The Fear Factor Is Back For Oil

Saber-rattling in the Middle East and the continued deterioration in Venezuela have once again trumped considerations such as supply and demand in the fluctuations of global oil prices. Despite what looks like still ample global supply, both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate have risen this week on the back of geopolitical fears. The highlight of the week in this respect was no doubt the sabotage of four vessels off the Emirati coast that U.S. authorities said may have been caused by Iran. The sabotage reports were followed by reports of…

The World’s Last Coal Plant Will Be Constructed Soon

In its latest energy investment report, the International Energy Agency said energy companies continued investing in coal as demand for electricity continued growing fast and renewable and nuclear capacity additions couldn’t keep up. But, the agency said, “decisions to invest in coal-fired power plants declined to their lowest level this century and retirements rose.” When something happens for the first time in a century, it’s definitely worth mentioning, especially if it marks the change in a persistent trend. This is…

Bank Of America: $90 Brent May Be Around Corner

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) warns that Brent crude oil could reach $90 per barrel stemming the new IMO rules regarding shipping fuels and a weaker dollar courtesy of a de-escalation in the US/China trade war, Reuters reported on Friday. BofAML claims that the IMO rules regarding the allowable sulphur content, to take effect in 2020, could cause a spike in middle distillate demand, pressuring prices upward. Also pushing up prices could be the weakening dollar should the trade war between China and the United States simmer down. In February,…

What The Market Is Overlooking In The Occidental Deal

Occidental Petroleum, (NYSE: OXY), lit up the Permian sky, with its mid-April announcement that it was going to call and raise Chevron’s (NYSE:CVX) bid for Anadarko Petroleum, (NYSE: APC). Almost immediately two things began to happen. First, the stocks of both companies sank, big. They kept sinking proportionately until the news broke at the end of April that OXY Gulfstream jet had been spotted in Omaha, where the CEO, Vicki Hollub had paid a visit to the Oracle. Ms. Hollub must have made a convincing pitch, as she came away with a big $10…

Global Oil Shipping Concerns Rise Over Middle East Tensions

While global oil markets are accustomed to factoring geopolitical uncertainty into oil prices, this kind of geopolitical fallout hasn’t been seen for a number of years. The world’s largest oil exporter, that still along with its OPEC+ partners, plays the role of global oil markets swing producer, is seeing an escalation of attacks on its oil export infrastructure and shipping. Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that armed drones had attacked two of its oil pumping stations. This came just two days after the sabotage of two oil tankers carrying…