Tuesday , November 12 2019
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The Barrel Blog

Oman exports more LNG in move with implications for oil

Over the past two years, Oman has quietly expanded the number of countries to which it exports LNG to well beyond those with which it has long-term supply contracts. In a state that needs increasing gas volumes to fuel its oil and heavy industrial sectors, this raises far-reaching questions about energy strategy. To be sure, Oman’s government two decades ago saw LNG production as an important means of diversifying the sultanate’s economy and move state revenues away from heavy...

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Struggles to cut cost delay oil play production in Argentina: At the Wellhead

There are always myriad reasons why vast oil resources worldwide may not be produced, and in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Charles Newbery digs into challenges facing the biggest shale play in Argentina, which could rival the prolific production of US plays if properly tapped.   Argentina has drawn wide interest for its vast shale oil and natural gas production potential, but when it comes to committing investment to extract the resources, the hesitation is...

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Weak iron ore market sends miners far afield in China

The persistently weak outlook for iron ore and steel has forced some Chinese miners to get creative to stay in business. Shenzhen-listed Shandong Geo-mineral is looking to the tire sector after recording losses in iron ore mining and sales since 2014. The company, based in Jinan, Shandong province, announced August 8 it would to set up a joint venture with Shandong Huitong Tyre, with the iron ore miner investing Yuan 210 million ($33 million) in exchange for a 70% stake in the new entity. The...

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The Oil Big Five: No slowdown for oil

High summer can often be seen as a slow period, when the heat and prospect of a holiday can make it hard to work up the effort to make news. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is in full force, and luckily for us, news is also heating up in the world of oil. This is the August (and slightly belated) version of The Oil Big Five, brought to you by our oil analysts and editors around the globe, from Houston to London to Singapore. So, as we do every month, we present our list of the biggest oil...

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I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more wind generation

The projected big winner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s pursuit of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by the power sector is wind generation. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, whose rules were unveiled Monday, is expected to trigger a boom in wind installations that could amount to a 63% increase in wind generation by the year 2020 over 2013 wind capacity totals, and an increase of 211% by 2030. Like the music producer in the iconic “Saturday Night Live” skit, the EPA has come...

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Seaborne nickel ore trade still a deadly ‘game of Russian roulette’

“Carrying solid bulk cargoes involves serious risks, which must be managed carefully to safeguard the crew and the ship. These risks include reduced ship stability (and even capsizing) due to cargo liquefaction; fire or explosion due to chemical hazards; and damage to ship structures due to poor loading procedures.” — The opening paragraph of the introduction of Carrying Solid Bulk Cargoes Safely guide, published in 2013 by UK classification society Lloyd’s Register, in...

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ConocoPhillips pursues Alaskan viscous crude deposits: At the Wellhead

New technology has long been one of the driving forces behind oil production, and in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Tim Bradner explains how a major is using new methods in Alaska with the hopes any success could be more widely applicable — and profitable — in the future.   In the search for new sources of crude, ConocoPhillips is investing a half-billion dollars to boost the production of difficult-to-access shallow onshore deposits on Alaska’s North Slope....

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Base metals come to terms with China’s ‘new normal’ in July

In July, base metals faced two dominant headwinds in the form of the Greek debt crisis and the China stock market crash that saw metals test fresh multi-year lows on the London Metal Exchange. This led to a number of investment banks adjusting their short-term and long-term price forecasts as they focused on the likely impact of the rebalancing of the Chinese economy and its projected slower growth — what China’s Premier Li Keqiang has coined the ‘new normal.’ Three-months copper hit a...

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Bumpy road ahead for US infrastructure and steelmakers who create it

Half a loaf is better than none, but what about 1/24 of a loaf? That’s a question the steel industry and other major stakeholders in US infrastructure projects may be asking themselves this week. Last week Washington legislators rushed out of town after approving a mere three months of federal funding for transportation infrastructure projects — after giving up on a comprehensive six-year plan that authorized the spending of $350 billion. The eleventh hour crisis measure will only serve to...

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Asia drawing better purchase terms for Mideast crude as competition intensifies

There is little doubt that additional crude oil supplies from Iran will intensify competition among Middle Eastern producers, which are already fighting to secure their share of Asia’s dynamic markets against the influx of barrels from western hemisphere suppliers that can no longer rely on the US market. Tehran’s July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers will eventually lead to additional flows of Iranian oil onto world markets, but oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has already said...

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