Showing posts with label Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

ADIPEC Day III: Oil demand, AI and robots

Day three of ADIPEC 2019 has just concluded here in Abu Dhabi, UAE and much was said about oil demand concerns. Morning discourse was coloured by the International Energy Agency's take that demand is set to plateau by 2030 due to a pick up in the use of electric vehicles around the world.

In its latest market projections, the IEA said overall demand for energy is set to increase by 1% every year until 2040, however headline demand will plateau ten years earlier than it had previously forecast.

Elsewhere in its World Energy Outlook report, the IEA said US shale output, which has made the country the world's biggest oil producer, is likely to stay higher for longer than previously projected, with the country accounting for 85% of the increase in global oil production by 2030, and for 30% of the increase in natural gas.

Meanwhile, switching tack to the coming 12 months, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said an uptick in demand for 2020 may be on the cards should the US-China trade stand-off end.

"We are confident that there will be a deal and the deal will be positive for the world economy and will remove the dark cloud that has engulfed the global economy because of the size of the countries," Barkindo said on the sidelines of ADIPEC.

Among the VIPs in town today was Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Ruler of neighboring Dubai. Alongside his visit, came that of nearly 900 local school kids to learn more about the industry, its processes, careers and well to marvel – perhaps like the rest of us – at some of the innovative robots and kits on display here.
And then there's the launch of a new branch of local government focused on research and development as well as an artificial intelligence (AI) joint venture inked by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to take in.

The new Abu Dhabi Research and Development Authority will be tasked with inventions that tackle Earth's most pressing challenges. Under auspices of the emirate's Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), five virtual research institutes will focus on biotechnology, food security, sustainability, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing, and advanced materials. The announcement came in step with ADNOC's agreement at ADIPEC with UAE-based AI company, Group 42, on a joint venture to develop AI products for the energy sector.

In sync with this hot topic, the Oilholic also participated in ADIPEC Middle East Petroleum Club's Leadership dialogue on Human and machine collaboration and the impact this has on current business transformation.

IIoT, big data, augmented reality and virtual reality premised solutions, and the changing nature of the workforce were all under a lively 90-minute discussion with Greg Cross, Co-founder of Soul Machines and AI pioneer (third from left) leading the talk. 

Finally, here is one's analysis for Rigzone on why BP and Shell's low carbon overtures and portfolio tweaking hold both oil majors in good stead despite a dire set of numbers. That's all for the moment folks, more from here on the final day at ADIPEC tomorrow. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo I: Day three of exhibition at ADIPEC 2019. Photo II: Industry robot at Total's stand. Photo III: AI pioneer Greg Cross speaks at ADIPEC Middle East Petroleum Club, Abu Dhabi, November 2019 © Gaurav Sharma 2019. 

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'!

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© 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!

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Gulf Intelligence’s EMF 2018 and $80/bbl oil

The Oilholic is back in the UAE for Gulf Intelligence's 2018 Energy Markets Forum with the great and good of the Port of Fujairah and 'crude' shores beyond in attendance. The event, as this blogger has previously noted, continues to grow bigger by the year. 

The latest edition was graced by none other than OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo who, in a nutshell, told gathered delegates the OPEC and non-OPEC association - that has taken 1.8 million barrels per day of oil production out of the market - was "here to stay."

Of course, most most analysts here in Fujairah reckon the upcoming Algiers meeting would be a testy affair to say the least, and well test the relationship. It would be surprising if Iran versus US President Donald Trump doesn't appear on the agenda, along with the whole kit and caboodle of the Iranian delegation in tow. However, for his part Barkindo said Iran remains an "integral" part of OPEC as a founding partner but ventured to say little beyond a show of solidarity.

Right after the Secretary General's quotes came a regular feature of the event – a spot of poll of delegates on a variety of issues dominating the crude market – hosted this year by yours truly. Gulf Intelligence would be publishing the details shortly.

But to give the readers of this blog a snippet - invariably the direction of the oil price came up. While some kindred souls were in agreement with the Oilholic of an average $70-75 per barrel Brent price over the short-term, EMF 2018 attendees, in the main, sounded incredibly bullish predicting $80+ prices for 2019. 

This blogger's issue is that there are just too many variables to be that bullish – Trumpet politics, US-China tussles, plenty of crude in the global pool, geopolitics, you name it. Not all variables are bullish and are tugging each other. Guess time will tell! But that's all from Fujairah folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2018. Photo: OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo talks to John Defterios of CNN at Gulf Intelligence's 2018 Energy Markets Forum in Fujairah, UAE © Gaurav Sharma, September 2018.

Monday, March 05, 2018

The Fatih & Mohammed show enlivens CERA Week 2018

The Oilholic is back in Houston town, for IHS CERA Week, one of the oil and gas industry’s premier event, and so far its all about the tussle between US shale producers and OPEC/non-OPEC ‘supergroup’. 

