In step towards emissions target

Gabon signs hydropower deal

Libreville - Gabon and Paris-based asset manager Meridiam signed a $210 million deal to build a hydroelectric dam as part of the central African nation's international commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once operational in 2023, the Kinguele Aval project on the Mbei River is slated to have production capacity of around 205 gigawatt hours per year, or 13% of the current consumption of the capital Libreville, 100 kilometres to the west

To help cut budget deficit

Sudan doubles domestic fuel prices

Khartoum - Sudan doubled domestic fuel prices on Tuesday, a move that should help reduce a gaping budget deficit but is sure to anger many of the country’s impoverished citizens. The government, which has long fixed fuel prices at some of the lowest levels in the world, raised the price at the pump of locally produced diesel to 46 Sudanese pounds ($0.8364) a litre from the previous 23 pounds

Green policy

France to rein in export guarantees for oil and gas industry

Paris - France will stop providing state export guarantees to projects involving dirty forms of oil such as shale from next year, followed by all types of oil from 2025 and gas from 2035, the finance ministry said on Monday. The French state stopped giving export guarantees, which companies often need to get bank credit, to projects this year where fracking and flaring were involved and also dropped its financial support for coal developments

Backed by the EU

New gas pipeline could heat up Azeri-Russian rivalry

Azerbaijan’s ties with Russia, already strained by conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, face further pressure from the launch later this year of a gas pipeline that is poised to squeeze Moscow’s diminished gas sales to Europe and Turkey

Northern Africa

How strongly can Libya's oil rebound? / ANALYSIS

Cairo - A blockade on Libya's oil facilities has been partially lifted, allowing a gradual reopening of some ports and fields, but obstacles and uncertainties complicate a full recovery

Geopolitics

Tankers carrying Iranian fuel begin entering Venezuelan waters

Teheran - The first of a group of three tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela entered the waters of the South American nation on Monday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, in the most recent sign of the countries' expanding trade. The two OPEC members have increased cooperation this year by exchanging crude, fuel, food, equipment for refineries and other industrial goods

Energy

Trump extends drilling ban off North Carolina

The Trump administration, which has worked to expand U.S. oil and gas drilling and roll back Obama-era rules on pollution from fossil fuels, originally wanted to expand offshore drilling off many of America's coasts, including Florida

Energy transition

Shell launches major cost-cutting drive

London - Royal Dutch Shell is looking to slash up to 40% off the cost of producing oil and gas in a major drive to save cash so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets. Shell's new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year

Inventory glut

Oil refiners worldwide struggle with weak demand

London - Global oil refiners reeling from months of lackluster demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn because the recovery in demand from the impact of coronavirus has stalled

Trade war

China only fulfils 5% of Sino-U.S. energy trade deal in first half of 2020

Beijing - China bought only 5% of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products from the United States in the first half of 2020, falling well short of its trade deal commitments at a time when relations between the two top economies are already sour. China's imports of crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), metallurgical coal and other energy products totalled around $1.29 billion this year through June

Statistics

Wind and solar produced 10% of global electricity in H1 2020

London - Wind turbines and solar panels produced a record 10% of the world’s electricity in the first half of 2020 as coal-power declined, but steeper change is needed to meet targets set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a report said on Thursday. Scientist say huge cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector are required over the next decade to limit global warming and curb the worst impacts of climate change

Eni's marketing unit shines in challenging quarter

Shell, Total avoided expected loss due to trading

London - The trading units of European oil and gas majors have shielded their second-quarter results from the full force of the corona-induced collapse in demand for fuel, but big writedowns showed the scale of the challenge ahead, results showed on Thursday. France's Total and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell scraped out small profits against expectations of losses

The ceremony

Cyprus takes first step into LNG era

Nicosia - Cyprus takes its first step into the natural gas era on Thursday when President Nicos Anastasiades lays the foundation stone of the island’s first LNG terminal at Vasiliko, Larnaca. The €289 mln project is considered to be Cyprus’ largest energy venture and features an LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a jetty, mooring facilities, a pipeline, and other onshore and offshore related infrastructure

Covid

Chesapeake files for bankruptcy

Chesapeake Energy, the emblem of the American revolution for shale, is facing bankruptcy following the collapse of oil and gas prices linked to coronavirus

Slow recovery

LNG-Asian pricese steady despite cargo cancellations

Asian spot liquefied natural gas prices remained steady this week on a continued stream of spot supply even though traders continued to cancel cargoes loading from the United States due to poor economics

On the Baltic Sea

Poland signs deal to expand its LNG terminal

Poland has signed contracts worth 1.9 billion zlotys ($483 million) to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Swinoujscie to 8.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2023 from 5 bcm now in response to increasing domestic demand.

