Showing posts with label The Oilholic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Oilholic. Show all posts

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Getting going in 2024 after a break!

Greetings folks, the Oilholic is getting going meaningfully in 2024 after last year was marked by sporadic commentary and long pauses in blogging. 

Sincere apologies for that as yours truly was busy juggling his departure from a full-time job at a bank and taking time out for a paternity break for much of the last quarter. All went well in the end and bubb is here safe, sound and healthy! 

Call it a reboot, relaunch or a 'crude' restart - this blog is now going to be bigger and better with your support carrying regular market commentary, details of industry engagements, missives and interviews on energy economics, geopolitics, financials and more. So watch this space! 

And of course, the Oilholic will also continue his broadcast media commentary, energy circuit speaking engagements, and writing for Forbes and many other publications and websites as before! So here's to 2024. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Motley Fool click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Rigzone click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo © Pixabay

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Media missives from ADIPEC 2023

With ADIPEC 2023 drawing to a close last week, the Oilholic capped a fascinating and engaging week with a rounding off piece for Forbes on the criticality of scaling up technology - and, of course, backing it up with petrodollars and willpower, if a meaningful energy transition is to be achieved. To this end, this blogger had great conversations with ABB, AiQ, AspenTech, AVEVA and Avaada Group. (More here)

Yours truly also hit the airwaves to discuss the various soundbites coming out of the conference and various developments in Abu Dhabi, all in the midst of a very volatile crude oil market riddled with demand concerns, supply-side tightening and geopolitical complications. The final broadcasting call before departing was with Asharq Bloomberg News, with this blogger's week out in Abu Dhabi peppered with plenty of other missives via the keyboard for Forbes, the Motley Fool, and of course via this blog. 

All blog entries for each ADIPEC day may be found here

Some commentary on Shell's share price direction via the Motley Fool may be found here. And here are selected Forbes copies in chronological order based on soundbites and insight from ADIPEC 2023. 

  • Emirati COP28 President Calls For A "Just, Orderly, Equitable And Responsible" Energy Transition, October 2, 2023.
  • India "Will Manage" And Won't Panic If Oil Rises Above $100, Says Energy Minister, October 3, 2023.
  • Abu Dhabi To Unveil World’s Fourth Largest Solar Farm "Very Soon", October 4, 2023.
  • Oil Futures Slump Further On Uncertain Global Demand Outlook, October 5, 2023.
  • Abu Dhabi In First Wind Farm Launch As 2GW Solar Project Nears Completion, October 8, 2023.
  • 4 Middle East Geopolitical Scenarios That May Hike Oil Market Risk Premiums, October 9, 2023.
  • Scaling Technology And Willpower Critical For 'Fast-Tracking' Global Energy Transition, October 10, 2023.
And that's a wrap. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Rigzone click here.
To email: journalist_gsharma@yahoo.co.uk  

© Gaurav Sharma 2023. Photo: Gaurav Sharma on Asharq Bloomberg TV on October 4, 2023 © Asharq Bloomberg 2023.

Thursday, October 05, 2023

ADIPEC Day IV: Reflections at sunset in Abu Dhabi

The final and fourth day of ADIPEC 2023 has reached its conclusion as the sun sets here in Abu Dhabi with the show on a likely track to beat all its previous records (and quite possibly way more than the figure of 160,000 attendees it marketed). 

And that makes sense, as there is likely to be immense interest and intrigue when you bring together the various energy strands of oil, natural gas and renewables; and discuss everything from power markets to the future of shipping, whilst at the same time deliberate the obvious need to decarbonise. 

We came together on day one with the rallying cry of "Decarbonising. Faster. Together", we conclude proceedings perhaps with a call for evolution, understanding and collaboration. 

Evolution, as we explore new horizons offered by the spirit of human ingenuity in coming up with solutions for a low carbon economy. Understanding, that oil and gas will have to play a role for a good few decades yet, if not more, to ensure that energy poverty doesn't become the by-product of a slapdash rush to decarbonise. As for collaboration, need the Oilholic spell it out? Because if we don't work together, collaborate, partner and prepare for the road ahead, we will fail. 

