NrgEdge Editor

Sharing content and articles for users
Last Updated: December 14, 2017
1 view
Business Trends
image

Market Watch

Headline crude prices for the week beginning 11 December 2017 – Brent: US$63/b; WTI: US$57/b

  • The shutdown of the Forties pipeline system in the UK North Sea has been a shock to the market, pulling Brent and WTI prices up. Repairs to the important oil conduit will take at least two weeks to complete.
  • The hairline crack at Forties – connecting North Sea oilfields to the Hound Point export terminal in Scotland – is less severe than expected, cutting off a rally that was beginning to gain steam.
  • The UAE announced that OPEC and NOPEC will outline an exit strategy for the extended supply freeze deal at the next meeting in June; Kuwait suggested that if oil market tightens by then, the deal could be ended before the current planned 31 December 2018 deadline.
  • Threats of a strike by one of Nigeria’s two main oil unions over a mass sacking of workers could disrupt production in Africa’s largest oil producer, but tensions seem on the lid for now.
  • US crude oil stockpiles fell more than expected by 2.89 million barrels as refineries hiked output, supporting prices, but gasoline and distillate inventories also posted surprisingly large stockpile gains.
  • JP Morgan believes that the new tipping point for American shale is US$60/b, with the investment bank believing that only a sustained run above that level will lead to shale drillers rethinking their spending plans for 2018, which were based on a US$45-55/b WTI range.
  • Active US rig count gains slowed down; only 2 new sites entering operation last week – both oil – but the small net gain masks a flurry of activity within the main shale basins.
  • Crude price outlook: With threats of a prolonged Forties shutdown subsiding and the strike risk in Nigeria abating, there does not appear to be much driving crude prices up this week. Prices should drift down to US$62/b for Brent and US$56/b for WTI.


Headlines of the week

Upstream

  • A leak at the Forties Pipeline System in the North Sea has triggered a shutdown at the UK’s most important site, causing jumps in global prices.
  • After slashing costs by almost half to KR49 billion, Statoil has sanctioned the Castberg offshore Arctic oil project, with production due in 2022.
  • Hungary’s MOL is reportedly seeking to exit the UK North Sea, as the prolonged slump in oil prices placed its margins under pressure.
  • Enterprise will be converting one its Permian-Texas Gulf Gas pipelines from NGLs to crude oil, upping its oil pipeline capacity to 650 kb/d.
  • Total and Sonangol have signed several agreements covering upstream and downstream in Angola, paving the way for a spat of new projects.
  • PetroChina has conducted a major internal transfer of 16 E&P blocks between its subsidiaries that will allow those with mature fields in the east to explore for new discoveries in the west and central regions.
  • Eni has restarted production at the Goliat oil field in Norway’s Barents Sea, after problems at the platform caused a 2-month shutdown.
  • China is offering five oil and gas blocks in the remote Tarim basin in Xinjian to domestic investors in an auction that excludes the state oil giants to promote private sector participation in its upstream industry.

Downstream

  • ExxonMobil has sent its first fuel cargo – 120,000 barrels of diesel and gasoline – to Mexico as the drive to supply the country turns into a race.  
  • MMEX Resources had doubled the capacity of its planned refinery in West Texas, from 50 kb/d to 100 kb/d, capitalising on the Permian Basin boom.
  • Nigeria plans to break ground on Petrolex Oil & Gas’ new 250 kb/d refinery in Ibefun, Ogun state this month.
  • BP is building a third lubricants blending plant – which will be its largest ever - in China; the 200 mtpa plant serving as a strategic hub for BP and Castrol when complete in 2021.
  • Petronas’ South African unit Engen and retail specialist Vivo Energy have struck a US$256 million deal to combine their African fuel network assets.
  • Vietnam’s PVOil and Binh Son Refining, which runs Dung Quat, has struck two large crude purchase deals with Azerbaijan’s Socar and Glencore.

