The price differential between light sweet crude oils and heavier sour crudes has narrowed as OPEC and several non-OPEC oil producers’ continue to implement output cuts. Rising sweet crude production in Libya, Nigeria and the US have also contributed to exceptionally narrow sweet/sour differentials, leading refiners in the West to process more sweeter grades in their refineries.
Qatar’s plan to sharply increase gas liquefaction capacity over the next five years puts the emirate on a potential collision course with the United States, and threatens to extend the current glut of LNG.
China will continue to prioritise LNG in its energy mix despite the prospect of substantially higher LNG prices after around 2022. The dichotomy between government targets to boost the use of gas and the dynamics of a volatile world market was discussed at an Interfax breakfast seminar in London on 27th June.
Peter Stewart participated in the Hyper-smart Power Systems panel discussion at St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The article below appeared in the 1st June issue of Natural Gas Daily, an Interfax publication covering the global gas and energy markets. The views expressed are his own.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to up the ante in its long-simmering dispute with Qatar is a high-risk strategy. Although all sides are scrambling to defuse the crisis, there is a relatively low but nonetheless real risk that the rift with Qatar will spiral.