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MidEast Watch:Saudi Bank Raises ‘14 Oil Price,Output Forecasts

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Saudi investment bank has increased its forecasts for both oil prices and the amount of oil Saudi Arabia pumps out in 2014, citing events around the world that are keeping prices high, supply disruptions to other key producers, and a faster than expected rebound in the U.S. economy.
The report by Jadwa Investment does caution that higher crude production by the oil market heavyweight will erode the amount of spare production capacity available to counter new threats to global oil supply. The bank said its expects the Gulf kingdom to use part of its windfall from higher oil prices to add to its foreign asset holdings by more than $45 billion over the whole of 2014……………………………………Full Article: Source

Opec trims 2014 oil demand growth forecast

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Opec oil cartel trimmed its 2014 forecast for global oil demand growth on Friday after weaker-than-expected economic growth in rich countries in the second quarter and a “fragile” worldwide recovery.
The Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries said it now expects demand to grow by 1.10 million barrels per day (mbd) to 91.11 mbd, down from a previous projection of 91.13 mbd. In its new monthly report Oped, which pumps a third of the world’s crude, stuck however to its forecast that demand would grow by 1.12 mbd in 2015 to 92.32 mbd……………………………………Full Article: Source

OPEC Sees Lower 2014 Oil Demand Growth, Pumps More

Posted on 11 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC trimmed its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast for a second consecutive month and said the group managed to increase output in July despite violence in Iraq and Libya, pointing to more comfortable global supplies. In a monthly report on Friday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries trimmed its projection for growth in global demand this year to 1.10 million barrels per day (bpd), down 30,000 bpd, citing weaker-than-expected U.S. demand.
“The slow and uneven global recovery continues,” OPEC said in the report. In 2014, “U.S. oil demand remains strongly dependent on the development of the U.S. economy, however the risk is skewed to the downside compared to the previous month.”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil and gas company debt soars

Posted on 11 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Energy businesses are selling assets and took on $106bn in net debt in the year to March. The world’s leading oil and gas companies are taking on debt and selling assets on an unprecedented scale to cover a shortfall in cash, calling into question the long-term viability of large parts of the industry.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said a review of 127 companies across the globe found that they had increased net debt by $106bn in the year to March, in order to cover the surging costs of machinery and exploration, while still paying generous dividends at the same time. They also sold off a net $73bn of assets……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is This Trend a Killer for Oil and Gas?

Posted on 11 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Very interesting research released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that the domestic E&P sector may be headed for some difficult times.
The Administration calculated the spending habits of oil and gas firms operating within the U.S., tallying both incoming operational cash flow and outgoing capital expenditures for these companies. The results are surprising, revealing that today’s oil and gas sector is spending well beyond its means……………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. gasoline prices continue to fall- Lundberg survey

Posted on 11 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell by six cents in the past two weeks as crude prices have continued a broad decline, according to the Lundberg survey released on Sunday. Prices fell to an average of $3.52 per gallon for regular grade gasoline, according to the survey conducted Aug. 8. That extends a decline in prices to seven weeks, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said.
“It is lower crude oil prices that bring this lower pump price,” Lundberg said. “Crude oil is the overwhelmingly most important factor both in the price of gasoline and in directional price move.”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

OPEC: Iran’s monthly crude oil output declines by 10 kbpd

Posted on 11 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran’s crude oil production (excluding gas condensates and natural gas liquids) declined by 9, 800 barrels per day and stood at 2.762 million barrels per day in July, compared to June. Iran’s crude oil output increased by 86,000 bpd in 2Q14 compared to 4Q13, according to a monthly report based on secondary sources, released by OPEC Aug. 8.
Iran and the six world powers including the U.S., the U.K, France, Germany, Russia and China reached an interim nuclear deal Nov.23, 2013. The agreement entered into force Jan.20, 2014 and extended by Nov.23, 2014……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global growth in use of gasoline outpaces diesel in 2014

