Tag Archives: Crude oil

Oil drops more than 1 % despite Middle East conflict

Storage tanks are seen at the Petroineos Ineos petrol refinery in Lavera, France, March 29, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Oil prices lost more than 1 % on Monday as the Middle East conflict’s limited impact on crude output prompted profit taking after oil benchmarks gained 2 % last week.

Brent crude futures were down $1.14, or about 1.5%, at $77.15 a barrel by 1250 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude lost $1.15, or 1.6%, to $71.53.

Several tanker owners steered clear of the Red Sea and multiple tankers changed course on Friday after U.S. and Britain launched strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen after the Iran-backed group’s attacks on shipping in response to Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

The conflict has also held up at least four liquefied natural gas tankers travelling in the area.

“The realisation that oil supply has not been adversely impacted is leading last week’s bulls to take profit, with the move down somewhat exacerbated by a slightly stronger dollar,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

On Sunday the Houthi militia threatened a “strong and effective response” after the United States carried out another strike overnight. The U.S. later said it shot down a missile fired at one of its ships from Yemen.

The chief negotiator for Yemen’s Houthis on Monday warned that attacks on ships headed towareds Israel will continue.

“As the Middle East conflict is currently not affecting oil production, the geopolitical risk premium priced in oil prices now appears modest based on the implied volatility of options,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

There have been no oil supply losses so far, but the shipping disruption is indirectly tightening the market by keeping 35 million barrels at sea owing to longer journeys shippers have to take to avoid the Red Sea, Citi analysts wrote.

Source: Reuters, 15th January 2024


OPEC December oil output rises before new cuts, Angola exit – Reuters survey

A 3D-printed oil pump jack is seen in front of displayed OPEC logo in this illustration picture, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo


OPEC oil output rose in December, a Reuters survey found on Friday, as increases in Iraq, Angola and Nigeria offset ongoing cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance to support the market.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 27.88 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, the survey found, up 70,000 bpd from November. Output is down more than 1 million bpd from the same month a year ago. PRODN-TOTAL

The boost comes ahead of further OPEC+ cuts in 2024 and Angola’s exit from OPEC, which are set to lower January output and market share. OPEC’s market share has already been falling due to output restraint and the departure of some members.

In December, the biggest increases of 60,000 bpd came from Iraq and Angola, which both boosted exports, the survey found.

Nigeria also shipped more crude abroad without, as yet, beginning oil products output at its new Dangote refinery.

The Reuters survey, which aims to track supply to the market, is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Refinitiv Eikon flows data, information from companies that track flows such as Petro-Logistics and Kpler and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.

Source: CNBC Africa, 5th January 2024


Oil prices edge lower with investors cautious ahead of U.S. data

Jan 3 (Reuters) – Oil prices dipped slightly on Wednesday after sharp moves earlier in the week, with investors cautious about the U.S. economy amid supply disruptions from persistent tensions in the Red Sea.

Brent crude fell 39 cents to $75.50 a barrel by 1056 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 51 cents to $69.87 a barrel.

Prices had climbed around $2 earlier in the week following attacks on vessels in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels. On Tuesday they fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles into the Southern Red Sea, though no damage was reported.

A wider conflict could close crucial waterways for oil transportation and disrupt trade flows.
“Although the supply of oil has not been affected, as reflected in yesterday’s oil price sell-off, the nervousness is conspicuous,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

Both benchmarks ended Tuesday more than 1% down, with optimism about early and aggressive U.S. interest rate cuts also ebbing ahead of the release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes and jobs data on Wednesday.

“The market bade farewell to 2023 with a considerable liquidation of length and persisting anxiety about the geopolitical outlook failed to draw buyers back to the fore as the new year has kicked off,” added Varga.

Israeli forces intensified their bombing of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, after the war stretched into Lebanon with the killing in Beirut of Hamas’ deputy leader.

Meanwhile, expectations of ample oil supply in the first half of 2024 have kept a lid on prices ahead of OPEC+ plans to hold a meeting of its Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in early February.

An exact date has not been decided, three sources from the alliance told Reuters.

The decision to hold the meeting in early February suggests OPEC+ is possibly growing uneasy over currently weak oil market conditions, despite voluntary cuts of 2.2 million barrels a day for the first quarter agreed in November, OANDA’s senior market analyst Kevin Wong said.

“WTI oil is likely to trade sideways in the short term between $68.90 and $72.30 a barrel (close to the downward-sloping 20-day moving average),” he added.

Ahead of weekly U.S. crude and product inventory reports, analysts polled by Reuters expected crude stockpiles fell last week, while distillate and gasoline stocks likely rose.

Reporting by Natalie Grover, Trixie Yap and Laura Sanicola; editing by Jamie Freed and Jason Neely.

