Current events

This page is a log of major world events that effect U.S. oil consumption or production either directly or indirectly. It is simply intended to give you a brief overview of what has been going on. It contains a few stories from each week that I have found particularly relevant or interesting. Please refer to some of the resources listed on the Welcome Page for more comprehensive news.

December 2008

Oil consumption forecasts slashed
December 8, 2008
The world economy will consume in the next five years far less oil than previously assumed, the western countries' energy watchdog said on Friday in a further sign of the impact of the global economic crisis on commodities markets. The new International Energy Agency forecast came as oil prices on Friday fell to a four-year low of $40.85 a barrel, down more than $2 on the day. Oil prices had suffered their worst week since January 1991, losing more than $12 in five days. The IEA lowered its forecast for 2008-2013 annual oil consumption growth to 1.2 per cent per year - or about 1.0m barrels a day - down from the 1.5m b/d it forecast last summer. The watchdog expects oil demand in 2013 at 91.3m b/d, down 2.9m b/d from its July's forecast.

Oil prices slide below $40
December 6, 2008
Crude oil prices have slumped below $40 on Friday, the lowest levels in nearly four years, AFP has reported. Brent North Sea crude slid to $39.50 a barrel, the lowest level since the January 2005. The International Energy Agency has lowered its projections for global oil demand in 2008-2013, foreseeing annual growth of 1.2% rather than 1.6% in the face of a worldwide economic slump.

Oman trims budget oil price by $10
December 4, 2008
Oman has reduced its assumed oil price for the 2009 budget by $10 to $45 following a sharp decline of around $100 in international crude prices since July, Reuters has reported, citing a government source. Oman's official news agency said the Persian Gulf Arab oil producer's council for financial affairs and energy resources agreed at a meeting to amend the oil price assumed in the budget.

Edison wins Abu Qir oil and gas rights
December 4, 2008
Italy's Edison International has signed a deal with the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation for the Abu Qir concession in the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria, MEED has reported. About 13 companies bid for the acreage during the tender process. The deal gives Edison exploration, development and production rights for the area.

Egypt, EU sign energy cooperation pact
December 3, 2008
The European Union and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to enhance energy cooperation between the two sides. The MoU covers energy market reforms and convergence of Egypt's energy market with that of the EU, promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency, development of energy networks as well as technological and industrial cooperation.

Taqa buys Shell, Esso oil fields
December 3, 3008
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa) has announced that its subsidiary, Taqa Bratani, has completed a $631m deal to buy seven oil fields in the northern North Sea from Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production Ltd. The deal, announced in July, includes 100% interest and operatorship of the Tern, Kestrel, Eider, Cormorant North, South Cormorant and Pelican Fields. It also includes a combined 26.73% interest in the Dana-operated Hudson field, together with a 16% interest in the Brent System and a 24% interest in the Sullom Voe Terminal.

OPEC to cut output, says Qatari minister
December 3, 2008
OPEC will cut oil output at its next meeting on Dec. 17 in Algeria, Qatar's oil minister told Reuters on Wednesday. Abdullah al-Attiyah did not specify how much the cut would be, but he reiterated that a price of under $70 a barrel was threatening to derail projects to boost oil and gas capacity. 'My concern is that the oil price will go lower,' he said. 'And many projects will be delayed.'

Oil falls on Opec delay
December 1, 2008
The price of crude oil fell below $53 in New york after Opec delayed a decision on cutting output. Crude oil for January delivery fell by $1.47, or 2.7%, to $52.96 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following the decision to defer until a meeting in Algeria on December 17.

November 2008

Fall in Oman oil exports
November 30, 2008
Oman's total exports of crude oil stood at 161.7 million barrels (mb) during the first nine months of 2008, against 167.2mb in the comparable period of last year, a 3.6% decline. Total production of oil and condensates was 205.5mb, compared with 193.4mb, constituting a 6.5% rise, according to new statistics published by the Ministry of National Economy. The average daily production reached 750,000 barrels from 707,001, up 6.1%.

