Canadian oil has its Jean-Paul Sartre moment: hell is a lack of investors

The Canadian oil patch is undergoing an existential moment as low oil prices have scared off investors and thrown the future of further oil sands projects into disarray.

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Offshore revenue sharing debate stalls before it starts

For years, legislative efforts to give coastal states a larger share of offshore drilling revenue have brought the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee “to a standstill,” Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, the committee’s top Democrat said at a hearing last week.

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A tale of two crudes: Nigeria and Angola

Nigeria and Angola,  both situated on the west side of Africa, are two of biggest producers in the region, but the crudes from these two countries have treaded divergent paths in the past year, despite a lot of similarities.

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Holy Carbon: Does the Pope’s view matter in the fight against climate change?

Pope Francis is set to weigh in on the climate change debate in what has already caused a considerable buzz in the media, by equal measure prompting cheers from the green lobby and irritation among climate skeptics, even before the message has been released.

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Could El Niño boost European gas demand this winter?

The strongest year for European gas demand since the 2008 financial crisis was 2010, a year impacted by the El Niño weather phenomenon. With international weather agencies now identifying the signs of the first El Niño conditions since 2010, could this be a sign of a cold winter ahead, and strong gas demand to come? 

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Just a second … hold that trading timestamp, please

The world’s next ‘leap second’ event will occur on June 30, 2015 — and, for the first time ever, according to the Futures Industry Association (FIA), it will happen “during active trading hours in an environment where electronic and automated trading relies on sub-second precision for communication, execution, clearing, surveillance and audit trails.”

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Deficit, surplus or balance: What are the real fundamentals of the global nickel market?

Global nickel market fundamentals have been troubling analysts recently with the market constantly forecast to be about to enter a significant deficit. However, this outlook never quite seems to materialize, leaving nickel prices drifting and failing to rally as expected on the back of a tighter market balance.

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The dollar’s impact on US polyethylene

The US dollar has fallen sharply over the past few months following an impressive push upward for nearly a year. This reversal has helped propel crude prices upward and, in turn, petrochemical prices — a relationship that occurs because crude and many other commodities are priced in US dollars. A weaker dollar means you need more of them to buy a barrel of crude, a bushel of wheat or a bag of polyethylene.

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Financing ‘frack addicts’ and shale producers in the US: Petrodollars

Robert Perkins examines the delicate balance act of financing shale oil production in the US in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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New challenges for petrochemical players in China

At the recent Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) held on May 7-8 at Seoul in South Korea, one of the hot topics doing the rounds was China’s march towards self-sufficiency. Will it, delegates asked, put a brake on petrochemical majors’ engagement with the country, which is currently the world’s largest consumer of chemicals?
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