Oil Declines As Ships Lined Up at Houston To Offload Oil : Bloomberg

After some initial excitement, November has seen crude oil prices collapse back towards cycle lows amid demand doubts (e.g. sllumping China oil imports, overflowing Chinese oil capacity, plunging China Industrial Production) and supply concerns (e.g. inventories soaring). However, an even bigger problem looms that few are talking about. As Iraq – the fastest-growing member of OPEC – has unleashed a two-mile long, 3 million metric ton barrage of 19 million barrel excess supply directly to US ports in November.

But OPEC has another trick up its sleeve to crush US Shale oil producers. As Bloomberg reports,

Iraq, the fastest-growing producer within the 12-nation group, loaded as many as 10 tankers in the past several weeks to deliver crude to U.S. ports in November, ship-tracking and charters compiled by Bloomberg show.


Assuming they arrive as scheduled, the 19 million barrels being hauled would mark the biggest monthly influx from Iraq since June 2012, according to Energy Information Administration figures.



The cargoes show how competition for sales among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is spilling out into global markets, intensifying competition with U.S. producers whose own output has retreated since summer. For tanker owners, it means rates for their ships are headed for the best quarter in seven years, fueled partly by the surge in one of the industry’s longest trade routes.

Worst still, they are slashing prices…

Iraq, pumping the most since at least 1962 amid competition among OPEC nations to find buyers, is discounting prices to woo customers.


The Middle East country sells its crude at premiums or discounts to global benchmarks, competing for buyers with suppliers such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter. Iraq sold its Heavy grade at a discount of $5.85 a barrel to the appropriate benchmark for November, the biggest discount since it split the grade from Iraqi Light in May. Saudi Arabia sold at $1.25 below benchmark for November, cutting by a further 20 cents in December.


“It’s being priced much more aggressively,” said Dominic Haywood, an oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “It’s being discounted so U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are more incentivized to take it.”

So when does The Obama Administration ban crude imports?

And now, we get more news from Iraq:


So taking on the Russians?

*  *  *

Finally, as we noted previously, it appears Iraq (and Russia) are more than happy to compete on price.. and have been successful – for now – at gaining significant market share…

Even as both Iran and Saudi Arabia are losing Asian market share to Russia and Iraq, Tehran is closely allied with Baghdad and Moscow while Riyadh is not. That certainly seems to suggest that in the long run, the Saudis are going to end up with the short end of the stick.

Once again, it’s the intersection of geopolitcs and energy, and you’re reminded that at the end of the day, that’s what it usually comes down to.

Asset Protection Trusts, Offshore Incorporation Advice – no cost or obligation http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

El Niño Could Turn Into Worst Nightmare For U.S Natural Gas Producers ( 10 % less demand this winter)

We have now tumbled into fall, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the weather forecast. As NOAA’s 8-14 day outlook illustrates, we are set for above-normal conditions for the first week of October across, ooh, basically the entire US. This morning’s natural gas storage report is expected to yield an injection well above the 5-year average of 83 Bcf, and weather forecasts point to further solid injections in the weeks to come.

Last week we took a look at what an El Niño meant for the coming winter as WSI issued its winter weather outlook. WSI is predicting the strongest El Niño in 65 years, which ‘should drive warmer-than-normal temperatures across much of the northern U.S., as the polar jet stream weakens and lifts northward‘. Accordingly, WSI projects natural gas demand this winter to be 10% lower than the previous one.

With this in mind, and with storage levels already 16% higher than last year, and 4% higher than the five-year average, it provides some color as to why the January contract (aka the bleak mid-winter) is currently at a 16-year low.


(Click to enlarge)

There is a somewhat more frosty reception being felt across financial markets today, with Japanese equities opening for the first day this week, and promptly getting walloped. This baton of risk aversion is being passed from continent to continent, as Europe sells off and the US looks down.

Crude prices were finding some solace in a rising euro earlier in the day, with the European Central Bank downplaying the need for further stimulus. But as the outlook gets bleaker for broader markets, risk aversion is dragging crude lower. On the economic data front, we had a weaker-than-expected manufacturing print from Japan (which further greased the wheels for an equity sell-off).

