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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  16/09/20152015-09-16
Word count:  426

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - OPEC on Monday predicted higher demand for its crude oil next year, sticking to its view that a strategy of letting prices fall will tame the U.S. shale boom and cut a global surplus.

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Reuters
The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said a weaker outlook for China would contribute to slower global oil demand growth next year.

"U.S. oil production has shown signs of slowing," OPEC said in the report. "This could contribute to a reduction in the imbalance of oil market fundamentals, however, it remains to be seen to what extent this can be achieved in the months to come."

OPEC said it expected demand for its crude next year to average 30.31 million barrels per day (bpd), up 190,000 bpd from last month, despite the slower demand growth overall due to a weaker outlook for Latin America and China

Oil is trading below $50 a barrel, less than half its level of June 2014. But OPEC has refused to cut output, seeking to recover market share by slowing higher-cost production in the United States and elsewhere that had been encouraged by OPEC's former policy of keeping prices near $100.

OPEC expects oil supply from non-member countries to increase by 160,000 bpd next year, a sharp slowdown from growth of 880,000 bpd in 2015. The predictions are, respectively, 110,000 bpd and 70,000 bpd less than forecast last month.

The 2016 forecast for U.S. tight oil production, also known as shale, was reduced by 100,000 bpd. OPEC's move follows the U.S. government's downward revision of domestic output announced in August.

But OPEC did not go as far as the International Energy Agency, which on Friday said lower oil prices would force non-OPEC to cut output by the steepest rate in more than two decades next year.

OPEC also expects the recent strength in oil demand growth to moderate. It sees world oil demand growth slowing to 1.29 million bpd in 2016 - down 50,000 bpd from last month, from 1.46 million bpd in 2015.

"For 2016, projections for oil demand development in China are slightly lower than anticipated in last month's report amid expectations of slower economic activity than previously assumed," OPEC said.

The report said OPEC members continue to boost supplies. According to secondary sources cited by the report, OPEC pumped 31.54 million bpd in August - up 13,000 bpd from July and 2.19 million bpd more than its prediction of the demand for its crude this year.

Despite the higher demand it expects for OPEC crude in 2016, the report points to a 1.23 million bpd supply surplus in the market next year if the group kept pumping at August's rate.

Saudi Arabia, the driving force behind's OPEC's refusal to cut output, told OPEC it trimmed production to 10.27 million bpd in August, a further decline from June's record rate.

(Editing by William Hardy)
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  16/09/20152015-09-16
Word count:  644

MILAN, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Braving all the political risks of the region, Italy's Eni aims to pull together its east Mediterranean gas empire headed by a giant Egypt find, into a major hub to supply Europe.

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Reuters
State-controlled Eni, the biggest foreign oil and gas major in Africa, wants to use its deep ties with Egypt and Libya to help create the export hub for liquefied natural gas.

It expects Libyan gas to flow into a hub when conflict abates, hopes to attract other producers seeking an export outlet from Israel and accelerate plans to send Cypriot gas owned by other companies into the facility, likely to be located in Egypt.

The project would help diversify gas supply to Europe, now dependent on Russia for about a third of its needs, but faces long odds given the region's mix of political disputes, conflict zones and state involvement in energy policy.

Its scope of tying together a multi-national gas supply network may be unprecedented. Pipelines would need to be built linking the various gas deposits scattered across the region to an LNG plant.

"The area (Egypt) could restart exporting LNG and, as it's very close to Italy and Spain where LNG import terminals are idle or underused, it's very likely it will come in there," Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi told Italy's parliament last week.

Descalzi, who has already flown to see heads of state in Egypt and Cyprus where the idea of a gas export hub was discussed, told senators the hub could be established to bring together the resources of Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and at some later point Libya.

"There's massive potential here for Europe and room for Italy to increase its clout in the area. It's clear there are huge amounts of gas, including off Libya," a person familiar with the matter said.

EGYPTIAN LNG

Fuel shortages have forced Egypt to idle its two liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants, which chill gas into liquid form for transport on ships.

Pooling the region's rich energy resources could spur investment in previously stranded gas fields in Israel and Cyprus, while resuscitating once-bustling LNG export plants like BG's Idku as well as Eni's dormant Damietta in Egypt.

In Cyprus, Eni itself has not yet discovered any gas deposits but is focused on doing so, the company said last week. Still, the firm's bumper gas find in Egyptian waters this month, the biggest ever in the Mediterranean, may help unlock aspects of the problem by providing large new supplies to feed the gas export hub.

While gas from the newfound Zohr field, holding 30 trillion cubic feet of reserves, will mainly feed domestic Egyptian demand only, a deeper reservoir below it could be a candidate for gas exports.

