Is This The Geopolitical Shift Of The Century?

 

The geopolitical reality in the Middle East is changing dramatically.

The impact of the Arab Spring, the retraction of the U.S. military, and diminishing economic influence on the Arab world—as displayed during the Obama Administration—are facts.

The emergence of a Russian-Iranian-Turkish triangle is the new reality. The Western hegemony in the MENA region has ended, and not in a shy way, but with a long list of military conflicts and destabilization.

The first visit of a Saudi king to Russia shows the growing power of Russia in the Middle East. It also shows that not only Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but also Egypt and Libya, are more likely to consider Moscow as a strategic ally. 

Continue reading

China’s New Gold-Backed Oil Benchmark to Deal Blow to U.S. Dollar

ISTOCK.COM/SELENSERGEN

 

New financial instrument gives oil-exporting nations their long-sought alternative to the petrodollar.

China will soon introduce a crude oil futures contract denominated in yuan and convertible into gold, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on September 1. Analysts say that since China is the world’s largest oil importer, the move could deal a major blow to the global influence of the United States dollar.

The contract would allow oil exporting nations such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela to conduct sales in yuan, instead of in U.S. dollars, and to then change the yuan into gold on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges. This would also allow these countries that often fall afoul of American foreign policy to circumvent dollar-based U.S. sanctions.

The Chinese government has been developing the gold-backed futures contract for years, and Oilprice.com reports that it is expected to launch this year. It will be China’s first commodities futures contract available to foreign entities, and analysts expect many oil-exporting nations and firms to find it appealing. Continue reading

Venezuela quells attack on military base, two killed

VALENCIA/CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Venezuelan authorities quelled an attack on a military base near the city of Valencia by soldiers and armed civilians on Sunday, killing two of them in a dramatic escalation of unrest in the protest-convulsed South American nation.

The pre-dawn raid coincided with a video circulated on social media showing more than a dozen men in military uniform announcing an uprising to restore constitutional order following the creation of a pro-government legislative superbody on Friday, condemned internationally as a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro. Continue reading

U.S. To Be A Top-Ten Oil Exporter In Three Years

US

 

PIRA Energy has predicted that U.S. crude oil exports will top 2 million barrels by 2020, reaching 2.25 million bpd. That’s more than what most OPEC members export, the FT notes, citing the research company’s figures. As of 2016, the U.S. average daily export rate was just 520,000 bpd, although in May, the average daily was 1.02 million barrels, after the 1-million-bpd mark was passed early in the year. Continue reading

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

 

The price of oil is plunging.

For the first quarter of 2017 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) held a pretty stable range between $54–58 per barrel. Now it is back to the roller coaster that we have been on since mid-2014.

As I write this, WTI is struggling to hold $43 per barrel and is sinking like a rock. Continue reading

US to Sell Off its Strategic Emergency Oil Reserves

The US government plans to sell half of the Strategic Emergency Oil Reserves and gasoline. The days of OPEC embargoes of the 1970s are now long past. The government plans to increase its budget for the financial year by $500 million. Therefore, over the next decade, the government wants to increase financial leeway by as much as $16.6 billion. With the US at a net exporter level and the shift toward electric cars, it becomes questionable if we need the Strategic Emergency Oil Reserves any more. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia plan to hike oil prices will BACKFIRE & boost US shale producers, say experts

saudi arabia oil prices

Saudi Arabi’s OPEC plan to raise oil prices could fail say experts [GETTY]

 

SAUDI Arabia’s waning grip on oil prices could loosen further if it sticks to a plan to limit supply in a desperate bid to drive up demand, according to experts.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, said: “In our eyes, OPEC is not the superpower it used to be and it is the US shale oil producers who changed the game. Continue reading

U.S. Shale Is Immune To An Oil Price Crash In 2017

A brilliant move by U.S. shale oil producers has given them a great hedge. How long it can hold is anyone’s guess as OPEC is sure to try and counter it. The good news is that the U.S. remains one step ahead.

 

Eagle Ford

 

Since OPEC announced the production cut deal at the end of November, industry analysts have been warning that rising production from producers outside the deal—U.S. shale in particular—is effectively capping the oil price gains from that agreement.

Four months after the OPEC/NOPEC deal took effect, oil prices dropped to the levels preceding the agreement, amid concerns over still stubbornly high inventories and rising U.S. output.

