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.
Strategic reserves came up twice in the comments, first by Sanjeev Sharma, who pointed out the trouble that could be waiting for developing countries that rely heavily on petroleum products but don’t have strategic reserves, like India. As a reminder, the International Energy Agency requires its member countries to hold oil reserves, and many non-member countries also hold reserves. But with shifting oil flows, prices and markets, what do you feel would be the best way for such countries to build reserves? As the comment says, “Opportunities don’t wait for those who are refuse to wake up at right time.”
Reader Ivan Morales pointed out in a comment that countries can turn especial attention toward their reserves with the current price environment.
“I think a broader trend one has to start considering is the role that Strategic Petroleum Reserves can play in this changing market. This month we’ve heard about the United States starting to reconsider the usefulness of its SPR in this new reality of abundant domestic crude supply. Meanwhile we’ve seen China building bigger storage capacity and rumours of it taking advantage of the current low prices to fill up its own SPR. It seems this can have an impact on the market, and it would be interesting to discuss it with more accurate data (which in the case of China can sometimes be really hard to obtain),” Morales said.
So what do you think? Different countries call for different approaches, naturally — what do you think works for developing countries, or powerhouses like China, or countries like the US with renewed production? While you’re chewing on the idea, here’s also a shameless plug for an explanation of the current US Strategic Petroleum Reserve situation from Capitol Crude: The US Oil Policy Podcast.
The other comment left for us was from a reader who identified as @asadcmka, who touched on the finances of oil production. One particular thing in the comment stuck out to us, which was this: “Here is an opportunity for the oil producers to control oil prices.” Do you agree? Is this a sort of carpe diem situation for producers, and for countries with ample proven reserves? What do you see as the complicating factors to this idea?
Leave us your ideas and thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter with the hashtag #oilbig5. We look forward to your feedback on this post and every post on The Barrel, and we’re also already thinking of our December list for the Oil Big Five. We hope you are, too.
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