Energy and commodities highlights: Hormuz tensions, trading houses vs NOCs, recycled plastics

After a calmer start to the week in geopolitics, US-Iran tensions erupted again on July 18 when President Donald Trump said the US Navy had shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. Brent crude prices responded with a near 2% increase by in Singapore morning trading hours. However, the impact of US sanctions on Iran and hostilities in the Persian Gulf on oil prices has been blunted by a global supply glut, according to a US official. Brian Hook, the US State Department’s special representative for Iran, told S&P Global Platts in an interview that buyers were having no difficulty finding replacement barrels for Iranian crude. Aside from supply fundamentals and the heightened risks for tankers in the Middle East, during the week there were further reminders of the wider existential crisis facing the global hydrocarbons industry in an age of energy transition and environmental awareness. S&P Global Ratings said in a mid-year note that the number of oil and gas companies in distress is rising. The agency said declining interest from investors meant consolidation in the sector may not be a solution, leaving bankruptcy as the only option for some. Meanwhile, legislators continue to push for… continue reading

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