Analysis by the father of American Geopolitics Dr. Daniel Fine, MIT.

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Dr. Daniel Fine: OPEC oil and ours, who wins? Daily Times 10/29/16


The full article is here->  http://www.daily-times.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/10/29/fine-opec-oil-and-ours-who-wins/92440428/

This is an excerpt of the article ”

Has the oil price and market share war ended with a Saudi Arabian win?  Or, as some fund managers and speculators argue, has Midland won? We are now in a trading range high of $50 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate.

Looking back two years, Wall Street, the oil and gas industry and its trade associations got it all wrong. I was a minority of one in New Mexico with my OPEC analysis of a low of $23 to $28 per barrel which was realized earlier this year.  Once again there is triumphalism and  hubris about winning the war against OPEC.

What is it all about?  If OPEC agrees to freeze production at August output that would put OPEC between 32.5 and 33 million barrels per day. In 2013,  OPEC was below 30 million.   If they “freeze” it will be at 2.5 million more than early 2014 while our production had dropped almost 1.5 million.

In other words,  OPEC oil expanded its market share and more significantly has displaced our oil here at home in the American market by nearly one million barrels per barrel.  This is a double win for OPEC and Saudi Arabia:  more of their oil imported into our market and fewer barrels of our oil produced, which is the loss of rigs and jobs and a painful downturn.

The Permian Basin and its Delaware Basin extension into New Mexico has become the new North Slope  Alaska of the 1970s.  It is there that drilling rigs and well completions will be re-activated next year.  The “breakeven” price is lower because of  geology and cost-cutting service contracts.   The downturn contracts, however, will expire and non-Haliburton contractors will ask for more.   Margins will tighten as costs increase.   But North Dakota has leveled off and Eagle Ford is not the Permian.”

Oil producers want U.S. to restrict imports


By Kevin Robinson-Avila / ABQ Journal Staff Writer

The full story is here-> http://www.abqjournal.com/803674/oil-producers-want-u-s-to-restrict-imports.html

“ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico and West Texas oil producers are gearing up for a national effort to draw all major U.S. oil basins into a grassroots movement to restrict crude imports from overseas.

Leaders of the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative, which launched in April in the Permian Basin, are seeking public meetings and rallies in other oil-producing zones to convert what’s now a regional initiative into a national movement, said Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, who is working with local producers.

Those efforts will kick off in September with a presentation at the fourth Southeastern New Mexico Energy Summit in Carlsbad. After that, initiative leaders expect to hold public meetings in other shale oil basins, including the Bakken in Montana and the Dakotas and the Eagle Ford in South Texas.

“We’ll take it to Carlsbad first, and then it goes national,” Fine said. “We want to organize public rallies with producers and field workers whose jobs are at stake. This is a grassroots effort in the basins where the oil bust has taken place.”

The initiative is a reaction to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ aggressive oil-pumping policies since mid-2014, which have helped drive global oil prices to ten-year lows and thrust domestic U.S. production into crisis. Initiative leaders say those policies were a deliberate effort by the mid-Eastern members of OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia, to drive U.S. producers out of business.

Banning crude imports from overseas would undercut OPEC’s ability to manipulate prices, they say, and allow U.S. producers to ramp up domestic production to supply the U.S. market.”

JOIN THE FIGHT TO GET OIL FIELD JOBS BACK! REDUCE FOREIGN OIL IMPORTS:


 

 

For Immediate Release Farmington, New Mexico
Contact: Dr. Daniel Fine 505-771-1865
Christa Rommé 505-566-3618
THE SAN JUAN BASIN IS JOINING THE FIGHT TO REDUCE FOREIGN OIL IMPORTS TO INCREASE LOCAL PRODUCTION
The Panhandle of West Texas, a center of American oil since early in the 20th century, answers OPEC and Saudi Arabia with a call for a Presidential Proclamation to establish quotas on imports of foreign oil. And they have asked the San Juan Basin to join this call. Presenters from Texas and New Mexico will be leading a local discussion about what measures can be taken to reduce our national dependency on foreign oil. Similar to “buy local” campaigns across the nation encouraging retail consumers to spend their dollars at home, this proclamation would have Americans buy oil produced in America. Demand for US production would then go up, putting recently laid-off workers back in the field. The United States should no longer allow Saudi Arabia and the middle east to manipulate our economy by crippling our ability to produce and use our own natural resources. We have been forced to comply with the consequences of decisions made by a country whose intent was to take over a “market share” that was ours and make it theirs. The results were oil prices plummeting to $26 a barrel.


The “bust” in oil exploration and production has left families, companies, both large and small, with bankruptcy and hundreds of thousands out of work. Since Thanksgiving of 2014, Saudi Arabia has increased its production to lower prices to shut-in unconventional oil in all areas of the US. It is a price war which has suspended the prospect of American energy self-sufficiency.


The Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative for oil import quotas on foreign oil is nothing new. It aims to revive the 1959 quota system of President Eisenhower who acted to sustain a healthy oil industry and middle class communities which it employs for reasons of national security. And it worked for 14 years to keep domestic oil from going out business because of foreign imports.


