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Falling Oil Prices Kill Putin And Give The West Victory

OIL is tumbling in price. But rising in value.

Roger Boyes looks:

Cheap oil may yet turn out to be the food of love. Plunging prices will hammer shareholders in the big multinationals, and rattle the Emiratis, but they could also produce an extraordinary peace dividend. The course of war is about to change in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria — and Vladimir Putin, who has been busy rebranding himself as a generalissimo, may find himself confined to barracks.

To make the sums add up in Russia, Mr Putin needs to be earning between $100 and $110 per barrel of Brent crude. Yesterday it was down to $86 and all the signs from Saudi Arabia are that it could stay that way, perhaps for as long as 18 months. That’s a disaster for Mr Putin and his growth model whereby oil and gas profits were funnelled into the consumer economy. The failure should show the US that the most potent way of responding to Moscow’s aggression is to produce more oil and consume less of it…

Two years ago I attended a simulation game at an Israeli security conference, which imagined what would happen if an Iranian-backed group attacked a Saudi refinery, causing the oil price to rise to $250 a barrel. The conclusion was miserable: war, bread riots, coups in the Gulf. There was only one winner, and that was Russia.

Now the reverse is true. Russia, so heavily dependent on oil revenue, is a loser.

More here…

Posted: 15th, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment (1)


Oil Wars: Saudi Arabian Terror And Obama’s Subservience Are At The Heart Of The IS Crisis

The President of the USA Barack Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, before the official G20 photocall with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Picture date: Wednesday April 1, 2009.

The President of the USA Barack Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, before the official G20 photocall with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Picture date: Wednesday April 1, 2009.

IS Saudi Arabia at the heart of the IS crisis?

Last year, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad was the enemy. He had crossed Barack Obama’s “red line”, the President of America reasoning that shooting people in the face was not as bad as poisoining them.

The Saudis want Assad gone.

The WSJ noted a deal:

When Mr. Kerry [US Secretary of State JohnKerry]  touched down in Jeddah to meet with King Abdullah on Sept. 11, he didn’t know for sure what else the Saudis were prepared to do. The Saudis had informed their American counterparts before the visit that they would be ready to commit air power—but only if they were convinced the Americans were serious about a sustained effort in Syria. The Saudis, for their part, weren’t sure how far Mr. Obama would be willing to go, according to diplomats.

The US needed a big Arab ally to get ISIS. So:

The Americans knew a lot was riding on a Sept. 11 meeting with the king of Saudi Arabia at his summer palace on the Red Sea. A year earlier, King Abdullah had fumed when President Barack Obama called off strikes against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This time, the U.S. needed the king’s commitment to support a different Syrian mission—against the extremist group Islamic State—knowing there was little hope of assembling an Arab front without it.

At the palace, Secretary of State John Kerry requested assistance up to and including air strikes, according to U.S. and Gulf officials. “We will provide any support you need,” the king said.

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Posted: 13th, October 2014 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (2)


Anti-Oil 350.Org’s Moving Planet Runs On Oil

WITHOUT any sense of irony whatsoever, the cyclists formed the shape of a giant bicycle as environmental campaigners 350.org launched their Moving Planet – a global day of events focused on moving the planet away from fossil fuels towards a safer climate future – at Haggerston Park in east London.

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Posted: 24th, September 2011 | In: Reviews | Comment


Saudi Arabia Can’t Solve Libya: The Myth Of Spare Oil Capacity

THE talk in the news is that if Libya’s oil stays offline – it’s the world’s 12th largest producer – Saudi Arabia can make up for any short fall. But it’s not that easy. Barclays Capital’s Amrita Sen explains:

Firstly, the grades and quality of crude available from Saudi Arabia [are] likely to be different from Libya. For instance, the volume-weighted average of Libyan grades would have an API of around 37-38, while the current shut in Saudi production is biased towards medium crude. Moreover, Libyan crude is sweeter…

Prompt Brent markets have also flipped into slight backwardation, a trend we expect to continue in the short term, if sourcing immediate supplies is the concern. Moreover, the time taken to bring those Saudi barrels to the market is likely to be significantly longer compared to the ongoing Libyan production. Thus, the concept of a barrel for barrel replacement is not a correct one.

Gregor MacDonald explains spare capacity theory:

Of course, “everyone knows” that OPEC is sitting on lots of oil. However, as has been discussed here, at The Oil Drum, and elsewhere it remains decidedly unclear whether Saudi Arabia can indeed turn on extra taps at will. But the problems for world supply of oil do not merely end with production capacity. Even if OPEC is indeed sitting on 1-3 mbpd of spare capacity, it’s not clear for how long they can both increase production, and export that production to the world. Not only has Saudi Arabia’s production not increased in the past five years, but, Saudi is increasingly using its own oil for its own population. The result? Flat, to declining exports of oil from Saudi Arabia.

