NEW DELHI/LONDON Global oil major BP is deepening its ties with Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries by forging a fuel retailing joint venture to capitalise on rising demand in Asia's third-biggest economy.
LONDON, Aug 6 Oil prices rebounded slightly on
Tuesday from big falls in recent sessions, but Brent crude
remained near seven-month lows around $60 a barrel due to
escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.
LONDON Iraqi Kurdistan-focused Genel Energy said on Tuesday it was confident that construction on its Bina Bawi gas project would begin next year as it discusses exact terms with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
LONDON State-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) is considering upping the stake it is planning to sell in its British unit Dana Petroleum after failing to lure a buyer for the 30% previously on offer, banking and industry sources said.
LONDON The board of British oil producer Tullow will pay an interim dividend of 2.35 cents per share, representing a payout of about $33 million ( £26.6 million ), the company said on Wednesday, in line with plans to disburse at least $100 million a year.
LONDON/NEW YORK Sentiment in the oil market has shifted dramatically in recent days, with hedge funds, producers and traders all taking a more bearish tack in response to what they see as weakness in worldwide demand.
By Shadia Nasralla and Devika Krishna Kumar
LONDON/NEW YORK, July 22 Sentiment in the oil
market has shifted dramatically in recent days, with hedge
funds, producers and traders all taking a more bearish tack in
response to what they see as weakness in worldwide demand.
The oil market has struggled to sustain a rally despite
supply restrictions that generally would be considered bullish.
U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran have removed more than 1.5
million barrels of daily supply from the market, OPEC extended a
supply-cut deal into 2020 and tensions between the United States
and Iran are rising.
Yet, Brent futures have struggled to sustain a move
above $65 a barrel and slumped about 7 percent last week, while
U.S. futures have rarely moved above $60 a barrel.
"Given all the bullish news we've had, the flat price has
hardly changed," said Janelle Matharoo of InsideOut Advisors, a
commodities trading and risk management consultancy. "Fifteen
years ago, this kind of news would have shifted the price $20,
$30 per barrel."
Hedge funds and investors have exited bullish bets on the
realization that demand may be weaker than anticipated while
U.S. production surges. Producers, meanwhile, have rushed to
lock in future prices, betting that this may be their best
chance to protect against a selloff, oil traders and brokers
Front-month, or current, futures contracts have not had a
massive selloff - but looking at later-dated contracts, the
underlying weakness is apparent.
The premium on front-month Brent crude futures compared with
oil to be delivered in half a year has fallen from
a six-year high in May at more than $4 a barrel to less than
$1.50 last week. That is a signal that worries about tight
supply have abated.
Even rising tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, where the
United States and others are moving to protect tankers against
Iran, has produced only modest gains. On Friday, news that Iran
had seized a British tanker supported prices - but futures rose
less than 1 percent.
The steady rise in U.S. oil output and demand worries from a
protracted Sino-U.S. trade war, however, have weighed on demand
forecasts. The International Energy Agency recently cut its
expectation for global demand through 2019 and 2020 and said it
may cut it again if the global economy - and especially China
-show further weakness, while Saudi Arabian exports fell to a
1-1/2-year low in May.
Traders said there has been "relentless" selling in bullish
Brent call options as far as December 2021 and 2022, a
reflection of growing expectations that demand for oil is
weakening as supply grows.
"There's a feeling on the margin that the current price is
potentially unsustainable and the market structure supports
that," said Matharoo.
Average 2020 Brent oil prices slipped to the
weakest in a month at $60.28 a barrel last week. Separately,
bullish speculator bets on U.S. crude futures and options on the
NYMEX are near the lowest level since 2013.
The price weakness presents challenges for oil producers,
and many have started to hedge to protect against a damaging
future downturn in prices.
With the recent weakness in the market, some consultants are
warning about waiting too long to protect against future market
moves by buying options to sell or buy oil at a certain price in
"We're telling producers it's time to lock in," said Thibaut
Remoundos of London-based hedging consultancy CTC. "We're less
bullish than most of our clients... We believe there is greater
downside risk than is priced in."
(Reporting by Shadia Nasrallah in London and Devika Kumar
Krishna in New York; Editing by David Gaffen and Dan Grebler)
LONDON Private equity fund HitecVision and Omani oil group Petrogas have teamed up to buy a portfolio of Total's British North Sea oilfields for $635 million, the companies said on Wednesday.
LONDON Private equity-backed oil and gas producer Siccar Point is testing the waters for its potential sale later this year, hoping to attract interest for its mostly untapped North Sea resources, industry and banking sources said.
LONDON/PARIS Israel-focused gas driller Energean has emerged as the front-runner in the race to acquire Italian energy group Edison's oil and natural gas unit, two sources directly involved in the deal said.