Iran says some Opec members pumping above quota
November 27, 2008
Iran's Opec governor on Wednesday accused some members of the organisation of producing more crude oil than their quotas, Reuters has reported, citing the Mehr news agency. He also said Opec needed to have a fresh output cut to stabilise the market. Opec ministers next gather in Cairo on November 29 but that meeting has been called a consultative session with its next policy-setting meeting scheduled for December 17 in Algeria.

Aramco may join Indian refinery project
November 26, 2008
Saudi Aramco may take part in a planned $10bn oil refinery project in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the Financial Express has reported, citing Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Chairman Arun Balakrishnan. Saudi Aramco would be offered as much as 15% of the refinery being planned by Hindustan Petroleum, GAIL India, Oil India, Total SA and Lakshmi Mittal, the newspaper reported.

IPIC to buy stake in Oil Search
November 26, 2008
Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company has announced plans to acquire a 17.6% stake in Oil Search Limited, a company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. IPIC and the Papua New Guinea government - through its nominee, Independent Public Business Corporation - signed an agreement under which, subject to certain conditions, the acquisition will be completed, a statement said. 'The acquisition is structured by way of a five-year exchangeable bond for A$1.68bn (Dhs3.92bn),' IPIC said. The statement added that the proposed strategic investment provides IPIC with 'material exposure to a significant near-term [liquefied natural gas (LNG)] project in the Asia Pacific, the PNG LNG project operated by ExxonMobil.'

Aramco reviews Manifa Project
November 23, 2008
Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco is reviewing its $9bn Manifa oil field project and Saipem SpA, a major contractor, has been told not to take on any more commitments for it, the Italian company said on Friday. Saipem said it still had its contract for onshore development.

Oil prices near 22-month low
November 20, 2008
Oil prices fell to a nearly 22-month low on Wednesday after a US government report showed a bigger-than-expected rise in crude inventories, heightening speculation that demand for petroleum products is waning. US crude for December delivery fell 77 cents to $53.62 a barrel. The last time prices were this low was January 2007.

Bahrain plans onshore oilfield expansion
November 19, 2008
Bahrain has unveiled an ambitious plan to expand its onshore oilfield, reported Gulf Daily News. Three companies - ExxonMobil, Occidental and Maersk - have been shortlisted for the project, which is expected to cost up to $5bn. However, the contract winner will develop and renovate the oilfield for free - with a deal to be hammered out later depending on the success of the project. Bahrain's Oil and Gas Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza said the expansion could lead to a 100% increase in the country's oil output, which now stands at 33,000 barrels per day.

Qatar Petroleum inks deal with Wintershall Holding
November 18, 2008
Qatar Petroleum has signed an oil and gas exploration and production sharing agreement with German firm Wintershall Holding for Qatar Offshore Block-4N (Khuff). The terms of this 25-year agreement call for an initial 30-month exploration period during which Wintershall Holding will undertake a work program comprising technical studies, acquisition of 2-D and 3-D seismic data, processing, re-processing, interpretation and exploratory drilling to Khuff formation. All relevant operations and studies will be conducted with QP supervision. Pending the results, hydrocarbon development will be carried out.

Pirates hijack Saudi tanker
November 18 2008
A Saudi Arabian oil tanker with 25 crew members on board has been hijacked by Somali pirates and is being taken to a region in the Horn of Africa used by gangs seeking ransoms for ships, the US Navy said. The hijackers boarded the Saudi Arabian Oil Co Sirius Star about 450 nautical miles from the Somali coast on Nov. 15, the pirates' farthest strike offshore so far, reported Bloomberg.

Oil produces research IT strategies
November 16, 2008
Middle East oil producers are meeting in Manama to discuss IT strategies at the forthcoming Oil & Gas ICT Summit (OT Summit). Dr. Abdul Hussein bin Ali Mirza, the Bahraini Minister for Oil and Gas Affairs said that GCC countries have decided on a scientific approach to formulate a comprehensive strategy for the development of the oil and gas sectors, placing IT at the forefront of priorities required for this development.

