Oil prices are set to post a loss this week as demand fears and Covid lockdowns counteract optimism over a tightening market.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021
Oil prices are set to post a loss this week, following several days of up-and-down trading. The story is the same – a jockeying between market tightness and concerns about demand amid spreading Covid cases and lockdown measures.
Biden admin to decide DAPL’s fate. The Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to appear in a U.S. court on Friday to decide the fate of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Last year, a court vacated a critical permit issued by the Army Corps during the first days of the Trump administration. The pipeline was allowed to remain online despite lacking the permit, but the court ordered the Army Corps to conduct a more thorough environmental assessment and come up with a new justification for continued operations of the pipeline, or to shut it down. The Army Corps, now under President Biden, has been silent on the issue but will make a decision on Friday.
Permian output to rise. “The number of completed wells in the Permian basin during the first quarter of 2021 exceeded the required output maintenance level, so oil production is set to rise in the current quarter – but will likely slow again later in the year,” Rystad Energy said in a note.
Exxon explores the sale of its polymer business. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) is exploring a sale of its Advanced Elastomer Systems division for as much as $800 million.
Repsol to furlough refinery staff on energy transition concerns. Repsol (BME: REP) plans to furlough 830 workers at two refineries citing lower demand and uncertainty regarding the energy transition.
Shell threatens to leave API and other industry groups. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) is threatening to leave the American Petroleum Institute, the Texas Oil & Gas Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce unless they take a stronger stance on climate change. API and the Chamber are the most powerful oil and business lobby groups in the country, respectively. Earlier this year, Total (NYSE: TOT) left API for similar reasons.
Shell to turn an upstream profit. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) said that its upstream unit would return to profitability in the first quarter for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Aramco weighs pipeline sale for $10 billion. Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL: 2222) is inadvanced talks to sell up to a 49% stake in its oil pipelines to a consortium of U.S., Chinese and local investors.
Oil majors’ rush for offshore wind crowds sector. Oil majors are rushing into offshore wind auctions in the North Sea, pushing up auction prices and crowding out big developers.
Jet fuel demand showing signs of life. Jet fuel demand is picking up, according to refiners. Related: UAE Presents Phenomenal Plan To Boost Its Position As Oil Hub
EPA to propose new auto rules by July. The EPA said it would propose new fuel economy standards for cars and light-duty trucks by the end of July. The agency is rewriting Trump-era rules that weakened fuel efficiency.
EIA cuts oil production forecast. U.S. oil output may average 11.04 million barrels day this year, according to the EIA, down from last month’s forecast at 11.15 million after the Texas grid crisis. The agency lowered its 2022 forecast by 100,000 bpd.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund invests in clean energy. Norway’s $1.3 trillion wealth fund made its first investment in clean energy infrastructure, buying 50% of a 752-MW offshore wind farm.
GM to make an electric pickup. GM (NYSE: GM) said it would make an electric version of its Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
White House considers 50% climate target. The Biden administration is considering announcing a goal of a 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 (from a 2005 baseline), which would double the previous commitment made under the Obama administration. The U.S. is set to host an international summit later this month, so the announcement could occur in advance of those talks.
Mexico refinery explosion. A massive fire erupted on Wednesday evening at an oil refinery operated by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the city of Minatitlan in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz
Investors rush back to oil stocks. Despite the surge of ESG-related equities, investors are flocking back to oil and gas stocks, at least for now.
Phillips 66 cancels Bakken/Rockies pipeline. Phillips 66 Partners LP (NYSE: PSXP) canceled the Liberty Pipeline, a proposed oil pipeline that would have carried Bakken and Rockies oil to Cushing, OK. The company took a $180 to $210 million impairment.
Equinor and SSE plan the first hydrogen plant in the UK. Equinor (NYSE: EQNR)and SSE Plc are working to develop the world’s first hydrogen power plant in the UK.
White House considers Tellurian executive for Nord Stream negotiations. The Biden administration is considering appointing Amos Hochstein as a special envoy to negotiate the halting of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Hochstein was formerly in the State Department under the Obama administration before leaving to work for Tellurian (NASDAQ: TELL).
BlackRock raises $4.8 billion for renewables. BlackRock Inc. has raised $4.8 billion to invest in renewables, double its initial target. Meanwhile, Bank of America said it increased to $1 trillion its goal of financing low-carbon projects.
Biden to announce climate disclosure rule. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said at an IMF event on Wednesday that the Biden administration “is poised to issue an executive order that will require disclosure” of climate change-related risks by publicly traded companies. “It’s going to change allocation of capital,” he said. Bloomberg reports some details on that executive order.
U.S. Intelligence: Climate change to drive instability. A new report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council says that climate-driven chaos will fuel global instability and migration in the future.
By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com
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