Wintershall warns U.S. against playing ‘geopolitical football.’

 

German energy company Wintershall, a European partner with Russia’s Gazprom, said the European energy sector can’t be used for “geopolitical football.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill into law that sanctions Iran, North Korea and Russia. The Russian measure in particular is significant given the election issue clouding the Trump administration. Continue reading

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

 

The price of oil is plunging.

For the first quarter of 2017 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) held a pretty stable range between $54–58 per barrel. Now it is back to the roller coaster that we have been on since mid-2014.

As I write this, WTI is struggling to hold $43 per barrel and is sinking like a rock. Continue reading

U.S. Shale Is Immune To An Oil Price Crash In 2017

A brilliant move by U.S. shale oil producers has given them a great hedge. How long it can hold is anyone’s guess as OPEC is sure to try and counter it. The good news is that the U.S. remains one step ahead.

 

Eagle Ford

 

Since OPEC announced the production cut deal at the end of November, industry analysts have been warning that rising production from producers outside the deal—U.S. shale in particular—is effectively capping the oil price gains from that agreement.

Four months after the OPEC/NOPEC deal took effect, oil prices dropped to the levels preceding the agreement, amid concerns over still stubbornly high inventories and rising U.S. output.

Shale production has been gaining ‘significant momentum’, and there is a limited downside risk in the short run, Norway-based consultancy Rystad Energy said in a report last week. Continue reading

“There’s No Growth”: World’s Largest Oil Trader Has A Stunning Warning For OPEC

 

When it comes to the oil market, the narrative over the past year, ever since OPEC’s first aborted meeting last April, has been just one: limit crude supply in hopes of rebelancing the oil market, reducing excess inventories, in the process sending the price of oil higher. However, echoing what we have warned for many months, overnight the world’s biggest independent oil trader said OPEC’s efforts could be in vain because the oil producing cartel is seeking to control the wrong thing: it’s not a matter of supply, but global demand which is simply not there.

According to Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader demand isn’t expanding as much as expected, and U.S. shale output is growing faster than forecast, Bloomberg reports. As a logical outcome, that’s increasing the burden on the world’s biggest producers, who need to stick to their pledges to cut supply just to keep prices from falling, said Kho Hui Meng, the head of the company’s Asian arm. Meanwhile, shale continues to capture OPEC, and mostly Saudi, market share as do countries such as Iran and Libya which are not bound by the Vienna agreement production quotas. Continue reading

U.S. Shale Faces A Workforce Shortage

 

A problem for the U.S. shale oil and gas industry that analysts and observers have warned about for a long time has materialized: there is a shortage of workers. According to one service provider for E&Ps, trucker jobs remain vacant even with an annual paycheck of $80,000, which is certainly a big change from a couple of years ago when layoffs were sweeping through the shale patch.

This shortage could dampen the prospects of not just shale producers, who are eager to ramp up production as quickly as possible and take advantage of higher international oil prices, but it will also seriously hamper the recovery of the oilfield services segment, which has been hit harder than E&Ps by the price crash. Continue reading

Shale Drilling Set To Take Off In Argentina

The economy in Argentina is best described as a “pendulum”, going from loose economic policies in the ‘80s to Washington-consensus liberalisation in the ‘90s and back again under the Kirchner regime. Since the current president Macri took office in December 2015, he has been reversing the policies of his predecessor and has focused on boosting the economy with free-market measures through eliminating currency controls and lowering utility subsidies. In March, the government also announced a US$7.50 per barrel subsidy on exported oil while Brent remained below US$47.50 per barrel to attract foreign investment. 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

China Unveils a Dangerous New Economic Weapon During a Perfectly Timed Distraction

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Caption: Representatives of the founding nations of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank applaud after Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a sculpture during the bank’s opening ceremony in Beijing on January 16. (MARK SCHIEFELBEIN/AFP/Getty Images)

 

China’s new Asian International Investment Bank could upset the balance of power in Asia.

On January 16, China inaugurated its new international investment bank. In a lavish, ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renowned Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the assembled dignitaries that they were part of “a historical moment.”

Yet most people totally missed the significance.