UAE output may fall 2.43m bpd
November 15, 2008
The UAE's oil output is expected to drop to 2.43m barrels per day (bpd) in November, Gulf News has cited a report from the nternational Energy Agency. The output reduction is seen in line with crude oil supply cuts that has been decided by Opec last month. According to the report, UAE's oil output has fallen to 2.55m bpd in October from 2.66m bpd in September due to offshore oilfield maintenance.

Opec may meet before December 17
November 13, 2008
Iran's Opec Governor said Opec may meet before its scheduled December 17 gathering in Oran, Algeria, as crude prices fell to a 20-month low, reported Bloomberg. Mohammad Ali Khatibi said it is not abnormal for the leaders to meet in a situation as critical as this. OPEC decided last month to reduce production quotas by 1.5 million barrels a day after waning demand caused prices to tumble from their July record of $147.27 a barrel.

IAE to slash oil demand forecast
November 11, 2008
The International Energy Agency may cut its 2009 oil demand forecast for a third month as fuel consumption continues to wane due to recession fears, Bloomber has reported. The IEA will reduce the estimated growth in global demand from 700,000 barrels a day, or 0.8%, in its next monthly report on Nov. 13, said four analysts who used to work at the IEA and are now at banks. The International Monetary Fund last week warned of the first simultaneous recession in the US, Japan and Europe in more than 60 years.

Saudi-French deal delayed
November 9, 2008
French oil major Total's $12bn joint venture with Saudi Aramco could face a delay as the two firms seek to cut costs. The two firms said in June they would award all the packages for the construction of the 400,000 barrels-per-day Jubail refinery in the first quarter of 2009. But the launch of many oil-related projects in the world's largest oil exporter could be delayed to 2009.

Abu Dhabi to fund PNG deal
November 9, 2008
Papua New Guinea is close to reaching a deal with Abu Dhabi fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to raise $1.68bn through exchangeable bonds for Oil Search Ltd to fund its stake in an $11bn LNG project.

Adnoc in Kuwait productivity deal
November 8, 2006
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (Adnoc) subsidiary, Esnaad has signed a business collaboration agreement with Kuwait's Napesco International Petroleum Company, Gulf News has rpeorted. Under the deal, Napesco will provide oil well stimulation and other services to another Adnoc unit - Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations. Napesco is initially targeting 50 wells for stimulation in the first year of their alliance.

EOR technology raises oil productivity
November 6, 2008
Gulf states can boost productivity at their oil fields by using enhanced oil recovery technology, said Val Brock, the Business Development Manager - EOR for Shell International Exploration and Production. Depending on the reservoir, EOR technology can enhance recovery rates by 5% to 20% on average, he said in a presentation at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. About 70% of current world oil production comes from fields that are past their peak production. And, typically only 30-35% of their oil will actually be recovered, Gulf News reported.

Adnoc signs Shell deal
November 4, 2008
The Abu Dhabi National Oil company has signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell whereby the latter will explore for offshore gas deposits. Shell are technical experts in producing the type of gas that may lie beneath the emirate's coastline.

Opec supply falls
November 4, 2008
Supplies of oil from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) are continuing to fall as member countries trim output to shore up prices. The UAE is also set to reduce output to 200,000bpd for a 40 day period to allow maintenance work to go ahead.

Oil drives 47.2% revenue jump in Oman
November 2, 2008
According to the monthly statistical bulletin issued by the ministry of national economy, a 68% jump in oil revenue has lifted the Oman government's revenue by 47.2% to OR5.78bn (Dhs55.32bn) during the first eight months of 2008. This is an increase of OR3.93bn compared to the same period in 2007.

UAE's quarterly oil output drops
November 2, 2008
According to data recently released by the International Energy Agency, the UAE's oil output in the July-September quarter averaged at 2.66m bpd . This was a marginal decline compared to the previous quarter. The UAE's crude oil output, however, remained unchanged in September from the previous month at 2.66m bpd.

Kuwait cuts Asian oil supply
November 1, 2008
Opec member Kuwait has notified at least two-term customers in Asia that it would cut their crude oil supplies by 5% from November, Reuters has cited industry sources. Opec has decided on Friday to slash production from November to combat a more than halving of oil prices from a July peak.

