“Fed Fears” over accelerating US inflation and interest rate hikes gave way to “Tariff Tantrums” in the week of March 5-9 but the impact was similar: heightened volatility and a souring economic sentiment. That pressured stock markets around the world and unsettled the oil markets too.
US President Donald Trump Thursday signed an order imposing a hefty 25% tariff on steel imports into the country and a 10% tariff on aluminium imports. News of the impending levies had injected fresh volatility in the equity markets starting a week ago, raising the spectre of a global trade war that could derail the synchronous economic growth that has been propping up equities and commodities alike.
A last-minute exemption from the import tariffs granted to Canada and Mexico and a provision that would allow the US to let some other countries off the hook on a case-by-case basis, however, brought some relief towards the end of the week. As expected, that was buoying both stocks and crude futures through Friday.
But there were other factors bearing down on crude prices. A major annual oil industry event in Houston through the week, which attracted US independents, oil majors, OPEC ministers as well as top names in technology and oil service providers, pushed the prospect of shale renaissance to the top of the oil market’s collective consciousness.
Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Administration doubled down on its optimism over the country’s crude production growth. In its latest monthly energy outlook report, the EIA upped its predicted annual growth in 2018 US crude output to a strong 1.38 million b/d.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency was also in the optimists’ camp on US production. It forecast that oil production growth from the US, Brazil, Canada and Norway could keep the world well supplied through 2020, with the US alone satisfying 80% of the incremental demand.
Meanwhile, EIA data showing a second successive weekly rise in US crude stocks to March 2 — a build of around 2.41 million barrels — also heaped pressure on crude futures. WTI took a bigger battering than Brent, widening its discount to the latter to $3.55/barrel at Thursday’s market close, 40 cents more than at the start of the week.
A closure of Libya’s largest oil field Sharara last Sunday helped prop up crude prices Monday, but it did not last as the field was restarted within a day. Sharara, which had been pumping about 308,000 b/d of crude, was forced to shut after a local landowner closed a valve in protest against a pipeline serving the field polluting his land.
The US dollar had recouped some of its earlier losses as fears of a global trade war eased towards the end of the week, but remains a volatile agent ahead of the next US Federal Reserve policy meeting March 20-21, which is widely expected to raise interest rates.
The anxiety in the financial markets since February 2 has not completely died down. We expect continued volatility in the stock and bond markets, rippling into crude with a downside bias next week.
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Pioneering technology expert tells ADIPEC Energy Dialogue up to 80 per cent of plant shutdowns could be mitigated through combination of advanced electrification, automation and digitalisation technologies
Greater use of renewables in power management processes offers oil and gas companies opportunities to create efficiencies, sustainability and affordability when modernising equipment, or planning new CAPEX projects
Abu Dhabi, UAE – XX August 2020 – Leveraging the synergies created by the convergence of electrification, automation and digitalisation, can create significant cost savings for oil and gas companies when making both operational and capital investment decisions, according to Dr Peter Terwiesch, President of Industrial Automation at ABB, a Swiss-Swedish multinational company, operating mainly in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment, and automation technology areas.
Participating in the latest ADIPEC Energy Dialogue, Dr Terwiesch said up to 80 per cent of energy industry plant shutdowns, caused by human error, or rotating machinery or power outages, could be mitigated through a combination of electrification, automation and digitalisation.
“Savings are clearly possible not only on the operation side but also, using the same synergies between dimensions, you can bring down the cost schedule and risk of capital investment, especially in a time when making projects work economically is harder,” explained Dr Terwiesch.
A pioneering technology leader, who works closely with utility, industry, transportation and infrastructure customers, Dr Terwiesch said despite the increasing investment by oil and gas companies in renewables and the growing use of renewables to generate electricity, both for individual and industrial uses, hydrocarbons will continue to have an important role in creating energy, in the short to medium term.
“If you look at the energy density constraints, clearly electricity is gaining share but electricity is not the source of energy; it is a conduit of energy. The energy has to come from somewhere and that can be hydrocarbons, or nuclear, or renewables.” he said.
Nevertheless, he added, the greater use of renewables to generate electricity offers oil and gas companies the option of integrating a higher share of renewables into power management processes to create efficiencies, sustainability and affordability when modernising equipment, or planning new CAPEX projects.
The ADIPEC Energy Dialogue is a series of online thought leadership events created by dmg events, organisers of the annual Abu Dhabi International Exhibition and Conference. Featuring key stakeholders and decision-makers in the oil and gas industry, the dialogues focus on how the industry is evolving and transforming in response to the rapidly changing energy market.
With this year’s in person ADIPEC exhibition and conference postponed to November 2021, the ADIPEC Energy Dialogue, along with insightful webinars, podcasts and on line panels continue to connect the oil and gas industry, with the challenges and opportunities shaping energy markets in the run up to, and following, a planned three-day live stream virtual ADIPEC conference taking place from November 9-11.
An industry first of its kind, the online conference will bring together energy leaders, ministers and global oil and gas CEOs to assess the collective measures the industry needs to put in place to fast-track recovery, post COVID-19.
To watch the full ADIPEC Energy Dialogue series go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZzUd32n3_s&t=6s
Utility-scale battery storage systems are increasingly being installed in the United States. In 2010, the United States had seven operational battery storage systems, which accounted for 59 megawatts (MW) of power capacity (the maximum amount of power output a battery can provide in any instant) and 21 megawatthours (MWh) of energy capacity (the total amount of energy that can be stored or discharged by a battery). By the end of 2018, the United States had 125 operational battery storage systems, providing a total of 869 MW of installed power capacity and 1,236 MWh of energy capacity.
Battery storage systems store electricity produced by generators or pulled directly from the electrical grid, and they redistribute the power later as needed. These systems have a wide variety of applications, including integrating renewables into the grid, peak shaving, frequency regulation, and providing backup power.
Most utility-scale battery storage capacity is installed in regions covered by independent system operators (ISOs) or regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Historically, most battery systems are in the PJM Interconnection (PJM), which manages the power grid in 13 eastern and Midwestern states as well as the District of Columbia, and in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Together, PJM and CAISO accounted for 55% of the total battery storage power capacity built between 2010 and 2018. However, in 2018, more than 58% (130 MW) of new storage power capacity additions, representing 69% (337 MWh) of energy capacity additions, were installed in states outside of those areas.
In 2018, many regions outside of CAISO and PJM began adding greater amounts of battery storage capacity to their power grids, including Alaska and Hawaii, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). Many of the additions were the result of procurement requirements, financial incentives, and long-term planning mechanisms that promote the use of energy storage in the respective states. Alaska and Hawaii, which have isolated power grids, are expanding battery storage capacity to increase grid reliability and reduce dependence on expensive fossil fuel imports.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report
Note: The cost range represents cost data elements from the 25th to 75th percentiles for each year of reported cost data.
Average costs per unit of energy capacity decreased 61% between 2015 and 2017, dropping from $2,153 per kilowatthour (kWh) to $834 per kWh. The large decrease in cost makes battery storage more economical, helping accelerate capacity growth. Affordable battery storage also plays an important role in the continued integration of storage with intermittent renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar.
Additional information on these topics is available in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) recently updated Battery Storage in the United States: An Update on Market Trends. This report explores trends in battery storage capacity additions and describes the current state of the market, including information on applications, cost, market and policy drivers, and future project developments.