"Egypt had a plan to double its LNG export capacity and if the hub grows it could do it," Descalzi told Italy's parliament. The CEO said Eni has made big gas discoveries in Libya that have lain dormant for years because they were unable to develop them as conflict raged, seeing Egypt as one export outlet.

Zohr is also close to Cyprus' offshore block 11 which is licensed to French major Total and the reservoir may extend across the maritime border, creating opportunities for explorers on the Cypriot side.

Israel and Cyprus already have plans to export gas to Egypt but progress has been slowed by regulatory interference and dragging negotiations.

Pulling off the hub project will not be easy given the region's tangle of political disputes.

Turkey opposes any export of Cypriot gas reserves until a long-standing dispute over territory is cleared up and a mechanism for sharing gas profits between the Turkish and Cypriot sides of the island are put in place.

Turkey also sees itself as the region's energy hub, as new pipelines feeding Caspian gas to Europe run across its territory, and may balk at potentially losing ground to Egypt.

Developing Israel's giant gas finds has proven treacherous following policy reversals holding up investment and most recent regulatory disputes have put development on ice.

(Additional reporting by Giancarlo Navach, editing by William Hardy)
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7 months ago

Business News

Business News

Tender | Azzawiya Oil Refining | Extension | collect drawing and information(geographic, social …etc, for refinery & vicinity areas, Brega, Akakos and Golf Companies

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NOC

Azzawiya Oil Refining Company Inc. (ARC), and nearby companies tend to perform an environmental impact assessment (EIA)for refinery and vicinity areas

 

  1. Brief of Scope of Works:

Bidder shall visit  The site, survey and collect drawing and information(geographic, social …etc, for refinery & vicinity areas, Brega, Akakos and Golf Companies).

The assessment of impact are required to identify the following items:-

  • The identification of possible impacts (both direct & indirect impacts).
  • The interpretation/evaluation of identified impacts.
  • Prediction of impacts.
  • The mitigation of significant impacts.
  • Communication.

The (EIA) Scope of Works shall include but not limited to this items:

  • Determine the above mentioned items.
  • Conduct a preliminary environmental base line survey/environmental description and specification of detailed EBS and monitoring programmed.
  • Review and assess existing environmental risk/aspects and impacts in Azzawiya oil refinery and vicinity area.
  • Develop existing Azzawiya oil refinery EIA.
  • Conduct the propose mitigation measure.
  • Evaluate adequacy of current ARC environmental management practice, performance and system effectiveness, recommend necessary upgrading to the environmental management system.
  • Review/develop the current risk assessment and conception of  impact of environmental for refinery & vicinity companies.

 

2) Documents to be Submitted for the Prequalification

 

1.   Licenses for carrying out company activities in Libya.

2.   Valid Local Tax Payment Certificate.

3.   Statement of company’s financial status for the last three years.

4.   Company’s technical organization chart, list of technical stuff and equipment.

5.   Certificates of Completion for similar projects in the past.

6.   Contact details of the company’s head office and branches i.e. telephone/telefax numbers, email identities, website.

7.   List of past and current projects executed by the company with locations, contract prices etc.

8.   Subcontractors, if any and their experience and other information related to them.

9.   Authority letter from the parent company in the event of prequalification of a branch or partner company.

10. In case of  joint venture between foreign and Libyan company, foreign company  must be registered with the local authority  in Libya and have the permission to execute works in Libya.

The companies willing to take part in the prequalification process are required to submit their documents not later than Tuesday 21/09/2015 to the following :

 

            The Chairman, Main Tenders Committee,

            Ground Floor, Administration Building,

            Azzawiya Oil Refining Company Inc.

 

For any inquiries, visit our website maintender@arc.com.lyor contact the Main Tenders Committee by telephone +218-21-3610539-42 Ext.5331, telefax +218-23-7643411.

NB:    Only the successfully prequalified companies shall be invited later to receive the tender documents for the project.

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2 weeks ago

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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  15/09/20152015-09-15
Word count:  248

(Reuters) - Oil pricing agency Platts said on Monday it will include gasoil deliveries to a terminal on Pulau Seraya in Singapore and two fuel oil delivery points in southern Malaysia in its price assessment process for Asian oil products in late September.

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Reuters
The move is expected to offer traders more flexibility in loading cargoes and improve market liquidity, traders said.

Following positive feedback from the industry to its proposal in August that gasoil deliveries to the Pulau Seraya Power Station Terminal be included in its price assessment, Platts will go ahead with the move effective Sept. 25, it said in a note to its subscribers.

Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc, provides Asian benchmark price assessments for most oil products traded in the region.

Apart from terminals in Singapore, Platts also recognises Malaysia's Pasir Gudang, Tanjung Langsat, Tanjung Bin, Pengerang and a few floating storage units in nearby waters for its Singapore price assessment process.

The Pulau Seraya terminal has four berths and an overall storage capacity of 835,000 cubic metres, of which 180,000 cubic metres is set aside for clean oil product storage, Platts said.

