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

Posts tagged ‘oil export’

Fine: OPEC in Houston and steel pipes from China


The article by Dr. Daniel Fine is found here-> https://www.daily-times.com/story/money/business/2018/03/25/russia-us-opec-oil-conference-houston-trump-steel-tariffs-china/421943002/

“For a week in March, Houston was the site of a world assembly of oil producers engaged in an OPEC-Russia dialogue with American shale or light tight oil producers on supply and — indirectly — price.

OPEC and Saudi Arabia pitched a market information offensive.

Put simply, American oil producers should cut-back or stabilize output in a “family” arrangement to avoid an expansion of supply that threatens the price of world oil.

But there is no U.S. Oil Company (government owned) in America, unlike all members plus Russia which are state companies. Russia is a mix. OPEC members are a price-setting cartel. So, a restaurant in Houston was selected as the site for an elite dinner of OPEC and American shale oil operators.

Platitudes and generalizations dominated the American-initiated conversation, because anything more would be in violation of U.S. anti-trust laws.

Saudi Arabia, consistent with its effort to sell shares in itself in an Initial Public Offering (forthcoming), emphasized there was enough future world demand to satisfy the Americans as well as OPEC.

This was 1.5 percent growth per year for the next decade or two.  Almost silence, however, on Saudi Aramco’s capacity expansion of another l.5 million barrels per day as “spare capacity.”

Does the future demand short term or long term offer support for an unspeakable and unenforceable supply agreement that involves enough for all? Will American shale producers in the Permian exclude themselves from capturing any growth of demand?

Devon, no longer in the San Juan Basin, but dominant in Oklahoma, is going for double-digit production increases yearly and is increasing its dividend to shareholders who might otherwise be attracted to the idea of drilling and completing less to prop up the price per barrel.

The Houston dinner failed, as a half a dozen companies did not show up in compliance with legal restrictions. It failed to persuade the America shale industry to act with OPEC’s oil supply and price management as a “family” and not as a law-breaking cartel.

Flashback to 2016: Iranian oil likely to push prices lower

Less than a week later, Iran signaled that it would not renew the production cut that has removed 1.8 million OPEC barrels of oil from the world and increased prices.
Saudi Arabia was projecting a forecast that a tight market for oil is ahead this year or next as oil projects will not replace wells while demand is strong.

Few were sold on this forecast since shale oil well completions are effectively responsive to price signals with well completions compared to conventional replacement-based on prior oil field investment.

Oil traders are largely unconvinced or agnostic listening in to the Houston contradictions. Most will watch Iran in late May as a sell signal in the making of algorithms.

The Trump Administration on steel tariffs takes the Obama Administration’s failure to do so as a starting point. It was Secretary of the Treasury Lew under Obama who made the case for tariffs during his many visits to Beijing. He would accuse China of promoting an overcapacity of steel production for export and consequent flooding of the American market and the United States with cheap steel.

The Chinese no doubt listened politely to the words but did not anticipate action. They followed a strategy of export price advantage for driving American-owned and operated steel out of business.

Action was taken last month by President Donald Trump. And yet nothing in the customary reaction against Trump recalled that President George W. Bush declared sanctions against Chinese Steel export dumping over 10 years ago, which lasted 18 months, and is credited for an American steel innovation-led comeback.

National security requires American made high-quality steel not only for defense and defense-industrial capability, but also for the complex steel in San Juan and Permian natural gas and steel pipelines.

What is needed is metallurgy for manufacturing and equipment for continuous casting, cooling, rolling and welding. There is only one plant left in the United States that has some capacity for high strength pipeline steel (API X70 and X80).

The oil and gas industry in the San Juan Basin should not depend on imports from a non-continental foreign source as a matter of national security.
China already dominates the American market (oil and gas) for steel valves. There is vulnerability if China follows its rare earth history.

First, it lowered prices via exports. Second, with this weapon, American rare earth domestic production failed and China bought the technology and transferred it to China. Third, China raises prices for American users of rare earths.

