Oil Prices Climb Despite Growing Recession Concerns
Oil prices have been buoyed by a weaker dollar and rumors that China may be easing some of its Covid regulations, although the Fed's increasingly hawkish tone is likely to add downward pressure to prices in the long term.
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Friday, November 4th, 2022
Jerome Powell’s much-anticipated press conference this week has curbed the enthusiasm of those that expected a dovish turn from the Fed after he said the terminal rate could be higher than previously expected. A prospective recession in the US does not bode well for oil demand, even if it happens alongside a potential opening up of China after years of self-imposed restrictions. Oil prices were up on Friday morning, aided by a weakening dollar and more rumors of China easing its zero-Covid policy.
China Mulls Softening Zero-COVID. In what might become one of the biggest bullish factors for oil in the coming months, China is looking to alleviate strict zero-COVID aviation rules which up until now temporarily banned airlines if their flights carried infected passengers.
OPEC Warns of Future Energy Crises. Confronted with annual production decline rates of 4-5%, OPEC Secretary General Haitham al Ghais called on the global oil industry to invest in new oil projects so as not to sow the seeds of future energy crises as oil is still at least a decade from peaking.
Canada Muscles Out Chinese Metals Firms. The Canadian government mandated that three Chinese companies divest their investments in Canadian minerals firms, citing national security concerns, provoking the ire of Beijing which claimed Ottawa is damaging global supply chains.
Total Sues Greenpeace for Libel. French energy company TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) announced it would take legal action against Greenpeace, claiming the environmental group’s 2019 carbon emissions report that accused it of under-reporting emissions is highly dubious and damages its reputation.
Not all Trading is Profitable. Despite UK oil major Shell (LON:SHEL) reporting its second-largest quarterly profit of $9.45 billion recently, its LNG trading unit reportedly amassed a $1 billion loss over the same period after a wrong bet on the difference between European and Asian gas benchmarks.
US-UAE Tandem Signs $100 Billion Clean Energy Deal. The United States and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to spend 100 billion on renewable energy projects by 2035 with the aim of adding 100 GW of capacity globally, mending ties after the OPEC+ production cut fallout.
Uganda Expects First Oil in 2025. Uganda expects first oil production from oil fields operated by TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) in the country’s west by April 2025. The country is confident it will secure funding, likely from China, to construct a pipeline connecting the fields to Tanzania’s coast.
Venezuelan Oil Production Bounces Back. According to media reports, Venezuela’s crude output last month rose by more than 100,000 b/d last month and tallied 765,000 b/d, with the increase mostly driven by deliveries of Iranian condensate, a much-needed diluent.
Libya Enjoys the Sunshine. The recently appointed head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation said that the North African country’s production levels have reached 1.2 million b/d, doubling from the depressed output rates seen earlier this year, claiming that port blockades are a thing of the past.
US Drillers Seek Methane Exemptions. US drillers’ associations have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to exclude smaller oil wells producing less than 6 barrels per day from the upcoming rules requiring oilmen to find and plug leaks of methane, citing a lack of funds and capacity to comply.
Germany Expedites Coal Phase-out. The German government ratified a draft law that would phase out coal-fired power plants in the key industrial region of North Rhine-Westphalia by 2030, some 8 years earlier than previously anticipated despite several instances of reactivated coal plants this year.
Dutch Court Decision Jeopardizes Carbon Capture. The Netherlands’ highest court ruled this week that Europe’s largest planned carbon capture and storage project in Rotterdam that could reduce the country’s CO2 emissions by 2% might be halted for not meeting EU environmental guidelines.
Cash Bribe Bonanza in West Africa. A UK prosecution case against global oil trader Glencore found that more than $28 million was paid by company representatives in cash bribes to officials in Western Africa between 2011 and 2016 to secure preferential access to oil.
Majors Brimming with Excitement Ahead of Brazil Auction. Brazil’s upcoming licensing round for 11 offshore pre-salt fields to be operated under a PSA elicited a strong response from oil majors, with the country’s regulator ANP clearing BP (NYSE:BP), Equinor (NYSE:E), TotalEnergies (NYSE,CVX), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) and Shell (LON:SHEL) for operator’s status.