Daily Archives: February 22, 2010

Ed Crooks

Schlumberger’s $12bn deal to buy fellow oil services company Smith International, announced on Sunday night and discussed by Andrew Gould, Schlumberger’s CEO, on Monday, looks like a turning point.

From now on, the cost of oil services seems more likely to rise than fall.

Here’s a story that’s currently topping the minds of most energy traders in Europe, via Bloomberg:

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) — Total SA unions called for a refinery strike to spread to all French plants and said fuel shortages could be imminent. “The strike will be intensified and extended to all refineries,” Charles Foulard, a representative of the Confederation Generale du Travail union, said late yesterday after talks with Total management on ending the six-day walkout broke down without an agreement. He warned the labor disruption will create fuel shortages in France this week.

He advised motorists to fill up their cars now. Workers at Total’s six French oil-processing plants and six of its 31 storage depots have been on strike since Feb. 16 to protest against the permanent shutdown of refining at its Flanders plant in northern France. The walkout by workers last week brought the company’s refineries to minimum output, and they said they were moving toward shutting down all crude- processing operations at the plants. Total confirmed this process has started.

It’s a serious matter because something like 1.1m barrels of refinery throughput could end being affected, which means French motorists might not be the only ones to feel the impact.

James Fontanella-Khan

China taps more Saudi crude than US (FT)

Saudi oil flows east as Asian demand rises (FT)

Schlumberger to buy rival Smith for $12bn (FT)

Reliance said to raise Lyondell bid to $14.5bn (Bloomberg)

Video: Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, ceo of Norsk Hydro (FT)

Indian steel producer looks overseas (FT)

India Renuka Sugars buys 51 pct stake in Brazil’s Equipav (Reuters)

Brazilian producers of ethanol agree to merge (FT)

World’s firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage (Guardian)

Lex: Russian IPOs (FT)

RenCap to focus on Africa (FT)

France appears to backtrack on Total (FT)

Nikko AM launches new green bond fund (FT)

Hydrogen taxi cabs to serve London by 2012 Olympics (Guardian)

The long road to an alternative-energy future (WSJ)

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