Onto Europe, and German business confidence was the opposite of its compatriot indicator, the ZEW, by showing a weak current assessment but improving expectations (the ZEW was the other way round). Onto the US, and durable goods were relatively in line across the board, while weekly jobless claims came in a little better than expected at 267,000, but slightly higher than last week.

Fears are escalating in the oil patch about an impending credit crunch amid falling investment. Oil producers are set to see credit lines cut by an average of nearly 40%, as the majority of companies see their credit lines shrink due to the revaluation of assets (a twice-yearly phenomenon). This comes at a time when upstream investment is also shrinking in response to lower oil prices. The below chart from EIA highlights that investment levels in the coming years will be significantly lowerthan the 10-year annual average, due to the drop in prices (the crude oil first purchase price is adjusted for inflation).

View gallery


(Click to enlarge)

Finally, we discussed a couple of days ago how Singapore is seeing record stockpiles of fuel oil finding its way onto tankers amid exceptionally strong refining runs. We are seeing a similar tale emerge for diesel exports from China, as refiners keep on refining amid slower demand. According to the General Administration of Customs, diesel exports have risen 77% year-on-year to reach a record 175,000 barrels per day in August. Strong refining runs are endorsed by what we see in our#ClipperData, with Chinese oil imports year-to-date 14% higher than last year, rising to meet this ongoing demand.

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Natural Gas Drillers Can’t Catch a Break : Bloomberg News

Natural gas drillers who flocked to liquids-rich basins in search of better profits just can’t seem to catch a break.

Seven years ago, as shale output surged and gas futures tumbled more than 60 percent, producers abandoned reservoirs that only yielded gas and moved rigs to wells that also contained ethane, propane and other so-called natural gas liquids, or NGLs. These NGL prices were tied to oil futures, which climbed in 2009 as the economy recovered. It was a strategy that worked well — for a while.

Drillers fled natural gas for oil and liquids as commodities collapsed.
Drillers fled natural gas for oil and liquids as commodities collapsed.

Those days are over. Oil has plunged 56 percent from a year ago, and propane at the Mont Belvieu hub in Texas has tumbled 64 percent. The spread between NGL prices and natural gas shrank 9.2 percent last week to $7.02 a barrel, the lowest in at least two years, squeezing producers’ profits.

The spread between natural gas liquids and natural gas prices has narrowed, squeezing producers' profits.
The spread between natural gas liquids and natural gas prices has narrowed, squeezing producers’ profits.

The culprit is a repeat offender: shale production. This time, the boom in oil output from reservoirs like the Bakken in North Dakota has created a glut of NGLs, and the market is poised to remain well supplied. To survive, gas producers will have to focus on the lowest-cost wells.

Production of natural gas liquids has surged, creating a glut as drillers flee dry gas.
Production of natural gas liquids has surged, creating a glut as drillers flee dry gas.

“Drillers are going to have to retreat to where the sweet spots are,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. “At these price levels, the rig count isn’t going to move higher.”


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Is SandRidge Energy Built to Last? By Investopedia

When SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD) announced last month that it was raising $1.25 billion in new debt, the move came as a surprise. This is a company whose CEO readily admitted earlier this year that if the current oil price was the new normal that it would, “probably want to remove $1 billion of debt from the balance sheet.” However, instead of focusing on ways to do just that, the company went out and piled on even more debt. It’s a move that certainly begs the question of whether or not SandRidge Energy is building a company that will last.

Piled high and deep
No matter which way we slice it, SandRidge Energy is over its head in debt. After accounting for the recent debt issuance, SandRidge Energy now has roughly $4.6 billion in net debt outstanding. If we add in its equity market value and its preferred equity, the company’s total enterprise value sits at roughly $5.7 billion.

To put that into perspective, SandRidge Energy now has almost as much net debt as EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG), which is a company roughly 10 times its size, since EOG Resources has a $53 billion enterprise value. Another way to look at it, debt as a percentage of SandRidge Energy’s enterprise value is 81% while it’s only 9% of EOG Resources’ enterprise value.

