The legislation, which still needs approval from the House, specifically refers to U.S. opposition to Nord Stream 2, the pipeline that would double capacity for Russia's Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) gas monopoly to supply gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea.
The German and Austrian governments say the Senate amendment brings a "new and very negative quality in the European-American relations," and that the U.S. wants to expand its exports of liquid natural gas to Europe and views the new pipeline as a competitor.
The new sanctions could affect European energy companies, including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Engie (OTCPK:ENGIY) and OMV (OTC:OMVJF), which are financing the pipeline.
Sharara had been producing ~270K bbl/day, nearly a third of the country's total output, before employees went on strike on Wednesday over a lack of medical treatment for a colleague who died in an accident at the field.
Libya’s crude oil production has rebounded to more than 700K bbl/day as the Sharra oil field, the country’s biggest, and another deposit in its western region resumed pumping after a halt.
The Sharara field currently is producing 216K bbl/day, while the El Feel deposit is pumping 26.5K bbl/day and is expected to boost output further, according to Libya's National Oil Corp.
Sharara is operated by a joint venture between the NOC and Repsol (OTCQX:REPYF, OTCQX:REPYY), Total (NYSE:TOT), Statoil (NYSE:STO) and OMV (OTC:OMVJF); El Feel is operated by a joint venture between Eni (NYSE:E) and NOC.
Customers are requesting more gas this year, and Gazprom believes in the next 15 years it can provide the bulk of an additional 100B cm/year for Europe, which is needed by 2035 as domestic output falls, Miller tells Reuters.
While CVX had said Rosebank remained an important part of its U.K. North Sea portfolio, the surprise move raised speculation that the company would exit the field, which is estimated to contain 240M boe of recoverable resources.
The Rosebank project is operated by CVX with a 40% stake, with partners Suncor (NYSE:SU), OMV (OTC:OMVJF) and Dong Energy.
The companies say they are optimistic about obtaining approval from Norwegian authorities for the deal, after Gazprom had said previously that Norway might block it from acquiring a stake larger than 25% in OMV's Norwegian holding.
The effective date of the deal will be Jan. 1, pending regulatory approval, with the final deal expected to be sealed in the middle of next year.
OMV (OTC:OMVJF) agrees to sell its U.K. subsidiary to P-E backed Siccar Point Energy, putting an end to its exploration activities in Britain, in a deal valued at up to $1B.
Siccar Point will make an initial $750M firm payment to OMV, with a contingent $125M payment due pending a final investment decision on the Chevron-operated Rosebank project off the Shetland Islands in the U.K. North Sea.
The Rosebank development project has been stalled in the front-end engineering and design phase since 2012; a final investment decision had been expected last year.
OMV says the deal would at current exchange rates shave €350M ($386M) off its overall EBIT to reflect lost revenues in 2016.
Russia's Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) and its European partners in the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project say they have submitted a permit application to Sweden, starting a process aimed at gaining official approval for the 1,200-km pipeline.
The group says it plans to submit permit applications in the four other relevant jurisdictions - Russia, Finland, Denmark and Germany - in early 2017.
Nord Stream-2, due to open in 2019, would double the amount of gas directly shipped from Russia to Germany; critics say it could limit supply routes and the energy security of the European Union, which already gets a third of its gas from Russia.
Pipes to build Russia's Nord Stream-2 are expected to start being supplied in December or January, in a sign the gas project designed to double the capacity of the existing pipeline on the Baltic Sea floor from Russia to Germany is going ahead.
The head of the Russian pipemakers association told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit that he expects construction of Nord Stream-2, which was due to start in 2018, to go ahead as planned as production of the pipes had already begun.
Gazprom's (OTCPK:OGZPY) five Western joint venture partners - Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Austria's OMV (OTC:OMVJF), France's Engie (OTCPK:ENGIY) and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall - pulled out of the financing to avoid a drawn-out battle but vowed to help keep the project alive, saying Europe's gas production was declining and wanting to secure a share of future business.
Reuters reports that the most likely options now could be to dilute current rights as equity participants to put the JV out of the Polish agency's reach, raising bank debt, or issuing loans to Gazprom with higher interest; to help with cash, partners could commit to volumes and pay up front when the gas is put into the pipeline.
Opponents say Nord Stream 2 could tie Europe indefinitely to Russia at a time when gas sources are plentiful; U.S. VP Biden today called the pipeline a "bad deal" for Europe.
Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) says it will build the proposed $11B Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany on its own after a joint venture with five European partners fell apart over pressure from Poland’s anti-monopoly watchdog.
Altough the pipeline is not set to go through Poland or Polish waters, Gazprom needed the Polish watchdog’s approval to sell shares in the JV to its partners, some of which have assets in Poland; the regulator objected to the pipeline on the grounds that it would cement Gazprom’s already dominant position on the European gas market.
All six partners - Gazprom plus Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Austria's OMV (OTC:OMVJF), France's Engie (OTCPK:ENGIY), and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall - say the pipeline project would still move forward despite the decision.