Saudis, Russia favor extension of oil production cuts

Saudi Arabia and Russia favor prolonging oil production cuts through the first quarter of 2018, Bloomberg reports.  According to the news service, energy ministers from both countries said longer production cuts at already agreed-upon volumes are needed to reduce global oil inventories. Russia and Saudi Arabia, the largest of the 24 producers that agreed to cut output for six months starting in January 2017, are reaffirming their commitment to the deal amid growing doubts about its effectiveness, Bloomberg says. For more, read the full story.


Big production gains by independent drillers hamper efforts to reduce oil glut

The biggest oil exploration companies in the world “are being left in the dust” by production gains registered by “nimbler shale oil specialists that are confounding OPEC’s glut-killing efforts,” Bloomberg reports. None of the "super-major" oil companies increased output by more than 3.6% in the first quarter of 2017, according to the news service, while smaller companies such as Diamondback Energy, Concho and RSP Permian reported increases of 30% or more. Bloomberg says the rising output of such independent, shale-focused drillers are hampering efforts to reduce an oil glut that has kept prices at $50 a barrel or less. For more, read the full story.

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New deal with China expected to boost U.S. LNG exports

A new agreement between China and the United States links the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) growth market to the fastest-growing LNG exporter and may encourage a new round of expansion along the Gulf Coast, reports The news site says the U.S. Commerce Department recently announced a 100-day action plan that allows Chinese companies to negotiate long-term contracts to source LNG from U.S. suppliers. Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie said the deal has the potential to alter global LNG trade. For more, read the full story.

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BP, Kosmos discover giant natural gas field off West Africa coast

BP and Kosmos Energy have discovered another giant pocket of natural gas located off the coast of Senegal in West Africa that could “underpin a future liquefied natural gas hub in the region,” reports The news site says the companies drilled a nearly three-mile-long well about 59 miles west of Dakar and found approximately 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The discovery comes a year after another major natural gas find near the maritime border of Senegal and Mauritania. For more, read the full story.


Saudi oil official says OPEC production cuts may continue

Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih recently suggested that production cuts agreed to in November 2016 by OPEC members and countries outside of the cartel may need to continue to help shore up crude oil prices, according to the Associated Press. The news service says his comments “carry significant weight” and come as the price per barrel of oil stands at around $50 and increases in U.S. shale oil production threaten to keep prices low. For more, read the full story.


Total extends option to develop shale gas in England

French energy company Total has extended an option with British shale gas developer Egdon Resources to buy a stake in one of Egdon's natural gas licenses in Lincolnshire, England, according to Reuters. The news service says the extension comes as the British government tries to exploit large amounts of shale gas to offset declining North Sea oil and gas production, create jobs and help economic growth. Reuters notes Total has also been building “a sizeable presence” in the U.S. shale oil and gas market, most recently buying assets in Texas from Chesapeake Energy Corp. For more, read the full story.

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Qatar company plans major natural gas development

Qatar Petroleum plans to start a major natural gas development in its offshore North Field, ending a 12-year ban on new projects that “allowed the company to assess how its current rate of extraction affects the giant [gas] reservoir it shares with Iran,” according to Bloomberg. The news service says that boosting natural gas production at home and searching for similar resources abroad “signals Qatar Petroleum’s confidence in the longevity of [natural] gas demand, and its ability to remain a low-cost supplier in a market that has slumped amid a glut driven by output from U.S. shale and Australia.” For more, read the full story.


LNG exports to make U.S. a major player in global markets

The United States is expected to become the world's third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2018, marking the first time since 1957 that the country will be a net exporter of natural gas, Reuters reports. The news service says the LNG export capacity in the lower 48 states will top 6 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2018, or 8 percent of the country's domestic consumption, up from zero at the beginning of 2016. As a result, the United States will become a competitor to global natural gas powers “by offering cheaper and more flexible cargoes and even a more politically palatable supplier to buyers such as the Europeans,” according to Reuters. For more, read the full story.

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Huge natural gas find off Egypt’s coast boosts energy hopes in Mediterranean

The discovery of a huge natural gas deposit in Egyptian waters has “boosted hopes of other such finds in the eastern Mediterranean [Sea] that could help meet Europe’s energy needs,” according to the Associated Press. The news service reports that Eni SpA Chief Exploration Officer, Luca Bertelli, said the Italian company’s discovery of the Zohr deposit, estimated to hold 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, has reinvigorated the interest of other major oil and gas companies in the Mediterranean region. For more, read the full story.


Report: Oil and gas producers to spend $25 billion more on capital projects this year

A new analysis by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie says oil and natural gas producers expect to spend $25 billion more on capital projects this year than they did in 2016, reports The analysis also says companies hope to pump 1 million more barrels of oil and gas per day in 2017 compared to the prior year. Companies focused on the United States will spend about $15 billion more this year, an increase of 60% over 2016. For more, read the full story.

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