In this week's highlights: The downstream sector gathers online for Africa Oil Week; oil and gas strike looms in Norway; key votes are expected on the EU's emissions target; the winter winds will be blowing through the power market; and the European petrochemical sector will be discussing the outlook for next year virtually.
- African oil and gas prospects in spotlight
- Norwegian strike threatens oil, gas output
- EU Parliament vote on 2030 emissions reduction target
- European Petrochemical Association looks ahead
In this week's highlights: An oil and gas strike looms in Norway; Key votes are expected on the EU's emissions target; the winter winds will be blowing through the power market; and the European petrochemical sector will be discussing the outlook for next year virtually.
But first, it's Africa Oil Week, held online this year, starting with the African Refiners & Distributors Association conference, focused on the downstream sector on Monday, before the main Africa Oil Week conference starts Wednesday. Speakers include US Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg, the CEO of Nigeria LNG, Tony Attah, and representatives of various countries and companies, such as BP, Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy. A close eye will be also kept on Libya's resumption of oil exports, after the lifting of a blockade last month that had slashed shipments for much of the year. The return of Libyan oil has been weighing on futures prices, adding to the headaches of rivals particularly around the Mediterranean region.
Further north, a strike by one of Norway's smallest trade unions from Monday threatens to shut down about 8% of oil and gas production in Western Europe. A pay deal was reached with two of the largest unions on September 30th, but Lederne, which represents offshore managers, has been holding out. Around 330,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent at stake.
That takes us to this week's social media question: How will the oil market respond to all this disruption? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #PlattsMM.
And on the subject of asking for more, the European Parliament set to vote Tuesday and Wednesday on its position on the EU's higher emissions reduction target for 2030. This has created expectations of further price volatility in the EU carbon market. Some lawmakers want a 60% cut from 1990 levels - more than the European Commission's proposed 55%.
As the chart shows, European carbon prices have had a volatile year. The market first reacted to lower demand due to the coronavirus lockdowns, only to rebound as the EU looked to cut CO2 emissions out to 2030. Tougher targets mean tighter caps, and potentially, even higher prices.
And speaking of turbulence, Storm Alex has just given the power markets a first taste of winter winds after a largely subdued summer, with all eyes on how Europe's burgeoning wind power sector will perform in the weeks ahead. Fears of capacity shortages due to low French nuclear availability, however, have eased with the return of two large gas-fired plants in Germany and the Netherlands.
And finally, the European petrochemical industry will be looking to 2021 contract negotiations this week as buyers and producers gather for the annual European Petrochemical Association conference, taking place for the first time in a virtual format. Buyers and sellers will be keen to use the meeting to agree price formulas and volumes for next year, with pressure mounting from buyers in some markets to shift price mechanisms toward greater spot indexation as spot discounts to the contract market grow ever wider.
For more on all the issues affecting commodity markets from wherever you are, make sure to check out Platts LIVE at the address displayed on your screen.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead.