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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.
Crude oil production exceeded consumption by an average of 0.9 million barrels per day in 2014 and 2.0 million bpd in 2015. This means that as of this moment, about 550 million “missing barrels” are unaccounted for “apparently produced but not consumed and not visible in the inventory statistics.”
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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.
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.
“Even if oil hovers between $30 and $35 a barrel, Iran will be pulling in some $3 billion a month by summer and nearly $4 billion a month by December.”
On Saturday, Iran marked what President Hassan Rouhani called a “golden page” in the country’s history when the IAEA ruled that Tehran had stuck to its commitments under last year’s nuclear accord.
Moments after the ruling was handed down, the US and the EU each lifted nuclear-related financial and economic sanctions on the “pariah state,” much to the chagrin of Israel and Tehran’s regional rivals who view the West’s rapprochement with the Iranians with deep suspicion.
“Everybody is happy except the Zionists, the warmongers who are fuelling sectarian war among the Islamic nation, and the hardliners in the U.S. congress,” Rouhani said, referring directly to Israel, the Saudis, and GOP lawmakers in the US.
British Special Forces have been deployed in Libya to wrest back control of more than a dozen oil fields seized by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants, it has emerged.
Approximately 6,000 European and US soldiers, including 1,000 British troops, will be involved in a number of offensives set up to halt the advance of the jihadist terror group.
The operation will be led by Italian forces and supported mainly by Britain and France.