Away from these pensive thoughts, this blogger also took time out on the final day to visit ADIPEC's wonderful Marine & Logistics Zone. It's here that the crew of ADNOC's support shipping fleet took one around a number of vessels currently being run on biodiesel, made from used and recycled cooking oil collected from restaurants around Abu Dhabi! Thank you to all the crew who spared their valuable time for the trip, and it was an experience the Oilholic will treasure. 

With the time of departure here, this blogger would like to say that it was great to be back at ADIPEC after a three-year hiatus caused by the briefest of forays into the world of banking. It was great seeing old friends and making new ones in the buzz of this amazing event once again, and a privilege to be a part of it. Finally, and most importantly, my sincere thanks to the amazing team at dmg events who made it all happen and for their most wonderful hospitality. 

Well that's a wrap from Abu Dhabi folks. It'll be time for the big flying bus home to London Heathrow. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Rigzone click here.
To email: journalist_gsharma@yahoo.co.uk  

© Gaurav Sharma 2023. Photo: Sunset over Abu Dhabi NEC, the venue of ADIPEC 2023 © Gaurav Sharma 2023.

Monday, October 02, 2023

ADIPEC panel sessions to be hosted by yours truly

The Oilholic will be moderating and speaking on the following panel sessions at ADIPEC 2023. Join if you can for some fantastic industry dialogues with great subject matter experts. 

October 3, 2023: Decarbonisation Strategic Conference 








Tuesday, October 3, 2023 @11:45am UAE

Carbon tax vs. subsidies: What is the best regulatory method to accelerate emissions reduction?









(Click image to enlarge for details)

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October 2-4, 2023: Digitalisation in Energy Innovation Sessions








Monday, October 2, 2023 @13:00pm UAE

The twin transition: policy alignment between the green and digital agendas

Panel:

Andrei Covatariu, Co-Chair, Task Force on “Digitalization in Energy”, Vice-Chair of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Allyson Anderson Book, Chief Sustainability Officer, Baker Hughes 

Leonid Zhukov, VP of Data Science, BCG-X and Director of BCG Global AI Institute, BCG

Gaurav Sharma, Energy Market Analyst & Senior Contributor, Forbes

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023 @14:00pm UAE

EV charging: driving new energy business models powered by data insights













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Wednesday, October 4, 2023 @14:30pm UAE

Future cyber security solutions: towards a ‘zero-trust’ energy system

1-on-1 discussion: 

Saravan Penubarthi, CTO, AIQ

Gaurav Sharma, Energy Market Analyst & Senior Contributor, Forbes

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Rigzone click here.
To email: journalist_gsharma@yahoo.co.uk  

© Gaurav Sharma 2023. Photos: © Adipec, dmg events 2023.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Glimpses of the 23 WPC 2021 in Houston

The 23rd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) – widely regarded as the oil and gas industry's most prestigious and high profile global event – returned to Houston, Texas, US this week. It's taking place from December 5-9, 2021. Often described as the "Olympics" of the energy business, the World Petroleum Congress has been held since 1933 when London hosted its first round. 

From 1991 onward, the event has gone on to be held every three years. After a COVID-19 enforced delay in 2020, which pushed the event forward by a year to December 2021, Houston hosted the event for a second time, having previously hosted the 12th WPC in 1987. This blogger is privileged to be here and delighted to bring you some glimpses of this prestigious event. 

The 23rd World Petroleum Congress (23 WPC) floor in Houston, Texas, US
The 1.8m sq ft George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston is the venue of 23 WPC 
Exhibition floor of the 23 WPC

ExxonMobil's stand at the 23 WPC exhibition
NASA's Space Exploration Vehicle on display at the 23 WPC
Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy of Alberta, Canada (left) calls for an honest conversation on the need for oil & gas as the world transitions to a low carbon economy
Boston Dynamics' RoboDog 'Spot' vows visitors at the 23 WPC
It is all about keeping the youth interested & having viable STEM pathways to avert a talent gap crisis in the oil & gas business, as deliberated by this panel
Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser (right) visits the 23 WPC exhibition floor

© Gaurav Sharma 2021. Photo © Gaurav Sharma, December 2021.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Murban futures launch, OPEC+ and Q1 2021

The first crude quarter of 2021 threw up a number of interesting developments for the oil markets, from fluctuating price sentiments to a divergence of views on the global supply-demand dynamic. More on market permutations later, but the Oilholic would like to kick-off this post by flagging a historic development that carries the potential of bringing about profound changes to the crude futures market – the launch of the Murban Futures contract.

