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Oil Prices Slip After Surprise Build In Crude Inventories

November 8, 2017 Irina Slav 0

After Brent and WTI both fell yesterday as traders started taking profit on the latest price rally, the EIA reported that U.S. crude oil inventories went up in the week to November 3, by 2.2 million barrels, rejecting API estimates of a 1.562-million-barrel draw. Analysts polled by S&P Platts had forecast a 2.7-million-barrel draw in crude inventories, as well as a 2.25-million-barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles. The EIA said gasoline stockpiles did indeed decline, by 3.3 million barrels, which should provide some support to bulls, especially…

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Bakken Oil Production Rises As Oil Prices Jump

November 8, 2017 Irina Slav 0

Crude oil production in the Bakken shale in North Dakota has been experiencing some major challenges lately, but it is firmly on the growth path, said the state’s Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms in an interview for S&P Global Platts. Helms identified as the biggest challenges growing production in the Permian as well as a hypothetical ending of the OPEC production cut agreement. While the first challenge is very real, with the Permian still being the star of the shale patch, the latter challenge is more likely than…

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Google Gets There First: Autonomous Cars On The Road

November 8, 2017 Irina Slav 0

Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo, has become the first to launch completely autonomous cars, free of humans behind the wheel, on the road. Waymo’s CEO, John Krafcik said yesterday at a conference in Portugal that the company had been testing the driverless vehicles on Arizona roads for the last couple weeks and will soon start offering taxi services using these cars. These cars will drive subscribers to Waymo’s Early Rider program within a 100-square-mile area in Chandler, a Phoenix suburb, and there will be a Waymo employee…

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Aramco Board Targeted In Anti-Corruption Crackdown

November 6, 2017 Irina Slav 0

A string of arrests of senior government officials in Saudi Arabia has also struck Aramco board member Ibrahim al-Assaf, a former Finance Minister in the Kingdom. The situation apparently remains volatile and the arrest could spell further trouble for Aramco’s IPO next year. The arrests came after late on Saturday King Salman surprised the public with the unveiling of a new government agency, an anti-corruption committee. The committee is headed by his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and by the end of the week it had made 11…

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Niger Delta Chief Calls On Avengers To Stop War

November 6, 2017 Irina Slav 0

After on Friday the Niger Delta Avengers threatened oilfield operators in the region with a “brutish, brutal and bloody” end to the ceasefire agreed earlier this year, a local community chief has been quick to approach the militant group with a request to hold off the resumption of violence. Edwin Clark, the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, has asked the NDA to have more patience. The PNDEF has been negotiating with the government about the terms of the peace agreement with NDA and other militant groups. In a statement issued by…

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Big Oil CEO Slams Saudi Energy Reform

November 3, 2017 Irina Slav 0

Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne has warned that Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reforms might be a bit too ambitious, and might not go as smoothly, not to mention as quickly, as their proponents seem to believe. Speaking at an event in London, Pouyanne said “You don’t change into a secular regime just like that,” reminiscing about the situation in Russia after the toppling of its last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbatchev. Chaos, Pouyanne said, was the first stage of the transition. The Saudi Vision 2030 program,…

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BP Boosts The Bullish Case For Oil

November 2, 2017 Irina Slav 0

BP is buying back shares the company issued to cover its dividend payout amid the oil price crash. The news was widely seen as a clear indication that one of the world’s supermajors has successfully adjusted to the new price normal and is now settling in the business-as-usual rut once again. Yet this is a new rut of strict cost controls, continuous efforts to keep lowering production costs, and working to mend the reputation stain left by the 2011 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The combination of these factors, along with higher oil prices,…

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Railway Company Lawsuit Highlights Dangers Of Oil By Rail

October 31, 2017 Irina Slav 0

Norfolk Southern Railway is suing a company that manufactures railroad ties because it didn’t use the right protective coating for the ties, and now Norfolk Southern will need to replace more than 4.7 million of these to avoid accidents, including oil by rail accidents. The Alabama tie manufacturer, Boatright Railroad Products, allegedly used motor oil, anti-freeze, paint and several other substances to coat the ties, instead of creosote, which is normally used for protective coating of railroad ties. The problem is that these compounds do…

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Alaska Watchdog Orders Oil Well Shut-Downs

October 31, 2017 Irina Slav 0

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has ordered oilfield operators in the North Slope to shut down wells with a design similar to one operated by BP that spilled oil and gas in April this year as a result of permafrost thawing. The watchdog also asked the companies to provide it with lists of these wells by the end of the year. BP’s well in the Prudhoe Bay field spilled about 63 gallons of crude oil and 100,000 pounds of natural gas when the thawing of permafrost caused the ground to sink and increased the pressure on the well.…

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