Iran

This Week's Main News From The Oil Sector

For those who need a quick and easy recap of all the main events that took place in the oil and gas services sector, here it is courtesy of Credit Suisse's James Wicklung who present the various "things we've learned this week."

The Consequences Of $50 Oil

If U.S. shale stays competitive, it could trigger another round of production increases from Saudi Arabia, which is determined to do its utmost to hold on to market share even as it boasts of long-term plans to build an “oil-less” economy by 2030. The Saudi bottom line has been ravaged by years of low prices, generating huge budget deficits and debts to contractors (which the Saudi government will attempt to cover through IOUs). Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia remains uniquely positioned to weather such storms; should the price fall again, it is better-placed to retain market share than the high-cost producers in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Beware What Washington Wishes For - Russia Is Ready For War

A case can be made that the Beltway – neocons and neoliberalcons alike - do not want a hot war with Russia. What they want, apart from racking in more cash for the Pentagon, is to raise the ante to such a high level that Moscow will back down - based on a rational cost analysis. Yet oil prices will inevitably rise later in 2016 – and under this scenario Washington is a loser. So we may see a raise of interest rates by the Fed (with all the money continuing to go to Wall Street) trying to reverse the scenario. Russia does not want – and does not need – war.. but The Aegis changes the game in the sense that it qualifies as a launch area for US missile defense.

Peak Petro-State - The Oil World In Chaos

Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. At the peak of their glory, the petro-states played an outsized role in world affairs.  That, of course, was then, and this is now. While these countries still matter, what worries these presidents and prime ministers now is the growing likelihood of civil violence or even state collapse.

"The Freeze Is Finished" - Why Did Saudi Arabia Kill OPEC?

The OPEC meeting is only a week away, but the chances of a positive result are as remote as ever. Rising oil prices, the heightened rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s willingness to go it alone will make a deal all but impossible. "I don't think OPEC will decide anything," a source from a major oil producer in the Middle East told Reuters. "The market is recovering because of supply disruptions and demand recovery." An OPEC delegate told Reuters that any changes to the cartel’s policy is off the table. “Nothing. The freeze is finished,” the OPEC source said.

Iran's Ayatollah: "The US Can't Do A Damn Thing About Our Missile Program"

"The US have engaged in a lot of hue and cry over Iran’s missile capabilities, but they should know that this ballyhoo does not have any influence and they cannot do a damn thing. The US and other powers are extremely sad at this issue and they have no other option; that is why they made huge efforts in order to bring the country’s decision-making and decision-taking centers under their control, but they failed and God willing, they will continue to fail."

De-Petrodollar-ization Esclates - China Imports Record Amount Of Russian Oil In April

We have reported for years that Russia and China have been doing everything they can to displace the use (and influence) of the US dollar. Of course, as the US has been playing geopolitical games, China and Russia have been working on strengthening their relationship with one another. At the end of 2015, China had become Russia's biggest oil customer, and as of April, Russian oil shipments to China hit a record high. Russia has also surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest crude exporter to China.

The Wildest Predictions For Oil Prices In 2016

One reality in the markets is that despite the best efforts of analysts and traders, no one ever knows with any degree of certainty what will happen to the price of an investment in the future. Oil exemplifies that premise right now. All year there has been a tremendous amount of discrepancy in predictions for oil prices with some commentators looking for prices of $10 a barrel and others expecting prices near $100.

Frontrunning: May 23

  • Global stocks see-saw, yields slip as investors get week off to cautious start (Reuters)
  • Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer (Reuters)
  • Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting (Reuters)
  • U.S. lifts arms ban on old foe Vietnam as regional tensions simmer (Reuters)
  • Anthem, Cigna Privately Bicker as They Seek Merger Approval (WSJ)

Futures Fade Early Bounce, Slide In Illiquid Tape As Yen Rises, Oil Drops

Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.

Sweden's Holy War On Children's Books

Taken to its extremes, the urge to cleanse a culture of elements that do not live up to the politically correct orthodoxy currently in political vogue unsettlingly echoes the Taliban and ISIS credos of destroying everything that does not accord with their Quranic views. The desire "not to offend," taken to its logical conclusion, is a totalitarian impulse, which threatens to destroy everything that disagrees with its doctrines. Crucially, who gets to decide what is offensive?

Iran Mocks Obama Again, Test-Fires 2 More Ballistic Missiles

Overnight the Mehr news agency announced reported that the Iranian military, in its latest snub of the Obama administration and the comprehensive nuclear treaty, has successfully carried out launches of two short-range ballistic missiles during ground forces exercises, local media reported Sundayl it added that the improved versions of Nazeat and Fajr-5 missiles were used during the first stage of the two-day drills in Kashan’s Maranjab Desert and Isfahan’s Nasrabad region.

A Retired White House Correspondent Explains "How Obama Gets Away With It"

At a time when large numbers of Americans say they are fed up with politics and politicians, why is it that the nation’s chief politician, President Obama, seems to skate above it unscathed?  Reporters who criticize or dig too deep are cast by the administration as spoilsports or, worse, cut off from sources. With Donald Trump now the media obsession—and most in the media don’t like him—it is easy to see why Mr. Obama’s performance over the past seven-plus years is still not a major issue in the 2016 campaign. And that’s the way he likes it.