The release of 1 million barrels of gasoline may not make a dent in the energy prices

  With just six months to go before the presidential election in the fall, the Biden administration of the US appears to be taking the task of taming the inflation much more seriously than it did in the past few months. In this context, the announcement made by the DoE, Department of Energy, on May 21, Tuesday, does not come as a surprise: it announced that 1 million barrels of gasoline from the NGSR, Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve, will be sold off in time for the peak travel period between the Memorial Day and July 4; gasoline will be sold in batches of 100, 000 barrels,  each.  “By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most,”  said  the US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm  in a statement. The announcement by the DoE, coincided with the latest US crude inventory data from the API, American Petroleum Institute; there was a signifi

Cracks Appear in OPEC+ Facade as Kazakhstan Seeks Production Hike

The OPEC+ alliance is bracing itself for yet another acid test in the next few days, as Kazakhstan, a key member from the Central Asian region, said on Tuesday that it wanted to have a bigger quota in 2025, when the currents oil output cuts expire. Unless the members of the OPEC+ settle the dispute amicably, the group is going to face a potential test of unity, before the scheduled meeting on June 1, to discuss the next move; maintaining the oil production cuts, lifting it up or in the worst case scenario, increasing it further. The fact the Kazakhstan move is already in the public domain shows that there is  discord  within the OPEC+ over the existing production cuts - or any further rise to shoring up the falling oil prices. The OPEC+, on its part, meanwhile, wants to investigate current oil  output capacity in order to set what it calls, reference production levels. According to Reuters, three global companies with the relevant experience in the field, have been tasked with the anal

Stagnating Oil Prices: can OPEC+ ever provide the crucial spark?

Image The members of the OPEC+, who met virtually last week, decided to leave the production cuts unchanged, perhaps in light of stagnating oil prices.  Having failed to shore up the prices by tinkering with the supply side of the oil equation, the de facto leader of the organization, Saudi Arabia, even the raised the price of its flagship Arab Light crude for Asian buyers for the third successive time, while inadvertently leaving the loyalty of the old customers in the region on the line. Although the Kingdom had been in the habit of raising the price of oil for this particular domain in the recent past, only to bring it down a few weeks later, judging by the frequency of price rises, it may not happen very soon this time. According to the latest IMF forecast, Saudi Arabia has to sell oil above $96.20 to make a profit, provided that it maintains its production at 9.3 million barrels per day(bpd).  As of 13:45 GMT on Monday 6, 2024, the prices of WTI and Brent were tra

The latest blow to the oil markets: Chinese manufacturing activity slows down again!

  With the latest manufacturing data from China that shows a relative slowdown, compared to March, both the traders and investors have been compelled to accept the inevitable; it is neither easy nor feasible to shore up the oil and gas prices in the current circumstances. According to China's National Statistics Bureau, the manufacturing manager's PMI for April was 50.4%,  a drop of 0.4% from that of March; having been below 50% since September, 2023 - the threshold - the key Chinese manufacturing index rose above the latter in March. Investors, not just in oil and gas sectors, breathed a collective sigh of relief, when they noticed a growth in the manufacturing sector in the world's second largest economy, China. The evolving volatility in the Middle East, coupled with China's encouraging manufacturing data, did push the price of oil in April, only to come down as the days wore on.  In this context, the latest Chinese manufacturing data is hardly going to be a catalyst

Mideast Strike Fizzles: Oil Prices Dip Despite Geopolitical Jitters

  The energy markets breathed a sigh of relief on Friday, as the military conflict between the arch-enemies in the Middle East, Israel and Iran, appeared to have subsided - at least, for now. As the news trickled in about an Israeli strike inside Iran in the morning on Friday, it was not clear what really was going on in the Islamic Republic: the airspace was closed all of a sudden in the wee hours on Friday; there were reports about explosions in the city of Isfahan, the third largest Iranian city of immense cultural significance as well as the home for major military sites and above all, Iranian nuclear sites. The Iranian authorities downplayed the attack while reopening the airspace for flights in a couple of hours. The US military officials, meanwhile, had already confirmed about the attack and the involvement of Israel in it. Israel, however, as usual, kept mum about it, neither denying nor admitting it.  A four letter Tweet, 'lame', from a member of the Israeli war cabine

Will Iran attack Israel soon? Only time will tell!

  Credit: Google Maps With Iran's threat against Israel in a direct strike, the tension in the Middle East went up a few notches on the scale of uncertainty, as the United States made it clear once again that it would not be a passive observer if a conflict erupts. The rising tension came in the wake of the daring attack carried out by Israeli F-35 fighter jets on the building that was adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, the Syrian capital. Seven Iranian nationals, along with a few Syrians, died in the attack, two of them were from the elite Iranian IRGC - Republican Guards; they were very high ranking officers. In response to the attack, Ayatollahs Ali Khamenei, the Iranian  supreme leader, said that Israel will be punished in kind, during an Eid message on Wednesday; he did not imply in what form the retaliation could come; nor did he say whether it was imminent, leaving the ambiguity open to interpretation by military and political analysts. The supreme leader, however,

The Sun goes on Vacation: total solar eclipse - April 8, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse: April 8, 2024: Vivax Solutions The lucky folks along a relatively narrow geographical band, from Mexico all the way to Canda, are going to witness a rare celestial spectacle on Monday, April 8 – a total solar eclipse. The path of totality – where people can witness total darkness - cuts across fifteen US states, before rolling into Canada in its final mesmerising leg. In mathematical proportion to the excitement, the enviably famous American entrepreneurial spirit has already gone into full swing: the hotel bookings, closer to the path of totality, have gone up exponentially and so have the prices; in addition, traders lost no time in springing into action in promoting related merchandise and of course, safety goggles, while implying that exercising caution before looking heavenward is a virtue, indeed.    The excitement that borders on ecstasy is perfectly understandable: astronomical charts show that there will not be another total eclipse for twenty years th

Strong economic data from China boosts oil prices!

China's Manufacturing PMI - March With China's manufacturing sector returning to the expansion territory in March, recording the highest manufacturing PMI since September, 2023, the economic outlook of the world's second largest economy depicts a positive picture - at last. The announcement on Sunday by China's National Statistics Bureau on the PMI, was further boosted by the fact that the country's logistic industry showed even better improvement in March; the data released on Tuesday shows that the logistics industry prosperity index rose by 4.4 points to 51.5. That means, Chinese economy shows the signs of recovery while moving past the weathered milestone of stagnation that silently witnessed the interplay of a range of complex factors, some clearly stemming from evolving geopolitical axis, in a relatively short passage of time. The positive indicators in the recent days from China appear to be showing its catalytic effect on the crude oil markets; the price of

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