October 2008

$3bn carbon capture project set for 2013
October 29, 2008
The developer of Abu Dhabi's $3bn Carbon Capture & Storage project said the scheme will be operational by early 2013, Reuters has reported. Abu Dhabi government-owned Masdar's CCS project, being developed by Hydrogen Energy, a joint-venture between BP and Rio Tinto, is the first commercial scale and countrywide scheme globally. Under the project, carbon dioxide will be captured from industries with major carbon dioxide emissions across the UAE, and then transported via pipelines to storage sites near oilfields. It is then injected into ageing oilfields for enhanced oil recovery.

Kenya: Biofuels Boom And Bust
October 27, 2008
The Kenyan government has hailed bio-diesel as an innovation that combines green politics with poverty reduction. But recent drops in biofuel prices have caused concern about the sustainability of alternative fuel production. Rural farmers who have invested all their savings into growing oil seeds now fear they have opted for the wrong venture.

Oil-rich Venezuela meets oil-hungry China
October 25, 2008
In late September, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez visited China as his second stop on a multi-continent diplomatic mission. Cuba was his first stop, followed by China, Russia, Belarus, France and finally Portugal. During his brief time in Beijing, Chávez met with several high ranking Chinese officials, including President Hu Jintao. The two countries signed several mutual cooperation agreements involving education, sports, trade, telecommunications, and most importantly, oil.

OPEC Says It Will Cut Oil Output
October 24, 2008
Stung by what it called “a dramatic collapse” in crude prices, the OPEC cartel said on Friday that it would reduce output by a steeper-than-expected 1.5 million barrels a day. But that action failed to brake the price decline, and oil dropped 5 percent more by the end of the day. The oil cartel swiftly agreed to the cut in an emergency meeting at its headquarters here, and its president suggested afterward that still more production cuts were coming as OPEC struggled to get ahead of an economic slowdown so severe it could leave the world awash in oil.

Drilling to core of oil debate
October 23, 2008
Bobbing in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, some 175 miles south of Mobile, Ala., this mammoth production platform perched above the deepest undersea wells on Earth is pulling up enough natural gas every day to heat or cool 5 million American homes. That's 10 percent of all the natural gas being produced from the gulf, and nearly 1 percent of total U.S. production. But the question is for how long, because the wells that the Independence is tapping could be depleted within five years—and Washington has long placed potential new oil and gas fields to the east off-limits to expanded drilling.

Opec should trim output by 2m barrels a day, says Iran
October 23, 2008
Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said today that OPEC should cut crude oil production by 2 million barrels a day, reported Bloomberg. The rate of reduction in demand makes it a good time for cutting output, he added.

Iran launches South Pars phase six
October 22, 2008
After a two-year delay, phase six of the giant South Pars gasfield in Iran was launched yesterday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Phase seven is due to go on line by year end and phase eight in May. The three phases will produce 104 million cubic metres of sour gas, 158,000 barrels of condensates and 4,450 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas per day.

OPEC faces split over oil cuts
October 22, 2008
OPEC members are divided about the group's plans to cut output and raise prices, reported Bloomberg. Iran's energy minister, Gholamhossein Nozari, said yesterday OPEC may slash output quotas by 2.5 million barrels a day, or 8.7%. The Algerian minister and OPEC president, Chakib Khelil, said two days earlier the reduction may be only 1 million barrels. Last week, he said 'there is a consensus to reduce production, but there is no agreement on how much to cut'. Meanwhile, one analyst said Saudi Arabia is likely to resist a cut of more than 1 million barrels because it's conscious of the political response in the U.S. and other consuming countries.

ME oil income to hit $1.1tr
October 21, 2008
Despite a nearly 50% decline in oil prices from their July peak, the International Monetary Fund expects that oil and gas exports from the Middle East and Central Asia will amount to Dhs3.67 trillion ($1.1 trillion) this year, up from $700bn in 2007, reported Gulf News. This is almost entirely due to high world oil prices, which - even after the recent correction - are expected to average about $107 a barrel in 2008, sharply higher than the $71 a barrel in 2007.

