Thursday, December 29, 2011

[Petroleum Intelligence Weekly Ranks World's Top 50 Oil Companies -- ] Suncor Up, ConocoPhillips Down in PIW`s New Top 50 Oil Rankings

EI/PIW press release via Reuters, Dec 8, 2011

Divestitures and acquisitions were more significant in altering the “Big Oil” leadership landscape than either organic growth or the megamergers of yesteryear, according to the results of Petroleum Intelligence Weekly’s “Top 50” global oil company rankings, released today.

ConocoPhillips’ “shrink-to-grow” strategy, which had it spinning off considerable assets in 2010, resulted in the company falling out of the Top 10 for the first time in four years, with the Houston-based giant dropping to 12 from 8 a year earlier.

Conoco’s slippage in 2010 paved the way for Russian Gazprom’s first-time entry into the elite Top 10 that year, moving up to 10 from 12 a year earlier. France’s Total marked the only other shift on the leader board, moving up to 9 from 10 a year earlier [i.e., Saudi Aramco maintained its hold on the top spot, followed by the National Iranian Oil Co. at No. 2; with ExxonMobil at No. 3 and the Petroleos de Venezuela at No. 4. China National Petroleum Corp. retained its spot as the No. 5, followed by U.K.'s BP, Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands/UK and Chevron. Please also see the Saudi Aramco websitethe HighBeam Business article and my remarks below -- D.R.].     

This year’s rankings reaffirmed the continued importance of the so-called “supermajors” – ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total — which held onto their Top 10 spots. But companies in developing-countries like China were racing to catch up, moving up the ranks as they grew their operations through billions of dollars in strategic acquisitions.

The PIW Top 50 rankings compare petroleum-industry majors, independents and national oil companies based operational size, rather than market cap or other financial measures, to provide a holistic view of the industry landscape. They incorporate six unique operational criteria — oil and gas reserves, oil and gas production, product sales and refinery distillation capacity — from fiscal year 2010, the latest for which complete data were available.

For the first time the Top 50 also took a hard look at M&A, correlating companies’ movement in the rankings with the announced deal value of their mergers and acquisitions in 2009, 2010 and year-to-date 2011. The analysis reaffirms M&A’s importance to companies’ operational growth strategies, showing large net buyers — particularly in China — have generally fared better than net sellers.

“Companies are increasingly rising or falling based on their ability to look beyond the integrated model to grow their operations,” said Ian Nathan, a senior research analyst at PIW parent company Energy Intelligence Group and lead author of the Top 50. “With new reserves becoming ever scarcer, companies that come up with innovative ways to create value will reap ever bigger rewards.”

Among this year’s PIW Top 50 highlights:
  • The year’s biggest gainer, Canada’s Suncor, soared 10 spots, to 39 from 49, on the strength of its Petro-Canada acquisition and impressive gains in oil and gas production and product sales.
  • Colombia’s Ecopetrol returned to the list, resurfacing at 48 on significant increases in oil output and gas reserves. Meanwhile, New York-based Hess fell out off the Top 50 from 47 as its growth in oil reserves was unable to compensate for a drop in gas reserves.
  • China’s Sinopec and CNOOC each gained four spots, with Sinopec jumping from 26 to 22 and CNOOC from 38 to 34 as they continued executing long-established growth strategies.
  • Gazprom notwithstanding, Russian companies were a mixed bag in terms of growth. Novatek advanced to 41 from 44, but Rosneft, majority owned by the Russian government, fell to 19 from 16.
For a complete list of the Top 50 or to subscribe, please contact us at [Read more]

(Please see my post "[Energy Intelligence] 'Top 100' Oil Rankings Heavy on Houston Firms,"  by Barrett Goldsmith, Houston Business Journal, Dec 3, 2010. 2011 marks the 23rd consecutive year that Saudi Aramco has achieved the top spot in the PIW rankings. Pemex retained its spot as the No. 11 in PIW's new Top 50 oil rankings for 2010. Also, Petrobras retained its spot as the No. 15 in PIW's new Top 50 oil rankings for 2010. Furthermore, please see Forbes ranking of oil and gas companies by oil and gas production "Mid 2012 Ranking of the World's Biggest Oil & Gas Companies," and PFC Energy ranking of the biggest publicly-traded energy companies, based mainly on capital market performance: "PFC Energy 50 Ranking of World’s Top Energy Companies." -- D.R.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings 2011

Platts, Nov 2, 2011
The Platts Top 250 recognizes outstanding financial performance for the previous fiscal year. Each company listed in the Platts Top 250 has distinguished itself through its remarkable performance and the outstanding efforts and dedication of its team. [...]

