Oil Market Pays for Partying Hard

Oil & Gas

References to partying and corruption – and a new plant in Saudi Arabia – made headlines on Rigzone this past week, and they proved to be popular with downstream readers. Details about these recent articles, which garnered considerable pageviews, follow.

Oil Wakes Up with Hangover

Following bullish activity late in the previous week, oil prices declined Monday to better reflect short-term supply and demand challenges. Or, as Rystad Energy put it, a “hangover” set in among oil traders after a wild night of proverbial partying. The consultancy cited the OPEC+ group’s recent production agreement as a cause for celebration in the oil market, but it pointed out that less-than-stellar market fundamentals tied to COVID-19 lockdowns dampened the festivities.

Aramco and Baker Hughes Form New JV

Leading oil and gas operator Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL: 2222) and leading oilfield services company Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR) have teamed up to form a 50/50 joint venture (JV) that aims to develop and commercialize non-metallic products for the energy sector. As this staff-written article points out, the companies have begun construction of a facility in Saudi Arabia for the “Novel Non-Metallic Solutions Manufacturing” JV. A Saudi Aramco executive quoted in the article noted that non-metallic products offer benefits in terms of reliability, cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

Oil Trading Giant Admits Paying Latin America Bribes

Vitol Inc., a major global oil trading firm that long pledged “‘zero tolerance’ for corruption,” has acknowledge bribing government officials in Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil, according to this Bloomberg article. Channeled through shell companies and shell contracts as recently as this past summer, the Vitol payouts used a “hardly revolutionary” system and involved trader codenames referencing animals and even a famous pop singer, the new service reported. Details about the scandal emerged via a deferred prosecution agreement Vitol reached with the U.S. Department of Justice.

To contact the author, email mveazey@rigzone.com.

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