PARIS (AP) — French oil giant Total SA has named Patrick Pouyanne as chief executive to replace Christophe de Margerie, who was killed earlier this week in a plane crash in Moscow.
Barely 36 hours after de Margerie's death, Total's board chose Pouyanne, 51, at a board meeting Wednesday. The swift appointment indicates the board's desire to limit the uncertainty on one of France's biggest companies. In its statement, Total's board hailed De Margerie's "exceptional human and professional qualities."
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president said Wednesday that the international arbitration Manila has initiated to challenge China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and a legally binding "Code of Conduct" are the only ways to settle the long-raging disputes peacefully.
The Philippines says that China has been intruding into its exclusive economic zone, including deploying two hydrographic ships in June near an offshore oil well inside Philippine waters. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has said Manila is uncertain of the purpose of the ships' presence at the Reed Bank.
Analysts were speculating on whether the bear market in oil has found its floor, as prices increased early Wednesday on expectation data would show that gasoline stockpiles dropped last week. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery was up 22 cents to $82.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent gained 59 cents to $86.81, Bloomberg reports.
Recent studies, including one by the Government Accountability Office released this week, suggest that a repeal of the U.S. ban on crude oil exports could spur domestic oil production while pushing down gasoline prices and the trade deficit.
Yet the leading advocate in Congress for the reversal isn't drafting legislation -- for now.
A spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Tuesday she has not decided whether, or when, to write any bill to repeal the ban. Further, she won't quickly pursue any legislation on a ban if Republicans take over the Senate and she gets the energy committee gavel.
A bigger-than-expected increase in Chinese quarterly gross domestic product numbers sent oil prices higher Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose 10 cents as the contract expired, to $82.81 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London December Brent jumped 1 percent, or 82 cents, to $86.22, Bloomberg reports.
If oil prices dropped to less than $80 a barrel, a third of U.S. production of shale oil would no longer be economically viable, an analyst told Bloomberg, which reports that such a major development would change the global energy picture.
Oil prices gained early Tuesday on news of record demand in China in September. Crude increased 55 cents, bringing the U.S. benchmark to $83.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent hit $85.95, Reuters reports.
Launching personal attacks on environmental activists and celebrity supporters should be part of the oil and gas industry strategy if it wants to fight for expanded drilling, according to advice from consultant Richard Berman as he drums up support for his "Big Green Radicals" PR campaign, The New York Times reports.
The re-election contest for Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. and chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is attracting last-minute money -- including some from the American Future Fund for an ad extolling his support for the Keystone XL pipeline -- as polling indicates his race against Democrat Paul Clements is a tight one, The Hill reports.
In an effort to maintain Democratic control of the Senate, environmental groups are supporting some backers of the Keystone XL pipeline –- like Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina -– as well as fracking supporter Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Word that OPEC has boosted its crude output to a 14-month high sent oil prices plunging again early Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery dropped 1 percent, or 81 cents, to $80.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent was down 93 cents to $85.31, Bloomberg reports.
A tentative settlement Cheniere Energy has reached with shareholders over lawsuits would block executives from receiving shares authorized in February 2013 but not paid out, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FuelFix reports.
Robert MacLean –- now a solar power consultant after he was fired by the Department of Homeland Security for leaking information about the air marshal program -– says many federal employees, including those in the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Energy and Interior, could be affected by the outcome of his lawsuit now before the U.S. Supreme Court, E&E reports.
The capacity market and infrastructure improvements will be the topics of discussion at a conference between New York officials and representatives of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 5, Reuters reports.