SandRidge added the new debt as a stop gap measure to boost its liquidity and therefore buy it more time to deal with the situation. However, it’s a move that could be its undoing should oil prices stay weak for the next couple of years. That’s because the company needs higher oil prices to push its cash flow higher so that it can support its debt over the long term.

$60 oil is the new $80, but that’s not enough
One of the reasons SandRidge Energy wanted to buy itself some more time is because it’s working feverishly to get its well costs down to $2.4 million per lateral. That cost represents a 20% saving from last year’s well cost and, more important, would enable SandRidge Energy to earn a 50% internal rate of return at a $60 oil price. For perspective, that’s the same return the company had been earning at a $80 oil price when its well costs were over $3 million per lateral. The problem is the fact the company still has a ways to go as its current well costs are $2.7 million.

Furthermore, even if SandRidge can meet its lofty goal of a $2.4 million well cost, the returns it would earn would still be well below what other peers like EOG Resources are already earning. In fact, EOG Resources is actually enjoying better well economics right now than when oil prices were $95 per barrel. As an example, the company’s after tax rate of return is 73% for wells drilled in the western Eagle Ford Shale while the company’s wells in the Delaware Basin Leonard now earn a 71% after tax rate of return, which are above the previous returns of 60% and 36%, respectively.

Investor takeaway
SandRidge Energy’s mountain of debt alone suggests the company isn’t built to last as it has almost as much debt as EOG Resources, a company nearly 10 times its size. Its problems are further compounded by the fact that the company’s asset base simply can’t produce returns on the same level as EOG Resources. Clearly, the company faces a daunting task as it won’t survive unless the price of oil moves meaningfully higher so that it can better support its mountain of debt.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/stock-analysis/062215/sandridge-energy-built-last-sd-eog.aspx#ixzz3dsSG8k

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Oil price hasn’t hit bottom yet as surplus expands : Alan Greenspan

The slump in oil prices hasn’t curtailed output, and there is a huge amount bottled up in the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday.

Associated Press 
The slump in oil prices hasn’t curtailed output, and there is a huge amount bottled up in the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday.

 Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. benchmark futures, will keep rising, he said.

“We are probably at the point now, where at the current rate of fill, we are going to run out of room in Cushing by next month,” he said. “Until we find a way to get out of this dilemma, prices will continue to ease because there’s no place for that oil to go except into the markets.”

West Texas Intermediate futures dropped 1.9% to US$46.17 a barrel as of 9:31 a.m. Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down almost 60% from their June peak.

U.S. crude stockpiles increased for nine weeks through March 6 to 448.9 million barrels, the highest in Energy Information Administration records dating back to August 1982. The nation pumped 9.37 million a day last week, the fastest pace in weekly estimates compiled by the Energy Department’s statistical arm since 1983.


Stockpiles at Cushing rose by 2.32 million barrels to 51.5 million last week, the highest level since January 2013. Cushing has a working capacity of 70.8 million barrels, according to the EIA.

The surplus may soon strain U.S. storage capacity, renewing a slump in prices and curbing its output, the International Energy Agency said in a monthly market report Friday. The IEA boosted estimates for U.S. oil production this year as cutbacks in drilling rigs have so far failed to slow output.

Drillers have idled 653 rigs since the start of December, data from Baker Hughes Inc. show. The number of active machines seeking oil was 922 as of March 6, the lowest since April 2011, the services company said.

“The rigs that have been closing down have not been affecting the capacity to produce crude,” Greenspan said. “You are getting the inefficient rigs shutting down, but the capacity to basically build oil expansion remains there.”

and  we posted this inhttp://www.youroffshoremoney.com

November 2014 – 40 % cash position

Year End Review and Forecast

“Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers. “

No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com or

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Crude Oil Is Crashing

On Wednesday, the price of oil was tumbling again, with West Texas Intermediate prices falling more than 8% to trade back below $49 a barrel.

This action follows a furious rally in oil prices seen over the last few days that sent oil prices in to a technical bull market, rising more than 20% from last Thursday through Tuesday afternoon. WTI prices were as high as $52.50 just hours ago.

