Energy and Resources Talking Points | 20/06/2018

In Today’s Talking Points: Oil Prices Slip Due to US-China Trade Dispute and OPEC Outlook; Australian Energy Retailers May Face Further Government Intervention on Energy Prices; China is Pulling the Cord on Solar Power Subsidies; Australian Opposition to Tighten Fracking Laws

Oil Prices Slip Due to US-China Trade Dispute and OPEC Outlook

Oil prices fell on Tuesday ahead of a possible increase in the OPEC crude oil supply and as tensions rise in the escalating trade dispute between the US and China. This sparked sharp selloffs in global markets, with crude futures slipping 26 cents and intermediate crude falling 78 cents. To add to this, Russia has said it plans to lobby OPEC to increase oil production by 1.5 million barrels per day, putting further downward pressure on pressure on oil prices. Escalating tensions between the US and China have brought about threats of punitive tariffs on each other’s exports, which may include oil – China’s imports of US oil have surged in the last year to almost US$ 1 billion per month.

Read more on Business Times

Australian Energy Retailers May Face Further Government Intervention on Energy Prices

The Australian Government has warned energy retailers that they face further government intervention in the market if retailers don’t move to lower prices for consumers following a recent drop in wholesale energy prices. Wholesale energy prices have fallen nearly 30% since last year, and as such the government has said that they will intervene if these savings are not passed onto the consumer market. Australia has been mired in an energy crisis that has pushed up domestic prices and cast doubts on the reliability of its grid system. The government is already negotiating the contentious National Energy Guarantee, which aims to lower energy prices and guarantee a stable supply of clean energy for all. Prime Minister Turnbull’s earlier intervention in the gas market has led to prices falling by nearly 50% in some places through domestic supply control mechanisms.
Read more on Business Times

China is Pulling the Cord on Solar Power Subsidies

The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in conjunction with the Chinese Ministry of Finance and the National Energy Board have called for halting all subsidies for utility-scale solar projects. China currently leads worldwide production of solar energy however widespread, blanket reforms have create solar farms in areas where excess energy production is not needed. This bloom in solar farms comes off the subsidies which effectively allowed solar farms to sell energy at a higher rate. The reduction of subsidies is expected to slash demand in China by about 40%

Read more about it at Forbes

Australian Opposition to Tighten Fracking Laws

The Labor party has announced that they are actively trying to tighten regulations on fracking and other forms of gas development and exploration in Australia. The move is an attempt to protect external water resources from fracking and other gas exploration measures. Currently unconventional gas exploration is not considered under the same laws as fracking. The coalition has no plans to change the current law.

Read more about it on the Guardian