In this week's highlights: OPEC+ faces Libya's resurgence and a new wave of lockdowns, the hydrogen market awaits Italy's Snam's third quarter results; the UK government could publish its Energy White Paper; and the West African polymer market hopes for calm in Ivory Coast.
Related podcast: Energy Transition in the time of COVID-19
In this week's highlights: The hydrogen market awaits Italy's Snam's third quarter results; the UK government could publish its Energy White Paper; and the West African polymer market hopes for calm in Ivory Coast.
But first, the oil market, will be keeping a close eye on Libya's resurgence, and plans by the OPEC+ countries to ease their production cuts starting in January. Libyan output has quintupled in the last month to 600,000 barrels a day after an 8-month blockade with more to come, putting renewed pressure on prices.
It's one of the complexities facing OPEC and its partners, along with resurgent lockdowns, amid signs the group may pull back from plans to reduce its current official production cut of 7.7 million barrels a day by 25%. State owned oil giant Saudi Aramco may address the topic in its third-quarter results on Tuesday. There's also the matter of US elections, adding to market volatility.
And sticking with corporate results, on Wednesday Europe's largest natural gas transporter, Italy's Snam, announces third-quarter results with the hydrogen eying any updates. Italy wants to become a green hydrogen hub between Europe and North Africa, Snam CEO Marco Alverà has said.
The company has just announced a 100-megawatt electrolysis agreement plus a stake acquisition in ITM Power. ITM is about to open a 1 gigawatt a year electrolysis manufacturing unit in Sheffield in northern England, with a second unit on the drawing board.
Also in the UK, the government could publish its long-awaited Energy White Paper this week, but don't hold your breath. The document, due this autumn, is to provide a framework for achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It is likely the ban on new combustion engine cars from 2040 will be brought forward.
As you can see from the chart the UK has ambitious plans for offshore wind. However, the UK must also beef up renewable energy support and accelerate the development of carbon capture clusters and energy storage solutions.
Finally, while hydrogen and new nuclear are bound to be mentioned, with a possible go-ahead for two reactors at Sizewell C in Suffolk, we may have to wait into the new year for concrete plans.
And that takes us to our social media question for the week: How can the UK government improve its support for renewable energy? Tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #PlattsMM.
Polymer traders in West Africa are hoping trading in Ivory Coast will resume after elections last weekend without a repeat of the violence in the 2010-2011 poll, which led to a brief civil war. Demand has been limited in the build-up to the election because of widespread factory closures There have been violent pre-election clashes reported and many city inhabitants have taken refuge in the countryside until after the election. Incumbent Alassane Ouattara is seeking a third term after ten years in power, a move his opponents say is unconstitutional.
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Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!