Shale production has been gaining ‘significant momentum’, and there is a limited downside risk in the short run, Norway-based consultancy Rystad Energy said in a report last week. Continue reading

OPEC calls for ‘collective efforts’ to counter US oil boom

Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

 

On Thursday OPEC called for its members to pool ‘collective efforts’ to counter increasing U.S. Oil production

(WASHINGTON, DC) While decreased stocks and an improving global economy were supporting oil demand, “continued rebalancing in the oil market by year-end will require the collective efforts of all oil producers to increase market stability,” Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said.

Amid this announcement, oil prices rose on Thursday, with benchmark Brent crude trading comfortably above $50 a barrel after a fall in U.S. inventories and a bigger-than-expected cut in Saudi supplies to Asia helped tightened the market. Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

Iran Just Officially Ditched the Dollar in Major Blow to US: Here’s Why It Matters

It’s not oil that is America’s Achilles Heel, it’s the U.S. Dollar. It’s the global reserve currency and was given that status by trading the world’s lifeblood of economies: oil. Take away the Dollar in trading of oil and you can take down the entire house of cards, in this case the U.S. The last couple of times this move was made, Ghadafi and Saddam Hussein were killed.

People politicized and speculated it was over oil, but missed the mark. America has all the oil it could ever need in its own backyard but not always the support it needs to sustain its lifestyle via waning Dollar hegemony when nations are banding together.

 

 

(ANTIMEDIA) Following President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the Iranian government announced it would stop using the U.S. dollar “as its currency of choice in its financial and foreign exchange reports,” the local Financial Tribune reported.

Iran governor Valiollah Seif’s central bank announced the decision in a television interview on January 29. The change will take effect on March 21, and it will impact all official financial and foreign exchange reports. Continue reading

With OPEC deal to cut output, Saudi signals surrender to U.S. shale

Saudi Arabia’s strategy to drive U.S. shale out of the energy market has failed.

“The new OPEC deal to cut oil output – the cartel’s first since 2008 – amounts to nothing less than Saudi Arabia’s surrender to the power of American shale,” John Hulsman wrote for UK business daily City AM on Dec. 5.

OPEC as a whole agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), with Saudi agreeing to cut 500,000 bpd. With the cut, OPEC now accounts for less than half of all energy output in the world. Continue reading

Desperate Saudi Arabia Offers To Cut Production By 500,000 Barrels

Bringing Iran into the fray out of panic will also give the Persian nation the recognition it wants in the oil and gas industry, allowing for it to extend its grip on the Middle East on its economic front. Furthermore, having an increased say within the OPEC cartel will give it more global clout and give it a tool to wage economic warfare.

 

Saudi Arabia’s oil policy, unveiled just under two years ago at the November 2014 OPEC meeting where it effectively splintered the OPEC cartel by announcing it would produce excess quantities of oil in hope of putting shale and other high-cost producers out of business, has backfired spectacularly. OPEC has failed to crush the U.S. shale industry, which as a result of increasing efficiencies and debt-for-equity exchanges has seen its all in production costs tumble. This has made far cheaper oil prices profitable (especially with the addition of hedges), not to mention Wall Street’s ravenous desire to buy any debt paper that offers even a modest yield, allowing U.S. oil producers to delay or outright avoid bankruptcy. Continue reading

Iran Bumps Up Crude Exports To Highest Level In Five Years

Iran

 

Iran’s crude oil exports were 2.11 million barrels per day in August—up 15 percent from July exports, according to Reuters, citing someone with knowledge of Iran’s tanker loading schedule.

The figures lend credence to Iran’s promise to return to pre-sanction production levels, despite the OPEC (and Russia) meeting on September 26-28 in Algiers that many are hoping will end with a production freeze agreement in order to quell the price freefall. Continue reading

Why OPEC Will Put The Brakes On At $60 Oil

Instead of continuing to wage an all-out war on the American shale oil industry, which revealed it would bring about its own demise, and therefore the suicide of its ruling class, Saudi Arabia has shifted gears from fighting to pacification.

 

OPEC says a price near $60 will avoid added shale production

Recently renewed talks of a production freeze among OPEC and some non-OPEC producers including Russia have helped to bolster the price of oil in recent weeks, but the organization may not try to raise oil prices beyond $60 per barrel for fear of a renewed glut. Continue reading