US refining capacity drops to lowest since 2014.According to IEA data, US refinery capacity fell below the 18 million b/d mark at the beginning of 2022 (at 17.94 million b/d), marking the lowest level of operable downstream capacity since 2014.

Even the Energy Information Administration can’t avoid them, with electricity problems meaning the world’s most-watched oil data report won’t be released this week.Preliminary estimates pointed to the largest crude stock build in the past four months. The EIA hopes to shed more light on that on Monday. Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve’s unconditional focus on taming inflation continues to squeeze speculators out of the Brent and WTI futures contracts. This means that, despite backwardation being almost as steep as it was at the peak of the market madness in March, prices have barely moved this week, with ICE Brent around the $112 per barrel mark, OilPrice reports.

As Europe’s gas squeeze and the force majeure at Freeport LNG narrowed down the options of spot buyers, LNG prices in Asia have also seen strong upwards momentum, trending around $37-38 per mmBtu as Asian gas stock replenishment rates lag European ones. US oil major Chevron signed two LNG supply deals to buy 2mtpa from both Cheniere Energy and Venture Global, presumably starting from 2026 as Chevron wants a larger share of the LNG trading market. Texas helps Cheniere avoid pollution limits. According to Reuters, the Texas state regulators have repeatedly increased the pollution limits of Cheniere’s liquefaction plant in Corpus Christi, TX, doubling it over the past eight years instead of slapping fines on the emitter. 

London and Berlin push for biofuel mandate stop. Negotiators from European G7 countries, primarily Britain and Germany will push for temporary waivers on biofuels mandates to tame runaway food prices at the upcoming meeting in Bavaria, wary of increasing food vs biofuels crop competition.