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Archive for March, 2016

US Shale Oil Production Costs Fell by 30% from Decade High

By on 30 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 0 Comments
US Shale Oil Production Costs Fell by 30% from Decade High

(EconomicCalendar.com) Costs associated with shale oil exploration and production decreased by a third in 2015 thanks to implementation of more effective technologies. Experts are certain that this could affect crude oil prices in the short term.

Costs beared by US shale producers shrunk by 25-30% last year in comparison to their decade high in 2012. This is attributed to the usage of advanced technology that improved the effectiveness of both well drilling and post-drilling well development, according to research conducted by the energy industry consultant IHS Global Inc. and commissioned by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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Peak Oil and Runaway China: A Dangerous Combination of Memes

By on 28 Mar 2016 in notable posts, viewpoints with 1 Comment
Peak Oil and Runaway China: A Dangerous Combination of Memes

(CFA Institute) Back in 2005, investors heard an endless chorus in the financial media around two memes: the end of oil, and the growth of China.

Oil production was supposedly hitting its upper limits. In 2005, the US Department of Energy published a study on the peaking of world oil production (.PDF) that stated:

Because oil prices have been relatively high for the past decade, oil companies have conducted extensive exploration over that period, but their results have been disappointing [….] This is but one of a number of trends that suggest the world is fast approaching the inevitable peaking of conventional world oil production [….] The world has never faced a problem like this [….] Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary.

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Why rigs deactivation doesn’t matter much?

By on 28 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 2 Comments
Why rigs deactivation doesn’t matter much?

(Econotimes) According to latest numbers from Baker Hughes, number of active oil rigs operating in United States has dropped to lowest levels since 2008/09 financial crisis. While back in October, 2014, the number of active rigs were at 1609 but as of last week it declined further by 15 rigs to 372, lowest since November, 2009.

In recent times, some market participants have taken note of the rig count to increase bullish bets on oil price recovery, suggesting drop in number of rigs indicating further declining in investments. However, our analysis suggests, when it comes to oil price recovery by changing fundamentals, other than intraday or few days boost, rigs count doesn’t matter much.

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Platts Bentek analyst & Rystad’s head of analysis comments on the oil & gas sector

By on 28 Mar 2016 in quotes with 0 Comments

[Regarding natural gas prices:] “Going into summer, producers know it’s going to be a massacre.”

Sami Yahya, a Platts Bentek analyst.

“Global demand and supply will balance very quickly because we’re seeing an extended decline from producing fields.”

Per Magnus Nysveen, Rystad’s head of analysis, saying the world oil market will re-balance this year.

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Peak Oil Review – 28 Mar 2016

By on 28 Mar 2016 in Peak Oil Review with 0 Comments

Oil prices finished a holiday-shortened trading week on Thursday relatively unchanged. Oil had been a bit higher on Monday and Tuesday but then underwent a $2 a barrel decline on Wednesday after the weekly stocks report showed a 9.4-million-barrel increase in the US crude inventory. Prices recovered by a dollar or so on Thursday to close at $39 in New York and $40 in London, partly in response to a 15-unit drop in the US oil rig count. The 50 percent price increase since January still seems to be based mostly on unrealistic expectations that the large oil exporters will cut production enough to bring supply and demand back into balance. So far, however, crude stocks have continued to rise, and production cuts have been minimal.

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Oil Price May Have Bottomed Out But China’s Flat Demand Spells Trouble

By on 25 Mar 2016 in notable posts, viewpoints with 0 Comments
Oil Price May Have Bottomed Out But China’s Flat Demand Spells Trouble

(Forbes) As the Brent front-month futures contract stabilizes either side of the $40 per barrel level, and WTI lurks within that range too, a comment by the International Energy Agency that the “oil price may have bottomed out” has triggered a lot of market interest.

In its monthly oil forecast for March, the IEA, which advises on energy policy matters of industrialized nations, noted that non-OPEC oil production would fall by 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, compared with its previous estimate of 600,000 bpd. Specifically, US production is forecast to decline by 530,000 bpd this year.

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The big bust in the oil fields

By on 25 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments
The big bust in the oil fields

(Washington Post) Tilden, Tex. — He’d borrowed from banks and investors and retirement funds, all in a frenzied mission to drill for oil and gas, and by the time Terry Swift realized he’d gone too far, this was his debt: $1.349 billion.

His company, founded by his father almost 40 years earlier, had plunged into bankruptcy and laid off 25 percent of its staff. Its shares had been pulled from the New York Stock Exchange. And now Swift was in a company Chevrolet Tahoe, driving back to the flat and dusty place where his bets had gone bust.

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IMF: Oil Prices And The Global Economy – It’s Complicated

By on 24 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 0 Comments
IMF: Oil Prices And The Global Economy – It’s Complicated

(Seeking Alpha) By Maurice Obstfeld, economic counsellor and director of research at the International Monetary Fund; Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, deputy director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund; and Rabah Arezki, chief of the Commodities Unit in the IMF Research Department

Oil prices have been persistently low for well over a year and a half now, but as the April 2016 World Economic Outlook will document, the widely anticipated ” shot in the arm ” for the global economy has yet to materialize.

