The 3 Week Diet System

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Technical Pointers on Active Stocks -- Research on Schlumberger, Wendy's, American Capital Agency, and Procter & Gamble

May 27:

LONDONMay 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The trading session on Friday, May 23, 2014 ended on a higher note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 16,606.27, up 0.38% and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 4,185.81, up 0.76%. The S&P 500 finished the day 0.42% higher at 1,900.53. During the session, eight out of ten sectors finished on a positive note. Investor-Edge looks at some of the equities which traded the most shares during the session. Investor-Edge looks at some of the equities which attracted the most attention and traded the most shares during the session. These include Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB), The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN), American Capital Agency Corp. (NASDAQ: AGNC) and Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG). Free technical research on SLB, WEN, AGNC and PG can be downloaded upon signing up at:

On Friday, Schlumberger Ltd's stock edged 0.21% lower, closing the day at $101.39. The stock recorded a trading volume of 4.46 million shares, below its three months average volume of 5.79 million shares. The stock oscillated between $101.05 and $101.90 during the trading session. Shares of the company traded at a PE ratio of 20.28. Schlumberger Ltd's shares have gained 1.00% in the previous three trading sessions, 9.54% in the last three months, and 12.52% since the start of this year. The S&P 500 Energy Sector Index has advanced 0.77% in the last one month, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.99% during the same period. Schlumberger Ltd's stock is trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of $98.51 and $91.12, respectively. Moreover, shares of the company have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 59.29. Sign up today to read free research on SLB at:

The Wendy's Co.'s stock finished Friday's session 0.60% lower at $8.28. A total of 4.30 million shares were traded, which was below its three months average volume of 7.20 million shares. The stock vacillated between $8.22 and $8.34 during the session. Over the previous three trading sessions, the Wendy's Co.'s shares have advanced 2.35%. However, the company's stock has fallen by 18.42% in the last three months and 5.05% since the start of this year. The S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Sector Index has advanced 2.47% in the last one month, while the NASDAQ Composite Index has gained 2.71% during the same period. The company's shares are trading below their 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Moreover, the stock's 200-day moving average of $8.64 is greater than its 50-day moving average of $8.60. Further, the Wendy's Co.'s stock traded at a PE ratio of 28.11 and has an RSI of 46.35. Sign up today to read free research on WEN at:

On Friday, shares in American Capital Agency Corp. recorded a trading volume of 4.33 million shares, which was below its three months average volume of 4.46 million shares. The stock ended the day at $23.58, which was 0.64% higher than its previous day's closing of $23.43, and registered an intraday range of $23.36 and $23.68. Shares of the company traded at a PE ratio of 11.12. American Capital Agency Corp.'s shares have advanced 1.42% in the previous three trading sessions, 3.56% in the last one month, and 22.24% on YTD basis. The S&P 500 Financials Sector Index advanced 1.39% in the previous three trading sessions, while the S&P 500 Index has gained 1.48% during the same period. American Capital Agency Corp.'s stock is trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of $22.45 and $21.88, respectively. Furthermore, shares of the company have an RSI of 68.58. Sign up today to read free research on AGNC at:

Shares in the Procter & Gamble Co. fluctuated between $80.40 and $80.85 before ending the day 0.16% lower at $80.52. The company's stock reported a trading volume of 4.47 million shares on Friday, which was below its three months average volume of 8.25 million shares. The Procter & Gamble Co.'s shares have advanced 0.36% in the previous three trading sessions, while it has fallen by 1.09% each in the last one month and on YTD basis. The S&P 500 Consumer Staples Sector Index has gained 5.89% in the previous three months, while the S&P 500 has advanced 3.00% during the same period. The stock is trading above its 200-day moving average. Moreover, the Procter & Gamble Co.'s 50-day moving average of $80.75 is greater than its 200-day moving average of $80.14. Additionally, the company's stock traded at a PE ratio of 19.74 and has an RSI of 45.21. Sign up today to read free research on PG at:


Global Drilling Fluids Market 2014-2018: The key vendors dominating this space are Baker Hughes, Halliburton, Newpark Resources, and Schlumberger

May 27:

DUBLINMay 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Research and Markets( has announced the addition of the "Global Drilling Fluids Market 2014-2018" report to their offering.

