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: OPEC

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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Support to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban About to Overwhelm Obama

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 10, 2015:  

Apparently deciding that approaching President Obama directly on the matter of oil exports would be a waste of time the Laborers’ International Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers (both Obama supporters) wrote a letter to Congress instead, urging them to lift the ban on exporting crude oil.

Said the letter:

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Fracking is Driving the Reshoring of American jobs

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 10, 2015:  

Dow Chemical corporate headquarters in Midland...

Dow Chemical corporate headquarters in Midland, Michigan

When Doug May, a regional president for Dow Chemical, announced that his company was going to be investing $6 billion to expand by 40 percent its manufacturing facilities in the US, he was acknowledging simultaneously the massive, if largely unknown, impact that fracking had on that decision. Until that announcement Dow had for years been focusing its attention outside the US where wages were lower and profits were higher. No longer. Said May:

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Fracking Is Boosting Reshoring of American Jobs

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

English:

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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Energy Department Approves Six LNG Export Plants; More Coming

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 28, 2015:

On April 14, the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission published a remarkable summary of its recent approvals for private energy companies to build LNG (liquid natural gas) export plants along the East and Gulf Coasts.

What’s remarkable is that for decades the DOE has bought the argument that exporting LNG to customers around the world might jeopardize its supply here in the United States. It also bought the argument that allowing private producers to ship their product overseas would only encourage more fracking here with its claimed attendant but unproven dangers to the environment.

That the DOE is giving approval to LNG export facilities is proof that reality has finally replaced ideology at the agency, at least for the moment. As expected,

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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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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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Impacts of Lower Crude Oil Prices Continue to Spread

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

 

After oil forecaster Jeremy Warner got lucky last year when he accurately called the top in oil prices, with a fall to at least $80 a barrel, he doubled down by predicting “that the oil price will remain low for a long time, sinking to perhaps as little as $20 a barrel over the coming year before recovering a little.”

Warner got lucky once again when Goldman Sachs confirmed his prognosis, setting off an eye-popping five percent decline in oil to $45 a barrel which continued into Tuesday. Tuesday’s low was $44.20. As Goldman Sachs noted,

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Politics Overwhelms Economics as Crude Drops into the $40s

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 7, 2015:

English: Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia....

Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Most prognosticators are concentrating on their understanding of economics to inform their predictions on how much lower crude oil prices can go. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand: supply is increasing, demand is decreasing (and it’s inelastic, to boot), so when demand meets supply – and “clears the market” as economists call it – crude will find a bottom.

One analyst at CNN expects oil to drop into the $30s, declaring that

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Crude Oil Prices: The Politics, Implications, and Backlash

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 6, 2015:

With the price of crude dropping significantly below $50 a barrel, prognosticators have come out of the woodwork predicting drops to $40, $30, $20 a barrel, and even lower before it rebounds.

Jon Ogg, writing at 247Wall St.com, noted that the precipitous drop in crude oil prices “has serious implications for consumers and companies alike,” and not all of them are unblemished blessings. On the surface the winners are

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Venezuela’s Welfare State Collapsing Along with Oil Prices

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 29, 2014:

 

As oil prices have dropped, so has Venezuela’s revenue stream that supports its welfare state. Ninety-five percent of Venezuela’s export earnings come from crude oil, and the industry makes up one quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. With oil prices setting new lows last week, Venezuela’s economy, already on the ropes, is set to descend into chaos, anarchy, and looting. The decision by Saudi Arabia to continue to pump in order to maintain its market share reveals not only the inherent inability of any cartel to maintain itself over time, but also the inability of a welfare state to sustain itself without outside help.

With the world’s largest oil reserves, surpassing those even of Saudi Arabia, an uninformed observer would be unable to explain how a country as richly blessed with natural resources as Venezuela could go broke,

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Collapse in Oil and Natural Gas Prices Hitting OPEC the Hardest

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 29, 2014: 

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.9...

As prices for crude oil and natural gas continued their precipitous fall over the last five weeks, most commentators have been focusing on the impact — real or predicted — on the oil and gas industry in the United States. Little noticed, however, was the report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) about how those declines are likely to affect OPEC.

OPEC’s total revenues, which hit an all-time high of $900 billion in 2012, are expected to decline by half next year, to just $446 billion. And that projection is based on the assumption that oil prices will average

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Gas Prices: How Much Lower and Longer?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, December 5, 2014: 

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.9...

It made headline news when a OnCue Express station in Oklahoma City dropped its price for regular unleaded gasoline to $1.99 gallon on Wednesday. What didn’t make the headlines is what happened next: Drivers seeking to save a few pennies created long lines at OnCue, and so another station down the street, responding to the competition, cut its price to $1.98 a gallon. By the end of the day, another station located in nearby Moore, Oklahoma, cut its price to $1.95 a gallon. 

Gas wars are back, helping consumers and providing living, breathing proof that, despite everything, the free market still works. 

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Crude Oil Price Declines Reveal Who’s Swimming Naked

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 3, 2014: 

Ali Al Naimi

Ali Al Naimi

One of the most famous homespun quotes Warren Buffett ever uttered is this: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” With the decline in crude oil prices of nearly 50 percent since June, more and more people are finding themselves swimming naked, or they’re about to.

Consider the formerly invincible oil cartel, OPEC, which seems to be suffering from delusions of its former glory by taking on oil producers in America. Instead of cutting production in order to “stabilize” oil prices, the cartel, led by the aging big kahuna, Saudi Arabia, has decided to

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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.