Good morning and welcome back! Today marks the 35th anniversary (!) of the release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," so a cut from that album is today's intro music . . .
Barring last-second hiccups, reports from the OPEC meeting in Vienna signal that OPEC and Russia will agree to extend the production-limiting agreement by nine months through the end of 2018.
Why it matters: The cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia curbing the global supply glut is in part a signal of how the U.S. supply surge has forced a new era in oil geopolitics.
British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday pitched London's stock exchange as the best location for the massive IPO of state oil giant Saudi Aramco next year, a move that comes two weeks after President Trump publicly urged the kingdom to select the U.S. for the offering slated for 2018.
Making her case: "I think London is extremely well placed, not only from its importance as an international financial centre, also technically well placed in relation to Aramco," she told reporters just ahead of her visit with top Saudi officials in Riyadh, according to the Mirror.
Why it matters: The international venue selected for the listing will bring huge fees to the exchange that wins the IPO of 5% of the company, which Saudi officials hope will raise tens of billions of dollars to help fund the kingdom's economic diversification and modernization efforts.
Speaking of the Aramco IPO: In a note yesterday, Hedgeye Research analyst Joe McMonigle said the emerging nine-month extension of the OPEC-Russia production limiting agreement is important.
The U.S. boom: The consultancy Rystad Energy said yesterday that U.S. oil production could surpass 9.9 million barrels per day in December as shale production keeps climbing, which is higher than estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
ANWR: Yesterday's Senate vote to advance the tax code overhaul brings Congress closer to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Via Alaska Public Media: "Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., did not sound optimistic after today's vote that she and fellow Democrats will be able to block drilling in the Arctic Refuge."
Pipeline politics: The U.S. opposition to Gazprom's proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany took on a more public flavor in the last two days. Via Radio Free Europe, State deputy assistant secretary John McCarrick yesterday predicted that the project would never be built, and Reuters has a brief summary of his criticisms here.
More on Shell's carbon pledge: A note from HSBC takes stock of the company's new climate change goals, which we wrote about yesterday. ICYMI, Shell is pledging to "net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050," with an interim reduction goal of 20% by 2035.
Last night my Axios colleague Amy Harder broke some some Energy Department news. Here's what she wrote in the Axios stream...
Energy secretary Rick Perry leaves Thursday for a three-country trip to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, according to a department official.
Why it matters: This is Perry's first trip to the region as secretary, where he will meet his energy counterparts. The visit could highlight the geopolitical tension present with the U.S. shale oil surge competing with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers for market share. The Middle East is ground zero for a lot of issues in the energy space – especially oil and natural gas but also less high-profile areas like advanced nuclear power and technologies that capture carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
What we're watching: To what degree Perry talks about the initial public offering planned by Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. As mentioned in a story above, Trump tweeted in early November he wants the company to post the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Separately, Perry is expected to speak at a conference on carbon technology in the United Arab Emirates.
It tracks per-capita power use worldwide since 1960, and that's just one version of it — the site also lets you add countries and see changes global power use in map format over time.
It's part of a broader post that went up just before Thanksgiving that also has a helpful primer that provides apples-to-apples comparison of the scale of different energy sources.
Honda's plans: Futurism, via NBC's tech site Mach, reports that Honda is a late arrival to the EV game but hopes to make up ground with vehicles that can charge up very quickly.
Trucks and oil: Platts has a nice overview of a topic we've also been covering: Why the potential for widespread electrification of trucking would be a game changer for global oil demand.
Supply chain ethics: Via Reuters, a group of major automakers including VW, Toyota and Ford yesterday pledged to "uphold ethical and socially responsible standards in their purchases of minerals for an expected boom in electric vehicle production."
VW's latest: CNBC has this dispatch from the L.A. Auto Show, where Volkswagen showed off plans for the I.D. Crozz, an SUV concept. "While its hexagonal steering wheel and abundance of exterior lights indicate the flash of a show model over a production car, CEO Hinrich Woebcken said the I.D. Crozz will arrive on the market by 2020," they report.
Roll tape: On Tuesday night I moderated a panel hosted by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) about (among other things) the prospect that oil markets are facing a "decade of disorder" in the 2020s.
That's the term coined by veteran analyst Adam Sieminski, one of the panelists, to warn of supply risks and volatility absent more upstream investment in new projects now.
You can watch the event on YouTube here.
What they said: SAFE has a write-up of the action here, including this summary:
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