industryterm:oil production

  • #Obama tells #bankers to thank him, boasts of boosting oil production, at elite gala with GOP official - YouTube

    Barack Obama told bankers they should thank him for helping them make so much money, and boasted of making the US the world’s largest oil producer. The former Democratic president was speaking with former top Bush/Reagan official James Baker, at a lavish gala surrounded by rich elites in tuxes eating hors d’oeuvres

  • Venezuela’s Decline From Oil Powerhouse to Poorhouse

    Oil is at the center of the Venezuelan economy. It accounts for 95 percent of the country’s export revenues and bankrolls the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

    Even with global prices rising above $80 a barrel last month, the nation’s output is sliding. The U.S. shale producers boosted supply by 23 percent in the past year, while in Venezuela, owner of the world’s largest oil reserves, civil unrest and an economic collapse caused production to fall by 37 percent.

    As Venezuela’s oil production plunges toward 1 million barrels a day, the lowest level in seven decades, the country is running out of cash to pay for food and medicine. Salaries can’t keep up with hyperinflation, last gauged at an absurd 1.37 million percent. Living in a country where the price of food can change within hours prompted more than 1.5 million Venezuelans to flee the country in the past 4 years.
    The situation got worse in August 2017, when U.S. President Donald Trump imposed financial sanctions against Venezuela and its state oil company PDVSA in a bid to punish Maduro for the economic mismanagement and endemic corruption.

    Venezuela’s dwindling production has reduced the country’s influence across Latin America. Where Venezuela once provided subsidized oil to neighbors, now it needs to hoard all it produces in order to be able to pay bondholders, as well as China and Russia, which have loaned almost $69 billion in the past decade in exchange for oil.

    So far, the government’s solution was a selective default that’s estimated at $6.1 billion of international securities. Loans granted by the Chinese Development Bank and Russian oil company Rosneft Oil Co PJSC have been either renegotiated or paid with delays. A bond that PDVSA continues to pay is one secured by its interest in Citgo, its money-earning U.S. refining arm.

    Short of cash, Venezuela pays its debts to China and India with oil. With output falling, Petroleos de Venezuela SA has starved its own refineries. While U.S. refineries are running close to their maximum, the ones in Venezuela are operating at less than a quarter of capacity. The result is fuel shortages, especially in the countryside, adding to the pain of Venezuelans.

  • Primate woes where the oil palm grows |

    A new article just published in PNAS reveals how future expansion of the palm-oil industry could have terrible consequences for African primates.

    Researchers from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, CIRAD, Liverpool John Moores University, and ETH Zurich searched for “areas of compromise” combining high oil palm suitability with low primate vulnerability, as possible locations where to accommodate new oil-palm plantations while reducing detrimental effects on primate populations.

    Results show that there is small room for compromise. In fact, potential areas of compromise are rare across the whole African continent, covering a total extent of 0.13 Mha of land highly suited to oil palm cultivation where primate vulnerability is low, rising to just 3.3 Mha if all land with at least minimum suitability to grow oil palm is taken into account.

    Palm oil production is steadily rising, and expected to accelerate in response to growing world’s population, with future demand driven not only by the food industry, but also by the biofuel market.

    #Palmier_à_huile #industrie_palmiste #primates

  • The Perils of a Putsch in Venezuela – Foreign Policy

    Encouraging a coup in Caracas will give Russia and China a foothold in the United States’ backyard.

    In recent months, high-ranking U.S. officials have been signaling to Venezuelan military leaders that they have Washington’s blessing to take the reins in Caracas. In a February speech ahead of his trip to Latin America, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad and the leadership can no longer serve the people.

    Others have been blunter. Just a few days after Tillerson’s remarks, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) took to Twitter to say that the world “would support the Armed Forces in #Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator.” And earlier this week, in a speech at Florida International University, Juan Cruz, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special assistant and senior director for western hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, urged “the military to respect the oath they took to perform their functions.
    Giving the green light for a military coup is not only bad for America’s image; it is also a threat to U.S. strategic interests.Giving the green light for a military coup is not only bad for America’s image; it is also a threat to U.S. strategic interests. That’s because encouraging a putsch in Venezuela could backfire and end up increasing Russian and Chinese influence in the Western Hemisphere.
    The U.S. officials praising the prospect of a military takeover seem to disregard the fact that U.S.-Venezuelan military relations are virtually nonexistent today. U.S. defense contacts with Venezuela declined sharply in the years following the rise of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 1999. Meanwhile, the Russians, Chinese, and Cubans have replaced the United States as the primary sources of financial, technical, and material support to the Venezuelan military. The mere threat of a coup in Venezuela could be enough to rally the military around hard-liners and compel U.S. rivals to consider their preferred alternatives to the Maduro regime as collapse becomes imminent. Rivals with economic, political, and geostrategic interests in Venezuela, such as Russia and China, are far better positioned than the United States to influence the Venezuelan military during any transition.