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Why North-American Oil Is Positioned To Win In The Long-Run

By on 23 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 0 Comments
Why North-American Oil Is Positioned To Win In The Long-Run

(oilprice.com) Did U.S. investors complete the U.S. E&P’s revolutionary transformation of the global oil market at the end of February?

Very possibly, yes. At a time when oil companies large, medium, and small were cutting more from 2016 capex budgets, Americans were expressing their confidence in the U.S. E&P’s sector’s future, pouring $9.2 billion in new equity into the beleaguered sector.

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An Unlikely Victim Of Oil’s Collapse: Krispy Kreme

By on 23 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments
An Unlikely Victim Of Oil’s Collapse: Krispy Kreme

(Forbes) Despite humble beginnings in North Carolina, Krispy Kreme has bet big on international expansion in recent years, with nearly three quarters of its 1,100 donut shops now located abroad.

Yet, with plunging oil prices wreaking havoc around the world, there are some places where it probably wishes it hadn’t set up shop.

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Drillers Can’t Replace Lost Output as $100 Oil Inheritance Spent

By on 21 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments

(Bloomberg) Here’s Why This Is Only the Fourth Time Oil Has Tanked. For oil companies, the legacy of $100 crude is starting to run dry.

A wave of projects approved at the start of the decade, when oil traded near $100 a barrel, has bolstered output for many producers, keeping cash flowing even as prices plummeted. Now, that production boon is fading. In 2016, for the first time in years, drillers will add less oil from new fields than they lose to natural decline in old ones.

About 3 million barrels a day will come from new projects this year, compared with 3.3 million lost from established fields, according to Oslo-based Rystad Energy AS.

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Editor of Morningstar Inc.’s DividendInvestor Newsletter on oil downturn

By on 21 Mar 2016 in quotes with 0 Comments

“It could be a lot of years before you see any meaningful rebound in the dividend [of oil companies]. It’s tough to have a really conservative, stable investment in a business that can’t control the price of its own product.”

Josh Peters, editor of Morningstar Inc.’s DividendInvestor newsletter

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Peak Oil Review – 21 Mar 2016

By on 21 Mar 2016 in Peak Oil Review with 0 Comments

The price rally that has been on-going since mid-February continued last week with US futures closing Friday at $39.44 a barrel, up 2.4 percent for the week, and London futures closing at $41.20 up 2 percent. Last week the move came from a combination of what one analyst termed a “brilliant communications strategy” and other developments that normally lead to higher prices. The “brilliant communications strategy,” of course, is the meeting in April during which those countries that either cannot or do not want to increase oil production are supposed to agree not to increase their production. During the week, Moscow even hinted that Iran might join the group after it increases its oil output to 4 million b/d, a goal that might take many months or even years to reach. The producers now are scheduled to meet on 17 April in Qatar; the meeting is being heralded as the first agreement to limit global oil production in 15 years even though it is unlikely to have any real impact on oil production.

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What Happened to Peak Oil?

By on 18 Mar 2016 in notable posts, viewpoints with 3 Comments
What Happened to Peak Oil?

(greentechmedia.com) Peak oil is the point at which global oil production peaks and can only go down. M. King Hubbert developed the theory of peak oil after observing this pattern in individual oil fields and then extrapolating these trends to the U.S., accurately predicting a peak in U.S. production by 1970.

But in the last few years, as U.S. oil production has dramatically ramped up, many peak oil believers have been left looking a bit silly.

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US rig count, at 476, is lowest in 67 years of record-keeping: Baker Hughes

By on 18 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments
US rig count, at 476, is lowest in 67 years of record-keeping: Baker Hughes

(platts.com) The total US rig count, which on Friday stood at 476, is now at its lowest point ever in the 67-year history of the Baker Hughes numbers, according to data released by the oilfield service company.

That is down by four from last week and down from 1,069 working the same week in 2015 and a recent peak of 1,931 in late 2014. The previous low was 488 in April 1999, Baker Hughes records show.

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Another False Oil Price Rally: Crossing A Boundary

By on 17 Mar 2016 in notable posts, viewpoints with 0 Comments
Another False Oil Price Rally: Crossing A Boundary

(artberman.com) The oil-price rally that began in mid-February will almost certainly collapse.

It is similar to the false March-June 2015 rally. In both cases, prices increased largely because of sentiment. As in the earlier rally, current storage volumes are too large and demand is too weak to sustain higher prices for long.

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Saudi Arabia’s Oil Chief Prepares for a World After Fossil Fuels

By on 17 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments
Saudi Arabia’s Oil Chief Prepares for a World After Fossil Fuels

(Bloomberg) Even as it pumps near-record quantities of oil, Saudi Arabia is getting ready for a time when the world will no longer need its biggest export.

