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U.S. Crude Oil Production Did Not Increase 170,000 B/D Last Week

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


Contrary to popular belief, although the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. crude inventories rose 170,000 b/d last week, that almost certainly did not happen. The EIA’s weekly production number comes from its production model, which is highly flawed. Its monthly numbers come from a survey, which is a much more reliable source of data.

Not including production data from the early 1970s, crude production in the U.S. peaked in April 2015 at 9.6 million barrels per day (mmbd). Crude production appears to have bottomed in July 2016 at 8.6 mmbd, making the peak-to-trough 900,000 b/d.

In August, the EIA reported that crude production increased by 51,000 b/d as the result of increased production in the Gulf of Mexico. But EIA’s forecast in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) published in July for August turned out to be 524,000 b/d lower than the actual monthly figure, a huge forecasting error. [Read more...]

OPEC and Crude Futures Price Prospects

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


OPEC will hold its 169th Meeting in Vienna on June 2nd. Its tentative program calls for a press conference to be held at 1600 hours. Don’t expect the fireworks that followed its conference 18 months ago when Saudi oil minister al-Naimi declared a market share battle against North American shale producers. In fact, don’t expect much of anything.

A lot has happened since the last OPEC meeting in December. A strong El Niño resulted in record high temperatures in North America during the first half of the winter, undercutting prices. Poorer members, such as Venezuela and Nigeria, implored the group’s richer Gulf state producers to cut back to stop the hemorrhaging. Saudi Arabia refused to budge.

The sanctions against Iran were lifted in early January. Iran proclaimed it would restore lost production of 500,000 to one million barrels per day. Crude prices tumbled further and by mid-January had dropped to the mid-$20s. The market panic was in full-force. [Read more...]

What To Expect In The Oil Market

By: Sara Nunnally of Street Authority

The latest rumor around the global water cooler that Russia and OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia have agreed to freeze oil production at January or February levels has been dispelled... for now.

The OPEC leaders meeting in Doha failed to reach an agreement to cap production, with Iran bowing out of the meeting altogether, and refusing to pull back on its oil production. As a result, oil prices took a big tumble. Brent crude fell a harsh 7% on the news. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell almost as much at 6.6%.

But does a "no deal" result from the OPEC Doha meeting mean production caps are off the table? Or that OPEC wouldn't seek an alliance outside its cartel?

Hardly.

In response to the meeting, Qatar's energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said, "We of course respect [Iran's] position... The freeze could be more effective definitely if major producers, be it from OPEC members like Iran and others, as well as non-OPEC members, are included in the freeze."

Al-Sada said that OPEC members need more time. Which says to me that this won't be the last we hear of production caps.

Indeed, this wasn't the first time we'd heard about potential cooperation between OPEC and Russia, either.

The rumor of a possible oil production freeze lifted oil markets as much as 4.7% and kept prices for WTI above $41 mid-week last week. That means oil prices have been on a wild ride. Take a look at WTI futures: [Read more...]

Article source: http://www.streetauthority.com/node/30672983

Asian Financial Crisis: Now and Then

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex


Are we set for a rerun of the 1997 Asian Financial crisis? Well, as Mark Twain said once, history does not repeat itself but it rhymes. The current turmoil does strikingly resemble that of the original 1997 Asian financial crisis. However, unlike the 1997 crisis, today’s circumstances are quite different.

Asian Financial Crisis of 1997

What initiated the Asian financial crisis back in the 90s? Well, it was the culmination of many things. Primarily, though it was the inability of Asian and other emerging economies to finance themselves. This was generally due to large current account deficits which led emerging markets to accumulate foreign debt. Eventually, they become dependent on foreign creditors.

When investors’ appetite for emerging market debt waned, those Asian economies had difficulty financing themselves. And let’s not forget Russia, which, coupled with its own circumstances, was pushed to default. [Read more...]

Would You Invest In Saudi Arabia? How About Iran?

Adam Feik - INO.com Contributor - Energies


Saudi Arabia opened its $590 billion stock market to foreign investors Monday – a move aimed at helping the country’s companies endure a potentially extended period of lower oil prices.

Interestingly, only about one-fifth of the companies traded on the Tadawul Saudi Stock Exchange are directly in the oil business. But most others are, of course, heavily affected by oil, which has long been the major driver of Saudi Arabia’s economy.

By opening the exchange to all foreign investors, the Saudis hope to help its domestic companies raise significant capital, thereby helping to strengthen – and diversify – the country’s economy. The Kingdom may also be hoping some new foreign investment can help plug a hole in its budget, which has expanded to pay Saudi companies that rely on government contracts for construction, infrastructure, agriculture, education, and other areas. According to the Saudi Gazette on Sunday, the country’s breakeven crude oil price has risen from just under $75 in 2009 to about $90 today, translating into an estimated $38.6 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2015. [Read more...]

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