David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - Energy

    Shell Hasn't Been Paying UK Windfall Tax as Profits Double

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    doubled to $9.45 billion, because it was making big investments in North Sea fields. 

    The fact that Shell wasn’t liable for the levy, which was designed to allow companies to reduce their payments if they invest in new production, nevertheless threatens to amplify the controversy about record oil-company earnings at a time when most people are struggling with soaring energy bills. 

    There are growing calls for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who imposed the windfall tax in May when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, to hit the sector with additional levies as he tries to fill a £35 billion hole in the country’s finances. Even Shell’s boss acknowledged the possibility of further government intervention. 

    “They will be looking at companies like us, who benefit of course from the volatility and the prices that we see, to fund the programs that they are rolling out,” Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on a call with reporters Thursday morning. “We have to accept it and we have to embrace that.”

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    GM Rides Full-Size Pickups, Luxury SUVs to Big Earnings Beat

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    “We’re delivering on our commitments and affirming our full-year guidance despite a challenging environment because demand continues to be strong for GM products and we are actively managing the headwinds we face,” GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said in a letter to shareholders.

    Shares of the carmaker rose 2% to $36.45 as of 9:35 a.m. in New York. The stock is down about 38% this year. 

    GM reported adjusted profit of $2.25 a share on Tuesday, surpassing analysts’ projection for $1.89 a share. It also maintained guidance for full-year adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $13 billion to $15 billion, or $6.50 to $7.50 a share. 

    “GM yet again affirmed the strong and until now mostly disbelieved full-year total company EBIT outlook it has maintained since introduction in February,” J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman said in a research note. “GM is now well on the path to achieving its full year goals, despite the tougher consumer and cost backdrop.”

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Texas Natural Gas Prices Drop Toward Zero as Supplies Boom

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Insufficient pipeline capacity has actually been a long-term problem that has dogged Permian Basin gas producers for years. The choke points worsen when pipeline operators must perform repairs and preventative maintenance work that forces temporary reduction in pressure or halts to shipping. 

    Permian pipeline constraints “have never been relieved,” making the region more susceptible to sudden gluts and price volatility, said Campbell Faulkner, chief data analyst at OTC Global Holdings LP.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Lula Losing Brazil' Biggest State Forces Urgent Campaign Rejig

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Inside Lula’s campaign, the result in Brazil’s most populous state — the birthplace of his political career, and containing about 25% of the entire electorate — was compared to a plane crash, where a confluence of small factors leads to catastrophe. At his team’s first post-election meeting, the talk was of frustration and failure. 

    Edinho Silva, the former president’s campaign coordinator, may have had an inkling of what was to come, saying in an interview on the eve of polling that Sao Paulo had become a center of hard-core support for Bolsonaro’s brand of right-wing identity politics. 

    “We have a percentage of Brazilian society that, unfortunately, is racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, and doesn’t accept the social ascent of the lower classes,” he said. “And a significant part of Brazil that thinks in this way lives in Sao Paulo.”

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Mini-Budget Torched, Now Hunt Must Balance the Books

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Our latest assessment, taking on board the change in borrowing costs since Hunt’s announcement and the policies in the statement, is that a further £13 billion will still need to be found to just get debt falling relative to GDP. It would take more like £36 billion of consolidation to put it on the same trajectory as we projected before the mini-budget was published in September.

    Debt Still On Explosive Path
    Finding a package of spending cuts that are politically viable and deliverable will be extremely challenging -- much of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. Hunt faces an uphill struggle to win the faith of markets as he formulates a budget, to be delivered on Oct. 31.

    Hunt also said that the universal household energy price cap will be replaced from April 2023 with more targeted measures. It’s not clear what those measures will be but removing the government cap altogether and reverting to Ofgem’s methodology from April would imply a 75% rise in energy bills for households. Inflation would jump to 11.6% in April, against 6.4% under the cap.

    The combination of austerity and less support for households next year means the risks to our forecast for a 0.4% drop in GDP in 2023 have shifted to the downside. 

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Oil prices rise 2% on low diesel stocks ahead of winter

    This article from Reuters may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The U.S. Energy Secretary in August urged domestic oil refiners to refrain from further increasing exports of fuels like gasoline and diesel, adding the Biden administration may need to consider taking action if the plants do not build inventories.

    The EIA warned this week that most U.S. households will pay more to heat their homes this winter. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that U.S. gasoline prices remain too high and he will speak next week about lowering the cost. 

