NORWAY MAY PULL ITS $1 TRILLION WEALTH FUND OUT OF OIL STOCKS
Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund said it may stop buying oil-and-gas stocks, a move that would deprive the energy sector of investment from a $1 trillion asset manager, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Dominic Chopping.
The Norwegian central bank, which uses the fund to invest the proceeds of the country’s oil industry, said that investing money back into the energy sector amplifies the government’s exposure to the price of crude, particularly given the country’s majority stake in the oil giant Statoil ASA.
The Ministry of Finance said the government aims to make a decision on the proposed divestment in the fall of 2018.
“Two years of weaker oil prices has cut into the income of many of the world’s largest sovereign-wealth funds, which are in largely resource-dependent countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,” the Journal reports.
Oil prices ticked up Friday morning after a week of losses, boosted by fresh signs that Saudi Arabia plans to back an extension of OPEC’s deal to curb global production.
Brent crude oil, the global benchmark was up 1.30%, at $62.2 a barrel in London midmorning trading. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 1.70%, at $56.08 a barrel.
“There’s been more comments from Saudi Arabia about extending output cuts, which brought that back to the front of [traders’] minds,” said Thomas Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics. “But that’s nothing more than what we already knew,” he added.
GERMANY’S SIEMENS TO SLASH THOUSANDS OF JOBS AMID SHIFT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY
German electrical engineering giant Siemens AG on Thursday said it would restructure its business in response to falling sales for turbines due to sweeping changes to the way electricity is made, write Zeke Turner and William Boston.
The German conglomerate said it would cut 6,900 jobs world-wide, or 2% of its total workforce.
The cuts affect three of its oldest units that provide gigantic turbines, industrial motors and other heavy equipment to clients that range from electrical utilities to commodities companies to the oil-and-gas industry.
Demand for gas turbines that generate more than 100 megawatts has fallen to about 110 turbines a year, Siemens said Thursday, compared with world-wide production capacity for Siemens and its competitors of some 400 of these turbines a year.
Siemens like other firms has been caught unprepared for governments’ and companies’ shift away from large, fossil fuel-powered plants to renewables, which make electricity in a decentralized way and without the need to move massive amounts of steam through one of Siemens’s mighty turbines.
The restructuring at Siemens comes just days after rival General Electric Co. admitted misjudging demand in its own core power businesses and announced it would halve its dividend and launch a sweeping restructuring.
LEAK DETECTED IN KEYSTONE PIPELINE AHEAD OF NEBRASKA VOTE ON EXTENSION
TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline leaked roughly 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota, the company said Thursday. The disclosure comes at an awkward time for the firm as it is seeking approval to build an extension of its conduit, writes Vipal Monga.
TransCanada shut down the pipeline Wednesday morning after its systems detected the leak, the company said.
The leak amounts to 210,000 gallons. Sections of the pipeline that runs from Canada’s Alberta province to Illinois will be shut, although parts of the southern leg to Texas will stay open.
The leak comes only a few days before the Nebraska Public Service Commission decides whether to let the company build an extension through the state.
Opponents of the extension, who argue that it endangers the environment, said the leak only demonstrates the weakness of the pipeline.
“Here is one more reason the PSC should side with Nebraskans over this foreign oil company,” said Jane Kleeb, founder of Keystone opposition group Bold Nebraska.