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Economics Discuss Crude oil markets at the Political Forums; Oil prices decline slightly... Oil touches three-month lows, as U.S. supply swells Mon Mar 13, 2017 | Oil hovered around ...

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Old 03-13-2017, 10:14 AM
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Cool Crude oil markets

Oil prices decline slightly...

Oil touches three-month lows, as U.S. supply swells
Mon Mar 13, 2017 | Oil hovered around three-month lows on Monday, as rising U.S. inventories and drilling activity offset optimism over OPEC's efforts to restrict crude output.
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Brent crude LCOc1 was down 7 cents on the day, at $51.30 a barrel by 1202 GMT, having hit a session trough of $50.85, its lowest level since Nov. 30. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 fell 15 cents to $48.34 a barrel. The price has fallen by more than 8 percent since last Monday, its biggest week-on-week drop in four months, and analysts said the slide may not have much further to run. "The market is bearish because sentiment has turned. The risk is still towards the downside, but we are nowhere near the precipice," PVM Oil Associates Tamas Varga said.

Goldman Sachs said in a note it remained "very confident" about commodity prices and maintained its price forecast of $57.50 a barrel for WTI in the second quarter. U.S. drillers added oil rigs for an eighth consecutive week, Baker Hughes said on Friday, lifting spending to benefit from an earlier recovery in crude prices since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut output. [RIG/U] OPEC and other major oil producers including Russia reached an agreement late last year to rein in production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017.


Fuel pump nozzles are pictured at a Helios petrol station in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Although OPEC states have been complying with supply curbs, led by Saudi Arabia, it has not been enough to overshadow a rise in U.S. inventories to a new high. [EIA/S] "It will be interesting to see how OPEC rhetoric will evolve with this price correction. Is price the only consideration when it comes to the decision of extending cuts?" BNP Paribas global head of commodity strategy Harry Tchilinguirian told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. He added that OPEC's task was more difficult as it aimed to cut inventory levels rather than simply target a specific price.

Money managers cut their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options in the week to March 7. For the broader financial markets, the focus will be on the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this week at which it could likely raise U.S. interest rates. "The week ahead is packed with potentially market defining releases," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney's CMC Markets, said. "However, the key to market performance this week is the response to the U.S. lift in rates."

Oil touches three-month lows, as U.S. supply swells | Reuters
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:12 AM
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Looks like gas prices goin' up...

Oil prices rise on first drop in U.S. drilling in months
Mon Jul 3, 2017 | Oil markets edged up on Monday, lifted by the first fall in U.S. drilling activity in months, although price gains were capped by reports of rising OPEC output last month even as the group has pledged to cut supply.
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Brent crude futures had climbed 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $48.90 per barrel by 0643 GMT, after jumping 5.2 percent last week in their first weekly gain in six weeks. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 17 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $46.21 per barrel, adding to last week's 7-percent gain. U.S. prices were lifted as drilling activity in the United States for new oil production fell for the first time since January, dropping by two rigs. Futures brokerage AxiTrader said on Monday that this was "the first crack in the resolve of U.S. shale oil to continue to ramp up production regardless of the big fall in price" earlier this year.


A wellhead is seen at an Occidental Petroleum Corp carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery project in Hobbs, New Mexico

Despite the dip in U.S. drilling activity, the total rig count was still more than double the 341 rigs in the same week a year ago, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. However, traders said that WTI prices were also being supported by expectations of strong gasoline consumption on the July 4 holiday in the United States. Globally, oil markets remain oversupplied as output from within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hit a 2017 high.

June OPEC production was up by 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 32.72 million bpd, according to a Reuters survey, despite the group's pledge to hold back output in an effort to tighten the market. "To put that in context, that is nearly a quarter of the 1.2 million barrels (per day) OPEC agreed to cut," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, adding this increase was driven by higher output from Nigeria and Libya, which were exempted from the cuts.

Oil prices rise on first drop in U.S. drilling in months | Reuters
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:31 AM
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Saudis gonna raise oil prices next month...

Saudi Arabia may raise December crude oil prices to Asia to highest in few years
November 1, 2017 - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will hike December crude prices for customers in Asia to levels last seen in 2013 or 2014, a Reuters survey showed, with OPEC-led output cuts and robust demand re-balancing markets for the commodity.
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The producer is expected to raise flagship Arab Light’s December official selling price to at least 90 cents a barrel above Oman/Dubai quotes, the survey of five refiners showed. That would be the highest premium since $1.65 in September 2014, according to Reuters data. Prices for heavier grades may see a bigger boost in December, the survey showed, with Arab Heavy’s OSP set to rise to at least $1.30 below Oman-Dubai quotes. That would be the narrowest discount for Saudi heavy crude since minus $1.05 in December 2013, according to Reuters data.

