Russia and Iran sign gas cooperation memorandum
Russia and Iran entered into a memorandum of cooperation between Russia’s Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in which the organizations will look for ways to collaborate “in the field of hydrocarbon prospecting, exploration and production within Iran,” according to New Europe.
In addition, the two countries will continue cooperation on their efforts to help stabilize the global energy market, balance producer and consumer interests, through the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, and stabilize prices. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani oversaw the signing, which took place in Moscow’s Kremlin.
OPEC oil output expected to fall for third straight month
Compliance with OPEC in March was boosted by a UAE production reduction to 95 percent, according to Reuters. These cuts are expected to result in a third-month fall of oil output. Cuts to production also came from unrest and maintenance issues in Nigeria and Libya. Reductions are planned to continue in an effort to bring cost per barrel up. The price currently is averaging less than $52 a barrel.
Oil prices prompt federal revenues from federal lands
The U.S. government received nearly $6 billion in revenues from royalties, rental costs, and other fees from activities related to energy production on federal and American Indian lands during the 2016 fiscal year, according to the Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue. Activities include the production of coal, oil, natural gas, hydrocarbon gas liquids, and renewables. Revenues for the fiscal year 2016 were the lowest since 2004.
Natural gas prices in 2016 were lowest in nearly 20 years
Natural gas spot prices in 2016 averaged $2.49 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) at the national benchmark Henry Hub, the lowest annual average price since 1999, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The monthly average price fell below $2.00/MMBtu from February through May, but later increased, ending the year at an average of $3.58/MMBtu in December. Warmer-than-normal temperatures for most of the year and changing natural gas demand were the main drivers of natural gas prices in 2016.