The analysts forecast the Global Drilling Fluids market will grow at a CAGR of 8 percent over the period 2013-2018. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing exploration of unconventional gas. The Global Drilling Fluids market has also been witnessing increasing oil and gas consumption. However, the capital-intensive nature of drilling projects could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

The report, Global Drilling Fluids Market 2014-2018, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Americas, the EMEA region, and the APAC region; it also covers the Global Drilling Fluids market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

The key vendors dominating this space are Baker Hughes Inc., Halliburton Co., Newpark Resources Inc., and Schlumberger Ltd.

The other vendors mentioned in the report are Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc., Canadian Energy Services, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Cp Kelco Inc., Geo Drilling Fluids Inc., Global Drilling Fluids & Chemicals Ltd., HiTech Fluid Systems, Imdex Ltd., Lamberti Group, Scomi Group Bhd, Secure Energy Services Inc., Sun Drilling, Tetra Technologies Inc., and Weatherford International Ltd.

Key questions answered in this report: 
  • What will the market size be in 2018 and at what rate will it grow?
  • What are the key market trends?
  • What is driving this market?
  • What are the challenges to market growth?
  • Who are the key vendors in this market space?
  • What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the key vendors?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the key vendors?
You can request one free hour of our analyst's time when you purchase this market report. Details provided within the report.

Key Topics Covered:

01. Executive Summary

02. List of Abbreviations

03. Scope of the Report

04. Market Research Methodology

05. Introduction

06. Market Landscape

07. Market Segmentation by Product

08. Market Segmentation by End-users

09. Geographical Segmentation

10. Buying Criteria

11. Market Growth Drivers

12. Drivers and their Impact

13. Market Challenges

14. Impact of Drivers and Challenges

15. Market Trends

16. Trends and their Impact

17. Vendor Landscape

18. Key Vendor Analysis

19. Other Reports in this Series

Companies Mentioned:
  • Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc.
  • Baker Hughes Inc.
  • Canadian Energy Services
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC
  • Cp Kelco Inc.
  • Geo Drilling Fluids Inc.
  • Global Drilling Fluids & Chemicals Ltd.
  • Halliburton Co.
  • HiTech Fluid Systems
  • Imdex Ltd.
  • Lamberti Group
  • Newpark Resources Inc.
  • Schlumberger Ltd.
  • Scomi Group Bhd
  • Secure Energy Services Inc.
  • Sun Drilling
  • Tetra Technologies Inc.
  • Weatherford International Ltd.

Saipem Awarded $750 million Contract for South Caucasus Pipeline

May 27:

(Credit: Saipem)

Italy’s Saipem has been awarded a $750 million contract for the construction and commissioning of the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
‘The scope of work for this contract includes the construction of a 428km pipeline loop and associated above ground installations, including block valves, a pigging facility and tie-ins in Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as the construction of a 59km second pipeline loop and associated above ground installations in Georgia. The expanded section of the South Caucasus Pipeline will start approximately 23km from the Sangachal Terminal, located south-west of Baku, in Azerbaijan, and will end in Georgia just south of Tbilisi. The project will be completed by the second quarter of 2018,’ reads a note released on Monday
In this way, Saipem increases its involvement in the Shah Deniz Stage 2 development project, after the recent $1.8 billion E&C contract signed last month
According to the note, the Milan-based company did also consolidate its position in the Middle East. 
‘In the Drilling sector, Saipem has agreed in the Middle East a one year extension of an existing contract for three onshore rigs starting in the second half of 2014, and has signed new contracts for three onshore rigs starting in the second quarter of 2015 and with a duration of five years.’
According to the press release, the drilling contractor has a fleet of 30 rigs in the Middle East. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

