The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s latest monthly market report, published on November 13, 2015, revealed that the already “massive cushion” of oil stockpiles has inflated further to reach a record level of almost 3 billion barrels.  Following the announcement, oil prices reportedly dropped to a two-month low.

The IEA described this stockpile as “an unprecedented buffer against geopolitical shocks or unexpected supply disruptions.”  The glut in oil supplies is expected to maintain pressure on global oil prices, which many analysts predict will remain at the lower end of a $54-$64.0/bbl range during 2016.

In this post, we highlight two observable trends in the M&A activities of industry participants during 2015 as they navigate the current challenges facing the sector.


Continue Reading What’s the Deal with Low Oil Prices?

In the wake of the April 2, 2015 announcement that the P5+1 countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany), together with the European Union had reached agreement with Iran on the parameters of a deal in which Iran would curtail its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief from the United States and the EU, the Indian government reportedly has moved swiftly to expand trade ties with and boost investment in Iran.  On May 6, for example, India entered into a new memorandum of understanding with Iran to develop the Chabahar Port in southeast Iran.  India also sent a trade delegation to Iran in April to discuss oil imports and investments in the energy sector, including the development of Iran’s Farzad-B gas field.  India has significant energy needs that increased reliance on Iranian oil and gas could help satisfy, and India’s development of the Chabahar Port could help facilitate transit to Afghanistan and Central Asia that bypasses Pakistan.
Continue Reading Red Light For Indian Companies Doing Business With Iran

After months of speculation and mounting pressure, it’s finally here: the government of Nigeria has released the long-awaited PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s national oil company. It’s not often that the release of a highly technical accounting report makes the headlines—much less grabs the attention of

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law approved permanent regulations issued by that state’s Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) governing fracking.  The regulations follow the Division’s final interim regulations (effective January 1, 2014), which we discussed here, and further implement California’s fracking statute (SB 4),

As reported in our blog post of last week, the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) recently determined in two private classifications that lease condensate — a type of stabilized and distilled light crude oil — is not subject to the United States’ broad ban on crude oil exports.  BIS has for years