Energy & Resources Talking Points | 21/06/2017

In today’s talking points:  Oil prices falling: how did we get here?; Reforms in SOEs seep into the energy sector; Inexpensive organic material to give longer life span for batteries; Tesla Auto Plant in Shanghai

Oil prices falling: how did we get here?

With oil prices falling into the bear market since last Tuesday night, many investors are worried about the future of the world’s largest commodity. The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude futures that fetched $US55.24 a barrel in early January, dropped below $US43 a barrel for the first time since November of last year, and fetched $US43.50 around lunchtime on Wednesday. In a similar trend, the global Brent crude price is at $US45.96 from a January high of $US58.37.

Earlier in May this year, OPEC countries extended their agreement in non-OPEC countries, such as Brazil and Russia, to limit production in order to place a floor under the market after oil prices had dropped to lows of well below $US30 in early 2016. However, the return to production of Nigeria and Libya after periods of unrest, has arguable lead some OPEC delegates and investors to question whether the cuts are sufficient, which was exasperated by growth in oil production in outsider countries, such as Brazil, Kazakhstan and Russia, and persistent US supply figures.

Read more at SMH

Reforms in SOEs seep into the energy sector

As reforms continue to push state-owned enterprises to make progress, China’s energy sector is feeling the pressure along with the rest, since it encompasses 12 central SOEs which make up 10 percent of the country’s SOE total. In consequence of this, researchers and company heads within electricity, coal, thermal and nuclear sectors are all said to be weighting their options and considering the possibility of using mergers to balance out inequalities in supply and demand.

Read more at China Daily

Inexpensive organic material to give longer life span for batteries

Batteries are used to power everything in our daily lives. However, there are many issues to them. Among these issues are catching on fire, performing poorly in cold weather, and their rather short usage. Researchers have found a new material called quinoes, which is an inexpensive, earth-abundant, and easily recyclable material. The storage of energy is essential to the use of electric cars, wind and solar power, and other clean energy technologies. Nonetheless, the development of battery storage system is just as important, as energy is stored as needed and then recharged. This has been greatly affected by batteries that do not meet requirements such as being environmentally friendly, safe, inexpensive, and long-lasting.


Read more at ScienceDaily

Tesla Auto Plant in Shanghai

Tesla, an US electric car manufacturer plans to produce vehicles in China in order for a bigger share of the world’s largest new energy vehicle market. An agreement is to be settled as soon as this week and the production facilities will be located in Shanghai’s Lingang Economic Development Zone. There were sales of 10,399 cars in China last year and this number is expected to increase after localization. By assembling vehicles in China, the company would be able to avoid a 25 percent customs tax. China was able to make a partnership after making a statement of it’s support for international cooperation in electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars.

Read more at China Daily