Eni rig sails for Morocco after Turkey blocks Cyprus search

An employee walks by banners with name and sign of energy firm Eni at Strovolos area in capital Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP)
Updated 27 February 2018

Eni rig sails for Morocco after Turkey blocks Cyprus search

NICOSIA: An Italian drillship blocked by the Turkish navy from exploring for gas off Cyprus was on Tuesday headed for Morocco, a website monitoring sea traffic showed.
The Saipem 12000 vessel, chartered by Italian giant Eni, anchored off the Cypriot port of Limassol after it was forced on Friday to abandon its mission following a two-week standoff with Turkish warships.
Ankara bitterly opposes attempts by the Greek-majority Republic of Cyprus to exploit resources in the waters off the divided island, insisting it is protecting the rights of the Turkish-Cypriot community.
The Marine Traffic website that measures ship movements around the globe estimated that the vessel should arrive off the coast of Morocco by March 9.
An Eni spokesman reiterated a statement by the firm’s boss that the drillship “would head to Morocco and return to Cyprus when conditions allow.”
Cypriot Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis on Monday said the postponement of the test drilling was a “setback” but the government would continue with its energy search as planned.
The latest spike in tensions over energy resources has complicated efforts to restart talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus after they collapsed last year.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern third of the island in response to a Greek military junta-sponsored coup.
EU member Cyprus argues that the island’s untapped energy riches belong to the state and the wealth would be shared with the Turkish-Cypriot community once the island was reunified.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned foreign energy companies not to “overstep the mark” in the Mediterranean after Turkey’s navy blocked the Italian vessel on February 9, claiming they were carrying out maneuvers.
Cyprus expects more exploratory drills in the second half of 2018 by US giant ExxonMobil and its partner Qatar Petroleum.


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.