The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) published its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), forecasting that the Brent crude oil spot price will average $65 per barrel (b) in 2020 and $68/b in 2021 and that the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot price will average $59/b in 2020 and $62/b in 2021.
Reuters reports that oil prices hit high on Friday, January 17, but were little changed during the week as the sluggish economic growth in the world’s biggest crude importer, China, raised concerns over fuel demand and countered optimism from the signing of the China-U.S. trade deal.
The largest-ever oil deposits auction of Brazil flopped, as state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Petrobras, did most of the bidding while other major oil companies stayed away. Petrobras together with China’s Cnooc Ltd. and China National Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Co. submitted the winning bid for the prize of the auction, the giant Buzios field. Also, Petrobras was the only bidder for the Itapu block, while other oil majors, including Exxon Mobil Corp. didn’t make any bids, also Sepia and Atapu, received no bids.
Freight rates to ship US crude to Asia are still on the rise, with costs to charter a supertanker increasing to a record $12 million on October the 3rd. This development comes as an aftermath of US’s sanction against two units of COSCO, alleging that they were involved in transporting crude out of Iran.
The worldwide demand for cleaner shipping fuel could drive the value of Middle East crude to its lowest ever levels, despite fact that supplies are squeezed. This highlights the fact that the 2020 sulphur cap will hurt countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq that produce high sulphur fuel.
A decline in prices along with increasing pressure of oversupply has led OPEC and its allies to cut production. However, crude tanker demand is unlikely to be affected, Drewry believes, as a notional loss in the volume of crude oil trade will be compensated by surge in long-haul exports from US to Asia.
A number of tankers carrying diesel fuel are floating off Taiwan and Southeast Asia, due to the fact that a sudden fall in oil prices kept buyers at bay. This development led rates to their highest since January 2016. Tanker rates also were also benefited by strong Chinese oil exports.
Odfjell reported its results for Q3 2018, which as the company said, reflect a stable chemical tanker market, despite the fact that the market remained depressed during the quarter. Currently, the global core chemical tanker orderbook remains at 8% of the current fleet.
The Port of Corpus Christi entered into an agreement with Carlyle to develop a crude oil export terminal on Harbor Island, to connect the increasing crude oil production in the US with global markets. The terminal will be the first onshore location in the US able of providing export service to fully-laden VLCCs.
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