Archive for the ‘oil’ Category

PDVSA’s operational decline mirrors decline in employee benefits

The decline in employee benefits at Venezuela’s state owned PDVSA is the latest sign of the crisis being experienced by the country’s oil sector, which is under pressure from the drop in oil prices, declining output, industrial accidents, as well as by hyper- inflation suffered by the country.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bragging rights: So who is the world’s top oil producer?

Earlier this month, BP’s latest Statistical Review unintentionally reopened a debate into whether the US has regained the crown as the world’s top oil producer after decades of being out-gunned by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Ostensibly a straight-forward measure of which country tops the leaderboard on oil output, BP’s widely-read yardstick has the US eclipsing both Saudi Arabia and Russia for the first time last year since 1975. Fueled by booming shale oil, BP said, US oil output hit 11.64 million b/d last year, a narrow but decisive margin over Saudi Arabia’s 11.51 million b/d.

The devil is in the detail, however, and BP’s numbers raise the long-standing and slippery issue of what actually counts as oil.

Read the rest of this entry »

Quantifying crude in Russia proves complicated: At the Wellhead

In this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Nadia Rodova digs beyond the scant information about Russian oil production and gives more clues about the true state of the industry there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Despite expectations, could the US put more crude into reserves?

The ongoing US oil boom has compelled some lawmakers and analysts to question the need to keep so much crude stockpiled and sparked speculation that a government sale of tens of millions of barrels could be imminent. But could new rationale for how much crude the US keeps in its Strategic Petroleum Reserve actually increase the amount of crude in the US stockpile?

Read the rest of this entry »

The evolution of a petroleum geologist after the Scopes Monkey Trial

If it hadn’t been for a famous trial 90 years ago next month, John Scopes might never have embarked on a 35-year career as a petroleum geologist.

But whatever Scopes’ track record was at finding oil and gas, history has kept mum — because his stamp on the world came not from hydrocarbons but as the defendant at the center of what became known as the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in Dayton, Tennessee that began July 10, 1925, and pitted the Bible against the theory of evolution and highlighted the science-versus-religion debate which flourishes to this day.

Read the rest of this entry »

US corn belt senators accuse government of setting biofuels mandate too low: Regulation and Environment

The US Renewable Fuel Standard’s inevitable day in court got a preview airing the week ending June 19th, as Corn Belt senators — echoing complaints from their biofuel industry constituents — accused the Obama administration of illegally setting the 2014, 2015 and 2016 volumes below statutory levels.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oil demand is recovering, but are we susceptible to irrational exuberance?

The world seems to be using more oil now that it is 40% cheaper than a year ago and especially so in countries enjoying some economic growth momentum.

Depending on who you are listening to, the US, China, India and the Middle East are cited as the main drivers of demand growth in 2015, with consumption in Japan and the Eurozone improving from a low base last year, in line with their economic recovery.

Read the rest of this entry »

When oil production appears to be going south in the North Sea: Petrodollars

The North Sea is one of the old guard for oil production, and companies are trying hard to revive its former glory. Nick Coleman digs into the basin’s future in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

Read the rest of this entry »

OPEC says, ‘What, me worry?’ to the prospects of US crude exports

For all the attention and debate the US’ crude export restrictions get in Washington, there was barely any peep on the issue last week in Vienna – neither at OPEC’s semi-annual meeting there, nor at a pre-meeting OPEC seminar, where ministers from its 12 member nations gathered with major oil company CEOs and non-OPEC country officials to discuss global market conditions.

Read the rest of this entry »

North American oil production flush with increasing efficiencies: New Frontier

The US and Canada aren’t slowing oil production, as many predicted when it appeared oil prices were settling into a lower pattern for an extended time period. Efficiencies, which fostered the growth of tight oil production, have continued to protect margins, as Benjamin Morse and Starr Spencer explain in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontier.

Read the rest of this entry »