‘Cleaned’ Nigerian sites still blighted by oil as Shell's efforts to contain spills makes slow progress, says report

May 26:

Shell's efforts to contain spills in Nigeria are making stuttering progress, with supposedly restored sites still mired in oil, a new report warns.
Difficulty with stopping spills, often caused by oil theft from pipelines, further illustrates why Shell has opted to sell four major onshore blocks in Nigeria.
Swathes of land and waterways in the Niger Delta are once again blighted with oil only months on from Shell’s clean-up efforts, claims campaign group Platform.

Oil spill: Swathes of land and waterways in the Niger Delta are once again blighted with oil only months on from Shell's clean-up efforts
Oil spill: Swathes of land and waterways in the Niger Delta are once again blighted with oil only months on from Shell's clean-up efforts

In Bomu, part of the spill-ravaged Ogoniland region, Shell said in 2012 that it had ‘remediated’ sites including those near the Bomu well.
But visitors from Platform in late 2013 found that oil pollution there remained extremely bad. ‘Our field investigations discovered visible oil only centimetres below the surface,’ the group said.
‘Soil samples taken by Platform have a strong odour of oil. Adjoining creeks had a layer of oil on the surface of the water.’

EU energy chief says 'good chance' of Russia-Ukraine gas deal

May 26:

Gas Pipeline bei Kiew Ukraine

The EU Energy Commissioner says Moscow and Kyiv have a "good chance" of reaching a resolution to their gas dispute. The proposed deal would see Ukraine pay $2.5 billion to Russian energy giant Gazprom.

European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said that after meeting with the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers in Berlin on Monday, the two sides still had to consult with their respective political leaders and gas companies involved - but that he was optimistic the dispute could be solved.
"We made relatively good progress and have a good chance of reaching an agreement by June 1," Oettinger said.
Under the the proposed deal, Ukraine would pay around $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euros) to Gazprom - about half the amount Russia says its owned in back payments and for the month of June - over the coming days and weeks.
Oettinger said aid from the UE and International Monetary Fund would help Ukraine pay its debt, and the goal was to ensure "security of supply" and to "avoid disruptions".
"We make it possible, but the decision will be made in Kyiv," he said.
Gas standoff
The tense gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine has seen Gazprom hike its prices and threaten to suspend deliveries if Kyiv doesn't pay its bill for June, worth around $1.66 billion. Russia says Ukraine's total gas debt is $3.5 billion and has said it will only deliver gas if Ukraine pays in advance.
Ukraine's energy minister, Yuri Prodan, expressed less optimism than Oettinger, but didn't rule out a deal being reached.
"So far there is not yet a decision taken, and I also assume that from the Russian party no decision has been taken yet," he said. "It was a suggestion by the European Commission to be discussed."
European concern
Ukraine has said it could start paying off its gas debt if Moscow restores the gas price discounts that were cancelled, following the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year.
The Russia-Ukraine dispute has also raised concern over gas flows to the European Union. The bloc imports a quarter of its gas from Russia, nearly half of which runs through Ukraine.
Earlier on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "it is important that the energy talks make progress."
"I hope an agreement can be reached this week," she said. "That is very important."
Monday's gas meeting came as Ukrainian forces launched an airstrike on pro-Russian separatists who seized an airport in the eastern city of Donetsk, a day after billionaire Petro Poroshenko won elections to become Ukraine's next president.

Oil companies announce product price hikes

May 26:

At least four oil companies will raise their product prices by 6 a.m., Tuesday.

