China LPG imports to rebound

World Pipelines:
China’s LPG imports will rebound in 2019 after dismal growth of a little over 20 000 bpd in 2018, according to ESAI Energy’s newly published Global LPG Outlook. A new wave of PDH investment will reignite Chinese demand. In a market flush with new supply, exporters will count on an uptick in Chinese demand to stave off a global glut.

Trump Statement Not Oil Policy

Many in the oil patch have pointed to President Trump’s recent statement on Saudi Arabia as a signal to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (and the world), absolving the prince of guilt for the execution of Jamal Khashoggi and somehow setting up a quid pro quo that requires the Saudis to facilitate President Trump’s perceived preference for low oil prices. That is far too oil-centric an interpretation. President Trump’s statement is for the American people and his own foreign policy team. He wants the focus back on Iran, and knows Saudi Arabia is key to his policies with regard to Iran, not to mention China and Russia. The oil market should resist the temptation of seeing this statement as oil policy. The Saudis still have considerable leeway to pursue their own production policy, notwithstanding President Trump’s oil price tweets.

Crude-by-Rail Volumes Higher in 2019

Hellenic Shipping News:

In 2019, production growth will necessarily slow-down in two key US shale basins due to pipeline constraints, according to ESAI Energy’s recently published North America Watch. Crude oil from the booming Permian Basin in West Texas has already been impacted with steep price discounts from a lack of pipeline takeaway, but the Bakken in North Dakota will start to feel the pinch next year as record production levels fill available pipeline space. Since production growth will slow down but not decline, these regions will be increasingly dependent on sending crude by railcar to get to markets in 2019.