Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Saudi Arabia faces falling foreign reserves as oil prices still lackluster: Petrodollars

Saudi Arabia sometimes seems to take a blase approach to oil prices, but its falling foreign reserves may spur action. Geoffrey Craig takes stock of the situation in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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Bragging rights: So who is the world’s top oil producer?

Earlier this month, BP’s latest Statistical Review unintentionally reopened a debate into whether the US has regained the crown as the world’s top oil producer after decades of being out-gunned by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Ostensibly a straight-forward measure of which country tops the leaderboard on oil output, BP’s widely-read yardstick has the US eclipsing both Saudi Arabia and Russia for the first time last year since 1975. Fueled by booming shale oil, BP said, US oil output hit 11.64 million b/d last year, a narrow but decisive margin over Saudi Arabia’s 11.51 million b/d.

The devil is in the detail, however, and BP’s numbers raise the long-standing and slippery issue of what actually counts as oil.

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OPEC says, ‘What, me worry?’ to the prospects of US crude exports

For all the attention and debate the US’ crude export restrictions get in Washington, there was barely any peep on the issue last week in Vienna – neither at OPEC’s semi-annual meeting there, nor at a pre-meeting OPEC seminar, where ministers from its 12 member nations gathered with major oil company CEOs and non-OPEC country officials to discuss global market conditions.

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Guest post: A lesson from the history of oil

Steven Kopits is the president of Princeton Energy Advisors, and contributes guest posts to The Barrel. 

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, BP CEO Bob Dudley took a bearish view on the price of oil, noting that the present feels like 1986, when oil slumped from $30 a barrel to $10 and did not recover until in 1990. “The fundamental supply and demand does remind me of 1986 a bit, where we could go into a period in this decade of lower oil prices,” Dudley noted, adding that prices may stay in a range below $60 for as long as three years. “It will be a long time before we see $100 again.”

I agree with Dudley: 1986 is the appropriate template for today’s oil market dynamics. However, the understanding of the precedent is incomplete, and the analogy, imperfect. The differences matter.

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The Oil Big Five: Groundhog day in the global oil industry

February in the US is the traditional time to hoist groundhogs before the public to determine whether winter is coming to a close or will continue in a seemingly endless slog. It’s also a time to remember the existential crisis of Phil and wonder if you’re actually stuck in one place for eternity.

In the global world of oil, some issues keep rearing their heads, like a Sonny and Cher song on a clock radio. But in the February edition of The Oil Big Five, we feature many new topics culled from our oil editors and analysts worldwide, who shared the top items they’re keeping an eye on in the oil industry. As always, we encourage you to share your top picks below in the comments or on Twitter with the hashtag #oilbig5, and enjoy this month’s list:

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The most powerful sanction against Iran? Try US crude exports

As the US Senate deliberates a new round of sanctions on Iran, two former Obama advisers make a compelling case for a powerful policy lever that is not even on the table — US crude exports.

The economic arguments for exporting US crude are fairly well-known and the main ones are trotted out by oil industry groups. But the foreign policy benefits of exports are not as widely talked about.

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Egypt’s Sisi outlines national energy policy at World Future Energy Summit

Egypt has set development and reform of its energy sector as a key priority as it seeks to rebuild its economy following the country’s second revolution in the past few years, the country’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, said January 19 during his first official visit to the UAE in that role.

During his keynote address to the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Sisi also said he considered the security of the Persian Gulf region to be “part and parcel of Egyptian security.” The annual Abu Dhabi WFES gathering, while primarily a UAE forum for promoting and discussing regional and international renewable energy development, has also developed a significant political agenda.

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Is politicking pushing oil prices lower?

The immediate reason for the oil price plunge seems fairly clear – producers going gung-ho at a time of weak demand, which is not helped by the buoyant greenback.

What is murkier, perhaps, is how geopolitical agendas and motivations are feeding the bear market.

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The Oil Big Five: Looking into the short future of 2014

The end of December is just around the corner, and it’s typical at this time of year for publications to take a grand look backward to sum up the year. What kind of proclamations can we make about the global oil industry in 2014? What sort of lessons are there to be learned, and how will we look back on 2014 years from now?

As tempting as it may be to take that look in the rearview mirror, today we’re going to look ahead with our December version of The Oil Big Five. By now you know the drill: We ask our Platts editors and analysts in offices around the globe what they think are the biggest issues or topics in the oil world for the upcoming month, and then we ask you for your thoughts. Are we right, are we wrong, and what do you want to see covered? Leave us your comments here or with #oilbig5 on Twitter.

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Petrodollars: Looking back at the latest OPEC meeting

Herman Wang was at the recently-concluded OPEC meeting. Herman, a Platts’ Washington correspondent, has been to several; here, in this week’s Oilgram News column, he gives his impressions of the meeting.

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