Radio dzBB reported early Tuesday that Shell, Petron, PTT and Phoenix Petroleum would raise diesel prices by 20 centavos per liter, and raise gasoline prices by 55 centavos per liter


Rosneft Mulls Expansion with Offshore, Urals Agreements

May 26:

Russia’s Rosneft is looking for new opportunities, acquiring a significant stake in North Atlantic Drilling (NADL) and signing an agreement with BP for implementation of a joint pilot project to explore Domanik formations in the Urals region. 
‘North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. and Seadrill Limited are pleased to announce that an Investment and Co-operation Agreement has been executed with Rosneft in order to pursue growth opportunities offshore and onshore in the Russian market through at least 2022. As part of these proposed opportunities, NADL will enter the onshore drilling market in Russia and enter into contracts for multiple offshore assets. In addition Rosneft will be acquiring a significant equity stake in NADL,’ reads a note released by Seadrill on Monday.
Seadrill Limited currently owns 70% of the outstanding shares of NADL, which is an offshore drilling company with focus on the North Atlantic basin.
On Saturday, BP released a communiqué about joint projects in the Urals.
‘The Heads of Agreement provides for implementation of a joint pilot project by Rosneft and BP relating to the Domanik formations and, in the event of success, the possible development of unconventional Domanik resources in the Volga-Urals region. The joint venture company (Rosneft 51%, BP 49%) will be incorporated in Russia.’

Iraq Seeks Arbitration in Dispute With Turkey over Kurdish Oil Sale

May 26:

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, speaks as his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, listens during a joint press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, speaks as his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, listens during a joint press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013

 — Baghdad has requested legal arbitration in a dispute with Turkey over the sale of Iraqi Kurdish oil. The move comes after the first super tanker of Iraqi Kurdish oil departed from Turkey, despite warnings and threats from Baghdad to not go ahead with the sale. Analysts say the move raises the stakes again in a long-running game of political brinkmanship as Baghdad seeks to thwart Kurdistan's moves towards greater self-sufficiency.

After months of delay and in the face of international warnings, Ankara sold one million barrels of oil piped from the neighboring semi autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

The sale to an unspecified buyer was made without the consent of the central government in Baghdad. Baghdad had repeatedly warned Ankara any such sale would be illegal.

International relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University says the sale will further strain bilateral relations.
"Relations are already mainly in tatters. The much promised meetings between Maliki and Erdogan, or reciprocal visits, never really took place. It's just part of the ongoing process of bad relations. But obviously there is no petty defiant act on the part of Turkey and that may change the situation qualitatively," said Ozel.

When Turkey's energy minister Taner Yildiz announced the oil sale, he said it was the first of many. Ankara backs the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional government's claim that it has the constitutional right to sell independently newly found energy reserves.

Ankara has said that the proceeds of any such oil sales will be divided between the KRG and Baghdad, in compliance with the Iraqi Constitution. But on Friday, Iraq's Oil Ministry filed a request for arbitration with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce.  

Analysts say the KRG is urgently in need of money following Baghdad's decision to cut its budget to punish it for building a pipeline to Turkey. But Sinan Ulgen of the Brussels Carnegie Institution says the dispute ultimately is more about power than money.

"The balance of power between central government and KRG will be affected by that. The KRG will be able to export its oil and gas without every time needing the green light from Baghdad. That will enhance their economic security and that will change the balance of power," said Ulgen.

Concerns about Iraq's territorial integrity have resulted in Washington strongly backing Baghdad and criticizing Ankara over the sale.  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. does not support any export without the permission of the federal government of Iraq and warned it has concerns about the impact of such sales.

But international relations expert Ozel says Ankara is flexing its regional diplomatic muscles in a bid to secure an important strategic goal.
"Ankara wants to have its way and wants to prove it can have its way. That is number one. Number two, it's very important for Ankara to become a gas and oil and hub and if it cannot do it legally, I think it wants to do it through fait accompli."

But analyst Ulgen claims Baghdad is unlikely to give up without a struggle.

"Baghdad also fears that other regions in Iraq that will follow the same example like Basra and therefore they don't want to set a precedent that in time would weaken the central control over the rest of Iraq's territory."

