Oil gains momentum on strong U.S. economic data. 

Oil continued to gain momentum this week, and despite fears of a slowdown in economic growth, the reopening of the Chinese economy is providing tailwinds for oil. Persevering through inflation, rising interest rates and other shocks, stronger-than-expected U.S. GDP data have rekindled hopes of market bulls that fears of sluggish long-term economic growth might be overblown. The oil markets are still largely mirroring macroeconomic events – the fact that U.S. refining is still below 15 million b/d and is headed into a massive round of maintenance continues to go almost unnoticed, OilPrice said. 

Italy doubles down on Libyan gas.Italy’s oil and gas major Eni is set to sign a set of deals with Libya’s National Oil Corporation to develop two offshore gas fields in the Mediterranean for an estimated cost of $8 billion, looking for additional sources of supply. Equinor joins majors’ Nigeria retreat. According to media reports, Norway’s oil giant Equinorhas launched the sale of its Nigerian onshore assets, hiring Standard Chartered to run the sale process as it seeks to raise up to $1 billion from the transaction.

Mexican refinery set for summer launch. Mexico’s under-construction Olmeca refinery, wielding a capacity of 320,000 b/d and the ability to refine heavier barrels, is set to begin crude processing in July 2023, paving the way for the country’s self-sufficiency in gasoline and diesel. 

Matador kicks off 2023 M&A season. U.S. shale producer Matador Resources agreed to purchase Advance Energy Partners Holdings for $1.6 billion in cash, the largest ever deal in the company’s history that would add some 25,000 bdoe of production to its portfolio.

US LNG deal to Poland clinched.U.S. energy infrastructure firm Sempra Energy signed a 20-year term deal with the Polish oil company PKN Orlenfor the supply of 1 million tons per annum of LNG from its Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project, fully committing all its 10.5 mtpa capacity.  

Freeport LNG restart depresses NatGas prices. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave Freeport LNG the approval to restart some operations, with a minor flow of natural gas already flowing into the facility, however, worries persist that a return to full capacity would only come by March. 

Exxon calls for end to routine flaring. U.S. oil major ExxonMobil announced it had stopped routine flaring of natural gas from its operations in the Permian Basin, calling for more stringent regulations to find and fix gas leaks as the US still flares 300 bcf of natural gas. 

Minnesota ban deals a blow to U.S. copper growth.The U.S. Interior Department banned mining in northeast Minnesota for 20 years citing concerns of waterway pollution, halting the development of Antofagasta’s underground Twin Metals mine, slated to become the country’s largest copper mine. 

Shell mulls European retail exit. Citing “tough market conditions”, UK energy major Shell is considering exiting its home energy retail business in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, only several years after it entered the segment and garnered more than 1.5 million customers.

Too many plans with the same North Sea. UK oil major BPand Danish wind producer Orsted are developing two projects – a pioneering carbon capture site and an offshore windfarm, respectively – on an overlapping zone of 110 km2, with both sides expecting the other to cede territory.