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

Posts tagged ‘Oil Price War’

Analysis: Trump and Saudi collision on oil, and Bingaman’s return to Santa Fe by Dr. Daniel Fine


The whole article is here->https://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2018/11/25/analysis-trump-and-saudi-collision-oil-bingamans-return-santa-fe/2015081002/

n an earlier column, readers overseas benefited from this writer’s forecast that crude oil prices would fall dramatically because most commodity traders got it wrong. Simply, this column’s analysis was the buying of oil assumed a shortage would result once the sanctions against Iran would be activated the first week of November.

President Trump wanted lower oil prices with OPEC and Saudi Arabia pumping more. Two weeks ago, a call from the Middle East confirmed readers of the column had followed the analysis in the Energy Magazine and sold Brent oil — and profited.

Oil has slumped under $60 as the delusion of a shortage vanished. In the November issue column, this writer made a call: the oil price would reach $50 as a low. There is no change in that forecast. The price in the commodity market for WTI crude would touch in the very high $40 range before the Saudi-led production cut-back is realized. Why? Again, too much capacity to produce too much oil for demand.

What’s the impact on SW oil?

Oil demand without commodity traders’ bets on the sanctions against Iranian oil production and export contradicts flagging demand. Some Southwest shale producers, faced with discounts on domestic sales, are exporting oil to world markets and capturing the higher Brent price or differential between the WTI priced Midland domestic and the Brent price for the World.

But this would shift Southwest tight oil into a world market where such supply also chases weaker demand. This switches U.S. oil into world oil as exports and diverts it from going into U.S. storage.

Unlike the last three price sell-offs Saudi Arabia, speaking for OPEC, is strangely silent on calling on non-OPEC producers join it in lowering production or “balancing” the

market.

Quite the opposite. Led by shale producers in the Delaware (New Mexico) Basin in the Permian complex, United State production approaches 12 million barrels per day, a historic high and number one position against the Middle East and Russia.

Only a serious price decline, short of the 2015 bottom, would signal oil non-completions. A cutback of U.S. production by 750,000 barrels per with an OPEC cutback independent of Russian production of around one million barrels will stabilize or balance the world oil market.

But U.S producers cannot (anti-trust) belong to a collective price-setting organization (cartel).

President Trump wants lower prices, even if this means a breakup of OPEC into two and a moderate production roll-back by Southwest producers – a negative cash flow for those without or less advantaged by Tier One wells.

The overwhelming Democratic Party electoral win influenced OPEC and Saudi Arabia to resist President Trump’s pressure for lower world oil prices because he is much weaker and easier to upend in oil supply and demand world “domination.”

Bingaman is back!

The Democratic Party indirectly dimmed the “blue flame” price outlook regardless of blue wave voting margins. But enough of “color revolutions” in politics or economics?

This writer is constructively reacting to the return of former Sen. Jeff Bingaman to New Mexico’s politics through new state Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham. She asked him to head her transition team.

With Democratic Party factionalism into Progressive/Ultra-Progressive forces against the traditional Moderate/Conservatives, Sen. Bingaman’s experience and history in working with the late Senator Domenici in forging the U.S Energy Act of 2005 is in best interest of New Mexico.

Recall the energy policy of “all of the above” in the Bush and Obama Administrations coupled with the Energy Policy of outgoing Governor Susana Martinez was a compromise of give-and-take between two New Mexico Senators of different parties and energy policy objectives.

Dr. 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.

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.

Column: International production means oil prices likely to remain low By Daniel Fine


For the complete article use this link–> http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-opinion/ci_28613365/column-international-production-means-oil-prices-likely-remain “The price of West Texas Crude oil has declined below $50 per barrel as a reaction to the expectation that oil export sanctions against Iran will be lifted within the framework of the multi-nation “deal” to slow the country’s progress toward developing nuclear weapons. The global market is oversupplied and Saudi Arabian production is approaching its highest level since the 1970s.

San Juan and Delaware basin oil producers have sharply reduced costs through efficiencies. American higher-cost production shows no sign of a decline while OPEC lower-cost production increases in spite of lower prices. Saudi Arabia has decided to fight the Americans for market share.

The outlook for Iraq places still more production in the global market. Iraq production, now at 4 million barrels per day and rising, could reach 6 million in two years. The Iranian Oil Company could attract BP and Total to invest capital and technology if sanctions permit. This would drive Iranian production to equal Iraq. In the short-term Iran has the capability of expanding exports by 1.2 million barrels.

Should the “deal” fail or be changed by Congress to a phase-in of Iranian oil exports over a longer period of time and the White House goes along, the price of oil should recover to $60 per barrel. This is a long-shot scenario, however.

There will be more Middle East production for export than anticipated and its impact on American shale oil production will be a three-year, low-price oil regime. On the other hand, the current price war is moving quietly to an old variable. From 2009 to early last year, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States assumed that American shale technology (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) was unsustainable. They changed course last year and resorted to the price war for market share.

The reason for this change in strategy was first, the decline ratio of shale horizontal wells; and second, the regulatory obstacles. Simply put, OPEC perceived the environmental/global warming/climate change political group mobilization as capable of winning tighter federal regulations that would cause higher costs to the oil industry stopping the “technology play.”

OPEC now regards the appearance of new methane rules as a revival of its earlier “unsustainable” scenario. Methane mitigation regulations can setback natural gas production but also the associated gas from oil production. San Juan Basin oil producing formations are heavy in associated gas. If methane emissions, leaks or flaring persist, OPEC calculates, it will cause regulatory intervention as part of the new International Treaty on Global Warming.”

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