What We're Reading

Energy (40)

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Short Black Gold? Commodity Deflation

Oil production in North America is booming, crude oil today hitting new 4-year lows, and it is now beginning to have a huge impact on global hydrocarbon markets. In fact, some believe that the U.S. will eventually overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of the key commodity, with some calling for the surge to happen by the end of the decade and OPEC is left if in a precarious situation.  If they cut production, prices may rise but they also risk losing customers to another provider (the U.S. or Russia).  If they do not cut production, prices will likely continue to fall due to excess capacity worldwide. 

This push towards energy self-sufficiency is largely thanks to the combination of fracking and oil shale, as previously unobtainable supplies are now…

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Admin

Lower Oil Spawns Numerous Opportunities

As many Western economies are seemingly slowing down again, with most of them still struggling with stubbornly high unemployment levels, they will only benefit from the current sharp drop in oil prices which will stimulate the global economy. Moreover, countries now have the opportunity to replenish stocks and protect themselves against future price hikes. Stockpiling begs the question: how long will prices remain relatively low compared to recent years? Will they fall further? $60 would certainly kick start substantial economic activity or will supply be rained back?

In the past, we have seen the US and its Western partners put pressure on OPEC, and the world's only swing producer Saudi Arabia, to increase supply so as to lower prices or maintain price stability. Are we about to see them…

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Admin

Sonic Cannons And Noise Levels

Just some numbers on sonic cannon mapping I thought were interesting after the Obama administration announced approval for use of sonic cannons off of the Eastern US coast for geological survey purposes; much to the dismay of environmentalists and people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.  Energy companies however, need the data as they prepare to apply for drilling leases in 2018, when current congressional limits expire.

The cannons create noise pollution in waters shared by whales, dolphins and turtles, sending sound waves many times louder than a jet engine reverberating through the deep every ten seconds for weeks or monthly at a time.

They are already used in the western Gulf of Mexico, off Alaska and in other offshore oil operations around the world. They are towed behind boats, sending down…

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Admin

Obama Approves Sonic Cannon For Oil Exploration

The Obama administration has approved the use of sonic cannons to explore for oil and gas off the Eastern Shore using seismic survey ships which tow airguns that emit underwater explosions over thousands of miles along the coast.  These blast results would transform into a survey of the seabed floor to reveal potential drill sites.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday formally approved guidelines for using air cannons along the Eastern seaboard in the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Delaware.  Energy companies could buy new oil and gas…

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Admin

While it's obvious nothing will be done until after mid term elections this Fall and new officials are sworn it, it would appear there's hope for appropriations in the drilling and exploration area going to next year.   Per GovTrack.us

H.Res. 641: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4899) to lower gasoline prices for the American family by increasing domestic ...

... onshore and offshore energy exploration and production, to streamline and improve onshore and offshore energy permitting and administration,…

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Admin

Filling up at the pump yesterday, paying $3.79 for low grade made me wonder.  Aren't you supposed to be kissed before you get screwed over?  Captain Obvious over the last few years is the disconnect between gasoline demand/usage in the U.S. vs. price when it comes to the stinky stuff and that price chart certainly looks like a large, bull flag which should make your head spin at the potential increase ahead unless something changes.  Surely the gentleman next to me would have to sell a body part or small child to fill up his enormous SUV.  Fool with that huge tank but he thinks he looks slick.  The powers that be decided they wanted us to become accustomed to $3/gal and it seems that we have unfortunately but I have to keep saying it, the demand just does not justify the price of oil without a supply disruption or military crisis in the Middle East.  As much as I hate to say it, the Prius is beginning to…

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Admin

(edited 1:18pm to add U.S. projections)

Germans have now achieved goals, which coal industry skeptics have been claiming for the last 40 years could not be achieved even by 2050 and is is rapidly becoming a model country for transitions to renewable and sustainable energy proving that "yes, a transition to a renewable energy economy can be done, and it can be down with continuous improvement to existing technology.

Germans have a special word for it -"'Energiewende', or energy transformation - which aims to power the entire country by renewable resources by 2050." Germans are now laying down a challenge for other countries saying there is no longer any excuse for countries to say this is impossible.

June 6, 2014 was a record breaking day for the solar power industry in Germany when the country broke through the…

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Admin

LNG Has "No Climate Benefits" Says DoE

An explosive new report from the U.S. Department of Energy makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources.

That is, if one uses estimates for methane leakage based on actual observations.

This is the same conclusion I reached back in 2012, based on

  • Emerging analyses of how even a relatively low leakage rate in the natural gas production and delivery system negate its climate benefit, and
  • A 2009 EU report on how the energy-intensive liquefaction process and transportation further increase LNG emissions.…

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Admin

Seasonal Demand Trades June 2014

Seasonal demand is just what it sounds like.  What seasons certain things see higher demand such as natural gas for A/C and heating or gold for jewelry manufacturing and sales.  With that in mind I thought I'd flip through our Seasonal Charts for hints of possible trades here and in the months approaching.  My unscientific belief has been that larger players begin to buy long futures contracts before the season hits so I begin to watch for divergences and support in charts.  Click on the charts below for a better view.  Let's take a look:…

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Admin

The Truth And Myths Of Greentech

We are witnessing the maturation of an industry and the adoption of proven management practices. Successful cleantech companies are making their offerings competitive by focusing on excellence in operations, marketing, sales, and distribution. The principles that apply to any manufacturing business, such as reducing procurement costs and improving productivity through lean manufacturing, are increasingly important for clean technologies as well.

