LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) – The balance of power between host
countries and petroleum companies has shifted decisively as a
result of the shale revolution and the push into deepwater oil
and gas fields off the coast of Latin America and Africa.
The first decade of the 21st century was dominated by talk
about increasing “resource nationalism” as governments demanded
a greater share of the revenues from natural resources located
on their territory.
LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – “See no evil, hear no evil, speak
no evil” might well have been the motto for Britain’s commodity
market regulators in recent years.
In too many instances, light-touch self-regulation by the
exchanges, overseen by the Financial Services Authority (FSA),
now reincarnated as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has
degenerated into ineffective or no regulation.
LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Shale sceptics have seized on big
writedowns in the value of shale gas and oil properties in North
America to question whether the fracking revolution could be
running into trouble.
On Aug. 1, Shell became the latest in a long line
of oil and gas companies to reveal a multi-billion-dollar
writedown in acreage value.
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Centrica, which supplies
electricity in the United Kingdom through its British Gas
subsidiary, has said it could offer free power to residential
consumers on Saturdays from next year, provided they have a
smart meter installed.
“Free power Saturdays” are a masterful piece of marketing
and illustrate how quickly smart metering will transform the way
residential customers use and pay for electricity in Britain and
around the world.
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The United States has resumed
mining rare earths after more than a decade, ending its total
reliance on imports, mostly from China, for raw minerals
Washington says are critical for the economy and national
Responding to a quadrupling of prices between 2005 and 2011
and growing anxiety about supplies from China, Molycorp’s
Project Phoenix has sought to resurrect domestic production.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s gas and electricity suppliers should itemize customer bills to show how much of the total is related to the fuel costs, transmission charges, company margins and the government’s own energy policies.
The recommendation is contained in a wide-ranging and insightful report on “Energy prices, profits and poverty” published on Monday by the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change.
LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co said
on Friday it was pursuing “strategic alternatives” for its
physical commodities businesses, including its assets and
physical trading operations, following an internal review.
In one sense, the bank is simply confirming that it will
comply with the law.
JPMorgan has reorganised its physical trading businesses as
a “merchant banking” activity to get around restrictions on a
bank engaging in non-banking operations. But in this form, the
law allows these assets to be held only “for a period of time”
for the purpose of “appreciation and ultimate resale or
disposition”. (12 USC 1843(k)(4)(H))
LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – Improvements in energy
efficiency will confer an enormous competitive advantage on the
countries of North America and Europe in the next two decades
relative to the fast-growing but energy-inefficient economies of
Asia and the Middle East.
Rising oil demand in Asia and growing production from North
America’s shale formations, among other shifts transforming the
global economy and oil markets, have been extensively analysed.
But the impact of diverging energy efficiency trends has
received much less attention.
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Commodities do not diversify an
investment portfolio, according to new research by the Bank for
International Settlements (BIS), overturning conventional wisdom
that including commodity futures can reduce the volatility of
Beginning in September 2008 and continuing through 2012,
commodity and equity prices have shown heightened correlation,
Marco Lombardi and Francesco Ravazzolo argue in a paper “On the
correlation between commodity and equity returns” published on
July 11 (www.bis.org/publ/work420.pdf).
LONDON (Reuters) – Time is the most important variable in commodity markets but also the most frequently overlooked.
Too often observers become trapped in an endless short term and fail to notice that the world is gradually changing around them.