Posts Tagged ‘ExxonMobil’

Struggles to cut cost delay oil play production in Argentina: At the Wellhead

There are always myriad reasons why vast oil resources worldwide may not be produced, and in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Charles Newbery digs into challenges facing the biggest shale play in Argentina, which could rival the prolific production of US plays if properly tapped.

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Mexico’s landmark oil lease sale results disappoint

Mexico’s first upstream auction in 77 years proved to be a disappointment July 16, with the award of just two of the 14 blocks on offer. After months of highly promoted conferences and publicity following last year’s energy reform, the weak response came as a surprise.

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The crude price plunge and LNG, a tenuous link

Over the last several months there has been much discussion about the impact of falling crude oil prices on the liquefied natural gas market. The conventional argument goes something like this: lower crude prices are making oil-linked LNG contracts cheaper and are putting pressure on the spot market as these contracts increasingly undercut spot prices.

At first glance, this argument appears quite compelling. On January 14, 2015, the price of Platts-assessed Dated Brent was $45.73/b. For buyers using 14.5% slope to crude, not uncommon in the Asia-Pacific market, that would equate to an LNG price of just $6.63/MMBtu. By comparison, the Platts JKM price (a spot index for the Asian LNG market) was assessed significantly higher at $9.38/MMBtu on the same day.

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Petrodollars: Figuring out what to do with PNG’s new LNG wealth

As Papua New Guinea enters the small fraternity of LNG exporters, it needs to figure out what do with the money the poor nation is going to earn. Christine Forster looks at the issue in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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More twists coming for PNG’s emerging LNG industry?

It seems there might still be some twists and turns in the long saga of InterOil’s Papua New Guinea LNG project, with analysts speculating that arbitration proceedings launched by Oil Search are ultimately aimed at replacing joint venture partner Total with ExxonMobil.

Oil Search clearly sees itself as the key player in the Pacific nation’s emerging gas sector, by virtue of its 29% stake in the new ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG facility near Port Moresby and its significant equity position in the InterOil project. Oil Search, with its strong operating history at PNG oil and gas fields, also enjoys a good relationship with the PNG government, one of its major shareholders.

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At the Wellhead: Indonesia tries to kickstart its faltering oil industry

The dwindling fortunes of Indonesia’s energy outlook is forcing the country to take radical steps to change its future. Mriganka Jaipuriyar, in this week’s Oilgram News column At the Wellhead, reviews some of the shifts the country is taking to overcome earlier bureaucratic hurdles.

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New Frontiers: New life for once-spurned Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases

Starr Spencer attended last week’s Gulf of Mexico lease sale in New Orleans. She noticed something about the bidding: old, abandoned leases have gotten renewed interest. She reviews the trend in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

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A well-known independent oil company is getting into gas stations…sort of

A lot of integrated oil companies have split up into separate upstream and downstream companies; witness Marathon and ConocoPhillips.

Others have sold their downstream businesses piecemeal; Hess is doing that now.

At the very least, integrated oil companies like ExxonMobil have cut way back or eliminated company-owned gas stations.

But now we have a strange phenomenon: one of the nation’s best-known independent oil producers is going into the retail side of the biz.

We’re talking, of course, about Ewing Oil.

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Guest entry: Why the oil majors are getting hammered

In another of our occasional guest blog entries, Steven Kopits of the New York office of Douglas-Westwood Associates, an energy business analyst firm, looks at the relationship between the ability of an economy to shoulder a certain oil price level and what that means for the companies that produce that commodity. If you’d like the firm’s full presentation on this issue, Steve can be reached at


As in the second quarter of the year, third quarter results for the oil majors, the international oil companies and other major listed operators, were disappointing. Some were downright awful.

Why have results for the oil companies deteriorated so markedly, and what should we expect in the future? In this article, we’ll look primarily at upstream liquids — primarily crude oil production.

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US refining margins improving, but not for imported grades

Several oil companies this week cited lower US refining margins for a drop in third quarter earnings.

ExxonMobil Thursday, for instance, reported an 18% drop in earnings, while PBF Energy reported a Q3 operating loss. On Wednesday, Phillips 66 reported a fall in Q3 earnings, which included a refining segment loss of $2 million. All three blamed the earnings decline on a drop in refining margins, with higher crude prices and higher RINs prices eating into profits.

However, margins have been bouncing back in October, and while its too early to tell how the fourth quarter will shape up as a whole, margins are more favorable this year for refiners processing North American grades.

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