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  • Mon, Dec. 5, 7:17 PM
    • In addition to Pemex's farmout of the Gulf of Mexico's potentially lucrative Trion oil field to BHP Billiton, beating out BP, today's final phase of Mexico’s first oil and gas bid round awarded of eight of 10 deepwater blocks in the Gulf to a variety of global operators.
    • In four other areas surrounding Trion in the Perdido Fold Belt, areas 1 and 4 went to China's Cnooc (NYSE:CEO), area 2 to a consortium of Total (NYSE:TOT) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), and area 3 to a group comprising Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Pemex and Inpex.
    • In the Salina basin to the south, areas 1 and 3 went to a consortium of Statoil (NYSE:STO), BP and Total (TOT), area 4 to Sierra Offshore and a Mexican entity, and Area 5 to a group led by Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) and Sierra Offshore; areas 2 and 6 received no bids.
    • CEO, STO and Pemex each submitted individual bids that did not win an award, while consortia that unsuccessfully submitted bids were Eni (NYSE:E) and Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY), and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Atlantic Rim Mexico.
    | Mon, Dec. 5, 7:17 PM | 10 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 8:55 AM
    • Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is teaming up with Mexico's Pemex and Japan’s Inpex to bid for the right to explore for oil and natural gas in Mexico's first-ever deepwater auction, set for Dec. 5.
    • The auction marks the first time Mexico's state-owned operator will partner with private companies to develop crude in the Gulf of Mexico, and is one of seven groups and eight individual bidders to qualify for participation.
    • Total (NYSE:TOT) is joining forces with BP and Statoil (NYSE:STO) in one group, and with ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) in another, while Eni (NYSE:E) and Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF) also joined up, and Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) formed another group; other companies involved include BHP, CEO, MUR.
    • The Mexican regulator has not specified which bids are for the Trion field joint venture with Pemex or for the other areas.
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 8:55 AM | 7 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 8, 11:44 AM
    • Russia needs a new profit-based tax regime for the country's oil industry to support the use of modern, high-cost technologies and maintain oil production, says a top executive at oil producer Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY).
    • The current tax is based on production and exports, and companies long have lobbied for profit-based taxation, saying it would spur production while better reflecting exploration costs and risks.
    • Russia has been pumping oil at record-high levels above 11M bbl/day despite a preliminary agreement to freeze output jointly with other leading producers to prop up weak prices.
    • The exec also says Lukoil is not interested in buying shares in its larger peer Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF).
    | Tue, Nov. 8, 11:44 AM
  • Fri, Oct. 28, 10:46 AM
    • Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) says it will seek approval from Russia's government to buy up to 100% of Bashneft after acquiring a controlling stake earlier this month.
    • State-controlled Rosneft paid 330B rubles ($5.2B) for a 50.1% stake in Bashneft, in a process that has caused much discussion in the government about whether one state firm may buy another; the region of Bashkortostan owns ~25% of Bashneft, which produces ~400K bbl/day of crude oil, 4% of Russia's output.
    • Yesterday, Rosneft said it had asked Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY) to cancel crude oil purchasing contracts with Bashneft.
    | Fri, Oct. 28, 10:46 AM
  • Tue, Oct. 11, 8:22 AM
    • Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) leader Igor Sechin says his company will not cap oil production as part of a possible agreement with OPEC.
    • Russian Pres. Putin said yesterday that the country was ready to join a proposed OPEC cap, but Sechin tells Reuters that he doubts some OPEC countries, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, would cut their output, so "why should we do it?"
    • Sechin had said Rosneft expected to raise its 2016 oil production - already the world's largest listed oil producer, and accounting for 40% of Russia's crude oil output - above the 203M metric tons (4.1M bbl/day) it produced in 2015.
    • Sechin has long argued that any oil price increase as a result of joint actions by OPEC and non-OPEC members would allow the U.S. to resume production growth from higher-cost shale deposits.
    • Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY) VP Leonid Fedun says he believes Russian oil companies would unify behind their government if talks with the OPEC result in a deal to limit output.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UWTI, UCO, DWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
    | Tue, Oct. 11, 8:22 AM | 26 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 30, 5:51 PM
    • Russia's government says it is resurrecting the delayed privatization of the Bashneft oil firm, in a sign of how anxious the Kremlin is to raise money to patch up its budget amid the country's economic slump.
