Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
John's Feed
Aug 5, 2014

CFTC shows US commodity manipulation laws have teeth: Kemp

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – By extracting a $13 million
penalty and imposing tough restrictions on future oil trading by
Arcadia and others, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) this week sent a powerful signal that laws
against market manipulation still have teeth.

The case challenges a now famous view expressed in 1991 by
commodities lawyer Jerry Markham that manipulation of commodity
futures prices had become an unprosecutable crime.
(“Manipulation of commodity futures prices: the unprosecutable

Aug 4, 2014

EU energy restrictions on Russia are mostly “sanctions theatre”: Kemp

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – EU sanctions on Russia’s oil
sector will not seriously hamper the development of new oil
resources in either the short or the long term, though they
leave open the possibility of further escalation if relations
with Russia deteriorate in future.

Taken as a whole, the restrictions announced on July 31 are
best viewed as a piece of “sanctions theatre” designed to show
the public and Washington that the EU is doing something in
response to the downing of the Malaysian airliner over eastern
Ukraine while keeping the costs to EU energy firms as low as

Jul 31, 2014

Ruminating cattle and leaky gas pipelines: Kemp

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Supporters of natural gas
promote it as a clean “bridge fuel” between the coal-and-oil
dominated energy system of the present and the zero-emissions
system of the future based on renewables and nuclear power.

Burning gas rather than coal in a power plant produces
roughly half the carbon dioxide emissions and sharply reduces
airborne pollution from mercury and other heavy metals.

Jul 30, 2014

Russia sanctions threaten to rebound on western energy firms, help China: Kemp

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – U.S. and European companies
dominate the global market in oil exploration and production,
especially projects requiring complex engineering and reservoir
management, but they will face increasing competition from China
over the next decade.

Western majors like Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell, Total,
Statoil and ENI currently lead the international oil industry.
The only serious rivals from outside the OECD are Petronas
(Malaysia), Petrobras (Brazil) as well as CNPC and Sinopec

Jul 29, 2014

Pass the dictionary: US gets in muddle over oil exports: Kemp

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) – Somewhere in an office at the
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in Washington, D.C., a
mid-ranking government official is sitting down with a stack of

Coming up with a workable definition of “distillation” has
become urgent as U.S. companies seek permission to export
condensate, which has been stabilised and minimally distilled to
remove the most volatile components.

Jul 28, 2014

Forecasts for higher oil prices misjudge the shale boom: Kemp

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – “The world of energy may have
changed forever,” according to Professor James Hamilton of the
University of California. “Hundred dollar oil is here to stay.”

Hamilton, who is one of the most respected economists
writing about oil, made his bold prediction in a paper on “The
Changing Face of World Oil Markets”, published on July 20.

Jul 25, 2014

Time to be afraid – preparing for the next big solar storm: Kemp

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) – The probability of a solar storm
striking Earth in the next decade with enough force to do
serious damage to electricity networks could be as high as 12
percent, according to solar scientists.

One such storm erupted from the surface of the Sun two years
ago, on July 23, 2012. If it had been directed at this planet,
it would have produced the worst geomagnetic storm in more than
four centuries and caused extensive power problems.

Jul 22, 2014

Shale plays reduce political risk: Kemp

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Shale plays are ideal for oil
and gas companies that need to limit risk in countries with a
history of political and economic instability and poor respect
for private property.

The ability to manage political risk, coupled with a world
class resource, explains why international oil firms are showing
strong interest in the shale resources of Argentina’s Neuquen
basin, despite the country’s record of political and economic
unrest, serial default, and expropriation of foreign property.

Jul 21, 2014

Flirting with default, Argentina enjoys oil drilling boom: Kemp

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – Holders of Argentina’s defaulted
debt and their supporters have warned the country risks being
frozen out from international capital markets unless it finds a
way to solve its legal problems by the July 30 deadline.

But away from the bad-tempered litigation in U.S. courts,
which has dominated the news about Argentina for months, the
country is experiencing an oil drilling boom as international
companies seek to cash on its huge shale resources.

Jul 21, 2014

Britain should privatise onshore oil and gas deposits: Kemp

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – Oil and gas taxation has become
a major source of conflict between producers and Britain’s tax

But like other indirect taxes, the amount of attention oil
and gas taxes draw is out of all proportion to the amount of
money they raise for the treasury.

    • 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."
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