Wednesday, November 30, 2016

production cuts right before privatization...

CNBC | Oil prices surge as source says OPEC has agreed to plan to cut output
Oil prices jumped as much as 8 percent on Wednesday to a five-week high as some of the world's largest oil producers agreed to curb oil output for the first time since 2008 in a last-ditch bid to support prices.
Brent crude futures for delivery in January were up $3.63, or 7.8 percent, at $50.01 a barrel by 10:55 a.m. ET (1555 GMT), recovering from a drop of nearly 4 percent on Tuesday and on course for their biggest one-day move in nine months. Brent crude for delivery in February was up $3.63 at $50.95 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $3.23, or 7.1 percent, to $48.46 a barrel, a one-week high.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed its first output limiting deal in eight years, an OPEC source told Reuters as the debates continued in Vienna on the exact size of each member's cuts.

Monday, November 21, 2016

they're responsible for the current oil glut, so what is this on about? | Are The Saudis About To Reveal The Best Kept Secret In Oil?
One of the oil world’s longest and best kept secrets may finally be revealed. Saudi Arabia is preparing to unveil how much oil it holds, a closely guarded state secret that has been kept quiet for decades.
The decision to bring such important data to light comes as Saudi Aramco is preparing to partially privatize its assets, an IPO that could bring in some $100 billion. The IPO will be a monumental event, one that the Wall Street Journal says could offer Wall Street some of the largest fees in history.
Saudi Arabia often trades off with Russia – and more recently, with the U.S. – as the world’s largest oil producer. But while it produces at similar levels as Russia and the U.S., it is long been a vastly more influential player in the oil world. That is because of two reasons – the size of its reserves, and the ability to use latent spare capacity to quickly adjust supply, affording it an outsized influence on crude oil prices.
But while everyone believes Saudi Arabia has some of the largest oil reserves in the world, perhaps rivaled only by Venezuela, there has been a lot of uncertainty and skepticism over exactly how much sits beneath the Saudi desert. The world’s largest oil field, Ghawar, has been producing since the 1950s, raising speculation about the longevity of the supergiant oilfield. It alone is thought to hold around 75 billion barrels, and it churns out more than 5 million barrels every single day. Surely, it cannot continue like this indefinitely, but the Kingdom has not revised its official reserves for years, which have stood at 260 billion barrels since the 1980s. It is hard to overstate how valuable this information is, and how fiercely Saudi leadership protected it.
However, the collapse of oil prices since 2014 has pushed the Saudi budget deep into the red. The Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is undergoing an historic transformation of the Saudi economy, a multi-decade plan to diversify the country’s economic base and create new sources of revenue. At the heart of the plan is spinning off roughly 5 percent of Saudi Aramco, the most valuable oil company in the world. Saudi officials believe that the company is worth between $2 and $3 trillion.

But in order to settled on a valuation and launch an IPO of some of Aramco’s assets, investors need to get a look beneath the hood. That is why Saudi Arabia is now prepared to unveil not just its financials, but also the long sought after data surrounding its oil reserves. “Everything that Saudi Aramco has, that will be shared, that will be verified by independent third parties,” Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, told theFinancial Times in an interview. That would include, “reserves … costs [and] profitability indicators.” He went to lengths to emphasize Saudi Arabia’s seriousness about the IPO, in an effort to dampen skepticism. “This is going to be the most transparent national oil company listing of all time,” he said.

Caught on Tape! Photosynthesis...

Green Car Congress | Detailed snapshots of photosynthesis at room temperature using SLAC’s X-ray laser show water-splitting reaction
One of its molecular mysteries of photosynthesis involves how the photosystem II protein complex harvests energy from sunlight and uses it to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Now, an international team of researchers has used femtosecond pulses from an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to capture the highest resolution room-temperature (RT) images of this protein complex, allowing scientists to watch closely how water is split during photosynthesis at the temperature at which it occurs naturally. A paper on the work is published in the journal Nature.

Monday, November 14, 2016

are americans ready to consume less?

I'm fascinated to see how Trump responds. This will be how we get jobs back to America, but is the middle class willing to pay more for their trinkets? Are they willing to do without during the transition? Many of the raw materials in modern devices are primarily sourced from China - does Trump have alternative sourcing ideas? Will Trump create incentives to move industries back to the US before the trade war starts? Will China resort to the financial nuclear option - US Treasury bond dumping?
The Guardian | China threatens to cut sales of iPhones and US cars if 'naive' Trump pursues trade war
US president-elect Donald Trump would be a “naive” fool to launch an all-out trade war against China, a Communist party-controlled newspaper has claimed.
During the acrimonious race for the White House Trump repeatedly lashed out at China, vowing to punish Beijing with “defensive” 45% tariffs on Chinese imports and to officially declare it a currency manipulator.

“When they see that they will stop the cheating,” the billionaire Republican, who has accused Beijing of “the greatest theft in the history of the world”, told a rally in August.
On Monday the state-run Global Times warned that such measures would be a grave mistake.
“If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired. Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
The Global Times claimed any new tariffs would trigger immediate “countermeasures” and “tit-for-tat approach” from Beijing.
“A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US.”
“Making things difficult for China politically will do him no good,” the newspaper warned.

China’s foreign ministry has used more diplomatic language to caution Trump not to square up to Beijing.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters last week: “I believe that any US politician, if he takes the interests of his own people first, will adopt a policy that is conducive to the economic and trade cooperation between China and the US.”