Posted on 08 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Unlike in recent years, growth in global gasoline consumption is outpacing diesel growth in 2014. At the same time, new refining capacity engineered to produce more distillate than gasoline is coming online in 2014. The narrowing spread for December 2014 futures contracts demonstrates how these two factors may be temporarily leading to a tighter global gasoline market than was expected at the beginning of the year.
On July 8, the futures price premium of New York Harbor ultra-low-sulfur diesel (heating oil) over reformulated blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) for December 2014 delivery fell to 22 cents per gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2013 EIA Stats Show Oil Price Stability Based On News, Not Supply

Posted on 08 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Let’s start this analysis with the 2013 figures for the United States (right). In general, the oil export/import status looks better for the US than it has in a long time. Although the US is a major oil producer, it has been an even heavier oil consumer, importing millions of barrels per day of oil from more than 40 countries.
Last year, the US imported 7.7 million bpd of crude oil, according to the Energy Information Administration. This represents an improvement, about 23% less than in 2008, reflecting the early direction of President Obama’s policies and the success of an increased focus on natural gas by oil and gas companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Drums of War Sound for OPEC

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Amid war and rumors of war, it seems odd that oil prices have dropped so far in August. That might be because another war could be brewing: within OPEC. Saudi Arabia on Wednesday released September official selling prices for its oil. It offered bigger discounts for Asian and U.S. buyers compared to August’s levels, while raising prices for Europe.
As energy economist Phil Verleger pointed out in a recent report, this could indicate a growing battle for market share. Rising U.S. shale oil output has caused American imports of oil from West Africa to plummet from an annualized average of two million barrels a day in late 2007 to about 300,000 barrels a day currently. That forces countries such as Nigeria to push their barrels towards other markets, such as Asia—putting them in direct competition with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members in the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia sanctions impact seen in long-term oil price

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since sanctions were announced at the end of last month, those monitoring the oil industry have questioned whether the restrictions placed on Russia by the EU and the US are just a piece of “theatre” without any meaningful impact. And with good reason.
The restrictions apply to the “sale, supply, transfer or export [of certain technologies] in connection with a project pertaining to deep sea drilling, arctic exploration or shale oil”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Renewed Violence In Iraq and Libya Could Send Oil Prices Up

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Violence has returned to key oil-producing countries Iraq and Libya after a brief period of calm. Shelling and firefights between militias over the control of a key airport in Tripoli have hurled Libya back into a state of emergency, punctuating several weeks of escalating violence in the troubled North African country.
In mid-July, the Libyan government appeared to gain more control over the country’s restive provinces when it secured a deal with rebels in the east, which led to the reopening of the major ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. The accord led to a drop in oil prices as investors anticipated an immediate influx of several hundred thousand barrels of oil per day to global markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Middle East supply fears send oil prices higher

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices rose in Asia Tuesday on fresh fears of supply disruptions in the Middle East, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery rose 10 cents to $98.39, while Brent crude for September gained 15 cents to $105.56 in afternoon trade.
“We haven’t seen signs so far that the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East could cause disruptions, but those concerns are still there at the back of investors’ minds,” Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said. WTI on Monday snapped a five-day losing streak to gain 41 cents in New York trade following continued violence in crude producer Libya, where at least 22 more people died in Tripoli over the weekend………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fracking won’t cause oil price slump: Lombard Odier

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The oil price is unlikely to fall despite the onset of fracking, and investors looking to capture the gains available in the oil and gas sector should focus on US-listed companies, according to Pascal Menges, manager of the Lombard Odier Global Energy fund.
Menges told What Investment that even with the twin threats of the global financial crisis and the advent of fracking technology, the oil price since 2008 has been ‘flat’, rather than falling, while between 2004 and 2008 it rose consistently………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ENBD Research: OPEC output update