Import quotas on light tight oil will be 100% — no more imports within the first 60 days of the new American President’s term next year. Light tight oil or oil from shale is an American technology triumph and the pathway to abundance and security against foreign oil supply cut-off threats. Southwest and Dakota oil will be unbound. North American oil will avoid the risk of dependence on the world ocean as the transportation for imports. Oil from shale has so far supported national income savings in the balance of payments of over 500 billion dollars in the last five years.


President Eisenhower’s import quotas limited heavy sour oil to 10-12% of yearly American oil demand — enough to take care of Canada’s current exports to the United States.
The lower the oil price goes and the longer it stays there because of the Saudis flooding the market, the higher it will go and the longer it will stay there when demand gets greater than supply but it could be too late for the US because the US operators and other international companies are not investing in exploration, the oil that we will need in 5 to 10 years is not being discovered and developed today. OPEC cannot supply all the world’s needs. When demand outpaces supply, the price will skyrocket and stay there until the oil operations that are now curtailed can ramp back up. That may take years due to all the layoffs taking place today. All consumers will be hurt by the high prices. That would not happen if we had reasonable prices today to let us keep exploring for and developing new oil reserves for our future needs.


We are at a cross road and its time we take a stand. Imported oil is rapidly increasing and could or will return our country into the same dependency which began in the late 1970s and lasted to 2010; therefore, risking our national security. American investment in major oil projects has been stopped by the price war. So far OPEC and Saudi Arabia are over-producing in world conditions of over-supply to lower prices enough to prevent required replacement of shale reserves. This is the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative’s answer to Doha and later OPEC in June and beyond:
Import Quotas will start a new cycle.


The presentation, featuring Dr. Daniel Fine with New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State Energy Policy, T. Greg Merrion and other industry experts will take place on Tuesday, June 14th from 11:00am – 12:45pm in the Merrion Room at the School of Energy at San Juan College, 5301 College Boulevard, Farmington. This event is free and open to the public.

World Oil and Gas expert Dr. Daniel Fine: Oil at halftime, 2016


The full story is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/05/28/fine-oil-halftime-2016/84610710/

“The question of the oil-price reality pervaded the talks and private conversations at the Four Corners Oil and Gas Conference earlier this month. From the lowest price per barrel in nearly eight years to a recovery halfway to $100 in less than three months!  Is the “bust” in the San Juan Basin dissolving as others before?

Yet, Ken McQueen, retiring vice president of WPX in the San Juan Basin, and the most effective in technical innovation in the basin, said: “price is not everything.”

This is the view of surviving management. It is not shared by financial institutional  players and speculators.

Before Thanksgiving 2014, I presented a forecast for the oil price in a new “crash” range of $23 to $28. This was based on analytical experience and petroleum economic history. The trade associations were then spinning that it was an opportunity and would turn around in weeks.

They had no understanding of Saudi Arabia and OPEC as the price-setter. The price of oil collapsed three months ago to $26.70.

There was an abortive effort by OPEC and Russia at Doha, Qatar, to freeze production at Jan. 1 levels to “re-balance” world demand and supply. It failed because OPEC was no longer outside the Middle East political and religious war — Shia-Iran, with oil export sanctions recently lifted, did not show up.

But a one-day oil field workers stay-at-home in Kuwait took one million barrels of oil off the over-supplied world market within 24 hours and the financial market players covered their short or future sale positions.

The bet was now that every “outage” or supply disruption in the world would “re-balance” demand and supply and move West Texas Intermediate prices higher.

Saudi Arabia alone is replacing all the “outage” oil while the San Juan Basin and Southwest producers have record lay-offs, bankruptcies, community economic dislocations, and cuts in production: a million barrels less per day by Christmas is anticipated.

Without the freeze of OPEC production, $50 a barrel prices are here nevertheless. Does the rig count recover — only 15 working in New Mexico from over 100 just 18 months ago?

Yes and no. Companies should start stimulating (fracking) the heavy inventories of uncompleted wells. A boom again? Hardly. With more drilling of uncompleted wells at $50, American Southwest unconventional production rises. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf nation producers would see once more the threat to market share which started the bust in the first place.

Higher oil prices equate to more production and energy-related banks and funds might find new borrowers. Is this the constraint of lower and longer oil prices? It doesn’t matter what supply forecasts come from traders’ prattle on cable TV. The final half of 2016 will be negative on price and oil demand. The price war with Saudi Arabia/OPEC continues.

There are three counter-strategies to Saudi Arabia and OPEC from American shale oil producers and communities:”

Texas, New Mexico oil producers push for import limits (AP)


Apr. 19, 2016 6:40 PM EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Oil drilling companies and royalty owners from the Texas Panhandle to New Mexico’s stretch of the Permian Basin are embarking on a grass-roots campaign to limit foreign oil imports, salvaging what they say is a major sector of the U.S. economy.

“American oil is competing against a cartel of government operators which has a stated initiative of driving an American industry out of business,” said Tom Cambridge, one of the Panhandle producers leading the campaign.

The grass-roots movement is pushing for the next president of the United States to issue a proclamation setting quotas for imports — something that hasn’t been done in more than four decades.

