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Iraq’s OPEC revolt shows Saudi-Iran oil deal fragility

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Iraq’s OPEC revolt shows Saudi-Iran oil deal fragility

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By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler | ALGIERS

For years, debates in the OPEC conference room were dominated by clashes between top producer Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran.

But as the two managed to find a rare compromise on Wednesday – with Riyadh softening its stance towards Tehran – a third OPEC superpower emerged.

Iraq overtook Iran as the group’s second-largest producer several years ago but kept its OPEC agenda fairly low-profile. On Wednesday, Baghdad finally made its presence felt. read more

No oil freeze yet

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Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 08.25.29By Ed Crooks: September 9, 2016

“Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet,” St Augustine wrote in his Confessions, remembering his prayer as an adolescent. Opec members are taking much the same attitude to restraining their oil production.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s two largest crude producers, said on Monday they would co-operate on ways to stabilise oil prices, but stopped short of agreeing to freeze production. There will be a working group to study ways to curb price volatility, and co-operation on production curbs was held out as a possibility. But Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, was clearly in no hurry to make any commitments. read more

Shell Sells Gulf Of Mexico Asset, But Faces A Tough Road Ahead

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 23.13.17Sarfaraz A. Khan: Aug. 31, 2016 3:20 PM ET

Summary

  • Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. GoM to EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash.
  • The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves.
  • The company, however, has made little progress toward achieving its target of selling $6Bn to $8Bn assets this year and $30Bn by 2018.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) has recently agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Houston-based EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash. Shell was pumping 25,000 barrels of oil per day from these offshore properties, which was equivalent to 5.8% of the oil giant’s Gulf of Mexico production or less than 1% of its total production.

The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves which stood at $15.2 billion at the end of June. Shell intends to sell $6 billion to $8 billion of assets this year. Overall, the company aims to dispose $30 billion of assets, spread in 5 to 10 countries and representing 10% of its production, by 2018. That will allow the company to reduce its debt which has ballooned following the $53 billion takeover of BG Group. read more

Oil market rebalancing could take until end 2017: Shell

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Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:01pm EDT

By Karolin Schaps | STAVANGER, NORWAY

The huge global oil oversupply that has weighed on prices for the past two years may not clear until the second half of 2017, Shell’s chief energy adviser Wim Thomas told Reuters.

The potential return to the market of some 1.5 million barrels per day of supply from Libya and Nigeria and uncertainty about Iranian and Iraqi production levels could push a rebalancing further away than many in the oil industry are hoping. read more

Idemitsu Family Buys Showa Shell Stake in Bid to Stop Merger

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By Tsuyoshi Inajima, Stephen Stapczynski and Shigeru Sato: August 3, 2016 — 7:09 AM BST Updated on August 3, 2016 — 8:37 AM BST

Idemitsu Kosan Co. founding family descendant Shosuke Idemitsu has begun buying up shares in rival Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK in a bid to block a proposed merger between the two companies.

The Idemitsu founder’s son purchased 400,000 Showa Shell shares and may buy more until his namesake company gives up on the deal, according to a statement distributed to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday. Showa Shell rose as much as 12 percent to 1,014 yen, the biggest intraday gain in more than a year, and closed 3.8 percent higher. Idemitsu fell 3.9 percent to 1,984 yen. read more

Next Week Is as Good as It Gets for Big Oil

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ByRakteem Katakey and Joe Carroll: 22 July 2016

Several majors expected to post highest earnings in 3 quarters

Strong performance may not last as oil seen easing back to $40

For oil companies, the second quarter might be as good as it gets.

Shares gained more than in any other industry, thanks to crude rising from a 12-year low. Profits were the best in at least three quarters for majors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and BP Plc, helped by cost cuts, analysts say. The rest of the year might not be as rosy as supply holds near record levels.

The combined market value of the world’s oil companies shrank by $2 trillion in the past two years following crude’s collapse. While analysts agree the worst of the oversupply is over, BNP Paribas SA and JBC Energy GmbH are among those forecasting a slide back to $40 a barrel as output rebounds in Canada, Iran, Nigeria and the U.S., hurting producers whose investment cuts have put future growth in doubt. read more

Oil Is Still Heading to $10 a Barrel

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By A. Gary Shilling:JUNE 28, 2016 12:00 PM EDT

Back in February 2015, the price of West Texas Intermediate stood at about $52 per barrel, half of its 2014 peak. I argued then that a renewed decline was coming that could drive it below $20, a scenario regarded by oil bulls as unthinkable. But prices did fall further, dropping all the way to a low of $26 in February. Since then, crude rallied to spend several weeks flirting with $50 per barrel, a level not seen since last year. But it won’t last; I’m sticking to my call for prices to decline anew to $10 to $20 per barrel. read more

Saudi-Iran Conflict ‘Minefield’ for Japan Oil Refiner Merger

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By Tsuyoshi Inajima,  Emi Urabe and Shigeru Sato: Updated on July 1, 2016 

  • Idemitsu founding family says shouldn’t hold stake in rival

  • Co. agreed to buy share of Japanese refiner Showa Shell

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43The conflict between Middle East oil suppliers Iran and Saudi Arabia is playing out between the founding family of one of Japan’s largest refiners and its board.

