Who is the culprit for the recent record oil stock glut across the OECD nations? We present the answer on the following several charts showing oil exports from both OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries. Note that Iran has gone exactly nowhere - it is "others" who are to blame for the most recent downturn in oil prices.
If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial “regime change” abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home. Much of this “strategy” is personified by a single Washington power couple...
In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow, where Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller and China National Petroleum Corp Vice President Wang Dongjin signed a gas export deal which paves the way for 30 bcm/y to China via a new "Western Route." Now, slumping Chinese demand (a pervasive problem at the heart of the global commodities downturn), threatens to undercut the agreement.
With all eyes currently transfixed on Iran’s nuclear future, there is seemingly little attention being paid to another landmark Middle Eastern nuclear trend, spearheaded by Russia.
As President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is compared to Richard Nixon’s opening to China, Bibi Netanyahu must know how Chiang Kai-shek felt as he watched his old friend Nixon toasting Mao in Peking. The Iran nuclear deal is not on the same geostrategic level. Yet both moves, seen as betrayals by old U.S. allies, were born of a cold assessment in Washington of a need to shift policy to reflect new threats and new opportunities. Several events contributed to the U.S. move toward Tehran.
This seemingly inexhaustible credit line is now drying up, with severely negative consequences for oil producers with debt that's coming due. The row of dominoes swaying unsteadily in these stiff winds won't take much to topple.
Even after a few weeks have passed, the unexpected visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum still has a lot of people scratching their heads. The news is full of widespread and contradictory theories, while questions abound. Why had the Saudis accepted an invitation from a country sanctioned by the U.S., its oldest and strongest ally? It is still a bit early for all the pieces to neatly fit together but now, after the dust has settled somewhat, a pattern seems to be emerging that may explain the situation.
Australian consumers are more worried about the medium term outlook than at the peak of the financial crisis, and rightfully so. As The Telegraph reports, by the end of the first quarter this year, Australia’s net foreign debt had climbed to a record $955bn, equal to an already unsustainable 60pc of gross domestic product, and is set to rise as RBA's bet that depreciation in the value of the country’s currency would help to offset the decline in its overbearing mining industry hasn’t happened to the extent they would have wished. Furthermore, as UBS explains, China's real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia's nominal GDP growth this last decade. With iron ore and coal prices plumbing new record lows, a Chinese (real) economy firing on perhaps 1 cyclinder, and equity investors reeling from China's collapse; perhaps the situation facing Australia is more like Greece than many want to admit, as Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman and matriarch of Perth’s Hancock mining dynasty stunned her workers this week: accept a 10% pay cut or face redundancies.
Andy Brown, a top Shell official, said the Anglo-Dutch oil giant forecasts no quick rebound in the average global price of oil, but only a gradual recovery lasting five years. He attributed this sluggishness to a slowdown in China’s economy, leading a drop in demand for fuel, and the continuing oversupply of oil. “It will take several years [for oil prices to recover fully], but we do believe fundamentals will return,” Brown said. “Until such time, we, like other companies, will have to make sure we stay robust.”
This is it. It is indeed historic. And diplomacy eventually wins. In terms of the New Great Game in Eurasia, and the ongoing tectonic shifts reorganizing Eurasia, this is huge: Iran — supported by Russia and China — has finally, successfully, called the long, winding 12-year-long Atlanticist bluff on its “nuclear weapons.” And this only happened because the Obama administration needed 1) a lone foreign policy success, and 2) a go at trying to influence at least laterally the onset of the new Eurasia-centered geopolitical order.
However, after seeing that QE has not caused inflation or triggered a dollar collapse in the last five years, it is not clear why people would wake up one morning and decide to panic.
While slightly later than expected, a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program has now been reached. As Reuters reports, the agreement will be greeted with alarm in several quarters, both in Washington and Tehran and internationally too, and could yet unravel. Internationally, the deal will accelerate unease in some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, but it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who remains the fiercest public critic and has issued a warning that the accord will "inevitably lead to a nuclear war." The deal profoundly changes the balance of power in the region, but averts the conflict that was likely otherwise, but as ECStrat notes, Iran offers exceptional investment opportunities, but the near term impact will be to continue oil’s decline back to its lows, potentially taking energy stocks with it.
It is only fitting that almost exactly 24 hours after the Greek "pre-deal", which may and will end up crashing and burning in very short notice, another long expected "deal", one which has been about a decade in the making, was reached, when Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers, a long-sought foreign policy goal of the Obama administration. However, just like with the Greek deal celebrations, these too will likely be short lived as the outcome sets the White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress and in allied Middle Eastern nations.
We all know one thing that Greece, Cyprus, and Puerto Rico have in common – severe financial problems. There is something else that they have in common – a high proportion of their energy use is from oil. Most people don’t understand that our world economy runs on cheap energy.
While not predicting that Tehran and six world powers will strike a deal by the new July 10 deadline, a senior Iranian oil official says his country hopes to nearly double its crude exports immediately if and when sanctions are lifted and hopes that OPEC will accommodate this growth by capping production by the cartel’s other members. “We are like a pilot on the runway ready to take off,” Mansour Moazami, Iran’s deputy oil minister for planning and supervision, told The Wall Street Journal inTehran on July 5. “This is how the whole country is right now.”