Oil Prices Recover Slightly Globally But Remain Under Pressure


Oil prices were recovering slightly on Friday morning after four consecutive weeks of losses pushed both Brent and WTI to their lowest levels since July.


Oil prices declined to their lowest level since July this week, with WTI falling to $73 per barrel on its way toward a fourth consecutive weekly loss. With a combination of weak economic data from the US where the labor market seems to finally be cooling off and CTA trading patterns that aggravated the downward spiral, WTI has shed its previous levels of steep backwardation and is now in contango in the prompt months. Despite the negative sentiment, oil prices did begin to bounce back slightly on Friday morning, with Brent rising to $78.50 and WTI trading at $73.86.

US midstream firms and export terminal operators have been stepping up quality checks on WTI cargoes they export following several cases of vanadium and iron contamination, seeking to placate buyers wary of refinery damage due to excess metals.

An international consortium led by trading major Glencore (LON:GLEN), comprising Japan’s Nippon Steel and South Korea’s POSCO, clinched the purchase of Teck Resources’ coking coal business for $9 billion, ending one of the most intriguing M&A sagas of 2023.

Nigeria’s Justice Ministry decided to waive a batch of civil claims totaling $1.1 billion against Italian oil major ENI (BIT:ENI) “unconditionally” and “with immediate effect” over alleged corruption cases regarding the OPL 245 field, improving upstream prospects.

US oil major Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is reportedly evaluating options for some of its 70,000 net acres of Haynesville shale acreage in East Texas, with a full sale remaining a possible option, a first step in the firm’s $15 billion divestment program on the back of the Hess deal.

A group of more than 100 environmental organizations spearheaded by Greenpeace and ActionAid called on banks and financial institutions to half the funding of the Mozambique LNG project led by French energy major TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE).

The US President’s energy adviser Amos Hochstein vowed to enforce tighter sanctions on Iran as the Middle Eastern country’s exports have soared above the 1 million b/d mark this year, rejecting the notion that the Biden Administration relaxed its sanctions.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality didn’t impose the same emission limits on Sempra Energy’s (NYSE:SRE) Port Arthur liquefaction plants as on other projects, halting the construction of the site.

Libya has prevented the crude tanker Proteus Philippa – which recently called at Israel’s port of Haifa – from loading a cargo as Tripoli does not recognize Israel and seems to be stepping up pressure on the shipping market in the Mediterranean amidst the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA has been offering a 1-million-barrel cargo of Corocoro, a grade that has been out of the market since 2021 as production at the shallow water project shrank to an absolute minimum but is now slowly coming back to life.

As China’s coal production dropped 1% from September to 388.8 million tonnes in October, the National Reform and Development Commission prompted coal companies to strengthen coal production monitoring and ramp up total output.

The government of Ghana aims to introduce a more flexible mechanism of royalties to incentivize investment into its offshore oil production, currently at 160,000 b/d, even though the current royalty regime is a fixed 4%-12.5% of gross oil production.

California regulators cut fiscal incentives for schools, apartments, and farmers to install rooftop solar panels, the second time already in 2023, amidst a notable decline in solar installations this year as sales have sagged by 80% compared to last year’s record.

According to Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, US oil major ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is set to invest up to $15 billion in a petrochemical plant and a carbon capture and storage project in Indonesia, targeting two underground basins in the Java Sea.

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