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(Bloomberg) -- Oil steadied near a three-month high on cautious optimism that a preliminary trade deal between the U.S. and China will support global fuel consumption.Futures held near $60 a barrel in New York after settling at the highest since Sept. 16 on Friday. The deal involves China buying more American farm products and making new commitments on intellectual property, while the U.S. will suspend new levies and halve existing tariffs on $120 billion of Chinese imports. It’s expected to be signed and released publicly in early January.While the partial trade deal leaves most of the tariffs built up over the 20-month conflict in place, it’s adding to a more positive outlook for oil prices, which were already drawing support from deeper-than-expected production cuts announced this month by OPEC and its partners. Hedge funds increased net-bullish wagers on West Texas Intermediate crude by the most in three years in the week through Dec. 10.“The latest Christmas present for oil bulls is a long-awaited trade agreement between the U.S. and China,” Citigroup Inc. analysts including Francesco Martoccia said in a report.See also: OPEC+ Deal Isn’t Worth the Paper It’s Written On: Julian LeeWTI for January delivery was little changed at $60.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:16 a.m. local time. It gained 1.5% last week.Brent for February settlement was 22 cents higher at $65.44 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange after rising 1.6% on Friday and 1.3% last week. The global benchmark was at a $5.39 premium to WTI for the same month.To contact the reporters on this story: Elizabeth Low in Singapore at email@example.com;Grant Smith in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at email@example.com, Rakteem KatakeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Credit Suisse Group AG has acted to block Geneva prosecutors from using details of a critical report by the country’s financial regulator into the bank’s failure to prevent fraud at its wealth management unit.The bank asked Geneva prosecutor Yves Bertossa to seal the report, which he is legally required to do after a request, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said. Bertossa has now asked a court to lift the order in a bid to get access to the documents as part of an ongoing investigation into Patrice Lescaudron, the spokesman said.Credit Suisse, which is a party to the case, is relying on a clause in the Swiss legal system designed to prevent self-incrimination during a criminal investigation. Swiss law prevents evidence from being “examined or used” by prosecutors as long as it’s under seal. In making its case, the Zurich-based bank also invoked the right to keep confidential bank data secret.Lescaudron is a former Credit Suisse wealth manager who dipped into client accounts to cover up millions in trading losses. While he was convicted in early 2018 and released in November of that year, numerous victims have appealed parts of the verdict, meaning the criminal case remains open. Victims of the former wealth manager have long maintained that the bank should have more liability for his crimes.Bidzina Ivanishvili, his biggest former client, said in an interview last month that he still didn’t believe that Lescaudron acted alone. Geneva prosecutors have started a probe into allegations of forgery not covered in the original case and have been ordered by a court to re-examine claims from another client about Lescaudron’s past behavior.Officials at Credit Suisse and Finma declined to comment. A spokesman for Geneva prosecutors confirmed the order and the appeal, declining to give more details.While a decision on whether to lift a seal order is supposed to be made within 30 days, such cases can often linger for months, as happened with a long-running bribery case involving Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA.Finma scolded Credit Suisse in a September 2018 report for numerous “deficiencies” in its money-laundering detection efforts in the case of Lescaudron, and how it managed assets tied to scandals at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, oil-producers Petrobras in Brazil and Venezuela’s PDVSA. The bank wasn’t fined, but was ordered to make a number of changes to bolster its compliance practices.That full report wasn’t publicly released, but the regulator issued a press release last year that summarized the findings.Instead of disciplining Lescaudron for repeatedly breaching the bank’s compliance rules, “the bank rewarded him with high payments and positive employee assessments,” Finma said in the press release. Credit Suisse has since adopted several measures to strengthen its compliance and combat money laundering, Finma said.Codename ‘Dino’Finma’s report, codenamed Dino, was considered sensitive enough by the bank that it wrote to the federal bank watchdog six weeks later, requesting that the financial regulator put it under seal, according to three people familiar with the correspondence.To share it with Swiss prosecutors, the bank argued, would be neither fair nor consistent with Article 248 of the Swiss Criminal Code, which dictates how and when documents can be sealed or should be returned to their original owners.Any disagreements about the possible release of the report seemed to have died down for at least a year. But on Sept. 11, Finma sent a copy of the report to the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office, two of the people said, who didn’t want to be named discussing an ongoing investigation.When the bank learned of this, a lawyer for Credit Suisse wrote to prosecutor Bertossa on Oct. 4 demanding, once again, that the report be put under seal, the people said.The report contains confidential information about bank management, the lawyers argued, which could do harm to the bank’s interests if revealed in a criminal investigation, according to the people.An earlier version of this story was updated to correct the process of sealing the documents.