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Finance

  • They're Drawing Straws For Oil Pipeline Space Here

    The explosion in unconventional gas and oil production across America has been a boon for E&Ps and their investors. But could rapidly rising output now be becoming a curse?News this week suggests that big rises in production are certainly becoming an issue in at least one play: the Permian Basin of Texas. Where exploding oil output is leaving producers with fewer and fewer options for transporting their supply.Platts reports that the oil supply glut here is creating huge demand for new pipeline capacity in the region. So much so, that midstream companies are looking to never-before-seen methods for choosing who…

  • Is This Metal About To Get Better... Then Bust?

    Some critical events are unfolding globally this week for one major metal. Suggesting that this particular commodity could get a lift from policy changes--before it runs into some stiff headwinds from other shifts.The metal is iron ore. A commodity that has recently got a big lift from events in India.The Indian government had led a major crackdown on illegal iron ore mining the past year. Shutting down numerous operations lacking proper permitting in states like Goa, in the country's west.That's caused India's iron ore exports to dwindle from hundreds of millions of tonnes yearly to nearly nothing. Even bringing on…

  • This Mining Giant Is Cutting Itself In Half

    Big news this week from one of the world's premier mining firms. Suggesting that the sector is coming under pressure to reduce costs by all means possible.The company is BHP Billiton. Which said that it will split its cross-commodity project portfolio into two distinct groups.This division will be accomplished by spinning out certain commodities into a new company. Including aluminum, coal, manganese, nickel and silver.BHP itself will retain control of assets in petroleum, iron ore, copper and potash.The stated rationale for the de-merger is to "simplify" operations, reduce costs and improve productivity. An interesting angle for the miner to be…

  • Is Big Value About to Be Unlocked In This Forgotten Oil Play?

    A couple of very interesting data points the last few weeks--from an oil and gas region that most investors have written off as declining and decaying.That's the U.K. Where key events on the horizon may transform the look of petroleum exploration and development. Potentially unlocking some intriguing upside. First of all on the exploration front. With leads coming in a surprising virgin area within this generally well-developed terrain: the Porcupine Basin of offshore Ireland. Junior partners Antrim Energy and Kosmos Energy announced this month that recently-acquired 3D seismic data here suggests unrisked potential of up to 1.1 billion barrels of…

  • How The Ukraine Crisis Will Play Out

    I can tell you exactly how the crisis in the Ukraine is going to play out. This has major implications for the global economy, financial markets and your personal portfolio, so listen up!The key to deciphering this puzzle is oil, far and away Russia's largest export. At 10 million barrels a day, the country is taking in $360 billion a year in revenues from oil shipments.You can analyze Russia all day long, and come up with bullish arguments for the country, like the emerging middle class, its huge hoard of basic commodities, and substantial wheat exports. But Texas tea (Russian…

  • This Home Of Mega-Oil Finds Is Reforming

    News this week that major energy reforms are coming. In one of the most intriguing exploration centers on the planet: Kazakhstan.Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev said he is disbanding the country's reigning energy authority--the Ministry of Oil and Gas.In it's place, Nazarbayev will create a new and broader regulating body. One that combines the functions of the oil and gas ministry with other departments like industry and technology, environment and water resources.The president made the sweeping move after declaring that Kazakhstan's energy sector is in "complete chaos".Nazarbayev didn't elaborate on exactly what those difficulties might be. But analysts have noted that…

  • Gold Output Is Still Falling In This Critical Center

    A lot of observers are wondering when the bottom will come for the gold market.And evidence globally is starting to suggest it could be soon.One of the main reasons being struggling production. With many of the world's most important production centers now being pinched by lower metals prices.News this month shows that one of the most critical trends on this front is still in motion. That being a big decline in gold production from the world's fifth-largest producer, Peru.The country's mining ministry released production statistics for the month of June. Showing that output fell by over 20% as compared to…

  • An Iron Major Bets On This Unloved Place

    West Africa has had a tough go of things lately.The recent flare-up of ebola in places like Guinea has topped off a deeper list of issues. One of the major ones being regulatory stability--with questions having emerged over just how workable big deposits here are.A lot of the debate has focused on iron ore. With Guinea holding some of the largest undeveloped deposits on the planet. Which have unfortunately been plagued by government asset seizures, legal wrangling, and a lack of infrastructure that has held back progress.But this week, the area got a major vote of confidence. From one of…

  • Time To Go Long WTI, If Only By Proxy

    It is no secret that, since I first started contributing here, I have been somewhat bearish on the price of oil, or more specifically on West Texas Intermediate (WTI). That doesn’t mean that I don’t see long term opportunity in U.S. based oil stocks; I do, but the very thing that makes them attractive, the boom in oil production in the U.S. also, by definition, limits the upside to the price of oil, all else being equal. That seemingly contradictory stance has been vindicated, I guess, as WTI futures have dropped below $100, even as the energy sector has outperformed…

  • Oil Majors Face Long-Term Challenges

    It is quarterly earnings season and the latest figures are in. The world’s major oil companies posted mixed results. Some were good, some were bad, some showed signs of short-term optimism, but several have once again hinted at some worrying underlying trends that could play out over the long-term.First, BP (NYSE: BP) saw its profits increase by more than 65 percent from a year earlier, a highly impressive number. The British oil giant posted over $3.37 billion in second quarter profits, up from $2.04 billion in the second quarter of 2013. The gains came largely from its 19.75 percent stake…