At one-metre tide, the approaching draft is about 12.6 metres and is able to accommodate Aframax and partially-laden Suezmax-sized vessels, it added.

Platts will also include floating storage units the Speranza and Jade Palms tankers as additional delivery points in its free-on-board (FOB) Singapore fuel oil assessment process from Sept. 25, the company said in a separate note to subscribers.

The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Speranza is operated by Vitol Asia and the VLCC Jade Palms is operated by Itochu Singapore, Platts said. Both vessels are anchored at Tanjung Pelepas in Johor in southern Malaysia.

(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Tom Hogue)
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  15/09/20152015-09-15
Word count:  290

Oil prices steadied early on Tuesday as traders closed short positions and took on new longs after markets tumbled in the previous session.

Play
Reuters
Crude prices fell on Monday with the onset of lower demand autumn trading and as weak economic data out of China and soft gasoline prices RBc1 pressured the market.

A broker said Tuesday's gains were mainly driven by market participants with short positions locking in profit following Monday's falls, while other traders took the price fall as an opportunity to place new orders.

Front-month U.S. crude futures CLc1 were trading at $44.30 per barrel at 0029 GMT on Tuesday, up 30 cents from their last settlement. Internationally traded Brent futures LCOc1 were up 32 cents at $46.69 a barrel.

"This morning's trading is not representative of fundamentals, but instead a digestion of yesterday's moves," said the broker.

Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro late on Monday repeated his call for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to convene a heads of state meeting and that he would present the country's proposals to shore up oil prices to the group.

Yet Middle East producers from OPEC - who effectively control the export club - have so far pledged to maintain high output in a fight to defend market share against rising competition.

So far, they have stuck to their decision despite calls by other OPEC members, such as Venezuela, for the Middle East to cut excessive output.

Instead, there has even been growing competition amongst the lowest cost producers in the Middle East, such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, to undercut each other with discounts for supplies to their core markets in Asia.

On the demand side, Japanese manufacturers' confidence slumped the most in a year in September to an eight-month low and is forecast to worsen further as fears of a China-led global economic slowdown grow, a Reuters poll showed.

(Editing by Ed Davies)  
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7 months ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  15/09/20152015-09-15
Word count:  147

A workshop was held today at the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce on the establishment of an investment and export guarantee fund. The event was organized by the General Union of Chambers of Commerce and the Libyan Banking Association in cooperation with the Economic Development Board.

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Libya herald
Representatives of the Tripoli-based Salvation government, the Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Privatization ad Investment Board and business leaders were present.

The workshop attempted to introduce the concept of an investment and export guarantee body and come up with proposals that would lead to enshrining a guarantee body into law in order to help diversify the Libyan economy and decentralize it from the dominant state sector.

This would have entailed including a greater role for local and foreign private sector investors in the Libyan economy but also solving the paradox of local Libyan banks being cash rich yet unable to lend due to the lack of legal cover to protect their loans.

Reports from the workshop said that while they considered this first meeting a start, it was felt that participants had not engaged in adequate preparation and research on the topic.
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  14/09/20152015-09-14
Word count:  337

Oil prices dipped on Monday as weakening demand weighed on international markets, although U.S. futures received some support from reduced American drilling.

Play
Reuters
Front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $47.86 a barrel at 0254 GMT, down 28 cents from their last close. U.S. crude futures CLc1 dipped 5 cents to $44.58 a barrel, supported by a slight fall in drilling activity.

The U.S. oil rig count fell by 10 to 652 last week, the second straight monthly drop, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday a cut in production from non-OPEC suppliers, especially the United States, would lead to a rebalancing of the market by next year.

Yet several banks said that the more immediate outlook could lead to lower prices.

"Both the supply and demand pictures look less favourable over the coming months... Outside the U.S., oil fundamentals appear to be slipping seasonally," Morgan Stanley said on Monday in a note to clients, adding that there was potential for some floating storage within the second half of 2015.

Macquarie noted that falling global auto sales in August were acting as a drag on demand.

"Sales were 1.0 percent lower YoY (year-on-year), slightly more than the 0.8 percent fall seen in July 2015," the bank said, although it added that sales could pick up towards the end of the year.

ANZ bank said high production in the Middle East remained a concern on the supply side.

In part due to oversupply and to defend market share, Middle East supplier Kuwait set its October Official Selling Price (OSP) for crude to Asia 60 cents lower than September at a discount of $1.95 per barrel versus Oman/Dubai levels.

The low oil prices will undermine the financial health of energy firms, analysts said, which have already seen steep falls in their share prices since the downturn began in 2014.

"The trajectory of the (oil price) recovery keeps getting shallower as our expectations for OPEC output shifts up... The financial condition of the sector deteriorates further through 2017," Jefferies bank said.

