The bulls are off and running today because there is a bevy of bullish headlines including optimism over a U.S./Chinese trade deal and a missile attack on an Iranian oil tanker.
Ecuador’s government was forced out of the capital, Quito, by violent protests earlier this week. The country is already in an uneasy state with the vulnerable economy that has been battered by lack of public transportation and blocked roads. These violent protests stem from President Moreno’s decision to cut subsidies which led to an extremely sharp increase in gas prices. Gas prices in Ecuador have increased up to 120%. Due to these protests, the state-owned energy company Petroamazonas was forced to stop production after the fields were taken over by people not affiliated with the organization. The government has also deployed the army to key locations to safeguard the nation’s resources.
On Monday October 7, Occidental Petroleum chartered the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Maran Andromeda to carry oil to South Korea for a record rate of $13.25 million that is set to depart the United States toward the end of November. The reasons for the spike in freight rates recently for VLCCs is related to sanctions imposed by the United States on China, which is causing oil shippers globally to scramble to find unsanctioned vessels to transport its crude oil.
The 3rd quarter of the year ended just a few days ago and trucking companies all over the country are reconciling fuel purchases and miles driven to ensure proper International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax filings. If you are not in the trucking business, IFTA is just another acronym to be thrown around, but here is a quick run down so that you can look smart at social gatherings or answer a jeopardy question in the future.
Gas stations across the United States are required to implement EMV Chip Readers at their pumps beginning in October 2020. Although this is a very costly transition for retail stations, the benefits for consumers will conceivably outweigh the cost. Card skimming has skyrocketed over the past few years and by having chip readers at the gas pumps, skimming should decrease.