Lithium-ion (Li-i) batteries are the fastest-growing technology in the power storage sector, according to a recent report by Forum for the Future, which tapped insights from half a dozen key executives in the UK energy sector. But the rising cost of lithium and cobalt, which is a component of the cathodes used in Li-i batteries, could slow their progress.
Faced with the possibility of tighter sanctions on Venezuela, US refiners are switching to lighter crude slates and sourcing more heavy grades from Canada and Mexico. Asian refiners look set to reap the benefit. This has implications for crude differentials in all parts of the world.
Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean are transitioning from legacy energy supplies based on refined products to renewable sources including solar, wind and biofuels. The region also has significant oil and gas potential, but unresolved border issues have discouraged its exploitation.
Fuel oil crack spreads have shown unexpected strength in the northern hemisphere summer as production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC producers have tightened supply.
Iran’s deputy oil minister, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, said at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul this week that his country planned to ramp up gas production to nearly 1.37 billion cubic metres per day and oil production to around 5 million barrels per day (MMb/d) by 2021.
The price differential between light sweet crude oils and heavier sour crudes has narrowed as OPEC and several non-OPEC oil producers’ continue to implement output cuts. Rising sweet crude production in Libya, Nigeria and the US have also contributed to exceptionally narrow sweet/sour differentials, leading refiners in the West to process more sweeter grades in their refineries.