As US Energy Secretary Expresses "Great Concern" Due To High Oil Price, OPEC Oil Shipments Decline

Tyler Durden's picture

With the market now only capable of kneejerk headline reactions which end up being immediately priced in, in the pursuit of the mythical Russell 36,000, it completely ignores the actually important news (whose interpretation has not been programmed into the algos trading the S&P) such as input costs and their derivatives, which will inevitably crush margins and lead to the same market reaction as that seen in the summer-fall 2008 transition. And since leverage on all cash flow producing assets will be at the same level as US banks circa 2008, the result will be an even worse wipe out. It has gotten so bad that US Energy Secretary Steven Chu was dragged out of his office to present his version of the "irrational exuberance" speech so pervasively ignored by the stock market until it was proven to be the only sensible thing ever uttered by the maestro. At a news conference on clean energy, Steven Chu said on Thursday high oil prices posed a threat to the global economy. "The oil producer countries and the oil consuming countries are concerned because it does have an impact on a very fragile economic recovery. There is great concern," Chu told a news conference while attending a clean energy conference. "There's ongoing discussions ... I'm not going to go into any of the details of the discussions. There is a concern about trying to stabilize prices. There is a concern about rising prices," he said." There may be a concern, but according to the president there isn't really much that can be done about said prices. The best people can do is learn to cope. Especially since there is no chance that the commodity complex will be declining any time soon: to many today's ECB decision was a potential catalyst. And instead the market took one look at the number, listen for 2 minutes to Trichet's rambling remarks and bid everything up.

From Reuters:

Oil prices vaulted to their highest level since September 2008 this week, stoking concern among analysts and economists that the higher cost of fuel will crimp consumers' spending.

OPEC ministers, however, have said the organization cannot do anything to stop the rally as the market is already well supplied.

OPEC is not due to meet to discuss output policy until June, although Saudi Arabia has increased its own production to help compensate for the loss of Libyan oil exports amid fighting between rebels and forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Chu said he was aware that the Libyan rebels had been able to sell a cargo of crude oil but he did not have any details on the transaction.

"We know it has occurred. The United States is supportive of that sale and is supportive of the Libyan transitional government for that sale," he said.

Chu was in Abu Dhabi for the second Clean Energy conference along with ministers approximately two dozen other countries. Chu said the ministers made progress on international cooperation for the development of smart electricity grids, home appliance efficiency and electric vehicle deployment.

What is concerning is that according to Oil Movements, OPEC was set to ship 1.6% less oil in the 4-week period. Well, since prices have only been going up, obviously OPEC is not chasing a drop in demand. Instead, OPEC may have well reached the proverbial peak in production. Sure enough this does include the offline capacity from Libya, although that conflict is far from over. What is troubling is ongoing preponderance of free money in margin accounts: with the market topping at the 1,330 level, the only asset classes that continue to push ever higher is the energy space and of course, precious metals.

Expect to see even more buying of oil as speculators keep their mouth shut for fear of breaking the trade and end customers keep their mouth shut for fear of upsetting the status quo.

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SheepDog-One's picture

Why be concerned? Obama just said 'suck it up, peasants and go buy a new car'. Problem solved.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

Replace congress with a chicken coop, the senate with a pig sty, plant corn on the white house lawn, put a farmer in charge and call it the orville office.

1fortheroad's picture

Funny, Will Arnold Ziffel be there.

Thomas's picture

Steven Chu neither knows any economics or oil (unless he reads ZH). He is a high-T superconductor expert.

umop episdn's picture

I think the concern is that too many peasants have been saying 'suck it up, central banksters, I'm buying Au and especially Ag.'

Pea Coil, spiraling down...

Cdad's picture

And anyway, John OptionsJunkie Najarian on the BlowHorn [CNBC] is now also suggesting that selling here, well, did not happen.  Yep, he said that no one is selling.  Again, the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street literally suggesting to you that you should not trust your own lying eyes, and instead take heart in Wall Street generated projections.

