1. Recent International Energy Agency report predicts U.S. is on track to take the number two spot.
According to a report released by the International Energy Agency on Friday, the United States is on track to overtake Saudi Arabia as the second-largest oil producer in the world, behind Russia.
The IEA wrote, "This year promises to be a record-setting one for the US. Relentless growth should see the US hit historic highs above 10 million barrels per day, overtaking Saudi Arabia and rivaling Russia during the course of 2018 – provided OPEC/non-OPEC restraints remain in place.”
They then added, "Explosive growth in the US and substantial gains in Canada and Brazil will far outweigh potentially steep declines in Venezuela and Mexico. The big 2018 supply story is unfolding fast in the Americas.”
2. RFS comes under attack as major East Coast refinery files bankruptcy.
The parent company of Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to restructure more than $100 million in existing debt and still continue operations. They blamed the Renewable Fuels Standard for the financial struggles.
Greg Gatta, CEO of Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC said in his statement, “In order to complete this process without delay, we will continue to work with the government to address the broken RFS system that is harming smaller, independent merchant refiners like PES. This is a win for the region, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia,”
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) also chimed in, “I am pleased PES is able to remain operational during this process and retain its workforce for now; however, the mechanism for enforcing the RFS is the primary cause for this bankruptcy filing and it must be fixed,"
He continued, "I’ve had extensive conversations with PES management, senior EPA officials, my Senate colleagues, and directly with President Trump in an effort to resolve this situation. I will remain engaged until we find an acceptable solution.”
3. Saudi Arabia continues its efforts to develop their solar grid and even become an exporter to neighbors.
Saudi Arabia is taking steps to diversify their energy portfolio. With extremely high solar insolation, they are slowly realizing that it's a lot cheaper to power their grids with solar energy than domestically produced oil, which could be sold overseas.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia began exploring the renewable energy business with small solar and wind projects. But, in 2018 The Saudis are planning a more serious investment in solar with 3.25 GW of tenders expected along with another 800 MW of tenders for wind energy. By 2023, Saudi Arabia plans to have 9.5 GW of renewable energy capacity and hopes to be exporting electricity from wind and solar to neighboring countries.