Energy/Automotive News; Opec @ $78.03/bbl

London, 18 December, 2023, (Oilandgaspress): – Oil rose on Monday due to attacks by the Houthis on ships in the Red Sea and Russia’s plan to lower exports in December.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC Ltd.) has assured that the projections on crude oil production and price benchmark for the 2024 Budget were realistic and realizable. The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Company, Mr. Mele Kyari, gave the assurance during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Finance at the National Assembly, Abuja, on Wednesday. Speaking on the dynamics of the market in relation to the projected budget benchmark price of $77.96 per barrel, Kyari said: “With what we see in the market today and potentially in the year 2024 and even beyond the next two years, it is very unlikely to see $70 per barrel oil in the market. The oscillation we are seeing, sometimes you do see prices coming down to $75 to the barrel and sometimes it goes above it, overall, benchmarks are averages. We think that the proposal by Mr. President around the $77.96 is still realisable in 2024.”

On the crude oil production projection, he stated: “The number we have is 1.785mbpd. This is cumulative of all oil produced in the country. This figure is inclusive of all production including crude oil and condensate. I need to make this clarification because of the reports in the media that our OPEC quota is 1.5million barrels per day. The OPEC quota is related only to crude oil. We also do between 250,000 to 300,000 barrels per day of condensate in our production. When you combine the two, the 1.78mbpd is realistic and realisable.” He expressed optimism that though there were challenges such as security and force majeure, the measures being deployed by the Federal Government would be able to take care of them to guarantee the projected level of production.

The GCEO also assured that NNPC Ltd. will maintain the level of dividends remittance to the Federation Account as stated in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, adding that the projected dividends from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. was also realizable and would be flowed directly into the Federation Account as stipulated by the law. Read full article

RTX to create network of “energy webs” for DARPA
Raytheon has received a $10 million contract from DARPA to design and develop a wireless airborne relay system to deliver energy into contested environments.

The Persistent Optical Wireless Energy Relay program, known as POWER, aims to revolutionize energy distribution by leveraging power beaming for near-instantaneous energy transport in a resilient, multi-path network.

Under the two-year contract, Raytheon will create an airborne relay design to enable “webs” capable of harvesting, transmitting and redirecting optical beams. These “webs” will transmit energy from ground sources to high altitude for the precision, long-range operation of unmanned systems, sensors and effectors. Harvesting energy will ultimately reduce the military’s dependence on fuel as well as its delivery and storage. Read full article

Renault Group is reorganising its Sales and Marketing functions to focus on two key areas: after-sales, and also the distribution network and customers. The new organisation will be effective from 18 December 2023. The objective is to coordinate all the Group’s after-sales activities and deploy its distribution strategy across the network in order to drive the long-term performance and efficiency of the various distribution channels for each brand. François Delion, global aftersales Director, and Sophie Guiot, Network and Customer Director, will report to Xavier Martinet.

At the same time, Renault Retail Group (RRG), Renault Group’s distribution subsidiary, is adopting a two-pronged organisation following the departure of Philippe Buros, who leaves the Group on 1 January 2024 after three years as President and CEO of RRG and 38 years with Renault Group. Read full article

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC Ltd.) has won this year’s The Whistler Newspaper’s Award for Transparency and Innovation.

The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Company, Mr. Mele Kyari received the award from the Executive Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Alex Otti, on behalf of the Company during the Newspaper’s 2023 Award Night, held yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria.

In his acceptance speech, Kyari expressed NNPC Ltd.’s commitment to delivering value for its shareholders, stressing that the award will spur the Company to re-dedicate itself towards more transparency and innovation in its operations. Read full article

Bentley Rotating Display, developed for the Flying Spur and Continental GT, won the Dashboard of the Year award in the sixth edition of the Automobile Awards, which took place at the prestigious Automobile Club de France, place de la Concorde in Paris. Since the launch of the Bentley Rotating Display (BRD), this has become one of the most popular options with approximately 70 per cent of customers specifying their dream car with the innovative system.

While developing the systems, the designers and engineers focused their attention to ensure they combine the philosophy of the brand of unrivalled craftsmanship with cutting edge technology at the press of a button.

The team invested over three years to develop the system that consists of 153 individual components to form a three-sided rotating display. The patent on this mechanism features the alignment of each face to a +/-0.3mm tolerance.