    • The Bashneft privatization, the most significant selloff of Russian state assets in years, had been postponed indefinitely in August to cool infighting among rival groups, but the deputy prime minister said today that steps to resume the privatization would be taken immediately.
    • State-run Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), whose eagerness to buy Bashneft triggered the infighting, says it will make a bid; Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY), Russia's biggest privately-owned oil company, also may be interested.
    • The government also says it will move ahead with the sale of a minority stake in Rosneft itself, which could interest international oil majors who covet a share in Russia's massive crude reserves.
    | Fri, Sep. 30, 5:51 PM
  • Wed, Sep. 14, 8:59 AM
    • The energy companies developing the Karachaganak gas condensate field are still in talks with Kazakhstan's government about the country's financial claim against the consortium, the deputy energy minister says.
    • Russia's Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF) said in April that Kazakhstan had filed a $1.6B claim against the Karachaganak group led by joint operators Eni (NYSE:E) and Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) BG Group, which each own a 29.25% stake; state-owned KazMunayGaz owns 10%, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) has 18% and Lukoil 13.5%.
    • The field contains 1.2B metric tons of oil and gas condensate and more than 1.35T cf of gas, making it one of the world's largest oil and gas deposits.
    | Wed, Sep. 14, 8:59 AM
  • Thu, Sep. 8, 10:48 AM
    • Two new Caspian Sea oil fields are set to add significant volumes of crude by the end of this year to a world market already in a glut, possibly further depressing prices, Reuters reports.
    • The huge Kashagan field in Kazakhstan's sector and Lukoil's (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY) Filanovsky field in the Russian sector are scheduled to come on stream soon, producing at least 200K bbl/day of crude by the end of 2016 and ~500K bbl/day by the end of 2017.
    • The Caspian crude will come on top of extra oil from Iran, which is working to raise its exports back to ~2.4M bbl/day, the amount it had sold before sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear program were imposed.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UWTI, UCO, DWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
    | Thu, Sep. 8, 10:48 AM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 16, 2:54 PM
    • Russia's government says it is delaying plans to sell a stake in regional oil producer Bashneft, citing a weak market and the state’s plan to sell other assets this year, including nearly 20% of Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), Russia’s largest crude producer; it is not known when a sale might take place.
    • Russia had planned to sell as much as a 50% stake in Bashneft this year to increase budget revenue that has been depleted by weak prices for crude oil.
    • Rosneft had been considering a bid for Bashneft, although Pres. Putin reportedly banned it from participating in the sale; Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY), Russia’s biggest non-state crude producer, also expressed an interest in buying a controlling interest.
    | Tue, Aug. 16, 2:54 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Aug. 12, 10:40 AM
    • Eni (E +0.1%) is talking to oil companies including Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Total (NYSE:TOT) and BP about selling at least a 20% stake in its giant Zohr gas field in Egypt, Reuters reports.
    • Eni owns all of the field and has said it is interested in bringing in partners as part of its strategy of selling some of its prize acreage to help meet a target of raising €5B from asset sales over the next two years.
    • Zohr, one of the largest gas discoveries this century, holds an estimated 30T cf of gas and has relatively low development costs; analysts have said a 25% stake in the field could fetch up to €2B ($2.24B).
    | Fri, Aug. 12, 10:40 AM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 11, 9:43 AM
    • Iraq's government has reached agreement with BP, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF) to restart investment in oil fields the firms are developing that was halted this year, Reuters reports.
    • The agreements effectively delay to H2 of the year projects that the three companies had planned to carry out in H1, which had been suspended because of low oil prices.
    • BP has agreed to spend $1.8B this year at the Rumaila field it operates after initially agreeing last year to spend $3.5B, Shell agreed to spend $742M after proposing $1.5B, and Lukoil would spend $1.08B vs. $2.1B it had proposed last year, according to the report.
    | Thu, Aug. 11, 9:43 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 2, 12:49 PM
    • July monthly performance was: +4.14%
    • AUM of $2.68M
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: +4%
    • No dividends were paid in July
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 6/30/2016: China Mobile Ltd (OTCPK:CHLKF): 3.82599%, China Construction Bank Corp H (OTCPK:CICHF): 3.7955%, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330): 2.77796%, Ambev SA (ABEV3): 2.34785%, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTC:SSNLF): 1.94929%, CNOOC Ltd (OTCPK:CEOHF): 1.75845%, Gazprom PJSC ADR (OTCPK:OGZPY): 1.62779%, PJSC Lukoil ADR (OTCPK:LUKOY): 1.43969%, Mining and Metallurgical Company NORILSK NICKEL PJSC ADR (OTCPK:NILSY): 1.38151%, Wal - Mart de Mexico SAB de CV Class V (OTCPK:WMMVF): 1.11827%
    | Tue, Aug. 2, 12:49 PM
  • Tue, Jul. 5, 7:45 AM
    • Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and their partners say they will proceed with a $36.8B expansion of the Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan - the biggest investment in new production since oil prices collapsed two years ago.
    • The commitment is in addition to ~$37B already spent by operator CVX, XOM, Russia's Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF) and state-owned energy firm KazMunaiGas.
    • The expansion will take Tengiz production up to 1M boe/day from ~800K boe/day currently, with first production from the expansion expected in 2022.
    • Tengiz is considered one of the most profitable fields in the modern oil era, and some analysts estimate that it has brought CVX more than $70B in revenue and $40B in profits since 1993.
    | Tue, Jul. 5, 7:45 AM | 5 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 1, 5:57 PM
    • Chevron (NYSE:CVX) said this week in a presentation that the decision on expanding its Tengiz development in Kazakhstan will be made in mid-2016, which would essentially confirm a prediction made in May by the Kazakh energy minister.
    • The project, which was put on hold last year after cost estimates ballooned amid plunging oil prices, may cost as much as $40B and add crude supply equivalent to that of the country of Libya.
    • "This is very big and very important for Chevron and for Kazakhstan, [and] shows that the situation is now turning in the oil market that people are putting down this kind of money," says an analyst at the IHS consulting firm.
    • Tengiz produced ~595K bbl/day last year, and the expansion will involve pumping sulfur-laden gas back into the rocks to force out an additional 250K-300K bbl/day.
    • CVX has a 50% interest in the field that already accounts for nearly 20% of the company's total worldwide production; minority partners are Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Kazmunaigaz and Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF).
    | Fri, Jul. 1, 5:57 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 1, 7:31 AM
    • June monthly performance was: +5.09%
    • AUM of $2.48M
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: 0%
    • $0.12 in dividends were paid in June
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 5/31/2016: China Mobile Ltd (OTCPK:CHLKF): 3.9717%, China Construction Bank Corp H (OTCPK:CICHF): 3.80475%, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330): 2.75233%, Ambev SA (ABEV3): 2.13524%, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTC:SSNLF): 1.77648%, CNOOC Ltd (OTCPK:CEOHF): 1.76186%, Gazprom PJSC ADR (OTCPK:OGZPY): 1.67271%, Mining and Metallurgical Company NORILSK NICKEL PJSC ADR (OTCPK:NILSY): 1.47877%, PJSC Lukoil ADR (OTCPK:LUKOY): 1.33665%, Wal - Mart de Mexico SAB de CV Class V (OTCPK:WMMVF): 1.13755%
    | Fri, Jul. 1, 7:31 AM
  • Mon, Jun. 6, 12:54 PM
    • Russia's Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY, OTC:LUKOF) says its Q1 net profit tumbled 59% Y/Y to 42.8B rubles ($651M) on 18% lower revenue to 1.18T rubles because of lower oil prices, but results mostly beat analyst expectations.
    • However, free cash flow was the weakest part of the Q1 report, falling 43% Y/Y percent to 36B rubles; Q1 EBITDA fell to 145B rubles
    • Lukoil says it daily hydrocarbon production declined 0.6% Y/Y at 2.35M boe, as it ramped up production at its West Qurna-2 project in Iraq but output fell at its main Soviet-era fields in western Siberia.
    | Mon, Jun. 6, 12:54 PM