The Biggest Threat To Oil Prices: 2-Mile Long Stretch Of Iraq Oil Tankers Headed For The U.S.

Tyler Durden's picture

After some initial excitement, November has seen crude oil prices collapse back towards cycle lows amid demand doubts (e.g. sllumping China oil imports, overflowing Chinese oil capacity, plunging China Industrial Production) and supply concerns (e.g. inventories soaring). However, an even bigger problem looms that few are talking about. As Iraq - the fastest-growing member of OPEC - has unleashed a two-mile long, 3 million metric ton barrage of 19 million barrel excess supply directly to US ports in November.

Crude prices are already falling:


But OPEC has another trick up its sleeve to crush US Shale oil producers. As Bloomberg reports,

Iraq, the fastest-growing producer within the 12-nation group, loaded as many as 10 tankers in the past several weeks to deliver crude to U.S. ports in November, ship-tracking and charters compiled by Bloomberg show.


Assuming they arrive as scheduled, the 19 million barrels being hauled would mark the biggest monthly influx from Iraq since June 2012, according to Energy Information Administration figures.



The cargoes show how competition for sales among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is spilling out into global markets, intensifying competition with U.S. producers whose own output has retreated since summer. For tanker owners, it means rates for their ships are headed for the best quarter in seven years, fueled partly by the surge in one of the industry’s longest trade routes.

Worst still, they are slashing prices...

Iraq, pumping the most since at least 1962 amid competition among OPEC nations to find buyers, is discounting prices to woo customers.


The Middle East country sells its crude at premiums or discounts to global benchmarks, competing for buyers with suppliers such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter. Iraq sold its Heavy grade at a discount of $5.85 a barrel to the appropriate benchmark for November, the biggest discount since it split the grade from Iraqi Light in May. Saudi Arabia sold at $1.25 below benchmark for November, cutting by a further 20 cents in December.


“It’s being priced much more aggressively,” said Dominic Haywood, an oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “It’s being discounted so U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are more incentivized to take it.”

So when does The Obama Administration ban crude imports?

And now, we get more news from Iraq:


So taking on the Russians?

*  *  *

Finally, as we noted previously, it appears Iraq (and Russia) are more than happy to compete on price.. and have been successful - for now - at gaining significant market share...

Even as both Iran and Saudi Arabia are losing Asian market share to Russia and Iraq, Tehran is closely allied with Baghdad and Moscow while Riyadh is not. That certainly seems to suggest that in the long run, the Saudis are going to end up with the short end of the stick.

Once again, it's the intersection of geopolitcs and energy, and you're reminded that at the end of the day, that's what it usually comes down to.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
williambanzai7's picture

Is this what they call the Bagdad Dry index? Maybe we should send them back loaded with campus refugees...

Urban Roman's picture

More sort-of a wet index. Or a greasy one.

Think that's bad, wait'll Da'esh joins OPEC. Gives a new meaning to the term 'gas war'...

Oh, and I'd suggest we send 'em back full of jounalism professors. What a useless lot of trash those are.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



You should see the long line of tankers backed up off Galveston, waiting to get into the the Houston refineries.  Last weekend, at night, they looked like a lighted bridge stretching out to the horizon. 

With the US Fields producing over 9,000,000 barrels per day of crude, there has never been a better time to buy a Monster Truck!


Unleaded gasoline at $1.79 / gallon here in Texas this morning, which is less than a gallon of water at the same gas station.

two hoots's picture

All about storage. When the tankers are all full, the pipes in the ground full something has to give. Oil constipation??  that could get messy.

MalteseFalcon's picture

Oh noes!  Iraq is pumping oil again after taking 20 years off?  The sight of those oil tankers scares me.  I hear Iran found the oil it lost years ago, too!

Won't somebody please tell me that comforting Peak OilTM fable again?  Where is that kind Mr. Hubble?

I hope the price of gasoline won't go down, right?  We still believe in the "refinery is off line" fable.  There must be a bottleneck in the system somewhere?

