Robert Rapier on the End of OPEC and Rise of Electric Vehicles

In a recent interview with Financial Sense’s Jim Puplava, energy expert Robert Rapier explained why he thinks OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is headed for trouble and what the increased popularity of electric vehicles will do to oil markets. It’s only a matter of time before the markets are hit by the wave of newer cleaner energy. Rapier walked us through what this could look like for OPEC and how other countries and companies are tackling the issue. Continue reading

The Transatlantic Liquefied Gas Dispute

https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/fileadmin/introduction/images/maps/4_nordamerika/79_usa.gif

 

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has once again reaffirmed that the German government insists on continuing with the highly controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Despite persistent pressure from Washington, there will be no interference in the construction of the pipeline – which has long since begun – reiterated Maas at this years annual UN General Assembly in New York. At the same time, US efforts to promote the sale of US liquefied gas to Germany are stagnating. If the liquefied gas would be priced closer to the currently much cheaper pipeline gas, it could certainly be considered, according to the Uniper company (formerly EON). Uniper is currently contemplating the construction of a liquefied gas terminal in Wilhelmshaven. However, it would not even have one-fifth of the import capacity of Nord Stream 2. Plans for constructing a terminal in Brunsbüttel, which currently have the best chances of implementation, envisage the importation of only half as much LNG – primarily to fuel ships and trucks. Continue reading

Europe Can’t Rely On The US To Maintain World Order, Merkel Warns

https://infographic.statista.com/normal/chartoftheday_14672_german_dependency_on_foreign_energy_n.jpg

 

Having been called a “foe” by President Trump last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that she was right to say a year ago that Europe could no longer rely on the United States to impose order on the world, and that it needed to take matters close to home into its own hands.

“We can’t rely on the superpower of the United States,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin. Continue reading

OPEC Has Regained Its Grip On Oil Markets

OPEC

 

Higher oil prices seem to have given OPEC the confidence that it needs to begin thinking about moving forward, and with Russia in the mix as well, it appears as though the alliance will be a force to be reckoned with.

– Gasoline prices averaged $2.92 per gallon for the week ending on May 21, and have surpassed $3 per gallon in regional markets.

– The prices are the highest for the Memorial Day weekend in four years.

– However, prices are likely to fall back soon with crude oil prices plunging over the past week. Continue reading

The Era Of Oil And Gas Is Nearing Its End

American Energy Consumption by Source, 1775-2012 (Source: Energy Information Agency, via Bloomberg)

 

The history of crude oil and natural gas is a history of technological innovation. Until recently the innovation supported crude oil and natural gas. Now, it challenges it, causing structural changes in the crude oil and natural gas markets.

Originally, crude oil was only used for lighting. This changed following the invention of the internal combustion engine, which outperformed steam engine in power, range and ease of operation and maintenance, and the invention of the conveyor belt, which made it possible to mass-produce the internal combustion engine at a price which was affordable to the masses. Not much later, crude oil became the transportation fuel of choice. The horse drawn carriage was replaced by the car; the locomotive by the diesel train; the steamship by the motor vessel; and the zeppelin by the airplane. Continue reading

German-Russian Oil Cooperation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – The Russian petroleum company, Rosneft, is expanding its activities in Germany, thereby reducing Germany’s dependence on the transatlantic oil industry. While public discussion is focused on ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s candidacy for the chair of Rosneft’s board of directors, the company has increased its share to 25 percent of Germany’s crude oil imports, and has become the third largest oil processing enterprise in Germany. It has plans to further strengthen its position in the country, inspired by the close German-Russian natural gas cooperation, which provides Germany significant influence over Western Europe’s supply of Russian gas. Achieving predominant influence over the EU’s supply and a growing independence vis-à-vis the energy giants of the transatlantic era, facilitates Berlin’s pursuit of an independent German-EU global policy.