The speed and velocity of the recent increase in oil prices, however, has been met with some skepticism, with some calling the move a “short squeeze” or a “dead cat bounce.” In short, there were and are some nonbelievers in the oil rally, and major Wall Street firms have not yet changed their outlooks for lower oil prices in the first half of this year.

And in a research note earlier this week, analysts at Morgan Stanley outlined why any rallies in oil prices in the first half of this year ultimately won’t last.

On Twitter, Dan Greenhaus at BTIG noted that, ” In the last 5 YEARS, oil has been down a greater percentage than today on only TWO other days; the day of the OPEC announcement and May ’11.”

Oil prices are still about 50% below their peaks hit in the summer.

The latest leg lower in oil prices comes after the latest report from the EIA showed that crude oil inventories rose by another 6 million barrels last week, more than was expected by economists and analysts.

Here’s Wednesday’s drop in WTI futures.

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fut_chart (35)


Looking at prices over the last year, the drop is still dramatic, though the recent rally makes a dent, however small.

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fut_chart (31)


Oil Extends Drop : Worsening Glut – With Oil Companies and Investors In Denial

Oil extended losses to trade below $45 a barrel amid speculation that U.S. crude stockpiles will increase, exacerbating a global supply glut that’s driven prices to the lowest in more than 5 1/2 years.

Futures fell as much as 2.6 percent in New York, declining for a third day. Crude inventories probably gained by 1.75 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey shows before government data tomorrow. The United Arab Emirates, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, will stand by its plan to expand output capacity even with “unstable oil prices,” according to Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

Oil slumped almost 50 percent last year, the most since the 2008 financial crisis, as the U.S. pumped at the fastest rate in more than three decades and OPEC resisted calls to cut production. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said crude needs to drop to $40 a barrel to “re-balance” the market, while Societe Generale SA also reduced its price forecasts.

“There’s adequate supply,” David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone today. “It’s really going to take someone from the supply side to step up and cut, and the only organization capable of doing something substantial is OPEC. I can’t see the U.S. reducing output.”

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery decreased as much as $1.19 to $44.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $44.94 at 2:26 p.m. Singapore time. The contract lost $2.29 to $46.07 yesterday, the lowest close since April 2009. The volume of all futures traded was about 51 percent above the 100-day average.

U.S. Supplies

Brent for February settlement slid as much as $1.31, or 2.8 percent, to $46.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $1.24 to WTI. The spread was $1.36 yesterday, the narrowest based on closing prices since July 2013.

U.S. crude stockpiles probably rose to 384.1 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 9, according to the median estimate in the Bloomberg survey of six analysts before the Energy Information Administration’s report. Supplies have climbed to almost 8 percent above the five-year average level for this time of year, data from the Energy Department’s statistical arm show.

Production accelerated to 9.14 million barrels a day through Dec. 12, the most in weekly EIA records that started in January 1983. The nation’s oil boom has been driven by a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has unlocked supplies from shale formations including the Eagle Ford and Permian in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota.

OPEC Output

The U.A.E. will continue plans to boost its production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2017, Al Mazrouei said in a presentation in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The country currently has a capacity of 3 million and pumped 2.7 million a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

OPEC, whose 12 members supply about 40 percent of the world’s oil, agreed to maintain their collective output target at 30 million barrels a day at a Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna. Qatar estimates the global surplus at 2 million a day.

In China, the world’s biggest oil consumer after the U.S., crude imports surged to a new high in December, capping a record for last year. Overseas purchases rose 19.5 percent from the previous month to 30.4 million metric tons, according to preliminary data from the General Administration of Customs in Beijing today. For 2014, imports climbed 9.5 percent to 310 million tons, or about 6.2 million barrels a day.

Oil Companies and Investors In Denial : Portfolio Profits At Risk

My rant – the  curse of Cassandra :

Cassandra, daughter of the king and queen, in the temple of Apollo, exhausted from practising, is said to have fallen asleep – when Apollo wished to embrace her, she did not afford the opportunity of her body. On account of which thing :

when she prophesied true things, she was not believed.

I have written :

Managed Accounts Year End Review and Forecast