    Moscow and Beijing will be especially interested in cultivating ties with the top brass in Caracas if they sense that offering economic and political support to a new Venezuelan leadership could change the mineral-rich country’s trajectory from an economic basket case to an economically and politically stable authoritarian regime. In such a situation, Russia, China, and Cuba — in some formal or informal configuration — could abandon the flailing and ineffective leadership of President Nicolás Maduro and back a military regime in uncomfortably close geographic proximity to the United States.

    The current situation in Venezuela is untenable. Oil production is declining, public unrest is spreading, inflation is up nearly 13,000 percentage points in the last two months, and military and civilian elites are becoming increasingly dissatisfied. Moreover, other countries in Latin America that stood by Chavez in the past are now denouncing Maduro. Pressure for regime change is growing.

  • Bahrain’s Biggest Oil Find Since 1932 Dwarfs Reserves - Bloomberg

    • Kingdom currently has two fields, one shared with Saudi Arabia
     • New undersea deposit lies off Gulf nation’s western coast

    Bahrain, the smallest energy producer in the Persian Gulf, discovered its biggest oil field since it started producing crude in 1932, according to the country’s official news agency.

    The shale oil and natural gas discovered in a deposit off the island state’s west coast “ is understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves, ”Bahrain News Agency reported, without giving figures. U.S. consultants DeGolyer & MacNaughton Corp. evaluated the field, and Bahrain plans to provide additional details on Wednesday about the reservoir’s “size and extraction viability,” BNA reported.
    Bahrain discovered the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin as it seeks to expand output capacity at its wholly owned Bahrain Field to 100,000 barrels a day by the end of the decade. The country is pumping about 45,000 barrels of oil a day from its Bahrain Field, and it shares income from a deposit with Saudi Arabia that produces about 300,000 barrels a day, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    • Bahrain Seeks Big Oil’s Help to Develop New Shale Discovery - Bloomberg

      The amount of oil and gas that can be recovered from hard-to-reach pockets in shale rocks under the sea is uncertain, and development is potentially an expensive proposition. Halliburton Co. will drill two wells this year in the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin to appraise how much of the oil contained underground is actually recoverable.

      Only a fraction of the 80-plus billion barrels is likely to be recoverable,” Tom Quinn, senior analyst for Middle East upstream at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by email. “The oil will also be technically challenging and potentially high cost to develop,” while Bahrain’s previous oil contracts offered meager returns for international oil companies, he said.

      Elsewhere in the Middle East, differences between estimated shale resources and the amounts that are exploitable can be great. Oman’s Rub Al-Khali Basin area contains an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil, but only 1.2 billion barrels are “technically recoverable,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Jordan’s Wadi Sirhan Basin resource holds about 4 billion barrels, and just 100 million can be extracted, according to the EIA. Both deposits are onshore.

      In addition Bahrain’s sole wholly owned field, the country shares income from a separate deposit with Saudi Arabia that produced 153,500 barrels a day in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency. The government needs oil at $118 a barrel, almost twice the current price, to balance this year’s budget.

      The newly discovered field should provide support for Bahrain’s “very strained fiscal situation,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “It will provide additional cushion, depending on when the stream of oil comes into play and the price of oil at that point.

    • Bahrain Shale Find Puts Oil Market on Notice

      The Global Oil Market Is About to Be Upended - Bloomberg

      Bahrain discovered the first oil on the Arab side of the Gulf in 1932. It took a long time for the small island to find anything of similar significance, but its recent announcement of an enormous shale oil resource under its shallow waters should not be underestimated: Commercial offshore shale oil production would be a first for the worldwide industry.