Iran to export natural gas to Bahrain
October 19, 2008
Iran has reached an agreement to export 1bn cubic metered of natural gas per day to Bahrain, according to a state-owned Iranian journal. The two countries have signed a new MEO last week during a visit by the Iranian Oil Minister, Gholam Hossein Nozari, to Bahrian. Iran, who owns the world second biggest gas reserves, said recently it prefers to export gas to its neihbors in the Gulf but is taking careful steps to reach export agreements with these countries.

Mitsubishi, Turkey on Iraq oil talks
October 18, 2008
Planned talks in Tokyo between state-owned Turkiye Petrolleri and Mitsubishi Corp will hold talks in Tokyo to jointly develop oil fields in Iraq, Bloomberg has reported. Talks will be held as early as this week regarding a joint oil exploration and production in Iraq.

Iran plans new gas link to Europe
October 14, 2008
Iran plans to build a pipeline for shipping its natural gas to Europe that would be independent of the EU-backed Nabucco project, Reuters has reported, citing a senior Iranian official. Iran had previously suggested it could hook up to the planned Nabucco pipeline that is meant to bring Central Asian gas to Europe, bypassing Russia and reducing EU dependence on Moscow for energy. But analysts have said it was doubtful the 27-nation EU would support such a move, as the Islamic Republic is under UN and US sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme.

Iraq favours state-run oil bidders
October 11, 2008
Iraq is expected to award contracts to develop its oil reserves to state run companies. Forty-one national oil companies have been pre-qualified by Iraq, including Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and China National Petroleum, said Bloomberg. They will bid in the first licensing round since US-led forces attacked the country in 2003. Talks with bidders will be held in London on October 13.

Iranian gas to go east not west
October 11, 2008
Future natural gas exports from Iran are more likely to go to Asia than Europe, an Iranian industry consultant has told Bloomberg. Speaking at a conference in Holland, Bijan Khajehpour, CEO of Atieh Bahar Consulting and MD of Qeshm Energy said the 'natural route of gas exports from Iran is east'. This is because of high growth in India and China, where there is also less political opposition to Iran.

Turkey to pursue gas deal with Iran
October 09, 2008
Turkey intends to move ahead with a planned deal to produce and export gas from neighbouring Iran, despite objections by the US, reported Reuters. Turkey's Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, who said he will go to Tehran to sign the accord when the text of the deal is ready, called cancellation of the deal 'out of the question'. Under the deal, Turkey's state-owned petroleum company, TPAO, will explore in Iran's South Pars field and gas will be piped to Turkey for consumption or re-export to European markets.Turkey and Iran failed to conclude expected energy accords during a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Turkey in August. The United States, which is seeking to isolate Tehran over its nuclear programme, opposes the plan.

World 2009 oil demand growth cut
October 8, 2008
World oil demand growth next year will decline by 140,000 barrels per day due to the 'deteriorating' global economy, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday. Global oil consumption was forecast to average 86.92 million bpd in 2009, about 780,000 bpd more than this year's demand but 140,000 bpd less than the agency had forecast just last month. World oil use was projected to rise by only 330,000 bpd this year, about 340,000 bpd lower than EIA's projections last month, reported Reuters.

Kuwait Petroleum plans projects worth $75bn
October 6, 2008
Kuwait Petroleum Corp plans investments and projects worth 20 billion dinars ($75.3bn) in the next five years, reported Reuters. The amount included 5 billion dinars designated for a planned upgrade of Kuwait's Mina Abdullah and Mina Al Ahmadi refineries, said Ali Al Hajeri, head of administrative and financial affairs at KPC.

Egypt to pay more for gas
October 5, 2008
The Egyptian government has reached a deal with major oil companies whereby the price cap per million BTUs has been raised from $2.65 to $4 according to MEED. The increased incentives come after energy producers had complained that the price did not reflect current market rates of $8 per million BTUs.

