Why Did Saudi Arabia Kill OPEC?

The OPEC meeting is only a week away, but the chances of a positive result are as remote as ever. Rising oil prices, the heightened rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s willingness to go it alone will make a deal all but impossible.

First of all, Iran is not in a cooperative mood. According to the IEA, Iran has managed to boost oil production to 3.56 million barrels per day in April, its highest level since November 2011. Oil exports also jumped 600,000 barrels per day to 2 million barrels per day. Importantly, Iran’s output now stands at pre-sanctions levels, a key threshold that the Iranian government says it needs to reach before it would consider any cooperation on production limits with OPEC. However, Iran thus far does not see it that way, insisting that it still has more ground to make up. Continue reading

Oil price crash means petrol could become cheaper than bottled water

Brent crude prices fall below $30 for the first time since April 2004 and could make fuel cheaper than water

Petrol will soon cost less than bottled water as the relentless decline in oil prices sends fuel down to 86p a litre, it has been claimed.

Brent crude fell to below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2004 on Wednesday evening – and has fallen by more 73pc since reaching highs of $115 last summer.

Motoring group RAC said pump prices now could fall back to levels last seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009, if the commodity plunges to as low as $10, a forecast made by Standard Chartered bank earlier this week.

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OPEC Is Winning The Price War Says IEA

Oil markets may not balance until late 2016, but supply is finally contracting in a big way.

Early last week the EIA confirmed that U.S. oil production was down sharply since peaking in April at 9.6 million barrels per day (mb/d). The agency estimates that U.S. output fell by 140,000 barrels per day in August, a steeper decline than in previous months. In its latest weekly estimate (which is less accurate than monthly retrospective estimates), U.S. oil production is now down to just 9.1 mb/d. Continue reading

US Will Never Gain Oil Market Crown Says IEA Head

No matter how much oil the United States produces over the next few years, it will never become the next Saudi Arabia in the global oil market, according to Fatih Birol, the new executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

What’s especially interesting about this forecast is that it directly contradicts what Birol said only three months ago, and he gave no explanation for his change of mind.

On Feb. 26, Birol told The Telegraph’s Middle East Congress in London that OPEC, particularly the Persian Gulf members, will prevail over all other producers for the foreseeable future, even though the revolution in extracting shale oil has been “excellent news” for American producers. Continue reading

Petro-dictators are in even more trouble than we thought a few days ago

On Oct. 9, we said the outlook for the world’s petrocrats looked bad. It just got worse: Saudi Arabia has been hoping that producers of American shale oil will be forced to begin cutting back given the plunge of oil prices, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today that prices can fall a good deal more.

What does that mean for geo-politics? Admittedly long-shot nuclear talks with Iran that resumed today in Vienna may stand a better chance of resulting in a deal. And Russian leader Vladimir Putin may be more conciliatory with Ukraine in gas-price discussions that begin next week. Continue reading

Islamic State seizes control of Iraq’s oil, wheat

ISIS terrorists are currently in control of seven oil fields in Iraq and large amounts of the country’s wheat supplies.

Iraqi officials said on Wednesday that the militants were holding government silos in five of Iraq’s most fertile provinces, where the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says 40 percent of the country’s wheat is grown.

The output capacity of the ISIS-held oil fields amounts to 80,000 barrels a day, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a monthly oil market report on Tuesday. Continue reading

Brazil finds bumpy path on way to becoming world oil power

Brazil’s efforts to become one of the world’s major oil producers have attracted businesses such as U.S. drilling giants Halliburton and Baker Hughes, gained it partnerships with oil companies from India and China, lured immigrants from idyllic Norway and drawn investment dollars from American pension funds in Florida, South Carolina and California.

But the prospects for success have darkened in the seven years since Brazil first identified massive oil deposits in deep water off its coast. Many fear that Brazil’s chance to become one of the world’s major energy producers is fading as the global energy landscape changes dramatically. Continue reading

China steps up speed of oil stockpiling as tensions mount in Asia

Beijing has ordered an “unprecedented” build up of oil reserves as West prepares for possible oil sanctions against Russia

China is stockpiling oil for its strategic petroleum reserve at a record pace, intervening on a scale large enough to send a powerful pulse through the world crude market. Continue reading

Commodities: Iran challenges US sanctions with plans to double oil output by 2018

As already mentioned here a few times, third world countries have no bottom, thus making any sanctions against Iran’s oil industry worthless. The world has a high demand for oil and all sanctions will do is force the oil route to change direction towards another country.

Iran has unveiled plans to double its oil production by the end of the decade and, ignoring sanctions, pump billions of dollars of its currency reserves into developing its share of the world’s largest natural gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf.

The country’s new oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, has set a new output target of 5.7m barrels per day (bpd) of crude by 2018, according to the official state-run news agency Shana. The latest figures produced by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), show that Iran is currently pumping about 3m bpd of crude.

Tehran is also sending strong signals to the international community that it plans to press ahead with the development of vast natural gas reserves that it shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Moshtaq Ali-Gohari, head of the National Iranian Oil Company, told Shana over the weekend that the Islamic republic plans to invest almost $14bn (£8.3bn) to develop oil and gas fields that it shares with neighbours in the region. This could signal that Tehran is preparing for the further development of the South Pars field in the Gulf. Continue reading

German Spy Agency: Geopolitical Consequences Of US Oil Boom

Much digital ink has been spilled about the oil and gas boom in the US, the result of ever improving fracking technologies, and whether or not it will lead to energy independence, or even turn the US into an oil exporter.

Now a “confidential” report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), seeped to the surface. It sketched out the boom’s geopolitical consequences. Biggest loser? China. Continue reading

A Shift in the Global Energy Balance

Big changes are already underway in the global energy sector. And some of these changes are contrary to previous expectations. What we now realize, once again, is that capitalism works. Capitalism has always solved our most basic problems. Even now it is solving our energy problem.

Four years ago Russia was the rising powerhouse of global energy production. Marshall I. Goldman’s 2008 book on Russia was titled Petrostate: Putin, Power and the New Russia. As Goldman explained, “Russia … finds itself in a newly assertive, even dominant, international position. Its emergence as a new super energy power overlaps with the weakening of the United States as we have squandered our … resources in Iraq.” But Russia’s energy sector has always been a state-manipulated behemoth with serious problems of its own. Continue reading

UPDATE 5-U.S. to overtake Saudi as top oil producer – IEA

Believing this one might be a difficult thing to uphold. The energy resources available aren’t disputed, but the actual motive to use them are. Most of the news the last four years reflects that the Obama administration has gone out of its way to close everything up it can (i.e. available shale oil land in Colorado via making national parks out of everything) and kill Canadian imported oil. Only time will tell what will come of this anomaly.

* U.S. to become biggest oil producer by 2017

* To overtake Russia as top gas producer by 2015

* Moving to become self-sufficient in energy (Adds details, para 8-9) Continue reading