It had been long-time coming with ambitions for the contract launch first surfacing early in 2019, and official confirmation arriving later that year. Market upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the launch forward to 2021, when on March 29 the contract launched with a debut price of $63.43 per barrel. 

And with it history was made – Murban, traded on IntercontinentalExchange Futures Abu Dhabi, is the world's first futures contract predicated on the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (ADNOC) flagship onshore crude oil. It means the offered market positions are directly linked to a major regional production centre. 

Alongside ADNOC as its backer, are nine of the world's largest energy traders including BP, ENEOS, GS Caltex, INPEX, PetroChina, PTT, Shell, Total and Vitol. Their hope is that physical oil traders use it as a benchmark, and price quality differentials off it accordingly as is the case with Brent. If physical traders are convinced that the new benchmark is reasonably liquid, it would take liquidity away from WTI, Brent and Dubai crude.

That is no mean feat and there have been previous false dawns in the region. To improve the odds of the benchmark's success, ADNOC has removed destination restrictions on the crude setting Murban apart from its regional competitors who have historically been bogged down by such limitations. And Asian refiners will now have a direct means to hedge against shifts in the price of Murban, rather than using derivatives linked to Dubai crude.

Of late, ADNOC’s production levels have averaged above 2 million bpd, with half of it set aside for the export market. In Fujairah - the main delivery point for Murban - ADNOC is currently building underground storage caverns that will be able to hold 42 million barrels of crude, including Murban. This will further strengthen the physical barrel underpinning of Murban futures. All in all, a very noteworthy development that carries a reasonably high chance of success over the coming years. Here's the Oilholic’s more detailed take on the development via Forbes.

Switching tack from the debut of Murban futures to the crude world in general, bullish sentiment that took hold in November 2020 has catapulted oil prices from $40 to $60-plus levels for both Brent and WTI. There's now chatter of $100 per barrel medium-term prices and a spike to even $190 in certain circumstances if you are to believe JPMorgan. 

This is nothing short barmy chatter by the longs and is wildly optimistic. In terms of reconciling expected crude oil demand in a post-Covid world versus supply, the Oilholic reckons the paper market is running two to three quarters, or around $5 per barrel, ahead of the physical market

Economic output in key markets remains sluggish, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) does not expect crude demand to catch up with supply until the third quarter of 2021. As for OPEC+, while its market calls on March 4 and April 1 have been described as bullish, they are in truth really bearish. 

On March 4, OPEC+'s headline production cut level was pegged at 7 million bpd, along with an additional and surprising voluntary cut of 1 million bpd by Saudi Arabia alone. However, Russia and Kazakhstan were allowed to marginally increase their output to keep the OPEC+ peace.

And on April 1, OPEC+ said an additional 350,000 bpd will be added to production, with another 350,000 in June. From July, output will be increased by 450,000 bpd. Both OPEC+ announcements cheered the bulls. However, the market remains in real danger of getting ahead itself. 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.
To follow The Oilholic on Rigzone click here.
To email: journalist_gsharma@yahoo.co.uk 
© Gaurav Sharma 2021. Photo: Kristina Kasputienė from Pixabay

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Joining Citi Private Bank

It has been a fantastic 'crude' journey for the Oilholic in the energy market and this blog has been with yours truly every step of the way for over a decade. Thank you all for your support. While long may that continue, commentary here would be a little tempered and slightly irregular as this blogger has taken up a Vice President / Lead Analyst's position at Citi Private Bank. 

Things won't be coming to a close here, but whatever appears on this blog would be in a private capacity only. That also applies to any commentary published here in the past prior to Aug 1, 2020. That's all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

© Gaurav Sharma 2020.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

A catalogue of ‘crude’ missives on oil market turmoil

In the nine days that have lapsed since yours truly last wrote a blog post, the crude oil market has gone crude and cruder, peppered with barmy ideas, suggestions of strange alliances, tariffs, and of course tweets. For all of that, two things haven't materially changed – crude demand collapse continues as the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic spreads, and oversupply in the face of demand destruction is already here.

