The Biden administration plans to ease sanctions on Venezuelan oil to allow more of the country's crude to reach Europe.
The U.S. will allow European companies still operating in Venezuela to immediately transfer more oil to the continent, while allowing Chevron to negotiate a resumption of operations in Venezuela, according to people familiar with the matter. Venezuela's OPPOSITION, which is backed by the United States, is understood to favor the move. Tight global oil supplies have sent crude and fuel costs soaring, threatening to add to already high inflation. Increasing Venezuelan crude exports would help ease supply constraints while also helping to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy.
The US has sought to encourage talks between the Venezuelan government and the US-backed opposition to open the way to free and fair elections by extending a limited license held by Chevron to allow the oil company to maintain its operations in Venezuela and negotiate future operations.
The United States reportedly did not extend a permit to Allow Chevron to drill and sell Venezuelan crude, as the company had hoped.
The license extension will allow Chevron to negotiate with State-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA, with which it has a joint venture. Previously, the company could not directly negotiate with any officials sanctioned by the United States. Chevron has been lobbying the United States to allow it to drill for Venezuelan crude and sell it on world markets to help lower energy prices amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
Affected by the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of many commodities like the natural graphite are still very uncertain.
Natural graphite is mainly used in refractory materials, batteries, steelmaking, expanded graphite, brake pads, casting surfaces, and lubricants.
The use of graphite as a refractory (heat-resistant) material began before 1900 for holding molten metal graphite crucible; This is a small fraction of what refractories are made today. In the mid-1980s, carbon-magnesium bricks became important, followed later by alumina-graphite shapes. As of 2017, the order of importance is alumina-graphite profiles, carbon-magnesite bricks, Monolithics (a mixture of spray-patching and pounding), and then crucible.
The crucible began to use very large sheets of graphite, whereas carbon-magnesia bricks did not require such large sheets of graphite; For these and other purposes, sheet sizes are now required with greater flexibility, and amorphous graphite is no longer limited to low-end refractories. Alumina-graphite profiles are used as continuous castings, such as nozzles and grooves, to transport molten steel from ladles to molds, and carbon-magnesium bricks are lined up in converter and electric-arc furnace to withstand extreme temperatures. Graphite blocks are also used as components in blast furnace linings where the high thermal conductivity of graphite is essential to ensure adequate cooling of the furnace bottom and chamber. High purity monolithic tiles are usually used as continuous furnace linings rather than carbon magnesia bricks.
The use of graphite in batteries has increased since the 1970s. Natural and synthetic graphite is used as an anode material for constructing electrodes in major battery technologies.
The demand for batteries, mainly nickel-metal hydride, and lithium-ion batteries, led to an increase in demand for graphite in the late 1980s and early 1990s - an increase driven by portable electronic devices, such as portable CD players and power tools. Laptops, phones, tablets, and smartphones have increased the need for batteries. Electric vehicle batteries are expected to increase graphite demand. The lithium-ion battery in the all-electric Nissan Leaf, for example, contains nearly 40 kilograms of graphite.
Radioactive graphite from old nuclear reactors is being studied as fuel. Nuclear diamond batteries have the potential to provide long-term energy for electronics and the Internet of things.
Natural graphite in steelmaking is mainly used to improve the carbon content in molten steel. It can also be used to lubricate molds used to extrude hot steel. Carbon additives face competitive prices from alternatives such as synthetic graphite powder, petroleum coke, and other forms of carbon. Carburizing agent is added to raise the carbon content of the steel to a specified level.
Natural amorphous and fine-scale graphite is used in brake linings or shoes for heavier (non-automotive) vehicles and has become important as a replacement for asbestos is needed. This use has been important for a long time, but non-asbestos organic (NAO) ingredients are beginning to reduce graphite's market share.
Casting coat and lubricant
The mold cleaning liquid for casting is a water-based amorphous or fine-scale graphite coating. Paint the inside of the mold with it and let it dry, leaving a fine coating of graphite that eases the separation of the casting as the hot metal cools. Graphite lubricants are special products used at very high or very low temperatures, used as lubricants for forging dies, anti-stuck agents, gear lubricants for mining machinery, and lubricating locks. There is a great need for low grain graphite and even better non-grain graphite (ultra-high purity). It can be used as a dry powder in water or oil, or as colloidal graphite (a permanent suspension in liquid).
Since the 16th century, all pencils have been made from graphite naturally found in Britain, but the most common modern lead is a mixture of powdered graphite and clay.
Natural graphite has found use in zinc-carbon batteries, motor brushes, and a variety of specialized applications. Graphite of different hardness or softness produces different qualities and tones when used as an artistic medium. Railroads often mix graphite powder with waste oil or flaxseed oil to form a heat-resistant coating for exposed parts of steam locomotive boilers, such as the lower part of a smoke box or firebox.
Expanded graphite is made by dipping natural flake graphite into a bath of chromic acid, followed by concentrated sulfuric acid, which forces the lattice planes apart and causes the graphite to expand. Expanded graphite can be used in the manufacture of graphite foil or directly used as the "hot top" compounds, to isolate in the molten metal ladle or hot ingot and reduce heat loss, or used as a fire door installed in or around the fire damper in the sheet metal plate plastic pipes around the lantern ring (in the fire, the graphite expansion and carbonized in the infiltration and spread of resistance to fire), or high-performance gasket materials used in the manufacture of high-temperature use. After making graphite foil, the foil is machined and assembled into bipolar fuel cells. Aluminum foil is made into radiators for laptops, keeping them cool while reducing weight, and is made into foil laminates that can be used as valve fillers or made into gaskets. Old-fashioned fillers are now a minor member of the group: fine scales of graphite in oil or grease, used for applications requiring heat resistance.
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The United States urges the U.N. Security Council to impose additional sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile launch, including a ban on tobacco and oil exports to North Korea and a blacklist of the Lazarus hacking group.
The United States circulated the draft to the 15 members of the Security Council this week. It was not immediately clear if or when a vote would take place. A resolution requires nine "yes" votes and no vetoes from Russia, China, France, Britain, or the United States.
Russia and China have already voiced opposition to tightening sanctions in response to Pyongyang's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile last month -- the first since 2017.
U.S. and South Korean officials and analysts also say there are growing indications that North Korea may soon conduct its first nuclear weapons test since 2017, too.
The U.S. -drafted U.N. resolution would expand the ban on ballistic missile launches to include cruise missiles or "any other delivery system capable of delivering a nuclear weapon."
The deal would halve crude oil exports to North Korea to 2 million barrels a year and refined oil exports to 250,000 barrels a year. The resolution also seeks to ban North Korea's export of "fossil fuels, mineral oils, and their distilled natural graphite are estimated to be influenced by international political situation changes.
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