OPEC Production Dips Despite Surge in Saudi Arabian Output | Weekly News Update

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OPEC Oil Production Dips Despite Saudi Arabian Surge

In the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Monthly Report, the collective group’s crude oil production declined in November.  Iran continues to see the largest drops in crude oil production in the cartel with output falling 0.380 million barrels per day (mmbd).  Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iraq also experienced declines.  However, Saudi Arabia boosted production significantly which effectively offset the declines in Iran.  Saudi Arabia’s production rose by 0.377 mmbd, which is a record high for the country.  Saudi Arabia’s oil production surge was announced less than a week before OPEC decided to collectively cut 1.2 mmbd starting January 2019 with the support of other non-OPEC producing countries.  Although the group plans to cut a significant amount, it is expected that the cuts will be gradual starting in 2019.

Libya, an oil producing country apart of OPEC, declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, due to an attack by local militia group.  The oil field will see a production loss of 0.315 mmbd at El Sharara – Libya’s largest oil field – and an additional 0.073 mmbd at the El Feel oilfield.  The Libyan government said they will not negotiate or “pay a penny to anyone who closed the field.”  Libya produced roughly 1.1 mmbd before the force majeure.

Volvo Trucks to Introduce All-Electric VNR Model

Volvo Trucks are introducing a class 8, all-electric version of their VNR regional-haul commercial truck to North America.  The first version of the truck will be released in California in 2019 and will expand across North America in 2020.  Specifications such as weight, range, or final design were not yet announced, however the powertrain will be based on its FE Electric cabover model in Europe.

In Other News


WSJ: E-Commerce Companies Get Creative in Quest for ‘Last Mile’ Space

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NY Times: Trump Team Pushes Fossil Fuels at Climate Talks. Protests Erupt, but Allies Emerge, Too.

Trump administration officials at high-stakes climate talks here offered an unapologetic defense of fossil fuels on Monday, arguing that a rapid retreat from coal, oil and gas was unrealistic.

Reuters: Militia Forces Libya’s NOC to Declare Force Majeure on Biggest Oil Field

Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, which was seized at the weekend by a local militia group. NOC said the shutdown would result in a production loss of 315,000 barrels per day (bpd) at its biggest oilfield, and an additional loss of 73,000 bpd at the El Feel oilfield.

WSJ: Cheaper Oil Ripples Through the Global Economy

Oil prices posted their worst month in a decade in November and have fallen more than 30% from multiyear highs. The dramatic move has prompted investors to try to assess the impact on global growth heading into next year.

JOC: New Low-Sulfur Fuel Clauses Clarify Time Charters

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has published two new bunker clauses to be incorporated into time charter parties. Both are designed to be “simple and practical” and ease the global fleets’ Jan. 1, 2020 transition to a low-sulfur fuel regime.

AP News: Inslee wants 100 percent clean energy in Washington by 2045

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday proposed an ambitious package of legislation to tackle climate change, including eliminating fossil fuels like natural gas and coal from the state’s electricity supply by 2045.


WSJ: China Moves to Address U.S. Economic Concerns

Beijing sought to ease tensions with Washington as its top trade negotiator told U.S. officials that China was planning to reduce auto tariffs and boost purchases of soybeans and other crops, according to people in both capitals briefed on the discussions.

Reuters: Daimler to buy £18 billion of battery cells for electric car drive

Daimler will buy battery cells worth more than 20 billion euros (18 billion pounds) by 2030 as it readies mass production of hybrid and electric vehicles, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars said on Tuesday.

Transport Topics: Volvo Trucks to Introduce All-Electric Version of VNR Model

Volvo Trucks will bring electric-powered commercial trucks to North America next year by introducing a battery-electric version of its VNR regional-haul model. The truck manufacturer said it will first deploy the zero-emissions VNR Electric tractor in 2019 through demonstrations in California and will begin selling the vehicle across North America in 2020.

