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0 Mar 14 2011 @ 7:51am by Matt Smith in Crude Oil, Global Energy, UK natural gas

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Caterwauls: Update on Global Events

As there appeared no let up in developments over the weekend (or their impact on energy markets), it made sense to collect info, links, and stats here (clients can find further analysis in today’s weekly doc) to get you up to speed on this Monday morning:

Japan Earthquake:

1) The earthquake on Friday March 11th was the largest ever recorded in Japan, and the fifth strongest worldwide in the last century. 
2) Japan meets 24% of its power generation through nuclear power.
3) As of Sunday night, 52% of nuclear power generation capacity was offline.
4) If  you want to learn what a nuclear meltdown is (I had no idea) try here and here. And what a partial meltdown is.
5) Japan’s energy consumption broken down:

6) Japan is the world’s third largest economy, and is the third largest consumer of oil, importing basically all of its needs (approx. 4.4 mln barrels / day).
7) Japan is the world’s largest importer of LNG. They accounted for approximately 36% of global imports of LNG in 2009. This is due to the lack of domestic production:

8) European natural gas prices are charging higher, on the concern that LNG cargoes will be diverted away from Europe to Japan should nuclear facilities remain offline for a sustained period.
9) It is projected that approximately a third of refining capacity is offline in Japan. Oil prices are falling on concerns that the impact of the earthquake will hurt growth in Japan and reduce demand.
10) Last night the Bank of Japan pumped $183 billion into the financial system to try and stabilize markets. Its equity market (the Nikkei) is down 6% this morning.

Assorted links:
–180,000 people are evacuating areas in danger as Japan’s nuclear crisis intensifies.
–Radioactive releases in Japan could last months.
–Japan disaster may set back nuclear power industry.
–There is a high chance of another magnitude-7 earthquake in Japan in coming days.
Seawater helps but nuclear crisis is not over.
–Factbox: Japan quake impact on energy, commodities, manufacturers.
–Emergency declared in US counties due to tsunami.
–Q&A re explosion at Fukushima nuclear plant.
–Radiation cloud could head towards the US.

The devastation in Japan has dragged the spotlight away from the Middle East somewhat, but nonetheless unrest rumbles on. Following on from my initial post about the Middle East, the caterwaul continues, and here are the latest developments: 

Middle East Unrest:

1) The ‘day of rage’ in Saudi Arabia never materialized, amid a heavy police presence.  Although protests were seen yesterday.
2) There are continued demonstrations in Yemen, where four people were killed and 300 injured over the weekend. Bahrain is also continuing to experience demonstrations.  
3) Both Bahrain and Yemen are not big oil producers. Their threat lies in their proximity to Saudi Arabia. Yemen also is important due to its location on one of the world’s most strategic shipping lanes
4) Gadhafi’s odds of remaining in power are surging, according to Intrade, as Libyan Government forces continue to win back cities from rebels.
5) According to the IEA, Libyan oil exports have fallen well below 500,000 barrels a day, while the president of French oil company Total says production must have fallen to less than 300,000 barrels a day.
6) Opec is unfazed, and refuses to be drawn into calling a special meeting or boosting output, although some members admit they are in ‘consultations’ about the topic.

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