While Xi was inaugurating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (aiib)—a project that former United States Treasury Secretary Larry Summers earlier called a “wake-up call” for America and the most important economic event since America led the world off the gold standard in 1971—the world was focused on collapsing stock indexes.

And for good reason.

Continue reading

Plunging prices could force a third of U.S. oil firms into bankruptcy

Saudi Arabia’s economic war on America’s oil industry will soon start to show its effect. Declining prices mean less profit. Less profit means operating costs, mainly wages, are unsustainable. Unustainable operating costs mean layoffs and bankruptcies. This leads to collapse of the oil industry.

 

Drillers from Houston to Riyadh won’t quit pumping despite the oil glut.

 

Three major investment banks — Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc.   — now expect the price of oil to crash through the $30 threshold and into $20 territory in short order as a result of China’s slowdown, the U.S. dollar’s appreciation and the fact that drillers from Houston to Riyadh won’t quit pumping despite the oil glut. Continue reading

OPEC is About to Crush the U.S. Oil Boom

After a year suffering the economic consequences of the oil price slump, OPEC is finally on the cusp of choking off growth in U.S. crude output.

The nation’s production is almost back down to the level pumped in November, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries switched its strategy to focus on battering competitors and reclaiming market share. As the U.S. wilts, demand for OPEC’s crude will grow in 2015, ending two years of retreat, the International Energy Agency estimates. Continue reading

US Shale Declining And OPEC Still Climbing

Essentially, OPEC has killed off the U.S. shale industry, which was predicted last year. See the OPEC category for further articles on Saudi Arabia’s economic warfare scheme against the United States.

 

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There is new data out today. The EIA published their International Petroleum Statistics yesterday. The EIA also published their Drilling Productivity Report which gave their expected shale oil and gas production through September. Then this morning OPEC published their Monthly Oil Marketing Report with OPEC crude only production numbers through July.

First the Drilling Productivity Report. Of course most of the Drilling Productivity Report is projection, not history. And that projection goes through September 2015.

The EIA has the Bakken peaking in December and declining 107 thousand barrels per day since that point. A secondary peak was reached in April and declining steadily since then. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Continues To Turn Screws On U.S. Shale

Saudi Arabia continues to ratchet up production, taking market share away from U.S. shale producers.

According to OPEC’s latest monthly oil report, Saudi Arabia boosted its oil output to 10.31 million barrels per day in April, a slight increase over the previous month’s total of 10.29 million barrels. That was enough for the de facto OPEC leader to claim its highest oil production level in more than three decades.

Saudi Arabia has increased production by 700,000 barrels per day since the fourth quarter of 2014 in an effort maintain market share. The resulting crash in oil prices is forcing some production out of the market, and Saudi Arabia intends for the brunt of that to be borne by others. Continue reading

OPEC Says US Oil Boom Will End This Year

OPEC says the demand for oil – its oil – will rise during 2015 because the cartel is winning its price war against US shale producers by driving them out of business.

“Higher global refinery runs, driven by increased [summer] seasonal demand, along with the improvement in refinery margins, are likely to increase demand for crude oil over the coming months,” the cartel said in its Monthly Market Report, issued, April 16. Continue reading

How Much Longer Can OPEC Hold Out?

OPEC has been the most talked about international organization among investors, analysts and international political lobbies in the last few months.

When OPEC speaks, the world listens in rapt attention as it accounts for nearly 40 % of the world’s total crude output. With its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, one of the mandates of 12- member OPEC is to “ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.” (Source: opec.org).

However, OPEC has been in the line of fire from the western world in light of its stance of not reducing the production levels of its member nations (excluding Iran). Most view this as a strategy to squeeze the American shale production and other non OPEC nations. Continue reading

Oil Find Near Gatwick May Be ‘World Class’

The estimated size of an oil find near Gatwick Airport has been upgraded to 100 billion barrels by a company backing exploration of the area.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) said the Horse Hill-1 well in the Weald Basin was now thought to hold 158 million barrels per square mile.

In May 2014, the British Geological Survey estimated the Weald Basin to hold around 4.4 billion barrels of shale oil. Continue reading