Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Another two 'crude' days at CERAWeek '19

Day II or Tuesday (March 12) of CERAWeek zipped by, Wednesday is about to come to a close here in Houston and there have been several discussion points. Where to start when penning thoughts on the last 48 hours - a lot of plaudits were won by BP boss Bob Dudley's dinner speech overnight on the evolving oil landscape. 

"Oil and gas majors need to recognise the world's low carbon future. They need to be progressive for society and pragmatic for investors," he noted to considerable applause.

Earlier on Tuesday, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo took to briefing journalists and analysts. Key points made included being 'apolitical' on the Venezuelan situation and launching a polite but firm attack on efforts by US lawmakers to hit OPEC with antitrust action - dubbed the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act. Here's yours truly's full report for Forbes

The UAE government envoys were also in town promoting their catchy 'Oil and Gas 4.0' drive ranging from investing in digital assets to upskilling and hiring, from AI to robotics. William Clay Ford Jr was around too telling CERAWeek when Ford's F-150 truck's electric version is available it'll be a "completely different animal" and also admitted he had a soft sport for the Mustang. 

On Wednesday (March 13), Centrica Group CEO Iain Conn said societal pressures, e.g. UK government's energy price cap, are eating into utilities sector's operating margins, and that (yes) natural gas will serve as a bridging fuel for decades. 

Away from Brexit chaos back home, he also noted: "While the energy market will not be materially disrupted by Brexit; UK energy consumers would be left worse off if a declining GBP contributes to higher domestic energy bills linked to global markets."

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry also turned up for his second successive CERAWeek making a wide range of points from sanctions on Venezuela to President Donald Trump's opposition to NordStream 2. 

Finally, here is the Oilholic's take on what ExxonMobil's Marine Fuels business makes of the approaching IMO 2020 rule. Well that's all for the moment, more from Houston soon. Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo: BP CEO Bob Dudley addresses CERAWeek 2019 © Gaurav Sharma 2019.

Monday, March 11, 2019

IEA's take sets tone for CERAWeek 2019

The Oilholic is back in Houston Town for CERAWeek 2019 with talk of Saudi Arabia extending its oil export cuts to April, an OPEC summit due on April 17, and of course oil benchmarks still remaining largely range-bound.

The tone of the first day for IHS Markit's industry jamboree was set by the International Energy Agency's annual five-year market assessment. The agency's Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol, said here in Houston that there should be no doubt that a second wave of the US shale revolution was coming, with American production tipped to cap that of the Russians and the Saudis by 2024.

Later, speaking to the Oilholic, Birol said the agency's take does factor in rates of decline. Here's a full report for Forbes. There were loads of other catchy soundbites yours truly tweeted regularly from Day I of CERAWeek (welcome to follow here), but really Birol's words set the tone.

As for oil benchmarks; both Brent and WTI were down last week, and are up this week but haven't spiked in the strictest sense. For the Oilholic, Brent futures sentiment still isn't decisively bullish.

One reckons $64.50 per barrel support level is key over the coming weeks. If breached meaningfully, a drop to $60-62 likely; if held decisively an uptick to $70 might be on the horizon. But for all the kerfuffle oil futures are largely where they were 12 months ago stuck in a range-bound market. Here is one's pre-CERAWeek analysis in an interview with Victoria Scholar of IG Markets TV:



More from Houston soon! Keep reading, keep it crude!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.


© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo: Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of International Energy Agency speaks at IHS Markit's CERAWeek 2019 conference.© Gaurav Sharma 2019. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

On IPWeek 2019 & BP Boss' US shale take

A fascinating few days of debates and deliberations at the Energy Institute's International Petroleum Week 2019 came to a close in London earlier today.

For yet another year, the Oilholic was delighted to have spoken and moderated at the event as part of the Gulf Intelligence Middle East Energy Summit. Industry 4.0, investment climate, US shale and OPEC were all under the radar. Delegates were fairly evenly split on the direction of the oil price; but yours truly maintains that the phase of range-bound crude prices is here to stay. 