So here are few of The Oilholic’s missives via Forbes and Rigzone tackling various market slants between March 26-Apr 2:

  • With whole countries in lockdown mode, forecasters now reckon a fifth of global crude demand could be wiped out - Forbes, Mar 26, 2020
  • The Oilholic's thoughts on why a resurrection of OPEC+ would be too little, too late for the oil market - Forbes, Mar 27, 2020.
  • Oil futures are in record contango - Forbes, Mar 29,2020
  • Oil benchmarks ended Q1 2020 around 66% lower and lack of storage space is becoming apparent - Forbes, Mar 31, 2020
  • US shale explorer Whiting Petroleum becomes the first casualty of the current oil price slump as it files for bankruptcy - Forbes Apr 1, 2020
  • Moody's announces series of predictable negative outlooks on major oil and gas companies - Forbes, Apr 1, 2020
  • How Saudi belligerence has pushed VLCC rates to comedic highs - Rigzone, Apr 1, 2020
  • And finally, how a Donald Trump tweet sent oil futures soaring but the gains are unlikely to last - Forbes, Apr 2, 2020

And that's about it for the moment folks! Stay safe, keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

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

© Gaurav Sharma 2020. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus lockdowns & crude oversupply

What a week it has been for humankind in general, let alone the commodities and equities market. Since the Oilholic arrived back to London from Houston on March 14, in a matter of days whole towns, cities, metropolitan areas, regions and countries have gone into lockdown mode around the world, with the coronavirus or Covid-19 having spread to over 100 countries.

After China, where the outbreak originated at the start of the year, now Iran, Italy, Spain and South Korea are in its grip. Heightened alarm about the spread of the coronavirus has seen European Union nations, Canada and the US close borders. Whole airlines are grounded, restaurants, pubs, bars and shops are shut, and workers in many sectors in several nations have been advised to work from home with restrictions slapped on venturing out.

Under similar circumstances and restrictions imposed in London (effective March 23) comes this missive from the Oilholic's living room. The last few weeks have alternated between how much of a demand slump the coronavirus would cause to what impact the collapse of OPEC+ would have over the near-term.

Such conjecture misses the wider point. Events have overtaken OPEC+ and are now largely beyond its control, and what we are witnessing is not just a demand slump but a total near-term collapse. Most oil demand forecasters are now predicting a 2020 demand shrinkage of around 155,000 barrels per day (bpd) instead of demand growth. Under the circumstances, that might be too optimistic.

From where the Oilholic sits, we could see a shrinkage of 250,000 bpd instead of a projected demand growth of 1.2 million bpd prior to the outbreak. Consider this - of the big five crude importers, China, which imports on average a whopping 14 million bpd, has had a lousy first quarter, and is likely to have disappointing or muted second and third quarters. Japan and South Korea are likely to import less, as will the US.

India, the one economy many were pinning their hopes, as a demand driver for 2020 prior to the coronavirus outbreak has also just gone into a lockdown effective Tuesday (March 24) for 21 days.

The country imports an average of 5 million bpd. So in three weeks alone, India won't be needing around ~ 100 million barrels with the negative impact spread over parts of the first and second quarters. Away from the big five, OECD demand remains as low as ever and is likely to head lower on temporary lockdowns from Poland to Australia.

And in the face of this demand crisis, is the issue of oversupply that has arisen in the wake of the collapse of the OPEC+ with Saudi Arabia, Russia and other OPEC and non-OPEC producers vowing to pump more. For now, after posting declines of 20-30% week-over-week, Brent and WTI futures have settled in the $20-30 range following US stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus.

That may well prove to be a temporary reprieve after the extent of the supply glut, somewhere in the region of 10 million bpd in unwanted crude oil, becomes clearer. As for what it means for oil and gas companies large and small - here is the Oilholic's take via Forbes, as players bunker down for $20 oil prices and prepare to write of 2020. That's all for the moment folks! Stay safe! Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

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

© Gaurav Sharma 2020. Photo © Royal Dutch Shell, Oman.

