COVID-19 Bulletin: March 21

March 21, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

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  • Oil prices settled higher Friday but fell around 4% for the week, their second straight weekly loss. In late-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 5.9% at $110.90/bbl, Brent was up 6.6% at $115.00/bbl and U.S. natural gas was up 0.6% at $4.90/MMBtu.
  • OPEC+ production fell short of targets by 1 million bpd last month, even greater than January’s underproduction. 
  • A group of Yemeni rebels barraged Saudi Aramco’s energy facilities with missile strikes Sunday, sparking a fire at one site and temporarily cutting output at another, officials say. 
  • The global oil market is set for a 700,000-bpd supply deficit in the second quarter, the International Energy Agency said. The group cut its demand forecast by over 1 million bpd for the rest of the year and said consumers in advanced economies should travel less, drive slower and use more public transport to cut down on usage.  
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
  • The White House will resume plans for oil and gas drilling on federal lands following judicial approval of its request to use a revamped metric for calculating the cost of emissions. 
  • The U.S. Gulf Coast will see LNG plant construction accelerate in the coming months, with five projects approved in Louisiana and another seven in Texas and Mississippi. 
  • American energy producer Venture Global LNG struck supply deals that will make it one of China’s largest sources of LNG. 
  • U.S. oil exports to India are expected to rise some 11% this year, reports say. 
  • Saudi Aramco’s net profit more than doubled to $110 billion in 2021, the highest since its shares began trading publicly in 2019. The company pledged to hike investments by around 50% this year toward sharply increasing crude and gas production by the end of the decade. 
  • Canadian oil sands producers are set to increase free cash flow by over 60% this year as high oil prices offset heavy upfront investments made years ago. 
  • Sri Lanka ran out of crude stocks for its only refinery over the weekend. At least two people died while waiting in massive lines to get fuel. 
  • Shell is taking a second go at gaining approval from British regulators for a large North Sea gas field after the producer’s first plan was rejected over environmental concerns. 
  • The share of U.S. power generation from renewables will more than double from the current 21% to 44% by 2050, the Energy Information Administration predicts. 
EIA projects that renewable generation will supply 44% of U.S. electricity by 2050
  • Equinor expects renewable energy to account for at least 10% of its energy output by 2030. 
  • Occidental Petroleum’s new agreement to sell carbon credits to Airbus could justify the producer to go forward with building the world’s largest carbon capture plant, a key part of its budding energy transition business. 

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 6,623 new COVID-19 infections and 75 virus fatalities Sunday.
  • Over 50% of small business owners said that higher energy prices were affecting their business, according to a new survey. 
  • Delta Air Lines is raising U.S. ticket prices by up to 10% to reflect higher fuel prices, a trend adopted across the airline industry
  • U.S. existing home sales fell 7.2% to a six-month low in February, reflecting rising mortgage rates and continued short supply. 
  • China’s CATL, the world’s biggest maker of batteries for electric vehicles, is considering sites across North America for a massive $5 billion plant to supply customers, including Tesla. 
  • A Boeing 737-800 plane operated by China Eastern Airlines crashed in southern China Monday with over 130 people on board. The airline will ground all passenger flights for the model starting Tuesday as it investigates the incident. 
  • GM invested another $3.5 billion in its self-driving Cruise unit after Japan’s SoftBank Group pulled its investment over questions about the unit’s ability to generate revenue. 
  • The U.S.’s largest credit-reporting firms agreed to cut around 70% of medical debt in collections accounts from credit reports, a significant constraint for many consumers seeking to borrow. 
  • Investors poured over $90 billion last year into companies tied to sustainability efforts. 

International Markets

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight. For more information, email our 3D Printing team.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.

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