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

Category Archives: Energy

Chesapeake Energy Declares Bankruptcy; Should Emerge Leaner and Stronger

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 29, 2020: 

Chesapeake Energy Corporation, once the country’s second-largest natural-gas producer, declared bankruptcy on Sunday in Houston. Most on Wall Street weren’t surprised, as the company had warned repeatedly that it likely wouldn’t survive in its present form thanks to excessive debt and the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Wall Street used words such as “succumbs” and “failures” and the like to describe the company’s descent into bankruptcy.

The New American has chronicled the company’s history of enormous success — in 2011 Forbes named the company’s co-founder Aubrey McClendon to its “20-20 Club,” which is comprised of CEOs who had delivered to investors returns in excess of 20 percent a year for 20 years — as well as McClendon’s enormous tolerance for risk as he was building the company.

When McClendon died in a car crash in 2018, Doug Lawler took over as chief executive. Lawler faced an enormous task: reduce the company’s towering debt while pivoting from production of natural gas to the much more lucrative business of producing crude oil.

He almost made it.

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Banks Cutting Credit to Shale-oil Drillers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 15, 2020: 

In the private capitalist system, capital-intensive industries such as oil and gas production need all the capital they can get in order to survive. Banks that are doing their usual spring cleaning — called reserve review and assessment followed by “redeterminations” — are discovering that many of their loans to shale-oil drilling enterprises don’t have enough reserves backing them up in case they default.

Moody’s and JP Morgan Chase are forecasting that

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Oil Prices Jump 20 Percent; Expected to Double by Summer 2021

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 5, 2020: 

Crude oil prices have jumped by 20 percent in the last week. Forecasters are expecting them to double from here by the summer of 2021.

Olivier Jakob, managing director at the energy consulting firm PetroMatrix, explained why: “You have low crude production in North America … and some improving demand [thanks to] shelter-in-place policies [that are being rescinded].”

Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management, agrees: “As more economies start to reopen, crude oil finds itself in the opposite situation, as the forces which [drove] the price collapse — falling demand and a failure to cut production — start to reverse.”

For Edward Moya, senior market analyst at the oil-trading platform Oanda, the shift has been completed:

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Patton: “Rommel … I read your book!” Trump: “I read MY book!”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 15, 2020:

Early in the movie “Patton,” U.S. General George S. Patton – who had read Erwin Rommel’s book, Infantry Attacks – sees that, by following Rommel’s tactics, he is crushing his forces in an epic tank battle in Tunisia and exclaims Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”

U.S. President Donald J. Trump, by following the tactics laid down in his own 1987 book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” managed his own magnificent triumph: he ended the squabble between Saudi Arabia and Russia, brought Mexico back into the OPEC fold, and negotiated a 20 percent cut in worldwide crude oil production.

That cut likely saved the U.S. shale oil industry from collapse while securing his reelection in November. Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, applauded Trump’s success:

Of all the deals he’s done in his life, this has to be the biggest and most complex. He had to be not only dealmaker but also divorce mediator….

It took four days of intense virtual meetings and negotiations with leaders of the nations making up the OPEC cartel, plus Russia and Mexico, to get the deal done. In its final form, global production of crude oil will officially be cut by 9.7 million barrels a day starting May 1. After two months, the cut will drop to 7.7 million bpd until January, and drop further to 5.8 million bpd for another 16 months.

The real cut will approach 20 percent of world production, reflecting the fact that many oil-producing nations are already suffering cuts due to the global shutdown in response to the COVID-10/coronavirus threat.

The president tweeted:

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Trump Brokered Oil Agreement Using Rules From His “Art of the Deal”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 14, 2020:  

Following the announcement that 23 oil-producing nations had formally agreed to cut world production of crude oil by 10 percent, Daniel Yergin, energy expert, author, and vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said this of President Trump: “Of all the deals he’s done in his life, this has to be the biggest and most complex. He had to be not only dealmaker but also divorce mediator.”

