In this week's highlights: Oil markets will be weighing the impact of the latest strategic reserves release announced by the International Energy Agency; the UK government is expected to publish a long-awaited energy security policy while Berlin is set to finalize a revamp of its green energy law doubling down on wind and solar and deliver an ambitious hydrogen strategy update; and the European gas market continues to grapple with unprecedented upheaval.
- Impact of latest oil strategic reserves release in focus (00:19)
- UK energy security strategy at last (01:27)
- Gazprom prepares exit strategy from Europe (02:20)
In this week's highlights: The UK government is expected to publish a long-awaited energy security policy while Berlin is set to finalize a revamp of its green energy law doubling down on wind and solar and deliver an ambitious hydrogen strategy update, and the European gas market continues to grapple with unprecedented upheaval.
But first, oil markets will be weighing the impact of the latest strategic reserves release announced by the International Energy Agency. The announcement follows a ministerial level meeting of its 31 members at the end of last week. Details of the scale of the release, as part of efforts to rein in oil prices that have soared following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, will come this week.
We already know there will be an unprecedented 1 million b/d coming from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months, with the barrels expected to hit the market starting in May. The US drawdown amounts to about 180 million barrels and will deplete almost a third of the SPR, taking the stockpile to its lowest level since 1984.
This is hoped to assuage market fears around gasoline and diesel shortages and expectations of Russian crude shut-ins. S&P Global Commodity Insights analysts expect Russian crude shut-ins could begin by late April and reach as much as 2.8 million barrels a day.
And that takes us to our social media question for the week: Will oil prices stabilize after the supply boost from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Tweet us your thoughts.
With energy security at the forefront of everyone's minds these days, the UK government is due to publish a long-awaited energy security policy this week. While plans for new nuclear, offshore wind and North Sea exploration have been trailed in the press, many are anxiously waiting for news on onshore wind permitting. Industry group RenewableUK has called on the government to double the country's onshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2030. But the Conservatives came to power on an anti-onshore wind mandate and performing a U turn on this is proving politically difficult.
Meanwhile the German government is expected to approve a major overhaul of its green energy law with a target of 80 percent renewables in its power mix by 2030, as you can see in this chart.
Also expect an updated German hydrogen strategy this week, doubling down on green hydrogen production at home as well as from abroad.
Keeping energy security in focus, European gas markets will be trying to digest the latest radical changes regarding Russian gas after new rules on payments in rubles came into effect at the end of last of week and state giant Gazprom ended its participation in key European subsidiaries.
Markets remain extremely volatile after prices hit new record highs in early March as traders try to keep up with the rapidly changing market conditions.
All eyes are still on Russia after President Putin enforced new rules requiring European buyers to pay in rubles.
Full details of the mechanisms are yet to emerge though it appears buyers can still pay in euros or dollars, with a conversion to rubles to be done internally within Russia.
Gazprom has also ended its participation in Gazprom Germania, the umbrella company for most of its assets in Europe, including traders Gazprom Marketing & Trading, Wingas and WIEH, and storage operator Astora.
What this means for companies with contracts with those companies, and the fate of the operations themselves, should start to become clearer this week.
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