Oil held declines as a Chinese manufacturing gauge weakened in April, signaling fuel demand is slowing in the world’s biggest energy consumer.

Futures were little changed in New York after falling 0.8 percent on Friday. The final Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 48.9, missing the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, boosted crude exports in April to the highest level in more than three decades, according to the Oil Ministry.

Oil’s rebound from a six-year low in March has faltered amid speculation that global consumption is failing to recover quickly enough to ease a supply glut. U.S. crude inventories have expanded to the most in 85 years even as drillers cut the number of active rigs to the fewest since September 2010.

“The overall growth rate is struggling to hold ground in China,” Ric Spooner, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “The impact is a softening in demand.”

West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was at $59.16 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 1 cent, at 3:21 p.m. Sydney time. The contract dropped 48 cents to $59.15 on Friday. Total volume was about 56 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have increased 11 percent this year.

Brent for June settlement was 7 cents lower at $66.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices slid 32 cents to $66.46 on Friday. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $7.21 to WTI. 



Angola: In Angola a number of regulations were passed by executive decree revolving around natural gas. The Minister of Petroleum approved the technical regulations on design, construction, technical exploitation and safety of fuel gas, most notably LPG and natural gas, distribution networks and branch lines by means of Executive Decree No. 79/15, of March 2. For purposes of these regulations, underground piping (commonly known as “building branch lines” or “immovable property branch lines”) extending from the main pipe of the distribution network to the building’s shut-off valve (also known as “shutdown device at building’s infeed”) is an integral part of the distribution networks. Failure to comply with this statute triggers the assessment of fines of up to AOA 100,400,000 (roughly $920,000). This statute repeals Executive Decrees Nos. 192/08 and 196/08, of September 15 and 16, 2008, respectively.

Chad: Chad will receive a larger share of royalties in a new deal with China National Petroleum Corp., helping offset revenue losses from lower oil prices, Petroleum Minister Djerassem Le Bemadjiel said. Lawmakers in the central African nation this week are expected to approve a renegotiated contract with Beijing-based CNPC, Le Bemadjiel said in an interview at his office in the capital, N’Djamena, April 28. The deal will also give the nation a 25 percent share of production, compared with nothing now, he said. The government canceled CNPC’s license last year after saying it failed to pay a $1.2 billion fine for environmental violations. No one answered the phone at CNPC’s office when Bloomberg called multiple times and the company didn’t respond to several e-mails seeking comment. Oil production in Chad, the seventh-biggest producer in sub-Saharan Africa, is forecast to increase to 180,000 barrels per day by the end of this year from 155,000 barrels per day at present, said Le Bemadjiel. The country relies on crude exports for more than two-thirds of its income and has been hit by a more than 40 percent drop in oil prices since June. 

Equatorial Guinea: Equatorial Guinea and China signed a number of MoUs during a visit by the Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy to China. The MoUs were signed with a number of Chinese companies covering large areas of cooperation in the electricity and industrial sectors. The agreements were made during the Equatorial Guinea-Asia Economic Forum, hosted by Equatorial Guinea at the Shangri-La Hotel, in Dalian. The economic forum was organized in Dalian to introduce investment opportunities in Equatorial Guinea to Chinese companies. The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy was represented by the Minister, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. China Dalian International Cooperation Group (CDIG) was represented by the company’s president, Mr. Zhu Mingyi. The MoUs signed included one with CDIG for the execution of a study for the development of the industrial city of Mbini. Within the agreement, CDIG will undertake preliminary technical studies and will explore key areas to promote the Industrial City of Mbini to international investors. The industrial city of Mbini is planned to be a key reference point for investment in West Africa and an important component in Equatorial Guinea’s plans to diversify its economy. 