"We are lowering our Brent oil price forecast by 9 percent to $54 per barrel (bbl) in 2015, 10 percent to $61/bbl in 2016 and 6 percent to $73/bbl in 2017," it added.

(Editing by Richard Pullin)
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7 months ago

News Releases

News Releases
Released:  14/09/20152015-09-14
Word count:  240

New Libyan carrier Libyan Wings plans to launch operations by “the end of next week,” CEO Edgardo Badiali told ATW Sept. 11.

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ARW online
The airline has been attempting to get off the ground for some months, but has been stymied by the political turmoil in the North African country, which has seen several factions fighting to control the country. Several aircraft belonging to Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways were damaged or destroyed by warring groups at Tripoli International Airport.

Conditions in the capital Tripoli are now much calmer, Badiali said, and final paperwork covering areas such as insurance has been tied up in the past few weeks.

Libyan Wings will initially fly two Airbus A319-100s, leased from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. The aircraft arrived in Malta at the end of 2014 and have been waiting since then for an opportunity to begin services. One is due to move to Libya in the coming week.

Initial services will be launched to Istanbul, followed by Khartoum. It also plans to fly to Tunis, the capital of neighboring Tunisia. Negotiations are underway with the Tunisian authorities for up to three flights daily, reflecting the amount of business undertaken between the two countries.

At the 2013 Dubai Air Show, Libyan Wings placed an order with Airbus for four A320neos and three A350-900s; this order “is still going ahead,” Badiali said. Delivery dates are uncertain, but he said, “We have very good relations with Airbus. We’ve said to them ‘Let us take off and we will sit at the table and see

[regarding delivery dates].’”
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7 months ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  14/09/20152015-09-14
Word count:  214

The Tripoli-based Ministry of Economy is claiming that it is ready to introduce an electronic import regulating system. The Tripoli authorities claim that this system was created by them recently using local Libyan knowhow.

Play
Libya herald
However, in reality this Libya Trade Network (LTNET) was launched in 2013 at a workshop in Tripoli in cooperation with South Korea, as reported by Libya Herald at the time.

The electronic system links import licences with bank Letters of Credit (LCs) as well as the customs service to control and regulate the import process.

If as the Tripoli authorities reported at a workshop held in Tripoli last Thursday, the system is indeed activated, it will help the Libyan authorities in fighting import corruption and money-laundering with recent revelations of empty containers arriving at Libyan ports.

The online system is supposed to, in theory at least, reduce face to face transactions and hence corruption. Import licences are to be approved or declined online and LCs would only be released if specified goods actually arrive at Libyan ports.

The Ministry of Economy says that it would be able, through the new system, to monitor companies applying for import licences as well as monitor the quality of imported goods. It would also be able to monitor barred goods and goods emanating from barred countries.

This move comes on the back of a concerted drive by the Audit Bureau and the Central Bank of Libya to fight corruption centred around false LCs aimed at FX smuggling and money-laundering.
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  11/09/20152015-09-11
Word count:  322

Crude oil prices dipped on Friday and were poised for a weekly fall after news that top oil exporter Saudi Arabia sees no need for a producer summit to defend prices, partly offsetting a strong rally in the previous session.

Play
Reuters
The front-month October contract for Brent, the global oil benchmark, shed 5 cents to $48.84 a barrel as of 0217 GMT after it settled up $1.31, or 2.8 percent, on Thursday at $48.89 a barrel.

The U.S. crude October contract also lost 14 cents to $45.78 a barrel after it settled up $1.77, or 4 percent, at $45.92 a barrel.

Saudi believes a summit of oil producing countries' heads of states would fail to produce concrete action toward defending oil prices, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The comments followed a meeting of Gulf Arab oil ministers with Qatar's emir in Doha, at which a Venezuelan proposal for an OPEC and non-OPEC summit was discussed.

Oil prices rallied on Thursday as U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed demand for gasoline over the latest four-week period was up almost 4 percent from a year ago, bullish for late-summer consumption of the motor fuel.

While crude inventories rose by 2.6 million barrels to 458 million barrels in the past week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 933,000 barrels, crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 897,000 barrels to 56.41 million barrels, EIA said.

"Crude oil stocks appear to be stabilizing as refinery demand continues to fall, not surprisingly as refining margins have considerably weakened," BNP Paribas said in a note.

Russia's energy minister expects that cuts in global shale oil production, which has been hard hit by lower oil prices, will help stabilize the fragile oil market. Alexander Novak also reaffirmed that Russia, one of the world's top oil producers, would not cut its own production as it would lead only to a short-term recovery with risks of subsequent slumps in prices.

Asian shares rose on Friday thanks to gains on Wall Street, while the dollar steadied after facing pressure from a rallying yuan and U.S. data that offered no clarity on whether the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates next week.

