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Government data released yesterday indicated that Chinese crude oil throughput ramped up in April to hit record daily levels. The rising production levels at private refineries buoyed up the crude oil production in the country. Refinery runs saw an increase of 5% from the previous year to 52.1 million tonnes, matching the record throughput of 12.68 million barrels per day (bpd).
Oil prices dropped on Wednesday over rising levels of US crude stockpiles, and low Chinese industrial output, however tensions in the Middle East prevented further drops. Brent crude futures dropped 0.3%, and were traded at $71.04 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.7%, and were priced at $61.38 per barrel. An EIA report showed that crude inventories grew by 8.6 million barrels last week.
Oil prices climbed up on Tuesday. However, the prices were pulled lower due to the increasing tension over US-China trade war. Benchmark Brent was up by 0.1% to $70.30 a barrel. WTI increased by 0.1% to $61.11 per barrel. “This ramp-up in trade tensions, which I don’t really think people saw coming, is going to have an impact, a broad impact,” said the senior economist at National Australia Bank.
Oil prices remained mixed in the international market on Monday with concerns of slow economic growth due to US-China trade war weighing heavy on the investors. Brent crude futures climbed by 0.2% to $70.73 a barrel. US WTI crude futures were up by 0.2% to $61.58 per barrel. The battle between the US and China intensified last week with the US imposing high tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Amidst the fear of investors that the tariff war between the US and China would harm the global economic growth, oil prices climbed up on Friday. The price rose on the back of hope that a deal could be struck between Washington and Beijing in the near future. Benchmark Brent went up by 0.7% and was traded at $70.85 a barrel. WTI increased by 1% and was traded at $62.29 per barrel.
Elevating trade tensions between the US and China weighed heavy on the oil prices in the international market on Thursday, counteracting the fall in US crude stocks. Benchmark Brent crude dropped 0.9%, to $69.72 per barrel. US WTI crude fell 1%, to $61.52 per barrel. The US will enforce higher tariffs on Chinese goods from Friday, during the two-day visit of Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to Washington from Thursday.
Oil prices held tight in the international market today, amid US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Brent crude oil futures were traded at $69.94 per barrel, up 0.1%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.3%, to $61.56 per barrel. Oil prices recovered from the downfall earlier this week, triggered by announcements of the US levying even higher import tariffs on Chinese goods.
Oil prices experienced a sharp decline in the international market on Monday, forced down by the threat of a renewed US-China trade war. Brent crude oil futures plunged 2.1%, and were traded at $69.34 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dipped 2.4%, and were priced at $60.44 per barrel. US President Donald Trump yesterday tweeted that higher tariffs will be imposed on Chinese goods this week.
Asia's largest refiner, Sinopec informed on Monday that its net earnings of the first quarter underwent a drop of 21%. The company is suffering from this significant loss due to the lower crude prices in the upstream operations. The company has reported that its net profit of this quarter is $2.3 billion with refinery output settling at about 5.01 million barrels per day.
Chinese oil major, CNOOC has entered into a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with Russian gas producer, Novatek for 10% interest in the Arctic LNG 2 project. The Arctic LNG 2 Project is one of the largest onshore conventional natural gas projects, operated by JSC Novatek. The project involves the development and production of Utrenneye gas field, apart from the construction and operation of three LNG trains.
ExxonMobil has informed that it has signed a sales and purchase agreement for the supply of Liquified Natural Gas with Zhejiang Provincial Energy Group. The agreement has been signed for 20 years during which Zhejiang Energy is expected to receive 1 million metric tons per annum of LNG. Exxon's senior VP of LNG said, "This sales and purchase agreement provides a solid foundation for our strategic partnership with Zhejiang".
Oil prices scaled in the international market today on reports of rising demand from Chinese refineries while the market remains tight due to supply cut and falling crude inventories. Brent crude oil futures climbed 0.29%, to $71.93/barrel. US WTI crude futures rose 0.6% and were traded at $64.45/barrel. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics today showed refinery throughput in China during last month soared by 3.2% to 53.04 million tonnes.
CNOOC has signed a production sharing contract (PSC) with Smart Oil, informed CNOOC Limited. The contract is for the Bohai 09/17 Block which covers 509.3 square kilometers. Under the scope of this agreement, Smart Oil will be the operator of the field during the exploration period. And when the development phase starts, CNOOC will have 51% of the participating interest in any commercial discoveries of the Bohai 09/17 Block.
Delivery for the first batch of low-sulphur light marine fuel has come from Chinese downstream giant, Sinopec. The first batch of 6,800 tonnes of the IMO-standardized fuel came from Sinopec’s Shanghai refinery. Starting in 2020, IMO will forbid ships running on fuel oil, with sulphur content above 0.5%. The only exception to this rule will be the ships retrofitted with exhaust “scrubbers” to clean sulphur emissions.
China is making efforts to penetrate into massive unconventional resources and is developing its shale gas assets. As a part of this initiative, oil major Shell has signed an agreement with Sinopec to study an East China block. Presently, shale oil makes up to only 1% of the nation's crude output. Sinopec has now put its hope on Shell's expertise in shale oil exploration for the development of China's resources.
Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, Woodside has inked a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with China-based ENN Group. The agreement requires Woodside to supply 1 million tpy of LNG from its portfolio for a 10-year duration, starting in 2025. The agreement which was signed during the LNG 2019 conference in Shanghai, comes on the backdrop of the cooperation agreement signed in October 2018.
After the sanction waivers expire in May, US is likely to renew them for a small group of countries. The US based analysts Eurasia Group has informed that the five countries- India, China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey among the group of eight will continue importing Iranian crude and condensate without facing penalties. This will lead to the failure of US attempts to reduce Iranian oil imports to zero.
The crude market showed a mixed response on Thursday. With the data revealing surprise build in US inventories, Brent moved towards the psychologically crucial benchmark of $70. Brent crude was increased to $69.36 a barrel. WTI fell early in the session to $62.43 a barrel. The news from the White House further brings a sigh of relief as trade talks between the US and China made “good headway”.