In this week's highlights: Oil prices on the move as winter approaches, as refining world holds virtual conference; gas industry leaders meet in Dubai for the first in-person event since the pandemic started; while UK hopes are pinned on wind to help calm the volatility in power markets following last week's fire on the IFA connector.
- Oil markets tightening as industry weighs outlook (00:22)
- Gas industry set to convene for Gastech in Dubai (01:17)
- Fingers crossed for trouble-free NSL testing (02:10)
In this week's highlights: Gas industry leaders meet in Dubai for the first in-person event since the pandemic started, with current exceptionally high gas prices and the future of the fuel in a decarbonizing world top of the agenda, while back in the UK the hopes are being pinned on wind to help calm the volatility in power markets following last week's fire on the IFA connector.
But first, oil prices were on the move higher last week, passing the $75 per barrel mark before they eased off little at the end of the week. Prices have been lifted by falling stock levels for both crude and products in the US, with current levels generally well below five-year seasonal averages, partly reflecting the continued impact of Hurricane Ida, along with the pandemic recovery.
Uncertainty over the pandemic heading into winter continues to be a factor, but overall demand appears to be rebounding and markets will be looking to see where prices go from here.
Here in Europe, the Platts European Refining Virtual Conference kicks off Wednesday with leading analysts, economists and executives from BP, Eni, Morgan Stanley, the International Energy Agency and shipping association BIMCO. They will tackle the outlook for fuels, the recent surge in energy input costs, conversions to greener fuel production, and trends in transportation and regulation.
In gas, the global industry is meeting this week in Dubai for the major Gastech conference, the first in-person event of its kind in the gas sector since the pandemic.
The event will host speakers from the world's biggest gas suppliers, including the head of Russia's Gazprom Export, Qatar's energy minister, and senior officials from a number of US LNG companies.
The conference couldn't come at a more important time for the industry as global gas prices remain at sustained highs, with prices in Europe and Asia in particular having rallied strongly since the start of 2021. The US has also seen spot prices rise.
The state of the market is sure to feature heavily in discussions during the event, as will the future of gas in a decarbonizing world.
And that takes us to our social media question for the week: When can we expect to see European gas prices return to more normal levels? Tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #PlattsMM.
A forecast uptick in wind generation this week should help ease the exceptional power price volatility seen in the UK. Prices spiked last week on the back of the gas rally and an outage on the IFA link with France following a fire. With that incident expected to keep 1 gigawatt of potential flow from France offline until next March, system operator National Grid will hope testing on the new North Sea Link subsea cable from Norway continues to run smoothly, offsetting the loss of imports from France. The 1.4 gigawatt NSL cable is due to go live on October 1.
Italy is another power market where prices have soared due to rising gas feedstocks prices, with pre-commissioning of a new power link to France equally important in the weeks to come ahead of winter demand.
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Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!