Europe Stay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder.. Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:12:19 +0000 SRA Framework 2.0 en-gb UK gas prices rise on Norway gas field outage imageLONDON: British wholesale gas prices rose on Monday morning due to an outage at Norwegian gas field Troll which could mean fewer supplies of gas reach Britain.

Prices for day-ahead delivery were up 1.30 pence at 45.25 pence per therm at 0815 GMT, while gas for immediate delivery was 0.75 pence higher at 45.20 pence per therm.

British gas traders said an outage at Norway's biggest natural gas field Troll would likely reduce flows to Britain on Monday.

Production capacity at Troll will be reduced by 15 million cubic metres (mcm) on Monday due to an unexpected outage, gas system operator Gassco said on Sunday.

The outage at the field started at 1641 GMT on Sunday and is expected to last for ten hours.

There are also no liquefied natural gas tankers scheduled to arrive in Britain at the moment.

British gas demand is estimated to be 286.2 million cubic metres on Monday, according to National Grid, slightly above forecast flows of 284.3 mcm/day.

Further along the curve, month-ahead gas prices were up by 1.0 pence to 45.60 pence per therm.

In the Netherlands, the February gas prices at the TTF hub were up 0.42 euros per 19.90 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh).

Intercontinental Exchange, said last week that its TTF natural gas futures and options contracts set a new daily volume record on Jan. 21 of 58,335 contracts (42.3 terrawatt hours) traded.

This more than doubled the previous daily record set in November last year.

The benchmark European Union carbon contract was 4 euro cents higher at 6.92 euros per tonne.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Imaduddin) Europe Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:05:17 +0000
Oil prices fall on market relief over Saudi policy imageLONDON: Oil prices fell on Monday, with U.S. crude falling close to a nearly six-year low, as Saudi Arabia's new King Salman moved to assuage fears of an unstable transition and any policy change in the world's largest oil exporter.

Salman was quick to retain veteran Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi on Friday, in a message aimed at calming a jittery energy market following the death of King Abdullah last week.

March Brent crude was trading down 63 cents at $48.16 per barrel by 1106 GMT, wiping out modest gains made on Friday but off an early low of $47.57.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery was at $45.10 a barrel, down 49 cents. Front-month WTI touched an intraday low of $44.35, just above the $44.20 hit on Jan. 13, which was its lowest level since April 2009.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, led the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last November in a decision to keep oil production steady at 30 million barrels per day. This has added to a global supply glut that has more than halved prices since June.

"Oil markets will take comfort from the speed and stability of the succession process, and the announced pledge for continuity of policy," said Majid Jafar, chief executive of Crescent Petroleum, a UAE-headquartered oil and gas producer focussed on the Middle East.

In Greece, the left-wing Syriza won a decisive victory against the ruling conservatives in Sunday's election, setting up a possible confrontation with international creditors.

Brent's premium to WTI <CL-LCO1=R> saw an intraday high of $3.59, its highest since January 5, after U.S. crude stockpiles rose by the highest amount in over two decades.

Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Jan. 20, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.

Oil services firm Baker Hughes published data on Friday that showed the number of U.S. oil rigs fell for a seventh straight week to 1,317, the fewest since January 2013.

Germany-based Commerzbank said that output would remain high in the short term but U.S. oil rigs would continue to dwindle in the coming weeks, eventually supporting prices.

"It is only a question of time before this is reflected in decreased oil production," Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients on Monday.

"In our opinion, this indicates that prices will recover in the second half of the year."

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Imaduddin) Europe Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:43:45 +0000
UK energy supplier SSE to cut gas tariffs from April 30 imageLONDON: British utility SSE will reduce household gas prices by 4.1 percent on April 30 and extend its price freeze guarantee by at least six months, the company said on Monday.

The Scotland-based firm, which will report full-year results on May 20, is also expecting to pay shareholders a dividend for 2014/15 at least equal to inflation.

The utility added that it expects full-year adjusted earnings to be around the same level achieved in 2013/14.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Parvez Jabri) Europe Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:30:45 +0000
Norway&#39;s Troll gas field suffers unplanned outage imageOSLO: Production capacity at Norway's biggest natural gas field Troll will be reduced by 11.8 million cubic metres (mcm) on Sunday due to an unexpected outage, the gas system operator Gassco said on its website.

The outage at Statoil-operated field started at 1641 GMT and is expected to last for ten hours, it added.

Norway is Western Europe's main gas supplier.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:29:01 +0000
Indonesia&#39;s Bontang LNG plant tenders to sell 3 cargoes imageLONDON/MILAN: Indonesia's Bontang liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant has tendered to sell three cargoes, three traders said on Friday. The deadline for offers was January 21, the traders said, although they were unsure of when the result would be decided.

The Bontang plant processes LNG from the gas fields in the Mahakam River delta in East Kalimantan, Indonesia's main gas-producing region.

The plant is jointly operated by Pertamina, Vico Indonesia, France's Total and an Indonesian subsidiary of Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Sojitz Corp.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:47:57 +0000
Russia&#39;s refinery runs in December down 2.1pc on month imageMOSCOW: Russian oil refinery runs in December fell by 2.1 percent month-on-month or 123,787 barrels per day (bpd) due to a series of outages, data from the Energy Ministry and Reuters calculations showed.

