For Trump, timing is everything

It may be a coincidence that benchmark US crude futures broke above $50/bl for the first time in 2016 on the same day that Donald Trump tied up enough delegates to clinch the Republican party’s nomination. But that did not stop Trump for taking credit for the distinctly positive turn of events as he spelled out an “America first” energy plan.

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Top 10 most notable quotes from 2015

Argus editors in the States have selected the following 10 quotes to sum up the year that was 2015. Apologies to David Letterman.

“It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties rather than a serious policy matter.  And all of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others.” – President Barack Obama on 6 November rejected Canadian midstream company TransCanada’s proposal to build the 830,000 b/d Keystone XL pipeline, ending a drama that had played out since 2008.  Continue reading

Some barrels get no respect

Remember Rodney Dangerfield, the late saucer-eyed American comedian and actor who suffered from a chronic respect deficit? As it turns out, the global crude market has its own Dangerfield doppelganger that don’t get no respect: the “Rodney Dangerfield barrel.”

Out of a daily global supply of about 90mn bl, about 44mn bl would not be sanctioned for production at current price levels and are likely to see a massive decline rate, said Zach Schreiber, chairman of PointState Capital, a hedge fund.  Continue reading

Posted in Oil

To export or not to export?

If you ask most US oil producers how the 50pc drop in prices affects their business, the conversation will quickly pivot to the long-standing federal ban on most crude exports. Lifting the ban, which has been in place since the days of disco, is the panacea for all that ails crude producers, at least according to some.

So how likely is it that the White House or Congress will make any meaningful changes to allow US producers to put more of their light-sweet crude oil on the water? According to US energy secretary Ernest Moniz, who surely will play a key role in advising his boss (hint: his office is oval-shaped), US oil producers have not yet made a compelling case.  Continue reading

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Fill ‘er up

As storage levels at the US pricing and delivery hub of Cushing, Oklahoma continue to swell, the immortal words of Yogi Berra come to mind.

“It’s déjà vu all over again and it looks like it’s happening,” Lipow Oil Associates president Andy Lipow told the Argus Crude Summit in Houston last week. “Cushing could physically once again get overwhelmed if production continues to rise and rise quickly.”  Continue reading

Posted in Oil