David Feldman

Three Things to Know in Energy This Week – 10/17/2016

Blog Post created by David Feldman Champion on Oct 17, 2016

1. Tesla looks to partner with Panasonic on solar energy

Electric car manufacturer Tesla declared it plans to begin working with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to make solar products at SolarCity's Buffalo facility.

As stated on their corporate blog Monday, Tesla stated that the companies have signed a non-binding letter of intent to begin collaborating and building upon Panasonic's photovoltaic cells and modules technology. The deal is not completely finalized; however, and requires shareholders' approval of Tesla's planned acquisition of SolarCity – a shareholder vote that will occur November 17th.

JB Straubel, chief technical officer at Tesla stated, "We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move toward a combined Tesla and SolarCity. By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost."


2. Markets are cautious amid uncertain future.

Both European markets and Asian markets declined Monday, as investors got their first opportunity to react to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. On Friday, Yellon eluded to the idea that the U.S. would overshoot its 2% inflation target to fix its structural problems thought to be the result of the recession after the financial crisis. 

Markets are also treading lightly before Wednesday's final U.S. presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The debate will likely provide significant insight into the future of the U.S. economy.

These cautious markets are impacting oil prices and energy producers. Oil prices were down 0.56% to $50.07 and Brent Crude down 0.60% to $51.64. 


3. Iran approaching pre-sanction oil production levels.

According to Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, the OPEC member country is approaching 4M bpd, a level he said was near Iran's peak from prior nuclear-related sanctions were enacted back in 2012.

Iran’s reported numbers were not confirmed by OPEC, and Iran has expressed its intent to not cooperate when it comes to holding production levels steady with other OPEC nations. Zanganeh said that for now Iranian production cuts are not a matter up for consideration and any concrete figures for Iran can be discussed when OPEC meets in Algeria meet this November.

With this news of increased output, Iran said it would begin taking applications this week for oil and gas projects from potential foreign investors. The state-run National Iranian Oil Co. said companies interested in becoming qualified bidders have until Nov 19th to submit their proposals.