It is unclear for now what the catalyst for the $1.70 spike in oil prices is but WTI just touched $107.50 in a hurry. It appears a combination of a WSJ story reporting the Obama administration has quietly cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in four decades, allowing energy companies to chip away at the long-standing ban on selling U.S. crude overseas (which could theoretically enable them to buy crude -bid price up- and sell for higher prices abroad as we show below); and and Reuters reports that the U.S. military began deploying assessment teams to Iraq with about 40 special operations personnel already in the country (which could mean risks are rising).
The Obama administration has quietly cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in four decades, allowing energy companies to chip away at the long-standing ban on selling U.S. crude overseas.
Federal officials have told two energy companies that they can legally export a kind of ultra-light oil that has become plentiful as drillers tap shale formations across the U.S. With relatively minimal processing, oil shipments could begin as early as August, according to one industry executive involved in the matter.
Using a process known as a private ruling, the U.S. Commerce Dept.'s Bureau of Industry and Security is allowing Pioneer Natural Resources Co. of Irving, Texas, and Enterprise Products Partners LP of Houston to export ultra-light oil known as condensate to foreign buyers who could turn it into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.
The U.S. military began deploying assessment teams in Baghdad on Tuesday to evaluate the state of Iraqi security forces and decide how to help them counter an Islamist insurgency that has overrun part of the country, the Pentagon said.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said about 40 special operations personnel already in the country and assigned to the U.S. Embassy's Office of Security Cooperation had been deployed as part of the first two assessment teams.
About 90 additional troops arrived in Iraq to begin helping establish a Joint Operations Center in Baghdad with Iraqi forces. Another 50 U.S. military personnel working in the region are expected to arrive within the next few days to create four additional assessment teams, Kirby said.
Remember, there's more than one price for crude around the world...
Which may explain this...