Gasoline under $2 will destroy everything and everybody.

I'm scared!!!!!

Save_America1st's picture

The ultimate "pump and dump".


Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Truth is scarcity is mostly not existing, only through fiat control over resource. For example, oil. Oil is in ground and mother earth is create new oil as fast as is man can remove. Bottom of ocean is perpetually expell natural gas and oil through fissure. How about is diamond? Diamond or C4 is but common elemental compound. Only is rare because of constraint of supply through Debeers (control by Openheimer of Rothschild family). What about water? In California is drought and ration because Liberal government is dump 100B Liter into Ocean.

This is repeat through history.

nosam's picture


Squid Viscous's picture

Is the Pentagram getting a cut - Wolfowitz said Iraq 2 would pay for itself...?

Save_America1st's picture

The Energy Non-Crisis

by Pastor Lindsey Williams

He may have been way ahead of his time w/ the knowledge he says he gained by working up in Alaska on the North Slope oil fields.

Maybe Gull Island really does have the most oil in the world still capped and ready to go once the rest of the world runs out?  Never know I guess

Chapter 16:  Gull Island will blow your mind!


ILLILLILLI's picture

Even a blind pig will find an acorn once in a while...

The9thDoctor's picture

ZH is the only place on the entire interwebs that whines about oil prices going down.

Must be nice to be a white shoe boy who never got dirt under his fingernails in his entire life.

When fuel costs go up, every consumer item goes up, as it requires diesel fuel for the consumer good to be transported. The working class now takes what little cash they save at the pump and now uses it towards their monthly rent increases, as apartment rents are sky high. Despite mortgage rates being all time lows, the principal is completely unaffordable and out of reach of most families.

Who wants to pay a quarter mil for a dumpy house in a drug infested hood? Even if one would be dumb enough to buy a house in this market, how can one afford it with their $20,000 a year jawb and student loan debt?

Yes ZH, if gas prices were only $5 a gallon, and minimum wage was $0 an hour (this nation was founded on slavery mind you) and the robot revolution was stopped (despite ZH being on the www which was science fiction fantasy back in the 1980s), then and only then would Austrian school free market capitalism thrive and everyone could afford a horseless carriage that they built by hand and own a single family home despite the lack of space to build them with an ever expanding population.

I get accused of being utopian, but the philosophy of ZH is dystopian if you are in the 99% class.

roddy6667's picture

I've noticed that too. Oil prices going down? Catastrophe! For whom, I ask? The shipping indexes "collapsing"? It's a tragedy! For whom, I ask?

What demographic does ZH claim to represent, if any? The Goldman-Sachs crowd? The hedge fund boys? Or just the Born Rich Fuck Everybody Else slice of society?

NotApplicable's picture

Funny how some people will replace understanding of cause and effect with class warfare out of pure ignorance.

Instead of being happy about having the opportunity to actually learn something, all you've done is to smear them because you just don't get it.

PavlovPup's picture

I think you misunderstand Doc 9. We understand the principles of cause and effect, as well as the economic concequences of low oil prices. I am sick of the underlying mean spitited racisim and elitism that simmers here on ZH. It is like being on a GLP thread here now. Bitching and whining about the free shit army and how hard you work, not saying you NotApplicable but a grea many posters, and as the Doc said never had to get dirt under your fingernails. If you were young and black would you be hustling your ass out the door every morning to work for a fast food company? I doubt it.You refer to the class warfare, and a chance to learn. Go fuck yourself, yes you particularly Not Applicable. Learn what from you? You Jingoist piece of shit. My monaterty positioning has nothing to do with my inteligence. Why would a non trader come to ZH other than to learn and observe? I've never traded a day in my life, but I've read daily here for 5 years. I am here to learn certainly, but not from you and your ilk. You learn something you asshole, my economic position has no bearing on my inteligence, or what I chose to read to edify myself. My coulor or nationality or my political beliefs have no bearing on my ability to reason, and if you think any differnt you need to learn something.

