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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 Prices Climb As Traders Refocus On Fundamentals


Bullish sentiment is building in oil markets as U.S. inventory levels continue to drop while OPEC+ production and export cuts are expected to be extended.

Oil Prices



Crude Oil


Crude Oil



Friday, September 1st, 2023

Continuous US stock draws equivalent to a 1 million b/d decline over the past five weeks have led to an unusually tight oil market in the United States, adding upward pressure to oil prices despite economic woes. Widespread expectations of OPEC+ extending production and export cuts as well as recovering Chinese manufacturing activity have added to the bullish sentiment, with ICE Brent surpassing $87 per barrel. 

Chevron Workers Reject Company Offer, Start Striking Next Week. Workers at Chevron’s (NYSE:CVX) Australian Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG plants have rejected the company’s pay and conditions offer, moving full steam ahead with planned work stoppages starting from September 7. 

Russia Flags OPEC+ Coordination on Track. Russia’s deputy prime minister Alexander Novak announced that OPEC+ members have agreed on the main parameters of production over the upcoming months but would only announce it next week, indicating Riyadh’s and Moscow’s cuts are to continue. 

International Banks Team Up in Glencore Battle. Glencore’s (LON:GLEN) stock performance has been anemic recently as a whopping 197 claimants took the trading giant to London courts over “numerous misleading statements” and repeated cases on unlawful conduct, with several African bribery cases.

Oil Majors Lament on US Wind Power Prices. European oil majors Equinor (NYSE:EQNR) and BP (NYSE:BP) are seeking a 54% increase in the purchase agreement prices of three planned US wind farms, according to a NY regulatory filing, with the initial strike prices set at $108-118 per MWh.   

Argentina Ramps Up Shale Gas Offtake. The home of Argentina’s shale gas play Vaca Muerta, the province of Neuquen, posted record high gas injection levels this month, topping 100 Mcf per day, as a new gas pipeline connecting the fields to the capital Buenos Aires was inaugurated recently. 

Higher Interest Rates Prompt LNG Plants to Hike Fees. A string of US LNG developers, most notably NextDecade (NASDAQ:NEXT) with its Rio Grande LNG project, adjusted term deals signed earlier and increased liquefaction fees to reflect rising interest rates and higher construction costs. 

Gabon Coups Leaves Regional Trade on Tenterhooks. At least 30 commercial vessels, of which at least 6 tankers, anchored in Gabon’s territorial waters after the military seized power in the African country from long-time president Ali Bongo, with Libreville halting port operations. 

Trans Mountain Pipeline Faces New Delays. Trans Mountain Corp, the operator of the eponymous pipeline, expressed its fears that its Q1 2024 commissioning might be delayed as the Canadian government is still yet to approve a route deviation on a 0.8-mile section, opposed by a First Nation. 

First Gulf Coast Wind Auction Triggers Weak Interest. The first-ever offshore wind auction in the US Gulf Coast ended with a single $5.6 million bid for 102,480 acres off Louisiana coming from German renewable developer RWE (ETR:RWE), the lowest winning bid for a federal wind lease.  


Chevron Evacuates Its Gulf Coast Platforms. US oil major Chevron (NYSE:CVX) evacuated its staff from three oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico – Blind Faith, Petronius and the soon-to-be-decommissioned Genesis – ahead of Hurricane Idalia, shutting in some 125,000 b/d of production capacity.

Gazprom Hides Production Figures as Sales Drop. Russia’s leading gas producer Gazprom (MX:GAZP) stopped reporting export figures as it published financial results for the first half of 2023, posting $3.1 billion in net profit, a mere quarter of its $12 billion EBITDA for the same period. 

Japan Extends Oil Subsidies Until End-2023. Japan’s Trade and Industry Ministry (METI) extended oil product subsidies until the end of December 2023 as retail gasoline prices soared to the highest readings ever this week, reaching $200 per barrel, boosted by higher oil prices and a weaker yen. 

Lithium Prices Go into a Tailspin. Having already halved since January, Chinese lithium prices have dropped a further 10% in August as lithium hydroxide EXW China quotes fell to $33,500 per metric tonne, below those of lithium carbonate, amid poor demand for high-nickel cathodes.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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