the Gulf's surface. The operation began on Thursday night, according to BP. An estimated 5,000 barrels of oil per day are spewing into the Gulf as a result of the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig. Continue reading
China, Nigeria To Partner On Refineries
China and Nigeria are seeking $23 billion in funding to build three refineries and a petrochemical facility in the African country. The agreement was signed between Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and China State Construction Engineering Corp. The construction of the facilities is aimed at helping the country produce the estimated 750,000 barrels of oil per day it will need over the next decade to curb an increase in refined petroleum products, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Macarthur Scraps Gloucester Bid
Australia's Macarthur Coal, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal for steelmakers, has scrapped its bid for rival Gloucester Coal, a move that may open the door for Macarthur to be acquired by Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer. Continue reading
China To Invest $803M In Oil Sands Project
China Investment Corp., that country's sovereign wealth fund, will invest $803 million in a Canadian oil sands project with Canada-based Penn West Energy Trust. The Canadian oil sands region is believed to hold the second-largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia. Continue reading
Anadarko May Face Biggest Spill Liability
Anadarko Petroleum's 25% non-operating stake in the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20, resulting in 11 deaths and a massive oil spill, may expose the company to larger financial liabilities than BP, the rig's operator, when comparing the two companies by size. Continue reading
Transocean Wants To Limit Spill Liability
Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore contract drilling services, has filed a petition in a Houston federal court to limit its financial liability related to the Gulf of Mexico spill caused by an explosion at the company's Deepwater Horizon rig to $28.6 million. Continue reading
Senators Propose Ban On West Coast Drilling
In the wake of BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, politicians are clamoring for bans on offshore, but all six senators from the three West Coast states have formally proposed legislation to permanently ban offshore drilling in their states' coastal areas. The proposed legislation would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently ban offshore drilling in California, Oregon and Washington. Continue reading
Ecopetrol To Boost Investments
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil company, said it plans to boost investments on capital projects to $7 billion to $7.5 billion per year in the coming years in an effort to increase Colombia's oil output. The country is the fourth-largest oil producer in Latin America behind Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela. Continue reading
Tiber Appraisal Could Be Delayed By Spill
BP's Tiber discovery, a massive oil find in the Gulf of Mexico that could hold up to 3 billion barrels of crude, may see a delay in appraisal due to the April explosion at the company's Deepwater Horizon rig that has led to one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. Continue reading
BP Readies ''Top Hat'' Containment Well
BP is preparing to lower the so-called ''top hat'' containment well to floor of the Gulf of the Mexico within the next two days with the hopes of stemming the flow of oil from the company's leaking Macondo well. The new containment dome is much smaller than the 40-foot dome the company lowered last weekend. That effort failed after the dome was clogged by a mixture of frozen gas and water. Continue reading
Chevron, Repsol Sign Venezuela Contracts
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, and Repsol, Spain's largest oil producer, signed contracts worth at least $30 billion with Petroleos de Venezuela(PDVSA), that country's state-run oil firm, to develop crude reserves in the Orinoco Belt. PDVSA will hold majority stakes in the projects. Continue reading
Marisco Capital Dumps Transocean Stake
Marisco Capital Management, the largest owner of Transocean shares at the end of 2009, liquidated its entire stake in the world's largest provider of offshore contract drilling services in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers. Marisco previously owned 20.96 million Transocean shares. Continue reading
BP Readies Another Containment Effort
After a 40-foot containment well failed to produce the desired results in BP's efforts to stop of the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the company said a smaller containment dome could be in place within a week. A combination of frozen gas and water created clogs in the larger well, rendering its efforts ineffective over the weekend. Continue reading
Petrobras Capital Raise On Track
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said its plans to raise up to $60 billion to fund its exploration plans remain on track and that Europe's sovereign debt crisis is not likely to hamper demand for the company's shares. The offering will be the largest secondary sale ever by a company listed on a U.S. exchange. Continue reading
Minerals Management Service To Be Split Up
The Obama Administration wants to separate the Mineral Management Service's oversight and safety branch from its oil leasing and royalty collection operation after the agency has come under scrutiny in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Minerals Management Service is part of the Interior Department. Politicians from both parties support the plan separate the safety and collection branches. Continue reading
OPEC Boosts 2010 Demand Outlook
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) boosted its 2010 demand outlook for crude oil due to China's rapidly expanding economy. OPEC's forecast was raised by 180,000 barrels a day, or 0.2%, to 85.38 million barrels per day. The cartel produces about 40% of the world's oil. Continue reading
Ecopetrol Exports Reach Record
Ecopetrol, Colombia's largest oil company exported a record 403,510 barrels per day of oil and refined products during April, worth $906 million, the company said today. That compares with 254,500 barrels per day worth $338.9 million in April of 2009. Colombia is Latin America's fourth-largest oil producer. Continue reading
BP To Use Smaller Containment Dome
BP's attempts to use a massive 40-foot tall containment dome to stop the flow of leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico failed due to clogs caused by a mixture of frozen water and gas and now the company is preparing to deploy a smaller containment dome in the next three days that would be less vulnerable to clogging. Continue reading
McDermott, Fluor Q1 Profits Fall
McDermott International, a provider of construction and engineering services to the oil and natural gas industries, said its first-quarter profit fell to $59.9 million, or 26 cents a share, $77.7 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier as revenue plunged 21% to $1.18 billion. Excluding one-time items, McDermott earned 38 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting a profit of 36 cents a share. Continue reading
Peabody Lowers Macarthur Bid
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, lowered its offer for Australia's Macarthur Coal due to a proposal by Australia's government to raise taxes on mining firms operating in that country by 40%. Peabody's latest offer is $3.4 billion, down from $3.8 billion. Continue reading
Shifting Winds Hamper BP Containment Plan
Shifting winds in the Gulf of Mexico could hamper BP's efforts to contain the oil spill that is leaking an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf and could result in that oil making landfall in just a few a days. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Saturday stopped public access to Louisiana's Chandeleur and Freemason islands, where oil from the spill first reached shore, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Shareholder Sues BP Over Spill
A BP shareholder is suing the oil giant, claiming the company ignored safety issues that led to the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20. The suit says that BP executives failed to improve safety practices after a 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery, opting to focus on generating profits instead. Continue reading
Emergency Meeting Not Necessary, OPEC Says
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said there is no need for the cartel to convene an emergency meeting despite the plunge in oil prices over the past week, but the group's oil ministers did say that the Greek sovereign debt crisis is an issue of concern. Continue reading
BP Suits Will Not Be Expedited
A federal judicial ruled panel against combining the multitude of law suits BP is facing as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig. Lawyers for 200 plaintiffs had hoped to combine their actions into a single suit to expedite the legal process. Continue reading
Shell May Not Meet Nigerian Production Target
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, may not be able to meet production targets in Nigeria due to a fire on one of the company's major pipelines that Shell has blamed on thieves. Other Shell oil assets in the country have been subject to rebel attacks in the past year. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Rises By 9
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs in the U.S. exploring for oil and natural gas rose by nine this week to 1,492. The number of rigs searching for natural gas rose to 953 while 528 rigs were exploring for oil and 11 were listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
BP Dome Near Seafloor
A recovery dome being used by BP to stem the flow of leaking oil at its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is nearly in place and the company expects the edges of the dome to be lowered to a depth of 5,000 feet tonight. BP said the containment effort may move as much as 85% of the leaking oil to a drill ship starting early next week. Continue reading
S&P Lowers BP Outlook
Ratings agency Standard & Poor lowered its outlook on BP to ''negative'' from ''stable'' due to issues the company must deal with related to rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf and the largest North American natural gas producer. Continue reading
Salazar: ''Major Mistakes'' Made In Rig Explosion
Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar said today ''very major mistakes'' were made by the companies involved in the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in 11 deaths and 5,000 barrels of crude per day spewing into the Gulf. Continue reading
Oil Could Tumble To $60
Amid concerns of Europe's sovereign debt crisis, declining equity markets and an eroding Euro, investors are fleeing so-called risky assets and that may lead to further declines in oil prices. NYMEX-traded crude for June delivery plunged as much as 11% to an intraday low of $76.37 on Thursday. Continue reading
BP, Halliburton Must Preserve Rig Evidence
The U.S. Justice Department said today that has asked BP and Halliburton to preserve evidence related to the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Transocean (RIG), the world's largest provider of offshore contract drilling services, said it received a similar request on Wednesday. Continue reading
Virginia Offshore Drilling Postponed
The U.S. Interior Department said on Thursday it will delay public meetings related to offshore oil and natural gas drilling off Virginia's coast due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Interior Department said public meetings in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia scheduled for later this month have been canceled. Continue reading
Peabody Continues To Pursue Macarthur
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, still wants to acquire Australia-based Macarthur Coal, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal for steel mills, despite plans by Australia's government to impose a 40% tax hike on mining firms operating there. Continue reading
Chesapeake Turns Q1 Profit
Chesapeake Energy posted a profit of $590 million, or 92 cents per share, after losing $5.7 billion, or $9.63 cents a share a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Chesapeake earned 82 cents a share, beating the consensus estimate of 70 cents. Hedging techniques and higher prices helped the company move to a profit in the first quarter. Continue reading
BP Shuts Off One Leak
BP said it has been able to shut off one of the three leaks spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, but the company said the amount of oil being leaked remains unchanged. An estimated 210,000 gallons of oil, or the equivalent of 5,000 barrels per day, are spewing into the Gulf following the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig. Continue reading
Devon Q1 Profit Soars
Devon Energy, the third-largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, said its first-quarter profit jumped to $1.19 billion, or $2.66 a share, compared with a loss of $4 billion, or $8.92, a year earlier, due to higher oil prices. That was good for the company's best quarterly report since 2008. Revenue rose 69% to $3.22 billion. Continue reading
Transocean Gets DOJ Request
Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 causing a massive oil spill, said in a regulatory filing today that it has received a request from the Justice Department to preserve information about the rig explosion. The company also said it has received $401 million in insurance payments for the rig explosion. Continue reading
Long-Dated Crude Futures Rise Above $100
Crude oil for delivery in December 2018 moved above $100 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange today on concerns that future leases for offshore drilling would not be granted, crimping future supplies of crude. The December 2018 contract is the longest dated contract currently trading on the NYMEX. The contract traded as high as $100.38 today. Continue reading
Anadarko Default Swaps Soar
Credit default swaps used by traders to protect investments in debt issued by Anadarko Petroleum soared to their highest level in almost a year on Tuesday on news that Congress is considering a bill to lift a cap on oil companies' liability related to oil spills to $10 billion from $75 million. Continue reading
Petrobras Cannot Confirm Repsol Estimate
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, refused to confirm estimates made by Repsol, Spain's largest oil company, about the total reserves in an area off the coast of Brazil the two companies are exploring with BG Group Plc. Petrobras said it could not confirm Repsol's estimate that the Carioca and Guara areas hold up to 3 billion barrels of recoverable reserves. Continue reading
Anadarko Has About $160M In Rig Insurance Coverage
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, said it has $162.5 million in insurance coverage to cover costs related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill was caused by an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig two weeks ago. Continue reading
BP Says It Will Pay For Oil Spill
BP is accepting financial responsibility for the oil spill caused by a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico that may be spewing up to 5,000 barrels of oil per day. The company said it will pay ''all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs'' to clean up the oil slick, which is now the size of the state of Delaware. Continue reading
BP Outlines Plans To Stop Oil Leak
BP said it will use a variety of techniques to stem the flow of leaking oil at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that has been hemorrhaging oil after the Deepwater Horizon rig sank in April. BP has said it will use chemical injections, domes and pressure equipment to stop the flow of oil from the well, which is 5,000 beneath the surface of the Gulf. Continue reading
Petrobras Share Sale Open To All Investors
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it will open its planned $25 billion secondary offering to all investors as the company believes investor appetite for its shares remains strong. The offering is part of a larger sale that may raise as much as $60 billion to fund the company's exploration budget, but the $25 billion portion will be targeted at new investors and existing minority shareholders. Continue reading
Anadarko Petroleum Q1 Profit Rises
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest independent U.S. oil and natural gas producer, said its first-quarter profit rose to $716 million, or $1.43 a share, compared with a net loss of $338 million, or 73 cents, a year earlier due to increased output and higher oil prices. Excluding one-times, Anadarko earned 81 cents a share, beating the consensus estimate of 42 cents. Revenue soared 75% to $3.14 billion. Continue reading
Massey Facing Possible Bribery Charges
Massey Energy, the coal producer that owns the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia where 29 workers were killed in an explosion in April, may be facing bribery charges from the FBI on the grounds that the company bribed federal and state safety inspectors. Continue reading
Cnooc Acquires Oil Block From Devon
Cnooc, China's largest offshore driller, will acquire Devon Energy's stake in an oil block in the South China Sea for $515 million. The block includes the Panyu oil field, which produces 49,000 barrels of crude a day, according to the Tulsa World. The sale is part of Devon's plans to sell its international and offshore assets to focus on the North American natural gas market. Continue reading
BP Might Use Dome To Cap Well
BP, Europe's largest oil company, may use a dome to cap a well that is spilling an unspecified amount of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the company's chairman Lamar McKay. McKay said in an interview with ABC's ''This Week'' that plans for the dome have been made and it could be six to eight days before the dome is deployed. Continue reading
Petrobras Will Move Forwad With Share Sale
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it will proceed with a secondary share offering in July that could raise up to $60 billion even without approval from Brazil's Congress. The company said the size of the offering will depend on the capital spending plan that is expected to be approved in June. Continue reading
Pemex May Need To Boost Spending
Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-run oil company, may need to spend as much as $25 billion a year, about $6 billion more than it currently spends, if it wants to meet production targets, Mexico's oil minister said. Pemex, as the company is also known, has been fighting declining production for several years as Mexico's oil fields mature and produce less crude. Continue reading
BP, Transocean Face Rash Of Suits
BP, Europe's largest oil company, and Transocean (RIG), the world's largest offshore oil driller, are facing at least 36 law suits related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig earlier this month. Attorneys have said BP (BP) has the primary liability for the spill. Continue reading
Chevron Q1 Profit More Than Doubles
Chevron, the second-largest U.S oil company, said its first-quarter profit more than doubled thanks to higher oil prices and increased production. California-based Chevron earned $4.55 billion, or $2.27 a share, on revenue of $48.18 billion. Analysts had been expecting a profit of $1.97 a share. Continue reading
Total Profit Rises On Higher Prices, Production
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said its first-quarter profit rose 9% to $3.06 billion, meeting analyst estimates, thanks to higher oil prices and increased output. The company's output rose by 4.5% during the quarter and Total is now forecasting increased production for 2010. Continue reading
Conoco Q1 Profit Surges
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said its first-quarter profit more than doubled to $2.1 billion, or $1.40 a share, from $800 million, or 54 cents, a year earlier, as oil prices soared. Excluding costs related to the company's withdrawal from two projects in the Middle East, Conoco earned $1.47 a share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.38. Continue reading
Apache Q1 Profit Boosted By Higher Prices, Production
Apache, the largest independent U.S. oil and gas producer by market value, said its first-quarter profit rose to $705 million, or $2.08 a share, compared with a net loss of $1.76 billion, or $5.25, a year earlier, driven by higher oil prices and increased production at international projects, including those in Australia. Excluding foreign currency adjustments, Apache earned $2.10 a share, which missed the consensus estimated of $2.24. Continue reading
Occidental Q1 Profit Nearly Triples
Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said its first-quarter profit tripled, helped by increased production and higher oil prices. California-based Occidental posted a profit of $1.06 billion, or $1.31 a share, from $368 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier. Revenue soared to $4.78 billion from $3.07 billion. Continue reading
Exxon Q1 Profit Hampered By Health Care Reform
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said its first-quarter profit jumped 38% to $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, from $4.55 billion, or 92 cents, a year earlier, but that number missed consensus estimates because the company took a $200 million charge related to the newly passed health care reform bill. The company said revenue surged 41% to $90.3 billion. Continue reading
Sinopec Refining Activity Soars
China's Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, said it refined 20% more oil in the first-quarter compared with the year-earlier period as increased economic activity and more Chinese drivers helped boost demand for oil in the world's largest country by population. Continue reading
Higher Oil Prices Boost Shell Q1 Profit
Royal Dutch Shell, which competes with BP for the title of Europe's largest oil company, said high oil prices helped its first-quarter profit jumped 49% to $4.90 billion. Earlier this week BP (BP) said its first-quarter profit rose 135%. Continue reading
Hess Turns Q1 Profit After Year-Earlier Loss
Hess, the fifth-largest U.S. oil company, said it posted a first-quarter profit after reporting a loss in the year-earlier period. Higher oil prices helped Hess earn $538 million, or $1.49 a share, compared with a loss of $59 million, or nine cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected a profit of $1.11 a share. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Leaves Another Middle East Project
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it will not participate in a natural gas project in Abu Dhabi, marking the second Middle East project in a week the company is pulling out of. Last week, Conoco scuttled plans to move forward with the Yanbu refining project in Saudi Arabia. Continue reading
