Posts belonging to Category Russia



Saudi Arabia Threatens To Flood Oil Markets If OPEC Members Don’t Cut Output

Individual member states ignore self-imposed production limits

Three days after oil tumbled following a Bloomberg report that Saudi Arabia was angry at its (N)OPEC co-members for not complying with production quotas, and was no longer willing to compensate for excessive production by other members of the cartel, the WSJ reports that Riyadh, furious that the price of oil refuses to rise, is threatening to boost oil production and unilaterally flood the market if “some” OPEC nations continue to defy the group’s output curbs, cartel officials say. The surprising ultimatum which reeks of what Saudi Arabia did in November 2014 when it effectively dissolved the cartel, and flooded the world with oil in hopes of putting shale producers out of business only to fail miserably as it never accounted for cheap money and the stupidity of US junk bond investors, comes one day ahead of a gathering between OPEC and non-OPEC nations including Russia on Thursday and Friday in Vienna.

Saudi Arabia, the argument goes, is contending with weak oil prices and members of the cartel who aren’t complying with the collective output cut they agreed to last summer. As a result, the Saudis are considering radical measures, including a new pact that would deepen production cuts although if there is one thing the cartel is notorious for, it is ignoring self-imposed production limits when it suits the individual member states as the Crown Prince is finding out now.

As the WSJ reports, at a technical meeting Tuesday, a Saudi delegate said his government is growing tired of indirectly benefiting the budgets of countries that are flouting the OPEC pact by overproducing oil, said a person who was present. If the noncompliance continues, “the Saudi official signaled that the kingdom would begin merely complying with its commitment—rather than overcutting to make up for laggards in the group.”

https://oilprice.com/

OPEC is no more a pricemaker

Forget OPEC: China Now Moves The Oil Markets

Not so long ago, oil prices would surge or plummet on just a whisper from OPEC, who at the time held all the supply cards. The mere hint that the world’s most powerful oil cartel was going to cut production could send oil prices up dramatically. Those days are over.

When the cartel announced on November 30, 2016, that it would cut production for the first time in eight years amid a major oil-price crisis, the market cheered. Before any cuts even happened, the sentiment alone boosted prices from a $50.74 close on that day to $54.94 at the close on December 5th, 2016. From that point on, at least up until recently, OPEC could drop the vaguest hint about production, or even think about production, and it would move the market–no fundamentals necessary.

This phenomenon was still going strong in the last quarter of 2018. On December 7, 2018, OPEC and its allies announced that they would do what they do best: rally together and withhold oil production from the market. OPEC promised to take 1.2 million barrels of oil daily off the market, sending oil prices up from $57.83 at the close on December 6th to $61.71 at the close on December 7th.

By July 1, 2019, when OPEC and allies agreed to extend production cuts for another nine months, the bling in cartel announcements had already been dulled. Not only did oil prices fail to jump, they moved in the opposite direction–not because of the OPEC cuts; rather, because the market was no longer that interested. From a closing price of $67.52 on June 28th, Brent dropped to $65.01 on July 1st, and then plummeted to $62.72 the following day.

Since then, it’s managed to move the needle only slightly, one way or another.

https://oilprice.com/

UK: Russian Tory donors ‘named’ in report

‘Sordidly covered up’ by No10

Nine Russian businesspeople who gave money to the Tories have been named in a report that was “sordidly covered up” by 10 Downing Street, it is claimed today. The Sunday Times reported several donors are identified in a report by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) on alleged Russian interference in UK elections.

The report is still under wraps, despite pleas by ISC chair Dominic Grieve for its release, after Downing Street failed to approve its publication before Parliament dissolved for the election. The Sunday Times did not make clear who the donors named in the report are, or whether they would have actually been named publicly in the report or been in its confidential annexe.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/

Oil slumps 4% on U.S. crude build

Slowing demand fears

Oil prices tumbled 4% on Wednesday to their lowest settlements in nearly five months, weakened by another unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and by a dimming outlook for global oil demand. Brent crude futures fell $2.32, or 3.7%, to settle at $59.97 a barrel, the international benchmark’s lowest close since Jan. 28. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended $2.13, or 4.0%, lower at $51.14 a barrel, its lowest settlement since Jan. 14.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported domestic crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly for the second week in a row, climbing 2.2 million barrels last week after analysts had forecast a decrease of 481,000 barrels.

