Archive for December 17th, 2016

Oil rises on Goldman forecast, signs producers complying with cuts

By Scott DiSavino | NEW YORK
Dec 16, 2016

Oil rose on Friday, edging closer to new 17-month highs, after Goldman Sachs boosted its price forecast for 2017 and producers showed signs of adhering to a global deal to reduce output.

Brent futures rose $1.19, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $55.21 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1, or 2 percent, to settle at $51.90 per barrel.

That put both contracts on track to rise for a fourth week in the last five, with Brent up around 23 percent during that time and U.S. crude up about 20 percent.

The premium of the Brent front-month over the same U.S. contract closed at $2.26 a barrel, its highest since the end of August.

“We’re up today because Goldman Sachs bumped up its oil estimates and the Russians said their oil companies would reduce output,” said Phil Davis, managing partner of venture capital fund PSW Investments in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1, its first such deal since 2008. Russia and other non-OPEC producers plan to cut about half as much. Read the rest of this entry »

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Exclusive: Cost of pump-at-will oil policy spurred Saudi OPEC U-turn

By Rania El Gamal and Dmitry Zhdannikov | DUBAI/LONDON
Dec 15, 2016

Saudi Arabia has long said it could produce as much as 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil if needed, but that pump-at-will claim – which would require huge capital spending to access spare capacity – has never been tested.

Sources say the kingdom may have stretched its current limits by extracting a record of around 10.7 million bpd this year, which could be one reason why Riyadh pushed so hard for a global deal to cut production.

Riyadh, the world’s top oil exporter, felt the burn of cheap oil this year when crude was trading below $50 a barrel, as the reality of its costly war in Yemen and the task of shaking up its economy to create thousands of jobs began to sink in.

With tight resources, Saudi Arabia found itself weighing the prospect of investing billions of dollars to raise oil output further if it wanted to gain more market share under a strategy adopted in 2014.

Instead, cutting production amid a global glut and low prices to take the pressure off its oilfields, secure better reservoir management and save itself unnecessary expenses, seemed the perfect deal.

“You invest in raising your production when prices are high, not when they are low,” a Saudi-based industry source said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia in an era of fake news, false cartoons and false allegations

Malaysia is now in an era of fake news, false cartoons and false allegations.

Today, the Penang Chief Minister’s Office had to deny a Whatsapp message on Dec. 14 with a photograph of the Penang Chief Minister that Lim Guan Eng had supported the action against the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

The Chief Minister’s special assistant Zaidi Ahmad, lodged a police report on the fake news and said the whole objective of the fake Whatsapp message was a racialist slander to incite religious sentiments against the Chief Minister.

In actual fact, at the Penang Chief Minister’s initiative, the recent Penang State Assembly unanimously passed a motion condemning the atrocities against the Rohingyas.

I understand that there are also fake news and fake postings on the Internet alleging that I had also supported the oppression of the Rohingyas in Myanmar when on Dec. 6 I had called for an international inquiry into the ethnic cleansing of Rohginyas in Myanmar.

But the perpetrators of fake news, false cartoons and false allegations are no respecters of truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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