Qatar's strategy

Biggest LNG shipper signs $20 billion deal to secure more vessels

Doha - Qatar has signed a deal worth around $20 billion with South Korean shipbuilders to help cement its position as the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas. The Gulf emirate entered into agreements with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co

Covid

Pandemic forces virtual safety checks for oil tankers

Ship assessors are resorting to virtual inspections of oil tankers to keep vessels afloat, as the coronavirus pandemic makes physical visits to check for seaworthiness tougher and a slump in fuel demand increases the need for ships as storage

Energy and strategy

Trump to lease oil storage to nine companies

Washington - The U.S. Energy Department is negotiating with nine companies to rent about 23 million barrels of oil storage capacity in its Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a Trump administration bid to help drain the country’s growing glut of crude

Energy

Russia hails oil deal it says will save millions of U.S. jobs

Having been in a stand-off with western nations from 2014 on everything from Crimea's annexation from Ukraine to allegations of election meddling, Moscow has sought to rebuild ties since the coronavirus outbreak. It sent medical support to Italy and the United States to fight the pandemic and has supported the historic oil supply pact

Purchases have more than doubled

South Korea's thirst for U.S. crude to keep growing in 2020

South Korea is on track to overtake Canada as the top buyer of U.S. crude oil in 2020 as a mix of steep price discounts to alternative supplies, attractive refining economics and rebates on shipping charges prove too good to resist for big refiners

IMO 2020

"US-China deal brings limited cheer to LNG shipping"

With 25% tariff on LNG still in play, the Phase-1 deal between the US and China is not expected to bring any significant change in the LNG trade between the two countries, writes research firm Drewry

Middle East

Oman's Sultan Qaboos dies, successor vows to pursue peace

With his death, the region loses a trusted and seasoned leader, seen as the father of modern Oman, who balanced ties between two neighbours locked in a regional struggle, Saudi Arabia to the west and Iran to the north, as well as the United States

Gas and diplomacy

Turkey, Russia launch TurkStream pipeline carrying gas to Europe

The presidents of Turkey and Russia on Wednesday formally launched the TurkStream pipeline which will carry Russian natural gas to southern Europe through Turkey, part of Moscow’s efforts to reduce shipments via Ukraine

oil and energy

Saudi Arabia approves listing of Aramco

Riyadh - Saudi regulators on Sunday approved state energy giant Aramco’s request to make its stock market debut, firing the starting gun on the highly anticipated offering which could be the world’s largest. The announcement paves the way for a domestic stock listing of Aramco

oil and energy

Saras starts bunkering in two Italian ports

Cagliari - Italian refiner Saras is introducing bunkering services at the Italian ports of Sarroch and Cagliari. Starting from September 1, bunkering operations would take place at specific dedicated areas of the ports with the refiner offering a complete range of marine fuels

oil and energy

Germany and Poland halt Russian oil imports

Moscow - Poland and Germany have suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality and triggering a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest crude exporter. Halting imports from the Druzhba pipeline could trigger legal claims by Western buyers

oil and energy

BP signs $6 billion development offshore

Baku - BP and partners have signed the Azeri Central East project, the next stage of development of the giant Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) oilfield complex in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The $6 billion development includes a new offshore platform and facilities

oil and energy

Five Algerian billionaires arrested

Algiers - Five Algerian billionaires,some of them close to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who quit over mass protests, have been arrested as part of an anti-graft investigation, Algerian state TV said on Monday. The five are Issad Rebrab, considered the richest businessman in the energy-rich north African nation

oil and energy

Stalled Aramco IPO sets back deal-making at Motiva

Houston - Saudi Aramco’s delayed initial public offering is sidelining grand North American expansion plans at its U.S. refining subsidiary Motiva Enterprises LLC, people familiar with the matter said, at a time when its rivals grew their market share

oil and energy

Venezuela shifts oil ventures’ accounts to Russia

Caracas - Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document

oil and energy

Iran discovers oil in Abadan region

Geneva - Iran has discovered oil in the southwestern Abadan region for the first time, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency on Wednesday.

oil and energy

Eni enters in the UAE Sharjah Emirate

Sharjah - His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, and Eni’s Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, attended today the 2018 Exploration Bid Round ceremony that saw Eni being awarded Areas A, B C onshore Exploration Concession Agreements