United States

U.S. to use all economic, political tools to hold Maduro accountable: Pompeo

Reuters | Apr 15, 2019 at 5:03 AM
  • The United States will use all economic and political tools at its disposal to hold Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accountable for his country’s crisis and will make clear to Cuba and Russia they will pay a price for supporting him, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.
  • Critics have warned that heavy sanctions on Venezuela could hurt ordinary Venezuelans.
  • During his trip, Pompeo echoed previous U.S. criticism of China’s growing presence in Latin America, warning of “predatory” lending practices and “malign or nefarious” actions.

United Kingdom

Interview: Oil prices above $70/b already hurting demand growth – IEA’s Birol

S&P Global Platts | Apr 15, 2019 at 2:33 AM
  • Current oil prices above $70/b are already starting to drag on global oil demand and threaten to soften demand growth forecasts this year, the International Energy Agency’s executive director Fatih Birol said Friday.
  • In its latest monthly oil market report released this week, the IEA kept its estimates for global oil demand growth in 2019 unchanged at 1.4 million b/d, up from 1.3 million b/d in 2018.
  • Earlier in the week, OPEC’s research and analysis arm was even more pessimistic than the IEA, warning of slowing demand growth and lowering its estimate for global oil demand growth this year by 30,000 b/d to 1.21 million b/d due to “slower-than-expected economic activity.”


Venezuela slams “criminal impact” of U.S. sanctions

Xinhua News Agency | Apr 15, 2019 at 1:58 AM
  • The Venezuelan government on Sunday denounced the U.S. sanctions targeting its state-owned oil company PDVSA for the “criminal impact” on the Venezuelan people.
  • The sanctions “prevent the implementation of humanitarian aid programs for particularly difficult health cases,” such as cancer, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and liver and bone marrow transplants.
  • Currently, some 25 patients are in Italy awaiting bone marrow transplants, but the government has been unable to access the funds to pay for the procedures, putting them at “grave risk.”


Oil pauses; focus on future supply direction

Hellenic Shipping News | Apr 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM
  • Oil prices halted their rally on Monday with Brent futures falling below $71 per barrel on signals that Russia may exit production cuts.
  • Brent crude futures were at $70.95 a barrel at 1050 GMT, down 60 cents, or 0.85 percent, having hit their highest since Nov. 12 on Friday at $71.87.
  • U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $63.30 per barrel, down 59 cents or 0.93 percent.

United States

Oil retreats after longest run of weekly gains in three years

World Oil | Apr 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM
  • Global finance ministers and central bankers issued a statement over the weekend that they’re willing to “act promptly” to shore up global growth.
  • Crude has rallied around 40% this year as OPEC and its allies curtail production, while unplanned supply losses from Iran, Venezuela and Libya further tighten the market.
  • Yet the demand outlook remains shaky, with the IMF cutting its global growth forecast and the International Energy Agency warning it could reduce its projections for consumption.


Coast Guard finds 200kg of cocaine tied to Teekay’s LNG carrier

LNG World News | Apr 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM
  • Some 200 kilograms of cocaine have been found attached to the Hispania Spirit LNG carrier during its stay in Port Fortin in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Seven bales of cocaine were found attached to the rudder of Teekay’s 137,814-cbm LNG carrier Hispania Spirit on April 3, 2019.
  • On September 8, 2015, Coast Guard officials found 211 kilograms of cocaine in a compartment during the vessel’s stay in Peru.


U.S. opposes more IMF funding, at odds with other stakeholders

Hellenic Shipping News | Apr 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM
  • The United States repeated its opposition to increasing overall funding and shareholding quotas for the International Monetary Fund, putting it at odds with other stakeholders on the need to boost the global lender’s resources and update its governance.
  • The IMF’s last quota increase was agreed in 2010, boosting the shareholding and influence of major emerging markets including China and Brazil.
  • Oil-rich Venezuela is embroiled in political and economic turmoil as socialist President Nicolas Maduro battles to retain power in the face of U.S. and Western powers’ backing of opposition leader Juan Guaido.


Chill in global economy prompts G20 call for trade truce

Hellenic Shipping News | Apr 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM
  • The risk that global economic growth could slow more than expected spurred a call from top finance officials for countries to overcome trade differences and opt for multilateral cooperation and “timely policy action”.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin repeated the U.S. opposition to increasing overall funding and shareholding quotas, likely meaning the effort to lift IMF funding and reshuffle voting rights was a dead issue at this week’s meetings.
  • The IMF’s last quota increase was agreed in 2010, boosting the shareholding and influence of major emerging markets including China and Brazil.