Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
John's Feed
Feb 17, 2015

U.S. oil trains are taking high-stakes risks with lives: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Five hundred and ninety one days
have passed since a train carrying crude oil derailed and
incinerated the town of Lac Megantic in Quebec.

In that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
has still not finalised new safety rules on tank car standards
and operational controls for trains carrying highly flammable

Feb 16, 2015

U.S. shale on more sustainable course after price rally: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – U.S. shale producers have
responded even more quickly to lower oil prices than analysts
expected, which should ensure shale production hits a plateau by
May or June and is sustained rather than falling in the second
half of the year.

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States
declined by another 84 last week, according to oil field
services company Baker Hughes.

Feb 13, 2015

Mass layoffs complicate oil industry’s long-term plans: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – “This is the really crappy part
of the job, and this is what I hate about this industry
frankly,” the chief executive of oilfield services company Baker
Hughes complained as he announced it would lay off 7,000

Baker Hughes is cutting jobs in response to slumping prices
and a downturn in drilling activity.

Feb 12, 2015

Lindsey oil refinery falls victim to UK policy and shale: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – French oil major Total
has announced plans to halve capacity at its Lindsey refinery on
Britain’s North Sea coast as part of an overhaul of downstream
activities intended to address overcapacity in the European
refining sector.

Total’s decision comes as no surprise. Of the six refineries
still operating in Britain, Lindsey was most at risk of closure
or capacity reduction, as shown in a report prepared by
consultants Purvin & Gertz for the UK Petroleum Industry
Association in 2013.

Feb 12, 2015

Lower oil price to hit U.S. oil and gas lending: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – “Excessive oil and gas loan
concentrations have been a key factor in the failure of some
banks during periods of steep price declines,” the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) notes with bureaucratic
understatement in its handbook for U.S. bank examiners.

Falling oil and gas prices can have a negative impact on
firms beyond producers themselves, rippling out to hurt oilfield
service companies, drilling contractors, water haulers,
construction companies, local hotels, housing projects,
restaurants and even convenience stores.

Feb 10, 2015

U.S. businesses brace for oil investment downturn: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Oil and gas production is
fundamental to the U.S. economy. The sharp downturn in prices
will have a negative impact on business investment in the short
term before the positive impact on consumer spending takes over
further down the line.

Oil and gas producers accounted for almost $1 in every $8 of
new business investment in the U.S. economy in 2013, according
to new data published by the Census Bureau.

Feb 10, 2015

Oil price war inflicts collateral damage in Latin America: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Latin America’s oil producers have
become caught in the crossfire between OPEC and the North
American shale drillers.

The number of onshore rigs drilling for oil and gas in the
region fell to just 272 in January, from 339 in July 2014,
according to data published on Friday by oilfield services
company Baker Hughes.

Feb 6, 2015

A brief history of the oil crash: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – In 2013 and early 2014, the
growing imbalance between supply and demand in the oil market
was masked by a string of supply disruptions as a result of war,
unrest and sanctions.

After a decade of high oil prices, supplies from North
American shale plays were growing by more than 1 million barrels
per day annually, while fuel demand in the United States and
other advanced economies was more than 8 million barrels per day
below its pre-2005 trend.

Feb 4, 2015

Does oil’s rally put rebalancing at risk? Kemp

LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Brent crude prices rose almost 18
percent between Friday and Tuesday, despite the absence of real
news, which should convince even the most ardent believers in
market efficiency that oil trading is noisy and inefficient at
processing new information.

The 8 percent surge late on Friday was only the third time
in five years prices have jumped by three standard deviations in
a single day. The March 2015 Brent futures contract
gained substantially more on Monday and Tuesday. (

Feb 2, 2015

Oil prices jolted as falling rigs wrong-foot bears: Kemp

LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Oil prices surged 8 percent on
Friday as the market digested news another 94 rigs previously
drilling for oil in the United States had been idled over the
previous week.

It was the largest number of rigs de-activated in a single
week since at least 1987 and triggered the biggest one-day
percentage increase in Brent prices since 2009.

    • About John

      "John joined Reuters in 2008 as one of its first financial columnists, specialising in commodities and energy. While his main focus is on oil markets, he has written broadly on the emergence of commodities as an asset class, regulatory issues and macroeconomic themes. Before joining Reuters, John spent seven years as a senior analyst for Sempra Commodities (now part of JP Morgan) covering base metals and crude oil. Previously, he worked as an analyst on world trade, banking and financial regulation for consultancy Oxford Analytica."
    • Follow John