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The EU Needs More Diesel, But The Middle East Can?t Supply It All
by Tsvetana Paraskova
3 Feb 2023 at 4:00pm
Europe has raised its imports of fuels from the Middle East and the United States in preparation for the EU ban on seaborne imports of Russian refined petroleum products. Just ahead of the ban, Europe was still the biggest buyer of Russian diesel and it will have to boost imports from non-Russian suppliers significantly after the embargo kicks in on Sunday. Yet, the Middle East ? despite adding planned refinery capacity in recent years ? may not be able to meet Europe?s demand due to delays in the commissioning of some new?

Will China?s Rare Earth Dominance Ever Be Challenged?
by Ag Metal Miner
3 Feb 2023 at 3:00pm
Via AG Metal Miner The Rare Earths MMI (Monthly Metals Index) rose considerably over the past month, climbing by a total of 7.05%. The primary factor influencing the rare earth price forecast over the past several months was zero-COVID. Now, the focus is on those restrictions being lifted. Currently, China reports that the country?s COVID cases are dropping. China?s manufacturing sector hasn?t sustained too much damage over the past month. As a result, China seems ready to retake its position as the dominating global rare earth?

Iran To Help Venezuela Overhaul Major Refinery Complex
by Julianne Geiger
3 Feb 2023 at 2:30pm
Venezuela?s Paraguana refinery complex is soon to begin a 100-day overhaul to reclaim its crude distillation capacity, anonymous Reuters sources suggested on Friday, with work set to be completed as a joint effort by Venezuela?s PDVSA and National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC). Iran?s assistance with Venezuela?s Paraguana Refining Center?the nation?s largest?looks to ease Venezuela?s reliance on U.S. refinery technology. Over the past decade, Venezuela?s oil industry?

Iran-Azerbaijan Relations Under Stress Following Embassy Attack
by RFE/RL staff
3 Feb 2023 at 1:00pm
A gunman stormed the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran on January 27, killing one guard and wounding two others. Iran said the attack was motivated by personal reasons, but Baku described it as a ?terrorist attack.? The incident led Azerbaijan to temporarily suspend its operations at its embassy in Tehran and evacuate its staff from the country. Iranian media said the attacker, who was arrested, was an Iranian man married to an Azerbaijani woman. The attacker was quoted as saying that his wife disappeared after entering the Azerbaijani?

Explained: The Sweden-Turkey NATO Stalemate
3 Feb 2023 at 11:00am
The Turkish government insists that Sweden significantly change its permissive approach to the Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (PKK, or Kurdish Workers? Party) and other anti-Turkey groups as a condition for Ankara?s approval of Stockholm?s application for NATO membership. Western commentators have attributed the position of the Turkish government to upcoming Turkish elections, opposition to free speech, and/or visceral reaction to political provocateurs (Associated Press, January 19; Bloomberg, January 26;, January?

EU Supports $100 Russian Diesel Price Cap
by Julianne Geiger
3 Feb 2023 at 11:00am
EU members have agreed to support a price cap level of $100 per barrel on Russian diesel sales to third-party countries, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Friday afternoon. The EU?s ban on Russian seaborne crude oil products imports, including diesel and naphtha, is scheduled to go into effect on February 5. The EU?s proposal, submitted last week, called for capping the price of Russian diesel sold to third countries at $100 per barrel for products that trade at a premium and $45 for those that sell at a discount. Similarly?

Oil Prices Crash After Perky Jobs Data
by Julianne Geiger
3 Feb 2023 at 10:19am
Crude oil prices fell on Friday afternoon following reports of strong U.S. jobs data, with WTI crashing by more than 2.5% to $73.88 The U.S. January jobs report indicates that the jobs market is stronger than expected, with employers adding 517,000 in January. This compares to economists that had expected employers had added 185,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate in the United States is at 3.4%--the lowest rate since 1969, despite the round of tech layoffs. The Fed?s aggressive interest rate hikes are not slowing hiring as some would?

U.S. Drilling Activity Continues To Slow
by Julianne Geiger
3 Feb 2023 at 10:12am
The total number of total active drilling rigs in the United States fell 12 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published on Friday. The total rig count fell to 759 this week?146 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2022 and 316 rigs lower than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic. Oil rigs in the United States fell by 10 this week, to 599. Gas rigs fell by 2, to 158. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 2. The rig count in the Permian Basin fell by 3, while rigs in the Eagle Ford stayed the?