Top Ten

The entry of German multi-utility E.ON AG to the top ten in 2009— the only non-Integrated Oil and Gas (IOG) company to do so in the last five years—proved fleeting [please see remarks below -- D.R.]. The oil and gas giants reasserted their dominance of the top ten rankings, taking all ten spots despite a stricken BP dropping far from sight. On the back of higher oil prices, the top ten companies brought in a combined $178.874 billion in profits, a 20.4% increase from 2009, but still down from the bumper year of 2008, when profits hit an all-time high of $214.042 billion.

US giant Exxon Mobil Corp retained the top spot in 2010, while Chevron Corp moved up from ninth in 2009 to second place as it boosted its return on invested capital (ROIC) to 16% from 10.2% in the previous year. Gazprom OAO, PetroChina Co Ltd, Total SA and the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp took third, fourth, fifth and eighth places, respectively, while Royal Dutch Shell climbed from tenth to sixth.

Three re-entrants to the top ten in 2010 included ConocoPhillips—now the subject of an innovative demerger into upstream and downstream businesses— which moved up from 24th place to seventh. Meanwhile Russia’s OJSC Rosneft Oil Company and Lukoil Oil Company rose from 14th and 11th places, respectively to take the ninth and tenth spots.

E.ON dropped back to 13th from sixth, and Brazil’s Petrobras-Petroleo Brasilier fell from fourth in 2009 to 12th in 2010. But the biggest omission from the top ten was UK major BP. Ranked second in 2009, BP dropped to 118th on account of the cost of the Macondo oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico. Although in dollar terms its asset base expanded, as did its revenues, BP’s profits were wiped out. The company posted a loss for 2010 of $3.719 billion.

Here Come the Russians

Although the year-to-year changes in the top ten companies can be small, the big trends can be seen from longerterm comparisons. In 2006, the top ten consisted of five west European integrated oil and gas companies, three US majors, PetroChina and Petrobras. In 2010, there were still three US majors but now two Chinese and three Russian companies, with only two European companies remaining. [...]

The entry of Russian companies into the ranks of the world’s top energy enterprises is a striking feature of the 2010 list, and features not only oil and gas, but also electricity industry companies as a result of privatization in the sector. Of the top ten fastest-growing companies, three are Russian: RusHydro JSC, Bashneft OJSC and Moscow United Electric Grid OJSC, with RusHydro recording a giant three-year CGR of 106.1%. There are now 15 Russian companies in the top 250, compared with 11 in 2009 and nine in 2006.

Mighty Gazprom’s position remains pre-eminent in natural gas, based on its huge production volumes and monopoly grip on Russia’s gas pipelines and exports. However, it may one day have a challenger in the form of private gas company Novatek OAO, which is operator of the planned Yamal LNG project. Novatek has moved up from 126th position in 2009 to 104th in 2010. Profits rose from $854 million to $1,358 million with an impressive ROIC of 19% in 2010—the twelfth-highest ROIC out of the entire top 250. It is also the 34th fastest-growing company based on its three-year CGR. Including AK Transneft OAO, the country’s oil pipeline monopoly, Russia now has eight companies primarily focused on oil in the top 250 as well as two gas and five power sector companies. [...]

Asian Leaders

The number of Asian companies in the top 250 continues to rise, reaching 70 in 2010, up from 67 in 2009 and 56 in 2006. In addition, despite having more companies represented, the average ranking of Asian companies has also improved from 135.2 in 2006 to 134.9 in 2009 and 131.3 in 2010 (a lower number denotes a higher ranking). Asian companies are not just increasing in number, but are increasing their rankings relative to their international peers.

