Energy / Automotive News |OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $79.39/bbl

London, 19 January 2024, (Oilandgaspress): – Oil prices up. Continued tensions in the Middle East, fluctuations in U.S. production, and shifts in global demand are factors crucial for what happens in the oil market in the short term.South America and Europe have seen the sharpest year-on-year declines in transportation fuel imports between last October and mid-January, down 12% and 9% respectively, compared to other regions

With the granting of an environmental permit for Project ONE, the way is open for the construction and operation of Europe’s most sustainable ethane cracker. This decision finally brings clarity to INEOS employees and subcontractors involved, and gives hope to other companies in Flanders with similar projects. INEOS believes in the importance of local chemical production on the European continent and is therefore investing in its renewal. The permit for Project ONE allows INEOS to further realise this vision. The proposed ethane cracker in the port of Antwerp is the most sustainable of its kind: the carbon emissions of the cracker are as much as three times lower than the average European cracker, thanks to the application of best available techniques and maximum energy efficiency. Read full article

Digital, dynamic and, for the first time, fully electric as a BMW i5. The new generation of the BMW 5 Series sets standards, including when it comes to vehicle safety. Independent institutes in Europe, the USA and Korea each gave the BMW 5 Series Sedan top marks. The testers were impressed by both the active assistance systems and passive safety. 5-star rating at Euro NCAP.

The independent safety experts from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) awarded the eighth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan the highest rating of five stars. The extensive standard equipment with safety-relevant driver assistance systems makes a significant contribution to the 5-star rating. All driver assistance systems used in the new BMW 5 Series are among the best on the market and impressed Euro NCAP safety experts with their range of functions and reliable responses. The new BMW 5 Series Sedan also scored points in the area of passive safety with its innovative integrated safety concept, which was constantly being further developed by BMW. In addition to highly resilient support structures and precisely designed deformation paths, a model-specific combination of precisely coordinated restraint systems is used. The Euro NCAP assessments are a Europe-wide recognized standard for accident safety and are constantly being further developed. An award with the highest rating of five stars goes exclusively to vehicles that have excellent impact protection and are also well equipped with comprehensive and practical technology to prevent accidents. Read full article

The BMW Group is endowing RWTH Aachen University with a new professorship in “Quantum Information Systems” in the Department of Computer Science. Last Wednesday saw the official inauguration of Prof Dr Dominique Unruh, who will head the chair. In addition, the funding of an endowed chair at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has already been approved for 2021. The Chair of Quantum Algorithms and Applications will be headed by Prof. Dr Barbara Kraus. Alexander Buresch, Senior Vice President BMW Group IT, explains the BMW Group’s commitment: “Our goal is to create an open software ecosystem that optimally integrates quantum software and hardware and thus accelerates the industrialisation of automotive applications. This is precisely where endowed professors at universities such as the Technical University of Munich and RWTH Aachen make an important contribution to jointly creating pioneering innovations.” While the TUM chair lays the algorithmic foundations for industry-relevant applications, the RWTH chair creates concrete software solutions and the necessary software expertise. Read full article

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars enjoyed a highly successful year in 2023, with strong sales and demand for its products in markets worldwide, and Bespoke commissions at record levels. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars reports a highly successful year in 2023 with strong business performance and Bespoke commissions at record levels Secure platform for further growth and development as the marque enters its 120th year: Charles Rolls and Henry Royce met for the first time on 4 May 1904
More motor cars sold than ever before in marque’s 119-year history: 6,032 delivered to clients around the world, all including elements of Bespoke personalisation Global sales present a balanced picture, led by North America and China Year-on-year growth reported in regions including Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe Company’s positive economic impact grew further with the creation of 180 new jobs at the Home of Rolls-Royce in 2023 New investment announced to increase capabilities for electric vehicle production, Bespoke commissions and future growth in Coachbuild activities. Planning application for extension at Goodwood site submitted in late summer 2023 Read full article

Applications for the 2024 Rolls-Royce Apprenticeship Programme are now open, the company has confirmed.

Part of the Rolls-Royce Future Talent programme, which also includes Internships and Graduate Placements, the Apprenticeship scheme has run every year since 2006 and is one of the most respected and prestigious of its kind in the UK. It offers successful candidates unrivalled practical training and professional development, working alongside experienced specialists at the Home of Rolls-Royce. In addition to their work-based training, Apprentices gain nationally recognised qualifications through further and higher education providers around the local area.

