Posts By: Matt Insley
While American shale oil and gas developers have led the world in technology development and experience, inspiring similar efforts worldwide, the Canadians may be pulling ahead by some metrics. According to Sprott Asset Management LP, Canadian shale drillers have substantially less debt than their U.S. competitors, who have about 61% more debt, according to Bloomberg. While the U.S. shale gas is here to stay, the data suggests investors might favor Canadian firms in the near future, evening the playing field between the two countries in oil production.
According to industry experts, booming oil output from America shale fields and Russian offshore wells has critically undermined OPEC’s ability to set world oil prices. Just in the past year, the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, as the world’s No. 1 producer. In the worst case, some analysts see the cartel breaking up in the future, but even if it stays together, North American and Russian oil companies are now equal if not greater players on the world oil stage.
Later this week, Russia’s energy minister will meet with OPEC heads in Vienna to discuss oil production levels in the wake of declining prices, that have fallen nearly 25% from highs earlier this year. Analysts have been speculating over whether Russia will decided to cut production in concert with a predicted OPEC production cut, but the latest news from Russia indicates otherwise. If Russia, the world’s third-largest oil exporter, continues current levels of production, OPEC’s measures to restore crude prices to previous level may not succeed.
Net short positions on gold reached a two-month low and net long positions in hedge funds increased by 56%, according to the latest U.S. government data, reports Bloomberg. While the number of shorts on gold with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission still outnumber the total of longs, the split is only 52/48%. In response to the change in sentiment, gold futures edge up more than 1 percent to just under $1,200 an ounce, but volatility in the current markets make future short-term action hard to predict, experts say.
In the world fertilizer industry, which powers a global agriculture industry that feeds more than 7 billion people, two companies—Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan and Russia’s OAO Uralkali—have been been No. 1 or No. 2 for years. On Wednesday, a flood knocked out Uralkali’s Solikamsk-2 mine, which accounts for about 3% of global potash fertilizer […]
For months, gold analysts have been awaiting the outcome of a Swiss referendum, over whether or not to force the Swiss central bank to return to a 20% gold reserve level from today’s minimal levels. The movement to restore gold as a major guarantor of Switzerland’s finances gathered steam over the summer but new pre-referendum […]
“Personally, I think the Saudi’s are bluffing,” the email from a colleague said. “No way they can let oil fall much further…” My colleague hails from Wall Street. He knows big money and big oil. Best of all he’s got plenty of experience knowing how these type of big moves play out… “On Wall Street, […]
Gold’s net-long position in the Comex dropped 14 percent this month, while holdings have dropped a whopping 49 percent since late October, thanks to the U.S. dollar’s strong rally in the fourth quarter of 2014. The dollar sits near a five-year high after the Federal Reserve ending its stimulus policy this month, and analysts say […]
According to the latest poll of economists by MarketWatch, industrial growth is slowing and it may be due to lower oil prices. They warn we may be seeing the first drop in drilling activity since crude pulled back to about $80 per barrel this fall. Oil and gas production accounts for the part of the […]
Gold settled lower on Wednesday, closing at $1159.10 an ounce, even as the U.S. dollar index rose 0.26% to 87.81. The dollar briefly broke through 88 on the index last month, its highest since 2010. Analysts cited the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy, the Bank of Japan’s latest stimulus program, and economic […]
Despite Saudi promises of no price wars, the country’s continued price cuts for oil in the days leading up to this month’s OPEC meeting has undercut world oil prices again. On Wednesday, Brent futures for December delivery dipped below $80 in intraday trading for the first time in more than four years. Consumers that rely […]
Gold slid 0.9% on Monday after a small rally on Friday in response to a poor jobs report. Analysts expect more downside for gold as stock indices show a marked preference for equities over metal on the part of many investors. Even with the dollar strengthening this month, the S&P500 and the Dow Jones […]
Crude is officially in a bear market, after Brent crude, the world’s most important benchmark for pricing crude, fell to a four-year low. The drop came after OPEC member nations, notably Saudi Arabia, chose to cut prices rather than reduce output following a price decline this year on soaring production from North America, as especially […]
Pardon my sarcasm above, dear reader. But that type of snark will help put today’s editorial in perspective. You see, the mainstream media is pouncing on this midterm election like a backwoods puma. Now that the GOP took the Senate (which is arguably the biggest, best storyline for the mainstream), there’s a lot of meat […]
A week after the Federal Reserve announced it will stop buying U.S. Treasury bonds as part of its stimulus plan, gold has fallen to a 54-month low below $1,150 an ounce. Analyst cite the growing value in the U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar’s strength relative to a basket of foreign currencies, especially the […]
According to the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the enormous crude refining capacity on the U.S. Gulf coast has been moving away from imports of Saudi Arabian crude in favor of Canadian crude. Major refineries in the region have cut Saudi imports by as much as 25–33% in some cases, according to […]
“One of the easiest moves you can make [to survive this energy sell off] is to buy utilities” says Greg Guenthner, my colleague and editor of Agora Financial’s Rude Awakening. Today we’ll cover this sidestep to safety in a little more detail – and give you a handful of names that are heading higher as […]
According to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management, the U.S. manufacturing index regained its two-and-a-half-year high from August in October, hitting 59 (where a number above 50.0 indicates growth). In response, December futures for copper are up 0.6% on the day, after climbing 1.3% during October. This came despite the dollar’s impressive […]
After several weeks of decline in rising U.S. supply—with no commensurate response from OPEC, thanks to Saudi Arabia’s unilateral decision to keep up supply—crude futures for West Texas Intermediate are at a two-year low. According to MarketWatch analysts, a rising dollar and a sudden Saudi price cut have worsened the supply glut, but despite these […]
I don’t know about you, but 2008’s oil spike made me angry. Back then oil was sitting around $140 a barrel and gas was $4.50 a gallon. It took me about $50 to fill up the ‘lil 12-gallon tank — which really got my blood boiling. Another reason I remain bitter stems from the fact […]
The Federal Reserve board voted to end quantitate easing measures, the stimulus program through which the Fed purchased trillions of dollars of U.S. government bonds in order to flood the economy with extra cash. In response, gold fell 1.23% to $1224.90/oz., a muted response that may suggest skepticism of the Fed’s ability to permanently end […]
Oil and gas companies in the Bakken shale region of North Dakota have been forced to “flare,” or burn off, almost a third of the natural gas they’ve recovered over the past several years, due to lack of infrastructure. Now thanks to new state regulations, the proportion of gas frackers can burn off will be […]
Despite the “War on Coal” taking place in the United States lately, where Federal lawmakers have pushed more stringent regulations on coal-burning power plants and other major users, coal demand remains stable abroad, thanks to growing demand in emerging markets. Canada’s Westshore Terminals reported record exports of coal across the Pacific in the third quarter […]
According to Bloomberg analysts, the total global value of gold-back exchange traded products reached a five-year low last week, as speculative investors sold off gold-backed assets in case the Fed decided to end its stimulus program sooner than previously expected. In response, gold futures fell 8.4 percent in the third quarter of 2014.
Crude futures barely held onto the $80 mark Wednesday, after a weekly supply report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude stocks had increased by 7.1 million barrels, nearly three times the Platts estimate. This came a day after an upbeat report on the state of the U.S. economy spurred modest gains on expectations of increased demand. However, oil is not expected to fall below $80 for any length of time, meaning that the vast majority of U.S. producers will remain in the black, and U.S. refineries are seeing their bottom lines improve.