The increases would come on the back of stronger Middle East crude benchmark prices and firm refining margins, the respondents said. Dubai’s backwardation widened in October compared with the previous month. In a backwardated market, prompt prices are higher than those in future months signaling strong demand for spot cargoes. Complex refining margins in Singapore, a gauge of refiner profitability in the region, held above $7 a barrel for a fourth month in October, Thomson Reuters Eikon data showed.

Gains in naphtha margins could prop up Arab Extra Light’s OSP in December by at least 50 cents a barrel, the survey showed.Saudi crude OSPs are usually released around the fifth of each month, and set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting more than 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude bound for Asia.

Saudi Aramco sets its crude prices based on recommendations from customers and after calculating the change in the value of its oil over the past month, based on yields and product prices. Saudi Aramco officials as a matter of policy do not comment on the kingdom’s monthly OSPs.

Saudi Arabia may raise December crude oil prices to Asia to highest in few years | Reuters
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:47 PM
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One excuse is as good as another to jack up oil prices...

Oil hits highest levels since 2015 amid tightening markets, Saudi purge
November 5, 2017 - Oil prices hit their highest levels since July 2015 early on Monday as markets tightened, while Saudi Arabia’s crown prince cemented his power over the weekend through an anti-corruption crackdown that included high profile arrests.
Quote:
Brent futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit $62.44 per barrel early on Monday, their highest level since July 2015. Brent was at $62.27 per barrel at 0051 GMT, up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent from the last close and 40 percent above June’s 2017 lows. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 hit $56.00 per barrel in early trading, also the highest since July 2015, and was at $55.83, up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent from the last settlement. WTI is a third above its 2017 lows.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s designated future king, has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including prominent business billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal and the head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah. “This consolidates the reforming process underway, part of which is a desire to drive the price of oil higher,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader, said that the purge.

Bin Salman’s reforms include a plan to list parts of giant state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco next year, and a higher oil prices is seen as beneficial for the market capitalization of the future listed company. In oil fundamentals, traders said that there were ongoing signs of tightening market conditions. U.S. energy companies cut eight oil rigs last week, to 729, in the biggest reduction since May 2016. The decline in U.S. drilling activity comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a non-OPEC group lead by Russia have pledged to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in oil production to tighten markets.

The pact to withhold supplies runs to March 2018, but there is growing consensus to extend the deal. While supplies are tightening, analysts say demand remains strong. “Synchronous global economic growth and new supply disruptions are creating the most constructive oil price environment since ... 2014,” Barclays bank said. The British bank said it was raising its average Q4 Brent price forecast by $6 per barrel to $60 per barrel. ”The surprisingly strong macro backdrop and the accelerated inventory drawdown mean that these slightly higher price levels are likely to be sustained through Q1 of next year. Barclays said it raised its full-year 2018 forecast by $3 per barrel to $55 per barrel.

Oil hits highest levels since 2015 amid tightening markets, Saudi purge | Reuters
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Saudi Arabia's crown prince is acting like Putin
November 5,`17 - Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist and author.
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Saturday night’s high-profile arrests in Saudi Arabia have sent shock waves through the global political Richter scale. The arrests, including that of such well-known figures as my former boss Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, came within hours of changes in the leadership of a number of important ministries, as well as to the leadership and structure of the much-respected Saudi national guard. Saudi royals view themselves as The Party, sharing power and ruling by consent, in an arrangement that is largely opaque. What is absolutely clear after Saturday’s “Night of the Long Knives” is that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is upending this arrangement and centralizing all power within his position as crown prince.

This purge comes on the heels of complete intolerance for even mild criticism of Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms, resulting in at least 70 arrests that have, unfortunately, garnered far less attention. Many of us living outside Saudi Arabia will not return home for fear of the same fate. Our families have been targeted instead. All of this leaves me in a difficult quandary. I champion a real campaign to tackle the rampant corruption that is draining Saudi resources, both financial and human. Our unemployment rate would drop rather significantly if the billions we squandered on kickbacks and lavish personal enrichment schemes dressed up as public-works projects were spent instead on the development of small to medium enterprises, vocational training and 21st-century education reforms.


