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Energy / Crude Oil

Articles and research looking into crude oil, whether it be exploration and refining - crude oil price movements or new crude oil extraction techniques. we have it covered here. Look at our energy section for more fossil fuel coverage.

  • Fortune Favors The Bold, Especially In Iran

    Introduction The tentative framework deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 nations over its nuclear program has raised the prospects of a broader thaw in relations. If Iran can be accepted back into the international community, the harsh sanctions on Iran’s economy could be lifted. That could lead to an opening up of Iran’s oil sector. While that won’t mean a return to the pre-revolution days before 1979, it could result in extraordinary opportunities for the few international oil companies willing to brave the political risk. Massive Oil and Gas Reserves And the bounty could be big. Iran is sitting…

  • Trend Should Remain Up Despite Trader Indecision

    June Crude Oil futures posted an inside move last week. This reflected trader indecision or that traders are waiting for fresh information. There was very little reaction this week to the supply and demand reports. Traders seemed to be more focused on the escalating situation in Yemen.After posting a solid gain the week-ending April 17, crude oil futures settled into a sideways-to-lower trade. The inability to follow-through to the upside after the strong rally gave investors an excuse to pare positions. This led to a steady decline throughout the week. It also was an indication that traders were looking for…

  • Big Hit For U.S. Oil Production In January

    U.S. crude oil production fell at least 135,000 barrels of oil per day in January 2015 compared to December 2014 according to the EIA (Figure 1).Figure 1. U.S. crude oil production. Source: EIA and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.(Click image to enlarge)Related: Latest EIA Predictions Should Be Taken With More Than A Pinch Of SaltBakken Shale production fell the most of any play or jurisdiction losing 37,000 barrels per day in North Dakota and 4,000 barrels per day in Montana for a total of 41,000 barrels of oil per day (Figure 2). Production in California, the offshore Gulf of Mexico, Alaska…

  • A Plot To Hold Down Oil Prices Or Just A Happy Coincidence?

    The recent unprecedented surge in oil imports has again prompted a review of things here. In a prior story, we wrote that the lack of capacity to process light sweet crude at refineries produced via shale plays could be playing a role in the stock build. As mentioned previously, refineries over the next 24 months are expected to add 700,000 B/D in capacity to handle this type of crude. In the meantime, we have noticed an unusual amount of crude being imported, possibly as a result of this imbalance in refinery capacity. Or could it be that a more sinister…

  • US Oil Production May Not Drop In Earnest Until 2016

    Readers are keen to know when US oil production will begin to fall. This is not an easy question to answer but in the comments to last week’s rig count update some interesting links were posted. Among them I came across a link to an Energy Information Agency (EIA) report into US drilling efficiency that sought to link future production to drilling activity and this seemed an interesting avenue to explore. The analysis presented here is jam packed with multiple lines of uncertainty, but a simple analysis based on many assumptions suggests that US production may actually increase further by…

  • A Closer Look At The World’s 5 Biggest Oil Companies

    Today, the ‘black gold’ that is oil has become a true global commodity. With global oil prices still subject to volatility and geopolitical uncertainty, most of the oil ‘Supermajors’ have decided to reduce their operating costs by combining different strategies such as mergers, acquisitions and downsizing of existing staff. In these uncertain times, it is important to pose a question: Which is the best oil company in the world? Let us be clear that we are not searching for the biggest oil company in terms of revenues or market value. We are looking for a company that not only generates…

  • Who Is Saudi Arabia Really Targeting In Its Price War?

    Saudi Arabia is not trying to crush U.S. shale plays. Its oil-price war is with the investment banks and the stupid money they directed to fund the plays. It is also with the zero-interest rate economic conditions that made this possible.Saudi Arabia intends to keep oil prices low for as long as possible. Its oil production increased to 10.3 million barrels per day in March 2015. That is 700,000 barrels per day more than in December 2014 and the highest level since the Joint Organizations Data Initiative began compiling production data in 2002 (Figure 1 below). And Saudi Arabia’s rig…

  • What Is Preventing An Algerian Energy Boom?

    The African energy narrative can be summarized as follows: an underexplored and underdeveloped region with a bright, if not gassy, future. Put another way, the continent, which is among the world’s last oil and gas frontiers, is poised for extraordinary growth. East Africa is especially promising and nations like Mozambique – whose GDP is nearly two and a half times less than the yearly net income of ExxonMobil – may soon dominate global markets. Still, such success is hardly a foregone conclusion (read: considerable political and physical risk as well as massive infrastructure deficiencies). As such, events in the north…

  • Railroad Commission: Texas Crude In Decline, Gas Inches Up

    The Texas Railroad Commission has released its incomplete production data for February. The RRC also estimates final production but that data has not been posted yet. All Texas RRC data is through February. The EIA data is through January.It looks like, after the final Texas data comes in, that February crude oil will be above January production but still below December production. It is my best guess that Texas production will be down about 80,000 barrels per day in January and up about 50,000 bpd in February or about 30,000 bpd below December production.I always post the last six months…

  • The EIA Is Bizarrely Optimistic About Future US Oil Production

    The EIA came out with its final update of Annual Energy Outlook 2015. It seems that the EIA is extremely optimistic concerning future US crude oil production.Here is a comparison with AEO 2014. The EIA still expects US crude production to peak in 2019 but at 10,472,000 bpd or 824,000 barrels per day higher than the expected last year. But the biggest difference is in the EIA’s change in decline expectations. They now expect the US to be producing 9,329,000 bpd in 2040 or 1,812 higher than they had 2040 production last year. This is the EIA’s reference, or most…