Falling demand has been the news of the week for oil markets, with several reports (most notably from the IEA and OPEC) slashing 2022 demand forecasts as soaring inflation and supply chain disruptions take their toll, OilPrice reports.

OPEC+ misses the mark yet again. Dragged down by plummeting Russian production, continuous underperformance in Angola and Nigeria, and port disruptions impacting Kazakhstan, the collective output of OPEC+ countries was 2.7 million b/d below the targeted level, marking the worst month in terms of production discipline in the oil group’s post-pandemic history.

Saudi Aramco becomes world’s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company, with its market capitalization hitting $2.4 trillion this week, whilst that of its closest competitor Apple has dropped by nearly 20% since the beginning of the year. Saudi Arabia blames high fuel prices on lack of investment. 

Insufficient investment in global refining capacity has been one of the key drivers in soaring product prices, according to Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, reiterating the claim that lack of investment is keeping oil markets from rebalancing. Petronas and Saudi Aramco restart refinery. Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas and Saudi Aramco announced the 300,000 b/d jointly operated Pengerang refinery will resume operations soon, coming back from a 2-year hiatus caused by a deadly fire in March 2020. 

Hopes for Iran nuclear deal fade. With the European Union’s designated negotiator Enrique Mora in Teheran this week, in a last-ditch effort trying to revive the 2015 JCPOA deal, hopes that a negotiated settlement can be found continue to wane as US Congress opposes the idea of lifting sanctions on the IRGC.Venezuela starts refining heavy Iranian oil. Venezuela has begun importing Iranian heavy crude to feed its domestic refineries, widening the swap agreement between the two countries that first saw PDVSA importing condensate to dilute its heavy waxy crude. 

Libya’s vying governments want embargo to end.Libya’s Haftar-backed prime minister Fathi Bashagha stated that closed oil fields and ports might soon reopen after production in the country halved to 600,000 b/d in April, though there seems to be little progress in talks between the rival governments.