Boeing-Safran Joint Venture For Auxiliary Power Units Has A Name: Initium Aerospace

February 13, 2019 | Geek Wire

The 50-50 joint venture that Boeing and Europe’s Safran aerospace company formed last year to build auxiliary power units for airplanes now has a name: Initium Aerospace.

Auxiliary power units, or APUs, are onboard engines that are used primarily to start an aircraft’s main engines. They also power aircraft systems on the ground when the main engines aren’t running, and can boost onboard power during flight if necessary.

Boeing’s APUs are currently built by Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, but Safran — which is headquartered in France — is raising its profile in the market. Initium’s rise is also part of Boeing’s drive to have a more vertically integrated supply chain, and boost its services business.

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Aramco, Total Form Saudi Retail Venture

February 14, 2019 | Oil and Gas Journal

Saudi Aramco and Total SA have signed an agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture that will invest $1 billion to develop a network of fuel and retail services in Saudi Arabia.

Total will be the first major international oil company to invest in the kingdom’s fuel retail network.

The companies also agreed to acquire Tas’helat Marketing Co. and Sahel Transport Co., owners of 270 service stations and a fuel tanker fleet.

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Chevron Seeks to Remain in Venezuela Despite Sanctions

February 14, 2019 | Kallanish Energy

U.S. oil supermajor Chevron plans to keep operations in Venezuela while working closely with the U.S. authorities to ensure it remains in full compliance with sanctions, its CEO said this week.

The company has been involved in Venezuela since 1920s and participates in five onshore and offshore production projects in the country. It’s also a partner of state oil firm PDVSA in four joint-venture operations – three of which are heavy and extra-heavy crude oil, Kallanish Energy reports.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth said the company doesn’t plan to withdraw from the troubled South American nation, despite Trump’s sanctions on the country.

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Report: Ford, VW Talks on Joint Robot-Car Venture Heat Up

February 14, 2019 | Detroit Free Press

Talks between Ford and Volkswagen toward a joint effort on self-driving cars have broken through and are progressing well, Bloomberg reported Thursday evening.

The automakers discussed an investment by VW in Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle startup backed by Ford, with an approximate $4 billion valuation for Argo, Bloomfield reported, quoting "people familiar with the talks" whom it did not identify.

Both Ford and VW told Bloomberg talks were continuing, without elaborating.

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Saudi-French Joint Venture to Build Warships in the Kingdom

February 17, 2019 | Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval Group SA entered a joint venture to develop vessels in the kingdom, which seeks to promote local manufacture of armaments.

The Saudi government-backed firm will hold a 51 percent stake and the French naval defense company will have the rest. The new company will develop, engineer and manufacture frigates, corvettes and possibly submarines, the chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, Andreas Schwer, said in Abu Dhabi.

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Schlumberger, Rockwell Create Joint Venture for The Digital, Automated Oilfield

February 19, 2019 | Houston Chronicle

The energy services company Schlumberger is partnering with the Milwaukee firm Rockwell Automation to form a new company in Houston to sell equipment and services to advance digital technology and automation in the oilfield.

The new company, called Sensia, aims to combine the automation and analytics technology of Rockwell with Schlumberger's oilfield expertise and tools to help producers churn out more oil and gas with fewer workers, an increasing focus of an oil and gas industry looking to cut costs and stay profitable when oil prices fall. Schlumberger, which has one of its principal offices in Houston, is the world's biggest energy services player.

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Mexico President Says No More Pemex Oil Joint Ventures for Now

February 21, 2019 | Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday Mexico will not offer more oil joint ventures between private companies and state energy company Pemex indefinitely, raising doubts about auctions set for October.

In reply to a question about the contracts, known in the industry as “farm-outs,” Lopez Obrador said the country would not offer more until existing projects began producing oil.

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VW Forms Joint Venture with Ride-Hailing Giant Didi

February 26, 2019 | Automotice News Europe

Volkswagen Group established a joint venture with China's largest ride-hailing operator, Didi Chuxing, to develop technologies for ride-hailing fleets.

The 64 million-yuan ($9.6 million) partnership was incorporated in Shanghai's suburban Jiading district in December.

The new company is 60 percent owned by Didi, with the remaining 40 percent held by VW's China investment subsidiary, according to Beijing-based National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, which tracks the credit status of China businesses.

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Affirm’s Latest Partnership Brings Its Alternative Financing to Walmart’s US Stores and Website

February 27, 2019 | Tech Crunch

Financial technology company Affirm, which offers consumers an alternative to cash and credit when paying for large purchases, has scored a notable new partner: Walmart. The companies announced this morning that Affirm’s financing options would be made available in more than 4,000 Walmart Supercenters across the U.S., and will roll out to Walmart.com in the weeks ahead.

Customers will be able to check their eligibility for an Affirm loan online before heading into Walmart to shop, and then receive their decision in real time, without a hit to their credit score. (If they move forward and use the loan, that’s when it would impact credit.)

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UPDATE 1-Algeria Extends Oil Swap Deal with Trader Vitol To April -Sources

February 27, 2019 | Reuters

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Algeria’s state oil firm Sonatrach has extended its crude for oil products deal with major trading firm Vitol from the end of 2018 until the end of April this year, four sources familiar with the matter said.

As part of the deal that kicked off in February last year, Vitol would load up to 2 million barrels a month of crude and send back refined products like gasoline and gasoil in return.

One of the sources said Sonatrach could allocate more crude to Vitol based on the country’s fuel needs.

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