Canada Sets Minimize Carbon Pricing Starting at $10/tonne in 2018, increasing to $50/tonne in 2022

There was a surprise announcement today, Canada introduced minimum carbon pricing for all provinces starting in 2018. [LINK] It was not expected that Canada would just announce this given they were supposedly working with the provinces on this issue. It isn’t a surprise that there are some immediate negative responses from provinces, who did not know it was coming.

Carbon pricing starts Jan 1, 2018 at $10/tonne, and increases each year by $10/tonne to reach $50/tonne for Jan 1, 2022. Here is how it compares to the Alberta and BC carbon tax rates.

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OPEC – Aug 2016 Production By OPEC Country and The Challenge to Allocate the 0.7 Million bpd Cut

Oil had a big day with the word from Algiers of the oil production cut.  There is no formal announcement from OPEC but the statements from OPEC ministers were consistent that  OPEC agreement today to cut oil production by “around 700,000 bpd” from Aug 2016 levels.   And that this would reduce OPEC output to a range of 32.5 to 33.0 million bpd.

Who produces what and who cuts what was NOT decided, rather that is supposed to be resolved at the Nov 30 OPEC meeting.  The tone today is positive, some of it was short covering undoubtedly, but some of it is the logic that you take 0.7 million b/d off the market and it can correct the oversupply quicker.  I think the burden will fall on Saudi Arabia first for the largest cut and its key traditional close friends UAE and Kuwait for smaller cuts.  Its hard to see the rest of them cutting.  The wildcard will be Iraq in that case.  We don’t think the market will doubt the Saudi Arabia cut given the comments last week that Saudi Arabia was prepared to go back to Jan 2016 levels of 10.2 million b/d if Iran froze.

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Ontario Stops Some New Renewable Projects To Avoid Future Electricity Costs Rising

Interesting announcement last night that Ontario is cancelling some future renewable energy projects to avoid some future electricity costs being added. [LINK]  This isn’t to reduce electricity costs, but to avoid some future higher cost electricity adds. It is an acknowledgement by Ontario that adding more green energy will add to home owner electricity costs.  And reminds that the future of clean energy depends even moreso today on oil and natural gas.

The National Post reported it as “Ontario’s Liberal government took steps Tuesday to take some pressure off of rising electricity rates, cancelling plans to sign contracts for up to 1,000 megawatts of power from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.   Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said the move will save up to $3.8 billion of the costs projected in the 2013 long-term energy plan, and will keep about $2.45 a month from being expected added to hydro bills for homeowners and small businesses”.  [LINK]

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EIA weekly oil inventory – this week’s adjustment found 1.7 million barrels

Here is a step thru of the math that shows the found barrels this week to get to the plus go the oil inventory numbers

The EIA oil inventory numbers were released today.  The key number is crude oil inventory which was down 1.9 million barrels vs last week. This week it was 502.7 million barrels vs 504.9 million barrels last week.

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Still Big Wildcard With > 4,000 Oil DUCs

There was good news/bad news for oil markets from today’s EIA Drilling Productivity Report (Sept).  This is the monthly report that provides the EIA’’s estimate for production by major shale/tight play for the next 2 months, in this case Sept and Oct.

The good news is that the EIA forecasts another month of decline in the major plays oil production from 4.465 million b/d in Sept to 4.405 million b/d in Oct.  Plus that is also down from Aug of 4.555 million b/d.   Note, the EIA made an immaterial adjustment to its Sept forecast from last month of 4.470 million b/d, down very slightly to 4.465 million b/d in this month’s forecast.  This reaffirms that US oil continue to decline.    [LINK]

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Canada Conditional Approval of Petronas LNG

I took a quick look thru the Canada decision statement on the “approval” of Petronas BC LNG project [LINK], and provide my strategic/common sense comments.

I worry that the Govt of Canada isn’t leaving a lot of wiggle room for flexibility on moving on the 190 conditions.

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More Fires At Iran’s Oil and Gas Facilities

There is something strange going on in Iran’s oil and gas facilities.  It may not find its way into oil prices right now, but it is something to watch. This week, there have been two more fires – one at the South Pars natural gas complex, and another at the Bu Ali Sina petrochemical refinery.  It does not sound like there is ongoing major damage.  Tasnin (a private news agency in Iran) reported that “Firefighters brought a fire at a refinery in Iran’s giant South Pars gas field under control on Tuesday, an official announced, saying the blaze has not caused any casualties.  Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Qassem Qaedi, crisis management coordinator in the southern province of Busheher, said firefighters have brought the fire under control.  It had broken out at a waste storage tank in the 6th refinery unit of South Pars gas field’s phases 15 and 16.  The firefighting operation is in good progress, he added, predicting that the blaze would be extinguished shortly.  The fire poses no threat to the other facilities in the complex, as other refineries are operating normally, he assured.”  [LINK] Tasnin also reported on the BU Ali Sina petrochemical refinery fire, which is southwest of the city of Bandar Mahshahr.  There are very few reports on this and no word if there is any major damage.  What is interesting is that this petrochemical facility also caught fire in early July.

These aren’t the first fires at Iran’s oil and gas facilities.  Our Aug 7, 2016 Energy Tidbits had the following item.  “Oil & Natural Gas – A bad week for Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure operations. There were multiple incidents of fires/collisions regarding Iran’s oil and gas operations that didn’t seem to get much attention in the west.  Shana (the news agency for Iran’s oil ministry) had dozens of very small briefs, but the best summary briefs came from another Iran news site PressTV.  (i) “Iran contains massive gas pipeline fire” was a story ran Saturday morning Iran time and noted  a “massive fire on a 42-inch gas pipeline in southern Iran”, “a fire at Iran’s largest oil refinery in Abadan on Thursday was contained with no serious damage”, “Another fire broke out last week at the Bistoon petrochemical plant in Kermanshah in western Iran”, and “ the worst blaze, however, hit Bu Ali Sina petrochemical refinery complex in the southwest city of Bandar Mahshahr last month, seriously damaging its paraxylene unit”.  [LINK]    

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Jim Carr Speech – Good And Bad News To Oil Producers On Pipelines

There was good news and bad news in the keynote speech in Manitoba last week by Canada natural resources minister Jim Carr.  [LINK]

The Good news:  Carr says fossil fuels are needed now so it isn’t a choice of pipelines OR wind.  Carr said “But as the Prime Minister has said many times — and this a very important point — “the choice between pipelines and wind turbines is a false one. We need both to reach our goal.” Because while it’s exciting to think about the clean energy, low-carbon economy of the future, we’re not there yet. Even in light of the Paris Agreement, even as the world continues the transition to renewable sources of energy, the demand for fossil fuels will actually increase for decades to come”.  It reminds of our view that the Future of Clean Energy is dependent on oil and natural gas.

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