Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 4th 2018 Contents The US oil rig count rose by about 42
per cent by end-2017 compared to the
corresponding period last year, as energy
companies boosted spending amid a re-
covery in crude prices.
Drillers held the number of oil rigs
steady for a second straight week at 747
in the week to December 29. That was 222
more than the 525 rigs at the end of 2016,
General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes Inc
energy services firm said on Friday.
The oil rig count, an early indicator of
future output, remained unchanged in
December after rising by 10 in November.
It declined by three in the fourth quarter
after falling by six in the third quarter.
US oil prices closed above US$60 a bar-
rel for the first time since mid-2015 on the
final trading day of the year, ending 2017
with a 12 per cent gain spurred by strong
demand and declining global inventories.
Oil prices had been boosted by signs
the global crude glut that has dogged the
market since 2014 is shrinking, as a year
of production cuts led by Organisation
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) and Russia helped tighten the
OPEC cuts kicked off last January and
are scheduled to continue throughout
Looking ahead, futures were trading at
about US$59 for the balance of 2018 and
US$56 for calendar 2019.
In anticipation of higher prices in
coming years, US financial services firm
Cowen & Co said 21 of the roughly 65
E&Ps they track have already provided
capital expenditure guidance for 2018 in-
dicating a 13 per cent increase in planned
spending over 2017.
Cowen, which has its own US rig count,
said it expects a gradual decline in the
count in 2018.
There were 929 oil and natural gas rigs
active on December 29, up 41 percent
from the 658 at the end of 2016.
The average number of rigs in service
in 2017 was 876. That compares with 509
in 2016 and 978 in 2015. Most rigs pro-
duce both oil and gas.
US crude oil production in October hit
the highest in more than 46 years, ris-
ing by 167,000 barrels per day (bpd) to
9.64 million bpd, US Energy Information
Administration’s monthly production re-
If the figure is not revised next month,
it would be the highest monthly level
since May 1971.
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Baker Hughes: US oil rig
count ends 2017 40%
above year-ago levels
Norway’s gas exports to
Europe at record high in 2017
Norway’s pipeline gas exports to Europe hit a
record high in 2017, exceeding the previous year
by almost seven per cent, preliminary data from
the country’s offshore gas systems operator Gassco
showed on Tuesday.
Europe’s second-largest gas supplier after Russia
exported 116 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural
gas via pipelines to receiving terminals in Britain,
Germany, France and Belgium last year, up from
the previous record of 108.6 bcm in 2016.
Norway’s pipeline gas exports meet about a
quarter of Europe’s demand.
Analysts said Norway’s export levels in 2017
were boosted by low summer maintenance at the
country’s offshore gas fields, and higher output
from its largest field, Troll.
More than 40 per cent of all exports went to
terminals in Germany, and over 30 per cent to
Britain, with the rest shared between France and
BP expects US earnings
uplift from tax reform
British energy company BP expects a positive
impact on future post-tax earnings from the United
States after the changes to US corporate taxes, it
said on Tuesday.
The US House of Representatives gave final ap-
proval in December to the biggest overhaul of the
US tax code in 30 years, which included a cut to
the corporate tax rate to 21 per cent from 35 per
cent. The company said the lowering of the US
tax rate requires revaluation of BP’s US deferred
tax assets and liabilities and estimated a one-off
non-cash charge of about US$1.5 billion on 2017
BP said it was reviewing the final impact of the
tax changes and details of the final charge are ex-
pected to be disclosed in its fourth-quarter results
announcement, due on February 6.
Schlumberger US$430m deal
Oilfield services company Weatherford Interna-
tional plc has completed the sale of its US pressure
pumping and pump-down perforating assets to a
subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd for US$430 million
Approximately 100 Weatherford employees
associated with the businesses will transfer to
Schlumberger as part of the deal. In a statement
on the company’s website, Weatherford said it
will use the proceeds from the sale ‘to reduce out-
“The closing of this transaction represents an-
other step on our path toward building a solid and
strong company and unlocking the potential that
exists within Weatherford,” Mark McCollum, pres-
ident and CEO of Weatherford, said in a company
Moody’s sees oil prices at
US$40-$60 this year
Moody’s Investors Service said on Tuesday it ex-
pects oil prices in the range of US$40 to US$60 per
barrel in 2018, with abundant supplies of US nat-
ural gas constraining prices, even while demand
“Prices will likely remain range-bound, and
possibly volatile, on a combination of increasing
US shale production, reduced but still significant
global supplies, and potential non-compliance
with agreed production cuts—especially if demand
growth is more tepid,” Moody’s said.
Oil price rise in late 2017 was supported by as-
sumptions of OPEC extending its agreement to cut
production and “political unrest” in the middle
east, Moody’s said. Reuters
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