Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc (PES) announced Wednesday that they are shutting down operations within the next month after the explosion and fire that occurred in the early morning of June 21. The refinery is the oldest and largest on the East Coast of the United States that once produced 335,000 barrels-per-day. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the aftermath of the explosion is being felt immediately, in not only the local region but also the entire eastern seaboard.
President Trump stated Thursday night that the United States would begin a series of escalating tariffs on all Mexican imports beginning June 10th, unless Mexico and United States lawmakers take immediate steps to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. The tariffs on imports would start at 5% in June and increase to 15% by August 1st, then to 20% by September 1st and then raised to 25% by October 1st.
On May 2nd, the United States’ waiver period that granted eight nations to continue importing Iranian oil without penalty has ended. The countries who granted extensions that ended are China, India, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. As of today, only Italy, Taiwan and Greece have halted their purchases of Iranian produced oil. The United States now faces the dilemma of either granting further extensions to the waiver thus backing down from their threats, or risk creating further global tension by sanctioning the countries that continue to do business with Iran.
Portugal has declared a nationwide energy crisis this week after all of their fuel truck drivers have gone on strike, threatening to cripple the infrastructure of the nation. The organization representing the interest of 700 of the 1,000 working in the sector, The National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers, is demanding higher wages and recognition of its members’ special status.
Chevron and ExxonMobil highlighted an aggressive strategy for drilling in the Permian Basin over the next five years to their investors this week. Exxon is aiming to increase production to 1 million barrels per day while Chevron is targeting an additional 900,000 barrels per day, all by the end of 2024. The presentations from both companies exemplify a growing trend in the region that has made the United States the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas.