On Wednesday, oil jumped above $50/bbl for the first time this year. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. crude oil stockpiles shrank by 4.23 million barrels last week to total 537.1 million barrels. That was the biggest drop in seven weeks, exceeding an expected decrease of 2 million. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, and the delivery hub for futures fell 649,000 barrels. Supply to US shrank due to lower imports from Canada.
In South East Asia, the volumes of oil stored offshore have increased. In Singapore, a fleet of 40 supertankers is currently anchored in the region's coastal waters for use as floating storage facilities. The tankers are filled with 47.7 million barrels of oil, mostly crude, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. That means, that output disruptions across the globe did not have significant impact on South East Asia. Crude oil, mainly from the Middle East, continues to flood Asian market.
Global volumes of oil held on tankers grew by 10.3 million barrels to 88.9 million in April, the most since June 2015, the International Energy Agency said. Furthermore, demand for oil storage soars amid supply glut.
Russian state-owned company Rosneft seeks to enter South Asian oil markets, mostly supplied by Middle Eastern producers. In the near term, the company plans to acquire two refineries - in India and Indonesia - and to start crude oil supplies to the new markets. Rosneft have already announced a deal with India's Essar Oil, which owns the refinery and a network of around 2,000 gas stations across the country. This year Russian company plans to purchase 49% stake in Essar Oil and to start sending its first regular deliveries of crude to India.
Rosneft intends to enter Indonesian market in a similar way, investing in the refinery construction. On Thursday, state-owned Indonesian oil company PT Pertamina said it hopes to take a majority share (at least 51% stake) in a near-$14 billion Indonesia-refinery venture with Russian Rosneft. The venture plans to build a refinery in eastern Java, capable of processing 320,000 barrels of oil a day. Russian company would supply crude oil to the refinery, and the deal could also include Pertamina's taking minority stakes in Russian oil fields. Later on Thursday two companies signed the agreement.
$50/bbl Is Pain At The Pump
As oil prices rise some South Asian countries may have to increase their spendings on fuel subsidies. We are talking here about multibillion-dollar burden. India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are among big fuel consumers in the region that took advantage of the slump in oil prices to scale back long-standing government assistance for gasoline, diesel and other fuels. According to BMI Research, diesel prices in Delhi have climbed more than 7% this year, while diesel in Thailand is up 17%, hurting motorists and other energy consumers across Asia.
The country is on the way to resume crude production in oil-sands. Last Friday, municipal authorities in Alberta lifted mandatory evacuation orders for seven oil-sands worker camps and production facilities. The threat posed by the wildfire that shut down 1.2 million barrels of daily oil production has not completely passed, but oil-sands companies have begun sending crews back up to northern Alberta to prepare to restart their facilities.
Iran has boosted exports by around 1 million b/d by now after the sanctions were lifted in January. According to Reuters, Iranian crude oil exports in April reached 2.3 million b/d, exceeding forecasts. In May last year Iran was exporting about 1.3 million b/d. Tehran is regaining market share at a faster pace than analysts had projected as it battles with Saudi Arabia for customers by cutting its prices. In the near term, competition may lead to increases of as much as 1 million b/d in Saudi Arabia's output as it struggles for regional supremacy with Iran.
Crude exports resumed from the Libyan port of Hariga after the National Oil Corp. and officials based in the east reached an agreement last week. Since the deal was announced, the tanker Seachance loaded 660,000 barrels of crude and sailed from Hariga on Friday, Tripoli-based National Oil Corp. said in a statement. The cargo was the first international shipment from the port since the regime in the east refused to let the tanker leave port in early May.
Eni reported another attack in the Niger Delta. On Sunday, militants blew up the Tebidaba-Brass pipeline with dynamite. Attacks in the Niger Delta region in the last few weeks have driven the country's oil output to a more than 20-year low.
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Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly
Renewable generation provided a new record of 742 million megawatthours (MWh) of electricity in 2018, nearly double the 382 million MWh produced in 2008. Renewables provided 17.6% of electricity generation in the United States in 2018.
Nearly 90% of the increase in U.S. renewable electricity between 2008 and 2018 came from wind and solar generation. Wind generation rose from 55 million MWh in 2008 to 275 million MWh in 2018 (6.5% of total electricity generation), exceeded only by conventional hydroelectric at 292 million MWh (6.9% of total generation).
U.S. solar generation has increased from 2 million MWh in 2008 to 96 million MWh in 2018. Solar generation accounted for 2.3% of electricity generation in 2018. Solar generation is generally categorized as small-scale (customer-sited or rooftop) solar installations or utility-scale installations. In 2018, 69% of solar generation, or 67 million MWh, was utility-scale solar.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly
Increases in U.S. wind and solar generation are driven largely by capacity additions. In 2008, the United States had 25 gigawatts (GW) of wind generating capacity. By the end of 2018, 94 GW of wind generating capacity was operating on the electric grid. Almost all of this capacity is onshore; one offshore wind plant, located on Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, has a capacity of 30 megawatts. Similarly, installed solar capacity grew from an estimated less than 1 GW in 2008 to 51 GW in 2018. In 2018, 1.8 GW of this solar capacity was solar thermal, 30 GW was utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV), and the remaining 20 GW was small-scale solar PV.
Growth in renewable technologies in the United States, particularly in wind and solar, has been driven by federal and state policies and declining costs. Federal policies such as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 and the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credits for wind and solar have spurred project development.
In addition, state-level policies, such as renewable portfolio standards, which require a certain share of electricity to come from renewable sources, have increasing targets over time. As more wind and solar projects have come online, economies of scale have led to more efficient project development and financing mechanisms, which has led to continued cost declines.
Conventional hydroelectric capacity has remained relatively unchanged in the United States, increasing by 2% since 2008. Changes in hydroelectric generation year-over-year typically reflect changes in precipitation and drought conditions. Between 2008 and 2018, annual U.S. hydroelectric generation was as low as 249 million MWh and as high as 319 million MWh, with hydroelectric generation in 2018 totaling 292 million MWh. Generation from other renewable resources, including biomass and geothermal, increased from 70 million MWh to 79 million MWh in the United States between 2008 and 2018, and it collectively represented 1.9% of total generation in 2018.
Headline crude prices for the week beginning 11 March 2019 – Brent: US$66/b; WTI: US$56/b
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