Total Sells Two Norway Stakes To BP
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, sold stakes in two Norwegian oil fields to rival BP, Europe's largest oil company, for $991 million. The deal must be approved by Norwegian regulators, though it is not expected to encounter significant opposition. Continue reading
Valero Posts Fourth Straight Quarterly Loss
Valero, the largest U.S.-based refiner, posted its fourth straight quarterly loss when it reported first-quarter results on Tuesday, but said it expects to turn a profit in the current quarter. The company said it is ''cautiously optimistic'' about its business outlook for the rest of 2010. Continue reading
PetoChina Q1 Profit Soars
PetroChina, Asia's largest company by market value, said its first-quarter surged to $4.8 billion from $2.77 billion a year earlier, helped by higher oil prices. Analysts said the company's full-year profits could rise by more than a third if crude prices remain high. The company is forecasting a full-year profit of $20.2 billion. Continue reading
BP Q1 Profit More Than Doubles
BP, Europe's largest oil company, said its first-quarter profit rose to $6.1 billion from $2.56 billion a year earlier due to reduced production costs and higher oil prices. BP's replacement cost profit jumped 35% to $5.6 billion from $2.39 billion a year earlier as revenue surged 55% to $74.4 billion. Continue reading
Petrobras May See Funding Delays
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer, may see delays in its efforts to raise as much as $60 billion to fund its ambitious exploration plans because verifying the value of the oil to be used in the oil-for-shares exchange, according to Credit Suisse. Continue reading
Total, Kuwait In Oil Talks
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, is in talks with OPEC member Kuwait to develop oil assets in the northern part of the country. Kuwait is also reportedly holding talks with Exxon Mobil (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, about developing heavy oil assets. Continue reading
Chevron Says Gorgon Contracts Reach $19B
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said contracts awarded to develop the massive Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia have topped $19 billion. California-based Chevron said it expects to employ 2,500 people in the region by the end of this year up from its current staff of 1,800. Continue reading
Newfield Looks To Spend More On Oil
Newfield Exploration, the independent oil and gas exploration firm, is following in the footsteps of several other oil and gas firms by saying it will devote more of its 2010 budget to oil projects due to the wide spread between oil and natural gas prices. Oil spending will increase to about $700 million, while the total capital-spending plan will remain at $1.6 billion, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Eni, BG Want Stakes In Kazakh Field
Eni SpA, Italy's largest energy company, and BG Group of the U.K., want to acquire a stake in the Karachaganak oil and natural gas field in Kazakhstan, according to Italian press reports. Talks are being held in London between the parties, but what level of progress that has been made still appears questionable, the media reports said. Continue reading
Kuwait: OPEC Would Act If Oil Moves Above $100
Kuwait, the fourth-largest oil producer in the world, said OPEC would boost oil production if prices were sustained above $100 a barrel, a price range that may hurt the global economic recovery. Kuwait's oil minister said there is still upside for oil prices before OPEC responds with increased output. Continue reading
Patriot Coal Q1 Profit Slumps
Patriot Coal said its first-quarter profit fell to $4.3 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $32.1 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales slumped 12% to $467.3 million as volume declined 10%. Analysts had been expecting the company to lose 48 cents a share on revenue of $497 million. Continue reading
Eni First-Quarter Profit Rises
Eni SpA, Italy's largest energy company, said its first-quarter net profit rose 17% to $2.95 billion from $2.52 billion a year earlier helped by higher oil prices and an increase in production by the company. Eni said it expects a ''modest'' improvement in global oil demand through the rest of this year. Continue reading
Rig Count Falls By 9 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 9 this week to 1,482. There were 956 rigs looking for gas and 514 for oil with 12 listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Schlumberger Q1 Profit Falls, Outlook Optimistic
Schlumberger, the world's largest provider of oil services, said its first-quarter profit fell to $672 million, or 56 cents a share, from $938 million, or 78 cents, a year earlier. Excluding a six-cent per share charge related to the new health care reform bill, Schlumberger earned 62 cents a share, beating the consensus estimate of 61 cents. Continue reading
Questar May Spin-Off Oil And Gas Business
Questar, the Utah-based electric utility, may spin-off its oil and natural gas production business, news that sent the company's share soaring by almost 9% today. Questar's oil and gas production business accounted for more than a third of its net income in 2009, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Kuwait Says It Has 3 Million BPD In Capacity
OPEC member Kuwait says it has increased its crude oil production capacity to 3 million barrels per day and is hoping to increase production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020. Kuwait is the fourth-largest OPEC exporter and has about 10% of the world's oil reserves. Continue reading
Murphy Oil Says Malaysia Agreements Canceled
Murphy Oil, the independent oil and natural gas producer, said its agreements to explore for oil at two blocks off the coast of Malaysia have been canceled due to arguments over who controls the blocks. Malaysia's state-owned oil company said the blocks are no longer part of the country. Continue reading
Petrobras March Output Rises
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said its oil output rose 0.3% in March due to expanded drilling efforts in the Santos Basin, which is home to most of Brazil's oil production. Daily production of oil and natural gas liquids rose to 1.994 million barrels per day in March from 1.988 barrels per day in February, Petrobras said. Continue reading
Peru To Eventually Sell Shares In State Oil Firm
Peru said it will eventually sell shares in its state-run oil company, Petroleos del Peru SA, to the public, but did not specify when. The shares of the company also known as Petroperu would be listed on the Lima Stock Exchange. Continue reading
Exxon Evaluating Australian Oil Find
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said it is evaluating an oil discovery in Australia's Bass Strait. The company's Australian unit, which is working in cooperation with BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, said it encountered oil and gas at the South East Remora-1 well 22 miles off the coast of Victoria. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Drops Saudi Refinery Project
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it will not take part in the Yanbu refinery project in Saudi Arabia as the company seeks to distance itself from the downstream business amid weak demand. ConoccoPhillips had been in a joint partnership with Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-controlled oil producer, on the Yanbu project. Continue reading
Big Q2 Charge Looming For Massey
Massey Energy said it expects to take a second-quarter charge related to the explosion at its Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 workers earlier this month. The charge could result in Massey losing $150 million in the current quarter. Mineral rights and other assets at the mine are worth only $62 million, the company said. Continue reading
BP Sees Steady Algeria Output
BP, Europe's largest oil company, said it expects its Algerian gas unit to maintain production of 9 billion cubic meters per year at one of its top gas fields in the North African country as new equipment comes online. A compression project aimed at sustaining production at BP's In Salah field would be completed on time, Reuters reported. Continue reading
PDVSA Shows 2009 Profit Of $8B
Venezuela's PDVSA, that country's state-run oil company, said it earned a profit of $8 billion in 2009, a number that may surprise some given that oil prices and production generally declined last year. Officials did not say whether the $8 billion was gross or net profit. Continue reading
Nabors Industries Q1 Profit Falls
Nabors Industries, the world's largest land-rig contractor, said its first-quarter profit fell sharply due to weakness in international markets. Nabors earned $40.2 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with $184.4 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier. Continue reading
China Oil Demand Rises Again In March
China's oil demand rose by double-digits for the seventh straight month in March as the world's largest country by population said demand rose to 8.12 million barrels per day. That is good for a 12.8% increase from March 2009, but short of February's record demand of 8.5 million barrels a day. Continue reading
Arch Coal Offers Bullish 2010 Outlook
Coal producer Arch Coal said it expects its 2010 operating profit to surge 60% as the company triples its sales of metallurgical coal, a key ingredient in the production of steel. The company also expects the North American market to show improvement as the year goes along. Continue reading
Cnooc Makes Discovery At Bohai Bay
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil explorer, made what the company calls an ''important discovery in the Penglai 9-1 block in Bohai Bay, reporting that an initial test well there yielded about 540 barrels of oil per day. Bohai Bay is located in Northeastern China. Continue reading
Algeria Says Oil Output To Remain Firm
OPEC member Algeria said the cartel's production quotas are not the reason oil prices have spiked higher and that the 12-country organization has no plans to boost production before its next meeting, which is scheduled for October. Oil for June delivery fell $1.54, or 1.8%, to $83.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Continue reading
Halliburton Q1 Profit Falls
Halliburton (HAL), the world's second-largest provider of oilfield services, said its first-quarter profit fell almost 46% due to weakness in its international drilling business. The company did say it saw strength in the North American natural gas market. Continue reading
CITIC Undecided On Peabody Bid For Macarthur
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, has raised its bid for Australia's Macarthur Coal to $3.8 billion, but Macarthur's largest shareholder, CITIC Resources, has yet to voice its support for the offer. CITIC Resources owns 22.4% of Macarthur, the world's largest maker of pulverized coal for steel makers. Continue reading
Venezuela Gets $20 Billion Loan From China
OPEC member Venezuela has secured a $20 billion loan from China and the two countries will form a joint venture to extract oil from Venezuela's Orinoco Belt block. The loan is separate from a $12 billion loan Venezuela previously received from China, $8 billion of which was backed by oil shipments. Continue reading
Angola Thinks Oil Prices Are Too High
Angola, which vies with Nigeria for the title of Africa's top oil producer, believes oil prices at $83 a barrel are too high. The country's oil minister added that if oil moves to $90 a barrel, that price level could jeopardize the market. Prices moved below $82 a barrel during the Asian trading session on Sunday night. Continue reading
Ecuador Threatens To Take Over Oil Assets
Ecuador, the smallest country that is a member of OPEC, is threatening to assume control of private sector oil assets if producers do not agree to new, strict guidelines set forth by that country's government. Ecuador wants a bigger piece of revenues generated at its oil properties. Continue reading
Exxon Ups California Production
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said that technological advances have allowed it to increase production capacity at the company's Santa Ynez unit off the coast of Santa Barbara, California by 5.8 million barrels of oil. The well drilled from Exxon's Heritage platform rig extends more than six miles horizontally and more than 7,000 feet underwater, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Schlumberger To Invest $100M In Iraqi Camp
Schlumberger, the world's largest oil services company, will invest $100 million to develop a base camp at Iraq's Rumalia oilfield. The funds will be used for a camp of 300 people and a venture with state-owned Iraqi Drilling Co., Bloomberg News reported.

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Rig Count Rises 15 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of U.S. rigs exploring for oil and natural gas rose by 15 this week to 1,491. Of those rigs, 973 were searching for natural gas, 506 were looking for oil and 12 were listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
OPEC May Boost Production If Oil Hits $100
OPEC would consider upping oil production if oil prices rise to $100 a barrel, according to Kuwait's oil minister. Oil touched an 18-month high above $87 a barrel on April 6, but OPEC has shown no signs of a production increase. Oil futures are up about 6% year-to-date. Continue reading
Petrobras May Sell Stakes To Sinopec
In an effort to raise cash for its massive exploration budget, Brazil's state-run oil company, Petrobras, may consider selling stakes in two oil blocks off the coast of northern Brazil to China's Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner. The two companies may also sign a new oil supply agreement as China seeks new sources of oil to fuel economic growth, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Chinese Firms May Bid For Statoil Assets
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil explorer, and Sinochem, also of China, may separately bid for a 40% stake in Staoil's Brazilian oil field. Statoil (STO) is Norway's largest oil company. Continue reading
Peabody Ups Macarthur Offer To $3.8B
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, has upped its takeover offer for Macarthur Coal of Australia to $3.8 billion trumping New Hope's offer of $3.35 billion in the latest move that indicates how prized coal producers with a direct line to China are. Continue reading
Apache Acquires Mariner Energy For $3.9B
Apache, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas firm, will purchase Mariner Energy for $3.9 billion in cash, stock and debt to bolster its operations in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Mariner owners will get 0.17043 a share of Apache and $7.80 in cash for each of their shares, or $26.22 at yesterday?s closing price, Bloomberg News reported. Apache will also assume $1.2 billion in Mariner debt. Continue reading
Eni Wants Back In In Uganda
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, has told Ugandan officials it wants to re-enter that country's oil market after being blocked out by Tullow Oil's acquisition of Heritage Oil assets in Uganda's Lake Albert region. Eni had offered $1.5 billion for the Heritage assets, but preemptive rights allowed Tullow to match that offer and purchase the assets. Continue reading
OPEC 2010 Demand Forecast Unchanged
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kept its forecast for global oil demand in 2010 unchanged in a monthly update issued today. Global consumption is projected to increase by 900,000 barrels a day this year, OPEC said. OPEC said U.S. economic activity is the ''wildcard'' in demand growth. Continue reading
Oil May Hit $88 Within A Week
According to technical analysis done by National Australia Bank, that country's fourth-largest bank, crude oil futures may rise to $88 within a week. Oil rose to an 18-month high of $87.09 on April 6 before declining for five consecutive days. The losing streak ended today when crude for May delivery gained $1.90, or 2.2%, to close at $85.95 a barrel. Continue reading
Massey Says Metallurgical Shipments May Be Affected
Coal producer Massey Energy said its shipments of metallurgical coal may be impacted following the tragic explosion at the company's Big Upper Branch mine in West Virginia that killed 29 Massey staffers. The explosion was the worst disaster at a U.S. coal mine since 1970. Continue reading
Petrobras May Have Financing Issues
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil giant, may be facing financing issues as the company attempts to raise cash to fund an ambitious exploration plan that may see the company spend as much as $220 billion through 2014. That is the largest exploration budget of any of the world's oil majors. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Eyes Caspian Sea
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, is reportedly in talks with Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co. to acquire oil and gas assets in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Turkmenistan. Conoco has worked with Mubadala in the Turkmen part of the sea for the past six months after Russia's Lukoil attempt to gain Block 21 failed in September, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Tullow Makes Uganda Discoveries
U.K.-based Tullow Oil said it made two oil discoveries in Uganda's Lake Albert region, confirming the potential of the region as the company moves closer to production there later this year. Tullow said the Kasamene-3 well had confirmed 10 meters of oil and the Kasamene-3A well also found oil. Continue reading
Opportunity For Rivals Following Massey Blast
The West Virginia mine blast that killed 29 Massey Energy workers may allow rivals such as Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal to take market share as demand for metallurgical coal, a key element in the production of steel, continues to soar. Massey (MEE) said it will shift operations to other locations, but that will not be able to replace 100% of the production lost at the Upper Big Branch mine. Continue reading
Oil May Rise To $94, Barclays Says
Oil futures may traverse the 2010 peak of $87 a barrel and move to $94, according to technical analysis by Barclays. NYMEX-traded crude has fallen 2.25 since moving above $87 on April 6. That was an 18-month high. Oil for May delivery fell 29 cents to $84.05 on Tuesday, extending its losing streak to five consecutive days. Continue reading
Shell, BP Battle Shareholders On Oil Sands
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, is defending its decision to invest in the Canadian oil sands and is telling shareholders to vote against a resolution being offered by FairPensions that would require the company to disclose more information about its business in the oil sands region. Continue reading
Repsol Boosts Venezuela Reserve Estimate
Spain's Repsol raised its estimates for a natural gas find at Venezuela's Perla Field by 30%. Repsol (REP) said Perla may hold recoverable gas volumes of between 1.6 billion and 1.85 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Bloomberg news reported. Repsol is Spain's largest oil company. Continue reading
Apache Acquires Devon Assets For $1.05B
Apache, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer, has agreed to acquire Devon Energy's shallow-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.05 billion. News of the deal broke last week and Dow Jones reported the deal may be done for $750 million. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Sells Syncrude Stake To Sinopec
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, announced it will sell its 9% stake in the Syncrude project in the Canadian oil sands to China's Sinopec for $4.65 billion in one of the largest deals involving an Asian energy firm's acquisition of North American assets. Continue reading
Bullish Bets On Gasoline Futures Rise
Traders and other speculators, including hedge funds, are raising their long positions on gasoline futures, betting that the commodity's price will rise, according to data from the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Long positions outpaced bearish bets by 78,541 contracts for the week ending April 6. Continue reading
Xstrata May Bid For Macarthur Coal
Xstrata, the world's largest producer of power station coal, may make a $3.7 billion bid for Australia's Macarthur Coal, the largest producer of pulverized coal used by steel producers. Peabody Coal, the largest U.S. coal producer, has been trying to acquire Macarthur, but has had two offers rejected. Continue reading
Apache Close To Acquiring Devon Assets
Apache, the second-largest U.S. independent oil and gas company, is close to acquiring Devon Energy's shallow-water assets in the Gulf of Mexico for $1 billion. The deal may be announced as soon as tomorrow or April 13, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified sources close to the talks. Continue reading
Alaska Sees Higher Prices, Lower Output
Alaska, the top oil producing state in the U.S., said it expects higher prices for oil produced in the state's North Slope region but output from the maturing field will continue to slump. The state's Department of Revenue spring forecast predicts that North Slope crude prices will average $75.32 per barrel in fiscal 2010, which ends June 30, and rise to an average $77.65 per barrel in fiscal 2011, according to Reuters. Continue reading
Chinese Oil Imports Rise 29% In March
China imported 29% more oil in March than it did a year earlier as the world's second-biggest energy consumer continues to be a net importer of crude, importing 21.1 million metric tons, or 4.98 million barrels a day. Net imports were 20.8 million metric tons, second only to December's total of 20.9 million metric tons. Continue reading
Reliance Acquires Atlas Marcellus Stake
India's Reliance Industries acquired a stake in Atlas Energy's Marcellus Shale operations for $1.7 billion, a move that makes Reliance the largest international energy company to get involved in U.S. shale formations. Reliance is India's largest company and owns the biggest refinery in the world. Continue reading
Halliburton Buys Boots & Coots For $240.4M
Halliburton, the world's second-largest oil services company, will acquire Boots & Coots Inc. for $240.4 million in cash and stock to add equipment and services used to fight oil well fires. Boots & Coots holders will get $1.73 in cash and $1.27 in Halliburton stock per share. Continue reading
Marathon Forecasts Weak Refining Margins
Marathon Oil (MRO) said it expects higher oil prices, increased production costs and lower demand to hamper its first-quarter refining margins. Marathon estimates those margins to be negative 6 cents per gallon, compared to a positive 7.92 cents per gallon the prior-year period, the Associated Press reported.