Within Asia, the average ranking of Japanese companies overall has improved from 145.9 to 132.1. This partly reflects the Japan Petroleum Exploration company dropping out of the top 250, but the improvement is notable given the sharp fall in the ranking of the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) which was ranked 54th in 2009, but 131st in 2010.

This is the result of the financial impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 and Japanese reporting of financial data based on fiscal years running from April-March. Tepco recorded a loss of $14,881 billion in fiscal 2010. Other Japanese companies dropping down the rankings include Tohoku Electric Power Co, which fell from 119th to 156th and Chugoku Electric Power Co, which dropped from 134th to 178th.

By contrast, Japan’s oil and gas companies performed well. JX Holdings was the shining star, rising from 129th in 2009 to 18th in 2010. Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd increased its ranking from 144th to 70th. Tokyo Gas Company Ltd upped its place in the list from 108th to 74th. For China, most change was seen within the power sector. The number of Chinese companies in the top 250 was the same in 2010 as in 2009, but the Shenzhen Energy Group, Huadian Power Intl Corp and Shenergy Co. Ltd were displaced by Shanxi Lu’an Environmental Energy Development Co., Shanxi Xishan Coal and Electricity Power Co. and China Longyuan Power Group. In the oil sector, PetroChina moved up from seventh in the rankings to fourth, and CNOOC from 29th to 15th. The biggest mover, however, was China Yangtze Power Co., which jumped from 163rd in 2009 to 112th in 2010.

By contrast, India saw three new companies join the top 250 list—the newlylisted Coal India, oil and gas producer Cairn India Ltd and the IPP company NHPC Ltd. As in Japan, the oil sector also gave India its strongest movers. The Indian Oil Corp Ltd jumped from 78th in 2009 to 42nd in 2010, while the Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd rose from 174th to 142nd. [...]

(Please see my post "Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings 2010." Separately, please watch "Top 250 Energy Company Rankings [2011] analysis: 'Big Oil' dominates, but Asia steals the show," Platts, Nov 2, 2011 and see Platts 2011 rankings for 2010, pdf file. Update: It’s all eyes on China, India and the wider Asia-Pacific region when it comes to rapid financial growth and fast-rising energy companies. Seventy companies from the region were in the spotlight tonight when the 2012 Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings were unveiled at an awards dinner in Singapore. The 2012 rankings reflect fiscal 2011 financial performance in four key areas: asset value, revenues, profits and return on invested capital/ROIC. ...  In an East-West energy showdown, Western majors still dominated. Western integrated oil and gas/IOG and exploration and production/E&P companies took all of the Top 10 spots on the 2012 list, except for one – ninth place – which went to PetroChina Co. Ltd. ExxonMobil reigned supreme in the number one spot of the Top 250 roster for the eighth consecutive year. Anglo-Dutch major Royal Dutch Shell plc moved up from sixth position to second, displacing U.S. major Chevron to third. ConocoPhillips dropped one place from seventh to eighth. Although French major Total slipped from fifth position to seventh, other European majors saw improvements. Like Shell, Norway’s Statoil also ascended, climbing from 11th place to sixth between the 2011 and 2012 rosters. One of the standout movers among the Top 10 and the overall rankings was BP. The U.K. oil major took fourth position on this year’s list, after having plummeted from second place in 2010 to 118th place last year after more than $38 billion in losses from the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Other majors, including Russian oil and gas giants, held on to their relatively high global rankings, despite slipping in the standings. Gazprom/Open Joint Stock Company – OJSC Gazprom dropped to fifth place this year from third place, while Rosneft dipped from ninth to 10th. OJSC LUKOIL slipped out of the Top 10 this year to 11th place---please see Platts, press release, Oct 23, 2012. -- D.R.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Angolan Oil Production Has Doubled Since 2003

EIA, Today in Energy, Oct 14, 2011

 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Angola Country Analysis Brief & Short-Term Energy Outlook Table 3c: OPEC Crude Oil Production.Download CSV Data [Note: Presumably, crude oil production excluding condensates since the mid-2000s -- D.R.]

