Energy & Commodities

Pre-construction on Woodfibre LNG to start this year

The Singapore-based company bankrolling the $1.6 billion Woodfibre LNG plans to spend US$500 million this year on the Squamish based project.

In an update to mayor and council in Squamish Tuesday, Woodfibre LNG’s new CEO, Christine Kennedy, said the company behind the LNG project, Pacific Energy Corp., has approved more than $600 million (US$500 million) in spending for the project in 2022.

“While we have not yet issued our final notice to proceed, this confirmed investment is indicative of our intent to start pre-construction work this year, and complete this critical low-emission energy project in 2027,” Kennedy said in a statement to BIV News.

Woodfibre officially set up its office in Squamish in 2013. Several setbacks have pushed back a final investment decision and construction start date, requiring Woodfibre LNG to get extensions to its environmental certificate…read more.

Oil Prices Crash By 11% As UAE Calls On OPEC To Open The Taps

  • UAE Ambassador to Washington says his country favours production increases and will encourage OPEC to consider higher production levels.
  • The UAE marks the first OPEC+ member to call for more production.
  • Brent crude has dropped more than $15 per barrel as traders have begun to take profits.

In a complete oil industry turnaround, The UAE’s ambassador to Washington has said in a statement to the press that they “favour production increases and will be encouraging Opec to consider higher production levels.”

Yousef al-Otaiba’s statement, carried by the FT, comes as both the UAE and Saudi Arabia—two of the very few, if not the only, OPEC members that are believed to have spare capacity—have ducked calls from President Joe Biden to discuss the crisis that is brewing the oil markets after Russia invaded Ukraine, sending oil prices sky high.

OPEC managed to lift its production by 560,000 bpd in February, according to a new S&P Platts survey, but President Biden has repeatedly asked OPEC to increase its production to ease prices for the American consumer.

While the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the most likely candidates for having spare capacity that could be turned on on short notice, they are already producing to quota. Producing more would be a violation of the OPEC agreement—and more importantly, the OPEC+ agreement that it made with other countries, including Russia…read more.

Oil Prices Break $130 As EU And U.S. Allies Consider Ban On Russian Crude

The United States has confirmed that it is in talks with European allies to potentially sanction Russian crude oil in response to Moscow’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, sending oil prices briefly above $130.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted on Sunday during the NBC talk show Meet the Press on Sunday, “We are now in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our countries, while of course at the same time maintaining a steady global supply of oil.”

The latest considerations follow a stream of sanctions that have already had a significant impact on the Russian economy but have not yet been able to halt Putin’s advance into Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen has yet not fully supported the idea as of yet, though she has expressed that one of their primary goals in the sanctions that have been levied thus far is to cut Putin’s funding streams…read more.

Oil Rallies As White House Considers Ban On Russian Oil Imports

  • WTI crude rose 7% following the news that the White House is considering a ban on the import of Russian crude oil.
  • On Thursday, the White House had tersely dismissed the idea of banning Russian crude oil imports.
  • On Friday afternoon, the White House’s take on banning Russian crude oil softened. Oil prices continue to inch higher, with new reports that the White House is considering a ban on Russian crude oil.

At 3:01 pm ET, WTI crude had risen to $115.20 per barrel, up nearly 7% on the day and up more than $20 on the week. Brent crude was trading at $117.70, up 6.58% on the day and up more than $19 on the week.

On Thursday, the White House had tersely dismissed the idea of banning Russian crude oil imports, pointing out that doing so could cause oil and gasoline prices to rise even more than they already had.

But other U.S. lawmakers have pushed for a full ban, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

On the other hand, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki downplayed the role Russian crude oil plays in the United States, adding that it only makes up 10% of the total crude oil that the United States imports…read more.

Canada Bans Russian Oil Imports In Symbolic Gesture

Canada, which has not imported any Russian oil in three years, has made a symbolic gesture in banning these same imports this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

“While Canada has imported very little amounts [of crude oil] in recent years, this measure sends a powerful message,” Trudeau said, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

Canada, the WSJ recalls, has been among the most aggressive sanction proponents against Russia, while Europe, which imports a quarter of its oil and almost 40 percent of its gas from Russia, has been more hesitant about the possibility of shooting itself in the foot with sanctions.

For now, the focus has been on the financial sector and government assets abroad, with a side focus on bans on Russian state media. While direct oil and gas sanctions have been kept off the table, there has been fear that current sanctions, including the cutting off of several Russian banks from the SWIFT international transaction reporting system, would affect oil and gas flows.

Indeed, Reuters reported yesterday that a Russian tanker carrying crude oil to Malaysia might fall victim to the sanctions. The Linda, according to the report, is the property of a company called PSB Leasing, which is a unit of Promsvyazbank—one of the targets of Western sanctions. The report cited the bank as saying it was no longer the owner of the vessel…read more.