From where this blogger sits, it is appearing hard for Brent to escape the $65-75 per barrel range, and for the WTI to escape the $55-65 range this year. 

There were interesting soundbites aplenty, but BP Boss Bob Dudley's quip that US shale is a price responsive "brainless" market stood out among them all. Here's the Oilholic's full report and analysis on it for Forbes. That's all for the moment folks! Next stop - Houston, Texas for IHS CERAWeek 2019. Keep reading, keep it crude!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo: Gaurav Sharma at IPWeek 2019; with Chris Midgley, Global Director of Analytics for S&P Global Platts © Gulf Intelligence. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

New avenues for 'crude' analysis

The Oilholic has had a hectic start to 2019 for sure, even though the crude market has behaved pretty predictably in January, having recovered ground it lost towards the end of 2019.

That's because yours truly has started providing insight on a regular basis to three more avenues alongside Forbes. These include The Energy Post and Energy Post Weekly, industry recruitment and insight portal Rigzone, and London-based financial start-up ReachX.

Here are a few snippets:
  • Energy Post: Commentary on energy sector investment in blockchain - January 23, 2019 (Behind Paywall / Subscribers' login)
  • Rigzone: Commentary on direction of the oil price in 2019 - January 28, 2019
  • ReachX: Podcast with Paul Welch, CEO of North Africa focussed independent upstart SDX Energy - January 22, 2019

Plenty more to follow. But that's all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.


© Gaurav Sharma 2019. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Moroccan perspective on natural gas market

The current situation in the natural gas market has several variables as we enter the first quarter of 2019. But before anything else, what price levels we are at would be a good conversation starter. Using the US Henry Hub as a benchmark, it remains stuck around $3/mmbtu. For Europe, adding an average $2+ mmbtu would be about par.

After a late December collapse, natural gas prices were seemingly being held down by higher than normal winter temperatures, before a big freeze hits several parts of Europe and North America. As for the market itself, most of the chatter these days is about how US LNG - both small and large scale - will add to the global supply pool with the country's capacity tipped to cap 40 million tonnes per annum (tpa) in 2019. 

As the Americans increasingly tussle with other major LNG exporters such as Qatar, Malaysia and Australia for a slice of the global market, Morocco - a net energy importer, albeit with substantial natural gas reserves - is in a reasonably positive position. 

The country has proven reserves of some 1.44 billion cubic meters (bcf) of natural gas, according to the CIA World Factbook, but domestic production is not even a tenth of that volume. Rabat is attempting to alter that dynamic via several independent upstarts led by SDX Energy, and accompanied by the likes of Sound Energy (which recently said it would focus exclusively on Morocco) and Chariot Oil & Gas. 

Seeing potential, the government is offering attractive terms to exploration and production companies (refer to the Oilholic's previous post on the subject). But until Morocco meaningfully discovers its domestic production mojo, the US shale gas bonanza couldn't have come at a more opportune time, as Rabat looks ensure security of supply over the medium-term. In October 2018, Energy Minister Aziz Rabbah confirmed that Morocco is preparing to invite bids for a LNG project in Jorf Lasfar worth $4.5 billion.

It includes construction of a jetty, terminal, pipelines and gas-fired power plants, ultimately leading to the import of up to 7 billion cubic metres of gas by 2025, in a very competitive global gas buyers' market. 

The announcement follows state-owned power utility ONEE announcement in 2017 that it had picked HSBC Middle East as a financial adviser for its plan to boost imports of LNG. The scenario provides plenty of talking points, which is why the Oilholic is heading to Morocco in February to speak and deliberate at the 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit in Marrakesh, February 6-7, 2019, being organised by IN-VR Oil & Gas

It's all set up nicely, and this blogger early awaits the summit. But that’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photos: Cairn Energy / IN-VR Oil & Gas

Contact:

For comments or for professional queries, please email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here