Refineries processed 5.862 million barrels of crude oil per day in December versus 5.986 million in November.

Three major Russian refineries were hit by unplanned outages in December, Reuters data showed.

Due to a leak on a major pipeline delivering oil to the Black Sea port of Tuapse in December the Tuapse refinery, owned by Rosneft, dropped its capacity by 29.6 percent to 139,814 bpd from 198,716 bpd in November. As a result, an additional 0.6 million tonnes of crude oil were exported in December from that refinery via the port of Tuapse.

Perm refinery, owned by Lukoil, decreased its processing in December by 29.3 percent to 203,514 bpd from 287,703 bpd in the previous month due to an accident at a crude distillation unit (CDU).

The other Lukoil refinery, Norsi, was stopped in December due to power outages and was forced to suspend its processing and oil products supplies for a few days.

Moscow refinery, owned by Gazprom Neft, increased its capacity by 74.4 percent to 190,060 bpd in December from 108,948 bpd in November after a major overhaul.

Total gasoline production at Russian refineries rose 6.2 percent in December to 114,597 tonnes per day, Reuters calculations showed.

Gasoil production was up 1.2 percent month-on-month at 219,719 tonnes per day.

Fuel oil output increased 1.2 percent in December to 229,639 tonnes per day, while jet kerosene production was down by 9.6 percent to 23,942 tonnes per day. December refinery runs were up by 3.2 percent year-on-year or 179,183 bpd. Overall December gasoline output increased by 6.5 percent year-on-year.

Gas oil and fuel oil production were up by 2.9 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, while jet kerosene output was down 10.9 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:28:54 +0000
Oil up after Saudi king dies; policy pledges calm market;-policy-pledges-calm-market.html;-policy-pledges-calm-market.html imageLONDON: Brent crude oil rose on Friday after the death of Saudi Arabia's king added to uncertainty in oil markets, although the new ruler indicated immediately there would be no policy change.

Brent crude rose to a high of $49.80, up $1.28 a barrel, before easing to around $49.20 by 1515 GMT. US light crude oil rose to $46.41, up 10 cents.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died early on Friday and his brother Salman became king of the world's top oil exporter.

Salman named his half-brother Muqrin as heir and nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, as Deputy Crown Prince, moving to forestall any succession crisis at a moment when Saudi Arabia faces unprecedented turmoil on its borders.

Saudi state television said King Salman intended to keep oil minister Ali al-Naimi in place, suggesting the country's oil policy would remain unchanged.

Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist with ABN Amro, said oil investors were worried about a possible change in Saudi oil policy and the security of the kingdom, but repeated assurances of continuity from Riyadh, helped calm the market.

"There was only a spike in prices over these tensions and they eased afterwards," van Cleef said.

The new Saudi king is expected to continue an OPEC policy of keeping oil output steady to protect the cartel's market share from rival producers.

Abdullah's death comes amid some of the biggest shifts in oil markets in decades. Oil prices have fallen by almost 60 percent since peaking last June as soaring supplies of shale oil from North America have coincided with cooling demand.

Booming US production has turned the United States from the world's biggest oil importer into one of the top producers, pumping out over 9 million barrels per day. Data from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday showed the biggest build in US crude inventory in at least 14 years, driving Brent and WTI prices apart. To combat soaring output and falling prices, many oil exporters, such as Venezuela, wanted the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output in order to support prices and revenues.

Yet, led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC announced last November it would keep output steady at 30 million barrels per day. Many analysts remain bearish on the outlook for oil and this view was echoed by Saudi Prince Alwalees Bin Talal, who told CNBC news that in his view the market had further to fall: "We have not seen the bottom yet, maybe."

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:24:46 +0000
Russia gasoline exports up 31pc in December from month before imageMOSCOW: Russian gasoline exports rose 31.0 percent in December from the month before, while shipments of gas oil and fuel oil increased by 3.4 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, Energy Ministry data and Reuters calculations showed.

Russian domestic supplies of gasoline and gas oil were up in December by 7.1 percent and 6.2 percent respectively, while local supplies of fuel oil fell 10.2 percent.

Kirishi refinery in northwest Russia, owned by Surgutneftegaz, increased its gasoline and gas oil exports by 77.4 percent and 21.7 percent respectively in December, after unplanned maintenance at the hydrocracking complex.

Due to a leak on a major pipeline delivering oil to the Black Sea port of Tuapse in December the Tuapse refinery, owned by Rosneft, dropped its capacity by 29.6 percent.

Gas oil and fuel export supplies fell by 29.4 percent and 9.7 percent respectively month-on-month. Perm refinery, owned by Lukoil, decreased its processing in December by 29.3 percent from the previous month due to an accident at a crude distillation unit (CDU).

Gas oil and fuel oil exports shipments were down in December by 21.9 percent and 13.8 percent respectively.

Moscow refinery, owned by Gazprom Neft, increased its capacity in December after major overhaul and boosted fuel oil exports by 198.6 percent.

