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Shipping Costs Could Soon Soar

Market Movers

- The International Maritime Organization’s new fuel rules begin on January 1 and reduce the limit on sulfur in fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5% - a figure that could have a major impact on markets, even if ships only constitute between 5% and 7% of global transport oil demand. This will spark significant competition for low-sulfur fuel that refineries aren’t set up to produce. For investors, it could be a lucrative new game of hedging the right bets. Analysts cited by WSJ predict that the $350-per-metric ton gap between prices of very-low-sulfur fuel and high-sulfur fuel could wide to $1,000 in 2020. That means shipping costs could skyrocket before everyone has a chance to adjust. We can already see the market responding as prices of Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude grade dropped over the past week as refiners sought out lower-sulfur marine fuel. On Thursday last week, Murban was trading at a discount of $0.15 to its OSP, compared to a premium of $0.25 to the OSP just days earlier.

Discovery & Development

- On December 20th, Guyana officially produced its first-ever oil, courtesy of ExxonMobil in the offshore Stabroek Block. Output in the first phase of production is set to reach 120,000 bpd, with first cargo to be sold in a couple of weeks. By 2025, production is expected to hit 750,00 bpd.

- Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have signed a deal on their Neutral Zone to end a five-year dispute and reopen oil fields that have the potential…




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