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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com, 

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Higher Oil Prices May Convince OPEC To Maintain Production

Oil prices are set to post a significant gain this week as China appears to be easing its Covid restrictions, This increase in oil prices may well convince OPEC to maintain its production levels rather than cutting further when it meets this weekend. 

Oilprice Alert: This week's Global Energy Alert includes a deep dive into what could be a completely future-proof oil stock. Sign up today to read that analysis, and if you aren't enjoying it after the first month we'll give you your money back.

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Friday, December 2nd, 2022 

Every month that OPEC+ meets to revisit its production strategy, the oil community carefully watches every single utterance. The switching from a physical meeting in Vienna to an online conference call has led most analysts to believe the most likely outcome will be a rollover of production quotas and that there will not be any drastic moves happening on Sunday. With the EU having tentatively agreed to an oil price cap level for crude, we might be in for a surprise at the OPEC meeting. In the meantime, however, OPEC+ has been hugely aided by rumors circulating of China’s easing of lockdown restrictions, with oil prices set to close out the week with a significant gain. 

EU Agrees to $60 per Barrel Oil Price Cap. Member states of the European Union have tentatively agreed to a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil, coming into effect December 05, with an adjustment mechanism that would seek to keep the cap at 5% below market price. 

Qatar Seals Germany LNG Deal. QatarEnergy signed two long-term agreements with US energy firm ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) for the supply of 2 million tons of LNG per year from the North Field East and South expansion projects into the planned German terminal at Brunsbuttel, to be delivered on a DES basis.  

Global Food Prices Continue Downward Slump. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated its price index that tracks most globally traded food commodities fell marginally to 135.7, marking the eighth straight monthly decline and moving back into territory seen exactly a year ago. 

Uniper Calls Out Gazprom. Soon to be nationalized by the state, flailing German utility company Uniper (ETR:UN01) launched arbitration proceedings against Russia’s gas giant Gazprom (MCX:GAZP) in a bid to claim back billions of euros worth of undelivered gas supplies in 2022 alone.

US Senate Votes to Override Rail Strike. Voting 80-15 to override union objections to a proposed rail worker contract, the US Senate has used its authority under the Railway Labor Act to allay a nationwide rail strike that was set to begin on December 09, voting down two amendments that would have softened the blow.  

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Australian Court Halts Major Gas Project. Australia’s Federal Court rejected an appeal by the country’s largest oil producer Santos (ASX:STO) to resume drilling on the $3.6 billion Barossa project after it was forced to stop all operations after indigenous groups raised objections about not being consulted. 

Russian Ammonia Deal Almost Done. According to UN aid chief Martin Griffiths, a deal to resume exports of Russian ammonia via pipeline to a Black Sea port in Ukraine is now close, a deal that would alleviate the huge pressure on nitrate fertilizers across the globe. 

No More Compensation for Coal Closures. A Dutch court found that the government does not have to compensate German energy firms RWE (ETR:RWE) and Uniper (ETR:UN01) for the mandated closure of all coal power plants by 2030 as it had acted in good faith, complying with emission-reducing policies. 

Guyana Sticks with ExxonMobil Contract. Guyana’s government officials have called the 2016 ExxonMobil production sharing contract “poor and lopsided”, paying only 2% royalty, but they have confirmed that they will not seek to change it, fearing this would tarnish the country’s pro-business reputation. 

Italian Major Ready to Splash the Cash. Italy’s oil major ENI (BIT:ENI) is rumored to be in talks to buy private equity-backed producer Neptune Energy for $5-6 billion, eyeing its gas-tilted portfolio that is currently producing some 130,000 b/d of oil equivalent per day, mostly located in the North Sea.

WTO Sides with EU Against Indonesia. In a protracted nickel row that saw Brussels filing a challenge at the World Trade Organization court back in 2019 against Indonesia’s export restrictions on nickel ore exports, the panel found the Asian country’s measures to be incompatible with rules of global trade.

Saudi Arabia Boasts Two New Gas Finds. Saudi Arabia’s national oil company Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL:2222) has discovered two unconventional gas fields in the eastern regions of the country, boosting its prospects of higher gas utilization domestically as Riyadh wants to move away from oil. 

Norway to Postpone Licensing Rounds. The Norwegian government has pledged not to issue any licenses for companies looking to explore for oil and gas in frontier areas until 2025, postponing the upcoming 26th licensing round as part of a government deal with the opposition Socialist Left Party. 

White House Wants EVs in Blending Mandates. The Biden Administration unveiled its three-year proposal for biofuel blending until 2025, seeking 4-5% annual increases and also creating a pathway for EV producers to generate renewable fuel credits, called e-RINs.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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