The Automobile Awards jury, which consists of a panel of 20 expert judges being professionals, journalists and partners from the automotive and non automotive industry have evaluated the centrepiece that provides customers the ability to choose between the main 12.3” infotainment touchscreen, and a set of three analoge gauges consisiting of outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer.

To provide the mechanism of the rotation while maintaining extremely tight clearances (less than 0.5mm for each of the sides), three separate but linked motions are required. The first motion retracts the unit in to the dashboard to provide clearance for the second stage – rotation – before the unit motors forward back in to position. To achieve this level of precision, a bespoke mechanism consists of 40 moving components, including custom rotational and linear gearbox drive units mated to high-refinement motors controlled by a dedicated electronic control unit (ECU).

This is a special year for Bentley Motors and receiving this award coincides with the Continental GT’s birthday that also marks the 20th year anniversary of Bentley’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine, that has physically and metaphorically powered Bentley’s success over two decades. With the end of the production of the engine scheduled for April 2024, only four months of W12 assembly remain before this iconic powertrain makes way for Bentley’s electrified future. Read full article

Lamborghini Revuelto 641588

Lamborghini has been admitted by the Italian Revenue Agency to the cooperative compliance program introduced by Legislative Decree 128/2015, starting from tax year 2022. The application process, which began in May 2022, was successfully concluded today.

The agreement allows for preventive tax risk management through fast-track resolution of tax disputes, in a relationship of full trust and cooperation between taxpayers and the tax authority. Thanks to cooperative compliance established between the parties, tax audits are implemented in advance and on an ongoing basis, thus eliminating the need for litigation by aiming to increase the level of certainty on relevant tax issues.

Admission to the cooperative compliance program responds not only to the growing stakeholder interest in the company’s behavior in terms of fiscal policies, but also aims to strengthen ESG criteria, in particular the pillar of governance, through greater accuracy and transparency of financial processes. Read full article

Cycling world champion and Lamborghini Urus[1] owner Mathieu van der Poel is no stranger to the power of adrenaline, as the latest Lamborghini video ‘Beyond Speed’ illustrates. As a child, van der Poel was obsessed with his bicycle, riding it every moment he could, which translated into dedication to the sport of cyclocross and an obsession with performance.

“With cyclocross, I became a world champion, I was victorious. I achieved everything I wanted to, and so then I switched to road racing,” says van der Poel. Always a sportsman, committed at the highest level to pushing himself to achieve goals and rewards, cycling fuelled his desire for adrenaline. On two wheels he races the cyclocross tracks and the tarmac roads, and like the Lamborghini Urus, he produces the ultimate performance on every terrain.

“Cycling is my life, and the Lamborghini Urus suits my life,” says van der Poel. “It’s my perfect car. It’s about performance but I’ve also allowed myself exclusivity. And because my bicycle goes with me, it’s got the trunk space I need.”

“Speed is adrenaline. Of course it’s different on a bike to the Lamborghini. Downhill and sprinting on a bicycle is fast and I have to use all my senses and skills for the different environments, and I love that adrenaline rush, but for sure the Urus Super SUV delivers that too. It’s fast and the way it deals with every challenge and surface is in a different league. The engine is so special, and there’s lots of other features in the car which I love. But it’s more than that: Lamborghini is Italian and has passion and it shows in the Lamborghini Urus.” Read full article

Every Bugatti is as unique as its owner. But for some customers the design they choose for their car is not a finality – tastes may change, or new ideas may provide a spark of creativity at any point. No matter if a customer has owned the car for a day or a decade, the opportunity to imbue it with an entirely new personality always remains. And so it was with this most recent Sur Mesure commission.

The story begins with two Bugatti enthusiasts, a husband and wife who have owned a number of hyper sports cars from Molsheim, but never from brand new. Together, they decided to celebrate their great passion for Bugatti by each buying the ultimate Grand Tourisme: the Chiron Super Sport. The husband’s car was delivered first, and having already enjoyed his Chiron Super Sport on US roads, he watched closely as his wife’s Chiron Super Sport came to life with the help of the Bugatti Sur Mesure bespoke team. Read full article

Dacia’s first item from the InNature accessory range, the innovative Sleep Pack can turn the Jogger into a bedroom for two in a matter of minutes.