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Peabody Gets Competition For Macarthur
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, is facing competition in its effort to acquire Australian coal maker Macarthur. Australia's New Hope, a Macarthur rival, has offered $3.4 billion for Macarthur, a bid that tops Peabody's most recent offer of $3.27 billion. Continue reading
Chevron Q1 Profits To Top Q4
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its first-quarter profits will top the results delivered in the fourth quarter, helped by a return to profitability in the company's downstream business. California-based Chevron earned $1.53 a share in the fourth-quarter and analysts are expecting a first-quarter profit of $1.68. Continue reading
Petrobras To Start Production At Cachalote
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said it expects to start production at its Cachalote offshore field later this quarter after upgrading equipment to be used in exploring the field. Cachalote is in the Campos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro where most of Brazil's oil production takes place.

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Chinese Oil Companies Eye Colombia
Colombia, South America's third-largest oil producer, is seeking to increase investment in its oil industry and that could be music to the ears of Asian oil producers anxious to bolster their reserves. Colombia expects to auction exploration rights that could result in investments of $1.5 billion over the next two years. Continue reading
Cambodia Pushes Chevron To Start Production
Cambodia's prime minister is pushing Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, to start producing oil in the country by 2012 or risk losing its offshore drilling rights. Cambodia wants to get oil flowing so it can raise revenue to combat poverty and budget deficits. Continue reading
Petrobras Finds Oil At New Tupi Well
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil giant, said it found light oil at a new well in the Tupi Field that may confirm estimates that the field holds as much as 8 billion barrels of oil. The new well, known as Tupi OW, is located at a depth of 7,000 feet and is 167 miles from the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Reuters reported. Continue reading
EOG Resources May Sell $1.5B In Assets
EOG Resources, the independent oil and gas producer, said it is planning to sell $1.5 billion in assets to fund increased drilling activity. The company said it plans to spend $5.1 billion on capital projects this year compared with $3.3 billion last year. EOG is looking to boost its production of crude oil in the coming years. Continue reading
Peabody May Have To Bid $3.7B To Buy Macarthur
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, may have to bid up to $3.7 billion to acquire Australian coal producer Macarthur Coal. Peabody's $3.27 billion bid, its second unsolicited bid for Macarthur, was rejected. Peabody's latest offer is still below where Macarthur's Sydney-listed shares currently trade. Continue reading
China Interested In Brazil Oil Assets
Keeping with their acquisitive ways, Chinese oil companies are likely to be among the bidders for Brazil's sub-salt reserves when auctions for the assets begin later this year. Chinese companies are also currently evaluating stakes in existing projects, Reuters reported. China is Brazil's largest trading partner. Continue reading
Qatar Says Speculators Are Driving Oil Higher
Qatar, holder of the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world, said speculators, not supply shortages, are driving oil prices higher. The country's oil minister said investors that take a pass on bonds and stocks head to commodities and that is helping move oil prices to 17-month highs. Continue reading
Peabody Raises Macarthur Bid
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, said last night that it boosted its unsolicited takeover offer for Australian coal miner Macarthur Coal to $3.27 billion after Peabody's initial $3 billion offer was rebuffed. Peabody's new offer is still conditional on Macarthur not acquiring Gloucester Coal. Continue reading
Brazil Test Well Successful For Anadarko
Anadarko Petroleum, the largest independent U.S. oil company, said its Wahoo Well No. 1 in Brazil's Campos Basin is producing 7,500 barrels of oil and 4 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in a test run. The well is exploring pre-salt deposits in the Campos Basin, home to the bulk of Brazil's oil production. Continue reading
Oil India Has $2.5B For Acquisitions
Oil India, India's state-controlled oil exploration firm, has $2.5 billion in cash for acquisitions. The company said it has set aside $500 million for purchases in its fiscal year that started on April 1. Indian energy producers are competing with Chinese rivals to acquire foreign energy assets as oil demand in both countries is soaring. Continue reading
Denbury To Sell $900 Million In Assets
Denbury Resources, the independent oil and natural gas explorer, will sell $900 million in assets to Houston-based Quantum Resources Management LLC to raise cash that will be used to reduce Denbury's debt load. Denbury acquired the assets through its purchase Encore Acquisition. Continue reading
Schlumberger Gets Second Antitrust Request On Smith Deal
Schlumberger, the world's largest provider of oilfield services, has received a second request from the Justice Department regarding the company's proposed $11.2 billion acquisition of Smith International. The transaction was announced in February and is still expected to close in the second half of this year. Continue reading
Six Killed At Massey Mine Explosion
Six people were killed and 21 are missing after a mine owned by coal producer Massey Energy exploded in West Virginia. The blast occurred at the Upper Big Branch Mine, which is owned and operated by Massey's (MEE) Performance Coal unit. Massey said rescue teams responded but gave few details beyond that. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia Raises Crude Prices On Asia, U.S.
Saudi Arabia will raise official selling prices of light crude oil to customers in Asia and the U.S. in May while lowering the price of oil bound for Europe. Saudi Aramco, the world?s largest state-owned oil company, raised the price of light crude for Asian customers by $1 to $2.10 a barrel over the Persian Gulf benchmark, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Shell May Sell Africa Retail Operations
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, is considering the sale of its retail business in 21 African countries, a move that may allow the company to raise as much as $1.5 billion. The company is looking to depart from businesses with low profit margins to focus on bigger exploration projects. Continue reading
SandRidge Energy Acquires Arena Resources For $1.55B
SandRidge Energy, an independent oil and natural gas explorer, will acquire rival Arena Resources for $1.55 billion in cash and stock in an effort to boost its oil portfolio at time when natural gas prices are slumping. The deal values Arena (ARD) at $40 a share, a nearly 17% premium to where the stock closed on Thursday. Continue reading
Rig Count Rises By 21 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 21 this week to 1,465. There were 949 rigs exploring for gas and 502 for oil with 14 listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Conoco, Shell Push Ahead In Alaska
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell, the number two European oil company, are pushing ahead with projects in Alaska after President Obama announced the expansion of oil drilling in the U.S. earlier this week. The companies plan to move ahead with projects in the Chukchi Sea, a remote area off the coast of northwest Alaska. Continue reading
Russian Oil Production Soars In March
Already one of the top producers of oil and natural gas in the world, Russia's oil production soared to 10.12 million barrels a day in March, a 3.3% increase from March 2009. That is a post Soviet Union-era record, according to Bloomberg News. Exports rose 3% in March to 5.38 million barrels a day. Continue reading
Sinopec In $500M Pact With Ecuador
Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, is close to signing a $500 million with Ecuador to develop an oil block in the South American country. No time frame was given for the investment. Sinopec and Ecuador held talks last year regarding the development of the Olgan block in the in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Continue reading
Shell Starts Production At Perdido Platform
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, started production at its Perdido oil and natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico, which is believed to be the deepest drilling facility in the world. Shell (RDS-A) expects the $4.4 billion project to reach full output of more than 100,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Cnooc Remains On Acquisition Prowl
Cnooc, one of China's largest oil companies, said it will remain on the hunt for international acquisitions in an effort to help its home country bolster energy reserves. Cnooc recently announced it would acquire a 50% stake in Argentina's Bridas for $3.1 billion. Continue reading
Macarthur Rejects Peabody Bid
Australia-based Macarthur Coal rejected a $3 billion unsolicited takeover offer from Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, saying the offer is not in the best interest of Macarthur shareholders and does not fully value the company's expansion plans. Peabody's offer values Macarthur at roughly $12 a share. Continue reading
Oil Majors May Struggle To Sell Refining Assets
After reporting substantial fourth-quarter losses in their downstream operations, major integrated oil companies such as Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Total may find it difficult to find willing buyers for their refining assets. Refining demand has plunged amid high oil prices and slack demand throughout the developed world. Continue reading
Athabasca Oil Sands Expects To Raise $1.32B In IPO
Athabasca Oil Sands expects to raise at least $1.32 billion in what will be North America's largest initial public offering thus far in 2010. The IPO is expected to be the largest in Canada in since 2006. The company originally said it planned to raise about $736 million through the IPO. Continue reading
Peabody Makes Unsolicited $3B Offer For Macarthur Coal
Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, has made an unsolicited $3 billion offer for Australia's Macarthur Coal in an effort to meet soaring Asian demand for coal. The bid values Macarthur at almost $12 a share and the company has already said it is not in the best interest of shareholders. Continue reading
Petrobras May Sell Foreign Assets
Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, is considering selling foreign assets to raise funds for exploration of Brazilian oil fields such as the Tupi Field. The company has previously said it would spend as much as $220 billion through 2014 as it attempts to tap into Brazil's pre-salt deposits, including Tupi. Continue reading
BP To Shutter Maryland Solar Plant
BP, Europe's largest oil company, will close its solar panel manufacturing plant in Maryland, the latest sign the oil giant is turning its back on the solar business in the U.S. BP said it will lay-off 320 workers at the facility and keep 100 staffers in the sales and research divisions. The jobs will be moved to China, India and other countries. Continue reading
Petrobras Denies Chinese Bank Loan Talk
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, denies it is in talks with China's development bank for a $10 billion loan that would be used to fund the company's ambitious exploration budget. A Brazilian newspaper broke the story on Sunday, but Petrobras refuted the reports today. Continue reading
Kinder Morgan Sees Opportunities For Growth
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the second-largest U.S. pipeline partnership, said more pipelines may be need to be built as surging fuel supplies overwhelm current pipeline capacity. Increased production of natural gas at various U.S. shale locations is leaving producers with more gas than they can transport, creating the need for additional pipelines. Continue reading
Petrobras May Borrow $10B From Chinese Bank
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, may borrow $10 billion from China's development bank to fund its expansion plans, which call for spending of up to $220 billion through 2014. Petrobras borrowed $10 billion from the bank in 2009, according to press reports Continue reading
Sinopec To Buy Angolan Assets For $2.46B
Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, will acquire 55% of Angola-based Sonangol Sinopec International from China Petrochemical, Sinopec's parent company, for $2.46 billion. The acquisition is Sinopec's first international upstream assets. Angola is Africa's top oil producing nation. Continue reading
PetroChina Plans $60B Shopping Spree
PetroChina plans to spend $60 billion on acquisitions over the next decade in an effort to meet China's rising energy demand and challenge Exxon Mobil (XOM) and BP (BP) among the world's top oil producers. Exxon and BP are the largest U.S. and European oil companies, respectively. Continue reading
Petrobras Will Not Borrow To Fund Capex
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, will not issue new debt to fund its ambitious expansion plans, which calls for spending up to $220 billion through 2014 in an effort to bolster reserves. The company said it would favor issuing preferred shares to raise funds for new projects. Continue reading
U.S. Oil Production Rose In 2009
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil production in the U.S. rose in 2009 for the first time since 1991 as gains in the Gulf of Mexico and North Dakota offset declining production in other areas. Domestic production in 2009 reached its highest level since 2009, the EIA said. Continue reading
Statoil Acquires Shale Assets From Chesapeake
Statoil, Norway's largest oil company, paid $253 million to acquire 59,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale from Chesapeake Energy, adding to the 600,000 acres it acquired from Chesapeake in 2008. Statoil's acquisition continues a trend of European oil majors acquiring stakes in U.S. shale resources. Continue reading
Rig Count Rises By 17 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 17 this week to 1,444. The number of oil rigs rose to 489 while the number of gas rigs jumped to 941. Fourteen rigs were listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Schlumberger Acquires Geoservices For $1.07B
Schlumberger, the world's largest provider of oil field services, acquired France-based Geoservices, a privately held company that specializes in in mud logging, slickline and production surveillance operations for $1.07 billion. The acquisition was announced yesterday after the close of U.S. markets. Continue reading
ONGC Looking For Oil Sands Acquisitions
India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp., that country's largest energy producer, is looking to acquire assets in Canada's oil sands region. The explorer is considering buying an asset that can produce about 10,000 barrels a day of heavy oil, worth at least $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the talks. Continue reading
PetroChina To Remain Acquisitive After Arrow Purchase
PetroChina will continue hunting for new acquisition targets after jointly acquiring Australia's Arrow Energy for $3.2 billion with Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), the second-largest European oil company. PetroChina is the most valuable company in the world. Continue reading
BG Group Signs Gas Accord With Cnooc
BG Group, the U.K.-based energy producer, has signed an agreement with China's Cnooc to supply that company with 3.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually for the next 20 years in a deal that may be worth up to $70 billion, according to one analyst. The deal is believed to be the largest company-to-company gas partnership in Australia's history. Continue reading
Petrobras May Raise Up To $25B From Minority Shareholders
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it may raise between $15 billion and $20 billion from minority shareholders in a planned secondary offering that may raise as much as $60 billion for the company, the proceeds of which will be used to purchase 5 billion barrels of oil reserves from the Brazilian government. Continue reading
BP Says Devon Assets Will Add 100,000 Barrels A Day
BP, the largest European oil company, said assets it recently acquired from Devon Energy (DVN) for $7 billion will yield 100,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of this decade. BP acquired Devon's Azerbaijan, Brazil and Gulf of Mexico assets earlier this month as part of Devon's plan to divest its international and offshore properties. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips To Reduce Output, Sell Assets
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it will reduce its near-term oil and gas output in an effort to bolster profits and reiterated plans to sell up $10 billion in assets to shore up its balance sheet. Conoco said it will continue to maintain its foothold in Russia, while disposing of its 9% stake in Syncrude, its Canadian oil company. Continue reading
Petrobras To Start Tupi Output In October
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, expects to start oil output at Brazil's Tupi Field in October, ahead of the company's previously disclosed schedule that called for production to start in December. Petrobras is currently producing 18,000 barrels per day in a Tupi test run Continue reading
Iraq Oil Revenues Fall In February
Despite the highest level of exports in 20 years, Iraq's oil revenue fell in February to $4.23 billion based on average price of $73.40 a barrel and exports of 57.9 million barrels, Iraq's oil ministry said. Iraq gained $4.44 billion in oil revenue during January. Continue reading
Occidental Uses Phibro Profits To Fund Exploration
Occidental Petroleum, the California-based independent oil producer, said it will use profits from the Phibro LLC energy trading business it acquired from Citigroup to fund its exploration efforts. Occidental paid Citigroup (C) $250 million for Phibro in December. Phibro has $1 billion in assets, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Total Looks For Brazilian Acquisitions
France's Total, the third-largest European oil company, is looking to buy stakes in oil projects in Brazil in an effort to take part in that country's rapidly expanding oil industry. Total currently holds a minority stake in a project in Brazil's Campos Basin, the home to the bulk of Brazil's oil production. Continue reading
Consol To Acquire CNX Gas For $965 Million
Coal producer Consol Energy will acquire the remaining 17% of CNX Gas it does not currently own for $965 million, a move that follows Consol's purchase of Dominion Resources' (D) Marcellus Shale assets. Consol said it will issue at least $4.5 billion in new shares and debt to pay for the acquisitions. Continue reading
Anadarko Makes Gulf Discovery
Anadarko Petroleum, the independent oil and gas explorer, said it discovered more than 600 feet of high-quality oil pay at its Vito appraisal in the Gulf of Mexico. The well was drilled to a depth of more than 31,000 feet in about 4,000 feet of water. Anadarko plans to drill an additional well at the site later this year to determine the size of the discovery. Continue reading
Petrobras To Increase Spending
