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China refuses oil from Russian companies hit by U.S. sanctions
Sharon Cho and Serene Cheong, WORLD OIL, March 17, 2020

The trading arm of a Chinese state-owned refiner is turning away crude from Russian energy giant Rosneft PJSC, the parent of a unit hit by U.S. sanctions.  Sinochem International Oil (Singapore) on Monday sought crude for May-to-June delivery, company documentation seen by Bloomberg shows. While Sinochem didn’t say why it had excluded Rosneft Oil Co. from the tender, it specifies that supplies from the Russian company, plus its subsidiaries and affiliates, will not be accepted. The Singapore unit is procuring barrels for Quanzhou refinery in eastern China, operated by its parent Sinochem Group.

Exxon Looks to Significantly Reduce Spending
Andreas Exarheas, Rigzone Staff, March 17, 2020

ExxonMobil announced Monday that it is looking to “significantly reduce” spending due to the market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases.  “Based on this unprecedented environment, we are evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term,” Darren Woods, the chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, said in a company statement.  “We will outline plans when they are finalized … We are confident that we will manage through these challenging times by taking deliberate action to keep our people safe, our environment protected and our company strong,” he added.


US January LNG exports jump
LNG World News, March 17, 2020

The United States liquefied natural gas exports increased during the first month of the year, data from the Department of Energy shows.   In its monthly report, DoE said that a total of 249.5 Billion cubic feet of LNG have been exported during the month under review, 13.3 percent up on December 2019 volumes and 96.7 percent up on the volumes exported in January 2019.  During the month, 79 cargoes have been exported with Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction facility shipping 37 and its Corpus Christi facility adding 12 cargoes. Freeport LNG facility shipped 12 cargoes in January with nine cargoes shipped from the Cameron LNG plant, seven from Cove Point LNG plant and two from the Elba Island facility.  This compares to 69 cargoes shipped in December 2019 and 37 cargoes in January 2019.


Covid-19: How the coronavirus pandemic is hurting the mining industry
Matthew Hall, Mining Technology, March 17, 2020

The World Health Organisation has declared the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. With over 180,000 confirmed cases at the time of writing, even the most optimistic analysts fear we are heading towards a global recession. Several mining companies have been affected by Covid-19 outbreaks, and global restrictions to encourage social distancing have meant some mining projects have either slowed or shuttered. Here we explain some of the major ways the coronavirus crisis has impacted the global mining industry.


Plastics Had Been Falling Out of Favor. Then Came the Virus
Leslie Kaufmann, Bloomberg Green, March 15, 2020

It took one week after the first U.S. case of Covid-19 with no overseas connection for Starbucks Corp. to temporarily ban customers from bringing in reusable coffee mugs. Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, was disappointed. Public health comes first, of course, but as the founder of the grassroots Beyond Plastics project, Enck had her doubts that returning to disposable cups would make anyone safer. Currency, for instance, is a notorious germ-carrier. “Will Starbucks now stop accepting cash?” she says.  These are nervous times for activists working to wean the world off plastics.