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  • Future Stars of the Energy Sector

    I’ve been watching the indexes -- one day up, the next down.  It might not inspire confidence but as an energy specialist, I couldn’t be happier – energy issues have done especially well in this choppiness.  That’s not a reason to get comfortable, however – we’re still going to look for value.  And I think we’re going to find it next in natural gas.  Some really oily plays have made us a lot of money recently:  Anadarko (APC) gave us a great settlement on Tronox, Noble (NBL) sits solidly at $75, Halcon (HK) has gotten a terrific read-through into their…

  • PLUG: Harness The Power Of A Steady Short Squeeze

    Five weeks ago, fuel cell stocks, and Plug Power (PLUG) in particular were all the rage. At the end of February, Plug announced a huge contract with Wal-Mart for 1,738 of their GenDrive fuel cell units, to be deployed over the next two years. More importantly in the eyes of many, the deal also included a six year service contract.For a company that had been struggling to gain mainstream acceptance for a disruptive technology, the blessing of the mighty Wal-Mart was a godsend and the stock reacted accordingly. PLUG closed on February 25th, the day before the announcement, at $3.90…

  • Where Would Increased U.S., EU Sanctions on Russia Leave Energy Investors in Ukr

    The EU and the US say they will impose "further costs" on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, as unrest continues in the east of the country. Tension has been rising in eastern Ukraine, with pro-Russian activists occupying buildings in more towns. On 14 April White House spokesman Jay Carney warned that Russia's actions "will come with a cost,'' which has Western energy companies deeply invested in Russia, such as Exxon Mobil and BP, increasingly nervous. While Russia denies stoking unrest in eastern Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters that he believed seizures of official buildings in eastern Ukrainian…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 18th April 2014

    Delays Ahead for Mexico Energy ReformsImplementation of Mexico’s much-awaited sweeping energy reforms is likely to be delayed as lawmakers grapple with secondary legislation that is trying to make its way through a current congressional session, which ends on 30 April. The latest news is that the lawmakers may need “extra weeks” to pass the secondary laws, which have yet to be presented in the session. In December, Mexico’s Congress approved sweeping energy reforms that will end state-run Pemex’s monopoly on crude oil production. Once the details of the reforms are in place, we could be looking at significant new streams…

  • The 3 Most Important Numbers in Energy – 18th April 2014

    The Insider’s weekly run-down of critical figures and happenings from around the energy world.$1.35 billion. Amount that major base metal mining firm GlencoreXstrata is paying to acquire African oil producer Caracal Energy.The miner announced the acquisition this week, which will raise its stake in onshore fields in the central African nation of Chad to 85%. An interesting comment on the state of commodities markets—especially given the company has been exiting assets on the metals mining side of late.  19.3%. Increase in coal consumption from major Japanese power utilities during the fiscal year 2013/14. Data from the country’s Federation of Electric…

  • Don’t Panic…Buy BP Instead

    As I sit writing this piece, on Thursday afternoon in the US, I am looking at a screen filled with red and am reminding myself of the sage advice from the cover of “The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy”…”DON’T PANIC”. I couldn’t find the “large, friendly letter” font that this should, according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide author Douglas Adams, be written in, but they are wise words nonetheless.In fact, if you are to be successful as either a trader or investor, you should do as the denizens of dealing rooms do, and see any volatility as opportunity rather than a…

  • Japan’s Uncertain Energy Future

    This column is being written later in my day than usual as I was completing a two-part interview with the NHK network, the PBS of Japan.  In two marathon sessions, their producers grilled me on every angle of energy for two one-hour documentaries they’re preparing for the end of May. The show is the Japanese version of “60 Minutes” and the most watched show in Japan.  The experience was fascinating but also focusing, because being questioned by the Japanese reminded me, if I ever forget, of the global nature of the energy question and the particular challenges that Japan faces.This…

  • U.S. Will Export Oil – Who Wins and Who Loses?

    The surge in U.S. oil production in 2010 has left a glut of oil trapped within the United States. To be sure, the U.S. is by far the largest consumer of oil in the world, so it’s not like all that extra oil sloshing around can’t find a home. But, due to a mismatch between the light, sweet crude coming out of places like the Bakken and the Eagle Ford, and the preponderance of refineries on the Gulf Coast equipped to handle heavier, sourer types of oil, there are local surpluses in supply. As a result, prices are somewhat depressed…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 11th April 2014

    Libya: Ports Unblocked, for NowPorts under control of rebel forces have been reopened temporarily, unlocking export capacity of around 600,000 barrels per day. Rebels agreed to the deal after the government met some of their demands, which included relocating the headquarters of its Oil Protection Force to Brega. So far, as of 7 April, two ports have been reopened: Zueitina and Hariga, while two other ports could be reopened in the coming weeks. With the reopening of two ports now we should see the unlocking of around 200,000 barrels of per day in export capacity. The agreement also tentatively includes…

  • The 3 Most Important Numbers in Energy – 11th April 2014

    The Insider’s weekly run-down of critical figures and happenings from around the energy world.42%. Monthly increase in India’s coal imports, according to industry analysts Interocean. The big jump includes a 36% rise in thermal coal imports, as compared to February. Along with a 63% increase in metallurgical coal shipments. The numbers confirm the trend of significantly rising coal imports into India. An important observation, as coal prices globally have been moderating. This strong demand however, could put a floor under the market—and perhaps set the stage for a notable recovery. 6.5 million tonnes. Amount that Indonesian state utility PT Perusahaan…