Corruption in Saudi Arabia is quite different from corruption in most other countries, as it is not limited to a “bribe” in return for a contract, or expensive gift for the family member of a government official or prince, or use of a private jet that is charged to the government so a family can go on vacation. Instead, in Saudi Arabia, senior officials and princes become billionaires as contracts are either enormously inflated or, at worst, a complete mirage. In 2004, Lawrence Wright wrote in the New Yorker about “The Kingdom of Silence” where a massive sewer project in Jeddah was really a series of manhole covers across the city with no actual pipes underneath. I, as the editor of a major paper at the time, can say that we all knew, and we never reported on it.

Another example is building an airport in the wrong location simply to benefit the princes who own the land. They received the land for free from the government and then got extravagant compensation for the property. Last year, during an interview with Bloomberg, Mohammed bin Salman revealed that “there was roughly between 80 to 100 billion dollars of inefficient spending every year, about a quarter of the entire Saudi budget” during the oil boom from 2010 to 2014. “Inefficient spending” is a far too gentle description for corruption in Saudi Arabia. So yes, I, as a Saudi citizen, am eager to see this scourge end.

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Old 11-06-2017, 08:36 AM
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Red face Re: Crude oil markets

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Among Dozens Arrested for Corruption...

Saudi Prince Among Dozens Arrested for Corruption; Donor to Carter, Clinton, Georgetown, Harvard
November 6, 2017 – The most prominent of dozens of princes and others arrested in a weekend “anti-corruption” sweep overseen by the heir to the Saudi throne is a billionaire whose largesse has benefited recipients ranging from the Carter Center and Clinton Foundation to Georgetown and Harvard universities and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Quote:
The arrest of Alwaleed bin Talal and others was one of the first actions taken by an anti-corruption committee set up by King Salman’s decree under the leadership of his son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It has been tasked to “identify offenses, crimes, persons and entities involved in cases of public corruption.” Just five months ago, the king promoted Mohammed bin Salman to the position of crown prince, deposing in the process his own nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef. The anti-corruption arrests are being seen as the latest move by 31-year-old crown prince to purge potential rivals. Those detained included the head of the powerful National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, and the commander of the Saudi Navy, Abdullah Al-Sultan.

The inclusion among those detained of Alwaleed bin Talal – named by Forbes magazine as the world’s 45th richest person, with a net worth of more than $18 billion – has been most startling. Alwaleed is founder and chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, which is currently building the world’s tallest tower, in Jeddah, and owns sizeable share stakes in Twitter and 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News Channel. Kingdom Holding Co. said Sunday it was continuing “normal business operations” and that it “affirms the support of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Alwaleed’s philanthropic foundation has given “$1 million or more” in cumulative donations to the Carter Center, and between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

In 2005, Alwaleed’s donation of $20 million to Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding was the second biggest single gift in the university’s history. The center was subsequently renamed “the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.” Another $20 million donation secured the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic studies program at Harvard. (Alwaleed at the same time gave similar gifts to programs at the Universities of Edinburgh in Scotland, Cambridge in England, and the American Universities in Beirut and Cairo.) A year after 9/11, Alwaleed donated $500,000 to CAIR, to finance a campaign “to defend Islam” in American society. CAIR says the donation was used “to help further efforts to eradicate ignorance and misinformation about Islam.” Also after 9/11, Alwaleed fell afoul of then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who rejected a $10 million donation after the Saudi prince linked the terrorist attacks on U.S. policies in the Middle East, including its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Other influential Saudis arrested at the weekend include Middle East Broadcasting Corporation owner Waleed Al-Ibrahim – whose stable includes the Al-Arabiya television network – and Bakr bin Laden, the chairman of the Saudi Binladen Group, the construction conglomerate founded by Osama bin Laden’s father. Like Alwaleed, Bakr bin Laden has also given “$1 million or more” in cumulative donations to the Carter Center. The Saudi Binladen Group is involved with Alwaleed in the project to construct the Jeddah Tower. The Saudi daily Arab News quoted Attorney-General Saud Al-Muajab, also a member of the new anti-corruption committee, as saying the investigations now underway are being carried out in accordance with Saudi laws and regulations “in a manner appropriate to the nature of the crimes.” “The suspects are being granted the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen,” he said. “A suspect’s position or status does not influence the firm and fair application of justice.”

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article...carter-clinton
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