(Adds interview with former client in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Geneva at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Christopher ElserFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Libya’s state oil company halted output at the El-Feel field amid clashes between fighters loyal to the internationally recognized government in the west of the OPEC nation and those of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.“There have been airstrikes at the gates of the El-Feel oil field and inside a housing compound at the field used by NOC personnel,” National Oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement. Staff are in a safe area and production will remain shuttered until military activity ceases and armed groups pull out, he said.The spokesman of Haftar’s self-styled army, General Ahmed al-Mismari, said in a statement Wednesday evening that the rival fighters had been expelled from El-Feel, located in the southwest close to Sharara, Libya’s largest oil field. Guards supporting the Tripoli-based government had seized El-Feel from Haftar’s side earlier in the day, according to Osama al-Juwaili, a top military commander in western Libya.El-Feel, which produced a daily 73,000 barrels, is operated by a joint venture between Italy’s Eni SpA and state-producer NOC. Libya, which has Africa’s largest proven oil reserves and relies on crude for most of its revenue, has been roiled by years of violence in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar al-Qaddafi.Fighters supporting the internationally recognized government’s prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, have been planning an offensive for months to retake stretches of the south seized by Haftar earlier this year. Haftar’s push for the capital, which began in April and has received support from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russian mercenaries, has stalled on the outskirts with more than 1,000 people killed in the fighting.Haftar’s Libyan National Army accuses al-Sarraj’s administration of squandering public finances and harboring extremists, claims it rejects, pointing to collaboration on anti-terrorism issues with Western nations.(Updates with LNA saying it recaptured field in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Hatem Mohareb.To contact the reporters on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Samer Khalil Al-Atrush in Tunis at email@example.com;Mohammed Abdusamee in Tripoli at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at email@example.com, Michael GunnFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Norwegian pipeline firm Solveig Gas has agreed to buy oil firm Capricorn Norge from Cairn Energy for $100 million, completing its transformation into a North Sea field operator, Solveig's owner HitecVision said on Wednesday. The private equity fund told Reuters earlier this year it aimed to turn Solveig into an integrated exploration and production company, using the cash flow from its gas pipelines to fund expansion. Cairn separately confirmed the deal, adding it will use the proceeds to fund its ongoing oil business in British waters.
Oil and gas condensate output from Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan project has more than halved from early November levels due to unplanned maintenance that started last week, two industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday. The Kazakh energy ministry said last week that Kashagan was undergoing maintenance at a gas compressor unit, which was expected to last for seven days. The energy ministry said on Tuesday that Kazakhstan's total daily oil and gas condensate output had fallen to 240,700 tonnes from 264,000-270,000 tonnes at the start of the month, equivalent to around 1.9 mln bpd and 2.09-2.13 mln bpd respectively.
Norwegian oil and gas investments will probably hit a five-year high next year, extending a recovery that has boosted the economy, a survey by Statistics Norway (SSB) showed on Thursday. The closely watched forecasts, based on data from oil and gas companies working in Norway, showed 2019 and 2020 investment plans had been raised since August. Norway's central bank raised interest rates four times since September 2018, as oil investment rebounded from a 2015-2017 slump, but it has since put monetary policy on hold.
Nigeria's former attorney general Mohammed Adoke has been arrested in Dubai, his lawyer said, seven months after Nigeria's anti-graft agency issued a warrant for his arrest as part of an investigation into one of the oil industry's biggest suspected corruption scandals. Adoke's lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, said Adoke was arrested by Interpol on Monday 11 Nov., after travelling to Dubai for a medical appointment. The investigation by Nigeria's anti-graft agency relates to the $1.3 billion sale of a Nigerian offshore oilfield known as OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011.