      Perhaps more significant is that this discovery has the potential to boost Middle East output, while raising the odds that shale oil production outside the U.S. and Canada finally takes off. The Middle East has the advantages of good geology, existing petroleum infrastructure, and a lack of environmental or community opposition.

  • Commentary: A win for Trump’s #gas_diplomacy

    Last week, American liquefied natural gas (LNG) made its way to the somewhat unlikely market of #Lithuania. The former Soviet republic traditionally bought its gas from Russian state company Gazprom; this was its first shipment from the United States. For President Donald Trump, that must have been a gratifying sign of the success of his administration’s nascent energy diplomacy.

    The U.S. became the world’s largest producer of natural gas around 2011, overtaking its long-time competitor Russia and starting to rival Saudi Arabia in oil production. This was made possible by the shale revolution – the breakthrough of hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” that could split rock formations below ground and boost the extraction of oil and gas resources from shale rock formations. Environmentalists oppose LNG exports on the grounds that methane leakage from fracking can make natural gas as harmful to the climate as coal and that the LNG trade involves the energy-intensive measures of freezing gas, shipping it across oceans, and then regassifying – a process that further increases the carbon footprint.
    Nonetheless, Cheniere launched its inaugural delivery of LNG to Poland in June. During his visit to Poland the following month, Trump reiterated the implications of this delivery: “We are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never held hostage to a single supplier of energy,” he said.

    While reducing Gazprom’s dominance is part of Washington’s long-standing agenda, the Trump administration is the first to explicitly link the trinity of diplomacy, LNG trade, and national economic interests in Europe, Asia, and beyond. However, U.S. officials should be wary of implying that Washington’s LNG diplomacy is centered on making America’s friends buy gas to prove their loyalty. It’s already in Washington’s economic interests to support its allies’ energy security. There is no need for the White House to belabor the point.

  • Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Block Drilling in Arctic, Atlantic - Bloomberg

    President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in much of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, a move that could indefinitely restrict oil production there, according to two people familiar with the decision.

    Obama will invoke a provision in a 1953 law that gives him wide latitude to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced. Until now the law has been used sparingly to permanently preserve coral reefs, walrus feeding grounds and marine sanctuaries.

    Coming in the waning days of his administration, Obama’s move — which could come as soon as Tuesday — responds to a clamor from environmental activists who have looked for a way to lock in protections before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Related actions by Canada may be announced at the same time, the people said.

    • C’est fait

      Obama bans new oil, gas drilling off Alaska, part of Atlantic coast | Reuters

      U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in a push to leave his stamp on the environment before Republican Donald Trump takes office next month.

      Obama used a 1950s-era law called the Outer Continental Shelf Act that allows presidents to limit areas from mineral leasing and drilling. Environmental groups said that meant Trump’s incoming administration would have to go court if it sought to reverse the move.

      The ban affects 115 million acres (46.5 million hectares) of federal waters off Alaska in the Chukchi Sea and most of the Beaufort Sea and 3.8 million acres (1.5 million hectares) in the Atlantic from New England to Chesapeake Bay.

  • Suicide Bombings Hit 3 Cities in Saudi Arabia, One Near a Holy Site - The New York Times

    Kuwait also said it had arrested and repatriated a Kuwaiti man who had joined the Islamic State in Syria, as well as his mother and son. The man had studied petroleum engineering in Britain and had moved to Syria to work in oil production for the Islamic State after his older brother was killed while fighting for the group in Iraq, the report said.

  • Fort McMurray fire has economists cutting growth forecasts for Canada - Business - CBC News

    “Most of the impact will be in the medium term, as Fort McMurray will need to be rebuilt, as it is the base for most of the oil sands operations in Alberta,” said St-Arnaud.

    “The reconstruction efforts mean that resources in the construction sector in the region will likely be diverted toward that task rather than towards investment in the oil industry which could delay some projects and slow further the expansion in oil production.”


