Oil Prices Fall on Fear of High US Interest Rates Depressing Demand

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant
The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant
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Oil Prices Fall on Fear of High US Interest Rates Depressing Demand

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant
The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant

Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Tuesday, with investors anticipating higher-for-longer US inflation and interest rates will depress consumer and industrial demand.

Brent crude futures declined 12 cents, or 0.1%, to $83.34 a barrel by 0041 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) eased 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $79.72 a barrel.

Both benchmarks fell less than 1% on Monday as US Federal Reserve officials said they were awaiting more signs of slowing inflation before considering interest rate cuts, Reuters reported.

"Fears of weaker demand led to selling as the prospect of Fed rate cut became more distant," said analyst Toshitaka Tazawa at Fujitomi Securities.

Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson said on Monday it was too early to tell if the inflation slowdown is "long lasting," while Vice Chair Michael Barr said restrictive policy needs more time. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said it will "take a while" for the central bank to be confident that price growth slowdown is sustainable.

Lower interest rates reduce borrowing costs, freeing up funds which could boost economic growth and demand for oil.



Saudi Aramco, NextDecade Sign 20-year LNG Supply Deal

At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website
At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website
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Saudi Aramco, NextDecade Sign 20-year LNG Supply Deal

At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website
At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website

Saudi Aramco and US liquefied natural gas (LNG) provider NextDecade announced on Thursday that their respective subsidiaries have executed a non-binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) for a 20-year liquefied natural gas sale and purchase agreement (LNG SPA) for offtake from Train 4 at the Rio Grande LNG Facility at the Port of Brownsville, Texas.

Under the terms of the HoA, Aramco expects to purchase 1.2 million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG for 20 years on a free-on-board basis at a price indexed to Henry Hub. Aramco and NextDecade are currently in the process of negotiating a binding agreement, and once executed, the effectiveness of which will be subject to a positive Final Investment Decision on Train 4.

"We look forward to finalizing the terms of a long-term LNG offtake agreement with NextDecade as we explore opportunities to expand our presence in international energy markets,” said Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi.

“We expect LNG to play an important role in meeting the rising demand for secure and efficient energy,” he added.

NextDecade Chairman and CEO Matt Schatzman said: “We are pleased to have reached a Heads of Agreement with Aramco for LNG from Train 4, as Aramco seeks to expand its LNG portfolio. We look forward to finalizing the LNG SPA with Aramco and to pursuing other opportunities together.”