Continue reading

US To Auction 24 Million Acres for Oil, Gas Exploration in Gulf of Mexico

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said on Friday it would auction in August 23.8 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration in a bid to ramp up domestic production.

The area is expected to produce economically recoverable hydrocarbons of between 116 million and 200 million barrels of oil and between 538 billion and 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas, the bureau has estimated. Continue reading

Is A Gas War Between The U.S. And Canada About To Start?

The United States and Canada work well together. The countries share the world’s largest and most comprehensive trade relationship, exchanging more than $2 billion per day in goods and services; the U.S. is Canada’s largest foreign investor and Canada is the third-largest foreign investor in the U.S. The partnership clearly isn’t broken, but it may need some mending as bilateral and international gas trade stands to complicate matters in short order. Continue reading

Business with Obstacles

BERLIN/MOSCOW/KIEV (Own report) – Berlin is taking steps to possibly end sanctions against Russia. Today, almost one year after the signing of the Minsk II Agreement – whose full implementation is still considered as a prerequisite for ending the sanctions – the Bavarian Prime Minster, Horst Seehofer is expected to arrive in Moscow for talks on promoting the renewal of German-Russian business relations. Seehofer can build on decades of Bavarian-Russian cooperation. His visit to Moscow is closely coordinated with Germany’s federal government. The EU and NATO are also involved in Berlin’s cooperation efforts. Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel also increased pressure on Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko to finally obtain approval from Kiev’s parliament for the constitutional amendment providing Eastern Ukraine’s special status, as agreed upon in the Minsk II Agreement. Until now, nationalists and fascists have prevented this measure.

Continue reading

Surprising shift to Israel by Turkey’s Erdogan tied to natural gas reserves

Apparently it just dawned on NATO’s most misbehaving member that they get most of their energy resources from the Soviets. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Erdogan is suddenly attempting to be Israel’s best friend. The best thing Israel could do is outright reject Turkey’s reaching out and sell their gas to Europe. Turkey has proven itself untrustworthy.

Ironically, this bi-polar behavior reminds us of the current Argentina-Great Britain relations. Argentina never had a problem with the Falkland Islands being British territory for over 200 years, that is until vast natural resources were discovered around the vicinity. Now the Argentinians are suddenly outraged at the foreign British invaders who are stealing their oil.

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan surprised Israel on Dec. 14 by saying Ankara has much to gain from “normalization” of relations with Jerusalem.

Erdogan has been a harsh critic of Israel and even voiced support for Arab terrorism in the Jewish state. His motive for “normalizing” ties is likely Israel’s vast reserves of natural gas. Continue reading

Former oil exec: $5-a-gallon gas on the way

You have to basically be out of your mind to believe that lower prices are a good thing during this time. The average American citizen in the last eight years has been so inundated with the cost of everything soaring that this money they’re now saving on gas now won’t be used to get put back into the economy. They’re either going to park it in their savings account, pay their bills or increase their debt. This is also further explained and concretely supported in the previous post “Americans: One Small Emergency Away From the Street“.

This oil war also means that many smaller companies that need to see oil over $80 a barrel, for example, to make a profit will go under. That means more unemployment. The only thing that will keep that from happening, and yes it is a given, is the buying out of these smaller oil firms by larger ones who can survive (but not forever) these low prices. Think ahead while you enjoy these low prices now, because they will skyrocket — along with the price of every other essential good.

Also, expect to see in typical fashion the simple minded will blaming ‘big oil’, their favorite after ‘evil banker’, and not see the bigger picture: There’s a war between Russia and the West that’s causing all of this. What is causing the war between Russian in the West is also another story all together. You can find that explanation in such readings as New Lies for Old, The Perestroika Deception, Red Cocaine or articles from expert analyst JR Nyquist.

What we’re watching now is tantamount to seeing beach goers watching the water recede half a mile and then proceed to walk further inward where the water once was thinking it’s fun as they collect shells, play and run around on the ocean floor. Yet what they don’t know is that is a precursor for a tidal wave only moments away and they will be caught up in it.