Anonymous User's picture
Anonymous User (not verified) PavlovPup Nov 11, 2015 3:16 PM

I beg to differ.

Leave a kike, spic a nigger and a chink to read ZH for 5 years and see who among them 4 will get more successful in life. My money's on those less able to be pornstars/soccer players.

Therefore economic position is influenced by intelligence which is influenced by race. Inversely proportional with athletic abilities. 

So racism and elitism are just marxist excuses to justify taking something without merit.

PavlovPup's picture

 poorly concluded point of view, that if you followed would lead you to underestimate and ultimately bewcome secondary to the very people you are demeaning. Soon you will be shoveling shit while other races laugh at you. Do you think you succed by dealing with the facts at hand or preconcieved notions that make you feel supior? Whatever to the marxist view, tahts just common sense.

Anonymous User's picture
Anonymous User (not verified) PavlovPup Nov 11, 2015 7:35 PM

Regardless where the political correctness brought US, you can't change basic science facts. Even if they "offend" you:

1. N-E Asians have very high intelligence and very low developed bone/muscular structure compared with the average Earth male. Just check MIT and other scientific environments. Regarding to sports, they suck bigtime.

2. Whites have medium to high intelligence and medium to high bone/muscular structure.  Found both in science fields and sport fields.

3. S Americans have less than medium intelligence and medium bone/muscular structure.  Found mostly on dance floors and some sport fields.

4. Africans have high bone/muscular structure and very inferior brain skills. 99% in sports and < 1% in scientific environments


Science doesn't lie and it doesn't give a fuck about P Correctness.


And about that "dream" of your other races laughing at me shoveling shit, you might want to hedge that bet ;)

PavlovPup's picture

Trust me I'm not offened. In fact I'm almost amused. Explain the Japaneese womens soccer team alost winning the world cup. I could go on forever with exceptions to your "scientific facts". Genralizations cherrypicked to conform to your warped superior mindset. I think political correctness is a scourge to intelligent debate and decision making, but many less times dangeous than your racial delusions.

messy's picture

where did you get this data from?

TheReplacement's picture

Personally very happy about lower prices.  I get cheaper products, while it lasts.

Personally very happy that this might be the black swan event.

Of course not happy about the workers who will lose their jobs but this system is repulsive and needs to go for the benefit of mankind the world over.  The rest of the world will continue to suffer while the oligarchs and their masters dance.  Even unhappier about all the brown, yellow, and even white people who have been sacrificed on the alter of empire.  (brown and yellow everyone gets, Ukraine is white as is the rest of Europe)

roddy6667's picture

I get it. ZH is making alarmist assumptions that don't make any sense.

Luck Dragon's picture

In general the lower gas prices do not help as much as you would think, since people have no where to go, as they don't have jobs. What good is low gas price if you aren't buying gas?

Minimum wage has nothing to do with making it illegal for an employer to hire someone below a certain point, as it does making it illegal for an employee to sell their services below a certain point. The agenda behind minimum wage was for unions to force less skilled, cheaper people out of the market. If you can hire Bob at $10 an hour, who can do 75% of what Paul can do, but Paul wants $20hr, doesn't it make business sense to hire Bob? Well Paul gets together with all of his buddies, and asks the government to use their guns to make it illegal for the employer to hire ANYONE below $20hr, now it obviously makes more sense to higher the marginally better employee, since you have to pay them both the same regardless. No, Bob does not get a $10hr raise, he doesn't have a job at all. And he's also prevented from entering the market and increasing his skills and value. Everyone wants $15hr to flip burgers and press buttons on a cash register? Guess what, no one will be flipping burgers and pushing buttons on a cash register. And if some how it does happen everywhere, all prices will just increase on items needed by these people so the net result of their new "raise" will actually be less, as they are paying more for the items they need, and in a higher tax bracket.

