EUROPE HAS TO RELY ON RUSSIA
Europe can't avoid imports of Russian oil and natural gas in the short term, Zsolt Hernádi, chief executive and chairman of the board of MOL Nyrt., said Thursday.
Possible gas imports from alternative sources such as Azerbaijan or liquefied natural gas from the U.S. would not be ample enough to support growth and would only make up for a shortfall in imports from North Africa.
Mr. Hernádi, speaking at a press conference after the company's annual general meeting, added that regional transport links must be developed to ensure supply security.
"Too sad there has to be a crisis in order for such development to gain enough focus," he said, referring to the political tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Separately, MOL said it's set to spend $1 billion in acquisitions with an upstream focus this year.
MOL is aiming to boost its oil and gas production in Iraq's Kurdistan region, in the North Sea in Europe, as well as in Croatia and Hungary, József Molnár group chief executive said at the company's annual general meeting.
MOL expects daily hydrocarbon output at 105,000 to 110,000 barrels in 2015 compared with between 91,000 and 96,000 this year, Mr. Molnár said, but organic growth and the planned acquisitions could boost this to 130,000 barrels a day in five years.
Mr. Hernádi is at the company's helm on the strategy front and looks after corporate and legal affairs, while Mr. Molnár is responsible for exploration, production, sales, supply, finance and internal audit.
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BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
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