WorldOil OPEC has a role in taming inflation, says Saudi energy minister Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister said the OPEC+ alliance has a role in “taming and containing” inflationary pressures, just hours after Brent crude surged back above $75 a barrel. Biden rejects Maduro’s call for the U.S. to end Venezuela sanctions President Joe Biden’s administration rejected Nicolas Maduro’s call for relief from U.S. sanctions, saying the Venezuelan leader needs to do more toward restoring democracy before penalties would be lifted. China joins consortium taking a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Co. China’s Silk Road Fund and Hassana Investment Co., controlled by the Saudi Arabian government, joined a group investing $12.4 billion in Saudi Aramco’s oil pipelines. Oil prices sink as rising U.S. dollar pushes investors out of commodities Oil slumped as a rising dollar pushed financial investors, who had piled into commodities to guard against inflation, toward the exits for other sectors. Shale operators’ strict financial discipline is finally paying off After years of booms and busts that produced astronomical losses along with a whole lot of oil, the shale industry seems to have found a sweet spot, poised to hit a record of more than $30 billion of free cash generated in 2021. Transocean joins GameStop and AMC in monetizing its meme-stock status Transocean Ltd. is planning to raise cash and cut debt by selling new shares, taking advantage of a surge in its stock price driven by the meme-stock frenzy and rising oil prices. Saudi oil minister takes short-seller battle straight to Wall Street Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has battled to keep short-sellers at bay for more than a year, famously warning speculators in September not to bet against him, and more recently lambasting the view that the world should stop investing in oil to protect the climate. U.S. oil and gas jobs increased slightly in May as companies remain focused on debt Oil and gas employment has remained fairly flat in 2021 as companies have focused on reducing debt, repaying investors and focusing on research and development instead of boosting production. Employment in the sector is down 13.8% since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Rising steel costs bring inflation woes to U.S. shale plays Costs for everything from labor to diesel to steel have climbed in the oil field this year as explorers return to work following last year’s pandemic-driven crash in crude prices. Steel prices for the drill pipe used in new wells could rise about 50% in 2021, Citigroup said. Canada’s Brookfield tries to derail $6.9 billion Pembina-Inter pipeline deal Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP raised its hostile offer for Inter Pipeline Ltd. to C$8.4 billion ($6.9 billion) as it sought break up the company’s deal with Pembina Pipeline Corp., setting off a full-blown takeover battle for Canada’s fourth-largest pipeline company.