(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  11/09/20152015-09-11
Word count:  263

The Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) have announced that they have held a series of meetings in London between 27-29 August with the major oil companies operating in Libya.

Play
Libya herald
The meetings were held with more than 20 partner, refiner, exporter and service companies including oil giant BP. The CBL reports that the meetings were aimed at consolidating cooperation and assuring Libya’s foreign partners of the Tripoli-based NOC’s commitment to its contractual obligations.

Both the Tripoli-based NOC and the CBL assured the international partners of their political neutrality in the current Libyan political turmoil.

According to the press release put out by the Tripoli-based CBL, the foreign partners assured of their commitment to working with the Tripoli-based NOC.

It will be recalled that as a result of the political split in Libya, there now exists two competing CBLs and two NOCs. The only internationally recognized parliament and government of Libya is the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Thinni based in the eastern city of Al-Beida and the House of Representatives based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

The internationally recognized authorities in the east have been attempting to set up competing institutions in order to wrestle control away from the rebel Tripoli authorities and gain more financial autonomy.

The internationally recognized authorities have set up a competing CBL as well as an NOC. They have set up an alternative bank account overseas to receive hard currency oil revenues, but the international oil companies have chosen to continue to pay for Libya’s oil into existing bank accounts.

The international community meanwhile have adopted a puzzling stance whereby they do not recognize the Tripoli based political authorities but recognize the institutions based there such as the CBL and NOC, regarding them as neutral.
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  11/09/20152015-09-11
Word count:  908

Nobody is happy with the current state of oil markets in Asia, apart maybe from some Chinese, but they probably shouldn't be that pleased either.

Play
Reuters
The reasons are multi-faceted but at the heart is the breakdown and dislocation of the oil pricing mechanism for the bulk of Middle East crude that is shipped to Asian refiners.

The current system has worked well for years, but the rise of China to becoming the world's biggest crude buyer has also led to the increasing influence of the trading arms of its giant state-controlled oil companies PetroChina and Sinopec.

PetroChina's trading arm Chinaoil and Sinopec's Unipec have in the past year established a position of dominance in the daily price assessment for benchmark Dubai crude, used by Middle East producers such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq to price their crude cargoes to Asia.

Aggressive trading by the two, heavy buying by Chinaoil and selling by Unipec, has made Middle East crudes more expensive relative to oil from the Atlantic basin, such as crudes from Angola, Nigeria and Latin American producers such as Brazil.

As a result, life has become more difficult for everybody from producers to traders to refiners outside of China.

For top exporter Saudi Arabia, the shifting dynamic has made it difficult for them to keep their official selling price at a level that ensures they can maintain market share.

For traders such as Glencore, Trafigura, Mercuria and others they are no longer market makers and are being forced to accept prices that squeeze their margins, and they are finding it harder to source physical cargoes.

Refiners outside of China are being forced to pay more than they think they should for Middle East grades supplied under term contracts, reducing profitability and the stability of pricing that they desire.

Middle East producers, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait set their official prices with reference to the Dubai benchmark provided by pricing agency Platts.

Platts in turn discovers the price through a daily trading window whereby market players can buy or sell cargoes of approved grades, currently Oman, Dubai and Upper Zakum.

This has worked satisfactorily in the past, as there was sufficient quantities of physical oil to meet the demands of buyers during the Platts Dubai Market on Close (MoC) process.

THE CHINESE DOMINATE

But Chinaoil has roiled the market by bidding heavily, up to the point where there are now concerns that the MoC will run out of available cargoes. In August, Chinaoil snapped up a record number of cargoes with Unipec the main seller.

There are a whole host of theories as to why the two firms are bidding against each other, as it would appear to benefit Chinaoil at the expense of other Chinese players.

Even then there is considerable doubt as to whether Chinaoil can make enough profit on paper trades to offset losses on the physical market caused by bidding the Dubai price higher relative to other benchmarks. What is certain is that even if Chinaoil can show a profit, the rising Dubai price is costing China as a whole millions of dollars every month. But in some ways it doesn't matter what the motivations of the Chinese traders are, only what the impact is and what other market players can do about it if they feel the current system is no longer working.

The problem with the current process is that there is about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of freely tradable Oman, Dubai and Upper Zakum available.

Platts is mulling adding in more grades such as Abu Dhabi's Murban and Qatar's Al-Shaheen, but this would most likely boost the available amount of crude for the MoC process by about one-third, to somewhere close to 2 million bpd.

Given that Sinopec and PetroChina combined can process about 8 million bpd, it's unlikely that adding grades will be enough. "If you give an elephant 50 cookies and it isn't satisfied, will giving it 70 cookies make a difference?" was how one market participant put it this week during the oil industry's annual gathering in Singapore. PROBLEMS LIKELY TO PERSIST

So what can be done to fix this?