Until now, Turkey promised it would hold off selling KRG oil until an agreement was reached with Baghdad. Observers claim the timing of Ankara's move could well be connected to the fact that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki is struggling to form a new government.

With any legal challenge to the oil sale predicted to take months if not years, analysts say both the governments of Turkey and the KRG will likely be banking on the fact that the reality on the ground will by then trump any protracted legal challenge.


New Saudi-Bahraini $350 oil pipeline in the making

May 26:

Construction contracts for a new crude oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are expected to be tendered by the end of the year.
Construction contracts for a new crude oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are expected to be tendered by the end of year

Construction contracts for a new crude oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are expected to be tendered by the end of the year.

The front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the pipeline has been completed, a Saudi Aramco official said.

He spoke to the media on the sidelines of the 9th Middle East Refining and Petrochemicals Conference and Exhibition (Petrotech 2014) that was held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre last week.

The FEED has been done by WorleyParsons of Australia and the next step would be to release the tender for the engineering, procurement and construction contract, the Aramco official said.

The cost of the project is estimated at $350 million.

The 115km-long pipeline would run overland for 74km, with the remaining 31km being sub-sea.

It will transport crude from Aramco’s Abqaiq plant to Bahrain.

The pipeline is expected to be commissioned by the third quarter of 2016. With a capacity of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd), the new link will replace an ageing 230,000 bpd pipeline. It is a key pre-requisite for Bapco’s planned Sitra refinery expansion up to 500,000 bpd total capacity, which is estimated to cost upwards of $6 billion.

Meanwhile, Bapco top officials said they were evaluating the technical and commercial offers submitted by the engineering companies for FEED and project management consultancy contracts.

The Sitra refinery expansion project will include a crude unit and associated facilities, hydrocracker and associated facilities, residue conversion units and a waste treatment facility.

The residue conversion unit is strategic for the Sitra Refinery as it will open access to cheaper feedstock of heavy crude oil and thus, a larger diversity of sources of supply.

The hydrocracker and associated facilities will include a new hydrocracking unit with 60,000 bpd capacity, expansion of the mild hydrocracking unit from 54,000 bpd to 70,000 bpd capacity and a new fluid catalytic cracker.

A dehydrosulfurization unit is also planned to produce diesel according to international standards with sulphur content of less than 10 parts per million. 

Meanwhile, oil prices closed moderately higher Friday, lifted by signs of improved US crude demand and geopolitical concerns ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday.

WTI finished the session at $104.35 a barrel, a gain of 61 cents from Thursday.

Brent North Sea crude for July rose 18 cents to settle at $110.54 a barrel in London trade. 


Eastern Libya oil rebel says does not recognise new government

May 26:

TRIPOLI, May 26 (Reuters) - The leader of protesters occupying Libyan oil ports said on Monday he did not recognise the new government of Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and suggested a deal to end the blockade, reached with the previous administration, could be jeopardised.
Ibrahim Jathran, who wants more federalist power for his eastern region, had agreed with Maiteeq's predecessor to steadily open up ports that have been of his men since last summer, and help restart Libya's oil exports.
He made no direct reference oil deal, but in a statement on a television channel operated by his federalist movement, he said that with Maiteeq in office his group may be forced to change its position.
" are on the table," he said. "If the parliament keeps with its decision on the new government then we will take a different position than we have before."
Maiteeq, a businessman backed Muslim Brotherhood, was approved two weeks ago in a chaotic parliamentary vote that prompted opponents like Jathran and anti-Islamist factions to challenge his legitimacy.
Libya's parliament, the General National Congress, has been paralysed by infighting among Islamist, anti-Islamist, tribal and regional factions vying for influence in the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.
The North African state's petroleum production was at 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Monday, battered by Jathran's blockade and other protests that have slashed output from 1.4 million bpd before last summer.
Three years after Gaddafi's fall, rival brigades of former fighters allied with competing political factions are still the real power-brokers, often challenging the weak central government to make their own demands. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