"Nation founded on slavery", At the peak of black slavery in the South, only 6 percent of Southern whites owned slaves. If you include the white people in the North, it means that only 1.4 percent of white Americans owned black slaves at the HEIGHT of slavery. I have to ask, really? Is that reeeeaaaalllllyyyy what you think?

Apply Force's picture

Exactly Luck!  It seems that so many just can't grok that lower oil prices are the EFFECT of a depressed world-wide economy.  The giant debt-bubble of nations is slowly deflating and base commodities (oil being a master commodity used to wrest and transport so many other base commodities) are deflating because no one any longer believes that their current investment will play out with any returned value.

Debt, enabled by fiat and fraud, used to wrest high cost (energy, time and labor/expertise) commodities - mainly deep sea, fracked, tar-sand and artic oil - from the earth will NEVER be repaid at value.  The negative marginal utility of debt for the master resource, oil, is upon us. 

Cheap gas and fiat dollars will not save us this time around, sorry BAU crowd - there will be LESS.

PavlovPup's picture

Ok so I need a job and walk onto a site and tell the bossman I can do almost as good a job as Paul, and for half the price. Paul gets the ax and I work for half the price, until Bob comes on the site undercuts me and does a shittier job. I get the ax. So now Bossman has a crap product and crap employees whilst Paul and I are on unemployment. Ok we can say the crap product will eventually cause the bussiness to go under and Paul and I will get hired to provide that product with better result and we wil get a living wage, but realisticly  the Boss is just going to source cheaper materials and eventually lay off Bob and go  offshore production, or hire illigals who have no choice but to put up with miserable wages. Tell me where I'm wrong or gone off script here because this is essentially the state of things now. Right? People will keep buying crap because they are used to it plus we can't afford a better product because we are unemployed. I am tired of the working dude taking the shit and the pay cuts, not every low paid employee is without skills. 

NotApplicable's picture

The entire point about low oil prices is that energy is the last straw in the crack-up boom of credit-fueled consumption.

ZH is merely talking about the ramifications of a soon to be totally hollowed out capital goods industry. Long story short: low energy prices can no longer offset the demand destruction caused by borrowing from future demand.

You might want to get off of your high horse for a minute and make an effort to understand the subject under discussion. Or not?

new game's picture

deflation caused by qe bringing demand forward to a peak, (bubble), causing market distortion via the fed and all other central banks. the jig is up. here comes another mess created by central bankers worldwide with china taking the cake. oil would have never got to 100/bbl and the fracking boom/bust would have never happened. blame the culprits, same mutherfuckers that cause the housing boom/bust...

Dominus Ludificatio's picture

The sun never shines at ZH. Bad is bad,good is bad and in the end everithing sucks unless they are drunk.

Raymond_K._Hessel's picture
Raymond_K._Hessel (not verified) Dominus Ludificatio Nov 11, 2015 1:24 PM

Yes and we are all russian trolls too.

The thing about the doom porn charge is not so much that the allegation is wrong, but that ZH is presenting a non mainstream view, in terms of not being (neo)keynesian and not being neocon. Thats the point, that's the fucking draw, man, that and an absolutely fantastic Wild West comments section found few other places.

And by the way - the dollar Will lose grc status and will lose value, keynesian economics has raped the working class and enriched the proverbial 1%, and the neocon warmonger narrative re russia syria etc is not only wrong it is deceptive propaganda.

To employ a somewhat wacky analogy again -

if you go to an indie rock show in Brooklyn and start talking about the virtues of Coldplay - you are assuming that people have not heard of their fucking inescapable antiseptic pop.

The rosy outlook bullshit dominates. It is everywhere.

And in the longer run, it is wrong.

P.S. Didnt junk you

HARM's picture

"Won't somebody please tell me that comforting Peak OilTM fable again?  Where is that kind Mr. Hubble?"


Are you for real? You seriously think that the current shale/fracking induced glut somehow disproves the law of scarcity? Or that conventional crude production is not already in decline? Where do you think all that shale oil came from? Perhaps $140/bbl oil in 2008 had something to do with it? You remind me of someone who looks outside in January, sees it's snowing and believes that's evidence anthropogenic global warming is a hoax.

