Oil rises, set for weekly gain amid hopes for end to US-China trade war

Crude stocks dropped 4.8 million barrels, nearly double analysts’ expectations, to 423 million barrels, their lowest since October 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 06 September 2019

Oil rises, set for weekly gain amid hopes for end to US-China trade war

  • Beijing and Washington agree to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington
  • The prolonged dispute had a dampening effect on oil prices, although they have risen over the year

TOKYO: Oil prices edged higher on Friday, with crude benchmarks poised for multi-week gains amid a sharp drawdown in US crude inventories, while trade tensions eased after Washington and Beijing agreed to hold high-level talks next month.
Brent crude was up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $61.12 a barrel by 0408 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $56.46 a barrel.
Brent is set to mark its fourth weekly gain, while US crude is headed for a second weekly rise.
Beijing and Washington on Thursday agreed to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington, cheering investors hoping for an end to the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies that has brought tit-for-tat tariff hikes, chipping away at economic growth.
The prolonged dispute had a dampening effect on oil prices, although they have risen over the year, helped by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, to drain inventories.
“Upside potential for crude oil futures will remain limited, however, as strong US production and demand-side concerns cap bullish gains for the current term,” said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
He also cited “subdued economic momentum, global trade uncertainties and rising market risks” for reasons to expect that US crude would be range-bound between $55-$60 over the third quarter.
US crude and product inventories fell last week, with crude drawing down for a third consecutive week despite a jump in imports, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Crude stocks dropped 4.8 million barrels, nearly double analysts’ expectations, to 423 million barrels, their lowest since October 2018.
Oil prices on Thursday soared more than 2 percent after the EIA report, although they gradually trimmed gains as investors are not entirely convinced that the Sino-US trade talks will yield results.


Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Updated 4 min 28 sec ago

Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

  • Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry
  • This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier Etihad Airways announced on Monday it is launching one of the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul airplanes as the company seeks to save costs on fuel and position itself as a more environmentally-conscious choice for travelers.
Etihad’s “Greenliner” is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will depart on its first route from Abu Dhabi to Brussels in January 2020. Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry.
With fuel costs eating up around a quarter of airline spending, Douglas said the goal of the Greenliner is to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than other aircraft in Etihad’s fleet.
“This is not just a box-ticking exercise,” he told reporters at the unveiling of the initiative at the Dubai Airshow alongside executives from Boeing.
Douglas said the aircraft “not only makes sense economically from a profit and loss account point of view, but because it also directly impacts the CO2 because of the fuel burn.”
Etihad has reported losses of $4.75 billion since 2016 as its strategy of aggressively buying stakes in airlines from Europe to Australia exposed the company to major risks.
Despite its financials, the airline continues to be among the most innovative.
This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater. It also became the first in the Middle East to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution.
Aviation accounts for a small but rapidly growing share of greenhouse-gas emissions — about 2.5 percent worldwide. But forecasters expect air travel to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Etihad says it plans to make the Greenliner a “social media star” to bring under sharper focus its developments and achievements worldwide. Douglas said anything that Eithad learns with Boeing from this aircraft’s operations will be open domain knowledge “because it’s about moving the industry forward in a responsible fashion.”
“We’re like a millennial and like all good millennials, they’re really focused on the environment and the sustainability agenda,” Douglas said, referring to Etihad’s 16 years in operation.
The Greenliner will be the only aircraft of its kind in Etihad’s fleet of Dreamliners. The company currently has 36 of the 787s in its fleet with plans to operate 50.
“This is a small step today, but in a very, very long journey,” Douglas said.