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Wednesday, 25 May 2016
The commodities market has turned a corner and prices are unlikely to return to lows hit in the first quarter, according to Citigroup Inc., which boosted forecasts from metals to grains amid the oil-led recovery. The bottom was likely hit this year when weak fundamentals across all commodities were reinforced by bearish selling after the collapse of China’s equity markets, Citigroup analysts including Ed Morse wrote in a report Tuesday. The bank is now predicting Brent oil will climb to $50 a barrel in the third quarter, earlier than its previous forecast for the fourth quarter, while increasing its year-end gold estimate by $100 an ounce to $1,250. “This recovery is starting in the oil sector, where market fundamentals are tightening much faster than we had forecast at the start of the year,” the analysts wrote. “Across the industrial metals, markets are also slowly firming and prices bottoming as […]
GE Saudi Arabia Even as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lent its backing to Saudi Arabia’s economic reform to diversify away from crude oil this week, General Electric (GE) accounted a series of deals with Saudi Arabia worth over US$1.4 billion to boost the kingdom’s manufacturing industry. Some US$1 billion worth of these deals are with the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Co., while around US$400 million is earmarked for a forging and casting manufacturing facility that will cater to the marine and energy industries. For this project, GE will be joining forces with Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco. GE also signed a memorandum of understanding to invest US$1 billion jointly with a major Saudi entity into water and aviation, among other segments, by 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal . Related: The Biggest Winner Of The Oil Bust: Interview With Aeromexico GE has also intimated that there may […]
Exxon Mobil has been under pressure for over a year to explain its handling of climate change issues in the past. Now the company faces new pressure to explain its future, particularly how it will change in response to a warming world. At the company’s planned annual meeting on Wednesday in Dallas, shareholders will vote on a resolution to prod Exxon Mobil to disclose the risks of climate change to its business. Such resolutions have been floated before, and they typically do not pass. But there is a growing chorus of investors, many of them large institutional shareholders, who say they are worried that Exxon Mobil, the largest publicly traded energy company in the world, is not […]
State data in North Dakota show the number of rigs searching for or producing oil and gas as of Monday broke a record low set more than 10 years ago. State data show 25 rigs actively producing or exploring for oil or natural gas as of Monday . By two rigs, that breaks a record low set in July 2005 and comes at a time when energy companies are spending less on exploration and production because of lower crude oil prices, despite recent recovery. The all-time low point for rigs in North Dakota is zero. Rig counts serve as a loose barometer for the health of the oil and gas industry, which has been bruised by weak economics. Oil […]
Oil discoveries have fallen to a six-decade low as explorers cut billions of dollars of spending to ride out the biggest market slump in a generation. About 12.1 billion barrels of oil reserves were found in 2015, markin
g a fifth consecutive year of decline and the smallest volume since 1952, Oslo-based industry consultant Rystad Energy said in an e-mailed note. Oil exploration is typically the first casualty of a crude-price collapse. Companies from BP Plc to Royal Dutch Shell Plc have cut budgets and staff as […]
The surprise departure of BP’s exploration boss has turned the spotlight on an oil search strategy that, after years of spending cuts, is focusing mainly on expanding existing fields rather than venturing expensively into the unknown. That caution reflects a firm chastened by the $55 billion cost of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, and needing to squeeze every last drop out of a sharply reduced exploration budget at a time of low oil prices. “Exploration doesn’t necessarily have to look like (nature broadcaster) David Attenborough standing on a brand new frontier,” a BP source told Reuters. While BP’s total reserves and fields coming onstream in the next four years look healthy compared to the […]
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Russia Wildfire Is Size of Vermont and Delaware: Greenpeace
MOSCOW — Colossal wildfires in Russia have burned an area the size Vermont and Delaware combined, Greenpeace said Tuesday, amid fears the country could suffer its worst wildfire season in more than 100 years.
The season is still in its early stages, but wildfires blazing across the country's far east have already scorched through more than 11,500 square miles, according to the environmental charity.
The largest area burned in a single wildfire season in the 21st century was 50,000 square miles in 2013 — around the size of Alabama.