Just take a look at ANF.  Here, the head hancho upgrades his own company's future, as sales more broadly suck, and the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street takes the stock straight up...25% in three days.  Makes sense, right?  Oh, and you cannot borrow it now because the Street, who is telling you to go long, already has every last available share sold short.  Perfect example of how the syndicate arbitrages to death everything on the face of the planet...and why we are so lucky to have these bankers as our new overlords.  So go be a good sheeple and buy ANF.  I hear gay fashion is going to be huge during the coming T Bill collapse.

Pay no attention to anything....just listen to the soft and delusional words of an option junkie on the BlowHorn and everything thingy will be all unicorny.  

Good grief [and by that I mean just bring on the zombie apocalypse already.  Life would be easier]

SheepDog-One's picture

Well if no ones selling and everyones bullish, the top is near.

blindfaith's picture

I knew a couple of real estate agents that sold the same property back and forth to each other for almost two years...they made a fortune on the commissions alone.

Clampit's picture

No chance they patented the concept and are seeking punitive damages from the PD's?

nkktwotwozero's picture

HFT for the win.

Did they co-locate?

Amish Hacker's picture

That's funny. I had heard of condos in Florida and Las Vegas being flipped multiple times for huge profits before they were even built, but I hadn't considered a scenario with the same 2 agents. I wonder how many times they took each other to lunch?

Cdad's picture

But they did sell, Dog.  You can see the spires of equities dumped when the news came on Japan.  My point is...they did sell.

In the meantime, my guess per government idiot Chu, the fix is near to hand...just open the SPR.  There.  Done.  Like all these idiots at the helm of the US ship of state, they have no idea what they are doing, how the tinkering and the short terms market disruptions, actually further set the nation backwards.  Unless that is their plan, of course ;)

Cue the useless idiots and options junkies on the BlowHorn about how to make a good pre SPR release news trade!  Because if you can scalp 5% of something, then it should happen!  More unicorn money!

And comes grandma Sue Herrera to calm everyone after this morning's temporarily upsetting news.  Expect further earthquake downgrades...momentarily.

Zombies please...bring them on.  Life would be easier than this nonsense day after day

SheepDog-One's picture

I agree, I'd rather be battling zombies all day that looking at the unicorn and clown show!

zeek's picture

just don't shoot Bill Murray... :)

Clampit's picture

Steven doesn't fit the mold of the average government idiot, I know many people personally who would vouch for his intellect. Which makes his acceptance of the position all the more troubling; is it ego, naive philanthropy, or something more sinister?

I guess that's the nature of politics, at some point you start to believe your own myth. That others follow, or more importantly the following gives forced access to labor outside the free market, is a truly an unfortunate symptom of society.

Flakmeister's picture

Do you think for a minute that Chu can actually say what he believes?


CrashisOptimistic's picture

Chu got himself politicized, but he has a solid brain and understands what's what -- and most important, he has gotten good briefings on Peak Oil and then proceeded to refuse to comment on the subject.

That's encouraging.  When someone refuses comment on the matter, and then says things that make clear he knows the inevitable is unfolding, we can call it encouraging.  He knows the horror that Peak Oil is bringing.  He's not clueless.

It's unfortunate a Democratic Administration is in power right now.  They are far too left wing by instinct to embrace the need to wipe out foreign populations ASAP.  It's the only way to ensure US consumption is preserved.  A GOP administration is no less moral.  It's just more willing to get to that particular finish line quicker.  It won't happen now.  It risks US dominance -- which should not be risked (if you're an American).

Cdad's picture

So you're saying he is a special government idiot.  I feel so much better.  

Listen...just wait for it...SPR to release oil.  And whatever security we had in that 70 day supply of oil will be squandered.  It's next.  I assure you.

Long oil is dangerous right now.  It is all too obvious what will happen next.  

The entire nation has become a crony capitalist joke.  The stock market is actually a pachinko machine.  Our President is not even a citizen.  And the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street remains entrenched.  Great.


Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Cheney said the SPR is for use by the military in case they run low of go juice. His side kick, Bush, did not disagree.

PRO.223's picture

You can really see why his handlers don't want him speaking off the cuff. Every single time he speaks without a teleprompter, he makes another stupid statement.

zeek's picture

exactly... he knows he's not gonna have to worry about filling his gas tank with his money...

nevadan's picture

And he doesn't seem to have a problem filling AF1 up to fly to the next rally, all on our dime either.

Pegasus Muse's picture

Chill, guys, chill.  People still know how to walk. 

Live -- First Round of the Masters:  

defn8Dog's picture

Don't forget that for the first time in 36 years, Iran is in charge of OPEC.  Don't look  for increased production from them anytime soon.

Josh Randall's picture

Hmmm....this could be the excuse Barry and BennyNet need to go get 'em

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Or . . . it doesn't matter who is in charge of OPEC.  They CAN'T PRODUCE AT A HIGHER RATE.

The party is over.  The cops are coming to shut it all down.

Four of them.  On horseback.

dow2000's picture

Tyler please feature this story...draw attention to what's going on here please?

bigelkhorn's picture

yes he is a weasal. I cant believe the prices of gas at the moment. 

but this guys is not surprised....


Live video analysis on crude and what is happening in crude lately by the guy over at Very interesting stuff. And worth a watch. WOW!

Video ==>

Shows you the technical side to crude and proof for where it is going. A nice touch!

bob_dabolina's picture

Well Ben printing money is bad enough but it's even worse when your energy needs are largely satisfied by a part of the world that hates you.

How fucking hard is this? Drill motherfuckers...we got oil. I don't see why we have to make life so hard on ourselves when there are such simple solutions.

1. Live within your means

2. Drill

3. win.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Have faith, we will.  Just need to make sure everyone else is dry first and all those not on board with the "one world democracy" are silenced first.  Remember the mantra of the central bankers in regard to the "goyim".  It goes something like this "our survival is mandatory, yours is illegal"

Marla And Me's picture

This is a huge tell:

The article is entitled "Putting on the Brakes: Mankind Nears the End of the Age of Speed."  It's a platitude-laden puff piece discussing the technological advancements of mankind, but makes ZERO references as to why we are even slowing down.  You won't find any discussion of peak-oil in that article, but I found it to be an even more valuable tell.  TPTB are moving on the next stage: the massaging of the masses for the eventual acceptance of their predicament.  Hedge accordingly.

Flakmeister's picture

You do realize that 40,000 oil wells are drilled every month in the good 'ol USA and 10,000 are shut down because they are dead?

That is over 1,000 new holes a day....

tarsubil's picture

How many dry wells are reopened everyday? Guess there is a Center of World jungle full of breeding dinosaurs still producing some oil down there somewhere.

espirit's picture

Usually if only nat gas, or low volume/quality oil is found, the well is capped and the drillers move on. Nat gas too inexpensive to justify building new pipelines and maintaining pumps.

Just wait until we're past peak/peak oil. The move to nat gas will be... ah natural.

Flakmeister's picture

Take a gander at


I must confess that I erred in the number of wells per month, it 10,000 holes per month.... I stand corrected...

Note the relative fraction of dry holes, these guys are very good...

ZackAttack's picture

Drill all you like; we do, in fact.

It's not enough, not by even a fraction.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Yeah, but some people refuse to accept that answer. So they blame oil company conspiracies for holding back oil production to keep prices up. Or, my favorite, environmentalists whom they somehow believe have incredibly more political power than the oil, automobile and petro-chemical industries combined.

Oh well, if we have reached Global Peak Oil, there are many who will refuse to believe regardless of the evidence crumbling around them.  You may now junk away...


Flakmeister's picture

Can you spell Cognitive Dissonance?  I thought you could...

ZackAttack's picture

Yep... the narrative must follow the belief.