Libya: Protesters at Libya's eastern port of Brega agreed a deal on Sunday to end their strike, Libya's state-run Sirte Oil Co said, clearing the way for the Irda natural gas field to resume production. Gripped by chaos four years after the ousting of leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's oil and gas sector has suffered a sharp fall in output, hurting state finances and causing power shortages. Ports, oil and gas fields close on a regular basis as armed factions fight for control or protesters seize them to press authorities with financial or political demands. Protesters had demanded jobs at the oil company and had prevented staff from working at the company's headquarters.The Irda field has also resumed work, the National Oil Corp (NOC) confirmed. The state-run NOC had warned last week that the nearby Sahel gas field might also close if the protest continued.The two fields produce a combined 150 million cubic feet of gas per day. Much of Libya's oil exports are routed through the east as protests have shut down the two largest western oil fields, El Sharara and El Feel. 

Mauritania: Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (AIM: CHAR), the Atlantic margins focused oil and gas exploration company, today provides an update on the C-19 block offshore Mauritania. Licence Extension Highlights: One year extension granted within the first exploration phase; Provides time to carry out additional studies to further de-risk prospects prior to drilling. Competent Person's Report (CPR) Highlights: Independent audit conducted by Netherland Sewell and Associates ("NSAI") affirms Chariot's evaluation of material prospective resource potential in C-19; Four prospects ranging from single target to multi-stacked prospects; Further follow on potential with additional leads identified by Chariot within the fairway. 

Morocco / Russia: Morocco is looking to work with Russia to develop its natural gas industry, country’s Energy Ministry said earlier this week. Moroccan Energy Minister Abdelkader Amara met with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak on Monday to discuss the issue. On Friday, local newspaper Asabah reported that Rabat is looking to reduce its dependence on Algerian gas deliveries as Gazprom has assured Morocco assistance in developing its LNG project. In December last year, the Energy minister said that the country is planning to intensify search for natural gas and would spend $4.6 billion on infrastructure for the LNG project through the year 2021. The project, which is aimed at producing 2,700 megawatts of electricity from LNG, is expected to improve Morocco’s energy mix alongside renewable sources of energy. 

Morocco: Total Maroc (IPO-TOMAR.CS: Quote), owned by France's Total, plans to raise between 612 million dirhams and 720 million dirhams ($74.48 million) in an initial public share offer, Moroccan bourse watchdog CDVM said in a statement on Saturday. Total Maroc commercialises around 1 million tonnes of energy products annually and has more than 270 service stations across the country with an estimated 11 percent market share, or a third of Morocco's oil distribution. The offering would be the first in Morocco in 2015 and could help revive Casablanca's stock market, which has suffered from the knock-on effects of the euro zone crisis and a lack of foreign investors. Total Maroc has hired two Moroccan banks - Attijariwafa bank, the local unit of France's Societe Generale- for an offering expected from May 11 to May 15 which will involve 15 percent of Total's shares, the regulator's statement said. Last year, France's Total sold a 30 percent stake in Total Maroc to the Saudi Zahid Group for an undisclosed sum. Total and Zahid Group are already partners in Saudi Arabian lubricants producer Saudi Total Lubricants Ltd. 

Senegal: Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips, FAR and state-owned Petrosen have approved a first-phase work program and budget to evaluate last year’s deepwater SNE-1 and FAN-1 oil discoveries offshore Senegal. The schedule includes two wells to appraise SNE-1 and one exploration well to assess a “shelf” prospect for potential tie-in to a possible development hub at SNE-1. Additionally, FAR said, the partners plan a new 3D seismic survey over the Rufisque block where there is currently no 3D coverage. They will soon submit a three-year evaluation work program to the government of Senegal. SNE-1 and FAN-1 wells were the first drilled offshore Senegal for 26 years. Aside from the discoveries, they provided data to update pre-drill geological models and results indicate further drilling could result in more discoveries, FAR claims. The company has mapped two additional shelf edge prospects (Sirius and Soleil), analogous to SNE, which are now included in the prospect inventory which could add 305 MMbbl. 