* Western Desert sale process to launch end of Nov. LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell has appointed investment bank Citi to run the sale of its onshore Egyptian oil and gas assets which could fetch around $1 billion, sources close to the process said. The sale process is expected to be officially launched at the end of November, the sources said.
Norway approved the plans of ConocoPhillips for a 6.1 billion crowns ($667.10 million) development of the Tor II field, which is expected to start production in the final quarter of 2020, the oil and energy ministry said on Thursday. ConocoPhillips has a 30.66% stake in the license, Total 48.2%, Eni's subsidiary Vaar Energi 10.82%, Equinor 6.64% and Petoro 3.69%.
The Nigerian government has fast-tracked a law that would render billions in planned offshore oil investments unprofitable and cut nearly 30% from potential offshore output, an industry group said. The measure, which aims to add some $1.5 billion to government coffers in just two years, is the latest to target additional cash from offshore oil and comes as the government pursues a record $34 billion 2020 budget. The measure passed through the legislature in a matter of weeks, an unusually quick pace for a country that has had a petroleum industry bill pending for more than a decade.
BP's profits fell sharply in the third quarter, hurt by lower oil prices, but strong refining operations helped the company beat expectations even after taking a one-off $2.6 billion charge linked to asset sales. BP, like other big energy companies, has been hit by a sharp drop in oil prices as trade tensions between the United States and China have impacted global oil demand. The British oil company made its first net loss in more than three years in the quarter due to the one-off charge, but Chief Executive Bob Dudley, who will step down next year after a decade at the helm, said underlying earnings and cash flow were strong.
Oil and gas explorer Kosmos Energy said on Monday it had made one of the largest discoveries of natural gas in recent years in waters offshore Mauritania, where it sees the potential to extract 50 trillion cubic feet of gas. In view of the discovery at the Orca-1 well, Kosmos said it had decided to extend the timeline to sell down its interest in the area to next year. "Orca-1, which we believe is the largest deepwater hydrocarbon discovery in the world so far this year, further demonstrates the world-scale quality of the Mauritania gas basin," Kosmos Chief Executive Andrew Inglis said in a statement.
NUR-SULTAN, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell has pulled out of the Khazar offshore project next to the giant Kashagan field in Kazakhstan and a multinational consortium including Shell is also dropping plans for the adjoining Kalamkas block, officials said on Monday. "The (Khazar) project was not competitive enough versus other opportunities in Shell’s global portfolio," the company said. Shell had invested about $900 million in Khazar, a unit of Kazakh state energy firm KazMunayGaz said in a statement.
Royal Dutch Shell is aiming to start operating in its concession areas in Egypt in the second half of 2020, a senior executive said. Shell won three oil and two gas concessions in Egypt in February. Eni, BP and Exxon Mobil also won some of a total of 12 tenders as Egypt looks to sustain an investment upswing spurred by major discoveries.
Oil minister Timipre Sylva said Nigeria knows it cannot recover $62 billion from oil majors despite ongoing cases against the companies for money the government believes it is owed. "Nobody can bring out that kind of money," Sylva told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting in Abuja. Nigeria has been fighting for the cash under a 1990s law that states it can revisit production-sharing contracts on oil output if crude prices exceed $20 a barrel.
Production of oil and gas condensate at Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan project has decreased since Oct. 6 due to unplanned maintenance, the energy ministry told Reuters, adding that the repairs were completed on Tuesday. Two industry sources said on Wednesday that daily production at Kashagan had fallen to 40,300 tonnes (294,000 barrels) on average from 50,000 tonnes (365,000 barrels) in early October. The sources said the drop in production followed a loss of pressure at one compressor and subsequent maintenance.
Nigeria is seeking $62 billion from oil companies under regulations that allow the government to revisit revenue-sharing deals on petroleum sales if crude prices exceed $20 a barrel, the attorney general told Reuters on Thursday. The government in Africa's largest oil exporter relies on oil for some 90% of foreign exchange. Oil prices rose to more than $100 a barrel in 2014 before a sharp drop that triggered a 2016 recession in Nigeria, leaving the government struggling to fund its budgets.