GDF Suez signs a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Pemex

PARIS -- On the occasion of the visit of a French government delegation to Mexico, Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF Suez, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Emilio Lozoya, Chairman and CEO of Pemex, to develop natural gas and other energy projects in Mexico.Mexican and French Presidents Enrique Pena Nieto and Francois Hollande were present at the signing.

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Ukraine Standoff Escalates, Could South Stream be in Doubt?

When completed, the South Stream pipeline will run from Russia, underneath the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and on to Western Europe. It will carry Russian natural gas to Europe while bypassing Russia’s neighbor Ukraine. Russia clearly finds this pipeline to be strategically important – the Kremlin would be able to operate with greater freedom when using natural gas to bully Ukraine, and it wouldn’t have to worry about angering its large customer base in Western Europe.

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The Absurdity of US Natural Gas Exports

Quiz:1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting? (a) Barely enough to meet its own needs(b) Enough to allow lots of exports(c) Enough to allow a bit of exports(d) The United States is a natural gas importerAnswer: (d) The United States is a natural gas importer, and has been for many years. The EIA is forecasting that by 2017, we will finally be able to meet our own natural gas needs. Figure 1.

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Fiscal break-even oil prices for major OPEC members

One of the key drivers of the oil markets is the price at which principal OPEC producers balance their government accounts – better known as fiscal break-even oil prices. By monitoring the fluctuations of these break-even prices in major oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE, we can assess potential changes in OPEC’s desired level of global oil prices.

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How Crimea Hurts Russia

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, slowly but surely NATO added members in Eastern Europe. Likewise, the European Union opened up its doors to its eastern neighbors formerly in Moscow’s orbit. Russia saw this as a threat, and upon the downfall of Viktor Yanukovych, Russia saw the loss of Ukraine as something that it could not tolerate. From this perspective, Vladimir Putin likely feels that by seizing Crimea he stopped the expansion of a NATO-backed plan to expand eastwards.

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Study: Gasoline prices to fall if US exports crude

The oil industry's leading trade group on Monday cast exports of U.S. crude as an economic win for consumers, fighting back against criticism that selling the fossil fuel overseas would mean higher prices here at home. A new report released Monday found that if the U.S. ended the 39-year-old ban on exporting American crude, gasoline prices would fall slightly -- but so would refinery margins.

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Here's an Unexpected Vote For Coal

There's a lot of money to be made spotting market bottoms in commodities. Buying producers and projects at ultra-low valuations, before the inevitable uptick in a sector.Market commentaries are a key indicator in this regard. With bottoms usually being marked by "irrational apathy"--illogical reasoning from market bears who've simply been spooked by falling valuations in unloved sectors.There's been a lot of such sentiment lately in coal.I was particularly struck by one comment the last few weeks. From a high-profile market analyst, who noted that…

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Study: Shale oil still profitable with price drops

HOUSTON — Even if global oil prices fell more than $30 per barrel, the overwhelmingly majority of U.S. tight oil production still would be profitable, analysts with Wood Mackenzie said Tuesday. More than 70 percent tight oil reserves would be economically viable if global oil prices fell to $75 per barrel, said Harold York, the […]

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The Dakota Access Bakken Crude Gateway to the Gulf

No sooner had we finished up our analysis of the divergent fates of two North Dakota crude oil pipeline projects - the Enbridge Sandpiper (going ahead after a successful second open season) and the Koch Dakota Express (cancelled in January) – then we learned that competitor Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) had launched a binding open season for a third pipeline proposal following basically the same route.

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Private Equity Bets $2 Billion on This Commodity

There's a shuffling of investors going on, according to reports this week. In one particular market: natural gas.On the way out of this market is major Canadian producer EnCana. Which is looking to offload dry gas assets as it whittles down its project portfolio to a more manageable size.Local media noted this week that one of the first fields to go may be the Jonah project in Wyoming.

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Environmentalists challenge Obama on natural gas exports

More than a dozen environmental groups on Tuesday called on President Barack Obama to reject his previous support for natural gas and the drilling practices yielding the fossil fuel. The organizations also insisted that the administration's handling of a proposed natural gas export facility on the Maryland coast is a test of the White House's commitment to combating climate change.

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This Critical Coal Event Is Back On

There's an eerie silence in the coal market right now.Trading sources like Platts are reporting that coal transactions globally have suddenly gone very quiet. At least in certain segments of the market.Particularly for lower-grade thermal coals. With sources noting that demand for 3,800 kcal/kg product is "nearly absent" from the market.The reason for the lull has been somewhat mysterious.

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Industry sings ‘Happy birthday to fracking’ today

From Fuel Fix: HOUSTON — The oil and gas industry is launching a social media campaign to promote hydraulic fracturing by highlighting Monday as the hotly debated technology’s 65th birthday. On March 17, 1949, Halliburton conducted the first commercial fracking job, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Hydraulic fracturing involves treating oil and gas wells […]

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This Week in Energy: How Would LNG Get to Ukraine?

With all the talk about using US natural gas exports as a weapon to fight Russian aggression in Ukraine, what no one’s asking is how this liquefied natural gas (LNG) would get to Ukraine (or Europe in general) in the first place. The answer is Turkey—if Turkey is willing to play ball. The potential for LNG exports to Europe without a deal between Turkey and Ukraine for the transport of LNG through the Bosphorus will fall flat.

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A Massive Oil Shortage Here Could Drive Exploration

Very interesting figures on oil production coming out of Australia last week. Showing the nation may be on the verge of a petro-crisis.Adelaide-based analysts EnergyQuest released their quarterly review of the Aussie oil and gas sector. Noting some stunning changes in production during 2013.Most notably, oil production across the nation took a tumble.

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Russia Aggression Paves Way for Ukrainian Energy Coup: Interview with Yuri Boyk

As Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula is lost to Russia, with a referendum on the peninsula’s independence planned for Sunday and the specter of a Russian military advance on eastern Ukraine looming large, we are witnessing a crisis of international proportions. The key to this crisis is energy. Russia’s aggressive move on the Crimea may in fact be the international catalyst Ukraine needs to pave its own energy independence--with a little help from its friends.

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TransCanada makes final appeal for Keystone XL

Keystone XL is the safest and most environmentally sound way to transport Canadian and North Dakota oil to Gulf Coast refineries, TransCanada Corp., said in its last-ditch appeal for the pipeline's approval. The Calgary-based company's assertions joined more than 100,000 comments filed with the State Department, as it weighs whether Keystone XL is in the "national interest."

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Update: Truck spills crude oil on Eagle Ford roads

A crude oil truck lost its load along two Farm-to-Market roads in Karnes County early this morning, leaving a nine-mile trail of oil in its wake. Portions of FM 81 and FM 1144 remain closed for clean up, officials with the Karnes County Sheriff’s Department said. TxDOT’s Corpus Christi office said the spill affected three miles […]

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Can the United States Rule the (Energy) World?

Geopolitical crises in Eastern Europe have been met with calls in the United States to use energy as a foreign policy tool. With U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking the industry to make a stronger case, however, it's domestic policies that may inhibit energy hegemony. "The industry could do a lot better job talking about the drivers for, and what the implications would be, of exports," Moniz told an audience at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

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