Before the things gained traction on the first day of the week-long event, the International Energy Agency (IEA) emphatically declared the US would dominate oil production over the next five years, and is well on its way to becoming the world’s number one oil producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia. (Here’s the Oilholic’s Forbes report). 

The IEA’s inimitable Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol also pointed out that describing the think-tank as an ‘oil consumers’ club’ is becoming clich√©d these days as four of its members – the US, Canada, Brazil and Norway, were accounting for much of the world’s oil production growth.

Meanwhile, OPEC Secretary Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, who is also in town, made it known that the OPEC/non-OPEC production cut underpinned by Saudi Arabia and Russia has been a success, and making a tangible impact in rebalancing the market.

So post-luncheon, both men took to the stage with Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit, for  a delightful, somewhat testy but good natured, exchange. 

Barkindo declared the OPEC and non-OPEC production cut has been “efficient”, “surpassed expectations” and “brought optimism to the market.”

Birol said that optimism was most apparent in the US, with shale producers, well...producing at a canter, and positioning themselves to cater to robust oil demand from India and China. Providing an undercurrent to his stance, was the news that India was taking it first US natural gas consignment, a mere nine months after inking an agreement to import American crude. 

Of course, Birol warned that oil and gas investment was lagging, with 2018 investment valuation projected to rise by only 6% on an annualised basis. 

Barkindo declared that was “not in the interest of the global economy.”

Via production cuts, the 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producers were providing “insurance and stability” to the global market; a move that was open to “all producers,” he added. 

Of course, US producers driven by the spirit of private enterprise, are not really queuing up to join anytime soon. So what should they do? “Enjoy”, quipped Birol, to peals of laughter in the room. 

And so it went, but the Oilholic suspects you get the gist. Elsewhere on day one, Total CEO Patrick Pouyann√© said in the crude industry size does matter, and that a lower price environment gives bigger players opportunities to make strategic acquisitions. 

“It’s good to be a large integrated oil and gas company. Key to success is stable investment, regardless of oil price,” he added. 

Plenty more to come from CERA Week, but that’s all from Houston for the moment folk. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2018. Photo: (Left to right) IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo and IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin speak at CERA Week 2018 © Gaurav Sharma 2018. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rig count falls and crude oil bulls rise!

Another Baker Hughes weekly rig count gives the oil bulls crumbs of comfort. Perish the thought, if you are thinking the Oilholic is understating the recent price rises. 

The current climate does offer the bulls a position of relative strength compared to how the quarter before was panning out. 

The latest count shows the biggest one-week rig drop in US Permian Basin in 19 months, with the headline count down by 15 to 913 operational oil and gas rigs stateside. 

Last week, Brent was up 1.22% week-over-week to $57.87 per barrel and nudging up to $60, while the West Texas Intermediate front-month contract was up 1.97% to $52.03. OPEC’s basket of crude oils also appears to have perked up, notching a gain of 1.98% to $55.52. (See chart above, click to enlarge)

More so, because the Russian and Saudi heads of state do seem to be contemplating an extension of the OPEC and non-OPEC production cut agreement ahead of the 30 November meeting of oil ministers in Vienna. Add all of it up and you’ll find the mildly bullish sentiment is not misplaced. 

In fact, the probability of the ‘on-paper’ cut of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), of which OPEC’s share is 1.3 million bpd, being rolled over beyond March is pretty high. The Oilholic would say 80%. Of course, these are bizarre times in the crude market, as the recent appeal by OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo to US shale players to also cut production suggests. 

Right now, signatories to the OPEC / non-OPEC agreement appear to have little choice but to roll over the cuts as there is a clear absence of an exit strategy. However, the cap has to end someday, and that’ll be a field day for the bears (at some point in 2018) with Saudi Arabia, US and Russia all tipped to have production levels above 10 million bpd next year. 

That presents little prospect of the so-called ‘elevated’ oil price to escape its current range, as yours truly noted in a recent Forbes post. Have a read, alternative viewpoints are most welcome – just ping an email across. 

For the moment, it’s about playing the longs week-on-week in the run up to the OPEC meeting based on the newsflow. However, 12 months out, the oil price would struggle to stay above $65 per barrel using the West Texas as a benchmark, as more non-OPEC oil is bound to come on to the market the moment it caps the $60-mark. That's all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Graph: Oil benchmarks closing prices on Friday from January 2017 to date  © Gaurav Sharma 2017.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tillerson kicks things off with a bit of nostalgia

The current US Secretary of State and the former ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson got things off to a nostalgic start by telling the 22nd World Petroleum Congress he misses the industry. 