Idemitsu Kosan Co. agreed last July to buy a stake with 33.3 percent voting rights in Showa Shell Sekiyu KK from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for 169 billion yen ($1.64 billion). Idemitsu has close ties with Iran and shouldn’t be associated with Showa Shell, in which state-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. owns a stake, said a lawyer for Idemitsu’s founding family, which “wants the company to let go of the stake.” read more

Saudi-Iran tensions threaten $5.4bn Japanese refinery merger

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  • MAYUMI NEGISHI
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • 12:00AM July 1, 2016

The battle for hegemony in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to up-end a $US4 billion ($5.4bn) merger in Japan.

The family of the late founder of Idemitsu Kosan is opposing a planned merger between the oil refiner — Japan’s second-largest behind JX — and Showa Shell Sekiyu, its smaller rival. Idemitsu has maintained close ties with Iran since the 1950s while Showa Shell is 15 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Aramco.

The Idemitsu family said a merger would be “inappropriate” given the growing tensions between the two countries. The two Persian Gulf nations, which belong to rival sects of Islam, are jockeying for political influence in the region and have recently clashed over the question of a cap on crude output. read more

Short term strength

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By Ed Crooks: June 17, 2016

This week has brought evidence of contrasting short-term and long-term trends in the oil market. In the short term, demand and supply are both turning out to be stronger than many had expected. The IEA revised up its forecast for oil demand growth this year in its monthly oil market report, but added that rising production would mean global oversupply could persist into 2017.

There are early indications of an upturn in activity in the US shale industry, still faint so far, but ominous for anyone relying on a sharp rebound in crude. And Iran said its oil production had reached 3.8m barrels per day, confirming the strong growth following the lifting of sanctions that was already visible last month. Iran’s oil exports have tripled since late 2015. read more

Iran confirms oil shipment for Shell

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By Daniel J. Graeber     |   June 13, 2016

TEHRAN, June 13 (UPI) — A shipment of Iranian crude oil was sold to Royal Dutch Shell and talks are developing with other major oil companies, an Iranian official said Monday.

Royal Dutch Shell paid off its debt to its Iranian counterparts early this year, clearing the way for the company to resume its cooperation with Iran now that sanctions pressures are easing.

Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Buerden said in early February the company was eager to settle its debt to Iran as soon as legal mechanisms permit. At the time, the CEO said it was still too early to make any firm commitments in Iran. read more

Iran ousts director of state-run oil company

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 08.51.56By Benoit Faucon: Published: June 12, 2016 4:21 p.m. ET

Iran on Sunday replaced the head of its state-oil company, in a push to attract foreign companies.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Iran has been quicker in resuming sales of its oil to companies in the European Union, after a three-year ban. Royal Dutch Shell recently loaded one Iranian crude oil shipment as a spot cargo, NIOC’s marketing chief Mohsen Ghamsari said in remarks posted on the company’s website. Shell last week declined to comment on market talk about the cargo, which would be the first for Shell from Iran since the lifting of the embargo. read more

Shell Follows Total in Buying Iranian Crude After Sanctions End

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  • Vessel with 1 million-barrel crude cargo booked for Europe

  • Total was first oil major to buy Iranian crude for region

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 19.11.36By Rupert Rowling, Angelina Rascouet and Julian Lee: June 8, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is set to ship a cargo of Iranian crude to Europe next month, becoming the second major oil company in the region after Total SA to resume oil trade after some sanctions on the Persian nation’s nuclear program were lifted in January.

Shell booked the Delta Hellas tanker to carry one million barrels of Iranian crude to Europe, loading July 1, according to lists of charters compiled by Bloomberg. Shell declined to comment on the booking.

Among oil majors, Total was the first to resume purchases of Iranian crude after the French oil company chartered a cargo in February. The first shipment to arrive in Europe was for the independent Spanish refiner Cia. Espanola de Petroleos, which unloaded on March 6. read more

The new oil order

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Apr 23rd 2016

FOR generations, oil and stability have gone hand in hand in Saudi Arabia. The puritanically conservative kingdom has used its oil wealth to buy loyalty at home and friends abroad. But since King Salman came to the throne last year, his 30-year-old son, Muhammad, has injected unpredictability into the Middle East.

Critics consider the deputy crown prince a hothead, whose dangerous obsession with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival, is feeding sectarianism and fraying relations with America. At home, though, the impetuousness of Muhammad bin Salman may be just what Saudi Arabia needs to start weaning itself off oil, the price of which has fallen sharply over the past 18 months. A big test comes on April 25th, when the prince is due to unveil the kingdom’s long-delayed “Vision” reform plan. read more

Botched Doha deal undermines OPEC credibility, oil prices tumble

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By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 18 April 2016

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, April 18 (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were blamed for the failure, which revived industry fears that major government-controlled producers will increase their battle for market share by offering ever-steeper discounts. read more

Iran launches talks with Shell

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Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) made the remarks saying “despite the initiation of negotiations, no final agreement has been reached yet.”

In response to a question about the amount of oil sales to Royal Dutch Shell Oil Industry Company in case of sealing a deal, the official estimated that grounds will be provided for selling oil in accordance with pre-sanctions period which amounted to 100 thousand barrels per day. read more

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