It took four days of intense virtual meetings and negotiations with leaders of the nations making up the OPEC cartel, plus Russia and Mexico, to get the deal done. In deal’s final form, global production of crude oil will officially be cut by 9.7 million barrels a day starting May 1. After two months, the cut will drop to 7.7 million bpd until January, and drop further to 5.8 million bpd for another 16 months.

The real cut will approach 20 percent of world production, reflecting the fact that many oil-producing nations are already suffering cuts due to the global shutdown in response to the COVID-19/coronavirus threat.

The president tweeted:

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Massive Oil Discovery in Alaska to Provide More Supply as World Economy Recovers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 13, 2020:

The announcement of a massive new oil find on Wednesday couldn’t have come at a better time. The 1.8 billion barrel prospect called Talitha is located next to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline on Alaska’s North Slope, reducing greatly the developer’s transportation costs when the field comes online in the next few years.

By that time the world’s thirst for low-priced crude oil will have returned following the COVID-19 shutdown, and Talitha’s low cost will help lead the United States and global economies to even higher levels of output.

Pantheon Resources updated an evaluation of an old exploration well and concluded that

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Crude Oil Prices Pop on Trump’s Tweet: Saudi Arabia and Russia To Cut Production

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 2, 2020:

President Donald Trump’s Tweet early Thursday morning pushed crude oil prices up more than 20 percent: “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!”

Skeptics tempered the rise, noting that there was no deal, only a promise to restart the negotiations that failed in March between members of OPEC and Russia to limit production. Russia left that meeting with “acrimony,” which started a price war in which Saudi Arabia and Russia were both pumping at near-maximum rates. Since then, crude oil prices were cut in half, with some commentators suggesting prices could drop still further, from near $25 a barrel at present to less than $10.

Skeptics also noted that

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Is Whiting Petroleum’s Bankruptcy a Harbinger?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 1, 2020: 

The one-two punch of the oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia combined with the COVID-19 shutdown of the U.S. economy was more than Whiting Petroleum could handle. With a $262 million payment due on Wednesday on its $2.8 billion of debt, the company filed for bankruptcy. President and CEO Brad Holly said the “severe downturn” in oil and gas prices forced his hand, and that bankruptcy and financial restructuring was the “best way forward.”

In early January,

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The President’s Message on Friday Was Masterful

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 16, 2020: 

Most commentators reviewing and summarizing the president’s message delivered from the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday focused on his declaration of a national emergency and his response to it with the help of private industry leaders. Even his detractors could find little to criticize.

Missing from much of that conversation, however, was just what the president accomplished when he announced that he had instructed his Energy Department head to replenish the SPR, or the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He promised to “fill it right up to the top, saving the American taxpayer billions and billions of dollars, helping our oil industry [and furthering] that wonderful goal – which we’ve achieved, which nobody thought was possible – of energy independence.”

The SPR is the world’s largest reserve of crude oil, with a capacity of more than 700 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. It was created back when the U.S. was vulnerable to foreign interference, which vulnerability was exposed during the 1973-1974 oil embargo.

It currently holds about 635 million barrels, and the president’s order to “top it off” will

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Trump to Top Off the Tank by Replenishing Oil Reserves While Prices Are Low

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, March 15, 2020: 

During his press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday President Donald Trump promised to fill the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, “right up to the top, saving the American taxpayer billions and billions of dollars, helping our oil industry, [and furthering] that wonderful goal — which we’ve achieved, which nobody thought was possible — of energy independence.”

The SPR is the world’s largest reserve of crude oil, with a capacity of more than 700 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. It was created back when the United States was vulnerable to foreign interference, which vulnerability was exposed during the 1973-1974 oil embargo.

It currently holds about 635 million barrels, and the president’s order to “top it off” will take some 430,000 barrels every day off the world oil markets for the next six months.

Oil prices have been pummeled thanks not only to the perceived threat that the COVID 19/coronavirus will cut worldwide demand but

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OPEC Cartel Failure Drops Oil Prices, Rattles Markets

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 9, 2020:

Following the failure of a meeting by members of the oil cartel known as OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) in Vienna last week to extend its production cuts, Saudi Arabia’s oil company, Aramco, announced price cuts across all markets and an increase in its production.

