energy minister


Opec to scrap April meeting but keep oil cuts in place

BAKU, March 18 ― Opec is set to scrap its planned meeting in April and decide instead whether to extend oil output cuts in June, when the market will be able to assess the full impact of US sanctions on Iran and the crisis in Venezuela. A…

US aims to cut Iran oil exports to under one million bpd from May, sources say

WASHINGTON, March 14 ― The United States aims to cut Iran's crude exports by about 20 per cent to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid US sanctions, two sources familiar with…

Frenzied buying of oil & gas stocks on Bursa

PETALING JAYA: In what was a rare occasion on Bursa Malaysia today, the local bourse saw the top 10 most active list being fully dominated by oil and gas (O&G) and related stocks, which attracted investors’ interest on hopes that supply cuts will boost global crude prices.

Frenzied buying of O&G stocks led to a 27.07-point, or 2.61%, jump in the Energy Index to 1,063.01 points today from 1,035.94 points yester. It was the best performing index on Bursa Malaysia.

As at 6pm today West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil futures were trading 0.9% and 0.61% higher at US$57.40 and US$67.10 per barrel, respectively.

On Bursa Malaysia, Naim Holdings Bhd was the top gainer today after it hit limit-up at RM1.20, closing 30 sen or 33.33% higher with 68.10 million shares traded.

Among the most actively traded stocks were Sapura Energy Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd.

Sapura Energy was the most actively traded stock, with 370.10 million shares done. It rose 4.62% to close at 34 sen.

Perdana Petroleum’s share price jumped 50% to close at 45 sen with 339.98 million shares done. This was followed by Alam Maritim Resources Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroluem Bhd, which soared 20% and 19% to 15 sen and 12.5 sen, res-pectively.

Oil prices were lifted by ongoing supply cuts led by Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies including Russia (known as Opec+), which had agreed in December last year to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) beginning January this year, for a period of six months.

According to a Reuters report last month, Opec’s oil output fell almost 800,000 bpd in January to 30.81 million bpd.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude oil exports to below 7 million bpd in April while keeping its output below 10 million bpd.

A Reuters report quoting a Saudi official, said that state-owned Saudi Aramco’s oil allocations for April are 635,000 bpd below customers’ nomination.

Despite strong demand of more than 7.6 million bpd, its customers were allocated less than 7 million bpd.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that March oil production was 9.8 million bpd and that the country plans to keep its April output at the same level.

Closer to home, the O&G sector was also boosted by state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) commitment of a higher capital expenditure (capex) of over RM50 billion for 2019, as it focuses on plans to venture into new businesses such as renewable energy and specialty chemicals.

Last year, the national oil firm spent RM46.8 billion on capex, with a focus on the upstream projects. The RM46.8 billion is 5% higher than the previous year.

The higher capex is expected to spur local upstream activities, with potential beneficiaries being fabricators and floating production storage and offloading players.

Russia and Opec: Convenience but no marriage

MOSCOW, March 13 — Two years after they teamed up to take back control of oil markets, the alliance between Russia and Opec continues to be effective. But experts say talk of a more formal and permanent partnership are premature, with Moscow keen…

Saudi Arabia to cut oil exports in April, says Saudi official

DUBAI, March 11 — Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), while keeping its output well below 10 million bpd, a Saudi official said today, as the kingdom seeks to drain a supply glut and…

Exxon’s Cyprus gas discovery adds on to East Med region

ATHENS/LONDON: ExxonMobil added another giant gas discovery to the east Mediterranean region after finding a gas-bearing reservoir offshore Cyprus but infrastructure bottlenecks and geopolitical disputes mean output from the field could be far off. Exxon, together with partner Qatar Petroleum (QP), estimated in-place gas resources in the reservoir at 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet […]

Saudi defiant on oil cuts after Trump tells Opec to 'relax'

RIYADH, Feb 27 — The Saudi energy minister said today he is leaning towards extending oil production cuts in the second half of 2019, despite US President Donald Trump's demand to keep prices down. Opec cartel countries and other major oil…

Saudi investments to aid cash-strapped Pakistan

DUBAI: A record investment package being prepared by Saudi Arabia for Pakistan will likely provide welcome relief for its cash-strapped Muslim ally, while also addressing regional geopolitical challenges, analysts say. At the heart of the investment is a reported US$10 billion refinery and oil complex in the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, the […]

Oil prices edge lower, tightening supply outlook supports

SINGAPORE: Crude oil prices edged lower on Monday after sharp gains during the previous session but were supported by expectations of shrinking supply and signs that China-US trade tensions could ease.

International Brent crude oil futures on Monday were down 20 cents, or 0.32% at 0339 GMT to $62.54 a barrel, after closing up 3.14% in the previous session to their highest close since Nov 21.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $55.13 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.24%, from their last settlement. WTI settled 2.73% higher in the last session at its highest close since Nov 19.

Output declines from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as they make good on their pact to curb a supply overhang were compounded by falling US oil rig counts and sanctions on Venezuelan oil sales.

“While Venezuela’s output reportedly rose last month, fresh US sanctions on the country could see 0.5 to 1% of global supply curtailed,” said Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note on Monday.

The sanctions will sharply limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to those imposed on Iran last year, experts said after examining details posted by the Treasury Department.

OPEC oil supply fell in January by the largest amount in two years despite sluggish production declines from Russia, according to a Reuters survey.

However, Russian oil output in January missed the target for the output cuts, Energy Ministry data showed on Saturday. Production last month declined to 11.38 million barrels per day (bpd), but that was only down by 35,000 bpd from its October 2018 level that is the baseline for the pact.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said the country’s overall cuts from the October baseline would total 50,000 bpd in January. Russia has pledged to reduce oil output by 230,000 bpd from October.

US energy firms last week cut the number of oil rigs operating to their lowest in eight months as some drillers followed through on plans to spend less on new wells this year.

“The collapse in oil prices late last year has resulted in more cautious spending by US oil explorers,” said Dhar.

Meanwhile, hopes for thawing China-US relations have also helped ease concerns over slowing economic growth.

“While the US and China have yet to reach a deal, markets were buoyed by reports that they have made significant progress,” ANZ Bank said in a research note.

US President Donald Trump last week said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, perhaps twice, in the coming weeks to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing, but acknowledged it was not yet clear whether a deal could be reached. – REUTERS

Saudi signs US$54.4b of deals, offers manufacturing incentives

RIYADH, Jan 29 — Saudi Arabia said yesterday it had signed agreements worth 204 billion riyals (US$54.4 billion or RM223.4 billion) and offered fresh incentives to attract capital as part of a 10-year programme that would help diversify the…