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Washington: Nord Stream 2 sanctions on the way

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Washington is getting ready for another sanctions package that if put in place would put major restrictions on companies involved in Russia’s $10.5-billion Nord Stream 2 project.

United States Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that a sanctions bill putting onerous restrictions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project and would come in the “not too distant future”.

US sanctions against the controversial Nord Stream-2 pipeline from Russia to Germany are unlikely to stop the project’s construction but may prevent Russian gas monopoly Gazprom from using the pipeline at full capacity in the future, Alexei Kokin, a senior oil and gas analyst at UralSib Financial Corp in Moscow, told New Europe on 23 May. neweurope.eu

Half of the €9.5 billion project is financed by Gazprom, with the rest covered by its European partners: Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Anglo-Dutch Shell, France’s Engie and Austria’s OMV. – https://www.euractiv.com

The US wants to expand its LNG exports into the EU and has frowned upon any new pipelines into Europe from Russia. Even after the EU Promised To Double US LNG Imports Within 5 Years. at the start of the month, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry addressed the High-Level Business-to-Business Energy Forum in Brussels, telling them that U.S. gas is more reliable than Russian gas.

Why Russia wants the Nord Stream 2?: Ukrainian

Russia decides to forge ahead with the pipeline after the Ukrainian Government was found stealing Russia gas from the pipeline passing through into Europe and disputes concerning gas debts and non-payment. “If Nord Stream 2 becomes operational, Ukraine will be cut out from gas transit, losing roughly the equivalent of its defense budget each year in fees,” said Agnia Grigas, energy and political risk expert at the Atlantic Council.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will continue gas transit through Ukraine if it remains economically feasible.

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Geopolitics

China Holds the cards on Oil Prices

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Should China decide to defy the latest U.S. tariff threat by ramping up imports of Iranian crude oil in open defiance to the U.S. sanctions on Iran, oil prices could take a significant hit and plunge by as much as $20-$30 a barrel, Bank of America Merrill Lynch warned earlier this month.

in 2018 China import of crude oil: US$239.2 billion (20.2% of total crude oil imports)

in 2019 China’s crude oil imports in June averaged 9.63 million bpd, an increase of 1.7 percent from an average of 9.47 million bpd in imports in May, and a 15.2-percent increase from 8.36 million bpd in June last year, according to Reuters calculations in barrels from data in tons provided by the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

China is the world largest crude oil importer and any moves they make will impact global markets.

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Geopolitics

Mexico’s Crude Oil Problem

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Mexico’s economy has a high dependence on hydrocarbons. 89% of the country’s energy production is made from fossil fuels. It’s a large producer of oil, natural gas, and coal, however, Pemex is producing less and consumes more. This increases the vulnerability of Mexico’s economy. In 2004, Mexico produced 3.4 million barrels of oil on average per day and in 2018 production contracted to 1.8 million barrels per day, that is, the extraction of crude oil was reduced by half. In 2018 the lowest level of production of the last 38 years was reached and in 2019 the trend continues to fall.

Pemex production of natural gas has also been reduced consistently since 2014, which has increased Mexico’s dependence on gas sold by the United States, as this is one of the least expensive and cleanest fossil inputs to generate electricity. Mexico needs to increase its oil production, but it won’t be an easy task because it requires access to wells with a depth greater than 500 meters, and Pemex only has experience in drilling wells with a depth of up to 100 meters.

One of the biggest Problems Mexico faces is the current need for Pemex to import refined fuels more and more, This is the reason AMLO wants to build a refinery so as not to be dependent on a foreign country for its energy needs. Yet, Mexico’s elite is against this, A Government investigation of those against the plan has not been done, as to see if they benefit from keeping Mexico dependent on foreign companies. If that wasn’t enough American rating agency’s are also against Mexico’s move of Energy independence.

Trying to find a balance of investing in infrastructure and exploration is going to be Mexico’s biggest challenge.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday his government will reduce the federal budget burden taken on by state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

With the purpose of reducing the fiscal burden of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex)

The proposal includes gradual reductions in taxes of Shared Profit (DUC), which is 65%, to a lower rate of 54% for two years.

“These amounts are equivalent to 45.8% of the total accumulated debt maturities for the period 2019 to 2021,” the text highlights, and represents 61.8% of Pemex’s entire annual investment.

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