CHEVRON CUTS PERSONNEL
U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. said it has cut the numbers of its overseas staff working in the Kurdish region of Iraq as the militant group Islamic State pushed their offensive closer to the area, and amid reports of a car bomb blast in the nearby northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
Chevron's move comes as shares in Kurdistan-focused oil producers listed in Europe plunged on Thursday.
"We are closely monitoring the situation," a Chevron spokeswoman in London said. "We have reviewed the business critical positions and as a consequence made a reduction in the total numbers of expatriates in the region."
Exxon Mobil is also evacuating staff from Kurdistan, Reuters reported Thursday, citing an industry source. A spokesman for the company said it doesn't comment on security matters.
Shares in London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd fell as much as 13%—to their lowest level since 2010—after the Islamic State captured two towns close to the border of the semiautonomous region following the withdrawal of the Kurdish regional forces guarding them.
The Islamic State's capture of Qara Qosh, east of Mosul, earlier Thursday puts the group less than 40 miles from the province of Erbil, where the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government is located.
Gulf Keystone, which is producing oil from the Shaikan field in Kurdistan, said while its operations remain "safe and secure" it has stepped up security at its facilities.
"While there is no immediate threat to any of the company's operations in the region, we continue to monitor the situation closely and operate with increased security as a precaution," the statement said.
Shares in Genel Energy PLC, which is headed by former BP PLC boss Tony Hayward, fell as much as 6.7%.
Genel, one of the biggest independent oil producers in Kurdistan, said its operations remain "safe and secure." Its oil fields at Taq Taq are over 60 miles away from the fighting east of Mosul.
"There has been no change to our operations," Genel said in a statement.
Shares in Norway's DNO, another Kurdistan-focused oil explorer, fell 6.8% Thursday, meaning they have lost over 18% of their value this month. The company wasn't immediately available for comment.
|October, 18, 19:10:00|
|October, 18, 19:05:00|
|October, 18, 19:00:00|
|October, 18, 18:55:00|
|October, 18, 18:50:00|
|October, 18, 18:45:00|
There are more than a dozen LNG export projects currently being proposed to US regulators, though across the industry almost no final investment decisions have been announced over the last 18 months and some developers have delayed their decisions into 2018 or beyond. Few firm supply purchase agreements have been announced for the projects that have yet to commit to moving forward.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Canada's largest energy customer has boosted domestic oil production from less than four million barrels per day in 2008 to 9.2 million bpd now, while gas output has risen from 67 million cubic feet per day to 89 million cf/d.
Egypt’s fledgling solar industry attracted $1.8 billion of investment, largely from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.
International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $57.75 per barrel at 0733 GMT, up 58 cents from the previous close, after trading as high as $58.13. U.S. WTI crude was at $51.95 per barrel, up 50 cents. Earlier in the day, it traded as high as $52.22.