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China is proposing a 25% tariff on imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas as retaliation for the Trump Administration’s latest push to increase tariffs on the Asian giant. The shares of America’s largest gas exporter, Cheniere Energy, fell on the report. Such a move would be a major blow for America’s emerging business to export the chilled fuel abroad, a key outlet needed for shale supplies growing at a record clip this year. It’s the first time the fuel has been ensnared by the expanding trade war and comes as Russia plans to begin pumping gas to China through its newly-built 2,500-mi Power of Siberia pipeline by the end of 2019.
Canadian heavy oil is the weakest in almost five years, leading Canada’s largest producer to focus on drilling for lighter crude. Western Canadian Select’s discount...
The British trade union Unite announced a strike on the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms in the North Sea yesterday. Unite’s regional officer Wullie Wallace said that talks were planned for this Thursday between union members and the French energy giant Total to discuss pay and a new shift rota.
Saudi Arabia is sending the most crude oil to the U.S. in 15 months. The world’s largest oil exporter loaded 1 MMbpd onto tankers bound for the U.S. in July, according to preliminary vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a 36% jump from June and the single biggest monthly flow to the U.S. since April 2017. The surge in flows might help officials in Riyadh to argue that they’re responding after U.S. President Donald Trump blamed OPEC for high oil prices and called on Saudi Arabia to add supply. It also helps replace barrels that have been lost by the collapse in Venezuela, normally a major source of U.S. crude imports, according to Olivier Jakob, managing director of consultants Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland.
A senior Iranian oil official urged U.S. President Donald Trump not to use the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to push prices lower, and instead drop sanctions on Iran’s crude exports. “My advice to you, Mr. President, is to avoid touching the SPR - to cool down and give up sanctioning Iranian oil," Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran’s representative to OPEC, said by email.
Evidence is mounting that Saudi Arabia is heeding U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for OPEC to keep the oil market amply supplied and rein in prices. The Middle East kingdom is offering extra crude volumes on top of its contractual supplies to some buyers in Asia, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the OPEC’s defacto leader plans record oil output after unwinding a deal with its allies to curb output. OPEC has come under pressure from Trump to pump more before the U.S. midterm elections in November, after a rally in crude to a 2014 high lifted American gasoline prices. Meanwhile, some Saudi customers such as India have warned that higher prices will curb demand. In China, Unipec -- the trading unit of the nation’s biggest refiner -- had cut purchases citing costly pricing by the kingdom.
Norwegian drilling workers escalated a strike early Monday, with the impact on the country’s oil production expected to remain limited to one North Sea field in the short term. The SAFE union took out a further 901 workers on top of 669 already on strike, broadening a walkout over pay and pensions to 28 installations off Norway, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said in a statement. Analysts have said they don’t expect the escalation to lead to any immediate additional outages. The stoppage marks the first time since 2012 that industrial action has hampered Norwegian oil production, though it’s targeting supplier companies rather than producers and mostly affecting operations unrelated to current output.
Rising U.S. crude oil exports are upending global oil trade and oil flows to various regions in the world, snatching up market share in Asia and Europe from the traditional suppliers such as OPEC, Russia, and West Africa. At the same time, oil flows from the biggest fields in the North Sea that are used by S&P Global Platts to determine the Brent benchmark assessment are set for a structural decline as those fields mature.
A STRIKE curtailed oil production off Norway for the first time in six years as Royal Dutch Shell plc shut a North Sea field and workers threatened to escalate labour action at the weekend. Shell was forced to shut down its Knarr field, which produced about 23,000 barrels a day of oil and 3,500 barrels of natural-gas liquids a day in April, according to the latest available public figures. An escalation of the conflict would probably lead to other outages, according to the group representing employers.
Nigeria is taking its first steps to expand its liquefied natural gas capacity by a third, outlining a $12-billion program to help it keep up with the world’s biggest producers of the fuel. Nigeria LNG, a venture involving the state-owned oil company and three oil majors, signed engineering and design contracts for a seventh facility the nation’s Atlantic coast. Among the contractors participating are Saipem, TechnipFMC and Chiyoda Corp. A final investment decision could be taken late this year. Nigeria is joining nations from the U.S. to Australia in increasing output of the fastest growing fossil fuel to help meet rising demand from China to the Middle East. Its latest plan would boost production to 30 million tons by 2024 from 22 million tons now. Total, a Nigeria LNG shareholder, last week said the plant expansion is “very important” as the market is “booming again.”