The Sleep Pack consists of a wooden box, made to fit inside the Jogger’s boot, which unfolds in minutes to form a large double bed with mattress. The mattress covers the entire rear section of the car, from the back of the front seats, over the folded-down row-2 bench seat*, and out over the tailgate. The final sleeping space is particularly generous, boasting190cm long, up to 130 cm wide, with a roof clearance of minimum 60 cm.
When the Sleep Pack box is completely closed in the Jogger’s boot area, it can provide up to 220 litres of storage, kept safely out of sight under the luggage cover.
The door of the Sleep Pack box can flip back to form a tray table that can be used to enjoy a meal comfortably under the protection of the Jogger’s open rear tailgate.
The Sleep Pack box weighs only 50 kg, so it can easily be removed from the car if required. It can fit any Jogger, including those already purchased by customers. Buyers can enhance their ‘bedroom’ with additional accessories to optimise comfort. Accessories include blackout blinds for all windows and an outdoor tent that connects to the back of the Jogger for more spacious accommodation under the stars. Read More

Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) established subcommittees within the framework of the Tateshina Meeting*1, which promotes discussions and the expansion of collaboration among participants with the goal of zero casualties in traffic accidents. The five subcommittees have started their activities with an initial focus on issues such as support for vulnerable road users like children and older adults, accidents involving bicycles and motorcycles, and accidents occurring overseas.

Since their establishment, the subcommittees have set a goal to accelerate, to the extent possible, the realization of achieving zero traffic accident casualties. To date, approximately 140 people from 35 companies have participated. Activities are being promoted in cooperation with the government, local authorities, and relevant organizations based on a three-pronged approach involving cars, people, and traffic infrastructure.

On December 15, 2023, a general meeting was held, bringing together participating members to review the progress of various activities and share insights between subcommittees. Additionally, opportunities to learn from external activities were created, such as inviting a speaker from the Okinawa Prefectural Police Headquarters, which is working on reducing traffic accidents involving ordinary vehicles and rental cars through collaboration agreements with TMF and partner companies*2. Continuous efforts will be made to explore various ways to promote subcommittee activities. The current progress of the subcommittees is as follows. We plan to disclose updates on these activities as appropriate, starting with the Tateshina Meeting next summer. Read More

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced that it will be participating in the IDEMITSU SUPER ENDURANCE SOURTHEAST ASIA TROPHY 2023 (Thailand 10-hour Endurance Race) to be held on December 22 and 23 at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit. It will compete with a three-vehicle setup for ROOKIE Racing featuring the ORC ROOKIE GR86 CNF concept, a GR86 running on carbon-neutral fuel; the ORC ROOKIE GR Corolla H2 concept, a hydrogen-powered Corolla; and the CP ROOKIE PRIUS CNF-HEV GR concept, a newly added Prius HEV running on carbon-neutral fuel. The new Prius competing in this year’s race has been developed based on a production vehicle, marking the first time that Toyota has competed with a production Prius HEV.

In addition, three of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team Thailand’s vehicles―the Corolla, 86, and Yaris―will also run on carbon-neutral fuel. Toyota will continue to take on the challenge of expanding motorsports-bred options for carbon neutrality together with its partners in Asia. Read More

Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1), a joint venture between National Grid Electricity Transmission and SP Transmission, part of SP Energy Networks, will see the creation of a 525kV, 2GW HVDC subsea transmission cable from Torness in East Lothian, Scotland to Hawthorn Pit in County Durham, England, enabling the transmission of renewable green energy to power more than two million homes across the UK.

EGL1 has reached another significant milestone in the development of a new subsea electricity superhighway by awarding the Prysmian Group a £750m contract to deliver the UK’s first 525kV HVDC electricity transmission cable. GE Vernova’s Grid Solutions business and MYTILINEOS Energy & Metals have also been awarded a £1bn contract to supply and construct two HVDC converter stations, one at each end of the link.

The UK is transforming the electricity grid – the largest overhaul in generations to help deliver a cleaner, greener and more secure energy system for the future. This means multi-billion investments in new electricity transmission projects across the country.

This upgrade, which will help move more clean energy from where it is generated to where it is needed and play a major role in the UK moving towards its net zero target, includes six subsea links between Scotland and England of which this joint project is the first.

EGL1 is a major economic win for the UK as a whole and a boost for the supply chain with significant works and components to be provided by UK based manufacturing, engineering and construction industries. Staffordshire based GE Vernova’s Grid Solutions business will be providing HVDC valves and control systems, as well as HVDC transformers, supporting the commitments and investments being made in their facilities and new jobs to support the growth in this industry.