The world’s largest crude exporter is focusing on renewable-energy sources such as solar power in preparation for a post-oil global economy, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said at a conference in Berlin on Thursday.

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In Shift, Obama Won’t Open Southeast Atlantic Coast to Drilling

By on 15 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 0 Comments
In Shift, Obama Won’t Open Southeast Atlantic Coast to Drilling

(NY Times) When the Obama administration unveiled a proposal in January 2015 to open the southeastern Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling for the first time, environmental advocates were shocked and enraged — and the oil industry was delighted.

The emotions were the same, just on opposite sides of the energy-environmental divide, when the Interior Department announced Tuesday that the administration was yanking Atlantic drilling off the table. And almost everyone was shocked.

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Investors Increasingly Bullish on Energy Sector

By on 14 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments
Investors Increasingly Bullish on Energy Sector

(NY Times) It was one of the darkest periods of the oil market slump. The global economy was showing fresh signs of slowing, and crude prices were collapsing so steeply that virtually every well in America was unprofitable.

But when Diamondback Energy went out to raise $226 million worth of new stock that week in the middle of January, the oil and gas company found more buyers than it could accommodate. It had to nearly double the amount of shares it sold, to four million.

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If Oil Prices Have Hit Bottom, the Top May Not Be Too Far Away

By on 14 Mar 2016 in news, notable posts with 0 Comments
If Oil Prices Have Hit Bottom, the Top May Not Be Too Far Away

(Bloomberg) The top of the oil market may be closer than you think.

With Brent futures having bounced back as high as $41 a barrel, the International Energy Agency sees “ light at the end of the tunnel ,” and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is spotting “green shoots.” Even so, many analysts warn that, like the failed rally last year, this recovery will sputter once prices go high enough to keep U.S. crude flowing.

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Moody’s analyst on shale downturn

By on 14 Mar 2016 in quotes with 0 Comments

“I’ve covered this industry since the late 70s and I would have to say I haven’t seen a situation like this, of this magnitude. We’ve concluded that this is not a normal cyclical downturn.”

Carol Cowan, a Moody’s senior analyst

“Shale was a hot growth area and companies made the mistake of borrowing too much. It’s amazing that so many people were willing to lend them money. Many are going to file for bankruptcy, and bondholders and equity are going to get wiped out en masse.”

George Schultze, founder and chief investment officer of Schultze Asset Management in New York

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Peak Oil Review – 14 Mar 2016

By on 14 Mar 2016 in Peak Oil Review with 0 Comments

Oil prices continued to move higher last week closing at $38.50 in New York and $40.39 in London, up 7.2 and 4.3 percent respectively for the week. The two-month surge which has taken oil prices up some 45 percent started with reports in January that Russia and the Saudis were trying to bring major oil producers together to agree on a production freeze. This idea is now fading as Iran adamantly refuses to freeze production and no other exporters seem willing to cede current customers to Tehran. The impetus for the price increase now is focusing on forecasts that low prices could lead to a decline of some 750,000 b/d in non-OPEC oil production this year – mostly in the US. Some of this could, of course, be offset by increased Iranian exports. Tehran had hoped to increase production and exports by 1 million b/d this year but is having difficulty finding customers and increasing production. A weaker US dollar also contributed to the oil price increase last week.

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A Short History of Unsuccessfully Calling a Bottom in Oil: Chart

By on 11 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 0 Comments
A Short History of Unsuccessfully Calling a Bottom in Oil: Chart

(Bloomberg) The upturn in U.S. core inflation and rise in oil prices are causing money to pour into a trade that was one of Wall Street’s favorites heading into 2016, according to Société Générale SA.

Late in 2015, strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley—to name a few—were pounding the table on Treasury inflation-protected securities, based on the belief that market-based measures of price pressures over the medium term were far too subdued.

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The Shale Reckoning Comes to Oklahoma

By on 10 Mar 2016 in news, viewpoints with 0 Comments
The Shale Reckoning Comes to Oklahoma

(Bloomberg) In January 2012, I traveled to Oklahoma City for the first time to report on what was considered a surprising development: a U.S. oil boom. Until then, hydraulic fracturing—aka fracking—was best known for boosting U.S. natural gas production. It was just starting to be used to unlock oil trapped in deep underground layers of rock like the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, the Eagle Ford in Texas, and the Mississippi Lime in Oklahoma.

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Where has the oil gone? Missing barrels and market rebalancing

By on 8 Mar 2016 in analysis, notable posts with 1 Comment
Where has the oil gone? Missing barrels and market rebalancing

(Reuters) Global oil production exceeded consumption by just over 1 billion barrels in 2014/15, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Production exceeded consumption by an average of 0.9 million barrels per day in 2014 and 2.0 million bpd in 2015 ( tmsnrt.rs/1pvIEw8 ).

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