In this week's highlights: OPEC, Russia and the production cut laggards in focus; Germany's energy ties with Russia will be the focus at a session of the Russian-German chamber of commerce; political negotiations on Germany's coal exit law are entering the final stage; and access to Ukrainian storage will pre-occupy the European gas market.
- OPEC, Russia and the production cut laggards in focus
- German coal exit law enters final straight
- Ukraine-Slovakia gas spat deepens
- Platts Global Metals Awards go virtual
*Platts brings US market a Brent of its own with new Platts American GulfCoast Select benchmark
In this week's highlights: Germany's energy ties with Russia will be the focus at a session of the Russian-German chamber of commerce; political negotiations on the German's coal exit law are entering the final stage; and access to Ukrainian storage will pre-occupy the European gas market.
But first, for the oil market, the pace of recovery in both supply and demand remains very much the focus. The supply issue will come to the fore on Thursday when Russia publishes its production data. Russia is the key player in the OPEC plus group which is set to maintain its commitment to cut nearly 10 million barrels a day of output through July. The cuts could in fact go deeper in the month ahead by as much as 1 million barrels a day. This is because countries that struggled to meet their commitments earlier - notably Iraq and Kazakhstan - have committed to extra cuts. Similar catch-up plans by Angola and Nigeria are still awaited, but loading schedules indicate their production will be lower.
And that takes us to our social media question of the week: Who needs whom more, OPEC or Russia? Tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag PlattsMM.
Underlining Russia's role in European energy supply, the CEO of Austria's OMV, Rainer Seele, will be discussing ties with Russia during a session of the Russian-German chamber of commerce, of which he is president, during an online forum on Tuesday. OMV is a financial backer of the controversial expansion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Staying in Germany, political negotiations on the country's coal exit law are entering the final straight after the coalition government approved contract details for the lignite exit on June 24. Now parliament has to approve the final details for hard coal closures before the summer break. The coal exit law seeks to phase-out nearly two-thirds of German coal generation capacity by 2030.
As you can see, even the most modern hard coal units are barely in the market this summer. In June, production from German hard coal power stations shrank 85% from what it was four years ago. Generation margins have turned decisively in favour of gas-fired power stations due to low natural gas and high carbon prices.
And many traders have taken advantage of those low prices by buying natural gas to store. However, those who hoped to inject it later this summer into Ukraine's under-utilized gas storage facilities via Slovakia may struggle to do so. The Ukrainian gas grid operator has unexpectedly scheduled maintenance at the Budince interconnection point with Slovakia from August 11 until October 1.
This week the markets will be watching closely for further developments. If the closure goes ahead it will mean traders will now have to find different routes to get their gas into Ukrainian storages later this summer or offload it somewhere else. However, with European gas storage sites already at close to 80% full, there is only limited availability.
Continuing with the theme of the unexpected, the coronavirus pandemic means that on Tuesday the eighth annual S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards will be celebrated virtually this year. There are around 98 finalists and the award categories include CEO of the Year, Deal of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility and Breakthrough Solution of the Year.
Also in response to events going virtual, Platts has also created Platts Live, a new section of our website for our customers to continue engaging with us and each other. You can find it at the address displayed on your screen. You can also check out our latest US crude assessment, Platts American GulfCoast Select, launched June 26 on our website.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!