EGL1 is a key part of the new network infrastructure required for the UK to reach net zero and will play a critical role in supporting the nation’s future security of supply, reducing dependence on and price exposure to volatile global wholesale gas markets. Read More

National Grid’s consultation on proposals for a new electricity infrastructure project is closing soon but there is still time for local communities to have a say. National Grid is encouraging communities in Suffolk and Kent to comment on proposals as part of an eight-week statutory consultation process which runs until 18 December 2023.

Sea Link is needed to carry renewable and low carbon power from offshore wind, interconnectors and nuclear power to where it is needed. The proposals include a new, primarily offshore, 145 km cable connection from Pegwell Bay in Kent to a point on the Suffolk Coast between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. Plans include the onshore infrastructure needed at either end, such as converter stations and substations, to connect the power onto the existing network so it can be transported to homes and businesses around the country.

National Grid is pleased to see so many members of the public take part in this statutory consultation so far. It is an opportunity for local communities to see how the plans have developed and to provide further feedback on the proposals before National Grid submits a planning application to the Planning Inspectorate. Read More

Flumar receives Regulatory Compliance Award
At the 2023 ANTAQ Summit, Flumar Transportes de Quimicos e Gases Ltda received Brazil’s ANTAQ Award in the category of Regulatory Compliance. This acknowledgement underscores Flumar’s commitment to adhering to the rules and regulations of the National Maritime authority.

Competing against 39 companies within the industry of shipping and port-terminals, our wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary secured the top spot in the 2023 rankings. Mercosul Line and Alliance Navegacao e Logistics followed closely in second and third places, respectively. Ship Operator Ingrid Rodriguez Lazzarin and Operation Manager Rodrigo Menegatti accepted the awards on behalf of Flumar. Read More

Oil and Gas BlendsUnitsOil Price US$/bblChange
Crude Oil (WTI)USD/bbl$71.96Up
Crude Oil (Brent)USD/bbl$77.18Up
Bonny LightUSD/bbl$78.57Up
Saharan BlendUSD/bbl$77.01Up
Natural GasUSD/MMBtu$2.57Up
OPEC basket 15/12/23USD/bbl$78.03Up
At press time 18 December 2023

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) offers its deepest and heartfelt condolences on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, to the leadership of the State of Kuwait, its ruling family and people.
HH Sheikh Nawaf was appointed as Amir of the State of Kuwait on 29 September 2020. His period witnessed a number of challenges for the global oil industry, including the severe impacts resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. His Highness’ astute leadership and wise counsel guided his country and the Organization to overcome many of these challenges. Over the last six decades, His Highness continuously advocated for just and inclusive solutions to regional and international issues.

OPEC Secretary General, HE Haitham Al Ghais, said: “It is with great sadness and sorrow that we, at OPEC, have learnt of the passing of HH Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait. His Highness was a distinguished leader that graciously provided guidance and support to the Organization, the Declaration of Cooperation and the global oil market.”

The entire OPEC Family commiserates with His Highness’ family and the people of the State of Kuwait. We extend our sincerest condolences as we mourn the passing of a great leader. Read full article

KBR to join forces with The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF) on an important contract to support neuroscience research for service members. This new award will specifically focus on those affected by traumatic brain injuries. Research will be done in collaboration with the Uniformed Services University (the nation’s only federal health sciences university), and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

Under the terms of the Service Personnel Advancing Research in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (SPARC) contract, KBR will provide outreach, education and data analytics to support critical neuroscience research for the prevention and treatment of military members with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with the potential for a term of 52 months, will also assist in the development of therapeutics to treat this serious illness.

“Not only does this program help ensure the well-being of our service members, but it exemplifies KBR’s commitment to our nation’s heroes and cutting-edge neuroscience research to those who need it most,” said President of KBR Government Solutions U.S. Byron Bright. “Supporting our military is one of KBR’s top priorities and I am pleased to witness the growth of our human health and technology portfolio to further this important work.”