Natural Gas/LNG

  • Production at Novatek’s Yamal LNG 5.5 mtpa Train 1 has officially began, with the first cargo leaving the port of Sabetta last week to China.
  • Cheniere has chartered 7 additional LNG tankers bringing its total fleet up to 22 as it attempts to supply Northeast Asia’s furious winter demand.
  • Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Israel have collectively agreed to building the €3 billion East Med gas pipeline to link new discoveries in the Levantine Basin to western Europe via Greece and Italy.
  • Steelhead LNG has pulled the plug on its proposed FLNG project in Canada’s Malahat over land squabbles with the Malahat First Nation.
  • Arrow Energy has signed a deal to supply some 5 tcf of coalbed methane gas from the Surat Basin over a contract life of 27 yeas to Shell’s Queensland Curtis LNG project starting in 2021.
  • The Asian Development Bank has stepped in to provide some US$583 billion in financing to development the Reliance Bangladesh LNG project.

Corporate

  • Pertamina will be taking over state gas utility PGN by 1Q18 as Indonesia forms a new national energy holding company and prevent ‘asset duplication’, with PGN absorbing Pertagas to act as the state gas arm.
  • Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development made its debut on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with the natural gas-power producer trading at 27.8% higher than the IPO price.
  • Adnoc has set a target of raising US$902 million by floating its fuel-retail unit, reducing the stake on sale from 20% to 10%.

3
2 0

Something interesting to share?
Join NrgEdge and create your own NrgBuzz today

Latest NrgBuzz

LNG Is Coming To The Philippines

It seems to have been a topic that has been discussed for years, but a decision could finally be made. The Philippines has short-listed three different groups who are in the running to build the country’s first LNG import terminal, whittling them down from an initial 18 that submitted project proposals. The final three consist of the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC), a joint venture between Tokyo Gas and domestic firm First Gen Corp and China’s CNOOC. The Philippines hopes to choose the final group by the end of November – an optimistic decision that belies that many, many complications that have come before. And those still to come.

First of all, the make-up of only one of the groups has been finalised. A local partner is a requirement for this project; CNOOC has yet to officially tie-up, although it has been talking to Manila-based Phoenix Petroleum, while state oil firm PNOC does not have a (deep-pocketed) partner yet. Firms including Chevron, Dubai’s Lloyds Energy Group and Japan’s JERA have reportedly contacted PNOC to express their interest, but a month before the Philippines wants to make a decision, its own home-grown hero hasn’t yet got its ducks lined up in a row.

And time is of essence. The once giant Malampaya gas field is running out of resources. Supplying piped natural gas to three power plants that feeds some 45% of Luzon’s electricity requirements, the Shell-operated field is expected to be completely depleted by 2024. With the country aiming to move away from burning coal or (imported) gasoil for power, gas is needed to replace gas. Even though the Philippines is pushing for a bilateral agreement with China to pave to way for joint exploration activities in disputed areas of the South China Sea – to the consternation of its citizens – any discovery in the Palawan basin or Scarborough Shoal will be years from commercialisation.

So LNG is the answer. And LNG has been the answer since 2008, when the need for an LNG import terminal was first identified. And it is not like no projects have been proposed – Australia’s Energy World Corp (EWC) has been wanting to build an LNG receiving terminal and power station in the Quezon province near Manila for years, but the project has been described as ‘trapped in a bureaucratic quagmire’ due to hurdles from various government agencies, or stymied by groups with competing interests.

PNOC itself has been wanting to build its own terminal in Batangas, within range of existing gas and power transmission facilities currently drawing Malampaya gas. But, just like Pertamina in Indonesia, it is cash-strapped and unable to drive the project on its own, hence the requirement for a partner/s. First Gen Corp and Phoenix Petroleum are both private players, with First Gen already operating four of the country’s five gas-fired plants while Phoenix Petroleum has close ties with CNOOC Gas.

Many announcements have been made and gone, but with this shortlist of three groups, it does finally look like the Philippines will be able to get its LNG ambitions of the ground. And it is thinking even bigger; wanting the terminal to become a LNG trading hub for the region – capitalising on the existing habit of ship-to-ship transfers of LNG cargoes into smaller parcels in the Philippine waters for delivery into southern China – challenging existing ambitions in Japan, South Korea and Singapore. But perhaps that is getting a bit ahead of themselves. Getting a project – any LNG project – off the ground is the first priority. And the rest can come after that.

