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.
Whether it is to cripple the will of Putin and end his support of the Syria regime (thus handing the much desired gas-pipeline traversing territory over to Qatari and/or Saudi interests), a hypothesis first presented here in September and subsequently validated by the NYT, or much more simply, just to destroy any and all marginal producers so that Saudi Arabia is once again the world’s most important and price-setting producer and exporter of oil, one thing is clear: the Saudis will not relent from pumping more oil into the market than there is (declining) demand for, until its biggest threat and competitor – the US shale patch – which recently had become the marginal oil producer, as well as its investors – mostly junk bond holders gambling with other people’s money – are crushed, driven before the Saudi royal family, and the lamentation of their women is heard across the globe.
That much is known.
Back in November, before most grasped just how serious the collapse in crude was (and would become, as well as its massive implications), we wrote “How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed“, because for the first time in almost two decades, energy-exporting countries would pull their “petrodollars” out of world markets in 2015.
We added that in 2014 “the oil producers will effectively import capital amounting to $7.6 billion. By comparison, they exported $60 billion in 2013 and $248 billion in 2012, according to the following graphic based on BNP Paribas calculations.”
The problem was compounded by its own positive feedback loop: as the last few weeks vividly demonstrated, plunging oil would lead to a further liquidation in foreign reserves for the oil exporters who rushed to preserve their currencies, leading to even greater drops in oil as the viable producers rushed to pump out as much crude out of the ground as possible in a scramble to put the weakest producers out of business, and to crush marginal production. Call it Game Theory gone mad and on steroids. Continue reading
As the world’s number one energy consumer China is enjoying the low prices while they last. Never one to settle however, China is finding still more ways to take advantage of the dire straits gripping several oil producers.
China’s slowdown is real – preliminary data suggests 2014 will mark the weakest GDP growth in 24 years – but the country still has plenty of money to play with that is taking it places the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wouldn’t dare. Their reward? More oil of course. With tough conditions and greater access to raw commodities, China looks to turn the high risk into equal or greater returns. Continue reading
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
Sanctions, while having somewhat of an impact on the Iranian economy, are not effective enough. History tells us that third world economies have no bottom — especially those with a solid oil revenue foundation and a long list of alternative clientele. They have also stopped trading oil in dollars.
LONDON — Iran, facing Western sanctions and attack threats, has been
quietly storing millions of barrels of crude oil in the Gulf.
Industry sources said the Teheran regime, which oversees production of 3.5 million barrels per day, was preparing for an international embargo on fuel exports to Iran.
Full article: Showdown: Iran stockpiling oil by the millions of barrels in tankers (World Tribune)
Given the fact that the Arab states within the middle east have all expressed concern over Iran’s both nuclear and imperialistic regional ambitions; and the fact that countries like Saudi Arabia have encouraged an attack on it, this latest threat from Persia shouldn’t hold much weight.
CAIRO (AP) – Iran warned Gulf Arab oil producers against boosting production to offset any potential drop in Tehran’s crude exports in the event of an embargo affecting its oil sales, the latest salvo in the dispute between the West and the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.
The comments by Iran’s OPEC governor, published Sunday, came as Saudi Arabia’s oil minister was quoted the same day denying that his country’s earlier pledges to boost output as needed to meet global demand was linked to a potential siphoning of Iranian crude from the market because of sanctions.
World oil markets have been jolted over concerns that Iran may choke off the vital Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions hampering its ability to sell its oil. Saudi Arabia and other key Gulf Arab producers have recently said they are ready to provide stable and secure supplies of oil.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA said Sunday that the U.S. has relayed a message to Iran about security in the Strait of Hormuz. It gave no details, and there was no immediate comment from Washington.
Continue reading article: Iran warns Gulf Arabs on oil (My Way News)