IMO 2020 hit to Canadian crude softened by changing market: Fuel for Thought

A surging differential for Western Canada’s benchmark heavy crude has traders and analysts wondering if predictions that tighter sulfur requirements for marine fuel next year will devalue the country’s oil assets are overblown. “Nobody is talking about IMO 2020 anymore,” one trading director at an investment bank in Calgary said. Market participants say a lot has changed since early forecasts suggested the International Maritime Organization’s rule limiting fuels to 0.5%

New UK energy policy can give Boris Johnson the quick win he needs

Energy policy will probably be the last thing on Boris Johnson’s mind if he becomes the next UK prime minister. Navigating a successful Brexit will be his top priority and this means devising an economic plan for future generations. A new energy policy should be at the heart of his vision for Britain outside Europe, but it is going to be expensive. One of his first decisions after July 23

Commodity tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

S&P Global Platts editors’ pick of unfolding commodities trends. This week, tight US gasoline supply incentivizes imports, high-tech industries drive tin demand and Iranian oil exports hit new low. Plus impacts of Europe’s heatwave and China key economic data on energy and commodities. 1. US gasoline output curbs driving NYMEX RBOB backwardation   What’s happening? RBOB gasoline structure has firmed in recent weeks amid refinery issues on the US Atlantic

Energy and commodities highlights: Hormuz tensions, trading houses vs NOCs, recycled plastics

After a calmer start to the week in geopolitics, US-Iran tensions erupted again on July 18 when President Donald Trump said the US Navy had shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. Brent crude prices responded with a near 2% increase by in Singapore morning trading hours. However, the impact of US sanctions on Iran and hostilities in the Persian Gulf on oil prices has been blunted

Oil pipelines not Royal Navy warships will solve Hormuz Iran threat

Deploying more of the Royal Navy to protect oil tankers from Iranian attack as they sail through the Strait of Hormuz is a short-term fix to a historic problem of providing energy security in the Persian Gulf. Instead of Britain adding to the crowded fleet of warships converging on the region, new export routes such as pipelines and canals should be opened up to provide long-term peaceful alternatives that would

Commodity tracker: 6 charts to watch this week

S&P Global Platts editors’ pick of unfolding commodities trends. This week, bunker values at Fujairah plunge, mine overcapacity puts pressure on key battery metal lithium, and US LNG exporters face tight margins over the summer. Plus Chinese refiners’ growing taste for Saudi crude, EU CO2 prices and gas and coal profitability. 1. Fujairah bunker values plunge as Middle East risk rises   What’s happening?  Marine fuel sales in the Port

Energy and commodity highlights: Tropical storm Barry, UK-Iran tanker spat, Asian LNG demand

As Tropical Storm Barry approaches the US Gulf Coast, offshore oil and gas producers, refineries and ports have been shuttering facilities in preparation. Utilities are also on alert. As of July 11, US offshore drillers have shut 1 million b/d (53%) of Gulf of Mexico oil production and 1.2 Bcf/d (45%) of natural gas output. The US National Hurricane Center expects Barry to reach hurricane strength late July 12, or

The Future Evolution of Demand

Anyone who’s been in the oil business for more than, say, a month, knows how ridiculous it would be to confidently predict where oil and gas prices are headed. Tensions in the Middle East, growing output from the Permian, offshore adds to reserves in Guyana and Brazil, uncertainty over tariff implementation, pipeline infrastructure buildout timing, tax policy implementation, legacy refinery crude quality limitations, storage builds, price of the dollar—these are

Heavier, sour US crude prices fall on high supply, global demand concerns

Values for heavier, sour crude oil grades available on the US Gulf Coast have dropped as the outlook for global demand deteriorates, production remains strong and the deadline to implement low sulfur standards for marine fuel approaches. The front-month differential for benchmark medium sour crude Mars plunged to WTI plus $2.40/b on June 27, which was its lowest assessed level since August 28, 2018. The Mars differential has recovered slightly

OPEC is playing into Thunberg’s hands on climate change

OPEC would be wise to avoid picking a fight with Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old poster child of the Extinction Rebellion movement wants to bring the fossil fuel era to an abrupt end, regardless of the economic risks. Branding her populist methods an enemy could make big oil an easier target for protesters to aim at. That is exactly the mistake OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo has made. The head of