The failure came on the heels of an announcement by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that it had reversed its previous estimate that demand for oil would increase in 2020 and predicted that worldwide oil demand would drop by 700,000 barrels a day instead. That announcement was historic, the biggest drop in demand in a decade.

It also occurred at a time when the concerns over COVID 19/coronavirus had reached panic proportions, leaving hotel rooms, airlines, and tour companies facing sharp declines in passenger bookings.

In other words,

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Faceoff Between Trump and Thunberg at Davos Was a Bust

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 22, 2020: 

Cain Burdeau, writing for Courthouse News, hoped for more drama at Davos as Greta Thunberg (the “voice of climate change”) and Donald Trump, the president of the United States, were expected to confront each other over the climate-change issue. Instead, Trump “said nothing about global warming, called climate activists [without mentioning Thunberg by name] ‘prophets of doom’, and touted a future where ‘virtually unlimited energy reserves’ from fossil fuels and other polluting energy sources will keep factories humming while government cuts regulations and taxes.”

Thunberg set the table for the confrontation in a nearly unintelligible speech given just hours before Trump’s arrival, in which she stated,

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Rainforest Action Network Celebrates Victory Over Goldman Sachs

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 18, 2019: 

The motto of the far-left green group Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is “environmentalism with teeth.” Its strategy is simple: pressure a noncompliant entity with “direct action” until it folds, and then move on to its next victim.

It targets a company or a bank, makes demands that it change its ways, and then, if it resists, RAN initiates a campaign of negative publicity, boycotts, and high-profile acts of civil disobedience until it folds. Funded by left-wing foundations like Ford, Rockefeller, and Turner, RAN focuses on lenders to the fossil fuel industry.

It claimed its first victim on Monday:

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Aramco IPO Is a Hollow Victory for Saudi Arabia’s Prince

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 19, 2019: 

At the end of trading on the first day of the public offering of shares in Aramco — Saudi Arabia’s “crown jewel” and the world’s most profitable company — the company’s CEO Amin Nasser said he was pleased:

We are happy on the results today. And you have seen the market responds to our results, the company will continue to be the leader globally when it comes to the energy sector and at the same time we are looking at sustained and growing dividends to our investors. At the same time we continue our growth strategy, increasing profitability across cycles.

On the other hand, Ellen Wald, author of Saudi, Inc. — her look behind the façade of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ruthless oil empire — called the first day’s results a

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Saudi Aramco’s IPO Too Risky: Institutional Investors Shying Away

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 2, 2019: 

The “road show” designed to build investor interest and demand for shares of Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) ends on Wednesday and the early results are disappointing, to say the very least.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) thought back in 2016 that he could sell a tiny piece of his country’s crown jewel, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) and raise $100 billion. He had big plans to invest those proceeds in diversifying his country’s economy away from its near total reliance upon oil revenues for its sustenance and for the maintenance of its welfare state.

Now, however, he’ll be lucky to get a quarter of that. And most of what he gets will come from pressure, threats, intimidation, and manipulation.

The New American has outlined the risks to those investors residing outside the Middle East, including:

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Saudi Arabia’s Aramco’s “Road Show” Ends on Wednesday; Shares to be Offered a Week Later

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 2, 2019:

This writer published an article here in November (see Sources below) outlining the risks of investing in Aramco’s IPO. Lest there be any confusion on the matter, neither that article nor this one is intended to be investment advice.*

This follow-up article will let the facts and the risks speak for themselves. Putting it simply: because of those facts and risks, the Crown Prince is likely to be sorely disappointed with the final results of his IPO when it comes to market on December 11.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) thought back in 2016 that

Keep reading…

Run, Do Not Walk, Away from the Aramco IPO

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 18, 2019: 

Even before becoming the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had big dreams. If he could raise $100 billion, he might be able, if he moved swiftly enough, to keep his kingdom from becoming irrelevant.

He posited the idea in 2016: sell five percent of the government’s only asset – Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company – to unsuspecting investors who think that it’s worth $2 trillion. In 2018, he began to draw up plans to redirect the country’s total dependence upon oil revenues towards real estate development, tourist destinations, industrial parks, improved transportation, and other infrastructure improvements. He called it his “Vision 2030.”