Opec oil down in September
October 04, 2008
The supply of oil from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in September has fallen, the first monthly decline since April, according to survey from Reuters. The survey has indicated that output from source of two in every five barrels of oil, was falling even before it agreed at a meeting in September to trim output and prop up prices.

Iran seeks $7bn for fuel import
October 1, 2008
Iran's government is planning to seek for an extra $7bn budget from the parliament to cover the growing cost of fuel imports, Reuters has reported. An Iranian daily has cited Oil Minister Gulam Hussain Nozari saying the funds were needed to import gasoline during the Iranian year that ends on March 20.

September 2008

Oil drops more than $10
September 30, 2008
Oil prices have gone down by more than $10 a barrel as US financial bailout plan failed to win legislative approval, agencies have reported. Light, sweet crude for November delivery sank $10.52 to settle at $96.36 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier dropping as low as $95.04.

Costs to affect Gulf energy expansions
September 27, 2008
The cost of expanding energy capacity in the Middle East has risen as interbank lending rates have risen across the Gulf Arab region, agencies have reported. If credit conditions fail to improve, companies may choose to wait for their projects to be implemented. Joint venture projects between Saudi Arabia's Aramco and France's Total, as well as Aramco and Conoco-Phillips are seen to seek finances by year-end.

Iran eyes $4bn gas pipeline to Europe
September 25 - 2008
Iran is seeking to build a $4bn natural-gas pipeline to the European Union, reported Bloomberg. Deputy Oil Minister Akbar Torkan said Iran is in talks with a 'renowned European company' that may operate the so-called Pars Pipeline.

Shell inks deal for gas venture in Iraq
September 24, 2008
Iraq signed a multi-billion dollar natural gas deal with Royal Dutch Shell on Monday, reported Reuters. The agreement is between the energy giant and the state-run Southern Gas Company for a joint venture in Basra province in the south. Under the terms of the deal, Iraq will hold 51% in the venture and Shell 49%. The agreement is Iraq's second major energy deal with a foreign firm since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Siemens wins $147m Saudi contract
September 21, 2008
Saudi property developer Emaar Economic City has awarded German Siemens a $147.5m contract, reported Reuters. The contract is for setting up power transportation and distribution infrastructure at the Saudi firm's sole project, the giant King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea coast.

Iran to spend $22bn to boost refining capacity
September 18, 2008
Iran plans to invest $22bn to construct seven refineries and add more than 1.5 million barrels-a-day to its energy capacity, reported Meed. Aminollah Eskandari, director for refining affairs, National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company's, said all seven refineries would be commissioned by 2012. He expects to increase capacity to 3.3 million b/d from 2.1 million b/d in the next four years, making it the second largest refiner in the Middle East.

Opec trims 2009 demand forecast
September 17, 2008
Opec has lowered its forecast for 2009 oil demand as the global economic slowdown cuts fuel consumption, reported Bloomberg. The 13-member group reduced its forecast for average oil consumption next year to 87.66 million barrels a day, compared with an estimate last month of 87.80 million barrels. Opec also cut its forecast for demand this year by 120,000 barrels a day.

Storm curbs US refining capacity
September 14, 2008
Hurricane Ike, which made landfall along the US Gulf Coast on Saturday, may limit fuel deliveries across the country, reported Bloomberg. Ike has caused more than 19% of the nation's refining capacity to close and at least 13 refineries in Texas were shutting down as the storm approached. Gulf Coast refineries and ports are the source of about 50% of the fuel and crude used in the eastern half of the US.

Saudi in 'mild' production cut
September 13, 2008
Saudi Arabia has reluctantly agreed to a mild cut in oil output but the world's top exporter said it will do what it takes to keep the market balanced, AFP has reported. Analysts said Saudi is caught between Opec's hawks pressing for deeper cuts to shore up falling prices and US-led Western consumers demanding more supplies. Opec has recently cut crude production by 520,000 barrels per day.

