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Commodity Tracker: 6 charts to watch this week

Nuclear generation in the US and France faces contrasting challenges of power market prices and safety concerns, as this week’s graphics show. Other top trends picked by S&P Global Platts editors include China’s falling LNG imports, stuttering gold prices, refinery margins and coking coal prices. 1. US nuclear sector struggles amid weak power prices…     What’s happening? Across the US Northeast, largely in states with deregulated power markets, nuclear power plants are being...

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Oil prices and Aramco IPO raise stakes for OPEC cuts

OPEC officials have played down the prospect of deeper crude oil production cuts. Demand may be picking up and US shale producers are finally feeling the pinch. However, tepid prices and the awkward timing of the giant Aramco IPO will make a strong case for the group to take more action. Oil continuing to trade around $62/b is a problem OPEC has failed to resolve. The group’s key producers from the Middle East require higher prices to sustain their petrodollar economies. Saudi Arabia requires...

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US oil drillers face growing issue of water disposal: Fuel for Thought

For every barrel of oil produced from the average Permian Basin well, about three barrels of water get pumped out with it. The water-to-oil ratio is lowest in the established Midland Basin, but more exaggerated in the Delaware and other Texas basins. A midstream water management industry has grown up in Texas alongside the shale oil boom. Most of the water gets injected back underground into disposal wells, although more and more is getting treated and moved to other drilling sites to frack...

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Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

Precious metals top this week’s selection of energy and commodity charts, as palladium prices continue to climb, but provide little upside for platinum. Plus: US natural gas prices, Middle East economies’ oil dependency, European coal-to-gas generation switching and Chinese LNG imports. 1. Palladium continues to roar: eyes on $2,000/oz   What’s happening? Palladium, the darling of the precious metals world for the past 18 months, continues to power forward, leaving sister...

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Renewable power GO: market looks to new drivers of liquidity and supply

The market for European Guarantees of Origin, or GO, electronic tags that certify the source of renewable electricity, is evolving quickly. S&P Global Platts has been monitoring developments, including the impact of recently-launched French auctions; price dynamics across regions and technologies; and where additional GO supply will come from in the coming years. Here are the key trends that European utilities and other market participants should be following this winter: 1. French...

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Norway’s new oil bonanza holds lessons for Britain

Norway brags about its green credentials but the Scandinavian petrodollar state still depends on exporting oil and natural gas for its long-term prosperity. Its latest giant offshore oil field project is proof that the North Sea still has decades of life left as a major producing basin. The UK government should take note and support more exploration in British waters. The continued importance of crude for the future of Norway’s economy was underscored last month with the startup of the giant...

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Commodity Tracker: 7 charts to watch this week

LNG breaks new records either side of the Atlantic in this week’s pick of energy and commodities trends from S&P Global Platts editors. Plus: US crude imports and refining, German power price dynamics and more. 1. US LNG feedgas demand hits new single-day high…   What’s happening? US LNG feedgas demand is trending near record-high levels again this month as production at both Freeport LNG and Elba Island continue to ramp up. In October, demand from the six US LNG export...

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Booming Asian coal demand to drive exports from North America’s West Coast

Coal demand is declining in the US and Europe, but coal remains the world’s most dominant fuel for power generation. Despite what you may read, the global market for thermal coal continues to gain steam, particularly as Asia builds new coal-fired power plants to charge its growing economies. This year, India is likely to surpass the US as the world’s second largest coal producer, with production in the South Asian country expected to total more than 700 million mt compared with 685 million...

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Oil majors struggle to counter Extinction Rebellion narrative

Oil companies are squarely in the aim of Extinction Rebellion’s campaign against fossil fuels, and they are struggling to find a response. Instead of running away when confronted by climate change activists, it is time the industry’s top executives from companies such as BP, Shell and Total provided these campaigners with some hard economic facts about how oil markets work. Teaching protesters who tried to shut down the annual Oil and Money forum held in London earlier this month about the...

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China Macro and Metals: Steel exporters target China amid warmer economic signals

In a new monthly post, S&P Global Platts analyzes China’s key economic indicators, and what they mean for the metals sector. Chinese commodity prices softened over September and into the first half of October, while economic data was mixed over the same period. But compared to other global markets, China is doing pretty well. This was evidenced by countries including South Korea, Russia and India all targeting China with steel due to a lack of buyers elsewhere. Chinese domestic prices...

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