South Africa: South Africa's power utility Eskom said it would cut 1,000 megawatts from the grid on Sunday due to a shortage of generating capacity. The troubled state-owned utility said on its Twitter page that "several generating units are currently out of service due to maintenance". The controlled power cuts would go from 1500 GMT to 2000 GMT. 

South Africa: South Africa also interested in oil products, natural gas as well as joint ventures to develop Iranian oil projects, state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reports, citing Mohsen Ghamsari, head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co. South Africa called for Injin refinery imports; port run by Shell and no oil can be transferred there. South Africa was Iran’s biggest customer in Africa, buying 68k b/d, prior to 2012 sanctions. 

Tunisia: Mazarine Energy B.V., a private international upstream oil and gas exploration and production company, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Mazarine Energy Tunisia B.V., and partner ETAP (Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activités Pétrolières) have discovered 38m of net oil-bearing reservoir in well Cat-1 well in the Zaafrane permit in central Tunisia. The main objective of well Cat-1 was to test the hydrocarbon potential of the Ordovician El Hamra and El Atchane Formations. Extensive logging and sampling proved the El Hamra and El Atchane sands to contain 19m and 19m of net pay respectively. During a production test, the Cat-1 well flowed, constrained by surface facilities, at a rate of 4,300 barrels of oil per day and 395,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day. The Cat-1 well is the first well in a two-well drilling campaign. The Zaafrane permit spans an area of 5,168 square kilometres within a historically prolific oil- and gas producing region. Mazarine Energy is the operator of the Zaafrane permit, with ETAP and MEDEX as partners. The well was drilled by CTF (Compagnie Tunisienne de Forage) to a total depth of 3,950m.

Middle East

Iran: Iran has decided to withdraw offer to Indian companies to participate in the development of Farzad B gas field, Fars News Agency reported Saturday. The moves is result of 14 year delay in fulfilling commitments by the Indian companies. Late last month, Press Trust of India reported that India has renewed pitch to get rights to develop ONGC-discovered Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf. An Indian delegation, led by Ashutosh Jindal, the director of India's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, visited Tehran last month with a package of proposals to convince the Iranian officials to sign a contract with Indian firms, Fars News Agency reported. However, Iranian Oil Ministry sources told the Fars News Agency that Tehran hasn't accepted the offer and has decided to withdraw its offer to Indian contractors to develop Farzad B gas field and plans to put the project to tender. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned ONGC, had in 2008 discovered the Farzad-B gas field. Due to threat of sanctions, the Indian company did not sign the contract after submitted a revised Master Development Plan (MDP) for producing 60 per cent of the 21.68 trillion cubic feet of in-place gas reserves in 2010, Press Trust reported. 

Iran: The U.S. Navy has accompanied four American-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz so far in response to Iran’s seizure of a cargo ship flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, a former trust territory for which the U.S. has some security and defense responsibilities. The U.S. move reflects increased tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, the No. 1 choke point for oil transit, after Iran seized the MV Maersk Tigris in the strait on Tuesday to enforce a court order in a decade-long commercial dispute. The mission involves close monitoring of the ships but stops short of providing a military escort alongside each vessel. It “means that you’ve got a ship in the area that can respond in the event it’s required,” Air Force Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said. “Escort would be ‘no kidding’ right up near the ship, going alongside it in fairly close proximity.”

Jordan: The government raised fuel prices for May by between 2.5 and 3.3 per cent, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.Under the new price list, one litre of unleaded 90-octane gasoline now costs JD0.625 instead of JD0.610, going up by around 2.5 per cent compared to last month. The price of 95-octane also rose by the same percentage, with one litre now selling for JD0.795 instead of JD0.775.The price per litre of diesel and kerosene was set at JD0.470 instead of JD0.455 -- an increase of around 3.3 per cent.The cost of a 12.5-kilogramme gas cylinder remained the same, at JD8.Since the government lifted fuel subsidies in November 2012, a pricing committee meets monthly to adjust prices in a manner that corresponds to changes in oil prices on the international market. 