Angola has emerged as Africa's second largest oil producer [after Nigeria, and please see remarks below -- D.R.]; its oil production has grown 147% since 2000. Angola is the eighth largest supplier of crude oil to the United States [please see remarks below -- D.R.] and the second largest crude supplier to China, according to data for January through July 2011. Angola is still rebuilding from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. Security issues remain, especially in the disputed oil-rich Cabinda exclave. Border disputes have halted some oil developments.

A member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Angola has production targets ranging from 1.52 to 1.66 million barrels per day (bbl/d); however, the country is currently increasing its oil production and capacity. In 2010, Angola produced about 1.85 million bbl/d of crude oil [excluding condensates -- D.R.] and, given very low levels of domestic consumption, exported all but 50 thousand bbl/d.

Oil is crucial to the Angolan economy, accounting for over 95% of export revenues and over 75% of government revenue. In 2010, Angola exported almost 1.8 million bbl/d of crude oil; the majority of crude oil exports went to China (45%) and the United States (23%), representing 17% and 4% of those countries' total crude oil imports, respectively.

Production in 2011 is down, averaging 1.65 million bbl/d, due to temporary technical problems. Industry analysts expect Angolan production to grow beyond 1.85 million bbl/d by the end of 2011, and perhaps reach 2.5 to 3 million bbl/d of capacity by 2016, based on planned project startups.

International oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total, Eni, and BP, play a major role in Angola, operating most production. The Angolan government recently held a licensing round for a pre-selected group of private companies to explore and produce in the country's pre-salt offshore areas—an area believed to be of similar geological makeup to the Brazilian pre-salt.

China is a major investor in Angola and has provided several multi-billion dollar oil-backed loans to fund infrastructure development. The China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are among the national oil companies working in Angola. Angola is now the second largest supplier of oil to China, behind Saudi Arabia.

According to EIA's recently released Angola Country Analysis Brief, Angola had 10.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas reserves in 2011, up from an estimated 2 Tcf in 2007. Natural gas production in Angola is tied directly to oil production and is often vented or flared, with limited volumes consumed domestically. An Angolan liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, due to commence operation in 2012, will allow Angola to export its natural gas and reduce flaring. [Full story]

(Please see Aaron and David Rachovich, "Africa's Top 8 Oil Producers, 2006-2010 -- EIA." Angola was in 2009-2010/full year the seventh largest supplier of crude oil to the United States---please see our post "U.S. Crude Oil Imports from Top 15 Countries ... -- EIA." According to Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Angola's proved oil reserves stood at 9.5 billion bbl as of Jan 1, 2011---please see our post "World's Top 22 Proven Oil Reserves Holders, Jan 1, 2011 -- OGJ," while BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011, places Angolan proved oil reserves as high as 13.5 billion bbl---please see our post "World's Top 23 Proven Oil Reserves Holders, 2007-2010 -- BP." -- D.R.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

United Kingdom Natural Gas and Oil Production Continues Decade-Long Decline

EIA, Today in Energy, Sept 21, 2011

 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, United Kingdom Country Analysis Brief.Download CSV Data

The United Kingdom (U.K.) is the largest producer of oil and second-largest producer of natural gas in the European Union [after the Netherlands -- D.R.]. Due to steadily declining production since the early 2000s, the U.K. became a net importer of natural gas and oil in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

In 2010, the U.K. produced 1.4 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and consumed 1.6 million bbl/d. [Please see remarks below -- D.R.]. While consumption remained relatively constant throughout the last decade, 2010 production declined 7% from 2009. Further declines are expected: the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Short-Term Energy Outlook predicts the U.K.'s production will fall to 1.2 million bbl/d in 2012. Despite decreasing production, the U.K. remains one of the European Union's leading petroleum exporters; in 2010, the U.K. exported 832,000 bbl/d, more than half of its total production.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, United Kingdom Country Analysis Brief.Download CSV Data

In 2010, U.K. natural gas production was 2.0 trillion cubic feet, a 5% drop from 2009, and the lowest level since 1992. Natural gas consumption rose 7% in 2010. To offset its declining natural gas production in the North Sea, the U.K. is importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG). Deliveries of LNG to the U.K. were up 0.86 billion cubic feet per day, or 54%, during the first nine months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

Because discoveries of new oil and natural gas reserves have not outpaced the maturation of existing oil and natural gas fields, production from both has declined. The U.K.'s increasing reliance on imported natural gas and oil has spurred the government to develop energy policies to focus on enhanced oil and gas recovery, as well as increased cooperation with Norway—U.K.'s largest oil supplier. The U.K. has also invested heavily in renewable energy; according to the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change, the U.K. has the largest offshore wind resource in the world.

