Tag: oil

Trump endorses the Three Seas Initiative

Thursday, 6 July, 2017 0 Comments

Readers of today’s earlier post will understand the significance of the Three Seas Initiative to Poland and the other members of this new Eastern/Central European alliance. In short, it’s a project designed to prevent former Warsaw-Pact countries becoming pawns in Russia’s energy game. In his speech earlier today in Warsaw, President Trump addressed the Three Seas Initiative at the outset of his remarks:

“President Duda and I have just come from an incredibly successful meeting with leaders participating in the Three Seas Initiative. To the citizens of this great region, America is eager to expand our partnership with you. We welcome stronger trade and commerce as you grow your economies and we are committed to securing access to alternate sources of energy so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy. Mister President, I congratulate you along with the president of Croatia on your leadership of this historic Three Seas Initiative.”

For Moscow, Berlin and Brussels, the Three Seas Initiative represents a serious challenge to their different plans for a Europe in which energy supply and energy dependence will be critical. Energy will be central to the 21st-century version of the Great Game and Washington is signalling that it’s going to be a player in every theatre.

Pipelines


The Tesla shock

Tuesday, 22 November, 2016 1 Comment

Global gasoline consumption is topping out predicts the International Energy Agency. The reason: more efficient cars and the advent of electric vehicles from new players such as Tesla Motors. Javier Blas and Laura Blewitt of Bloomberg put it like this: “Tesla Shock Means Global Gasoline Demand Has All But Peaked“. Snippet:

“Gasoline has been the world’s choice to power automobiles. From the 1950s onward, when Henry Ford’s dream that every middle-class American could own a car became reality, gas stations sprung up next to drive-through restaurants and strip malls and transformed the landscape of America and economies across the globe.

Now, however, car companies — most obviously Tesla, but also incumbents such as General Motors Co., BMW AG and Nissan Motor Co. — are putting their money, and reputations, behind electric vehicles.”

Note: David Stern, energy and environmental economist and professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, tweets “This article isn’t an accurate representation of what the WEO says.” Here is the WEO (World Energy Outlook) 2016 presentation.


Sell oil, buy drugs

Thursday, 13 August, 2015 0 Comments

“The Board believes that the healthcare industry, particularly the biopharma sector, is experiencing strong momentum and there exist significant M&A and value creation opportunities for both small cap and large cap companies.” We all know that the healthcare industry and the biopharma sector are experiencing growth and that both are set for more, so that remark would be unremarkable were it not for who is issuing it. Namely, an oil exploration company. Fastnet Oil & Gas PLC is listed on the Dublin and London alternative investment markets and on Tuesday it informed shareholders of the following change of policy:

“In light of the current economic climate within the oil and gas sector, the Board has determined that it is not in the best interests of Shareholders to either pursue M&A opportunities in that sector or to expend further resources on the Company’s existing oil and gas assets.”

On the same day that Fastnet signaled its retreat from the coasts of Ireland and Morocco, the socialist paradise of Venezuela, which gets more than 95 percent of its export revenue from oil, was hit with more bad news: its huge gold reserves are losing their value, fast. Meanwhile, biopharma deals are booming and there’s no end in sight.

Moral of story: Sell oil, buy drugs.


fracklog

Wednesday, 25 March, 2015 0 Comments

n. Gas or oil that is ready to be fracked, but remains in the ground pending higher petroleum prices.”

The invaluable Word Spy is keeping our vocabulary fresh with updates  from The Financial Times, Barron’s and Bloomberg Business. And here’s another for the list:

“The backlog of wells waiting to be fracked — some are calling it fracklog — adds to the record above-ground inventories to restrain any significant price resurgence. Eventually, however, the economic fundamentals have to prevail, and we will settle down to a price around the true long-run marginal cost.” Source: Oilprice.com

If you like etymology, you’ll love Keywords for the Age of Austerity by John Patrick Leary, Assistant Professor of English at Wayne State University. This is good:

Less moralistic than “nimble” and less prophetic than “innovation,” the concept of “flexibility” still retains some of the esoteric pixie dust that surrounds the cult of the innovator. “Innovation” frames wealth as the natural product of market-driven, individualistic, visionary creativity. With “flexibility” and the right software, our bosses can even conquer time, and bend it, along with us, to their immediate requirements.


Once upon a time in a land called Venezuela

Tuesday, 10 March, 2015 0 Comments

My, my, a lot can change in a short time. Back on 13 December 2012, famed Hugo Chávez bot Richard Gott reflected on the state of Venezuela in the Guardian. Was he alarmed, dismayed, perturbed? None of it. In fact, he painted an idyllic picture with phrases such as “huge oil revenues”, “competent team of ministers”, “running the country quite happily”, “no immediate crises”, “economy is purring along quite well” and the oleaginous “engaging and collegiate leader” for Comrade Maduro. Snippet:

Chavez “After 14 years of considerable institutional change, huge oil revenues now pour into the alleviation of the acute poverty suffered by a large percentage of the country, and there is a rock-solid base of chavista support that will take decades to erode. Chávez also leaves a competent team of ministers at the top, most of whom have been running the country quite happily in recent years. They share the radical vision of Chávez, and in Maduro they have an engaging and collegiate leader. There are no immediate crises in sight and, in spite of alarmist reports in the foreign press, the economy is purring along quite well. After more than a decade on a political roller-coaster, the country will return to a more normal profile.”

And today? Dissent, inflation and shortages of basic goods dominate the agenda. “President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government this week launched a 70 percent devaluation via a new ‘free floating’ currency system known as Simadi” reported Reuters last month. “‘They’re doing this because they don’t have any money,’ said a man who gave his name only as Felix, and who said he was 83.”

Note: Richard Gott was once the literary editor of the Guardian, but he resigned from the post in 1994 after it was alleged in The Spectator that he had been a KGB “agent of influence”. He rejected the claim, arguing that “Like many other journalists, diplomats and politicians, I lunched with Russians during the Cold War”. With the Russians said to be looking for lunch partners again, Richard Gott need never dine alone.


Peak oil has peaked

Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 0 Comments

For those ideologues camouflaged as journalists, Edward Snowden is the new global warming and the reincarnation of Hugo Chavez all rolled into one. When the old chestnuts of the left begin to lose their credibility, along comes the latest scam artist and the likes of Der Spiegel and The Guardian would have us believe that he’s a hero, not a traitor.

In time, Snowden will join the lots of other tropes in the dustbin of history. The latest addition is what was termed “peak oil”, which was supposed to be the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction would be reached, after which the rate of production would enter terminal decline. But now comes the news that The Oil Drum, a site created by believers in “peak oil,” is shutting down on 31 July after an eight-year innings. With daily news of record-breaking US oil production, it was, clearly, impossible to maintain the fiction that the world’s oil production was peaking.

Drill, baby, drill!

The dustbin of history is very commodious.