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Average OPEC oil production dropped slightly in July to 30.2 million b/d, compared to 30.3 million b/d registered in June and 30.9 million in the same month last year. For the first seven months of 2014, total OPEC output has averaged 30.1 million b/d, down 2.2 per cent in year-on-year terms. The fall in aggregate production in July was due almost exclusively to lower output from Iran and Iraq, which saw drops of 140k b/d and 100,000 respectively.
In the case of Iraq, oil output has now slumped by 300,000 in the past two months to sit at 3.0 million b/d. Although there are ongoing concerns that the weakened security environment across the country could eventually undermine investment and hence production growth, the largest and most important oil fields do not yet appear to have been affected………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Regulation becoming more burdensome for oil, gas independents

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regulations over the past 5 years have made operations more complex for independent oil and gas producers, according to a recent survey, Profile of Independent Producers 2012-13, released by the Independent Petroleum Association of America. A vast majority of respondents indicated that regulations have resulted in increased administrative costs, with 48% reporting slight increases and 43% reporting significant increases.
Air pollution standards represented the most pressing concern for independents, as 33% said it had the largest impact on operations while 35% said it had the second-largest impact on operations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil rebounds as global tensions raise supply disruption fears

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic climbed on Monday, as investors shifted their attention from worries about swelling supplies to concerns about ongoing violence in Libya and other global hotspots.
Oil prices fell sharply last week, with the front-month of Brent crude hitting its lowest level since April, and traded lower early on Monday before bouncing back into positive territory. Brent crude gained 57 cents to settle at $105.41 a barrel, off a session low of $104.52. U.S. crude gained 41 cents to settle at $98.29 a barrel, after touching a session low of $97.43………………………………………..Full Article: Source

America’s Oil Export Policy Is Stuck in the ’70s

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The unexpected increase in the production of shale oil, a light oil called condensate and natural gas in the U.S. has upended many assumptions about the U.S. energy market. As the oil and gas bonanza continues, the U.S. ban on crude-oil exports looks increasingly outdated, arbitrary and economically damaging.
With Europe poised to endanger its gas supply by imposing more sanctions on its major supplier Russia, the possibility of energy exports from America takes on an important security dimension too………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Oil Market’s Next Crisis

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

I’m glad I’m not in OPEC members’ sweaty Gucci loafers right now. Sure, it must be nice to be an oil gazillionaire. But consider the problems. Oil production from OPEC members is down all over the place. Libya still hasn’t recovered from its 2011 uprising. It’s exporting only a third of the 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil that it could produce at full capacity. A Sunni uprising in Iraq threatens that country’s oil production.
OPEC doesn’t expect production to recover anytime soon. It says non-OPEC producers would have to step up and meet increasing oil demand. Here’s the thing: OPEC has another cause for concern. One that wasn’t in its recent forecast………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Peak oil proponents still dancing around reality

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The debate over whether we are running out of oil sometimes resembles the medieval controversy over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. By redefining the size of the pin and the agility of the angels, today’s “peak oil” proponents have managed to continue the argument.
The characters have changed though. Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert, casting doubt on Saudi oil production, died in August 2010, and the Oil Drum website closed down last September. New disputants, including economist James Hamilton from the University of California, and Stephen Kopits, the managing director of the consultancy Douglas-Westwood, argue that oil production is limited by geology and is a severe drag on economic growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The 10 most oil-rich states

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. energy industry is booming. As new technologies make oil easier and more affordable to extract, the United States is poised to become the world’s leading oil producer as soon as 2015, according to a 2013 study by the International Energy Agency. At the same time, proven oil reserves — the estimated quantities of oil that can be extracted under existing conditions — have also risen. In 2012, the U.S. had more than 30.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, up 15% from the year before.
Ten states accounted for nearly 80% of the U.S. proven oil reserves as of the end of 2012. Texas was the state with the most proven reserves, totaling more than 9.6 billion barrels of oil, or close to a third of all U.S. reserves. Based on the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) data on proved oil reserves, these are the most oil-rich states in the country………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil and gas mergers escalating among smaller firms

