Royal Dutch Shell reportedly may move a team of 200 workers to Basra, Iraq, which would be the first large-scale Western staff in the country, according to The Times of London. Shell has a preliminary $4 billion deal to process natural gas in Iraq.
Some analysts have warned investors to be cautious of oil stocks now that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama has been elected president. Obama's policies may benefit natural gas producers, according to some insiders, but his plans for regulations on carbon dioxide emissions and for windfall taxes may hurt coal and oil firms.
Some crude oil shipments from Mexico's state-run Pemex have been canceled by refineries on the Gulf Coast that are still struggling to resume full operations after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Several refineries remained shut down in Texas and Louisiana as of Thursday.
Crude oil prices fell sharply Tuesday for the second consecutive day after producers reported only minor damage to platforms and refineries from Hurricane Ike. Gasoline prices, however, are still going up slightly because of limited supplies. Production resumed at some sites Tuesday, and experts predict refineries will be largely back to normal in a week.