OGJ - US President Donald Trump fired Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of State after barely more than 13 months on the job in a 5:45 a.m. tweet on Mar. 13 and said he intends to name Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo as his successor.
Tillerson reportedly had not been happy recently as the country's top diplomat, and critics quickly called him ineffective in response to his being discharged. A few also conceded that he received little support or encouragement from the White House.
Tillerson accepted Trump's offer to lead and implement US foreign policy after a 41-year career that began as a petroleum engineer at Exxon Co. USA in 1975 and concluded on his retirement as ExxonMobil Corp.'s chief executive in 2016.
When Tillerson was nominated, time that he spent in Russia while he was with ExxonMobil was considered by some an asset and others a liability. Coincidentally, one of his last statements as secretary was on Mar. 12 after speaking with British Foreign Sec. Boris Johnson following a nerve gas attack there a week earlier for which Russia was believed responsible.
"There is never a justification for this type of attack—the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation—and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior," Tillerson said. "From Ukraine to Syria—and now the UK—Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens. We agree that those responsible—both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it—must face appropriately serious consequences."
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U.S. EIA - Energy companies’ free cash flow—the difference between cash from operations and capital expenditure—was $119 billion for the four quarters ending June 30, 2018, the largest four-quarter sum during 2013–18 Companies reduced debt for seven consecutive quarters, contributing to the lowest long-term debt-to-equity ratio since third-quarter 2014
OPEC - Total oil demand for 2018 is now estimated at 98.82 mb/d. In 2019, world oil demand growth is forecast to rise by 1.41 mb/d. Total world oil demand in 2019 is now projected to surpass 100 mb/d for the first time and reach 100.23 mb/d.
ARAB NEWS - Oil exports from southern Iraq are heading for a record high this month, two industry sources said, adding to signs that OPEC’s second-largest producer is following through on a deal to raise supply and local unrest is not affecting shipments.
PLATTS - The International Energy Agency expects the US to account for 75% of the global growth in natural gas exports over the next five years, a bullish outlook for LNG developers facing challenges at home getting projects off the ground and abroad with tariffs affecting trade flows.