GENEVA, July 19 (Reuters) – Sierra Leone has provisionally
awarded contracts to 11 companies including U.S. firms Noble
Energy and Chevron Sahara to explore for oil in
eight offshore blocks, a government statement showed.
Oil exploration has been booming in West Africa following
Tullow Oil’s discovery of the Jubilee field in Ghana but it is
still unclear whether nearby Sierra Leone, still recovering from
a war that ended in 2002, has commercial quantities.
ZURICH/GENEVA, July 17 (Reuters) – SGS, the
world’s largest testing and inspection group, said cost cutting
and investment in emerging markets should help it to meet
full-year targets after a one-off restructuring charge led it to
miss first-half profit expectations.
The Swiss group, whose activities include checking toy
safety and testing oil wells, said on Tuesday strength in energy
and mining businesses and an increase in government regulation
was helping to offset slower growth in the euro zone.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Swiss private bank Reyl & Cie is aiming to double its assets under management to over 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.2 billion)within five years, partly by targeting U.S. clients turned away by rivals, its chief executive said.
Many Swiss financial firms have shed U.S. clients after tensions between U.S. and Switzerland rose following an investigation into 11 Swiss banks including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer.
GENEVA, July 5 (Reuters) – The Swiss government will not
match European Union sanctions on Iran, deciding on Thursday
that its own pending set of toughened measures would exclude a
ban on trading Iranian oil and defending its traditional
neutrality in the face of U.S. pressure.
The move offers top Swiss-based oil traders such as Glencore
and Trafigura a legal loophole for dealing in Iranian
crude, although the prospect of falling foul of U.S. and EU
restrictions will almost certainly deter them.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it was reviewing a U.N. agency’s dealings with sanctioned countries such as Iran after documents showed the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had supplied IT equipment to the Islamic Republic.
The Geneva-based WIPO, a 185-member body that includes Iran, sent IT equipment to Iranian authorities, according to correspondence between WIPO and the Iranian agency dealing with intellectual property, dated August 2010 and provided to Reuters by a source close to WIPO.
GENEVA, July 4 (Reuters) – Swiss authorities are
investigating a former employee of Geneva-based oil trader
Gunvor for activities in Congo, the company said without
revealing what issues the investigation related to.
Asked about the case, Switzerland’s Attorney General office
said on Wednesday it had opened criminal proceedings against an
unknown individual suspected of money laundering but declined to
give any further details.
GENEVA/ABUJA (Reuters) – Africa’s top oil producer Nigeria will award nearly half of its $60 billion annual supply contracts to local companies, a document showed, and cut supplies to major commodity traders such as Glencore (GLEN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
The OPEC member has allocated about three-quarters of its daily production or around 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) via term contracts to 50 companies including 21 Nigerian firms, a document sent to winning firms showed.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Russia and Western powers locked horns over a peace plan for Syria on Saturday as U.N. mediator Kofi Annan warned the conflict could spread across the Middle East and beyond.
Foreign ministers and international diplomats were meeting in Geneva with governments still in dispute over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, condemned in the West but still backed by Russia, could have any role in a political transition.
ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) – Swiss-based oil firms are not exploiting the lack of a government decision to follow the European Union and impose a ban on Iranian oil and the authorities will closely monitor the situation, the director of a Swiss federal department said.
The Swiss Economics Ministry (SECO) in April postponed a decision on whether to copy the EU’s ban on the importation, purchase or shipping of Iranian oil and has still not taken a position less than a week before the embargo takes full effect.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Little-known firms claiming to have privileged access to prized sweet crude oil from Nigeria are offering to sell it at such deep discounts that traders say the deals are too good to be genuine.
Documents seen by Reuters show spot cargoes of several hundred thousand barrels of crude can be picked up at discounts of up to $10 million.