Monday, January 15, 2018

Majors Continue To Exit The Mideast -- Most Recent, Shell -- January 15, 2018

Link at WSJ.
Shell said Monday it is selling for an undisclosed amount a stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field in Iraq to Japan’s Itochu Corp.  , the latest step in a gradual retreat from the region. The company is also expected to give up its holding in Iraq’s Majnoon oil field later this year, though it will retain its natural-gas interests in the country.

Once it officially leaves Iraq later this year, Shell will have oil assets in Oman that produce about 220,000 barrels a day.Shell is keeping its considerable natural-gas interests in Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar, Oman, Egypt and Iraq, a strategy it has followed after its $50 billion deal to buy gas giant BG Group PLC in 2016. The deal also brought Shell big business in Brazil’s offshore oil fields, where it has centered its oil-production strategy.

The move reflects the waning attraction of the Middle East’s once-prized oil reserves, as companies find that the free flow of crude in the region often comes at a political or financial cost. U.S. oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have ratcheted up their focus on shale interests on their home turf in recent years, though both retain interests in Iraq.
This is quite interesting. But, I'm too tired to say anything more, but it doesn't take a lot of dots to connect this story with the story earlier today about Ford's plans for EVs.

For The Archives

Oil market conquers its fears over shale -- in The WSJ. I really don't care about the article one way or the other, and would not have linked it except for the fact I wanted to post this comment (as usual, the comments are a better read than the article itself):
Another tired prediction of peak oil?  How many decades has this been going on?  Sorry, but the world is nowhere near peak oil, as the amount of oil and gas remaining has many decades of play in it.  Besides, your EV has to be charged from the traditional power grid.  The required power for universal EV usage will require doubling the national power generating capacity - hello King Coal.
This is the start of the article:
For more than three years, the ability of shale producers to rapidly dial production up or down has haunted the oil market, cutting off nascent rallies and keeping prices trapped around $50 a barrel or lower. Any move above that level stoked fears that producers would flood the market with oil once again, causing dramatic reversals in prices.
But now, U.S. crude futures are approaching $65—up more than 6% this year for the strongest first two weeks of a year since 2005. Brent, the global benchmark, traded above $70 on Monday, and some analysts say $80 crude isn’t out of the question this year.
Expectations surrounding shale haven’t changed dramatically. What has changed is a roaring global economy that has fueled demand for crude at a faster clip than many had anticipated. And the world is no longer awash in oil following more than a year of production cuts from some of the world’s largest exporters. 
By the way, WTI futures?

Wow, look at this: moving toward $65 overnight.

Military Pay

Active duty military will see largest pay increase in eight years -- President Trump wanted 2.1%; Congress wanted 2.4%.

"Compromise": 2.4%. Wow. Largest pay increase in eight years.

That was the good news.

The bad news: the military might not see their checks for awhile if Congress is unable to find short-term spending deal.

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