Crude oil growth in Iran and Libya complicates OPEC agreement

Crude oil growth in Iran and Libya complicates OPEC agreement

Giacomo Maniscalco
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The US signs deal with Saudi Aramco on crude oil production despite the OPEC cuts and records a 23% growth in its crude imports from Venezuela. The Libyan NOC aims for 1 mln barrels a day while Statoil sells off Canadian oil sand shares

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has signed contracts with Nabors Industries Ltd. to build several oil rigs. According to CEO Amin Nasser, the deal includes 50 offshore plants to be built over the next ten years. An important development for the future of the Saudi oil industry which, however, seems to be in contradiction with the recent OPEC cuts set for the next six months in an attempt to stabilize crude oil prices. The world’s largest oil exporter was in fact a key players in the forging of the OPEC deal, committing to an output cut of to a 486,000 bbl/d.
In Venezuela crude oil exports to the US reached a quota of 742,535 bl/d, a 23% growth. On the receiving end of the incoming oil with the US united of state owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) Citgo Petroleum, leading the way, are: Valero Energy, Phillips 66, and Chevron.
The armed forces of the Libyan National Army announced that the Rayayina pipelines will be reopened, a move will enable the National Oil Corp. (NOC) to restart activity in the El Feel and El Sharara oil fields in western Libya that have been closed for two years. With current output levels at 600,000 bbl/d, the increase could bring Libyan production over the 1 mln bbl/d mark, which would in turn put extra pressure on the country’s political stability and would complicate the outlook of the OPEC deal on production cuts.
Finally, in Norway, the state-owned oil giant Statoil has announced its decision to leave the oil sand business in Canada. The company is selling off its assets to the Canadian energy company Athabasca Oil Corp. Specifically, Athabasca will acquire 100% of the 24,000 bbl/d Leismer project and a contract for an undeveloped project. The deal is valued at $626 million.