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Singapore, KL leaders seek talks to resolve maritime dispute

10th December 2018

Leaders on both sides stress need for peaceful resolution amid tensions; observers welcome it As the stand-off between Singapore and Malaysia over maritime boundaries enters its second week, leaders on both sides have made calls for talks to resolve the simmering dispute. Both countries, though, have their own views on how to do so and the way forward. Weighing in for the first time, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Sunday (Dec 9) that the intrusions by Malaysian government vessels into Singapore territorial waters are a “violation of Singapore’s sovereignty and international law” and a “serious matter of national interest”....

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Saudi Arabia juggles Iran and U.S. shale to deliver OPEC deal

10th December 2018

LONDON (Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabia’s energy minister emerged from days of heated OPEC talks joking that he wasn’t an easy man to be friends with. Yet, the deal Khalid Al-Falih hammered out to reduce production by 1.2 MMbopd, which sent oil prices soaring on Friday, was based on Saudi Arabia shouldering the lion’s share of the cuts. It also relied, to an unprecedented extent, on Russia to broker an agreement between the Saudis and their arch-rivals, Iran, and acknowledged implicitly that there’s little the kingdom could do to hurt surging U.S. oil shale without causing itself pain. “Saudi economic self-interest...

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Global jackup utilization down from 78% to 55%, according to Rystad

10th December 2018

NORWAY — Since 2014, global jackup utilization has fallen from almost 80% to around 55%, where it has remained quite steady over the last two years. There have, however, been large regional differences with regards to jackup utilization over the past four to five years, and several regions are now seeing promising developments. While the Middle East active rig count has been stable through this period, an influx of rigs (newbuilds and rigs from other markets) has moved utilization down from above 80% throughout 2014 and 2015 to around 65% for the past two years. It is still one of...

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Chevron boosts spending to $20 Billion, first increase since 2014

10th December 2018

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp. will hike spending by 9.3% next year to $20 billion, its first budget increase since 2014 as it expands investments in the Permian Basin and its Tengiz project in Kazakhstan. The world’s No. 3 oil producer by market value will spend $3.6 billion in the West Texas and New Mexico basin, 18% of its total budget. The amount is up about 9% from this year’s budget. Key insights CEO Mike Wirth said in March he’s “very confident” that annual capital spending will remain below $20 billion for the next three years regardless of oil prices....

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APAC banks brace for slowdown as GDP growth peaks

10th December 2018

Loan growth will slide across the region. Banks in Asia Pacific should brace for a more challenging year in 2019 as macro uncertainties deepen and growth becomes hard to come by, according to Moody’s Investors Service. “GDP growth in APAC has peaked and will moderate, and credit expansion will continue to slow down, with the trade conflict between China and the US posing a risk for the banks,” the firm said in a report. Private sector leverage also remains high across many APAC economies, stoking risk of asset quality deterioration as interest rates rise. Banks should also be wary of...

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US Holds Near Monopoly on Top Plays for Oil and Gas Upstream Investment

10th December 2018

The US holds nine out of the top 10 global locations for investment in the upstream oil and gas sector in 2018, according to a wide-sweeping survey released Thursday by Canada’s Fraser Institute. In last year’s survey the US represented six of the top 10 spots. The organization surveyed more than 250 individuals in the oil and gas industry, including CEO’s, vice presidents, division managers and various specialists to discover what barriers might cause companies pause before investing in certain regions or plays. Those barriers include issues such as tax rates, regulatory obligations, uncertainty over environmental regulations, and the interpretation...

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Singapore to ban discharge of ‘wash water’ into port from 2020: MPA

3rd December 2018

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) – The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Friday (Nov 30) that it is banning the discharge of “wash water” used in ships to scrub engine exhaust, with effect from Jan 1, 2020. The ban on so-called open-loop scrubbers in Singapore, home to the world’s top ship refuelling or bunkering hub, is a potential setback to shippers that have invested millions in the exhaust gas cleaning systems. The move is to help prepare one of the world’s busiest ports for new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules that come into force in 2020 and oblige ships to use...

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Singapore bank lending turns positive in October on recovery in business loans

3rd December 2018

SINGAPORE – Bank lending in Singapore rose in October from a month ago, reversing from a slight contraction in September, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Friday (Nov 30). Loans through the domestic banking unit – which captures lending in all currencies, but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending – stood at $672 billion, up from $670 billion a month ago. This represents a 0.3 per cent expansion from September, reversing from a 0.1 per cent fall a month ago. Business lending was up 0.5 per cent to $406 billion in October from September, again reversing from a...

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BP, Shell Launch Blockchain Oil Trading Platform

3rd December 2018

A blockchain-based oil trading platform dubbed Vakt and developed by a consortium involving BP and Shell began operating this week, Reuters reports, citing the consortium. The aim is to utilize the potential of the distributed ledger technology for lower-cost, no-intermediary but still secure transactions. News of the platform first emerged last year as blockchain continued to gain popularity. The consortium behind Vakt also includes trading houses Gunvor and Mercuria, as well as Koch Supply & Trading. The platform was financially backed by Dutch ABN Amro, ING, and French Societe Generale. In January 2017, Mercuria, in partnership with ING and Societe...

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Iran Exports To Asia Sink To 760,000 Bpd In October

3rd December 2018

Crude oil exports from Iran to Asian countries—its biggest clients—sank to an average daily of 762,000 bpd, official customs data and shipping data reported by Reuters revealed. This is the lowest monthly average for Iranian crude oil exports to Asia in five years and a 56.4-percent decline on an annual basis. South Korea imported no Iranian crude last month, the second month of no imports in a row as one of the world’s top crude oil importers sought to secure a waiver from U.S. sanctions, which it successfully did. Japan continued buying some Iranian crude but at a much lower rate than...

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