SANCTIONS: ANYTHING CONCRETE
Sanctions are forcing Exxon Mobil Corp. to look for alternative assignments for an offshore rig supposed to sail back to the Russian Arctic next summer, writes Bloomberg.
West Alpha, the rig owned by billionaire John Fredriksen's North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. (NADL) that made a billion-barrel oil discovery for Exxon and OAO Rosneft (ROSN) in the Kara Sea in September, could end up operating offshore Norway instead of going back to Russia in 2015, said Dominic Genetti, operations manager for Exxon in Norway.
"We're looking at alternative uses in Norway, but we haven't landed on anything concrete at this point," he said today in an interview in Stavanger, on Norway's west coast. "We have to wait and see what happens with the joint venture and sanctions. We'll follow whatever the international and U.S. laws are, and that will determine where it goes."
North Atlantic, a 70 percent owned subsidiary of Seadrill Ltd., both based in Hamilton, Bermuda, slid as much as 26 percent, the most since listing in New York in January, and closed 20 percent lower at $3.16 a share, the lowest on record.
The U.S. and the European Union deepened sanctions in September to punish Russia for its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions seek to constrain Russia's financial, defense and energy industries, restricting access to markets and the export of technology for Arctic, deepwater and shale-oil exploration and production, where Russian companies rely on western know-how and equipment.
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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.