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Oil prices are finally falling? The pace of oil price decline has accelerated by more than two percent

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oil prices are finally falling

Oil prices are finally falling? Global oil prices on Tuesday evening are already down 2 percent or more, as markets react to a decline in China’s business activity index (PMI), according to trading data and expert commentary.

The price of March futures on Brent crude oil fell by 2.13%, to $84.08 per barrel, while February futures on WTIfell by 2.5%, to $78.25.

Falling oil prices effect on economy

What is the effect of falling oil prices on the economy? At the end of last year, Brent gained 8.8% and WTI rose 5.5%. But in just the fourth quarter, oil fell in price by 3.3% and 4%, respectively. And the risks of a recession in the global economy continue to undermine expectations of strong demand for raw materials. The world’s central banks tend to raise refinancing rates to fight inflation, reinforcing such fears.

Also, a major oil importer, China, has seen a rise in the incidence of covid, which also supports uncertainty about the economic outlook. This past Saturday it was reported that the country’s non-manufacturing PMI fell to 41.6 points in December from 46.7 in November. A PMI value above 50 points indicates an increase in economic activity, while a lower value indicates a decline.

“The sharp drop in the official services PMI indicates a decline in oil demand, but we suspect the blow to industrial activity … was more modest,” Market Watch quoted Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain as saying.

Earlier we reported that natural gas prices in Europe dropped below $800 per thousand cubic meters.


US lays out plan at COP 28 to slash climate ‘super pollutant’ methane from oil and gas

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US lays out plan at COP 28 to slash climate 'super pollutant' methane from oil and gas
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An oil pump jack is seen in the Loco Hills region, New Mexico, U.S., April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Liz Hampton/File Photo

By Nichola Groom and Valerie Volcovici

DUBAI (Reuters) -The Biden administration on Saturday unveiled final rules aimed at cracking down on U.S. oil and gas industry releases of methane, part of a global plan to rein in emissions that contribute to climate change.

The rules, two years in the making, were announced by U.S. officials at the United Nations COP28 climate change conference in Dubai. The United States and other nations attending the summit are expected to detail how they will achieve a 150-country pledge made two years ago to slash methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

Methane tends to leak into the atmosphere undetected from drill sites, gas pipelines and other oil and gas equipment. It has more warming potential than carbon dioxide and breaks down in the atmosphere faster, so reining in methane emissions can have a more immediate impact on limiting climate change.

“These new standards will help us meet our international commitments to aggressively tackle climate change, while improving air quality for communities all across the country,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan told a news conference in Dubai.

EPA’s new policies would ban routine flaring of produced by newly drilled oil wells, require oil companies to monitor for leaks from well sites and compressor stations and establishes a program to use third party remote sensing to detect large methane releases from so-called “super emitters,” the agency said in a statement.

The rules would prevent an estimated 58 million tons of methane from reaching the atmosphere between 2024 and 2038 – nearly the equivalent of all the carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector in the year 2021, EPA added.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, whose state already put in place methane regulations that served as a model for the EPA, said that the new methane rules enables the United States to lead by example and encourage other countries to take similar measures.

“Now we’ve got credibility to make sure that we can demonstrate to the whole world that we can hold polluters accountable and move the needle,” she told the press conference.

Some environmental groups praised the rules.

“Strong methane standards are essential to curb climate pollution and better protect the health and safety of workers and communities living near fossil fuel extraction,” Earthjustice’s vice president of litigation for climate and energy, Jill Tauber, said in a statement.

The rule will produce climate and health benefits of up to $7.6 billion a year through 2038, EPA said. It will also increase recovery of up to $13 billion of natural gas over the time period.

The rule differs somewhat from draft proposals EPA released in 2021 and 2022, in part by giving the industry more time to comply.

The agency also tweaked the Super Emitter Program so that third parties send information on methane leaks to EPA directly for verification. Previously they would have been able to send the information directly to companies, a provision the oil and gas industry said would put too much power in the hands of environmental groups that search for methane leaks.

The American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas industry trade group, said it was reviewing the rule.

“To be truly effective, this rule must balance emissions reductions with the need to continue meeting rising energy demand,” Dustin Meyer, API senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs, said in a statement.

Exxon (NYSE:) CEO Darren Woods told Reuters at COP28 that it still needs to review the rule but: “Conceptually, we’re supportive of it as long as it’s a reasonable and sound policy.”

