Chevron, Exxon pull staff from Kurdistan on Islamic State advance


Chevron and Exxon Mobil said they were pulling international staff from their oil operations in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region as Islamic State militants took more territory there, while shares in oil producers operating in the area tumbled in Europe, Reuters reports.


Norway's Statoil comes up dry at Arctic wells

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Norway's Statoil ASA has found no commercial quantities of oil and gas at the northernmost wells it has ever drilled in the Arctic, the government-controlled company said Thursday.

Statoil drilled three exploration wells this summer in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea.

Two of them were the northernmost wells ever drilled on the Norwegian continental shelf, more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of the mainland.

Mexico dreams face test after opening to investors

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has passed laws to open its oil, gas and electric industries to private and foreign investors after 76 years of state control. Now comes the hard part.

Experts say Mexico's hopes for tens of billions of dollars in outside investment, and possibly a shale gas boom like the one occurring across the border in Texas, hinge on being able to design the kind of tenders, contracts and concessions that would actually prove attractive to companies that already have their hands full drilling in deep sea waters and hydro-fracking elsewhere.

On that question hinges Mexico's hope for an industrial boom.


Oil boom and housing bust alter US spending trends

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Dakotans, enriched by an oil boom, stepped up their spending at triple the national pace in the three years that followed the Great Recession. In Nevada, smacked hard by the housing bust, consumers barely increased their spending.

Americans spend the most, per person, on housing in Washington, D.C., and the least in West Virginia.

Those and other figures emerged Thursday from a new annual report from the government -- put together by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis -- that for the first time reveals consumer spending on a state-by-state basis from 1997 through 2012. The numbers point to substantial shifts in the economy since the recession ended. The recession, which began in December 2007, officially ended in June 2009.


Oil drops on concerns about sanctions moves


Russian moves to ban food imports from Western countries put pressure on oil prices Thursday, because of fears the escalating rounds of sanctions will hurt global economic recovery and energy demand. U.S. benchmark crude for September delivery fell 27 cents to $96.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude was down 26 cents to $104.33, Reuters reports.


Fracking could help deep water drilling pay off


Fracking could help unlock reserves for deep water drillers, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, Bloomberg reports, noting that players like Halliburton Co. are moving cautiously because of the harsh environment.


Prices to drive US crude production, says Pioneer CEO


With new technology U.S. oil drillers have the potential to exceed government forecasts of producing 9.5 million barrels a day in 2016, but whether they will actually do so depends on the price, Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield told a conference in Denver, FuelFix reports.


Venezuela considers selling US oil company Citgo

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's government has confirmed that it is considering the sale of its oil refining and distribution network in the U.S. amid a worsening economic crisis.

Analysts said the proposed sale reflects the socialist government's urgent cash shortage.

Last week, the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA signaled its interest in a finding a buyer for U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp. in a bond prospectus. On Tuesday, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said Venezuela will sell Citgo if the price is right, but added that the government is not in a hurry to make a deal.

Mexican Senate approves opening of energy sector

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Congress approved a comprehensive energy reform that will break more than seven decades of state monopoly and dramatically expand the role of foreign and private companies in the country's oil and gas industry.

The package of new laws approved late Wednesday will now go to the desk of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has made energy reform the cornerstone of his platform to expand Mexico's economy and to make the country a global competitor.

"Today we took a big step toward the future for Mexicans," Pena Nieto said via his Twitter account. "We will take better and more sustainable advantage of our energy resources."

Mexican Senate nears final vote on oil opening

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Senate debated the final pieces of legislation Wednesday needed to enact a dramatic expansion of the role of foreign and private companies in the state-run oil industry.

The Senate was expected to approve the final packages of laws to regulate private oil and gas drilling that is being allowed for the first time since the industry was nationalized 76 years ago. The overhaul is supported by the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, the conservative National Action Party and a smaller party that together can form a majority.


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