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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.

  • Good News At Last For Petrobras

    Petrobras announced on March 24 that it has discovered a significant deposit of oil just of the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The company says that it encountered a 200 meter column of hydrocarbons in its Libra block, at depth of about 5,780 meters (18,963 feet). The news was a major boost to a company that has been drowning in debt and scandal. Petrobras has now amassed $130 billion in debt, having added $22 billion in additional debt in just the last six months because of the deteriorating Brazilian currency. Petrobras, by and large, earns revenues in reals but owes…

  • Exports Looking More Likely

    How quickly has the oil market has changed? Since November of last year, oil predictions have run the gamut from complete wipeout to $20 a barrel to temporary distress and a quick V-bottom recovery to $75. As pessimistic as I've been on the length of time that depressed prices in oil will remain, I've been equally skeptical both of big up and downslides from current prices. I cautioned that oil wouldn't see $60 a barrel as prices drove into the mid-$50's and I'm again warning that oil will never see the $25-30 dollar disaster price that many are predicting now.…

  • Forget About Keystone XL – Canadian Crude Is Coming

    While Congress and the White House continue to wrangle over the Keystone XL pipeline extension, the oil industry is taking matters into its own hands. Markets are primed for an influx of Canadian crude oil, but with pipeline transport off the table for the foreseeable future, producers have built alternative modes to meet the demand. The problem is, recent disasters have soured legislators and environmentalists on road and rail for moving oil. Alongside political uncertainties are other wild cards like extreme weather and the unknowns that arise from an emerging logistics infrastructure, which can all impact the flow of goods.…

  • Can Big Oil Keep Paying High Dividends?

    Low oil prices have compelled the Italian oil company Eni to slash its dividend, the first major oil company to do so. With the biggest oil companies struggling to generate cash, could Eni merely be the first among many to make such a move? The decision to slash its dividend underscores the predicament facing the largest oil and gas companies around the world. The utter collapse in oil prices is blasting a giant hole in their balance sheets, forcing dramatic cut backs in spending. But dividends have been zealously protected by oil firms, which have historically opted for spending cuts…

  • The Latest OPEC Monthly Production Figures

    The latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is out with OPEC crude only production numbers for February. All data in the OPEC charts below is in thousand barrels per day and the last data point is February 2015.Total OPEC crude only production was down 137,600 barrels per day in February.Algeria seems to have stabilized their decline.Angola is holding steady.Ecuador has been slowly increasing production at a rate of about 25,000 barrels per day per year. I don’t think they can hold that for another year however.Related: Middle East OPEC Oil Rig Count Jumps 14%Iran production has been remarkably flat for about…

  • Is US Oil Production Finally About To Fall?

    Could a decline in U.S. oil production finally be here? After months of substantial declines in the number of active rig counts in the oil patch, U.S. oil production figures have yet to take a hit. There are good reasons for that. There is a lag effect between the falling oil price and corporate decision-making – it takes time to ratchet down drilling plans. More importantly, the average oil rig has become much more efficient, enabling drillers to produce more with less. That meant that the most inefficient rigs were taken off the market first. Also, exploration companies, especially ones…

  • Why Royalty Trusts Might Be A Good Buy Now

    Energy investors are all basically asking the same questions: When will oil bottom, and when it does, what are the best ways to make money on the turn? As of last Friday, traders became jittery again punishing oil prices down to lows not seen since the bottoming process of 2009. Generally, the consensus is renewed nervousness about Iran soon being able to release its oil on the over-saturated market, plus recent stories that the Cushing, Oklahoma light sweet crude storage facilities (and others) will all be overflowing by next month. Markets climb a wall of worry. When all this turns,…

  • Middle East OPEC Oil Rig Count Jumps 14%

    As if to rub salt in the wounds of the US shale industry, Middle East OPEC oil rig count has jumped by 19 rigs to 155 units in February 2015 setting a new rig count record for the region. Since 2005 the supergiant oil fields of the region developed symptoms of mortality and increased drilling has been required to combat natural production declines in order to maintain production at static levels. Figure 1 Middle East OPEC oil rig count for Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Baker Hughes is not reporting data for Iran and activity in Iraq is affected by…

  • Blame Game Starts Over Recent Oil Train Spills

    The string of oil train derailments is sparking infighting between the various industry players moving oil around the country. An oil refining trade group is suing BNSF Railway Company for unfairly charging them a premium to use older railcars. At issue are the DOT-111 railcars that have been implicated in so many explosive train derailments. Due to their thin walls and flimsy exterior, the railcars have been deemed unfit to safely move crude oil across North America. Both the U.S. and Canadian governments have plans to force their phase out from the rail fleet, but have been slow to issue…

  • Middle East Oil Addiction Could Spell Disaster

    The plunge in oil prices has been felt dearly by the top hydrocarbon-producing countries, with all experiencing deep losses in revenue that in better times, provides a nice cushion for spending on social programs that keep populations happy and peaceful. Nowhere is this more true than the Middle East, where governments have fattened their treasuries for years on a steady diet of oil and gas revenues that have made their citizens some of the richest in the world. From a CNBC list of a dozen countries that pay zero income tax, half are countries surrounding the Persian Gulf, including Saudi…