Exclusives

Thomson Reuters predicts Brent price and future prices will be affected the most if the sanctions are lifted.

Saudi Arabia production OPEC oil

The increase will heighten tensions when OPEC meets in June.

Analysts say the lifting of sanctions won’t spell an immediate ramp-up in Iranian production during the next six months but Iran’s Oil Minister said it could produce 3.8 MMbbl/d.

Iran is seeking a final agreement with international powers by June that would curb its nuclear program in exchange for phasing out sanctions that have cut its crude exports, choked cash flow and halted most oil investment. 

In a series of letters sent to companies such as Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil since January, seen by Reuters, Iraq's oil ministry set out the need for change in response to “the rapid drastic decrease in crude oil prices.”

Exploration

GS Energy Corp., the energy unit of South Korea’s GS Holdings Corp., will access 50Mbbl/d of oil for its share in Abu Dhabi’s largest onshore oilfield concession, Bloomberg said. 

Qatar Petroleum invited international oil and gas companies to compete for operation and development of its offshore al-Shaheen reservoir, its biggest oil field, Bloomberg said May 6.

Beach Energy Ltd. might sell Egyptian oil and gas holdings and focus on Cooper Basin, Gippsland Basin and Otway Basin acquisitions. Australian east coast gas demand drives effort, Bloomberg said.  

Japan’s state-backed E&P Inpex Corp. joined Total SA in developing the main onshore oil deposits in United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg said. 

Abu Dhabi holds about 6% of global oil reserves. 

Average gross production in Turkmenistan’s Cheleken contract area was about 88,700 bbl/d in the first quarter. This was a 23% increase over the corresponding 2014 level.

Production

Pumping more oil was the goal discussed at the recent OPEC summit. OPEC has pumped above its production quota for months, determined to subdue supply from higher-cost producers, Bloomberg said.

Saudi Arabian Chevron started shutting production May 10 at Wafra oil fields, which Saudi Arabia, Kuwait jointly develop, Bloomberg was told by two people with knowledge of the private matter. 

In January Eni signed a new concession agreement to operate in the Melehia Southwest Block, where exploration and other activities will begin later this year.

Apache Egypt and Khalda Petroleum Co. are drilling for oil and gas in the country’s western desert. The Berenice and Ptah fields are in the Fagur Basin.

Saudi Arabia won’t balance global crude markets by itself even as prices fall “too low for everybody” and threaten investment needed to satisfy long-term demand, the head of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. said.

Technology

U.S. output surged to highest level in over 40 years. OPEC is increasing output, and its 12 members recently maintained 30 million barrels per day joint output target, Bloomberg said. 

The six-year contract, which includes options for two three-year renewals, includes the establishment of an offshore engineering center of excellence in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Israeli government wants agreement with E&Ps on natural gas policy framework, said Yuval Steinitz, minister for national infrastructures, energy and water. Regulatory uncertainty stalls offshore gas field development, Bloomberg said.

While focused mostly on Turkmenistan, Dragon is working to expand outside Central Asia in a bid to raise oil production to 100,000 barrels a day (bbl/d) by next year from almost 79,000 bbl/d in 2014. 

Iran needs $100 billion for its gas industry amid sanctions discussions, Bloomberg said. Iran will increase gas exports to 200 million cubic feet per day, pending nuclear program final agreement.