Friday, March 06, 2020

OPEC+ in waiting mode as Russia plays hardball

Overnight (March 5) OPEC ministers met and proposed a deepening of existing oil production cuts by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to their Russia-led OPEC+ partners in an effort to calm the oil market following the coronavirus outbreak and its devastating impact on the global economy.

While the original 'deepening of cuts' proposal was set to last until end-June 2020, OPEC heavyweights met yet again late yesterday evening and announced the proposal would be extended to the end of 2020. 

The burden of 1.5 million bpd, would be shared as 1 million bpd and 0.5 million bpd between OPEC and non-OPEC players respectively. From a headline perspective, if approved the market would be looking at 3.2 million bpd of OPEC+ barrels being taken out of the global supply pool. 

With that the ball went into the Russian court, and that's where it has been since well into today (March 6). In that time, Russian Oil Minister Alexander Novak has gone and returned from Moscow, and an OPEC+ closed-door meeting scheduled to start at 9:30 CET, has yet to get going 14:20 CET!

And the Oilholic has putting his scenarios to colleagues in the broadcast media. 

In one scenario, Russia could say 'nyet' and you'd see bearish headwinds engulf oil futures and driving the price down to $30 per barrel. 

In another scenario, the mammoth cut would proceed providing only temporary relief to oil prices given the full extent of the coronavirus' demand destruction is yet to be clear. Although, Wall Street is belatedly, finally coming to terms with the magnitude of the destruction having ditched its complacency.

Finally, often the favourite colour at these OPEC meetings based on the Oilholic's past experience is grey. OPEC+ could emerge and offer a good old fashioned figures fudge involving OPEC cuts with the support of the Russians, and other non-OPEC players, with very few barrels to show for it. This too will either provide negligible or short-lived support. 

All of this bottles down to one thing - hardly anyone has an accurate handle on where oil demand is going, and the Oilholic believes there will be shrinkage on an annualised basis. Were that to be the case, a 'crude' logic applies - oil supply cuts never really solve a crisis of demand. It's where crude market presently is. OPEC can improve its odds via a cut but can do little more!

And on that note its time to leave Vienna for London, and then on to Houston, all the while keeping an eye on events here. 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 2020.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ten years of 'crude' blogging & a big thank you!

Its a day to say thanks and feel a tad nostalgic, as the Oilholic woke up this Christmas eve morning to the realization that today marks 10 years of this oil and gas market blog's appearance on cyberspace!

Boy does time fly! When yours took this blog live and put his first post up on December 24, 2009, Barack Obama had been in the White House for less than a year; Gordon Brown was still in Downing Street; the global economy was limping back from the financial crisis; the US shale revolution's impact hadn't been felt; OPEC had held its latest minister's meeting in Luanda, Angola instead of its secretariat in Vienna, Austria; and Brent and WTI futures closed at $76.31 and $78.05 per barrel respectively, with a premium in the latter's favour! That's a 10-year decline of $9.84 (-12.9%) for Brent and $17.5 (-22.42%) for WTI versus this European morning's prices in Asia.  

Back then, all this blog had was a handful of readers comprising of mutual acquaintances in the trading community who had been providing tips and invaluable feedback since 2007, when yours truly was working on concepts, and a trail site/domain. The subsequent blogging journey began on Christmas eve of 2009 when the Oilholic registered the www.oilholicssynonymous.com domain, and it has been quite a ride, and more, ever since. 


The blog underwent a complete template overhaul in 2011 as the readership started gaining traction. Well past its millionth pageview, it currently averages 12,000 reads a month. 

Well above average readership points are often brought about by posts on energy sector developments and events such as IPWeek, CERAWeek, OPEC and ADIPEC, where this blogger often takes speaking engagements at, resulting in monthly pageviews jumping above 100,000 reads a month. 

As in previous years, bulk of the readers who browse and read this blog in 2019 have come from the US, UK, Norway, Germany and China in that order, with American and British readers leading the pack by some distance. 

Many have logged in from some 127 countries week in, week out. So a massive thank you to all of you because without your readership, feedback and support this blog wouldn't be here. Alongside regular readers who find this blog via established routes, analytics also reveal the impact of Google, where many of you find your way to the Oilholic alongside LinkedIn, Twitter and Forbes.