In town to collect the Dewhurst Award, Tillerson joked he’d be heading to retirement by now, but things just didn’t turn out that way, when President Donald Trump came calling. (Here’s a full IBTimes UK report).

If things didn’t quite turn out the way Tillerson imagined, the WPC – so far – is turning out to be exactly the way half the world’s media thought it would between the Saudis and Qataris who are entrenched in a diplomatic row and keeping their distance from each other.

Qatar’s energy minister Mohammed Saleh Al Sada said his country’s exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to major partners remain unaffected by the boycott of Doha by Saudi Arabia and its allies United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

The Qatari minister told the WPC its LNG exports to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain accounted for less than 8% of its total. The country's exports to Japan, India, South Korea and China – accounting for nearly 75% of the total - have not been affected.

"Qatar remains committed to all its agreements with its partners and is determined to maintain this status despite the illegal and unjust embargo imposed on it," he added. What’s more, the Qataris are taking legal action against the aforementioned blockaders. (More here).

And just before for one takes your leave, it’s also worth mentioning that OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo has said there would be no further discussion on crude production cuts, since it would be “premature” to discuss this. 

Concurrently, Kuwait's Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq has told Bloomberg that Libya and Nigeria – the two OPEC members exempt from production cuts – may be invited to consider capping production pretty soon.That’s all from Istanbul for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Graph: Oil benchmark prices year to date © Gaurav Sharma 2017.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Saudi briefing, Iran's barrels & OPEC’s Sec Gen

Half of the world’s press descended on the OPEC HQ, in Vienna, Austria, half expecting that not much will transpire here. And well, that is exactly what happened when proceedings ended on 2 June – except that there were certain key developments before, after and during the 169th OPEC ministers’ meeting, some subtle and some not so subtle!

Let’s start with the subtle – for the first time in three years, a Saudi prince accompanied his country’s delegation to OPEC flanked by a new oil minister in the shape of Khalid Al-Falih. The Saudi delegation largely kept mum as far as the press goes in the lead up to the conference, but the prince himself took time to hold and address an off-record briefing with oil market analysts away from the prying eyes of the media.

Off-record means what it says on the tin dear readers, as the Saudis wanted the press out of it. So the Oilholic has to respect that; even though one got a 100% lowdown via third parties! Yours truly can however share some nuggets minus specifics.

The Saudi delegation, a veritable who’s who of the country’s energy industry, made the slickest presentation in recent memory and in the Oilholic’s opinion perhaps the most data heavy one too. It sounded like Saudi Arabia was making a concerted effort to tell the wider world it meant business when it comes to the diversification of its economy, but make no mistake - the briefing on the eve of the 169th OPEC conference was about something else entirely.

The proverbial kings – as they are of the oil and gas world – appeared to be preparing for a game of chess. As the Oilholic and selected colleagues yours truly has known for years read it – ‘wethinks’ the Kingdom has thrown the production stakes gauntlet back to Iran, which has been asserting its right to pump as much oil as it likes in a post sanctions-era.

The Islamic Republic has made no secret of its desire to bump up production to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) within a year. Never say ‘never’, but the Oilholic has made no secret of his conjecture either that the chances of that happening given infrastructural impediments, above anything else, are slim to negligible. One suspects experts advising the Saudis know just as much.

So the Saudis reckon they may as well throw the gauntlet back to Iran. “You want to pump 4 million bpd let’s see you do it, and if you do well and good – our ‘crude’ client base is intact we’ll pump what we want to.” Now you might think that suggests OPEC stays where it is, but not quite.

That’s because the Saudis (and by extension other Gulf exporters) would potentially use this as the basis of future OPEC dialogue, whether or not Iran gets to that level. Moving on from the subtle off-record stuff to the not-so-subtle on-record buzz on summit day, an ancillary thought was whether or not OPEC will appoint a new Secretary General to replace the long standing Abdalla Salem El-Badri, who has been officiating in an “acting capacity” since 2013.

Internal discord, and tension between the Iranians and the Saudis meant the oil producers’ collective, while even agreeing to readmit a net importer in the shape of Indonesia, could not get itself to agree on a compromise candidate for the post. And so El-Badri went on and on, and well on and on. 

However, finally Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, from Nigeria, was named as Secretary General with effect from 1st August 2016, for a period of three years, bringing to a close a near decade-long term of his predecessor. Additionally, Gabon was readmitted to OPEC after having left in 2014. 

So all-in-all, it was not a mundane affair at all, with some sense of solidarity within what is soon to become a 14 member oil producing block. Perhaps a little solidarity is all what the market was seeking from OPEC at a time of low expectations. That’s all from the 169th OPEC ministers’ meeting folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2016. Photo: Exterior of OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria © Gaurav Sharma.