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is escalating among junior oil and gas companies as they attempt to diversify exploration risk and secure cash flows, according to EY’s latest quarterly report on the sector.
Barry Fraser, executive director at the accountancy firm’s Aberdeen practice, said: “Deal making is back on the agenda, with funding for development opportunities at the heart of acquisition and farm-out activity.” One example, according to EY, is the proposed acquisition of Mediterranean Oil and Gas by fellow Aim-quoted company Rockhopper Exploration………………………………………..Full Article: Source

North American oil output versus OPEC

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GlobalData has said that global oil demand in 2014 is forecast to increase by approximately 1.2 million bpd compared to levels last year, while non-OPEC members’ production will grow by approximately 1.6 million bpd which will reduce the call for OPEC production. GlobalData’s research has also said that a significant increase in non-OPEC production is forecast to occur, particularly in North America, where crude oil and condensate production will increase by approximately 1.3 million bpd.
Carmine Rositano, Managing Analyst, Downstream Oil & Gas, GlobalData, said, ‘crude oil production increases are also expected in South America, the Former Soviet Union and from the greater use of biofuels. This will more than offset slightly lower production anticipated in the North Sea and Mexico………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Kingdom sees modest increase in oil supply

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC’s oil production rose in July from June, a Reuters survey found, as a fragile recovery in Libyan supply outweighed fighting in Iraq and reduced output from Angola.Saudi Arabia raised supply modestly, in part because of a greater need for crude in domestic power plants, industry sources said. Some sources said exports had increased.
Despite the increase, unrest in Africa and the Middle East is still weighing on supply. That could hinder OPEC’s ability to boost output later in the year, when the International Energy Agency expects demand for OPEC crude to rise………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia needs high oil prices to survive

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For all the sanctions Western leaders can throw at Russia, the biggest threat to President Vladimir Putin’s ability to back separatists in east Ukraine is something beyond his or their control: the price of oil. With Russia’s $2 trillion economy heavily dependent on crude exports, oil prices are always closely monitored by the Kremlin, but the government is particularly wary now as tensions with the West mount and sanctions ratchet up.
Such conflicts often push up crude prices, but as long as oil, which accounts for 40 percent of state revenues, remains above the average $104 per barrel written into the 2014 budget, Moscow has little immediate need to worry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Majors Pivoting Away from Risky Countries

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rising tide of political instability around the world is negatively affecting the some of the oil industry’s largest companies, and several are considering withdrawing their investments in risky areas. Violence, government turmoil, sabotage, and economic sanctions are presenting serious challenges to the oil majors, after years of expanding deeper and deeper into some of the least developed parts of the world.
The Wall Street Journal wrote on July 27 about several companies that are pivoting away from troubled regions, and moving towards industrialized countries — willing to assume the higher cost of operating in richer nations as the price for a more stable investment climate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Higher oil prices lift Exxon’s profit as production sags

Posted on 01 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as higher prices for its crude and natural gas offset a 6 percent drop in production.
Exxon has struggled in recent quarters to replenish its reserves quickly, investing in massive new projects in Russia and Papua New Guinea that take years to develop. Meanwhile, many of its smaller, more-nimble peers have aggressively developed shale formations around North America, fueling massive production and exciting Wall Street………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World oil demand in 2015 forecast to grow 1.2 mb/d

Posted on 31 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite some weakness in the first half of the year, the world economy continues to recover, OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report for July 2014 said. Global GDP growth in 2014 is now forecast at 3.1 percent, slightly higher than the estimated 2.9 percent for 2013. The US experienced a surprisingly large contraction in economic activity in the first quarter due to severe winter weather, leading to a downward revision in US GDP growth to 1.6 percent from 2.4 percent previously.
However, with the US economy expected to rebound and continued large monetary stimulus in the Euro-zone and Japan, the OECD is seen growing by 1.7 percent in 2014 and 2.0 percent in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil prices drive projected carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery

Posted on 31 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2014), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the price of oil will largely determine whether to use carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies to extract additional crude oil from existing producing fields. The OPEC oil output rises in July on fragile Libyan reboundinjection of CO2 gas into oil reservoirs at high pressure forces the CO2 to mix with oil. This reduced the oil’s viscosity and causes the oil to increase in volume.
The result is an increase in the total cumulative volume of oil produced and in the percentage of oil-in-place that is recovered. The decision by a producer whether or not to employ this technique depends on a number of factors, including the geophysical properties of the reservoir, the oil within that reservoir, the cost of applying CO2 EOR and the revenue received from the additional production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC oil output rises in July on fragile Libyan rebound

Posted on 31 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC’s oil production rose in July from June, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday, as a fragile recovery in Libyan supply outweighed fighting in Iraq and reduced output from Angola.
Despite the increase, unrest in Africa and the Middle East is still weighing on supply. That could hinder OPEC’s ability to boost output later in the year, when the International Energy Agency expects demand for OPEC crude to rise………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Infographic: Oil Prices and the Middle East Crisis

Posted on 31 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In terms of the oil market, tension and unrest in the Middle East is a driving factor that investors should consider. As Visual Capitalist Notes, Ernst and Young has reported that prices for oil were up in the second quarter, largely as a result of geopolitical tensions.
In the infographic below, Visual Capitalist takes a look at how conflicts in the Middle East are affecting the oil price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is The Most Important Commodity About To Break Down?

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Is Crude Oil about to follow in the footsteps of the yield on the bell weather bond and break support? The left chart above highlights that the yield on the 30-year bond is breaking down, below a two-year support line. The right chart highlights that Crude Oil and the yield on the 30-year bond have correlated a little bit over the past couple of years, with the 30-year breaking support.
Could crude oil follow yields and break lower? If they both break support and head lower, what would the macro message be coming from them? If Crude would break 5-year support, traders would expressing some concern about the prospects of global growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy Economist: The amount of oil the world uses, seen through different eyes

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

How much oil does the world consume? You’d think this would be a fairly straightforward question, given its economic importance to the world economy, and indeed answers are not hard to find. The problem is those answers differ significantly. Even with the development of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative–an evolving beast designed to bring improved transparency to oil markets–oil market data remains messy, inaccurate and opaque.
For 2013, a year which by now should be transitioning from estimate to a matter of historical record, OPEC puts world demand at 90.00 million b/d, the International Energy Agency at 91.40 million b/d and the US Energy Information Administration at 90.49 million b/d. The difference is large in absolute terms–1.4 million b/d between the IEA and OPEC–but small if viewed in percentage terms, about 1.5% of the total market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US & Russia Dominating The Natural Gas Sector

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US continues to dominate both natural gas production (and consumption). In 2013, the US set a new all-time high production record for the third straight year, with gas production rising to 66.5 Bcfd to lead all countries. In fact this was once again more natural gas than any country has ever produced in one year.
Natural gas production in Russia reached 58.5 Bcfd, good for 2nd place globally. The US and Russia cumulatively produce 38% of the world’s natural gas. Far behind in third place was Iran at 16.1 Bcfd — good for 4.9% of global gas supplies. Rounding out the top five were Qatar at 15.3 Bcfd and Canada at 15 Bcfd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia oil and gas market to 2023

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Business Monitor International has released a new report, ‘Saudi Arabia Oil & Gas Report Q3 2014’, in which it indicates the view that crude production in the country will remain elevated by historical standards in 2014 and 2014.
This view is based on continued OPEC outages, a mediocre global supply picture, a continued increase of domestic consumption from the power generation and transport sectors, strong demand from the refining sector and a recovering global demand picture………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China oil demand rises 2.7% vs year ago

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s apparent oil demand* in June turned directions from May and climbed 2.7% versus the same month a year ago to 41.94 million metric tons (mt) or an average 10.25 million barrels per day (b/d), according to a just-released Platts analysis of Chinese government data. On a month-over-month basis, apparent oil demand was up 8.6% from May.
“Analysts attributed the June increase to stronger fuel demand by the farming and agricultural sectors for the summer planting season,” said Song Yen Ling, Platts senior writer for China. “It’s also interesting to note that June marked the second month that China’s apparent oil demand crossed the 10 million b/d this year, following February’s 10.62 million b/d.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