PNG LNG ships first cargo

May 26:

The first shipment from the PNG LNG project has left Papua New Guinea carrying a cargo bound for Japan for Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc.
“This announcement is a historic moment for Papua New Guinea (PNG),” ExxonMobil PNG Limited Managing Director Peter Graham said. “This is the country’s largest resource project and it has taken the effort of many thousands of people to bring it to fruition. With the support of government, our co-venturers and the local community, we are proud to celebrate the safe completion and first cargo from the PNG LNG Project.” 
Graham said the project startup positions Papua New Guinea as a resource-rich nation uniquely placed to deliver natural gas to meet the growing demand of Asia markets over the long term.
“Revenue from the PNG LNG Project will support Papua New Guinea’s continued economic and social development,” he said. “The PNG LNG Project demonstrates to the world what Papua New Guinea is capable of delivering.”
Production from the first train started in April, and production from the second train has also started as additional wells came online.
Project construction began in 2010, and took more than 191 million work hours to complete. The project is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over the estimated 30 years of operations.The PNG LNG project will provide a long-term supply of LNG to four major customers in the Asia region including China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc., Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., and CPC Corp. Taiwan.

Well costs hurt down under

May 26:

The urgent need to address the global cost competitiveness of Australia’s oil and gas industry has been highlighted by a new analysis that shows fewer exploration wells are being drilled offshore despite significantly higher expenditure.APPEA_graphic.jpg
An analysis of recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and industry body APPEA shows the number of offshore wells drilled in Australia has fallen by more than two-thirds since 2003, while the total cost has increased five-fold (see chart).
While the cost of individual wells varies considerably, depending on a range of geographical, geological, and technical factors, the average cost of drilling offshore wells is now more than AUZ$130 million.
APPEA Western Region Chief Operating Officer Stedman Ellis said the analysis is further evidence of the significant cost pressures on Australia’s offshore exploration and production.
“These figures reflect a range of factors, including higher daily rig rates and the fact that drilling is shifting further offshore to deeper, more remote and more difficult waters,” he said.
“The increase in drilling expenditure reflects broader cost pressures across the value chain from exploration to development and through to production. These are being exacerbated as the industry moves into more complex offshore areas. The low-hanging fruit has been picked. Australia is already at the top of the cost curve for bringing gas to market. Greenfield projects in this country can be almost double the cost of new LNG competitors in East Africa, North America and other locations. These cost pressures are responsible for a new pricing paradigm that has seen domestic gas prices rise to more sustainable levels.”
The exploration cost analysis is contained in an APPEA submission to Western Australia’s independent Economic Regulation Authority supporting its recent recommendation that the WA Government immediately abolishes its costly and inefficient domestic gas reservation policy. The submission can be found here.
Ellis said the ERA had supported APPEA’s long-held view that the reservation policy threatened the state’s energy security by discouraging investment in new domestic gas projects.
“Big industrial gas customers who benefit from gas reservation in WA have been trying to argue that record investment in offshore exploration shows the policy is not a disincentive to producers,” he said. “But they conveniently ignore the fact that while exploration expenditure has increased since the policy’s introduction, the number of wells drilled has steadily declined. Australia’s ability to develop new gas projects is already threatened by rising costs at home and growing competition abroad. Policies that dictate where and how gas can be sold represent a further barrier to investment. APPEA believes long-term energy security is best delivered through efficiently operating markets and by encouraging new entrants and competition, a view that is shared by other Australian governments that have considered and rejected the need for reservation policies.”

Vietnam Accuses China of Injuring Four Officials in Oil Rig Standoff

May 26:

A Vietnamese fisheries patrol ship shows signs of damage that Hanoi says was a result of being rammed by Chinese vessels during  recent encounters in the South China Sea, May 18, 2014. (
A Vietnamese fisheries patrol ship shows signs of damage that Hanoi says was a result of being rammed by Chinese vessels during recent encounters in the South China Sea, May 18, 2014. (

Vietnam says four fisheries surveillance officers were wounded Sunday after their ships were hit by water cannons fired by Chinese vessels guarding Beijing’s oil rig in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The Deputy Head of the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department, Ha Le, told VOA's Vietnamese service that almost all of Vietnam’s vessels have been damaged by attacks from China’s vessels.

