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Ship Fuel Change Becomes Refiner Gamble As Heavy Crude Dwindles

Gulf Times: A change in ship fuel that seemed like a sure profit churner for sophisticated refiners a year ago isn’t a clear winner now. When the International Maritime Organisation imposed clean-fuel rules for ships starting in 2020, the popular outlook was that thicker, dirtier crude would plummet in price, as it yields more of the high-sulphur fuel oil that can’t be burned unless ships have special equipment to scrub their emissions. Diesel prices would surge as vessel owners use it as a substitute.

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Demand Not Inventories Should Drive OPEC+ Decision

World Pipelines: As the OPEC+ meeting, now delayed until July 7, approaches, the question of inventory levels will gain considerable attention. As we have written before, we believe global (OECD and non-OECD) crude oil and product inventories are adequate, but not excessive. This month, however, we parse just the OECD stock picture, which will shape impressions of over or under supply before and during the OPEC+ meeting. Although we are not supporters of the five-year average measurement, that approach (when corrected for demand) shows crude inventories are in the middle of the historical range, and product stocks are actually at the low end of the range. We do not believe inventories will or should be justification for further production restraint. But, we are concerned about weak underlying demand growth as discussed in our Global Oil Balance analysis.

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Tariff on Mexican crude could be resolved

Oil and Gas Journal: US President Donald Trump announced that he would impose a 5-25% tariff on all Mexican goods. There are ways to avoid the tariff on imports of Mexican crude oil, but at this point it is unclear whether those will succeed, according to an analysis from Energy Security Analysis Inc. If not, ESAI says, some refiners will pay more, and some crude will head to Asia.

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