EIA: OPEC’s 2013 oil export revenues fall 7%

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to recent estimates from the US Energy Information Administration, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding Iran, earned about $826 billion in net oil export revenues in 2013, a 7% decrease from 2012 earnings. But this was still the second-largest earnings totals during 1975-2013—the timespan of how long EIA has tracked OPEC oil revenues.
For each country, EIA derived net oil exports based on its oil production and consumption estimates from the latest edition of the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. For countries that export several different crude varieties, EIA assumes that the proportion of total net oil exports represented by each variety is equal to the proportion of the total domestic production represented by that variety………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Forecasts for higher oil prices misjudge the shale boom: Kemp

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“The world of energy may have changed forever,” according to Professor James Hamilton of the University of California. “Hundred dollar oil is here to stay.” Hamilton, who is one of the most respected economists writing about oil, made his bold prediction in a paper on “The Changing Face of World Oil Markets”, published on July 20.
“Old hands in the oil patch may view recent developments as a continuation of the same old story, wondering if the high prices of the last decade will prove another transient cycle with which technological advances will eventually catch up,” he wrote. “But there have been dramatic changes over the last decade that could mark a major turning point.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Obama’s Offshore Energy Policy Could Rescue Oil And Gas Explorers

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Has the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster run its course? The Obama administration may think so, having shifted gears in recent weeks and removed potential barriers to more drilling off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This is in addition to earlier moves that eased the steps for developers to pursue oil and gas deposits in the Gulf of Mexico and possibly off the coast of Alaska.
For a White House that has targeted oil company tax breaks and toughened drilling safeguards in the wake of the BP disaster, it’s a change of pace. But it is actually part of an previous plan — an Energy Security Trust Fund — to redirect some of those oil and gas revenues toward green energy ventures. That’s an idea that has resonance among key lawmakers on energy panels from oil and gas states………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fracking: British government opens the way for energy firms to explore for shale gas

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Energy firms will be able to bid for licenses Monday to explore for shale gas in Britain, three years after the controversial fracking process caused seismic tremors which led the government to suspend operations.
Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said shale gas has the potential to increase the country’s energy supply but stressed national parks will be protected. “Done right, speeding up shale will mean more jobs and opportunities for people and help ensure long-term economic and energy security for our country,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC income plummets as oil demand wanes

Posted on 28 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are expected to see their revenues decline this year and the next as demand for their crude diminishes, according to the Energy Information Administration, the US Department of Energy’s research arm.
The 12-member OPEC net oil export revenues hit an all-time high of USD 900 billion in 2012, before falling to USD 826 billion in 2013. EIA did not include Iran due to lack of available data. This was a 7% decrease from 2012 earnings, but still the second-largest earnings totals during the 1975-2013 period for which EIA has tracked OPEC oil revenues………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Halt in Iraqi oil, Egyptian gas supplies continues

Posted on 28 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Imports of natural gas from Egypt and crude oil from Iraq have been at a standstill since the beginning of this year, according to Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed. “Oil from Iraq is still completely halted due to the deteriorating security conditions there,” the minister told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
The Kingdom used to import around 10,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Iraq. Jordan has resorted to importing crude oil from the Saudi Arabian oil company, Aramco, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gas Prices Don’t Reflect Record Levels Of U.S. Refinery Output

Posted on 28 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of gasoline in the United States will remain fairly static for the immediate future, even though refineries are working at record levels because of the surge in oil production. The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) said July 24 in its weekly petroleum report that refineries took in 16.8 million barrels of crude per day for the previous two weeks, more than the last record set in 2005.
The refining output broke the old record in the week of July 13 with input levels at 16.6 million barrels a day, particularly at refineries in the Midwest and the Gulf coast, the EIA said. This was the highest level it recorded since 1989………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bulls Fleeing Natural Gas as Goldman Sees Further Decline

Posted on 28 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Speculators are fleeing natural gas after prices dropped below $4 for the first time since December and power plant production fell to a 13-year seasonal low.
Hedge funds reduced net-long positions, or bets on rising prices, by 11 percent in the week ended July 22, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. Bullish wagers have fallen 51 percent since February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will the U.S. Oil Boom Make Energy Sanctions Easier?

