Last update: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 04am

Fuel and Energy: World


OPEC agreed on Wednesday to cut its oil output for the first time since 2008, with the group's leader Saudi Arabia softening its stance on arch-rival Iran amid mounting pressure from low oil prices. Two sources in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the group would reduce output to 32.5 million barrels per day from current production of 33.24 million bpd.
Oil prices settled up nearly 6 percent on Wednesday after Opec sources said the group has struck a deal to limit crude output at its policy meeting in November, its first agreement to cut production since the market crashed two years ago on oversupply.
Canada approved on Tuesday a massive Can$36 billion ($27 billion USD) project by Malaysia's Petronas to build a liquefied natural gas pipeline along its Pacific Northwest coast, targeting Asian markets. The project is the first deal by Canada's year-old Liberal government that goes against environmentalists in the name of the country's economic interests. Environmental activists and indigenous groups have opposed the plans.
An Indonesian power company said Wednesday it had removed its founders last year and takes seriously allegations of "improper behaviour" after revelations US justice officials are probing Standard Chartered over suspected bribery at the firm. London-based, Asia-focused Standard Chartered, which controls the MAXpower Group, acknowledged Tuesday it was being investigated by the US Department of Justice over claims the Indonesian company had paid kickbacks to secure contracts. The bank said it had referred the matter to the "appropriate authorities" and launched its own review.
Iran rejected on Tuesday an offer from Saudi Arabia to limit its oil output in exchange for Riyadh cutting supply, dashing market hopes the two major Opec producers would find a compromise this week to help ease a global glut of crude. "The gap (in views) between Opec countries is narrowing. I don''t expect that an agreement will come out of the consultations tomorrow," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters.
Oil fell about 3 percent on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia and Iran dashed market hopes that the two major Opec producers would find a compromise this week at meeting in Algiers to help ease a global glut of crude. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters in the Algerian capital, where Opec and other oil producers gathered for the September 26-28 International Energy Forum, he did not expect an agreement to come out of the consultations on the last day of the meet.
Britain's oil and gas production rose last year for the first time in 15 years on cheaper extraction costs, an industry body said Tuesday. Output jumped by 10.4 percent in 2015 compared with a year earlier, Oil & Gas UK said in a report. "Few industries could have achieved the performance improvements the UK's oil and gas industry has demonstrated over the last 18 months," it said. "Its determination has seen the cost of extracting a barrel of oil or gas from the UK Continental Shelf cut to nearly half its cost since 2014 and a 10 percent increase in production.