For a long time, Total, the French oil company, has been one of the boldest of its peers when it comes to venturing to politically troublesome countries. Burma, Sudan and Nigeria are all on the list of countries in which it has investments. The stock line has been that unless United Nations sanctions prohibit investment, Total will consider the country fair game. Read more
Three themes have emerged from the gas exporters meeting in Algeria.
- The developing courtship of Qatar and Russia
- Disquiet about Algeria’s idea of forming a gas cartel and gas exporters reaffirming their love of the oil/gas price link
- New countries seeking membership
It is still early days, but here is a collection of interesting quotes – arranged along theme lines – from news wires covering the meeting. Read more
Venezuela under president Hugo Chavez has become the poster child of how to maim a burgeoning oil sector. But Caracas’s latest deal — the Juno 6 field, to be developed by Pdvsa and several Russian partners — has some heavy political firepower behind it and may yet lead to new oil production from Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt. However, there are some rumblings of discontent. Read more
At the International Energy Forum in Cancun, Mexico, addressing oil price volatility is the key issue occupying delegates of the world’s biggest energy consuming and producing nations. The Opec oil cartel already has a very clear view on this issue. But the idea of interfering with the market is one the US can not abide by, at least not when it comes to oil. Read more
PetroChina, the Chinese state-owned energy group, is building new liquefied natural gas import terminals even though it has yet to secure the long-term supply for them, writes World Gas Intelligence today . This relatively new development illustrates the company’s confidence that supplies will be there when it needs them and its unwillingness to pay today’s high prices for long-term contracts when spot prices are at $4.30 per million British thermal units (mbtu) in the US, the most liquid spot gas market. Read more
As widely expected, Opec oil ministers arriving for the cartel’s meeting in Vienna this morning reiterated that they would maintain the status quo and keep the group’s production quota unchanged. So unless ministers have been telling bald-faced lies, this meeting is over even before it has officially begun. Read more
Every time the topic of a gas cartel comes up, so does the question: Could they really do it? With more and more gas traded on the spot market, rather than tied up in long-term supply contracts, the answer is increasingly yes. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, or likely to be a quick success.
Nevertheless, three big things have changed in the past year to make it worth a closer look. Read more
It’s not easy to hide a French man in the (formerly Belgian) Democratic Republic of Congo. At least that has been the recent experience of Total, the French oil company, whose executive Phillippe Hergaux was tracked down there by local television crews and then by Reuters. Hergaux was scouting out new oil fields on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s side of Lake Alberta, where Total has just formed a partnership with UK-lised Tullow Oil and Cnooc, the Chinese state oil company. Read more
Opec oil ministers appear pretty much in agreement not to rock the boat by changing their production quotas at tomorrow’s meeting. Opec oil ministers appear pretty much in agreement not to rock the boat by changing their production quotas at tomorrow’s meeting. Read more
Iran’s energy minister on Monday advocated the Opec oil cartel keep its production targets unchanged at Wednesday’s meeting here in Vienna. Though many fellow oil ministers agree, coming from Iran, the statement is rather ironic. Read more