Posted on 25 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ask someone to identify a big geopolitical consequence of the ongoing U.S. oil production boom and odds are high that they’ll invoke Iran. (Every one of the links in that last sentence is an example.) Without surging U.S. oil production, they’ll argue, sanctions on Iranian oil exports would have led to a massive oil price spike. Here is a concrete case of the oil boom yielding greater U.S. freedom of action in the world, and a harbinger, it would seem, of things to come.
The historical account seems right, but it’s tough to see how the Iran experience might be repeated. The upshot is that the lessons for future U.S. freedom of action – and for geopolitics more generally – are being badly over-read………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can OPEC Control World Oil Prices

Posted on 25 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is the world’s most famous cartel OPEC that currently controls almost three quarters of the world’s crude oil, a commodity that, as of right now, industrialized nations cannot do without. OPEC is currently an organization comprised of 11 member countries: Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
Formed in 1960 by 5 countries, OPEC clearly dominates world oil as its member countries produce 41% of the world’s oil, and comprise 55% percent of the world’s traded oil. Perhaps the most important statistic is the amount of the world’s oil reserves that OPEC member countries control; they control over 78% of all crude oil reserves………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Shale Boom is Big and Good (Bad) for the Economy

Posted on 25 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has flipped the global energy discussion on its head. Over the past five years, the world has watched the U.S. shift its focus from fears of peak oil and its level of oil imports to a new reality where domestic oil and gas production are up and imports are down. And, while global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase, U.S. emissions have now decreased down to 1994 levels.
As shown in the graphic below from International Energy Agency’s Unconventional Gas Production Forum, shale gas production has dramatically increased in the United States over the past decade – in particular since 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC exports more petroleum products to Asia-Pacific in 2013

Posted on 24 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC member countries exported 4.5 mb/d of petroleum products in 2013, with the largest share devoted to Asian and Pacific countries (3.1 mb/d or 68.5 percent), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said its latest “Annual Statistical Bulletin” released Tuesday.
The report noted that European and North American countries received smaller shares of OPEC petroleum product exports (0.6 mb/d or 14.0 percent and 0.2 mb/d or 5.2 percent, respectively). The refinery capacity of OPEC member countries increased by a 4.9 percent during 2013 compared to 2012. In 2013, OPEC Member Countries held 11.0 percent of total world refinery capacity, up from 10.5 percent in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran slips to 8-th spot as OPEC’s oil exporter

Posted on 24 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran’s crude oil export dropped by 42.2 percent to 1.25 million barrels in 2013. According to the OPEC’s Annual Bulletin, released on July 19, Iran’s crude oil export was 2.537 million barrels per day in 2011, before the West imposed tough sanctions on Iran.
The crude oil in OPEC statistics includes a mixture of hydrocarbons that exist in a liquid phase in natural underground reservoirs and remains liquid at atmospheric, then it consists of crude oil, gas condensate, NGLs, etc. Before sanctions took effect in mid-2012, Iran was both the second major oil exporter and producer of OPEC………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil prices near lows, Russia sanctions, Iraq tensions support: PIRA Energy

Posted on 24 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that with both the physical market and financial length bottoming, oil prices are at or near their lows. In the U.S., sharp crude stock reduction is offset by a product build. In Japan, crude stocks posted a large draw. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
Sharp U.S. Crude stock reduction offset by product build: Crude stocks fell for the week ending July 11, 2014 while product inventories built, causing an overall inventory build. This inventory pattern fits with record crude runs. Last year for the same week, inventories were down slightly so the year-on-year inventory excess widened. Crude oil and other products are up on last year while the four major product inventories are down………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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