“It’s not that this is the first time but this is a more concerted, deliberate effort and I think it’s gaining ground,” said John Yates Jr., a member of a well-known family that is a leader in the industry and has over the last century developed some of New Mexico’s largest and most significant oilfields. The complete article is here-> http://www.bigstory.ap.org/article/74b8fac6517649d7a0ecac7fa55951ad/texas-new-mexico-oil-producers-push-import-limits

Texas Panhandle And Artesia New Mexico Strike Back With Import Quotas On Foreign Oil: A Reaction To Doha Meeting


The complete press release is here-> http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/texas-panhandle-and-artesia-new-mexico-strike-back-with-import-quotas-on-foreign-oil-a-reaction-to-doha-meeting-300253143.html

AMARILLO, Texas, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Panhandle of West Texas, a center of American oil since early in the 20th century, answers OPEC and Saudi Arabia with a call for a Presidential Proclamation to establish quotas on imports of foreign oil.

The counter to the Doha meeting is a “line in the sand” against further price and supply wars against oil communities, working families, and producers not only in Texas and the Southwest but across the entire US. The United States should no longer allowSaudi Arabia and the middle east to manipulate our economy by crippling our ability to produce and use our own natural resources. We have been forced to comply with the consequences of decisions made by a country whose intent was to take over a “market share” that was ours and make it theirs.  The results were oil prices plummeting to $26 a barrel.

The “bust” in oil exploration and production has left families, companies, both large and small, with bankruptcy and hundreds of thousands out of work.  Since Thanksgiving of 2014, Saudi Arabia has increased its production to lower prices to shut-in unconventional oil in all areas of the US but specifically in Texas, Oklahoma and Appalachia where “stripper or marginal wells” are more prevalent. It is a price war which has suspended the prospect of American energy self-sufficiency.

The Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative for oil import quotas on foreign oil is nothing new.  It aims to revive the 1959 quota system of President Eisenhower who acted to sustain a healthy oil industry and middle class communities which it employs for reasons of national security.  And it worked for 14 years to keep domestic oil from going out business because of foreign imports.

Import quotas on light tight oil will be 100% — no more imports within the first 60 days of the new American President’s term next year.  Light tight oil or oil from shale is an American technology triumph and the pathway to abundance and security against foreign oil supply cut-off threats. Southwest and Dakota oil will be unbound.  North American oil will avoid the risk of dependence on the world ocean as the transportation for imports.  Oil from shale has so far supported national income savings in the balance of payments of over 500 billion dollars in the last five years.

President Eisenhower’s import quotas limited heavy sour oil to 10-12% of yearly American oil demand — enough to take care ofCanada’s current exports to the United States.

The lower the oil price goes and the longer it stays there because of the Saudis flooding the market, the higher it will go and the longer it will stay there when demand gets greater than supply. This will happen because the US operators and other international companies are not investing in exploration, the oil that we will need in 5 to 10 years is not being discovered and developed today. OPEC cannot supply all the world’s needs. When demand outpaces supply, the price will skyrocket and stay there until the oil operations that are now curtailed can ramp back up. That may take years due to all the layoffs taking place today. All consumers will be hurt by the high prices. That would not happen if we had reasonable prices today to let us keep exploring for and developing new oil reserves for our future needs.

This is what an oil bust looks like by Jonathan Thompson


Low prices have energy companies and communities reeling as rig counts plummet and unemployment climbs.

The full article is here-> http://www.hcn.org/articles/this-is-what-an-oil-bust-looks-like

“In early March, Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, told a gathering of tribal energy officials that the oil bust is officially on. Those gathered, however, sure as heck didn’t need an expert to tell them that. In the oil and gas patches it has become clear that the economic gains of the so-called shale revolution are being wiped away by one of the worst fossil fuel downturns in U.S. history.

Now, the oil companies are crying for help. First, they got the crude oil export ban lifted. Next they want proposed federal rules on methane emissions weakened or scrapped. As if any of that will help.

Back in 2010, the price of a barrel of Brent crude (the international oil price benchmark) topped $80. That made it profitable to extract oil from tight shale formations, which is especially costly. A drilling frenzy ensued, domestic oil production skyrocketed, oil companies raked in profits and oil patch communities prospered.

But all that new oil on the market, plus China’s slowing economic growth, began to dampen oil prices in the summer of 2014. Instead of curtailing production to keep prices afloat, OPEC’s leaders launched a thinly veiled price war, clearly aimed at putting U.S. producers out of business. Here are some indicators that OPEC won the war:

The U.S. rig count has collapsed to levels not seen since, well, ever. With both oil and natural gas prices at near-record lows, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to spend up to $10 million to drill a well. So the rigs are shutting down. In September 2014, 1,931 oil and gas rigs were operating in the U.S.; today there are just 476. That’s a 75 percent decrease, and it’s still some 50 percent lower than the 1987 count, which followed what was considered the biggest, baddest bust ever, until now. Tom Dugan, who runs an oil and gas production company in northwest New Mexico, told the Farmington Daily Times, “It’s the hardest bust I’ve been through and I have been in this business for 57 years.”

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