"We are now fighting by peaceful means, by propagandizing against China’s illegal invasion. In addition, we try to avoid any intentional clashes with Chinese vessels to minimize damages and casualties on our end," said Ha Le.

He added that in addition to its military ships, Beijing has sent numerous fishing vessels to the area to disrupt Vietnam’s laws enforcement ships. He stressed that Vietnam has only dispatched civilian ships, including vessels from its maritime police.

On May 1, Beijing moved the oil rig to an area near the Paracel Islands, within an area that Vietnam considers its exclusive economic zone.

At the beginning of the dispute, the two sides exchanged water cannon fire and Hanoi accused Chinese vessels of ramming Vietnamese ships. Several Vietnamese were injured in the encounters.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Vietnam's national legislature has announced that the country is taking its final steps toward filing an international lawsuit against China for towing an oil rig into Vietnamese waters and attacking Vietnamese vessels.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung threatened legal action last week during a visit to the Philippines, which has a similar territorial dispute with China.

Manila challenged the legality of China's maritime claims to an international tribunal in The Hague. Beijing was angered by the move and has refused to participate in the case.


Ensco Plc Upgraded to “Buy” by ING Group (ESV)

May 26:

Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) was upgraded by investment analysts at ING Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
The analysts wrote, “Ensco (ESV) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.”
Shares of Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) traded down 0.33% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $51.35. The stock had a trading volume of 1,989,868 shares. Ensco Plc has a 1-year low of $47.85 and a 1-year high of $63.00. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $50.51 and a 200-day moving average of $53.75. The company has a market cap of $11.998 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.64.
Ensco Plc logo
Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 29th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.13 by $1.18. The company had revenue of $1.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $534.41 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.36 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Ensco Plc will post $5.70 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, June 20th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 9th will be given a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 5th.
ESV has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Ensco Plc from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday. Separately, analysts at Jefferies Group downgraded shares of Ensco Plc from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 19th. They now have a $56.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $58.00. Finally, analysts at Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Ensco Plc in a research note on Friday, May 16th. They now have a $42.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $44.00. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ensco Plc has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $56.89.
Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV) is a provider of offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry.

Russian oil company buys into Seadrill


Russian oil company Rosneft and Seadrill subsidiary North Atlantic Drilling signed the cooperation agreement, Saturday.
The Norwegian company's operations in Stavanger will continue as before, Dagens Næringsliv reports.
However, the strategic partnership will probably include opening other regional offices.
The deal gives Seadrill main shareholder John Fredriksen extensive possibilities in the Russian exploration market.
Seadrill is the world's largest oil drilling player.
Russia's Rosneft can obtain interests in Seadrill of up to 50 per cent in the long-run, according to
John Fredriksen is currently Seadrill's largest shareholder with 24.54 per cent.

EU: Proposed solution found in Ukraine gas dispute

May 26:

BERLIN (AP) — A proposed solution to a dispute over Ukrainian natural gas debts to Moscow would see Ukraine's gas company pay $2 billion to Russia's Gazprom this week and trigger talks on the price Kiev should pay for future deliveries as it tries to avert a supply cutoff, a top European Union official said Monday.
EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said after meeting the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers in Berlin that both sides must still consult with their political leaders and the gas companies involved, and they have until Wednesday evening to approve the deal. He stressed "we are not done" but said he is optimistic of an agreement.
The proposal calls for Ukraine's Naftogaz to make an initial $2 billion payment to Gazprom on Thursday to settle part of Kiev's outstanding bills for gas delivered between November and March. Doing so would send "a clear signal of creditworthiness," Oettinger said.
If the payment is made, Russia would be prepared to hold EU-brokered talks in Berlin on Friday with Ukraine on the price of gas delivered in April, May and in the future, Oettinger told reporters. Naftogaz would make a second payment of $500 million to Gazprom on June 7. And Gazprom would agree to continue supplying gas for June without insisting on prepayment, according to the European Commission.
Ukrainian energy minister Yuri Prodan was more guarded on the likelihood of a deal but didn't rule one out.
"So far there is not yet a decision taken, and I also assume that from the Russian party no decision has been taken yet," he said. "It was a suggestion by the European Commission to be discussed."
Russia says Ukraine's total gas debt is $3.5 billion. It has said that it would only deliver gas to its economically struggling neighbor in June if it pays in advance. The prospect of a possible cutoff has worried European countries that receive Russian gas piped through Ukraine.
Ukraine has said it could start paying off the debt if Moscow restores gas price discounts canceled following the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. He fled to Russia in February after months of protests, triggered by his decision to dump a pact with the EU in favor of closer ties with Moscow.
Gazprom has scrapped a discount granted to Yanukovych in December and then another rebate linked to a 2010 deal on Russian navy presence in Ukraine's Crimea, which Moscow annexed in March. Canceling the discounts raised the price by 80 percent, which has caused Ukrainian debt to swell.

The Moscow Times: Italy's Eni Inks Landmark Non-Indexed Gas Supply Deal With Gazprom

May 26:

MILAN/ST. PETERSBURG — Italy's Eni struck a landmark deal with Russia's Gazprom that abandons a 50-year old system of indexing gas supplies to oil prices, setting a precedent other European buyers may be able to use in negotiations.
The agreement, signed by the groups' chief executives in St. Petersburg on Friday, sets "an important change" in the price-indexation mechanism in the contracts to align them fully with the spot market, Eni said in a statement.
Gazprom has for years defended oil-indexed gas sales as a cornerstone of its business, even while high costs relative to spot gas prices have forced its European clients to swallow multi-billion euro losses.
The backlash against oil-linked contracts has gained ground in recent years as waning demand for gas and economic recession across Europe have forced utilities to defend dwindling profit margins.
German utilities E.ON and RWE, Gazprom's biggest customers, have spearheaded efforts to bring down Russian gas prices, although other suppliers such as Algeria also insist on oil-linked prices.
"The discount Eni won is a positive signal that Gazprom is doing things in an efficient way and supporting Eni," said Jason Kenney, an oil analyst at Santander.
"It is working with the company flexibly," he added.
The shift to a link with freely traded spot gas prices at European hubs is likely to bolster profits at the oil major, Italy's biggest company.
Sanford Bernstein analysts estimated the deal would lift the operating profit of Eni's Gas and Power division by 560 million euros this year alone.
The deal may also help Eni put pressure on its other gas suppliers, Algeria and Libya, to convert to spot market pricing and away from oil-indexation.

Statoil the First 

Europe's second-biggest gas producer, Statoil, was the first to offer its clients gas supplies fully priced according to spot market rates.
Eni, one of Europe's biggest gas wholesalers, last renegotiated its contracts with Gazprom in 2013, securing a price cut estimated to be under 7 percent.
Its head of exploration and production, Claudio Descalzi, took over as chief of the Italian oil major earlier this month.
Some analysts have expressed concern over costly gas contracts with Russia, given growing tensions in Ukraine. The crisis between Europe and Russia has driven some European gas importers to seek alternatives to what they view as an uncertain Russian supply, with much of its pipeline running through Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Gazprom sealed a long-delayed gas deal with China in a major pivot of Russia energy flows to Asia.
The arrangement with Beijing will affect prices in Europe, the chief executive of the Russian company said.
Italy, which imports about 90 percent of its gas needs, received some 40 percent of its imported gas from Russia last year.
State-controlled Eni said the terms of the agreement with Gazprom would be backdated to the start of 2014.