Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Oil Prices

Saudi Arabia Announces Its Willingness to “Stabilize” Oil Prices

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 24, 2015:  

On Monday Saudi Arabia’s council of ministers confirmed the rumors that the leader of the OPEC cartel is now willing to “stabilize” world oil prices, saying in its announcement:

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A Black Swan Event and $4 Oil?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 20, 2015:  

Eight years ago Nassim Taleb’s book The Black Swan was named by the Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II. Now serving as Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, Taleb continues to build on his view that “black swan” events have a greater impact on culture and the economy simply because they are unexpected. As Chris Anderson explains in his review of Taleb’s book:

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Oil: How Much Lower?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 19, 2015:  

Cover of "The Black Swan: The Impact of t...

Cover via Amazon

Speaking at the Irish economics forum Kilkenomics last weekend, former successful derivatives trader, professor of Risk Engineering at New York University, and author of The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb said he thinks the price of a barrel of oil could go as low as $4 a barrel. This could be the result of a

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World Oil Glut Swells to 3 Billion Barrels, Driving Prices Down Further

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 16, 2015:  

Friday’s November report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) confounded so-called experts who have repeatedly predicted a bottom in oil prices. After West Texas Intermediate (WTI) briefly dropped below $40 a barrel in August, bulls were delighted to see prices for crude bounce up over $50 and stay there — right up until October.

The IEA report tried to corral all the complexities of the oil market into its two-page report:

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Saudi Arabia is Losing Its Bet

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 23, 2015:  

A month after OPEC decided in November, 2014 to keep pumping oil, columnist Nathan Vardi, writing in Forbes, said that “Saudi Arabia is making a massive $750 billion bet in 2015 that the oil kingdom can endure lower oil prices longer than other oil producing countries … including [the US].”

It now turns out that the bet was much larger, and it’s going against OPEC. According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia is being forced to delay paying its government contractors as those lower oil prices, which declined faster and more sharply and are staying down longer than expected, are pushing the country further into deficit. This is on top of the

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Lower Oil Prices Pinching OPEC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 22, 2015:  

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the slowing in the demand for crude oil worldwide, coupled with more-than-abundant supply, bodes ill for higher prices for oil for at least the next year, if not longer. This is bad news for OPEC countries that need much higher oil prices to stay solvent.

The IEA predicted in its report last week that

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Oil Price Rebound Not Likely to Last, Says the IEA

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 14, 2015: 

Since early August the price of crude has jumped almost 20 percent, moving some, including those in OPEC’s cartel, to conclude that its strategy is working: Flood the market to force prices so low that marginal producers, especially in the United States, will go out of business. With the resultant decrease in supply, prices will rebound, hopefully to levels where the cartel’s countries can continue to fund their welfare/warfare states.

Said the cartel last week:

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OPEC’s Strategy Appears to be Working: U.S. Layoffs Slowing Oil Production

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 13, 2015:  

On the surface, OPEC’s gamble appears to be paying off. As the oil cartel continues to pump at near maximum capacity, American energy producers are stacking rigs and laying off workers.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there were an estimated 700,000 workers involved in oil and gas development and production prior to the decline in oil prices. Since then, some 200,000 of those jobs no longer exist, rig count is down to record lows, and, if the EIA is correct, U.S. oil output next year will decline for the first time in eight years.

OPEC itself has estimated that

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Crude Oil Prices Resume Decline, Could Hit $20 a Barrel

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 11, 2015:  

Coming in just hours apart on Friday, two reports confirm that oil prices are likely to resume their decline and stay low well into 2016. In a note to its clients, Goldman Sachs said that supplies remained robust despite the decline in rig count, while demand increases failed to materialize as expected:

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Saudi Arabia’s Cash Reserves Dwindling, Forcing It to Borrow

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 7, 2015:  

English: Saudi Arabia

In an astonishing admission that the Saudis have gambled with a bet that is now going sour, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (the country’s central bank) reported:

It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers [in the United States] are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short run.

The main impact has been [for U.S. producers] to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells.

This [strategy to break U.S. producers] requires more patience.

But patience will last only as long as their foreign reserves of cash, and Saudi Arabia’s reserves (immense though they be) are dwindling rapidly. They peaked at $737 billion in August of 2014. In May of this year, they were down to

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Fracking Is Boosting Reshoring of American Jobs

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 9, 2015:  


In its latest report on American competitiveness, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimates that the average cost to make goods in the United States is now only five-percent higher than in China, and between 10 and 20 percent lower when compared to the major European economies such as Germany and France. In less than three years, BCG projects China’s advantage to disappear altogether.

While part of the reason is rising wages in China and in the Eurozone and American companies improving their productivity faster than their competitors abroad, the primary reason, says BCG, is fracking — the technology that has driven energy costs to a fraction of what they were just a few years ago.

Back in August 2013, Harold Sirkin, a senior partner at BCG, predicted the U-turn that would result in “reshoring” of millions of jobs, starting in 2015:

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China’s Stock Market Continues Its Sharp Decline

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 8, 2015:

As predicted, the Chinese stock market accelerated its decline on Wednesday despite efforts by Chinese government officials to slow it.

The combination of over-leveraged investors with little prior experience about the prudent use of margin to buy stocks has turned the decline of the Chinese stock market into a rout. Closing on Wednesday at 3,507, the Shanghai Index has lost one-third of its value just since June 12 when it hit 5,178. The smaller Shenzhen Composite, made up of smaller technology stocks, is down 40 percent.