FreightWaves: Freight Rates on the Rhine Subside as Water Levels Finally Rise

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EIA: For one week in November, the U.S. was a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products

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JOC: Supply Chains Readied for Worst-Case Brexit Scenario

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WSJ: Brexit or Not, Britain’s Oil and Gas Business is Booming

Norwegian oil giant Equinor is doing something few companies have dared to do ahead of the U.K.’s planned exit from the European Union. It’s investing in Britain. The state-backed energy company formerly known as Statoil has an ambitious plan for investments in the U.K.’s oil-rich North Sea. When much of the U.K. economy is on ice, Equinor is hiring across Britain to support its plans.

Transport Topics: Drivers, Carriers Have Different Concerns Regarding Driver Shortage, Retention

The nation’s motor carriers and their drivers see different priorities when it comes to issues facing the trucking industry, a new study found. In the recent American Transportation Research Institute report listing its annual top 10 issues for trucking, motor carriers listed the driver shortage and driver retention as the top two. But commercial drivers place the shortage and retention much lower, fifth for driver retention and ninth for the shortage.

WSJ: OPEC Oil Production Dips Despite Surge in Saudi Arabia’s Output

OPEC said Wednesday that its total crude-oil production came down slightly in November but output from Saudi Arabia—the cartel’s largest member—surged to a record high, just as producers are gearing up to cut output next year, reports the Journal.


Transport Topics: Class 8 Truck Sales Rise 21.8 Percent in November

US retail sales of Class 8 trucks in November were 21,302, up 21.8 percent compared with a year earlier. In the 2017 period, sales were 17,488.

Transport Topics: Volvo’s Voorhoeve Sees Strong 2019 Truck Market

The new president of Volvo Trucks North America predicted another banner year for the truck market in 2019 and voiced a desire to promote more respect for the truck driving profession.

NY Times: The Oil Industry’s Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules

When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them.

Reuters: IEA Sees Global Oil Supply Tightening More Quickly in 2019

The global oil market could move into deficit sooner than expected thanks to OPEC’s output agreement with Russia and to Canada’s decision to cut supply, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

JOC: Cost Found to Outweigh Port Automation Benefits

Mounting pressure from mega-ship calls is pushing container ports towards automating their operations, but Mckinsey research suggests terminals will struggle to achieve the reduction in operating expenses and the rise in productivity required to justify the investment in automation.

CCJ: EPA Launches Second Probe into Glider Kits Emissions Studies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General announced last week that it will investigate concerns surrounding the agency’s use of research by Tennessee Tech University. The school last year produced a study claiming that gliders do not produce greater emissions of greenhouse gases or particulate matter than new trucks.

JOC: What US Truck Shippers Need to Watch in 2019

Twelve months ago, it was quite clear shippers would battle with tight capacity and rapidly rising rates in 2018. This time the 2019 outlook is murky where US truckload and intermodal rates will go and whether new capacity will provide relief to shippers.

WSJ: Seaborne Exports Plummet at Southern California Ports

Trade tensions are starting to show up in outbound business at U.S. ports. Seaborne exports at the big Southern California gateway ports took a dive last month in a new sign of the volatile impact tit-for-tat tariffs between the U.S. and China is having on container trade flows.


Transport Topics: Electric Trucks Advance

As electric vehicle technology becomes increasingly viable for commercial trucking, fleets and manufacturers are preparing to put the first generation of battery-electric trucks on the road.

CCJ: Spot Market Slides in ‘Month of High Volatility’ in November

Spot market freight volume, rates slipped again in November: Spot market freight volume in November slipped 2.5 percent from October and a whopping 24 percent year over year from November 2017, according to load board operator DAT.

Platts: Credit-Starved Bunker Industry Limps Toward IMO 2020

The bunker industry is in a fragile state as it enters its last year before tougher sulfur restrictions come into force, with several key players in retreat. The supply questions around fuel availability and compatibility for this change are starting to be answered, but a big question for the industry next year will be whether credit availability will be sufficient.

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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