EIA's United Kingdom Country Analysis Brief features additional analysis of these trends, along with a broad discussion of the U.K.'s energy sector. [Full story]

(Note that oil production refers to the total oil supply, including the production of crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids, and refinery processing gain. While oil consumption refers to the total petroleum consumption, including internal consumption, refinery fuel and loss, and bunkering. UK crude oil production, including lease condensate, dropped to 1.2 million bbl/d in 2010, from about 2.7 million bbl/d in 1999. According to Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), UK's proved oil reserves stood at 2.858 billion bbl as of Jan 1, 2011, a decrease of 7.4% when compared with the Jan 1, 2010. Also, according to OGJ, the UK had 9,040 billion cubic feet (bcf) of proven natural gas reserves as of Jan 1, 2011, a 12% decline from the previous year. -- D.R.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sunoco, Exiting Oil Refining, Puts Last Two Plants on Block

by OGJ editors, OGJ, Houston, Sept 6, 2011
Sunoco Inc., Philadelphia, hopes to sell its remaining two refineries and plans to leave the oil refining business to complete what it calls “a fundamental shift away from manufacturing.” [Please see remarks below -- D.R.]

The company has retained Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC to help it review strategy.

It will try to sell its 330,000-b/cd refinery in Philadelphia and 175,000-b/cd facility at Marcus Hook, Pa. If unsuccessful, it will idle the main processing units in July 2012.

Key processing capacities at Philadelphia are 113,500 b/cd of fluid catalytic cracking, 68,000 b/d of catalytic reforming, 85,600 b/cd of catalytic hydrotreating for pretreatment of reformer feeds, and 78,000 b/cd of cat hydrotreating for diesel desulfurization. The Philadelphia refinery also has 16,700 b/d of alkylation (hydrofluoric acid) capacity.

The Marcus Hook refinery has capacities of 93,000 b/cd for FCC, 15,600 b/cd for cat reforming, 36,000 b/cd of cat hydrotreating for reformer feed, and 12,000 b/cd of posthydotreating for FCC naphtha. It has 10,000 b/d of alkylation (sulfuric acid) capacity.


Sunoco has been restructuring for several years. Earlier this year it completed the sale of its 170,000 b/d refinery in Toledo, Ohio, to Toledo Refining Co. LLC, a unit of PBF Holding Co. LLC (OGJ Online, Mar. 1, 2011).

In 2010 it shut a 150,000 b/d refinery at Eagle Point, NJ, and [in 2009 -- D.R.] sold an 85,000-b/d refinery in Tulsa to Holly Corp. (OGJ Online, June 16, 2010).

It also sold its polypropylene [PP -- D.R.] business, Sunoco Chemicals Inc., to Braskem SA, and shut down a PP plant in Texas (OGJ Online, Apr. 6, 2010). And it is separating its metallurgical coke business through an initial public offering of shares in SunCoke Energy.

The company expects to incur pretax noncash charges of $1.9-2.2 billion in the third quarter as it exits refining. The charges relate to impairment of plant and equipment. If it must idle process units, it expects additional pretax charges of as much as $500 million related to contract terminations, staffing costs, and severance.

Sunoco has been expanding its remaining business units, retail marketing and logistics.

The company has more than 4,900 branded retail locations in 24 states, with APlus convenience stores operated by it or dealers in 600 of the retail outlets.