  • Nouvel e-mail déclassifié, au titre de la FOIA, reçu par Hillary Clinton au State Department, envoyé par son conseiller Sydney Blumenthal, et daté d’avril 2011, un mois après le début des opérations de la « coalition » contre Kadhafi.
    Cet e-mail évoque une série de motifs ayant incité Sarkozy à attaquer le régime libyen dont notamment le fait que Kadhafi projetait d’utiliser ses importantes réserves d’or et d’argent (143 tonnes d’or) pour établir une monnaie panafricaine adossée à un dinar libyen en or qui constituerait une alternative au franc CFA dans les pays de l’Afrique francophone :

    On April 2, 2011 sources with access to advisors to Salt al-Islam Qaddafi stated in strictest confidence that while the
    freezing of Libya’s foreign bank accounts presents Muammar Qaddafi with serious challenges, his ability to equip and
    maintain his armed forces and intelligence services remains intact. According to sensitive information available to this
    these individuals, Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. During late March, 2011
    these stocks were moved to SABHA (south west in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from
    the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli.
    This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency
    based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an
    alternative to the French.franc (CFA).

    (Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7
    billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the
    factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.
    According to these
    individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
    a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
    b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
    c. Improve his intemal political situation in France,
    d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
    e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in
    Francophone Africa)

    RT a brièvement traité l’information :

    • Via site Levant Report :
      L’article analyse cet e-mail et plusieurs autres de la même période (mars-avril 2011), déclassifiés en décembre 2015.
      Ainsi dans un e-mail du 27 mars 2011, Blumenthal évoque des cas d’exécutions sommaires de combattants/mercenaires pro-Kadhafi par les milices de la rébellion.
      Il évoque aussi l’entraînement et l’assistance directe que reçoivent ces milices de la part des Forces spéciales de la France, du Royaume-Uni et de l’Egypte qui surveillent le transfert des armes dont elles bénéficient :

      An extremely sensitive source added that the rebels are receiving direct assistance and training from a small number of Egyptian Special Forces units, while French and British Special Operations troops are working out of bases in Egypt, along the Libyan border. These troops are overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels.

      Rappel : quelques jours auparavant la résolution au CS de l’ONU comportait un embargo sur les armes...

      Par ailleurs dans le même email le conseillerde Clinton prétend que Sarkozy s’inquièterait d’informations faisant état de l’infiltration au sein du Conseil National Libyen d’al-Qaïda au Maghreb Islamique et du GCL (branche libyenne d’al-Qaïda) et qu’il aurait demandé à un sociologue (nom masqué) ayant des contacts en Israël, en Syrie et dans d’autres pays du Moyen-orient d’évaluer ce risque :

      Sarkozy is also concerned about continuing reports that radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command. Accordingly, he asked sociologist
      who has long established ties to Israel, Syria, and other nations in the Middle East, to use his contacts to determine the level of influence AQIM and other.
      terrorist groups have inside of the NLC. Sarkozy also asked for reports setting out a clear picture of the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the rebel leadership.

  • The old problem and the sea - AzerNews

    le vieux serpent de la mer (?) Caspienne

    At the time when the world leaders discuss the climate change issues in Paris, each country around the globe should think about its own contribution to the future of the planet.
    Providing stable ecological situation dos not mean to think about the situation in one country, but the region as a whole. In the Caspian region, this issue remains acute, as five littoral countries could not come to a single position on the Caspian Sea – a one-of-a-kind water basin, surrounded by Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran.
    The unresolved status has caused many problems, the most significant of which is increased pollution. Oil production and refining have adversely affected the environmental condition of the sea. Although oil production does not play an integral source of pollution in the Caspian.
    Recent studies have shown that the main source might be pollutants flowing in from rivers such as the Kura, Terek, and Volga. These major rivers bring about 75,000 tons of waste per year into the Caspian Sea, 90 percent of which flows from the Volga.
    Meanwhile, oil production releases only 111 tons of oil products into the sea.
    A third, but no less important source of the sea pollution, is industrial and household waste, especially in large cities.

  • American and Russian militaries don’t agree about much in Syria - The Washington Post

    During a two-day period early this week, the United States reported that coalition aircraft had conducted 23 strikes in Syria, destroying about three dozen Islamic State vehicles, buildings and tactical units.

    During the same two days, Russia said its aircraft had hit 472 “terrorist objectives” in Syria, including an Islamic State oil depot, an “oil production plant” and 80 tanker trucks.

    #russie #syrie #bombardement

  • Pentagon prepares for century of climate emergencies and oil wars | Middle East Eye

    Parce que « le capitalisme mondial dominé par les #États-Unis doit être protégé », « l’armée américaine se prépare à une nouvelle ère de guerre du #pétrole » selon deux rapports stratégiques parus cette année.

