Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Freezing temps across US Northeast warm the diesel market

Spring might be around the corner, but for residents of New York and Boston who just experienced one of the coldest Februarys on record, the change in seasons cannot come soon enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

Petrodollars: Chinese investors second-guess Canadian oil projects

The trans-Pacific partnership of China and Canada promises to diversify product access for one of the biggest oil consumers in the world, but it also comes with problems, as Ashok Dutta explains in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

Read the rest of this entry »

The hearty, hardy gas production of the US

It seems like only yesterday that big winter storms or other extreme weather events could curtail or shut natural gas production in the US. A winter storm and freezing temperatures in the Northeast or in the Southeast would prompt freeze-offs or shut-ins along pipelines. But perhaps no longer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Regulation & Environment: California as a carbon testing ground

In the US, state attempts to cut down on carbon have raised worries about fuel availability, costs and timelines. Herman Wang explains more in this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese steel trade already slowing ahead of Lunar New Year

The exodus of Chinese steel traders towards their home towns for this year’s Chinese New Year holiday has already started, a week before the traditional Spring Festival celebrations (February 18-24) officially begin, according to sources who talked to Platts. Only some state-owned and major trading firms will stay open till the end of this week, dealers in Shanghai said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Will crude prices weigh on the US export debate?

There’s relatively widespread consensus among analysts and academics that the White House is unlikely to do anything on crude exports in the near term, and many believe President Obama may not touch the issue before he leaves office in January 2017.

What’s less clear is how the newly-Republican controlled Congress will deal with the issue and how crude prices will influence the possible debate.

Will the recent plunge in crude oil prices bolster the case for an end to restrictions on US exports or could relatively low prices deflate the argument for loosening the long-standing US crude export regime?

On the other hand, will crude prices have little to no impact on domestic export policy?

Read the rest of this entry »

China’s olefins future shaped by economics and environmental concerns

The dramatic drop in crude prices over the past year has sent shock waves throughout global markets. Petrochemical markets have also been touched, in some instances in a positive manner, as cheaper crude translates into lower feedstock cost. This analysis looks at a specific sector of the petrochemical market — coal-to-olefins and methanol-to-olefins production — and evaluates how the changing relationship between coal and crude prices is impacting production economics in the largest growing petrochemical market in the world, China.

Read the rest of this entry »

IEA makes cuts in US production forecasts – is OPEC’s strategy working?

OPEC’s decision last November to keep its production ceiling in place despite plunging oil prices raised a lot of eyebrows, with many questioning the rationale of the move given that some of the group’s members were hurting from the low prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

As oil prices push towards $60/b, are we witnessing a “dead cat bounce”, or is the market finding some equilibrium?

On February 9 over 500 delegates crammed into London’s Mayfair Hotel for the Platts London Oil Forum 2015. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve attended this annual event, which traditionally kicks off IP Week – it’s a fantastic opportunity for the industry to come together, and invariably features stimulating debate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post: Falling energy prices send sweet signal to food producers

Guest blogger Jonathan Kingsman is the founder of Kingsman SA, which is now a unit of Platts, and he remains a Platts consultant.

The monthly Food Price Index of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) averaged 182.7 points in January 2015, down 1.9 per cent from its value a month earlier. The Index had already fallen nearly 10 per cent in the twelve months up to December 2014 and is now off nearly a quarter from its peak of 240.1 registered in February 2011. The Index has returned to levels last seen in August 2010. Except for a short-lived respite last October, the FAO Food Price Index has been falling every month since April 2014.

Last month’s decline was largely driven by a 7 per cent decline in wheat prices, something the FAO says is “confirmation of an ample supply situation this season and stronger likelihood of inventories reaching their highest level in over a decade.” At its current value, the FAO Cereal Price Index has fallen to its lowest since July 2010 and is now more than a third below its peak reached in June 2008.

Read the rest of this entry »