Today’s Key Takeaways: Global oil market fragile after Hamas attacks. Impacts of an Exxon-Pioneer merger. Chevron shuts down Israeli gas field after Hamas attacks. Burmese mining suspension causes rare earth prices to skyrocket. Peak oil demand debate at COP 28.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
The New Global Oil Market Order Hangs In The Balance After Hamas Attacks Israel
Simon Watson, OilPrice.Com, October 9, 2023
- Palestinian political and military organisation Hamas launched coordinated multi-pronged attacks by land, sea, and air against Israel last weekend.
- The potential for the Hamas attacks on Israel to suck in other Arab states into the conflict, and for it to then become another proxy war could have major ramifications for a large number of countries.
- Soaring oil prices as a result of renewed tensions in the Middle East could lead to economy-crippling levels of inflation in the West.
In what turned out to be extraordinary timing, October 3 saw a Western coalition of France’s TotalEnergies and Italy’s Eni, plus Qatar Energy, apply for the second licensing round on oil and gas blocks 8 and 10 in Lebanese waters, while only four days later Palestinian political and military organisation Hamas launched coordinated multi-pronged attacks by land, sea, and air against Israel. Lebanon is a core member of the Iran-dominated Shia Crescent of Power, which both China and Russia have long seen as the foundation stone for their expansion of power across the Middle East as a whole, as analysed in depth in my new book on the new global oil market order. Lebanon’s political and military organisation, Hezbollah – like its Palestinian counterpart Hamas – vows Israel’s destruction and praised Hamas for its “heroic operation” against Israel on October 7.
Both paramilitary groups receive multi-layered support from Iran’s financial, intelligence, and military networks and each of these support facilities are inextricably linked to China and Russia, as also fully examined in my new book. The potential for the Hamas attacks on Israel to suck in other Arab states into the conflict, and for it to then become another proxy war – to add to that still raging in Ukraine – between the U.S. and Russia (and China) appears large. The last time that a major conflict between Israel and the Arab states occurred, the 1973 Oil Crisis erupted, which saw the benchmark WTI oil price shoot up around 267 percent – from about US$3 per barrel (pb) to around US$11 pb.
Analysts Look at What Exxon-Pioneer Deal Would Mean
Andreas Exarheas, Rigzone, October 9, 2023
In a statement sent to Rigzone late Friday, Enverus Intelligence Research (EIR) Director Andrew Dittmar told Rigzone that, “per late-breaking media reports, ExxonMobil (XOM) is closing in on a historic shale deal by acquiring Permian juggernaut Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD)”.
“We view the potential merger, which would carry a price tag of $60 billion according to the Wall Street Journal, as a significant win for XOM and a reasonable conclusion for PXD at a reported ~9 percent premium to its share price at its prior-day close,” Dittmar said.
“We view it as an attractive price for XOM to acquire a unique Permian portfolio to offer such scale, quality, and high proportion of operatorship and undeveloped acreage that mitigates risk of interference from parent wells,” he added.
“We have long viewed XOM as the most likely first-mover buyer in large-scale Permian M&A, due in part to its aggressive growth targets, in addition to viewing PXD as its ideal acquisition candidate,” he continued.
In the statement, Dittmar noted that, a key remaining question, “in addition to whether the deal will materialize at the reported price”, is whether such a deal would affect XOM’s current development pace in the Permian, “which already targets a differentiated double-digit growth rate that exceeds PXD’s”.
“We estimate PXD to hold 6,300 net locations of high-quality inventory (well locations that generate a 10% return at a WTI price of below $50), or 16 years of drilling activity at its current rig cadence,” Dittmar said.
“Such duration of operated inventory leads oil-weighted shale producers and would be significantly accretive to XOM’s duration,” he added.
Chevron Shuts Down Israeli Natural Gas Field After Hamas Attack
Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice.Com, October 9, 2023
Following this weekend’s attack by Hamas on Israel, Chevron, the operator of the Tamar gas field offshore southern Israel, has shut down production at the field per instructions from the Israeli energy ministry.
“Chevron Mediterranean Limited was instructed by Israel’s Ministry of Energy to shut in production at the Tamar Production Platform,” the local unit of the U.S. supermajor said in a statement carried by Reuters.
Rare Earth Prices Skyrocket Following Burmese Mining Suspension
Metal Miner, October 8, 2023
- Myanmar’s Kachin State, supplying 38% of China’s rare earth imports, halted mining, causing an immediate spike in global prices.
- The long-term effects of this suspension might lead to scarcity, illicit mining, and environmental issues in the region.
- China’s economic slowdown combined with geopolitical risks highlights the need for diversified sourcing in the rare earth market.
The Rare Earths MMI (Monthly Metals Index) witnessed yet another steep increase month-over-month. Indeed, supply disruptions remain a massive concern in the rare earths industry, so rare earth magnets and other materials witnessed renewed bullish strength across the board over recent months.
In August, market worries arose prior to a planned environmental inspection of China’s Jiangxi province. The Chinese region serves as a major location for Chinese rare earth supplies. Along with this, Chinese stimulus efforts managed to boost rare earth production (although this cannot add long-term support to the index).
The Peak Oil Demand Debate Is Sure To Dominate COP 28
Alex Kimani, OilPrice.Com, October 9, 2023
- The tensions between fossil fuel lobbyists and environmentalists have been tangible at recent Un Climate Change Conferences, and this year’s won’t be any different.
- COP 28, which will be held from November 30th through to December 12th, will likely be dominated by talk of peak oil demand.
- While the IEA believes global oil demand will peak before the end of this decade, OPEC and the oil majors disagree strongly and will look to plead their case in the UAE.
The past couple of UN Climate Change Conferences have featured a growing number of fossil fuel lobbyists who almost inevitably end up clashing with climate activists and environmentalists over the role and fate of the fossil fuel industry in the global energy transition. For instance, more than 600 delegates affiliated with the fossil fuel industry attended last year’s COP27 climate talks held in Egypt, a large increase compared to 170 who attended the 2021 summit, with predictable results.
“The path to averting climate catastrophe isn’t through negotiations flooded with industry lobbyists. Enough is enough in treating those most culpable for the crisis as ‘partners’ or ‘stakeholders’ in the solution,” Hellen Neima, director of the African Climate Campaign at the United States non-profit Corporate Accountability, told Al Jazeera.
“The fossil fuels industry and European leaders are still hand-in-hand deciding our energy policy. COP27 is a great opportunity for more gas deals and more business as usual,” Pascoe Sabido, campaigner at the Corporate Europe Observatory, told Al Jazeera.
As you might expect, oil and gas producers have been adamant that fossil fuels will continue to be the world’s primary source of energy for many decades to come.