    Eastward military expansion

    In some areas, declining oil production could reduce US regional engagement:

    “Decreasing oil production in Sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with reduced saliency of those same resources in America’s energy import mix, may severely limit US interests in the region while simultaneously increasing the risk of socio-political instability in Africa due to decreasing state revenues.”

    More broadly, though, the continued centrality of oil to the global economy will underpin the need for an active US military.

  • Commitment to end flaring is boost for climate talks - Climate News Network

    By Kieran Cooke

    New initiative to stop gas being flared off from oil production sites could prevent millions of tonnes of emissions being spewed into the atmosphere.

    LONDON, 29 April, 2015 − Companies and governments responsible for 40% of global gas flaring have made a commitment to stop their climate-damaging activities within the next 15 years.

    Announcing the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative at a meeting in Washington DC, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said its supporters are demonstrating real action in the run-up to the all-important UN conference on climate change in Paris later this year.

    #climat #co2 #émissions

  • Climate and health suffer as gas still goes up in smoke - Climate News Network

    By Kieran Cooke

    Vast quantities of gas are wasted each day through flaring at oil production sites – but it will be hard to meet a 2030 target to end the practice.

    LONDON, 16 February, 2015 − It’s like burning banknotes. Latest statistics from the World Bank (WB) indicate that the amount of gas flared each year is enough energy to supply electricity to several small countries or many millions of households.

    The flaring of 140 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year releases large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and that is not only bad news for the climate, but also for human health.

    #climat #pollution #gaz #torchères #santé

  • How Crude Oil’s Global Collapse Unfolded

    Since the 1970s, Nigeria has sent a steady stream of high-quality crude oil to North American refineries. As recently as 2010, tankers delivered a million barrels a day.

    Then came the U.S. energy boom. By July of this year, oil imports from Nigeria had fallen to zero.

    Displaced by surging U.S. oil production, millions of barrels of Nigerian crude now head to India, Indonesia and China. But Middle Eastern nations are trying to entice the same buyers. This has set up a battle for market share that could reshape the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and fundamentally change the global market for oil.

    The sudden plunge in global crude oil prices from over $100 a barrel to under $65 has been portrayed as a showdown between Saudi Arabia and the U.S., two of the world’s biggest oil producers. But the reality is more complex, involving Libyan rebels and Indonesian cabdrivers as well as Texas roughnecks and Middle Eastern oil ministers. It reflects both the surging supply of crude and the crumbling demand for oil.

    And the oil-price free fall may not end soon. Bank of America Merrill Lynch says U.S. oil prices, which closed below $60 a barrel Thursday for the first time in years, could drop to $50 in 2015


    For a long time, it seemed like the world’s growing appetite for oil would soak up all the displaced crude. By 2011 prices began to hover between $90 and $100 a barrel and mostly stayed in that range.

    But earlier this year, another trend began to come into focus, catching Wall Street energy analysts and other market watchers by surprise. In March, many analysts predicted global demand for crude oil would grow by 1.4 million barrels a day in 2014, to 92.7 million barrels a day.

    That prediction proved wildly optimistic.


    Rising supply and falling demand both put downward pressure on prices. Throughout the summer, however, fears of violence in Iraq kept oil prices high. Traders worried Islamic State fighters could cut Iraq’s oil output.

    Then two events tipped the market. In late June, The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. government had given permission for the first exports of U.S. oil in a generation. While the ruling was limited in scope, the market saw it as the first crack in a long-standing ban on crude exports. Not only was the U.S. importing fewer barrels of oil, it could soon begin exporting some also. This news jolted oil markets; prices began to edge down from their summer peaks.

    On July 1, Libyan rebels agreed to open Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, two key oil export terminals that had been closed for a year. Libyan oil cargoes sailed across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. Already displaced from the U.S. Gulf Coast and eastern Canada, Nigerian oil was soon replaced in Europe, too.

    Increasingly, shipments of Nigerian crude headed toward China.


    Saudi Arabia didn’t want Nigeria to develop long-term relationships with refinery buyers in Asia. In late September, the kingdom decided to shore up its hold on them by, effectively, holding a sale. The Saudis cut their official crude price in Asia by $1 a barrel; within a week, Iran and Kuwait did the same.

