Today’s Key Takeaways: Automakers look for non-Chinese graphite; Why aren’t oil prices higher? Qatar ready to sign 27-year LNG deal with China. AK Graphite One project has a new partner. Senate budget committee focus on fossil fuels.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Analysis: Auto firms race to secure non-Chinese graphite for EVs as shortages loom
Eric Onstad, Reuters, June 21, 2023
- EVs to account for more than half of mined graphite demand
- Automakers seek supply from new Western graphite miners
- Graphite biggest component by weight in EV battery
- FACTBOX: Graphite companies and offtake deals read more
Automakers, including Tesla and Mercedes, are rushing to lock in graphite supply from outside dominant producer China, as demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries outpaces other uses for the mineral for the first time due to soaring EV sales.
Auto firms have been slow to plan for graphite shortages, focusing mainly on better-known battery materials lithium and cobalt, even though graphite is the largest battery component by weight.
Why Aren’t Oil Prices Higher?
Andreas Exarheas, Rigzone, June 20, 2023
Why aren’t oil prices higher despite the expected market tightening?
That’s the question Rystad Energy Senior Vice President Jorge Leon outlined in a new market update, which was sent to Rigzone on Monday.
“Despite expectations of a looming oil market deficit, prices have remained surprisingly low,” Leon stated in the update.
“According to Rystad Energy, the oil market is projected to face a significant deficit, averaging 2.4 million barrels per day for the remainder of the year,” he added.
Looking at reasons for the phenomenon in the update, Leon noted that Rystad Energy suggests a combination of non-fundamental factors, lagging demand, and stronger than expected supply are at play.
Despite the price trend however, Leon said in the update that Rystad believes that, at some point in the coming weeks, market fundamentals will drive the oil market.
“Upside price pressure will materialize soon,” Leon stated in the update.
The Rystad representative conceded in the update that downside risks include a potential failure to stimulate the Chinese economy and lower than expected discipline by OPEC+ in adhering to production cuts. However, Leon stated that, “despite these risks, we remain confident that significant upside price pressure will materialize in the second half of the year”.
China Close To Signing 27-Year LNG Supply Deal With Qatar
ZeroHedge/Rigzone, June 21, 2023
- China is seeking increased imports of LNG from Qatar, the world’s top LNG supplier, in part to reduce dependence on LNG imports from the United States.
- The 27-year agreement allows China to purchase 4 million metric tons of LNG per year from QatarEnergy.
- In April, China’s Sinopec signed a deal to become a “value-added” partner in Qatar’s North Field expansion project.
Turning Alaska graphite into graphene
Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News, June 21, 2023
Seeking a domestic source of quality graphite that it can transform into the super 2D material known as graphene, Vorbeck Materials Corp. is teaming up with Graphite One Inc., a company developing an all-American graphite supply chain that will begin at the world-class Graphite Creek Mine in Alaska.
“Vorbeck Materials is excited to team with Graphite One to meet unique defense and commercial requirements with Graphite One’s high-grade, U.S.-sourced graphite for advanced graphite and graphene applications,” Vorbeck Materials CEO John Lettow said.
THE BUDGET COMMITTEE’S FOCUS ON CLIMATE: Budget Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse held his 10th climate change-related hearing of the Congress this morning as he shapes the committee into the Senate’s fossil fuel watchdog.
Whitehouse has been using the committee’s jurisdiction over budgetary matters to scrutinize oil and gas companies’ business and political strategies, carrying over the “dark money” themes he has explored on other committees, including on Judiciary with respect to the nomination of judges.
“Collectively, fossil-fuel aligned trade organizations and dark money groups have spent tens of billions of dollars—again, that we know of—on ads, lobbying, campaign contributions and dark money front groups,” Whitehouse said this morning, adding that spending by fossil fuel interests is delaying decarbonization around the world and increasing climate-related economic risks to the U.S. budget.
Keeping up the momentum: Previous hearings have explored the risks associated with continuing to build fossil fuel assets only to see them left stranded by a green energy transition. The committee has also held a hearing on the “budgetary perils of dependence on fossil fuels” and another looking at how climate change is affecting insurance markets.
Earlier this month, the committee opened an investigation into how insurance companies calculate climate-related risk and decide whether or not to underwrite fossil fuel projects.
“Any new fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with our climate goals and economic stability. By underwriting and investing in new and expanded fossil fuel projects, U.S. insurers are helping Big Oil bring us closer to the worst runaway climate scenarios, which threaten lives, livelihoods, and the federal budget,” Whitehouse said at the time.
From the Washington Examiner Daily on Energy