BP (NYSE:) said it “actively collaborated” with EPA as it worked on the final rule and “welcomes the finalization.”

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How food and agriculture contribute to climate change

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How food and agriculture contribute to climate change
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Fresh compost made from food scraps and green waste is loaded onto a truck before being sent to a farm at Recology Blossom Valley Organics North near Vernalis, California, U.S., November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Brittany Hosea-Small/File Photo

By Leah Douglas

(Reuters) – Feeding the world is a big job, and the effort produces billions of  mets of emissions of greenhouse gases each year – around a third of the global total.

Despite the fact that food is a big climate problem, very little has been done so far to address it.

This year’s U.N. climate conference in Dubai will be the first to dedicate a whole day to the question of how to reduce food’s climate impact, and advocacy groups are pressing countries to come up with real solutions.

Here are some details about the sources of emissions from the food and agriculture sector:


Global food systems accounted for 17 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or 31% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

That includes emissions related to farming and land use, producing crops and livestock, household food consumption and waste, and energy used in farm and food processing and transportation, according to FAO.

Altogether, those sectors generated 21% of all the world’s carbon dioxide, 53% of all methane and 78% of all nitrous oxide emissions globally, according to FAO.


One the biggest contributors is livestock. Global livestock production generates around 14.5% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions, according to FAO.

Cattle are responsible for 65% of those emissions, largely as methane. When ruminant animals like cows and sheep digest food, they produce methane in the form of burps. Storage of manure, especially in large lagoons, also emits methane.

Emissions also come from producing and processing animal feed, including tilling land to grow crops, which releases carbon dioxide stored in the soil.


Activities to support agriculture like deforestation or degrading of peatlands generate 3.5 billion metric tonnes CO2 equivalent annually, according to FAO.

When forests are cleared for agricultural purposes like raising livestock or growing crops, stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.

Deforestation is responsible for nearly 80% of emissions from food production in Brazil, for instance, the world’s largest exporter of beef and soybeans.

Peatlands, meanwhile, store massive amounts of carbon – twice as much as the world’s forests.

Draining or burning peatlands for purposes like growing crops or livestock grazing is responsible for about 5% of all anthropogenic emissions, according to a 2021 report by the United Nations.


About one-third of all food grown in the world is wasted, according to the U.N. – 13% between the harvest and retail stages, and 17% in households and in the food service and retail sectors.

That wasted food – including the energy used to produce and transport it, spoilage along the way and the food thrown out after rotting in household fridges – generates half of all global food system emissions, according to a March study published in the journal Nature Food.

A good chunk of those emissions are caused by the methane formed when food rots in landfill. Food waste makes up about 25% of municipal solid waste in landfills in the United States, according to a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Brazil to join OPEC+ but won’t cap oil output, Petrobras CEO says

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Brazil to join OPEC+ but won't cap oil output, Petrobras CEO says
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Jean Paul Prates, CEO of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras, speaks during a news conference at the Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 2, 2023. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil is expected to join the OPEC+ group of oil-producing countries in January but would not take part in the group’s coordinated output caps, the chief executive of state-run oil firm Petrobras told Reuters.

The group’s surprising announcement on Thursday that the South American nation would join it raised immediate questions on whether Brazil would take part in the production caps, as OPEC+ nations agreed to voluntary cuts approaching 2 million barrels per day (bpd) for early next year.

“There is no quota,” Jean Paul Prates said in an interview. “We would never be part of an organization that imposes (production) quotas to Brazil, Petrobras is a publicly-traded company and we cannot have quotas.”

Brazil’s energy minister said on Thursday the country was eager to join OPEC+ after a full technical analysis. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s office confirmed receiving the invite, but said he had not formally responded.

Brazil is the largest oil producer in South America, at 4.6 million barrels per day of oil and gas, of which 3.7 million bpd are crude.

Prates, who in October received OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais in Brazil, noted OPEC+ was a group that includes countries with no voting rights and to which production caps are not imposed, which would be the case of Brazil.

He welcomed Brazil’s move to join the group.

“Brazil would start participating in the meetings as some kind of observer member, which I think is really nice,” Prates said, adding the move would be key to OPEC’s and Brazil’s energy transition efforts.

He expects Brazil to formally accept the invitation by June.

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