    Two weeks later, the IEA again lowered its full-year projection of demand growth by 200,000 barrels a day to a meager annual increase of 700,000 barrels, nearly half of what it expected at the beginning of the year. Oil prices fell nearly $4 a barrel on the news.

    At this point, the oil market appeared to be in free fall. Of the 23 trading days in October, the price of crude fell by more than $1 on eight days. It rose by $1 on one day.

    Traders’ attention turned to OPEC, which has traditionally played the role of market stabilizer by cutting production when prices fall and raising production was prices rise. Many OPEC members, reliant on the cash oil brings in to pay for generous social programs, didn’t want to cut.

    Saudi Arabia’s powerful oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, was silent for weeks. The country had been burned in the past when it cut its oil output, only to see other countries continue to pump—and steal its customers.

    And it was already feeling competition, says Abudi Zein, chief operating officer of ClipperData, a New York firm that tracks global crude movement. Colombia, which historically has sent most of its oil to the U.S., is finding its biggest buyer this year is China, a critical market for OPEC, he said.

    “For the Saudis, Asia is their growth market,” Mr. Zein says. “The Nigerians and Colombians are being kicked out of their natural markets in North America. Saudi had to do something.”

    At its regular meeting in Vienna in late November, the cartel kept production unchanged. U.S. and European oil prices fell another $7 per barrel.

    On Wednesday, Mr. al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian oil minister, was asked whether OPEC would soon act to cut exports. “Why should we cut production?” he asked. “Why?”

  • Ankara’s influence over Barzani wanes - Al-Monitor : the Pulse of the Middle East

    The agreement that Iran, the United States and Europe have been pushing for months was finally signed last week when Erbil and Baghdad agreed to regulate their oil production and revenue sharing.

    It wasn’t for nothing that Iran, the United States and Europe worked so hard for this accord that has important ramifications for future of Iraq. The same accord will have important consequences for Turkey.

    A mon avis, de la plus grande importance pour la suite... On notera que l’Iran, les USA (et l’Europe) négocient de concert pour donner un peu d’air au Kurdistan irakien vis-à-vis de son dialogue avec la Turquie, et pour donner un peu de crédibilité à l’Etat irakien.

  • Le chaos n’empêche plus de pomper... et d’exporter le brut libyen

    Libya sees oil production up to 1.5 mn bpd by year-end despite chaos - AFP, | Tripoli Thursday, 11 September 2014

    Libya said Wednesday it expects oil production to reach 1.5 million barrels per day by year-end, with output quadrupled since the beginning of the summer despite ongoing chaos in the country.

    “We will continue advancing,” National Oil Co spokesman Mohamed al-Hrari said.

    He said production had reached 810,000 barrels per day by Wednesday, compared with 550,000 at the end of August and 200,000 at the beginning of the summer.

    The next target is one million barrels per day by the end of September.

    Libya’s economy took a heavy hit after rebels blockaded export terminals in July 2013, forcing a reduction in output and slashing all-important oil revenues.

    The seizure of four terminals in pursuit of a campaign for restored autonomy for the eastern Cyrenaica region slashed output from 1.5 million bpd to just 200,000.

    Under a deal with the government, the rebels returned control of two terminals in April and the remaining two in July.

    Since then, output and exports have soared, despite unrest rocking a country that never regained stability following the 2011 ouster of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi. ❞

  • ISIS in control of 60 percent of Syrian oil: sources « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

    ISIS in control of 60 percent of Syrian oil: sources
    Al-Qaeda-splinter group expanding oil production efforts in Syria

    London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is preparing to seize one of the few remaining major oil production centers in Syria not under its control, according to Syrian opposition officials.

    “ISIS is already in control of more than 60 percent of Syria’s oil, with a total production rate of 180, 0000 barrel per day” and now plans to seize facilities in the northern province of Hassakah, an official from the Ministry of Energy in the interim Syrian opposition government, Yamin Al-Shami, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    Having seized control of the majority of oil fields in Raqqa province, in central Syria, and Deir Ezzor province, along the Iraqi border, ISIS is preparing to mobilize fighters in a new push towards the town of Rmelan, home to the largest oil fields in Hassakah. Rmealn is under the control of Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

    Shami warned that oil production constitutes a significant source of revenue for ISIS, adding that the Islamist militant group is able to sell a barrel of crude oil for around 18 US dollars. Brent crude, a global benchmark, currently sells at around 107 US dollars.

    Oil is transported from ISIS-held areas with the help of local and foreign brokers, Shami said.

    Despite its recent advances in Iraq, ISIS has been unable to take control of oil resources comparable to those it holds in Syria, and its recent attempt to capture the key Baiji refinery was successfully deterred by Iraqi forces. But Iraq’s oil infrastructure is far from secure, and there are frequent reports that huge amounts of crude oil are being smuggled out of the country by militants.

    “Militant groups, along with ISIS, are stealing crude oil from fields near the Hamrin mountains” in northeastern Iraq, a local administrative official, Shallal Abdool, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    “Kurdish Peshmerga forces that control the area have seized more than 50 tankers loaded with stolen crude oil,” he added.

    When asked about the destination to which oil is being taken, Abdool said: “There are many sides inside and outside Iraq that buy crude oil . . . and there are smugglers and brokers in Iraq who buy it for a cheap price in order to sell it abroad.”

    Valerie Marcel, of London-based Chatham House think tank, said: “Fighters from ISIS can sell oil on the black market to buyers from Turkey, the Kurdistan region and Iran.”

    “ISIS’s use of temporary refineries allows them to sell oil more easily.”

    But, pointing to the fact that oil smuggling has been a problem for decades, others played down worries about ISIS’s oil activities.

    “Oil smuggling operations from these sites exist and have been taking place for a long time before ISIS took over Nineveh province,” the governor of Salah Al-Din province, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Jubouri, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

  • Ecuador signs permits for oil drilling in Amazon’s Yasuni national park

    On Thursday, environment minister, Lorena Tapia, said permits for drilling had been signed for the 6,500-square-mile reserve, known as block 43, and oil production might begin as soon as 2016.

    The permits allow Petroamazonas, a subsidary of the state oil company, to begin construction of access roads and camps to prepare for drilling.

    #Equateur #Yasuni #Amazonie #pétrole

  • Crimée : pour l’application des sanctions, ça va pas être simple…

    Ukrainian offshore oil and gas producer is under US sanctions

    The American Government, pursuant to its Executive Order (E.O.) 13660, imposed sanctions against a company, established by the Crimean Parliament for the purpose of seizure of Ukraine’s oil and gas offshore assets, owned by the subsidiary of Ukrainian National Joint-Stock Company “Naftogaz” - “Chornomornaftogaz” (the “Ukrainian company”).

     The Ukrainian company used to hold licences to a number of oil and gas blocks on the Crimea’s coast. In 2013 its production accounted for 7.9% of Ukraine’s gas and 2.4% of its oil production. It also operated drilling rigs, gas transportation networks and Crimean underground storage facilities. However, on 17 March 2014, the Crimean Parliament nationalised assets of the Ukrainian company and transferred them to a newly established company – the Crimean Republican Enterprise “Chernomorneftegaz” (the “Crimean company”), which has a slightly different (Russian) spelling, but the same legal address as the Ukrainian company.

    En résumé, la Société des Pétroles et Gaz de la Mer Noire (Chornomornaftogaz), société ukrainienne, a vu ses avoirs en Crimée nationalisés et confiés à une Société des Pétroles et Gaz de la Mer Noire (Chernomorneftegaz), société russe (criméenne).

    Et donc, la société criméenne a été mise sur la liste des sociétés sanctionnées…

    According to the information published by the American Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers and enforces economic sanctions against countries and groups of individuals, the Crimean company has been added to their list of the “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDNs).

    … et pour faire bonne mesure, on y a ajouté tout ce qui porte le même nom ou approchant…

    The list also contains the Crimean company’s aliases – “Chornomornaftogaz” and “NJSC Chornomornaftogaz” and its legal address (Kirova/per. Sovnarkomovskaya, 52/1, Simferopol, Crimea 95000, Ukraine). These details coincide with the name and address of the Ukrainian company. As a result, it is quite difficult to distinguish between the two companies and to understand if a particular transaction involving one of the companies is prohibited by the OFAC. If there is any doubt, the OFAC recommends: (i) taking the established “due diligence” steps to determine the company’s identity and (ii) contacting the OFAC, via their hotline.