The Chinese are working on creating a futures contract through the Shanghai International Energy Exchange that will be yuan-denominated and deliverable in Shanghai and storages in northeast China. The contract may be launched in October, but it's still far from certain that it will gain widespread acceptance rapidly.

Some market participants are worried about taking delivery in China, given the limited number of potential buyers for crude cargoes, while others said the currency risk of being traded in yuan may be an issue.

Another potential fix is for producing countries such as Saudi Arabia to dump the Platts assessment and switch to using the Dubai Mercantile Exchange's (DME) Oman contract, which allows for delivery and reduces counterparty risk.

This is the most logical short-term solution as Chinaoil and Unipec would find it much harder to dominate a regulated market like the DME in the way they have taken over the MoC.

Other solutions include developing a new Middle East benchmark based on a crude stream such as Iraq's Basra Light and Basra Heavy, but this would take time to gain acceptance and isn't likely even in the medium term.

The reality is that even though the Middle East crude pricing system appears dysfunctional currently, there is no easy fix and market participants are likely to have to adapt their strategies to deal with the current situation.

--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--

(Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News Business News
Released:  10/09/20152015-09-10
Word count:  195

Libya Oil Limited altered the packaging and labelling of its products at a cost of 48 million Br as a means of intensifying its market competition with the local as well as international oil distributing companies.

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All Africa
Announcement of the alteration was made on September 3, 2015, in the Lalibela Hall at the Sheraton Hotel, after another competitor National Oil Company (NOC) conducted a similar event one week earlier.

Attending the event were, OiLibya's chief executive officer, Musbha Elbeshti, OiLibya country managers, staff, invited customers and others.

It was one year ago that the parent company of Libya Oil hired a South African design and printing company to modify the company's packaging products as well as its labelling after calling an international competitive bidding.

The new design considered the fluidity of oils, African rugged and desert topography as well as the concept of gears. The changes were made in the external design of the packaging products, labelling of the products as well as naming of the lubricant products as well as fuel products.

The products are now classified in three categories, with the colour gold going to the most expensive products, white to standard products and red to inexpensive products. This change applies the Deomax and Accel brands.

The packaging has been changed as part of a market strategy and in response to customers' feedback, according to Adugna Dissassa, lubricant sales manager at oiLibya.
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7 months ago

News Releases

News Releases
Released:  10/09/20152015-09-10
Word count:  111

The Minister for Energy and Health Konrad Mizzi and the Libyan Minister of Health Reida el Oakley were today involved in discussions about further cooperation in the health sector.

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Malta today
Through an addendum to reaffirm the principle of an existing Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the parties in 2012, Malta and Libya agreed to further enhance and develop their mutual fruitful collaboration across the health sector.

Both governments further extended their cooperation to the provision of medical services and treatment within the wider healthcare sector and to the provision of technologies.

“Whilst further enhancing the collaboration between the two nations in matters of healthcare, today’s meeting confirms the proactive role that Malta is playing in the rebuilding of the Libyan nation and reaffirms the close relationship that Malta has with the Libyan people,” a statement by the Maltese ministry said.  
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  10/09/20152015-09-10
Word count:  29

A three-day symposium on oil and gas opened yesterday at Ajdabiya University. Organised by the engineering faculty, it combines an industry fair with a series of workshops and addresses.

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Libya herald
Libyan oil companies as was a local firms are taking part.

A large percentage of people in Ajdabiya work in the oil industry, mainly in nearby Zueitina and Brega.
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  10/09/20152015-09-10
Word count:  359

Oil prices fell on Thursday as weak Japanese and Chinese economic data fueled concerns that low levels of investment could further erode already slowing global growth.

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Reuters
Japan's core machinery orders fell 3.6 percent in July, official data showed, much worse than a 3.7 percent increase expected by economists, and followed a 7.9 percent month-on-month decline in June.

In Asia's biggest economy China, the producer price index fell 5.9 percent in August from the same period last year, its 42nd consecutive month of decline and the biggest drop since the depths of the global financial crisis in late 2009, data showed on Thursday.

With many economies facing headwinds, ANZ bank said global growth for 2016 and 2017 would hold around 3.5 percent, revised down from the 4 percent it had previously forecast.

ANZ added that "in the near term the risks are skewed to further downward revision."

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell by around 1 percent to $47.09 per barrel at 0433 GMT. U.S. crude futures were down 0.8 percent at $43.79 a barrel.

Oil prices have fallen by more than 50 percent since June 2014 as soaring output clashed with slowing economies in Asia, the main growth engine for commodities over the previous years.

The weakening in Asia's economies and commodity demand is having far-reaching effects.

On Wednesday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Brazil to a junk-grade credit rating, just seven years after it first won an investment-grade rating. Brazil, one of the main commodity exporters to China and a member of the so-called BRICS emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - was until recently seen as one of the key drivers of the global economy.

