Brazil’s oil industry has not been the source of much good news recently but this week might just go down as one of its best yet.
On Monday, the country’s state-run giant Petrobras managed to raise $11bn in the biggest emerging markets bond issue ever. Then on Tuesday the country pulled in a record R$2.8bn ($1.4bn) in its first auction of licences for oil exploration blocks in five years. Continue reading »
By David Gacs and Jude Webber
If rumours are true, it looks like Petrobras is about to get another top-up for its coffers.
Just two days after the Brazilian national oil company raised $11bn in the biggest emerging markets bond offering ever, market chatter is that Petrobras is poised to sell a stake in Petrobras Argentina, its Argentine subsidiary, for a princely sum of $900m. Continue reading »
Poland’s hopes of weaning itself off Russian natural gas suffered another blow on Wednesday when two foreign energy companies – Canada’s Talisman and Marathon of the US – said they were pulling out of the hunt for shale gas in the country. Continue reading »
Azerbaijan is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, transforming itself in a few years from a war-ravaged backwater into an increasingly assertive presence on the regional stage. Its emergence can largely be attributed to its hydrocarbon resources, marshalled by the government-owned State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (Socar).
Now Socar aims to play a central role in the diversification of gas supplies to Europe. Continue reading »
Another strand is playing out in the saga over Kazakh oil and gas: the government in Astana has decided against increasing its stake in the enormous Kashagan oil field as ConocoPhillips exits the project.
None of the other international majors involved appear willing to increase their exposure to what is turning out to be the world’s most expensive oil development, ever. That leaves Kazakhstan to play India and China off against each other for access to Kashagan’s vast oil reserves. Continue reading »
When KazMunaiGas muscled into the Karachaganak oil and gas field in 2011, international oil majors had no choice but to dilute their shares in the hugely profitable project to make way for Kazakhstan’s state oil company. At the time it was understood that KMG’s participation would clear the way for Kazakhstan to sanction the third phase of Karachaganak’s development and allow production to surge at the field. That now appears to be have been optimistic: in a surprise move this week, KMG said the expansion plan had been put on ice. Continue reading »
Ollanta Humala, Peru’s president, likes to keep everyone on their toes when it comes to his ideology.
Having swapped his Hugo Chávez-esque rhetoric for an electorally palatable, Brazilian-inspired centre-left script as easily as if he was changing t-shirts, Humala has once again rattled investors with the suggestion that state-run PetroPeru should get back into oil and gas production by buying Repsol’s assets. Continue reading »
As the guardian of the nation’s oil windfall, Azerbaijan’s state oil fund has traditionally been a highly conservative investor. But as the global economic slowdown takes the shine off fixed income instruments, Sofaz has embarked on a quest for higher yields. After a first foray into gold and European luxury real estate last year, the fund is sizing up the property market in southeast Asia. Continue reading »
When one of the biggest energy companies in the world says it will invest half a billion dollars, that’s nothing to sniff at. British oil giant BP announced on Wednesday it will invest R5bn ($550m) in South Africa.
It might not be the biggest deal, but it’s a thumbs up after the hard time the country has had attracting foreign investment. The funding will be ploughed into its refinery, terminal and retail network assets over five years. Continue reading »
Ecuador is licensing a chunk of the Amazon. After touring Asia, Europe and North America, the Andean country’s government has extended from late May to mid-July a deadline by which bid for oil blocks located in the southeast of the country must be submitted.
The government says this will give companies more time to appraise the region’s geology and fill out the necessary paperwork. To some, it could suggest Ecuador had received less interest than initially hoped for. Continue reading »
Compromise is often seen as a sign of weakness in Russia so it’s encouraging to see one of the country’s most powerful men giving ground in a high profile conflict over corporate governance. Six months after denying that Rosneft had any obligations to minority shareholders in TNK-BP’s listed unit, Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Russia’s state oil company, appears to be backing down. Continue reading »
Poland’s treasury minister got the chop on Friday from a furious premier Donald Tusk, who was enraged that he had not been informed about negotiations with the Russians over a possible expansion of a natural gas pipeline running across Polish territory.
The talks were held between the Russians and Polish state-controlled gas and pipeline operators and, according to Tusk, did not violate Poland’s national security. However, Tusk was wrong-footed earlier this month when word leaked out that a preliminary agreement had been signed with the Russians without his knowledge. Continue reading »
Sinopec has taken advantage of a huge demand for Asian debt by selling the second biggest ever US dollar bond deal in the region – and the biggest ever out of mainland China – at a lower interest rate than the Chinese government itself pays for similar debt. Continue reading »
With oil prices dropping below $100 a barrel this week Russia’s economic growth story is looking dodgy. The economy ministry has already downgraded its forecasts for full year 2013 growth from 3.6 per cent to 2.4 per cent and warned of the risk of recession. First quarter economic results released on Wednesday were mixed but not encouraging. Continue reading »