Trump To OPEC ‘Allies’: “Reduce Oil Prices Now” Or Lose US Defense Shield

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Update: For the umpteenth time this year, President Trump has lashed out at OPEC over soaring oil prices (and therefore gas prices): “The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher.”

Then Trump escalated his rhetoric, appearing to threaten the withdrawal of support unless action is taken “…the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW! “

This is coming after reports that Trump asked the Saudis to increase production by 2mm barrels and that they agreed.

President Trump has not been shy of expressing his views to OPEC… Continue reading

China and India Establish “Oil Buyers’ Club” to Counter OPEC

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On June 11, major Chinese and Indian oil companies started a formal meeting in Beijing, discussing the establishment of an “oil buyers’ club” to negotiate better prices with OPEC countries. The chairman of China’s biggest energy company China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Wang Yilin, and the chairman of refiner Indian Oil Corporation both attended the meeting. According to the India Times, the two largest energy consumers together accounted for almost 17% of world oil consumption last year. Should this “oil buyers’ club” become a reality, New Delhi, and Beijing will have greater leverage to negotiate with OPEC about oil prices and will also have a significant say in matters such as importing more crude oil from the US. Continue reading

Forget OPEC, China Controls Oil Prices

China

 

U.S. shale has taken a lot of headline space recently as the biggest headwind for oil prices and the highest stumbling block for OPEC’s efforts to prop them up by cutting production. Yet, there may be another factor that could bring down oil prices as soon as next year…

China has been building a strategic crude oil reserve for the last decade, but the size of that reserve remains undisclosed, with analysts making estimates based on China-bound cargoes and satellite imaging. Continue reading

The End Of OPEC Is Near

 

OPEC, which has far exceeded the average life of cartels, is on the brink of failure. Though cracks have been developing in the cartel since the start of the current oil crisis, the group has managed to stay together so far. Nevertheless, the success of the current OPEC deal for production cuts will decide its future as a cartel.

What is a cartel?

A cartel is a group of like-minded producers, who act in concert—or collusion—to achieve a shared goal of increasing their profits by means of restricting supply, fixing prices, or destroying their competition by illegal means. The average life of the 20th Century cartels has been 3.7 to 7.5 years, according to various studies by Margaret Levenstein and Valerie Suslow. In the past two centuries, cartels have been able to influence prices by an average of 25 percent. Continue reading

Report: Texas shale can ‘compete with anything Saudi Arabia has’

Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources, told Bloomberg that pre-tax production costs in the massive Permian Basin of West Texas have fallen to $2.25 a barrel.

“Definitely we can compete with anything that Saudi Arabia has. We have the best rock,” he said, adding that improvements in drilling technology and data analytics have “changed the cost calculus faster than almost anybody thought possible.” Continue reading

Saudis end their war against U.S. frackers

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that since the worldwide oil glut has vanished, Saudi’s strategy of flooding the global market to try to put American drillers out of business is no longer necessary.

“We are out of it,” Falih told the Houston Chronicle. “The oversupply has disappeared. We just have to carry the overhang of inventory for a while until the system works it out.” Continue reading

The Fed Is Set to Slaughter Debt-Laden U.S. Oil Producers

Of course the preeminent question is whether the Fed will raise interest rates soon. But either way, the U.S. energy sector, already under pressure, is about to feel a whole lot more of it – no matter when the Fed raises rates, or how many times it raises them in 2016.

In fact, no matter how you slice it, a wide swath of American oil and natural gas producers are going to catch it in the neck; bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions, and of course asset sales (one step ahead of the sheriff) will be the order of the day.

This much chaos and consolidation means one thing: There are big profit opportunities for those who tread carefully… Continue reading

Wells Fargo Reduces 66% of Credit Lines to Oil and Gas Players

Around 66 percent of Wells Fargo’s credit lines to energy exploration and production companies have been reduced as a result of the two-year drop in oil prices, The Street reported.