KBR has supported the health and performance of NASA astronauts through its Human Health and Performance Contract (HHPC) for decades, in addition to the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of U.S. military personnel through the Preservation of Force and Family (POTFF) contract. KBR also continues to collaborate with the Airmen Readiness and Medical Research (ARMR) contract on various brain scanning and neuroimaging projects. The SPARC program leverages the experience and knowledge from these established programs to further the understanding, treatment and ultimately prevention of CTE in our military personnel. Read full article

Mubadala Investment Company, announced its investment in Zenobē, a global player in fleet electrification and battery storage solutions. This strategic investment by Mubadala was executed with Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc, where Mubadala is a strategic limited partner.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in London, Zenobē is an EV fleet and battery storage specialist. Its EV fleet business provides end-to-end solutions to support fleet operators with their transition to electric vehicles, including batteries, charging infrastructure and integrated software, while its battery storage business develops large-scale batteries that connect to transmission grids, a critical stabilizing component for networks as increasing renewable energy resources are integrated into the grids. Since Infracapital’s initial investment in Zenobē in 2020, the business has demonstrated remarkable growth, supporting over 1,000 electric vehicles globally, and has 430MW of battery storage in operation or under construction. The business has strong presence in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and a growing portfolio in continental Europe and North America.

Supported by Mubadala, Infracapital is investing a further £270 million in Zenobē to grow the business in the UK and globally. KKR, a leading global investment firm, is also investing approximately £600 million, forming a strategic partnership with Infracapital as joint majority shareholders in Zenobē. With the support of its shareholders, Zenobē aims to power 4,000 electric buses, trucks, and commercial vehicles, catalyzing the global shift to cleaner transportation by 2026.

The transaction represents a significant milestone for Zenobē and underscores Mubadala’s unwavering commitment to driving positive change and contributing to a sustainable and resilient future. Read full article

Prospex Energy PLC, the AIM quoted investment company focused on European gas and power projects has released a review of the year and provides an update on its business development activities in 2023.

Review of 2023

As we reach the end of 2023, it is important to reflect on what Prospex has achieved during the year and the various milestones it has reached, including the start of production at the Selva field, our second producing project in Europe, and the significant reduction of debt, making us well positioned to capitalise on future investment opportunities.

In February, Po Valley Operations Limited, the operator of the Selva Malvezzi production concession, in which Prospex has a 37% working interest, signed a gas sales agreement on behalf of the Joint Venture with BP Gas Marketing.

In April, the Company strengthened the Board with the appointment of Mr Andrew Hay as Non-Executive Director. Andrew has 30 years of experience in the corporate finance sector with expertise in capital markets and a deep understanding of the upstream energy markets.

Construction of the gas processing facility at the Podere Maiar 1 wellsite at the Selva field in the Po Valley was completed on schedule in May and within 3% of budget with the successful connection to the SNAM gas grid.

In May, through Tarba Energía, 20 hectares adjacent to the El Romeral power plant in Spain was leased for 25 years for Project Helios a 5MW solar panel project. The development of Project Helios will produce electricity through photovoltaic solar energy and increase output from the plant by up to 60%.

Final safety checks by the local Fire Department were successfully completed in June and formal documentation was issued by the Italian Energy Ministry to enable the commencement of gas production from the Selva field.

Gas production started on 4 July 2023 from the Selva field in the Po Valley region of northern Italy. Prospex now has production income from two onshore assets in two European countries.

Commissioning of the new gas processing facilities at the Podere Maiar-1 well site was completed in August.

By September, all of the convertible loan notes issued in July 2022 were converted to equity at 4.25p per share. The £1.87 million raised helped fund the Selva development project to first gas.

In October, Po Valley reported production at the Podere Maiar-1 gas well was running at 62,000scm/d in line with the outlined ramp-up and testing programme.

Gross quarterly production for the third quarter of 2023 is reported at 5,658,117 scm (2,093,503 scm net to PXEN) and gross revenue for the quarter is €1,937,072 (€716,717 net to PXEN).

The El Romeral power plant in Spain will have generated gross revenues from electricity production of about €1.8 million in 2023 (approximately €0.9 million net to PXEN).

Permit applications underway to drill five wells in Spain and three wells in Italy. Read full article

U.S. Rig Count is down 3 from last week to 623 with oil rigs down 2 to 501, gas rigs unchanged at 119 and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 3.

Canada Rig Count is down 9 from last week to 185, with oil rigs down 2 to 118, and gas rigs down 7 to 67.

International Rig Count is up 16 rigs from last month to 978 with land rigs up 15 to 758, offshore rigs up 1 to 220.

RegionPeriodRig CountChange
U.S.A15 December 2023623-3
Canada15 December 2023185-9
InternationalNovember 2023978+16
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