UPI Energy Watch

March 11, 2009 at 12:43 PM
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OPEC decreases its 2009 demand expectations

OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said the cartel has dropped its expectations for crude oil demand in 2009 by 1 million barrels per day.

"Demand is expected to sink by 1 million barrels a day. It will add downward pressure on prices," he said, according to the Gulf Times.

El-Badri also said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is pushing its members to comply with previously approved production cuts made in an effort to increase falling oil prices, the Gulf Times reports. Compliance is currently between 80 percent and 85 percent.

If prices do not begin to increase soon, he said, OPEC member nations would have to cancel more than the 35 projects already delayed or canceled.

"We have seen a lot of stimulus packages, but we haven't seen any positive effect of that policy on crude prices," El-Badri said.

He said that depending on inventories and demand for oil, additional production cuts could be made, though threats of additional cuts have done little to impact the global price of crude oil.

Russia says its oil industry is thriving

Despite the global economic recession and falling oil prices, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia's energy companies are not failing.

Putin cited the recent deal with Hungary on the South Stream pipeline project as an example of Russian successes, RosBusinessConsulting reports.

Alexei Miller, chief executive of Russia's Gazprom, agreed with Putin, saying the fall in oil and natural gas prices have not yet had a significant impact on Gazprom's financial state.

He did, however, refrain from implying the global situation would never impact Russian companies.

"I think it's best to wait and see for a bit longer," Miller said about any new long-term project investments.

Putin also said during a recent press conference that Russia has enough oil and gas for itself and the rest of Europe for the next 100 years, Russia Today reports.

"We have enough energy resources to meet our own growing demands as well as the demands of our European consumers for at least another 100 years. I am saying this with full responsibility based on serious research," Putin said.

According the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Russia's oil reserves are estimated at 79 billion barrels and its natural gas deposits are estimated at 44.65 trillion cubic meters.

Brazil's Petrobras breaks its output record

Brazil's state-owned oil company announced that, thanks to its newest production platforms, its oil production has reached a new high of 2.01 billion barrels per day.

In the last month, Petrobras brought three new production platforms onstream in the Campos basin: the P-53 and Cidade de Niteroi platforms in Marlim Leste field and the P-51 platform in Marlim Sul.

"When they reach their peak production, the three new platforms will add 460,000 bpd to the installed domestic field capacity," Petrobras said.

Production will increase later this year, not only because of the newest platforms peaking but also because additional fields are expected to come online.

In May, Petrobras and its Portuguese partner Petrogal are expected to start production of about 15,000 bpd from a new platform vessel called BW Cidade de Sao Vicente.

Then in June, Petrobras will partner with Royal Dutch Shell and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. to produce about 100,000 bpd at the Espirito Santo floating production, storage and offloading vessel in the Campos basin. In July it will partner with U.S.-based Chevron and Japan-based Inpex to produce about 100,000 bpd at the Frade FPSO, also in the Campos basin.


Closing oil prices, March 11, 3 p.m., London

Brent Crude oil: $43.88

West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $45.38


(e-mail: energy@upi.com)

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