1. ConocoPhillips is looking to expand drilling in Alaska Colville River Unit.
Alaska officials recently proposed a deal that would allow ConocoPhillips to expand an existing North Slope oil field into an area with large discoveries of oil reserves. There are some catches to the deal though. To offset the revenue they would have received by auctioning the area in a competitive lease, the state of Alaska is requiring ConocoPhillips to follow certain development steps that include drilling a well by June and possibly paying the state millions of dollars.
ConocoPhillips has sought to expand into the new area multiple times previously but failed to do so twice already. Hence the strict requirements from the state to move fast! Alaska desperately wants more oil production to help narrow it’s $2.5 billion deficit, and oil taxes and the sale of royalty oil make up most of the state's revenue.
2. OPEC meeting again in Abu Dhabi.
Another OPEC meeting in Abu Dhabi this week, where the main discussions will center around compliance with the deal to cut production. Preliminary July data is showing that OPEC output is increasing, and that seems to be a concern for some of the major players that are holding tight to the agreement. I.E. Saudi Arabia.
Thoughts are that Saudi Arabia will come down on countries that have been lax in their compliance, such as Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. There may also be discussion for Libya to join Nigeria in voluntarily capping its output, even though both countries were exempt from the original deal.
3. Saudi Aramco is looking to purchase significant stake in PetroChina refinery.
Saudi Aramco is negotiating a deal to acquire more than 30 percent in a 260,000-bpd refinery in China owned by state firm PetroChina. The transaction is estimated to come in around $2B USD per reports from The Wall Street Journal.
This deal has been discussed for years, but now seems to be coming to fruition. China is a critical market for Saudi Arabia, and earlier this year Saudi King Salman visited China in a move widely perceived as a gesture to secure future exports.