Other Proposed LNG Projects In The Philippines:

  • Shell’s LNG import terminal in Batangas, near the Shell Batangas refinery
  • Glencore’s FSRU project, connected to an onshore power plant
  • South Korea’s SK Group’s 5 mtpa LNG import terminal in Luzon
  • Energy World Corp’s integrated LNG-power project in Quezon
November, 13 2018
Your Weekly Update: 5 - 9 November 2018

Market Watch

Headline crude prices for the week beginning 5 November 2018 – Brent: US$72/b; WTI: US$62/b

  • It’s down, down, down for crude oil prices as the impact of American sanctions on Iranian crude exports was muted by increased supply from OPEC+ nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and Russia
  • America granted waivers to eight nations – including India, Japan, South Korea and possibly China – which would allow them to continue importing Iranian crude after November 3, though the exact terms of the waivers are still in discussion
  • The number of waivers issued was larger than the market expected, but traders also remain worried about the growing trade spat between the US and China, although President Donald Trump has struck a more conciliatory tone recently
  • However, the midterm elections in the US resulted in the Democrats seizing the House but losing ground in the Senate – an imperfect result that could nonetheless still frustrate Trump’s economic and trade agenda
  • With the impact of Iranian sanctions proving to be less dramatic than expected – although fireworks should be expected at the upcoming OPEC meeting Vienna next month – crude prices have lost much of the supply-risk premium it gained over the past three months
  • With crude prices abated, American drillers are following suit, reducing the active American rig count by one with the closure of one oil rig
  • Crude price outlook: Prices should continue to head downwards as the risk of a supply crunch abates; Brent will test the US$70/b level again, with WTI likely to maintain its US$10/b discount to Brent

 

Headlines of the week

Upstream

  • BP has completed its US$10.5 billion acquisition of BHP Billiton’s US unconventional assets, which will add some 190,000 boe/d of production and 4.6 billion oil equivalent barrels in reserves to BP’s coffers
  • Total reports that its upstream production in the Republic of Congo has exceeded expectations, with current production at some 200,000 b/d
  • ConocoPhillips has completed the sales of its Barnett shale assets in North Texas to Lime Rock Resources for US$230 million
  • Apache is accelerating plans from its Garten discovery in the UK North Sea, bringing it forward from Q119 to Q418, with 1 million barrels recoverable
  • Also in the North Sea, the UK Oil and Gas Authority has approve Senrica Energy’s Field Development Plan for the Columbus Development, with target start-up aimed at mid-2021 with peak output at 7,800 boe/d
  • Total has received consent from Petroleum Safety Authority Norway to extend the operational life of the Skirne and Byggve fields to March 2024
  • Equinor has made a ‘significant new oil discovery’ at the Barents Sea Skruis well in the Johan Castberg licence, with 12-25 million recoverable barrels of oil
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach has signed two new agreements – with Total and Eni – in an exclusive partnership for offshore exploration in Algeria
  • Argentina has launched its first-ever offshore licensing round, putting up 38 blocks in the Austral Marine, West Malvinas and Argentina basins

Downstream

  • As Saudi Aramco prepares to buy a controlling stake in SABIC, the two Saudi Arabian giants have announced the development of an integrated 400 kb/d crude-to-chemicals project, to be located at Yanbu on the Red Sea
  • A spat of fuel thefts in Mexico has curtailed gasoline and diesel supply in Mexico, with BP, Total and Pemex all reporting shortages across the country
  • ExxonMobil has started up a new coker unit at its Antwerp refinery in Belgium, expanding capacity for heavy conversion by some 50,000 b/d
  • BASF has signed a new MoU with China’s Sinopec to build a steam cracker in Nanjing, the chemical giant’s second major Chinese investment in four months

Natural Gas/LNG

  • Yet another US LNG facility has received its environmental impact statement from the US FERC, with Texas LNG’s Brownsville site receiving it just days after Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass LNG received theirs
  • The Cameron LNG project has begun the commissioning Phase 1 of its LNG export site in Hackberry, Louisiana, the first of a planned five phases that would have an eventual capacity of up to 24.92 mtpa
  • TransCanada Corporation has greenlit the US$1.5 billion NOVA Gas Transmission expansion, which will connect markets in North America to natural gas production sites in Alberta and British Columbia
  • Noble Energy announced that the Leviathan project is at 67% completion, and first gas from the Israeli gas project is expected by the end of 2019
  • India’s Petronet LNG and ONGC Videsh are reportedly in talks to buy a stake in the proposed Driftwood LNG project by Tellurian in Louisiana
  • Japan’s Osaka Gas says it will begin evaluating expanding its operations to developing markets in Southeast Asia like Vietnam, where shrinking demand supply and growing demand is creating a huge potential market for LNG
November, 09 2018
Risks of working in Oil and Gas sector