It also holds 35% [sic -- D.R.] interest in and is general partner of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that operates 3,350 miles of crude oil trunkline, 500 miles of crude oil gathering lines, and 2,500 miles of oil product pipelines. [Full story]

(Please see Sunoco's website/news room: "Sunoco to Exit Refining and Conduct Strategic Review of the Company," Sept 6, 2011. As of Jan 1, 2011, Sunoco, with crude oil distillation capacity of its three refineries---Marcus Hook, Toledo and Philadelphia---of 673,000 barrels per day, was ranked 10th on the list of top 20 U.S. refiners---please see my post "Top 20 Largest Refining Companies/Refiners in the U.S. as of Jan 1, 2011." PBF Energy Company LLC on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, announced that its subsidiary, Toledo Refining Company LLC, has completed its purchase of the Toledo Refinery in Ohio from Sunoco, Inc. It is worthy of note that Sunoco has owned refineries for 117 years. Formerly known as the Sun Oil Company of Ohio, it bought its first refinery in 1894. -- D.R.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Floating Production, Storage Orders Set Record Pace

by OGJ editors, OGJ, Houston, Aug 3, 2011
A record pace in the number of floating production and storage orders was noted in a recent study by International Maritime Associates [IMA] Inc., Washington DC. [Please see remarks below -- D.R.]

The study found that the industry has placed a record 14 orders for floating units since March. Currently 256 floating systems are in service or available worldwide, according to the study.

Of these, 62% are floating production, storage, offloading (FPSO) vessels; 17% are production semisubmersibles; 9% are tension leg platforms; 7% are production spars; and the remaining 5% are production barges and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs).

Eleven of the 256 units are not on a field and are available for reuse.

The 14 orders since March include the world’s first floating LNG vessel. The $3 billion Prelude FLNG [please see remarks and image below -- D.R.] is the most expensive floating production unit ordered to date, the study noted.

Among the other orders, 9 are FPSOs (1 purpose-built unit, 6 units converted from trading tanker hulls, and 2 modification redeployments), 2 production spars, and 2 purpose-built FSRUs. The 14 construction contracts for these units exceed $11 billion, the study said.

Current order backlog includes 53 production floaters, a net increase of 6 units since March. This extends the buildup in backlog that began in second-half 2009, the study noted.

Of the 53 units, 28 have purpose built hulls and 25 have converted tanker hulls. Also 20 are orders from leasing operators, while 33 are orders from field operators.

The study identified 196 projects in the bidding, design, or planning stage that potentially will require floating production or storage. These projects are declared discoveries or planned developments where floating production or storage is an option.

Brazil has the most with 50 potential floater projects in the planning cycle. Next in line is Southeast Asia with 37, followed by West Africa with 36, Northern Europe with 22, Gulf of Mexico with 17, and Australia with 11.

Of the 196 planned projects, 53 are in the bidding or final design stage. Major hardware contracts for these 53 projects are likely to be let within the next 12-18 months, the study noted.

Another 143 floater projects are in the planning or study phase, and major hardware contracts for these are likely to be let in 2013-18, according to the study. [Full story]

(IMA has been producing detailed market reports on floating production for the past 15 years. The reports focus on equipment requirements for floating production projects. They are designed for use in business planning by companies servicing this sector. Three reports are issued during the year -- in March, July and November. For the July 2011 Floating Production Systems Report and for previous reports, please see IMA, here. Floating liquefied natural gas/FLNG is a revolutionary technology that will allow Shell to access offshore gas fields that would otherwise be too costly or difficult to develop. Shell took final investment decision on the Prelude FLNG Project on May 20, 2011. It will start building a FLNG facility to produce and export LNG off the coast of Australia at the site of the gas field. Moored far out to sea, some 200 kilometers from the nearest land in Australia, the FLNG facility will produce gas from offshore fields, and liquefy it onboard by cooling for export at sea. The Prelude FLNG facility will be the largest floating offshore facility in the world. It will be built at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje Island shipyards in South Korea---please see "Prelude FLNG - An Overview," and "Shell Decides to Move Forward with Groundbreaking Floating LNG." and "Samsung Says Shell Prelude FLNG Vessel To Cost $3 Billion," as well as my tweets on Twitter dated on May 20 and June 23, 2011, here. Separately, please see my post "BOEMRE Approves First FPSO Use in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico." -- D.R.)
                               Graphic of Shell's Prelude FLNG
                                                                    Source: Shell, here

