MARSAL COMMENTS: Last week was horrible for oil. Prices fell approx. 8% with WTI breaking below US$ 50 and Brent below US$ 53. Speculators seem to have become pessimistic and liquidated their long positions. Will they now turn bearish and short oil? Continue reading “HAVE OIL PRICES TURNED DOWN?”
Heaps of oil analysis, bigger heaps of opinions and a flood of conclusions ranging from the possible to the impossible. It is beginning to seem as though everyone is blind, or running in a pitch-dark tunnel with no idea where the exit is. Continue reading “The Oil Drama”
Before the ink was dry on the OPEC production accord, the Shale oil producers pounced on the futures market, selling forward all or a big part of their 2017 and 2018 production. The prices they sold at were above US 55 per barrel, and possibly near $ 60. (Actually, they had started selling Continue reading “The Oil Wolves are at the Gates”
OPEC announced on Nov 30, 2016 an agreement to cut its total oil production by 1.2 Million barrels per day to bring it to 32.5 mill b/d, as off Jan 2017. Overnight, Brent oil price spiked by 9% to around US$ 52. The next step is for OPEC to obtain and extra reduction of 600,000 b/d from Non-OPEC producers. Continue reading “OIL PRICE – WHERETO?”
The oil business was abuzz last week with the rumors of a possible agreement between Russia and Saudi on freezing their production at their present levels. Consequently, prices began to creep upwards, especially after both the Saudi and Russian oil ministers made optimistic noises during the recent G20 meeting. They said that a semi-permanent committee would be established to seek ways of cooperation on oil and indicated indirectly that some sort of freeze would be “good”, and “maybe” likely. That was sufficient to trigger oil traders and turn them bullish – for a while at least before they came back to their senses. Continue reading “An Oil Freeze? So What?”
OPEC doesn’t seem overly optimistic on oil prices in 2017. While it sees demand rising slightly, but to a record of 95.41 million barrels per day (MBPD), it is worried that this Summer’s expected demand didn’t materialize and that refineries are overstocked and may not increase their demand for the rest of 2016.
Likely Beneficiaries: Oil Refineries: theoretically, they can continue to get cheap crude and sell refined products at relatively much higher prices. General Consumers: They will not see rise in driving cost or utilities costs, at least for some time. Oil Importing Countries: Such as China, India, Europe and other countries dependent of imported oil.
Oil Producers: Especially to whom oil export is their bread & Butter. The oil companies in general as well as countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria and Iraq would be biggest losers. To a lesser extent, Iran and Russia would be hurt. As for the Gulf oil countries, they are still flush with cash and need a longer period of low oil prices to really feel the pain.
Announcing a semi pessimistic forecast would not normally have been expected from OPEC. One would have expected them to try and talk-up the price through bullish forecasts. But, if they really wanted to raise prices, they would have cut back a little on their production, or announced that they intend to do so.
So what is a possible reason for such an announcement?
Around now is the time when the oil hedging for future 2017 prices takes place. Such announcements could have a dampening effect on the hedged prices, which would be negative to such countries, as Mexico, that rely substantially on hedging a big chunk of their annual oil production. Also, it would have a dampening effect on the Shale Oil producers who have used hedging to stay alive during the past two years.
OIL WARS – The Coming New Disaster?
By: Marwan Salamah*
Dec 25, 2014
If protecting market share is OPEC’s primary objective in not reducing oil production, and if oil prices remain depressed or continue their downward journey over the next few months, then it becomes only a matter of time before OPEC members begin to pounce on each other’s market shares and on non-OPEC shares.
In such a scenario, the outcome is likely to be in favor of whoever has the lowest cash production costs and the highest surplus funds to weather the oil revenues squeeze. Of the big producers, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the best positioned to win such a price war and Venezuela and Nigeria are likely to be the biggest losers followed at some distance by Iran, Iraq and then Russia.
THE OIL PRICE CRASH WAS INEVITABLE Marwan Salamah* Dec 23, 2014
Four years ago, we published in www.asmainfo.com, the Arab Stock Market Analysis website, a technical analysis forecast of crude oil prices which indicated the likelihood of oil prices dropping in 2014 towards US$ 33 per barrel ! Technical Analysis is a mathematical statistical tool to identify trends and possible future prices and as such sees what the naked eye, used to empirical evidence, does not see.
Even a non-expert in technical analysis can see from the attached graph that the oil price rise between 2003 and 2008 was very high and steep thus inviting a steep downward correction. Another steep rise occurred in the period between 2008 and 2014.
However, there is a sunny side to this storm. The same analysis indicated the possibility of oil prices rebounding up towards the US$ 200 – 250 range in a few years. But, such a rebound would be conditional on the World’s presently weak economies regaining their vitality, no alternative to oil is discovered and no devastating regional or world wars occur.
As for the direct causes of the recent crash of oil prices, a number of negative events came into play in close proximity of each other. The first was the rapid commercial development of Shale oil production and Fracking, which elevated the U.S. to become the world’s largest oil producer and dramatically shrinking its dependence on oil imports (It is now forecast to become a net exporter of oil in a couple of years). The second was the inability of the European economies to shake off their post 2008 recessions in addition to the slowdown in the Chinese, Indian and the Third World economies. Thirdly, the oil producers continued their pre-recessions production levels throughout this period. Continue reading “THE OIL PRICE CRASH WAS INEVITABLE”