The oil price fall was compounded after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, decided last November to keep output high in favor of market share over prices.

"In the first half of 2015, Saudi Arabia exported on average 4.4 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil to seven major trading partners in Asia, making up more than half of Saudi Arabia's total crude oil exports over that period," the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

"Even as global crude oil prices fell in 2014 and 2015, Saudi Arabia increased production and kept its export levels high, enabling it to maintain its market share in these countries," the EIA added.

(Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Tom Hogue)  
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  09/09/20152015-09-09
Word count:  361

Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday as Asian stock markets caught a tailwind from a strong performance in the United States and Europe, although fuel markets remained generally dogged by oversupply.

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Reuters
Asian shares gained after upbeat German economic data powered rising U.S. and European markets, and traders said the more upbeat sentiment in Asia had flowed through to oil markets.

The Brent global crude benchmark was trading at $49.75 per barrel at 0313 GMT, 23 cents up from its last settlement after jumping 4 percent in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 19 cents to $46.13 a barrel after falling in the previous session.

In Japan, weekly crude and refined products statistics showed stable utilization rates and stock levels. Despite Wednesday's gains, concerns remained that high global production was being met with a growing slowdown in demand, especially in the United States where the end of the summer driving season means slowing consumption.

Oil prices have fallen almost 60 percent since June 2014 on a global supply glut, with prices seesawing in recent weeks as concerns about a slowing Chinese economy caused turmoil in global stock markets, while production remained near record highs.

"Commodity price volatility remains high with markets trying to establish a new base against the headwind of weaker seasonal demand," ANZ bank said.

On the supply side, recent speculation that some producers were willing to cooperate in cutting output in support of prices was dealt a blow this week by Russia and Mexico, who both said they would not cut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is producing close to record volumes to squeeze out competition, especially from U.S. shale producers, which have so far weathered the price plunges to keep pumping oil.

In oil politics, OPEC said that Indonesia was reactivating its membership of the oil exporter club despite being a net crude importer.

If completed, the move would add almost 3 percent to OPEC's oil output, which is already close to a record high.

Indonesia would be the fourth-smallest OPEC producer ahead of Libya, Ecuador and Qatar, and bring the number of participants to 13 countries.

Indonesia was the only Asian OPEC member for nearly 50 years before leaving the group at the start of 2009 as oil prices hit a record high, and rising domestic demand and falling production turned it into a net oil importer.

(Editing by Richard Pullin)
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7 months ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  09/09/20152015-09-09
Word count:  167

The Council for Joint Libyan-Tunisian Affairs has called on the Tunisian government to organise an investment conference later this year for Libyan and Tunisian businesses. They want to it be in the south of the country, preferably Sfax.

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Libya herald
The call came at a meeting in Tunis on Thursday between the council and Tunisian Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation Yassine Brahim.

Council members, notably Fouad Al-Awam, its Libyan vice president, said that bilateral business needed more support from the Tunisian government if there were to be greater investment in economic cooperation between the two countries.

They pointed to potential opportunities in tourism, the food industry and healthcare and well as the construction materials industry – and particularly in southern Tunisia.

For his part, Brahim said that the new five-year plan due to be unveiled in November would focus strongly on the development of investment and partnership between Libya, Algeria and Tunisia. There would be moves to “strengthen economic ties and open up more development opportunities in the three countries, “he explained.

A fortnight ago, Tunisian Trade Minister Ridha Lahouel confirmed that a free-trade zone would be created in the area of Shousha on the Tunisian-Libyan border. Another is to be created on the Algerian border.
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7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News

LONDON, Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) totaled 31.26 million barrels per day (b/d) in August, down 140,000 b/d from the July level of 31.4 million b/d as several member countries, including Saudi Arabia, trimmed output, according to a just-released Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.

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Platts
"This is the first time OPEC output has fallen since February, but it shouldn't be over-interpreted," Margaret McQuaile, senior correspondent for Platts, a leading global provider of energy and commodities information. "The August total still puts OPEC exceeding its official ceiling by 1.26 million b/d and Saudi oil is still flowing at record levels."

The August estimate marked the first monthly fall in OPEC output since February, although the total remained more than 1 million b/d above the group's official 30 million b/d ceiling.

Despite having rolled over the ceiling -- in place since the beginning of 2012 -- in June for a further six months, OPEC has no mechanism for enforcing it as there are no individual country quotas. Furthermore, with Iran preparing to increase supply once international sanctions are removed, the battle for market share that initially appeared to be focused on non-OPEC producers is now also raging within OPEC itself.

Saudi Arabia, having pumped at record levels above 10 million b/d since March, scaled back supply by 50,000 b/d to 10.4 million b/d in August. The kingpin producer, which drove OPEC's November 2014 decision not to reduce output despite sliding oil prices, has given no indication that it is ready to abandon its market share strategy.