His path became twisted, slowing the initial offering of shares. He met resistance from inside the kingdom, so he had to do some housecleaning. There was the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, which MBS denied any knowledge of, but which forced Fitch Ratings to downgrade the government’s credit rating. And then there were the attacks on the company’s oil fields in September, letting all the world see just how vulnerable those facilities are in a highly volatile and explosive Middle East.

Nevertheless, Aramco, MBS’s “crown jewel” announced on Sunday that it is only offering 1.5% of itself for sale in December, at a price far less than MBS had hoped for. And if things don’t meet even those minimum, now greatly reduced expectations, he could pull the offering altogether before it goes public in December.

Analysts looking through the 600-page prospectus that was released last week on the deal aren’t impressed,

Keep reading…

Saudi Aramco IPO to be Huge Disappointment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmeican.com on Sunday, November 17, 2019:  

Saudi Arabia’s “crown jewel” — Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company — announced on Sunday that it is only offering 1.5 percent of itself for sale in December, at a price far less than Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had hoped for. And if things don’t meet even those minimum now greatly reduced expectations, the company could pull the offering before it goes public in December.

When first floated in 2016, MBS suggested he could sell five percent of the state-owned and controlled oil company and receive $100 billion to jump start his Vision 2030. He assumed that his “jewel” is worth $2 trillion.

Analysts looking through the 600-page prospectus that was released last week on the deal aren’t impressed, with many suggesting a much lower valuation, perhaps as low as just $1 trillion. That could turn MBS’s dream into a nightmare. If the offering goes well, he might receive $25 billion. If it doesn’t go well

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Mainstream Media Promotes Phony Study that Supports Their Climate Change Agenda, and Gets Caught

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 13, 2019:

In their eagerness to promote their climate change agenda, the mainstream media grasped hold of a phony study and called it real. The outfit that released the study sounds legit. After all, it’s a prestigious nonprofit with goals that sound honorable. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, it publishes a journal called BioScience, which it claims contains nothing but peer-reviewed articles. It seeks “to advance public policy, education, and the public understanding of science,” according to Wikipedia, and “promote an increased understanding of all life,” according to its own website. It claims that “AIBS’s ability, resilience, and integrity are the keys to our success.”

Each of those keys is being sorely tested now that it was learned that many of the 11,000 so-called “scientists” that approved of and supported the warning weren’t scientists after all. The signers included an “animal behavior” teacher in Valencia, a “scientist emeritus” in Canada, a “researcher” in the Czech Republic, a “professor” from Argentina, a “student” from a “neotropical biodiversity institute” somewhere, an obstetrician from Brussels, a Spaniard who’s into “biologo,” a Turkish mathematician, and a Finnish engineer.

Also approving the warning were “Mouse, Mickey” from the “Mickey Mouse Institute for the Blind, Nambia,” Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, and Araminta Aardvark from the University of Neasden.

But none of this deterred august members of the Fourth Estate from reporting favorably on the warning, as its recommendations lined up with the standard global warning demands being pushed by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others. NBC News called it

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Saudi Arabia’s Aramco IPO Fraught With Danger for Investors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 4, 2019:  

When Saudi Arabia’s crown jewel, oil producer Aramco (officially called the Saudi Arabian Oil Company), announced on Sunday its “intention to float” some shares in the long-awaited initial offering of shares of the state-owned oil company to the investing public (an IPO, or Initial Public Offering), it triggered two events: a “road show” or “book building” tour by the company to generate enthusiasm among mostly institutional investors for the upcoming offering of shares in December; and the issuing of a “prospectus” outlining the risks entailed by that offering. The prospectus is due out next week.

Investors would do well to read that prospectus very carefully before investing. Though it might not include every risk a new investor would be taking in buying shares when they come to market in December, those risks that will be exposed should provide plenty of reasons to exercise caution before investing.

At the press conference heralding the plan, Aramco Chairman Yasir el-Rumayyan declared:

Keep reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann