Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Oil heading to $90, renewables in Japan & more

It's been a hectic few weeks in the energy markets over the course of which oil prices have acquired a bit of buoyancy. Its something they briefly lost last month following the OPEC+ meeting. Brent crude futures currently sit just a few dollars south of $90 per barrel level, having dropped below $80 in early June. 

While global crude demand permutations haven't materially altered, there is renewed optimism over lower interest rates in key markets. That and higher demand projections in Asian markets, especially India, appear to be supporting prices. This sets the stall for relatively higher crude prices as we enter the first month of the second half of the year. 

All things staying even, the Oilholic would argue there is now a near-term case for $90 Brent crude prices. However, defending price upticks beyond the level would prove tricky, given the fact that crude supplies, especially those of light sweet non-OPEC crude, remain on a solid footing.  

Away from the oil market, yours truly was interviewed by the BBC on Japan's and wider East Asia's renewable energy landscape. The Oilholic spoke about a call by the country's private sector to triple its renewables capacity by 2035. 

This kerfuffle over Japan's future energy mix has been going on since the Fukushima tragedy in 2011, and has been further complicated by readily available and competitively priced LNG. 

Japan continues to trail the G7 in terms of renewables. However, while still using coal as a power generation source, Japan is not expanding usage in the same way as India and China are. Overall, a renewables capacity target in excess of 360GW by 2035 looks very ambitious. However, never discount Japanese ingenuity for getting things done! 

Elsewhere, here is one of the Oilholic's missives from late June on why the world needs to nurture sustainable entrepreneurship for Forbes (click here), and another one on why green hydrogen's fate in a net zero economy hinges on upscaling for Energy Connects (click here).

Finally, on the eve of the UK's general election, here are this blogger's thoughts on how the outcome will impact the country's energy industry. Regardless of whoever wins, looks like UK Energy Inc may be stuck between a rock and hard place! That's all for the moment folks. More musings to follow soon. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo: Gaurav Sharma on BBC World © BBC, June 25, 2024.