EU Leaders Meet In Ukraine To Discuss Fresh Sanctions Package
by RFE/RL staff
3 Feb 2023 at 9:30am
Leaders of the European Union and Ukraine are holding a landmark meeting in Kyiv amid air-raid alerts in the capital and across Ukraine. The alerts on February 3 were lifted after less than two hours, and there were no immediate reports of any air strikes by Russia. In recent months, Russian missile strikes have caused extensive damage to Ukraine's electricity grid in the depths of winter and claimed victims among civilians. The top-level meeting in Kyiv between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the EU leadership is expected to discuss?

Rogue Trader Bets $80 Million Fed Will Start Slashing Rates By Year End
3 Feb 2023 at 9:00am
Earlier this week, we quoted Bloomberg trader and market commentator Vince Cignarella who said that "In More Than 40 Years Of Trading, Never Have I Witnessed A Market Fighting The Fed As Boldly As This One," and judging by Powell's remarkable verbal pivot yesterday, there was good reason for that: the market was spot on, and Powell appears to have conceded that inflation will run much hotter, as he refuses to push back against risk prices anymore. As Bloomberg reports, a trader has put on a massive bet that the Fed will soon cave on the promise?

Russia?s Oil And Gas Revenues Slump 46% Year-Over-Year
by Michael Kern
3 Feb 2023 at 8:30am
Russia?s budget revenues from oil and gas plunged in January by 46% compared to the same month last year due to the sanctions on Russian oil exports, which led to a slump in the price of Russia?s flagship crude grade. Russian budget revenues from energy sales ? including taxes and customs revenues ? plummeted last month to the lowest level since August 2020, according to data from its finance ministry compiled by Reuters. In January 2023, the price of Russia?s flagship Urals grade averaged 42% lower than in the same?

Oil Prices Inches Higher As Traders Await A Rebound In Chinese Demand
3 Feb 2023 at 8:00am
Oil is on course for a second straight week of losses, with investors hoping for clearer signs of recovering fuel demand in China to offset an economic slump across the West. Both major benchmarks were little changed in Friday morning?s early trading, with Brent Crude down 0.23 percent at $81.98 per barrel, while WTI Crude is down 0.29 percent at $75.66 per barrel. The lack of movement consolidates definitive downturns in prices this week, with Brent Crude dropping more than five percent in value ? extending a one percent loss from?

Europe?s Gas Prices Set For 6% Weekly Gain As Cold Weather Closes In
by Michael Kern
3 Feb 2023 at 7:30am
Europe?s benchmark gas prices were set to post a 6% weekly gain on Friday, the biggest gain since early December, due to expected colder temperatures in eastern and southern Europe next week. Around noon in Amsterdam on Friday, the TTF price, Europe?s benchmark, had risen by 2.9% on the day to $64.20 (58.70 euros) per megawatt-hour (MWh), as weather forecasts point to lower-than-normal temperatures in some parts of Europe next week. The European benchmark prices have rebounded this week and jumped by 11% at over $65 (60?

Oil Prices Are Under Pressure
by Editorial Dept
3 Feb 2023 at 7:00am
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures dipped on Thursday, putting the March futures contract in a position to finish lower for the week. Weaker-than-expected economic data and a rebound in the U.S. Dollar are being blamed for the daily weakness. The market has been under pressure all week with the selling starting late last week on Jan. 27 when indications of strong Russian oil supply offset better-than-expected U.S. economic data, strong middle distillate refining margins, and hopes of a rapid recovery in Chinese. Contributing to the?

U.S. Oil Majors Are Outperforming Their European Counterparts
by Editorial Dept
3 Feb 2023 at 7:00am
1. US Oil Majors Pull Ahead of Their European Peers- As European oil companies press ahead with their renewable energy projects and adapt to continent-wide windfall taxes, US oil majors have been outperforming their peers in the high-price environment of the past 12 months. - While Shell?s 2022 net profits were comparable to ExxonMobil and Chevron, US majors trade at roughly 6 times their expected EBITDA for 2023, twice the average of Europeans. - This discrepancy has fueled speculation across the Atlantic Basin, boosted by a Citi analytical?

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