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Putin Says All Infrastructure at Risk After Nord Stream Hit

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said any energy infrastructure in the world is at risk after the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

    The attacks were an act of terror that set “the most dangerous precedent,” the Russian president told a Moscow energy forum on Wednesday. “It shows that any critically important object of transport, energy or utilities infrastructure is under threat” irrespective of where it is located or by whom it is managed, he said.

    Putin blamed the sabotage on the US, Ukraine and Poland, calling them “beneficiaries” of the blasts that caused major gas leaks in the Baltic Sea. The US and its allies have rejected those allegations and suggest Russia may have been behind the underwater blasts.

    The attacks on two strings of Nord Stream and one string of Nord Stream 2 at the end of September have raised concerns over the future of Europe’s gas supplies. Other critical infrastructure in the region has also suffered damage in recent weeks. 

    Earlier this month, an act of sabotage halted train services across northern Germany and the government has said it can’t rule out foreign involvement. A pipeline that carries Russian oil through Poland was found to be leaking on Tuesday. Investigations continue, and Poland’s top official in charge of strategic energy infrastructure said he assumed it was an accident.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    The Great Progression 2025-2050

    This lengthy article by Peter Leyden for Wired’s bigthink.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    We’re living through an extraordinary time in American history, and really in all human history. Once you take that big-picture historical perspective, once you look at the whole forest rather than the individual trees, the real story of our times starts to make more sense. We happen to have arrived at a juncture between two very different historical eras and that makes everything on the ground very confusing, and very traumatic.

    One way to understand this is that for the last 40 years America and the world have been operating within a series of interconnected systems that add up to one mega-system. Our energy system was rooted in carbon, and our transportation system was based on the internal combustion engine. Our culture was dominated by the huge Baby Boom generation and our politics tended to be more conservative. Our economics was all about unleashing the private sector and maximizing shareholder capitalism. Work was done in physical places and production was primarily industrial. Our uber-challenge was terrorism, and our geopolitical focus was the Middle East, which made sense because we needed to keep the carbon energy flowing to keep the whole flywheel of this mega-system spinning.

    That whole mega-system, and all the subsystems, arguably are now breaking down and often causing more problems than they are solving. This world that older people spent their entire careers and lives mastering is coming to an end. This world that younger people were taught is “just the way things are” increasingly does not make sense. This world that politicians proudly had policies for, and that the media confidently analyzed and explained, is soon going to be over.

    Every one of those systems arguably is being superseded by new systems much better suited for the 21st century. Our uber-challenge is now climate change and so our energy system must shift to clean power and our transportation system to electric. Our culture now is dominated by the huge Millennial generation and our politics are becoming more progressive. Our economics is raising the role of the public sector and capitalism being pushed to include all stakeholders. Work is now taking place much more virtually, and production is on the cusp of becoming biological. And our geopolitics is recentering on Asia, and in particular on the new superpower, China.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    Malaysia LNG declares force majeure on supply to customers -Mitsubishi

    This article from Reuters may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The possible disruption comes at a time when Japan and many other countries in Europe are scrambling to ensure gas supply for the peak winter demand season as they face the threat of an energy cut-off from Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

    The force majeure was due to a leak on the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline on Sept. 21, the Mitsubishi spokesperson said, adding it was assessing the impact from the action.

    "We have already strongly requested that Malaysia LNG take all possible measures to examine and respond to the impact," he said.

    "We will closely monitor the situation and provide full support to Malaysia LNG in order to minimize the impact on the Japanese market," he said, adding there would be limited impact on its earnings.

    The spokesperson declined to give details such as the dates of declarations and volume of the supply that may be affected or how long the supply disruption could last.

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.

    LNG Market Supply to Remain Tight for Years, Top Producers Say

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Liquefied natural gas will be in short supply in the coming years as production lags behind surging demand from Europe, according to the world’s top producers of the fuel.

    Global LNG demand is unlikely to peak for another 20 to 30 years, Qatar Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi said at the Energy Intelligence forum in London. Meanwhile, supply will remain “structurally short” until there’s significant new production capacity, which will be 2026 at earliest, Meg O’Neill, chief executive officer of Australia’s Woodside Energy Group Ltd., said at the event.

    Their comments add to a growing chorus warning that Europe’s worst energy crisis in decades is unlikely to end soon. While the continent looks set to cope this winter, it’s next winter when the supply shortage will really bite as Europe tries to replenish its stockpiles without Russian imports.

    “Next winter is going to be the problem,” Al-Kaabi said. “It doesn’t look like it’s getting better.”

    This section continues in the Subscriber's Area.