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OPEC supply down in September

Dow Jones/Bahrain Tribune
Oil supplies from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) fell 400,000 barrels a day on the month to 30.2 million bpd in September, according to preliminary figures from tanker tracker Petrologistics.

Saudi Arabia and Iran led the fall in output. Petrologistics head Conrad Gerber said the kingdom produced 9.05 million bpd in September compared with 9.27 million bpd in August.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al Nuaimi said in June that Opec’s biggest producer had reined in output to 9.1 million b/d in April from 9.5 million bpd on lower demand.

‘Saudi Arabia could be producing more, but some of it could be going into storage,’ Gerber said.

Iran’s output, which peaked in July at 4.2 million bpd when the Islamic Republic sold oil from floating storage, is at 3.9 million bpd in September, Gerber said. Iran supplied 4.0 million bpd in August. ..
(24 Sept 2006)

Official Confirmation of Former Energy Secretary as Mexican President-Elect is Welcome News for Potential Investors

Global Insight
The confirmation of Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) will be welcomed by investors as Calderón’s policy programme for the energy sector was more investor-friendly than that of his main rival the populist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO, of the Democratic Revolution Party—PRD), who opposed any kind of foreign investment in the oil sector.

Although confirmation of Calderón’s victory will not have come as a surprise, the news will still be welcomed by investors in the energy sector. As a former Energy Secretary in the Vicente Fox government Calderón was the presidential candidate with the most direct experience of the energy sector.

He had also been regarded as the candidate likely to introduce the most far-reaching reforms to open up the sector to greater private investment. .. Calderón also indicated that he would back further tax cuts for Pemex and is in favour of public-private refining ventures.

By contrast, under a government headed by AMLO, foreign companies would have remained locked out of the oil sector, and the current legal framework would have remained unchanged. The PRD would also have been opposed to issuing shares in Pemex as a means of injecting fresh capital into the company.

Instead, increased investment aimed at offsetting production losses from the Cantarell complex and increasing the oil-reserve-replacement ratio would have been funded through reforms to “modernise” Pemex. In particular, the PRD candidate had planned to make savings by eliminating corruption within the company and gradually reducing the taxes it pays to the government. ..

Recent monthly output data for Mexico’s main field, Cantarell—which has in recent years accounted for a large share of the country’s total production—has indicated that the field is declining faster than Pemex’s official predictions.

Data released by the Energy Secretary showed that production from the Cantarell field fell by 13% to 1.74 million b/d in June 2006 from the same month in 2005 and again in July to 1.71 million b/d. ..

Global Insight is a privately held company formed from Data Resources Inc. and Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates.
(Sept 2006)
Oil man is awarded disputed election and investors are salivating – sickening but unsurprising, except for explicit coverage of Cantarell’s decline. Try Mexico’s opposition party takes protests to Catholic Church doors for a quite different view.-LJ

Chavez drives a hard bargain, but Big Oil’s options are limited

Robert Collier, SF Chronicle
…Just as there is no love between President Hugo Chavez and the Bush administration, there is little love lost between Chavez and the foreign oilmen who are pumping up the huge reservoirs of underground oil. But they need each other. The United States needs Venezuela to help quench its bottomless thirst for oil, and Chavez needs America to buy it from him in order to fund his dreams of spreading his leftist ideology around the hemisphere.
(24 Sept 2006)

Oil giant hits at ‘unfair’ attack by scientists

Terry Macalister, The Guardian
ExxonMobil has escalated a row with the Royal Society by accusing it of “inaccurately and unfairly” depicting the world’s largest oil company as a climate change sceptic.

However, Exxon admits it is reviewing the funding of various outside groups which were accused by the Royal Society of undermining the scientific consensus on global warming.

An unprecedented letter from the UK’s premier scientific academy to Exxon was quoted in the Guardian this week, criticising it for making “inaccurate and misleading” statements on climate change.
(22 Sep 2006)

Hyundai Heavy Wins World’s Largest Oil Facility Order

Kyunghee Park, Bloomberg
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world’s biggest shipyard, said it won a $1.6 billion contract from the United Arab Emirates to build offshore oil production facilities, the single-largest order ever.

The order from a unit of state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. will be completed by June 20, 2010, Hyundai Heavy said in a statement today. ..
The order from Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co. calls for Hyundai Heavy to build three fixed platforms of 40,000 tons sub- sea pipelines and bridges in Abu Dhabi. Once completed, the facilities will produce 300,000 barrels of oil and 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. ..

Seoul-based Daewoo Shipbuilding last month won an order worth $1.3 billion order to build a drilling and production platform for Chevron Corp.’s unit in Angola. That has helped the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder secure $3.72 billion in offshore projects this year, exceeding its target of $3 billion.
(26 Sept 2006)