The past week was marked by heightened geopolitical tensions as attacks on ships and oil infrastructure in the Middle East spread jitters through oil markets. On May 12, the UAE government said that four commercial vessels suffered “sabotage” in the Gulf of Oman, without giving more specific details about the nature of the attack. The following day, a drone attack halted flows through Saudi Arabia’s main oil transport pipeline to terminals and refineries on the Red Sea. The recent incidents added to concerns about the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest oil transit choke point. After the US decided not to renew waivers for Iran sanctions, Iran retaliated with a threat to close or disrupt traffic on the Strait. That in turn prompted the US to send warships and warplanes to the region. Meanwhile, the US-China trade dispute rumbled on, with China announcing it would hike tariffs on US LNG to 25%, part of a wider tariff increase in $60 billion of products imported from the US. The move is seen as potentially curbing growth in the US LNG export sector which has to date expanded rapidly as China had, until recently, been a key target market for LNG liquefaction… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center