Nobody For President's picture

Interesting. Tried to upvote you Harm, would not 

'take'. Upvoted the next guy OK?!?

Anyway, downvoting ZH for bringing real news ain't too bright. Those lads should go back to gazing upon whomever Kardoshian ass - that they may be able to understand.

I minored in Geology (and, God save me, Economics), and peak oil has already come and gone - it IS a finite resource. Apparently, there are folks that can not understand the word "Finite". 

Here you go:

Oil pumped out of the ground is finite, by fucking definition. There has been a lot of it, and there is still a bunch of it, but it IS finite, and getting more expensive per barrel to recover by the year. OK, no prob: there is oil that can be grown, and will be in the future evenmore:

We will probably always need oil for lubrication, and will be able to grow it - but burn it up to get from A to B? Gonna end in our grandchildren's lifetime. The so-called defense departments will burn up the last of it flying jet planes, unless our grandkids revolt (I hope).

The current glut of crude is both temporary, due to lower global demand and various geo-political factors, and unsustainable. Enjoy the cheap gas while you can. (BTW, my regular is 3.29 a gallon yesterday - water is still cheaper...)

(And just wait, bitchez, until the real water crisis comes down upon us - call me Cassandra).


OutaTime43's picture

Shhhhh, Harm... don't disturb the anti science conservative from his cognative dissonance slumber. 

We all know that oil is finite and that high volatility is the hallmark of peak oil .  If we had more than enough oil to allow for continuous growth, then prices would be nice and stable like they were in the 80's and 90's. Today it's WHAM.. up to 80, the economy tanks when growth hits finite supply and then.. BAM.. prices fall to 30. If anything, this temporary "glut" and OPEC's inability to reduce extraction proves that we hit peak oil around 2005-2008 perfectly. 

MalteseFalcon's picture

Thanks for retelling the Peak OilTM fable.  I feel real comforted now.

I can get a good night's sleep knowing that there is a possibility that once again I can pay over $100 a barrel for oil because the western military enforces phoney scarcity while western media promotes this comforting fable backed by western scientists who nakedly serve politics, not science for 30 pieces of silver.

It's dark and cold outside the matrix!


MalteseFalcon's picture

I saw something, so I want to say something.

My neighbors all drive hybrids that don't use sufficient gasoline.  When did this happen?!? What happened to maximum 35 mpg standard?!?  My news station told me this has caused gasoline consumption to drop for the last 10 years.


I called the police and asked them to send a SWAT team, and force my neighbors to drive SUVs.

If we keep driving hybrids the world is going to overheat.  I saw that on TV, too.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Peak Oil is the situation when oil consumption exceeds oil production.  It temporarily  ends when::

1) There is a huge oil strike, production explodes and exceeds demand 


2) A gazillion little wells are tapped whpose total output  sends production over demand.


3) The Global Economy wakes up with a pre-depression headache and global demand falls out of bed.


greenskeeper carl's picture

seeing pictures like that reminds me of my time over there. There would be an endless line of tankers waiting to get to the ABOT and KAAOT oit terminals. The line was always between 4-10 ships, all lines up an anchor waiting on their turn to fill up and head out. All day, every day, for a year. Thats what I was there for, protecting the IRAQI oil terminals. The iraqis with us didn't give a shit about anything, didn't want to do anything. And that was when I changed my thinking. If they don't care, why the fuck should we? The spice must flow, however. This was a long time ago, and I am enbarrassed to admit that I always hoped to see some kind of "action". Now, every time I think about the time I spent there all I can think is how I am so fucking glad I never had to shoot or hurt anyone and I didn't get shot or blown up myself participating in that shit.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Today, Veteran's Day, our nation thanks you for your heroic service defending the petrol dollar, and our oil reserves in The Middle East.

