Russia and Saudi Arabia have been (relatively) quietly fighting for market share in China ever since oil prices started their downward spiral in mid-2014—now the battle is heating up, and teapot refineries are what could tip the balance.
Though the Saudis had historically been China’s biggest oil supplier, Russia managed to take the top spot several times during that period, thanks to the so-called teapot refineries. This has now forced the Saudis to do something they’ve never done before—target teapots on the spot market in order to regain lost market share. Continue reading
Last year, Russian state-controlled oil conglomerate Rosneft became the largest oil company in the world after acquiring one of its major competitors. The company has had its sights on tapping Russia’s vast, treacherous Arctic reserves, and after making a few huge deals, it looks like it now has the resources needed to do so.
Russia’s Arctic is estimated to have 25 to 30 billion tons of recoverable oil reserves, which is stunning when you consider there are around 359 billion proven reserves worldwide, including shale oil and oil sands. The only problem is that the Arctic reserves are incredibly hard to exploit, as we saw with Shell’s platform disaster earlier this year. Fields in the Kara and Barents Seas are stuck in incredibly cold and rough seas, and the huge reserves in Siberia’s Laptev, East Siberian, and Chuckchi Seas are additionally separated from population centers by thousands of miles of tundra.
Those vast oil and gas fields aren’t impossible to tap, just expensive. With oil platforms in the farthest reaches estimated to cost somewhere between $5 billion and $8 billion apiece, it should come as no surprise that the Arctic has remained quiet this long. (It’s also a reason why Soviet scientists wanted to melt the whole thing.) Continue reading
With the direction radical environmentalism is taking the Western world, if not mothballed, any prospective oil is more likely to go to China than to domestic markets that would normally relieve internal economic constraints.
The discovery in central Australia was reported by Linc Energy to the stock exchange and was based on two consultants reports, though it is not yet known how commercially viable it will be to access the oil. Continue reading
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