Enjoy your prices now, but be smart and use this to plan ahead in any way that is beneficial for you — i.e. storing gasoline for when the prices predictably go sky-high. A $250 investment at this moment might save you $750 in five months from now.

 

John Hofmeister attracted national attention in 2010 when he predicted that average U.S. gasoline prices would soar to $5 a gallon in 2012, thanks to rising crude oil prices. His forecast fell short, as the cost of filling up flirted with $4 in 2012, but never went higher.

Now, with gasoline prices at $2.14, their lowest level since May 2009, the former president of Shell Oil is issuing another warning, telling motorists that their joy ride may end sooner than they think. Continue reading

Russia Warns May Send Troops To Ukraine After Congress Unanimously Votes To Give Lethal Aid To Kiev

While the market, and America’s media, was focusing over the passage of the Cromnibus, and whether Wall Street would dump a few hundred trillion in derivatives on the laps of US taxpayers once again (it did), quietly and unanimously both houses passed The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which authorizesproviding lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military” as well as sweeping sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.

The measure mandates sanctions against Rosoboronexport, the state agency that promotes Russia’s defense exports and arms trade. It also would require sanctions on OAO Gazprom (GAZP), the world’s largest extractor of natural gas, if the state-controlled company withholds supplies to other European nations (yes, the US is now in the pre-emptive punishment business, and is enforcing sanctions on a “what if” basis). Continue reading

The Role of Greece in the Geostrategic Chessboard of Natural Gas

As earlier described, don’t count Greece out of the picture, as they are much too critical for the German dominated EU to lose. Germany needs energy independence from Russia and needs to keep the EU in tact as a whole, otherwise a broken up European continent would not provide the solidarity needed to stand up to the Soviets.  Without one, or both, Germany would otherwise remain a stagnant useless nation plagued with external and internal security issues. Greece will become a major, if not the major, energy transit hub for all of Europe. China also once hailed Greece as the “gateway to Europe”.

 

Amid the hard times Greece is going through, the assertion that it is turning into an important regional player in the natural gas scene is not an exaggeration. Its geostrategic location on the map offers a number of advantages, which can translate to an economic competitive advantage, as well as to an upgrade of its geopolitical role in South-East Europe.

Firstly, Greece’s role in the international chessboard of pipelines becomes critical. The selection of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the avenue for EU’s Southern Energy Corridor, as well as the pending project for the Greece-Italy Poseidon (IGI) pipeline with the participation of DEPA, is decisive; not only will it support local economies during the construction phase, but also ‘locks’ this particular route through Greece as the main entrance hub of Azeri gas to Europe. Continue reading

Hungary set to bypass EU over South Stream with law amendment

Ever since Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sat to the negotiating table with Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller, the number of Hungarian steps putting the Russian gas giant in an advantageous position and supporting Russian interests have oddly increased. First Hungary shut down reverse gas flow to Ukraine, then allowed Gazprom to stash its gas in local gas storage units. The latest measure is a law amendment proposal submitted by parliament’s economic committee chaired by Fidesz caucus chief Antal Rogán that would give Hungary the green-light to start building the South Stream pipeline. Despite all reservations and obstructions by the European Union, local news portal index.hu reported on Wednesday.

How to make the USA more angry with Hungary, we asked our readers on Tuesday, but we did not have the faintest idea that the government has been holding the best answer to that and it beats every idea we have ever had. Continue reading

Russia, China to sign government agreement on gas supplies via eastern route

Russia’s gas producer Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation agreed in May that Russia will supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas starting from 2018-2019

The intergovernmental agreement to seal the deal to supply Russian natural gas to China via an eastern route will be signed during a meeting of the two countries’ prime ministers, Dmitry Medvedev and Li Keqiang, in Moscow, the source said. Continue reading