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Oil Updates — Crude falls as recession looms; Nord Stream set for planned shutdown; power cut at TotalEnergies’ Feyzin refinery

RIYADH: Oil prices fell around $1 on Monday in volatile trade, reversing some gains from the previous session as worries about a recession and China’s COVID-19 curbs hitting demand outweighed ongoing concerns about tight supply.

Brent crude futures fell 82 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $106.20 at 0314 GMT after climbing 2.3 percent on Friday.

US WTI crude futures declined by $1.04, or 1 percent, to $103.75, paring a 2 percent gain from Friday.

Nord Stream Russian gas link set for planned shutdown

The biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany starts annual maintenance on Monday, with flows expected to stop for ten days. Still, governments, markets and companies are worried the shutdown might be extended due to the war in Ukraine.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic meters a year of gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. It will undergo maintenance from July 11 to 21.

Europe fears Russia may extend the scheduled maintenance to restrict European gas supply further, throwing plans to fill storage for winter into disarray and heightening a gas crisis that has prompted emergency measures from governments and painfully high bills for consumers.

German economy minister Robert Habeck has said the country should confront the possibility that Russia will suspend gas flows through Nord Stream 1 beyond the scheduled maintenance period.

“Based on the pattern we’ve seen, it would not be very surprising now if some small, technical detail is found, and then they could say they can’t turn it on anymore,” he said at an event at the end of June.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims that Russia was using oil and gas to exert political pressure, saying the maintenance shutdown was a regular, scheduled event and that no one was “inventing” any repairs.

TotalEnergies reports power cut at Feyzin refinery

French oil giant TotalEnergies on Saturday said there was a power cut at its Feyzin refinery in southern France at 0445 GMT, and a crisis team was activated.

The statement said power returned on the platform at 0558 GMT, and the company progressively restored service.

The impact of the outage on production at the 119,000-barrels per day Feyzin refinery should be minimal. It was not immediately clear what caused the power outage.

Gilles Noguerol, the head of Feyzin, told Reuters that all the site’s units had been secured, and for safety reasons, flares had been activated to manage and evacuate excess gas.

This, in turn, generated heavy black smoke that could be seen outside the Feyzin refinery near Lyon, he said.

 “I am not worried about the (smoke) toxicity,” he said, adding that air quality checks made by firemen did not show abnormal concentration levels.

(With input from Reuters)

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