The North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue with more confidence that fuels (natural gas) will be exempt from negative outcomes. The exemption for Canada and Mexico from steel and aluminum tariffs based on a no-threat-to-national-security finding and continental sources, suggests understanding that trade in fuels will not be restricted.

Daniel Fine is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy and the State of New Mexico Natural Gas Export Coordinator. The opinions expressed are his own.

For a week in March, Houston was the site of a world assembly of oil producers engaged in an OPEC-Russia dialogue with American shale or light tight oil producers on supply and — indirectly — price.

OPEC and Saudi Arabia pitched a market information offensive.

Put simply, American oil producers should cut-back or stabilize output in a “family” arrangement to avoid an expansion of supply that threatens the price of world oil.

But there is no U.S. Oil Company (government owned) in America, unlike all members plus Russia which are state companies. Russia is a mix. OPEC members are a price-setting cartel. So, a restaurant in Houston was selected as the site for an elite dinner of OPEC and American shale oil operators.

Platitudes and generalizations dominated the American-initiated conversation, because anything more would be in violation of U.S. anti-trust laws.

Saudi Arabia, consistent with its effort to sell shares in itself in an Initial Public Offering (forthcoming), emphasized there was enough future world demand to satisfy the Americans as well as OPEC.

This was 1.5 percent growth per year for the next decade or two.  Almost silence, however, on Saudi Aramco’s capacity expansion of another l.5 million barrels per day as “spare capacity.”

Does the future demand short term or long term offer support for an unspeakable and unenforceable supply agreement that involves enough for all? Will American shale producers in the Permian exclude themselves from capturing any growth of demand?

Devon, no longer in the San Juan Basin, but dominant in Oklahoma, is going for double-digit production increases yearly and is increasing its dividend to shareholders who might otherwise be attracted to the idea of drilling and completing less to prop up the price per barrel.

The Houston dinner failed, as a half a dozen companies did not show up in compliance with legal restrictions. It failed to persuade the America shale industry to act with OPEC’s oil supply and price management as a “family” and not as a law-breaking cartel.

Flashback to 2016: Iranian oil likely to push prices lower

Less than a week later, Iran signaled that it would not renew the production cut that has removed 1.8 million OPEC barrels of oil from the world and increased prices.
Saudi Arabia was projecting a forecast that a tight market for oil is ahead this year or next as oil projects will not replace wells while demand is strong.

Few were sold on this forecast since shale oil well completions are effectively responsive to price signals with well completions compared to conventional replacement-based on prior oil field investment.

Oil traders are largely unconvinced or agnostic listening in to the Houston contradictions. Most will watch Iran in late May as a sell signal in the making of algorithms.

The Trump Administration on steel tariffs takes the Obama Administration’s failure to do so as a starting point. It was Secretary of the Treasury Lew under Obama who made the case for tariffs during his many visits to Beijing. He would accuse China of promoting an overcapacity of steel production for export and consequent flooding of the American market and the United States with cheap steel.

The Chinese no doubt listened politely to the words but did not anticipate action. They followed a strategy of export price advantage for driving American-owned and operated steel out of business.

Action was taken last month by President Donald Trump. And yet nothing in the customary reaction against Trump recalled that President George W. Bush declared sanctions against Chinese Steel export dumping over 10 years ago, which lasted 18 months, and is credited for an American steel innovation-led comeback.

National security requires American made high-quality steel not only for defense and defense-industrial capability, but also for the complex steel in San Juan and Permian natural gas and steel pipelines.

What is needed is metallurgy for manufacturing and equipment for continuous casting, cooling, rolling and welding. There is only one plant left in the United States that has some capacity for high strength pipeline steel (API X70 and X80).

The oil and gas industry in the San Juan Basin should not depend on imports from a non-continental foreign source as a matter of national security.
China already dominates the American market (oil and gas) for steel valves. There is vulnerability if China follows its rare earth history.

First, it lowered prices via exports. Second, with this weapon, American rare earth domestic production failed and China bought the technology and transferred it to China. Third, China raises prices for American users of rare earths.

