Key Oil Field Resumes, Oil Prices Fall Again

Published at 10:30AM - 25/10/16

Oil prices fell again on Monday on news of the restart of the UK North Sea’s Buzzard oil field and Iraq’s decision not to take part in OPEC’s planned production cuts.

In the meantime, energy ministers from Russia and Qatar met the Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss possible joint action.

According to media sources, the Russian energy minister Alexander Novak told reporters he expects oil supply to remain higher than demand for the time being.

Key Oil Field Resumes, Oil Prices Fall Again

The Buzzard oil field is a key contributor to the Forties crude stream, pumping approximately 180,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

The field had been submitted to a month-long planned maintenance and is expected to resume production Tuesday or Wednesday this week, according to industry sources.

Buzzard is part of Shell’s debt reduction plans following the multibillion acquisition of the BG Group earlier this year.

Key Oil Field Resumes, Oil Prices Fall Again
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi

The North Sea field, valued at around US$2.2 billion (£1.8 billion), became property of Shell following the acquisition but is now part of its major divestment plan.

Most proceeds from Shell’s divestment plans are expected to come from the sale of North Sea assets, mainly due to the prevalence of mature fields and the high production costs involved.

Shell currently operates 33 platforms in the North Sea and holds stakes in 65 oil and gas fields.

Iraq Quits OPEC Output Cut Plans

In the meantime, Iraq’s oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi has said that Iraq is not interested in taking part in the output cuts announced by OPEC as it needs more funds to fight Islamic State militants.

With the planned cuts, the Organisation is hoping to remove about 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its estimated global supply of 1 to 1.5 million bpd.

However, details on how much each member state will cut from its production will only be known during OPEC’s next meeting in Vienna on November 30.