Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
John's Feed
Jan 7, 2014

Texas comes close to rolling blackouts: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Texas struggled to keep the
heating working on Monday as unusually cold weather combined
with unexpected power plant outages to reduce reserve margins to
critically low levels.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) declared a
Level 2 Energy Emergency and appealed to customers to conserve
power by turning down thermostats, as the amount of spare
generating capacity available to meet demand shrank to less than
2,000 megawatts (MW) (2 percent).

Jan 6, 2014

Fireballs jeopardise oil-by-rail business: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – The rising number of serious
accidents involving oil tank cars over the past 12 months
suggests that shippers are underestimating the safety risk of
transporting crude by rail.

If the industry and regulators do not resolve these issues
promptly, it is only a matter of time before a major disaster
occurs in the United States. The resulting political outcry
could imperil the business model for oil producers, refiners and
rail operators.

Dec 20, 2013

Britain wakes up to cost of winter evening electricity: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Britain’s energy regulator will
allow National Grid, the country’s transmission operator, to pay
businesses that agree to reduce their electricity consumption on
winter evenings from 2014 to help avoid strains on the network.

National Grid’s request to create a Demand Side Balancing
Reserve (DSBR) was approved by the Office of Gas and Electricity
Markets (Ofgem) on Thursday.

Dec 20, 2013

Demoralised U.S. commodities watchdog waits for new leaders: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The incoming chairman and new
members of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
will inherit an agency that has been severely demoralised by
overwork, defeats in court, infighting among the commissioners
and severe criticism from the futures industry.

CFTC staff are among the least satisfied at any federal
agency, according to “Best Places to Work in the Federal
Government 2013,” the influential annual rankings compiled by
the Partnership for Public Service from the Office of Personnel
Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

Dec 19, 2013

Would-be U.S. oil exporters face tough politics: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama could
probably lift the prohibition on domestic oil exports on his
own, but the White House has little reason to favour U.S. oil
producers and it would be safer politically to involve Congress
in any eventual decision.

The principal effect of the export ban is to transfer
revenues from domestic oil producers to U.S. refiners because it
ensures producers are forced to sell their output at a discount
rather than exporting at world market prices.

Dec 18, 2013

Obama could lift U.S. oil-export ban without Congress: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has
sufficient authority to lift the ban on U.S. oil exports on his
own and does not need approval from Congress.

The various statutes on which the ban is based have either
expired or give the president broad discretion.

Dec 17, 2013

Stigmatisation campaign aims to put coal beyond use: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – “There is no denying the
controversial reality of coal,” Maria van der Hoeven, head of
the International Energy Agency (IEA), wrote in its annual
report on the coal industry, published on Monday.

“No fuel draws the same ire,” she noted. “And yet no fuel is
as responsible for powering the economic growth that has pulled
billions out of poverty in the past decades.”

Dec 13, 2013

Need to dry damp corn sends U.S. propane prices climbing: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Propane has been the
best-performing part of the barrel this autumn thanks to a
record-busting but damp corn harvest across the Midwest United
States, which has sent demand from crop driers soaring.

In response, U.S. propane prices have firmed, which should
eventually slow the rate of exports and rebuild stocks at home.
Price increases have started to ripple out worldwide.

Dec 11, 2013

Lending controls will test Bank of England’s resolve: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – No bank ever made a loan it did
not believe would be repaid.

But as the economic and financial cycle matures, lending
standards tend to decline. Borrowers stretch themselves, and
banks interpret standards more flexibly to accommodate them.

Dec 11, 2013

BoE’s Carney is more Canute than Scrooge: Kemp

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Speaking to the Economic Club of
New York on Monday about Britain’s economic recovery, Bank of
England Governor Mark Carney drew inspiration from Charles
Dickens’ nineteenth-century parable about miserliness contained
in his celebrated novel “A Christmas Carol”.

But perhaps the governor should consult a much older work,
Henry of Huntingdon’s twelfth-century “History of the English
People”, which relates the story of King Canute unsuccessfully
attempting to hold back the tide.

    • 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