LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – French oil major Total
has announced plans to halve capacity at its Lindsey refinery on
Britain’s North Sea coast as part of an overhaul of downstream
activities intended to address overcapacity in the European
Total’s decision comes as no surprise. Of the six refineries
still operating in Britain, Lindsey was most at risk of closure
or capacity reduction, as shown in a report prepared by
consultants Purvin & Gertz for the UK Petroleum Industry
Association in 2013.
LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – “Excessive oil and gas loan
concentrations have been a key factor in the failure of some
banks during periods of steep price declines,” the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) notes with bureaucratic
understatement in its handbook for U.S. bank examiners.
Falling oil and gas prices can have a negative impact on
firms beyond producers themselves, rippling out to hurt oilfield
service companies, drilling contractors, water haulers,
construction companies, local hotels, housing projects,
restaurants and even convenience stores.
LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Oil and gas production is
fundamental to the U.S. economy. The sharp downturn in prices
will have a negative impact on business investment in the short
term before the positive impact on consumer spending takes over
further down the line.
Oil and gas producers accounted for almost $1 in every $8 of
new business investment in the U.S. economy in 2013, according
to new data published by the Census Bureau.
LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Latin America’s oil producers have
become caught in the crossfire between OPEC and the North
American shale drillers.
The number of onshore rigs drilling for oil and gas in the
region fell to just 272 in January, from 339 in July 2014,
according to data published on Friday by oilfield services
company Baker Hughes.
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – In 2013 and early 2014, the
growing imbalance between supply and demand in the oil market
was masked by a string of supply disruptions as a result of war,
unrest and sanctions.
After a decade of high oil prices, supplies from North
American shale plays were growing by more than 1 million barrels
per day annually, while fuel demand in the United States and
other advanced economies was more than 8 million barrels per day
below its pre-2005 trend.
LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Brent crude prices rose almost 18
percent between Friday and Tuesday, despite the absence of real
news, which should convince even the most ardent believers in
market efficiency that oil trading is noisy and inefficient at
processing new information.
The 8 percent surge late on Friday was only the third time
in five years prices have jumped by three standard deviations in
a single day. The March 2015 Brent futures contract
gained substantially more on Monday and Tuesday. (link.reuters.com/wah93w)
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Oil prices surged 8 percent on
Friday as the market digested news another 94 rigs previously
drilling for oil in the United States had been idled over the
It was the largest number of rigs de-activated in a single
week since at least 1987 and triggered the biggest one-day
percentage increase in Brent prices since 2009.
LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – U.S. commercial crude oil stocks
last week hit their highest level since 1931 – when the opening
of giant oil fields in the United States coincided with the
Great Depression to create an enormous glut and sent prices
tumbling to just 13 cents per barrel.
Commercial crude stocks at refineries and tank farms across
the country rose to almost 407 million barrels on Jan 23, up
from 398 million the week before, according to the U.S. Energy
Information Administration (EIA) (link.reuters.com/jax83w).
LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Motorists in California purchased
more gasoline in October 2014 than any corresponding month since
2007, according to state tax records, confirming the renewed
growth in U.S. fuel demand.
State gasoline consumption was 2.3 percent higher than in
the same month in 2013 and 4.1 percent higher than in 2012,
according to the California Board of Equalization, which
collects motor vehicle fuel tax in the state.
LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Rig counts are a highly imperfect
guide to future oil production but they are one of the few
readily available statistics on oilfield activity so it is
unwise to dismiss their importance entirely.
The sharp drop in crude oil prices since June 2014 and
associated fall in rig counts published by state regulators and
service companies such as Baker Hughes has sparked a lively
debate about the short-term outlook for U.S. oil production.