UAE: Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) will introduce 24/7 full-service facilities to all of its filling stations including EPPCO in Dubai. ENOC on Monday will abolish its self-service system that was put in place across 88 of its stations on 13th of April requiring drivers to fill up their own cars between midnight and 6am. The move was made with the view to improve customer experience, according to a statement issued by the company, and comes a month before summer when temperature could reach up to 30 degrees Celsius, even in the early morning hours. 

UAE: Lamprell has announced the completion of construction on the jackup drilling rig, the “Butinah”, and delivery to Abu Dhabi’s National Drilling Company (NDC) safely and within budget. This comes following an announcement last week where NDC exercised one of its existing options and awarded a further contract to Lamprell to build a ninth rig in the series. The “Butinah” rig, which achieved an exceptional safety record, departed Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility on 1 May, and is sailing to its drilling location in the Zakum Field off Abu Dhabi. The contract for the NDC “Butinah” rig was signed in April 2012 and this is the sixth in a series of nine rigs being built and delivered by Lamprell to NDC. All nine rigs have been or will be designed according to the Cameron LeTourneau Super 116E (Enhanced) Class design. The “Butinah” rig now joins its sister rigs, the “Makasib” the “Muhaiyimat”, the “Qarnin”, the “Marawwah” and most recently the “Shuwehat” which was delivered in December 2014. All of the rigs are on charter to the ADNOC group of companies. 

Rest of the World

Bolivia: Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau and Chief Executive Officer Josu Jon Imaz announced a new gas discovery in Bolivia at an event hosted by the President of that country, Evo Morales. The discovery, in the Margarita-Huacaya block, increases reserves in the Caipipendi area and bolsters Repsol's gas production in Bolivia. Investment in phase III of the Margarita-Huacaya project is expected to reach $293 million by 2018, strengthening Repsol's commitment as a strategic partner of the Bolivian government. Margarita-Huacaya is one of ten key projects in Repsol’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The Caipipendi area is located in southern Bolivia and the block's consortium is made up of Repsol (37.5% and operator), BG (37.5%) and PAE (25%), within the framework of the operation agreement signed with Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos. Repsol has mining rights to 26 blocks in Bolivia, four of which are exploratory licenses and 22 of which are under development. Total net production in 2014 was 14.6 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly from the Margarita-Huacaya block. 

Brazil: Petrobras has finished drilling well 3-BRSA-1296-SES (ANP nomenclature) in the Sergipe Basin’s ultra-deep waters, in concession BM-SEAL-10, block SEAL-M-499. The test results confirmed the presence of light oil (higher market value) and good reservoir porosity and permeability. The well was drilled to a depth of 6,060 m. It is located 94 kilometres off the Aracaju coast (SE), 10 km from the discovery well, at a water depth of 2,988, setting a new record for Brazilian offshore well depth. This is the third extension well in the Moita Bonita Area, discovered on August 2012, and is part of the Segipe-Alagoas Basin deep-water exploration Project. Petrobras holds a 100 per cent interest in the block and will proceed with the Discovery Evaluation Plan approved by Brazil´s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP). 

Canada: Africa Oil Corp. (TSX:AOI)(OMX:AOI) ("Africa Oil" or the "Company) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an investment agreement with Stampede Natural Resources S.a.r.l. ("Stampede"), an entity owned by a fund advised by Helios Investment Partners LLP ("Helios"), to sell, on a non-brokered private placement basis, 52,623,377 of its common shares at a price of CAD $2.31 for gross proceeds of CAD $121,560,000 (US $100 million(1)). Upon completing, Stampede would own approximately 12.37% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company. Helios is an Africa-focused investment firm. The Company has agreed that its participation will entitle Stampede to nominate one non-executive director to the board of Africa Oil. In addition, the Company has granted certain rights to Stampede including the right to participate for its pro-rata share in future financings. Net proceeds of the private placement will be used towards the Company's ongoing appraisal and development work program in East Africa. 

