Oil market oversupplied in 2019 on US production: energy watchdog

The International Energy Agency predicted that global oil stocks could rise by 136 million barrels by the end of the first quarter of 2020. (Reuters)
Updated 12 July 2019

Oil market oversupplied in 2019 on US production: energy watchdog

  • The demand for OPEC crude oil in early 2020 could fall to only 28 million barrels per day

LONDON: Surging US oil output will outpace sluggish global demand and lead to a large stock build around the world in the next nine months, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.
The forecasts appear to predict the need for producer club OPEC and its allies to reduce production to balance the market despite extending their existing pact, forecasting a fall in demand for OPEC crude to only 28 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2020.
“Market tightness is not an issue for the time being and any rebalancing seems to have moved further into the future,” the IEA said in its monthly report.
“Clearly, this presents a major challenge to those who have taken on the task of market management,” it added, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and producer allies such as Russia.
The demand for OPEC crude oil in early 2020 could fall to only 28 million bpd, it added, with non-OPEC expansion in 2020 rising by 2.1 million bpd — a full 2 million bpd of which is expected to come from the United States.
At current OPEC output levels of 30 million bpd, the IEA predicted that global oil stocks could rise by 136 million barrels by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Maintaining its forecasts for oil demand for the rest of 2019 and 2020, the Paris-based agency cited expected improvement in US-China trade relations and US economic expansion as encouraging but flagged tailwinds elsewhere.
“There are indications of deteriorating trade and manufacturing activity. Recent data show that global manufacturing output in 2Q19 fell for the first time since late 2012 and new orders have declined at a fast pace,” it said.
The IEA said that markets were concerned by escalating tension between Iran and the West over oil tankers leaving the Gulf but that incidents in the region’s shipping lanes have been overshadowed by supply concerns.
“The oil price impact has been minimal with no real security of supply premium,” the IEA said. “For now, maritime operations in the region are close to normal and markets remain calm.”
Tightened US sanctions on Iranian crude drove down Tehran’s June exports by 450,000 bpd to 530,000 bpd, near three-decade lows.


London-based high-tech company tackling online extremism

Updated 9 min 12 sec ago

London-based high-tech company tackling online extremism

  • Moonshot CVE employs 40 people working in 15 languages, including English, French and Arabic, on 76 projects in 28 countries, with clients ranging from governments to technology firms

LONDON: Vidhya Ramalingam believes it’s always possible to change, even for people deeply involved in the murky online world of extremism.

Her company Moonshot CVE has the ambitious aim of trying to get anyone tempted by violence back on the straight and narrow.

Over the last four years, the London-based startup has grown quietly but not anonymously, if a recent partnership deal with Facebook is anything to go by.

US national Ramalingam and the firm’s co-founder Ross Frenett previously worked as researchers into extremism and believe radical groups are often one step ahead when it comes to technology.

“There was a lot of recognition that terrorists were using the internet in creative ways, that they were reaching young audiences, that they were able to innovate,” she told AFP in an interview.

“Yet those of us that were trying to counter them simply were moving too slowly and had too many constraints to actually replicate those methods for counter-terrorism purposes.”

That led to the idea of a technology startup able to keep up with and fight against all forms of violent extremism to nationalists and even “incels.” But greater visibility has forced the company to take more security measures because of the sensitive nature of its work — and the potential for violence from the people it tracks.

The address of Moonshot CVE’s London offices is kept secret and most of its staff have no visible online presence.

Just to get into its premises in a nondescript building in the British capital, visitors have to pass through heavy armor-plated doors and a security check.

“We take precautions,” said Ramalingam. “We work on high-risk issues and we try and put as much into the public domain as possible.”

The startup’s name refers to the act of launching a rocket to the moon — and gives an indication of its stellar ambition. The CVE stands for countering violent extremism.

It employs 40 people working in 15 languages, including English, French and Arabic, on 76 projects in 28 countries, with clients ranging from governments to technology firms.

One project is a collaboration with the Canadian government against the far-right. Another works with the UN on online extremist content in Asia.

The company has also had a partnership for several years with Google, using online advertising to target people looking up violent extremism on the net.

The Facebook contract involves Moonshot analizing how effective the social network could be to “deradicalize” users looking up extremist content.