Smaller decreases came from Iraq, Libya, Angola and Qatar.

Libyan production remains at less than one quarter of its 1.6 million b/d capacity, with output slipping to just 360,000 b/d in August from 390,000 b/d in July because of ongoing technical problems at fields in eastern Libya and continued blockades of other key oil infrastructure across the country.

In Iraq, exports last month were slightly down on both July and June because of a slight fall in southern exports and the ongoing restrictions on supplies via Turkey because of Kurdistan's move to restart its own independent exports at the expense of the federal barrels it had been exporting on Baghdad's behalf.

Concerns about the Chinese economy have helped drive crude prices downward in recent weeks. North Sea Brent hit a six-year low of $42.23/barrel last week, but has since clawed its way back to around $50/b.

Earlier this week, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said OPEC's current policy had proved unsuccessful in marginalizing shale oil, a key driver in climbing non-OPEC production, and that member countries should now be willing to reduce supply in order to boost prices. Iran, he said, saw $70-$80/b as a favorable price range for crude and would pursue this target within OPEC.

There is, as yet, no date for the lifting of sanctions, which will be tied to verification of Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency is scheduled to deliver its final report in mid-December.

OPEC ministers are next scheduled to meet in Vienna on December 4.

For output numbers by country, click here. You may be prompted for a cost-free, one-time-only log-in registration. For the latest OPEC news features, visit this OPEC Features link and for an OPEC guide, access this link: http://www.platts.com/news-feature/2015/oil/opec-guide/index. Additional information on oil, energy and related information may be found on the Platts website at www.platts.com.

CONTACT Global, Americas, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, kathleen.tanzy@platts.com
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Petrovic Dorde
7 months ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  09/09/20152015-09-09
Word count:  568

DUBAI, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) will use some of its $23 billion of locally-held cash deposits to revive Libya's ailing private sector should the country form a unity government, the sovereign wealth fund's would-be chairman said on Tuesday.

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Reuters
Libya is torn between two rival governments, one based in Tripoli and the second in the country's east. The two have appointed different heads of various institutions including the LIA, moves that are indicative of the chaos in the North African oil producer four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

Talks to unite the two sides are in their final stretch and a deal could be signed on Sept. 20, although they have still to agree on who will be in the new, single government, a United Nations official said last week.

"The private sector was virtually destroyed over the last 30 years, especially during the 1980s and 1990s because of the socialist ideals of Gaddafi," said Hassan Bouhadi, LIA chairman from the country's internationally recognised government based in eastern Libya. "It was difficult to open a barber shop, let alone have a factory or a law firm. The private sector is weak and needs support and funding."

About 35 percent of the LIA's $67 billion of assets are made up of cash deposits held at Libya's central bank.

Bouhadi said the LIA would establish investment banks to fund small- to medium-sized companies, provide consultants to help them formulate business plans and create so-called business incubators to aid start-ups.

"Libya today is run by public companies - one of the first things the new government should do is free the reins on the private sector," said Bouhadi. Of the LIA's remaining assets, 25 percent are in foreign stocks and bonds frozen since 2011. A further 40 percent are direct stakes in foreign companies and are not frozen.

Overall, the LIA has holdings in about 550 companies, including GE, Unichem, Orange, Finmeccanica and Siemens. Bouhani said the LIA would utilise these interests to attract foreign investment into Libya. "We would like to create private-public partnerships. We will be a capable, credible local partner for major investors."

Such a strategy will change the LIA's remit, which was set up in 2006 to invest abroad to ease Libya's economic dependence on energy. The country now faces a budget crisis, with oil revenues about a quarter of what the country used to net.

Bouhani drew up the strategy despite the failure of similar attempts by other administrations, and despite his tenure at the LIA being in dispute.

Predecessor AbdulMagid Breish says he is the rightful LIA chairman. Bouhani has launched legal proceedings in London to establish who has authority to appoint directors to manage the fund's UK-based assets. Breish, although based in Tripoli, is not aligned with either Libyan government. Bouhani told Reuters he would halt the case should a Libyan unity government be formed before the next court hearing. He said he will submit a plan - created in consultation with law firm Dentons - by year-end outlining how the stocks and bonds freeze could be eased and still ring-fence these assets. Breish is opposed to relieving the freeze.

"If you have assets in the stock market you should be allowed to buy and sell. If bonds have matured we would like to reinvest in the bonds market without the cash losing value by just sitting there," Bouhani said.

In 2013, Deloitte compiled a report on the LIA's assets that was not made public. Bouhani hopes to publish an updated version by year-end that could include the 20 percent of its assets - in numerical terms - still to be evaluated by Deloitte.

(Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Marco Kunkel
7 months ago
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