Energy & OilEnergy & Oil
Oil prices were testing fresh lows on Thursday, with a report that 100 million barrels of crude and heavy oil products are being held in ships at sea. West Texas Intermediate oil, the main North American contract, fell below $42 US a barrel, amid predictions that it would fall to the $20-30 level next year.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has slapped preliminary fines worth 250 million Reais ($94 million) against a BHP Billiton-Value owned mine in Minas Gerais state where two dams burst, killing at least seven people.
Brazil's scandal-plagued state oil giant Petrobras on Thursday announced third-quarter losses of about US$ 1 billion, mainly due to the sharp devaluation of the Brazilian currency.Petrobras, mired in a hugely damaging scandal involving bribes and high-level political payoffs, posted losses of 3.76 billion Reais in the quarter, compared with a loss of 5.3 billion Reais a year earlier.
Petrobras striking workers consider salary offer but insist the company must reverse investment cuts
Brazil's energy giant Petrobras offered striking workers a 9.54% wage hike on Wednesday in an effort to end a 10-day strike and prevent it from causing further production losses. But union officials said the deal makes almost no concessions on their most important demands. These include calls on Petrobras to reverse investment cuts and block planned assets sales designed to reduce Petrobras' debt.
Argentina's supreme court has ordered state-controlled YPF to publicly release all clauses of a 2013 contract with Chevron to develop shale oil in the country's vast Vaca Muerta formation. In a 3-1 ruling, the justices sided with opposition Socialist Senator Hector Ruben Giustiniani, ruling that the state's 51% stake in the firm effectively makes it a public company subject to transparency laws.
One casualty of the oil price downturn could be the megaproject. For years, as conventional oil reserves depleted and became increasingly hard to find, oil companies ventured into far-flung locales to find new sources of production.
Brazilian officials are investigating allegations that Petrobras overpaid hundreds of millions of dollars for the Pasadena, Texas, refinery and funneled money into a massive kickback scheme that's led to dozens of convictions and arrests and fueled calls for the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, who chaired the company until 2010.
Argentina's state-run energy company YPF said on Friday it plans to focus on boosting natural gas production in 2016, while also pursuing a gradual reduction in drilling and completion costs and looking for more partnerships for shale and tight play projects. It also admitted that potential investors are waiting for post-election clarity on economic and energy policies before making any decisions.
Brazilian union leaders say stronger than expected support for a strike at Petrobras is due to growing worker opposition to a creeping privatization of the state oil company. The strike, which began on Sunday, has become the biggest stoppage in two decades at Petrobras and shows workers back union efforts to renationalize the company and cut foreign participation in the oil industry, union leaders say.
Oil workers staging a national strike in Brazil said on Monday they had stopped all operations at 22 of state-controlled oil giant Petrobras's 44 rigs in the Campos basin, an offshore area that accounts for about 80% of the country's oil output. Oil workers declared a strike on Sunday.