Crude prices on Friday hit their highest level since late January after the Saudi energy minister said OPEC and allied producers would need to keep coordinating supply cuts into 2019, and as concerns grew over the future of Iranian crude exports.
U.S. energy companies added oil rigs
for a second week in a row as crude prices hover near three year
highs, prompting drillers to boost spending plans for this year.
Drillers added four oil rigs in the week to March 23,
bringing the total count to 804, the highest level since March
2015, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services
firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.
The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is
much higher than a year ago when 652 rigs were active as energy
companies have continued to boost spending since mid-2016 when
crude prices began recovering from a two-year crash.
U.S. crude futures traded around $65 a barrel this
week, approaching the three-year high of $66.66 hit in late
January. That was still much higher than the $50.85 average hit
in 2017 and $43.47 in 2016.
Looking ahead, futures were trading around $64 for the
balance of 2018 and $59 for calendar 2019 .
In anticipation of higher prices in 2018 than 2017, U.S.
financial services firm Cowen & Co said 58 of the roughly 65
exploration and production (E&P) companies they track have
already provided capital expenditure guidance indicating an 11
percent increase in planned spending over 2017.
Cowen said those E&Ps that have reported capital plans for
2018 expected to spend a total of $80.5 billion in 2018, up from
an estimated $72.4 billion in 2017.
Analysts at Simmons & Co, energy specialists at U.S.
investment bank Piper Jaffray, this week forecast the total oil
and natural gas rig count would average 1,015 in 2018 and 1,128
in 2019, the same as its projection last week.
So far this year, the total number of oil and natural gas
rigs active in the United States has averaged 964. That compares
with an average of 876 rigs operating in 2017, 509 in 2016 and
978 in 2015. Most rigs produce both oil and gas.
For the year, EIA projected in March that total U.S.
production will rise to a record high 10.7 million bpd in 2018
and 11.3 million bpd in 2019, up from 9.3 million bpd in 2017.
The current all-time U.S. annual output peak was in 1970 at
9.6 million bpd, according to federal energy data.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino
Editing by Susan Thomas)
BOGOTA, March 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Indigenous
women from Ecuador's Amazon rainforest have called on the
country's president to end oil and mining projects on their
ancestral lands, as the nation pushes to open up more of its
rainforest to drillers.
OPEC's ministerial committee tasked with monitoring a deal with non-OPEC countries led by Russia to curb oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of this year will meet in the Saudi city of Jeddah on April 20, according to a statement from the Saudi energy ministry on Friday
The European Union’s removal of duties on low-price biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia could mean a surge in EU imports forcing European producers to cut production in coming months, the head of a major German biodiesel producer said on Friday.
Turkmenistan will vote in a parliamentary election on Sunday which may give President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's son a more prominent role and cement his status as a designated successor in the gas-rich Central Asian nation.
WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he has signed Congress' massive $1.3 trillion spending bill into law, funding the government through Sept. 30 and averting a government shutdown hours before funding was scheduled to lapse. | Video