Chevron gets extension to Saudi agreement
September 11, 2008
US-based oil company Chevron Corp has received a 30-year extension to an agreement that allows it to drill for oil and natural gas in the Neutral Zone area shared jointly by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Reuters has reported. Under the agreement, which has been extended through February 19, 2039, Saudi Arabian Chevron, a subsidiary of Chevron, will continue to explore for and produce crude oil and natural gas in the Neutral Zone on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

Opec to curb overproduction
September 10, 2008
OPEC oil ministers have agreed to curb overproduction by more than 500,000 barrels a day, AP has reported. The move is seen as a compromise measure aimed at avoiding new turmoil in oil markets while at the same time reflecting OPEC attempts to prevent prices from falling too far. An OPEC statement issued after oil ministers ended their meeting early Wednesday said the organization agreed to produce 28.8 million barrels a day. OPEC President Chakib Khelil said that quota in effect meant that member countries agreed to cut back 520,000 barrels a day in overproduction.

Shell, Iraq to sign $4bn deal
September 9, 2008
Royal Dutch Shell is expected to sign a $4bn deal with the Iraqi government next month to capture and use natural gas in the area of Basra, reported the UK's financial Times. The deal, will be run as a joint venture with Shell taking 49% and the oil ministry 51%, would be the first between a first Western oil company and the Iraqi government since the 2003 US-led invasion.

Circle Oil to drill more wells
September 07, 2008
Circle Oil has raised GBP33m to fund its exploration programmes in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. The company plans to drill up to 15 wells between now and the end of 2009, and will also conduct a large 3D seismic study on Block 49 in Oman.

KSA begins pumping oil from Khursaniyah field
September 4, 2008
The largest single increment to global oil production capacity for several years is now underway as Saudi Arabia has begun pumping crude from the 500,000 barrel per day Khursaniyah field. First output from the field was delayed from the scheduled start date in December 2007.

Oil trades near 4-month low
September 2, 2008
Crude oil traded near a four-month low as Hurricane Gustav has eased after striking the US Gulf Coast. Crude oil for October delivery was at $111.20 a barrel, down 3.7%, at 10:49 a.m. Singapore time from the close of Aug. 29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reported Bloomberg.

GCC to invest over $320bn in energy by 2018
September 2, 2008
GCC countries are likely to invest more than $320bn by 2018 to develop oil, gas, power and petrochemical projects to meet the energy demands of their fast-growing economies, reported Gulf News. In the UAE, most of the energy-related investments would go towards building new utilities like power and cooling plants to meet the growing demands of the construction business. UAE officials expect the country's electricity demand to exceed 40,800 megawatts in 2020, based on an annual growth rate of 9% beginning in 2007.

August 2008

Iran oil reserve at 85bn barrels
August 31, 2008
An official at the National Iranian Oil Company said that Iran has more than 85bn barrels of recoverable heavy oil, Reuters has reported, citing Iran's Oil Ministry news website SHANA. The reserve accounts to 60% of the country's reserves in the crude category. Meanwhile, Iran's total recoverable oil reserves were recorded at 138.4bn barrels at the end of 2007 in the BP Statistical Review.

China inks $3bn Iraq oil deal
August 30, 2008
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has signed a $3bn agreement to develop and operate Iraq's al Ahdab oil field under a 20-year service contract, The National has reported. The agreement would provide foreign participants with fees for services instead of a share of profits from oil production, as stipulated in CNPC's earlier contract.

Kuwait to boost oil capacity
August 26, 2008
Kuwait aims to pump 3 million barrels per day of crude oil in the first half of 2009, up from around 2.5 million barrels per day at present, reported Reuters. Kuwait is sticking to the production target of 2.53 million bpd set by Opec and has about 200,000 bpd to 300,000 bpd of spare capacity.

Saudi JV finds hydrocarbons system
August 24, 2008
In a report from MEED's weekly magazine, the Royal Dutch Shell in a joint venture with Saudi Aramco had discovered a hydrocarbons system in the kingdom's Empty Quarter. The South Rub Al Khali joint venture has started exploring in 2004 for gas, condensate and natural gas liquids in two separate parts in the desert area of southeast Saudi Arabia. Rub Al Khali in Arabic literally means Empty Quarter.

