The US To Leave the Iran Nuclear Deal
On Tuesday, May 8th, President Trump announced that he would abandon the nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran. This decision threw oil markets into uncertainty, and – at least in the short term – pushing fuel prices sharply higher. The announcement signals that the US will reapply sanctions on the Iranian economy, which had been removed when Iran pledged to suspend its nuclear program in 2015. The original deal was agreed upon by Iran and the “P5+1” powers, including the five permanent members of the UN security council (China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) and Germany. The immediate move by the US is a unilateral move; the remaining signatories of the deal may keep their agreement in place. WTI and Brent crude pushed above $70 and $77 dollars per barrel, respectively, to end the past week, gaining approximately $2.00/bbl following the announcement.
Emissions Targets Continue to Drive Energy Markets
According to Reuters, France and four other European Union countries have called for ambitious CO2 emissions reduction targets for trucks. A statement released by France ahead of the European Commission meeting called for “ambitious objectives to be fixed for 2025, 2030 and 2050 in order to expand efforts to decarbonize transport.” Other European countries, including Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were more specific in their emission reduction suggestions, calling for a decrease of at least 24 percent for 2025 and 35-40 percent for 2030. The commission will suggest the EU’s first-ever CO2 emissions standards for trucks on May 16th, and the targets must be eventually approved by the European Parliament.
This past week Transport Topics provided coverage the International Maritime Industry’s (IMO) 2020 low sulfur fuel mandate. In it, Energy Information Administration spokesman Johnathan Cogan stated, “With a little more than 18 months left before the maritime rule takes effect, trucking should begin planning now for the possible effect on diesel demand.” Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) also provided commentary, stating, “It wouldn’t surprise me in late 2019, or 2020, if the price of diesel per barrel is $30 or $40 above the price of crude. We’ve been fortunate it’s been $15 to $20 above the price of crude, so that is kind of a coming attraction.”
In Other News
France and four other European Union countries have called for ambitious CO2 emissions reduction targets for trucks, ahead of a proposal from the European Commission expected later this month.
Platooning developer Peloton Technology will have its two-truck platooning system in day-to-day commercial operation by the end of the year, a company executive said.
The Trump administration declared on Tuesday that the US will leave the Iran nuclear deal, undoing foreign policy that was created under the Obama administration. The agreement, which was signed by seven countries after more than two years of negotiations, may remain in place with other signatories as the US will leave the agreement as a unilateral move.
By 2020, the maritime industry is poised to shift to diesel from so-called bunker fuel. The heavy, thick fuel has been used in the cargo shipping and cruise line industry for years because it is inexpensive, especially compared to other fuels. After oil has been refined into diesel, gasoline or jet fuel, bunker fuel is what’s left over at the refinery. Effectively, it’s what’s left at the bottom of the barrel.
U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to allow exported ethanol and other biofuels to count towards the annual volumes mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said on his Twitter feed on Tuesday.
U.S. Xpress has filed initial paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a publicly traded company for the second time in the company’s history. The Chattanooga, TN company hopes to raise $100 million with its initial public offering.
The Federal Highway Administration will host a series of meetings throughout the remainder of the year that will bring government and private-sector representatives together over the topic of highway automation.
The familiar brown box trucks that run your neighborhood roads and deliver your Amazon packages are getting a facelift … if you live in Europe, or plan to move there by year’s end. Also see, UPS Electric Truck of the Future
The trucking and logistics industry has entered a disruptive period in which fuels, propulsion systems and the driving process itself are the subjects of debate. One key question is whether the industry is facing a “robot apocalypse” where self-driving trucks will replace millions of drivers.
Volvo Trucks this week unveiled its new Volvo FE Electric just three weeks after the unveiling its first all-electric truck, Volvo FL Electric. The Volvo FE Electric is designed for heavier city distribution and refuse transport operations with gross weights of up to 60,000 pounds. Sales kickoff in Europe in 2019.
The EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average $66/b during 2018 in the May release of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). The EIA’s outlook cites falling global inventories, heightened market perceptions of geopolitical risk, and strong global economic growth signals as factors driving North America’s benchmark crude oil price higher.
Energy Transfer Partners said on Thursday it plans to build a crude pipeline from the Permian basin in Texas to the Houston Ship Channel and Nederland, Texas, which will have an initial capacity of up to 600,000 barrels per day (bpd).
In the epicenter of America’s drilling boom, crude is going for less than $60 a barrel because oil output there has overwhelmed pipelines that connect the Texas desert to markets along the Gulf Coast and abroad.
It’s been a rough few weeks for Tesla, with production problems, lawsuits, and analysts speculating that the company is running out of money and will need a capital raise before the year is out to keep going. Now, Seeking Alpha writer John Engle is suggesting that the much-anticipated Tesla Semi project may be dead.
Several Japanese auto manufacturers have decided to shift away from diesel fuel following the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Automakers like Nissan and Toyota may find themselves with a significant advantage for moving away from diesel, too. Diesel fuel was only used in approximately 10 percent of Toyota’s cars last year, while many European brands, like BMW, carry a much more diesel-dependent manufacturing mix; last year BMW received 65 percent of its sales from diesel vehicles.