¹ Like damage to other subsea pipelines and cables, the leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines could have been caused accidentally by a trawler, a ship’s anchor dragging, or a submarine. But pipelines are marked on nautical charts and such incidents are rare. The probability of two pipelines being accidentally breached at the same time, reportedly in three separate locations, when both lines are at the centre of a major international dispute, is very low, which makes it much more likely they were unintentionally damaged by a submarine or deliberately sabotaged.
BRENT’s front-month futures price is back to year-ago levels once adjusted for core inflation excluding food and energy prices. The real price of $85 per barrel (U.S.$2022) is close to long-term averages since 2010 (53rd percentile) and 2000 (46th percentile) though still somewhat above the average since 1990 (69th percentile):
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CHINA generated a record 221 TWh of hydro electricity in the first three months of the year, up from 196 TWh in the same period in 2021, relieving pressure on coal and gas inventories and prices:
U.S. EQUITY PRICES signal investors expect an imminent business cyclical slowdown – either a mid-cycle soft patch or an end-of-cycle recession. The S&P 500 index is down by almost 5% compared with the end of May 2021 and down by more than 11% in real terms:
U.S. OIL AND GAS producers added +16 new rigs last week with increases in both oil (+13) and gas (+3). The total number of active rigs climbed to 689, up from a cyclical low of 244 in August 2020 but below the pre-pandemic level of 793 in early March 2020:
U.S. NET GAS EXPORTS averaged 332 billion cubic feet per month in the three months from November to January compared with 294 billion in the same period a year earlier, as a result of the growth in liquefaction capacity and strong demand from Europe and Asia:
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