Brent leads crude prices higher as Norway oil workers get ready to strike

Above, an oil platform in the North Sea in Norway. Hundreds of workers on Norwegian oil and gas offshore rigs are due to strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal. (Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2018

Brent leads crude prices higher as Norway oil workers get ready to strike

  • Hundreds of workers on Norwegian oil and gas offshore rigs are due to strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal
  • Libya’s national oil production fell to 527,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.28 million bpd in February following recent oil port closures

TOKYO: Oil prices rose on Tuesday on escalating concerns over potential supply shortages, with Brent crude leading the way as hundreds of oil workers in Norway were set to strike later in the day.
Brent crude had added 32 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $78.39 per barrel by around 0303 GMT, following a 1.2-percent climb on Monday.
US light crude futures were up 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $74.02. They gained 5 cents to settle at $73.85 a barrel the session before.
Hundreds of workers on Norwegian oil and gas offshore rigs are due to strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, a move which will likely affect the production of at least one field, Shell’s Knarr.
That potentially adds to disruptions in other oil producers amid tensions in the Middle East.
The United States says it wants to reduce oil exports from Iran, the world’s fifth-biggest producer, to zero by November, which would oblige other big producers to pump more.
Saudi Arabia, fellow members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia agreed last month to increase output to dampen price gains and offset global production losses in countries including Libya.
The market has grown concerned that if the Saudis offset the losses from Iran, that will use up global spare capacity and leave markets more vulnerable to further or unexpected production declines.
“The bottom line becomes the available spare capacity within OPEC ... and the markets have started to focus on that,” said Victor Shum, vice president for energy at IHS markets in Singapore.
“It is likely that concern will support prices all through the summer, while demand continues to be strong during the summer peak,” he said.
Libya’s national oil production fell to 527,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.28 million bpd in February following recent oil port closures, the head of the National Oil Corporation said in a statement on Monday.
In Canada, an outage at the 360,000-barrel per day (bpd) Syncrude oil sands facility reduced flows into Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for US futures.
Money managers raised their bullish bets on US crude in the week to July 3, the US Commodity Trading Commission said on Monday.


Big oil feels the heat on climate

Updated 22 January 2020

Big oil feels the heat on climate

  • Trump singles out ‘prophets of doom’ for attack as industry leader promises global forum: ‘We will be different’
  • Greenpeace told the Davos gathering that the world’s largest banks, funds and insurance companies had invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal

LONDON: Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg slammed inaction over climate change as the global oil industry found itself under intense scrutiny on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The teenage campaigner went head to head with US President Donald Trump, who dismissed climate “prophets of doom” in his speech.
She in turn shrugged off the US president’s pledge to join the economic forum’s initiative to plant 1 trillion trees to help capture carbon dioxide.
“Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough,” Thunberg said. “It cannot replace mitigation. We need to start listening to the science and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves,” the 17-year-old said.
The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum was dominated by the global threat posed by climate change and the carbon economy.
The environmental focus of Davos 2020 caps a year when carbon emissions from fossil fuels hit a record high, and the devastating effects of bushfires in Australia and other climate disasters dominated the news.
Oil company executives from the Gulf and elsewhere are in the spotlight at this year’s Davos meeting as they come under increased pressure to demonstrate how they are reducing their carbon footprint.
“We are not only fighting for our industry’s life but fighting for people to understand the things that we are doing,” said Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental, the US-based oil giant with extensive oil operations in the Gulf. “As an industry when we could be different — we will be different.”

‘Planting trees is good, but nowhere near enough,’ activist Greta Thunberg told Davos. (Shutterstock)

She said the company was getting close to being able to sequester significant volumes of CO2 in the US Permian Basin, the heartland of the American shale oil industry which is increasingly in competition with the conventional oil producers of the Arabian Gulf.
“The Permian Basin has the capacity to store 150 gigatons of CO2. That would be 28 years of emissions in the US. That’s the prize for us and that’s the opportunity. People say if you’re sequestering in an oil reservoir then you are producing more oil, but the reality is that it takes more CO2 to inject into a reservoir than the barrel of oil that it makes come out,” Hollub said.
The challenge Occidental and other oil companies face is to make investors understand what is happening in this area of carbon sequesteration, she added.
The investment community at Davos is also looking hard at the oil industry in the face of mounting investor concerns.
Greenpeace told the Davos gathering that the world’s largest banks, funds and insurance companies had invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal. It accused some of these groups of failing to live up to the World Economic Forum goal of “improving the state of the world.”