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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.

  • How Wall Street Is Killing Big Oil

    Investors force big private energy companies into liquidation; energy dominance shifts to emerging markets CHICAGO: Lee Raymond, the famously pugnacious oilman who led ExxonMobil between 1999 and 2005, liked to tell Wall Street analysts that covering the company would be boring. “You’ll just have to live with outstanding, consistent financial and operating performance,” he once boasted. For generations, Exxon and its Big Oil brethren, including Chevron, ConocoPhilipps, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, dominated the global energy landscape, raking in enormous profits and delivering fat dividends to shareholders. Big Oil has long been an investor darling. Those days are over.…

  • Statoil Hits North Sea Oil Bonanza In Abandoned Field

    When the Norwegian energy company Norsk Hydro explored a prospective oil well in the North Sea in 1992, it found only an estimated 6 million barrels of crude, then abandoned it. Now Norway’s energy giant Statoil says it’s found more than 10 times that amount in the well.Statoil announced Oct. 21 that it has found between 30 million and 80 million barrels of recoverable oil at the site, named Well 25/8-18 S, off the southwestern coast of Norway. What makes the discovery more attractive is that it’s close enough to the Grane oil field – just four miles away –…

  • Drowning In Oil Again

    For 4 years now the oil price (Brent) has been range bound between $90 and $130 per barrel (Figure 2). This is where it settled after the convulsions of the $148 per barrel peak in 2008 followed by the financial crash. Recently it has dipped to around the $80 mark and although we have seen a slight recovery many analysts believe it could break lower. With the world in turmoil, including OPEC producers Iraq and Libya ± Iran, and Russia cast out by the West, one might expect the oil price to be quite perky. But the opposite is true.…

  • How Oil Platforms Increase Fish Populations

    Oil platforms off the coast of Southern California create a fertile breeding ground for fish, producing 10 times more fish weight than conventional marine habitats and 27 times more when compared with natural rocky reefs.Researchers say the findings could have important policy implications for the decommissioning and construction of oil platforms, wind farms, and other offshore structures.“Given the hundreds of thousands of fishes that sometimes live around these platforms, these results were not a complete surprise,” says Milton Love, a research biologist with the Marine Science Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara.Related: BP May Owe Anglers $585 Million After…

  • 2014 May Be A Crucial Year For Iranian Oil

    On September 29, representatives from the five Caspian littoral states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan) convened in Astrakhan, Russia for a fourth round of negotiations on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. An agreement among the states will prove highly beneficial to Iran and, if a deal is reached in talks on the Iranian nuclear program between Tehran and the P5 + 1 group, may lead to a reversal of the decline in the Iranian oil and gas industry. The age of Iran’s oil industry means that some of the country’s oil fields are maturing and production rates…

  • World’s Most Expensive Oil Project Just Got More Costly

    Just as oil prices hit multiyear lows, several oil majors announced some more terrible news. The Kashagan oil field – the world’s most expensive oil project – will face several more years of delays and cost overruns. The project’s price tag, already north of $50 billion (other estimates say costs are much higher), will rise by an additional $4 billion as a consortium of international oil companies have to replace two 55-mile pipelines. The episode highlights the growing difficulty that oil majors are having at maintaining their worldwide production levels. Kashagan was supposed to be a symbol of Kazakhstan’s arrival.…

  • How Long Can U.S. Production Survive Low Oil Prices?

    For the last 3 years, European Brent has mostly traded in a range of $100-$120 with West Texas intermediate selling at a $5 to $20 discount. But in September Brent started moving below $100 and now stands at $90 a barrel, and the spread over U.S. domestic crude has narrowed. Here I take a look at some of the factors behind these developments.Price of crude oil in dollars per barrel, Jan 4 2005 to Oct 6 2014. Data source: EIA.Price of Brent minus WTI, Jan 4 2005 to Oct 6 2014.Prices of many other industrial commodities have also declined over…

  • Why Appearances Can Be Deceiving In European Oil Markets

    When markets in general or particular sectors come under pressure, those of us of a contrarian bent start looking around for bargains. Oil company stocks and European stocks have both been under enormous pressure recently, so many are looking at European oil stocks as particularly cheap. That is only natural and is generally a good investing strategy, but some degree of care is called for. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes stocks that have dropped have done so for good reason. To demonstrate that point, let’s take a look at two large European diversified oil companies, Total…

  • Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come To Pass

    On Monday, September 29, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a story called “Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True.” The story is written as if there are only two possible outcomes:1.    The Peak Oil version of what to expect from oil limits is correct, or2.    Diminishing Returns can and are being put off by technological progress–the view of the WSJ.It seems to me, though, that a third outcome is not only possible, but is what is actually happening.3. Diminishing returns from oil limits are already beginning to hit, but the impacts and the expected shape of the down slope…

  • Russian Shale Boom Unlikely As Sanctions Force Another Company Out

    First, it was the U.S. company ExxonMobil. Then, France’s Total. Now western sanctions against Russia have led Royal Dutch Shell to discontinue its work with Gazprom Neft extracting shale oil from a field in Siberia.In announcing Shell’s suspension on its website, Gazprom Neft, part of the Kremlin-run gas monopoly Gazprom, said it will continue work “by itself” on the first horizontal exploratory drilling at the Bazhenov shale in Siberia, which began last week.In its own statement, Shell said the sanctions had begun to affect its enterprises in Russia, some already under way, others still in the planning stages. On Sept.…