What to Watch

BP Moves to Rejoin Big Oil’s Elite

U.K. energy giant BP PLC on Tuesday reported its best quarterly profit since mid-2014, with first quarter net income coming in at $2.4 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Kent.

Shares in the company rose to their highest level since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which poured oil into the Gulf of Mexico in what became the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

“BP’s solid first-quarter numbers indicate the company is moving past its fatal blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,” Ms. Kent writes.  Shares climbed 1% in early trading, reaching a high of £5.48.

Energy News

Oil Slips, but Remains Supported by Geopolitics

 Signs of rising U.S. crude production and inventory levels pushed crude prices down Tuesday morning, even as the market remained broadly supported by geopolitical risks to supply from the Middle East.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.76% to $74.12 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.89% at $67.97 a barrel.

Netanyahu Accuses Iran of Lying About Nuclear Program

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday presented what he called new evidence Iran maintained a secret plan to build nuclear weaponswhile repeatedly lying about it. The allegations come as President Donald Trump nears a self-imposed May 12 deadline on whether to pull out of an 2015 international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The oil market has been bolstered over the past month amid a growing consensus Mr. Trump will abandon the deal, triggering a reimposition of economic sanctions on Iran that would hinder its oil output and reduce global supply.

“Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear-weapons program.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

 Brent Stands to Gain Lifeline From Norwegian Field

 Norway’s Johan Sverdrup oil field, set to begin production next year, could breathe new life into the benchmark that prices oil around the world  if it is included in the Brent basket after it comes online, report The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah McFarland and Christopher Alessi.

Big Number

10.264 Million

  1. oil output rose to a record 10.264 million barrels a day in February, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday.


Today: The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, releases weekly data on U.S. petroleum inventory levels.

Wednesday: The Energy Information Administration reports official data on U.S. crude and oil product stockpiles.

Friday: Baker Hughes releases weekly data on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S

Reporter’s Notebook

Wall Street Journal reporter Costas Paris on LNG shipping.  The Panama Canal expects ships moving liquefied natural gas to grow by 50% this year from 163 crossings in 2017 on the back of growing LNG cargoes from the U.S. to Asia. The waterway, which is mainly crossed by container vessels, now provides seven booking slots a week to LNG shippers with companies like Houston-based Cheniere Energy being one of the main users to move LNG to the Far East. The Dominion Cove Point terminal in Maryland kicked off operations earlier this year to become the second U.S. LNG export terminal after Sabine Pass on the border between Texas and Louisiana.