Russia manipulates GPS signals

Protecting Putin from rogue drones

Russia has been manipulating global satellite positioning (GPS) locations on a vast scale in order to protect Vladimir Putin from drones, according to a report. The Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), a Washington-based research organisation, undertook a year-long investigation ending in November 2018 into the manipulation of GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

Their report, which drew upon publicly available satellite data, found that the tactic was used in Russia, the Ukraine and Syria, with some incidents of spoofing, correlating closely with the movements of Putin. The reason for this, the report speculates, was to prevent unauthorised civilian drone activity within the vicinity of the Russian president.

https://www.independant.co.uk/

All Venezuelan Oil Will Be Sold In Petro Cryptocurrency

Experts see El Petro as nothing but a scam 

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on state television that Venezuela would put in place in 2019 a program to sell all its oil production in the Petro cryptocurrency, which the leader is touting as the first state-backed oil-backed digital currency.

Gradually, Venezuela will sell all its oil production in Petro, Maduro said during a visit to Russia. For 2019, Venezuela will have a timetable to sell all its oil production in the cryptocurrency, its president said. In this way, Venezuela will free itself from the currency used by Washington “to create economic pain” to other countries, and to “persecute countries, as it does with Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, and Russia”, Maduro said.

El Petro, however, is seen by analysts and experts as nothing but a scam and another effort by Venezuela to skirt sanctions and mask the inability to overhaul the ailing domestic economy.

http://www.oilprice.com

 

The New Bear Market In Oil

U.S. shale production is skyrocketing

WTI dipped below $60 per barrel in early trading on Friday, the lowest price level in nearly a year. With prices down more than 20 percent from the October peak, WTI is now officially in a bear market.
Many of the factors that conspired to push oil prices up in recent months have all seemed to reverse course at exactly the same time.
First, U.S. shale production is skyrocketing. The EIA reported an unbelievable increase of 400,000 bpd in U.S. oil production in the first week of November, pushing output up to 11.6 million barrels per day (mb/d). The agency rounds off weekly estimates to the nearest hundred thousand barrels, somewhat obscuring the trajectory of growth, but the huge increase is notable by any standard.

Leading Brexit campaigners held secret meetings with Russian officials

MPs call for police to investigate Arron Banks’ links to Russia

MPs are calling for the police and parliament to investigate the links between the millionaire Brexit donor Arron Banks and the Russian government, after it emerged that he met the Kremlin’s ambassador to the UK three times, rather than once as he originally claimed.
With pressure growing on Banks to explain his relations with Moscow during and after the EU referendum campaign, the Bristol-based businessman will face a postponed hearing on Tuesday before the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee, which is investigating “fake news”.

U.S. record oil exports bite into Russia, OPEC market share in Asia

U.S. crude production hit all-time highs

Record crude oil volumes exported from the United States will be heading to Asia in the next couple of months to take another piece of the market away from Russia and producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The United States is set to export 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, of which 1.3 million bpd will head to Asia, estimated a senior executive with a key U.S. oil exporters.
Data from the Energy Information Administration shows U.S. oil exports peaked at 2.6 million bpd two weeks ago. [EIA/S] The record outbound volumes come as U.S. crude production hit all-time highs, depressing U.S. prices to discounts of more than $9 a barrel below Brent crude futures on Monday, the widest in more than three years and opening an arbitrage for excess supplies to other markets. WTCLc1-LCOc1
https://www.reuters.com/

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase its oil production

A war with Iran won’t affect global oil production

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase its oil production in response to the expected decline in Iranian crude oil for international markets following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. That’s what an official from the Saudi energy ministry told local state news agency SPA.
Saudi Arabia supported Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal, unlike the United States’ allies in Western Europe: the heads of France, the UK, and Germany stated they are committed to upholding the Iran nuclear deal.
Russia and China—also signatories to the deal—have opposed Trump’s decision and are unlikely to make any changes to their economic relations with Iran following the U.S. withdrawal. While Russia is not a consumer of Iranian oil, China and India are—and they are unlikely to stop taking in Iranian crude despite the sanctions.
 https://www.oilprice.com/

