Exclusives

Despite a challenging environment, the oil and gas industry still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Read the latest activity highlights from around the world.

Stratas Advisors, natural gas, breakeven, deepwater, Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico

Report shows break-even prices for natural gas developments in the Mediterranean Sea and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are among the lowest in the world.

Vermilion Energy, downturn, oil, gas, Anthony Marino

The company has been helped by declining service costs, but it is counting on the staying power of operational efficiency improvements, technology, better techniques and cash-generating assets.

CGG and the wider industry need to reinvent the way they work with customers, taking a more partnership-style approach, the CEO Jean-Georges Malcor said.

Deepwater International

According to WoodMac, its analysis of 2,222 oil fields suggests that if Brent crude falls to US $40/barrel, which is entirely possible, 1.6% of global oil supply could turn cash negative on an operating cost basis. 

At PETEX 2014, Richard Herbert, COO, Exploration at BP, highlighted a number of global trends in exploration that he believes will be factors as energy demand continues on its ongoing growth curve. 

Exploration

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo announced the meeting plan at a conference in New Delhi, according to a copy of his speech. The meeting had earlier been due to take place in Moscow.

West Texas Intermediate added to overnight gains of 9% to reach $50 a barrel for the first time since October. Brent crude, which soared $4 overnight, touched a six-week peak of $52.73 a barrel.

A source told Reuters that OPEC delegates were now discussing a bigger than expected cut in production of 1.4 million barrels per day.

IG Group market strategist Jingyi Pan said market sentiment has been buoyed by reports that key producers including Iran and Iraq were thinking about restraining production.

Donald Trump's surprise win in last week's U.S. presidential election boosted the dollar and stocks but undermined oil. Crude has also fallen because of waning expectations that OPEC will agree to reduce production this month.

Production

In September, OPEC, which accounts for a third of global oil production, agreed to cap output at around 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) versus the current 33.64 MMbbl/d to prop up oil prices, which have more than halved since mid-2014.

The meeting on Nov. 30 was expected to rubber-stamp that deal, with Russia and some other non-OPEC producers such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also contributing.

Three OPEC sources told Reuters a gathering of experts from the oil producer group in Vienna had decided on Nov. 22 to recommend that a ministerial meeting next week debate a proposal from member Algeria to reduce output by 4.0% to 4.5%.

Statoil, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil are bringing financial clout into East Africa in its bid to get to market before more U.S. Gulf of Mexico LNG producers.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 33.64 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in October, according to figures OPEC collects from secondary sources, up 240,000 bbl/d from September, OPEC said in a monthly report.

While investors were always skeptical that a deal to cut or freeze oil output could be reached and implemented at an OPEC meeting on Nov. 30, an increasing amount of data has underscored a global skew towards oversupply.

Technology

OPEC sources said experts in Vienna on Nov. 28 failed to bridge differences between its de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and the group's second- and third-largest producers over the mechanics of output cuts.

U.S. shale oil producers will increase their output if oil prices hit $60 a barrel, meaning OPEC will have to walk a fine line if it curtails production to prop up prices, IEA director general Fatih Birol said.

Oil prices rose on Nov. 22 to their highest in November as a growing consensus emerged in the market that OPEC would overcome internal disputes and skepticism to strike a deal that materially reduces crude output.

Since 2011, Adam C. Peakes has been managing director and head of OFS investment banking at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

The Paris Agreement, built on a looser model proposed by President Barack Obama's administration, lets all nations set their own goals to curb emissions with no penalties for non-compliance, Reuters reported.