U.S. companies remain nervous about oil prices. Spending has been cut as prices fail to rebound significantly, and further price drops could quickly lead to more shrinkage in the rig count.
Currently the project is moving forward, as Moscow and Ankara have signed the MoU, approved the new pipeline route and agreed upon the 10.25% gas discount for Turkey. On the EU side there are many questions, including the one on infrastructure that would have to be in place to transport gas from the Turkish-Greek border, envisaged as the new pipeline’s gas delivery point.
The decline in crude oil prices since last summer has had a direct impact on oil producers' sales revenue, but hedging strategies have lessened the effects of lower prices on some producers' total revenue. Oil producers who adopt hedging strategies can reduce their price risk and generate smoother financial outcomes in unstable markets. A common hedging practice is to sell futures and swaps to lock in desired prices for future production, a practice that can shield producers' revenue from decreasing prices.
Exxon has decades of experience working in that part of the world, including successful projects in Russia — but also a catastrophic oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in 1989.
Based on crude oil market assessments in the Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA estimates that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), excluding Iran, will earn about $700 billion in revenue from net oil exports in 2014, a 14% decrease from 2013 earnings and the lowest earnings for the group since 2010.
U.S. crude oil production (including lease condensate) increased during 2014 by 1.2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) to 8.7 million bbl/d, the largest volume increase since recordkeeping began in 1900. On a percentage basis, output in 2014 increased by 16.2%, the highest growth rate since 1940. Most of the increase during 2014 came from tight oil plays in North Dakota, Texas, and New Mexico where hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling were used to produce oil from shale formations.
Could an oil and gas bounce-back loom in America’s near future? During his appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” energy magnate Boone Pickens seems to think so, forecasting prices to rise to $70 per barrel by the end of the year.
Natural gas international markets are constantly growing. Despite the ongoing crisis, Europe is increasing its dependence on imports, while emerging economies in Asia face the daunting task of fuelling their economic growth.
Lifting the longstanding ban on U.S. crude oil exports would boost the country’s economy and enhance its global leadership, a former senior Obama administration official will tell senators on Thursday, introducing a strategic dimension to the growing debate over selling American oil abroad.
The Fallout from Lower Oil Prices
As most of Russia’s energy exports go to the European Union, both players are strongly interdependent. For Russia, energy resources, especially gas, are viewed as a tool to project power beyond its borders.
Capital spending budgets are being cut back, drilling rigs idled and staff laid off. The remarkable growth of US oil production, which brought more than 1m barrels per day of additional supply on to world markets in each of the past three years, seems likely to flatten out this year.
In December Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi posed an interesting question: “Is there a black swan out there that we don’t know about which will come by 2050 and we will have no demand?”
The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved a bigger, high-risk bailout for Ukraine, giving Kiev immediate access to $5 billion of $17.5 billion in emergency IMF credit in another bid to keep the embattled country afloat.
Russia’s bid for Turkish Stream pipeline may open the gates to the competition it most fears