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Ust-Luga Urals crude May loadings affected by quality issues: traders

Issues with Russian crude quality exported along the Druzhba pipeline now include seaborne cargoes of Russia’s medium sour Urals crude being exported out of the Baltic port of Ust-Luga, trading sources said on Wednesday. Several Urals traders said they have received information that the quality of Urals will impacted by current contamination issues from further up in the pipeline system. One trader said cargoes loading May 20-30 were affected, while another said the issues could appear in earlier loading cargoes. Ust-Luga is the smaller of the two main ports supplying ...

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China coal investments unpopular in ‘new Silk Road’ nations – poll

People living in countries along China’s new “Silk Road” favour investment in renewable energy over the construction of coal-fired power plants, according to a poll released on Wednesday ahead of a major summit in Beijing. Environmental group E3G, which commissioned the poll, said the results showed there was little support for investment in coal, despite China’s role as a major funder of new plants. “China should now work with governments, business and investors at the upcoming forum to make sure these demands are met,” said Nick Mabey, chief executive of ...

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Why Oil Market Gains May Be Short-Lived

Brent crude has experienced some explosive gains this year. It is up nearly 36 percent year-to-date (YTD) while WTI crude oil is up 40 percent YTD. The stellar performance in the oil market has been mainly due to the pledge made by the OPEC countries to keep the supply under a tight leash. Another factor that has kept the lid on the oil supply was the sanctions introduced by the United States on Venezuela and Iran. This is on top of the fact that we have seen some major supply ...

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Brent oil hits $75 for first time in 2019 as Russian exports cut

Brent oil rose above $75 per barrel on Thursday for the first time this year as quality concerns forced the suspension of some Russian crude exports to Europe while the United States prepared to tighten sanctions on Iran. Brent crude futures were at $75.22 by 0851 GMT, up 65 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $66.09 per barrel, up 20 cents. Poland and Germany have suspended imports of Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline, citing poor quality. Trading sources said the Czech Republic had also halted purchases. The ...

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OPEC, Russia oil market role ‘diminishing’: IEA’s Birol

The rise of US shale is “diminishing” the influence of OPEC, Russia and their allies, and the coalition would be better off leaving the oil market to its own devices, the International Energy Agency’s executive director Fatih Birol told S&P Global Platts in an interview. “Those days that oil markets, developments and prices are determined by resolutions, discussions and so on are over. There are very strong market forces now, mainly driven by the US shale revolution,” Birol said in reference to OPEC’s market management strategy. OPEC, Russia and nine ...

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OPEC has the spare capacity to offset Iran’s oil supply losses, but does it have the will?

The looming lapse of sanctions waivers for imports of Iranian crude, along with the intensifying clashes in Libya and continued crisis in Venezuela, has put OPEC’s spare production capacity back in focus. In announcing Monday that the US would not renew waivers granted to eight countries to continue purchasing Iranian crude, officials said they had closely coordinated with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to “ensure market stability.” But any increase in production by those two core OPEC countries and other like-minded members could somewhat hamstring the organization’s ...

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Trump Is Placing Too Much Faith in the Shale Patch

The White House is leaning heavily on the booming U.S. shale patch. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday the U.S. will end waivers for imports of Iranian oil, closing out a 180-day transition period granted to eight countries that rely on the Middle Eastern heavyweight to supply their energy needs. The administration hopes U.S. oil producers can fill in some gaps. Oil prices hang in the balance. Sanctions on Iran were a big part of oil-price swings in the past year. Last fall, Brent crude peaked at over $86 ...

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Russian oil flow contamination roils Europe’s refiners

The quality of Russian oil flowing to northern and central Europe has deteriorated significantly in recent days, traders and Russian officials said, roiling the continent’s refining industry. Oil flows via the Baltic port of Ust Luga and via the Druzhba pipeline to Belarus, Poland, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic have been contaminated with high levels of organic chloride since April 19. The material is used to help boost oil output but must be separated from oil before shipment as it can destroy refining equipment. According to traders with several ...

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Crude-to-Chemicals: opportunity or threat?

For most oil refiners and chemical producers, the need to improve margins and remain competitive has never been greater. The integration of refineries with chemicals is becoming an important growth strategy – but will it create value in the long term? Refiners face a host of challenges. Overcapacity, IMO regulatory changes, the threat from peak oil demand to the transportation sector, a rising appetite for petrochemical feedstock and a shift in product demand patterns will force refiners to rethink the way they have operated in the past. Faced with these ...

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ExxonMobil to Expand Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Production at Fawley Refinery

ExxonMobil said that it has made a final investment decision to expand the Fawley refinery in the United Kingdom to increase production of ultra-low sulfur diesel by almost 45 percent, or 38,000 barrels per day, along with logistics improvements. “ExxonMobil continues to invest in the Fawley refinery and chemical plant, Britain’s largest integrated facility,” said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company. “This investment will make Fawley refinery the most efficient in the United Kingdom, supporting Esso’s industry-leading logistics and fuels marketing operations.” The investment will help reduce ...

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Global Stocks Follow Wall Street Lower

Stocks in Europe and several Asian markets slipped on Thursday following a weaker close for U.S. markets and poor economic data from South Korea, one of Asia’s biggest exporters. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.4% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.6% as investors digested big falls in revenue and profits in the first quarter from major banks UBS and Barclays. Futures pointed to opening falls on Wall Street of 0.1% for both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In Asia, the Korean Kospi index ...

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Swedish crown falls to 17-year low after central bank delays rate hike

The Swedish crown plummeted to a 17-year low on Thursday after the country’s central bank delayed its next interest rate hike. The Riksbank began normalising policy in December due to a strong economy but it has since joined its counterparts in Europe and Canada in adopting a cautious outlook. Still, its message of restraint and concern about weak inflationary pressure caught some investors off guard. The crown sank 1.4 percent versus the dollar to 9.55, its lowest since August 2002 and was headed for its biggest daily loss versus the ...

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The Real Crisis Risk at the ECB

The euro zone has only recently recovered from a double-dip recession, but there are already questions about how prepared it would be for a new crisis. All eyes are on the European Central Bank, which has been the strongest line of defense against an economic slowdown. While pessimists worry that the ECB has few tools left if it needs to revive growth – given the region’s already rock bottom interest rates – such concerns are overdone. A far bigger risk is the replacement of Mario Draghi as the central bank’s ...

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Remittances, The Flywheel Of The Global Economy

Peer to peer money transfers across borders, or remittances in the short form, are arguably the world’s most important international cashflow. Compared to other cross-border capital flows, such as foreign direct investment (FDI), or official development assistance (ODA), which is typically channeled through multilateral institutions or as bilateral aid, remittances are not only a bigger overall figure, they are more persistent. Remittances have also demonstrated recession resistance. During the 2008 global financial crisis, all cross-border cashflows declined precipitously, while remittances held their course, charging to a projected $715 billion globally ...

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Tanker Market Rates 25/04/2019

Daily rates on main tanker routes as compiled by shipbroker Charles R. Weber.

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