OPEC is playing a dangerous game with oil markets

(The Platts’ OPEC team in Vienna was headed by Margaret McQuaile, and also included Stuart Elliott, Adal Mirza, Jacinta Moran and Herman Wang.)

Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Naimi left OPEC’s Vienna meeting on Thursday saying the group had made “a great decision.”

Oil markets didn’t agree. In the weeks leading up to the decision, expectations had built for a cut in output, not least because of the sharp fall in demand for OPEC oil that forecasting organizations–including OPEC itself–were projecting for the first half of next year. But when Naimi signaled early Wednesday that the oil market would eventually stabilize itself, it became clear that the Saudis were not interested in cutting output.

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Energy Economist: The integration of RES into the European energy system

Lots more distributed generation of electricity–solar, wind, etc.–and lots more variable power sources moving across utility grids means new issues for utilities. Ross McCracken discusses the problem for Europe in this month’s highlighted story from Platts Energy Economist.

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EIA monthly oil report, and a quick note about oil prices

Two things for a Thanksgiving afternoon: First, taking a look at the monthly Energy Information Administration report–which covers September–here’s what stuck out: Read the rest of this entry »

EIA analysis: Big West Coast oil move skews overall figures

It was one of those weeks that sometimes vexes analyst: a relatively big build in crude oil inventories reported by the Energy Information Administration, but a lot of it coming on the US West Coast. As our weekly analysis explains here, traders tend to dismiss those figures.

Chinese oil demand growth rate reaches almost 3%

The growth in Chinese oil demand has been significantly less than the growth in the country’s GDP for awhile now. It still is, but October’s growth rate was a bit higher than some recent months. You can read our analysis of it here.

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What price European natural gas independence?

If you are a state-run gas company in a Baltic state–once part of the Soviet Union, and tied to the former empire by gas pipelines–you might grab with both hands the chance to buy gas from someone who is not associated with the Kremlin.

Lithuania has asserted its independence from Russian gas by chartering a floating liquefied natural gas import terminal, the Independence, from Hoegh. The first LNG cargo came under a five-year contract in November. The seller was Norway’s Statoil, which operates Europe’s only liquefaction plant, Snohvit.

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Japan’s crude oil storage leases with producers: scope to do more with strategic stocks

Japan’s recent deal with Abu Dhabi to lease out more crude storage capacity to the emirate under a renewal agreement is deemed mutually beneficial. Not only will it enhance Tokyo’s supply security, but it also wiill give the Middle Eastern producer greater access to the Asia-Pacific market.

Under the agreement, similar to one Japan has with Saudi Arabia, the Japanese government will pay for storage to be used by Abu Dhabi for commercial purposes, in exchange for assigning priority to supplying the crude to Japan in an emergency.

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Regulation and Environment: Japan’s oil refinining business adjusts to new rules

Japanese government regulation of Japan’s oil refining industry is detailed and proscriptive. Takeo Kumagai, in this week’s Oilgram News column Regulation & Environment, reviews the most recent round of new rules and how it will affect the business.

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The Oil Big Five: Your comments about oil reserves and opportunities for producers

November is thankfully on its last legs days, and we’re already exhausted. We knew the month would bring lots of big news topics (such as this one, which reminded me of this, because I’d love to see a rock opera about oil), as we discussed in our original Oil Big Five listing for the month. Then there were other items that didn’t make the list that also drew a lot of attention, from us and from others.

To feature reader comments today, we want to draw attention to the comments on our post about comments, which is very meta. We enjoy hearing from you, as these posts are intended to start conversations and discussions (even arguments!), and we think your comments are one of the highlights of this series.

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Australian junior chases Rocky Mountain oil and natural gas high

A small Australian upstream company, with the appropriate name of American Patriot Oil and Gas, is hoping to achieve what several of its peers have been unable to do: turn a little into a lot in the US market.

American Patriot’s business model is simple, yet crucially different from that pursued by some other small Australian companies that have burned through their own capital trying to make a go of it in US conventional and unconventional oil and gas, according to the company’s CEO Alexis Clark.

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