LUKOIL & TOTAL: SIBERIAN TIGHT OIL
Russia's No.2 oil producer, Lukoil, and France's Total agreed on Friday to set up a joint venture to tap vast tight oil reserves in Siberia.
The companies signed the deal on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Vagit Alekperov, the head of Lukoil, said the venture with Total would develop fields with around 500 million barrels of reserves.
Total said in a statement seismic acquisition will start in 2014 and exploration drilling will follow in 2015. The deal finalises a preliminary agreement signed in December last year.
"Total's entry into the Bazhenov play, one of the world's largest shale oil formations, reinforces our position in non-conventional hydrocarbons, where the group has developed significant experience," Total CEO Christophe de Margerie said.
The French oil major said last month it expected the biggest share of its oil and gas output to come from Russia by 2020 and plans to stay there for the long haul despite tensions with the West over Ukraine.
Total will join majors ExxonMobil, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell in developing Russian shale oil, a major part of Moscow's efforts to at least maintain its oil output at more than 10 million barrels per day.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the possible shale oil resources in Russia at 75 billion barrels, more than the 58 billion held by the United States, current leader in shale oil production.
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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.