Canada

Imperial’s Aspen project was ‘the exception’ to Canada’s stagnant oil growth outlook. Not anymore

Financial Post | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:57 PM
  • Five months after green-lighting a new oilsands project, Imperial Oil Ltd. has reversed course and is slowing construction work on the $2.6-billion Aspen development as new oil production growth stagnates.
  • Imperial specified the Alberta government’s order forcing producers to curtail their output beginning in January.
  • In response to record-setting discounts for Western Canada Select heavy oil blends, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced in December that oil producers in the province would need to cut back their output by roughly 10 per cent in a bid to lift prices.

United States

Trump opens sage grouse habitat to oil and gas drilling

CNN | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:42 PM
  • He Interior Department finalized changes Friday to protections for the sage grouse bird.
  • A CNN investigation found that Bernhardt’s former client, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, repeatedly met and emailed Interior officials about the sage grouse bird.
  • In July and August 2017, IPAA lobbyist Samantha McDonald emailed an Interior staffer about the agency issuing new guidance on maps related to sage grouse and the staffer responded that Interior was “working on it,” according to emails obtained by the Western Values Project.

United Kingdom

Talos eyes new opportunities for US Gulf oil and gas drilling program, aided by small recent buys

S&P Global Platts | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:31 PM
  • US Gulf of Mexico operator Talos Energy is ramping up its oil and gas drilling program in that arena, aided by recent small bolt-on purchases that even though in the early stages of evaluation and drilling appear to add value to the mid-sized company.
  • In another core area, Talos’ Ram Powell production facility offers the same potential for multiple tiebacks.
  • Talos’ Pompano, Amberjack and Ram Powell fields represented 19,300 b/d of oil equivalent in Q4.

United Kingdom

On anniversary of FERC MLP shakeup, pipelines still wrestle with uncertainty

S&P Global Platts | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:23 PM
  • One year after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rocked pipeline sector stocks by moving away from a tax benefit for midstream companies organized as master limited partnerships, the story of the impact on companies continues to unfold.
  • At issue is FERC’s March 15, 2018, proposed policy statement asserting that it no longer planned to allow oil and gas pipeline MLPs to recover an income tax allowance in cost-of-service rates.
  • For now, FERC is working its way through informational filings it required from gas pipelines to help discern whether companies need to lower rates due to FERC’s altered tax policy along with the lowered corporate income tax rate under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.

Switzerland

Latam lender replaces Venezuela’s Maduro representative with Guaido economist

Swissinfo | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:13 PM
  • The Inter-American Development Bank on Friday voted to replace the representative of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with an economist backed by opposition leader Juan Guaido.
  • The decision makes the IADB, Latin America’s largest regional lender, the first financial institution to recognise Guaido and would eventually free up development lending to Venezuela if Maduro steps down.
  • IMF approval would also allow the World Bank, the world’s largest development institution, to make a decision on Guaido.

United States

Latam lender replaces Venezuela’s Maduro representative with Guaido economist

CNBC | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:12 PM
  • The Inter-American Development Bank on Friday voted to replace the representative of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with an economist backed by opposition leader Juan Guaido.
  • The decision makes the IADB, Latin America’s largest regional lender, the first financial institution to recognize Guaido and would eventually free up development lending to Venezuela if Maduro steps down.
  • IMF approval would also allow the World Bank, the world’s largest development institution, to make a decision on Guaido.

United Kingdom

Alberta’s Production Cuts Stall New Oil Sands Projects

OilPrice.com | Mar 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM
  • Imperial Oil said on Friday that it had slowed down the development of its Aspen oil sands project, due to the market uncertainty that the mandatory production cuts in Alberta have created.
  • The Aspen project northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, will involve an investment of US$1.95 billion (C$2.6 billion) and is expected to produce around 75,000 barrels of bitumen per day.
  • In November, Imperial planned construction to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the project to start up in 2022.

India

Citgo Avoids a Shutdown With U.S. Treasury Deadline Extension

Bloomberg Quint | Mar 15, 2019 at 6:05 PM
  • Under a set of sanctions released at the end of January, Citgo — which at the time was indirectly controlled by the government of embattled president Nicolas Maduro — had an authorization to interact with U.S. companies or persons until July 27.
  • Citgo operates three refineries in the U.S. with combined capacity to process almost 755,000 barrels of oil a day, or about 4 percent of the U.S. fuel-making capacity.
  • It operates more than 40 petroleum terminals in the U.S. and sells fuels to 5,300 Citgo-branded gas stations.

United States

U.S. envoy says Venezuela oil production dropping steadily

Reuters | Mar 15, 2019 at 5:54 PM
  • The U.S. special representative for Venezuela said on Friday that Venezuela’s oil exports have been dropping steadily by roughly 50,000 barrels per month and production is likely to dip below a million barrels a day within a “month or two”.
  • The OPEC member’s oil production has dwindled in the last two decades, from more than 3 million bpd at the beginning of the century to between 1.2 million and 1.4 million bpd by late 2018.