Oil prices slide on US inventory build, equity rally caps losses
U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles built more than expected, American Petroleum Institute data showed. Oil prices have fallen sharply on concerns about slowing demand, but won some respite Tuesday after a global stock market rally on hopes the Fed may trim interest rates. The oil market has also been weighed down by concerns about slowing global growth due to heightened trade tensions. Click here to read more from CNBC.
The Backlash to Plastic Has Oil Companies Worried
As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco sink billions into plastic and chemicals assets. Renewed emphasis on recycling and the spread of local bans on some kinds of plastic products could cut petrochemical demand growth to one-third of its historical pace, to about 1.5% a year, said Paul Bjacek, a principal director at consulting firm Accenture Plc. Click here to read more from Bloomberg.
Venezuela’s oil exports drop 17% in May as sanctions kick in: data
Venezuelan PDVSA’s oil exports took another hit in May, following a deadline for customers to wind-down purchases in order to comply with U.S. sanctions, according to documents from the state-run company and Refinitiv Eikon data. Venezuela has drained oil inventories since late January, when Washington imposed sanctions on PDVSA, to offset declining crude output, according to analysts. That allowed the firm to maintain exports around 1 million bpd for the following three months despite the measures. Click here to read more from Reuters.
Oil Rigs May Get Second Lives as Fish Habitat
Off the coast of Southern California, a herd of aging oil rigs has an uncertain future. After about three to five decades of pumping oil, the rigs are set to be decommissioned — but what to do with them after that? New research shows one potential solution: Let the rigs remain in place to become artificial reef habitats for marine life. It could be a possibility for the 7,500 offshore oil platforms around the globe. Each platform is different, so it can be challenging to make general statements about the ways they impact the environment, said Milton Love, a research biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, who has spent three decades assessing the impact of oil rigs on species living nearby. “In general platforms act as great big reefs,” he said. “They happen to be made out of steel, but as far as the organisms you find there, there are great similarities and some differences on what you find on a platform and what you find on nearby reefs.” Click here to read more from Inside Science.