The Oil Big Five: Questions abound around US Gulf Coast happenings

We’re still waiting on tenterhooks to find out where the United Kalavrvta is going, but we wanted to share some of the comments we got from our readers on the latest posting of The Oil Big Five.

Again, we urge our readers to comment at any point on the posts (and on any post on The Barrel) and tell us what you think of the top issues as picked by our Platts editors and analysts. We welcome comments anytime on Twitter, too, and make sure we see your thoughts by using the tag #oilbig5.

Without further ado, here’s some thoughts from readers:

  • The Barrel commenter Kevin Casey said, “I’m surprised the broader IS / ISIS / ISIL threat in Syria and Iraq isn’t on the list. The United Kalavrvta is one relatively small, but disturbing, aspect of this. If ISIS is not stopped it will continue to absorb territory and threaten broader swaths of the globe, which would have significant impact on oil markets.”Kevin is right in bringing up that the United Kalavrvta is just one aspect of the broader topic of the insurgency in the Middle East. Iraq’s political unrest topped our list of concerns in July, and Platts editors saw this as another aspect of it. Kevin also commented that “freeing the Kalavrvta and future sales would allow the Kurds to better defend themselves and other ethnic minorities in the region from terrorists and help limit US involvement. Oil for good.”What are your thoughts on the sale of Kurdish crude independent of the central Iraqi government? Would it give Kurdistan a bigger role in the international oil world, or cause  even more strife in the anxious country?
  • Simon Jacques, a frequent commenter on The Barrel, mentioned Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA and its desire to potentially sell some of its refineries as part of a restructuring. The assets sold could include three refineries operated by Citgo in the US, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Lemont, Illinois, and Corpus Christi, Texas. Platts reported that PDVSA is facing a bottleneck of increasing extra heavy crude production in the Orinoco Belt, and a source said PDVSA wants to retain only those foreign assets where it can process extra heavy crudes or mixtures. Simon asked, “Who are the prospective bidders for the 175k b/d in the Midwest? I say that because of margins, Lemont is a crown-jewel. Crown Jewel that will have a Control Premium Value for a Nexen or Suncor. Houston and Calgary folks in the Energy M&A must be fairly busy these days!”
  • Any ideas of who would buy up the Citgo assets? Would it do anything to significantly change the current refining landscape of the US Gulf Coast? Additionally, would the sale of these assets boost Venezuela’s heavy crude processing?

Thanks again for reading, and it’s not too early to start sending us your comments for next month’s post.

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  1. Kevin at August 15, 2014 12:43 pm

    I’m trying to figure out the underlying reason why the US is against the sale of Kurd crude. While small in size Kurdistan could be a key ally in the region and they need support. The KRG/ICG dispute can’t be the reason as the ICG is clearly in the wrong in that they have quit giving the Kurds their legal share. Is the issue because the money will flow through Turkey and US is applying some pressure on Ergogan?

    • MIkejp at August 17, 2014 9:20 pm

      USA is not against KURD crude. IRAQ government hired a law firm to get a judge to rule the KURDS didn’t have legal right to crude. Has nothing to do with US Government it is a civil issue within the USA.

  2. oilman at August 15, 2014 9:55 am

    United Kalavrvta still hanging off shore Galveston according to AIS

    • Jamie McDuell at August 15, 2014 11:13 am

      Just yesterday Turkey called on Washington to lift obstacles to the sale of crude from Iraqi Kurdistan, but there’s been no legal shift whatsoever from the US. How long it can just continue to float in international waters is certainly an intriguing question.

  3. Aldo Rodriguez at August 14, 2014 7:04 pm

    A big point in Mexico is the approval of the secondary laws of the energy reform, and how is it going to afect the oil production of Pemex, due it will keep 83% of the proved reserves and how the foreings companies are going to participate in the sector, also in electricity.

    • Jamie McDuell at August 15, 2014 5:34 am

      A very interesting issue, Aldo. Thanks for highlighting it. I’m certain our journalists in the region will be keenly covering it.


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