Canada: The Petroliam Nasional Bhd-led group planning a natural gas export terminal on Canada’s Pacific Coast is offering one aboriginal community C$1.15 billion ($950 million) over 40 years to approve the project. Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by the Malaysian state-owned energy producer, is offering the payments to the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation so it can build the unit on the community’s traditional lands at the port of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia, the native group said on its website. The deal also includes incentives from the provincial government and gas pipeline developers. The Prince Rupert facility is part of a C$36 billion plan by Petronas, as the company is known, to ship gas reserves from Canada’s westernmost province by tanker to growing energy markets in Asia. Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is obtained by chilling the fossil fuel at ultra-low temperatures to maximize the amount that can be loaded into vessels. The 3,600-person Lax Kw’alaams community will vote on the incentive package this month, according to the Globe and Mail, which first reported the plan. 

Ecuador: Chile's state oil company ENAP has decided to postpone projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon because of the global crude price collapse, a local newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the company's chief executive. Marcelo Tokman was quoted saying in an interview with daily La Tercera that Ecuador's central government and local authorities had agreed to the postponement. The interview did not give any additional details on the projects. In April, Ecuador signed an $82 million production contract with ENAP for the oil block Paraiso-Biguno-Huachito after the discovery of 8 million barrels of crude reserves there. ENAP also has a 42 percent stake in Ecuador's oil block 28. Low oil prices have prompted ENAP to cut its total investment plan for 2015 by 16 percent to $651 million, $94 million of which will fund exploration and production, Tokman was cited saying in La Tercera. Tokman also said ENAP is seeking partners to develop electrical generation projects in Chile.

India: Indian state owned energy firm ONGC has made two significant oil and gas discoveries off India’s east coast. The first discovery is in deep water NELP-I block KG-DWN-98/2, KG-PG Basin in the east coast of Andhra Pradesh state at the well KG-DWN-98/2-M-4. The well was drilled down to a depth of 3,246m. “Based on the subsurface geological, MDT / Mini DST and electro-log data, six hydrocarbon bearing zones with net pay of 78m have been established in this well. Object in the interval 2,900-2,908m tested conventionally flowed oil at a rate of about 3,160 BOPD and gas at a rate of about 319,483 m3/day,” ONGC said in a statement Wednesday. The discovery has enhanced the value of the block KG-DWN-98/2 and has opened up further area for exploration and appraisal, the company added. The second discovery was in shallow water NELP-VI block KG-OSN-2004/1, KG-PG Basin. The well was drilled down to a depth of 2,555m in water depth of 69m. On conventional testing flowed gas at a rate of about 209,405 m3/day through 24/64” choke, ONGC announced.

Kazakhstan: Roxi, the Central Asian oil and gas company with a focus on Kazakhstan, is pleased to further update the market with news of progress at its flagship BNG asset. The BNG Contract Area is located in the west of Kazakhstan, 40 kilometers southeast of Tengiz on the edge of the Mangistau Oblast, covering an area of 1,561 square kilometers, of which 1,376 square kilometers has 3D seismic coverage acquired in 2009 and 2010. Roxi has a 58.41 per cent interest in the BNG Contract Area. Deep Well A5: As previously announced the high well pressure has resulted in a blockage in the drill pipes and the drill pipes becoming stuck at a depth of 3,517 meters. Following previously unsuccessful attempts to remove the blockage in the drill pipes Roxi is now working to clear the blockage by retrieving the entire drill string; Deep Well 801: Deep Well 801, which was spudded on 15 December 2014, is to be drilled to a total depth of 4,950 meters targeting the Lower Carboniferous. Roxi is pleased to announce that drilling at Deep Well 801 has now reached a depth of 4,649 meters and is drilling in the Lower Permian. 

