Moscow Reconsiders OPEC+ Cuts | Weekly News Update

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Moscow Reconsiders OPEC+ Cuts as Demand Forecasts Turn Bleak

At the beginning of February Russia had blocked a proposal suggested by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make additional production cuts. Originally Russia decided to let cooler heads prevail by taking a wait-and-see approach in the face of virus woes. However, it seems that sentiment may have altered as Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister suggested that the countries position might change as demand forecasts will likely be downgraded in the coming weeks. This news came on Friday and is thought to be a direct result of the coronavirus reaching the European Union.

Along with Moscow potentially agreeing to cuts, Saudi Arabia is reportedly pushing partners within the OPEC+ alliance to now agree to additional cuts of 1 million barrels per day. This proposal is likely to be at the forefront of the group’s next policy meeting in Vienna on March 6th. Under the new proposal, Saudi Arabia would bear most of the cuts splitting the balance with other members of the group including Russia. If the alliance comes to an agreement the new deal would bring an estimated total reduction of 3.1 million barrels per day. If these proposed cuts were implemented it would be the biggest supply curtailment in over a decade.

 

Einride to Hire Remote Truck Operators, Plans U.S. Launch

The Swedish-based autonomous trucking and transportation company, Einride, announced they will be hiring their first remote drivers in Sweden and will launch their vehicles in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2020.  The goal of the remote drivers is to allow the vehicle to be operated from a remote location instead of the driver being in the vehicle itself.  This is more focused around the countries that will not allow Level 5 Autonomy on public roads.  Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride explained, “They [operators] don’t need to sleep in a vehicle.  They can work in an office environment and then go home.”

This news came out around the same time that Starsky Robotics shut its doors after funding dried out.  Starsky was the main developer using drivers remotely controlling the truck in the U.S.  The company successfully operated a 10-mile run in Florida with no driver on board less than a year ago.

 

Top Energy Stories

Reuters: Saudi Aramco launches largest shale gas development outside U.S.

Saudi Aramco is launching the biggest shale gas development outside of the United States to boost domestic gas supply and end the burning of oil at its power generation plants, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told Reuters on Monday.

WSJ: Natural-Gas Exporters Struggle to Lock Up Buyers Despite ‘Freedom Gas’ Pitch

President Trump is planning to push American shale gas when he travels to India this week. So far, U.S. gas exports have proven to be a tough sell globally.

Reuters: Novak says Russia evaluating earlier, smaller cut proposal by OPEC and allies

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners known as OPEC+ will meet in Vienna on March 5-6 to discuss additional steps to support markets hit by demand fears over spread of coronavirus.

 

Top Freight Transportation Stories

HDT: NACFE Sees Regional Haul Sparking Electric-Truck Movement

Upcoming North American Council for Freight Efficiency research into electric trucks will focus on regional trucking operations, which are expected to be among the earliest commercial adopters of the equipment.

Also see—Electric truck ready for dynamic wireless charging on public roads in Sweden

FreightWaves: Einride to hire remote truck operators, plans U.S. launch

Einride, a Swedish-based remote-operated autonomous trucking and transportation company, announced today that they will be hiring their first remote drivers in Sweden in March 2020 and in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2020.

Also see—Funding dries up for autonomous developer Starsky Robotics, who ran ‘unmanned’ load last year

Reuters: Canada hit by new rail and road barricades in wake of indigenous arrests

Protesters in Canada blocked train lines, Vancouver’s port entrance and at least one highway in Quebec on Tuesday in response to the arrest of 10 indigenous protesters on Monday as police cleared a three-week rail barricade in southern Ontario.

JOC: Trans-Pacific BCOs keying on service reliability in annual contract talks

Heading into trans-Pacific service contracting season, container lines say they’re confident they will sign all-inclusive freight rates that are slightly higher than last year, with higher fuel surcharges tied to new global regulation driving much of the increases. Concerns about securing space once coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-impacted Asian imports rebound is only further sharpening shippers’ focus on service commitments.

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Top Economic Stories

Reuters: Coronavirus pandemic a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’, warns U.S.

Asia reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, including a U.S. soldier stationed in South Korea, as the United States warned of an inevitable pandemic and outbreaks in Italy and Iran spread to other countries.

Also see—U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak Would Pose Risk to Record Expansion

WSJ: Yield on 10-Year U.S. Treasury Note Hits Record Low

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to an all-time low Tuesday as stocks swooned for a second straight day, driven by worries the coronavirus could seriously disrupt an already sluggish global economy.

 

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 info@breakthroughfuel.com.

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