It is a well-known fact that the oil and gas industry has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities - paycheck, lifestyle, and work-life balance. However, like everything else in life, it has a flip side as well. If you are planning to make a career in oil and gas industry, it is important to know the cons as well. Here is a list of risks associated with working in oil and gas industry that you must know to make an informed decision.

Highly competitive: survival of the fittest 

Oil and gas industry is highly competitive and dynamic in nature. The job requires high level of expertise and productivity. With digitization and automation of the industry, the work functions are changing rapidly. The employees who cannot cope up and upskill with changing time and need will be automatically pushed out of the system. The foremost challenge in oil and gas industry is to stay relevant and keep upskilling.

Long work hours

Some job functions in oil industry like offshore rig workers have to work in 12-hours shift, seven days a week and for seven to 28 days in one stretch. Sometimes, overtime is also expected due to emergency or to manage the project deadlines. However, the oil companies do give equal amount of resting period to the rig workers to compensate for the long working hours. Even then, the continuous long hours is strenuous for the workforce.

The accident-prone work environment

Although rigorous safety trainings are provided to the workforce along with numerous safety measures and laws in place; accidents do occur. Sometimes, these accidents can be life-threatening. Here is quick overview of the possible accidents that you might encounter:

  • Vehicle accident- It is considered as the number 1 cause of fatality in oil and gas industry. It can happen while driving to pipelines, gas sites, pumping stations, transit between sites and any other place due to heavy loads, rash driving, fatigue or extreme weather conditions.
  • Explosion & fire- Oil companies are extremely cautious about fire and explosion safety and follow strict guidelines and standards to prevent fire hazard on drilling sites and injuries related to it. Emergency exits, action plans and fire prevention plan along with flame-resistant clothing are ensured. However, it is in best interest to stay updated about the latest in the safety measures.

Risk of confined space and fall- The line workers in oil and gas industry sometimes work in confined spaces like mud pits, reserve pits, storage tanks, sand storage, and other excavated areas, where they are exposed to potential risk of ignition of inflammable vapors, exposure to harmful chemicals, and asphyxiation. Additionally, these kinds of workplaces involve risk of falls, slips and trips too which can cause severe injuries and can even turn fatal. Though the companies are extremely careful and take all safety precautions, but the risk cannot be ruled out.

  • Chemical exposure- Chemical exposure at oil and gas industry is hazardous and it includes risk due to:
  • Mixed exposures of silica, DPM, VOCs, etc.
  • Multiple exposure through various routes like inhalation and ingestion
  • Dermal exposures risk due to Pb, Solvents, PAH’s

Additionally, frequent exposure to chemicals used in refineries and drilling operations can impact long-term health. To offset these dangers, oil and gas companies provide comprehensive training to employees to ensure safety protocols and site-specific features.

Working in remote location

The oil and gas professionals have to work on remote location for exploration, offshore duties, pumping stations, gas plants and more. The workers in remote location often feel isolated and they are on their own to cope up with numerous work-related accidents and health hazards.

Working in oil and gas industry is extremely rewarding in terms of career growth, travelling opportunities and compensation. However, the above points must also be considered before stepping into this industry. It is important to mention here that majority of oil and gas companies are aware of the risks associated and thus have sound safety measures in place to avoid any contingency. Moreover, the government and regulatory bodies also impose strict regulations for safety and security of the workforce. Therefore, in many cases, the risk associated is considerably reduced. So, before you accept any offer from any oil and gas companies, you must carefully verify the safety measures and policies of the company. Once, you are assured, your career in oil and gas will be highly rewarding.

If you are looking for relevant opportunities, check out NrgEdge.com to kickstart your career in oil and gas industry.

November, 12 2018