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Crude oil tanker rates likely to remain low until petroleum demand increasesOctober 21, 2020
"Data from ClipperData indicate that global crudeoil floating storage (defined here as a crude oil tanker that is within a designated storage zone for at least seven days, is anchored or drifting slowly, and is known to be loaded from a crude facility) increased from 65.9 million barrels on March 1, 2020, to 221.5 million barrels on July 9, 2020. As of October 13, global floating storage has fallen 19% from its recent high in July, and floating storage in China has fallen 41% from its recent high in August (Figure 3)."
In Huge Turnaround, Natural Gas Prices Have Doubled Since JuneOctober 12, 2020
Much of the oil and gas industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. But some sectors, like liquefied natural gas exports, have rebounded quite significantly since last spring. Matt Smith, director of commodity research for ClipperData, told Texas standard that after LNG prices dropped in June to about $1.50 per mmbtu – the lowest in 25 years – they rebounded significantly in recent weeks. “We were knee deep in coronavirus lockdown, which meant the world was oversupplied with natural gas,” Smith said. “Fast-forward just a few months later and prices are just shy of $3 … and the winter months are looking considerably higher than that as well.”
Dallas Fed Survey Finds Oil Price Needs To Rise 25% To See Rig Counts IncreaseSeptember 28, 2020
“While we still could see further storms forming in the next few weeks, topical activity really should start dropping off sharply as we get into the latter half of October,” ClipperData's Matt Smith said. “That’s the good side of things. All that said, energy infrastructure is still being impacted particularly by Laura and Marco that happened back in August… We’ve got operations that are still trying to restart. Lake Charles refineries are still suffering from power outages there, and the Cameron LNG terminal in the same area which is struggling with the same issue.
The limits of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and what Syrians can learnSeptember 16, 2020
We are often taught to believe that international judicial accountability is the ultimate resolution for crimes committed. Yet, after eleven years of adjudication and nearly $1 billion spent by different stakeholders, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) judgment on August 18 demonstrated that justice is not necessarily delivered by international courts. Indeed, like most international bodies and mechanisms, they can be subject to political whims, legal hurdles, technical bureaucracies, obstruction, protracted proceedings, and high costs. In the case of the STL, these obstacles hollowed the mandate of the Tribunal and ultimately resulted in a deficient verdict unable to influence Lebanon’s increasing social, political, and economic woes. Authored ClipperData Geopolitical Analyst Bachar EL-Halabi.
The Energy Industry is Bracing For Yet Another Hit From Tropical ActivitySeptember 14, 2020
It’s been a busy season so far and now several offshore drilling platforms are hunkering down for their second potential hurricane in less than a month, as a strengthening Tropical Storm Sally heads toward the Louisiana coast. “September 10th – the peak of Atlantic hurricane season – on the same day it was announced that weather conditions had flipped to La Niña,” said Matt Smith, director of #commodity research at ClipperData. “It means below normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean… it could lead to more frequent and stronger hurricanes for the end of the Atlantic Hurricane season. We’ve already had a record and it loos like that could extend into October.”
Between axes of “peace” & “resistance,” dictators triumph while Palestinians sufferSeptember 06, 2020
Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Hezbollah each vehemently condemned the peace deal. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even hinted at the possibility of suspending ties with the UAE, claiming the role of a “leader” in the region and “negotiator” on behalf of Palestinians. “For Erdogan, the UAE-Israel peace deal primarily acts as a method to fortify opposition, alongside countries like France and Greece, to Turkey’s expansionist foreign policy in the Middle East,” said Bachar EL-Halabi, an Istanbul-based #geopolitical analyst for ClipperData.
U.S. refiners, awash in diesel inventory, unlikely to boost output soonSeptember 03, 2020
U.S. refiners are stuck between meeting rising gasoline demand and the glut of supply in the lackluster diesel and jet fuel markets. Refiners cannot produce gasoline without making other products like diesel, commonly known as distillates. The coronavirus pandemic slashed demand by one-third worldwide, and so far the gasoline use has rebounded faster than that of distillates. Refiners still have big stockpiles of diesel and other fuels, and do not want to make more of those products due to poor margins. Refiners hope export demand will offset the weak domestic consumption, but there, too, distillates are lagging gasoline. Finished gasoline exports in August were down just 4% from a year ago, compared to a 35% drop in middle distillate exports, said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.
Lebanon’s new prime minister vows reforms, but Lebanese people aren’t convincedSeptember 02, 2020
Macron warned that if real reforms don’t happen, including in the banking sector and at the central bank, France could impose punitive sanctions on the ruling class. But Macron’s efforts — what he’s called “the last chance for this system” — could still fail, many Lebanese believe. “What Macron is asking of Lebanon’s political leaders is nothing short of suicide,” Bachar EL-Halabi, a Lebanese MENA analyst for ClipperData, wrote on Twitter on Monday. “For them to change their very DNA, the way politics & government have been run in the country for 3 decades, & from which the leaders have drawn great personal profit.”
Saudi oil shipments to America plunge to 35-year lowSeptember 01, 2020
Saudi Arabia drew the wrath of Republicans in Washington DC this spring by sending an armada of tankers to America to drown US oil makers with cheap crude. Now, the kingdom has reversed course, steering the fewest barrels here since the Reagan era. The United States imported just 264,000 barrels per day of Saudi crude during August, according to estimates from ClipperData, a commodity research firm. That's down nearly 50% from 2019's average.
Lebanon’s political elite ‘in denial’ as government talks slowAugust 26, 2020
In the wake of this month’s devastating explosion at Beirut port, French president Emmanuel Macron urged a “new political pact” for the Lebanese people, making it clear that reform was needed if the country was to receive the financial support it needs to resolve its economic crisis. This political “system has hit a wall a long time ago and it’s impossible for it to move forward,” said Bachar EL-Halabi, a Middle East geopolitical analyst for ClipperData. Lebanon’s “crisis is huge and unprecedented on all levels and no one is willing to take on that responsibility”.