Norwegian independent DNO’s move for fellow Iraqi Kurdistan producer Gulf Keystone should be welcomed by all interested parties.
When Europe’s embattled refining sector was jolted back to life last year by low input costs and wide crack spreads, few thought the remission would last. The relief provided by lower crude prices would inevitably fade, with a return of the pain caused by what the IEA described in its May Oil Market Report as “the strong gravitational forces of structural demand decline”.
In the depths of the worst downturn for a generation or more, the North Sea public relations machine has cranked into action. The region, home to some of the highest costs and most challenging working conditions, is “open for business”, a conference in Aberdeen was told this week.
Trade body Oil & Gas UK said industry has worked constructively with government and regulators to deliver changes – which, when coupled with cost base reductions – “make the North Sea the most fiscally competitive in the world.”
As pitches go, it was not promising: “Oil and gas firms struggling due to price slump”. The press release bearing the headline might itself struggle to gain traction this far into the oil-price cycle. Tell me something I don’t know, says hard-bitten hack.