Iran nuclear deal keeps oil markets on edge

Crude oil prices began falling on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke for just 8 minutes, warning there was pain ahead.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Oil prices remained in limbo this week, with ICE Brent trending around $100 a barrel as the market zoomed in on the prospects of an Iran deal. While the Biden administration relayed its response to the European Union, acting as an intermediary between the two parties who refuse to negotiate directly, rumors seem to indicate that the terms offered do not correspond to what Tehran expected, creating thus a “take it or leave it”. dilemma for Iranian leaders. Unless there is a sudden breakthrough on Iran, it will be the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium that will determine oil prices.

The White House wants US refiners to cut exports. In a letter sent to major U.S. refiners, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm called on U.S. refiners to curb exports to Europe and South America and start building inventories, despite the setback closes curves of gasoline and diesel.

Iraq threatens Kurdish sellers and buyers. The Iraqi authorities are threaten legal action against anyone buying or selling crude from the breakaway Kurdistan region and its government, using the Baghdad Supreme Court’s February ruling as confirmation that the Kirkuk sales are “unlawful.”

Prelude FLNG breaks strike deadlock. After a production interruption of almost two months, the British energy major Shell (LON:SHEL) has managed to strike a pay deal with unions at Australia’s 3.6 mtpy Prelude FLNG project, potentially opening up a temporarily idle source of liquefied gas.

Peru takes the Spanish Repsol to justice. Peruvian consumer protection agency Indecopi acquires Spanish oil company Repsol in court in $4.5 billion case court casearguing that the January oil spill caused $3 billion in environmental damage and $1.5 billion in damage to residents, a claim Repsol denies, blaming the oil spill for a volcanic eruption.

Texas decides to ban aggressive ESG investors. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar claims the state could ban companies like BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) and a swathe of European banks like Credit Suisse (SWX:CSGN) Where BNP Paribas (EPA:BNP) to do business in the state, due to their boycott of investments in the oil and gas industry.

Germany reports coal supply problems. According to Reuters, the German government has voiced concern about the sustainability of the coal supply to power stations along the Rhine in the fall, as low water levels continue to hamper river navigation and thus slow coal storage ahead of winter.

US majors find common ground with Nigeria. American oil majors ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE: CVX) as well as European energy companies Shell (LON:SHEL) and Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) have agreed to end their US lawsuits against Nigerian state oil company NNPC after successfully renewing their respective PSA deals. Related: Oil rig count increases as Permian drilling resumes

Japan is coming full circle to support nuclear again. The Japanese government will to restart more inactive nuclear power plants (there are currently only seven operating reactors) and consider building new next-generation nuclear capacity, as soaring fuel prices have shifted public opinion in the country.

An Indian refiner is feeling the pressure of Russian sanctions. Indian refiner Nayara Energy, 49% owned by Russian oil company Rosneft, has seen many major international banks and oil companies refuse to do business with it for fear of sanctions, most likely pushing it to source even more oil in Russia.

The energy transfer makes another abduction deal. American pipeline operator Energy Transfer (NYSE: ET) sign an agreement with a British energy major Shell (LON:SHEL) for the supply of 2.1 million tonnes of LNG from its Lake Charles LNG plant project for 20 years, with first deliveries as early as 2026.

Another discovery buoy from Suriname, offshore drillers. Upstream US company Apache (NASDAQ:APA) announcement an oil discovery off Suriname with its Baja-1 well, encountering light oil in good quality reservoirs, adding to the 180 million barrels of reserves from the Krabdagu prospect, drilled in April.

Mexico creates a national lithium company. After nationalizing all lithium resources in April 2022, Mexican authorities have established a state-controlled company (Litio para Mexico) to produce the metal, which is expected to become operational within the next six months.

Freeport’s delays are limiting the surge in LNG exports to the United States. The US 15 mtpy Freeport LNG liquefaction terminal has deferred its month-long restart target, hoping to resume partial production, shut down following an explosion in June, from early to mid-November and reach full export capacity by March 2023.

A French major sells its Russian subsidiary. After the French newspaper Le Monde published a story on TotalEnergies’ (NYSE: TTE) A Russian joint venture Terneftegaz selling kerosene to the Russian army, the French major almost immediately sold its stake to its Russian partner Novatek.

By Tom Kool for

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