Jeremy Warner, economics commentator and assistant editor at London’s Daily Telegraph, viewed the carnage and remarked:

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First-quarter GDP Report Is Awful

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmereican.com on Wednesday, April 29, 2015: 

Logo of the United States Bureau of Economic A...

The report released Wednesday morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) was stark: The economy stalled in the first quarter in every sector, with overall growth barely positive, and embarrassing once again economists who predicted substantially better results. According to the BEA the economy in the first quarter grew at an annual rate of just 0.2 percent, compared to estimates of between 1.0 and 2.0 percent by the “experts.”

Personal spending dropped by nearly two thirds from the fourth quarter of 2014; durable goods purchases fell by more than 80 percent; and non-durable goods purchases almost disappeared compared to the last quarter, falling by 0.3 percent compared to an increase of more than four percent. The service industry limped along at two-thirds of last quarter’s pace.

Investment in business capital equipment went negative, as did

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Oil Production Still Increasing — Confounding Experts

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 16, 2015: 

Logo of International Energy Agency

A month ago the International Energy Agency (IEA) began hedging its bet that declining oil prices would cut production: “U.S. supply [of crude oil] so far shows precious little sign of slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it continues to defy expectations.” 

This is how economists say “Oops!” 

On Friday the IEA was still astonished at the resilience of the oil industry as it continued to produce at record levels, despite predictions that declining rig counts would force production cuts. Instead, total U.S. crude oil production hit a high of 9.4 million barrels a day during the week ending March 6. 

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US Crude Production Sets Record in March, Surprises the IEA

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 15, 2015: 

Just a quick look at the history of the International Energy Agency should convince anyone of its inefficacy: founded in 1974 at the suggestion of Henry Kissinger, its focus is on management of other peoples’ resources. Its mandate: the “3Es”: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection. The fact that it lacks any understanding of how the free market automatically addresses these issues showed up a month ago when its prediction of lower oil production in the US fell flat: “The U.S. supply [of crude oil] so far shows precious little sign of slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it continues to defy expectations.”

On Friday it confirmed its ignorance of how the free market works when it announced – surprise of surprises – that

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Will this be OPEC’s Final Failed Gamble?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 18, 2015: 

Cover of "The Prize: The Epic Quest for O...

Six years ago historian Daniel Yergin wrote in The Prize about OPEC’s failed gamble in 1986. The cartel tried to secure its preeminent place among the world’s oil producers by forcing crude oil prices down:

Was the price now poised for a great fall? Most of the exporters [primarily OPEC] thought so, but they expected no more than a drop [from more than $30 a barrel] to $18 or $20 a barrel, below which, they thought, production … would not be economical….


Actually, operating costs – the cash costs to extract oil – were only $6 per barrel [at the time], so there would be no reason to shut down production at any price above that.

The cartel was hoping to squeeze out marginal producers, which would result in cuts in supply, allowing it to raise prices at will. It didn’t work then, and it isn’t working now. The Saudis apparently suffer from an appalling lack of understanding about how the free market works.

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Re-fracking Old Wells Is Extending the Fracking Revolution

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 17, 2015:

English: A natural gas well (produces gas only...

A natural gas well

News that the oil industry is importing many of the new technologies developed by natural-gas producers, which led to steadily declining natural-gas prices, was greeted with great disappointment by at least one green group. Upon learning that fracking was not only a long way from disappearing in the face of declining oil prices but was actually on the verge of a resurgence, Sharon Wilson, a Texas organizer for Earthworks, told Bloomberg, “It’s terribly disappointing.”

It might be disappointing to Wilson, but

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Putin to Ukraine’s President: “What’s Mine is Mine…”

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 13, 2015:

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

Leaders of Germany, France, Lithuania, and Ukraine labored mightily into the night on Wednesday, to birth a minnow. Gathering around a table somewhere in the city of Minsk, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko agreed to a weak-kneed, temporary cease-fire between Russia-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine and Poroshenko’s troops. It will begin on Sunday, and hopes are modest that it will stick this time.

Even if it doesn’t, it will cement into place Putin’s insurgents’ position.

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Oil Price Decline Hurting Alaska the Most

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 26, 2015:

State Seal of Alaska.

Although oil-producing states such as North Dakota and Texas are expected to suffer declines in revenues if oil prices continue to drop, other states such as Wyoming, Louisiana, and especially Alaska will feel much more than just a temporary pinch. According to the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Service,

If lower prices persist through 2015, the economies and finances of the energy producing states — Louisiana, Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota — will be put to the test.

Oil and mineral revenues account for a third of Wyoming’s budget, one-sixth of New Mexico’s, and one-eighth of Louisiana’s, while Texas — the state that, standing alone, would be the eighth-largest oil-producing country in the world — counts on less than

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Canada’s Oil Sands Impervious to Crude Oil’s Price Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 14, 2015:


On Monday – the same day that UAE’s Energy Minister Suhall al-Mazrouel said that OPEC was going to stick to its decision to keep pumping regardless of price declines – the same day that Goldman Sachs issued its negative outlook for prices – when crude oil prices dropped in response by 5 percent, hitting a six-year-low of $44.20 a barrel on Tuesday, the CFO of Canadian Natural Resources announced he was going to expand both its production and its output into 2015 and beyond.

Chief Financial Officer Corey Bleber was oblivious to the carnage, saying that his company expected its overall output for 2015 to be at least seven percent ahead of last year’s, and that it would continue

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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