Source: Reuters, 3rd Januar 2024


Policy Insights: How African-European Partnerships are Shaping Oil & Gas Regulations

The Invest in African Energy 2024 forum will explore the role of Europe’s leading IOCs in strengthening Africa’s oil and gas regulatory frameworks

ARIS, France, December 28, 2023/APO Group/ —

Growing partnerships between European and African companies are playing a pivotal role in shaping Africa’s oil and gas regulatory frameworks. Through cooperative efforts and shared mandates, these partnerships aim to drive energy security, industrialization and environmental sustainability through advancing mutually beneficial projects across the continent.

The upcoming Invest in African Energy (IAE) 2024 forum – scheduled for May 14-15 in Paris – will explore how European investors and African energy markets are working together to revamp oil and gas regulations and foster sustainable development, while still attracting oil and gas investment. Renewed collaboration with European international oil companies (IOCs) like Equinor, Shell, TotalEnergies, bp and Technip Energies is serving to strengthen African energy policies and fiscal terms, with tangible results.

These partnerships aim to drive energy security, industrialization and environmental sustainability through advancing mutually beneficial projects across the continent

In Senegal, bp’s partnership with national oil company Petrosen resulted in the flagship discovery and development of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project, and prompted Senegal to revise its existing oil and gas code. The revision resulted in the introduction of a new Petroleum Code in 2019 that targets improved revenue collection for the West African country, while attracting further investments into upstream exploration.

In Angola, the government’s longstanding partnerships with operators like Eni, TotalEnergies and bp have not only boosted exploration and production activities, but also directly shaped the fiscal and regulatory framework. A Presidential Task Force established in 2019 engaged the country’s leading IOCs to assist with the amendment of three presidential decrees and enactment of two new laws. Focus areas included simplifying the oil concessions management process and implementing incentives for investment in marginal fields, with the task force serving as a model for successful public-private sector engagement.

In Nigeria, European IOCs – which also represent the top hydrocarbon producers in the country – have played a significant role in shaping the development and enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021. The long-awaited piece of legislation serves to facilitate a just energy transition, revamp upstream, midstream and downstream operations, and enhance the country’s competitiveness on a global scale. As a result, it is considered one of the biggest achievements in Nigeria’s energy sector to date.

European-African partnerships also extend to local content development, with a focus on capacity building and knowledge and technology exchange. Namibia has implemented the National Upstream Local Content Policy of 2021 to stimulate the participation of local entities in the country’s burgeoning oil and gas sector. The policy comes in response to growing cooperation between Namibia and European firms including Shell and TotalEnergies in the exploration of the offshore Orange Basin, which has led to five large-scale oil discoveries in the past 24 months.

Finally, Europe is playing a key role in helping Africa to define its policy towards environmental stewardship and sustainability, leading to initiatives like Nigeria’s Methane Emissions Reduction Guidelines and Gas Flare Commercialization Program, which target the reduction of carbon emissions and minimize the ecological impact of oil and gas projects. Partnership initiatives like the Global Gateway Investment Package and the Just Energy Transition Partnerships have sought to foster cooperation between Africa and Europe, focusing on the development, utilization and monetization of gas resources to enhance energy security and facilitate an equitable energy transition. Recognizing the crucial role of natural gas in bolstering energy supplies, several African countries – such as those with integrated gas policies like Ghana’s Gas Master Plan and Mauritania’s Energy Vision 2030 – are actively implementing strategies to maximize sector expansion, in collaboration with European partners.

Source: Energy Capital & Power | Dec 28, 2023


Congo reaffirms commitment to OPEC, oil minister says

FILE PHOTO: OPEC logo is seen in this illustration taken, October 8, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

Dec 23 (Reuters) – Congo on Saturday reaffirmed its commitment to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), days after neighbor Angola decided to leave the organization.

“The Republic of Congo reaffirms its steadfast commitment to the strategic policy defined by the Secretary-General of OPEC and OPEC+,” Congo’s hydrocarbons minister Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua said in a LinkedIn post.

“Congo is committed to continuing close and constructive collaboration with all member countries.”

The development comes after Nigeria on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to OPEC, with minister of state for petroleum Heineken Lokpobiri saying that his country’s position remained unwavering.

Congo, which became a full member of OPEC in 2018, has been set a target of 277,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2024 by the Saudi-led oil producer group.

Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest oil producer, and Angola were among several countries given lower output targets for 2024 after years of failing to meet previous ones.

Angola’s Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo said on Thursday that OPEC no longer served the country’s interests. It joins other mid-sized producers Ecuador and Qatar that have left the organization in the last decade.

Source: Reuters, 23rd December 2023