How The U.S. Dollar Influences Oil Prices
Fed Building Crude oil has reached a critical technical level, which is likely to test the resolve of the bulls to push prices higher. The bulls have a favorable tailwind with production outages reducing the supply glut. Till about two weeks ago, the drop in the U.S. dollar was also supportive of the crude oil prices, but since then, the dollar has recovered, putting pressure on the crude oil prices. The U.S. dollar and the various commodities have an inverse correlation. The chart below shows the correlation between crude and the U.S. dollar index for the past 12 years. (Click to enlarge) The chart shows a clear inverse correlation between the two, especially when there is a sustained trend. From 2003 to 2008, the dollar was in a sustained bear trend, during which, crude oil witnessed one of its strongest bull runs. When the dollar formed a bottom, crude […]
Turkish-Russian Relations Worsen As Turkish Helicopter Is Downed
Kurdish Militant The “game-changing” downing of a Turkish attack helicopter by Kurdish rebels with a Russian-made missile could further intensify still simmering hostilities between Ankara and Moscow. Coming nearly six months after a Turkish jets downed a Russian bomber operating from a Syrian airbase, the May 13 incident made front-page news in Turkey. “It was a message to [the] government and public,” commented Metehan Demir, an independent defense analyst and former Turkish military pilot. The missile featured in a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) video of the attack “is a Russian-made SA18 or SA24,” he noted, using the North Atlantic Treaty Organization codenames for the shoulder-held, anti-aircraft missiles 9K38 Igla (“Needle”) and 9K338 Igla, manufactured since Soviet times in the Russian town of Kolomna. Two pilots died in the crash, which Ankara initially attributed to a technical malfunction. On May 19, the Turkish military stated that the helicopter “was hit […]
Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting
Iran has no plans to freeze the level of its oil production and exports, Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi was quoted on Sunday as saying, as the country tries to raise its crude exports to pre-sanctions levels. “Under the present circumstances, the government and the Oil Ministry have not issued any policy or plan to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) towards halting the increase in the production and exports of oil,” Javadi, who also heads the state-run NIOC, told Iran’s Mehr news agency. “Currently, Iran’s crude oil exports, excluding gas condensates, have reached 2 million barrels per day (bpd),” Javadi said. “Iran’s crude oil export capacity will reach 2.2 million barrels by the middle of summer.” A meeting of the OPEC exporters’ group, […]
Netanyahu Approves Deal to Develop Israel’s Natural-Gas Fields
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday approved an amended deal to develop the country’s natural-gas fields after months of legal wrangling that has stunted the growth of the domestic hydrocarbon industry. Israel’s highest court in March ruled against an initial framework agreement to develop the country’s offshore fields. It called the deal unconstitutional, citing a clause in the agreement that gave energy companies pricing and regulatory stability for 10 years regardless of potential shifts in the government. Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday said the clause had been removed from the amended framework. An Israeli official said the government had added another clause that said the gas companies would be potentially compensated for any future changes in regulation. “The important thing now isn’t to delay,” Mr. Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting. The new […]
Venezuela Descends Into Chaos… Europe and US Next
It has been less than two months since I visited Caracas, Venezuela. While things were already very bad when I was there, they are now worse. Power shortages have deepened (and this in an oil rich country!); food is becoming scarce (some people have resorted to eating dogs and cats); people lie on concrete slabs in hospitals without medicine (if you thought medical care was bad, just wait until it’s free!); and riots and looting are growing worse. I went to see the end stages of socialism, complete with hyperinflation. I wanted to see where Europe and the US are headed. In hindsight, it was shocking to see how few people in Venezuela understood what was going on. You’d think in this day and age, they’d just watch a few Youtube videos (like some of ours) and realize the reality: Almost all their problems are a direct result of […]
Monday, 23 May 2016
Oil sands companies losing up to $50 million a day as fires rage: analysts
