Oil and Diesel Markets Crash & Driverless Car Makers | Weekly News Update

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Crude Oil and Diesel Markets Crash

Both crude oil and diesel sport markets crashed on July 11th.  West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent benchmarks decreased by $3.73 and $5.46 respectively.  Diesel spot markets dropped an average of 12¢/gallon.  The largest crash since 2015 was mainly attributed to the news that Libya will be resuming crude oil exports in their eastern ports after they were handed back from an armed faction.  This will allow Libya to ramp up crude oil production to normal levels.  To add to the decrease, OPEC forecasts that demand for crude oil will drop in 2019 in their monthly report.  This announcement may take off some of the pressure on Saudi Arabia and other cartel members to increase production and make up for supply losses.  The U.S. also contributed to the loss due to uncertainty if the U.S. will allow exemptions for specific countries from the Iran sanctions.  To top it all off, Saudi Arabia increased production by 430,000 barrels per day in June.

On the other hand, U.S. crude oil inventory reports were released just a day after the large drop with a larger-than-expected drop in inventories.  Globally, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that they it be ready to release their global emergency crude supplies if needed. Oil and diesel recovered the remainder the week with WTI closing at $71.01 and Brent closing at $75.33.

Driverless Car Makers Want Congressional Help

The House passed a bill last fall to boost the driverless car industry, establish federal guidelines, and to streamline rules to prevent states from imposing their own safety and performance standards.  Michigan and Ohio are some of the top states for driverless cars and the proposed legislation.  Debbie Dingbell (D-Mich) explains that if the U.S. does not stay at the forefront of innovation, the U.S. will fall behind other nations like China, India, and Western Europe.  The START Act, authored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) sets some basic safety and transparency requirements when the vehicles are still being developed.  The act will move to the senate floor by the end of the summer.  With uncertainty on if legislation will be passed, states are proposing their own safety regulations.  Twenty-nine states have enacted legislation related to autonomous driving (level 2 – level 5).

In Other News


Commercial Carrier Journal: EPA won’t enforce glider emissions limits until end of next year

The U.S. EPA has said it will not enforce Obama-era emissions restrictions placed on glider kit manufacturers at least through the end of next year, giving glider kit builders like Fitzgerald Glider Kits a substantial victory in their fight against the regulations.  Manufacturers like Fitzgerald will be limited in 2018 and 2019 to producing the number of vehicles they produced in 2017, which is well above the 300-a-year cap.

Electrek: UK unveils extensive new plan to go all-electric by 2040

Last year, the United Kingdom announced its intention for its transportation market to be all-electric by 2040.  The government unveiled an extensive 46-point plan to help the transition.  It involves a wide-ranging series of initiatives from expanding the current plug-in car grant to incentivizing the installation of charge points.

Next-Gen Transportation: As UPS Expands, So Does its Commitment to Alternative Fueling

With a fleet of 119,000 ground vehicles, 2,500 operating facilities and 10.5 million customers served every day around the world, UPS is undergoing a transformation to boost its capacity even further. Most notably, the logistics giant is going big on sustainability while, at the same time, normalizing its use of alternative fuel technology.


WSJ: Oil’s New Technology Spells End of Boom for Roughnecks

Technology has already transformed labor needs in most of the world’s manufacturing.  It’s now upending the energy business, foretelling the end for one of the last sectors in America where blue-collar workers could depend on jobs paying six-figure salaries.

Bloomberg: Reduce Prices or Expect Demand to Sink, Oil Guzzler Warns OPEC

The world’s fastest growing crude consumer has a warning for OPEC: Start reducing prices, or waning demand will mean a curb in purchases from the crude cartel.


Transport Topics: Will Trucking Be Affected by New Pollution Rules for Ocean Shipping?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 30 plans to begin reviewing the economic impact the transportation industry may face if tighter requirements remain in place that prohibit the use of high-sulfur fuel in cargo ships within 200 miles of the U.S. coastline.

WSJ: Oil Tumbles on Libya’s Returning Supply

U.S. crude had its worst day in a year Wednesday despite a larger-than-expected weekly drop in inventories after Libya indicated it would resume export activities at its eastern ports, potentially easing fears of a global supply shortage.

Reuters: OPEC sees lower 2019 demand for its oil, points to return of surplus

OPEC on Wednesday forecast world demand for its crude will decline next year as growth in consumption slows and rivals pump more, pointing to the return of an oil market surplus despite an OPEC-led pact to restrain supplies.

NGT News: Clean Energy Announces Natural Gas Fueling Commitments Across U.S.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has announced a number of expanded commitments throughout the country to compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG).

Commercial Carrier Journal: Fleets using artificial intelligence to accelerate safety, efficiency

AI, at least in present form, is delivering results in the business world. Technology companies are using powerful computers and advanced statistical models to accelerate their product development. Most are not calling these efforts AI but rather machine learning.

Transport Topics: Driverless Car Makers Want Congress to Free Them from State Oversight

As Silicon Valley and automakers attempt to steer the nation toward a future of driverless vehicles, a group of influential lawmakers remains concerned that bipartisan legislation now moving through Congress could leave consumers at risk by preventing states from demanding tighter safety regulations


WSJ: IEA Warns Outages May Stretch Oil-Output Cushion to the Limit

Global oil outages may push spare production capacity to the limit, a top energy body warned Thursday, hinting it would be ready to tap its emergency supplies if needed.  The International Energy Agency, which advises key oil consumers, said the planned production increase “comes at the expense of the world’s spare capacity cushion, which might be stretched to the limit.”

The Verge: This electric driverless logging truck can carry up to 16 tons of timber

Swedish self-driving truck startup Einride is out with another eye-catching prototype. Much like the company’s first autonomous offering, the new T-Log is all-electric and completely driverless, and it completely lacks a front cab for human drivers.


Reuters: Russia says may step up oil output to tackle deficit

Russia and other leading oil producers may boost oil output further if supply shortages hit the global oil market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

WSJ: Oil Inched Higher on Continued Supply Uncertainty

Oil prices ticked higher Friday, as traders weighed a slew of mixed supply signals from the week and awaited further figures that could shift projections for a market deficit.

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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