1. BP CEO says Venezuela is his main geopolitical concern.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday (today), BP CEO Bob Dudley said his main geopolitical concern is not the middle east, as many people would think; but instead, he said it was Venezuela.
"I think most people would say the Gulf region, I actually say Venezuela," he said when interviewed at the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, "I think Venezuela is just defying economic gravity and I think that's a real wild card," he added.
Venezuela is of the biggest oil producers in the world, is beginning debt renegotiations with foreign investors today; However, many are very skeptical President Nicolas Maduro will succeed in these negotiations, increasing the risk of debt default.
2. Oil prices plateau based on news of continued US shale production.
Oil prices are losing momentum this week as the prospect of further increases in U.S. output undercut the ongoing OPEC production cuts. The lack of confidence is in part due to the fact that US oil output has grown by more than 14 percent since the middle of 2016 to a record 9.62 million barrels per day (bpd). And news today revealed that U.S. shale production for December will increase again for the 12th consecutive month, increasing by 80,000 bpd.
3. Energy giant Shell sells its stake in Woodside Petroleum for $3.5 billion.
Shell announced this morning that is has completed the sale of its 13.3 percent stake in Woodside Petroleum, one of Australia’s biggest stand-alone oil and gas producers. Shell has held an investment stake in the Australian producer for over 30 years, but is divesting many of its assets in an attempt to focus on its core business.
“This sale is another step towards the completion of our three-year, $US30 billion divestment program, which is an important part of our strategy to reshape Shell, to deliver a world-class investment case, and to strengthen our financial framework,” Shell CFO Jessica Uhl said.