Myanmar: Myanmar has awarded contracts to international oil majors Statoil and ConocoPhillips for oil and gas exploration in a deepwater offshore block, the official Kyemon Daily said on Sunday. The Myanmar newspaper said the two companies' regional subsidiaries - Singapore-registered Statoil Myanmar Private Ltd and ConocoPhillips Myanmar E&P Pte. Ltd. - agreed to invest $323 million in oil and gas exploration in Deepsea Block AD.10, off Myanmar's western Rakhine coast. Under the contracts, signed last week, production sharing agreements would span eight years. The companies will have to undertake environmental impact studies first, the newspaper said. Last year, Myanmar awarded exploration rights to the two companies, as well as to Royal Dutch Shell and Total , for 10 shallow-water blocks and 10 deepwater blocks. 

Norway: Yngve Slyngstad, who manages Norway's $900 billion wealth fund, has said many times in the past year that in a low-and even negative-interest rate world the fund will not be able to hit its expected 4 percent real return. The real world impact is that fiscal spending will need to be checked. The Norwegian government has a self-imposed rule capping use of the fund's money in its budget to the expected return. That has meant increased spending each year, in krone-terms, as the fund has ballooned in size. The current minority coalition said in October it will use a record 164 billion kroner ($21.8 billion) in 2015, or about 3 percent of the fund. Slyngstad revealed Wednesday that in the first quarter the fund received the lowest amount of new capital in 16 years. The Finance Ministry transferred a mere 5 billion kroner ($662.5 million), a far cry from the 128 billion kroner in the third quarter of 2008 after crude prices peaked at about $147. Inflows are generated from taxes on oil and gas, petroleum field ownership and dividends from its majority stake in Statoil ASA, its biggest crude producer. 

Papua New Guinea: Heritage Oil spudded Raintree-1 exploration well in PPL337 in Papua New Guinea, under the farm-out agreement with Kina Petroleum Limited (KPL). The well is designed to test a carbonate reef analogous to the reservoir in Elk/Antelope and will be drilled to a target depth between 800-1000m. Full wireline evaluation of reservoir intervals will be conducted, with both pressure and fluid sampling programmed. The drill is expected to complete in 15 days. Under the farm-out agreement, Heritage Oil will carry KPL through the drilling while KPL will retain 30% working interest in the license upon completion of drilling. In case of any discovery, KPL will benefit from a carry through a seismic program to appraise the field or fields (including Kwila-1). Ownership of PPL337: Heritage Oil ( 70%, operator) and Kina Petroleum (30%). 

Russia / China: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree approving gas supplies to China via the Eastern route, Xinhua reported citing a document published Saturday on Russia’s official legal information portal. The agreement was passed on April 24 by parliament's lower house, or the State Duma, and approved by the upper chamber namely the Federation Council five days later, Xinhua said. In May last year, Gazprom and CNPC signed 'China and Russia Purchase and Sales Contract on East Route Gas Project'. As per the deal, Russia will supply 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from 2018 via east route pipeline for a period of 30 years. Gas will be supplied from eastern Siberia and Sakha Republic Kovykta gas field. Construction work on the pipeline commenced in September. 

Russia: Russian oil and gas condensate production, among the world's largest, remained at a post-Soviet record level of 10.71 million barrels per day in April, underpinned by a recent recovery in oil prices, Energy Ministry data showed on Saturday. Global oil prices jumped 21 percent in April to over $66 a barrel due to slowing drilling activity and increasing political tensions in the Middle East, having collapsed from a peak of $115 per barrel in June last year. The price slump has significantly hurt the Russian economy, which relies on oil and natural gas for around half the federal budget revenues. Russia's GDP contracted by 3.4 percent in March year on year. Russian production of oil and gas condensate, a type of ultra-light oil, stood at 43.830 million tonnes in April, the data showed. Russia is aiming to increase its crude oil exports in the coming years and the Energy Ministry expects exports to be 3 million tonnes higher this year. 