Huge Chinese Demand for Natural Gas

United States is well-positioned

China’s push for cleaner air and fuel is driving an unprecedented demand for natural gas, and the United States is well-positioned to seize this opportunity and export even more of its growing gas production to the thirsty nation.
U.S. companies have plans for even more liquefied natural gas (LNG) export trains and facilities to come online in the coming years, and this winter’s surge in Chinese LNG demand and imports underpins a second wave of LNG investment in the United States, analysts and company executives believe.
http://www.oilprice.com…  March 13, 2018

America's oil exports are booming

Prices are climbing

The resurgence of the oil industry can be traced back to what happened in Congress one day in December 2015. That’s when lawmakers ended the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports. Crude pumped in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota could suddenly be shipped overseas.
At the time, a glut of supply was wreaking havoc on the energy industry. Crude eventually crashed to $26 a barrel. But that glut is disappearing, thanks in part to booming oil exports from the United States. Crude that was once trapped inside the country is now going to Europe, Latin America and even China.
The United States exported a record 1.7 million barrels of oil per day in October 2017, according to the most recent stats from the Energy Information Administration. That’s four times as much as in 2015, when federal law prohibited shipping oil to most places except Canada.
http://www.cnn.com…  January 29, 2018

Telegram wants its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency

Enormous Initial Coin Offering

Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. According to multiple sources which have spoken to TechCrunch, the “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain with superior capabilities, after Bitcoin and, later, Ethereum paved the way.

The launch will be funded with an enormous Initial Coin Offering, with forthcoming private pre-sales ranging into the hundreds of millions, potentially making it one of the largest ICOs to date. Demand is driven by the fact that rather than the ICO coming from a fresh startup, Telegram is a well-established messaging platform used around the world.
Adopting a homegrown cryptocurrency could give Telegram’s payment system enormous independence from any government or bank — something Co-founder and CEO Pavel Durov is known to covet after investors took over his last company, Russian social network VK. Durov has not responded to TechCrunch’s several attempts to contact him regarding this story.
http://www.techcrunch.com/ … Tue., 16  January 2018

United States, planet's leading crude oil producer in 2018

The United States is poised to ramp up crude oil production by 10% in 2018

The United States will produce about 11 million barrels per day, according to research firm Rystad Energy. Surging shale oil output should allow the United States to dethrone Russia and Saudi Arabia as the planet’s leading crude oil producer, Rystad predicted in a recent report. The U.S. hasn’t been the global leader, nor ahead of both Russia and Saudi Arabia, since 1975.

“The market has completely changed due to the U.S. shale machine,” said Nadia Martin Wiggen, Rystad’s vice president of markets.
The prediction shows how the fracking revolution has turned America into an energy powerhouse — a transformation that President Trump has vowed to accelerate by cutting regulation. This long-term shift has allowed the U.S. to be less reliant on foreign oil, including from the turbulent Middle East.
http://money.cnn.com/… Thu., 04  January 2018

The bright future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China

Machine learning is the key

The present global verve about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies has resonated in China as much as anywhere on earth. With the State Council’s issuance of the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” (新一代人工智能发展规划) on July 20, China’s government set out an ambitious roadmap including targets through 2030. Meanwhile, in China’s leading cities, flashy conferences on AI have become commonplace. It seems every mid-sized tech company wants to show off its self-driving car efforts, while numerous financial tech start-ups tout an AI-driven approach. Chatbot startups clog investors’ date books, and Shanghai metro ads pitch AI-taught English language learning.
The surge of showmanship and investment in the private sector is paralleled by a new focus among officials and policy thinkers in academia, civilian and military sectors of government, and major companies. Questions about how to regulate AI, and how to develop and use it ethically, have become a major topic for China’s digital policy brain trust in recent months.

http://www.newamerica.org…  Mon.,  18  September 2017