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

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

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

African swine flu impact spreads over Chinese economy, global commodity prices

Bacon could soon be off the fried breakfast menu. African swine flu is sweeping across South East Asia and threatening to spread even further after decimating some pig farmers in China, which consumes more pork than any other country. The virulent disease is now creating a domino effect for commodities markets, farmers and consumers. HSBC’s closely watched aggregated commodity price index of 20 key resources gained 2% last month, with

Insight Conversation: Carole Nakhle, Crystol Energy

Carole Nakhle, CEO of independent consultancy Crystol Energy and founder of Access for Women in Energy, spoke to Paul Hickin about energy transitions and shifting oil and gas politics. How do you see the energy mix changing in the next decade? The global energy mix is unlikely to look much different from today. The lion’s share will continue to be provided by fossil fuels – that is coal, oil and

Energy and commodities highlights: Trade wars, US LNG development, energy digitalization

Commodities and financial markets spent the past week watching for progress in US-China trade talks, but there was no firm outcome ahead of a May 10 deadline, leading to a further escalation of US-imposed tariffs. Without a resolution, a scheduled hike in tariffs kicked in on US imports of $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, from 10% to 25%. Talks were expected to resume on Friday, May 10, but China

Turkish steel navigates trade barriers and flagging domestic demand

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. Here, Pascal Dick analyzes the impact of new US tariffs, economic headwinds and other challenges on steel and ferrous scrap flows into and out of the country. After a healthy first half of 2018, the Turkish steel market now faces a drop in

US steel sector thrives as mills move up quality ladder

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. In this feature, Nicholas Tolomeo, Michael Fitzgerald and Joe Eckelman report on changing approaches to steelmaking in the US, as companies target higher-quality steel products. When it comes to raw materials, steel mills in the US are developing expensive tastes. Of all the major

Insight from Washington: Does Venezuela need to hit rock bottom to find oil recovery?

For months, the Trump administration resisted calls to sanction crude flows out of Venezuela, fearing the US would be blamed for the ultimate collapse of the South American nation’s once-mighty oil sector. Venezuela’s oil industry was already teetering towards disaster – there was no need for US policy to push it off the cliff. By the time Trump administration officials unveiled sanctions on PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, in January,

US Permian shale takeover battle is a warning for OPEC

OPEC should take note of the $55 billion bidding war raging to buy US oil producer Anadarko. Chevron and Occidental are competing to acquire the unconventional driller. A deal could signal a wave of further consolidation across the Permian Basin and US oil patch, potentially with big implications for the Middle East dominated cartel. Chevron was on track to become the dominant player in US onshore shale before Oxy swept