To channel Rush, it's enviromentalist wackos that want to force God-fearing Americans to give up their 4-ton SUVs for unicycles and share high-rise inner city skyscraper dwellings with smelly hippies.

Red Team! Blue Team! Fight, fight, fight!

trav7777's picture

what I find funny is how some of the biggest opponents to the concept of Peak Oil are the same ones often most hysterical about the nuclear accident in Fukushima.

WTF are we supposed to do now??  For peak deniers, nukes were our ONLY TRANSITION STRATEGY.

There IS NOTHING ELSE right now that can even HOPE to provide "power" (even assuming we had the capacity to convert that electricity into liquid fuel)

Flakmeister's picture

Reality is a cruel hard, heartless bitch...

CrashisOptimistic's picture

And she doesn't like to perspire.

KSA summer starts now-ish, and their air conditioners are powered by gasoline/diesel generators nationwide.

To the tune of 600K bpd that is NOT being burned this moment, but will be over the next few months.

And for even more fun, have a look at the Alberta government's shocking land use plan released yesterday that is taking 20% of oil sands out of the market.  To accomodate environmental concerns (you know, the ones that don't involve eating).

tarsubil's picture

Have you ever dealt with an environmentalist? They are pushing for the same results as: Obama, regressives, global warmists, eugenicists, peak oil fanatics, communists and muslims. Degrading all standards of living by worshipping the poverty of the masses while living very comfortably themselves.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Really? They are? Where have you dealt with these folks? Also, wouldn't most of them be the bleeding heart liberals that want to give foks in poverty welfare? I'm getting confused on how folks want this stereotype to work out.

I've known many environmentalists for decades and none of them seem to be pushing that agenda. Sure, some of the fringe folks do, but we have fringe folks who push all kinds of nutty stuff. Most folks realize they are fringe elements and don't use them to define the entirety of people who might have similar beliefs, like radical Christians, militant Constitutionalist White Supremesists, etc... Not every Christian or Constitutionalist is one of those folks, much as everyone who wants a clean environment isn't a Communist.

Sure many environmental-leaning folks want it both ways. So does most everyone I encounter anymore.


tarsubil's picture

The government. But how could a bunch of hippie environmentalist push the big Federal government around? Yeah, I know. It is so weird.

"I've known many environmentalists for decades and none of them seem to be pushing that agenda."

That's either a bald faced lie or you do not know any real environmentalists that constantly troll government projects looking for a missed environmental impact study so they can sue.




GeorgeHayduke's picture

No lie at all. I used to be a paid environmentalist at the state level working on walkable neighborhoods and sustainable development. I sat in the office of the big players at bothe the state and federal level. I knew most all of the major environmental players in one of the top-5 most populous states and only about 15-20% were pretty much off the edge of the cliff and most of the big players knew the who was who.

If you insist on sticking to the sterotype, you're going to be wrong, but hey, you don't have to believe me. Here's the most powerful "environmentalist" I ran into: a woman who is a former well-connected lawyer and who's daddy was big power broker and she married a guy who makes really good money, but she decides to bag her career for a while to stay home with the kids in their high-end suburban, gated community. But then, some developer has the nerve to draw up plans for developing that empty field and wooded lot that her kids play in behind their house. Ok...former lawyer, some time on here hands, a supposed "environmental" problems here...You can see where things go from there. She wasn't exactly a hippy or a liberal. Who do you think will get something done? This woman or the idealistic college kids showing up for Earth Day lobby event?

If you say you are involved in government and think anything they do is done with their funders, or buddies, or backers getting a cut of the money; or it gets go ahead from someone who has big power (re: a huge bankroll) then look up Cognitive Dissonance. It may help you to see the real world.

tarsubil's picture

That is one of the more unintelligible things I've read. I love this line: "I knew most all of the major environmental players in one of the top-5 most populous states and only about 15-20% were pretty much off the edge of the cliff and most of the big players knew the who was who."

Oh, yeah! We are on the path to destruction. Make your time. All your base are belong to us.