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Colombia's Oil Production at Highest Level since 1999

EIA, Today in Energy, Jul 14, 2011

                                  [Bar –°hart: Colombia's Oil Production*]
*Total oil supply, which includes the production of crude oil (including lease condensates), natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids, and refinery processing gain. -- D.R. 
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook. Download CSV Data

Colombia's oil production set a new record in May 2011, reaching an average output of 927 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d) [Colombia achieved a record-high crude oil output of 927,000 bbl/d in May 2011, up from 903,000 bbl/d in April 2011, Colombia's Energy and Mines Minister, Carlos Rodado Noriega, said. Crude oil production in Colombia in May 2011 reached 923,000 bbl/d compared with 902,000 bbl/d in April 2011 and 776,000 bbl/d in the year-ago month, i.e. May 2010, according to preliminary statistics from the Colombian hydrocarbons regulator ANH. -- D.R.]. Average annual production increased by more than 30% [sic] between 2005 and 2010. EIA expects Colombia's production to continue growing in the near future. The June 2011 Short-Term Energy Outlook projects average annual production to increase from 800 thousand bbl/d in 2010 to 910 thousand bbl/d in 2011 and 980 thousand bbl/d in 2012.

Two factors primarily contributed to Colombia's expanded production:

  • Improved Security: Colombia reported only 31 attacks against pipelines in 2010 compared with hundreds of such incidents that occurred per year in the early 2000s.
  • Regulatory Changes: Since 1999, the Colombian government has sought to improve the investment climate. Foreign direct investment has improved due to longer exploration licenses, lower royalty rates, and expanded opportunities for private companies to operate oil ventures.
In 2010, Colombia exported 504 thousand bbl/d of its oil production, with 365 thousand bbl/d [of crude oil and petroleum products. Also, please see my post "U.S. Crude Oil Imports from Top 15 Countries, Dec 2010 and Full Year 2010 -- EIA." -- D.R.] going to the United States [The U.S. is the largest destination for Colombia's oil exports. China was Colombia's second-largest oil export destination in 2010, followed by Japan. -- D.R.]. Imports from Colombia helped offset declines in U.S. imports from Mexico and Venezuela. EIA's recently released Country Analysis Brief for Colombia features additional analysis on these trends, along with a broad discussion of Colombia's energy sector. [Full story]

(In 2010, Colombia's crude oil production, including lease condensate, also was at its highest level since 1999. In 2010, it averaged 785,526 barrels per day. Also, please see Aaron and David Rachovich, "Top 6 Oil Producers in Central & South America, 2006-Feb. 2011 -- EIA." -- D.R.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In Memory of my Dad

My beloved Dad, Aaron-Israel Rachowitz, may He rest in peace, passed away at 8:20 p.m. Monday, July 11, 2011.
Full-size memorial candle

Please see a Memorial Website in honor of my Dad

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

United States: Top 8 Crude Oil Producing States, 2006-Feb.2011

by Aaron and David Rachovich

Production of Crude Oil (Thousand Barrels Per Day), 2006-Feb.2011  

Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Full Year 2010
Full Year 2009
Full Year 2008
Full Year 2007
Full Year 2006
North Dakota
New Mexico
Top 8 States
U.S. Total

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), June 29, 2011, here and here.

(In 2010, almost 60% of U.S. crude oil production came from eight States: Texas - 20.7%; Alaska - 10.9%; California - 10.1%; North Dakota - 5.6%; Oklahoma - 3.4%; Louisiana - 3.3%; New Mexico - 3.1%; and Wyoming - 2.6%. About 30% of U.S. crude oil was produced from wells located offshore in federally administered waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Update: please see my post "Five States Accounted for about 56% of Total U.S. Crude Oil Production in 2011." Update 2: North Dakota passed Alaska in March 2012 to become the second-leading state in crude oil production, trailing only Texas---please see my post "North Dakota Tops Alaska in Oil Production, Trailing Only Texas." Also, please see our post "U.S. Crude Oil Production, 1970-2010." -- D.R.)