A wildfire burns near Highway 63 south of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, May 8, 2016. Out-of-control wildfires that have consumed over a million acres of land in Canada’s Alberta are costing oil companies as much as $50 million a day in lost production, according to analysts. Alberta’s oil producers curtailed production by May 5 as fires prompted the evacuation of Fort McMurray, a central production hub. By May 9, more than 1 million barrels of daily oil output had been halted. “We estimate total daily pre-tax profit loss at $45 to $50 million,” Barclays analyst Paul Cheng said in an email to Reuters. For many companies, the shut-ins will translate directly to lower revenue in the second quarter, said Chris Feltin, an analyst at Macquarie Capital in Calgary. “The big thing here is that business interruption insurance is unlikely to be claimed because the damage isn’t direct to their […]
Suncor Poised to Get Back to Work as Fire Evacuations Eased
Cooler, humid weather that’s helping control a wildfire in the heart of Canada’s oil patch is allowing Suncor Energy Inc. and Syncrude Canada Ltd. to start getting back to work. Municipal authorities, citing improved conditions late on Friday, lifted mandatory evacuation orders for seven oil-sands worker accommodation camps and production facilities in Alberta, including Suncor’s base plant mine and Syncrude’s Mildred Lake mine. That’s much sooner than they’d predicted just hours earlier, under the expectation that air quality would need to improve and a few more days of firefighting would be necessary to make those sites safe. More than 1 million barrels a day of output was taken off line by a wildfire that’s ravaged the region since the start of May. More than 80,000 people fled the inferno from Fort McMurray and surrounding communities initially, and another 8,000 workers were forced to clear out earlier in the week […]
BP’s oil search strategy shrinks with budget cuts
The surprise departure of BP’s exploration boss has turned the spotlight on an oil search strategy that, after years of spending cuts, is focusing mainly on expanding existing fields rather than venturing expensively into the unknown. That caution reflects a firm chastened by the $55 billion cost of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, and needing to squeeze every last drop out of a sharply reduced exploration budget at a time of low oil prices. “Exploration doesn’t necessarily have to look like (nature broadcaster) David Attenborough standing on a brand new frontier,” a BP source told Reuters. While BP’s total reserves and fields coming onstream in the next four years look healthy compared to the other majors, its long-term project pipeline is the slimmest among its peers and its break-even costs are the highest, […]
Why The Arctic Oil Dream Is Not Over Yet
The race to discover oil and gas in virgin Arctic waters is now on, as Norway offered oil majors a lifeline on Wednesday by opening up what experts say could be home to 15 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 33 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas. Norway officials on Wednesday awarded 10 new oil and gas licenses to explore the untapped area of the Arctic Barents Sea, an area that until 2011, was disputed for almost 40 years with Russia. The drilling licenses consist of 40 blocks that were awarded to 13 oil companies. Of the licenses granted, 13 companies were offered participating interests, and five were offered operating licenses. Related: The Newest Metric For Gauging Stock Performance In The Oil Patch Norway has not offered exploration licenses for new acreage in over twenty years, and this new acreage is particularly appealing to […]
Ruble Set for Longest Losses Since February as Citi Sees Risks
The ruble declined for a fourth day, poised for the longest losing streak since February, as oil retreated and Citigroup Inc. cautioned the Russian currency could depreciate further against a rising dollar. The ruble dropped 0.2 percent to 66.96 per dollar by 11:28 a.m. in Moscow, after losing 2 percent last week. Brent crude, the oil benchmark for pricing the country’s main export blend, declined 0.8 percent to $48.32 a barrel in London. Russian stocks declined, while government bonds were little changed. The world’s best currency rally in the past three months is growing vulnerable to higher U.S. interest rates that Federal Reserve officials signaled could come as early June, according to Citigroup strategists. While driving the greenback higher, rate hikes would also sap appetite for riskier assets and diminish the appeal of a carry trade that helped investors make up gains lost to zero rates. “I think the […]
Saturday, 21 May 2016
Climate Impacting Troubled Global State of Affairs
NOT GOOD: Global Heat Wave Hits Fourth Record
A Song Of Fire And No Ice: We Just Had Our Fourth Record-Breaking Hottest Month In A Row This Year
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