Spare Capacity Theory, therefore, looks alot like an unproven consensus reality. I’d like to define it as follows:

Spare Capacity Theorythe assumption among western bankers, policy makers, economists, and stock markets that OPEC producers can lift oil production at will, and, export all of that spare production to world consumers.

Graphic: Brent crude prices rise.

Spotter: FT

Posted: 24th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)


In 1962 Humble Oil Boasted Of Melting Glaciers

TRUTH in advertising takes us back to 1962, when the Enro / Humble company (now part of ExxonMobil) boasted that its oil products were mighty enough to melt 80 tons of glacial ice a second. Oil to warm the world!

As the advert stated:

EACH DAY HUMBLE SUPPLIES ENOUGH ENERGY TO MELT 7 MILLION TONS OF GLACIER!

This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries. Yet, the petroleum energy Humble supplies- if converted into heat- could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second! To meet the nation’s growing needs for energy, Humble has applied science to nature’s resources to become America’s Leading Energy Company. Working wonders with oil through research, Humble provides energy in many forms- to help heat our homes, power our transportation, and to furnish industry with a great variety of versatile chemicals. Stop at a Humble station for new Enco Extra gasoline, and see why the “Happy Motoring” sign is the World’s First Choice!

File under: when living was fun!

Click the image to make it bigger.

Spotter: Karen K, via

Posted: 16th, August 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)


BP Gulf Judge Martin Feldman’s Oil Stocks

THE BP oil is still spilling in to the Gulf of Mexio. Obama is looking at matters in Afghanistan. Obama’s sacked General Stanley McChrystal for talking to Rolling Stone magazine before Michelle and the kidzz got their photo montage and cover. But the press is looking at Judge Martin Feldman. Tim Worstall looks too:

The judge who overturned deepwater drilling bans allowing BP to resume oilTransocean and other firms in the industry, it was revealed today.

Yesterday, a Louisiana-based judge Martin Feldman ruled that Barack Obama’s six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf was unjustified because it assumed that all deepwater drilling was as dangerous as BP’s.

The White House promised an immediate appeal.

Meanwhile environmental groups have said Feldman’s ruling may have to be rescinded because of the possible conflict of interests.

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Posted: 24th, June 2010 | In: Money | Comment


Barack Obama Is Less Popular Than Offshore Drilling: BP News Round-Up

BP oil spills into the US Gulf. Barack Obama tries to sound Churchillian, talking of an “assault” on America’s beaches and nation under “siege”. Obama wrests £13.5bn from BP as compensation down payment. BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg says BP will not pay a dividend to its shareholders. The news:

DRILL BABY DRILL:

Most Americans still support offshore drilling and believe it is critical to making the U.S. competitive, despite the growing oil spill along the Gulf coast, a new poll showed on Wednesday …

In a national survey of 522 adults, on a scale of 0 to 10, the average show of support was 6.3 when asked if the government should allow offshore drilling.

An Anorak readers writes:

Obama is milking this for all it is worth to the American people and starting to come across as quite disgusting and it is not helping his low ratings, since BP had already stated weeks ago it would take care of everything.

Down with Obama!

A Record 57% Of Americans Disapprove Of Obama’s Performance

Daniel Hannan On The Isolated Obama

Not that we should feel singled out. The Obama administration has scorned America’s other established friends. It has betrayed Poland and the Czech Republic, whose Atlanticist governments had agreed to accept the American missile defence system at immense political cost, only to find the project cancelled. It has alienated Israel and India. It has even managed to fall out with Canada over its “Buy American” rules and its decision to drill in disputed Arctic waters. Never has there been a worse time to be a US ally.

David Cameron Reacts:

Cameron said he wouldn’t enter into “megaphone diplomacy” with Obama in the face of calls from listeners to the show for him to take a more aggressive stance in defense of the London- based company.

Daily Mail leader:

Mr Obama gave a televised address in which he once again attempted to rescue his own faltering popularity by attacking what his administration has been careful to characterise as a foreign oil company.

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Posted: 17th, June 2010 | In: Politicians | Comments (8)


Gulf Oil Spill: Hopes Raised As Millions Of Sea Sponges Swim In

THE oil industry is so high tech. BP is looking to plug the leak in the Gulf with mud, golf balls, rope and scraps of rubber tire. And flags.

The hope is that French flags can be sued to mop up all the oily stuff. As we says it is high tech and well beyond our levels of understanding.

The flags might do – until the huge roll of Bounty kitchen roll is ready, or the sponges attack…

Posted: 29th, May 2010 | In: Reviews | Comments (5)


Munitions And Explosive Dumps In The Gulf Tiggered The BP Oil Rig Disaster

THERE are numerous munitions and explosive dumps close to the April 20 BP-contracted oil rig disaster that is gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico, according to an exclusive report on the US website Planet Waves.

This raises the question: Was the initial explosion on the rig Deepwater Horizon (owned by Transocean) linked in any way to these dump areas?

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Posted: 4th, May 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment