Oil prices slip under shadow of U.S. drilling

Oil markets edged lower on Monday as ongoing output cuts led by OPEC were countered by rising U.S. drilling activity that points to a further increase in American production.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were 15 cents lower at $63.25 a barrel at 0950 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.03 a barrel, down 33 cents from their last settlement…


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More oil expected from Kurdish territory in Iraq

The completion of testing at a third production well in the Kurdish north of Iraq means oil production is expected to triple, Norwegian oil company DNO said.

“DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced a tripling of production from the Peshkabir field in the Tawke license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to 15,000 barrels of oil per day following completion of the Peshkabir-3 well testing, stimulation and cleanup program,” the company said in a statement.

DNO is the operator at the Tawke and Peshkabir oil fields in the Kurdish north, which combine for production of around 110,000 bpd to date. The company said Monday preparations are under way to drill a fourth well in Peshkabir and its partners are on a fast-track plan to install pipeline infrastructure, which would facilitate even more output next year…


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Crude Oil Prices Lower as Oversupply Concerns Weigh

Crude oil prices fell on Monday amid concerns that rising U.S. output could undermine efforts by OPEC to support the market by reducing excess supplies.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude January contract was down 24 cents or about 0.23% at $57.23 a barrel by 05:00 AM ET (10:00 GMT).

Elsewhere, Brent oil for February delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was trading at $63.44 a barrel, off an earlier low of $62.99…

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Chinese thirst, U.S. labor sends oil prices higher early Friday

An oil-thirsty China and short-term improvements in U.S. labor figures helped put crude oil prices in solid rally territory early Friday.

Crude oil prices have moved between gains and losses for much of the week, but are generally lower for December. Traders have shifted focus away from the OPEC rumor mill to fundamentals following a late November decision on the production cut agreement, which has been credited with setting a $50 per barrel floor under crude oil prices.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with support from countries like Russia, are cutting output through 2018 in order to drain the surplus on the five-year average for global crude oil inventories. A market survey from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts said OPEC production in November was 32.3 million barrels per day, its lowest level in six months…


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Japan Nov spot LNG contract price hits near 3-year high

Prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot cargoes for Japan, the world’s top buyer, rose to their highest in nearly three years in November, official data showed on Monday.

The average contract price for spot LNG cargoes for shipment to Japan last month was $9.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up 80 cents from the previous month, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

That marked the highest since $10.20 in January 2015…


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U.K. Gas Surges to Highest Since ’14 as Snow Blankets London

A weekend of snowfall has brought an early Christmas for U.K. natural gas bulls.

Same-day prices surged to their highest level in almost four years as demand jumped with a plunge in temperatures after snow covered much of the country over the weekend. The contract soared as much as 13 percent, the most since June, as forecasters predict more snow and colder-than-usual weather while outages curbed supplies to some terminals.

The average temperature in the U.K. for the rest of Monday will be 1 degree Celsius (34 Fahrenheit), compared with a 10-year average of 5.2 Celsius, according to Bloomberg’s weather model. Supplies in the system could plunge 11 percent by the end of the day, according to network manager National Grid Plc…


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The Super Basin Behind U.S. NatGas Dominance

Natural gas production in the United States has skyrocketed over the past five years, making the carbon-light fossil fuel cheaper to access and plentiful for export, according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration.

Production in the Appalachia region alone has seen a jump of 14 billion cubic feet per day since 2012, driving the bulk of output growth in recent years and giving the region a 2016 output of 22.1 billion cubic feet per day.

National output soared to 72.3 billion cubic feet per day last year– that’s more than Russia, Africa, Iran and Qatar – the latter being the world’s most prolific liquefied natural gas exporter. The Appalachian basin alone produced more natural gas than any nation except for Russia…

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BP says 2017 a success as it shifts focus to natural gas

The massive Zohr gas field off Egypt will come online by the end of December, marking the completion of what British energy giant BP says is one of its biggest years ever as it increasingly focuses on international natural gas projects.

BP is shifting from crude oil toward cleaner-burning gas projects in developing parts of the world as it seeks to transform itself as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy, the subsequent oil price bust and the world’s increasing focus on climate change. BP historically held a portfolio that was 60 percent oil, but that is expected to shift to 60 percent natural gas by 2020, company officials said.

BP completed seven major projects this year, in Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago, Oman, Australia and in the North Sea near its home base in the United Kingdom. Out of those seven, only the North Sea expansion is focused on crude oil. The rest primarily aim to deliver natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel that is expected to fit better into a lower-carbon environment…


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Total U.S. Rig Count Rose in November to 1,053

S&P Global Platts Analytics, today announced the U.S. rig count for November 2017 was 1,053, up 20 (+2%) from October 2017, and up 373 (+55%) from November 2016. This rig count includes U.S. onshore, U.S. inland waters, and U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico drilling rigs.

November U.S. land rig count: 1,016, up 22 (+2%) from the previous month and up 374 (+58%) from November 2016 November U.S. inland waters and Gulf of Mexico rig count: 37, down 2 (-5%) from the previous month and down 1 (-3%) from November 2016

“November’s rig count, up 2% versus October’s level, is unseasonably strong, given that the holidays typically create some slack in the rig count,” said S&P Global Platts Senior Industry Analyst Trey Cowan. “The fact that it was better than the prior month is a nod to the stronger oil and natural gas prices of late”…


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Oil edges up on Chinese demand, but weekly losses loom

Oil prices edged up on Friday, helped by rising Chinese crude demand and threats of a strike in Africa’s largest oil exporter.

But prices were still on track for their largest weekly loss since early October amid concerns that rising U.S. production would undermine OPEC-led supply cuts aimed at curbing a glut.

By 1039 GMT, Brent crude was up 39 cents at $62.59 a barrel, but still heading for a weekly slide of 1.8 percent…


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