Update 5: as the meeting concludes, here are the details as they emerge one headline at a time:
I know that they’ve found an oil field in Alaska (many years ago) that would provide the U.S. easily with enough oil for the next 200 years!!!
A small company just announced that it has made a “world-class” oil discovery in Alaska, which could be the largest find in the state in years.
Caelus Energy LLC, a small company backed by private equity, says that it has discovered oil on Alaska’s northern coast. The field could hold as much as 6 billion barrels of oil, with about 1.8 to 2.4 billion barrels considered to be recoverable. If that is the case, the discovery would instantly raise Alaska’s statewide recoverable oil reserve base by about 80 percent.
But producing the oil will not be easy. Drilling must take place in the winter. To drill the field, the tentative plan would be to build manmade islands to drill through. Oil produced in the shallow water of Smith Bay will need to be moved somehow. Caelus will have to build an $800 million pipeline that travels 125 miles, connecting to an existing pipeline system in Prudhoe Bay.
There is a new drama on the oil front: those who have it in excess can’t get it to those who want it—at least not quickly enough for everyone to be happy.
A recent Reuters story reveals that tankers carrying around 200 million barrels of crude are waiting to leave or dock at ports around the world, creating “the world’s biggest traffic jam.”
One would think that producers and consumers of the world’s most abundant commodity would have had time enough to adjust their port capacities, but apparently this is not the case. Middle East ports are choking on the oil waiting to be loaded onto tankers and shipped to Asia, and Asian ports are forcing tankers to wait for weeks before unloading because their infrastructure can’t cope with these amounts of oil.
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The main catalyst that pushed the price of oil from a 13 year low in early February, when crude briefly traded in the mid-$20 to well over 50% higher less than one month later in one of the world’s most furious short squeezes, was the recurring infatuation with the fabricated narrative that OPEC would if not cut production then, then at least freeze it.
We mocked this, as recently as one month ago, when we wrote “About That “Oil Freeze”: Russian Crude Production Sets New Post-Soviet Record In February” an article which was self-explanatory:
… according to calculations by Bloomberg’s Julian Lee, Russian crude and condensate production just set new post-Soviet daily record of 10.92m bbl yesterday.
And it has only just begun.
Talking of Oil and Gold, last week Deutsche Bank showed a long-term graph of Oil in real adjusted terms, showing that the average real price since 1861 was $47.
Following on from that, Deutsche notes one ratio they occasionally look at is the ratio of various assets to the price of Gold…
Today we update the Oil/Gold ratio back to 1865 and find that the Gold price has just hit an all time high at around 44 times the price of Oil.
The previous high of 41 in 1892 has just been exceeded.
Wait until the the real war is starting.
Just four days ago, on Monday afternoon, “legendary” oilman T Boone Pickens said that crude has hit bottom at $26 per barrel, and predicting that prices should double within 12 months.
Pickens then doubled-down on his wrong call from last year, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that oil prices will rise to at least $52 per barrel by the end of the year. That said, he was at least honest enough to admit that his virtually identical call from last year, when he thought prices would strongly rebound, was wrong.
Oil prices around USD 30/bbl mean that an increasingly significant volume of future oil projects no longer make sense. Although Deutsche Bank does not expect US crude inventories to reach capacity, rising US inventories and high US crude imports may heighten downside pressures to push prices closer to marginal cash costs of USD 7-17/bbl for US tight oil, with few plausible scenarios for a strong price recovery in the short term,
The main reason for oil’s torried surge over the past 2 days is that following yesterday’s Russia-Opec “oil production cut” headline fiasco, crude traders – who as we previously reported already had a record net short position – scrambled to cover their exposure on the assumption that where there is oily smoke, there will be fire. We can now put to rest any speculation that OPEC will proceed with any supply cuts, whether Russia requests it or not, because as the WSJ reported moments ago, not only will OPEC not support a supply cut but it will also not support an emergency OPEC meeting.
From a glut in the U.S. supply to fears concerning what will happen now that sanctions on Iran have been lifted, the market for oil is tanking considerably — so much so that one supplier of crude in North Dakota finds itself in the odd position of paying people to take its product.
North Dakota Sour, a high-sulfur crude that’s more expensive to refine than other varieties, has now been listed at -$0.50 per barrel — down from $13.50 per barrel a year ago and $47.60 per barrel in 2014, Bloomberg reported.
The number of barrels of oil that a single ounce of gold can buy has never, ever been higher.
For the last 30 years, when the ratio of gold-to-oil spikes, something systemically serious occurs globally (as opposed to the usual bullshit “this is transitory” statements).
So what happens next?
A little over a year ago, Paul Hodges was roundly mocked when in December 2014 he made a drastic call that “Oil May Drop To $25 On Chinese Demand Plunge, Supply Glut, Ageing Boomers.” After oil got as close as 40 cents away from the dreaded 2-handle, Paul had the last laugh.
But the bigger point is that not only is $20 oil not a shocker any more, it is largely expected and could be indeed welcomed, as first Goldman, then practically everyone else has now admitted it is just a matter of time before oil trades to levels not seen since the 20th century.