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it will boost spending on capital projects by as much as 26% for the five years through 2014 as the company attempts to extract more oil from Brazil's pre-salt oil fields. Investments will rise to between $200 billion and $220 billion, compared with a previous plan of $174.4 billion for the 2009-2013 period, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
National Oilwell Varco Boosts Acquisitions Staff
National Oilwell Varco, the largest U.S. maker of oilfield equipment, has hired more staffers to help the company hunt for acquisition targets. The staff now has seven members, up from four at the end of the last year and is hunting primarily for smaller purchases, the company said. Continue reading
Venezuela Says Reserves Rose 23% In 2009
Venezuela, an OPEC member, said its 2009 oil reserves rose 23% to 211.17 billion barrels on the back of more than 39 billion barrels of new reserves, many of which came from the country's oil-rich Orinoco region. The new reserves were certified in the Barcelona, Maracaibo, Maturin, and Cumana areas and in the Orinoco Oil Belt's blocks Junin 10, Junin 7, Ayacucho 3, Ayacucho 5, Boyaca 2, Boyaca 5, and Ayacucho 8, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. Continue reading
Oil Sands Profitable For Shell
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it earned more from projects in Canada's oil sands regions than it did from projects in other regions from 2005 through 2009. Shell has said it plans to be involved in the region for the next 40 years. Canada's oil sands are believed to hold the second-largest oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia. Continue reading
Shell, PetroChina Acquire Arrow For $3.1 Billion
Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina have agreed to acquire Australia's Arrow Energy, a producer of coal-seam gas, after boosting their joint bid to $3.1 billion. Shell and PetroChina (PTR) originally bid $3.03 billion for Arrow when they announced their joint bid two weeks ago. Continue reading
Pemex Says 2009 Reserves Fell 2.1%
Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-run oil company, said its proved crude oil reserves fell by 2.1% in 2009, marking the 11th straight year reserves have declined for the largest oil company in Latin America. The company said 2009 proved oil reserves fell to 13.992 billion barrels. Continue reading
Petrobras Q4 Profit Surges
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said its fourth-quarter profit soared 10.5% to $4.5 billion from $3.4 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $4.13 billion. Revenue slumped to $26.48 billion from $35.21 billion a year earlier. Continue reading
Shell, Nexen Make Big Gulf Discovery
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, and Canada's Nexen made what the companies are calling a ''significant'' oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell and Nexen found oil in the Mississippi Canyon blocks 391 and 392 at the Appomattox prospect at a depth of 7,218, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Rig Count Up 20 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and gas in the U.S. rose by 20 this week to 1,427. The company said there were 939 rigs exploring for gas, 474 were searching for oil and 14 were listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Petroleos Mexicanos Makes Significant Gulf Discovery
Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-run oil company, said it discovered up to 2 billion barrels of super-light and super-heavy crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said the fields were discovered in the past two years. Mexico currently has 43.6 billion barrels of oil reserves. Continue reading
Credit Suisse Likes Halliburton, Schlumberger
In a note to clients issued today, Credit Suisse said the ''the deepwater-rig market is hitting an 'air pocket' faster than anticipated'' and as a result, the firm lowered 2010 and 2011 earnings estimates on related companies to 6% and 14% below consensus. Continue reading
Oil's Next Stop Is $88, According To NAB
The National Bank of Australia, Australia's fourth-largest bank, is saying that crude oil will next move to $88 a barrel if resistance at $83 is cleared. Analyst Gordon Manning called $88 oil's next ''port of call'' once $83 is broken. In electronic trading, NYMEX-traded crude for April deliver is down 31 cents to $81.89 a barrel. Continue reading
Arrow May Agree To Higher Offer From Shell, PetroChina
Arrow Energy, the Australian coal-seam gas producer that Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina have offered to acquire for $3.03 billion, may agree to a higher offer from the two companies, according to the Australian Financial Review. Arrow shares are currently halted in Sydney trading pending the release of news. The stock could remain halted for several days, according to press reports. Continue reading
Baytex Seeks Increased Output, To Drill 140 New Wells
Baytex Energy Trust, the Canadian royalty trust that produces oil and natural gas, plans to drill 140 new wells this year in an effort to boost production by 5%. Baytex is transitioning to a traditional corporate structure before changes in how Canadian royalty trusts take effect. Continue reading
Total To Invest $3.8B In Shetland Fields
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, will invest $3.8 billion to develop natural gas fields in the Shetland Islands, which are located in the North Sea. Total already owns a 50% stake in the Shetlands project and will boost its interest to 80% by acquiring a 20% stake from Eni (E) and a 10% stake from Chevron (CVX). Continue reading
OPEC Leaves Production Quota Unchanged
At its meeting in Vienna today, OPEC decided to leave production quotas unchanged for the fifth time since 2008, indicating the cartel's member countries are satisfied with high oil prices and that they may be expecting oil to demand to rebound as the global economy improves. Continue reading
Massey Shares Soar On Metallurgical Coal News
Shares of coal producer Massey Energy soared a day after the company agreed to acquire privately held rival Cumberland Resources for $960 million in cash and stock. Massey shares gained $2.93, or 5.83%, to close at $53.15 after earlier touching a 52-week high of $54.09 on news that the acquisition would help Massey double its shipments of metallurgical coal by 2012. Continue reading
Oil Could Head To $90 A Barrel
With a close above $82 a barrel, oil prices could head to $90, according to technical analysis by brokerage firm Auerbach Grayson. The firm says prices must first traverse $84 a barrel, a level last seen in January, before making their way to $90. Continue reading
Interest Is High In Gulf Leases
On the back of rising oil prices, Wednesday's auction of federal leases off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is expected to attract robust interest from energy producers. According to the Minerals Management Service, 67 companies submitted 642 bids on 468 tracts in the central Gulf of Mexico Continue reading
Massey Buys Cumberland Resources For $960M
Coal producer Massey Energy will pay $960 million in cash and stock to acquire closely held rival Cumberland Resources in an effort to increase its metallurgical coal reserves. Metallurgical coal is used to produce steel. Massey will pay $640 million in cash and $320 million in stock for Cumberland, which has an estimated 416 million tons of coal reserves, Reuters reported. Continue reading
Shell To Spend $100B To Boost Growth
Royal Dutch Shell, the second-largest European oil company, will spend $100 billion by 2014 to jolt output and production. The company expects its daily output to rise 11% to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2012. The company is assessing more than 35 projects that may add 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources, boosting production until 2020, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Petrobras Finds Oil In Piranema Field
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, discovered more oil in the Piranema field in Brazil's Sergipe Basin. The field was deemed a commercial discovery in 2004. The discovery was made at well 3BRSA799SES in the SEAL-100 block at a water depth of 2,625 feet, according to Bloomberg News. Petrobras is planning to drill a second well at the location to see if further discoveries can be made. Continue reading
BP Adds Stake In Oil Sands Project
BP, the largest European oil producer, bought a majority stake in the Terre de Grace property in the Canadian oil sands marking the company's second project in the oil sands, the western Canadian region that is believed to hold the second-largest oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia. Continue reading
Consol Buys Dominion's Marcellus Assets For $3.48B
Consol Energy, the coal and natural gas producer, will acquire Dominion Resources' oil and natural gas production business to bolster its position in the Marcellus Shale for $3.48 billion in cash. Dominion has one of the oldest exploration operations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Continue reading
Petrobras To Sell Up To $60 Billion Worth Of Stock
Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil giant, will sell as much as $60 billion of its own stock in a secondary offering, the proceeds of which will be used to purchase 5 billion barrels of oil reserves from Brazil's government. Brazilian Energy Minister Edison Lobao said the offering may be in the range of $40 billion to $60 billion. Continue reading
Royal Dutch Shell Plans Growth Through 2010
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, plans to unveil a plan to increase annual production every year through 2020 at an investor conference in London tomorrow. Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser will say Shell has a pipeline of more than 20 projects with the potential to sustain low single-digit average annual production growth in the second half of the decade, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Arrow Continues Talks With Shell, PetroChina
Arrow Energy, the Australian producer of coal-seam gas, is continuing talks with Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina regarding the $3.03 billion joint bid by those companies to acquire Arrow. Press reports broke in Australia yesterday that Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, and PetroChina may see their offer rejected. Continue reading
Traders Continue To Raise Bullish Bets On Oil
Speculators upped their long bets on crude oil futures for a fourth straight week, according to data provided by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). For the week ending March 9 bullish bets outpaced short positions by 109,314 contracts, the CFTC said. Continue reading
Nigerian Oil Company Eyes Privatization
Nigeria's state-run oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, is moving toward privatization to cope with a government funding shortfall that could be as high as $6 billion. NNPC is considering a variety of alternatives including bond issues and the creation of a holding company, but an initial public offering is not likely in the near-term. Continue reading
Arrow Energy May Reject Takover Bid
Arrow Energy, the Australian coal-seam gas producer, may reject a $3.03 billion takeover offer from Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review, which did not disclose where it obtained the information. Continue reading
Cnooc Pays $3.1B For 50% Of Bridas
Cnooc, China's largest offshore oil explorer, paid $3.1 billion to acquire 50% of Argentina's Bridas, owner of that country's largest oil exporter. Cnooc (CEO) will add 318 million barrels of reserves through the transaction. Bridas owns 60% of Pan American Energy as well as oil assets in Bolivia and Chile. Continue reading
Potash Shares Surge On Improved Outlook
Shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the largest North American maker of its namesake crop nutrient, soared today after the company raised its first-quarter earnings estimates to $1.30 to $1.50 a share, far above the guidance of 70 cents to $1 a share the company issued in late January. The stock rose $8.34, or 7.13%, to close at $125.27 after earlier touching a new 52-week high of $126.98. Continue reading
Eni Sees Refining Profit In 2012
Eni SpA, the largest Italian oil and natural gas company, said it expects its refining business to return to profitability in 2012 amid improved efficiency and that the company will be able to grow its dividend starting next year. Eni announced a dividend cut earlier this year. Continue reading
OGX Petroleo Adds To Its Campos Basin Discoveries
Brazilian oil producer OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA has made yet another oil discovery in Brazil's Campos Basin as the company's BM-C-41 block reportedly showed oil spuds. The 1-OGX-6-RJS well column measured 81 meters and showed net pay of 17 meters. OGX, controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, owns 100% of the BM-C-41 block. Continue reading
Rig Count Rises By 11 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 11 this week to 1,407. The company said 927 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 466 were looking for oil with 14 listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Exxon Mobile Expects To Spend $28B This Year
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, will spend about $28 billion this year on capital projects after spending $27.1 billion in 2009. The increase comes even as some of the company's major rivals are paring their budgets. Exxon said it expects to spend $25 billion to $30 billion annually over the next five years. Continue reading
Royal Dutch Shell Sells Stake In Brazil Block
Royal Dutch Shell, the second-largest European oil company, said it sold a stake in an oil block off Brazil's coast to Japan?s Inpex Corp. Shell confirmed it sold a 15% stake in the BM-ES-23 block. Petrobras (PBR), Brazil's state-run oil giant, operates the block with a 65% interest Continue reading
Alberta Will Lower Oil, Gas Royalties
Alberta's government will lower the oil and gas royalties it charges companies operating in the Canadian oil sands in an effort to encourage more exploration in the province. The Canadian oil sands are believed to be home the second-largest oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia. The royalties will be reduced in January 2011. Continue reading
BP Pays $7 Billion For Devon Assets
BP, the largest European oil company, will pay $7 billion to acquire Devon Energy's assets in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Azerbaijan, a move that may help BP surpass Exxon Mobil (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, in terms of production. Continue reading
Chevron Downgraded By Bank Of America
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, was downgraded to ''hold'' from ''buy'' by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The bank put a $90 price target on shares of Chevron (CVX), which is also a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Continue reading
Terra Industries Now Favors CF's Bid
Terra Industries, the fertilizer maker that has been at the epicenter of that sector's merger and acquisition activity, now favors a takeover offer from CF Industries after previously ignoring CF's overtures for months. Norway-based Yara International, whose $4.1 billion bid Terra previously accepted, will have five days to make an offer that is superior to CF's $4.7 billion bid. Continue reading
Petrobras, Repsol Discover More Oil Off Brazil's Coast
Petrobras, the state-run Brazilian oil company, Spain's Repsol and U.K.-based BG Group found oil in a block off Brazil's coast where the companies' Guara field already holds as much as 2 billion barrels of oil. The discovery was made at the BM-S-9 block in the Santos Basin, off Sao Paulo state?s coast, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
BP May Acquire Devon Assets For $5 Billion
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, is said to be in talks with Devon Energy to acquire Devon's Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil assets for up to $5 billion. As part of a transaction, BP would sell Devon an interest in its Canadian heavy oil production, Bloomberg News reported. Sources familiar with the talks say a deal could be reached imminently. Continue reading
Nigeria May Seek OPEC Quota Boost
Nigeria, Africa's second largest oil producer behind Angola, may seek a production quota increase from OPEC if the country can remain free of militant attacks on its oil assets. That may be easier said than done as militant rebels have recently escalated their attacks on Nigeria's oil assets after ending a cease-fire with the government in late January. Continue reading
Statoil Increases Stake In St. Malo Field
Statoil, Norway's largest energy company, increased its stake in the St. Malo oil field in the Gulf of Mexico to 21.5%. The project is majority controlled by Chevron (CVX), the second-largest U.S. oil company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Continue reading
Oil Majors Eye Lower Quality Assets
Major integrated oil firms such as BP, Exxon Mobil and Total are considering acquiring assets they previously deemed as low quality in an effort to bolster reserves. As exploration failure rates jump and more foreign governments become stingy with their own oil assets, western oil majors may be compelled to evaluate assets they previously ignored. Continue reading
Chevron To Cut 2,000 Jobs, Close Refinery
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will sell a U.K.-based refinery and reduce its downstream workforce by 2,000 to cope with losses generated by weak demand for refining operations. The company may also sell assets in the Caribbean and Central America after its fuel-making unit lost $613 million in the fourth quarter. Continue reading
Total Closes Flanders Refinery Permanently
Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, has permanently closed its Flanders refinery after shuttering the facility in September due to weak demand for the company's downstream products. The refinery, which lost $178 million last year, will be dismantled through 2013, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Helix Energy To Part With Oil And Gas Business
Helix Energy Solutions Group, an oil services provider, said on Monday it is looking to sell all of its oil and gas business to focus on becoming a contract services provider with an emphasis on deepwater well and subsea infrastructure. Helix has been parting with assets since 2008 to focus on contract services. Continue reading
Shell, PetroChina Bid For Arrow May Block Competing Offers
A $3 billion joint offer by Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, and PetroChina to acquire Australia's Arrow Energy may be big enough to block competing offers from Chinese state-run companies or other Chinese groups, according to press reports. News of the overture for Arrow broke on Sunday evening. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil May Make Another Big Buy In The Next Decade
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, will probably make another large acquisition within the next decade, according to a Deutsche Bank note. Major oil producers are struggling to cope with dwindling reserves and for cash-rich companies like Exxon, acquisitions make sense as an avenue for bolstering reserves. Continue reading
PetroChina Eyes Scottish Refinery
PetroChina, China's biggest oil company, is in the process of acquiring Scotland's only oil refinery. The acquisition would mark PetroChina's first foray into Europe's refining market. While the talks have already commenced with Ineos Group Holdings Plc, the refinery's owner, they are said to be in early stages. Continue reading
Cnooc, Total Make Final Uganda Proposals