    Faut juste faire attention avec qui on fait des affaires…

  • Improving U.S. oil production reaches milestone in October, agency says

    The United States produced more crude oil in October than it imported for the first time since early 1995, as domestic shale oil output continued to surge and U.S. consumption of petroleum products remained relatively flat, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

    The trend is expected to continue for another decade as U.S. domestic oil supplies grow and reliance on imports shrinks, easing one of the main sources of pressure on global oil markets.

    The turnaround in U.S. oil fortunes has been rapid. Five years ago, U.S. oil production hit a 62-year low. Since then, domestic production has increased by more than 50 percent.

    #énergie #pétrole #pétrole_de_schiste #Etats-Unis

    • 5 Ways the Fracking Boom Changes Politics

      - “People predicting a manufacturing renaissance in the United States usually imagine whirring robots or advanced factories turning out wind turbines and solar panels. The real American edge might be in something entirely more mundane: cheap starting materials for plastic bottles and plastic bags.” These may not be the high-tech, high-value jobs Americans long for, but they are jobs nonetheless.
      – A total of about 40 senators hail from states that now have significant shale oil and gas prospects. Some represent what might fairly be called America’s petrostates [...]. It doesn’t require a political genius to see that these states’ government representatives will increasingly be defined by their support for that oil and gas: The oil and gas industry made some $73 million in total political contributions in the 2012 election cycle, nearly seven times what it spent in 1990. What do these folks want for their money? If the past is any indication, we’ll see attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, hostility to climate science and a tendency to subvert other important issues to defend the industry.


  • L’insécurité perturbe de plus en plus l’industrie pétrolière libyenne. Le point faible semble être les terminaux d’embarquement occupés par des groupes armés désireux de faire aboutir leurs revendications.

    Oil production at “virtual standstill” says Energy Committee | Libya Herald

    Armed strikes at Libya’s oil fields and export terminals have brought crude oil production in the country to a virtual standstill, according to the Energy Committee of the General National Congress (GNC).

    The committee confirmed, in an official statement released after a meeting yesterday, that the decline in production caused by closure of the oil facilities was now hurtling towards zero.

    One employee of a major oil firm, however, told the Libya Herald that production was actually down to 60,000 barrels per day (b/d). He added that this was equivalent of zero, because it was not enough to fulfil even local demand.

    The committee said that, among the political and economic consequences of the closure of the oil facilities, there would be substantial material losses for the Libyan state. The strikes had caused an imbalance in the budget, he said, which was calculated on the basis that oil production is 1.5 million with the market value of at least $90 per barrel. This has caused disruption across ministries, the committee said.

    Losses have been estimated at $3 billion so far.

  • Energy policy: Has ‘ #peak_oil ’ gone the way of the Flat Earth Society? — 03/22/2013 —

    The theory was straightforward and seemed to hold with common sense: One day soon, the Earth would hit its halfway point of global oil production — its “peak” — and thereafter, it would see a steady decline. Those behind the concept called it “peak oil.”

    (...) There’s one big problem: Those behind the theory appear to have been dead wrong, at least in terms of when the peak would hit, having not anticipated the rapid shift in technology that led to exploding oil and natural gas production in new plays and areas long since dismissed as dried up.

    #énergie #pétrole

  • Nigeria’s oil: A desperate need for reform | The Economist

    Oct 20th 2012 | LAGOS | from the print edition

    ❝But the wealth still isn’t gurgling down

    IN AUGUST Nigeria announced that oil production had reached a record 2.7m barrels a day but few experts believed it. Oil is also being stolen at a record rate and traders’ figures show output at well below the government’s figures. Information about Africa’s biggest oil industry is an opaque myriad of numbers. No one knows which ones are accurate; no one knows how much oil Nigeria actually produces. If there were an authoritative figure, the truly horrifying scope of corruption would be exposed.

    The finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a genuine reformer, has estimated that 400,000 barrels of oil a day were stolen in April. But different government ministries give conflicting figures on how much oil Nigeria is producing, suggesting that they cannot agree or they just do not know. Nigeria could measure how much it produces, say experts: it has some of the most advanced technology in the world to do so, but chooses not to.
    In this section

    #nigeria #pétrole #énergie #gouvernance #corruption