An abundance of petroleum in the U.S. has prompted many companies in Houston’s petrochemical sector to work on projects expanding capacity, something that — in the case of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s (NYSE: XOM) petrochemical arm — will bring about 45,000 new jobs to the Gulf Coast in the next several years.But at about the same time, the existing workforce has been aging, and there aren’t as many young skilled laborers entering the industry to take their place. So in 2013, the Irving, Texas-based company funded the Community College Petrochemical Initiative, which granted scholarships to Houston-area community colleges in order to draw new talent to the industry.
Source: Exxon Mobil chemical exec: ‘We’re hiring at record levels today’ on Gulf Coast – Houston Business Journal
San Antonio-based refining company Valero Energy Corp. has signed a lucrative deal that will allow it to supply gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to thousands of new customers south of the border in Veracruz, Puebla and Mexico City.Officials with Valero (NYSE: VLO) confirmed that the company’s Mexican subsidiary, Valero Marketing and Supply de México SA de CV, has entered into a long-term import agreement with Mexico City-based Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB de CV.
Source: Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) signs supply deal to ship fuels to Mexico – San Antonio Business Journal
Mexico held back-to-back licensing rounds on 12 July 2017 as part of the President Enrique Peña Nieto administration’s goal to lure private investment to the Latin American nation’s upstream.To use an American baseball analogy, Mexico knocked it out of the park each time and now Mexican oil and gas is gaining momentum.The duo-round system on 12 July encompassed a total of 24 blocks. By the end of the day, 21 blocks had been awarded.
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Source: Mexican Oil and Gas Gaining Momentum – Drillinginfo
The world is leaning less on its biggest economy to sustain the global recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund.The fund left its forecast for global growth unchanged in the latest quarterly update to its World Economic Outlook, released Monday in Kuala Lumpur. The world economy will expand 3.5 percent this year, up from 3.2 percent in 2016, and by 3.6 percent next year, the IMF said. The forecasts for this year and next are unchanged from the fund’s projections in April.Beneath the headline figures, though, the drivers of the recovery are shifting, with the world relying less than expected on the U.S. and U.K. and more on China, Japan, the euro zone and Canada, according to the Washington-based IMF.The dollar fell to its lowest in 14 months last week as investors discounted the ability of President Donald Trump’s administration to deliver on its economic agenda after efforts by the Republican Senate to overhaul health care collapsed.The IMF estimated U.S. growth at 2.1 percent this year and again in 2018, consistent with what the fund said June 27 in its annual assessment of the U.S. economy. In the April world economic outlook, it had forecast U.S. growth of 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, in 2017 and 2018. The economy expanded by 1.6 percent in 2016.
Source: America First No More as IMF Sees U.S. Fading as Growth Engine
July 21, 2017
The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area created 10,700 jobs in June and 56,100 over the previous 12 months, according to data released today by the Texas Workforce Commission. The monthly job gain was on par with the region’s 20-year average of 11,000 jobs added for a June. The 12-month job growth was well above the 20-year average of 48,300 jobs. Houston’s total nonfarm payroll employment now stands at 3,058,900, a new high for the metro.
Saudi Arabia’s economy will stall this year with growth “close to zero” due to lower oil revenue, the International Monetary Fund said.The fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast to 0.1 percent from 0.4 percent, citing OPEC production cuts, uncertainty over oil prices and the structural reforms the country is undertaking to reduce its reliance on crude, it said in a statement on Friday concluding its Article IV consultation. The IMF also lowered its non-oil growth projection to 1.7 percent from 2.1 percent — compared with actual growth of 0.2 percent in 2016.
Source: IMF Sees 2017 Saudi Growth ‘Close to Zero’ on Oil Prices, Cuts – Bloomberg
Mexico will delay its next offshore oilfield auctions by a month, giving international bidders more time to evaluate recent major crude discoveries that highlight the potential value of the assets.A new billion-barrel find announced last week “confirms that the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico is very prolific,” said Juan Carlos Zepeda, Mexico’s chief oil regulator in an interview Friday. “International and national interest is awakening.”July 12 marked perhaps the single most successful day for the Mexico oil industry since the government ended Petroleos Mexicanos’s government-owned production monopoly in 2014. Premier Oil Plc, Sierra Oil & Gas and Talos Energy LLC reported a reservoir with an estimated 1.4 billion to 2 billion barrels of oil in the southern Gulf of Mexico. On the same day, Italian producer Eni Spa said its March find in Mexico’s offshore waters also contains the equivalent of as much as 1 billion barrels, and Mexico successfully auctioned 21 of 24 onshore fields to private companies.
Source: Mexico Delays Next Oil Auction to Let Huge New Find Sink In – Bloomberg
At various points over the past year, hopes have risen that production cuts by OPEC would succeed in draining the world’s oil inventories enough to bring prices into the $55-per-barrel range needed for U.S. producers to really get moving again.Those hopes have been dashed consistently, with prices lingering below $50, and now economists at the Dallas Federal Reserve say that the supply glut is likely to continue far into next year. That’s bad news for Houston’s oil-bound economy, which may not see the strong recovery that some have anticipated.The culprits in all this are U.S. shale drillers. Over the past year or so, they have more than doubled the rig count, bringing so much supply online that the market has yet to tighten enough to force prices up – even as the OPEC-led coalition of oil producers extends output cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day into next year. (Robust oil shipments from Libya and Nigeria aren’t helping, either.)
Source: Higher demand is needed to end oil glut – but will it come? – Houston Chronicle