China's Cnooc and France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, made their final proposals to Uganda's government to develop three oil blocks there. A final decision is expected to be made by the government by the end of March. Tullow Oil of the U.K. has nominated Total (TOT) and Cnooc (CEO) as its preferred partners in Uganda. Continue reading
China Oil Output To Rise 1%-2% In 2010
China National Petroleum Corp., China's state-owned oil firm, said the country's oil output will rise 1% to 2% this year, slightly below a previous forecast of 2%, but still above the 0.5% growth rate targeted by China's planning ministry. Last year, oil output fell 0.4% to 189.49 million tonnes, or 3.79 million barrels per day, Reuters reported. Continue reading
Gabon To Start State-Run Oil Firm
Gabon is planning to start a state-run oil company in the hopes of bolstering the African nation's oil industry. Currently, a partnership that is majority controlled by France's Total (TOT) accounts for about 25% of Gabon's daily production of 240,000 barrels of oil. Continue reading
Shell, PetroChina Make Joint Bid For Arrow
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-biggest oil company, and PetroChina have made a $3 billion joint bid for Australian coal-seam gas producer Arrow Energy. Arrow said its shareholders would receive $4.03 in cash and stock in a new company that would focus on Arrow's international business. Continue reading
OGX Petroleo Discovers More Oil In Campos Basin
Brazilian oil producer OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA has made its third oil discovery in Brazil's Campos Basin. The company controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista said a 230-foot column found hydrocarbons at the OGX-6 well. OGX owns 100% of the BM-C-41 block where the well lies. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Up 23 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 23 this week to 1,396. There were 926 rigs exploring for natural gas, 456 exploring for oil and 14 listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Cnooc Close To Completing Iraq Oil Deal
China's Cnooc is close to finalizing a deal to develop Iraq's 2.5 billion-barrel Missan oil-field after completing talks with Iraq's government and agreeing to terms laid forth by the country's oil ministry. Cnooc and its partners are looking to develop three Missan fields in southern Iraq. Continue reading
Petrobras Gets Approval To Buy Repsol-Statoil Block
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, has received approval from Brazil's energy regulator, the ANP, to purchase a 30% stake in a Campos Basin block managed by Spain's Repsol and Norway's Statoil. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and Petrobras did not comment on the transaction. Continue reading
Nigerian Militants Strike Again
Two days after striking an oil pumping station owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, Nigerian rebels are claiming they attacked an oil facility in the Niger Delta operated by Italy-based Agip. There has been no independent confirmation of the attack, according to press reports. Continue reading
Oasis Petroleum Files For $350M IPO
Oasis Petroleum, an independent oil and natural gas explorer, has filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering that may raise up to $350 million. Texas-based Oasis said it would use proceeds from the IPO to reduce its debt load and to fund exploration projects. Continue reading
BP Looks To Add $3 Billion To Bottom Line
BP, Europe's largest oil company, is aiming to add $3 billion in profits and replace 1 million barrels per day of oil output over the next four years as the company bolsters its upstream operations to stave off production declines. BP is trying to stay ahead of rival Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's number two oil producer, and bring its equity valuation more in line with that of Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil firm. Continue reading
Pemex 2009 Exploration Results Improve
Pemex, Mexico's state-run oil company, bolstered its oil and gas exploration efforts last year, replacing more production than it had in previous years, according to results the company issued today. Pemex discovered enough new proven oil and gas reserves to replace 74.9 percent of its 2009 production, up from a replacement rate of 72 percent in 2008, according to Reuters. Continue reading
Petrobras Offering May Reach $40 Billion
Petrobras, the state-run Brazilian oil giant, may only need to issue $35 billion to $40 billion in new shares to acquire 5 billion barrels of oil reserves from Brazil's government, according to Brazil?s state development bank, the biggest Petrobras minority shareholder. That is below previous estimates that called for a $50 billion share issue. Continue reading
Nigerian Rebels Attack Shell Oil Station
Nigerian rebels attacked another oil asset belonging to Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-biggest oil company. The attack took place on Tuesday in Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta. The People?s Patriotic Revolutionary Force claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Bloomberg News. The militant group also declared its intention to engage in more hostile attacks in the Niger Delta and beyond. Continue reading
CF Renews Bid For Terra Industries
Once bitten, but apparently not twice shy, fertilizer producer CF Industries has renewed its bid to acquire Terra Industries just weeks after it appeared CF had thrown in the towel. CF has topped Yara International's offer Terra by offering $4.75 billion, or $47.40 a share. Yara (YRA) is offering Terra $41.10 a share. Continue reading
USO Issuer May Be Fined For 2009 Trades
The issuer of the U.S. Oil Fund, the ETF that tracks spot crude oil prices, may be charged by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for failing to properly report certain trades executed in 2009. The trades occurred on Feb. 6, 2009, the day the fund "rolled" its position in the oil market by selling its front-month futures and buying contracts in the next month, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Brazil's Lower House Approves Petrobras Share Sale
Brazil's lower house has approved a plan by Petrobras, the state-run oil company, to sell up to $50 billion in stock to pay for oil rights off Brazil's coast. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has put a 45-day deadline on consideration of the bill by Brazil's senate. Continue reading
Anadarko Boosts 2010 Spending Plans
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, said it will spend $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion on capital projects this year, 20% above last year's expenditures. The company is looking to boost its exposure to North American shale resources as well as increasing its international deep-water footprint. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia May Almost Double Oil Shipments To India
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, may come close to doubling its shipments to India as India attempts to keep pace with soaring energy demand. India is Asia's third-largest economy behind Japan and China. Saudi Arabia is already India's biggest crude supplier. Continue reading
BP Close To $200M Nat Gas Venture
BP, the largest European oil company, is close to finalizing a $200 million natural gas venture with closely held Lewis Energy that will give BP increased access to North America's shale gas reserves. BP signed two shale deals with Chesapeake Energy (CHK) worth $3.65 billion in 2008. Continue reading
Athabasca Oil Sands Plans IPO
Athabasca Oil Sands, the Canadian oil sands exploration firm, said it plans to sell shares in an initial public offering to raise cash for projects in the oil sands region. The company recently raised $1.8 billion by selling stakes in two oil sands projects to PetroChina (PTR). No date or price has been set for Athabascas' IPO. Continue reading
Rowan Cos. Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates
Rowan Cos., the oil and natural gas explorer that also builds rigs, said it earned 52 cents a share in the fourth quarter, beating the average estimate of 49 cents a share. Rowan (RDC) also forecast increased demand for its onshore rigs. Continue reading
Long Positions On Oil Rise Again
For the second consecutive week, oil traders, hedge funds and other speculators increased their net-long positions on oil prices, according to data provided by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Bullish bets outnumbered short positions by 85,352 contracts in the week ended Feb. 23, a 25% jump from the previous week, CFTC data showed. Continue reading
BHP Billiton Starts Production Pyrenees field
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, started production at the Pyrenees field in western Australia. The project has production capacity of 96,000 barrels of oil and 60 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to Reuters. BHP previously said production at Pyrenees would start in the first half of this year. Continue reading
Nabors Reduced Its Workforce By A Third In 2009
Nabors Industries, largest land rig contractor in the world, cut its staff by a third last year due to lower oil and natural gas prices in the first half of 2009 that led to slack drilling activity. Nabors employed 18,390 people at the end of 2009, down from 26,912 a year before, according to Reuters. Continue reading
Statoil In Nigerian Oil Rift
Statoil, Norway's largest oil and natural gas company, is locked in a legal battle with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who claims that he is owed a portion of Statoil's revenue derived from its Nigerian operations after helping the company enter the market in the 1990s. Continue reading
Lukoil Makes Ghana Discovery
OAO Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer, said it made a significant oil and natural gas discovery off the coast of Ghana. Privately held Vanco Energy and Ghana's state-run Ghana National Petroleum are Lukoil's partners in the venture. The consortium drilled the Dzata-1 well to a depth of 14,500 feet, encountering a 94-meter-thick hydrocarbon column. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Up 28 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 28 to 1,373 this week as producers continued to look for ways to benefit from higher energy prices. Continue reading
Five-Minute Headline Summary For February 25
Venezuela, an OPEC member, has asked China to increase its loan package to the South American country to $20 billion. China loaned Venezuela $4 billion in 2007 and $4 billion in 2009 to improve Venezuelan infrastructure. Nearly $1.5 billion of the $8 billion remains. Venezuela repays the loan in the form of oil shipments to China. The country currently sends 400,000 barrels a day to China and could increase that total to 1 million barrels a day, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips May Have To Sell Syncrude Stake
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, may need to sell its stake in Syncrude Canada, the world's largest oil sands producer, in order to meet its goal of divesting $10 billion in assets. Conoco wants to raise cash to reduce its debt load over the next two years and if the Syncrude stake is not sold, the company would need to consider parting with other assets. Continue reading
Iraqi Oil Output Could Rise 250,000 bpd In 2010
Iraq's crude oil production could rise by as much as 250,000 barrels per day this year as recently signed agreements with international oil firms begin to go into effect. Iraq, home to what some believe are the third-largest oil reserves in the world, auctioned exploration and development rights to international oil producers in December in an effort to bolster its crude output. Continue reading
Petrobras Makes Two More Campos Basin Discoveries
Petrobras, the state-run Brazilian oil giant, said it made two separate discoveries in the Campos Basin that could equal as much as 65 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves. One discovery could be worth 40 million barrels and the other 25 million million barrels, Petrobras said. Continue reading
U.S. Does Not Play Favorites In Falklands Dispute
The Obama Administration has refused to endorse British sovereignty claims over the Falkland Islands in the wake of U.K.-based Desire Petroleum starting new drilling operations in Falklands. The White House apparently wants no part of the Argentina-U.K. rift and refused to endorse Britain?s claim that oil exploration near the Falklands is sanctioned by international law. Continue reading
Canadian Oil Sands Trust May Boost Output
Canadian Oil Sands Trust, one of the biggest producer in Canada's oil sands region, says it may able to boost its output in the region by 21% in the next decade by upgrading a refinery there. The company said current capacity is 350,000 barrels per day for the Syncrude venture, but improvements to the Mildred Lake facility could boost output to 425,000 barrels a day. Continue reading
Transocean Shares Slammed As Q4 Profit Misses Estimates
Transocean, the largest operator of offshore rigs, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 4% as revenue declined by 16%. Both numbers missed analysts' estimates and that the sent the shares down by 5.51% on Wednesday. Including one-time items, Transocean earned $723 million, or $2.24 per share, for the final three months of 2009, down from $754 million, or $2.35 per share, a year earlier. Revenue slumped to $2.73 billion from $3.27. Continue reading
Anadarko To Invest $30M In New Zealand Projct
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, announced that it will invest $30 million to help Origin Energy of Australia explore a prospect off New Zealand's coast that may hold up to 500 million barrels of oil. Origin is Australia's second-largest energy retailer, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Brazil Considers Starting Its Own Fertilizer Company
Brazil is considering starting a company to oversee fertilizer production as the largest country in South America moves to become less dependent on imported crop nutrients. Brazil wants to to become self-sufficient in potash, phosphate and nitrogen-based raw materials by 2020, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Uganda Oil Fields Could Produce 350,00 BPD
Oil fields controlled by U.K.-based Tullow Oil in the African nation of Uganda could produce up to 350,000 barrels per day by 2018, though the company is sticking with a more conservative estimate of 150,000 barrels per day by 2013. Uganda's Lake Albert Basin has proven reserves of 700 million barrels of oil equivalent. Proven, probable and possible reserves there are estimated to total between 1.5 billion and 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Nigeria Says Total To Invest $20B
Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan said France's Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, has promised to invest $20 billion in the African nation's oil and natural gas resources. Jonathan's office offered little in the way of details regarding an agreement with Total and it appears the company has yet to confirm the accord. Continue reading
Anadarko Starts Drilling New Brazilian Well
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, has started drilling a new well in Brazil known as the Wahoo South exploration well, which is below 5,000 feet of water. Anadarko has a successful track record in Brazil, having found oil at all three of the Wahoo wells it has drilled since 2008 in Brazil?s Campos basin, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Coal Prices May Be Able To Run Further
Buoyed by cold weather in the the U.S. and surging demand from China, coal prices may have more upside as inventories are being significantly drawn down. China, the world?s biggest coal user, imported 16.4 million metric tons in December, a sixfold increase from a year earlier, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Drilling Resumes In Falklands
Great Britain and Argentina may be renewing a contentious debate as a British oil explorer began drilling for oil in the Falkland Islands on Monday. Argentina, which claims the Falklands as its own territory, did not approve the drilling. The two countries went to war in 1982 as tensions mounted over oil drilling in the Falklands. Continue reading
Five-Minute Headline Summary For February 22
Oil services provider Helmerich & Payne (HP) will join the S&P 500 Index on Friday after the market closes, replacing IMS Health, which is being acquired. Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne is among the ten largest oil drilling and seismic companies in the world. Continue reading
Bullish Bets On Oil Rise For First Time Since January
Oil traders, including hedge funds and other powerful speculators, increased their bullish bets on crude oil prices last week for the first time since January, Bloomberg News reported, citing the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. For the week ending February 16, bullish bets outpaced their bearish counterparts by 68,436 contracts. Continue reading
BP, Shell May Not Be Able To Pare Costs As Hoped
BP and Royal Dutch Shell, the two largest European oil companies, may not be able to cut their costs in 2010 as much as previously hoped as plans for more drilling projects around the globe inflate the price of oil services. Barclays Capital is forecasting an 11% rise in oil services spending this year to $439 billion. Continue reading
Sclumberger To Pay $11B For Smith
Schlumberger, the world's largest provider of oilfield services, will acquire, Smith International, the biggest drilling-fluids provider, for $11 billion in stock. Smith holders will get 0.6966 Schlumberger share for each share they hold, according to Bloomberg News. Based on Friday's closing price, that values Texas-based Smith at $11 billion. Continue reading
Smith May Have Suitors Beyond Schlumberger
Smith International, the oilfield services provider that may be the target of a takeover by Schlumberger, the largest oilfield services firm in the world, may draw interest from other bidders, according to Canaccord Adams analyst John Tasdemir, who was interviewed by Forbes after news of Schlumberger's alleged interest in Smith drove the latter's shares higher by 13% on Friday. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Falls By One This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the gas fell by one this week to 1,345. The Texas-based company said there were 893 rigs exploring for natural gas and 440 searching for oil with 12 listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
Chinese Firms Interested In Devon's Azerbaijan Field
Chinese oil giants Cnooc Ltd. and Sinopec are said to be interested in Devon Energy's stake in an Azerbaijan oilfield that may fetch up to $3 billion in a sale. Japan?s Itochu Corp. and Inpex Corp. are also said to be interested in Devon's 5.6% stake in the Azeri- Chirag-Gunashli oil project, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified sources. Continue reading
Schlumberger Eyes Takeover Of Smith International
Schlumberger, the world's biggest provider of oilfield services, is said to be talks to acquire Smith International, a provider of oilfield services and products to oil and natural gas producers. The deal is likely to be done entirely in or mostly in Schlumberger shares, Bloomberg News reported, citing two sources familiar with the talks. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Reserve Replacement Ratio Reaches 141%
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it had net proved reserve additions of about 1.22 billion barrels of oil equivalent last year while positing an impressive reserve replacement ratio of 141%, according to a report by Bloomberg News. ConocoPhillips said changes to SEC reporting standards helped bolster the numbers. Continue reading
Chesapeake Aiming To Increase Oil Production
Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest natural gas producers in the U.S., said it wants to expand its footprint in the oil business, following in the footsteps of other natural gas producers that are looking to increase their exposure to oil as black gold continues to be a more profitable commodity than natural gas. Continue reading
Apache Posts Q4 Profit Reversing Year-Earlier Loss
Apache, the largest independent U.S. oil and gas producer by market value, earned $583 million, or $1.72 per share in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $2.9 billion, or $8.80 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Apache earned $1.96 a share, meeting the consensus Wall Street estimate. Revenue surged 32% to $2.56 billion. Continue reading
Anadarko Makes Mozambique Gas Discovery
Anadarko Petroleum, the the second-largest U.S. independent natural-gas producer, made what is believed to be the first significant natural gas discovery off the coast of Mozambique. The company's Windjammer exploration well found 480 net feet of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin, which is 30 miles off the coast of the African country. The well was drilled to about 14,000 feet in 4,800 feet of water, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Credit Suisse Raises Fertilizer Price Targets
Credit Suisse raised its price targets for potash, phosphate and nitrogen fertilizer, citing recovering global demand and easier access to credit for farmers. Credit Suisse raised its 2010 forecasts for urea by $20 per metric ton for all regions, for diammonium phosphate, or DAP, by $65 per metric ton for all regions, and for standard muriate of potash, or MOP, by as much as $10, depending on region, Bloomberg News reported. Continue reading
Nabors Industries May Sell $2B In Assets This Year
Nabors Industries, the oilfield-services company that reported a fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday, said it may sell up to $2 billion in oil and gas assets this year. Nabors' (NBR) CEO Gene Isenberg said his company would only part with the assets if the price was right. Continue reading
Chesapeake Loses $530 Million In Q4
Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest U.S. natural gas producers, lost $530 million, or 84 cents a share, in the fourth quarter due to charges taken for the write downs of some its oil and gas and properties. In the year earlier period, Chesapeake lost $866 million, or $1.51 per share. Excluding the charges, the company earned $490 million, or 77 cents per share. Revenue slid to $2.2 billion from $3 billion a year earlier. Continue reading
Devon Beats Q4 Estimates On Higher Oil Prices
Devon Energy, the biggest independent producer of oil and natural gas in the U.S., said its fourth-quarter profit results beat analysts' estimates due to rising oil prices. Oklahoma-based Devon (DVN) $667 million, or $1.49 a share, compared with a loss of $6.8 billion, or $15.42, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Devon earned $1.60 a share, well above the average estimate of $1.25. Continue reading
Anadarko Sells Marcellus Stake To Mitsui
Anadarko Petroleum, the independent U.S. oil and gas company, sold a 32.5% stake in its Marcellus Shale operations to Japan's Mitsui for $1.4 billion in a deal announced on Monday. The Japanese company said it planned to spend another $3bn-$4bn on exploration and extraction, making Marcellus one of its largest energy investments, according to the Financial Times. Continue reading
Apache Starts Production At Van Gogh Field
Apache, the biggest independent U.S. oil and gas firm, has started production at its Van Gogh field in oil and gas-rich western Australia. Apache expects to increase production at Van Gogh this year and that the property could make a ''significant contribution'' to Apache's bottom line this year. Continue reading
Energy M&A Expected To Rise, Says NYT Report
After a two-year hiatus from big mergers and acquisitions, the energy sector looks poised to consolidate as cash-rich companies look for ways to boost reserves, according to the New York Times. Exxon Mobil (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, got the party started earlier this year with its $41 billion purchase of XTO Energy (XTO). Continue reading
Sanford Bernstein Upgrades 4 Oil Stocks
Sanford Bernstein upgraded shares of Chevron, Hess, Marathon Oil and Royal Dutch Shell today to ''outperform'' from ''market perform,'' advocating a defensive posture toward oil equities. Analyst Neil McMahon said global growth rates are uncertain and that means oil could have a hard time holding on to its $70 to $80 per barrel trading range. The bigger producers are less sensitive to oil price fluctuations. Continue reading
Transocean Announces Dividend, To Repurchase $3.2B In Stock
Transocean, the largest operator of offshore oil rigs, said it will start paying a regular quarterly dividend for the first time in eight years. Transocean (RIG) last paid a dividend in 2007 when it issued a one-time, special payout. Continue reading
Iran Commences Caspian Sea Drilling
A 14,000-ton drilling rig owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran, an OPEC member, has commenced drilling operations in the oil and gas-rich Caspian Sea, according to press reports. Iran is believed to hold the third-largest oil reserves in the world and has already discovered 46 fields in the Caspian Sea. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia Credit Ratings Upped By Moody's
Moody's Investors Service raised Saudi Arabia's foreign- and local-currency government ratings to ''Aa3'' from ''A1'' and the kingdom's ceiling for foreign-currency bank deposits to ''Aa3'' from ''A1,'' citing the country's ample currency reserves and strong banking system, among other factors. Continue reading
Oman To Award 11 Oil Contracts This Year
Oman, the Middle Eastern country that shares borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, is looking to award 11 oil exploration and production contracts this year in hopes of boosting its daily oil output. As of 2008, Oman was exporting nearly 594,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the CIA's World Factbook. Continue reading
BP Says Oil Inventories Should Normalize By Summer
BP, Europe's biggest oil company, said oil inventories should return to their normal levels by summer if OPEC is able to maintain production quota discipline. BP (BP) expects oil demand to rebound in 2010, but not to the levels seen prior to the financial crisis. Continue reading
Venezuela Imported Oil In January
Venezuela, one of the 12 members of OPEC, imported 105,000 barrels per day of crude oil in January after outages at a refinery used to dilute heavy oil produced in the country's Orinoco region. The imports came from Venezuela's storage facilities in the Caribbean, according to press reports. Continue reading
Credit Suisse Expects Rebound In Thermal Coal
Credit Suisse reiterated its view that the thermal coal sector is poised to rebound in 2010 driven by inventory drawdowns, a rebound in pricing and the high beta nature of many coal equities. Credit Suisse estimates a 50 million ton drawdown in thermal coal this year and a 40 million ton drawdown in 2011. Continue reading
Turkmenistan Seeks Bidders For Caspian Sea Assets
Turkmenistan is seeking foreign investors to help develop vast oil and natural gas in the Caspian Sea to help meet rising global demand. The country holds the fourth-largest natural gas reserves in the world, according to Bloomberg News. The government is looking for partners to develop offshore blocks, but KazMunaiGaz National, Turkmenistan's state-run energy producer, declined to name companies it has held talks with. Continue reading
Ultra Petroleum Q4 Profit Rises 47%
Ultra Petroleum, the independent oil and gas firm, said its fourth-quarter profit soared 47% to $95.4 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $65.1 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Operating revenue increased 3% to $213.4 million. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 47 cents a share on sales of $237.2 million. Continue reading
Eni Q4 Profit Tops Analysts' Estimates
Eni SpA, Italy's biggest energy producer, reported a fourth-quarter profit of $876 million after posting a loss in the year earlier period. Excluding one-time items, Eni's results topped analysts' estimates, but Eni said it will cut its dividend 23% to $1.36 a share. Based on Friday's closing price, Eni shares would yield 2.98%. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Up 11 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for natural gas in the U.S. rose by 11 this week, but the oil rig total dropped slightly. The total number of rigs exploring for both fuels during the week was 1,376. Continue reading
Iraq Looks To Boost Oil Sales To India
Iraq, holder of the world's third-largest oil reserves, is looking to boost its sales of crude oil to India by as much as 60% in an attempt to increase its production and perhaps become OPEC's top producer. India, the world's largest democracy, is also the fifth-largest energy consumer in the world. Continue reading
Sinopec Says There May Additional Reserves In Tahe Field
China Petroleum & Chemical, Asia's biggest oil refiner, said it may have discovered another 100 million tons of crude oil at its Tahe oil field in northwestern China. That is 10% more than the company's original estimate for the Tahe field. The company initially said the field contained 1 billion tons of geological reserves. Continue reading
EnCana Q4 Profit Beats Estimates
EnCana, Canada's largest natural gas producer, said its fourth-quarter profit fell less than analysts had expected. Profit for the quarter fell 41% to $636 million, or 85 cents a share, from $1.08 billion, or $1.43, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, EnCana earned 50 cents a share, above the average analyst estimate of 47 cents a share. Continue reading
Total Q4 Profit Beats Estimates
Total, Europe's third-largest oil producer, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 28% to $2.87 billion, but that beat analysts' estimates of $2.67 billion and the France-based company expects to boost production this year after increasing activity at projects in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Mexico in 2009. Continue reading
Pluspetrol-Led Group Makes Onshore Angolan Discovery
A group led by Argentina's Pluspetrol has made an oil discovery in an Angolan well that was previously thought to have no commercial use. The discovery was made at the Castanha-1 well in Angola's Cabinda South onshore block. The group struck 15 meters of hydrocarbons in pre-salt sediments at a depth between 2,214 and 2,229 meters in the well that first spudded in November 2009, according to OilVoice. Continue reading
EOG Resources Aims To Raise Oil Output
EOG Resources, the independent oil and gas producer, is looking to boost its production of crude oil this year after reporting fourth-quarter results that were hampered by weak natural gas prices. Natural gas currently accounts for two-thirds of EOG's production and the company is hoping to have a 50-50 split between oil and natural gas by 2011. Continue reading
OPEC Demand Forecast Essentially Unchanged
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) boosted its 2010 demand forecast to 28.75 million barrels of oil per day, up 150,000 barrels from the January estimate. OPEC lowered its outlook for the production of natural gas liquids. OPEC production of NGLs will grow 510,000 barrels a day this year to 5.1 million per day, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
BHP Billiton Profit Beats Estimates
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, said its profit for the six months ending December 31 fell 7% to $5.7 billion from $6.13 billion a year earlier, but still managed to beat analyst estimates of $5.1 billion. Revenue slid 17.5% to $24.58 billion from $29.78 billion a year earlier. Continue reading
New Brazilian Oil Laws Unlikely To Win April Approval
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said in a note to clients today that Brazil's congress is unlikely to approve new oil legislation by April that includes a share capitalization of state-run oil giant Petrobras. Petrobras management told analysts two independent appraisers will ''value the right to produce'' the 5 billion barrels, and a committee representing minority shareholders will give a ''fairness opinion'' of the transaction, Bloomberg News reported, citing the Bank of America note. Continue reading
JPMorgan Talks Coal Stocks
JPMorgan Chase analyst John Bridges issued new ratings on U.S. coal giants Massey Energy and Peabody Energy today, downgrading Massey to ''neutral'' from ''overweight.'' Bridges said investors should bank some profits after the surge in Massey's share price over the past year. Continue reading
Agrium Q4 Profit Beats Estimates
Agrium, Canada's second-largest maker of potash fertilizer, said its fourth-quarter profit fell to $30 million, or 19 cents a share, from $124 million, or 79 cents a year earlier, but excluding one-time items, the company earned 53 cents a share, handily beating the average analyst estimate of 26 cents a share. Fourth-quarter sales plunged 26% to $1.44 billion. Continue reading
Iraq's Kurdish Region To Resume Oil Exports
Iraq's government has agreed to a payment proposal that will allow the country's northern Kurdish region to resume oil exports. The region is still waiting for final government approval of the proposal, but it appears exports will be able to start up again immediately after the proposal receives final government approval. Continue reading
Sclumberger Expects Flat Norway, U.K. Investments
Schlumberger, the world's largest oil services company, said investments by oil producers in Norway and the U.K. to be flat through 2011 after supplier pared costs in 2009 to cope with lower spending by oil explorers and producers. The company expects an improvement in costs in the second half of this year, spurred by a lack of capacity to meet demand because of higher oil prices, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Alpha Natural Q4 Beats Estimates
Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said its fourth-quarter profit rose to $18 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with $5.6 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier as revenue soared to $787.5 million from $512.8 million in the year ago period. Excluding one-time items, Alpha Natural earned 51 cents a share, sharply beating analysts' estimates of 45 cents. Continue reading
BP Shareholders Concerned About Oil Sands
Shareholders in BP, Europe's largest oil company, want the oil producer to review the risks associated with a Canadian oil sands project and have filed a resolution to be discussed at the annual shareholders meeting on April 15. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), Europe's second-largest oil firm, has received similar protests from shareholders. Continue reading
Eni Terminates Uganda Deal
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, has terminated a $1.35 billion deal with Heritage Oil of the U.K. to acquire Heritage's 50% stake in certain Uganda assets. In December, Eni agreed to purchase the interests from Heritage for $1.35 billion in cash and a deferred payment of $150 million or an interest in another oil-producing field valued at the same amount, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. Continue reading
Exxon-Kosmos Deal Blocked By Ghana
Exxon Mobil's bid to acquire Kosmos Energy's stake in Ghana's Jubilee oil field for $4 billion has been blocked by that country's government. Ghana's government said privately held Kosmos did not include the government in the negotiations and disclosed data about the oil field in question without government consent. Continue reading
Petrobras Increases Onshore Activity
Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil giant, is boosting its exploration activity in Brazil's Reconcavo basin, the site of the country's first oil discovery. Brazil's oil regulator said Petrobras has found oil and natural gas at 11 wells it has drilled in the Reconcavo basin since 2000. Oil was first discovered in the Reconcavo basin in 1939, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Iran Makes New Oil, Gas Discovery
Iran's oil minister said on Saturday the country has 475 million barrels of oil of which 75 million million are recoverable. The newly discovered reserves have an estimated total value of $85 billion, according to press reports. The new discovery was made in a field called Soumar in the western province of Kermanshah. Continue reading
BP Not Likely To Pursue Acquisitions Of Rivals
BP, the largest European oil company, is more likely to pursue acquisitions of oil and gas fields than it is to purchase rival companies, Chief Financial Officer Byron Grote said. Grote said BP's recent acquisitions focus on assets, not specific companies and that BP has the ''the balance sheet capability to make inorganic moves if we see fit.'' Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Rises 18 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and gas in the U.S. rose by 18 this week to 1,335. Baker Hughes said on Friday that 878 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 445 for oil. Twelve of the rigs were miscellaneous. Continue reading
Schlumberger Optimistic About Pricing
Schlumberger, the world's largest provider of oilfield services, said pricing pressure from oil producers has abated and that a jump in crude oil prices could highlight shortages in drilling services. Schlumberger said in January that its fourth-quarter profit fell 31% due in part to substantial spending reductions by oil producers.

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Diamond Offshore Q4 Profit Slides
Diamond Offshore, the second-largest U.S. drilling contractor, said its fourth-quarter profit dropped by 6% due to higher taxes and lower demand for shallow water rigs. The company's profit fell to $276.1 million, or $1.98 per share, from $293.3 million, or $2.11 per share, a year earlier. Sales slid 1.4% to $890.8 million. Analysts expected the company to earn $2.32 a share on revenue of $890 million. Continue reading
Shell To Cut Jobs, Close Refineries
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it will lay-off 1,000 workers and close six refineries after reporting its 2009 full-year profit plunged 69% from 2008's level. The job cuts come on top of 5,000 reductions the company announced last year in an effort to save $2 billion annually. Continue reading
Eni May Sell Pipeline Stakes To Appease EU
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, may sell stakes in three natural gas pipelines the company owns and uses to settle antitrust charges by the European Union. The European Commission, the EU's regulatory body, claims that firms that own and use the same pipelines restrict access to other companies, creating a conflict of interest. Continue reading
Massey To Increase Metallurgical Coal Production
Massey Energy, the Virginia-based coal producer, said it will boost its 2010 production and exports of metallurgical coal, citing rising demand from international steel makers. Most of the 38 million tons of coal produced by Massey in 2009 was thermal or steam coal, used by electric utilities to generate power. Metallurgical coal is an essential part of the steel production process. Continue reading
Colombia Oil Reserves Could Rise
If Colombia's current pace of oil production holds, the South American nation could boost its crude reserves to as much as 6 billion barrels by 2020, government officials said. Colombia's National Hydrocarbons Agency will auction nearly 200 oil and gas exploration blocks in June as part of a program that began in 2004, according to Reuters.