This year, the company is offering Level 2 Apprenticeships – particularly suitable for those leaving school after GCSEs – in the Interior Trim Centre, Technical Assembly, Sewing, Interior Surface Centre and Robot Operations. There are also Level 3 (A-level equivalent) opportunities in Milling Machining, Exterior Surface Centre and Assembly Test & Finish. For those seeking an alternative to the traditional university route after A-levels, Level 6 Degree Apprenticeships are available in technical areas including Digitalisation, Product Development, Technical Planning, Quality and Production Control and Assembly Quality. Rolls-Royce is keen to emphasise that it has Apprenticeships suitable for people with a wide range of prior experience, interests and educational backgrounds. As well as catering for those keen to pursue STEAM careers, the company is looking for candidates interested in commercial, administrative and non-production roles. This year, for example, it is recruiting at Level 3 in Logistics, and for Level 6 Degree Apprenticeships in Marketing Regional Sales & Business. At the end of their initial training, Apprentices may be invited to extend their time at Goodwood and study for more advanced qualifications. Candidates who attain consistently high standards throughout their training may be offered a permanent job with the company. Read full article

Rolls-Royce has a profound understanding of its clients; their needs, expectations and their wishes and strives to exceed these. Offering its patrons unique experiences is an integral part of the ongoing success of the world’s leading luxury marque, and so Rolls-Royce is delighted to announce its newly redesigned showroom in Sunningdale is ready to welcome clients past, present and future to its new luxurious space.

Located in a prominent location in the heart of Sunningdale, the space has been completely transformed both architecturally and aesthetically, making it almost unrecognisable. The original showroom has been significantly extended, offering more space to showcase the marque’s exquisite products and providing clients an unparalleled experience, in line with Rolls-Royce’s continuing evolution as a true global luxury goods brand. A terrace, with views over the Berkshire countryside, is an entirely new addition to the showroom; a relaxing and inviting space for clients to draw closer to the brand.

The redesigned location, spanning two levels, now showcases the marque’s contemporary visual identity, designed by award-winning agency, Pentagram. The space offers clients an immersive experience from the moment they step foot into the building: the front door is modelled on Rolls-Royce’s famous Pantheon grille and provides a discreet, tantalising glimpse of what lies within. The doorway is topped by the marque’s iconic figurine, the Spirit of Ecstasy.

Inside, the new showroom continues to exude sophistication, contemporary luxury, and creativity, yet still recognises the importance of heritage for the marque, with citations from the founding fathers of the brand throughout the showroom. The Cabinet of Curiosities, an eclectic mix of intriguing, timeless and legendary design objects, is designed to spark the imagination and conversations as part of the commission process. Read full article

Robotics startup Figure said it has signed a partnership with BMW Manufacturing to deploy its humanoid robots in the car maker’s facility in the U.S., as more companies turn to human-like robots to take on certain physical tasks. This marks the first commercial deal Figure has signed since it was founded in 2022. While the company didn’t disclose how many robots BMW will be using, the partnership will start with small quantities and expand if performance targets have been met, according to Brett Adcock, chief executive at Figure. Figure’s humanoids will be deployed in BMW’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the largest automotive exporter in the U.S., which currently employees 11,000 people. They will be integrated into the manufacturing processes including the body shop, sheet metal and warehouse in the next 12-24 months, after being trained to perform specific tasks. “We have designed the robot to be safe next to humans. Working with BMW on automation in a manufacturing facility is a huge validator for us in the space,” Adcock said. Read full article

Ford continued to broaden consumers’ options in 2023, solidifying its leadership in gas vehicle lines with its best-selling trucks and vans, while also accelerating sales of its electric and hybrid vehicles to new records.
Ford’s electric vehicles posted record Q4 sales to cap off a record EV year. Ford sold 25,937 EVs in Q4 (up 24 percent over Q3 sales) and 72,608 vehicles for the year(up 18 percent). Growth came from America’s best-selling electric truck, F-150 Lightning (up 74 percent for Q4) and Mustang Mach-E sales of 40,771 for the year – up 3 percentforthe year and its best year of sales since first launched in 2021. Ford’s E-Transit was America’s best-selling electric van nameplate in 2023 on sales of 7,672 – up 18 percent over 2022.
“In a year of challenges, from a labor strike to supply issues, our amazing lineup of gas, electric and hybrid vehicles and our fantastic dealers delivered solid growth and momentum. We have the products that customers want,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “I am especially proud Ford remained the No. 2 EV brand in America and our next-gen, digitally advanced new EVs are on the way. “Now we are spring-loaded for 2024 with new versions coming of our most popular trucks and SUVs, a full year of new Super Duty and Mustang, and a big year for Lincoln.”
Total Ford hybrid sales accelerated at year’s end with record Q4 sales of 37,229 vehicles – up 55 percent. For the year, Ford hybrid vehicle sales were up 25 percent on record annual sales. Ford has both the first and second best-selling hybrid trucks in America, with Maverick Hybrid sales totaling 52,361trucks, a 67percent gain and more than half of Maverick’s total sales in 2023. Total Maverick sales were up 26.5 percent. The F-150 Hybrid posted sales gains of 41 percent over a year ago on 2023 sales of 50,103. Ford 2023 sales totaled 1,995,912 vehicles – up 7.1 percent over 2022 and the best since 2020. Read More

Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), a leading innovator of purpose-built vehicles and equipment, will issue its fourth quarter and full year 2023 financial results on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. The results will be discussed during a live webcast that day beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST. To access the webcast, investors should go to approximately 15 minutes prior to the event. Slides for the webcast will be available on the website the morning of January 30. Read More

Prospex Energy PLC to provide an operational update from the Podere Maiar-1 (“PM-1”) well site of the Selva field, which is operated by Po Valley Operations Pty Limited (“PVO”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Po Valley Energy Limited (“Po Valley Energy”) (ASX: PVE).

