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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Saudi Pumps Extra Oil To Meet Demand

29.05.2008 - [Neftegaz.RU] - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has boosted supply to help meet the world's need for fuel and may further increase output later if needed, a senior Gulf OPEC source said yesterday. OPEC's 13 members, especially core Gulf producers, are taking their output cues from global oil demand rather than sticking to production targets, said the source familiar with Saudi thinking. Whenever there is demand it will be met by OPEC," he said. "The majority of OPEC producers definitely don't like this high oil price because it is neither in their interest nor in the interest of the global economy, and it's especially painful for the developing world." US crude hit a record above $135 a barrel last week, prompting consumer countries such as the United States to renew their plea for more oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC's leading producer Saudi Arabia has been adjusting supply to match demand since August last year when prices were around $60 and it was pumping around half a million barrels per day (bpd) less than now. Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said earlier this month output would rise by 300,000 bpd and hit 9.45 million bpd in June. Riyadh is pumping about 9.1 million bpd this month, the source said. Global demand is likely to increase this year by about one million bpd, with demand picking up in the third quarter, the senior Gulf OPEC source said, which explains the current Saudi production increase. Last September OPEC agreed a 500,000 bpd increase in its formal output targets, with Saudi Arabia providing the greatest share. The group holds its next official conference on Sept. 9 in Vienna. Most OPEC members would like to see lower prices, but there was little they could do as the market was responding to factors beyond supply and demand, the source said. If those fundamentals dictated the price, oil would cost around $60 to $70 a barrel, the source said. The world oil market balance is similar to that in 1999, when the price was less than $20, he added. The oil market has risen in large part because of increasing doubt over production capacity and global oil reserves, the OPEC source said. That concern was unwarranted, he said, but helped to explain a roughly $5 premium for crude prices for delivery in 2016 compared with the prompt contract now trading at about $126 a barrel.

Indonesia Quits OPEC

indonesia29.05.2008 - [Neftegaz.RU] - Indonesia will quit the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) due to years of declining production and investment in the field, a senior official has said. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said at a press conference Wednesday that Indonesia, the only Southeast Asian member of the oil cartel will not renew its membership at the end of this year, which means that Indonesia will lose its vote at OPEC to influence global oil prices. But he emphasized that Indonesia could rejoin OPEC if its production increased in line with an ongoing effort to boost capacity. The government of Indonesia raised oil prices by 28.7 percent on May 24 under the pressure of soaring international oil price, and triggered some small-scaled demonstration. Aging wells and lack of investment in the energy sector have pushed Indonesia to become a net crude oil importer, although it is still a net energy exporter, thanks to a large amount of supply of natural gas and coal. Indonesia has been making efforts to boost crude oil output by finding more new oilfields as quickly as possible. The national Antara News Agency reported on Wednesday that a survey co-conducted by Inpex Masela Ltd and Indonesia's state-run oil and gas firm Pertamina has discovered a major gas deposit in Indonesia's West Timor Sea off East Nusa Tenggara province with an estimated reserve of 10 trillion cubic feet.

EU seals Turkmen pact

Man with a mission: Andris Piebalgsturkmenistan26 May 2008 - Upstream OnLine - The European Union and Turkmenistan signed a deal today to encourage increased EU investment in Turkmen oil, gas and renewable energy. "Turkmenistan can be an attractive destination for EU investments for the development of new gas and oilfields, and at the same time the EU offers an attractive consumer market for Turkmen energy products," Reuters quoted EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs as saying. The memorandum of understanding follows similar agreements with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as the EU seeks to reduce its heavy energy dependence on Russia, which provides a quarter of its gas needs. The EU has been particularly keen to convince Turkmenistan to join the long-stalled Nabucco gas pipeline project designed to link Caspian gas with European markets. The European Commission said last month it had secured a guarantee of 10 billion cubic metres per year of natural gas from Turkmenistan from 2009 as part of the drive to ensure sufficient supplies to make Nabucco commercially viable. The pipeline is seen as a rival to the Kremlin-backed South Stream project due eventually to take 30 Bcm of Russian gas per annum to southern Europe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Russia, Iran Failed to Reach Cartel Agreement

iranrussiaMay 22, 2008 - Kommersant - Russia and Iran failed to agree on the charter for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which shelved the creation of that organization for half a year. Contrary to Iran that advocates setting up a cartel similar to OPEC, Russia suggests containing to discussion of prices and routes for the gas supplies. Most potential members are for the soft variant, the analysts say. The forum of gas exporting nations will be held in October instead of July, State Duma Vice Speaker and Russia’s Gas Association President Valery Yazev announced in Berlin when addressing the 3rd International Conference dedicated to the gas aspect of energy dialogue of Russia and the EU. “The problems of system exist that led to shifting the dates – different approaches to the charter,” the official specified. Another reason is the replacement of energy minister in Russia. “Time is needed to get on the inside,” Yazev said. Asked about the provisions in the charter that would near the organization to OPEK, Yazev pointed out that “integration is very interesting,” but on the other hand, “Russia is very scrupulous about its sovereignty and creating an integrated group implies the need to sacrifice a portion of it.” Two variants of the charter are considered today – the tougher charter and the softer one advocated by Russia. “In Iranian variant, the principles of functioning and existence of this organization are spelled out similar to OPEK, while Russia’s [variant] provides for agreeing on the prices and routes of the gas supplies in view of the current reality,” Yazev said.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Western majors dodge Kazakh tax

kazakhstan16 May 2008 - Upstream OnLine - The government of Kazakhstan unveiled a preliminary list of companies subject to a new oil export duty today which, as expected, does not include any Western majors. Kazakhstan will introduce the duty, set at $109.91 per tonne at the current global price level, from May 18, wrote Reuters. The government has said Western oil companies operating under production sharing agreements would be exempt from the new levy. London-listed KazMunaiGas Exploration & Production tops the list of 38 companies published on the Finance Ministry website. The list also includes Kazakhturkmunai and Kazakhoil Aktobe, two companies in which KazMunaiGas was seeking to buy stakes, and London-listed Zhaikmunai. PetroKazakhstan, controlled by China's China National Petroleum Corporation, is on the list as well, but with exemptions for two contracts.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Opec stands firm against calls for more oil

08 May 2008 - Upstream OnLine - Opec is refusing to pump more oil into world markets despite member nations’ calls to increase supply to curb skyrocketing prices. The organization did say it is willing to supply more oil if demand calls for it. The 13-member organization holds more than 3 million barrels per day of spare production capacity for use if needed, but Saudi Arabia is the only member able to raise production significantly at short notice. After Opec’s statement, oil dropped to $122 after hitting a record of about almost $124 today. The United States, the world’s top oil consumer, has repeatedly called for more oil from OPEC, and US President George W. Bush is expected to do so again during a visit to Saudi Arabia next week. Opec defended its position by claiming that oil prices are affected by other factors besides just supply and demand. “The turmoil in some global equity markets and the considerable depreciation in the US dollar have encouraged investors to seek better returns in commodities, particularly in the crude oil futures market,” Adbullah Badri, the group’s secretary general, told Reuters. “This has driven prices higher.”

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