Brent crude breached US$ 81 a barrel on Monday — its highest level in nearly four years — on the back of a tightening oil market and OPEC leaders signaling they won't be immediately boosting output. Global benchmark Brent crude rose as high as US$ 81.39 a barrel, its strongest level since Nov. 21, 2014.
International energy markets are set for major upheaval as the US cements its status as the world's largest oil and gas producer, while China overtakes it as the biggest oil consumer. The predictions come from the International Energy Agency's annual energy forecast.
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday raised its corporate credit rating on Petrobras, one notch, from B+ to BB-. The rating change does not lift Petrobras out of the non-investment grade category, but it lowers the risk from “highly speculative” to “speculative.”
The International Energy Agency said in its latest report that last year the world's capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal, and renewable accounted for more than half of the increase in power capacity.
The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said a weaker outlook for China would contribute to slower global oil demand growth next year. U.S. oil production has shown signs of slowing, OPEC said in the report. This could contribute to a reduction in the imbalance of oil market fundamentals, however, it remains to be seen to what extent this can be achieved in the months to come.
Many oil companies had trimmed their budgets heading into 2015 to deal with lower oil prices. But the rebound in April and May to $60 per barrel from the mid-$40s suggested that the severe drop was merely temporary.
Saudi Arabia continues to ratchet up production, taking market share away from U.S. shale producers. According to OPEC's latest monthly oil report, Saudi Arabia boosted its oil output to 10.31 million barrels per day in April, a slight increase over the previous month's total of 10.29 million barrels.
Despite what appears to be a saturated oil market in 2014, oil producers around the world will struggle to meet rising demand over the next few decades.
Global oil prices have fallen further after the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported higher output and cut its forecast for demand growth. Brent crude fell 2.72 to 86.17 dollars a barrel before seeing a slight recovery, while US crude dropped 1.75 to 83.99.
The potential for a golden age of gas comes along with a big “if” regarding environmental and social impact. The International Energy Agency (IEA)—the “global energy authority”--believes that this age of gas can be golden, and that unconventional gas can be produced in an environmentally acceptable way.