The North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue with more confidence that fuels (natural gas) will be exempt from negative outcomes. The exemption for Canada and Mexico from steel and aluminum tariffs based on a no-threat-to-national-security finding and continental sources, suggests understanding that trade in fuels will not be restricted.”

Daniel Fine is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy and the State of New Mexico Natural Gas Export Coordinator. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Oil leaders: OPEC threatening U.S. economy and New Mexico’s lifeblood; Nation has lost 400,000 oil and gas jobs in past two years


The full article is here-> http://rdrnews.com/wordpress/blog/2016/10/08/oil-leaders-opec-threatening-u-s-economy-and-new-mexicos-lifeblood-nation-has-lost-400000-oil-and-gas-jobs-in-past-two-years/

Dan Fine, an oil economist with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, speaks at a conference in Carlsbad recently about how foreign oil imports are hurting the American oil industry. Fine said OPEC has flooded the U.S. market with foreign oil since 2014 in an intentional effort to put U.S. producers out of business, while Saudi Arabian-backed companies are trying to buy American companies in an effort to control the flow of oil within U.S. borders. (Hobbs News-Sun Photo)

CARLSBAD — Oil experts say America is under attack by Saudi Arabia and OPEC, but instead of bombs, the OPEC oil cartel is dropping millions of barrels of oil on the U.S. economy in a clear effort to undermine the nation’s oil producers and kill any chance of American energy independence.
The first to feel the flood of foreign oil into the U.S. are the independent oil producers, whose stripper wells in Texas alone account for 20 percent of the nation’s oil and gas production, said Judy Stark, executive vice president of the The Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association.
Stark was one of the half dozen speakers at an event of 25 people Sept. 27 in Carlsbad where the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative, a group of independents seeking import quotas on foreign oil, met to announce their “white paper” that will be presented to the next president.
“We know OPEC has toyed with our market for many years but what I see coming now is a threat, without a doubt, to our national security,” Stark said. “The Middle East wants control of the U.S. market. When they came out and decided to flood the market with oil and drive U.S. producers out of business, their whole point was to take back their lost market share — our production. They are telling us is they are not going to let us produce our own natural resources. Guess what? They have done a pretty good job.”
The Sept. 27 Carlsbad meeting was a first battle cry that Dan Fine, a co-founder of the initiative and oil economist with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, said won’t be taken up by the nation for two years — when the rest of the country wakes up and finds it is too late to stop OPEC from controlling America’s energy industry.
“We are pioneers,” Fine said. “My point is, we are sitting here today 18 months to two years ahead of everyone. Sometime in early 2018, the country will discover what we are having a discussion about here today.”

What’s at stake?

What’s at stake is some 276 billion barrels of oil reserves now estimated to exist in the United States.
According to Fine, that number surpasses what Saudi Arabia has and they are terrified. Fine quoted Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, concerning the shale oil discoveries made in the United States.
“The United States has increased oil production by an enormous 65 percent over the past five years,” Fine said, quoting Hamm’s statement. “We can and should use our nearly unlimited oil and gas supplies to drive a stake through the heart of OPEC forever.”

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.”

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:”

Energy policy expert says oil slump a bust


by James Fenton, jfenton@daily-times.com5:02 p.m. MST March 5, 2016

The complete article is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2016/03/05/energy-policy-expert-says-oil-slump-bust/81289608/

FARMINGTON — “It’s officially a “bust.”

That’s the verdict from Daniel Fine, one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s senior advisers on energy policy. The U.S. oil and gas industry — and the San Juan Basin — is in a “bust” period, Fine said Tuesday at an inter-tribal energy conference at San Juan College’s School of Energy.

“This is what a bust is. You lose the workforce,” said Fine, who is associate director at New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech. “Loss to the country and to the Southwest will be the workforce. It will be decimated at levels of less than $30 a barrel (of crude oil).”

And 2015 was a year of layoffs and cutbacks.

Since the collapse of oil prices on the commodities market in fall of 2014, the number of  workers laid off from local oil and gas companies — from the large corporations to the smaller independents — has been in the thousands.

“We’re in a ‘bust.’  So be ahead of the curve, and think ahead in this business by at least six months,” Fine told the Native American and non-tribal energy leaders and business people in the Merrion conference room at the new $15.8 million school.

He said looming federal regulations such as the the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Onshore Oil and Gas Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5 along with proposed updates to its rule aimed at reducing “fugitive” atmospheric methane from oil and gas operations were doubling the pain already caused by low crude oil prices. He said that a third of all U.S. oil and gas producers — especially those burdened with debt — will inevitably go bankrupt.

But Fine’s sobering analysis wasn’t without one ray of hope for the industry.”

Fine: Washington DC and oil and gas, Part 2 by Dr. Daniel Fine


 

The complete article is here (Please share!)-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/01/24/fine-washington-dc-and-oil-and-gas-part-2/78875210/

Editors note: This is the conclusion of a two-part article by Daniel Fine. The first appeared on Dec. 28 in The Daily Times’ Energy magazine.

A measure lifting the crude oil export ban was approved by Congress in December. OPEC and Saudi Aramco entered the price war against American high-cost shale production in September 2014. This war has consisted of counter strike or retaliation options from the beginning.

Consequently, the congressional  “deal”  lowered the Brent and WPI price of oil by 6 percent in December. Advocates of lifting the crude oil ban were silent or indifferent. Where are they now?

At  least 60,000 barrels were sold to a Swiss trading company by one of the advocate oil producers. We must wait for a first quarter report for details on the pricing and impact to cash flow. Simply put, was the money spent on studies and lobbyists profitable? Highly unlikely.

The year 2016 has opened with both Brent and WPI  prices in virtual convergence at 2008 trading lows. OPEC does not expect recovery oil prices (2010-2014 levels) until 2040 which almost coincides with the Paris objectives of reducing fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the San Juan Basin is active with forced asset sales.

The big energy banks will face stress tests soon which explore price scenarios in relation to oil trading positions and loans to oil and gas producers. Smaller banks, the traditional source of small oil explorers and producers credit will face more severe determinations of debt.

The OPEC  price war for market share continues. Some $200 billion of capital expenditure among the shale or light tight oil American producers has been lost. There is still weak demand, oversupply, and Chinese reset on buying commodities, including oil, leading from super-boom to deflation.

Will geopolitics revive prices? Yes, but only on episodic and short-term speculative thrusts in financial market trading.

Fine: Washington, D.C., on oil and gas


by Dr. Daniel Fine, New Mexico Center for Energy Policy

The complete article is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/12/28/fine-washington-dc-oil-and-gas/77979916/

The “deal” between the parties over the energy future of the United States and the San Juan Basin at the end of 2015 was the most misguided example of politics at the fuel pump since the 1970s. Then it was retail price control and now it’s a free-for-all in the price of oil in the world market with West Texas Crude approaching 10-year lows.

Lifting the restriction on exporting crude oil adds American oil to a world market which is over-supplied. Expect no cash flow increase for American producers and still lower world prices than with the restriction or ban in place.

This is not the place to assess the other side of the “deal.” However, tax credit extensions for wind and solar as alternative fuels to replace coal and later natural gas are no longer of concern to the Republican Party in Congress.

With petroleum economics based on market prices, there is virtually no way that the “deal” will bring about tens of thousands of new jobs in the oil and gas fields. How does exporting crude oil lead to increased drilling and rig deployment if this increases supply in an oversupplied world market? On the contrary, it leads to lower prices and negative cash flows for producers who must cut their workforces.

If oil and gas prices rebound in the next three years, the alternative fuels are beneficiaries as tax credits shape new non-fossil fuel investment, offsetting the risk of lower oil and gas prices, This was no doubt the objective of the climate change politics of Paris and the Democratic Party in Congress as well as the White House.

Although U.S. oil refiners will have a transportation cost tax adjustment from the “deal,” what prevents them from buying foreign oil at lower prices than American oil (North Sea Brent at declining prices)?

Daniel Fine is associate director, New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech, and project leader of the Energy Policy, state of New Mexico, Department of Energy Minerals and Natural Resources. The opinions he expresses in this column are his own.

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