Showing posts with label Crocus Expo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crocus Expo. Show all posts

Friday, June 20, 2014

Final ‘crude’ thoughts from 21 WPC Moscow

The 21st World Petroleum Congress came to a close last evening at the mammoth Crocus Expo Center in Moscow, and its almost sundown here at the Red Square. A hectic five days gave plenty of food for thought and 'crude' tangents for discussion.

As noted on Tuesday, the Ukraine standoff failed to overshadow the event, as a veritable who's who of the oil & gas industry turned up regardless. Most movers and shakers, whether correctly, conveniently or cleverly, cited the premise that the Congress was a global event being hosted by Russia, and not a Russian event. So, in the eyes of most, there was no place for international politics. But it was certainly the place for industry intelligence gathering on an international scale.

If anything, it was the events in Iraq that cast a shadow over discussions rather than Ukraine. And with a rather eerie coincidence, just as the Congress came to a close on Thursday, the Brent front month futures price spiked to an intraday high of US$115.71 per barrel. That's the highest on record since September last year.

Most analysts here for the Congress noted that the speed with which the events are unfolding is most troubling and has serious implications for the oil price. For the present moment, the Oilholic is maintaining his price range prediction for Brent in the range of $90-105 circa. Instead of rushing to judgement, given that the US need for Middle Eastern crude oil is narrowing, this blogger would like to monitor the situation for another few weeks before commenting on his price prediction.

Meanwhile, Iran is out in force in Moscow pitching $100 billion worth of oil & gas projects. Additionally, among the many views on where to turn for new hydrocarbon resources, Arctic oil & gas exploration seems to be all the rage here. Here is the Oilholic's take in a Forbes article.

Elsewhere, executives from Saudi Aramco to Shell stressed the need to reduce output costs. Or to cite one senior executive, "We're seeking to either equal or better costs incurred by US unconventional plays." Drilling for oil has various permutations, but if natural gas is the objective, the target should be around $2 per thousand cubic feet, according to various US commentators here.

The oil & gas industry as whole is likely to need financing of $1 trillion per annum over the next 20 years as unconventional plays become commonplace, at least that's the macro verdict. Speaking in Moscow, Peter Gaw, managing director of oil, gas and chemicals at Standard Chartered, said the banking sector could meet the demands despite a tough recovery run from the global financial crisis.

Anecdotal evidence here and wider empirical evidence from recent deals suggest private equity firms will continue to be players in the services business. But Gaw also saw hybrid finance deals involving hedge funds and pension funds on the cards.

Andy Brogan, global leader of EY's oil & gas transactions, said the diversity of projects both in region and scope is evident. Asia Pacific and Latin America should be the two regions on the radar as some financiers attempt to move beyond North America. Sounding cautiously optimistic, Brogan added that the post-crisis "appetite" is gradually returning.

A senior US industry source also told the Oilholic that Bakken capex could top all industry estimates this year and might well be in the $20-25 billion range. Away from financing, a few other snippets, the Indian delegation left pledging more information on a new rationalised tax regime, licensing policy, and a move on its highly political subsidies regime.The world's fourth largest energy consumer is looking to stimulate foreign investment in its oil & gas sector. However, to facilitate that, India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows he has to shake things up.

Meanwhile, BP, already an investor in India, has inked a $20 billion LNG sale and purchase agreement with CNOOC, China's leading LNG projects developer.

While the rest of us were in Moscow, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and British Prime Minister David Cameron were among onlookers as the deal for up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG starting from 2019 was being inked.

Lastly, it has to be said that over the first two days of the Congress, the Oilholic nipped in and out of 8 forums, talks and presentations and one keynote. Not a single one passed without 'shale' being mentioned for better or for worse!

That brings yours truly to the final thoughts from Moscow and there's more than one. Firstly, the Congress has widely acknowledged the US shale bonanza is now firmly beyond doubt. Secondly, the thought that Arctic oil & gas exploration is the next 'final frontier' is getting firmly entrenched in the thinking of most here in Moscow.

Finally, Istanbul should be congratulated on being named the host city of the 22nd World Petroleum Congress. By the time delegates arrive in town in 2017, the 'Kanal ─░stanbul' project should be well underway and the fate of the world's second-busiest oil & gas shipping artery – the Bosphorus – could make a good starting point.

On that note, its time to say Dos Vedanya to Russia and take the big flying bus home to London Heathrow! Here is a selection the Oilholic's photos from the Congress, which has been a memorable outing. It was an absolute pleasure visiting the Russian capital after a gap of 10 years, but sadly that's all from Moscow folks. Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2014. Photo 1: Red Square, Moscow, Russia. Photo 2: Logo of the 22nd World Petroleum Congress scheduled to be held in Istanbul. © Gaurav Sharma, June 2014.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

21 WPC Moscow: Who is here & said what so far

The Oilholic finds himself in Moscow for the 21st World Petroleum Congress, following on from the last one in Doha three years ago. However, what's different here is that while the Congress is a global event – often dubbed the Olympics of the oil & gas business – the 2014 host government Russia is involved in a face-off with the West over Ukraine.

