LONDON (Reuters) – Far too many analysts and commentators are still linking rising Brent futures prices to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and macroeconomic factors, rather than looking for a more localized cause in the North Sea.
It is always tempting to seize on a single piece of hard evidence to make a larger point, especially when that data confirms an already-held belief (something which behavioral economists call “confirmation bias”). But in this case it could not be more wrong.
LONDON, July 2 (Reuters)- Commissioner Scott O’Malia has
emerged as the most consistent and formidable opponent of
Chairman Gary Gensler’s rule-writing efforts at the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
On everything from position limits to the legal definition
of swap dealers and rules for derivatives clearing
organisations, O’Malia has issued a string of long and carefully
reasoned dissents from regulations proposed by CFTC staff and
endorsed by a majority of the other commissioners.
LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – Buying ultra-low yielding
long-dated government bonds that guarantee losses in the event
of even moderate inflation or interest rate rises any time
before maturity, or leaving cash on deposit at negative real
interest rates, as many households and companies across the
advanced industrial economies have done in the last three years,
is fundamentally irrational behaviour.
The current extreme preference for safe assets and liquid
assets, is no more rational than buying technology stocks at the
height of the internet boom in the 1990s, writing negative
amortisation mortgages for subprime households in the mid-2000s,
or buying oil futures at $140 per barrel in 2008.
LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) – Pressure to respond to falling
oil and gas prices by cutting operating costs, coupled with the
need to reduce the social and environmental footprint on host
communities, will force fracking firms to employ a more targeted
approach to drilling wells and hydraulic fracturing in future.
More than a million fracturing operations have been
conducted in the United States since 1947, according to the U.S.
National Petroleum Council, yet in many ways the technology is
LONDON (Reuters) – Commissioner Scott O’Malia has emerged as the most consistent and formidable opponent of Chairman Gary Gensler’s rule-writing efforts at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
On everything from position limits to the legal definition of swap dealers and rules for derivatives clearing organizations, O’Malia has issued a string of long and carefully reasoned dissents from regulations proposed by CFTC staff and endorsed by a majority of the other commissioners.
LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – For all that Malthusians worry
about oil running out, and analysts cite the rising costs of
exploration and production, the oil industry has been adding
reserves faster than they are being consumed since 2005, as high
prices spur an investment boom across the industry.
Contrary to the alarming predictions made a few years ago,
and still periodically revived by peak oilers, there is no sense
in which oil is running out.
LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) – Soaring output of light
condensate in the United States has crushed refining margins for
naphtha and added to the global gasoline surplus.
But it is also providing a boost to Canada’s oil industry,
which increasingly benefits from a captive source of the diluent
needed to make bitumen and heavy oil flow through processing
facilities and pipelines.
LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – ConocoPhillips Chief Executive
Ryan Lance has caused a stir by warning an audience including
OPEC oil ministers that North America could become
self-sufficient in oil by the middle of the next decade, ending
the region’s dependence on imports.
“In 1990, North American reserves and production were
falling, but thanks to unconventionals proved reserves have
risen 68 percent since then,” Lance told an audience of OPEC
ministers on Wednesday.
LONDON (Reuters) – Global financial regulators seem to have thought better about imposing ambitious new rules on physical oil markets.
Instead they are leaning towards a modest set of record-keeping requirements for price reporting agencies (PRAs) that largely codify existing practice and are in line with voluntary commitments the agencies have already given.
LONDON (Reuters) – Following recent falls, oil prices are much closer to the industry’s marginal cost, especially in North America, where light sweet crude futures are now valued at only a little over $80 per barrel.
For bullish investors, lower prices promise to provide support by threatening to curb rapid output growth, especially from high-cost tight oil and bitumen projects across the United States and Canada, as well as deepwater exploration, unless the global economy enters another tailspin.