The narrative surrounding market rebalancing moves faster than the actual process of market rebalancing.
Last week in Moscow Russian president Vladimir Putin posited that, should an agreement be reached to extend the Opec, non-Opec deal on production levels, then it should run until the end of 2018.
The November Opec and non-Opec gathering in Vienna looks set for a downgrade.
After the compliance meeting on 22 September, Russian oil minister Alexander Novak said the likely state of the market in April wouldnot be discernible until early 2018. Yesterday, he was explicit: “We need to take a decision in the first quarter of 2018. In November we will certainly discuss the market situation and prospects, but it makes no sense to take a decision.”
At a recent refining conference in Brussels, Italian refiner Saras’ managing director, Dario Scaffardi, extolled the virtues of big data and digitisation to a packed auditorium.
The possibilities, he said, are huge. Maintenance activities, process control and commercial marketing all fall under its umbrella. Digitisation has a role to play in simulation, additive manufacturing, 3D manufacturing and robotics, and in using virtual reality to predict how a unit will run — and when it will fail.
Blockchain technology may be approaching the business mainstream as its most well-known application – cryptocurrency — made the July cover of Forbes magazine, but the application is still closer to the back page for the oil and gas sector. Continue reading
The European Central Bank has signalled the end is nigh for its role as the stimulator of last resort. Seven years into ECB president Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes” (more on that phrase later), and the eurozone economy is nearly deemed ready to stand unaided.
You can see why. GDP growth is strong, employment is up, and the bloc’s manufacturing sector expanded in August at the fastest rate since 2011, and the OECD leading indicators for the region are satisfactory.