Kuwait extends date for bids on contract
August 21, 2008
Kuwait is extending the date to close bids for a contract to build a 2,000-megawatt power station in Subbiya to Oct. 7 from Aug. 17 after foreign companies requested more time, Khalid al-Wasmi, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Electricity and Water told Bloomberg. The project will cost about $2.6bn.

Kuwait to invest $1.3bn in power generation
August 21, 2008
Kuwait plans to install $1.3bn worth of power-generation equipment in a bid to raise output by 7.9% as energy demand soars, reported Bloomberg. The country is building four new gas and steam turbines, one generator and three distillers at the Shuaiba North power station, said Mohammed Boshehri, a planning director at the Ministry of Electricity and Water. The new power capacity is needed to boost manufacturing, develop new industries such as tourism and meet demand from expanding residential developments.

Iraq to sign $1.2bn deal with China
August 20, 2008
Iraq will sign a $1.2bn oil service contract with China to replace a production-sharing deal agreed under Saddam Hussein, Iraqi oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani told Iraq's an-Noor newspaper. The oil minister is travelling to China at the end of this month to discuss the deal, which was orginally signed in 1997 between Iraq and the China National Petrolium Company. If finalised, the revised deal would be the first oil service contract signed by the new Iraqi government since the fall of Saddam in 2003.

Sarco profit rises sixfold
August 19, 2008
Saudi Arabian Refinery, a Saudi company investing in oil refineries and fuel distribution, has reported that its first-quarter profit rose more than sixfold on investment gains, reported Bloomberg. Net income in the fiscal first quarter ended July 31 rose to 7.1 million riyals ($1.9m), or 1.19 riyals a share, from 1.1 million riyals, or 0.184 riyal, a year earlier.

OPEC likely to cut output, says report
August 19, 2008
A new report by the Center for Global Energy Studies said OPEC is likely to cut its oil output quota as the price of crude risks falling under $100 a barrel, reported Arab News. The report warns that there is a danger that OPEC will over-react, cut its production too sharply, and send oil prices higher.

UAE to build 68 dams
August 13, 2008
Dr Mohammed Mustafa Al Mulla, Deputy Minister of Water and Soil Affairs has announced that the UAE will build 68 new dams over the next five years. The cost of the project was not available. The country currently has 140 dams in operation.

Imperial College in $70m gas deal
August 12, 2008
The Imperial College London will partner with Qatar Petroleum, the Qatar Science and Technology Park and Shell for a ten-year research project aimed at providing the foundation for new carbon dioxide storage technologies, according to The Peninsula. The $70m research partnership is aimed at developing better methods of recovering oil and gas while reducing levels of CO2 that are released.

Iraq, China to revive oil deal
August 11, 2008
Iraq's oil ministry has said the country is planning to revive the $1.2bn oil deal with China. The deal had been canceled after the 2003 US-led invasion. An initial agreement with China is expected to be signed at the end of August to develop the billion-barrel Ahdab oil field south of Baghdad, according to the ministry statement.

Solar island in RAK awaits
August, 10, 2008
Increasing demand for energy in the UAE is seen to be a new opportunity for solar energy to finally take off in the country, The National has reported. An 85-metre circular solar panel in a desert near Ras al Khaimah city is expected to supply the energy needs of up to 200,000 homes. Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique, the company behind RAK's solar islands sees the project as a single gigantic island up to 5km across - or an archipelago of floating solar generators, stationed off the shore, cooled by the waters of the Gulf and rotating to track the Sun.

Iraq resumes Turkey shipments
August 6, 2008
Iraq has resumed the shipment of oil through its northern pipeline to Turkey, after the service was interrupted on Monday, according to a Reuters report. The pipeline is Iraq's secondary export terminal and carries approximately 400,000 bpd.

SAS sets up oil and gas division
August 5, 2008
Business intelligence software developer SAS is launching a Global Oil and Gas Business Unit. The unit aims to develop business intelligence software for the sector, hoping to tap into the current boom in the Middle East. SAS said the division is staffed by upstream and downstream specialists and is set up to help oil and gas customers maintain predictable and stable business processes.

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