Crude Oil Attacks & Self-Driving Trucks | Weekly News Update

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Crude Oil and Diesel Markets Spike After Attack on Saudi Arabia Oil Infrastructure

Over the weekend, a drone attacked Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure shutting down over half of Saudi Arabian’s oil production or nearly 6 percent of total global oil output.  The U.S. blamed Iran for the attacks and the Iran-allied Houthi rebels claimed credit for the attack.  The group stated they sent 10 drones to strike important oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabian’s Eastern Province.  The U.S. and Saudi officials are also investigating the possibility of cruise missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.  Saudi Arabia plans to use oil supplies on hand to offset the production loss and the country is expecting to resume roughly one third of the disrupted production by end of day Monday, but the lasting effects are still uncertain.

The immediate result of this news has already sent West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude benchmarks up roughly $5 and $6 per barrel, at the time this was written.  Diesel futures markets followed the same trend jumping approximately 15 cents per gallon Monday morning.

Daimler Starts Self-Driving Truck Testing in Virginia

Less than 6 months after Daimler Trucks agreed to acquire Torc Robotics and less than a month since the deal was closed, the company has launched self-driving testing on Virginia highways.  The testing will have a trained driver and an engineer onboard monitoring the driving environment.  The goal is to successfully develop Level 4 automation within 10 years, giving the company a lot of time to develop and perfect the technology.  Relatedly, Waymo – the self-driving unit of Alphabet – announced they will expand their autonomous technology to Class 8 Heavy-Duty trucks and last-mile trucks.

Top Energy Stories

WSJ: Saudi Crown Prince Cements Authority Over Economy with Energy Ministry Pick

Mohammed bin Salman ’s placement of a royal insider at the helm of Saudi Arabia’s powerful energy ministry tightens the crown prince’s grip on one of the most important levers of the kingdom’s economy.

Reuters: Oil prices slide 2% after report Trump weighed easing Iran sanctions

Oil prices tumbled more than 2% on Wednesday after a report that U.S. President Donald Trump weighed easing sanctions on Iran, which could boost global crude supply at a time of lingering worries about global energy demand.

WSJ: Saudi Oil Attack Is the Big One

Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications.

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U.S. Blames Iran for Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities

Biggest oil price surge since 1991 as ‘locked and loaded’ U.S. points finger at Iran for attack

OPEC, Russia Hold Off Pumping More Oil After Saudi Attack

Saudi Officials Consider Delaying Aramco IPO

Top Freight Transportation Stories

WSJ: J.P. Morgan Says Shipping Loans Will Go Only to Clean Vessels

J.P. Morgan Asset Management is joining a chorus of global financiers saying that protecting the environment will be a key consideration for extending shipping loans. The group is the latest financial institution to warn shipowners to abide by a series of measures kicking off next year and extending to 2050 that are aimed at cutting emissions from oceangoing vessels.

Transport Topics: NACFE Names Drivers for Regional Run on Less Showcase

Ten regional-haul drivers, whose experience ranges from one year to 42 years, will participate in the Regional Run on Less fuel efficiency roadshow from Oct. 7 through Oct. 25, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency announced Sept. 10.

Transport Topics: Daimler, Torc Begin Testing Self-Driving Trucks in Virginia

Daimler Trucks has begun testing highly automated heavy-duty trucks on Virginia highways in partnership with its subsidiary Torc Robotics, the companies said.  The announcement comes less than six months after Daimler Trucks agreed to acquire a majority stake in Torc, a pioneer in autonomous vehicle technology. That deal closed in late August.

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Waymo expands self-driving technology to Class 8, last mile delivery trucks

Top Economic Stories

Supply Chain Dive: US will delay Oct. 1 tariff increase on Chinese goods by 2 weeks

The U.S. Trade Representative announced plans last month to increase the existing 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to a rate of 30% on Oct. 1. This is now delayed until Oct. 15, according to Trump.

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Trump: would consider interim trade deal with China

WSJ: China Seeks to Narrow Trade Talks With U.S. in Bid to Break Deadlock

China is looking to narrow the scope of its negotiations with the U.S. to only trade matters, seeking to put thornier national-security issues on a separate track in a bid to break deadlocked talks with the U.S.

China to Exempt U.S. Soybeans and Pork From Punitive Tariffs

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at

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