Thailand: Tap Oil has issued an update on exploration plans for some of its concessions offshore Thailand and Western Australia. The company has a 30% interest in the G1/48 concession in the northern Gulf of Thailand, operated by Mubadala Petroleum. The Manora discovery in late 2009 opened up a new oil play in this region. Mubadala is finalizing a review of the G1/48 permit area, integrating the results of the successful Malida-1 well and subsequent Malida side tracks. It has selected a preferred prospect for drilling in 2015 from the portfolio, which now looks likely to spud around year-end. TAP is a partner in the WA-320-P and WA-155-P (Part II) exploration permits in the Carnarvon basin offshore Western Australia. The Palmerston prospect straddles both permits. This is a Triassic fault block with structural similarity to the Zola structure. The Palmerston-1 well will target sandstones in the proven Mungaroo formation play and will satisfy the Year 3 well commitment. 

United Kingdom: Afren plc: Completion of interim funding, appointment of new CEO and update on reserves. US$255 million of net total funding to be provided by bondholders as part of the recapitalisation, with the ability to increase such net funding to US$305 million; Arrangements for the provision of US$200 million in net interim funding provided by bondholders have been completed, the remaining committed US$55 million will be provided at closing which is expected to be in July 2015; Alan Linn has been appointed as Afren’s new CEO bringing to ‘New Afren’ 35 years’ of industry experience and a successful track record implementing strategic change within established businesses; The recapitalisation and investment demonstrates the ongoing commitment to invest in Nigeria; These steps set ‘New Afren’ on a decisive path to address the operational and governance issues it has faced and ensure it can successfully reposition itself focused on its core Nigerian producing assets. 

United Kingdom: BP has awarded energy services firm Cape plc with a two-year offshore contract in the North Sea with an estimated value of USD 152.9m. Cape will supply a range of different services to six BP assets in the North Sea, including its 100 per cent owned Forties Pipeline System. Supplying scaffolding, industrial cleaning, insulation and fire protection facilities to oil and gas operators, the contract would secure around 500 jobs for Cape which recently won a five-year contract from Exxon Mobil Corp. 

USA: Abraxas Petroleum Corporation announced the acquisition of an additional Bakken/Three Forks interest; announced the reaffirmation of the Company’s borrowing base; and provided the following operations and guidance update. Abraxas recently acquired an additional 210 net Bakken acres. The addition of this acreage gives Abraxas a majority interest in one additional unit offsetting the Company’s North Fork acreage. Abraxas now plans to go before the North Dakota Industrial Commission (“NDIC”) to install the Company as operator on the unit where it now holds a controlling interest. With success and the approval of downspacing by the NDIC, this unit has the potential to add an additional 15 operated Bakken and Three Forks wells to Abraxas’ North Fork inventory.

USA: Lonestar Resources, Ltd. (ASX: LNR, OTCQX: LNREF) is pleased to announce that it has reached definitive agreements to acquire leasehold associated with approximately 6,122 gross / 4,047 net mineral acres in La Salle County, Texas.  Lonestar's independent engineering consultants estimates that Proved net reserves associated with these properties are 2.7 million barrels of liquids and 11.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 4.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).  More importantly, Lonestar's third party engineering consultants estimate that Proved and Probable net reserves associated with the purchase are 6.4 million barrels of liquids and 26.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 10.8 MMBOE. The addition of this leasehold adds 32 gross / 20 net horizontal Eagle Ford Shale drilling locations to Lonestar's drilling inventory.  At year-end 2014, Lonestar held interests in 143 engineered Eagle Ford Shale drilling locations. This acreage is in two blocks and is in different parts of La Salle County, Texas. 
Energy Prices

Crude Oil ($/BBL)
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Natural Gas ($/MMBTU)
Henry Hub: $ 2.78 +2.21%

Steel ($/MT)
Steel Billet: $ 305.00
(LME Official – 3 months Buyer)

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