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Feb 14, 2011

Coal could shine brighter than gold for investors

– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

By Christopher Swann

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Coal will never displace gold as jewelry. But it has started to outshine as an investment. While gold’s steep rally is threatened by a return to normal monetary policy, surging demand from Asia is pushing coal prices skyward. For those fearing higher inflation coal may be golden.

Feb 8, 2011
via Breakingviews

Egypt a reminder for U.S. to hang onto its gas

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

With foreign prices twice their level in the United States, gas producers are raring to export a good chunk of America’s natural gas bounty. But it’s a risky bet for builders of pricey shipping terminals. And unrest in the Middle East should ram home to policymakers the wisdom of using natural resources at home to reduce foreign energy dependence.

Jan 31, 2011
via Breakingviews

Big Oil’s big spending shouldn’t freak investors

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Big Oil firms have become big spenders. Together, the top three U.S. giants say they plan capital spending of about $60 billion — well above the year of peak crude prices in 2008 — despite showing only tepid cash flow growth. At first blush, this looks like desperation, as Western oil groups increasingly struggle to replace crude reserves. But patient investors will find higher returns are on the way.

Jan 26, 2011
via Breakingviews

U.S. oil independence no longer a joke

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

America imports some 10 million barrels of crude oil daily. Presidents have paid lip service to reducing this dependence since the 1970s. But as drivers shun gas guzzlers and U.S. production rises, imports could be cut in half this decade. Oil self-sufficiency could even be within reach.

Jan 24, 2011
via Breakingviews

Big Oil could unlock big value by ditching dogma

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Big Oil could unlock big value for shareholders. But to get there it needs to slaughter an industry sacred cow: the integration of the exploration and production business with refining and other activities. This model worked for decades but today accords a conglomerate discount to the likes of Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP. Splitting up, as smaller Marathon is doing, could add tens of billions of dollars to shareholders’ portfolios.

Jan 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

Washington is neglecting a natural choice in gas

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — Natural gas may be Uncle Sam’s most ignored blessing. With resources now equivalent to Iran’s oil reserves, domestic shale gas offers a chance to meaningfully reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, cut the deficit and even reduce greenhouse emissions.

Dec 29, 2010
via Breakingviews

Oil bulls may have to pull in their horns

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — Oil bulls are once again kicking up dust. The intensifying struggle to lift output, they say, will collide with the insatiable thirst of an expanding Asia to push oil above $100 a barrel. In fact, the cost of crude may be held down by a halving of demand growth as producers from Russia to Africa via Brazil ramp up supply.

Dec 20, 2010
via Breakingviews

N. America’s gas drilling frenzy won’t end in 2011

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

North America’s shale revolution has run out of control, with leases forcing firms to step up drilling even as gas prices slump. The riot should last through 2011, even though many wells are money-losers. All this should lead to a wave of consolidation and joint-venturing — like the deal Talisman Energy announced with Sasol on Monday — in the gas patch.

Dec 15, 2010
via Newsmaker

Behind the failure of the IMF

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Along with hedge fund manager John Paulson, the International Monetary Fund was perhaps the biggest winner from the global financial crisis. By the start of 2007 the IMF appeared to have lost its role as the world’s lender to crisis-ridden countries. With no demand for its emergency loans, nobody was particularly interested in the fund’s opinions either. The assumption was that it would become little more than a glorified think tank.

Dec 13, 2010
via Breakingviews

Extraction technology drives rash of oil deals

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — It’s tempting to use pricier oil to explain Monday’s trio of oil services industry deals, headlined by General Electric’s purchase of Wellstream Holdings for 800 million pounds. But the stronger underlying theme is rising interest in techniques for reaching oil that’s hard to get at. Specialists want new capabilities — and the majors want bigger partners.

    • About Christopher

      "I am a columnist at Thomson Reuters focusing on the energy industry and hedge funds. Prior to this I worked at Bloomberg and the Financial Times."
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