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Market Movers Europe, Sep 23-27: Uncertainty around Saudi attacks ripples through Europe

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Ver: Market Movers Europe, Sep 23-27: Uncertainty around Saudi attacks ripples through Europe

In this week's highlights: The attacks on Saudi Arabia and the ensuing supply disruption dominate the energy market's focus, and maintenance season draws to a close for European gas markets.

Transcripción completa

In this week's highlights: The attacks on Saudi Arabia and the ensuing supply disruption dominate the energy market's focus, and maintenance season draws to a close for European gas markets.

In oil, the market continues to grapple with the ramifications of the unprecedented strikes on Saudi oil facilities.

This includes the country's effort to restore supplies, the degree of resilience in the wider market and the political backdrop of US sanctions on Iran and the risk of an escalation of Middle East tensions.

The efforts of OPEC and its partners to manage the crude oil market are likely to be complicated by the attack, although talk of an emergency meeting has been dismissed for the time being.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo may provide some insights when he attends Kazakhstan's annual upstream oil conference this week.

And the UN General Assembly may also provide fresh impetus, with US President Donald Trump due to speak Tuesday and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani thought likely to attend on Wednesday.

The message for Europe, at least as far as the International Energy Agency is concerned, is that markets remain well supplied, with ample stocks in reserve.

S&P Global Platts will keep a close eye on this highly fluid situation.

The attacks also sent a ripple through the European high sulfur fuel oil market last week, as Saudi Arabia is a producer and consumer of fuel oil.

Market participants expect this supply tightness to persist going forward with high sulfur fuel oil stocks being run down throughout the world ahead of the rapidly approaching global 0.5% sulfur cap on marine fuel.

As you can see, the 3.5% FOB Rotterdam barge physical-to-paper backwardation has hovered around historical highs in recent days supported by the Saudi Arabian issues, and market participants say the supply tightness could remain until shipowners begin to properly transition to 0.5% fuels in the fourth quarter of the year.

In the short-term however, traders expect the market to exhibit signs of unusual strength, particularly if uncertainty continues to hang over Saudi Arabian crude and fuel production.

This strength has also percolated into the distillates markets, with European jet and diesel cracks hitting six-year highs last week on expected supply disruption.

Europe is reliant on imports of diesel and jet fuel from Asia and the Persian Gulf and trading sources expect this strength to persist on supply competition over the next few weeks.

Finally, in European gas, this week will see this year's final period of heavy maintenance across gas assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Most planned maintenance on the Shelf is carried out over the lower-demand summer months, with 2019 seeing significant work across gas fields, processing plants and terminals.

This week some 120 million cu m/d of production will be impacted by the planned maintenance, with assets affected including the giant Troll field, the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea, and the Karsto processing plant.

From the start of the new gas year on October 1, work on the Shelf will more or less come to a halt, meaning Norway could return to producing close to its capacity of more than 350 million cu m/d.

This comes at a time when Europe is awash with gas.

LNG is expected to come to European shores in ever greater quantities in Q4 and storage is filled to capacity.

And that's the subject of our social media question of the week: What's your expectation for gas prices this winter? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #PlattsMM.

We'll have more on gas, oil and many other commodities next Monday.

Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us, and have a great week ahead.