IronForge's picture

Over 8 Trillion USD, hundreds of Veteran Lives, an counting!!!!

greenskeeper carl's picture

H_H - haha thanks, good to be appreciated. That is literally all I did, stare at those oil terminals. I am well aware thats all I was doing, although I wasn't at the time, and it definitely didn't have anything to do with 'our freedom'. but it was a long time ago, live and learn.  As I said, Im just glad I never hurt or killed anyone or had the same done to me.


And Im sure you already know this, HH, but I was definitely not fishing for any "thanks for your service" comments. I merely pointed that out for credibility when I say that I can tell your from personnal experience that that is exactly what we are doing over there.



Nobody For President's picture

Hey Carl, I don't know if you were a vet or a merc, but a lot of us did a lot of dumb shit when we were young.

And today the nation 'honors' us - every politician in congress and most state offices will be out there talkin' to some vet's show about how great we were etc.

Fuck 'em all, those lying pieces of shit. The number of current  congress critters that are vets is now very, very low - anybody got the numbers?

Just the usual hypocritical bullshit. Tomorrow they go back to fucking us, and even worse, screwing the current crop of all volunteer military.

But I'm just especially pissed of today, so forget my rants. 

Ted died for nothin', except his buddies, and that is somethin'. That is everything.

51 god-damn years, and I still miss that SOB.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

I had the same realization not so long after I got home from VN, watching the 46's I had ridden in getting shoved off carrier decks pretty much gave me a cold shower of reality.

there were no commies within a hundred klicks from any of us, all those NVA troops were simple farm boys with maybe one party member thrown in a battalion, it was a continuation of 'war is a racket'..

..a racket that continues today.

Crush the cube's picture

If they really wanted to honor Vet's, they'd allow a throw one rock at any officer, government official, or politician of your choice day instead.  That would fix a few problems rather quick, and make folks think a bit before sending these guys off on useless errands.  Hey Congressman, come speak at our memorial, we dare you.

two hoots's picture

OPEC can shut down US/other production by exceeding storage capacity.  That puts the brakes on all production, a final choke hold.  "If the price don't get ya, the sheer volume will drown ya."

iClaudius's picture

"All about storage. When the tankers are all full, the pipes in the ground full something has to give. Oil constipation?? that could get messy."

You guys have got to burn it faster. Instead of Joe average in the US spending his evenings and weekends watching the latest reality TV show vomited up, go out and do a few hundred miles with the family. That should also help out with CO2, which is plant food. Would get the control freak watermelons fuming too.

Do it while you still have the chance.

Goofing Off's picture

I know, I know what it is. All the spinning. With the world spinning so fast, all of the underground oil is flooding to the surface!! 

Quant Jockey's picture

Just bought an Expedition EL for the family. Dealer inventory is backing up in the big rig market. I got mine $8k off of dealer wholesale. Great time to buy indeed!

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Did you get the heavy-steel front and rear bumpers, kevlar door panels, and run-flat tire options?

Nobody For President's picture

Greenie HH, but I suspect he left off the /sarc tag. If it was for real, God save us...

*I* want a small, two-door, 8 foot bed, all electric pickup I can charge on my 120 volt, with, being off the grid, is all solar (27 panels). It took near 35 years to get my off-the-grid shit together, but it is now together.

I would sell two of my vehicles - the old, old pickup and the Sienna, for one good, small, electric pickup with a 150 mile range. Probably not happen in my lifetime, alas. I'd even buy a GM chevy volt pickkup, god forgive me.

(GM, government motors, has finally put together a decent all-electric with the current year Volt sedan. Now, make a small pickup out of the sedan undercarraige/drive-train, and I'm in [holding my nose, but I'm in - haven't bought a US vehicle since a dog of a Dodge van back in the day].)

That's a lot of parenthesis...

post turtle saver's picture

Valero has practically unhinged their jaws to take all the excess in and refine it... if this keeps up we're going to see $30 bbl oil and $1.00 regular unleaded... talk about partying like it's 1999...