Energy and commodities highlights: China upstream, OPEC’s output discipline and Chevron in Kazakhstan

China announced landmark reforms in upstream oil and gas policy this week, lifting restrictions on foreign investment in conventional oil and gas projects. The city gas distribution sector is also being opened up, in a move that could attract oil majors and energy companies eager to tap into China’s growing appetite for LNG. Chinese LNG imports were up 20% year on year in the first half of 2019, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics data. The country’s Blue Sky policy targeting air pollution is expected to continue to drive gas consumption higher. Meanwhile, Australia is challenging Qatar for the top spot among LNG exporters, with the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science projecting exports of 74.8 million mt in fiscal year 2018-19 (July to June). But the Australian LNG sector is facing political challenges, after a minor party reached a deal with the government that could lead to stricter export controls for Queensland. In oil markets, the latest meeting of OPEC and its partners confirmed an extension of its 1.2 million b/d supply cut agreement. Oil prices dipped following the announcement, however, and later in the week growth concerns and US stock data also provided a bearish inflection. To… continue reading

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