Po Valley Energy has a 63% working interest of the Selva Malvezzi production concession, while Prospex has the remaining 37% working interest.


• After six months of strong gas production, PVO has confirmed that the well is continuing to perform as expected.
• The commissioning and testing period undertaken by PVO has defined optimal well performance and PVO has confirmed that the testing was successfully undertaken at various production levels.
• Slick line work programmes have been completed to monitor well behaviour and any accumulation of debris.
• Production volumes testing will continue over the next four weeks at ~78,000 scm/d to 80,000 scm/d to be followed by another slick line operation programme before a long-term flow rate is set.
• This confirmatory period allows the PVO team to determine the optimal flow rate to ensure no debris accumulation and to establish the most efficient rate of production for the long term. As a precaution, a Surface Sand Detector is expected to be installed which will provide added protection to the gas plant.
• Further upside potential at the Selva Malvezzi production concession is advancing at pace, with the operator progressing agreements with local landowners and the permitting process with the regulatory authorities in order to deliver the drilling programmes at Selva North, South and East. Read More

Successful launch of Marcus Wandt into Space
During the night between 18 and 19 January, Swedish time, Marcus Wandt, who works as the Chief Test Pilot at Saab, started his journey from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station, ISS. Saab is one of the co-financiers of the project, aiming to ensure that Sweden remains at the forefront of space research.
On the ISS, Marcus Wandt will conduct research on weightlessness and contribute to understanding how humans can live and work beyond Earth.
“This is a significant and major event for both Sweden and Saab; space is becoming an increasingly important area for Sweden and our defense capabilities. Saab’s focus on innovation and advanced technology means that we are now contributing to important research and development in the field of space. We are proud that one of our employees is now the third Swede in space, and we look forward to following his work,” says Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab. During the fall of 2022, Marcus Wandt was selected for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) space programme. In the spring of 2023, it was confirmed that a space journey would take place, and Marcus Wandt would become ESA’s first ever project astronaut. He is currently on leave from his role as the Chief Test Pilot for Gripen at Saab. Read More

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced more than $131 million for projects to advance research and development (R&D) in electric vehicle (EV) batteries and charging systems, and funding for a consortium to address critical priorities for the next phase of widescale EV commercialization. The advanced battery consortium will work towards developing advanced technologies that will decarbonize transportation and support R&D that is responsive to the needs of EV manufacturers and battery suppliers—engaging with key stakeholders, including universities, national laboratories, and manufacturers that supply critical materials and components to the battery industry. Securing the domestic battery supply chain and developing innovative solutions to electrify the transportation sector support President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and are crucial steps in achieving a clean energy future. Fiscal Year 2023 Project Selections
Today, DOE announced 27 projects to receive $71 million to develop innovative and equitable clean mobility options, alleviating supply chain concerns for EV batteries, and increasing EV drive range. Funded through DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the selected projects aim to:

Lower the cost of EV batteries using inexpensive, abundant materials by developing long life-cycle, high-energy density lithium sulfur batteries;
Improve the efficiency and convenience of public transportation by developing and demonstrating system-level approaches to equitable mobility access;
Advance on-board EV charging systems through the research and demonstration of innovative EV charging systems, including bi-directional charging;
Increase EV drive range by developing sustainable lightweight materials, including door panels and EV battery enclosures. Read More

Red Sea attacks and Panama Canal drought lead to gas carrier rerouting. Since the attacks on non-Israeli vessels transiting the Red Sea began in mid-December, we are tracking 32 gas carriers (LPG and LNG carriers) transiting West of Suez-to-East of Suez via the Cape of Good Hope. 26 of these vessels are likely following this trajectory due to ongoing Panama Canal transit issues instead of geopolitical developments unfolding in the Middle East. Panama Canal transits for LPG carriers remain low, though laden transits numbers are recovering slightly so far in January. Both alternate waypoints – COGH and Suez – have a similar duration for most East of Suez destinations for North American-origin voyages, so some operators may prefer the COGH to avoid Suez Canal costs. Similar numbers of LNG carriers are transiting via COGH. Read More

Oil and Gas BlendsUnitsOil Price US$/bblChange
Crude Oil (WTI)USD/bbl$73.65Up
Crude Oil (Brent)USD/bbl$78.66Up
Bonny LightUSD/bbl$79.07Up
Saharan BlendUSD/bbl$80.45Up
Natural GasUSD/MMBtu$2.52Down
OPEC basket 18/01/24USD/bbl$79.39Up
At press time 19 January 2024


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OilandGasPress Energy Newsbites and Analysis Roundup | Compiled by: OGP Staff, Segun Cole @oilandgaspress.

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