Two Visions: Hope and Promise or Apocalypse

It’s commencement season, and there’s usually mischief afoot with speaker controversies and disinvitations. But what stood out to me last weekend were two commencement speeches and their contrasting visions. Western Energy Alliance Official Blog

Mexico’s liberalized natural gas market in an era of nationalism

In December, Mexico’s energy market reform turned five years old. The event was unceremoniously marked by the inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO—a nationalist, left-leaning presidential candidate elected partly on a promise to dismantle it. While the recent growth of Mexico’s reformed gas market has surpassed the expectations of many, it now faces new challenges ahead. In an early move that rattled investors, president-elect Lopez Obrador in October

IMO 2020 could create fierce competition for scarce water resources

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations set to take effect in 2020 have sparked mountains of research on the expected costs for the energy and maritime sectors. Less thought has been given to IMO 2020’s environmental consequences, especially on water demand. The US refining complex will need more water than ever before after IMO 2020 comes into effect. This conclusion is based primarily on forecasting from S&P Global Platts Analytics

US war with Iran unlikely, but would devastate oil markets: Fuel for Thought

Drone attacks on pipelines in Saudi Arabia and the mysterious alleged sabotage of tankers near Fujairah sent pulses racing, but a phony war in the Persian Gulf failed to trigger a feared triple-digit surge in crude prices. A hot war, however, between the US and Iran could be an entirely different matter. Tehran has repeatedly threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz in the event of an outright conflict

Energy and commodities highlights: Middle East tensions, Panama Canal, global EV sales

The past week was marked by heightened geopolitical tensions as attacks on ships and oil infrastructure in the Middle East spread jitters through oil markets. On May 12, the UAE government said that four commercial vessels suffered “sabotage” in the Gulf of Oman, without giving more specific details about the nature of the attack. The following day, a drone attack halted flows through Saudi Arabia’s main oil transport pipeline to

Geosteering—Are We There Yet?

PART 1 of 3—OVERVIEW In the last 36 months, 34,070 horizontal wells have been completed in the U.S. This represents about 12% of all horizontal wells drilled, and since the last three years have seen a big uptick in both activity and technology improvement in unconventional play development, I thought it was a good time to dig into geosteering data to get some perspective on this critical piece of the

Victory in an Unexpected Place

Environmentalists’ delay tactics to force an unnecessary analysis of fracking in California during the Obama Administration pushed back final Resource Management Plans over seven years–long enough to give the Trump Administration the final say. Western Energy Alliance Official Blog

Evolving battery technology will alter demand for raw materials

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Emmanuel Latham and Felix Maire take a look at how changing battery chemistries will affect markets for metals like cobalt, nickel and lithium. As the automotive sector hits difficult times, electric vehicles are proving to be one area in which horizons seem bright.

Prices Mixed as Middle East Tensions Offset the Bearish Inventory Report

US crude oil stocks posted an increase of 5.4 MMBbl from last week. Gasoline inventories decreased 1.1 MMBbl and distillate inventories increased 0.1 MMBbl. Yesterday afternoon, API reported a large crude oil build of 8.6 MMBbl, alongside gasoline and distillate builds of 0.6 MMBbl and 2.2 MMBbl, respectively. Analysts, to the contrary, were expecting a crude oil draw of 2.1 MMBbl. The most important number to keep an eye on,

Increased trade tensions could squelch US crude flow to China

Escalation of trade tensions between the US and China is likely to further dampen US crude flows to China, at time when China was seen stepping back into the US market following a cooling-off period. Although crude oil imports are not included in the latest round of China’s tariff increases to US goods announced on May 13, the heightened tensions between the two countries has been enough to put the