US crude oil exports to Europe will hit a record of about 550,000 barrels per day in April and are expected to continue to increase, putting pressure on local grades as well as Russian and OPEC crude. Europe accounted for 7% of US crude exports in 2017, but that share has already jumped to about 12% so far this year, with Britain, Italy and the Netherlands among the top destinations.
Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes reported strong first-quarter results in a sign that the oil rally and shale boom are finally starting to pay off for the oilfield service giants after months of lackluster performance on the stock market. The trio's ability to profit from the rise in oil prices has so far been limited by shipping bottlenecks, labor shortages and weak growth in demand for services outside North America.
Cheniere Energy has approached several financial institutions in a bid to secure funding for a third liquefaction train at its Corpus Christi, Texas, liquefied natural gas export facility, and by the end of June, it should make a final investment decision. Cheniere has about $4.6 billion in existing credit lines, but it's looking to expand that to $6.4 billion to help it pay for construction of the three liquefaction trains.
Liquefied natural gas volumes crossing the Panama Canal could increase fivefold to more than 33 million tons per year by the end of 2020, according to Panama Canal Authority CEO Jorge Quijano. Meanwhile, US LNG exports through the canal could jump from an expected 12.1 million tons this year to roughly 22 million tons in 2019.
The government of Saskatchewan, Canada, has put forward a bill that would require entities seeking to export oil and natural gas outside the province to go through a permitting process. The legislation resembles a bill recently introduced in Alberta that aims to block energy exports to British Columbia in retaliation for that province's opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Statoil and its project partners will conduct a seismic survey near the Verbier hydrocarbon discovery off the UK's coast this year in an effort to find more prospects. The project will include a 3D seismic shoot as part of a multi-client survey in the Moray Firth area.
BP plans to look for and develop oil and natural gas prospects in the Azerbaijan section of the Caspian Sea early next year with the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic, a BP official said. BP and SOCAR will explore shallow waters around the Absheron Peninsula.
A magnitude 5.2 earthquake in southeastern Turkey injured dozens of people early today, authorities said. The quake, which the US Geological Survey recorded at a depth of 10 kilometers, was followed by at least 13 aftershocks.
Iraq's auction of 11 oil exploration blocks in offshore areas and sites near the borders with Iran and Kuwait will take place Thursday morning. Results from the bidding round, which has attracted interest from 14 companies, will be announced later in the day, the Iraqi Oil Ministry says.
Gambia will allow 11 oil companies to offer proposals in the next phase of a licensing round for two onshore and four offshore blocks. A total of 22 companies showed interest in the blocks before the country's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy created a shortlist, which includes major companies such as Total, Eni and China National Offshore Oil.
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