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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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Recession Fears Loom Large Over Oil Markets


Oil prices experienced the worst start to the year in over three decades this week, falling by more than 9% over the first two days of trading. They have since recovered some of that loss, but are still set to be down significantly week-over-week.

Oilprice Alert: This month's Intelligent Investor looks for unrealized value in the oilfield sector, analyzing two very promising stocks. Sign up today to read that analysis, and if you aren't enjoying it after the first month we'll give you your money back.

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Crude Oil



Friday, January 6th, 2023

Oil prices are set for a 7% week-on-week decline as US recession fears and China’s troubled reopening amidst soaring coronavirus cases led market bulls to put their short-term optimism on the back burner. Lower gasoline and distillate stocks in the US, most probably a result of the recent bomb cyclone, have offset some of that downward pressure, but that has not been enough to move Brent back above $80 per barrel. 

Carbon Storage to Help Canada’s Oil Sands. The Pathways Alliance, a group of six companies representing 95% of Canada’s oil sands production, has started work on a vast $12 billion underground carbon storage site that will store emissions from 14 projects in northern Alberta by 2030.

OPEC Production Rises as Nigeria Comes Back. Rebounding Nigerian oil production lifted OPEC’s collective crude output in December, with the oil group adding 120,000 b/d compared to November figures and coming in at 29 million b/d, some 800,000 b/d below its production quota. 

Colonial Shuts Key Product Lifeline to East Coast. Colonial Pipeline shut one of its lines after a product spill at a Virginia delivery station, halting 885,000 b/d of gasoline and distillate deliveries from Greensboro, NC to Linden, NJ, with a tentative restart set for 7 January. 

China Ready for Oil Talks with Manila. Chinese President Xi Jinping declared Beijing is ready to resume oil and gas negotiations with the Philippines, saying that regardless of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea they could jointly develop adjacent projects which are in non-disputed areas. 

Japan Buys into US Gas Producer. Japan’s largest gas company Tokyo Gas (TYO:9531) is reportedly closing in on the $4.6 billion purchase of US natural gas producer Rockcliff Energy in a deal that includes debt, boosting its portfolio with 1 Bcf per day of production in the Haynesville shale play.

Copper Rises on China Stimulus Hopes. Reports of lower production from Chile and China’s expected stimulus measures for its battered property market have pushed three-month copper prices at the LME to $8,475 per metric tonne, putting them back on a trajectory of growth. 

Russian Gas into Europe Halved in 2022. Pipeline gas exports of Russia’s gas major Gazprom (MCX:GAZP) to the European continent decreased by more than 50% last year, totaling just 86.9 bcm, with future deliveries remaining just as subdued on the back of the Nord Stream explosions.

Dredging Woes Complicate Chevron’s Venezuela Return. As US oil major Chevron (NYSE:CVX) seeks to ramp up operations in Venezuela as soon as possible, the shallow waters of the Maracaibo Lake allow only tankers with a draft of 10 meters as dredging has been completely neglected over the recent years.

Key US Lithium Mine to See Court Decision Soon. A Nevada court stated that a decision on whether former US President Trump erred when he approved Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass mining project – the largest sedimentary lithium deposit in the US with 13.7 million tons of Li2Co3 – will be coming in the next couple of months.


Talos Boosts GoM Portfolio with Discoveries. US deepwater-focused producer Talos Energy (NYSE:TALO) discovered two new offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico, finding oil and gas with its Lime Rock and Venice prospects, with first production expected in 2024 and boosting output by some 20,000 b/d. 

China In Taliban Talks to Drill for Oil. Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government is reportedly set to sign an oil exploration deal with China’s Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co. in the northern Amu Darya basin, the first-ever extraction deal signed by the Taliban since taking power in 2021. 

Chile Edges Closer to New Mining Royalties. Chile’s congressional committee approved this week a controversial mining royalty bill that would increase royalties on copper sales, compelling large miners to pay an additional 1% to the state, to the dismay of the country’s mining industry. 

UAE Leads Middle East in CO2 Capture. ADNOC, the national oil company of the United Arab Emirates, pledged to invest $15 billion in low-carbon energy by 2030, aiming to capture 5 million tonnes of CO2 by the end of the decade and build a 1 mtpa blue ammonia facility Ta’ziz. 

Pioneer Downplays Permian Prospects. Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), one of the biggest US shale players, revised downwards its long-term projection for crude output from the Permian Basin by 1 million b/d, saying the Permian would be “only” producing 7 million b/d by 2030 amidst fading well productivity.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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