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Energy and commodities highlights: CERAWeek, US sanctions and EU energy laws

Summary:
As energy industry professionals gathered in Houston for CERAWeek, global oil politics was top of the agenda. Policymakers and market participants saw opportunities for the US to grow its oil and gas exports amid geopolitical turbulence. Developments on Iran sanctions were a key question hanging over the event, as the market awaits further news on waivers for key importers of Iranian crude. And the US’s request that India cut its Venezuelan crude oil imports has raised the possibility that it could take a softer line on Indian purchases of Iranian oil. Meanwhile, Japan this week looked poised to take a last cargo of Iranian oil under the current waiver, as talks between Japan and the US on the sanctions continue. GRAPHIC OF THE WEEK US oil and gas rig

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As energy industry professionals gathered in Houston for CERAWeek, global oil politics was top of the agenda.

Policymakers and market participants saw opportunities for the US to grow its oil and gas exports amid geopolitical turbulence.

Developments on Iran sanctions were a key question hanging over the event, as the market awaits further news on waivers for key importers of Iranian crude. And the US’s request that India cut its Venezuelan crude oil imports has raised the possibility that it could take a softer line on Indian purchases of Iranian oil.

Meanwhile, Japan this week looked poised to take a last cargo of Iranian oil under the current waiver, as talks between Japan and the US on the sanctions continue.

GRAPHIC OF THE WEEK

US oil and gas rig counts have shown erratic patterns lately, but one reason for recent declines may be the increasing efficiency of operators.

US oil and gas rig count as of March 13, 2019
Click to enlarge

ENERGY TRANSITION

EU parliament to approve anti-fossil energy laws by mid-April

The European Parliament is on track to approve all outstanding draft EU energy laws by mid-April, ensuring that the push away from fossil fuels towards renewable energies will not be disrupted by its elections in May.

OIL PRODUCTS

Analysis: Gasoil a winner as India gears up for federal election

India’s appetite for gasoil is set to witness robust growth in the second quarter as the country gears up for its federal election in April, prompting refiners to delay turnaround plans, limit exports and build stocks in expectation of a rise in incremental demand.

AGRICULTURE

Listen: What prompted Southeast Asia to return to the Black Sea for new crop wheat?

Buyers in Southeast Asia have returned to the Black Sea to purchase new crop milling and feed wheat, three to four months ahead of the harvest. In this podcast, agriculture editors Takmila Shahid and Andrei Agapi examine the factors that triggered the buying appetite and whether the pace will pick up rapidly.

THE LAST WORD

“I’d venture to say the [US] Gulf of Mexico itself is on life support… We’re not putting enough money back in to grow supply five [to] 10 years from now.”

– John Hess, CEO of oil company Hess Corp., speaking Monday at CERAWeek.

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