Several storm systems have formed in the Atlantic, including Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Storm Beta and a new tropical system developing over South Florida.
After a decade long battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Trump Administration has opened the area to oil and gas development. One of the largest remaining stretches of wilderness in the United States, North-Eastern Alaska sits above billions of barrels of oil. The reported ANWR lease area contains up to 11.8 billion barrels of attainable oil across 1.5 million acres of coastal plain. Although any oil production within the wildlife refuge would be years in the future, companies could begin the process of seeking permits and exploring for oil and gas much sooner.
A few days ago, the Maran Apollo, a 1,100-feet long oil tanker, left the U.S Gulf of Mexico for the Chinese port of Rizhao hauling a cargo of two million barrels of U.S. crude. Sitting for almost two months, the supertanker held demand-less crude during the coronavirus outbreak. This crude sitting on the tanker is known as medium-heavy sour crude and is now in high demand because of its higher content in sulfur and denseness. Sour crude is typically from Canada and the U.S. Gulf Coast whereas West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is a “sweet” crude oil. WTI, which is typically lighter and is less expensive to produce. Known as “sour” which is typically undesirable for both processing and end-product quality, it’s the kind of oil that Saudi Arabia and its allies produce. Urals of Russia and Arab Light from Saudi Arabia are normally two of the most widely consumed in today’s market, but crude is in increasingly short supply due to record output cuts by the two nations and their allies.
The U.S. Gulf Coast was hit by Tropical Storm Cristobal yesterday, causing offshore oil production to shut down by almost 24%, equating to more than 430,000 barrels per day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), this was a 140,000 barrel per day improvement compared to June 9th. Occidental Petroleum, BP, and Shell were some of the companies who evacuated employees ahead of the storm. There were a total of 188 platforms and rigs evacuated by those operators. Since the last update, 61 of the 643 platforms had still been evacuated in the Gulf of Mexico. Cristobal battered southern Mexico and shut down ports over the past week, before moving through the Gulf of Mexico and depositing heavy rainfall from Louisiana to Florida.