Energy quick reads

** Top oil executives and ministers descend on Houston this week for one of the world’s biggest energy conferences emboldened by blockbuster mergers, stable oil prices and less pressure for a large scale move to clean fuels.

** As U.S. sales of gas-electric hybrid vehicles surge and electric-vehicle sales cool, automakers and suppliers are betting consumer demand for a compromise between all-combustion and all-electric is a durable trend. Automakers and suppliers are adding capacity to build gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles for the U.S. market.

** The Texas power grid is poised to lose a big natural gas-fired power plant, potentially straining a system that’s already grappling with an exodus of fossil fuel generation.

** United Auto Workers Union President Shawn Fain spoke at a Senate hearing on a bill proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to establish a 32-hour workweek, rejecting the argument that workers seeking less strenuous hours simply “don’t want to work.”


** Diverting shipping away from the Red Sea and Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope south of Africa is beginning to impact global demand for petroleum, and it shows in the monthly report by the International Energy Agency.

** Ukrainian drone attacks halted three oil refineries deep within Russian territory this weekAn aerial strike on Wednesday caused a blaze at one of the country’s biggest crude-processing facilities, Rosneft PJSC’s Ryazan plant near Moscow. The smaller Novoshakhtinsk refinery in the southern Rostov region was also halted by a drone attack, adding to the disruption caused by a similar incident at Lukoil PJSC’s Norsi plant on Tuesday..

** Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by one-tenth last year as renewable energy grew in importance, the use of coal and gas diminished and economic pressures weighed on businesses and consumers, official data showed Friday.

**  Iron ore futures fell below $100 a ton for the first time in seven months as investors bet that China’s years-long property crisis will run through 2024, keeping a lid on steel demand.

** The US Export-Import Bank voted to provide a $500 million loan guarantee for an oil and gas development in Bahrain, despite objections from Democrats who said it would stoke climate change and undermine US credibility on the issue.

** Truck drivers in British Columbia involved in collisions with overpasses could pay up to a $100,000 fine and spend 18 months in prison under changes the province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has proposed to the Commercial Transport Act.