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Friday, October 19, 2018

Fuel-cell technology to replace oil  PIW

Large oil companies continue to consolidate their involvement in new low-emission fuel cell technology. Royal-Dutch/Shell last week formalized a joint venture agreement with fuel cell developer International Fuel Cells, an affiliate of technology giant United Technologies Corp. They will establish a new company, HydrogenSource, to develop, manufacture, and market fuel cell processors and other hydrogen generation systems, initially powered by gasoline and natural gas-derived methanol. Shell favours fuel cells powered directly by hydrogen in the long term in contrast to other oil companies such as Exxon and Total Fina Elf, which are pushing for gasoline (PIW June 18 ,page 11). Meanwhile, US Unocal has signed up to the Texas Fuel Cell Partnership, agreeing also to finance a 3 kilowatt stationary fuel cell to power air quality monitoring equipment at the Port of Houston. Texaco is also a member of the group.

Source: Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW)

“On the brink of world recession?” – The Economist

“The world economy is starting to look remarkably, even dangerously, vulnerable” according to the Economist.  Japan, the US and Europe are slipping at the same time.  Moody’s estimate that, in the 3 months ending May the total industrial output of America, the EU and Japan fell by 0.5% on a year earlier, compared with an annual growth of more than 6% the previous year. This is the sharpest ever dive for industrial growth rates within a 12-months span. The Economist also says that increased consumer spending may mean that America’s economy escapes recession, which would naturally impact world economy.

Japan had a 0.8% negative GDP growth in the 1st quarter this year as well as a 0.1% negative growth over the last year. The Economist’s “poll” forecast for 2001 is +0.5% and +1.3% in 2002. Industrial production over the last year ending April was down 4.2%.

The US had a 1.3% GDP growth in the 1st quarter this year and 2.5% growth over the last year. The Economist’s forecast for 2001 is +1.6% and +2.9% in 2002. Industrial production over the last year ending May was down 2.8%.

The Euro Area had a 2.0% GDP growth during the 1st quarter this year and 2.5% growth over the last year. The Economist’s forecast for 2001 is +2.2% and +2.5% in 2002. Industrial production over the last year ending April was up 1.6%.

China which helped pull the tanker market last year had 8.1% GDP growth during the 1st quarter this year and 10.2% increase in industrial production over the last year ending May, over one year earlier. India which is also becoming increasingly important to the tanker market had a 2.7% increase in industrial production over the last year ending April, over one year earlier (latest GDP growth is from 3Q00 and was 5.7%).

US distillate stocks up  - US DOE/EIA

Total distillate stocks rose to 111.2 million barrels (mil bls) on 22 June 2001, 4.8% above the year-ago level. Inventories were 2.1 mil bls above the previous week and 5.1 mil bls higher than last year. Diesel fuel inventory increased to 67.4 mil bls, rising 1.9 mil bls from last week but 0.2 mil bls less than last year. Heating oil stocks rose slightly to 43.8 mil bls and are 5.3 mil bls higher than last year.

Crude oil stocks ended week 25 (18-24 June) at 315.5 mil bls, which while unchanged from last week remains 8.9 mil bls lower than the 1 June level of 324.4 mil bls. As of June 22, crude oil stocks were 6.6% higher than this time last year but 1.5% lower than the five-year average. Crude oil inputs to stocks fell to 15.4 mbd, while crude oil imports rose to 9.1 mbd.  However the average of crude imports for the first three weeks of June 2001 was 8.8 mbd, while the average during the whole month of June last year was 9.4 mbd.