By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – ConocoPhillips (NYSE:) is pushing forward on its massive Willow development on Alaska’s North Slope and has not lost time in its schedule, despite a recent federal court ruling that overturned Trump administration approval for the project, an Alaska manager for the company said Wednesday.
Alaskan officials have been eager to see oil drilling increase to boost tax revenue at a time when most new U.S. output is concentrated in Texas and other nearby states. ConocoPhillips is Alaska’s largest producer, and plans to spend $4 billion to $6 billion on Willow, located in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).
A U.S. District Court ruling in August found that approvals issued by the Trump administration were based on flawed environmental analysis and must be reconsidered by federal agencies. The lawsuit, filed by environmental and Native groups, earlier blocked ConocoPhillips’ planned Willow gravel-road construction and gravel mining.
“ConocoPhillips remains committed to Willow, working through the legal process and more specifically, working through the issues that were identified through the district court ruling,” Vincent Lelarge, the company’s manager for North Slope asset development, said at the Resource Development Council for Alaska’s annual conference.
Willow holds about 600 million barrels of recoverable oil and would produce over 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) if developed, Lelarge said. It would be the westernmost operating oil field on the North Slope.
Lelarge said the legal setbacks have not affected the Willow timeline. He said the company is continuing its engineering planning and cost analysis in preparation for a final investment decision next year.
While Willow planning continues, ConocoPhillips is poised to start production at a different project on the western North Slope, the GMT-2 field, Lelarge said, where it has invested more than $1 billion. That field could produce 35,000 to 40,000 bpd, the company has said.
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The U.S. has decided to produce crude oil in Venezuela
The U.S. wants to give the U.S. Chevron Corp., one of the largest oil companies in the country, a license to produce crude oil in Venezuela, according to The Wall Street Journal.
There will be new American oil executives in Venezuela. This is a signal of easing sanctions against the country, the newspaper said. Chevron has decided to regain partial control over oil production in Venezuela’s fields, in which the company paid a share due to joint ventures with Petroleos de Venezuela SA.
Talk of new investment is not yetunderway, because the debts to Chevron are not repaid. This may take several years, the sources say.
In July, Diosdado Cabello, leader of the parliamentary faction and vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), accused the U.S. of attacks on the country’s oil facilities. Venezuela has been under U.S. oil sanctions since 2019. In June of this year, the State Department allowed Italian Eni and Spanish Repsol to supply oil from Venezuela to Europe.
Earlier we reported that more than 50% of Germans said they refused to buy new clothes and electronics.
Bloomberg: UAE to boost oil production beyond plan by 2025
UAE to boost oil production. One of Russia’s main competitors for oil exports plans to reach five million barrels per day by 2025. The Middle Eastern country was initially expected to reach this level only by 2030, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
“Energy concern Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc), which produces almost all of the UAE’s oil, wants to be able to produce 5 million barrels a day by 2025. The company planned to reach such a level only by 2030,” – says the material.
But a crude oil production boost will be difficult without additional financing for expenses for the project. Adnoc explained the acceleration of production increase by the policy of the leading countries of the world on accelerated energy transition to renewable energy sources (RES).
“As we embrace the energy transition and focus our business on the future, we will continue to explore potential opportunities that can further add value, free up capital and improve profitability,” the Arab oil company said.
To realize the goal, Adnoc has asked international companies that are partners in its oil fields to increase long-term crude production by 10% or more, sources said. In the case of positive results of the negotiations, the UAE will be able to significantly increase the volume of oil production by 2025, concludes Bloomberg.
On September 19, the Times of India, citing sources in the Indian Ministry of Commerce, reported that the Asian country has saved since February 2022, $439.7 million on imports from Russia of oil at a discount. A total of about 62.5 million barrels of Russian crude were purchased by Indian state and private companies over the last six months. Moreover, volumes of imports have increased many times over as compared to 2021.
Earlier, we reported that Nigeria stopped benefiting from the sale of Nigerian oil due to the lack of dollars.
FT: Nigeria stopped benefiting from Nigeria crude oil sales due to lack of dollars
Nigeria’s crude oil sales used to grow steadily. But now the country, which is considered one of the world’s largest oil exporters, is facing a crisis. The country is short of dollars, and the factor of “massive theft” has only exacerbated the problems of the African state, reports the Financial Times.
“Since the beginning of the year, Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen by 5%, to $38 billion. Restrictions on the purchase of dollars and the resulting deficit has led to the emergence of a black currency market. $1 is worth 420 naira at the official exchange rate and 700 naira on the black market,” the paper said.
Because of increasing corruption in the country, Nigeria, the world’s tenth largest oil exporter, can no longer increase production of crude oil. Nigerian crude oil buyers are not happy with this fact. The African state exports a little more than half of the established OPEC quota – 1.1 million barrels per day, instead of the required 1.8 million.
Despite all the difficulties going on in Nigeria’s economy, Timipre Silva, the African country’s Minister of State for Petroleum, announced plans to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe by the coming winter. According to him, to realize this goal, it is necessary to improve safety in Nigeria’s fields and infrastructure.
Earlier we reported that coffee stocks in Brazil in six months will approach a record low level.
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