The cleantech space is diverse; it cannot be painted with a broad brush. We looked at 16 important clean technologies and found that while every single one has made progress over the past decade, some are moving much faster than others. Just over half of them—advanced building technologies, advanced agriculture, food life-cycle optimization, grid analytics, grid-scale storage, intelligent transport, next-generation vehicles, solar PVs (photovoltaics), unconventional natural gas, and water treatment—could become truly disruptive to…

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Admin
Pooty said in an hour-long TV interview on Thursday. “We sell gas in European countries which have around 30-35 percent of their gas balance covered by supplies from Russia. Can they stop buying Russian gas? In my opinion it is impossible.” Don't count your куры before they're hatched Pooty, old boy.

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Admin

They weren't an anti-fracking family.  They had no wells on their land.  In fact for the longest time they, their doctors and numerous specialists had no idea what was causing their continual symptoms....and then the pieces began to fall into place.

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

$3 Million? More like this, please. Here’s some background on the suit, from Natural Gas Intelligence:

In a first-of-its-kind hydraulic fracturing (fracking) nuisance lawsuit, a Dallas Jury Tuesday awarded a North Texas…

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Admin

Taxing The Sun. A Rigged Game

Solar energy is still in it's infancy as an alternative energy fuel but let the consumers find a way to save a few bucks?  No way says Oklahoma state legislature.  A bill to allow a TAX surcharge for anyone using the sun in addition to their current utility, passed the Senate last month and now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.  This "tax" however, isn't going to the state or federal coffers.  Noooo.  It's going to the existing utility company to "offset existing infrastructure costs"

Wait.  What?  Sounds like I'll be propping up their stock price instead.

Seriously? …

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Admin

Amazing the shift since oil rigs were shifted from gas to more of the black gold AND with Bakken coming on line yet sadly, gasoline at the pump has tripled........smh


In the span of a mere four years, U.S. production of crude oil has surged by 67%, according to the Dept. of Energy, reaching levels not seen since the late 1980s. Crude production is up 14% in just the past year. This is the fruit of new fracking technology and it is nothing short of astonishing. Natural gas production is up almost 40% over this same period, and—since natural gas is not easily exportable—this has resulted in a two-thirds decline in the price of natural gas, which in turn gives our energy-intensive industries a big competitive…

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Admin

Is Clean Energy A Fad?

At their inception, autos were considered speculative investments. In fact, so were railroads, the light bulb, telephone and internet.  They'll never catch on.  It'll be too expensive.  No one will be able to afford it.  There's no infrastructure for it.  It'll pass.  It's a FAD.

McKinsey feels "The world is on the cusp of a resource revolution". 

So, is cleantech failing? In a word, no. Rather, the sector has experienced a cycle of excitement followed by high (and often inflated) expectations, disillusionment, consolidation, and then…

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Admin

Daily Reads

  • The argument to lift the ban on crude oil exports Bloomberg
  • How big oil (and Senators) are positioning at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Bloomberg
  • A 3pm gold "fix"?  This study says it began in 2004. Bloomberg
  • That's what I've been saying.  Fed may have to let inflation run hot to meet goals. Reuters
  • Markets spooked as confirmation came of Russian troops taking over two airports in the Crimean area of the Ukraine.  UN to hold closed-door session this…

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Admin

2014 Recession Ahead?

If so, blame Mother Nature.  I dread seeing my next heating bill and will most likely be selling a kidney on Ebay to cover the cost.  A 2011 research paper by James Hamilton highlighted how historically, recessions occurred after a spike in crude oil prices.  Well what do you think we're witnessing in nat gas here?  Sure, it's an enormous short squeeze but what will the record snowfall, cold temperatures AND a spike in natural gas do…

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The Next Bakken Reserve?

Being long RIG and BP, this video on the next (possible) Bakken reserve truly caught my attention b/c BP is enormous in Germany. As the US becomes energy independent, what a boon would it be for Germany to control their crude oil reserves overseas?  What do you all think? Video courtesy of Mauldineconomics

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Admin

Natural Gas Outperforming Crude Oil *booyah!*

[Edited October 15, 2012 to add Reuters link and Citicorp PDF ]

Natty outperform black gold?  Texas tea?  Yes it's happening and the intriguing part is it could continue.  It's unimaginable, unheard of, pure heresy but it at the same time, appears to be the Captain Obvious trade to these novice aging eyes.  While I'm no guru and don't begin to know it's intricacies, allow me to explain from a technical analysis and common sense point of view.  [CLICK ON ANY CHART TO ENLARGE]

 

#1  Falling crude oil demand in developed countries continues and this decline is expected to continue going forward......while increasing demand is expected in developing countries however I doubt quite a rapid increase given…

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Admin

Crude Oil Spikes and Historic Recessions

"I've just completed a new research paper that surveys the history of the oil industry with a particular focus on the events associated with significant changes in the price of oil. Here I report the paper's summary of oil market disruptions and economic downturns since the Second World War. Every recession (with one exception) was preceded by an increase in oil prices, and every oil market disruption (with one exception) was followed by an economic recession."

The table above itemizes the particular postwar events that are reviewed in detail in my paper. The paper also provides the following summary…

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