At the same time some of Russia`s refineries partially postponed their oil products export supplies on expectations of lower duties in January 2015.


Compared with a year ago, Russian gasoline exports in December fell 1.9 percent, while domestic shipments were up 4.7 percent.

Total gasoline output rose 6.5 percent to 3.553 million tonnes compared with 3.336 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Gasoil exports increased by 8.3 percent, while local supplies fell 4.3 percent.

Total production of gasoil rose in December by 2.9 percent year-on-year to 6.811 million tonnes.

Exports of fuel were down by 3.4 percent, while local supplies increased by 9.6 percent on a yearly basis. Fuel oil output was up 1.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:11:56 +0000
Oil majors to preserve dividends despite oil collapse, tap debt

imageLONDON/DAVOS: Europe's oil majors will strike a sober note in their fourth-quarter results and investors will focus on companies' plans to maintain cherished dividends and their strategies to cope with the oil prices collapse that caught many unawares.

Having sold around $120 billion in assets in recent years to boost balance sheets and keep up dividend payouts, companies are expected to increase borrowing and further cut costs as they come to terms with oil prices that have more than halved since June to around $50 a barrel. "Lower oil prices pose the biggest threat to oil and gas industry earnings and financial solidity since the financial crash of 2008," consultancy Wood Mackenzie said in a note.

"More evidence of how this is affecting performance and strategy will appear in the Q4 results and further pared-back 2015 investment plans." For the last quarter of 2014, earnings per share (EPS) for European integrated oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, France's Total, Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol, are expected to fall on average by around 24 percent, according to Barclays analysts.

As investors come to terms with a roughly 20 percent drop in oil companies' shares since last June, according to Reuters data, the focus will turn to how boards plan to adjust to the new environment. So far there is no hint of any major oil companies scaling back their dividend payouts, which for decades have been the key attraction for investors. Shell, for example, has not cut its dividend since 1945.

"We will be able to preserve the dividend. It is absolutely our rock solid intention," BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Your cash flow spending options are dividends, buy backs, capex and cost - these are really the four things you can work with," Dudley added.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne also said it would maintain dividends while Eni chief Claudio descalzi told Reuters television he was confident prices would rebound and that the company would be also able to sustain dividends. SPENDING Nomura and Barclays analysts expect an average 7 percent year-on-year decline in spending in 2015 for European oil majors.

But with a large part of this year's project spending already committed, borrowing is inevitable.

"Ultimately, Big Oil remains on the back foot and the transition to more sustainably covering capex and the dividend is pushed out further to 2017 on our base-case estimates," Nomura analysts said in a note. Analysts at Jefferies say that with an estimated average net debt to capitalization ratio of 14 percent at the end of 2014, oil majors are in a good position to increase borrowing, which the bank expects will reach 21 percent by the end of 2016.

Shell is seen by several investors and analysts as best able to cope among its peers in the current environment as its refining segment benefits the most from lower crude oil prices. Barclays expect Shell EPS to rise by 29 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter the previous year.

"At a high level I believe RDS (Shell) is the best positioned as it has the best balance sheet," said Darren Sissons, managing director at Toronto-based investment fund Portfolio Management, which holds Statoil, Shell and BP shares in Europe.

Shell will report fourth-quarter results on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Barclays expects BP will report a 50 percent fall in fourth-quarter EPS compared with the same quarter in 2013. It faces a heavy loss from its stake in Russia's Rosneft due to the plummeting oil price and a crumbling rouble.

It will cut thousands of jobs across its global oil and gas business by the end of this year in a $1 billion restructuring programme, it said last month.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:45:52 +0000
Europe Gasoline/Naphtha: Gasoline crack gains on storage buying, exports imageLONDON: Gasoline refining margins in northwest Europe rose on Friday to near $7 a barrel, supported by exports and increased buying for storage. European refineries continued to operate at high rates to benefit from strong profit margins, increasing available supplies while regional demand was weak, traders said.

"Winter demand is still weak and there is no reason for this to change," a trader said. Prices continued to benefit from increased buying for storage as prompt prices traded below future prices in what is known as contango.

"A lot is being stored," one trader said.

Independent ARA storage of gasoline has risen 11 percent since last week to 763,000 tonnes, the highest in a month. Naphtha stocks were up 29 percent at 306,000 tonnes.

Several new tanker fixtures appeared on Friday, bringing the total volume of gasoline exports to the US East Coast to around 350,000 tonnes this week, according to Reuters shipping data and trading sources. Seven tankers have also been booked in the last week to ship about 354,000 tonnes of what traders say is mostly gasoline to West Africa.

Gunvor also booked an 80,000 tonne gasoline cargo for loading Jan. 26-28 from ARA to Yemen, where the local refinery has stopped operating, traders said.

Russian gasoline exports rose 31 percent in December from the month before, while shipments of gas oil and fuel oil increased by 3.4 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, energy ministry data and Reuters calculations showed.

Naphtha refining margins held near a one-year high as demand from Asia lent support, traders said.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Europe Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:35:06 +0000