TOTAL: OIL WILL DISAPPEAR
French oil and gas company Total will cut spending on ageing North Sea fields and on U.S. shale production after the recent plunge in oil prices, its chief executive said on Wednesday, reports Reuters.
Speaking at a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Patrick Pouyanne said he expected oil prices to remain low in the first half of 2015 after falling almost 60 percent since June to below $50 a barrel.
Pouyanne told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Total planned to reduce capital spending by 10 percent this year from 2014's $26 billion and was also looking at imposing a hiring freeze for 2015.
Total's spending in the North Sea, home to the benchmark Brent crude oil, will be reduced as profitability from fields there has worsened, Pouyanne said on Wednesday.
U.S. shale oil and gas production, which has surged in recent years, causing a large build in global oil supplies, will also be curtailed.
"We have fields on the U.S. East Coast and my instructions have been pretty clear -- we will limit investments," Pouyanne told the panel. "I can come back in one year when prices come back."
While many shale fields were profitable at oil prices of $70 a barrel, current low prices could lead to efficiencies that will reduce production costs below $50 per barrel, he added.
Total has two joint ventures with U.S. group Chesapeake Energy , one to drill for shale gas in the Utica basin in Ohio along with another partner, EnerVest, and another one in the Barnett Shale basin in Texas.
Total joins a raft of international oil companies, including BP and ConocoPhillips, that have slashed 2015 budgets due to lower oil prices.
Pouyanne nevertheless warned lower investment in new production could store up problems.
"There is a natural decline of five percent a year from existing fields around the world. That means by 2030 more than half of the existing global oil production will disappear. There is an enormous amount of money that needs to be invested to get another 50 million barrels per day of new production."
"The cycle will come back and higher prices will come back," he predicted.
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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.