In this week's Market Movers: The global energy industry meets in London for International Petroleum Week; the UK's National Farmers Union will discuss post-Brexit trade; in Greece, Monday marks the deadline to bid for new LNG; and the UK is set to restart carbon auctions after a 14-month delay linked to Brexit.
Which IP Week events are going ahead, and which are not? Click here to find out.
In this week's Market Movers: The UK's National Farmers Union will discuss post-Brexit trade; in Greece, Monday marks the deadline to bid for new LNG; and the UK is set to restart carbon auctions after a 14-month delay linked to Brexit.
But first, it's International Petroleum Week, when the movers and shakers of the global energy industry traditionally gather in London to discuss the latest trends and challenges at a whole series of meetings, receptions and networking events.
Something of a cloud hangs over the event this year, with some attendees pulling out citing coronavirus fears and in some cases the risk of protests by environmentalists. Some of the biggest fixtures of a typical IP Week, such as Azerbaijani state company SOCAR's bash at the Savoy Hotel, have been cancelled.
For updates check our website, where among other things, you can find a page detailing which IP Week events are going ahead, and which are not. You'll find the link below this video.
The Energy Institute, organiser of the main IP Week Conference, says the event is "full steam ahead." S&P Global Platts' own London Oil and Energy Forum will be going ahead as planned on Monday. Kicking off the Platts event will be deputy chair of the UK's Committee on Climate Change, Julia King. The committee advises the government on energy and climate policy.
On Tuesday, the IP Week Conference gets underway, the theme this year being "Defining the Industry's Role, Delivering a Low-Carbon Future." Opening the discussion will be IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. He is followed by other prominent figures including Total's upstream director, Arnaud Breuillac and trading company Vitol's CEO, Russell Hardy.
This year's guest speaker is new BP CEO Bernard Looney, who has been making waves with his promises to steer the company to net-zero carbon emissions, including from the fuel it produces, by 2050.
And that brings us to our social media question of the week: How serious do you think the major energy companies are about the energy transition? Send us your feedback by tweeting with the hashtag #PlattsMM.
Staying in the UK, the National Farmers Union annual conference will take place in Birmingham this week. The farming community will follow President Minette Batters' keynote address closely. Batters has been consistently lobbying the government not to allow imports of food in potential trade deals after Brexit, which has been produced to standards that would be illegal in the UK. Brexit provides a potential opportunity to negotiate new trade deals for agricultural products with the US and other significant producing countries. However, there will be trade-offs to allow access to foreign markets for other sectors of the UK economy such as the auto industry
Sugar beet farmers will be closely monitoring the session titled "protecting UK sugar beet production," where representatives from British Sugar, NFU Sugar and Royal Cosun from the Netherlands will debate the future of the industry. UK sugar beet farmers currently produce around 1.2 million metric ton of sugar a year, meeting 60% of the UK consumption. However, growing sugar beet has become increasingly challenging, given a Europe-wide ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and far-from-ideal weather.
Despite Brexit, the UK will loom large in the EU carbon market this week. The UK is set to restart carbon auctions March 4 after a 14-month delay linked to Brexit and this could make prices volatile.
As you can see from the chart on your screen, the market has been very choppy in January and February. Prices have swung from a four-month low of almost 23 euros a metric ton on February 4 to nearly 26 euros a ton on February 20. This looks like a battle between short-term bearish demand-side elements including a very mild winter, strong wind as well as cheap natural gas, which emits less greenhouse gases than coal, and longer-term, bullish, supply-side factors including potentially stronger EU emissions reduction targets for 2030 and beyond.
And finally, Monday marks the deadline for binding bids for capacity in a planned new LNG import terminal in Greece. Greece already has one operating LNG import terminal, which started operations in 2000 and expanded its capacity last year, but the government is supporting a second plant at Alexandroupolis as part of efforts to become a regional gas hub.
In the first, non-binding market test, 20 companies submitted expressions of interest for a total of up to 12.2 billion cubic meters a year of reserved regasification capacity at Alexandroupolis LNG.
That is well in excess of the technical capacity of the project of 5.5 billion cubic meters a year. Developer Gastrade has said companies that expressed interest in the first non-binding market test - and new interested parties- would be eligible to submit binding offers for capacity.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!