What this blog has been about over the last 10 years is what it will be about in the future, carrying the Oilholic's analysis, thoughts, rants, musings and social media flags, about past events, developments and emerging scenarios in the sector, and the comments of fellow market experts one is able to interact with. 

It'll also continue to complement the Oilholic's analysis and media career, speaking circuit engagements, serve as a published clippings portfolio hub, broadcast commentary, work undertaken over the last 20 years (and counting), some favourite photographs and a selection of book reviews.

As the years go by, here's hoping this blog is (and will be) as much fun for those reading it as it is for the one writing it. So keep reading, keep it 'crude' and once again thank you for all your support.

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

© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo: Screenshot of Oilholics Synonymous Report's homepage in 2010 © Gaurav Sharma.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Key energy industry interviews of 2019

As the current oil and gas trading year approaches its end, here are some of the industry interviews conducted by The Oilholic over the course of 2019 with C-suite executives around the world. The list includes group CEOs and Chairmen of Emerson, Hunting, IndianOil, OMV and Wintershall Dea. Most, but not all, of the interviews were published either on Forbes or Rigzone

John Rudolph, President of Honeywell Process Solutions 

Luca Volta, Marine Fuels Venture Head at ExxonMobil

David Farr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emerson

John Markus Lervik, Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder of Cognite

David Gilmour, Head of BP Ventures

Andreas Thorsheim, Cofounder and CEO of Otovo

Karl Johnny Hersvik, Chief Executive Officer of Aker BP

Rainer Seele, Chief Executive Officer of OMV

Greg Scheu, Head of Group Service & (former) President - Americas region at ABB

Jim Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Hunting Plc

Rusty Hutson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Diversified Gas and Oil 

Jason Urso, Chief Technology Officer at Honeywell Process Solutions

Sanjiv Singh, Chairman of IndianOil Corporation

Mario Mehren, Chief Executive Officer of Wintershall Dea

Here's to many more C-Suite chats in 2020. Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

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

© Gaurav Sharma 2019.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Post OPEC quips & LatAm, Shale outlook

The Oilholic returned from the OPEC+ ministers’ summit in Vienna, Austria to a crazy few weeks of crude chatter and of course umpteen discussions on the Saudi Aramco IPO.

Here are yours truly's thoughts on the final communiqué from OPEC via Forbes, and another take on the Aramco IPO via the same publication plus a ReachX podcast touching on the issue of the company's valuation kerfuffle.  

Away from it all, two pieces of research caught one's eye this month. Starting with the first of two, rating agency Moody's reckons 2020 will be a stable year for the Latin American oil and gas sector. While, global economic environment and trade disputes could become a concern to Latin America's commodity exporters, including those in the business of black gold and natural gas, Moody's opined that many regional players have indeed improved their capital structures. 

"Business conditions will vary in 2020, contributing to stable overall conditions. A shift toward exploration and production favours credit quality for Brazil's national oil company Petrobras, but 2020 production appears stable at best in Mexico as investment stalls," says Moody's Senior Vice President Nymia Almeida.

Mexico investment momentum in oil and gas is negative for 2020 as national oil company PEMEX has limited ability to increase investments and deliver on production and reserves targets, Almeida added. 

Away from Latin America, Rystad Energy predicted that even with potentially lower prices, the production outlook for North American shale "appears robust" in the years ahead.

In Norway-based analysis firm's base-case price scenario - that assumes a WTI price at $55 per barrel in 2019; $54/bbl in 2020; $54/bbl in 2021 and $57/bbl in 2022 - would see North American light tight oil supply will reach 11.6 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2022. 

This implies a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% from 2019 to 2022. In a price scenario with the WTI oil price remaining flat at $45 per barrel, supply of the same would plateau at 10.1 million bpd towards 2022.

"The flat development of US light tight oil production is also possible in lower price scenarios, but we would likely see an initial period of multi-quarter production decline, with output stabilising at a lower level," said Mladá Passos, product manager of Rystad Energy's Shale Upstream Analysis team. Plenty to ponder about as 2020 approaches, 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. Photo: Oil exploration site in Oman © Royal Dutch Shell. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

ADIPEC Day II: Oil & Gas 4.0 sessions & more

Day two of ADIPEC 2019 has just concluded in Abu Dhabi, UAE and as expected it was another action packed one with half a dozen CEOs, dignitaries and ministers in town. As part of the proceedings, the Oilholic moderated a downstream panel under the event's Oil and Gas 4.0 strategic dialogues programme.

The subject under discussion - Sustaining industry momentum in downstream: how will companies build an agile and resilient business model capable of withstanding the inevitable cyclical highs and lows in the years ahead? 

The panel included Abdulaziz Alhajri, Executive Director Downstream Directorate at ADNOC, Thomas Gangl, Chief Downstream Operations Officer at OMV, Philippe Boisseau, CEO of CEPSA, François Good, Senior Vice President Refining & Petrochemicals Orient at Total and Catherine MacGregor, CEO-elect at TechnipFMC. 

The panelists touched on a host of slants under the topic including the crucial issue of long-term objectives underpinned by technology, corporate patience on the return on investment front, tech-enabled throughput improvements and the need to invest in talent, not just hardware and software. 

Of course, lurking around ADIPEC corridors is the subject of the oil price direction and what OPEC will or won't do when it meets in Vienna, Austria on December 5-6, 2019. Here is one's take via Forbes, with soundbites and analysis aplenty, and the central conclusion that OPEC is damned if it cuts production or rolls existing cuts over further, and damned if it opens the taps

Away from the oil price and to the exhibition floor where industry vendors made deal announcements with customary aplomb. ABB announced it had won a project to install its extended automation system at a greenfield pilot plant for SABIC in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, supporting the Saudi company's broader vision to digitalise its operations. 

Under the contract, ABB's Ability System will apply integrated automation, control and safety solutions to the company's Utilities Park and Pilot project. The park is part of the SABIC Technology Centre (STC), which marks the company’s biggest global investment in innovation, and the largest of its 21 technology centers worldwide.

Not to be outdone, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), the global software industrials' automation unit, announced that Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) has selected it as the main automation contractor for its new Petrochemicals and Refinery Integration Al Zour Project (PRIZe). 

Under the agreement, HPS will provide KIPIC with front-end engineering design and advanced process control technology for the complex, which will help KIPIC expedite production start-up and assist with reaching production targets faster and more efficiently. 

The PRIZe project will become the first integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Kuwait.

The new facility – developed as part of the Al-Zour Complex – will significantly enhance Kuwait’s domestic petrochemicals, aromatics and gasoline manufacturing capabilities.

Customarily, neither ABB nor Honeywell provided any details on financials of the contract in a fiercely competitive industry in which demand for Industry 4.0 solutions is growing by the minute. Finally, out on the exhibition floor, this blogger spotted another hydrogen powered
Toyota Mirai, this time at Saudi Aramco's stand, following one yesterday at Shell's stand.

What do you know - an IOC and a NOC flagging an alternative fuel - now the Oilholic has really seen it all. 

That's all for the moment folks, more from here over the coming days  as the event gathers further momentum. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo I: Gaurav Sharma (left) at ADIPEC 2019 Oil and Gas 4.0 strategic dialogue in Abu Dhabi, UAE © DMG Events. Photo II &III: Toyota Mirai cars at ADIPEC 2019 exhibition © Gaurav Sharma 2019. 

ADIPEC panel session on dowstream innovation

The Oilholic will be moderating a downstream panel session later today at ADIPEC 2019 and looking forward to a fantastic industry dialogue. 


The subject under discussion - Sustaining industry momentum in downstream: how will companies build an agile and resilient business model capable of withstanding the inevitable cyclical highs and lows in the years ahead? (Click image to enlarge banner)

And the panel includes: 
  • Abdulaziz Alhajri, Executive Director Downstream Directorate, ADNOC
  • Thomas Gangl, Chief Downstream, Operations Officer, OMV
  • Philippe Boisseau, CEO, CEPSA
  • François Good, Senior Vice President Refining & Petrochemicals Orient, Total
  • Catherine MacGregor, President, New Ventures, TechnipFMC
Here's to day II to in Abu Dhabi.