The low oil price is the signal of the dying dollar.
Sub $30 Oil – When this happens, big banks explode
“The reset has begun, the plug has been pulled. Americans and US and western press watch the dollar and say it’s strong. I watch the oil price and say the dollar’s dead.
After ’71 when the gold standard was broke, called the Bretton Woods Accord, what replaced the gold standard but the de facto petrodollar standard?
H/t reader squodgy:
“Just another hint that the process to dump the dollar is definitely in play…
Saudi is bleeding with this low oil price, but if it cuts the umbilical to the dollar the bleeding should stop. As usual we’ll have to wait and see what the Rothschilds & Rockefellers tell them to do, but from the article above, it’s on the cards anyway.”
The longer oil languishes, the more pressure builds on Saudi Arabia to abandon its currency peg.
Contracts used to speculate on the riyal’s exchange rate in the next 12 months jumped to a 13-year high on Monday. That reflects growing bets for the currency to weaken for the first time in almost three decades, even after Saudi Arabia said it’s ready to cooperate with other oil producers to stabilize prices.
Having exposed the world yesterday to the 2-mile long line of tankers-full’o’crude heading from Iraq to the US, several weeks after reporting that China has run out of oil storage space we can now confirm that the global crude “in transit” glut is becoming gargantuan and is starting to have adverse consequences on the price of oil.
While the crude oil tanker backlog in Houston reaches an almost unprecedented 39 (with combined capacity of 28.4 million barrels), as The FT reports that from China to the Gulf of Mexico, the growing flotilla of stationary supertankers is evidence that the oil price crash may still have further to run, as more than 100m barrels of crude oil and heavy fuels are being held on ships at sea (as the year-long supply glut fills up available storage on land). The storage problems are so severe in fact, that traders asking ships to go slow, and that is where we see something very strange occurring off the coast near Galveston, TX.
FT reports that “the amount of oil at sea is at least double the levels of earlier this year and is equivalent to more than a day of global oil supply. The numbers of vessels has been compiled by the Financial Times from satellite tracking data and industry sources.”The storage glut is unprecedented:
With oil exports to Europe having slipped from 13% of Saudi’s total to just 10% in the last six months, The FT reports, the de facto leader of OPEC has slashed its Official Selling Price (OSP) to Europe in an effort to regain market share. Saudi lowered its OSP for its Arab light crude grade in Europe by $1.30 a barrel for December, taking its discount to the weighted average of the North Sea Brent benchmark to $4.75 a barrel – the largest discount since February 2009… directly going after Russia’s customer base.
“We expect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s general government fiscal deficit will increase to 16% of GDP in 2015, from 1.5% in 2014, primarily reflecting the sharp drop in oil prices. Hydrocarbons account for about 80% of Saudi Arabia’s fiscal revenues.”
On October 27, the Anglo-Dutch oil major announced that it was pulling the plug on its Carmon Creek oil sands project in Alberta, Canada. The project was expected to yield 80,000 barrels per day in oil sands production, which was originally greenlighted in 2013.
However, the markets have turned against Shell. In March, the company said that it would alter the design of the project to “take advantage of the market downturn to optimize design and retender certain contracts.” The logic was that low oil prices are forcing cost reductions up and down the supply chain, potentially allowing the company to lower construction costs.
President Vladimir Putin has raised the ante in Russia’s bid to cut dependence on the dollar, urging greater use of the national currency, the ruble, in oil deals.
Russian leaders, whose country is a top crude exporter, have already proposed to carry out oil trade operations in currencies other than the dollar, such as China’s yuan.
Last month, when King Salman arrived in Washington to a fleet of Mercedes S-Classes, we asked if, considering the current circumstances, cutting back on spending might be in order. Indeed, in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s move to tap debt markets, rumors have been circulating for months that the kingdom has enlisted the help of “advisers” to help rein in the ballooning deficit. Now, Riyadh has effectively declared a spending moratorium in the face of self-inflicted crude carnage.
Brazil, which is caught in a vicious recessionary spiral which is only set to get much worse before it gets better, tried to obtain some much needed cash when earlier today it conducted an auction to sell exploration rights for of its oil and gas. It was, in short, a disaster. According to Reuters, by midday Brazil had only sold 17 of 119 blocks offered. A total of 36 companies from 17 countries – including Petrobras, ExxonMobil Corp, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc – registered for the auction. None of the majors have bid so far. Only a handful of sold blocks were even contested.
– WTI Crude Crashes 8% – Biggest Plunge Since Nov 2014’s OPEC Meeting (ZeroHedge, Sept 1, 2015)
– Oil Surges To $45 After Saudi Troops Invade Yemen (ZeroHedge, Aug 28, 2015):
For the 3rd day in a row, crude oil prices are spiking as the short squeeze morphs into a war premium. Heberler reports that Saudi ground troops have entered Northern Yemen and seized control of two areas in the Saada province. WTI is now above $45…
As we noted previously, boots have been on the ground there (and tank tracks) since early July…
But, as Haberler reports, forces seize control of two areas in Yemen’s Saada province in the first actual ground offensive by The Saudis…