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India's Booming Coal Demand Drains Inventories

1. US Lifts Sanctions on Venezuela for Six Months

- The US will temporarily lift sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector as Caracas promised to work with the opposition coalition to ensure free and fair presidential elections in 2024, allowing PDVSA to export oil to any destinations.

- Up until now, it was only Chevron that was allowed to import Venezuelan crude into the United States, with some 150,000 b/d of production coming from the US major’s four JVs with PDVSA.

- China’s independent refineries will from now on face increased competition from US players, with teapots in Shandong province taking some 360,000 b/d of crude and 110,000 b/d of fuel oil from Venezuela in September.

- Traders stopped offering Venezuelan cargoes into China after the announcement, with Venezuela’s bitumen blend expected to strengthen after trading at a discount of $22 per barrel to ICE Brent Futures on a DES Shandong basis.

2. Ongoing Gaza Hostilities Jeopardize Israel’s Gas Production

- The conflict between Israel and Gaza risks endangering gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, potentially having knock-on effects on Europe’s LNG supply into the winter.

- Whilst production at Israel’s largest field Leviathan has so far been unimpacted, the second largest Tamar field, accounting for 38% of gas production, has been shut down since October 9 due to its proximity (25 miles) to the Gaza Strip.


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