Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Few surprises expected from OPEC despite cracks over policy — Fuel for Thought

Never say never.

With this in mind, it would probably be foolish to rule out some kind of deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to manage supply.

But, right now, there’s nothing to suggest that any such pact is even a remote possibility, and few OPEC watchers expect the oil producer group to do anything other than rubber-stamp current output policy at talks in Vienna next week.

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How the shale boom strengthens US diplomatic clout: Fuel for Thought

In a new Oilgram News column, Fuel for Thought, Herman Wang explains how the abundance of domestic crude oil production gives the US diplomatic leverage and considers how — or if — that could change if export restrictions were lifted.

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Petrochemical implications of easing sanctions on Iran

Earlier this month, the US and its negotiating partners announced steps to move ahead on what is known as “adoption day,” intended to show readiness for sanctions relief for Iran. However, relief will only begin on “implementation day,” the day when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran lived up to its commitments according to the nuclear deal completed in July.

According to the US CIA’s The World Factbook, Iran has the world’s second largest supply of conventional natural gas reserves, much of which is rich in ethane. Given that the rest of the Middle Eastern countries are experiencing limited supplies in ethane, this presents a huge opportunity for the Iranian petrochemical sector as sanctions are eased.

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Has US shale rendered spare capacity irrelevant? At the Wellhead

In this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Herman Wang  looks at how the resilience of shale and the proliferation of US oil production has pushed the US into a new role as the world’s swing producer.

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Music to OPEC’s ears: IEA sees cartel’s oil strategy as having ‘intended effect’

The past year has, without a doubt, been a momentous one for oil markets. Prices began their precipitous plunge in mid-2014, only for OPEC’s shift in strategy in November last year to send them even lower.

At the time, OPEC argued that the market should be left to balance itself, and that it should be the higher-cost oil that should be removed from the market first — not the lower-cost OPEC oil.

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Much ado about … an OPEC editorial

An editorial in OPEC’s latest Bulletin caused much excitement and contributed to a price rally on oil markets on August 31. The oil producer club said it stood “ready to talk to all other producers” but emphasized that this had to be on “a level playing field.”

But there’s nothing new here. OPEC has regularly stated its willingness to talk to other producers and the editorial seems merely to reiterate this.

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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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