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Jan 14, 2015

Morgan Stanley names new commodity chiefs in surprise switch

NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley appointed
two new executives on Wednesday to run one of Wall Street’s last
big commodity trading operations following the unexpected
departure of the previous co-heads.

Nancy King and Peter Sherk, insiders who have worked in the
bank’s commodities group for more than a decade, have taken on
day-to-day responsibility for the business, effective
immediately, according to a memo sent by Colm Kelleher,
president of institutional securities.

Jan 12, 2015

U.S. oil tanks barely one-third full beckon crude contango play

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. oil storage trade is back – and may be bigger than ever.

Six years ago, the financial crisis led to a sudden surplus of oil and a collapse in prices, spurring a classic low-risk trade that’s set to make a comeback: buying crude to store in onshore tanks or floating tankers, since oil costs $8 a barrel less now than what futures buyers will pay in a year.

Dec 31, 2014

U.S. opening of oil export tap widens battle for global market

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Obama administration has opened a new front in the global battle for oil market share, effectively clearing the way for the shipment of as much as a million barrels per day of ultra-light U.S. crude to the rest of the world.

The Department of Commerce on Tuesday ended a year-long silence on a contentious, four-decade ban on oil exports, saying it had begun approving a backlog of requests to sell processed light oil abroad. It also issued a long-awaited document outlining exactly what kinds of oil other would-be exporters can ship.

Dec 31, 2014

Analysis – U.S. opening of oil export tap widens battle for global market

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Obama administration has opened a new front in the global battle for oil market share, effectively clearing the way for the shipment of as much as a million barrels per day of ultra-light U.S. crude to the rest of the world.

The Department of Commerce on Tuesday ended a year-long silence on a contentious, four-decade ban on oil exports, saying it had begun approving a backlog of requests to sell processed light oil abroad. It also issued a long-awaited document outlining exactly what kinds of oil other would-be exporters can ship.

Dec 9, 2014

Famed oil trader Phibro nears end of a long, winding road

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Phibro, the storied energy
trading firm run by famed oil investor Andrew Hall, is winding
down in its current form, laying off some U.S. employees and
pursuing a sale of some overseas operations, sources said on
Tuesday.

The divestment by Occidental Corp, which bought
Westport, Connecticut-based Phibro from Citigroup Inc five
years ago, will allow Hall to focus more squarely on his $3
billion Astenbeck hedge fund, one of the world’s largest
oil-focused funds.

Nov 4, 2014

Saudi trip to Latam evokes 1990s oil troika with a new rival: U.S.

Nov 4 (Reuters) – Some 15 years ago, a troika of powerhouse
oil producers forged a secret pact to revive oil prices from a
crisis-inducing low of near $10 a barrel. In a series of private
meetings from Madrid to Cancun, ministers from Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela and Mexico set aside months of acrimony to hammer out
production cuts.

This week, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi will make a rare
visit to the two other nations involved in that effort. But
veteran oil analysts see no sign of a new coalition in the
making, despite some parallels to the late 1990s – a structural
downturn in oil markets and talk of a price war among producers.

Oct 10, 2014

Oil prices headed lower despite Saudi curbs: PIRA’s Ross

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World oil prices are set to fall further, extending a months-long rout because Saudi Arabia is unlikely to make deep enough production cuts to erase a growing surplus, according to Gary Ross, chief executive of PIRA Energy Group.

Although there are faint signs of improving fundamentals in some physical crude oil markets, any uptick in prices ahead of OPEC’s Nov. 27 meeting will be short-lived. The cartel is struggling to rebalance a world market heading toward a 1 million to 1.5 million barrel per day (bpd) excess next year, he said.

Oct 10, 2014

In oil price war, Saudi’s biggest rival is next door

NEW YORK/SINGAPORE, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia’s traditional Gulf ally, is challenging its bigger
neighbour in an increasingly competitive battle for market share
as it sells oil to buyers in Asia at the widest discount to a
comparable Saudi grade in 10 years.

Kuwait’s price cut to Asia, and cuts by other Middle East
producers including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, have underscored
competition for oil sales to the region as a rout in global
benchmarks threatens the national budgets of some OPEC members.

Oct 9, 2014

Poll: Unmoved by oil export proponents, Americans still fear gasoline spike

By Jonathan Leff

(Reuters) – A year of increasingly vocal support for easing a decades-old ban on U.S. crude exports has failed to convince American voters that doing so would be a good idea, according to a new Reuters-IPSOS poll that highlights the political perils of opening the door to shale oil sales abroad.

Americans remain split 50-50 over whether drillers should be allowed to sell their crude abroad, just as they were in the first edition of the survey last November. The poll is the only ongoing effort to gauge public sentiment on the issue, which has become one of the year’s most pressing energy policy questions, particularly ahead of the November mid-term elections.

Oct 9, 2014

U.S. merchant refiners take oil trading back in-house

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Independent U.S. refiners are taking back control of their crude supplies just a few years after outsourcing trading to Wall Street banks and bigger companies, hoping to capture more profit from a global market in flux.

After the financial crisis of 2007-2009, a number of ailing U.S. refineries were sold to investors such as Carlyle Group and Delta Air Lines Inc, which lacked the credit agreements or oil trading expertise to efficiently supply their new plants. So they struck deals with the likes of Morgan Stanley and BP to find and purchase crude on their behalf.