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© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo © ADIPEC 2019 / DMG Events

Monday, November 11, 2019

ADIPEC Day I: Oil & Gas 4.0, efficiencies & VIPs

The Oilholic finds himself in the UAE for the 2019 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), rounding up day one of the global event with more than a packed agenda to report back.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ANDOC) got things going on Monday noting how Industry 4.0 is creating a "paradigm shift in global growth and energy demand."

"Oil and gas will play, as an essential part of the broader energy mix, in enabling tomorrow’s global economy. We have to admit some realities - our industry is being disrupted by new technologies, new forms of energy, a new geopolitical order. This disruption is only beginning and will gather pace," he added. 

Rubbing shoulders with attendees, expected to number 150,000 over the next few days, were several VIPs both foreign and domestic, and day one included sessions with the OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BP Boss Bob Dudley, Eni’s Claudio Descalzi, and Total’s Patrick Pouyanné to name a few.

And former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told ADIPEC attendees the post World War II "established" economic model "is under strain [and] threat" from terrorism, cyber threats & global power rivalries. 

Away from the VIPs, quite a bit of "Oil and Gas 4.0" kit was on display alongside hydrogen cars, automation equipment and analytics platforms for integrated asset management, interspersed with nuts, bolts and pipeline joints.

Finally, day one was also timed to coincide with the official launch of the Abu Dhabi oil futures, that sees ADNOC partner with exchange group ICE, major oil companies, refiners and trading house Vitol.

The idea is an ambitious one of establishing Murban – Abu Dhabi's signature crude – as a potential oil benchmark. Here is some background to the development from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. (MS Word Download here)

Elsewhere, at the ADIPEC Awards, BP's Dudley, who is due to retire as the oil and gas major's CEO next year, was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to the energy industry.

That's all for the moment folks, more from here over the coming days. The Oilholic will be moderating and speaking on days two and three as the event gathers further momentum. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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To email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo I: Exhibition Hall at ADIPEC 2019. Photo II: Drone on display at ADIPEC exhibition © Gaurav Sharma 2019. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

On oil price direction and EMF 2019

The Oilholic returned overnight from a visit to Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, for the 9th Gulf Intelligence Energy Markets Forum; the burgeoning shipping and storage port's annual gathering of industry minds. 

And on everyone's mind - unsurprisingly - was the direction of the oil price. This blogger has maintained the market is stuck in the modest middle, given that even 58% of Saudi capacity being temporarily knocked offline last month was not enough to keep Brent futures above $70 per barrel for a sustained period of time. 

Demand concerns have returned with a vengeance to temper risk driven upticks. The Oilholic remains in the $65 per barrel Brent average bracket. But majority of the delegates to the Forum were even more bearish for the quarter, based on the findings of an instant poll conducted at Gulf Intelligence's behest by yours truly (see image top left, click to enlarge). Many are bracing for a Q4 2019 Brent price in the range of $60-$65 per barrel. 


As part of the proceedings, one also got a chance to interview Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), both to discuss the spot poll's findings, as well as how Nigeria views the current market dynamic. 

Kyari stressed that Nigeria expects global demand to continue at pace driven by petrochemicals and aviation fuel. Tied into that is of course NNPC's own, and much-needed push to both invest, as well as court investment in its downstream sector. 

And away from the main auditorium, were several informative industry roundtables. Fujairah itself is undergoing significant changes in light of current geopolitics, inward investment, and the likes of ADNOC and Saudi Aramco mulling trading and storage outposts there. Will be penning thoughts on that subject for Forbes and Rigzone shortly, but that's all from Fujairah for the moment folks. Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

Addendum I - 06.10.19: Thoughts via Forbes - ADNOC Gets Serious About Its Oil Exports Bypassing Strait Of Hormuz Via Fujairah, here.
  
Addendum II - 07.10.19: And via Rigzone - Oil Hub of Fujairah Thriving Amid Rising Geopolitical Risk, here.

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© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Chart 1: Findings of oil price direction survey at Energy Markets Forum in Fujairah, Oct 1, 2019 © Gulf Intelligence. Photos 1 & 2: Gaurav Sharma interviews Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) © Photo 1 - Samantha Morris, © Photo 2 - Gulf Intelligence, October 1, 2019.