Viewpoints 2020: Crude oil

Author Argus

Crude oil uniquely ties energy markets with geopolitics and what you hear in the headlines. And with all of the uncertainty around political affairs, it's easy to forget that there are still basic market fundamentals to watch.

This latest series of Viewpoints highlights key points throughout this chain - from the challenges west African countries are facing to the US Gulf coast's massive expansion of crude oil infrastructure.

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Domestic affairs that may influence crude markets

Viewpoint: US poised for energy policy rush
President Donald Trump's administration is setting course to rapidly implement changes to energy sector regulations and open new areas to drilling ahead of next year's presidential election.

Viewpoint: WAF nations face challenges familiar and new
West Africa's two leading oil producers face rather contrasting challenges in the early part of 2020, when Nigeria will need to find a way to keep its monthly output under the Opec+ production cap and Angola will struggle to even reach its own.

Viewpoint: IMO 2020 may slow Ecuador loan repayment
Possibly narrower differentials for sour crudes — under pressure from looming emissions regulations — could slow Ecuador's repayment of its oil-backed debt and limit availability for spot market exports in the first half of 2020.


Crude oil's journey around the world

Viewpoint: US crude oil flows to southeast Asia to grow
Light sweet US crude volumes heading to southeast Asia are poised to increase in the coming year amid growing appetite for the grades from smaller refiners in the region, partly to comply with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 regulations cutting sulphur in marine fuels.

Viewpoint: Corpus frenzy to propel US crude oil exports
US crude exports are poised to hit a fresh record in 2020 on the back of a series of infrastructure projects designed to add capacity to and from the Texas Gulf coast.

Viewpoint: Johan Sverdrup boosts North Sea 2020 supply
Norway's giant Johan Sverdrup field will revitalise North Sea production in 2020, when inflows of US crude should continue to push local output into other markets.

Viewpoint: CPC, BTC crude oil demand to stay firm
Demand for CPC Blend and BTC Blend crudes is likely to remain strong this year, but the outlook for Russian Urals is more mixed.

Viewpoint: Canadian crude oil makes inroads at Gulf coast
Canadian crude has the potential to eclipse other foreign supplies at the US Gulf coast in 2020 amid potentially faltering supply from Latin American and Opec producers.

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Crude oil transportation

Viewpoint: Rail to support Canadian crude oil prices
Canadian crude producers are looking to avoid a repeat of the price freefall of late 2018 after embarking on large crude-by-rail commitments over the past year.

Viewpoint: Jones Act rates to rise on hamstrung supply
A steadily rising flow of oil from the US Gulf coast to the US Atlantic coast is likely to push freight rates higher for a fourth consecutive year in a Jones Act market whose tanker and barge supply is increasingly constrained.


Back to basics: crude oil supply, demand and pricing

Viewpoint: WTI positioned to become benchmark of choice
Rising production, expanded infrastructure and a growing global appetite for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) have combined to solidify WTI's role as both a primary and a secondary benchmark at locations in the midcontinent and US Gulf coast.

Viewpoint: Med sweet crude oil to get 2020 IMO boost
Marine-fuel sulphur legislation will support demand for Mediterranean-region light sweet crudes in 2020, when access to sour crudes will be reduced by Opec output restraints and Mideast Gulf producers' focus on Asia-Pacific sales.

Viewpoint: WTI Midland crude oil supported by new pipeline demand
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland's price remains supported relative to the US benchmark in Cushing, Oklahoma, as well as to WTI Houston, by new pipeline demand amid an ongoing deceleration in Permian basin production growth.

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