The E&P loans make up more than half of the San Francisco-based bank’s US$17.8 billion in loans to oil and gas ventures. Just under half of the outstanding loans have been vetted so far, according to a presentation by CFO John Shrewsberry on Tuesday. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Admits To A Full-Blown Liquidity Crisis: Will Pay Government Contractors With IOUs, Debt

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Previously we documented that as a result of the still low oil prices, largely a result of Saudi Arabian strategy to put high cost producers out of business and to remove excess supply, none other than Saudi Arabia has been substantially impacted, with the result being dramatic state budget, a sharp economic slowdown and  mass worker layoffs.

Just three weeks ago we reported that the biggest construction conglomerate in the middle east, the Saudi Binladin Group had announced it would layoff 50,000 workers ot a quarter of its workforce, slammed by the weak economy.

Now, Saudi Arabia has admitted that in addition to acute economic problems, which will manifest themselves most directly in a soaring Saudi debt load… Continue reading

Putin’s Decade-Old Dream Realized as Russia to Price Its Own Oil

This is the beginning of the removal of the U.S. Dollar (and America) from the global system.

In the future, the price of precious metals such as gold and silver will be set by both China and Russia in their own markets, then expand globally as they eventually aim to take the power of setting global standards away from America. The U.S. keeps prices artificially low to mask the true state of its respective economy. Oil seems to be the first step in taking the U.S. Dollar out of how the commodity is priced.

Without the Petrodollar, there is no U.S. Dollar. Without the U.S. Dollar being used globally, there is no America as we know it today. it will become a third world nation.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the verge of realizing a decade-old dream: Russian oil priced in Russia.

The nation’s largest commodity exchange, whose chairman is Putin ally Igor Sechin, is courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market. The goal is to increase revenue from Urals crude by disconnecting the price-setting mechanism from the world’s most-used Brent oil benchmark. Another aim is tomove away from quoting petroleum in U.S. dollars. 

If Russia is going to attract international participation in Russian-based pricing, the Kremlin will need to persuade traders it’s not simply trying to push prices up, some energy analysts said. The government is dependent on oil revenue to fund its budgets. Continue reading

Perfect Storm for Oil Started on Schedule and Continues to Build

Prices had one of their worst days of the year on Friday of last week and drifted marginally lower again on Monday of this week, stabilizing some on Tuesday. Friday’s pounding came because Saudi Arabia announced it would not participate in the oil supply freeze that it negotiated with Russia since Iran is not going to join the freeze….

Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era: Deputy Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia is getting ready for the twilight of the oil age by creating the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund for the kingdom’s most prized assets.

Over a five-hour conversation, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman laid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the kingdom off oil. As part of that strategy, the prince said Saudi will sell shares in Aramco’s parent company and transform the oil giant into an industrial conglomerate. The initial public offering could happen as soon as next year, with the country currently planning to sell less than 5 percent. Continue reading

Foreign governments dump U.S. debt at record rate

In a bid to raise cash, foreign central banks and government institutions sold $57.2 billion of U.S. Treasury debt and other notes in January, according to figures released on Tuesday. That is up from $48 billion in December and the highest monthly tally on record going back to 1978. Continue reading

Citi: World economy seems trapped in ‘death spiral’

Please see the source for the video.

 

“The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

“Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a ‘significant and synchronized’ global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market.”

Stubbs said that macro strategists at Citi forecast that the dollar would weaken in 2016 and that oil prices were likely bottoming, potentially providing some light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading

Eurozone Economy ‘Losing Steam’ Amid Market Turmoil

LONDON—The economic recovery in the 19-country eurozone lost steam in January, a closely watched survey found Wednesday, a sign that the turmoil in global financial markets is beginning to weigh on business activity.

Financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers’ index — a broad gauge of activity across both the manufacturing and services sectors — fell to a four-month low of 53.6 points in January from 54.3 the previous month.

According to Markit, that means the region has started off the year growing at a modest 0.4 percent quarterly tick. Rates of growth also diverged, with Spain once again leading the pack, followed by Germany. France appears to be stagnating.

Continue reading