There were whispers on Sunday that some governments and corporates alike would boycott the Congress. However, based on evidence here on the ground over the first day and half, the gossip seems to be unfounded.

At the mammoth Crocus Expo Centre, mingling with some 5,000 delegates are IOC and NOC bosses of every colour, stripe or nationality. Government representatives from around the world seem to be in solid attendance too. For instance, India's new Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan seems to be a popular man with delegates doubtless wishing to gain insights into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's energy policy.

On the other hand, the US government has sent no high level representative and while the Canadians are here, the all important oil producing province of Alberta has decided, as one source says "not to participate." That aside, doing a like-for-like comparison with Doha, this blogger sees no reduced levels of participation.

Those who are here saw ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson, attending (and addressing) his fourth WPC. Tillerson called for a push on unconventional including Arctic drilling accompanied by "wise environmental stewardship."

"We must recognise the global need for energy is projected to grow, and grow significantly," he added. Close on Tillerson's heels, OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told the Congress: "In a global energy future, and with connected markets, no one party can act alone. We need shared solutions for market stability."

Acknowledging his hosts, El-Badri added that there were healthy partnerships between Russian oil companies and OPEC member NOCs choosing to flag-up the global footprint of Lukoil as an example."Russia a key partner in the global energy supply equation as the world's second-largest oil exporter," El-Badri said further.

This morning, BP's boss Bob Dudley said the US shale bonanza had to be taken into context before jumping to global conclusions.

"Not all shale is good from a commercial standpoint," he said sharing the stage with Daniel Yergin (Pulitzer Prize winning author and IHS Vice chairman) and Jose Alcides Santoro Martins (Director of energy & gas and board member of Petrobras).

Dudley also said oil & gas sector project investment these days was driven by much better capital discipline. The industry had learnt and there was ever greater ROCE (return on capital employed) scrutiny.

Earlier, Dudley's PR boys managed a bit of a coup by timing the release of the company's latest Statistical Review of World Energy, one of the industry's most recognised annual research reports, on the first day of the Congress. BP's 63rd annual statistical trend update since 1952 noted that last year China, USA and Russia were the three largest consumers of oil and gas.

US and China collectively accounted for 70% of global crude oil demand. More generally, non-OECD demand for 2013 came in below average, while OECD demand, propped up by the US was above average, according to BP Chief Economist Christof Ruhl, soon to be Abu Dhabi Investment Authority's inaugural global head of research.

Tight oil plays edged US production up by over 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 10 million bpd; the country's highest production rate since 1996. Ruhl opined that this was largely behind relatively stable global oil prices as North American output matched each supply disruption in the Middle East and North Africa virtually "barrel for barrel."

Finally, general analyst consensus here about Iraq is that the trouble itself is not as worrying as the speed with which it has unfolded, raising serious questions about the territorial integrity of the country. Additionally, there could be some long term implications for the oil price.

Alex Griffiths, head of natural resources and commodities at Fitch Ratings, acknowledges that the seizure of Mosul and attacks on Tikrit by ISIS are not an immediate threat to Iraq's oil production, or the ratings of Western investment-grade oil companies.

The areas under attack are not in Iraq's key oil-producing regions in the south or the additional fields in the northeast as discussed earlier on this blog.

"However, if conflict spreads and the market begins to doubt whether Iraq can increase its output in line with forecasts there could be a sharp rise in world oil prices because Iraqi oil production expansion is a major contributor to the long-term growth in global oil output," Griffiths added. That's all from Moscow for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2014. Photo 1: Logo of the 21st World Petroleum Congress, Moscow, Russia. Photo 2: (Left to Right) Jose Alcides Santoro Martins (Petrobras), Daniel Yergin (IHS) and Bob Dudley (BP) © Gaurav Sharma, June 2014.

Oilholic’s photo clicks @ the 21st WPC host city

The Oilholic is by no means a photojournalist, but akin to the last congress in Doha, there is no harm in pretending to be one armed with a fully automatic Olympus FE-4020 digital camera here in Moscow!

The 21st World Petroleum Congress also marked this blogger's return to Russia and its wonderful capital city after a gap of 10 years.

The massive Crocus Expo International Center (above left) happens to be the Russian venue for the Congress from June 15 to June 19, with events also held at the Kremlin. Hope you enjoy the virtual views of the venue as well as Moscow, as the Oilholic is enjoying them here on the ground. (click on images to enlarge)

Crowds at 21WPC exhibition floor

Oil giants out in force at 21WPC exhibition
Shell's FLNG Model

Luxury cars right at home in Crocus Expo Center

Repsol Honda on display at 21WPC Exhibition floor   

The Virtual Racing Car experience thanks to ExxonMobil
Author Daniel Yergin (left) & BP Boss Bob Dudley
Highlighting Sakhalin region's potential
Gazprom's mammoth stand at 21WPC




Russian Hammer & Sickle at a Moscow Metro Station

Grand interior of a Moscow Metro Station






















Rush hour at motorway off the Red Square
























Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow























© Gaurav Sharma 2014. Photos from the 21st World Petroleum Congress, Moscow, Russia © Gaurav Sharma, June 2014.