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Michael Kern

Michael Kern

Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com, 

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Oil Markets On Edge As OPEC+ Meeting Approaches

  • Oil markets grabbed headlines this week when Brent prices rallied past $80, but with the OPEC+ meeting looming uncertainty has now taken over
  • U.S. inventories builds for the first time since late July and some OPEC members ramping up production are pressuring oil prices
  • A weakening dollar and high electricity prices, on the other hand, are giving oil bulls hope that prices could go higher still

After charging to $80 per barrel on Tuesday, oil prices fell back on news of inventory builds and extra supply, and now markets are nervously waiting for the OPEC+ meeting

Oil and Natural Gas Prices

US Oil Production

Crude Oil Stocks

US Crude Oil Stocks

Refinery Runs

US Oil Imports

US Gasoline Stocks

Oil Prices Today, Friday, October 1st, 2021 

As OPEC+ meets once again next Monday, speculation has been rife regarding the oil group’s intentions to bring more crude into the market. Whilst prices are still close to the $80 per barrel mark, with Brent trading around $78 per barrel and WTI trending around $74.5 per barrel, the first US inventory stock build since late July and news of OPEC+ laggards (Russia and Kazakhstan) ramping up supply has provided some downside for prices. At the same time, exorbitantly high gas prices driving gas-to-oil switching in Asia and the US dollar weakening are largely offsetting those factors.

Spot LNG Price Surge Continues.

Increasing purchasing activity in East Asia amid China’s power demand crunch and continuing supply tightness have pushed spot LNG prices to $34.5 per mmBtu in Asia, the highest on record.

Germany Merges Gas Trading Hubs.

Germany launched a nationwide gas trading hub called THE (Trading Hub Europe), having merged two of its hubs - Gaspool and NetConnect - to be able to compete with the Dutch TTF and British NBP.

Embattled and indebted, PEMEX Raises Oilmen Salaries.

Following a series of negotiations with its oil workers union (to which most PEMEX employees belong), the Mexican national oil company indicated it agreed to increase oil workers’ wages by 3.4% and their benefits by 1.76%, despite its debt spiraling out of control.

Albemarle Buys into China’s Processing.

US-based lithium producer Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) agreed to buy China’s Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials for $200 million, a lithium converter that is on the verge of launching its 25,000 tons per annum processing plant, in a bid to increase its foothold in the world’s largest demand center.

Russia’s LUKOIL Wants More Azerbaijan.

Longtime interested in expanding within Azerbaijan, Russia’s largest private oil producer LUKOIL (MCX:LKOH) agreed to buy a 25% stake in the Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula (SWAP) project from BP, only several weeks after the UK-based firm spudded its first exploration well at North Khali.

Wind Blows Again in the North Sea.

Despite European gas prices hitting several consecutive all-time highs and nearing €100 per MWh, coal-fired generation has decreased w-o-w in Germany as wind generation moved back into its normal range, averaging 11 GWh so far this week, a 10% increase year-on-year.

CNOOC to Boost Ownership of Buzios Field.

Brazil’s national oil companyPetrobras (NYSE:PBR) is in talks with China’s CNOOC (HK:0883) for a deal that would see the Chinese firm buy another 5% stake in the Latin American country’s second-largest Buzios field for $2.08 billion.

Guyana Court Sets Exxon Hearing Date.

Guyana’s High court has scheduled a June 2022 hearing dealing with the environmental impact of ExxonMobil’s (NYSE:XOM) production offshore Guyana, with local NGOs claiming the oil industry threatens the rights of locals to a clean environment.

Saudi Aramco Gets Footing in India’s Largest Private Refiner.

Reliance Industries (NSE:RELIANCE), operator of the world’s largest refinery in Jamnagar, India, stated the candidature of Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, meets all regulatory criteria to become independent director, in a move that is seen as a harbinger of Aramco’s buying-in into the Indian firm’s oil-to-chemicals business.

Malaysian LNG Disrupted Again by Fire.

Malaysia’s LNG terminal in Bintulu, wielding 30 million tons of LNG per annum capacity, caught fire this week however the operator Petronas claimed operations were unaffected.

China Asks for More Russian Electricity.

Attesting to China’s ongoing issues with nationwide power cuts, Russian state-owned power company Inter RAO (MCX:IRAO) claimed it had received a request from Chinese authorities to ramp up electricity exports. The current transmission lines could be delivering up to 7 billion KWh.

Rio Tinto Still Not Progressing with Resolution Copper.

The controversial Resolution Project, a prospective copper mine in Arizona to be operated by Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) that could meet 25% of the United States’ total demand for the red metal, has still seen no progress after the company’s CEO failed to meet the head of the San Carlos Apache tribe that opposes it. Related: The Energy Crisis Is Sending Oil, Gas, And Coal Prices Soaring

BP and ENI Seek $2 Billion for Angola JV.

UK major BP (NYSE:BP) and Italian firm ENI (ETS:ENI) are seeking to raise $2 billion for their oil and gas joint venture in Angola, as both companies seek to spin off carbon-emitting subsidiaries into separate entities.

China Wants More Term LNG Deals with Qatar.

CNOOC (HKG:0883) signed a new supply deal with Qatar’s QP for a period of 15 years starting from January 2022, adding 3.5mtpa LNG to the country’s aggregate contracted volumes

Jamaica Alumina Refinery Out For At Least One Year.

The Jamalco alumina refinery, operated by Noble Group with a production capacity of 1.4 million tons per annum, will not be back until September 2022 on the back of a fire last month, putting additional pressure on aluminum prices.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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