Market Overview

Geopolitical Risks Prop up Oil Prices


Geopolitical Risks Prop up Oil Prices News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

The oil price extended its gains on Wednesday after data showed a large weekly drop in U.S. crude oil inventories. The Energy Information Administration reported this Wednesday that U.S. inventories fell by 6.1 Million barrels, to 405 Million barrels, larger than analysts' estimates. Brent crude future for September delivery was up 0.72% to USD 73.97 a barrel during Wednesday's trading session. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for September delivery rose 1.36% to USD 69.46 a barrel. According to a report from McKinsey & Company, the rally in the oil price this year is primarily owing to an increase in the geopolitical risks and production cuts from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The report expected global non-OPEC growth in crude to grow by 1.1 Million barrels per day, while worldwide demand will increase by 1.2 Million barrels per day. Petroteq Energy Inc. (OTC:PQEFF), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL), Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA), Matador Resources Company (NYSE:MTDR)

Geopolitical risks help support the oil price. The oil price rose Monday morning due in part to the increasing tensions between Iran and the United States. U.S. President Trump on Sunday warned that threats against the U.S. will be met with severe consequences. The tweet was referring to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's comments that Iran could block Gulf oil shipments if its oil exports were blocked. According to Reuters Gene McGillian, Director of Market Research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said: "Attention is being focused on geopolitical tensions, particularly between U.S. and Iran. Fundamentally, we do have a tighter picture than we had twelve months ago."

Petroteq Energy Inc. (OTC:PQEFF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: PQE). Earlier this week, the Company announced that it, "has signed a letter of intent to pursue additional acreage and resources in Utah.

Petroteq's Asphalt Ridge facility: Petroteq has reached an agreement with Mareton Alliance LP with a view to acquiring leases and resources within the Utah oil sands region. These assets meet all of the criteria set by Petroteq's management and board.

The Company believes that growing its asset base is crucial at this juncture. It is in the process of bringing its new facility in Asphalt Ridge up to its nameplate production capacity of 1,000 barrels of oil per day.

David Sealock, Chief Executive Officer, stated: "Growing our asset base is a key initiative that I have been pushing since my arrival at Petroteq this year. I know that our valuation will be driven by our production and technology, as well as our assets in the ground. The discussions with Mareton Alliance have the potential to significantly increase the resource assets on our balance sheet."

The pricing and structure of the transaction have yet to be finalized, but Petroteq management is confident that an attractive transaction can be structured. The letter of intent is non-binding and the transaction contemplated is subject to board and exchange approval."

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) is focused on the most significant oil-rich resource plays in the U.S. Marathon Oil Corporation and its partners recently announced that they have executed a Heads of Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and necessary third parties establishing the framework for processing third-party natural gas volumes through the Alba Plant LLC's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) processing plant and EG LNG's liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility, both located in Punta Europa, EG. Marathon Oil, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is the majority shareholder in both Alba Plant LLC and EG LNG. With the Punta Europa facilities becoming a hub for the potential development of local and regional natural gas, the project will sustain the operating rates of the Alba Gas Plant and prolong the life of the EG LNG plant, both of which are proven integrated gas assets with high reliability and low capital demands. The existing processing facilities require only minor modifications to accommodate the third-party gas. New volumes from the third party are anticipated early in the next decade.

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company with a diversified high-quality portfolio of both U.S. unconventional and global offshore conventional assets. Noble recently announced that it has supplemented its Delaware Basin takeaway position with an additional firm sales agreement which will result in the Company's crude oil reaching the Gulf Coast. The five-year agreement provides for firm gross sales of at least 10 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBbl/d) beginning in July 2018, increasing to 20 MBbl/d beginning in October 2018 and for the remainder of the agreement. Crude oil sold under the agreement will initially utilize the buyer's existing firm transport capacity to Corpus Christi. Shortly following commencement of full service of the EPIC Crude Pipeline, it is anticipated that crude oil sales under the agreement will be transported by way of the Company's firm transportation capacity. Noble Energy has secured 100 MBbl/d of firm transportation capacity on the EPIC Crude Pipeline for a 10-year period following project startup, which is expected to be in the second half of 2019. Prior to the transaction announced today, the Company previously had executed firm sales agreements to the Gulf Coast or Cushing markets for its Delaware crude oil covering gross oil volumes of 10 MBbl/d for the second half of 2018 and 5 MBbl/d for 2019.

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC (KMTP), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI), EagleClaw Midstream Ventures, LLC (EagleClaw), a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners, and Apache Corporation recently announced that they have signed a letter of intent for the development of the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline Project (PHP Project), which will provide an outlet for increased natural gas production from the Permian Basin to growing market areas along the Texas Gulf Coast. The approximately USD 2 Billion PHP Project is designed to transport up to 2.0 Billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas through approximately 430 miles of 42-inch pipeline from the Waha, Texas, area to the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mexico markets. Given the level of producer inquiry, KMI is also evaluating the economic and hydraulic feasibility of a 48-inch pipeline with increased transportation capacity. The PHP Project is expected to be in service in late 2020, subject to the execution of definitive agreements and the receipt of construction permits.

Matador Resources Company (NYSE:MTDR) is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development, production and acquisition of oil and natural gas resources in the United States, with an emphasis on oil and natural gas shale and other unconventional plays. Matador recently announced that a wholly-owned subsidiary of its midstream joint venture, San Mateo Midstream LLC, has entered into a long-term agreement with a significant producer in Eddy County, New Mexico relating to the gathering and disposal of such producer's salt water. The agreement includes the dedication of over 65 wells, which are located within five miles of San Mateo's existing salt water gathering system in Eddy County, New Mexico. Joseph Wm. Foran, Matador's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our midstream team, San Mateo, continues to drive value for Matador's shareholders. Earlier this year, the midstream team completed the expansion of its Black River Processing Plant on time and on budget and entered into a strategic relationship with a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. relating to the transportation of oil."

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