LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – One of my first assignments as a
newly-minted graduate in the late 1990s was to produce a 30-year
forecast for the Bangladesh taka against the U.S. dollar on
behalf of a client contemplating a multi-billion dollar
Even then, I realised this was not a sensible question. I
wasn’t even sure how much of Bangladesh would still be above sea
level in 30 years, let alone the exchange rate. If the economics
of the project depended on an exchange rate forecast in three
decades time, it was not a very good project.
LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – The biggest product of the U.S.
petroleum industry is not oil, gas or condensate but water —
billions and billions of gallons containing dissolved salts,
grease and even naturally occurring radioactive materials.
In 2007, when the shale revolution was still in its infant
stages, the U.S. oil and gas industry was already producing more
than 20 billion barrels of waste water per year, according to
researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory (“Produced water
volumes and management practices in the United States”, 2009).
LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – As ministers from the 12 members
of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
prepare to fly to Vienna for their 166th meeting next week, the
quiet consultations and soundings have already begun.
OPEC must decide whether and how to respond to the 30
percent decline in oil prices since the middle of June, in what
may be the organisation’s toughest test in five years.
LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Hedge funds have been badly
wrong-footed by the slide in oil prices over the past five
months, and by trying to turn their positions around have
accelerated the rout.
Going into the summer, hedge funds and other money managers
had amassed one of the largest bullish positions on oil prices
LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – The best way to think about the
dramatic slide in oil prices over the last five months, Brent
has fallen by more than 30 percent, is that the market is caught
in a negative bubble.
The downward lurch in oil prices over such a short space of
time is the mirror image of the price spike in the first half of
LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – “As a result of the fall in
demand and the rise in non-OPEC supplies, we recognised too late
that oil was overpriced, that it had reached an unwarrantably
high level, destroying the state of virtual equilibrium between
supply and demand,” the Saudi oil minister told his audience.
The recent sharp drop in prices had not been good for either
producers or consumers, he explained. “Neither … can plan with
confidence for long-term energy production, investment and
consumption … What the oil industry badly needs is price
stability in the long term.”
LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Beijing is one of the most
polluted cities in China, according to official statistics.
Every time China hosts a major international event the
government has to take extraordinary measures to clean up the
air and avoid suffocating its prominent guests in a dangerous
LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) – There has always been a close
link between U.S. oil production, international prices and OPEC,
so it should come as no surprise that North America’s shale
drillers find themselves locked in a battle with Saudi Arabia
over prices and market share.
Until the 1950s, the United States accounted for more than
half of all global oil production. Big finds such as Oklahoma’s
Glenn Pool (1905) and the East Texas field (1930) drove oil
price changes around the rest of the world.
LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) – The joint statement by the United
States and China on climate change, issued on Wednesday, is more
important for its political and diplomatic symbolism than any
practical effect it might have in reducing emissions.
The statement reiterates policies China and the United
States have been developing on their own and contains no new
binding limits on greenhouse emissions.
LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – “The Silk Road, no longer just a
concept in history books, has evolved into a story of modern
logistics and Sino-European cooperation,” Yang Jiechi, China’s
top diplomat, told a conference this month.
The New Silk Road Economic Belt – from China across Central
Asia and Russia to Europe – and the 21st Century Maritime Silk
Road – through the Malacca Strait to India, the Middle East and
East Africa – have become the centrepiece of China’s economic