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Occidental Petroleum 2009 Reserves Up 8%
Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said its year-end 2009 proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas rose to 3.23 billion barrels, up 8% from 2008. Improved recovery methods helped Occidental gain 483 million barrels of oil-equivalent even as it produced 235 million barrels of oil-equivalent in hydrocarbons, good for an impressive reserve replacement ratio of 206%. Continue reading
National Oilwell Q4 Profit Down, But Beats Estimates
Oil services giant National Oilwell Varco said its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 33% as the recession and slack energy demand forced oil producers to reduce their purchases of the rig components and services that National Oilwell specializes in. NOV said its profit fell to $394 million, or 94 cents per share, from $585 million, or $1.40 per share, a year earlier. Revenue slid to $3.13 billion from $3.81 billion. Continue reading
OGX Petroleo Shares Soar On Well Estimates
Shares of Brazilian oil producer OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA soared to a two-week high after the company said one of its wells in the in the BM-C-41 block in Brazil?s Campos Basin may hold between 500 million and 900 million of recoverable crude reserves. That is far higher than one analyst's estimate of 416 million barrels. Continue reading
Nigeria To Auction Up To 2B Barrels Of Oil
Nigeria, Africa's second-largest oil producing country, plans to auction rights to oil fields that contain up 2 billion barrels of crude later this year in an effort to retake its perch as Africa's top oil producer, a spot currently held by Angola. Nigerian officials have yet to decide what leases will be auctioned, but an announcement is expected in several months. Continue reading
Massey Energy Q4 Profit Slides By Almost 50%
Massey Energy, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, said its fourth-quarter profit fell by nearly 50% as the company echoed a familiar refrain heard from its rivals: The weak economy hampered demand and led to scaled back production. Massey reported profits of $24.4 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $47.7 million, or 56 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue slid 23% to $583.9 million. Continue reading
CNOOC Aims To Increase 2010 Production
CNOOC, one of China's state-run oil giants, plans to raise its 2010 production of oil and natural gas to help meet China's soaring energy demand. The company is hoping to produce 275 million to 290 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent in 2010 up from 2009 estimated output of 226 million to 228 million barrels. Continue reading
Marathon Oil Reports Q4 Profit After 2008 Loss
Marathon Oil said it earned $335 million, or 50 cents a share, in the fourth quarter after posting a loss of $41 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year earlier period as sales soared 11.5% to to $15.9 billion. Excluding one-time items, the Texas-based company earned $229 million, or 32 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 45 cents per share and $13.69 billion in revenue. Continue reading
OPEC Cut January Output
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced its January oil output for the first time in five months. Output declined 45,000 barrels a day last month to an average 28.955 million barrels, according to Bloomberg News. Eleven of the 12 OPEC members with quotas produced 26.64 million barrels a day, 1.8 million above their target. Iraq is the lone OPEC member with no production quota. Continue reading
Shell In Ethanol Joint Venture With Cosan
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil producer, is looking to increase its exposure to ethanol by entering a joint venture with Brazil's Cosan SA Industria & Comercio. Shell will contribute up to $1.93 billion and assets including 2,740 service stations to the 50-50 joint venture. Cosan will provide $4.93 billion of assets, including plants able to crush 60 million tons of cane a year and control of an ethanol-trading unit, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Anadarko Q4 Profit, Revenue Fall
Anadarko Petroleum, one of the largest U.S. independent oil and gas exploration firms, said its fourth-quarter profit fell, citing the recession as the reason behind a slump in oil and natural gas prices. Excluding one-time items, Anadarko earned $21 million, or 4 cents a a share. Revenue fell to $2.41 billion from $2.93 billion a year earlier. Continue reading
Exxon Mobil Q4 Profit Falls 23%
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 23% to $6.05 billion, or $1.27 a share, compared with $7.82 billion, or $1.54 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6% to $89.84 billion in the quarter. The company cited a drop in oil prices and weakness in its refining business as reasons for the quarterly decline, the company's largest since 2002. Continue reading
Potash A Takeover Target, According To Press Report
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the largest North American maker of potash fertilizer, is still a takeover target, according to Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper. Other press reports said that BHP Billiton's recent $320 million purchase of Athabasca Potash Inc. would curb speculation that the world's largest mining company is interested acquiring Potash. Continue reading
Militants Attack Shell Pipeline In Niger Delta
Just one day after ending a cease-fire with the Nigerian government, militants there have made good their on ominous promise to resume attacking oil assets in that country, rupturing a Royal Dutch Shell pipeline. The attack, which lead to a spill of an undisclosed amount of oil, is the second on a Shell pipeline in Nigeria since June. Continue reading
Arch Coal Q4 Profit Falls 98%
Arch Coal, the second-largest U.S. coal producer, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 98%, the biggest drop in more than a year, due to lower shipments the company attributed to the recession. Missouri-based Arch said net income fell to $1.5 million, or 1 cent a share, from $62.3 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier. Analysts had been forecasting a profit of 13.4 cents a share. Sales slid to $725.5 million from $729.9 million. Continue reading
U.S Rig Count Up 35 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 35 this week to 1,317 as producers bolstered output to take advantage of high energy prices. Continue reading
Petrobras Regains Exporter Status In 2009
Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil producer, returned to its status as a net exporter of crude oil in 2009, registering a surplus of 156,000 barrels a day. The company also booked a $2.7 billion surplus for the year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Chevron Fourth-Quarter Profit Falls 37%
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its fourth-quarter profits slid 37% due to a significant loss posted by the company's refining business. Earlier this month, the company warned weakness in its refining segment would weigh on fourth-quarter results. Several other oil majors have made similar comments about their refining operations as the recession has crimped demand for gasoline and diesel products. Continue reading
Nigerian Militants To Resume Oil Attacks
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the militant group responsible for recent attacks on that country's oil assets, will end a cease-fire with Nigeria's government and has pledged to resume attacking oil assets. Nigeria and Angola rotate as Africa's largest oil producer, but it is clear that Nigeria is the fifth-largest supplier of crude to the U.S. Continue reading
Brazil Forces Devon To Keep Drilling
Brazilian regulators have denied a request from Devon Energy to cease operating an offshore rig that is costing Devon $473,000 a day. Devon (DVN) has been shedding its international assets to focus on its onshore North American natural gas business. Continue reading
Shell Plans To Continue Spending On Exploration
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's second-largest oil company, said it will continue spending at record levels in 2010 in an effort to bolster its crude oil and natural gas reserves. Shell (RDS-A) previously said it plans to spend $28 billion on capital projects this year. Continue reading
Potash Profits, Outlook Disappoint
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the largest North American maker of potash fertilizer, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 69% as the recession forced farmers to cut back on purchases of phosphates, potash and other crop nutrients. Profits fell to $243.6 million, or 80 cents per share, compared with $788 million, or $2.56 per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected the company to earn 80 cents a share. Revenue fell 41% to $1.1 billion from $1.87 billion, but beat the Street estimate of $984.6 million. Continue reading
Occidental Q4 Profit Doubles, Ups 2010 Production
Occidental Petroleum, the California-based independent oil and gas exploration firm, said its fourth-quarter profits doubled from the year earlier period as the company posted its first quarterly profit gain in a year. Fourth-quarter profits surged to $938 million, or $1.15 a share, from $443 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier, the company said. Continue reading
Vale Buys Bunge's Brazil Business For $3.8B
Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, acquired fertilizer maker Bunge's Brazilian fertilizer business, Bunge Participacoes e Investimentos SA, for $3.8 billion in cash. The purchase includes Bunge's 42.3% stake in Brazilian fertilizer producer Fertilizantes Fosfatados SA. Continue reading
Murphy Oil Reports Higher Q4 Profit
Murphy Oil, the Texas-based independent oil and gas explorer, said its fourth-quarter profit rose to $319 million, or $1.65 per share, compared with $127 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier helped by higher royalty payments and a 13% increase in production. Continue reading
Anadarko, Others Make Significant Gulf Discovery
Anadarko Petroleum, Mariner Energy and Plains Exploration & Production saw their shares rise today after announcing a major discovery at their Lucius appraisal well in the Gulf of Mexico. A shaft drilled to 20,000 feet 600 feet of petroleum-bearing sand, three times more than the first shaft completed in December, 3,200 feet away, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips Reports Q4 Profit
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil producer, reported a fourth-quarter profit after posting a record loss in the year-earlier period. The company earned $1.22 billion, or 81 cents a share, compared with a loss of $31.8 billion, or $21.37, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, ConocoPhillips $1.16 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.12 a share. Revenue slid 2.8% to $43.6 billion. Continue reading
Eni Signs Deal With Venezuela
Eni SpA, Italy's largest energy company, signed a round of agreements with Venezuela on Tuesday to invest more than $18 billion in that country's oil-rich Orinoco region. The agreements include development of oil fields and the construction of a refinery in the Orinoco region. Continue reading
Baker Hughes, Weatherford Report Lower Q4 Results
Oil services firm Baker Hughes and Weatherford International said that their fourth-quarter profits declined significantly as the recession weighed on energy demand, but the companies offered brighter outlooks for 2010, echoing comments made by rival Halliburton (HAL), the world's second-largest oil services firm, which reported fourth-quarter results on Monday. Continue reading
Chevron Makes Another Australian Gas Discovery
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it found more natural gas in Australia's Gorgon field, the company's third significant discovery in Australia in the past four months. Chevron drilled the Yellowglen-1 well to a depth of 9,050 feet, indicating a column 450 feet, according to press reports. The well is 150 miles northwest of Onslow.

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Peabody Energy Q4 Profit Slumps 69%
Peabody Energy, one of the world's largest coal producers, said its fourth-quarter profit plunged 69% due to lower demand from electric utilities and steel producers. Missouri-based Peabody earned $92.2 million, or 34 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with $293.1 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 43 cents a share. Sales slid to $1.55 billion from $1.89 billion a year earlier. Continue reading
UBS Talks Energy Stocks
UBS has added independent oil and gas exploration firm Occidental Petroleum to its ''most preferred'' list of equities, saying California-based Occidental offers ''a favorable combination of high single digit growth, superior return on capital employed (ROCE), and sector leading free cash flow for investors looking for names with oil-price leverage.'' Continue reading
Chevron Venture To Invest $15.2B In Kazakhstan
Chevron's TengizChevroil LLP, the company's Kazakhstan venture, will invest $15.2 billion in that country's Tengiz field to boost production there to to 36.4 million metric tons a year after 2016, according to press reports. The Tengiz field is Kazakhstan's largest oil field. Continue reading
Chevron, Royal Dutch In Talks To Renew Nigerian Licenses
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell, the second-largest European oil firm, are in talks with Nigerian officials about their expired oil licenses in that country even as President Umaru Yar'Adua is in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for heart problems. Press reports say the negotiations have not been affected by Yar'Adua's absence. Continue reading
Halliburton Profit Tumbles 48%
Oil services firm Halliburton said its fourth-quarter profit plunged 48% as oil drillers idled hundreds of rigs amid declining energy consumption. The company earned $243 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $468 million, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue dropped 25% to $3.69 billion. The most recent results were inline with analyst estimates. Continue reading
Recent Analyst Chatter On Schlumberger
Oil services giant Schlumberger, which last week reported a decline in fourth-quarter profits and revenue, was the subject of a steady stream of analyst comments on Monday, including a downgrade from Argus Research. Argus downgraded Schlumberger (SLB) to ''sell'' from ''hold,'' saying it doesn't expect market conditions to improve until the second half of this year. Continue reading
Goldman Chimes In On Coal Stocks
A day after Citigroup downgraded four coal producers, Goldman Sachs maintained an ''attractive'' rating on the sector saying coal's fundamentals remain strong and that demand for thermal coal is expected to remain strong. Goldman said demand in China is expected to remain robust in 2010. Continue reading
Eni, Occidental To Develop Iraq's Zubair Oil Field
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, and California-based Occidental Petroleum will spend $1 billion a year to develop Iraq's Zubair oil field in an effort to boost production there by 1 million barrels a day after winning rights to develop the field in last month's Iraqi oil field auctions. Occidental (OXY) was one of just two U.S. companies to be part of winning bids during the auction process. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Up 34 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI) said the amount of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 34 to 1,282 this week despite plunging crude oil prices. Crude oil for March delivery fell $1.54 to $74.54 a barrel on the Nymex, the lowest closing price since December 22nd. Continue reading
China's 2010 Oil Demand Expected To Rise 4%
The National Energy Administration (NEA) says Chinese demand for oil and oil-related products will rise by 4% in 2010, below the 6.3% increase seen in 2009. NEA also estimated 20 million tonnes of refining capacity, or 400,000 barrels per day will be added in China this year. Continue reading
Citigroup Cuts Ratings On Four Coal Stocks
Citigroup lowered its ratings on coal producers Arch Coal, Consol Energy, Massey Energy and Patriot Coal, citing lower natural gas prices as a factor that could weigh on coal demand. Arch, Patriot and Massey were downgraded to ''sell'' from ''buy'' while Consol was downgraded to ''hold'' from ''buy.'' Continue reading
Uganda Favors Eni In Heritage Asset Sale
Uganda's government favors the sale of Heritage Oil's assets in that country to Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company. Earlier this week U.K.-based Tullow Oil announced it would exercise its preemptive rights to acquire the Heritage assets. Tullow has more exploration licenses in Africa than any other oil company. Continue reading
Canadian Natural Resources Plans Major Oil Sands Projects
Canadian Natural Resources, the Canadian oil and gas exploration firm, will proceed with plans for two major projects in Canada's oil sands region. The first project is expansion of the Horizon oil sands in northern Alberta, which has already started producing synthetic crude oil. Canadian Natural expects to be pumping 110,000 barrels per day from Horizon by the middle of this year. Continue reading
Qatar May Acquire Minority Stake In Petrobras
Qatar may be interested in acquiring minority stakes in Petrobras, Brazil's state run oil company, Banco do Brazil in an effort to strengthen ties with South America's largest economy ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 summer Olympics. Brazil wants to land foreign investments ahead of those marquee sports events to bolster its infrastructure. Continue reading
Options Betting On $100 Oil Reach Record Open Interest
Option interest in call options betting on a rise in Nymex traded crude oil to $100 or $110 a barrel this year rose to a record, according to data released by the New York Mercantile Exchange. April $100 calls, May $110 calls, March $100 calls and December $110 calls traded nearly 30,000 contracts on the Nymex on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
ConocoPhillips To Consolidate Trading Groups
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, will reorganize its global oil and gas trading businesses to increase its footprint among physical traders of those commodities. Texas-based Conoco said its existing regional supply and trading groups will be combined to form an international supply and optimization group and a global trading group, the Wall Street Journal reported. Continue reading
McMoRan Exploration Strikes It Big At Davy Jones...Again
McMoRan Exploration, the independent oil and gas firm, has gone back to the proverbial well at the Davy Jones prospect in the Gulf of Mexico to make a second major oil and gas discovery there. Last week, McMoRan announced a discovery that indicated a total of 135 net feet of hydrocarbon bearing sands. Today's announcement pertained to 65 net feet of new hydrocarbon bearing sand that may contain crude oil and natural gas. Continue reading
Conoco, Total To Move Ahead With Oil Sands Project
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, and France's Total, the third-largest European oil company, will proceed with the second phase of its Surmont project in the oil sands of western Canada. Construction on the project is expected to start later this year and will increase production at Surmont to 110,000 barrels per day when the project is completed in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Chevron To Cut Refining Jobs
