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Tag Archives: North Sea

IMO 2020 and the Forties de-escalator in Dated Brent

The International Maritime Organization’s decision to cap the sulfur level of global marine fuels on January 1, 2020 has been the dominant story in the oil markets for the last two years. Among the many questions raised by the imminent 0.5% cap on sulfur in marine fuels, some crude oil market participants are now asking what the implications could be for the Forties de-escalator, the key sulfur value adjustment mechanism that lies at the heart of the North Sea’s Brent crude complex. To...

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Insight: Energy-trading blockchains edge closer to reality, but market remains cautious

Is blockchain gaining a foothold in the energy sector? The last two years witnessed a boom in projects around commodities trading and logistics using distributed ledger technology, but the pilots proved slow to move on from proof of concept phases. That might be changing, with two industry-backed blockchain projects in the energy sector now gathering momentum. Vakt, a consortium of energy majors, banks and trading houses, took its blockchain-powered post-trade management system live on...

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Brexit no deal is no worry for North Sea oil and UK energy sector

Economic warnings around a no-deal Brexit have reached fever pitch proportions. If Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s latest Doomsday portent comes to fruition, house prices will collapse and the streets will be choked by dole queues if the UK unceremoniously crashes out of the European Union. Certainly, the energy industry will also be affected; just don’t expect the petrol pumps to run dry, or the lights to go out on March 29 next year. Based on the evidence at hand, the nation’s vital...

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Insight Conversation: Tony Durrant, CEO of Premier Oil

In our recent Insight Conversation video, the CEO of Premier Oil, a UK independent upstream oil and gas company with interests in the North Sea, the Falkland Islands, Southeast Asia and Latin America, sat down for a conversation with Nick Coleman. Why would anyone invest in the declining North Sea? The UK North Sea, on most people’s estimates, is something like two-thirds of the way through its producing life, having produced about 40 billion barrels out of a possible 60 billion barrels....

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Politics complicates energy security: Fuel for Thought

Countries lacking abundant energy resources are often the most effective in ensuring reliable supplies, usually through a mix of pragmatism and openness to foreign investment. But this becomes ever more difficult at a time of rising political tension. The latest Russian poisoning scandal has highlighted not so much the UK or Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy, but the extent to which energy supply in much of Europe is highly diversified, with multiple sources, delivery methods and...

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Why the crude rally has fizzled: Market analysis series

This is the first part of a three-part series on headwinds facing the crude market. These have been interesting times in the crude market. Prices had been trading comfortably above $50/b since late March, with bulls re-trenching on the idea that Saudi-led OPEC supply cut will soon tighten balances. And while today’s price declines could prove temporary, a measure of caution is advised to all bulls, for two key reasons — reasons that we’ve been watching closely since November....

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Keeping Dated Brent current as North Sea production declines: Fuel for Thought

One of the most dominant conversation topics in the crude world over the last several years has been the declining production profile in the North Sea region. North Sea grades—and particularly the light, sweet, distillate-rich crudes that have dominated regional production historically—have formed the backbone of the Dated Brent assessment. However, as the region has matured, production has begun to decline. This has happened more slowly perhaps than expected, particularly given the low price...

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Brexit: What could it mean for the North Sea’s oil? — Fuel for Thought

In less than two months UK citizens will make one of their biggest political decisions in more than 40 years: whether to remain or leave the EU trading bloc they have been part of since 1973. While an exit from the EU could mark a major milestone for the UK economy — the government fears GDP could suffer by over 6% after 15 years — a leave vote is seen having a limited impact on the UK upstream sector. For a start, North Sea oil has been regulated by London since before the UK joined the EU....

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The Oil Big Five: What news is good news for oil in 2016?

Welcome to the first version of The Oil Big Five for 2016, when we round up some of the biggest news and trends from the global oil industry and think to ourselves: Wow, things sure have changed since our first post. But then, that’s oil for you: Things are always changing, and yet some things remain the same. We asked our oil editors and analysts around the world for what they think are outstandingly important drivers in the markets, and these are items they chose, in no particular order....

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Nigerian crude no longer the ‘talk of the town’

“It is a buyer’s market.” This phrase is omnipresent on most oil trader’s lips these days as crude oil prices continue to slide. None typifies this better than the current state of the Nigerian crude oil market. Overhang, glut, oversupply, unsold barrels, are some of the words most associated with Nigerian crude. Rewind to almost a decade ago: Nigerian crude was every refiners’ oil of choice. Most of them wanted to refine Nigerian light sweet oil in order to produce a substantial amount of...

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