Chevron, the Dow component and the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it will eliminate an undisclosed number of refining jobs in an effort to streamline that business a week after saying weak refining margins will weigh on fourth-quarter profit results. Chevron said its refineries lost $600,000 a day during the fourth quarter. Continue reading
Kinder Morgan Buys Three Ethanol Terminals
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, the second-largest U.S. master limited partnership by market value, purchased ethanol terminals in Maryland, New Jersey and Texas for $195 million to increase its domestic distribution of the biofuel. Kinder Morgan will transport about 218,000 barrels of ethanol per day this year, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
BP, Sinopec In Shale Talks
BP, Europe's largest oil company, is in talks with Chinese energy giant Sinopec regarding a shale gas development partnership. Sinopec (SNP) is targeting an area of 2,000 square kilometers in southwestern China and an area of 1,000 square kilometers in eastern China for shale development. Continue reading
IEA Says OPEC Will Not Need to Increase Production
The IEA's deputy executive director said increasing production in natural gas liquids would offset the need for OPEC members to increase crude oil production. Because of rising natural gas production the total liquids produced by OPEC countries will increase +800,000 bpd in 2010 without producing more oil. Continue reading
The Cost of Piracy Just Went Up
The Somali pirates holding the Maran Centaurus crude tanker for ransom received a fortune for their efforts. Unfortunately for them some also ended up dead after competing pirates and business associates tried to take a share of the loot. Continue reading
Alberta Will Not Cap Oil Sands Production
Alberta is not planning to limit the pace of production in Canada's oil sands region. Analysts believe any action by Alberta's government to limit production would adversely impact investment in the oil-rich region of western Canada. The pace of development slowed in the oil sands region over the past 18 months due to the financial crisis and slumping oil prices in the latter half of 2008. Continue reading
Tullow To Buy Heritage's Uganda Assets
Tullow Oil, the U.K.-based oil producer with the largest presence in Uganda, said it is exercising its preemptive rights to acquire rival Heritage Oil's Uganda assets. Tullow will match a $1.5 billion offer made by Italy's Eni SpA (E) in November to purchase the Heritage assets. Continue reading
Iraq To Finalize Seven Oil Deals This Month
Iraq's oil ministry will finalize seven oil agreements with international oil companies this month. The agreements are part of oil field bids won by the producers in auctions held by Iraq in December. Oil ministry officials said the companies have agreed to new amendments allowing the pacts to be finalized. Continue reading
Brazil's Oil Reserves Likely To Grow
Depending on what set of statistics one chooses to believe, Petrobras, the state-run Brazilian oil giant, saw its reserves rise or decline in 2009, but recent discoveries in Brazil indicate the company's reserve should grow in a big way in the coming years. Criteria used by the SEC shows Petrobras reserves grew by 8.5% in 2009, but analysis used by the Society for Petroleum Engineers showed a slight decline in the company's reserves. Continue reading
Wyoming Drilling Permits Decline
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) processed fewer oil and natural gas drilling permits in Wyoming last year than in any year since 2003 due to a slump in natural gas demand. BLM processed 2,162 oil and gas drilling permits in Wyoming last year, down from 3,681 in 2008, according to press reports. Continue reading
U.S. Rig Count Up 28 To 1,248 This Week
Oil services firm Baker Hughes said the number of rigs in the U.S. exploring for oil and natural gas rose 28 to 1,248 this week. Baker Hughes (BHI) said there were 811 rigs exploring for gas and 425 searching for oil with 12 rigs listed as miscellaneous. Continue reading
BP To Invest $10 Billion In Egypt
BP, Europe's largest oil company, said it plans to invest $10 billion on oil and gas exploration in Egypt over the next few years. The new was reported by MENA, Egypt's state news agency and quoted BP's CEO Tony Hayward. Egypt, the most populous Arab, country, holds significant natural gas reserves, but said in 2008 it would not sign new contracts with foreign firms until the end of this year to meet rising local demand. Continue reading
Howard Weil Likes Oil Services Stocks
Howard Weil, the boutique investment bank focused on the energy sector, said it likes the oil services group at current price levels and that price targets for the companies the firm covers could move up 20%. The firm's EPS estimates also look poised to move higher, according to a research note issued by the firm. Continue reading
Forest Oil's Texas Well Exceeds Production Estimates
Forest Oil, the Colorado-based independent oil and gas exploration firm, said production results from two wells in the Texas panhandle exceeded previous estimates. The wells, which are in the Granite Wash area of the panhandle, have produced the equivalent of 37 million cubic feet per day of gas and oil, according to press reports. Continue reading
CF Gives Up On Terra Industries Bid
Fertilizer maker CF Industries has scuttled its bid for rival Terra Industries a year after making its first overture to acquire Terra. Iowa-based Terra consistently rejected all of CF's as inadequate. The most recent offer by CF valued Terra at $3.88 billion. Illinois-based CF (CF) said that given the recent run up in fertilizer stocks, it would have to increase its bid for Terra and that such a course of action would not benefit CF shareholders. Continue reading
Goldman Bullish On Oil Services Stocks
Goldman Sachs issued bullish comments on four oil services stocks on Wednesday, saying Schlumberger (SLB), Halliburton (HAL), Tenaris SA (TS) and Helmerich & Payne (HP) are the ''key secular winners'' in the oil services group. Continue reading
Marathon Sees Lower Q4 Refining Margins
Echoing news from rival Chevron, Marathon Oil said today that it expects fourth-quarter refining margins to be lower than in the year-earlier period due to slack demand and higher input costs. Earlier this week, Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it expects fourth-quarter profits to lag third-quarter results due to weak refining margins. Continue reading
Massey Looks To Capitalize On Asian Demand
Coal producer Massey Energy announced plans for a West Virginia mining outfit that could produce as much as 2 million tons of metallurgical coal per year in an effort to meet rising demand from Asia. The mine will employ 500 people in southern West Virginia and cost $160 million to build, according to the Associated Press. Continue reading
Murphy Oil Makes Eagle Ford Discovery
Arkansas-based Murphy Oil said it made a natural gas discovery at a new well in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. The well was drilled to a vertical distance of 13,320 feet and then extended to a horizontal distance of nearly of 3,200 feet, according to press reports. Gas flow from the well reached 7.5 million cubic per day. Continue reading
Consol Energy Makes First Shipment To China
Consol Energy, the fourth-largest U.S coal producer, announced its first sale of coal to China. The coal was produced at Consol's Bailey Mine in Northern Appalachia and is bound for coking plants in China where it is likely to be used in the production of steel. Consol is a producer metallurgical coal, a key ingredient in the steel producing process. Continue reading
Apache Makes Sixth Egyptian Discovery
Apache, the independent oil and gas exploration firm, said it made its sixth discovery in the the Faghur Basin of western Egypt. Apache's latest oil discovery well tested 5,085 barrels of oil and 130 thousand cubic feet of gas per day, according to press reports. Continue reading
Exxon, Petrobras Ink Deal With Turkish Oil Firm
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil giant, reached a deal with Turkey's national oil company, TPAO, to drill for oil and natural gas off Turkey's coast in the Black Sea. Exxon and Petrobras will each hold 25% stakes in the project and TPAO will control the remaining 50%. Continue reading
OGX Petroleo Makes Another Campos Basin Discovery
For the third time in less than a month, Brazilian oil producer OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA has made a significant discovery in Brazil's oil-rich Campos Basin. Shares of OGX Petroleo rose to a record in Brazilian trading after the company said it made its first discovery of hydrocarbons in the OGX-4 well, located in the BM-C-42 block 49 miles off Brazil's coast, according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
Citigroup Upgrades Integrated Oil Firms
Citigroup upgraded several of the major integrated oil firms on Monday, boosting its ratings on BP, Chevron and Petrobras to ''buy'' from ''hold.'' Citi also raised its long-term price view on crude to $80 per barrel from $65 and said prices could spike to $90 a barrel in the medium term. Continue reading
Morgan Stanley Upgrades Arch Coal
Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Arch Coal by two notches to ''overweight'' from ''underweight,'' citing an improved outlook for U.S. thermal coal and saying an inflection point for utility coal stockpiles may come sooner than expected. Shares of Arch Coal (ACI) were up more than 2% on news of the upgrade. Continue reading
McMoRan Exploration Makes Major Gulf Discovery
McMoRan Exploration, the oil and gas exploration firm, said it made a significant oil discovery in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico at the Davy Jones prospect. The Davy Jones prospect is just 10 miles south of Louisiana and the discovery was made in 20 feet of water in a well drilled to a measured depth of 28,263 feet. McMoRan Exploration (MMR) plans to drill the well as deep as 29,000 feet. Continue reading
Chevron Expects Lower Q4 Profits
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its fourth-quarter profit will be lower than what the company posted in the third quarter due to ''significantly weaker'' refining margins. Chevron (CVX) earned $1.92 a share in the third quarter and analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.75 a share on revenue of $43.5 billion for the fourth quarter. Continue reading
Total CEO Sees Volatile Oil Prices In 2010
Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive officer of French oil giant Total, said he expects crude oil prices to be volatile in 2010, indicating he thinks oil could trade as low as $60 per barrel or as high as $100. de Margerie said in an interview with a French newspaper that current supply and demand dynamics should be reducing prices, but expectations are driving oil prices higher. Continue reading
Belarus, Russia Talks Fail To Yield Agreement
Oil supply talks between Belarus and Russia have broken down a week after the two countries came back to the negotiating table. Belarus is a key transport point for the delivery of Russian crude to European nations such as Germany and Poland. A Belarus official said the two sides are willing to keep negotiating. Continue reading
Rig Count Up 31 To 1,220 For Week Ending January 8
Oil services firm Baker Hughes said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 31 to 1,220 last week as energy producers ramped up production due to climbing oil and gas prices. Baker Hughes (BHI) said the number of gas rigs rose by 22 to 781 while number of operational oil rigs rose by nine to 427. Continue reading
Chevron Reduces Nigeria Production After Attack
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company and a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is scaling back some of its production in Nigeria after rebels attacked a Chevron pipeline in the Niger Delta on Friday. The attack comes five days after four Chevron workers were killed in Nigeria's Delta state in a shooting incident involving Nigeria's military, according to Reuters. Continue reading
EPA Approves Shell Permit For Alaska Drilling
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved an air quality permit that brings Royal Dutch Shell one step closer to drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast. Shell aims to have three exploratory wells operating in the Chukchi Sea by next summer, according to press reports. Continue reading
Special Dividend Won't Alter NOV's M&A Plans
A special dividend of $1 per share issued last month by oil services giant National Oilwell Varco will not alter the company's merger and acquisition plans, the company said, adding that it will continue to look for opportunities in the petroleum services and rig technology areas. Continue reading
Wednesday's Energy Sector Analyst Chatter
The following is a recap of analyst upgrades and downgrades that were issued on Wednesday for various energy companies. Continue reading
Forest Oil To Increase Spending, Drilling In 2010
Forest Oil, the Colorado-based natural gas exploration firm, plans to increase spending and initiate more drilling projects in 2010 after selling non-essential businesses in 2009 to improve its capital position. Forest Oil said it plans to spend $600 million to $700 million on exploration projects in 2010, an 18% increase over 2009's level. Continue reading
Yanzhou Coal Eyes More Aussie Acquisitions
China's Yanzhou Coal Mining is looking to make more acquisitions in Australia just a short while after completing its $3.2 billion purchase of Felix Resources. That acquisition represented the biggest by a China-based company in Australia and with China's energy demands soaring, Yanzhou Coal apparently wants to make more purchases. Continue reading
BP Scuttles Jubilee Field Bid
Integrated oil giant BP is believed to have dropped a bid to acquire Kosmos Energy LLC?s stake in Ghana's Jubilee Field. BP's desire to drop its Ghana bid may pave the way for Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil producer, to enter the picture. BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, was believed to be willing to pay $4 billion for the Jubilee Field interest. Continue reading
Indian Oil To Boost Spending To Meet Demand
Indian Oil, India's biggest state-owned oil refiner, said it will raise spending 7.4% and sell $500 million in bonds to international investors in an effort to bolster its capital position in hopes of meeting India's soaring energy demand. The bond issue is the company's first to foreign investors. Continue reading
Brigham Exploration Shares Soar On Bakken Shale New
Shares of oil and gas explorer Brigham Exploration soared on Wednesday after the company announced a new well in the Bakken Shale produced oil equivalent at a record initial pace. Texas-based Brigham said the well produced 3,807 barrels per day of oil equivalent, sending the shares higher by more than 7% on Wednesday. Continue reading
Mosaic Q2 Profit Plunges
Mosaic, the second-largest North American maker of potash fertilizer, said its fiscal second-quarter profit slumped due to weaker sales, but said trends are improving. Excluding an 8-cent restructuring charge, Mosaic earned 32 cents a share, missing analyst estimates of 35 cents a share. Sales declined 43% to $1.71 billion, beating Street estimates of $1.68 billion. Continue reading
Uganda Discoveries Could Boost Production By 100,000 Barrels
Uganda, the east African nation that has already discovered about 2 billion of crude oil reserves, said that new discoveries in three blocks managed by Tullow Oil and Heritage Oil of the U.K. have the potential to produce an additional 100,000 barrels per day over the next 25 years. Continue reading
Pemex May See Increased Output
Mexico's state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, may see an increase in production after seven years of declining output. The company is expected to produce 2.5 million barrels a day in 2010 and that figure may rise to 2.55 million barrels in 2011, the company said. Mexico is one of the largest oil-producing nations in the world, but it is not an OPEC member. Continue reading
Iraq Ratifies Four Big Oil Deals
Iraq's government approved four major deals with international oil companies on Tuesday, opening the door for Iraq's oil ministry to complete the deals and for the companies to commence operations in Iraq's oil-rich fields. The companies won the rights as part of the recent round of oil field auctions held in Iraq. Continue reading
Woodside, PetroChina Gas Deal Falls Apart
Australian energy producer Woodside Petroleum and PetroChina, China's largest oil company, said that a $40 billion deal that called for Woodside to supply PetroChina with liquefied natural gas has expired without the sides reaching an agreement. The deal between the two companies started in 2007 and called for Woodside to deliver 3 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year to PetroChina. At the time, it was believed to be Australia's largest export contract, the Financial Times said. Continue reading
Anadarko Wins Bid For Most Of TXCO Resources
Anadarko Petroleum, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, has won a bid to acquire most of bankrupt TXCO Resources, topping an offer made by Newfield Exploration. Anadarko will pay as much as $310 million in cash or all of TXCO's debt plus $1 million, according to press reports. Continue reading
Exxon, Total In Position For Tullow's Uganda Assets
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil producer, and Total, France's largest oil company, are said to be the leaders in an effort to gain part of Tullow Oil's Uganda assets, which the U.K.-based company is looking to sell. Tullow began seeking buyers for minority stakes in its Uganda operations in October and at least 10 international oil firms are said to be interested, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
Consol Energy Plans $1 Billion In 2010 Spending
Coal producer Consol Energy said it plans to spend $1 billion on development and exploration projects in 2010, a figure that represents no increase or decrease from the 2009 level. Pennsylvania-based Consol Energy said about 40%, or $400 million, of the 2010 budget will be devoted to boosting its natural gas production. Continue reading
UAE Investment Firm In Talks To Develop Iraq Oil Field
Mubadala, a United Arab Emirates-based investment firm, is in talks with a group of western oil companies to join the group in its efforts to develop the Zubair oil field in southern Iraq. According to press reports, the group would have to commit more than $5 billion to develop the Zubair field. Continue reading
Belarus, Russia Resume Oil Talks
Belarus, the former Soviet republic, and Russia have resumed discussions in Moscow regarding pricing for 2010 deliveries of Russian crude in hopes of averting an energy war that would crimp deliveries to Europe. Press reports said the talks broke down on New Year's Eve, but resumed on Saturday. Continue reading
Mongolia Seeks More Foreign Investors For Mining Assets
Mongolia is seeking more foreign investors for the country's vast mineral resources, which include coal, copper and uranium, as the government prepares to privatize its resources companies and readies for initial public offerings on international exchanges. Neighboring China and Russia have long held a dominant presence at Mongolia's various minerals mines. Continue reading
Nat-Gas Companies Are Expanding Oil Exposure
While Exxon Mobil's $41 billion acquisition of natural gas producer XTO Energy may signal that oil majors are ready to focus more of their efforts on natural gas, more natural gas firms are boosting their exposure to crude oil due to weak natural gas prices and a supply glut, according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading
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